Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

I'll have my coffee with a side of cold medicine and tissues please.

Yep, a summer cold is trying to rain on my parade.  I've been taking Zicam for the last 2 days in hopes of keeping the worst of it away.  Dream Boy started it last weekend and I woke up on Saturday with the tell tale signs.

But alas, the clock keeps ticking and time keeps moving forward.  So I'll suck it up and move along.

Dream Boy & I headed to the park yesterday for the last of the summer concert series.  We were treated with TWO performances.  The 1st wasn't originally scheduled, but when The Verve Pipe was stuck in Memphis and couldn't get there on time, they pulled this duet out of Grand Rapids to fill the gap.

They were very good.  A little bit on the Ingrid Michaelson/Jay May side.  Loved them really.

The Verve Pipe finally arrived and the show continued on for another hour. Most of these concerts last 1 hour, but we didn't leave until almost 7:30 --- and they start at 4!

Friday night was the last of our summer wedding series as well.  D1's older sister got married and we were invited.  She had a very small wedding, but a very large reception.  It was a wonderful time and this girl has had a good fill of dancing for a while too. 

Saturday was a finish up editing kind of day.  I managed to finish editing the wedding I shot 2 weeks ago.  Now to put their package together & send it off in the mail since the couple lives in Baltimore!

Today - well, today I head back to school.  There.  I said it.  Not at all ready for this.  Not at all.  Students don't report until next Tuesday, but staff has the annual breakfast this morning & staff meetings this afternoon.  Tomorrow is training, in which I will be helping with the training.  Hah!  Me, training the teachers.  Yep.  Me.

So - I hope you have a wonderful week & will stop back around.

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

On Monday night S2 nominated Dream Boy, amongst other's, to the Ice Bucket Challenge that is bringing MAJOR awareness to the awful disease of ALS.  You get nominate by someone else who was nominated and so on and so on.  You have 24 hours to donate $10 and do the ice bucket challenge OR donate $100 to the ALS website.  

As of this morning, this challenge has raised $41.8 million in donations compared to $2.1 million during the same time period last year (July 29-August 21).

So on Tuesday night, a friend of mine nominated me & I took the challenge yesterday.  Much to Dream Boy's delight as you will hear...
It's amazing how something so simple has brought such awareness to something so dreadful.  

I, for one, was honored to be a part of it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Landslide - Songography

Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in a snow covered hill….

Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the oceans changin' tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

But time makes you bolder,
children get older,
I'm getting older too.

How and when did I reach this age?
This stage in my life where so many years have passed and maybe not as many remain?

Wasn't it just yesterday when my sister and I were fighting over Barbies?  
Or helping mom bake Christmas cookies?
Or having first dates………getting married…….having babies……..our babies getting married……babies moving away……

My child like heart still says I'm very young.  My mind says the same thing most days.

But the reflection in the mirror - the knees that can't bend as well - the few gray hairs that grace my head tell me differently.

Like a landslide, it passes all too quickly.

I've learned and am still learning, to embrace who I am and where I am in my life at this point and time.

I'm living every day as the gift it was meant for me.  Opening my eyes more & more to the beauty that surrounds me in many forms, big & small.

Joining up with Kathy today at You'll Shoot Your Eye Out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!

I slept in this morning after a busy, busy weekend.  I have 2 children still sleeping as well at this moment and a Wonder Dog rolling around on our bed at this very moment.  Her morning routine.

Dream Boy took the day off Friday and we started it out by picking up Son #2 and D2B2 at the airport mid-morning.  Ahhhhhh --- SO exciting.  Even my nieces made a quick trip in to see their cousin's, whom they haven't seen since last Christmas.

Since they had flown in on the red eye - they were not quite so bright and bushy tailed and we headed home.  But they were wide awake by the time we arrived, so we spent the next few hours just catching up on life.

S#2 was in a wedding on Saturday and he soon had to take off for Holland for the rehearsal festivities and do the "best man" thing, so D2B2 stayed with us.  I took her for an exciting trip to the grocery store!  But we laughed, rather, she laughed at me because I kept forgetting what to get because we were so busy talking.  We made many circles around the store before completing, um - almost completing my list. A quick stop at the local farmer's on the way home to pick up fresh sweet corn, tomatoes and flowers finished out our little excursion.

By the time we got home, we all changed and headed into town for dinner.  D2B2 loves bar-b-que, so we ended up at the new Arcadia Brew Pub for dinner.  We feasted on ribs, pulled pork, brisket and sausage, accompanied by potatoe salad, beet salad and a kale salad.  What D2B2 really wanted was on Oberon from Bell's, but since we were at Bell's main competitor, she tried their version of Oberon.  Dinner was delish!  The beer wasn't half bad either.

After dinner we headed over to Bell's store and picked up some fresh brewed beer to share at our family dinner on Sunday.

We headed over to D1's then to watch a movie - S1 was gone to a bachelor party in Ohio for the weekend.  D1 loved the company, as did FMBM.

Saturday found us all getting ready for the wedding that afternoon and heading up to Holland in the morning.  D2B2 had scheduled a walk through at the venue for their wedding reception next spring.  We arrived right at 11:30 and spent about an hour checking the place out, asking lots of questions & I took some pictures for S2 to see later.  

Oh - the ideas are just a rolling in our heads now that we've really seen the place.  S2 & D2B2 are coming back in a month, along with her parents, and we are going to plan the wedding as much as possible that weekend - so it was great to see the venue now and start our lists of questions to be prepped when we go back.   We will be doing the taste test for the dinner menu then as well.

After our tour - we headed into downtown Holland.  The memories came flooding back to D2B2, as this is their college town.  She hasn't been back there for almost 2 years and she was just filled with emotion and excitement to be there again.

We did some shopping, she bought 2 dresses, I bought my summer special - Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel apple and Dream Boy hung out and patiently waited for us to "do our thing".   D2B2 was laughing because Dream Boy isn't used to this format.  Having raised 2 son's, it was always me waiting on them, as they combed the sports stores for soccer shoes/apparel/boot's and whatever else they could find in the local sporting goods store.

We soon were off to the wedding at Hope College.  This is also where S2 & D2B2 will be getting married.  The church, Dimnent Chapel, is absolutely beautiful.  We were making mental notes of what we could do for their wedding.  The church is, as I said, beautiful, so we won't do much to deter from the natural beauty, but we talked about what we could do up on the stage to decorate. 

Oh the excitement that filled D2B2 as the reality was starting to set in that in just over 7 months she & S2 will finally be getting married!!!

The wedding reception was about a 1/2 hour away and didn't start for another 1 1/2 hours, so we took D2B2 out to the beach to see the monster manson being built by the parents of one of their former classmates & then we headed back downtown for a beer.  I know, I know, lots of beer in this weekend - but ya do what ya gotta do to entertain the kiddies, right?

Soon we were off to the reception, getting slightly lost along the way as my map on my phone had us ending up in the middle of nowhere.   D2 googled the country club and we discovered that the address in the wedding program was missing a 0.  They sent us to 1700 and it should have been 17000 = so we did a little loop & were soon at our destination.

Dream Boy and I hung around til about 9pm, but he wasn't feeling too well and it was almost a 2 hour drive back home.  We left the kids' behind and headed out.  They, on the other hand, arrived home around 3am.  They said the reception ended at 10, so a whole crew of them headed into downtown Holland together and just enjoyed the night!  

Needless to say, Sunday morning I was the only one up and out the door to church.  Dream Boy was still not feeling his greatest - coming down with a summer cold, and the 2 partiers were still in bed.  Between the late night and the jet lag/time change - they were zonked!

After church I came home and we began to prepare dinner, as my family was all coming over to eat with us.  Everyone arrived by 3:30 and by 4 we were feasting on our Low Country Boil.  A favorite of all of ours!

Libbi The Wonder Dog tried to feast on a bee and was promptly stung in the lip.  She had a swollen lip last night, but seems to be fine this morning.  My sister's tried to tell her no - but she ate it, or attempted to, anyways.

S2 & D2B2 had to be to the airport by 6:30, so everyone said their goodbye's shortly after 6 and we all headed off in our different directions.  

But NOT before capturing this...
We dropped them off at the airport, and as usual, I had my cry in the car on the way home.

But, Dream Boy & I were home barely 15 minutes and S2 called us back to the airport to pick them up.  Their flight was delayed and they would never catch their connection in Chicago - so the ticket agent rebooked them on a flight out this morning!

Bonus night!   We headed back in & S2 made plans with S1 to head over to their house for pizza and a movie.  

So this mama had a house full again this weekend and is living on the joy that we were surrounded by with everyone.  I will be heading off to the airport again shortly to drop off my precious cargo, but also know that they will back in about 4 weeks to work on their wedding plans!

I hope this is a great week for all of you - I am cherishing this time as the start of school is fast approaching.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Creative Juices Have Been Flowing.....

Once upon a time, there was a girl who had many creative avenues she liked to explore.

She loved to journal and still does somewhat, including her blog.  

She loved to draw, but doesn't play with that too much anymore.

She loved to play with beads and has recently become once again interested exploring this colorful world.

She loved painting and has also started exploring and playing with this medium.

Time off from school, time to explore and enjoy multiple areas of the creative world that surrounds her.

So for the past 2 days, she has been painting.  She has been checking out tutorials and ideas and techniques and has completed to projects for shower and wedding gifts.
She was recently inspired by a sign she had someone else make for a wedding gift.  After her son saw it, he said, "mom, you SO could make that yourself."

So she did.
Then she became inspired and created another one from her own mind.
 and came up with this......
So now it's time to put the paint brushes away and return to the creativity of editing senior pics and a wedding.

But the painting bug has bit her once again and the brushes aren't too far away.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Well, good morning to you!

I don't know about you, but weekends need to be a little longer.  Not necessarily adding more days to it, but at least more hours in the days involved!  


As seems to be the norm for me this summer, I packed in a lot over the 3 days I consider my weekend.  

Summer school ended on Thursday and my summer "vacation" officially began at 12:30pm that day!

Friday found me sitting on the beach with a good friend at her home and soaking up some rays and floating in the lake for a good portion of the day.  

I headed home to clean up mid-afternoon and then went to a wedding rehearsal for the wedding I was shooting on Saturday.  If you follow along, you'll remember I've had this scheduled for quite some time and the bride was a former student council member of mine.  She has a twin sister, and the 2 girls have kept in touch throughout the years since they graduated in 2003.

These girls are amazing young women.  Although identical, they definitely are not alike in a lot of ways!  It wasn't long into our time at rehearsal when their usual banter/bickering/twin chatter began and I felt like we had never missed a beat & were back in my classroom.  

Saturday I awoke to an amazing day.  The sun was out, the temps were absolutely perfect and the forecast called for nothing BUT the same all day.  I spent the morning checking my gear, looking over ideas again on line, taking notes and then heading out around 12:30 to get to the church before everyone else so that I could explore even more what and where I might shoot.

The hustle and bustle soon began shortly after my arrival and the fun came along with it!  This wedding party had such chemistry.  They were ALL good friends and just had the most amazing comradery with each other!

The bride and groom live in Baltimore currently and I had never met the groom prior to rehearsal.  I found out immediately why the bride is head over heals in love with this man.  He is so gentle, polite and just beams whenever he is around her!  The love between them was so evident.
The day moved quickly and the ceremony was beautiful.  BUT, the best man floundered a bit when he had to hand the ring over.  I also noticed that the groom and the pastor were a little flustered as well, but they continued on with the ceremony really never missing a beat.

It wasn't until after all was said and done and they were pronounce Mr. & Mrs. and we started pictures, that I found out the best man had a hole in his pants pocket and had lost the bride's wedding band!  Everyone was searching high and low for the ring.  I suggested to the janitor that they might sweep the girls room, checking all the cushions on the couches and chairs as the guys had spent a good amount of time in with the girls prior to the wedding, other than the groom, of course.

A search party was formed and the wedding party moved into the sanctuary so that we could finish pictures.  The bride & groom were so cool about the whole issue, stating it was "just a ring" and that it wasn't what made them married.  They were so honestly not bothered by the situation, just wanting to enjoy their day and the fun they were having with friends and family
 We finished up pics and soon headed off to the reception.  Introductions were made and soon the best man & matron of honor were toasting the couple.  After the matron of honor completed her toast, she handed the mic back to the best man who proceeded to "confess his sin" of losing the ring.  He was more upset than anyone that he had let this happen.  He started to say that he had every intention of replacing the ring, but then he pulled a white box from his pocket and stated that just as he was leaving the church, the janitor approached him and asked, "is this what you're looking for?"  It was the ring!  So the groom promptly took the ring, stood before his bride and formally placed it on her finger. 

Goosebumps!!  Cheers!!  Clinking of glasses!!

I ended my night around 9pm with them and headed home for a much needed soak in the tub and Netflix.

So Sunday was spent at church in the morning and then sitting on the dock with my Wonder Dog and DIL#1.  We just hung out for about 2 hours before heading back home.   

Dream Boy & I then went to the downtown park and listened to a blues band perform.  It was so relaxing to just sit and do nothing but listen and watch the people, of course.

Today - it is predicted to be a stormy day, but I really don't mind.  I will be sitting in a training all day for a new software program we are using this school year.  Yip.pee!  And then tonite I get to present in front of the school board the status' of summer school - the high's & lows.

So my friends, thank you for stopping by and listening to me go on and on and on.  But I do so enjoy sharing my weekend's with you all!

I'll talk with you all soon.  Have an amazing & blessed week!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's A Beautiful Day For A Wedding...

It is an absolutely gorgeous day today and I can't wait to capture the memories of this beautiful couple, Laura & Dirail.

I had the opportunity to attend the rehearsal yesterday - at pretty much the same time the wedding will happen today.  Photographer bonus!  Gave me a chance to play with the lighting and have a great idea of how the ceremony will go today.

I met the bride & her twin sister at the church.  Shortly after, the rest of the bridal party began to show up.  It was quite funny when the bride's good friend showed up wearing the same dress as she had on!  

Then the pastor showed up.  The bride started to introduce us and we both looked at each other and started laughing & gave each other a big hug!  The bride, her twin & her mom were a little puzzled - to say the least.  But I've known the pastor for a VERY long time!!  My mom used to babysit her kiddies when they were wee little babes and my "much older sister" - (Pastor Pat's words, not mine Pam - heh heh) were very good friends in school.

Such a blessing to watch them go through the motions yesterday and hear how much God is a part of their lives and the foundation of their new life together.  It always makes this girl's heart happy to see and hear that.

The rest of this story is that the bride & her twin sister were my former students.  They were both on my student council and have stayed in touch with me over the year's.  I was deeply moved when Laura asked me to capture their memories today.  When we met up yesterday it was as though we'd never missed a beat!  

Love these girl's and their family!

Congratulations Laura & Dirail.  May God bless you as you begin this new journey together, with many happy and wonderful years!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When Wednesday Started Out Like This..

I awoke before the alarm this morning, but still struggled to drag myself from the warmth of my bed.

A large, white pooch stretched out in the space that Dream Boy usually occupies.  She slowly turns to get her morning lovin' from maMA.  I think she even hates it when I have to get up & leave her side.

As I stood on the side of my bed, stretching, I noticed the fog through our curtains.  Heavy, thick as mud fog.  My mind started whirling and I quickly jumped into the shower, rushing my morning routine to add a few extra minutes to my day before having to report to summer school.

I grabbed Lucy and we headed out the door to a local pond.  My eyes were scanning the local landscape on my way to this quiet corner that is not regularly traveled.  The fog was still quite heavy - almost too heavy in places to truly capture the still, quiet morning life on the pond.  The swan who were lazily swimming in the peace were barely visible.

I shifted and moved and walked to and fro to find a place where I could capture God's painting for this Wednesday morning.  I relished in the quiet that surrounded me.  

No traffic, no sound other than that of the distant Sand Hill Crane talking as it flew over head.  

Pure peace. 

The scurry and rush to try and get through my morning routine and get out the door to capture this moment in time, was quickly quieted in my mind.  The silence surrounded me as the fog surrounded the pond.
It's a beautiful day, can't stop myself from smiling……..

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

WHOA ------- what a weekend!!!  The only thing missing that would have made it absolutely perfect was S#2 & D2B2, they were in Minnesota at her brother's wedding.

Ours started out at the butt crack of dawn on Friday.  Literally.  We had to be on the road by 6am as we had a 5 hour drive ahead of us and S#1 had to be to the hotel by noon to get dressed for our nephew's wedding.  He was a groomsman.  
We arrived at noon.  We had to stop at Waffle House for breakfast to appease D#1 as she was rumbly in her tumbly and was going to absolutely die if she didn't receive sustenance and soon.  

The wedding began at 2:30 and was at a little chapel in a local park.  The bride was absolutely beautiful and my nephew was SO happy.  He glowed.  Really.  

The reception didn't begin until 7pm, so we went back to our hotel and spent some time with my younger sister's family.  Dream Boy had gone to the grocery store and brought back some munchies and we just sat around and enjoyed the time together.

We were able to walk to the reception venue from our hotel, so we headed on over just before 7.  There was this cookie table - AHmazing!  It was at least 5 tables long and covered with any and every kind of cookie you could imagine.  They were all home made too.  I think my sister said she made between 80-90 dozen for the table.  Oh my gosh!

We danced the night away = literally.  I absolutely love my family, they are really so much fun to be with.  It was great spending time with S&D#1, we just laughed and laughed!  I think most of the photos on Instagram #evertspartyof2 were of our table.  

Saturday we got up & went out for breakfast before our long drive home.  We drove through a pretty rough thunderstorm, but came out on the other side to blue skies & sunshine.  LtWD was SO happy to see us when we got home that afternoon.

Sunday we spent our morning in church and then headed home, where I promptly donned the bathing suit & headed to the dock with LtWD.  She deserved it after being alone on Friday night.  She spent 2 1/2 hours swimming to her heart's content and I spent it floating on a raft in the lake.  Ahhhhhh.....just what I needed to recuperate from all the fun.  

Well, this is my LAST week of summer school!  I am psyched!  Absolutely looking forward to my 3 weeks off before the new school year starts.  Although we have a wedding every weekend for the next 3 weekend's, it will still be great to have the time off and enjoy my non-rushed mornings.

I have a senior photo shoot this afternoon - my calendar is starting to fill up with these shoots.  My favorite type of shoot.  

Well - need to get back to work.  I hope you have an amazing week everyone.  Thank you SO much for stopping by!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Feet First

It's Friday.  I have one week of summer school left and then 3 weeks off before my new school year starts.

I'm happy.

Today we're off to our nephew's wedding in Ohio.  We're riding along with Son & Daughter #1.  

Son & Daughter2B #2 are in Minnesota for her brother's wedding on Saturday.

Tis the season.  Dream Boy and I have 3 weddings this month and I'm shooting a wedding on the 9th.  The 2nd wedding we are attending will be bringing S & D2B #2 home for a weekend, so this mama is not complaining.

But, as you know, today is the 1st of the month!  That means it's Feet First!
One place my feet will NOT be planted today, is in the hallowed halls of our high school.

I'd love for you to play along today!  You can hook up with me on Instagram @pattilin60 and see where my tootsies are a traveling today.  

Make sure you tag your photos with #feetfirst2014 and tag me as well @pattilin60.  Let me see where your journey is taking you today!!

Have an awesome weekend and don't forget to come back on Monday for coffee!

Here's what you have to do…….on the 1st day of every month, get a shot of your feet planted firmly or floating in the air or lying on a beach or wherever your journey may find you on that given day.  Blog about it and what is happening in your life on that very day.  Then link back up here with me so we can all "travel the world" together and/or join up on Instagram @pattilin60.  Be sure to tag your photo with #feetfirst2014.
It can be a single shot, a collage, a mosaic, or an overlay of sorts.  Whatever your heart desires throughout the day.  

I'll be seeing you in all YOUR familiar (& not so familiar) places!