Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wonder Dog!

If you know me at all, then you know about my Wonder Dog!
My dog who can leap from moving cars and survive, because she had to poop!

My dog who can run into the path of an oncoming truck and roll between the rear axel and come out with nary a scratch. Who upon arrival at the emergency vet is playing tug of war with her leash & you, making the vet wonder why in the world we thought there was an emergency?

Well, yesterday she proved it all over again when she did this....
She walked on water!

Heh - heh - heh!

Then she just danced along to her favorite Taylor Swift song.....
Shake it off!
Shake it off!

My girl........talking about my little girl!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Garden Party

I went to a garden party,
to reminisce with my old friends.....

When I got to the garden party,
they all new my name.
Well it's all right now,
I learned my lesson well.

Can't please everyone,
so you got to please yourself.


This is what you do on an overcast afternoon. You bake cupcakes from scratch, drag out the table & chairs, dig up mom's old table cloth, cut flowers from the back yard & along the road side, make pink lemonade & have yourself a little garden party.

Even if it is just you and your Wonder Dog!


Linking up with Kathy for Song-ography this week!

Coffee Time!

Make mine iced!

Summer with it's humidity has finally settled into the Mitten. I love the heat, but not the humidity. 

Especially living in a house with no central air. But we make do - we have the window shakers in so we can sleep & I have a fan blowing on me wherever I go. 

Oh, and I spend lots of time at the dock with this girl.

Oh my Wonder Dog - all she needs here is her cape & she'd be flying for real!


I still would love to take her to a dog beach on the BIG lake yet this summer. We shall see. I'm not sure how she'll do traveling that long though. I guess the only way to find out is to try it!

I was busy this weekend working on editing too.....
I spent 2 hours last Thursday afternoon on a webinar learning how to use brushes & presets in Lightroom in a more efficient manner.

Problem is, I get sidetracked way to stinking easy.......squirrel!

See what I mean?

But, I'm having fun with it & that's what counts, right?

Saturday and Sunday we pretty much hung out around the house doing this & that.

Dream Boy cleaned up our porch so he could make a more efficient work space for his newest hobby. This started when S2 made a request for us to make his bride her wedding gift.


We got such a great response to it when we showed pictures of it, he decided to start making them to sell! He has a meeting with a local store this coming week as she wants these in her store! I've also posted them on Facebook & Instagram & now here & have sold them as well.
We have both the positive & negative of each state or US map and they are made from reclaimed wood.  The option of putting a chalkboard behind a negative cut out is also an option!  He takes special orders as well. He's currently working on a US map & adding a carved heart to the two cities from which a couple have lived together.

I've also been itching to paint.........my office/studio space. It's a deep navy right now. It's the color that S2 picked out years ago & I love it, as blue is my absolute favorite color. But it's just too dark for me now. I need to lighten things up a bit. So I've been visiting the paint section at my local Lowe's every time I frequent it with Dream Boy when he needs to replenish his supplies for his signs. I had it narrowed down to two colors, something soft & something to remind me of summer days on the beach. Or trips to the tranquil blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico when in Florida. I think I found it. 

It's called Dancing Mist. Now doesn't that just make you feel relaxed and all warm & happy inside?
I painted with a sample I bought, and put two very quick coats on. It's going to take a few coats to cover the navy, but I'm thinking I'm going to like/love it! The trim will be in a creamy ivory and I think I may even paint one wall with a complimentary sandy color that I used in my bedroom. 

Welp - I'm into the final 2 weeks of summer school. So I need to push a few kids to get busy........real busy!

Thanks for stopping by - I'll be back soon!




Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Good Monday morning!

Someone just recently asked me, "what is Monday morning coffee?".

To which I replied........."it's a blog post I do pretty much every week giving a recap of my weekend. In a world that is so big at times, this little post can make it seem small & bring back the days I remember when little of my mom & the neighbor ladies having coffee together a couple times a week."

As I think back, it's an idea that I borrowed from a fellow blogger, Lisa. She lives  in a land far-far away from me & used to post a "Virtual Coffee" every week. 

I journal - always have, always will. I have several journals laying around. Different journals for different things. Daily thoughts, photography, art/doodling, day to day activities and blogging.

I originally started blogging with a group of girls that I met via a scrapbook website. We lived all across the country, with a handful living close to each other. But we blogged as a way to keep out creative juices flowing through each other with the various projects we were all working on. One of them was our circle journal.

See - again - another form of journaling for me. And I still have each of those journals.

So there is a little history into where Monday Morning Coffee started. It seems to be the only time I blog lately - and I really don't know why I don't blog more as I used to, but I'll continue to plug along with what I am currently doing.

My weekend, as they do for the first 8 weeks of school, begin at noon on Thursday! That's when I get out of summer school for the week, so I have a 3 1/2 day weekend. Kind would like that schedule every day for school, but that won't happen.

Anyways - Thursday afternoon I worked on a video for Vacation Bible School for them to show at service on Sunday morning.

Friday morning I met up with a friend for breakfast! She took me to a new to me restaurant & oh my, was it yummy. We went to breakfast at 9am & I didn't get home until almost 1. So it was a long overdue visit for us as you can tell. Lots to catch up on.

As the day went on, the humidity began to build along with the heat. I had a senior photo shoot late that afternoon. 

Holy humidity! 

How does one stay "fresh" and professional looking when the sweat just poors off you standing still???
My senior had a "wardrobe" change halfway through our session, so we all agreed to chill out in our vehicles & take a break from the heat before continuing on. I had brought a huge glass of ice water with me & it was pretty much gone before we braved the heat to finish up.

I love summer - I love the heat, but the humidity can really do me in quickly. I can totally do without that.

Saturday was predicted to be even worse - their was a heat advisory in affect for the afternoon & early evening. 

Dream Boy was at his annual 100 mile ride in Holland and I had the day to myself. So I slept in before getting started on my "to do" list.

He rode. I mowed.

Poor guy got caught in a major thunderstorm while riding - they were less than a mile from their 1st check point when it hit. He said riding in sideways rain that was blinding them because it was coming down in sheets, was not his idea of a good time. But eventually it passed through & headed down towards me.

Fortunately I had finished mowing just before it hit. I was sitting in the living room and it became as dark as it does at 9pm. I had a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses show up at the door just as it was moving in & I thanked them for their time, but suggested they get back in their van before the heaven's opened up on them & poured down it's wrath.

They did.

I spent most of my day cleaning. You know, mopping, dusting, cleaning the toilet, scrubbing sinks & the tub, vacuuming. All that domestic diva stuff that I truly am not a fan of, but our maid just doesn't show up, so it's left up to me to do. 

LtWD & I took a break later in the afternoon when the sun was out, but there was a nice summer breeze blowing & I was able to sit out on the patio reading & LtWD spent time playing in her pool.

The breeze was quite strong, so the mosquitoes could not land & stick long enough, if at all. It was lovely.

I had another senior shoot planned for 6pm out at the local State Park, around the 3 lakes that are there. About 5:20, the skies began to cloud up & I checked radar. There was a lovely yellow, red & green cell moving in from the BIG Lake, so I texted my senior & said if you're ready early, head on over now so we can get your shoot done. 

She headed right over & we beat feet to the Park, which is only a mile from my house, and played in the water. Again, the humidity was building greatly & I was once again faced with staying "fresh". But I soon forgot about that as we found ourselves sitting/standing in the lake & the thunder & lightening began. 

We finished our shoot and got back to the car just as the rain began to come down!

When I got home, Dream Boy was there, so we went to our little local Mexican Food Dive in the Village for Fajita night.

Sunday we woke up to a beautiful day. We spent the morning in church & then went to our cafe ~ where they know us by name ~ and filled our bellies before heading home.

We struck up a deal. Dream Boy would stay home with LtWD & do all the weed wacking & I would head over to the dock & kayak the lake. He & LtWD would join me when he finished.

The lake was busy, as it should be on a hot summer day. But it was also a windy day - so between the boats & the wind, there were white caps on the water & I had to really work. But it's always a good feeling when I get done to know that I did it!

I did find a little cove where the waters were like glass.......

So I took a little respite among the lily pads before finishing my journey around the lake.

Then I spent the afternoon just soaking up the sun & floating in the lake and sitting on the dock.

Dream Boy showed up with LtWD & she played & played & played & played. She does not know the meaning of "stop" when we are on the dock. She sees her blue tube & it's an automatic "go" for her. 

Finally, after trying to get her to just rest, I hid her tube & she got mad. She barked at me and cried, but I wouldn't give in. So she looked out to the raft where DB & his buddy were fishing. She turned & looked at me & ran off the end of the dock & began swimming out to the raft to tell on me.

Stinker.

So she sat on the raft for quite a while with her master man & chilled because she had no other option. I still had her tube.
Dream Boy thought I had coaxed her to swim out to him. 

No - she has a mind of her own & follows it whenever she wants.

It turned out to be a wonderful weekend and I felt so refreshed heading back into school today.

Only 3 more weeks of summer school. Then I'm heading to a friend's house in Chicago for a few days. Another friend is also going to be there & we are going to explore the city with our camera's. 

So - back to work for now. Thanks, as always, for stopping by & spending some time with me.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning world!

For what was supposed to turn into a nasty weekend by Sunday - it turned out to actually be a beautiful one.

Now if we could only get rid of all the mosquitoes around here, life would be all that much better!  Even in the sun they are horrific - ready to carry you away! With all the rain we got earlier this summer, we are now paying for it with the hatching of these worthless creatures.

Honestly, can anyone tell me their purpose?

So Friday, I spent most of the morning & early afternoon in my studio office working on my photography. I recently downloaded a new photography magazine and it filled me with inspiration to work more on building my brand.

But then I took a break and headed to the dock with my wonder dog. We were both in need of some dock time. A clear your head kind of afternoon.

Friday night was Art Hop downtown and Dream Boy & I wandered the shops. We found a shop that is very interested in his reclaimed wood state signs. So he spent quite a bit of time this weekend building up some stock to bring in to the owner this next week. She was intrigued with the pictures we showed her.

We went to dinner at the Old Dog Tavern, which, once upon a time, was the Star Paper Company. My dad and grandpa both worked there in the 60's. Dream Boy & I went in there a few years ago when they first reopened the place as this tavern, but it was just starting to get established. But like then - when I walked in on Friday night, the memories of being a little girl and running through the warehouse came flooding back. The old wooden floors are still just as crooked as they were so many years ago. My dad's office was on the 2nd floor - which isn't accessible, but believe it or not, I have his old oak barrel back chair from their in my basement. 

Dream Boy happened to know one of the guys working and we struck up a conversation. He told Chris that my dad had worked in the building when it was Star Paper and Chris asked me what it was like and what did they actually do? It was fun talking about it & sharing my memories.

Oh - and the food was amazing! We will definitely be going back.

Saturday morning I woke up to a sunny, quiet day. Dream Boy was off on a ride with his buddy - they have a hundred miler coming up this Saturday - so I grabbed my towel and coffee and headed to the dock without the wonder dog. She was not happy with her mama.

But a quiet, calm, glassy lake awaited me & my kayak.
I spent about an hour paddling around the lake, which is about 2 1/2 miles around. 

Can I tell you how happy this made me to start my day off like this? When I got back to the dock, I spent about an hour finishing my coffee and taking a swim out around the raft. My arms were a little bit tired by the time I returned to the dock.
So I just sat for a little bit soaking up some sun and enjoying the sounds of the little boys across the lake as they laughed & screamed while tubing. It seems as though one of the boys had a camp out with his buddies and they hadn't had much experience with boats and lake life. I loved listening to them as the boat would take off and the tubes starting zipping across the top of the water. 

"Dude - this is SO cool!"

"Oh man, I LOVE this!"

The laughter & screams were abundant. I'm sure each of those little men went home and had plenty to share with their parents about their adventure on the lake that morning!

I soon headed home to finish up some of my work and Dream Boy also worked in the yard. When he finished, we loaded up LtWD & headed to the dock with her for a quick swim to cool down. The humidity had been building all day.

Sunday was forecasted to be a rainy day, but in the end it turned out absolutely beautiful. We had planned on S&D1 coming over for a cook out to celebrate her birthday, but changed out plans & Dream Boy & I packed a picnic supper and headed out onto the lake with the kiddo's on their boat for our dinner.

We floated in the middle of the lake feasting on chicken salad, fresh cucumber dip & guacamole and a fresh watermelon-mint salad that was topped with Pop Rocks. Yes, that sounds strange, but it is very good. Even S1 liked it!

We soon headed back to the dock & Dream Boy ran up to the ice cream shop and brought back 3 dishes of vanilla ice cream and we combined it with his famous homemade brownies, for dessert before heading home for the night.

Again, it turned out to be such a beautiful weekend filled with all the things I love to do.

This week is vacation Bible school at church.  Dream Boy is going to be a group leader & I am the photographer for the week.  I'll be putting together a video of the week's activities for them to show & share at church next Sunday morning.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Have an awesome week this week - thanks again for stopping by!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Photo Overload

You know, it takes a lot of time to plan a wedding. 

Then poof! It's over with.

Life moves forward and into a more normal routine.

But then, the wedding pictures start trickling in. D2 has been posting them on Facebook and S2 says there are over 750 of them!

Are you ready for a photo overload? I can't stop flipping through them, the joy & laughter & love of that weekend and that day fill my heart once again.

Thank you to Sandra Mae & Grant Floering of For the Love of It Photography for capturing such beautiful memories of our special family event!
Getting ready for her big day. She has waited so long for this day to get here!

My directions were to make me look "sassy", and NOT like a "mom"!
The guys sharing a moment of bonding - our boys have made some amazing friends over the years. Love them all!
If you know anything about our family, it's that we are a soccer family. The boys grew up playing travel soccer & Dream Boy coached their high school team.

S2 went on to play 4 years of college soccer and then his bride-to-be landed a job in Seattle with the Sounders!

Her gift to him was an authentic, team autographed jersey from Arsenal. Needless to say, he was deeply moved.
Two of my handsome guys getting ready.
The groom did not want to see his bride before the wedding, but their pastor strongly urged some time together to get over the "jitters" - and maybe calm some of the emotion between them.

So my sister made a special blindfold for S2 and I had the honor of leading him to his bride to be.
I hid behind the door and tried my best not to cry to loud as I watched them work through their own emotions. 

But watching them pray together, oh - this mama's heart melted completely.
 And so much for the emotions.........
This is the chapel on the campus of Hope College. This is where their love story began - Dimnent Chapel.
And finally, Mr. and Mrs. make their escape from the church.  My nieces and sister spent quite a bit of time filling those cones with the flower pedals they broke free. It was a beautiful affect.
Of course, S&D1 with such big smiles. Hard to believe they will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary in a few weeks.

D2's brother is on the left - and he will be celebrating his 1st anniversary the 1st of August!
The joy is so apparent in their faces!
 Of course - the beautiful bouquet!
After our lip sync performance, we invited all the mom's and son's who were at the wedding together to join us for our mother/son dance to "Dontcha" by the Pussy Cat Dolls! Both of my boys surrounded me and soon, my newest daughter was embraced by both of my sons as well.

This mama has a heart so full of love & joy. Reliving that day, that night, that whole weekend through these pictures has brought the tears of happiness right back to my "sassy" ol' self!







Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Happy Monday morning to you!

Did you survive your holiday weekend? It turned out to be a beautiful weekend here in the mitten & we took full advantage of it.

With the 4th falling on Saturday, Dream Boy still had to work on Friday, but I spent the day keeping busy.

First there was this.....
Back in the saddle.  With the holiday weekend, the roads were not busy at all - so I chose to ride one of my road routes. The balloon festival was going on at the nearby airport, so the balloons were out floating over the National Cemetery. It was so peaceful that morning.

I got home from my 9 1/2 mile ride and made a few things for dinner that night before heading to the dock with my girl. I knew everyone would be hanging on the dock, so we went early for an our of one on one time.
I swear she looks like she's flying. But the poor thing has a major ear infection, which labs are prone too, so I'll be calling the vet today to get some meds for her. Usually I can keep them pretty clear with her ear wash - but no go this time.

Friday night we had a cook out with friends and our oldest son & daughter-in-law. Always a good time, with plenty of food! Oh - and we got some exciting news just before dinner! My oldest nephew proposed to his beautiful girlfriend, so there will be another family wedding in our future - can't wait!

Saturday, Dream Boy & I just hung by the ol' homestead all day. He went for a ride in the morning and I did this....
because chocolate chip cookies are as American as apple pie, right? And much easier to eat on a boat than apple pie.

This little one was dognabbed by yours truly.....
because her mom & dad were spending there day out on their boat. So gramma went to let her out & she just HAD to jump in the car and come home with me to pester her Aunt Libbi for a while.

We brought her home later that night and then headed out with her mom & dad to the lake to watch fireworks from the boat.
It was a spectacular celebration and an awesome way to watch the fireworks this year!

Sunday we started off our morning at church and then headed to breakfast. While there, D2 texted me and asked if we wanted to join them on the boat for the afternoon. Dream Boy already had plans for a bike ride, so I joined them for a few hours in the sun and water. I even managed to dunk S1 off the back of the boat at one point when he wasn't paying attention. 

Yeah, this mom's still got it. Totally took him by surprise!

So Sunday night, DB & I hung out at home and he fixed a light supper for us. 

It was a great weekend - a sunny, warm one. Something we haven't seen in quite a while. In fact, we've had almost a full week with NO rain! But the mosquitos are out in full force due to all the rain we have had. 

Today, I'm back at school for the final week of my first session of summer school. Pushing those kiddo's to get their work done & finish strong! It's hard to believe that we're almost done with the 1st session - which means halfway through summer school for me!  Wow!

But I enjoy it & I really want these kids to succeed. It has been a quiet bunch this year, unlike so many years in the past. 

So I'm off to the classroom - I hope your day is a beautiful one. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

I'm Gonna Walk A Hundred Miles..........

I started this little meme last year on Instagram - and I've kept in up. 

On the 1st of every month - take a pic of where you are standing, walking, running, sitting - wherever your feet take you.  Post it on your IG page and tag with #feetfirst2015 and see where everyone's travels take them.  I would love to see you join me @pattilin60 and let me see where your journey takes you!

This has been my journey so far this year.....
From ice skating with Dream Boy in January to riding the trails in July, snow storms, school days, dog days, fire side, sunny side up & dog tired after a big wedding!

What a journey I've had the pleasure of moving through since the first of the year!

As for this weekend - my feet will be spending plenty of time planted on the dock with a certain Wonder Dog!

Happy Birthday America!