Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

I don't know about you, but I had a beautiful weekend. The weather in the mitten was absolutely lovely, sun all weekend and warmer temps! 

Dream Boy's grandpa had a saying that whatever the weather is on Palm Sunday (at least that's what I remember, Dream Boy remembers him saying Easter Sunday), but anyways.........whatever the weather is on whichever of the Sunday's he said - it will be that way for the next 7! 

Since both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday were beautiful days......it looks like we have some amazing weekends to come!

Friday night we went shopping for a birthday gift and a baby shower gift before heading out to dinner to cash in a gift card we received for Christmas. Dream Boy had fish and I had a turkey apple bacon cranberry burger. 

Can you say "yum?"

I ended up ordering dessert - creme brûlée.  Oh my. Since Dream Boy gave up all sweets for Lent, I was forced to eat it all on my own. It was so delicious and I ate every last bight all on my own. 

Saturday I had a baby shower to attend for a former student council member of mine. She graduated in 2003 and I had the pleasure of shooting her wedding about 1 1/2 years ago. She is now expecting her first baby, a little girl, and invited me to join in the festivities.

Can I tell you how much it means to me that past students share their life journey with me in such a way? It amazes me that they want me to be a part of it and I treasure this gift with all my heart.

We had a birthday party to attend on Saturday night for our "niece from another mother from another country" - my sister and her family are hosting a young lady from Spain this year, and she turned 16 this weekend. 
We couldn't find a gift for her Friday night, so Dream Boy headed downtown to a local store and bought the sweatshirt you see her wearing. She was so funny, the minute she opened the bag she grabbed the sweatshirt, dropped all her other cards & gifts & ran upstairs to immediately change into it! This girl is a crazy, crazy girl and we have all loved her becoming a part of our family!

Sunday morning was an early one as Dream Boy & I had to be at church by 6:30 for him & 7am for me. We were the narrators in our Sunrise Service and Dream Boy was also on the committee to fix the breakfast that followed the service.

We stayed and enjoyed breakfast and then went to church again at 10am with S&D1. The service was filled with so much joy and the feeling of celebration knowing that Jesus is Risen was so apparent in every moment.

This past year, we have had many families start attending with young children and we are now able to have a children's worship. They played a special part in our service as well.
They shared the story of Jesus resurrection - a wonderful performance was given by all! It is so good to see them all on the stage and taking a part in our Easter service.

We headed over to my big sister's house after church for a family Easter dinner celebration! We had 18 of us there and the day was absolutely gorgeous. We spent most of the day outside enjoying every moment of it that we could.

So there ya have it in a nutshell. Our weekend.

But this mama's heart is so full of the promise Easter brings and the joy that I feel.  

And now, off to breakfast and prayer time with my girls before we head into the final week before spring break.

Make it a great week everyone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Benches - Sit With Me.

I totally missed coffee with you all on Monday morning. I apologize.

But I find myself in a bit of a "funk". I guess that's what you would describe it, but I am just feeling a little off. So we're gonna get real here for a few minutes. At least what is real to me in my life right now. 

Maybe it's because I wasn't feeling the best over the weekend. Body aches were plaguing me, no fever, no nausea, no nothing else. Just off.

I've also had in my mind where we are in the season of Christ. It's Holy Week. The last week that Jesus spent on earth with his disciples. 

His triumphant entrance into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The people who welcomed him as he entered on a donkey, waving their palm branches at Him as he passed.

Of all the holidays, Easter is truly my favorite. It is a time for renewal and refreshment. It is a promise of life everlasting. It touches me deeply.

Maybe it's because of the state of our world. It seems that there is so much to despair over. 

Our current political race in the United States. It's disheartening, to say the least. I am not one to vocalize my political thoughts and feelings, but I will say I am truly concerned for the future of our nation.

Waking up this morning to hear once again of the terrorist attacks in Belgium. The senseless killings of so many innocent people.

None of this makes sense to me and can really bring me to a low place. But then I think of the way God must feel watching and knowing and seeing all of this turmoil, hatred and destruction. This is not what He created, this is not what He intended.

But through the choices that man has made, this is where we have gone and what this world has come to.

So I pray. I know God is listening and I know that His promise of eternal life is real.

I trust in Him and the promises He has made and I wait for that day when all pain, all sin and all that is evil will be totally and completely wiped out. The hope I have in Him is what carries me and brings me through these times where it all seems so overwhelming.

Then there are moments like this....
Those moments that you get to spend with your pastor's kids.

Coloring Easter eggs and frosting cupcakes. Eating chili dogs, french fries and cole slaw and enjoying the busyness of 2 little girls and their parents at the dinner table with you & your Dream Boy.

Or testing the Egg Theory that you can stand it on its end, without support, on the 1st day of spring - the spring equinox.
I had never heard of this theory until last year, so of course I had to test it. I stood one egg up. This year, I got 5.

Then I got cold and it was time to leave for church, so I had to pick them up so the squirrels didn't make a mess of them in the back yard.

You know, those moments that make up our life on an every day basis that we tend to take for granted. 

Those moments that are truly a treasure if we take the time to enjoy them and bank them in our memories for a future moment when life just seems to be, well life. 

Here's to many great moments that we grasp and remember as a treasure!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Here we are again!! How do some weeks seem to fly by & Monday is back before we know it, then there are those that seem to drag & Friday never gets here, let alone another Monday?

Regardless, I'm just thankful to be here for another Monday. God has blessed me with another day with my family and friends and students.

How was your weekend? I hope that you enjoyed it, whether you relaxed, chased kids around from sporting event to sporting event, slept it away, or spent time working. Whatever you did, I hope you found joy at some point through the weekend.

It was a beautiful Friday & Saturday, but Sunday was a cool, wet & rainy day. A good day for a nap.

Saturday we enjoyed our Christmas gift from S&D2. They sent us a Groupon for a "date". It was a lesson in making pasta and we made a lot of it! We learned how to mix our dough and then made cheese ravioli. There were about 8 couples total and it amazed us how quickly the time passed and how easy it was to make! We were supposed to receive a bottle of wine with our "date", but the store had recently moved and their liquor license hadn't transferred yet, so instead, we got a $20 credit. We enjoyed this even more - selecting fresh tomato basil sauce, freshly grated Asiago cheese and a pan of home made meatballs that we brought home & froze for another meal on another night.
Dream Boy got pretty good at wrapping up those little pockets of cheese. 

We spent the day together, shopping at a few of our favorite places and just enjoying each other's company. We came home with our ravioli and other treasures for a quiet evening in.

The pasta was delicious and we are now hooked, making our own pasta is so easy. We ordered our own pasta press and can't wait for it to arrive.

Sunday we spent the morning in church and then headed over to visit with my mother-in-law. We had a nice long visit, talking about her aunt who will be turning 100 at the end of April! This great aunt just moved to a senior living center, having lived on her own in an apartment until this recent move. She is sharp as a tack too - still not taking any form of prescription medication. What a life story she has to tell!

We stopped on the way home to pick up a few groceries & then headed home. Like I said, it was a rainy, dreary day - so I took full advantage of it & took a little nap on the couch. You know the time change this weekend gave me a good reason as well. How long before we adjust to this change? I vote for keeping us in this "time zone" now and forever more. 

Daylight savings time? I really don't get it? They say it's so the kids don't have to get on the bus in the mornings in the dark, but believe me, within a few weeks of turning the clocks back in the fall - they are once again in the dark.

Waiting.

In the dark.

For the bus.

So here we are again on a Monday. Back to breakfast with my girls and another week at school. I have our senior trip meeting this week with parents - can't believe another Senior Trip to Florida is only weeks away! The kids are getting so excited!

Well everyone - thanks for stopping by again. 

Have a wonderful week and be sure to enjoy life!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Well, good morning.  Apparently I need more caffeine or another vacation as I'm a little late in posting today!

My weekend was a slow, relaxing kind of weekend. I came home after school on Friday and did not leave the house until Sunday morning for church. Dream Boy came down with a cold on Friday, so it wasn't hard to stay put all weekend.

Saturday was actually a pretty nasty morning outside. We had gotten another layer of fresh snow over night, but then it turned to freezing rain/drizzle in the early morning and just wasn't nice out. Our roads still had a thick coat of packed ice/snow from earlier in the week, so there was no reason to go.

So I spent most of my day working on my business. I have begun to shoot weddings once again, being selective in how many and how often. I think I just burned myself out previously and really needed the break I took from them last year.

My first love, honestly though, is high school seniors. After a trial run with a Senior Model Program last year, I've learned a few things and worked on tweaking my application and contract, along with my handouts and media pushes via Facebook and Instagram.
We are being promised some beautiful spring like weather this week, hitting 60 or so by Wednesday. Albeit they are forecasting rain, but it's okay. It will melt what snow we got last week and hopefully be the turn in our weather that will progressively move the temps up and no more snow for this season? 

A girl can dream, right?

I've lived in Michigan all my life and am very well aware of how fast that can change. But it's a nice thought and I'm going to completely enjoy what is given to us at this point!

Have I ever told you that I help mentor our FCA group at school?  For those of you who don't know what "FCA" is, it stands for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. We meet every Friday morning before school and have an amazing group of kids who faithfully attend. 

I am in love with this group and all that it is becoming. These kids are on fire for God and truly want to include Him in their every day lives. So much fun to see them light up. We also have time to share our hurts and trials and temptations and it never ceases to amaze me how they edify each other through it all. The really cool thing is that not all of them are said "athletes", but want to be a part of this group and show up every week.  

School is moving along - we are a quarter of the way through this semester. Time is just flying by! Only 45 more days until I return to Florida with my 14th class for our annual Senior Trip! The kids are getting stoked and are counting the days as well. 

So - how was your weekend? A good one I hope? I know some of you have been recuperating from pneumonia and other illnesses that have taken their toll on you. I've been praying for you, that you will soon conquer it once and for all. 

I hope you have any amazing week and fill it with family & friends & all that you love to do.

Take care my friends!