Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a joyous holiday season and that 2018 has started off on a great note! 

Three days in to the new year, I’m thrilled to feel refreshed and uplifted after 17 days away from the office.  Down time is so important!  I had grand plans to tackle and complete so many projects around our house during my time off, but I think only one of those projects was half checked off by the time I headed back to work.  Some of the downtime was dictated by illness.  My poor husband caught a nasty stomach bug our last week of vacation, but some of it was planned, and because of that, I feel no guilt.  I baked cookies, made an awesome Christmas Eve dinner, hung out with my husband (when he wasn’t sick) and our cats, visited with family, drank delicious wine, and watched lots of Netflix and Hulu. 

New Year’s resolutions have never been something I’ve pushed myself to set. Some years I don’t, some years I do, but the last few years I have really felt called to come up with a set of goals that help focus me throughout the year.  A list that isn’t so specific I feel like I’ve failed if I don’t achieve certain goals, rather something that guides me and hopefully helps me grow and a woman, as a friend, a daughter, and a wife.  With a piece of freshly baked bread smeared with real butter, and a cup of hot tea, I sat down on the 1st and wrote out my 2018 goals:

1.       Make mindful decisions that will impact my overall health in positive ways. Such as:
         - Eat more home cooked meals
         - Get up and move more throughout the work day
         - Take eye breaks, unplug and look away from screens
         - Make myself a priority (regular haircuts, putting on makeup, doing things that make me
           feel good about myself)
         - Prioritize down time and time away to recharge - MORE Chincoteague, less worry about
           work on weekends.
2.       Be bold, step out of my comfort zone, take chances, and don’t let fear of imperfection
          hold me back.
3.       Personal projects – flesh them out and START!
4.       Family art night – make this happen more often.

What are your goals for 2018?

Forty

On Sunday, in the quiet hours of the morning, I officially turned 40.

Over the last 48 hours, I’ve whispered to myself “You’re 40!”  multiple times.  I’ve thought about my mom and what she was doing when she turned 40.  I’ve asked my dad what it feels like to have a 40-year-old kid, and I’ve looked at my husband and proclaimed, “I’m 40!” more than once.

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December 10 on 10

The last month has been filled with travel and family.  We spent a wonderful 10 days in beautiful Palm Springs, CA, celebrating my uncle's 70th.  Of course we had to steal some time away to visit Joshua Tree and take in some of our favorite sites in the area.  It was so hard to say goodbye at the end of our trip, but what wonderful memories were made!

This post is part a blog circle, celebrating every day life.  Please continue on in the circle and visit the very talented Mandalyn Renicker as she shares a glimpse in to her daily life over the last month.

Laundry

I realize this is a silly thing to complain about, but David and I have a very awkward closet in our bedroom.  The door is in an awkward place, the shape of the closet is awkward, and it's even though it's a walk-in closet it's really not big enough for two people to use. Because of this most of the items we launder on a regular basis live on our guest room bed after they have been washed and dried.  When company comes to stay, we stack our clean clothes in piles around our room and return the laundry to the guest bed when our company has left.  

Perhaps it's because they've been frozen for a year and are looking for ways to expend their excess energy, but my nicely folded piles of laundry were disrupted by our November visitors.  Here's to hoping the destructiveness is almost out of their system!

Morning Surprise

Those of you who know me, know that my commute is pretty much one of the worst. Ever.  In order to beat traffic I'm usually up between 4-4:30 am.  This gives me time to wake up, have a cup of coffee, get ready, and be out the door before the heaviest traffic starts.  Even though I'm used to early mornings you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled downstairs and into the bathroom at 4 am to find this:

HAPPY DINOVEMBER!!!!  THEY'RE BAAAAAACK!!!

August 10 on 10

This post is part of a blog circle that takes time each month to reflect on what life over the last month looked like for each member.  Please continue on in the circle and visit the  Lisa Howeler, as she shares a glimpse in to her family's life.

I can't believe it's August already!  

The summer has flown by, and it's hard to believe that kids will be starting back to school soon.  Summer this year has been a quite one for our household this year.  Since mid-June I've been struggling with persistent pain on the upper right-side of my body.  Although I've suspected for years, it was confirmed with 100% certainty that I have gallstones and a gallbladder that needs to be removed.  Not feeling confident in what foods cause the pain to flare-up, and not wanting to risk a potential ER visit away from home, or for that matter emergency surgery, we have stuck close to home.  

Although I'm feeling better now, between work and not feeling well, I haven't had much energy to pick my gear up and shoot.  It's been frustrating; I've had so many ideas for some personal photography projects for this summer and they have all had to have been pushed to the back-burner.  One "project" though seemed perfect for this time where my body has forced me to take it easy - film.

There is something about film that I absolutely love, but words fail me when it comes to describing why.  I think part of it has to do with shooting film is something I do so completely for myself.  Not wanting to waste a frame - I slow down so much and really think about each shot. And a silly as it will sound to some, waiting for scan day is like waiting to open presents on Christmas.  I check my email far too many times the day I expect my scans and can't wait to open them and see if I was really able to capture what I saw.

Below are a few glimpses in to my everyday, from my August batch of scans.   

                                                                               Yashica Mat 124 G, Lomo 400, FIND Lab

                                                                              Yashica Mat 124 G, Lomo 400, FIND Lab

                                                                                      Pentax 645Nii, Ektar 100, FIND Lab

                                                                                    Pentax 645Nii, Ektar 100, FIND Lab

                                                                                   Pentax 645Nii, Ektar 100, FIND Lab

July 10 on 10

Business took me New Orleans for my first ever trip.  I was thankful to have a couple half-days to explore out a little from my hotel and get a small taste of this fascinating and mysterious city.  I can't wait to return again someday and explore more!

This post is part of a blog circle.  Please continue on in the circle and visit Laurie Shultz, as she shares a glimpse in to her world.

RS4W_NOLA-9247.JPG

Thirty-Nine

I don’t think there is a better way to celebrate a birthday thank watching the sunrise the hour you were born.

Saturday morning started at 5:15 am with a hot shower, a hilarious birthday card from my husband, and staring at myself in the mirror.  As I studied my face I wondered if I looked my new age – could people tell I was a year older…beginning the last year of my 30’s?  The wrinkles around my eyes and on my forehead seemed more pronounced than they did the day before.

Many times people consider the “0” birthdays as the big ones, but for me it’s always been the “9” birthdays that feel really significant.  They’ve been the ones I’ve looked back and reflected on what the last decade of life brought me, as well as a time that I looked forward to try and present my best footing for the new decade ahead.  Needless to say, there has been a lot of contemplating and reflecting the last few months, and definitely excitement, but also some fear and feelings of really being aware of how precious our time with loved ones is.

After showering, packing up and checking out of our hotel, the next stop was Starbucks for that all-important free birthday drink, and then on to Bombay Hook to catch the sunrise.  It was cold, and neither David nor I were prepared for that kind of cold, but I could help but feel lucky to be standing next to my best friend, enjoying the beauty around us.  

March 10 on 10

Those who know me, know how much I love Chincoteague Island.  It's my place to escape the business of every day life and slow downs and enjoy just being.  Being on the island, especially during the off months, reminds me to enjoy the quiet and simply listen to nature and savor the beauty God has provided for us.  Most of all, I love spending time with David on the island.  I can see us there in our 70's, 80's, and hopefully beyond, lugging out our photography gear and still loving spending quiet time with each other observing and photographing the beauty of the nature and the wildlife on the island.

This blog post is part of a photography blog circle.  Please take a few moments to continue on in the circle and visit  Elizabeth as she shares 10 images from the last month of her everyday!

January 10 on 10

David and I have frequently planned trips around our love of wildlife photography.  It's not often that we remember to take in the historic opportunities our great state has to offer, making our trip to Williamsburg and Jamestown (with my dad) such a fun one!

I hope you enjoy a quick "tour" through the Jamestown Settlement, as seen by me!

This blog post is part of a 10 on 10 blog circle - 10 images documenting and sharing everyday life, shared on the 10th of every month.  Please continue on in the circle and visit the talented Lenka Vodicka, a photographer and creative, as she shares a glimpse inside her daily life!

Dinovember: Football

Happy Monday everyone!

First, let me apologize for not getting the Dinos to you yesterday.  They were so tuckered out from all the nuptial partying that this is how I found them.  I myself was so tired that I didn't find them until well after dinner.

This morning, was a different story.  After a good bit of rest, it appears the Dinos had tons of energy to blow off, and what better way to do it that a game of football.

Feeling too unsteady to play carpet football, the Dinos knocked over an old painting and decided to play canvas (arena) football. 

A bit of a bossy pants, Vlad insisted that he play quarter back.

Peder ran back and forth because he'd seen pro football players do this on the TV, and..why not?!

Brutus did his best to intimidate Bronte, but that only thing scary was his breath.

Vlad was all set to throw and touchdown pass...

...but realized his team was still just roaring and making a bunch of noise.  Maybe reviewing the rules of Football would have been a good idea.

Dinovember: Here Comes the Bride

We are gathered here today...

Tootsie and Vlad got married!!  Who knew that underneath their bickering and seemingly mutual dislike they were actually in love?!

So in love that this was not just a Dinos only affair, even the cat toys were invited.

Everyone was in awe of the beautiful veil to bride made herself, and loved that Vlad opted for an ascot over a bow tie.

Even Luciano, Placido, and Jose were on their best behavior.

Titus officiated.

And the smiles on Tootsie and Vlads faces lit up the room - they couldn't wait for Titus to say "You may now kiss your bride!"

And for the first time, I am proud to announce Mrs. Tootsie T-Rex and Mr. Vlad Velociraptor (Tootsie is keeping her last name)! 

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Dinovember: Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

Folks, this is the scene that greeted me as I stumbled in to the kitchen first thing this morning.

Immediately I began to dread the worst - the Dinos had eaten all the cat food and we'd have to try and trick the cats in to eating something the never would. 

But as I got walked passed the open drawer, and my perspective on the scene changed I realize I was wrong.

I was prepared to be annoyed and frustrated with those Dinos and then I realized that they were, in fact, doing me a favor.  The weren't eating the food, they were feeding it to the cats!

Well, mostly feeding it to the cats.

Thanks for cover the back side of the drawer Luciano - it could have been disastrous had Velcro decided to jump up and join you guys!

While that fuzzy grey face melts my heart all the time, it was nice to have a break from his 2:00 am feeding call.  Thanks for giving me a break Dinos!