Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long, farewell 2009

2009 was definately an interesting year. There was alot of uncertainty with people being sick or going through big life changes. There was compromise. There was love and laughter and tears.
A few life lessons were learned:

With every heartache there is a blessing.
Big blessings come in small packages.
Wonder is not only a characteristic of a child.
You never know when the last goodbye is, so it is best to embrace the moment.
Even though someone does not appear to be who they were because of dementia, glimpses
of recognition and deep love remain.
Marriage is a work of art.
New life continues to emerge.
Sometimes change happens gradually and it give us a chance to do what we need to do.
Despite what we think we will feel at a given time, if duty calls we don't have time for thinking.
There are people that come into our lives simply to challenge us and help us grow.
There is always room for joy.
Thanks 2009 and Welcome 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I see Kindness


The other day I was carrying quite a big load of stuff in my arms and I needed to go down the elevator. I was planning just to pry one of my fingers off the load and press the down button for the elevator, in hopes I wouldn't drop anything. I didn't have to. A construction worker was near by and asked if I was going up or down, I indicated I was going down. The worker waited around until the elevator door opened and then asked me what floor, and I said "3 please." I thanked him and as I rode the elevator down I was so happy that man helped me out. He was a stranger. He could have just gone about his business, but he took the time to help me out. Thank you sir!!

I was at my Christmas work party the other day and my friend was telling me that her dad baked the cookies she brought. See, her mom recently passed away and she used to bake dozens and dozens of cookies and give them as Christmas gifts. The family thought the whole tradition would end when she passed, but it hasn't. Her loving husband keeps the tradition, the love and the kindness going in her honor. Love it!!

My dad is amazing. He is taking care of my aging Grandparents and has been for a year. He makes sure there are fresh flowers every week. He does the grocery shopping, drives them to all their various appointments, and plays (a lot) of cribbage with my Grandpa. He answers calls in the middle of the night, he does laundry, sets out their meds and so much more. He does so much for them every day. His kindness truly shows through his loving actions!!

My mom helps care for my aunt that is in a nursing home. She washes her clothes, holds her hand as she takes her for a walk, sits with her in silence, brings her nice gifts for the season and so much more. The love runs so deep!!

My husband recently got a new Plasma table in his metal shop. He came home with a gift that he had made for me: a heart with a K cut out of it. His thoughtfulness just fills me up!!

This is just a taste of the kindness I see.

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Validation

I haven't been blogging much, and I am sorry, to myself and anyone that likes to read my blog.

I found this video awhile ago. It is long, about 16 minutes, but I very much enjoy it!!

What a simple thing it is to validate someone. Compliments are easy. They cost nothing. They feel great to give and receive.

At Christmas time, and the whole year through, I hope that I can be a validator wherever I go =)

I hope you enjoy the video!

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I walk along


The only road I will ever travel on is the one I've paved myself.

Sure, other people will post signs but I am the one that chooses which way, how fast, when I need to slow down and when I need to stop at a wayside rest or scenic overlook.

I choose whether a bump in the road is going to hold me back or lead to a new way.

I don't have to travel the roads that others have paved although some have surely been admirable.

This is my road.
I decide what type of scenery I'd like to be surrounded by.
I decide who I will associate with.
I decide how my time will be spent.
I decide the type of driver I am going to be.
I decide how to fuel and maintain my vehicle.
This is my road.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grandparents

Today, I am thankful for my Grandparents.
I have two, still living, still together, still in the same house and both are 92.
They live simply.
They love deeply.
They're encouraging and generous.

I am blessed with them.

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We've only just begun


Matt and I went to San Diego for our one-year anniversary.
We LOVED it.

We went to the San Diego Zoo, where the animals just seem happier.
We hiked around Torrey Pines State reserve, the views were beautiful.
We ate a Waffle breakfast every morning.
The Gelato in the Gaslamp district was delicious.
The Kolby swapmeet was the hugest flee market I have ever been to.
There were moments that have turned into inside jokes, that just make me laugh every time I think of them.
We spent time reflecting on our Wedding day and realized how fast time can go.
We talked about how fortunate we are to have eachother.
We celebrated "us"!

I am very blessed to have such a wonderful husband.
There were days in my past that I was unsure if I'd ever meet a decent man to marry.
He is more than decent. He lights me up and lifts me. He encourages my dreams.
He is inspiring and thoughtful. His generosity and care for everyone is a blessing.

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Leaves of Ely

A few weeks ago my family headed to Northern Minnesota, Ely to be specific.
We rented a cabin. We hiked. We kayaked. We played games.
We visited the coldest place in the U.S. (Embarrass, MN).
It was sunny. It was rainy. And then it even snowed.
Here are some leaves under some of the varying weather conditions.



Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Amazing Couple!

This is my good friend Nicole and her wonderful husband Greg.
Their beautiful baby will be arriving within the next few weeks.
It has not been an ordinary pregnancy for her. She got thrown a curveball.
She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in May and finished up her four rounds of
Chemo in the middle of September. It has been quite the journey for her, from first hearing
the word "cancer" to facing head-on her fear of Chemo. She has had frequent
Ultrasounds, so she gets to see that baby is doing well, which has really been a blessing for her.
Greg has also been an amazing husband through all of it, he keeps her laughing with his ever-goofy and loving ways!
I am so amazed and humbled by the journey Nicole has been on and the strength she has shown.
Whenever I think of her, I am inspired!


Doesn't she look GREAT!!!
I look forward to meeting your sweet baby!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Possiblity Part 2

There are times that we find ourselves jealous of what someone else has, whether it be a material thing, a physical attribute, personality trait etc. On the contrary, there are times we despise other people, whether it be for an action they carried out, a physical attribute, a personality trait etc.

Walking through life with these feelings toward others only hurts us.

In jealousy, we are saying to ourselves " they are better than me"
In despisement, we are saying to ourselves " I am better than them"
Neither statement has possibility in it.

In the previous post, Possibility Part 1, I talked about awareness.

Awareness is where possibility begins.
We must be aware of what our thinking is, so that we can move on from jealousy and despisement to a place of understanding, acceptance and possibility.

Feelings of jealousy and despisement won't completely go away because, after all, we are human. The point is to be conscious of them and choose to have control over how we handle our thoughts and feelings.

Live your possibilities everyday!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Possibility Part 1


Here I am, just months old, surrounded by my loving, playful brothers.

Someday my gravestone will read 1980-xxxx
A beginning, a middle and an end.

At the beginning, the possiblities are endless.
In the middle, we often shrink the possibilities due to our own imaginary constraints.
At the end, the possibilities are gone unless we have created something in the middle that would continue to live on.

How do we live our lives so that when we are gone, what we have done will be remembered?
How do we live so that all possibilities continue to be achievable in our minds?

I believe it starts with awareness. Awareness of what we think of ourselves and others. Awareness of our dreams. Awareness of the thoughts and attitudes that precede our actions.
We must slow down and examine ourselves, and realize our potential!

Every good thing we do has a ripple effect!
One person can make a HUGE difference!

Live your possibilities everyday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Adventure Boy!

This little guy came over today for his portraits. He had so much fun running around and exploring. There is just something about watching children explore that makes me feel so blessed to be there for it!

Just look at that smile with those teeth...love it!!


He wasn't much for sitting, but we did get this nice family picture just at the right moment!

And the beautiful parents that brought this little guy into the world!


Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

They hang on together


They hang on together, they hang on for the other.
Their love grows stronger with each day and each challenge.
Their love is still youthful, though their bodies tell a different story.
They've built their lives on simplicity and generosity.
No matter their age, their caring ways remain.

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Baby on the way!

Beth and Mike are expecting their first baby and their excitement shows!!

Ahhh....sweet anticipation

We had to get some pictures with their furbabies, Lola and Louie

You two are going to be AMAZING parents!

Thank you so much for inviting me to take your pictures!

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The right moment!

Sometimes you can capture a moment and relive it over and over.
You capture not only the people, but the atmosphere. The picture helps you to
recall the smell of the air and the sound of laughter. It freezes time.....forever.



This picture does it for me!
On Sunday, we celebrated Matt's Birthday by inviting both of our families over. It was a picture perfect day....sunny, high 60's, we played, we laughed, we ate.
I am so blessed, first of all because I was born into a wonderful, loving family and second because I married into one!

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dear Rain....I love you

I love the sound you make on the roof and when you fall into the puddle you've already made
I love the way you kiss my face and refresh my soul
I love the way you make everything so lush
I love the way the smell of you reaches into the deepest parts of my being
And oh how I love the way you look






Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Curls galore!

Meet Leo.
He is an explorer, a dreamer and a rock soup maker!
He came over for a session yesterday and had so much fun running around and exploring.


Live. Love. Laugh. EXPLORE.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

He comes to play!

I have been fortunate enough to watch my friend Emmy's son every other Monday.
It has been so fun to watch him change and grow over the past 8 months. We have so much fun playing. To top it off, he is SUPER cute!!

Thanks to my mom, we still have some old-school toys to play with (Fisher Price Farm)
Doesn't the trough he is putting in his mouth look like butter..hehe.


He makes some great expressions!



Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lovely Couple!

On Sunday, I met up with this couple. They are definately one of the most in-love couples I have ever met! It was so fun to capture their inner and outer beauty!





Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Home

What is a home? Is it just where you lay your head to sleep? Perhaps.

But I feel a little differently. I finally feel at home after 6 years of not. I don't know, I just never felt completely settled in either of my apartments. Don't get me wrong, I liked them and all...they just weren't "home". I just feel like "home" is more than a place to hang your coat at the end of the day. Home is somewhere that all parts of your being become united.

Today, I mowed the grass (doesn't sound too exciting, right?). I have not mowed in over 6 years and for some reason it was really satisfying to see the results of my labor. After mowing, I picked some wild black raspberries....mmm mmm. Then I made black raspberry chocolate chip oatmeal bars...delicious!

It is so peaceful out here. Just walking from the house to the garage is a treat.

I am very excited to finish the indoor organizing and start on the outdoors. I have ideas in mind!! I am looking forward to shooting portraits around the land too!!

This is a shadow self-portrait in the field!

I am so thankful!

Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.