Favorite Five From Last Week

We had a 9th birthday to celebrate last week.  And celebrate we did!!  I still find it hard to believe that my "baby" is nine!!  We started her day with a kid-gourmet breakfast served in bed.  There were treats delivered to her classmates and ice cream cake after her favorite dinner of tacos!    

child photographer
child photographer

We also had a "Magical" unicorn painting party with her classmates at our favorite local art studio, Morgantown Arts Center.  It was such a great experience with the girls!  And we have some beautiful, original artwork to display and treasure for always.  Special thanks to Ms. Jaeh and friends!!!  

child photographer
child photographer

April skies have been clearing the way for beautiful sunsets around here lately.  It's been a cold spring for us, but I have hope for warmer weather ahead (oh pleeeeassse!!).  Our daffodils are soon ready to bloom!  

April setting sky

How was your week?  What's new in your area - and in life?  How's your weather been?!  I'd love to hear from you, friends!  Wishing you all well and a wonderful week!    

with love and light

One More Reason to Celebrate Life

"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can."

-- Neil Gaiman

There were plenty of reasons to celebrate this week!  First, it was my birthday!  Second, my sweetheart, my handsome hubby and I turned another page as a married couple!  21 years, to be exact!  We married the day after my birthday.  I hit a gold mine when I said "I will" to my guy!  He's my rock.  He's my world.  I only hope and pray that my girls find life partners that are half as wonderful as their daddy (and Chelsea's step-dad) is.  One can hope.  He scared me so much that it took him 3 times to propose to me before I finally said "yes!"  By scared, I mean in truly the best of ways.  I had been down the matrimony path once prior, and, well, it left much to the imagination - those fairy tale books were way wrong!  Prince Charming isn't always so "charming" and after a year of marriage I made my escape plan, and implemented it.  I didn't trust many people after that experience.  It opened my naive, girlish eyes to the world. I know my own girls will make much wiser choices in life, especially since they have a loving father that cherishes them and a mother that loves them fiercely.  A strong foundation of love is key, in my opinion, in making lasting, healthy life choices.  True love conquers all!    

We had a snowstorm (a nor'easter) just in time for my birthday on Wednesday!  Oh boy!!  Quite a difference from last year's birthday celebrations in Florida!  Mother Nature left us snowbound for the day, and ANOTHER day off from school!  My beloveds treated me like a Queen!  There was breakfast in bed, handmade cards and singing!  It was all pretty fabulous until "Lucy," our cat, decided she wanted in on the fun and sprang onto the bed and landed squarely on the breakfast tray, sending the fresh, hot coffee flying in all directions!  Never a dull moment, I tell you.  Never.  

The girls and I enjoyed a lazy day together.  I kept the fire going in the wood stove just in case we lost our power, which is commonplace in our neck of the woods; and I did coffee-soaked laundry.  Later that night, once Kurt was home from work, we had a Chinese feast complete with all our favorite delicacies and hot tea (no champagne for me - I'm coming up on 4 years of sobriety).  
There was time for us all to enjoy sparklers on the deck in the backyard!  I think a new birthday tradition was born!  Of course, I had to bring my ol' trusty, Sony a99, along to capture the light!  The family also obliged me in my request to play a round of Harry Potter Clue!  Seriously, I love playing board games with my beloveds.  They make it so fun and their personalities shine forth!  Our Emilia won the game!  There were shouts of joy!!  

A birthday wouldn't be complete without cake + ice cream and it was scrumptious!!!  We wrapped up our quiet family evening together -- bellies full, hearts full, ready to take on another year!  Birthdays, I've found, are a roller coaster of emotions for me (you too?), but with my family's steadfast love; wonderful, generous hugs and kisses; and thoughtful encouragement -- I am able, I am strong, I am loved deeply.  And that, my friends, is the best gift I could ever receive.          

Onward bound!!!  :)

The August Break, 2017: Part One

The August Break is back!  This may very well be the only time of year that I attempt a photo a day based on a prompt designed by another photographer that I have had success in completing.  I did attempt the "biggie," the 365 Project, once many years ago with a photo a day, without prompts, and made it to October which I thought was decent, however unfinished it was.  So, with a brand new August at hand and 31 prompts to keep me grounded (and focused), I'm giving "The August Break" another go around!  I try not to read the prompts - or commit them to memory - more than a day or two ahead to keep it fresh, a somewhat meditative practice.  I will post here every few days or weeks while allowing my images to speak for themselves.  I hope you'll join in The August Break too and if so, please be sure to comment below with your blog link or online sharing site so I can follow along with you and your daily images.  Thanks!     

1:31  Morning

2:31  Gold

3:31  Roses

4:31  Where I live

5:31  Bicycle

Here is a copy of the prompts for you to play along, too!!  :)  

A photo a day, slowing it down and paying attention to what catches your eye and heart. 

A photo a day, slowing it down and paying attention to what catches your eye and heart. 

I realize I haven't posted in a while (shaking my head at myself).  I hope you are having an absolutely wonderful, Terrific, super-charged summer, my friends!!  I have so much to catch you up on!!!  Life has been full ON!  Until next time, keep your eyes peeled for all the beauty that surrounds you and soak in summertime's wonder.  

P.s.  To see last year's project, please visit this link: Break for August Part One and Part Two.