Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Take the Road Less Traveled…

June 27th, 2015

roadlessIt’s no secret that I love the Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken–  I have a pair of Kate Spade/Keds, which I bought specifically because they said “Take the Road Less Traveled”– and it’s one of those little things that I try to do anytime I get the chance.

The predictable path is comfortable and well, predictable- but there are often great treasures (and adventure) to be found on the road less traveled.

Last weekend I found myself exploring a nearby city with a friend.  We had met in this particular city for a few reasons-   The first being that we had not seen each other in almost a year, and the second being that we wanted to enjoy the Saturday ‘home-made’ market- where not only is there great quality local fruits and vegetables, but also freshly made pastas, tapenades, locally made cheeses and sausages-  and the list goes on..

After we had perused the market and made a few purchases, we decided to head ‘off the beaten path’ and see what we would find.   We had no goal in mind other than to see where the road took us.     We found some beautiful discoveries, and this photo gives a glimpse of one of the many things we saw.

We often get so caught up in the busy of each day-  getting from one point to another-  completing one task or another, that we often forget to take time to explore beyond our self-imposed boundaries, and as I have learned time and time again-  it’s in those moments of being fully present in each moment- and taking the time to explore and discover- that treasures await.

So today-  I challenge you to take that less traveled road-  whatever that means to you-   and I’d love to hear about your discoveries.

Love is in the Air

March 8th, 2014

A friend of mine was looking at wedding photographer raleigh and other wedding photographers to get ideas for her upcoming wedding. She’s going to be a June bride, and she’s been taking notes on exactly what she wants the photographer to do. I love someone who is not only organized, but also not afraid to let people know exactly what she wants. After all, it IS her special day, and the photos are something she’ll look back on for many years to come.

Some Gave All.. Remembering

September 30th, 2013

normandyFor as long as I can remember,  I’ve had it on my ‘Bucket List’ to someday see the American National Cemetery in Normandy, France.   I never had a real plan of when I would visit, but I knew that someday- I would see it.

When I was planning our travels earlier this year, I realized that when we were going to be in Calais, France to take the ferry over to England- that Normandy (Omaha Beach) was just about four hours away.     Even though I knew our travel schedule wouldn’t allow for us to spend a lot of time there;  I talked to our travel companions and asked what they thought-    and the answer was a very enthusiastic YES!

A week ago yesterday, my desire became a reality.   My grandfather fought in WWII in France, and whether he was in Normandy is unclear to me.   Mom isn’t sure as he didn’t talk about the war often, and with grandma gone- it’s a part of family history that is lost.

There really are NO words-   over 9,000 soldiers (and four civilians) are buried there.   All Americans.     I’m grateful to all of those who fought- and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.    I believe Normandy, France  and the D-Day beaches are something that every American should see.

The welcome center is a beautiful account of everything that happened, and yet so moving beyond words.   I cried through the whole thing-  at one point inside the welcome center, I had to bite my lip to keep from bursting out into a case of the ugly cries.   I couldn’t help it.   It was so powerful.

The men and women who are part of the Armed Services are the true heros of this world.    Take a moment to thank them.

When you look back on the history and think of those who have served and fought-   think about how things may have been different had they not.


Lazy Sunday

February 24th, 2013

sleepingjj  If you walked in our living room at this exact moment; this is the picture you’d see-  JJ lounging beside me on the sofa-  me covered up with a quilt and the laptop in my lap (for the moment).    The skies are grey, the trees void of any leaves or sign of life, and it’s snowing-  tiny flakes,  just enough for me to be able to say it’s snowing, but not enough to stick.

I was lying in bed this morning, thinking about things I need to be doing-   site updates- prep work for business and personal taxes-  regular exercise plan- emails- both business and personal- and the list goes on…. I paused and reminded myself that I promised that right now-  I’m focusing on getting ‘me’ back on track, so I let everything else go-    I need to be at my best in order to start getting things done- and while I’m getting there slowly-but-surely, I’m not there yet.

I’m keeping my energies focused on where they need to be and soon enough my cup will be filled and overflowing- and I’ll be completely rejuvinated.

I am so grateful beyond words to the people who have reached out to check on me.   I haven’t been talking on the phone much, or spending a lot of time on the computer, but to know that I’ve been missed and to know that people have asked if I needed anything- means more than words.

Marcel has been a Godsend to me- picking up the slack where I’ve been unable to do things.   He’s far from perfect, but he is always someone I can count on.   And the four-legged members of the family?  They are always great for a little joy and a smile or two.

How are you spending your Sunday?

Kettlebells and Funny Pups

February 13th, 2013

I’ve had a kettlebell on my fitness ‘wish list’ for quite some time- so a few weeks ago when a friend offered to order one for me at a great price- I couldn’t say no.    I originally planned to ‘start’ with the 4kg, but she’d talked to a professional who felt that I’d grow out of the 4kg much too soon and they thought an 8 would be a better start- so I ran with it.

Monday- a mutual dear friend dropped off said kettlebell and as soon as I opened the box-  JJ tried to claim it as his own.    It’s far too heavy for him to pick up and ‘run’ with-  so all he could do it look at it-  and ‘talk’.    It was quite comical..     Then a little later- I did a little test work-out using the kettlebell and low-and-behold he was very fascinated and trying to jump up at it when I was doing my routine.  More comedy- but it definitely means there will be no JJ anywhere near when the kettlebell workouts are happening.

Same day- later in the evening we hear him whimpering in the guest room-  (somewhere he never goes).  We went into the room to find him once again lying next to the kettlebell whimpering and talking away.   I so wish I knew what his thoughts were.    Needless to say it was precious and I’m hoping to catch him ‘in the act’ again sometime- because I would love to video and share with everyone.


A Rose by Any Other Name

February 7th, 2013

a rose  It’s almost one week later, but the roses Marcel gave me for our 9th anniversary are fully open and gorgeous.   I was running here and there most of the day today- but during dinner I really noticed just how gorgeous they had become.   This picture definitely doesn’t do them justice.

I still can’t believe it has been 9 years since we said our ‘I Do’s’ and even though we’ve had plenty of ups and down’s – we’ve continued on and love each other now more than ever.   I’m far from perfect and so is he, but our relationship is perfect for us-  and for that I’m grateful.

The past few nights I’ve started unplugging (turning off the phone completely- something I never do) at around 9 and my sleep has improved exponentially, which has in turn had other positive effects on my life.    Tonight- I’m home alone but look forward to catching up on more work and having a little more quiet time.

Life is good.

I Love Fall

October 26th, 2012

I took this photo last week when I was walking home from lunch at a good friends home.   It was one of those days that had been dark and rainy in the morning- but by afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was shining.    She and I live three miles apart- and I wasn’t exactly wearing what you’d call walking shoes (a pair of black leather Mary Jane’s), but I couldn’t help myself.

The wind was blowing like crazy- and I was walking directly into it all the way home- which made for an extra work -out.   Considering I had on the wrong shoes and the wind was blowing so hard- I still made it home in record time.

I love this time of the year.   The leaves changing color and falling to the ground-  cool, crisp days and even cooler nights.  The urge to just slow down- relax and enjoy all that is happening around me.    Yes- as much as I love all seasons for their individuality- I’d have to say, fall is my favorite.

What about you?

Weekend Thoughts

September 21st, 2012

20120921-232639.jpg T.G.I.F.!!

As of today I’m officially on the vacation countdown. Yipeeee!! Marcel and I are both excited about all the fun and adventures that await us. I love all the planning and anticipation. Good stuff!!!

In the meantime, I don’t want to wish away our time here, especially since there are so many great things going on right here and now.

We’ve been walking daily- 4 to 5 miles with a little running (for me) tossed in the mix. My goal is to do my first 5k this year and in addition to trying to get more exercise, I’m trying to get in shape to do that. I can walk the 5k without any problem in 45 but I want to beat that.

Even though it was Friday evening and probably unheard of by some, and deemed boring by others- I had my bath and was in my over-sized fluffy PJ’s by dinner time.

After the dishes were done and all was quiet in the house, (Marcel and the critters were napping) I brewed myself a cup of Illy coffee and headed out the door- PJ’s and all. It was so peaceful out- as though things are a little quieter now that the fun of summer is over and we are nipping the heels of Fall.

I watched the dark clouds roll in from the coast and smiled. It was chilly out- a cool 58 degrees, but comforting, cozy.

I’m grateful for this life- both the good and the bad. What a gift.


September 17th, 2012

Have I mentioned lately just how excited I am about our upcoming vacation? Well, just in case there were any questions, I’m VERY excited! Marcel is also starting to get the excitement juices flowing about all the fun and adventure that we have planned and it’s going to be one great thing after another.

I’m SO looking forward to seeing family and friends, plus I’ve got a couple of photo shoots lined up and it looks like I may be helping with some ideas on finding estate wedding and event locations. Someone I’m going to be doing photos for is considering starting a catering / wedding planner business and she’s working towards getting a list going and making contact with various venues in the area to see what kind of packages she can put together for couples.

I think it’s an amazing idea and with her personality, organizational and people skills, I have no doubt that she’ll be wildly successful. I’ll be cheering her on with every step and am happy to help her in any way possible. Her succeeding will bring me great joy- and I know it will her too! The area is rich with history, so I know in no time she’ll have a huge portfolio build. I’ve promised to carve out time to help her any way I can- and am definitely looking forward to celebrating her successes!

Oh yes- fun times are in the making and we aren’t even back home yet!

Peace, Love and Apple Pie

September 15th, 2012

I will admit being somewhat surprised when Marcel came home telling me that one of his colleagues wanted to hire me to make a Dutch “appel taart” for them.    Not surprised because I couldn’t make it- but more surprised because he’s never had an ‘appel taart’ that I’ve made.   I was more than happy to do it, so obviously I said yes.

After all-  I never want to limit my talents when I can take them in various directions.

So today I set out on making an ‘apple taart’ (or two in this case, since I wanted to make a ‘mini-version’ for Marcel.   It was somewhat comical because I could tell that I haven’t used my recipe in a while- because I was certain that I’d made a mess of this poor ‘taart (Dutch spelling, and not bad grammar), but I decided to bake it and if need be, I’d run out to the store and buy more apples, butter, sugar and anything else that I would need.

I tossed it in the oven- said a quick prayer and hoped for the best.   But it all magically came together and at the end of the baking time- a beautiful pie emerged- and according to Marcel, the perfect pie.     Granted- it’s far from perfect-   since I would have liked it to look more ‘neat’- but that one is much more asthetically pleasing than the baby (which you see positioned here in the front of the photo).

Needless to say- I’ll be having a tiny slice along with a cup of coffee for dessert tonight.

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