Monday, May 30, 2011

on Memorial Day

red poppies
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That marks our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

-Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

remember. be thankful. pray.

Friday, May 27, 2011

the things we take pictures of

While National monuments loom large and grand under a cloud painted sky,
all shape and shadow and form, begging to be photographed...
tourists and the baby
it is the little things along the path that seem to catch a tourist's eye.
tourists and the squirrel
Sorry, Washington and Jefferson, but apparently you've got nothin' on
squirrels and those blond American babies!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

nightlife pensacola

I'm a little behind on my project 52. I have the photos, I just haven't kept up with the choosing or loading or entering into the group pool. I'm pretty sure I forgot week 17 completely. I'll get there and you can catch up on the series sometime if you like in my flickr set. This week's theme is "a need for speed". I would use one of these except technically they were taken one day too early. That seems to happen a lot, but I like the practice of going out and looking for one good intentional shot. I enjoy the challenge of trying to capture a specific idea. Sometimes I get the shot I planned and sometimes, more often than not, I get something totally unexpected. Downtown Pensacola on Friday night was one of those not-what-I-expected times that made for some great pictures.
classics at sunset

Monday, May 23, 2011

things with roots

mona lavender plectranthus
We're back here in Jacksonville, Florida after a successful house-hunting excursion to Pensacola. Shawn and I looked at something like ten properties in the area before settling on the very first one we were shown (therefore I've decided house hunting is much like wedding dress shopping.) The house is cute (despite its need for new floors and new paint and less wall-paper), and it will soon be the place we call home. I must say, I am most excited about the yard. It is big and green and full of trees and flowerbeds that we can't wait to make our own.
I've been looking around Christie's garden, learning the Florida plants and, I must admit, envying her vegetable beds, all the while growing more and more excited about becoming a garden-owner again. Beverly Nichols explained it well in Merry Hall when he said,
"It is ridiculous to rent things if you are a gardener; it fidgets you. Even a very long lease is upsetting. I once owned a house with a 999 years lease, and it gave me an unbearable sense of being a sort of week-end guest; it hardly seemed worth while planting the hyacinths."
Yes, it will be good to once again sink our hands into a plot of soil we call ours, and, even though it may only be for a little while, to enjoy the feel of roots.
morning glory
container garden

Saturday, May 21, 2011

a book release party | Craving Grace

pretty Lisa
My friend, Lisa, recently published her memoir, Craving Grace. The book is every bit as lovely as its author (inside and out).
"Craving Grace"
At the party I most enjoyed listening to Lisa read her own words, out loud, carrying all their fullness of meaning and emotion. I love reading memoirs, so of course they take on a whole new life and meaning when you can attach to them a familiar face and voice.
Lisa in the spotlight
And Lisa's writing is beautiful. She is honest, thoughtful, and witty as she chronicles her experience of realizing her need for God's grace, and his willingness to freely and extravagantly give it. Her story is our story, the Story.
one of each, please
Her story is one of searching for sweetness and there was certainly no shortage of the sugary cake variety at this party (I tried the lemon and chocolate thankyouverymuch!)
book signing
I do hope Lisa's first ever book release party was one she'll not soon forget. I know I enjoyed it, and the chance to photograph such a special event.
books for signing
You can get to know Lisa at her blog and and pick up your own copy of Craving Grace.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

pictures poolside

grill man
pool baby
This is what I've been doing for the past three days -a whole lotta nothin' poolside at my sister's house in Florida. And it's been nice.
Today we are headed to Pensacola to find our own house (and by we I mean Shawn and I -alone!) It's kind of important that we find a place to live since we have movers coming to pack up our Virginia home in three weeks. Yes, a place to take all those boxes to will be kind of important.
I'll let you know what we find!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a family day

happy birthday grandad!
Did you know we're in Florida? We are! And today we got to celebrate my dad's birthday- with burgers and balloons and smiling grand kids and cupcakes. As a family separated by entirely too many state lines, these are the kind of get-togethers we live for.
birthday cupcakes
Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

our Marine on a graduation day

window light
We proudly watched as Shawn graduated from EWS on Thursday. The first time I sat in Little Hall on MCB Quantico was after his ten weeks at Officer Candidate School in 2001. We were one week away from getting married and I was so proud of him. Ten weeks had felt like an eternity but even then, I knew it was only the beginning.
EWS graduation 5-12-11
When I say we proudly watched, I mean I proudly watched while the kids did something like this...
how to survive...
(Whatever it takes!) But they know. They know that their Dad does something pretty special. They know he's a great man, a hero -our hero. Looking at them, and thinking about all we've been through and all Shawn has accomplished in the past eleven years, I'm even more proud than I was on that August day so long (yet not so long) ago.
EWS graduation day 5-12-11
Shawn, we love you. We're proud of you. We'll follow you anywhere.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm here, just busy...

I'm working on the last of some recent portrait sessions that you can check out over HERE. I love that I had one more chance to photograph this cute family before they moved (we are supposed to move too but I am still just too busy to deal with that...)
N. family 6
I think this is one of my favorite shots -how perfect are Faye's pink ruffles in front of that gorgeous azalea? It was not planned at all yet oh-so-perfect!
It's killing me to say goodbye to the flowers and still-cool air of Virginia almost as much as my friends. (I said almost.)
baby Faye
It is getting harder and harder to ignore this whole moving thing as the trucks keep rolling by and the goodbyes keep having to be said. I have one more portrait session to edit though, so I'm just going to sit here at my little blue desk next to my open window and deny it for a teeny bit longer.

Friday, May 6, 2011

18/52 first thing in the morning

I heard her coming (that plastic clip-clop is hard to miss)
so I grabbed my camera and waited for her to step into the sunlight
18/52 shoes
she came to ask for toast
how could I refuse the toddler in the fuzzy purple princess shoes?
18/52 toast
she had to take them off to climb into her chair
but that was ok -toast is way more important to this girl than her shoes.

project 52 ~ week 18 ~ first thing in the morning

Thursday, May 5, 2011

portraits of little girls in tangles and curls

little beauty
we want to take her picture
lovely lily
so we make a fuss with brushes and combs
kate's ice cream shop
and clips and bows
kenna's wisps
only to realize that to truly capture her personality
Lily's curls
we have to just let it go, wild and messy and in her eyes, let it go
oh the hair...
and that will be the one we remember.

Monday, May 2, 2011

dandelions and green

dandelion patch
Enjoying another GORGEOUS day here among the dandelions...and a bunch of dandelion photos.
dandelion_blue sky
because "Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them." -A.A. Milne
the swing
It is so incredibly GREEN today! You know that color of green that only happens on a sunny day in spring? I love that green. And it's cool and sunny too...basically it's perfect.
spring hillside
 The kids are having some quiet time in their open-windowed, breezy rooms and I am catching up on all the pictures I took in April. Oh my there were a lot of pictures in April. Many will just be posted HERE or THERE, so check in over the next few days if you want to see them.
That is if I can fight the urge to head out to the porch right now with a book and my camera instead. It's so easy to take pictures this time of year, but so difficult to sit at a computer and do anything with them! Looking at these, can you blame me?
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