Wednesday, July 13, 2016

bloom with grace...

I stumbled across this pretty wallpaper at just the right moment in my life.  A beautiful artist named Mable created it for people like you and me.

I mentioned to her:
This is just so perfect seeing this right now…  I’ve been seeing a rose bloom through a fence lately…  It’s a spot my ol’ girl used to lay down and rest during her morning walks…  I keep meaning to take a pic & had planned to post with the saying “bloom where you are planted” but I’d never heard the addition of “bloom with grace.”  That was her name… it brings tears to my eyes.  Happy tears.  Thank you so much for this wallpaper.  It made my day. ~n

You see, yesterday was my Grace's sweet 16.  My heart never stops aching for her.  I miss her face so much, but I love knowing her beautiful spirit is always with me...  Happy birthday pretty baby.

Please check out Mable Tan and all her stunning artwork.  Plus for the month of July, she has free downloadable wallpapers… You will love them!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

hi there, I'm birdie...

Better known as the grey tornado…  I prefer to spin in circles, whether it be my body or even my tail, well I'm really just winding up!  I also enjoy the occasional somersault.  It really is a well practiced technique.  It helps when I am trying to be elusive, you see.  I am a total people pleaser and overall curious girl.  I learn commands super fast, and wouldn't you know, I don't even mind going to the doggie doctor!  Especially if there is a cookie involved (and hey, I can't help it if the drool gets the best of me… those treats need to get in my belly faster, okay?).  I've come a long way in kennel training… as a matter of fact I'm pretty sure the kennel is actually called "cheerios."  What a funny name for a wire box full of blankets and beds and cuddly, snuggle babies!  Did I mention I LOVE FOOD!?  It's a really good thing they make these interesting looking puzzle bowls to help me slow down at meal times, that way I can actually taste what I'm eating.  Even my weim foster sister wanted one, because they are just so fun to eat out of, it's like a game!  Penny's also been busy showing me the ropes, and we are currently working on sharing toys and taking turns :)  Now sometimes my excitement gets the best of me… one day I accidentally knocked over Grandma.  Whoopsie.  It's a good thing she was wearing her parka and it has all that extra padding!  I mean, I was just so surprised and happy to see her standing there when I turned around- honest!  I promise I snuggled up to her later and told her I was sorry…  As a matter of fact, I'm really happiest once I calm down and can cuddle someone, using my body as a blanket.  I make an excellent space heater, and would prefer if some part of me could be in close proximity to you (and by that, I mean in your lap, that's not off limits, right?).  Otherwise, I can dig myself a tiny little spot and curl up under the blankets in my bed (but I may sneak in your bed after you fall asleep, because I know you get chilly at night sometimes).  Now- going for daily walks is super important so the boredom doesn't set back in.  On leash or off, I just love to explore, and it's even more exciting when I have a sibling to share the scents with!  And okay, I don't love the treadmill just yet, but it does help exercise my body and my mind on those super cold & icy days when it's too dangerous to wander the neighborhood or the dog park.  Also.  I'll admit, I didn't really enjoy swimming at first, but now you just try keeping me out of that water!!  Alright alright, I know, I may just be rambling at this point, but…

Hey Bird…  Yes, mama?  I'm really glad you're happy here, how would you like to be a part of our family?  Well I am, right?…  Welcome home, Birdie… welcome home.

(-Okay okay, so I may be a leeeeeeeetle behind the game on sharing this post, seeing as how we made Birdie's adoption official in December-  Wait. Is it June??…  But I still wanted to share her crazy fun, BIG personality with you all!-)

And oh how quickly the time goes by…  I still can't believe this grey girl has been a part of our family for over a year now!!  I have to admit that when we first brought her into our home as our second foster baby, I kinda wanted to bang my head against the wall.  Like a lot.  I've never met a living being that is so damn stubborn!!!  (Let's just agree she gives me a run for my money & I'm probably getting what I deserve.)  But man is she full of life and energy- and can she be oh so sweet when she's not greeting you with a face plant to your nose.  I worked so SO hard to mold her into what I thought she should be & how she should act…  But for the life of me, I just couldn't wrap my mind around how difficult my life had become when all I wanted was a playmate for Penny and to help re-home this new sweet (but crazy) girl into our lives.  And then just when I thought I'd reached my absolute boiling point, I happened along a television program one day and heard this:

My usual techniques with the dogs I looked after worked so perfectly, except with [Birdie.]
Because you make [Birdie] personal.
Well it IS personal.
Mmmmmm it is and it's not.  If you make it personal, then you make it about you.  That's when it's not good.  And that says that we need to work on something personal.
So [Birdie's] an example of me having the dog I need and not the dog I want… 
… God is good.

A few days passed and it was like a lightbulb had suddenly clicked on…  Then this happened.  If that wasn't enough of an ah hah moment for me, well here's another one.  I'm a sucker for whatever random chick flick happens to be on the screen at the moment, and it just so happens Hope Floats was the lucky winner this day.  Now let me start by saying that Birdie's previous owner made mention she was named after this movie…  So during this particular scene, the tears started flowing again- because of course I heard the words as if my Birdie was saying them directly to me:

...and l used to see myself in [your] eyes.
And it was like [you] saw me.
And l was audacious, Mama.  I was.
And then, l don't know, things just started to change.
The harder l tried to be what [you] wanted me to be...
...the less I saw myself in [your] eyes.
Just one day, I looked and I was gone.

It was heartbreaking.  That's when it really hit home.  Stop trying to change what's around you and instead focus on how you can make yourself a better person.  And it may take time, but the rest will fall into place, my friends.  And don't forget to listen, you just never know when a little birdie may be whispering in your ear… 

Monday, February 8, 2016

a baby story...

Every now & again I have to pinch myself when I look back on moments like these…  I know I'm not some big shot photographer with a huge following or clientele.  But I've always been a firm believer in quality not quantity.  I am just so happy to remember where I started & to see my continuing growth in portrait photography from then until now.  I've truly enjoyed getting to know my clients and being able to share in the stories of their lives.  That's the good stuff.  And this baby story will forever be near & dear to my heart.  

Well this day was unreal…  You see, some people can grow tiny humans, I just don't happen to be one of them.  One such amazing person invited me into her delivery room…  What an incredible and wonderful life experience…  Something I was never sure I would ever be intimately familiar with personally.  My heart goes out to you & your family for including me in such a beautiful & private moment.  Your new baby boy is absolutely perfect in every way…

And if it wasn't exciting enough to welcome this sweet baby boy into the world, I was invited into their lovely home to snuggle him and his perfect little toes just a short week later!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

52 in 2016: January

I don't seem to be amazing at finishing these little projects, but a certain someone twisted my arm.  So… I am attempting once again to accomplish a 52 week project.  (I mean, at least last time, we did actually make it over half-way…)  This time, there is a small group of us encouraging one another.  The categories have been pre-selected and focus on improvement in three areas:  portrait, landscape, & artistic.  Let's just say I wanted to quit before I started, because week one was self-portrait.  Seriously!?  But I managed to translate the idea in my head onto the screen of my camera, so I guess it wasn't a bust…  One month done.

week 1 - portrait: self-portrait
week 2 - landscape: traditional
week 3 - artistic: red

week 4 - portrait: headshot

Sunday, January 17, 2016

mornings with grace

dear grace,

It's hard to believe it's been an entire year since I've run my fingertips over the lines of your sweet face, pressed your spotted pink nose to mine, or witnessed your goofy little grin when we walked through the door.  I remember wishing often that our time together on this earth would never end…  During one such moment, your Auntie explained it to me- why this couldn't be.  She said she came across something a little boy once said:

“People are born so that they learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The four year old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

These words have stayed with me… from then, until now.  Thinking back, I remember how the skies seemed to transform on the eve of the last day we shared together.  From the bleak, cold greys of winter, to beautiful sun-filled days that yearned to warm my soul…  Of course, this year was no different.  -On this morning, the 13th of January, exactly one year later, I arose from my bed just as the sun's light began to peak over the horizon.  I tip-toed through our kitchen and cracked open the back door.  The dawn's crisp air greeted me as I took a step out onto the porch.  The clouds were like rolling waves, saying their hellos, the countless colors of your spirit washing over me…  And as I stood with my bare feet pressed to the cold concrete, my face continued to linger on the heavens.  I closed my eyes and inhaled the richness of the quiet surrounding me.  Then my lips parted with a wisp of fog that accompanies warm breath on a cold day, and what followed was the whisper of your eternal name… 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

cabin life

One of my favorite highlights from 2015… our first family vacation with our sweet (and crazy) girls!  We were lucky enough to stay in a friend's cabin near Taos, New Mexico this past fall- just as the autumn colors were starting to emerge, and boy was it breathtaking!  The grey girls did lots of nose-to-the-ground exploring, and really enjoyed walking the golf course each day as the guys hit a few balls.  Let's just say we could get used to life in the mountains!