July 30, Rise & Shine

july28I haven’t been here lately, there’s not much to tell. The sun continues to rise and life continues its hum drum pace.

I did have a birthday though. I was going to celebrate by flying to Florida with the hubby but our flight was delayed by five hours and we decided that we would spend more time traveling than at the beach so we didn’t go.

It was just as well, it was a beautiful and productive weekend – at least on the husband’s part. He was finally able to attack the jungle that was our backyard and tame it a wood chipper, lawn mower and weed whacker. It was the perfect weekend for him!

My birthday day was very relaxing. I’ve started my yoga practice again, thanks to shirley319 and a hashtag called #independencearmy on instagram. You can say I’m easily enabled but I’d like to think I’m easily inspired. If you have an instagram account, look it up! It’s amazing.

In any case, my birthday morning was spent practicing by the pool. Then a wonderful lunch at my favorite restaurant, and then a nice little cycle ride in the afternoon – with a nap somewhere in there. It was perfect.

On my birthday I’m a year older, but yet, the world is only a day older. I love the dichotomy of passages.

A Fan Club

ashow94A lot of folks came out to watch the girl compete last weekend. The crowd went wild!

ashow6Well, maybe not wild per se . . .

The prom date’s father came to watch for a bit. I don’t know what he’s saying to her but she’s perhaps smiling too much at the boy to notice.

ashow7The best friend’s father came to watch as well that day. For some reason, the dads were out in full force.

ashow991Sydney-girl was so supportive of the girl. Even when the girl didn’t do so well she was lifting her up with encouraging words. Just like a good friend would.

ashow992And then she walked with her back and forth, back and forth. She went way and beyond – so sweet.

ashow993In the meantime, the crowd was getting restless between events and started climbing the sand pile instead. Little Matt was so cute, he kept saying, “where’s (the girl?) Is she going to come in first?”

We all hope so, but it doesn’t always happen that way unfortunately…

ashow994Sophie-girl used to ride on the team but now is riding at the collegiate level. She continues to support the girl in her riding endeavors though. This girl was a leader to the team and continues to be so still even after graduating. She’s going to be president one day!

ashow99Here’s her biggest fan though. It’s her dad, giving her horseback riding advice, or maybe he’s just telling her not to fall off.

ashow96She was determined to perform well for her fans.

ashow92And I know she was appreciative of all the support even though her performance may not have been all she hoped for.

ashow93To her mamma and all her fans, she was perfect!

July 23, Like A Child

july22I was told once that I had to have the mind of a child before I can enter the kingdom of heaven. I was actually insulted. Really? I have to be immature to go to heaven? Well – as I continue my walk, I realized that it wasn’t about maturity as much as it was about pride. I can’t be so prideful as to think I know more than God. Just trust.

Maybe it is about maturity – emotional and intellectual maturity. Maybe it’s about laying down my ego and trusting in something much bigger – more expansive than what I can see before me.

It’s a much better way to live.

For Outdoor Wednesday.

July 22, Rising Sun

july24I was going through my archives last weekend and decided that I needed to do a massive clean up of my hard drives. It looks like my closet! I also need to come up with an efficient (and consistent) backup plan.

But then I came across this sunrise. I’m sure I posted it before – but I’ll post it again because it’s better than organizing my hard drives.


Show Me

ashow93The girl’s last summer of shows before she goes off to college has been a mixed bag as far as performance. Sometimes she does really well – and sometimes not so well.

It’s life. But this summer we know exactly why.

She hasn’t been riding much. She’s been forced to choose between the farm and a plethora of other things in her life and sometimes she chooses the other things. Actually a lot of times she chooses other things.

ashow9But Miss Tina is always there to remind her of her priorities.

After her first course Miss Tina said, “That was atrocious.”

The girl has been her student for so long she has stopped crying when criticized.

ashow95But she still pays rapt attention when Miss Tina speaks.

After her second course she asked Miss Tina what she thought.

Miss Tina told her she needs to ride more.

ashow91And she says it with a very pretty pink flower in her hat – and that takes away the sting a little.

ashow995She’s a little disappointed after her performance yesterday but she did have a great fan base that day which I think helped a little. When it comes to horse show, you literally cannot win them all . . .

Life Through My iPhone

Thank goodness I have my iPhone or else I would miss so much that’s going on in my life. Lately though, I find myself photographing less and less. The passing of my friends remind me that it’s not a good practice – I should photograph more! More of life, more of friends, more of people I love.

It’s hard though – I’m fighting a feeling of malaise and almost disinterest. I know why I feel that way – and so do you I’m sure. I’m going to fight through it for I know it’s not good for anyone, particularly for the people around me.

iphone2One of the things I’ve been doing is cycling. I try to go a couple of times a week and on most Tuesdays, I ride with a group of fun people called the Fab Brew Crew. It’s great exercise and one of the best things after a ride is eating dinner together. Here’s a few ladies that I ride with. Aren’t they beautiful? And look at the boats behind them! There are definitely perks to this newest hobby of mine.

iphone15On her first day of her internship, I rode the metro to meet the girls at work to escort them home on the metro so they understand the route. I wanted a photo of course. The girl initially refused saying, “Mom, it’s not the first day of school.”

iphone14But she relented and posed with Sydney-girl and I’m so glad I have this photo. These are two of the cutest interns ever!

iphone3It can be a logistical challenge to get them there and back. Most of the time they ride in with someone and then I pick them up a the metro station and bring them home. It’s quite a commute for them. It’s an hour metro ride and then a half hour drive back home. On one trip home a few weeks ago, I was rear ended by an 18 year old girl. We’re fine, she’s fine, and the people in the car that was sandwiched between us was fine – though that car had to get towed away. There were a lot of first responders who came to our rescue and we were the subject of a bit of a backup on the highway – the kind that annoys everyone, especially people in Washington DC. It didn’t stop us from snapping a silly photo. Can’t take these things too seriously.

iphone4The husband and I went to New Jersey for Barb’s funeral a couple of weeks ago and it was a really wonderful to see all our friends. I know how that sounds – but somehow it makes the loss more tolerable to be together through it. We went to the wake together then ended up at Carol’s for dinner that evening.

iphone5We couldn’t agree on how to take a photo and Carol suggested we turn off the light so we didn’t get a glare from the chandelier. It worked well didn’t it? I don’t have a lot of photos from those two days so I actually cherish these dark and out of focused ones.

iphone9Now here’s a joyous moment. The boy came home for a few days for the July 4th weekend! He had left school to attend Mr Tom’s funeral and then came home to us.

iphone7On the day he came home, we took him to Walter Reed Hospital for the husband’s doctor appointment. I guess we felt he hadn’t traveled enough miles and needed to be in the car for another couple of hours.

iphone8He was so accommodating like he always is and he appreciated all of the service people who were there for their doctor appointments. They were veterans without limbs and with scars that I’m sure we couldn’t see. The comfort dog, and I can’t remember her name, was there to give those people a little bit of love. She’s in the Navy!

iphone12 This is one of the great views along one of our cycling rides. I actually stopped to take a photo – and got way behind everyone but I just can’t help myself sometimes.

iphone10Here’s why I cycle. I can’t resist when it comes to butter and sugar – which is what these are. They are the traditional no bake cookies and I made them for LCAT Daniel and Devyn-girl when they came to visit the boy last week. I busied myself in the kitchen while they recounted their college stories to me. LCAT Daniel is going to a school for philosophy (or something like that) and he showed up with a tie dyed shirt that said, “vagina guardian” on it. His hair was also quite Jesus-like. He told me the story behind his shirt and it really was a very innocent explanation of an unconventional message on a shirt. LCAT Daniel is highly intelligent and a great debater and Devyn-girl said to him, “I feel so stupid around you.”

To which I answered, “This coming from a bio-chemistry major.” She’s studying bio-chemistry and is interning at a police department as a forensics intern this summer. She then went on to tell me how much she loved titration.

These kids crack me up – but then again, they just finished their second year of college so they’re not really kids anymore. Le sigh.

iphone1This is Asher! Among all of the wonderful moments in the last month or so – this is it. This photo was sent to me by his proud grandmother. I can’t wait to have a grandson or two myself. Yup, I did just say that. I have yet to visit his tired parents but I will – soon.

iphone13I’ve been keeping an eye on our church expansion and big machinery fascinate me.

iphone19This young man just finished his studies at our non-profit culinary school and he volunteered to make sandwiches for our Dragon Boat volunteers. People serving people who are serving God. I love it.

iphone11This is comedian Kenn Kington whose act I have apparently seen ten years ago but have no recollection of it because he was with so many other comedians – but I do remember they were all funny. So now I have a photo to prove we met! He is also a really nice man, very gentle and chivalrous in nature. He gave a message at church that makes you laugh and makes you cry and takes you through the gamut of emotions. You should listen - http://chesapeakechurch.org/sermon/current-sermon.

I promise you won’t regret it.

iphone17This is one of my cravings, Vietnamese pho. Every once in a while, I have to have it. Barb complained once that she knew everything I ate because I post photos of food. It’s one of my favorite subjects!

iphone16Lastly, the husband sent me this photo of a magnolia bloom. These are so beautiful and so fragrant and I’m glad God makes them. It’s that simple.

Here’s to life through an iPhone.

July 15, Freedom Buzz

july16We see a lot of military aircraft and other large motor vehicles in our neck of the woods. We live close to several military installations and you never know what cool thing you’ll see next. I was traveling on the highway the other day when Air Force One (or at least a 737 that looked at Air Force One) flew right in front of me. It was low and almost touching the tree tops and flew right in front of me. I was really excited but I was driving – and it was one of those moments when I really felt I missed forever.

The above photo is not near as exciting but these chanooks flew right over the dogs and I – and I had nothing but my iPhone. It’ll do. I’ll keep my eye out for more fun military aircraft – and hopefully my finger on the shutter.


Vote For Benedict!

benedict3aThis baby never stops smiling . . . he’s just a doll. When I saw he was nominated for Gap Cutest Baby in July, I voted – and then I asked the husband to vote – and then I asked all my “friends” on facebook to vote.

He belongs to a co-worker and ever since he was born, I couldn’t stop hugging him. He’s the happiest and friendliest child (aside from the boy when he was a baby) I’ve ever met – that smile is a killer!

And now I’m asking you to vote!

Go here – http://www.babyvote.com/jul14/benedict-larson and place your vote! It only takes a second – and you’ll feel that Benedict gave you a big baby hug!

Thank you – from Benedict!