Category Archives: Signatures

Black, White & Yellow

may25With all of the life changing events the last couple of weeks, I remained amazed at how it just continues to go on – as if nothing has changed when everything has and every day it continues . . .

I’ve turned the above passion pink rose to black and white and it’s beautiful in its own haunting way. But I miss color and right now, my favorite color is yellow.

may20Yellow is a beautiful joyous color and I’m so in love with it right now that I wore yellow pants with a yellow sweater yesterday. I looked like a lemon, but it made me happy.

may19That’s the boy way out on the pier. He and John made it back to school safely, and they seemed to have had the time of their lives. Another reason to celebrate and revel in the yellow glow of a peaceful sunset.

yellow1After changing our minds about 12,000 times on whether to go to my parents’ home to spend more time with our newest kidney transplant recipient, we finally decided to go, and took all the animals with us. Ella is a yellow lab, so the theme fits. It’s always an interesting ride with all the animals. They are always good on the six hour drive, but boy we were all glad when we finally get there.

yellow2I spent the majority of today studying for an instructor certification. The above photo is from our lesson on how to fabricate or break a chicken down to its main parts.

yellow3Here was our lesson on food presentation. Pineapple is a more photogenic subject than raw chicken. My mind is on food, food, and more food.

yellow5So as summer approaches, I’m ordering a couple of wardrobe pieces online. Guess what color dresses I’ve been looking for? I love this photo of little Aaron and his cousin. The yellow tie, handkerchief and the little yellow dress are adorable.

yellow6

So in between chapters on food safety and prevention of cross-contamination, I ordered this yellow skater dress from thelimited.com. I can’t wait to wear it. BTW, there’s a 40% off all items sale on their site right now. Hurry!

Just thought I’d pass along a little bit of yellow joy today! Have a super weekend!

The Tug

mom1Over the last week or so life handed us this crazy tug of war between hallelujahs and heartbreak. After waiting two years, my mother finally had her kidney transplant surgery last week. I never once thought about the complications and what might go wrong. That’s the truth. Instead, I was caught up in her excitement.

Did I mention that my sweet brother was the one who donated the said kidney? He’s very generous, and very brave and has always been.

A day after the surgery, she couldn’t stop talking and was awake all day. Before the surgery, she would fall sleep as soon as she sat down on the couch and on a drop of a hat. There were so many miracles that day, from the surgery itself, to how both my mother and my brother are recovering post surgery.

may17The husband and I stayed for three days at the hospital and decided to come back and see the girl. She was home alone taking care of the animals. She is done with her first year of school! – and boy is she happy about that. The year had been a difficult one so we’re looking forward to having her at home for the summer.

ella1She kept us entertained by sending us funny photos of the dogs.

ella2They are frick and frack.

Where does that saying come from?

boy1The boy and John are on a road trip to Montana. He’s been sending us gorgeous photos of Glacier National Park. We wish we were there too! They drove 15 hours from school to get there, it’s great to be young!

boy2Our boy is a beautiful kaleidoscope of many wonderful things but above all, he has the soul of a dreamer. Montana looks like heaven doesn’t it?

kim1And finally, the heartbreak.

kim2On our way home from the hospital on Saturday, we were told that our good friend Kim went to God’s arms. He joins many of our loved ones who have gone home and now it’s one more reason to go to heaven. We are keeping our beautiful and special friend Miss Ann closely in prayer.

No matter what this week brings you, remember that God is the one who is brings it.

The Incredibles

may9aLast weekend I had the honor – once again – of photographing one of my favorite events, Oil Change Day. The guys in our church take time out of their weekend (and their honey-do lists) to service 155 cars with new oil, air filters and tire inflation. It’s pretty neat.

may8bYou may wonder why I’m posting about guys on Mother’s Day weekend especially when this event took place last weekend.

may8cIt’s because I’m always a week behind. Next weekend, I’ll show you what I did this weekend.

may8dEvery year, twice I year, I serve with Tom. He’s a computer guy who works somewhere in DC but on Oil Change Day, he helps me check volunteers.

may8eAnd here are two more great guys who serve almost every Oil Change Day.

Nick just retired from the Navy, I showed you his beautiful retirement here. And Eddie causes a lot of confusion for us at checkin every time because his son’s name is Eddie and his grandson’s name is Eddie. Databases tend to balk when he comes along to checkin. That’s why you need humans like Tom to figure things out.

may8fAnd because Nick is a military guy, he’s also really strong.

mau9Then there are the boys. There’s never a dull moment with them because they’ll fill it with an impromptu wrestling match.

may9I really love these guys. This is exactly what we need, men who are responsible, strong and with serving hearts. Paul is in the middle with his son and the rest of the young guys flanking him are serving right next to him.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend – I know their moms are really proud of these incredible men.

Will He Or Won’t He

home1Some people have asked me if the boy was home yet. The question is not whether he is home, it’s whether he is going to come home.

That is the question.

home4This is the gang during an aviation banquet at last month. It’s of the guys and some of their parents. It’s so nice to see.

In our conversations over the last couple of months the boy has expressed a desire to take the summer off – i.e. no obligations. He said he’s tired, tired from taking classes for almost three years in a row. He not only has gone to school during the normal semester year, but he took classes during the last two summers. He says he needs a break.

home3I had to post a photo of just the parents because we have a huge stake in all of these shenanigans.

I understand, but I haven’t had much sympathy. I mean, we’re paying for it, get the classes done and get out! It’s my motto when it comes to the boy.

But as I listen to him lay out his case, my heart, like the Grinch’s heart, began to soften. A little.

home5All this posing can get really dull so as it often happens, a wrestling match breaks out in the corner.

When I was in North Dakota last month, we sat around the kitchen table talking, Roommates John and Kevin, Miss Diane, the boy and I. We talked about their plans for the summer which included, internships, weddings, vacations and the like. The boy talked about a wedding he was going to attend and I asked him when it was. He said, “The 27th.” I said, “June 27th?” To which he said, “Mom, I already told you this.” Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. All I know is that I don’t remember the conversation.

home91Here’s a photo of a group of young people at a Newsboy’s concert. The husband asked him what he was doing at the Ford dealership:)

So as it turns out, he will be home sometime in July.

July.

Along with all of the above, he says that he and John are just going to fish, hunt and chill.

home9I found this photo of Tyler on the boy’s photostream. He’s obviously at the library, which means the boy was at the library too – good to see.

Must be nice to be young and with a seasonal schedule. I know how hard he’s been working and since he’s in the middle of finals, I know how difficult things are now, right now so . . . I guess it’s alright to succumb to the philosophy of “They’re going to work the rest of their lives,” just for this moment in time.

We all know how that is don’t we?

home8I just hope he squeezes some studying time in while having fun too.

home6He better! He’s handsome isn’t he? My boy . . .

I’ll see him again someday.

 

SunRype Fruit Strips – Yum

promo91I picked up my swag bag from the End Hunger Bike Ride and like many swag bags, there’s a lot of free goodies in it. This isn’t the Oscars so I didn’t have a $10K gift certificate for a horoscope reading but there was this little goodie in the bag that I had to share with you.

promo92These are SunRype fruit strips that I actually set aside on my counter when I got home. Most of these nutritious and healthy snacks at don’t really taste all that good. I was looking for an Almond Joy – my favorite.

promo8 But one of the event coordinators, Ahna-girl, asked me to take some extra photos so she could send to the company and she said that it actually tastes really good and since she would never lie to me, I decided to try it.

And boy I was glad I did. It’s so good! I may have had three in a row.

promo5I shared with Neighbors Paul and Elizabeth.

promo3And Neighbors Michelle and Carrie.

promo2You can see the nutritional information here.  This is a fruit gummy snacks for grown ups!

I’m going to Safeway to get more. It’s a great pick me up in the afternoons before you get on your bike.

This is not a paid endorsement. Just a little good sharing news.

Drone On

drone12For the past four or five years – I’ve lost count, I photographed the End Hunger in Calvert County Bike Ride. This year I actually signed up to cycle but when the temperature promised to stay below minus 50 degrees, I decided that cycling would be best if left to the hearty and there were 680 of those folks.

I’m many things but hearty is not one of them.

Instead I drove Jesse around the route while he did his usual fantastic job. You should see the photos – you’ll love them. Here’s the link.

drone6I also had Scott with me. Scott is the creator of a quad copter – a drone. It’s a fantastic but humble drone made of dowel rods, plastic propellers and plastic ties. A GoPro camera is attached somehow, maybe with duct tape.

drone11The battery had about five minutes of charge and after each flight, Scott would have to recharge it on the truck battery or on the AC adapter in the truck bed. I was happy to leave the truck running to keep the heat on.

drone3There’s a crazy cyclist riding in the cold now. He has shorts on! Brrrr…

drone4This kid thought it was so cool that he had to take a photo. Scott was his hero.

drone10The cyclists thought the drone was cool also.

drone9Scott flew it during strategic points on the ride and almost every single biker waved – and ducked.

drone2I love this photo. Something about photographers shooting drones who was filming the photographer makes me giggle.

drone1I had my camera with me and took some shots but I left the heavy lifting to Jesse and to Scott. I mostly photographed the husband and the neighbors. The husband rode the 35 miles loop while Neighbor Carrie rode the 48 mile loop. Now that’s hearty.

apr28This was my favorite shot from that day. This mom had a sign to encourage her son on the route. It was adorable. Us moms know how to embarrass our kids no matter how old they are.

Wanna see some of the drone coverage? Here’s the link. Cool huh?

Enjoy your weekend!

The Difference Between The Two

I sometimes wonder if I treat the boy and the girl differently – you know – because one is a boy and one is a girl. I have since resigned myself to the fact that yes, I do. It’s not because of gender though, it’s because one is shy and the other is extroverted. One is studious and one is not. One is a picky eater the other eats everything.

catchup1One likes a clean room, clean car and clean laundry. And I accused the other of being nose blind when I went to North Dakota last week.

I’ll let you decide who is who.

Here is the girl cleaning out the car with her special friend during Spring Break. The husband loves when this happens, something about guys and their cars . . .

I’ll share this – both my kids are independent as I’m sure most kids are when it comes to being parented. Advice is taken not when it’s given, but only when it’s ready to be heard.

catchup2Here’s another difference between the two. When they are away at school, one goes to church and the other doesn’t.

When the girl is home, we ask her to go to church with us. It’s just something we do and when they are living with us, we expect the same. When they move away, we won’t have that expectation, that’s when the Holy Spirit will take over. If you go to church, you must have the same issues with your children right?

The photo above is from Easter and her special friend came with her and that made us really happy. And I think they had fun – I think.

catchup1Speaking of church . . . I went with the boy to his church (ok, I gave it away) while I was in Grand Forks last weekend where he introduced me to his friend Naoto. The boy is Thai and was born in Japan while Naoto is Japanese and was born in Thailand and they met in church in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He was a sweet boy who said he didn’t remember much of Thailand because he moved away when he was three years old. We moved away from Japan when the boy was two and a half years old. How’s that for a God-like coincidence? Naoto is one of the foreign aviation students so they had that in common too.

mara&robert1_small

Back in Maryland and speaking of church . . . the girl came home this week just to interview Pastor Bob for a school project. It’s a persuasive speech about a non-profit and the winner of the speech will receive $50 for that non-profit. Her topic of choice was our mission in Honduras and its medical clinic. I was thrilled that she chose that as her topic and thrilled that our pastor would agree to meet with her about it.

I may have given more advice about how to interview than was welcomed but hey – I’m a mom. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

mara&robert2_smallThis photo makes my heart happy – happy!

There are times when I wish she liked school more and had more friends there but then again when she’s home she walks the dogs and gets us ice cream from the store and I love knowing she’s just in the other room.

apr25Parenting is hard right? I just ask God to take care of both of them!

A Campus Bonfire

campus1The boy invited me to a bonfire during my visit and though I didn’t really want to go – I felt obligated. I was tired – keeping the schedule of a co-ed is hard at my age.

I only had a few short days with him but he wanted me to meet some of his friends who were going to be at the bonfire. I was also a little flattered that he asked. He didn’t mind his mother hanging out with his college friends. How cool is that?

You may assume there was alcohol there but there wasn’t. Moms don’t get invited to college parties with alcohol. Or maybe they are but I wouldn’t go if I thought there may be under-aged drinking. I like my wine – but I just wouldn’t and I’m way over 21 years old.

campuslife1That being said . . . his friends were so nice to his mom.

John’s mother, Miss Diane, also came as well. The boys didn’t seem fazed at all that their moms were with him at this little gathering. It was quite sweet. His friends were also sweet, you have to believe me when I say that he has the nicest group of friends.

They broke out in dance, they served me a latte out of the back of a truck, and I always had someone to talk to. I couldn’t believe that they were having a bonfire, i.e. an open flame, in the middle of campus.  Then the boy asked me and Miss Diane to play a game of cornhole against him and John. Diane and I looked at each. Our eyes met, and our eyes said, “We’re tired,” but we said, “Alright.”

We then played cornhole in the dark. It was a great game, my competitive juices started running and the team of the boy and I beat John and his mom by just a couple of points. It was the great Grand Forks  cornhole Olympics!

The story would be really great if the police came. And they did. A very nice Grand Forks police officer came by asked them to put the fire out because there was a burn ban in effect. It hadn’t rained in a while. He approached me first but one of his friends look the lead in speaking to him, because my flight or fight instinct was in full effect. One of the kids started putting the fire out and I said, “Wait, let me take a picture!” It’s what I do.

Miss Diane and I left after the cornhole game but apparently the story didn’t stop there. The fire was not fully snuffed out and the same nice Grand Forks policeman came by again – this time with fire trucks in tow. Apparently the firetrucks had lights flashing too – just for effect. Anyway, they put the fire out with fire extinguishers.

But by then I was at my hotel, asleep peacefully – because I’m way too old for the campus life:)

Career Day Shenanigans

careerdays2The purpose of Career Day at school is so that the kids will get to network and communicate with perspective employers.

But because the kids are who they are, there has to be a lot of fun involved too. After all, one can get way too serious at these things.

careerday11Career Day at UND is different than most. At UND, there are big airplanes.

careerday4And small airplanes. This one in particular garnered a lot of comment with the kids. It was new and on loan from Cessna for a few months. They painted a school tail number on it so the boy is determined to fly this airplane while it’s there.

careerday1The boy and Lexi-girl were pretending to be the aircrew on this big airplane. One day!

careerday7Among some of the things available to the kids was free photos for their online networking presence.

careerday8Smile!

careerday10I said, SMILE!

careerday9It helps to know the photographers! They were doing this as part of their internship for the marketing department. They said they dressed “normally” rather than “dressed up” so as to separate themselves from the rest of the aviators there. I just love these kids.

careerday6I  met Lexi-girl the night before at a campus activity. She’s one of the few females in the course and an absolute cutie.

careerday3And of course these boys are my loves.

careerday12I met so many of the boy’s friends on this day. As they networked and spoke to perspective employers, I shot photos and I had a blast. I am so hopeful for these young people. We’re really all in great hands!

From Sea To Shining Sea

apr16cYesterday I was on my way to the airport when I stopped in the middle of my driveway and captured a few shots of the beautiful first blooms of the spring.

apr16dEverything is bursting with beauty everywhere I look! I couldn’t help but to capture some quick shots of the blooms all around me.

apr16eI’m afraid that when I get back home – sometime in the next week – that they will be gone. This season is so quick to come and go – I had to capture it while I could.

apr16bAnd after a stuck overnight in Minneapolis I made it to Grand Forks just this morning. And as I was walking to my hotel room from the boy’s classroom – yes, he was running late so I had to walk to the hotel from his class – I stopped and took some quick shots.

apr16aWhat a difference a day makes right?

apr16A day ago I was shooting cherry blossoms in Washington DC. Today, I’m in the building of the aerospace department of UND.

I have to say this – this set of buildings is amazing. The Hilton is attached to the school’s aerospace department. You can walk from the classrooms to the HILTON through a series of covered, climate controlled air tunnels that go from building to building, without ever going outside. It’s that cold out in North Dakota and they’ve found a creative way to keep guests warm.

A day makes a big difference but I like both worlds I think.