knowing . . .

“When you adopt a dog, you have a lot of very good days and one very bad day.”

~ W. Bruce Cameron

I’ve written before about our Westie, McKenzie.  She came to us in 2005 the year after we lost my Mom and we lost our Akita, Teddy.  It was me who said I didn’t want another dog after we lost Teddy, but the house seemed so lonely, no one to greet me when I arrived home from work.  A person I worked with owned a Westie (West Highland White Terrier) and told me how wonderful the breed was.  I located a breeder, she came to our home, and approved us as parents for her puppy.  That is how McKenzie became a family member.  

Continue reading “knowing . . .”

A New Beginning . . .

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~ Tom Peters

Each year we are given 365 new days to begin fresh. As we begin the new year, we have new hopes, desires and wishes for the best year ever. Most people make New Years Resolutions, however, many, including me, do not follow through with those resolutions. Regardless, we still have a clean slate and an entire year to accomplish wonderful things.

I haven’t photographed much in the last few months, nor have I written my blog as often as I would have liked to. I took time off to make a Christmas stocking for my grandson, which took me four months to complete. I forgot how much I love to cross stitch. I am so happy I rediscovered it, although, now I need a huge magnifying glass and very bright light to see those teeny, tiny squares Continue reading “A New Beginning . . .”

Let it be Christmas

“Peace on Earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” ~ Helen Steiner Rice

The days have gotten shorter, it’s dark earlier as the Winter Solstice approaches, but this time of year, the Christmas lights brighten the darkness. Lighting the way for all to experience joy and love. Even if you aren’t Christian, you cannot help but love Christmas lights. As children my parents would pile us in the car and drive around to look at the light displays. I followed this tradition with my daughter and I know she will do the same with her son. Why do lights amaze us and enlighten us so? What is the meaning behind the lights, and why do we feel the desire to celebrate in this way?

According to Robert Lobitz:

Symbol of the starry night on which Christ was born: 
Some people like to think of the lights representing the Star of Bethlehem, the sign that marked that Christ was born.

Symbol of the light of Christ:
In Christian tradition, candles are a symbol for Jesus and the light he brings to earth even in the darkest times. Some believe that the light is symbolic of the eternal light of Jesus’ spirit that is particularly kept in mind over Christmas. Different colored candles also represented different qualities, for example a white candle represents the purity of Christ whilst a pink candle represents joy.

Symbol of the light, hope and good in the world: 
The Christmas lights also served to remind good Christians to provide light to others.

Symbol of following the enlightened path: 
Some suggest that the Christmas lights are a reminder to follow the way of Christ. The path of lights that wind around the tree leading to the star at the top may be symbolic of the enlighted path to salvation.

I recently heard a song by Alan Jackson which seemed to resonate with me. The lyrics seemed to bring home what Christmas is truly about. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I need to be kind to others, even when I may not feel kind. None of know what sadness or possible situation may be happening in others lives, so we should try and be kind in spite of ourselves.

Christmas lights represent hope, lighting up the night sky, bringing joy to all this time of year. If we could keep that hopeful feeling in our hearts and in our daily lives throughout the year, what a better world we would all live in. I am not a deeply religious person, however, I do feel that being a good person and being kind to others, makes me a happier person inside. That inner happiness shows on the outside, which in turn brings happiness to others.

During this Christmas season, may the joy and love fill your hearts and the hearts of your family and friends.

Merry Christmas to everyone! Thank you for following along . . .

X’s & O’s

no matter how much I say I love you ~ I always LOVE you more than that . . . 

Love comes in many forms, but the love for your child cannot be compared to any other.  It’s a love you cannot truly understand until you have a child.  I know that love because I felt it when my daughter was born twenty seven years ago and I felt it again when I recently became a  Grandma.  Somehow this was different, not that I loved her any less, but with this baby, I had all of the joy, without the responsibility of having to raise him. 

Continue reading “X’s & O’s”

in the quiet of the morning . . .

Life is only a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see

In the quiet of the morning I stepped outside into the brisk October air, McKenzie and I were out for our morning walk.  The day was still dark, the sun rises later this time of year. Breathing in the crisp air, taking in the quiet of the moment, I looked up and noticed how bright the moon was.  Was she looking down on all of us, or is she somewhere else living the life she should have had?

It was early Saturday morning, October 30, 2004 when she passed on. Today my mom is gone fourteen years, seems like only yesterday, but in reality it has been fourteen years.  She lived a life, I’m sure, she never envisioned when she was a child. She came to find peace that final year, retiring, moving into a new apartment she would decorate and furnish, it was all hers.  She purchased a new car and was so excited about both her new apartment and car, she would only drive it once.  She spoke with joy of the ducks that frequented the parking lot of her new home.  Just minutes from me and my family, but worlds away from where she had been for most of her life.

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 Mom (Catherine) is on the right

Being raised Catholic, we were taught to believe once you die, your soul goes to Heaven. I’m not quite sure what I believe. Heaven is most likely a beautiful place, but in my heart, I believe we are born again into another being.  Our soul becomes someone else, we live another life completely. What we do in this life, affords us better or worse in the next life.  My mom is living a wonderful life, one of tranquility, happiness and wealth.  Not wealth in the sense of possessions, but wealth as in an abundance of happiness.  She deserves happiness and peace.

As a child, I only remember her speaking of being carefree and happy once in her life. That is not to say, that she didn’t find happiness in her children, she absolutely did, my sister, brother and I were her whole world.  What I am referring to is a happiness within.  Only once, I believe, she actually found that happiness and it was while on a trip she had taken to California. This was before she got married and had children, she was young, carefree and happy.  I don’t remember her smiling often, but she looked radiant in the photos taken in California.  There were even photographs of her on a motorcycle, and at the beach, certainly not the mom I knew! (LOL)  She was young and oh so beautiful, auburn hair, a beautiful milky complexion and dressed so stylishly.

 

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Mom sitting with dark shirt/Mom in the white dress – California

This past June, my husband and I took a trip to California and I now understand why she fell in love with all of it.  An ocean bluer than blue, winding roads, beauty as far as your eye can see, and a carefree lifestyle not found in New Jersey.  Part of her will forever remain in California, where she belongs, where she knew pure and simple happiness.

I know my mom would have loved watching her grandchildren graduate from high school and college.  She would have been beaming from ear to ear with joy as her oldest grandchild was married and became a mother herself.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t here to witness any of those events.  I do know that wherever she is, she has found the happiness she so rightfully deserved.

As always, thank you for following along and sharing in my life.

Until next time. . . .

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Inspiration of the Heart

Sometimes you have to stop thinking so much and just go where your heart takes you 

The problem is I don’t know exactly where my heart should take me . . .

I seem to have lost my way lately, what do I want to photograph?  Do I even want to photograph anymore? I remember this happening several years ago, I was photographing portraits, thinking that I would make a second career from photography. The only problem was, I didn’t.  I found myself lost, frustrated and disenchanted with photography completely.  So I stopped, just stopped.  I didn’t pick up my camera for months.   Continue reading “Inspiration of the Heart”

Summer’s Last Hurrah . . .

“…and all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”  – Oscar Wilde

As seasons go, summer is my favorite season!  There is a relaxed and slower feel to everything.  Barbecues, amazing flowers, color everywhere, and of course the beach.  This year our summer began with a trip to the west coast.  We visited Washington State, Oregon and California.

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Congratulations Kayleigh and Dylan!

Our trip began with a family wedding in Snohomish, Washington. From there we drove down the Pacific coast through Oregon, with our final destination in San Francisco.  A trip of a lifetime, in my opinion.  If you ever have the opportunity to drive the Pacific Coast Highway, I highly recommend it!

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The remainder of the summer seemed to fly by quicker than I could have imagined.  Most summers we visit the beach quite often, this year however, we became first time grandparents, therefore every weekend was filled with fun visits with our grandson.  He was too young for the beach, or heat in general, so this summer was a bit different from the norm.

Summer will be a faint memory tomorrow, since today is Labor Day and the unofficial end to summer.  Once September arrives most of the tourists trickle to a mere few, giving people who live near the beaches their solitude with the beach and ocean once again.  I wanted to share some photographs from yesterday.

We began our morning in Ocean City, NJ

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We ended our evening in Brigantine, NJ.

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To quote my husband, “I could sit and listen to the sound of the ocean forever!”

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and now I guess, we must celebrate the arrival of Autumn in a few short weeks.  The stores are already filled with pumpkins, fall decorations and Halloween costumes.  Sad really, but time does march on quicker than we want it to.  Happy Fall Y’all!

Have a fabulous week ahead. Until next time . . .

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Every Life Has a Soundtrack . . .

“When you’re standing in the moment, every life has a soundtrack.” ~ Brett Eldredge

In this hectic world we live in, there never seems to be time to slow down and just enjoy life.  As a child, cell phones, computers and social media did not exist. My sister and I colored, rode bikes, and played in our swimming pool.  My mom discouraged us from being inside, unless the weather was bad.  Instead we were encouraged to be outside and enjoy the fresh air, albeit, sometimes it was a bit hot, our only rule was to return home in time for dinner.  That was how life was thirty plus years ago.

Continue reading “Every Life Has a Soundtrack . . .”