Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Wednesday.... half way there

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Are you blooming where you're planted as we begin the month of May?

I'm always blooming wherever I'm at.... 

This is the type of attitude everyone needs
.... plus, I love to twirl....
except I get dizzy & fall down easily

2. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no big deal, and 10 being full scale panic, rank your fear of spiders.

I think it all depends on the spider... I had a spider on my hand the other day while I was working on my computer.  I saw him, & just calmly walked outside & laid him up on the bush & told him to go on with his spider life...

But give me something like this?  Yeah... the panic scale just raised something crazy...

I didn't even know spiders could get that big

3. May is National Salad Month (who knew???)...besides lettuce, what are two must have ingredients in your favorite salad?

I didn't plan this but I made the best salad last night...

my 2 must ingredients - Feta Cheese (YUM!!!) & some sort of nut.  I love cashews on a salad!  Let's make a salad fattening!

Strawberries cancel out all the bad

4.  I (Joyce)  mentioned on my  blog last week that my Daughter1 will be moving to Washington State after she is married. Of the following sites in the Northwest, which would you most like to see in person-Crater Lake (Oregon), Seattle (Washington), Vancouver (British Columbia), San Juan Islands (Washington),  Mt Rainier (Washington), Oregon Coast (Oregon), Mt St Helen's ((Washington), or Olympic National Park (Washington)?

I'll go with Seattle - because
1. It's the home of Grey's Anatomy
2. Not 1, but 2 Bachelor/Bachelorette couples live there....

I make my travel plans on important factors....

5. This coming weekend marks the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby...when did you last race (literally or figuratively) to cross a finish line?

Well, how appropriate is it then that my answer is crossing the finish line at the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon!  Bam!  I get bonus points for this question!
Finish line just ahead... Yahooo!

 6. What is something little you love?


Call me Olaf....

7. Would you say you are more of a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner?

First of all, I had to look up what 'kinesthetic' meant... I figured what it meant, but I didn't want to sound like an idiot if I was wrong...

But yes, that's me.  If I can walk through something DOING it while someone is watching me, then bam! I've got it down...

Forget auditory - if I hear you, I'll forget it in 5 minutes.  Hello 42!

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The most BEAUTIFUL Rainbow happened last night.

I was working on pictures at the computer, looked out & saw the sun was shining on just one part of the trees across the street from me.  It was so beautiful because all the dark storm clouds around & this burst of sunshine. I went to take a picture of it & stood up & snapped...

it took me a second to look to the left & see the most beautiful rainbow... WHOOO!
I then noticed it was a full rainbow... & was HUGE!

I ran outside trying to grab a picture & then noticed it was a DOUBLE rainbow...

So amazingly beautiful....

Thankful for the panorama feature on my phone... no other way to capture it

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ricky's final thoughts .....

As most of you all know, Ricky has been serving in Youth Ministry for the past 2 years now.. (Has it been that long?.. yep... wow)

It's so funny because Ricky & I honestly are total opposites.  Where I find it completely easy to talk to these kids, ask questions, be the loud one of the group, Ricky is the one who talks to the kids individually & stays to the side & keeps the other shy kids company & he gets sweaty & nervous when he needs to speak up in front of the whole crowd.

aaahhh... exactly like my hubs

So we're having small group this past Sunday & it was beautiful & the number of kids were lower then normal.  Chasity & I both said, let's just combine the kids & head outside & enjoy each other & soaking up some Vitamin D... a perfect plan...

We started off with just a 'get 'em talking' question... "If your house was burning to the ground, what is one thing you would take?" We have to make the rule that family & pets are safe because we knew that would be the first answer....

The answers really surprised me... a lot of the kids mentioned pictures of their family.  See?  If you didn't have faith in the next generation - there's your spark of hope.  I don't think one person said their iPod or their gaming system or their TV....

One young girl even mentioned she'd bring a red sweater that her aunt that is serving overseas in the military gave her before she left...

Deep thinking kids....

Of course, leave it to me to be shallow :) ... I said I'd grab all my camera bags... I mean, I'm the person that when we have tornado warnings & we have to run to the basement, I seriously take my camera bags down with me in the basement.  Not even joking.  I always tell Ricky, if a tornado hits, I can take pictures & start making money to rebuild our home.  I'm just being smart if you ask me.

You are a genius
Yes... I feel like I am...

But Ricky spoke up & said, 'Well, since I was in a fire, I can tell you, I just want to get out with my life"

Bam... OK... my camera's sound even MORE shallow...


But he has a point.  If you don't know the story of Ricky, he was in a fire with his family a little over 30 years ago.  It is a story of both tragedy & miracles, all together... that's another story that is Ricky's...

So we're reading in the Bible about the story of the rich young man (that was hard to say over & over - "rich young man" - say it fast 5 times) & how Jesus told him to give up his belongings to the poor & this rich young man just couldn't do it.  How he walked away... the whole camel through the eye of a needle thing...

We started talking about if God called you to give up everything, could you - or even more - WOULD you WANT to?

The idea of giving up things was hard.  The idea of giving up comfort, of giving up our plans, of giving up our friends & relationships to move somewhere else to serve?  It was hard to take in.  We love our life & the comforts we have.

I think all of us were like, "Can we bargain it out with God?"... my thinking was "He would let me take Ricky - we took vows in front of Him to never separate" - the advantage of being an old married couple. 

But most people were like, "Do you think God would let me take my dog?  Or my clothes?  Especially a computer to stay in touch with everyone?  Or have a comfortable safe place to serve in?

We all wanted to make a deal with God if He called us to give everything up....

So at the end of the day, our Youth Minister gave a closing thought & then asked Chasity & then myself for a closing thought.... he asked Ricky & of course, Ricky just isn't comfortable speaking in front of everyone...

& we leave & Ricky said, "I had a closing thought & I just couldn't say it"

... I asked him what it was & he said, You know, we're all in a burning building if you think about it.  Life is a burning building & we think we care about these things that we're making bargains for, but in the end, we're all just wanting to get out with our life & the lives of everyone we love.  All of our things we say we can't give up, we really can at the end... everything will burn away... The only thing that will remain is God

Tell me my husband isn't a deep thinker in his quiet little world...

& yes, we want the people we love to also make it out of this burning building with us.  I guarantee if I didn't put the 'rule' that pets & family were safe to the kids, that would have been the answer they all would have given.  Why?  Because in the end, people matter because they matter to God.... not stuff....stuff doesn't matter one bit to God.

I love one girl even said, "People are worth it..." - I told her those simple words right there are perfection.

So I just had to post this today.  Mainly because I feel like God had a message for someone to hear.  He laid it so deeply on Ricky's heart & Ricky felt so badly he couldn't make himself speak up in front of everyone...

I told him that's why God gave him a loud mouth like me who has no problem saying it to people, or even posting it on a blog where it may touch exactly who needs to hear this.

A reminder that nothing else matter...
Not the car you drive
Not the purse you carry
Not the size of the home you own
Not the brand of shoes on your feet
... but people that God created & loves
... &God alone....

Monday, April 28, 2014

The weekend that was full of 'babes'


* Had to stop by Target & meet a friend who has become a new Mary Kay dealer.  I was thrilled to see her - she was one of my bride's years ago & I just love her & her husband.  I'm excited because she's actually in a wedding I'll be doing in July.  Have I mentioned how much I love meeting people doing photography?

* I never mind HAVING to stop at Target :)

* This Target has a Starbucks - double bonus!!!

* I got home & only had 30 pages left in my book... I COULDN'T STOP READING!!! The dogs were like, "you've been gone all day... you must give attention to us"... so this is what happened until I finished my book...

I'm missing one... Zoe was like, "I'll be waiting outside with a rope to toss"

* As soon as I finished this book (Dorothy Must Die) - time to charge up my Kindle, because I downloaded the prequel... (No Place Like Oz) ... I'm obsessed with these books & now have to hunt when the next book comes out... & put a countdown somewhere to remind me when it is!


* The goal was to sleep in... my eyes were open at 6:30 ... no fault of anyone.  The dogs didn't wake me up, Ricky didn't wake me up.  My body just must be used to waking up before the crack of dawn... DANG IT!!!

* Did my first double work out with the T25... I thought my legs were literally jello by the end of it...

* Headed to do a baby session with the cutest little super hero... They have this little baby's room totally super hero & as soon as I got home & showed Ricky his rug they had, Ricky was on Amazon ordering it himself.  Super Heroes come in all sizes.

I'm was excited how my crafty project came together...
Ricky's gonna want a cape & mask now... watch...

* Babies that are a week old are so tiny... you forget how small they are...

* As soon as I got home, we had to turn around & go to a new thing our church is having called "Married People"... it's a program to strengthen marriages in a fun way.  It was awesome.... & PACKED.  I was excited to see so many faces there.

* The thought for this time is 'our tone'... how we talk so differently to strangers then our spouse.  They mentioned that you should rethink how you say things & then rephrase it... their example used "Hey Babe..." in front of everything they rephrased.  I told Ricky so I knew when he said, "Hey Babe" to me, I knew he really just wanted to yell at me...


* So I used my first "Hey Babe" just hours after our first marriage lesson ... haha... its true.  We were getting ready for church & I had got a small tote & organized Ricky's cables & USB cords. I look down & see the tote open & the cables everywhere.  I was like, "RICKY!!!"... & then stopped & said, "Hey Babe...." in the softest tone.  We both BUSTED OUT LAUGHING... I finished it.. "Hey Babe.... do you think you can put everything back in the tote when you're done with it"... Butterflies could have come out of my mouth, my tone was so sweet.  Ricky said, "I gotta high five you on that one. I'm impressed you did it" ... we laughed about it for 10 minutes. Success on day 1 ... ask again on day 23 :)

* Such a beautiful day... I love when we can take the Merge kiddos outside & enjoy small group.

* Headed to another baby session...  a girl this time.  I was geared up for bow after bow after bow... girls are so fun.

* Momma brought out her pearls ... be still my heart... I love a girl in pearls... even if she's 2 weeks old...

This is her just relaxing with her pacifier while I'm setting up the next shoot
... she was pure perfection the whole session....

* So fun to see her big brother, who I did his baby pictures as well... they grow so was even more fun when he randomly ran out while I was doing his sister's pictures & he was buck naked.  I make everyone feel comfortable around me :)

* This little angel is actually our cousin on Ricky's side new little daughter... so hello.. a new family member?  That's a girl?  I take my job seriously... must always be the first one to get them a Belle doll....

Doesn't matter the baby doll is bigger then she is

* Had the weirdest run in with a lady on the way home at a gas station.  She was in her van crying & asking people where a church was.  I asked what was wrong & she said her grandmother had died & she was driving up from Danville, KY to Bloomington, IN & took out so fast, she forgot her purse & didn't have any money.  Now, this lady looked really well dressed, her van was nice, she looked seriously upset.  She said she called her pastor at home to ask what to do because she wasn't married & didn't have anyone at home to help her.  He told her to find a church & see if they could help her out.  She said she had asked the lady in Thorntons gas station if they could help & they refused. .... I don't know... I ended up telling her to pull forward & I gave her $20 of gas...  She hugged me, was very thankful & said that would get her to her family in Bloomington & took off.  .... Ricky thinks I was scammed somehow... I don't know if I was or wasn't... I just felt like I did the right thing.  I guess sometimes you never know if you were taken or not, but I feel like God knows my heart regardless....

* Storms rolling in... the smell of fresh rain is just perfume for my soul

* Pictures, pictures, pictures... I was on edit mode... full force...

* Watched my Sunday shows... Once Upon a Time, Resurrection & Revenge.  Which Revenge... gross.... (If you haven't seen it yet, move on....) ... but I'm instantly such a critic now. Would you really stand that close to a helicopter with propellers going?  Would they have them on knowing people were walking to the helicopter?  Doesn't the police notice how many people the Grayson's have called 911 to report dead & NOT think something fishy? ... I'm thinking way too much anymore... but I totally believe everything in Once Upon a Time! ;)

So how was your weekend? 
Did you get to spend it with cute babies?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It's been a long week...
I hate myself this morning.
No... like REALLY hate myself...
Our local news station was giving away tickets for Derek & Julianne Hough's dance show "Move" that is touring.
Breath... breath... just breath...
The question - how many times has Derek was Dancing with the Stars
Easy - right?  Especially for a DWTS junkie like me.
So there's Brooke, Nichole, Jennifer & Kelly
4... 4 is the answer
I totally forgot about last season & Amber.
Like it never existed.
& I'm the one who blogged & rooted for Amber all year long.
"Wrong answer... try again"
I hate my life today
I have to say, I haven't enjoyed a book so much in a long time.
This book "Dorothy Must Die" has been awesome to read
& then I find out there was a PREQUEL...
I didn't even know about it.
Needless to say, as soon as I found out, its downloaded to my Kindle
& I'll just do the whole "Star Wars" thing & read it after I done reading the 2nd one.
I'm already a little lost without Scandal being on Thursdays
Since my half marathon last week,
I haven't ran one time.
BUT - I have started the T25
Doing it for 90 days!!!
I'm on day 5 today...
My hope?  To get leaner, trimmer, stronger to run another half marathon in the fall.
One can wish
Did you see that video of that Moose chasing those people?
When they showed the clip on Good Morning America Sunday, I was LIVID.
I told Ricky, am I the only one who sees these people CHASING the moose?
Aggravating him?
I have to say, I was THRILLED when I heard they reviewed the tape & now these people may get charged for some sort of 'you don't mess with animals' charge
... up to 6 months in jail & a $1,000 fine...
happy clap
Anyone else following Prince William & Princess Kate & Mini-William,
better known as Prince George
on their Australian trip?
MUSIC MAKERS photo | Kate Middleton, Prince William
Can we take a minute to look at how freaking TINY Kate's waist is?
They honestly look so happy... so fairy tale, "Happily Ever After"
If they ever break up, I'll give up forever on love.
I always say that about Kelly Ripa & her husband Mark
& with Faith Hill & Tim McGraw...
Funny Pictures Of The Day – 92 Pics
Doing my best to NOT do this
Hope you all have a fantastic Friday!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014


"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone" ~G.B. Stern
04.17.14 My Snuggly Puppy
This is me trying to do work on my computer editing pictures.
Harvey literally is the most loving, sweetest dog I've ever met.
When you sit down, all he wants is for you to hold him, love him, kiss him
It gets kind of irritating at times, but then I just have to stop & appreciate his sweet personality. 
I've realized it's a good thing to stop for a minute in life to just get love & to give love.
04.18.14 Best $10 spent!
At the race expo, I paid $10 to have someone tape up my low back.
Can I get this lady to do this every week?
My back pain was so minimal during the race.... & even now!
The tape is STILL on!
One part of it has come down & I cut it off this morning, but the low back part & 3 of the strips are still on
... & its been the best week for my back!!!
I've always sworn by this kinesiology tape
... I'm even more of a believer now!
04.19.14 Half Marathon Baby!!!
You all KNEW this was going to be my thankful thing for Saturday!
& now, I'm looking at Fall half Marathons
... I'm telling you - its addicting...
04.20.14 Easter Skit
So proud to be in an amazing skit for our Easter services
with such cool amazing people.
It was neat to do it with some of the people who were in it when we did it 7 years ago
(I can tell I'm 7 years older doing this skit)
But it was also cool to see the next generation of awesome teens stepping up to do such an incredible job.
On a day where we celebrate Christ rising from the dead,
I'm also thankful for the Hope of Jesus fighting for us always!
04.21.14 GO MEB!!!!!!
I literally was standing in my office FREAKING the HECK OUT
watching Meb coming down the last few miles.
When the guy behind him was like 6 seconds behind, I felt like I was running for my life myself...
I seriously was in tears when Meb was pumping his fists & crossed first!
I love Meb!  I read his book & so love that he's such a strong man of faith!
I saw the commentators get choked up & one of the men who train with him said, "He's an amazing runner & an even better man"
So glad to see someone like that win
Especially to see the USA win!
When the National Anthem played & Meb got teary?
I was a mascara running mess
04.22.14 BEEEE-UUU-TTI-FUL DAY!!!!
Its true... Spring actually exists...
& we're feeling it.
Time to get outside & soak it all in
... & do a lot of playing with one energetic puppy....
04.23.14 Straight Hair!!!
It was my hair appointment day... I honestly don't know how they get it so straight.
I will say, I didn't even attempt to try & straightened it before, so that's my hair fresh out of the shower & let down after being up in a bun over night :)
I'm also thankful for the feeling of someone doing my hair.
It makes me want to go to sleep every time..
I probably would sleep if me & my awesome hairdresser didn't have to catch up on all of our TV programs.
We talked all things Scandal, Walking Dead, & Nashville
Ya know - important things happening in the world
 So what are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I haven't joined in with the awesome Hodgepodge gang in awhile
Let's see what Ms. Joyce has for us today...

1. April 22nd is Earth Day. Are you inspired by nature? In what way?

Absolutely... its why I love to do my runs outside & not on the treadmill :)

It's always why I literally sat in my drive way & cried real tears when I saw our neighbor cut down part of our trees that were on our property.  (another story for another day)

When I see beautiful trees cut down to expand a highway or to build another building, I totally feel my heart break.

Don't be surprised if you ever see me on the news chaining myself to a tree to save it.

A true tree hugger :)

2. Down to earth, four corners of the earth, move heaven and earth, not have an earthly chance, or salt of the earth...which earthly idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.

I'll go with "move heaven & earth"

.... I feel like that's what we're trying to do in everything we can to help Sydney keep fighting her battle.  We buy what we can to make her comfortable, we change our house around to make her able to walk better, we change our schedule to make sure she's not alone too long or she can get her medicine. 

I know if it meant she would have years ahead of her, Ricky would literally move heaven & earth... we love our girl

3.  Share one piece of advice you might give a newly engaged couple.

I photograph weddings :) ....haha!! What?  I think every engaged couple should know that about me :)

Shameless Plug :)

Honestly, working with engaged couples as they prepare for their wedding, one thing I tell them over & over again is to not get so caught up in the production of the day.  Enjoy the day.  Enjoy your friends & family around you.  Enjoy the wedding.  Take it all in.  Don't let wind or a dirty rim on your dress ruin the day for you.

& side advice?  Don't have a large bridal party... it only causes problems...

4. When did you last engage someone to perform a job, task, service, home improvement or repair? On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) how would you rate their work and/or your satisfaction with the job or service provided?

I try to engage the Hubs to get me a new faucet for my kitchen every day...

its been 12 years...

let's not talk about it


5.  When did you last find yourself engaged in small talk?  Are you awkward or an expert or somewhere in between?

I engage in small talk every day... every where... with any one...

I'm honestly the person who talks to the drive thru cashier asking how they are.

I'm an expert at small talk. If there is silence anywhere, leave it to me to ask random questions & get conversation flowing... or at least trying to flow...

Believe me, you can ask the hubs to verify... there is never silence in my presence :)

Shut Up!

6. What was the last historic place you visited?

I just ran through Churchill Downs in my last half marathon...

does that count?

It may not be historical to everyone
... but in Horse Country?...
very historical

7. The world would be a better place if we just___________________.

weren't so selfish...

everyone is always thinking ONLY of themselves.

if people would think of others first... wow...

... & not cut down any more trees & recycle ....
Yeah!  Mother Nature Shout Out!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I love autobiographies... & I'm really excited about Robin Robert's new book...

I think she's pretty incredible in her attitude on life...this is a must read on my list.

Anyone else love her? ... any other books I need to add to my list that are MUSTS?