Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Black and White Wednesday ~ City Sightings


Do you know what I love? I love NOT being busy. The only reason we get busy is because we over-extend ourselves. One thing I've learned lately is that I have complete control of my schedule (and you have control of your schedule. Sure, it might mean saying "no" to many things - even good things. But we all have that option.

There is so much freedom in saying "no". 


Being busy overwhelms me, and not in a good way. I know my limits, and how I respond (negatively) to too much activity. I need downtime - daily (sometimes even more than once a day). Because I know this about myself, saying "no" has become easier.

I'm an introverted introvert. I need time alone to reflect and recharge. Don't get me wrong...I love being with people (heck, I homeschool my kids!), but in order to remain sane, I need a lot of time at home. I don't do well when I'm constantly on the go. Some of you are extroverted extroverts and thrive on more activity - it's important to know your limits.



This past weekend we took a walk through our city. It was sunny and warm and we saw some cool things we'd never seen before. I was glad I had my camera along!





 Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Good, Random, Fun ~ Week 6

the GOOD
In 2016 I'm attempting to do #52weeksofstorytelling with a different theme each week.
Week 5/52 - Love

September 1993, sophomore year of college...my friend invited me to go hang out with her and some of her friends. She was a year older than me and specifically wanted me to meet "Ack" and give her my opinion of him. We arrived and I was introduced to everyone, including a guy named Kevin. I kept waiting for "Ack" to arrive, but he never did. At the end of the evening my friend asked me what I thought of Kevin (she was interested in him). I didn't pay much attention to him...only noticed that he "drummed" on everything. Then I asked her about "Ack". Turns out "Ack" was Kevin's nickname. In the next few weeks I noticed that Kevin was showing up everywhere...outside my classes, in the student center, in the dining hall...A few weeks later we had our first date. This summer we'll celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. 
(I was out for a walk and was thinking about what pic and story I could share for this prompt when I saw this tree.  For the record, I did NOT carve our initials into this tree, but there might be a tree in VA that is scarred for life with J+K from our dating days).





the RANDOM
February is also know as bnwruary over on instagram (at least in my small ig circle), so you'll see quite a few black and white photos this month.

gum balls hanging on, macro weeds, Peru the fish
blooms, curvy roads, lichen
fiddle, neighborhood blooms, children's classics






the FUN
carrying on with my 365_today prompts
I wish (every day was donut day), where the heart is, triangle
rust
measure, line up, blend





I'm linking up with Good, Random, Fun and Life Through the Lens

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Home Improvements


taking a moment to find joy in the little things

{pretty}
Since it can't be all work and no play, we took Saturday to get out in the fresh air. We drove east - far enough to get out of the rain. Our first choice destination ended up being too snowy and there was no where to park. So we headed off to our second choice. The view was beautiful (see below), but it was too windy and cold to stay and walk around (at least we weren't dressed properly for it). So we headed into the town nearby for lunch and just to walk around.







{real}
It was kitchen remodel week here. We actually got it all done pretty quickly - tore it apart on Sunday and by Tuesday evening I had full use of the kitchen again. I've even been able to go through half the cupboards to clean and reorganize (and declutter!)


Not having a kitchen sink is rather inconvenient. Thankful I had this one in the laundry room, but it was a pain for those 2 days. The experience made me grateful and hopefully I won't take my luxurious kitchen for granted. (and by luxurious, I mean the fact that I have running water and electricity!)





{funny}
Normally we do school right off the kitchen, but Monday we took school up to my bedroom while the counters were being installed. We started reading a new book (Love That Dog by Sharon Creech) and had a lot of fun looking up the poems the book referred to. One thing led to another and soon we were writing our own poems. It was one of those perfect homeschool moments - the ones that rarely happen and are difficult to replicate. But it happened and we all basked in the goodness of it. The girls each have an ipod (that they bought with their own money), and so I was letting them google the poems we needed to read. They thought this was the best thing ever. Then I let them write their poems in the notes section on the ipod and text it to me. 






{happy}
I am loving my new kitchen...it's so sleek and beautiful. And with the other small renovations we've done recently, it really does feel like a new home. 





Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Black and White Wednesday


This week, the thoughts swirling around my head have to do with priorities. If you asked me what my priorities are I would probably include playing my violin daily and exercise. Yet I rarely get to those things these days. Why? Because I don't prioritize them.

The only way to truly determine your true priorities is to track your time. If I were honest in how I spend my time, it would probably show that checking my email and instagram accounts are my priorities.

Once a week I'm making an effort to get out and go walking with my camera in hand. (these photos are from my most recent walk). Why? Because searching for and capturing beauty is important to me - it nurtures me.

So does playing my violin. Just yesterday I ran across a new idea that I'm putting into practice this week. If I remember, I'll share more about it and my experience with it. It worked wonderfully today, but I'd like to give it more than one day before I sing its praises.







 Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 1, 2016

Good, Random, Fun ~ Week 5


the GOOD
In 2016 I'm attempting to do #52weeksofstorytelling with a different theme each week.
Week 4/52 - Passion


When I was 9 years old, I came home from school and told my parents I wanted to play violin. My first teacher didn't even play the violin, but she gave me a good enough start. Eventually I took private lessons and in high school decided to pursue a degree in violin performance. Playing the violin has never come easy to me...it's hard work, but when I'm fully immersed in the work, it's satisfying. I've always considered myself more of a violin teacher than a performer, but this past year those two roles have switched. I'm finding myself in a place of renewed passion for making music.







the RANDOM
I think going for walks with my camera is my favorite thing to do. I love to find beauty in unexpected places - like raindrops on weeds and reflections in puddles. With the exception of the foggy forest pic, these are all from my wanderings this past week.




the FUN
carrying on with my 365_today prompts...
candid (family jam), trending (pour over coffee), 
french (letter from our sponsored child in Burkina Faso), industrial (favorite bridge in bridge city), 
L (library), on the table (a snack with Mozart - on his 260th birthday - Jan 27), 
emoji (my violin imitating the violin emoji)





I'm linking up with Good, Random, Fun and Life Through the Lens

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Macro Goodness


taking a moment to find joy in the little things

{pretty}
I love macro photography.... especially with my phone and macro lens attachment. However, I have a macro lens for my dslr and I'm determined to use it more this year. I took it on a walk with me around my yard and neighborhood looking for things to capture....













{happy}
While on the same walk my daughter and I spotted this Red-breasted Sapsucker. He stuck around long enough for me to switch my lenses and get a few shots. 



Also making me really happy....the first camellias in the neighborhood are blooming!!  






{funny}
Clearly my kids have too much free time (and perhaps need more homework). They created a balloon person and they made a parachute so it could fly from the second level to the first of our home. 




{real}
The kitchen counter demolition has begun...
things are going to get really messy and then really pretty next week!





Black and White Wednesday


"To attain knowledge, add things everyday.
To attain wisdom, subtract things everyday."
~ Lao-tzu


I've been subtracting things from my life recently, not only physically by decluttering but also by saying "no" to being busy. I don't do well when I try to fly by the seat of my pants. I need time to prepare, time to work, time to reflect and time to play. 

Right now each and every thing that demands my time and attention is getting scrutinized. If it's not going to push me closer toward my goal, it gets ignored. Only the essential things remain.



 Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday