Friday, October 17, 2014

friday find ... moody



"you have to remember that the hard days are what make you stronger.
The bad days make you realize what a good day is ..."
~aly raisman~


It is Friday once again ... and time for another Friday finds with Kim Klassen.  "It is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures".  Doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?

Oh my ... what acouple of weeks.  I have found that if I reach down deep inside ... I might find that little bit of extra strength to keep on going. 

 Two weeks ago Michelle broke her finger right before she left for training camp for Team USA.  Here she was heading out to Indianapolis for a week of training ... her final test before they picked the top Special Olympic gymnasts to compete in World Games ,,, and she tripped!   And guess which hand ... you guessed it ... her right!  Talk about bad luck! 
Then acouple of days later I was walking my doodlebugs and somehow their leash cut right through the top of my hand.  Fifteen stitches, four doctor visits and two antibiotics later I think that I am finally on the mend.  And guess which hand ... you guessed it ... my right! 
And just when things started settling down, Michelle returned from training camp ( she got the spot on Team USA) and got sick ... really sick.  So I have been spending my days and nights trying to nurse her back to good health.  And praying that the big bad bug does not spread through our house! 

During all of this I started shooting some dark, moody images ... I guess because that is kinda how I have been feeling lately.  
And you know what?  I love the look! 

If you have a few moments, be sure to click here to discover more delightful finds at Kim's site!

Until next time ...
Nancyjean


Monday, October 13, 2014

my small hometown? ...

It is Tuesday ... and that means one thing.  It is time for a Song~ography link~up!  Each week Kathy has a "fun mash~up of photography and song" ... a visual song, if you will.  It has been a long time since I visited this party ... but so glad to join in again!
 
Today's song choice is ' Small Town' by John Mellencamp.
 
I love this song and i love my small hometown.

 I live in the far outskirts of Chicago.  Far enough away from the craziness of the big city ... out in the country on the banks of the river.  
I live in a quaint and proper town with tree lined streets, brick sidewalks, unique small shops and even a delicious pastry and candy shop owned by a world renowned chef. 
It is the kind of town that city dwellers flock to on weekends for great shopping and delectable delights at our restaurants and cafes. 
You will find high fashion walking up and down 3rd street with their adorable children or perfectly groomed pooches. 

But ... once a year my small little town is turned upside down.  The scarecrow fest descends on my small hometown ... along with thousands of people!


"but i've seen it all in a small town
had myself a ball in a small town"
~john mellencamp~
 
No ... these were no ordinary scarecrows that came to our small town. 
There was the one~eyed one~horned flying purple people eater that stole the show.  He sang, played the guitar and his large one eye rolled all around in his large purple head.
The characters of Alice in Wonderland was a huge hit ... they spun around, poured tea, and balanced tea cups. 
And Olaf and Sven were up to their antics! 
As you can see these were not the scarecrows of yesterday ... the kind I used to make as a child. In fact most of them did not even have a blade of straw. 
 
But I think my favorite one was a little scarecrow that everyone seemed to over look ... Sometimes think that the little details that are somehow forgotten can hold the most beauty! 
Now the craziness is over ... everyone left ... now my small hometown has returned to normal ... quiet and peaceful ...
just how I love it!

If you have a few moments ... be sure to click here to join in on Kathy's song~ography linky party!

Until next time...
Nancyjean






Friday, October 10, 2014

friday finds ... Team USA!


"there is no purpose nobler than to build communities
of acceptance for all"
~Eunice Kennedy Shriver~

It is Friday once again ... and time for another Friday finds with Kim Klassen.  "It is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures".  Doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?
I have been impatiently waiting months to share my news ... and now it is official ... I can shout it from the rooftops!
Our daughter, Michelle, has been chosen to represent the USA at the World Games for Special Olympics!  She is one of five rhythmic girls in the United States that will be competing this summer at the World Games.
 170 countries will be represented ... 7000 athletes from around the world coming together to compete in the sports they love.
Michelle has been training in gymnastics for over 14 years ... almost every morning after breakfast you will find her practicing down in the basement trying to perfect the elements of her routines.  It has truly become her passion.
But never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine that she would be chosen to compete at the ultimate level!

This past week we sent her off to training camp in Indianapolis.  It was her final test to see if she would make the team.  She was nervous, but I sure did not let her know that I was even more!  She was heading off for one week of training not knowing a soul.  I kept telling her ... and myself ... if I did not think that she was ready for all of this, I would not send her.  I strongly believed that this was "her time" ... a time to show everyone what she could do ... she had prepared for years ... she was ready.

Everyday she called me and she was just bubbling with excitement ... every day was better than the last.  When the last day finally came and her training was over she said  "I do not want this experience to end ... I want to stay longer".  I knew at that moment that even if she was not chosen to go on ... she had fulfilled her goal of trying out for the top spot ...she had done her absolute best. 

Then the news came ... She had done it ... she had made Team USA!! 

So now the work begins, she will train with coaches three days a week and continue her work everyday here at home. 

Rope ... Ball ... Clubs ... Ribbon

 In nine short months ... July 24, 2015 ... opening ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles, California.  President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will chair the event ... Steven Spielberg is orchestrating six hours of opening ceremonies ... ESPN has the rights to the coverage ... an estimated half a million people will be in attendance. 

And you can bet that we will be there front and center cheering her on and watching our daughter fulfill her dream!

Michelle is pictured here with her long time coach ...
Denise Quinn ...

 "what you get from achieving your goals
is not as important as what you become
by achieving your goals"
~Henry David Thoreau~


If you have a few moments, be sure to click here to discover more delightful finds at Kim's site!

Until next time ...
NancyJean

Friday, October 3, 2014

friday finds ... the breakfast of champions


It is Friday once again ... and time for another Friday finds with Kim Klassen.  "It is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures".  Doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


"all happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast"
~john gunther~

If only that quote were true ... how easy would it be to attain happiness ... sigh ...
 
It has been weeks since I last posted ... I have been so preoccupied ... all the meetings, the practices, the packing.  I am just bursting to tell ... I think next week I will finally be able to shout it from the rooftops. 
But until then ...

My find this week are these lovely dishes I stumbled upon at my new favorite antique store ... The Salvaged Heart.  The minute I saw them I just knew they needed to come home with me ... just perfect for those fall meals.
I have a confession to make ... the real reason I bought them was to use as a prop ... you see, i have become a prop addict. I find myself spending many hours driving to out of the way salvage stores just looking for that perfect prop that will take my photos from good to great ... or maybe just better ... smile.
I have fallen in love with vintage transferware dishes ... the soft blues and rich browns.
Unfortunately i am having trouble finding them ... but when i do, my heart skips a beat! I know i can quickly go to ebay or etsy, but then i would be missing out on the thrill of the hunt!  
I am also searching for a cute pair of antique scissors ... I know one day I will find THE one and when I do believe me I will be over the top excited!
And vintage silver ... LOVE!

 
If you have a few moments, be sure to click here to discover more delightful finds.
  
until next time ...
NancyJean


Friday, September 12, 2014

friday finds ... welcome home


It is Friday once again ... and time for another Friday finds with Kim Klassen.  "It is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures".  Doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?
 

"the soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience ..."
~Emily Dickinson~

I have been absent from blogging home for some weeks now ... so much has been going on here and i have been pulled away from my big girl camera ... meetings, decisions, appointments, oh my ~ but more on my exciting news next month.
And in the midst of it all, i started Christina Greve's new Lifestyle Photography Workshop ... an amazing birthday gift from my husband ... and i have promised myself at least five hours a week of camera time to learn, experiment and just have fun!  
Now that i have started the class, it looks like i am going to need five hours a day!!
This is THE perfect time of year for photowalks, no excuses, the days are cooler and there is a hint of autumn in the air ... perfect!
So out I went ... no agenda ... no time restraints ... my camera around my body and a water bottle hanging off my bag.  As I walked I found myself looking beyond the ordinary ... focusing on all the delightful details.
As I walked past a quaint home downtown, i came to a sudden stop.  I knew I had found my Friday find!  
The zinnias were in full bloom and surrounding a fence with delightful white chippy paint.  Who wouldn't love to be welcomed home everyday to these blooms?
I must have been there on the sidewalk for nearly an hour photographing these beauties ... not caring if the homeowner had thought that I had completely lost my mind ... well ... maybe I had ... smile.  I was certainly lost in my own little world and enjoying every single second of it! 
One thing that photography has taught me is to slow down and enjoy the beauty that is offered to us everyday. 

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds.


Kim Klassen {dot com}
until next time ...
Nancyjean

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Finds ... let your dreams take flight

It is Friday once again ... and time for another Friday finds with Kim Klassen.  "It is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures".  Doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


~let your dreams take flight~

My find this week was the "Eyes to the Sky" festival near my hometown. Actually the festival was held in July, but i just now found them in LR waiting for me to view them ... oh where does the time go?
Once a year hot air balloons from all over the country find their way to this small town and light up the skies.  Fortunately mother nature provided perfect weather for their flights ... one by one they ascended into the skies. It is so peaceful watching as they slowly ... silently ... drift away.




Then as night fell, the magic happened ... the famous balloon glow.  On the count of three, all the balloons light up the night.  It is such a wonderful experience lying there watching these gentle giants glowing in the summer evening.  


I have to say that this big guy was my favorite!  He just made you feel all good inside.  


And then there were the USA and World balloons ... they hold a very special meaning for me.  You see, right now I am holding tight to a secret that i am just so excited to share with the whole wide world  ... but i can't ... not just yet.  
But i can tell you that these two balloons are a hint ... USA and World.  For now that is all i can say ... but soon the time will be right and i can share my wonderful news!!  

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com

until next time ...
nancyjean

Friday, August 8, 2014

friday finds ... butterfly days

I love Friday finds with Kim Klassen ... "it is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures" ... doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, 
but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."  
~Nathaniel Hawthorne~


Today i set out in search of butterflies.  All the bright summertime flowers are in bloom and the day was perfect.  I grabbed my 70-200 f2.8 lens with the 2X extender and off i went.  These were gifts from my husband this year ... he "gets" me :~)

But no butterflies ... the harder i looked the more i got discouraged.  An hour went by, and all i had were shots of flowers.  And as pretty as they were ... they just were not butterflies.  Finally i gave up and sat down to rest.  


And then,  just as stopped pursuing them ... not one ... but two beautiful monarchs flew right in front of me.  I sat there quietly shooting photo after photo of these delicate creatures.  


They danced their way from flower to flower while i happily clicked away.  I brought home over one hundred photos of these beauties.  
I have found that photography has taught me to slow down and be patient ... be still ... and that perfect photo just might appear.  

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds.


Kim Klassen dot Com

until next time ...
nancyjean