More August Break Pictures

These are not in order, and I’m skipping some days. Yea for flexibility!

Mid-day…my favorite Kelly Rae clock.


White…bluebird eggs from earlier in the summer

Not white, but still with the nest theme…an empty nest gift basket I made for a friend.


Something Old…a church pew, now in our entryway, from St. Peter’s Cathedral where Greg’s father went to church and school



A strange juxtaposition, but another Something Old picture, the old Missouri State Penitentiary…Greg used to play baseball “inside the walls” when he was a kid. Now he is in charge of all the mental health services for Missouri’s Department of Corrections.


#AugustBreak2013, Days 10-16

For explanation of these posts, click here.



Play (my nephew playing the banjo last weekend)


Far Away (love all the trees in our back yard)


Home (looking out onto our back patio)


Stillness  (one of the parks we go to)


Books (read most of this over the weekend)


Floral (in our back yard)


#AugustBreak2013: I’m Already Losing Interest

See explanation of these August Break posts, here.

I’m already feeling behind.  I barely know what day it is, much less what photo prompt I’m “supposed” to be on. There are so many fun projects on the Internet. They sound good when I read about them, and I approach them like photo-23most of the things I do: with a bit too much seriousness. As you can see to the left, I printed out the prompt list and have put check marks by the ones I’ve done, and have notes about ideas for prompts coming up. But for whatever reason, I lose interest and have definite trouble with follow through. “Why did I think this would be fun?” (Oh, I just remembered the One Little Word project…haven’t touched that since January or February!)

Like many things, I turn what are supposed to be fun projects into a chore. This is clearly an “issue” for me; however, I don’t feel like analyzing at the moment. It’s Friday night and my brain is shot. I’m just going to post the pictures I have, and not worry about it.



Skyline (Missouri State Capitol)

DSC_0061 5x7

A Selfie (hate that word)

This is me with a heat pack around my neck.

I wish I had something cuter to post, but this is real life.


Taste (This is a silly picture of me eating an ice cream bar.)


Okay, I’m feeling really self-conscious now. I usually only post pictures I like of me. Oh well, I can always delete them tomorrow!

August Break 2013, Days 1 – 3

I just found out about Susannah Conway’s August Break. She describes it on her blog: Each day, for the whole of August, you take a photo and share it on your blog. You can add words if you want — or not. You can use any camera. You can share a series of photos, or miss a day out, or just post on weekends. There are no real rules, basically. This is all about being present and enjoying taking photos just for the hell of it.  She provides prompts for each day.

A big thanks to Jill at  A Thousand Shades of Gray for clueing me in about this project.

Day 1: Breakfast

I don’t eat an exciting breakfast, usually instant oatmeal at work, so I thought I’d share a picture of my favorite mug instead. It’s a Kelly Rae Roberts mug. When you are done drinking your favorite coffee or tea  there is a surprise heart at the bottom to remind us we are loved.  On the outside is a heart with Kindness changes everything written 5 times at the bottom.


Day 2: Circles (I had no shortage of circle picture ideas…)


One of our wrens peaking its head out the (circular) window.


I took this photo and then used the Percolator app to create this. Lots of circles!


Lily and her pretty round eyes and cute round nose.

Day 3: Yellow 

noname-14Love all the gold finches in our backyard!

Feeding Frenzy

photo-4“Do you think bluebirds overeat?” I asked Greg.

We’ve been trying to attract bluebirds for years, and this is the first year we’ve been successful. We have five eggs in a house in our backyard. I flipped open the front of the house and took  this picture with my phone when Momma and Poppa weren’t around.

The parents have been so busy building the nest and now keeping the eggs warm. The mother bird actually pulls feathers out of herself so she can press her warm belly up to the eggs to help them incubate. You can kind of see that on one of the pictures below.

And the father is bringing the mother bird worms galore. Greg is doing most of the reading and studying on what and how much to feed them, but we are going through A LOT of worms (bought from our local bird store). When the babies hatch, it will be even more.

It’s the first thing Greg does when he comes home from work–go and refill the feeders and put out more worms. He whistles when he adds the worms, trying to train the bluebirds to come on command. Yesterday we thought it had worked, as they swooped down just as he whistled. Today they didn’t, so maybe it was a coincidence.

Feeding is such a big part of parenting. I remember when our son was such a picky  selective eater, that the only way I could get him to eat breakfast was to make muffins every morning. Now I’d love to say they were made from scratch with wholesome, healthy ingredients, but they weren’t. It was Betty Crocker all the way. He went for long stretches where he’d only eat blueberry muffins. Then it would be chocolate chip muffins. And we’d have our lemon poppy seed muffin months. I made muffins for years, but I never minded. It was a clear-cut thing I could do that was generally helpful. Usually parenting is so complex, you have no idea if you’re doing the right thing–you’re truly winging it.

I have been so blessed as Greg has been 100% involved in the whole parenting process. (I can’t imagine how single parents do it.) I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

One of my good friends just told me she and her husband are expecting their first child. I’m so happy for them! Parenting is full of the kind of joy you simply can’t explain to people who haven’t had kids. But it’s also hard and kind of scary.

Feeding is the easy part. I miss making muffins.

Letting go is the hard part.



Embrace Change

I hadn’t done a craft project in months, thanks to my companion, chronic pain. But a project was SO calling me, it was worth the inevitable flare.

For Mother’s Day, Greg and Jesse gave me a mobile that you attach photos to. When I saw it, I immediately had an idea in my mind of what I wanted to do. (For some reason I didn’t want to simply attach photos to it.)  I ended up cutting an old Kelly Rae Roberts calendar into bird shapes. I had to do one bird, then stretch, take a break, and maybe an hour later do another bird. It was kind of frustrating because I don’t like having to break the flow. But I’m getting better at pacing myself – well most of the time. I don’t have to give up the things I love, but I do have to change the way I go about them. So this project took me several days, but I love how it turned out.

Another thing I hadn’t done lately is do a photo shoot with Greg. We took the mobile outside in our backyard and I gave him instructions that I wanted “lots of green twinkly things” in the background. The only issue is that we have new neighbors and they’re frequently outside. I feel kind of self-conscious doing all the weird photo things we do out there. The weekend they moved in I was throwing colored tissue paper in the air.

I also had him take a picture of me in my new glasses. I’m still trying to get used to the 51-year-old me. I think I look much better without glasses, but that’s not an option anymore. So here’s to embracing change, and trying to do it gracefully.


Embrace Change


Begin. Leap. Take Flight.



and then she learned to hold joy in her heart


feel your fears and act anyway






Spring Beauty

There is no winter harsh enough to withhold the promise of spring.

-Karen Kaiser Clarke

While I typically dislike change, this quote reminds me that it is simply part of nature. No more, no less. Instead of fearing change, I can choose to take comfort in the knowledge that there really is a season for everything…and each new season brings its own special beauty. I remind myself that with change, there is the promise of something different. Sadness fades. Pain subsides. Hope creeps in.

Greg took these pictures today. The first few are of a flowering lilac bush in our backyard. The others are of a flowering plant my parents gave us for our 24th wedding anniversary, which was last Monday.  DSC_0001DSC_0002DSC_0008DSC_0014DSC_0016DSC_0018

The Long Winter

“There is no winter harsh enough to withhold the promise of spring.” – Karen Kaiser Clarke

I put my spring wreath on the door. I put my winter clothes away. I thought winter was over. But I was wrong. We have had 6 or more inches of snow today.

I thought I’d post a few of Greg’s pictures from this winter. (I use this blog kind of like a scrapbook. I had all my 2012 entries made into a book for only about $30).

I spent the day drinking hot chocolate with the dogs on my lap. I also wrote a blog post for Psychology Today. It’s called A Simple Way to Put the Spark Back in Your Relationship. I don’t know why, Psychology Today is sometimes so slow to load, but if you’re patient, you can read it 🙂

Hopefully next time I’ll be posting Spring pictures!