Hazy Day

I woke to fog nuzzling the wet and lazy pasture.  The sun was peeking through, but just barely. Early morning was covered with an autumnal haze, announcing the news that summer is closing up shop in NEPA.

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Everything is getting ready to rest:  The trees and lawns. The twigs and rocks. The air moving in and out of nature’s nostrils.  Sleepy time is near.  Sleepy time is here.

Come January, all that has sustained us through the spring and summer months will be put to bed- to sleep.

All, but God.

No more budding.  No more fruit bearing. No more falling of individual leaves to the warm, wet ground below.  Just rest!

It is God’s rest. His renewal.  His timing and the changing of His seasons, and it is inspiring.  I am grateful.

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Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds… Habakkuk 3:2

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge…
Psalm 19:1-2

 

Old Friends

000old friends

Our family celebrated matrimonial love with a wedding this past weekend.

An outdoors event.

A hay bales and fire trucks, and barefoot riding-the-bull-afterwards occasion.

Old friends chatted a while before the preacher gathered us in.

A beautiful bride, and day for sure.

But…these two?!

My Heart!!!!

Another Galentine’s Day!

Today kicks off the holiday weekend and a series of festivities on the hill! 

If the weather will just cooperate, I will be happy.  Make that more than happy. Make that giddy, thrilled…over-the-moon with joy happy!  I want so badly for us all to have a good time together, and when the venue is outdoors that means good weather is a necessity.

This morning we began our weekend of family fun with a Galentine’s Day Ladies-Only Breakfast, the first where I played hostess for the event.  It went really well!

Woohoo, I love it when a plan comes together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a picture of the lovely ladies that shared breakfast with me this morning:DSC_0708

These are the fems in my fam.  Aren’t they gorgeous?!

We had a few Y chromosomes in the crowd this morning. Unfortunately, Pa had to work, so he couldn’t kidlet sit.  The wee boys were forced to join our group. They were well behaved for wee boys, and I think they enjoyed the Galentine’s theme as much as the gals did, especially the edible heart-shaped candies distributed around the table top—you know, those kind you get on paper and you have to peel them off with water to put on your cakes at birthday time.

The boys enjoyed gobbling them up!

Here’s another pic, this time with me in the mix. I’m half way down the table on the right hand side.  I think I need a new hair style.  This one looks out of sync with my personality these days, plus it is hard to maintain.  I might go shorter. What do you think?

000at the table

See all that pink on the table?  I left the house early this morning so that I could decorate before any of the lovelies arrived, but wouldn’t you know, a few came early.  I’m never early, so I rarely expect that of others! 😉

It all looked so nice when I was done. Keeping it real, though, I want to share some misgivings I had before I went to this event.

On the drive down the hill to the venue, I kept thinking, “I should have done this.  Why didn’t I do that? What I’ve done isn’t enough!” I’m the queen of second-guessing!  I went so far as to stop at the Dollar Store to pick up some trinkets on the way, but as I was filling my arms with junky junk, I said, “Stop!” I put the things I had in my arms back and left the store.

I was frustrated with myself. That’s when I decided I needed to check in with my Friend in the Sky.

I pulled into a secluded spot in the parking lot and took a minute.  It was right, good, and appropriate for me to do so.  So many times we women think we are not enough. We have to do more, be more, constantly perform for the world.

I hate that! 

My Friend does too!

We do not have to do that. We are enough.  Our love is enough.  That we all eeked out some time in our lives/schedules/vacation plans to celebrate with each other is enough.

Finally I was satisfied, and guess what:  I went, I saw, and it was—ENOUGH!

In preparation for this Galentine’s event I created little prompts to share with the ladies; questions written on little pieces of paper.  I asked each lady to take one.  I wanted us to make an effort to know each other better.  We live miles apart and life is ever changing, so I thought it would be neat to create a way for us to connect on a deeper level at this breakfast.  The questions did the trick.  They got people sharing.

Ironically, my piece of paper said this:  What is your recipe for continued joy and happiness? 

What?!  Can you believe that? 

We didn’t have time to get to my question, and I’m kinda glad we didn’t because I struggle to find joy in my life sometimes, and I’m not sure what I would have shared in response to that question.  Choosing that question this morning from the grab bag, though, it helped me see that my greatest joy is experienced in those moments when I invest myself in other people, particularly those people I love and with whom I share a history.

These were MY peeps! These were MY JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Closing out this rather epic post, I want to say:  Thank you, You gorgeous sea nymphs, for blessing me with your opalescent beauty this morning. You are the very definition of family, and I love you all sooooooo much! Muah!

Note: To “get” that last couple of sentences, you have to be a Parks & Rec fan. Translation: You’re the BEST!!!!!

When have you brought joy to another person just by showing up?  What brings you joy?

 

 

Another Reason to Praise Him

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I’ve had so many reasons to praise God recently.

I have a great job, great friends, a wonderful family, and healthy kiddos and grands.

Praise God, I’m one blessed woman!

As if I needed one more reason for rejoicing, God gave me a gorgeous sunrise to photograph this week, taken on my way to work in the morning.  I might have a long commute, but I enjoy the scenery every mile of the way.

What great and glorious thing has God done for you lately, for which you gave thanks?  What sights have you seen out your doorway this week that took your breath away?

 

 

Family

One of the things I learned early in life was to cherish family ties.

Like any family, members of our family fight from time to time.

We disagree.

We argue.

We get miffed with each other, but we also rejoice in each others company.

Hard times come…

Somehow we get through them.

We forgive.

We grow together.

We grow closer.

We stay close, because we are all we have in this world, save Jesus.

And that is enough.

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mini mes

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Aaron andMe

Family Photo spring 2014

our two janes

our two janes

Gibber Jabberer

Gibber Jabberer

My uncle draws this stuff

My uncle draws this stuff

family photo in our front yard

The Trout Family

The Trout Family

Family Photo

Family Photo

 

She Looks Like Me

I have a kindred spirit, her name is Danielle.

We think alike.

We share the same opinions many times.

We are both bold and opinionated.

We are both strong women of faith. We even look alike.

Don’t believe me? Look here:

Danielle

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Me

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Side-by-side comparison:

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Admittedly, that last one is a scary photo.  I have a bit o the crazy eyes in that one, but Danielle looks gorgeous. Not Fair!!!

Danielle has recently taken to wearing wigs. She’s having fun being a different woman every day of the week. This picture was taken on the Saturday before Easter 2015, when we met with her and her family for an Easter Egg Hunt at New Covenant Church in Mansfield, PA.  Because this blond wig looked so much like my hair style, I asked Danielle to put on my glasses and pose for that first picture. She is always up for a good time, so she quickly agreed (she has been the subject of my award winning photos before). I snapped that first picture, then Megan snapped the one with us together.

I think we look alike. What do you think? 

Danielle was taken aback by the resemblance, once she saw the photo.  Me, not so much. I saw it as soon as I saw her in the wig.  I’ll have to get her to share a few pictures of herself in other styles. She really is having the best of times with them all.

Thank you for being a good sport, Danielle, and for sharing the many-shades-of-Danielle with us all.  We are having almost as much fun with the wigs as you are. Almost!  Now, if I could just ugly you up a bit, we’d look more like sisters.  Hahahah, just kidding.  You’re beautiful, just the way you are–don’t ever change!

Do you have someone in your family who with a lil make-up or hair styling looks like you?  Who would you say is your kindred spirit?