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Posts from the ‘Personal’ Category

Snapshot: Winter 2022

I know this blog post is a little late; however, I do my best to keep up with the editing our family images, which is not always so easy with everything going on! This winter felt a little long, at times, and we are so happy for the arrival of spring days that we have recently experienced, here and there! I think we are all ready to spend even more time outside in warmer temperatures!

This winter, we had a nice trip to Michigan for Christmas, and Alex had a great time visiting family! She also tried ice skating, while in Michigan, for the first time, but she was not a fan, and we may try again when she gets a little older. (This has been the first activity Alex has not liked, to date!) We spent as much time as we could outside this winter, and we enjoyed the snow and sledding! Alex and Victory had a nice Valentine’s Day together! And, right after Valentine’s Day, Alex moved into her new twin bed and we gave her bedroom a little facelift. Alex and Victory love story time together, in the evenings, in Alex’s new bed, with their Daddy! We also took a trip to the National Aquarium and the Maryland Zoo, with friends, which Alex loved, as she loves animals! Alex has been enjoying her time outside, on nice days, riding her scooter and playing with her new favorite rainbow ball! Alex loves rainbows! Alex also had her first manicure and pedicure in her favorite color, orange, at the spa! It was so fun! And, as of this winter, Alex is back in gymnastics class and she is also back on her horse. She is doing well in gymnastics; and she is doing really well and learning more how to use the reins to steer the horse, and she is riding on her own now! We are so proud of her progress!

A few images from this past winter is shown below!

(Look at the change! The second Christmas, Alex would not take a photo in front of our tree, so we have one with Santa that year!)

Here is Alex riding Storm!

Sending Art to Friends and Family!

Our sweet Alex has been busy at work making her art and sending it out to friends and family! She has been sending out a couple cards with her art work each week! Everyone has enjoyed receiving Alex’s art in the mail, and they send me photos, some are shown below, to share with Alex about displaying her art, which she loves! She decorates all of her envelopes with stamps and stickers! And, it seems, most all of her stickers have made it thought the mail in tact! I love that Alex loves sending cards as much as I do. I keep cards on hand for her to use, she loves picking cards out at the store, and Alex always comes to me with a new piece of her art and lets me know who she wants to send it to, and I address the envelopes for her, and then Alex works all of her decorating magic on the envelopes! It has been a lot of fun, while simultaneously making others pleasantly surprised and happy, too! And, Alex’s favorite part is placing the finished works in the mail all by herself! Then, Alex usually says to me, “Mommy, she is just going to love getting my card and art in the mail!” And, she is right, people are delighted!

I cannot believe we are in mid-April, already! The time is flying much too quickly! Wishing you a Happy Easter! Alex is so excited for the Easter Bunny to come visit her, and she is looking forward to her egg hunts!

Is There a Word for This?

This winter and spring I have been busy making archival family photo yearbooks from 2018 through 2021, and I am just about done proofing them and getting them printed, a feat! And, as a result, I have been revisiting these past years and memories via viewing many photographs. There has been so much change in a relatively short amount of time. This exercise has made it very clear that as you watch your child grow, those past versions of him/her fade away, and that brings a certain heartbreak, I feel. It does not quite feel like nostalgia, but something else, but I am not quite sure of the word to describe this feeling. While we are so fortunate that our little girl is growing up and developing well, each year passing is both a gift and a theft. So we must truly enjoy each day, take nothing for granted, and truly be present in our lives, as the moments are all so fleeting. A few images of our girls together, over the years, are shown below.

Happy Heart Day!

We celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early, this weekend with Alex and Victory! They are quite the pair! I am so grateful for our little family.

Happy Heart Day!  I hope you have a great day celebrating with the ones you love.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.” — Helen Keller

Ten Year Blogiversary!

Today is the ten-year Blogiversary of the blog!  I can’t hardly believe it! It is extremely difficult to believe that ten years, a full decade, has already passed by so quickly!  The time moves so quickly, these days, and I often wonder where the time goes? Many things have changed, but some things remain the same, fortunately.  I am grateful for this little space here.

If it were not for our beloved Biscuit, I am not sure I would have ever started blogging and I know that I would not have started my long-term photography project, for which Biscuit and Victory are my inspiration.  Biscuit was such a blessing and gift to us.  Biscuit permanently changed our lives in so many positive ways and he sent us our precious little rescue sheltie, Victory, who we adore and love, shown below!  We have savored our time together with Victory during the pandemic. And, coincidentally, Victory is the same age (we suspect as she is a rescue dog) as the blog!

Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you, and I hope that you continue to enjoy visiting and reading the blog!

Thank you so very much!

Snapshot: Fall 2021

This post is a little late, as we are already fully into the new year. However, I have been fervently working to catch up on editing our family photos along with making family year books via Blurb to document and archive our family year, by year. However, somehow, I always seem to be catching up on my photo editing, a never ending process.

During this past fall, we picked apples; took a trip to the pumpkin patch; took Alex to horse riding lessons and she is currently riding on her own now, which has been so wonderful to watch her progress; celebrated our thirteenth year of marriage (along with celebrating seventeen years of being together); celebrated Victory’s tenth birthday; spent time with my parents who came to visit; celebrated Halloween with our two little peacocks; and Alex met Santa outside! (We do miss our regular Santa visits with the girls due to COVID.) Overall, we had a fun fall together! Below are a few images from this past fall!

Here is Alex riding Edge!

One Little Word: 2022

I hope you had a nice Holiday. We visited with family, we had some down time with our girls, and we got some sleep and rest, which was so nice. And, I cannot believe our little girl is turning three-and-a-half-years-old this week! She is growing in every way and she loves learning and she is curious about everything, which I hope never goes away!

It is a new year, which means there has been much talk about fresh beginnings. For me, I keep things simple and I select a word, an intention, for the year.

I have reflected on my word for this year: present.  Last year I chose grace; in 2020 the word bliss; in 2019 the word embrace; in 2018 the word peace; in 2017 I chose relax; in 2016 I chose present; in 2015 I chose flow; in 2014 I chose trust; and in 2013 I chose the word create.  The idea of picking an intention has worked well over the past few years. 

I have nothing against resolutions (or goals, or plans, or to-do lists), but for me, I have found the most impactful way to embrace a new year is to pick a word — just one word, intention — to keep in mind.

As 2021 came to an end, I know that things were really hectic and busy in 2021, for a number of reasons. I could feel the tiredness and exhaustion throughout my entire body. I realized, that there were times that I was not present in the moment, and I want to work on this this year — to truly embrace the moment. “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” —Buddha

For me, it is an easy reminder to take whatever small steps I can to create clarity and feel better. For anyone similarly overwhelmed by resolutions, I recommend the practice of a New Year’s Word. Plus, since it is so simple, and you can change it at any time.

Happy New Year!

Happy Pawlidays!

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” — Charles M. Schulz

Happy Pawlidays! I wanted to thank you so very much for checking in over the past year — I am very grateful. I know it has been another strange year with a few more normalcies in place.

Below is the front of our Pawliday card (the back of our card containing text is not pictured) along with our matching envelopes using little photo seals of our beautiful girls, Alex and Victory! Unfortunately, custom stamps are no longer permitted by the Post Office. (You can view our previous Pawliday cards herehereherehereherehereherehere, and here).  Sending our Pawliday card is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday season!   This is my way of sharing our Pawliday card with you.  Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been reading.  I sincerely enjoy creating content for the blog to share with you.

I will be taking a break from the blog to enjoy some down time with our little family, and I plan to be back to the blog sometime early next year.  Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.  Warmest wishes to you for a safe and Happy Holidays!

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Wherever You Are, Be There Totally

It is a busy time of year for most people, and I have been trying to work on being more present and totally all in the moment, so that I do not miss anything. Our minds tend to vacillate between the past and the future, and we consequently miss these important, ordinary, fleeting moments. What I love about animals is how present they always are, regardless of their circumstances. These words really resonated with me by Lisa Congdon, shown below.

Given the fast pace and hectic schedules of our lives, we have grown used to living with anxiety, stress, and general unhappiness, as if all of those things are a necessary condition of life. Our tendency to ruminate over the past or trip on the future can leave us exhausted and drained. Sometimes just being in our own skin can feel uncomfortable. When we pay attention we realize that we spend a lot of time avoiding and distracting ourselves from uncomfortable feelings — like not knowing what’s going to happen next, or whether someone is going to text us back, or feeling lonely or disconnected. But the antidote to anxiety and distraction is a conscious awareness and a commitment to staying ‘in the now.’ When we focus on our feelings and whatever is happening in the present moment, instead of distracting ourselves from them, we begin to eventually feel a sense of ease and calm. We can practice this habit intentionally through meditation, which strengthens our ability to be present in the rest of our days. And we can also practice it at any moment in the day when we feel ourselves tensing up with annoying thoughts or worry.

Holiday Traditions

What are your holiday traditions? Alex is getting older and she is getting more into the holiday spirit, each year! This year we are doing the following:

-Each evening after dinner, we do the advent calendar with both of our girls; and Alex never lets me forget, with her great memory and attention to detail! We found the chocolate (human) and dog advent calendars at Trader Joe’s, and they are a hit with the girls, including Victory!

-We are making Christmas eggnog sugar cookies, and they are simply the best! Alex loves to creatively decorate them; and then we all consume them! We especially like these sugar cookies, and Alex always loves to eat her cookies with eggnog!

-We love looking at Christmas lights. We have enjoyed Enchant and the Symphony of Lights! We also like to drive through neighborhoods and look at residential lights and decorations with our girls.

-We love watching Christmas themed shows with Alex, which are always a hit! We especially love A Charlie Brown Christmas.

-We love reading Christmas stories together, which is always fun!

-We love listening to Christmas music as well!

-I always get the girls matching Hanna Andersson pjs for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, which Alex enjoys, and Victory fortunately tolerates wearing them!

-We make a photo Holiday card each year!

-I also get the girls an ornament each year; I also get a few photo ornaments made from the year; and we also pick up ornaments from the places we visited, creating a Christmas memory tree!

-We decorate our Christmas tree together, and Alex loves to put on decorations! I especially love and cherish her hand made Christmas ornaments!

-I get Alex a Christmas dress each year!

-We usually go and see Santa with the girls, but we skipped last year and we are skipping this year, again, due to COVID. Alex has not asked for any specific gifts from Santa, this year, just that she hopes Santa wraps her gifts in orange wrapping paper, her favorite color! She is curious, though, about what Santa is going to bring her, which she is looking forward to with great anticipation!

-We will also likely leave a note and cookies for Santa this year, for the first time!

-We love spending time together, and Christmas morning is always so much fun! I am sure that our traditions will expand as Alex gets older, adopting some of her ideas, which she has many!