September 28, 2012

focusing on what's important.....

i didn't take my camera to maine. 
i was going there for my nephew's funeral. not to take photos.

but the beauty that surrounded me there was all engulfing. 
it sucked me in. it filled my lungs.

when that happened, i picked up my iphone with a tinge of guilt. 
i had such a need to capture what my eyes were seeing. 
what my heart was grabbing. what my lungs were breathing. what i was touching.

i had only been to maine one other time, which i now feel terribly guilty about.
there should have been more visits. 
next year at this time, i'll be back there.
i plan on making a fall trip to maine my yearly ritual.

sweet nephew of mine, these are for you. 
i know you would have wanted me to take pictures.

September 26, 2012

heaven has a new angel.....

a week ago today, my nephew owen was killed in a car accident. he was sixteen
i have tried to write about him, my sister and her amazing family, the funeral, the stories, the tears, the faith, their pastors, the praying, the signs we keep finding that remind us of owen and simply the hole that's been created in our family because of his death, but the words just aren't coming out right.
instead, i'd love to share with you what pastor george talked about at owen's burial. he told us to notice how all the headstones in the cemetery have something in common,
"the day you arrive here on earth and the day you leave this earth" but that that isn't what matters. 
what matters is the "dash" in between.
he went on to talk about how much owen had truly accomplished during his "dash" here on earth and that even though it was only a sixteen year dash, it was filled to the brim with genuine goodness and love and so many other things that many of us might not ever accomplish.
~the message~
you've only got one "dash." make it a good and memorable one.
to all of you who have already taken the time to send me a personal note, thank you.
your love and prayers have been amazing.

September 25, 2012

our baby boy.....

our baby boy
turns twenty one today and we couldn't love him any more than we do
 or be more proud of the man he has become.
happy birthday 
sweet boy, gentle spirit, curiosity seeker and lover of life...
may the next twenty one years be as remarkable and as memorable as the first twenty one.

September 18, 2012

the language of flora.....

some weeks, i am blessed beyond words.

last friday, not only did i get to meet flora bowley, i got to photograph her in action.

this was her first time at valley ridge art studio and for months,  i had a spot in her three day class.
i was going to be a flora bowley student. 
but, as class time got closer, i got cold feet. you see, i've taken painting classes before and well, i'm just not a painter. i have issues with perfection that seem to run amuck when a paintbrush is in my right hand,  a paint palette with glorious colors is in my left hand and a blank canvas sits in front of me. staring at me. daring me. egging me on. finally begging me to touch it.

so i gave up my spot to someone on the huge waiting list and was lovingly given permission to photograph flora and all of her students.

she's one of those beautiful people, inside and out, and you know it immediately upon meeting her.
not only does she teach students to paint, she gives them a spiritual journey into their own hearts.

i took 362 photos in five hours,
and watched in awe as her students morphed into amazing painters right before my eyes.
can you even imagine what saturday and sunday must have been like? 
originally i had planned on being there for all three days...but i love seeing and being with my hubby on the weekends and decided i just couldn't give up our time together.
if you want to see more of my photos, they're over here and if you want to find out more about flora, 
you can do that here, on her website. my advice...if you love to paint and flora's scheduled to be at a studio near you, TAKE HER CLASS. i promise won't be disappointed.
thank you flora for everything

September 17, 2012

all the time.....

"your relationship is not supposed to be perfect all the time, your business is not supposed to do well all the time, your souffl├ęs are not supposed to raise perfectly all the time. everything is designed to go wrong so that you can gain the skills of rediscovering your tracks, even in difficult or frightening circumstances. especially in difficult and frightening circumstances.
~martha beck~

September 13, 2012

cutie pies, link loving and what i'm watching.....


it's so easy to shoot seniors when they're this cute, ahh, i mean handsome. 
 seriously, i'm so lucky, right ?
 usually on fridays {even though today is thursday} i try to share a few links with all of you. here are the links to a few blogs that make me smile or laugh or are just pretty enough to keep me entertained. there's this one and this one and this one and as I'm typing this, i'm sitting here watching katie couric interview brene brown. i think i'm loving what i'm hearing and what i'm here's her blog, too.
i think i should buy this for me and maybe these for my hubby.
my heart crumbled a bit when i read this post. i have followed denise's blog for years and to see her go through another major diagnosis, even if it's her son this time, was hard to swallow.
okay, now for a bit of television. did any of you watch the bachelor pad? the finale? OMG....can you believe what nick did? did you laugh? did you think of him as brilliant or a total ass?
also, we have already fallen in love with "go on" and "the new normal." did any of you watch the pilots and the first shows of these two sitcoms? oh, i think it's going to be a fun season.
as a last minute extra, if you haven't ever seen
grey gardens, i highly suggest you do. i think you'll find it fascinating.
have a great weekend everyone. tomorrow i'll be assisting and photographing 
flora bowley. eeeek, i can't wait !!

September 12, 2012

my family was killed by pigeons......

sometimes i'm really picky with what i photograph. especially while i'm on "vacation." 
there's always that fine line of photographing everything i see, or really living in the moments that present themselves to me. on this trip, i was living more for the moments than anything else.

it had been awhile since my hubby and i had been away by ourselves and i have to say, we really soaked up our time together. like a mini honeymoon, but better. better by the fact that we've been married almost twenty eight years, together more than thirty and we're head over heels in love with each other. i know that sounds mushy and some of you are gagging, but it's true. we love being each others best friend and now with the kids out of the house, the distractions are fewer and we've really been using this time to get to know each other again. it's been amazing.

while in chicago, on every block and every corner, especially on michigan avenue, 
we saw street performers {jugglers, saxophone players and balloon artists} 
and homeless people everywhere. 
this guys music was awful, but he had the best sign without question. 
he made me smile. i gave him some money.

everywhere we walked, we walked hand in hand. my hubby would say it's because he loves me so much. honestly, i know it's due to the fact that when i'm in a new place, i tend to look at and watch everything and that his hand holding is keeping me protected and on track. 
seriously, those crowded corners and cross walks can be dangerous. 
especially if you have a bit of attention deficit disorder. and a camera.

this month, the theme for our local photography group is "landscape" and on a normal basis, i don't really shoot landscapes. i even told everyone that at our meeting last week. so just in case our organizer is reading this post {hi adam} i tried really hard to take "landscape" photos just to show him i've been doing my homework.

i still have a few more chicago photos i'll share, but it's time to get down to business.
i have a senior photo shoot to edit and his yearbook selection is due this friday.
concentrate beth. concentrate.

September 10, 2012

a white skirt after labor day and the bean.....

last friday
we jumped in the car and headed to the windy city for a long weekend.

 we did our best to look and act like silly tourists.

i wore a white skirt. he wore a black shirt. 
can you find us in the all the photos?

this photo looks a bit, ummm, well. you know. dirty. or something.

the love of my life wanted to take a photo. i said, "the camera is all yours." 
then i photo-bombed his picture.

"can you see me now," he asks while walking around me.
i answer, "not at all, ya goofball." click.

if you're ever in chicago and you've never been here, it's a must see. 
getting away for a few days was just what this body and head of mine needed. 
a form of therapy without question. surprisingly somehow, my feet don't hurt today. we left the car parked and walked everywhere. the weather had slivers of fall mixed into it, especially in the mornings and friendly people were everywhere. it was truly a mini-vacation.
if you've never been to chicago and want a recommendation on where to stay, 
we highly suggest  the conrad. {it used to be le meridian}
{we had a room issue at first, but they made up for it with a free breakfast and a room discount, which made the trip that much better}
it's on rush street, but the front of the hotel is basically on michigan avenue, giving you instant access to everything on and right off the magnificent mile.

well that's it for "the bean." 
next up...later this week, navy pier and street photography.
control your excitement. snort.