Tag Archives: Family

Just Be Where You Are Today

The past two weeks I’ve taken some much needed down-time to spend with family and loved ones. It has been such a treat to simply laugh and relax with the most important people in my life.

During this mini-stay-cation, although we managed to sneak in quite a bit of fun, I had time to reconnect with some of my favorite hobbies. I have re-engaged with my yoga practice, crocheted many a scarf, watched far too much Game of Thrones, and, most excitingly, received a new camera lens!

This bad boy is a 50mm f/1.8. I’m still doing research and experimenting with it, but this ‘nifty fifty’ will certainly be a learning experience!

Stay tuned for more!

(The title of this post is a quote from my favorite YouTube channel, Yoga with Adriennewhich simply reminds me to accept where I am today, whatever manner that may be, while striving for a better tomorrow. It never fails to inspire me!)

Ode to Siblings

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of working in a classroom for children with special needs. It was a small classroom, with no more than ten students, which allowed me to get to know the students on an intimate level.

Halfway through the day, at an assembly, a little boy came to sit by us, specifically by his twin sister in the class. For the few hours I had been with her, she had spent her time dozing comfortably in her chair. When she saw her brother, she lit up brilliant. Suddenly, she was laughing as he played with her hands and smiling each time he looked her way. When his class left, he kissed her cheeks, and scurried after his peers.

For the remainder of the day, he would duck in and out of the classroom. As he finished his work, his teacher would allow him free time to spend with his sister. They would giggle together, sharing secrets and smiles, until he had to return to class. He would kiss her cheeks again, and as he left, she would follow with her eyes. She would sleep until his next visit.

This brother and sister have a  pure and unconditional love for one another, one so deep that I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life. I realize how lucky this girl and I are, for we both have caring big brothers, always looking out for us, making us smile, and  protecting us from harm.

So, to my big brother, on his birthday, thank you for loving me so unconditionally.

Paris

Paris

For those growing up in 21st Century America, there are certain things that are rites of passage: learning to ride a bike, receiving your first cell phone, graduating high school, and the first drink of alcohol (but not always in that order). For me, the last one was replaced by a task far more urgent: get to Paris.

Le Tower Eiffel

At one point in time or another, nearly all of my favorite writers had either lived in or travelled to Paris; French artists (e.g. Paul Cézanne, David, van Gogh, etc.) were the most Avant-Garde; and French history has been magnetic ever since the first time I head, “Let them eat cake!” (even though Marie probably never said that). Naturally, I was drawn to the city that had changed the course of history, to the built up descriptions from my high school teacher, to the city of light.

Arc de Triomphe

I’ll be back for you one day, mon cher.

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Although taken with my camera, this brilliant photo was crafted by my dearest Ross.

Notre Dame

Down the Middle
My mom and dad, after over 26 years of marriage and dealing with my brother and I. God bless ’em.

The Lake

The boyfriend's family's lake.
I miss England.

There, I said it.

But I am currently enjoying this view, and even though I have been to this lake more times than I can count, my God does it perpetually amaze me. The ripples in the smooth, blue surface remind me of Venetian glass blown before the invention of cell phones. The silence is tender as it envelopes me, and soothing like my mom.

There are worse ways to recover from those nasty bugs I always seem to catch on planes.

My Role Models

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Inspiration.”

Although I try to refrain from posting personal pictures, when I read this week’s Photo Challenge, I immediately knew what I would be writing about: my family.

Each and every one of them introduces unique perspectives into my life, and contributes a variety of attributes I am proud to carry with me today.

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My mother, grandmother, and myself.

My mom and grandmother have supported and consoled me, even when they may have needed support more than I did. They inspire me to be strong in the face of trials, humble in my tribulations, and tenacious to the point of stubborn.

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My dad is my biggest supporter: he has held and inspired me since before I could even walk. He constantly encourages me to take control of my life, embrace every opportunity with excitement and joy, and most importantly, that crying doesn’t solve our problems (even though he lets me cry on his shoulders!)

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And my brother, although incredibly supportive as well, reminds me not to take life too seriously.

With a family like this, inspiration is a given; mostly because they don’t let me settle for anything less than the best, and I refuse to as well.

So, now it’s your turn! What keeps you inspired? What reminds you to chase your dreams, shoot for the stars, and various other cliches? Let me know!

Starlight Walk 2015

As much as Dad and I love going to pubs on the weekends, last night we participated in the 2015 Starlight Walk! This 10k walk raises money to support the Prospect Hospice, which serves families in Swindon, Marlborough, and North Wiltshire.

Dad and I before the walk, decked out in boppers and glow-sticks!
Dad and I before the walk, decked out in boppers and glow-sticks!

The walk began at 9pm, just as the sun started to go down, and was a beautiful beginning to the night

The M4 at dusk.
The M4 at dusk.
Walking over the M4.
Walking over the M4.

This walk was significantly improved by the volunteers who constantly encouraged us to “Keep going!”, both verbally and with this positive signs!

IMG_0393 As the night went on, the glow sticks became more vibrant…
IMG_0400 … and near the end of the walk, we were treated to a brilliantly lit garden!
IMG_0398 IMG_0399 Though the walk was tougher than anticipated, it was all worth it to raise money for a good cause, make memories by participating in this unique event, and receive this token to commemorate our effort!

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A Day for Dad

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Dad and me, circa 1999.

To say my dad works hard for his family is an understatement. He currently works as the Director of Operations at a pharmaceutical plant, but prior to that he served in the United States Navy for 24 years. During that time, he was gone for about six months of every year, but he always took time to write letters, postcards, and emails (not to mention the many souvenirs he would bring home just in time for birthdays). Though he started at the bottom, rank wise, he diligently and arduously worked his way up. Early in his career, he served as a Photographer’s Mate, during which time he learned the ins and out of photography, and it was through him that my love of taking photos (and being in them!) blossomed. Today, he continuously gives me advice on existing shots, helps me create new ones, and is a source of constant support.

Thank you, Dad, for all you do. I love you.