Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge- Unique adjectives

I am a teacher.  Adjectives are part of our curriculum.  I always encourage my students to use unique adjectives in their writing to make it more interesting and get their point across.

I give the author of this sign an A+ for creativity.  Because really, what better adjective can you think of for wine?  Point made.  They sold me.  🙂

SAM_2621 (2).JPG

My entry for Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge.

cob-banner

Which Way Photo Challenge- Nashville Courthouse

For Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge this week, I am throwing it back to Christmas in Nashville, TN.  Nashville is my favorite US city I have ever been to.  The southern vibe there is just relaxed and fun.  There is so much to see, hear, smell, and do.

This picture shows the downtown Christmas tree at the Nashville Courthouse.  To me, this picture is the epitome of “Which way should I go?”  Up the stairs to the courthouse, down the street to the river, up the street to a delicious restaurant, or across the street to hear some downtown tunes?  In Nashville, the options are endless…

IMG_1224 (2).JPG

To learn more about Christmas in Nashville, check out this post.

Cee's-which-way-1

Furball Friday: Spring is rolling in!

image1 (22).JPG

Today the forecast is 75 degrees and sunny.  Yesterday we hit 80!

Yes, it is still February.

No, there is no snow in sight.

Yes, that makes me sad.

But, OH WELL!

Time to quit crying over what we don’t have and embrace what we do have!

If this “winter” has taught me anything, it is that you can’t dwell on what you don’t have.  Dwelling on it does not make it change.  Rather it is better to be grateful for what you do have and look forward to the spring.  No matter where you live, spring brings so much hope.  Spring is a sign of new life.  It is a sign that fresh and exciting things are coming your way.

For Bailey springmeans, rolling in the freshly cut grass, taking long walks with his family, and chasing after birds in the yard.  For me, on the other hand, spring equals family time.  I adore the town we live in, and I like to explore it with Bailey and my hubby.  We go to shops, grab a bite to eat, sip on a glass of wine, and just enjoy life.

Bales and I may not have gotten the snowy winter that we wanted, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have a fabulous spring.

So, if you are wishing for what you don’t have, it is time to let it go!  Instead of dwelling on the past, look forward to the bright future.  Get excited for what is to come!

Winter is rolling out and spring is rolling in!

 

Happy Friday, Friends! 🙂

 

Thursday Doors: The arches of Charleston

Charleston, SC is a photographer’s heaven.  Every house is completely unique, from the sweet tea porches, to the beautiful Victorian accents, to the bright Caribbean paint colors.  And don’t even get me started on the doors…Doors and doors galore!

I have so many pictures of doors from Charleston.  In order to keep things somewhat organized, I am trying to group them into similar features.  Although, frankly some just stand alone in their beauty.

These Thursday Doors all have similar “arch”itecture.  Enjoy!

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

To see another Charleston arching “door” with a funny twist, check out my “Gateway to Relief” picture.

Wanting pregnancy vs. wanting motherhood

When I was 5 years old, I made an “All About Me” poster in kindergarten.  One of the questions was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”    

My answer:  Mom and Doctor

I soon realized that being a doctor involved a lot of needles and blood, so that dream went right out the window (soon to be forever replaced by “teacher”).

However, the dream to be a mom has never changed or faltered.  What I did not know as a kindergartner though, is how many different paths there are to that dream.

Image result for never let go of your dreams

My husband and I started trying to have children as soon as we got married.  I had a family history of infertility and we did not want to waste time.

I read all the books.

I charted all my cycle symptoms.

We timed it perfectly EVERY  SINGLE month.

It was exhausting.

It did not take me long (about 6 months) to realize something was wrong.  I don’t just mean that we were having a hard time getting pregnant, but there was something wrong with our approach.

I did a lot of soul searching.  Prayer became my best friend.  During this time, we continued to try to get pregnant.  We got all the zillions of tests the doctors ordered, only to be told that our infertility was unexplained.  I was so confused.  I began to question our goal.  What is it that we want?  What is it that God wants for us?

Is our goal to get pregnant?  Is our goal to give birth?  

It took a doctor telling me that exploratory surgery was the only option, to finally make me snap into focus.  We could keep trying and trying and trying.  We could try every procedure under the sun, but we would still have the wrong motivation.  It was in that moment, as the doctor told me she would need to cut me open, making no promises that it would fix anything, that I finally remembered my kindergarten dream.

I want to be a mom.  I am called to be a mom.

There is more than one path to every dream.  If I am feeling boxed in, it’s because I haven’t opened all the doors.  I had been putting so much effort into the goal of getting pregnant, while losing sight of the real goal of being a mom.

So I cancelled the surgery, and we began the adoption process.  I felt more joy in that decision than I had ever felt during our first year of trying to get pregnant.  I felt joy because we were finally opening ourselves to all the paths to parenthood that God had chosen for us.  I also felt at peace.  That peace came from the realization that:

 my desire to be a mother is far greater than my desire to be pregnant.

The journey is still very rough at times.  I may give birth to our child naturally or we may adopt.  Heck, we may do both one day! I have no idea.  But I take great solace in knowing that we are now focused in the right direction.  

I don’t need to get pregnant…

I need to be a mom.

 

Our European Adventure: Last stop, Crete!

I wrote all about our European Adventure from Rome to Santorini to Turkey to Athens, and I completely forgot to tell you about our last stop…Crete!  Oh, how could I forget about amazing Crete!  

img_3287-2

The beauty and grace of the island brought out the ballerina in me.

Crete is the most highly populated of all the Greek islands.  It is a very modern town at first glance, but once you step outside the main cities, there is so much history and beauty to be uncovered.  It is so lovely, that according to Greek mythology, the Minotaur used Crete as its home.

Crete was the last stop on our cruise and unfortunately, we could only spend a few quick hours there.  Because this was our last stop, we chose to do some exploring on our own, without a tour guide.  

img_3263-2

From the main cruise port, you must take a quick bus ride into the city of Chania.  Chania is known for its Venetian Harbour.  It has stunning waterfront views, beaches, restaurants, and shopping.  I wish I had know how wonderful the shopping would be there.  I would have saved all my spending money until the end.  We got beautiful pashminas, soaps, and spices there.  The quality of goods (especially the pashminas) in Crete was much higher than Athens or Santorini, in my opinion.

Once we finished shopping, we went to one of the public beaches.  The water is stunningly clear and blue.  The beach was not super crowded and very peaceful when we went.  I could have floated there forever.

img_3268-2

img_3281-2

From there we headed to one of the waterfront restaurants to order a snack and a bottle of wine.  Unfortunately, their power went out, so we did not get to eat any food there.  But, it was worth stopping by just for the view.

img_3292-2

Crete was an unexpected joy.  I knew nothing about this island going into the trip and now I have a burning desire to know so much more.  This would be a wonderful island to spend a week or more on, just exploring and basking in the Greek culture.

This is not goodbye, Europe, but rather…

See you later! 🙂

 

For more about our European Adventure, click the travel link in the home menu.

 

Furball Friday: A Year Without Winter

img_0307-2

Welp, Bailey and I have officially written off winter for this year.  We have had no more than a dusting of snow all “winter” long.  Never in my life do I remember such a sparse winter.  Not only have we had zero snow, but it hasn’t even been very cold. I was holding out hope for the last few weeks of February because we often get snow over President’s Day weekend, but NOPE!  It is forecast to be warm and sunny for the next week!

Continue reading

Thursday Doors: Ephesus, Turkey

My Thursday Doors this week come from the beautiful country of Turkey.  Turkey’s history dates back to biblical times, and I have to say there is something so humbling about walking the same streets as Jesus’ mother and disciples.

This first door is from the home of the Virgin Mary.  This is where St. John took Mary after Jesus died.  It no longer looks like a home inside, but has been converted to a shrine for prayer.  It is visited by people of all faiths.

IMG_2915 (2).JPG

The next 2 doors are from the ruins of ancient Ephesus.  This was a large city and trading center during the days of St. Paul.  It was once full of shops of all kinds. The smaller of the two is a door, or walkway, to a shop.  The streets are lines with these on both sides.

SAMSUNG CSC

SAM_1871 (2).JPG

Happy Thursday!  🙂

Valentines come in all shapes and sizes

I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.  I am not bitter against it, I just don’t feel a real connection to it.  My hubby and I make a point of celebrating our love every day.  We have date night at least once a week and take little trips throughout the year.  Valentine’s Day is just another day in our love story.

However, I do realize that there are many who are aching for a valentine today.

 Maybe you had love and lost it in one way or another, and you miss your valentine terribly.

Continue reading

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: “Gateway to Relief”

My hubby and I recently took a trip to Charleston, SC.  Neither of us had every been there before, and we were looking for a fun place to go for the weekend.  Charleston was the perfect weekend getaway!  There is such a variety of things to do there from shopping, to touring old plantations, to relaxing on the beach.  So what was my favorite part??

Continue reading