September 5 – Sparkle

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Hi and Happy Saturday!  Today’s Photo-A-Day Challenge is Sparkle.  I thought this photo captured that very nicely.  I love how the sun is sparkling on the water and the wet sand.

This was taken several years ago at my favorite beach at sunset.  I have seen hundreds of lovely sunsets at this location, perhaps even thousands. And, I have taken numerous pictures.  Each night is different and lovely in itself.

I really love the sparkle the sun makes on the ocean water both at sunset and during the day.  During the day the lovely blue water shines like diamonds.  In the evening, it takes on a different hue with the pinks, reds, and oranges.

Sparkle as a verb is defined as “shine brightly with flashes of light” and “be vivacious and witty.” As a noun, it is defined as “a glittering flash of light” and “vivacity and wit.”  I think this photo captures the light part. And, it is fun to be witty and vivacious.  I hope I have both of these covered.

Here are some quotes on sparkle:

  • “Never let anyone dull your sparkle.” — Unknown.
  • “Don’t be afraid to sparkle a little brighter.” — Unknown
  • “Dream Big. Sparkle More. Shine Brightly.” — Unknown
  • “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  • “Consider the fact that maybe…just maybe…beauty and worth aren’t found in a makeup bottle, or a salon-fresh hairstyle, or a fabulous outfit. Maybe our sparkle comes from somewhere deeper inside, somewhere so pure and authentic and REAL, it doesn’t need gloss or polish or glitter to shine.”–Mandy Hale
  • “Do more of what makes you sparkle.” — Unknown

I am all for being our best and pursuing our dreams.  And I agree that true beauty comes from within.  So let’s sparkle, be ourselves, and love our life!

Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

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Photography 101 – Glass

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday.  Today’s Photography 101 is Glass. I decided to include two photos of stained glass since I think those are so pretty.

The first photo is in the breezeway between the sanctuary and outdoor patio and rooms at my grandparent’s church in San Diego, California.  This is a special place where the family would gather.

The second picture is of the place where my other set of grandparents met – in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  We visited that during the summer this year.  It was quite special to be there and see where it all began.

It is amazing to me how similar the shapes are of the windows at the two churches.  It must be a common design. Unfortunately these photos don’t do these windows justice.  They are so much prettier in person.

I have always liked stained glass windows.  The church where Kirk and I met and got married also has stained glass in the windows of both the sanctuary and the narthex.

Here are a few quotes about glass and stained glass:

  • “People are like stain-glassed windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  • “The world is a looking-glass. It gives back to every man a true reflection of his own thoughts.” — Thackery
  • “Broken glass.  It’s just like glitter, isn’t it?” — Pete Doherty

I wonder when I will get to see another lovely stained glass window?  Very soon I imagine.  Have a great day!

Photography 101 – Treasure

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s Photography 101 word is Treasure.  Normally we think of treasure as gold and valuables, but treasure also is who and what we truly value and love. My treasure is my family, friends, and the memories we make and share.

The house that I have chosen for today is one of the places where four generations of my family have had fun and have enjoyed being together. This is the family beach house and it is a wonderful place to gather.  It is a definite treasure.

I love the turquoise color, love the front porch where hundreds of meals have been served, and love the doors and windows, which are opened and let the ocean breeze in.  I also love the table and benches that a friend built for us, the ramp down the side of the house which leads to the outdoor shower and patio, and the gate which Ian clung to as he was first learning to walk.

I also love the family sing-alongs around the piano, love when we pack people in to spend the night, love taking turns making meals, love playing games and talking late into the night on the porch, love eating fish tacos from a restaurant that we can walk to, love the back patio crowded with all of the bikes, love the towels and sunscreen all over the front and back porches, and love to watch all of the beach and boardwalk activity.

It may seem like an odd choice for treasure.  But, this place is very special to me.  It doesn’t look like much, but every square inch is filled with memories and fun with my dear friends and family.  I am so blessed to have had this place to come to throughout my life.  And, from the porch, if you look to the left, you can see the lovely pacific ocean and sand.  To the right is the bay on the other side of a major street.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is Ian just finishing his puzzle a few years ago on the porch table.  He was also having fun with his cars. We traveled with him to this house for the first five years of his life.  Each year he enjoyed something new and had blast, just as I did. That is an amazing treasure and a wonderful blessing.

SRP.72.Bill.Mairzy.Patti.late1960sHere is a photo of when I was a child on this same porch. I am sitting with my parents.  The wooden table hadn’t been built yet when this was taken.  As you can see the color of the gate is different, cars on the street are different, but the fun of the place is still there.

That fun has simply grown as my husband and I, and my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles have grown and have wanted to bring new family members to enjoy the fun.

This tiny house is treasure to me and is a place I love to visit.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A place where family and friends can gather each year
  • A tiny house which feels big because of all of the amazing memories
  • My grandparents who purchased this house
  • A boy feeling better after a lazy weekend trying to get over a cold
  • Early morning hugs
  • Having fun at a Cub Scout meeting
  • Handing out popcorn to our friends and family nice enough to buy from Ian
  • Mom’s roast, potatoes, and veggies
  • Date nights with Kirk
  • Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins for breakfast
  • Making meals for the Thanksgiving feast
  • A shortened week of school
  • Decorating for the holidays
  • Having wonderful friends and family
  • Memories with my loved ones

I wonder when I will next get to visit my treasured place? I hope that it will be very soon!

Photography 101 – Moment

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERALife is full of amazing moments.  Both good ones and bad.  Today’s Photography 101 prompt is Moment.  I thought this picture would work nicely for that.

I took it several years ago of Ian at the beach. It is one of the first times he was able to stand in the ocean by himself without getting knocked over.  I love how he is watching the water rush over his feet as the waves go in and out.

He was fascinated with the speed of the water, the feel of the waves and the squishy sand.  I loved watching this learnable moment. He has come to love the ocean, the waves, the sand, and all of the amazing colors of the water as much as I have.

Ian has helped me to live in the moment and savor each activity or project that I am working on.  He is very good about living life to the fullest and making the most of each moment.  Kirk and I have learned a lot from him and continue to do so.

A few moments that I am thankful for this morning:

  • Trips to the ocean with family and friends
  • Messy hair and long cuddles
  • Starting the day with my two favorite guys
  • Crisp bacon and hot coffee
  • Hearing “I love you” from my hubby and son
  • Saying “I love you” in response
  • Bright sun on a crisp and cold day
  • Gloves and a brisk walk into the school
  • The anticipation of new library books
  • A warm house

A few quotes about Moment:

  • “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all that we need, not more.”  — Mother Theresa
  • “For a moment at least, be a smile on someone else’s face.” — Dejan Stajonvic
  • “Anything can happen to anyone at any time and you shouldn’t just live through the days, or you lose them. You should do what you can to enjoy every moment.”– Sarah Brightman
  • “Stop waiting for the perfect day or the perfect moment… Take THIS day, THIS moment and lead it to perfection.”– Steve Maraboli
  • “All it takes is a single moment.” — Alison McGhee
  • “Every moment – something beautiful happens.”– Jay Woodman

I wonder if I can remember to make the most of each and every moment that I have.  I plan to do just that.  To making each moment count!!