Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

This week has been one of those weeks. You know, when summer starts to really transition to fall and the weather super sucks. It's kind of refreshing that it's much cooler after having such a hot muggy weekend, but the overcast rainy yuckiness does nothing good for my moods. I'm definitely one of those people whose perfect day includes sunshine and a nice breeze. So since it's supposed to practically monsoon starting tonight and all day tomorrow, and I have 6 hours of class tonight, I thought today would be a good day to post about all of the things I'm thankful for. Well, not everything, but you get my drift. Aside from a nice walk at Honeygo Park with Riley today (but I mean, it's completely overcast so nice is a relative term lol)...I feel so blah! I didn't sleep well last night, I felt anxious and impatient this morning, and I'm ready to fast forward to the weekend, so I think it's important to slow down, breathe, and remember all of the positive things I have to be grateful for. :)

1. My health, my wonderful family and family friends, but more specifically, my parents and grandparents.
I'm such a lucky girl to have such a supportive family. Just like every family, it's not all hunky dory everyday, but my parents and grandparents are incredible people who inspire me everyday. My grandparents are the most loving and generous people...and my parents work so hard and allow my brother and I to learn our own lessons (for the most part). Neither my parents or grandparents have ever denied us anything within reason and for that I feel like I am forever indebted to them.

2. My goober of a brother
Anyone who knows my brother and I know that we have a really different kind of sibling relationship. Before Dustin came along, John-Brooks really was/will always be my true other half. We have the coolest connection that I wish everyone who has a brother or sister could have...we literally say the same things at the same instant, we are forever joking or laughing about one thing or another, we find the same (sometimes ridiculous movies) absolutely hilarious, and we are each others shoulder to lean on. I've come to the conclusion that everyone needs a two-in-one brother & best friend like I've got.

3. My education
Education is one of those things that nobody can ever take away from you. One of the most valuable things I think my parents have ever given me is such a strong high school and college education. I feel totally spoiled in that paying for school is something I have never had to worry about. I wish that it worked like this for everyone, but I truly admire those who put themselves through school on their own accord. I may have done college in a little bit of an untraditional manner, but I'm a true believe that everything happens for a reason, and I feel lucky enough to have gotten the best of both worlds.

4. This big white polar bear
I asked my Mom and Dad for my own puppy fo-evaaaa. Seriously. Finally my wishes were answered and this little nugget became all mine. He is pretty much the daily source of...everything positive. If you know me, you know I hate waking up. This dude is always the happiest guy bright and early (by bright and early I mean anytime after 7 a.m...don't try to wake him before. He will roll his eyes, and turn over on his back, expecting you to rub his belly and assist him in falling asleep until the "appropriate" time to wake up. Yes, he's a bit of a diva in the wee hours of the morning. But so am I so I forgive him.) But back to where I was going with this, what's better than waking up to a paw on your face and big brown eyes pleading you to greet the day with excitement? Um hello...nothing! From his strange fetish with pulling headbands and hats right off of your head, to his love of trail rides and watching me ringside, to his big giant kisses when he knows I need it most, and his hilarious and obvious sense of humor, this is my once in a lifetime dog and I'm pretty sure I should sign up for dog cloning now because I don't think I could ever live without him. He is basically a person.

5. Our mules ;)
I'm forever grateful that my parents have always been so supportive of such a demanding and expensive hobby. I'm even more grateful that it's something that my Mom and I are passionate about together. It's also been incredible to have the horses at home. I credit these animals for shaping so much of my character. They've taught me responsibility and accountability, patience, and persistence, among other things. I miss showing so often, but I know it is one of those things that will always be there and right now, school is my main focus.

6. Good, genuine friends and low-key but fun nights out :)
I have rockin' friends. And even more rockin' friends who have rockin' families. So really, I have amazing friends and amazing second, third, and fourth, etc. families who are just downright awesome people. I'm lucky. That is all for #6.

7. And last but surely not least, Dustin

"Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It's for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It's for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don't see it nearly enough."

In the past year I've become a much better person because of this guy. I'm forever thankful for Dustin...he makes me feel that it's okay to be 110% me (nerdy, ditzy, sloppy, moody, cranky when I'm hungry or tired, you name it), he supports me endlessly, he loves me unconditionally, and he has patience that I envy. He's the most incredible father, son, friend, employee, uncle, nephew, etc. etc. He races to the airport to catch an early flight to see me, he wakes up before the rooster crows to drive 8 hours home just to have had that extra evening with me because he knows I hate when he leaves, he spoils me with love, he's a gentleman, he finishes my sentences, he gets me. He understands my love for the horses, the dogs, family and togetherness. We're a team and we've been through things that have really tested our relationship. We have to work hard to make our unconventional relationship work, but we communicate and we trust and we have faith in one another. He reminds me when it's hard, that nothing worth having is ever easy. And, just when you think it doesn't get any better, he comes fully loaded with the most beautiful 4-year-old who I absolutely and completely adore. I hit the jackpot...for real. Don't hate...there's got to be more out there like him :)

When the weather sucks or things just aren't going your way, remember what you're thankful for. I'm always reminding myself that it could always be worse. Cherish everyday and treat those you love with respect.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jessie the Mini Sheltie

Well, she's not really mini, she's just super petite for a Sheltie. But don't let her size fool you! At 9 months old, this girl has plenty of get up and go! Despite the heat (where did those cool fall temperatures go?) Jessie was a trooper and trucked around outside long enough for me to grab a few photos of her. She has the most soft, beautiful coat, kind and observant eyes, and LOVES to play and leap! Thank you Dottie and Steve for allowing me the opportunity to play with Jessie this afternoon! Here are a few of the shots from our playdate today:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Senior | Holly

Yesterday evening I spent about an hour and a half playing with Huntingtown High School senior Holly...and we had a blast! She and her parents have a really nice place where they keep all of their fun little four-leggeds, including 2 donkeys (Artie and Ella), 2 horses (Penny and Sunny), and 2 dogs (Wall-E and Mae). Holly was such a trooper for me, and I think these photos are pretty true to life...Holly is beautiful! Thanks for letting me come out Holly and Andrea! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Enjoying the weather

This morning after Riley and I finished up at the barn, I decided a walk around the farm would be so nice...I wanted some time to play with the camera and to be outside enjoying the weather with Riley (this in between summer and fall season is my favorite). Plus, after 3.5 days bored in the apartment, big white dog needed some RUN time.

I hope everyone else is taking the opportunity to enjoy the weather as well. I'm hoping it will be a beautiful weekend and the weather stays as perfect as it is today.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Perfect weekend, now back to reality...

What a beautiful weekend we had here in Maryland. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Dustin and Landon came up for Gemma's wedding, which was just such an awesome and so well put together event. The wedding and reception were at Running Hare Vineyard right down the road from home, and both the ceremony site and the reception building were breathtaking. It really didn't feel like we were right here in Calvert County...pretty awesome.

Saturday we celebrated Landons 4th birthday which was a blast. He had such a fun weekend riding horses, playing in the yard, riding the jet-ski, running around the house, watching his new movies, and playing with the dogs and I'm so thankful that they were able to spend the weekend with my family and I.

Here are some of the best pictures from this weekend (to see more, find me on Facebook...there's too many fun shots to choose from!):

Today I also learned about a workshop and is definitely going on my list to attend next year, should they have it again (fingers crossed...and I need to start saving!). Genesis Workshop sounds like the ultimate workshop and features so much useful information from photographers who I really admire, especially Tony Hoffer of Hoffer Photography whose work I've been following for a while now. So Genesis is definitely going on the Workshop Bucket list along with Jamie of Cowbelly who does pets, and Jodie of J.Otte Photography, who does children, families and newborns. Ahh, one day, maybe.

Andddd WPPI is hosting a WPPI-U for emerging photographers next year! In Vegas! I'm so excited...Dustin has already (easily) agreed to go with me and I can't wait for this! :)

In the mean time, I'm looking forward to photographing a high school senior this coming Sunday which should be so much fun, and two cute little kiddies in mid-October when the leaves change...can't wait!