Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday's Feature: God's Image Photography

This is what I'm going to call my Friday's Features. Not always posted on a Friday, but always something that moves me to make it a feature in my blog. Join my blog as a follower if you would like to be considered for a Friday Feature.. I will follow your blog & feature it when it so moves me to do.

God's Image Photography, the blog, is new & I have the honor of being her first follower!

"St. Louis Natural Light Photographer Amber Montgomery of God's Image Photography, 
Specializing in Pregnancy, Birth Photography, Newborns, Babies, Children. As Well in Weddings & Engagement, High School Seniors & Boudoir. 
Journalistic photography capturing "REAL LIFE" in the most simplistic of ways, in your home or location where the magic really happens..."

This is how she is described on the front page of her website. Look further, into her galleries, and be amazed. Moments you can't believe she captured! Find inspiration with Amber as you get lost in her work.  This is what happens to me when I look at her new blog or her website. This is why I chose Amber for my Friday Feature. I hope you get lost too!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A visit from the other side....

Well, if this isn't the best way to end a difficult day! I woke to go do some work on the musical at school (yes, it's Saturday, welcome to my world) where I managed set building in one room and students starting this year's senior scrapbooks in the other room. I spent three hours running back and forth giving instructions & taking pictures before leaving to go get flowers for the cemetery.

As posted before, this was Emily's birthday & we always take the girls flowers on their birthdays. As you might be figuring out, each year late August involves starting another school year, and a new musical, as well as spending the two weekends between at the cemetery trying to find peace without our daughters. A busy time.

We miss them.

This week is Emily's 9th birthday & she was our little froggie. Why am I telling you this? Because (here is where it gets good) when we pulled into the driveway after dark at the end of the day our headlights landed right on this cute froggie! We NEVER see frogs in our yard! I do not believe in coincidence. I do believe in God. This had God's hand all over it! Sweet little Emily was saying hello. I have no doubt she feels all the love we send her & she got all the birthday wishes from everyone aware of her this week. I just wish I had time to set my camera to a higher ISO before I took the pictures. The froggie shots are a bit blurry for that reason. Sorry

Now it is my turn to say hello & thanks. Thanks for your wishes & love you sent (mostly on Facebook) and thanks for stopping by to read my blog. It helps me find my strength when I know others are interested or maybe even inspired by my stories. So please leave comments and share your own stories here because I am truly interested! Share my blog with others & invite them to join as a follower.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Healing Ending

It's Friday. Tomorrow is Emily's birthday &, had she lived passed 18 months, she would have been 9.

I'm so busy at work that I really don't have time to think about it much. Perhaps that's WHY I stay busy? I don't like thinking about her passing...lots of guilt involved...I know, I have no reason to feel any guilt, but still, it's there. Tomorrow will be another visit to the cemetery after a morning at work & a run for flowers.

One thing I did do to make me feel good this week was finally get my new pair of boots! Long over due.

While I was there I could not resist getting my little guy his first pair too. When I got home with them I pulled them out, said "David, I got you some new cowboy boots!" his answer? What any smart 4 year old would say: "But I don't have a horse!".

Immediately after trying them on he said "Let's go outside & kick some dirt!" How could I resist? I grabbed my camera & we went out back. We tried & tried to take a decent shot of us together, but since I don't have a remote, I had to use the timer. Setting it up & getting in place with him in my lap in under ten seconds was tricky. His boots are a bit big still & they kept flying off his feet when I would grab him to get in place before the camera went off. We didn't get "the shot" but we sure got some laughs!

Like I've said before. He is my medicine.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Finding strength as a bereaved mom.

My life is good. Not perfect, but knowing what others deal with it's hard to complain. The worst thing I've lived through? The death of two of my three children. My third, a son, is my joy, my medication, my gift.
I am one with a strong faith in God. Not RELIGION, but God. I know there is a greater plan, I know everything happens for a reason, & I trust in these things. My girls were beautiful, sweet, & smart. I was lucky to have known them as long as I did, & lucky to recognize their "visits" to this day.

This is the week of their birthdays. One week apart, and six years, they never met on Earth, but I'm sure are together in spirit. My son is four now and beginning to understand it all. We spent the day at the cemetery yesterday and I felt comfort in the knowledge that he wanted to know his sisters, and I felt JOY in the discovery that his compassion for our pain and his desire to make us happy was so strong.

Next week we do it all over again for our second daughter. Life goes on. Not the same, but still full of joy. One day we will truly be the family we planned: all together as one.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Friday afternoon, a week of teacher's inservice to prepare for a new school year has ended. Hours of sitting listening to speakers tell us how to relate to our students and make our lessons relevant to today's culture followed by more hours of listening to administrators go over changes from last year and opening day procedures took its tole. The week had its highlights. I got to spend a day with my fellow drama teachers playing games and sharing stories. The food was good, the friendships were better. I think I might be ready.

Tomorrow is my oldest daughter's 15th birthday. Not your normal birthday, she passed at 31/2 years old. Remember the blog a few weeks ago about my daughter loving books so much she wanted to be a library? I saw this at work the other day in the library & naturally thought of Cheyenne.

My sweet boy, only four years old and never having met his older sisters (unless perhaps it was before he arrived) sensed my sadness and expressed his wishes that his sisters would come home and make me happy again. I assured him that he made me happy. He is so good about taking care of me and making sure my computer battery never runs down and that I get enough rest. So for a while I took a break and we played with his toys as I joyfully introduced him to Yoda and R2D2, explaining that Yoda did not need a gun to fight the enemy. He used his light saber and the force within. He totally got it.

After working the freshman orientation in the morning I will go buy flowers, arrange them in some sweet fashion that reflects our rainbow (Cheyenne) and join my husband & son for a trip to the cemetery where we will meet other family members to remember (as if we ever forget) our sweet Cheyenne.

We will go have dinner, recharge our batteries, and do it all over again next week for our second daughter, Emily. For now I try to keep my head above water with everything I have to get done before school begins Monday. Lesson plans, set design for the musical, classroom set up, etc...some is done, some will not be, but "it's all good".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I refuse to let go! I won't do it! I WON"T!!!!!

What???? Say goodbye to summer already???? I thought I was preparing myself well enough, but after my first official day back at work, discovering I was going to have the drama teacher's schedule from hell, I just about walked out & went to the beach. But I have bills to pay. And, ok, I guess I have some pretty cool people to work with, so I'll hang around & give it a try, but I won't let go of summer! On my way home, in the Texas sized thunderstorm, I witnessed a pretty bad 5 car wreck. That did it for me. Once again I found myself thinking I need to grab every precious moment I can while I can. I walked in the house, found my son's little blue rain boots, dressed him, grabbed the umbrella, & we went out & played in the rain together. What fun we had, & suddenly work was a world (or should I say a winter) away!

I had a dream the night before...more like a nightmare. I found myself caged in by large, thick, sticky spiderwebs & several little spiders. I was struggling to get out, much like Frodo (that's a Lord of the Rings reference) but I woke before I got free. I spent the day feeling awful about it, then after we had our afternoon in the rain it all clicked.

I had a choice. I could either lay down & let the webs completely engulf me, or I could get up & rip my way out of the mess I was in. I knew I could do it. I heard myself say it's really not that hard, you will get out of this! Day two at work, sitting listening to a guest speaker our boss brought in to motivate us before the 3000+ teenagers enter the school next week was my day today. How many different ways can we yawn? I'd be far more motivated if they would fix my schedule. But those spiders won't leave so I must break out of the web and play in the rain if I am going to succeed in the classroom... & the soul! How do I feel about it?


Saturday, August 14, 2010

My dad once said...

Chose your future wisely. Life is, at absolute best, 80% mundane. That's what my dad said to me when I was teaching middle school freshly out of college & not too happy about it. The chores & obligations of daily life don't change just because you are doing one thing rather than another. You still have laundry, bills to pay, a floor to clean & groceries to get.

I realize of course that many people have the privilege of getting others to do these things for them, but let's face it, most do it themselves. I am one of those. If I am lucky I can get out of the house alone, leaving the boy with my husband & getting some ME time while I do the errands. But then there is that 80% that kicks in. On those occassions I take my son with me because he wants to go. This means we spend much more time at the stores, I'm constantly saying no, & convincing him that he does not really NEED that package of cookies or ice cream, and we need to say goodbye to the fish now so we can finish our shopping.

 The bribery (yes, I do that) of one toy at the end of the shopping if he behaves is in full throttle the entire time. Today we started at the shoe store. I need a new pair for the new school year. He was happy to help me choose which pair.

I walked out with nothing. 80% mundane, but that other 20% was sure fun watching David play! Then we headed to Hobby Lobby for some school supplies. I love that store just for the cool stuff they display.

So does David. Especially the mirror isle.

Another 20% excitement added to the total. Ultimately we ended up at Wal-Mart. Groceries, toys, & more 20% excitement.

Total for the day? When you add in the 20% of fun conversations I shared with my four year old I'd say it's more like 80% fun. If you choose wisely, like I did.