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Archive for the category “Inspirations”

Serenity…for now

I finally finished Nursing School!  It doesn’t feel quite real, and honestly it’s only the first step in actually being a nurse, but it is still a huge accomplishment.  Before I tackle the next challenge (the national license exam) I am enjoying a bit of a much deserved vacation.  Part of which includes reviewing the pictures I have taken over the past few months.  Granted, I haven’t had a lot of time to snap photos, but my husband did surprise me with a trip to the Japanese Gardens in Portland last month so I thought I’d share some of them with you.


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Camera play

Having two incredibly photogenic and entertaining kids mean that I am taking a lot of pictures. A month ago we travelled down to California and I ended up having a conversation with my husband’s uncle who is interested in photography. He was helping me to understand some of the functions on our camera that I hadn’t taken the time to play with. Since then I have been playing with aperture settings and focal length. Last night we had a potluck (delicious!) and two of our friends brought us some gorgeous bouquets. I love taking picture of flowers and today decided to practice with various settings using the flowers as my subjects.

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I liked this photo without editing =)

A study in water droplets

As is usual in the Pacific NW, our sunny weather has been replaced with rain. It doesn’t bother me at all, and I rather welcome the rain because it means that we don’t have to run the sprinklers. I also love the beads of water that are left on the petals and leaves of flowers. Once again, I couldn’t resist trying to capture this beauty.
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Our Japanese Iris that I took from our previous house has bloomed this year. I love the slender and delicate flower. The water drops only add to its beauty.
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When it rains it pours

It’s that time of year in the PNW again.  It has actually been one of the most beautiful falls we’ve had in a while, but the past couple of days it has been raining buckets.  We were not deterred, however, as my son and I headed outside to have some fun.  He had a blast splashing around in the puddles and wasn’t at all bothered by the wet stuff falling from the sky.

Of course I brought my camera along to capture the moment, but it is pretty difficult to take pictures without getting water on the lens.  Here’s a good one from the day.


Happy Fall!

Still Frustrated

Olympus IB still will not work properly and I am very frustrated.  I should be able to figure it out, and yet, nothing seems to be working. I think I will try calling the help center soon.

Since I am stalled from uploading pictures because of technical issues, I need to find something else to take my mind off of the matter.  I was editing older pictures of my son for our photo album, but that wasn’t doing it either since I am using the IB program for editing.  So…I turned to some of my favorite photos.

The pictures were taken at our previous home in the country.  My husband and I both miss it and someday we would like to return.   Most of these I have printed off and hung around the house for artwork.

I hope they make you as happy as they make me.


Our neighbors cat Ruby who turned out to be Male. He was the best lap cat. I miss all his fluff.




I love books

Since my son was six months old I have been taking him to a branch of our library for story time.  At first it was sporadic since he usually wanted to take a nap during the story time hours.  He finally started taking one nap a day around one year, which has made our trips to the library regular and more frequent.  The added benefit of the one nap a day schedule is the length of time in which he naps.  It has allowed me more time to regroup and recharge which is necessary when you are chasing a growing boy around.

One of my favorite ways of doing this is by losing myself in a story.  In a matter of months I have read about 47 books.  A very good friend of mine can never leave a drink without finishing it first which is my policy with books.  Some of these books were better than others, but I can say that I read them cover to cover.

What I have read:

Janet Evanovich:  Stephanie Plum series 1-16, Plum Spooky and Plum Lovin’

Nora Roberts: Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy, Bride Quartet (1-4), Inn BoonsBorro (1-2), Chasing Fire, The Villa, The MacGregors (Serena and Cain), The Witness, The Calhoun Women (Lilah and Susana), The Calhouns (Megan, Catherine, Amanda)

Susan Elizabeth Philips: The Great Escape

E.L. James: Fifty Shades of Grey

Julie Otsuka: The Buddha in the Attic

Robyn Carr: Virgin River series 1-5, Grace Valley Series 1-2

George R.R. Martin: Song of Ice and Fire series 1-4

Currently reading:

the 5th book in the Song of Ice and Fire series better known as The Game of Thrones series.

To-Read List:

Robyn Carr: Virgin River Series 6-11

Janet Evanovich: 16-18

Sue Grafton: A is for Alibi

Amanda Coplin: The Orchardist (releases Aug. 21)

George R. R. Martin: Song of Ice and Fire 6 and 7  (when they are released of course)
Time to get back to my book =)

What are you reading now?  What books are some of your favorites?

20 things I learned from watching the Olympics

  1. I want to visit England. The aerial views have been stunning and since I live in a similarly wet climate, the rain wouldn’t be a big deal.
  2. Race walking is the strangest sport. I honestly thought they had gotten rid of it, but nope, it’s still an event.
  3. On the flip side, BMX biking is awesome. I loved watching the craziness of it all.
  4. I still love synchronized swimming. It is fascinating that you can create routines that involve almost all leg movement while upside down and underwater.
  5. Rhythmic gymnastics is much more entertaining than artistic gymnastics. It is much more creative and graceful. Not to mention that they are beyond flexible and get to have a moving apparatus.
  6. Handball still confuses me.
  7. Victory doesn’t necessarily mean a medal. For example, the Egyptian synchronized swimming team was so excited just to have gotten a higher score than they expected.
  8. Having prosthetic legs doesn’t make you any less competitive. In fact, I was highly impressed with Pistorius’s composure and attitude as well as his athletic ability.
  9. It is still really cool to see World Records broken, no matter who breaks them.
  10. You can still high jump with a t-shirt and clear the bar.
  11. Getting a medal promotes you to celebrity status in many countries and in the case of South Korea, releases you from your military duty.
  12. I love it when a country gets a medal for the first time. I love seeing the emotion and how much it means to them and their country.
  13. It is important to always try your hardest in each moment. Not only for your own integrity, but also to maintain the integrity of sport.
  14. Water Polo is a vicious battle below water.
  15. Wrestling has some really awkward positions.
  16. There is definitely truth to home field advantage. That being said, I have loved seeing England win because the athletes seem beyond excited and the crowd goes crazy.
  17. Male gymnasts should not take their pants off in front of the camera. It is a little TMI.
  18. It is important to enjoy the experience as much as it is to do your best.
  19. Athletes want to finish, no matter how long or by what means they get there. I find that strength and desire inspiring.
  20. Win or lose, it is important to be a gracious and humble competitor.

Olympic Fever

I love the Olympics. There is something about them that makes me more excited than a usual sporting event. Maybe it’s the camaraderie, or the fact that for a few weeks the world comes together in friendly competition. Whatever the reason, the Olympics take front and center. Because of our trip, I am behind and am madly trying to catch up. Thank goodness for the DVR. Watching the Olympics makes me wish that I was good enough at something to be an Olympian. So I have made a list of the events that I would have liked to participate in.

  1. Volleyball. Beach or indoor, both look like fun. However, I would have to be at least a foot taller and have played more than a handful of times.
  2. Badminton. I love playing for fun.
  3. Trampoline. Flying is fun, and I think I could use my height as an advantage.
  4. White water kayak. I’m not sure I’d be any good at it, but I like water if I don’t have to swim in it.
  5. Rowing. Probably the eight or four man because two just seems even harder. Of course they would probably make me be a coxswain.
  6. Soccer or Football. I played when I was a kid and was a decent defender.
  7. Table tennis, maybe. I might be able to get behind it, although I might get dizzy trying to track that tiny ball.

So if you could be an Olympian, what would you want to compete in?

Home Sweet Home

After five days we have arrived home. Why is it that we call it a vacation, when I am more tired than normal? Granted I stayed up really late Saturday night exercising my creative brain cells, but even still I never sleep well or probably eat as well. Anyway, back to Saturday. Friday night I went to a girlfriend’s house and we spent a good chunk of time creating the play list of the Saturday night dance. I had fun listening to music which always gets my creative juices flowing.

Saturday night was the main event and was quick to remind me why I miss dancing in California. Even the beginners in California are better than the beginners back home. It is part of why I haven’t danced much in the past year. I had some fabulous dances and felt like I was getting back into the grove of things. Back home I am a big fish in a very small pond. In California, I am a minnow in an ocean. Personally, I prefer the latter situation. It is one that is ripe for inspiration and constantly forces you to improve and grow. I miss that. Dancing is a funny thing. Once I get that taste, it’s like an addiction and I want more. After just one night of excellent dancing I am thinking about attending a dance convention again. I’m not sure if I will be able to afford it, but it sure is tempting.

This weekend wasn’t entirely about dancing. I did find other opportunities to explore my creative side. We went to a park where a flock of peacocks live. It gave me a great chance to practice my photography.  Now if only I had a macro lens.


Even though we had a great weekend, I am glad to be home.

Puss in Boots Photoshoot

A few years ago we adopted a feral kitten. I think he was the runt because he would scarf down food as if he thought another cat was going to come along and steal it out from under him. We ended up feeding him one piece of cat food at a time until he learned that no one else was going to steal his food.

He was, and still is, scared of lots of things including cars and strange people, but despite all that he is a great hunter.  He once caught a rabbit and left it as a present for me, which sent me into hysterics.  What can I say, I like bunnies.  Despite his hunting prowess, he is surprisingly gentle with my son despite his attempts to knock him over. He is also extremely attached to us, almost needy for attention, and often will follow us around. Our neighbor has dubbed him “the dog”.  All that being said, I think he is adorable.

So adorable that can’t help but take pictures of him. He makes a good subject to practice using our camera and trying to get better at photography.


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