The Sort of Hope Who Played on the Tracks

teryn7

I finally got to do something nice for a young lady who is part of a family who has been so very nice to me over the years. Taught myself 2 new editing techniques, too! ¬†( … if only I could get paid to do nothing but take pictures and edit *sighs dreamily*) Cold weather is challenging for healthy people. Cold weather can be all but deadly for some people with RSD/CRPS. (our nervous systems don’t adjust well to temperature changes, so once we start to shiver, or get cold, it is sometimes near to impossible to get our body’s core temperature back again. ) But Teryn was tough, so I had to be too. She’s a seasoned competitive athlete-a real gamer. I figured if she could stand up on the top of a train in what she was wearing, I could be brave and all bundled up down below. ( and believe me, I *was* as bundled as movement would allow for.)

Beautiful girl and a fun day.

Some days it really is good to be me.

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365 Challenge: #_Optimistic

Told you all I wouldn’t make 365 consistent posts.

I was out after day 2. Thank you sickness. At least I know my limits ūüėČ

But I am trying to play catch up and now I’m just kind of lost.

Hollywood

This is my older sister Holly. I knew I wanted to use her for “Optimistic” but I couldn’t remember what day # optimistic ¬†was. I still don’t know?

( Lost a few memory chips in my sickness haze…. )

My sister Holly and I are only 16 months apart and were raised almost more like twins than sisters as I was always a bit taller and she was always a tad smaller. She barely reaches 5 foot now. (unless you count her hair.) Mom liked to dress us alike, give us identical outfits ( just different colors). We always shared a room. Shared friends. Sometimes could share clothes, but not shoes Holly is very tiny. And contrary to many men’s wishes, never boyfriends- we have very different tastes.

Anyway, Holly has always been that certain light in my life that everyone needs. Everyone looks for. Fittingly, Holly loves all things sparkly and glittery, just like her- things of light. We could not be more different in that way. Or in the way that we dress. However, many times I wish I could be more like her, more expressive, more free, more ‘perky’. I tend to be a bit too conservative.

Holly spends her days making other people feel good about themselves, making them beautiful, too! And if that isn’t “Optimistic” , I don’t know what is.

#YOU_TODAY~ 365 Challenge

#YOU_TODAY

 

That’s me today.

I’m shocked! ~my son is turning 17 in just a few short days.

I’m baffled, I’m electrified. I’m energized. I’m in a whirlwind. I’m in a state of denial and disbelief.

I’m in a frenzy to get rid of Christmas and get ready to make a birthday celebration!

In less than 2 years he’ll be gone. College bound ( I hope!)

I’m a birthday fairy.¬†I believe that just about everything in life should be celebrated. ( I know I blogged about this before…)

I decorate the house for birthdays. I allow the birthday child to pick their favorite foods for at least a week. I spoil them as rotten as I can and as much as they will allow.

So today that’s me.^ In disbelief. Spinning. Shocked..

If I could give some advice to all my friends who are still lucky enough to have those tiny voices and tiny hands at home it would be to slow it down. To not wish it away. Though I know there are days that you feel drag on forever, realize that they, too will be gone before you know it.

Wondering about his future. Incredibly grateful for our past together.

And so very happy that he came into my life. (*not pictured)

The Sort of Hope Who Has Time

Hooray for 2013.

I’m beyond excited. I was invited to join a tiny little group of very talented female photographers called “365 days of learning and growing .” ¬†It was started by a woman whom I both admire and respect.

I can’t wait to learn and grow with them. I tend to be an over- editor so I know that over -editing will be an all to familiar critique for me by the end of the year. But what a great journey. What a neat way to ‘perfect one’s craft!’.

Right from the start I know that I will never make it to actually posting a photo a day, my process is too cumbersome and my health isn’t always cooperative, ¬†but I am certainly going to try. Maybe a 7 photos a week?

Today our photo was “Resolutions”. I took the literal/New Year’s ¬†way out. ¬†Not the photographic Resolution interpretation.

I can’t remember ever making a resolution but I figure now’s as good a time as any to start…

and speaking of TIME…

My resolution.

TIME. ~to appreciate it more, to forget it about it more often, to use it more wisely, to remember to cherish every moment of it that I have been given and to be thankful for it. To enjoy the TIME I get to spend doing what I enjoy, to not complain when it’s TIME I have to spend doing things I don’t love. ¬†TIME to spend doing things for others and to remember to spend TIME ¬†doing things for myself. TIME to cherish the TIME I have left.

TIME to stop worrying and TIME to just let life happen.

TIME to forgive. TIME to forget.

TIME to live. TIME to love.

TIME to hope.

TIME to stop watching the clock.

TIME

The Sort of Hope Who Lived in 2012

Bye Bye 2012

My how times have changed. Mike and I are enjoying a fabulous stir fry that I’ve prepared at home, our very quiet home and now the children are the ones who are out, and we are the ones staying in, ¬†owed in part to this cold I can’t seem to shake. But it’s no big deal, I never cared much for New Year’s Eve anyway. I feel like it’s rookie night. All the prices go up, and the people who never party go out. Not for me, thanks. Give me my pj’s and the quiet. I don’t need the noise and the crowds.

I’ll stay home and watch the recaps. Read about words we don’t want to make it to 2013.. like Yolo (eew) or fiscal cliff. I’ll lament the passing of my treasured light bulbs. I’ll thank the Myans for being wrong. I’ll say a little prayer for all of the innocent children of Sandy Hook and the other victims of terrible, senseless crimes this year ( like Mike’s young cousin Timmy, a murder victim back in Feb of 2012). I’ll continue to think about the people still rebuilding from Super Storm Sandy.

And I’ll praise women like Jennifer Livingston the news anchor who stood up to the bully who called her fat. ¬†( I blogged about that before here:¬†read on for more..) I’ll be thankful that her words went viral in a matter of hours. I’ll be hopeful that perhaps just one girl will listen. Hopeful that perhaps just one self image of a fragile teen age girl will be saved. Hopeful that maybe 2013 will be the year we can knock social media bullying down a few pegs.

Hope

thank you Kevin Brett of Soul Imagery for allowing me to edit this.

And then, because a woman who has walked a mile in my shoes has finally convinced me to stop looking at all things I can’t do and instead celebrate the things I’ve done, I’ll look at what I’ve managed to be a part of in this past year.

2012.. my highlights.

I was somehow able to keep up with my tumble off champ, my All Berks/ All State Player, my Level 7 USA Gymnast who medaled many times, my HS cheerleader/2 time tumble off champ, another NHS member, My Summer Love- (Schuylkill Berks Legion League Berks Co Div Champs )~oh what a season~! , a 2 x Tourny Winning 18Y Berkshire Showcase Team, a permitted driver to a licensed driver. Natalia turned 14 Nick turned 16. Seems impossible. What am I forgetting?

On my birthday I said good bye to the family Jeepster. Jeepster had been a part of our family for nearly a decade. I have yet to replace it.

In 2012 I personally loved a few and lost a few – {my ball buddy ~ “you know what I mean?” }, ¬†flew to South Dakota for my first vacation in years, spent 7 whole days with the James Gang & saw my brother get married. Was able to once again participate in Cups of Compassion and feel what it really means to give of one’s self.

Sadly, I’m still learning that no matter what you think, no one or anything is ever truly as it seems and that people can still manage to surprise you even after 40.

I’m thankful for the chances I was given to share my talents this year. I’m so grateful for those who shared theirs with me.

This year I survived another 7 day inpatient coma and 5 outpatient treatments to help control and slow the progression of my 12 year battle with fully body/ internal RSD.

Oh and I started “allsortsofhope.com”.

As far as this life I lead, well, I owe so much of it to you, my friends who helped to keep me in this game called life yet again.

I am grateful for my new audience and as always, treasure my old one.

13 is my lucky number. I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a great year.

Stick around, won’t you?

newyearsresolution

The Sort of Hope that “Says Watt?”

out of ideas

out of ideas

Remember.. effective 2013 we will stop selling the 75 watt light bulb as we know it.

2014 will see the end of all other traditional light bulbs as well.

Fluorescent-socialism

How will we ever know when someone has an idea again? 

 

(~better grab your share lest you run out of ideas!)

The Sort of Hope Who Has A Snow Angel

“When it snows, you have two choices, shovel or make snow angels” ~ unknown.

look which we picked!

 

The Jolly Sort of Hope pt 1.

Ever since I started dating my husband, the last Sunday before Christmas was always one of my favorite days. His mom and step father host a party that is filled with family and food and children. Santa even comes to personally give all the little children their “early drop-offs.” Everyone gets a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wish for and/or have their photo taken. For as long as I have been married ( 16years) there has never ever been a shortage of small children in this family. They are the joy of Christmas for me. How wonderful it must feel to be able to host such an event! Sadly this year, for the first time in my life with my husband, I couldn’t even make it to the end of the night. Thank you RSD.

Normally we arrive way before everyone else and stay way past everyone else. It’s time we don’t often get to spend with some of the people at the party. Plus I always felt like I needed to help my MIL as much as I or my family could that day. It’s a huge undertaking for one person. But I’m sure worth every moment once you see the smiles on the children’s faces as they see Santa come down the stairs. Last year I positioned myself perfectly to take pictures of just that. The little children as Santa arrived. Sheer Christmas magic!!

This year I photographed the event with my broken 18-105mm lens. The focus doesn’t always focus and the zoom doesn’t always zoom. ¬†Challenging at best. Like many of my mentors, I don’t shoot with flash. Indoor lighting and I are not the best of friends. That being said, I’m not too terribly disappointed with the results. It can sometimes be like a mini press conference when the children hop on Santa’s lap. But I did get most of the kids as they sat on the guy in the red suit’s lap. Some didn’t stay long enough for my fickle lens. Some did. Some families looked at other people who said “say Cheese” and ¬†sadly you can’t go back and get a do-over.

So as my BFF has been heard to say to her 2 boys ” you get what you get and you don’t get upset.” ~ In any event, I hope no one get’s upset. My in law’s Christmas party never fails to help make me jolly. Holidays are about families and love.

Merry (after) Christmas!

The Sort of Hope Who Should

I should be shopping. I should be wrapping. I should be writing Thank You notes. I should be talking to my brother. I should be petting my dog. I should brush the cat. I should strip the beds. ( oh their embarrassment!) I should dust. I should be scrubbing the shower. I should phone a friend. I should take out the trash. I should sort the mail. I should be baking Christmas Cookies. I should be editing photos. I should be putting laundry away. I should be *doing* laundry. 

I should not be writing a blog. 

I should figure out why this is typing in blue…. ¬†stockingswerehungIf memory serves, my younger sister Rachel emailed that cartoon to me back before I even had a fb acct. ( now that’s a long time ago.) It ¬†just never gets old for me. Must be the balls ūüėČ

Though my most recent photo session with Kevin of Soul Imagery looks more New Year’s Eve than Christmas, I still felt like sharing it with my favorite Christmas cartoon. I get so excited when I see his name on my messenger list. That part feels a bit like Christmas. I love to see the results of our work together. ¬†Just got 2 more photos back from the day we spent at Adrienne’s Inn at Center Park. Still hoping to get to shoot there again~hopefully while I still have these long locks!

Hope” But if you’re thinking

about my baby,

it don’t matter

if you’re

black or white    ~ Black or White, Michael Jackson

Hope

I should go to bed. ūüėČ

http://soulimagery.zenfolio.com/portraits/h4f081874#h4f081874

The Sort of Hope Who Helped Make Spirits Bright

Hello Blog world friends

I haven’t been able to blog much since the happenings in Newton CT last week. Haven’t been myself. Haven’t felt joy, or love, or even much ¬†‘hope’. Until just these past few days.

However, I’m beginning to feel ¬†a tad bit better. I’ve witnessed at least 4 things that I’ve found noteworthy that have helped to change my opinion of our world. Things that I felt were worth sharing.

  • Unbeknownst to me, I had a high school classmate who teaches in that very school district. Her name is Bonny. After the tragedy, Bonny began something called “The Snowflake Project”. She posted on FB that she wanted all of her friends help in making snowflakes to hang in the hallways of the new school (which was an old, no longer used school) where all the children would now be attending. ¬†Thanks to the power of social media, Bonny’s project took on a life of it’s own. Everyone shared her status, myself included. My friends who don’t even know Bonny went on to share and act on Bonny’s project! It went completely viral. We were even making snowflakes here in the elementary school in little Oley, PA.

That made me feel a little bit better. Gave me a little hope back.

  • I have a younger cousin who lives in all the way in CA. She had twins a couple of years ag0- one of each flavor.( I was so jealous! )She is also a lawyer who is married to a banker. Very successful. So proud of her. ¬†She is my Godmother’s daughter. My Godmother was a wonderful woman who was taken from this Earth far before her time. She sent me an incredibly generous gift. A new lens. It’s a size that I had but it functions better than mine *and* it does Macro. It’s smarter than me right now, but have no fear, I’ll get there. When I sat down to edit some photos I took yesterday, I had to do little to no post processing. It was amazing- what a hand saver!! But what meant more to me than her benevolence, was the letter that she also sent to me. Her words. I actually contemplated sharing them, but just couldn’t. They are too personal for me. Too special. But I hope she knows how very much they will always mean to me.

More hope restored. People who do things for no reason.

  • Then for the second year in a row now, I was lucky enough to be involved in something called “The Cups of Compassion”¬†in downtown Reading, PA.An event that feeds the needy, the homeless in our area.

Got involved with it last year through Nick’s baseball organization. Due to a rainy fall season, and one fall snow-out, we had a bunch of left over food that we decided needed to be donated somewhere. Long story short- we found the somewhere.

I submit to you the letter that the President of Berkshire Baseball wrote which summed up yesterday so beautifully I couldn’t even begin to write another myself:

So today was my Christmas Day, my wife sometimes tells me that I am a scrooge, but that really isn’t a true statement. I really do love Christmas, I just hate the commercialization of Christmas that we experience in 2012 and really for most of my lifetime.¬†Christmas isn’t about trees and lights and presents and gift cards and crazy crowds at the mall fighting over the latest video game or camping out to buy a $180 pair of sneakers.Christmas is about peace, love and joy. Christmas is about true giving. Not the giving of material things, but the giving of real things. Giving a hug. Giving a smile. Giving your time. Giving a meal. Giving to those in need. Giving because you as the “giver” receives as much joy from seeing the true joy that your gift brought to someone else. Whether that someone is a friend or stranger, you can touch someone’s life without running up your credit card debt.Today I was honored to be part of a community that has been labeled as the “poorest in the U.S.” and if a stranger stopped at 5th & Penn today, they would have sworn that we were the richest city in the union. There was no wrapping paper, no gift receipts, no disappointment in what we received. There was no pushing in line, there was no complaining.What there was, was love, joy, peace and giving. There were hugs, there were smiles, there was spirit. There was patience and understanding. There were burgers and dogs and soups and fresh fruit and cookies and coffee and hot cocoa and blankets and hats and even ice cream. There was black and there was white and there was music and it all blended together to make a perfect harmony and a beautiful sound.For about four hours today in this great city, we were all one. The size of our bank account didn’t matter, what we drove didn’t matter, the size of our house didn’t matter, the color of our skin didn’t matter.The only thing that mattered was that we were all there, together. Helping each other with what we had to share. Some gave time, some gave food, some gave money, some gave talents and all gave smiles.For two years in a row now, the true spirit of Christmas came to this city. For two years in a row, I have been able to celebrate my style of Christmas.I am humbled and grateful to be a small part of a great event with such wonderful and caring people.I showed up this morning to give what I could and again walked away this afternoon feeling as though I had received.Thank you to everyone who helped again to make “Cups of Compassion” reflect the true spirit of this city and this season. ~ Dan Clouser, President Berkshire Baseball

I am so lucky to be a part of an organization like Berkshire Baseball that fosters an environment of  compassion and community spirit. More hope restored. People who do things just because.

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And finally,

  • Today at work, an elderly lady was telling me when she checked out that she couldn’t keep her next few appts to get her hair shampooed and set because she was behind in her doctor bills. She went on to explain that her insurance didn’t cover regular doctor visits and it cost her $200 every time she got checked. She wanted to make her appointments just for a set ( which is cheaper). We talked for a while longer. I listened and I als0 told her I understood completely because of my condition and the treatments I am currently undergoing. When she left, I shared her story with my boss. Without hesitation my boss said we were going to make her regular appointments happen for her even though she can’t afford them. In fact, she said, we were going to take it one step further and send her a Christmas Card informing her that she had won our drawing for 6 months of free shampoos and sets!

We are just a small salon. Things like that can’t be easy for my boss to decide to do. But she does. All the time. Without hesitation. And she never turns anyone away it seems. I am so lucky to be a part of that environment. More hope restored. People who do things just because. Difference makers.

~”why can’t every day be like Christmas?”

my apologies.. I’m getting past my limit physically right now and sometimes my mind struggles with coherent thoughts when my physical self reaches it’s max. It’s a constant battle between what I want to do and what I can do. ūüė¶

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=438336