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Thursday, July 14, 2016

July Update: "The summer night is like a perfection of thought." ~Wallace Stevens

As I stated back in January, my "mantra" for 2016 is this: 

"I want to become a woman who overcomes obstacles by tackling them in faith instead of tiptoeing around them in fear."

My goal is to face the following obstacles with faith and not fear as often as possible:

Cooking. I am, in many ways, getting better at creating meals for myself and my family instead of depending upon restaurants, but as I travel in the summer that drive-thru is so tempting! Hopefully, I can get back on track. 

Watching. Mom and I are still enjoying "Grace and Frankie" on Netflix. It's so good! We have two more episodes to watch of the current season and then it's the waiting game. I have also been sharing more of my favorite "kid/teen" movies with Karlene this summer now that she is older. She enjoyed "The Sandlot" quite a bit! 

Reading. I have faithfully committed myself to reading more this year and it is paying off. I finished the following books over the past few weeks! (Granted, one is mainly photographs, but it was still nice!)

Finishing. Karlene and I finally finished cleaning, sorting, purging, re-arranging, and more in her room. I even painted her table for her reading/iPad nook and the pretty "K" letter I have had sitting in my garage for over a year now. It's interesting to see her room evolve into more of a place for a "pre-teen" than a small child. Now, the bad news... she needs a new ceiling fan! The other one is kaput! 
Uplifting. I admit that in 2015 several of my goals were directed towards myself. In 2016, I've planned to faithfully take the time to uplift others on a regular basis. Here are two examples that are coming up fast. I have somehow worked myself into helping with Youth Group at my church, and assisting in the planning and hosting of a Journalism Summit here in Franklin County. 

PS Need a flyer designed? I think I am getting better at it! 

I have also been working hard at thanking those who go out of their way for me. I did so recently in a blog post for BJJTV and was so excited about the results. Give love, get love. It's so true. 

Here's the link to my blog post/open letter: 

Expanding. I have been a teacher for a long time, but I know there's areas I have to improve upon. Networking is one such area. As seen above, I reached out to network with a local college professor after reading about the importance of networking in education. 

I also decided to reach out to a local group "Buddies Not Bullies" to help them develop a Video PSA Contest for this fall. Not only will it help spread the word about their organization, but it will help spread the word about bullying. This is another topic I have expanded my knowledge about. 
Networking is a little new to me. Working over a meal with someone over a project that will benefit kids is pretty exciting. It's very unlike my rushed lunch period at school. I am happy I am more open to networking with other people than ever. 

Now, let's look at some recent happenings in my life... I have work in the current Soulard Art Gallery show "Wide Open." I hope you get a chance to go see it: 
I was able to enjoy one day in a pool with my friends Charles, Krista, and their baby Grace. Oh, and this rather loud frog:
I have connected with the River Hills Traveler (see link: RIVER HILLS TRAVELER) and had an article published. I am so excited. It's on actual PAPER: 
I love how this photo collage blanket came out. My cousin and I had it made for my Grandma's birthday. She's not a fan of hanging things on her walls, so we thought it was the perfect gift. Then, she surprised us and had it hung on her wall. Ha! Gotta love it:
On a very recent trip to Florida, my daughter and I had a great time with a cat that decided he liked us. We named the kitty "Howie" and it really added a fun layer to the adventure:

I loved seeing how a client used her engagement photos. What beautiful centerpieces for her bridal shower! I am excited for Kate and Wally's big day. Even though I am not a wedding photographer, I do love engagement sessions:
Until next time, I am going to leave you with some images from Florida taken over the first week of July 2016:

~ Michelle of MK Designs