Tuesday, September 25, 2012

She's "21"

When your children hit certain milestones, one often wonders where the time disappeared to.  With Ari's 21st birthday, there was no exception.  I'm amazed how fast we have come to this time in our lives and sometimes wish I could push a magic button and stop time.  She's a special young lady, with a heart for God, and compassion for people.  We spent the weekend visiting with her and her husband, Anthony, and Beki.  The weekend really didn't go as planned, life rarely goes as planned!  But, regardless, we had a nice dinner downtown at the Springfield Brewing Co. Restaurant to celebrate. 
 

 
 

 
 
 
Do you ever feel like you could just be swallowed up in sadness?
I miss my girls so much, things just aren't the same without them around.    You know what's the hardest,  it's missing out on the everyday things...
hearing their daily stories, talking and laughing together, just knowing if they are ok or not.
 
Sometimes I feel like I'm just sitting in a dark room waiting for little glimpses of light.  Waiting for a note or call that says...
 
"Hey, you're not forgotten." 
 
 

Our Hope


Little did I know how I would be tested when I said I was learning to let go a couple weeks ago.  My world has been turned upside down and letting go is all I can do.  I went out this morning with Frosty to find storm clouds on the horizon and thought about the storm brewing in my life and how fitting to see that view at that moment.  Like a distant storm, I don't know what's coming, I can't see how bad it will get. 
 
I headed back upstairs thinking it would be a dark and ugly day, but when I reached the apartment, there was a glow in the windows.  So, I opened the blinds to find the sun peaking through a hole in the clouds, and, there it was right in front of me. 
 
God's promise...
 
My hope. 
 
I'm in the heart of the city, surrounded by tall buildings, so I grabbed my camera went back outside to try to find the rainbow that I knew had to be there somewhere.  Well, it stopped raining and I couldn't find it, but I know it was there. 
 
Isn't that like God, we can't see Him, but we know He's there?  He will be there through our storms. I asked for strength to get through another day...and He provided.

Psalm 46:10  Be still and know that I am God.

I don't have to do anything...stop reacting, trying to control it, trying to fix it.  Just Be Still! 
 
He's our rainbow...
 
Our promise that all will be well.

Hebrews 11:1   Now faith is confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we do not see.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Race Day

Saturday was the 40th annual Forest Park Balloon Race.  John and I spent most of the day over there watching them prep and photographing the race.  The weather was good, just wish we had blue skies.  It's a hare and hound race, so they release the energizer bunny first as the hare, then the rest of the balloons try to chase it down.  They throw beanbags from above to see who comes the closest to the hare!  Before the race, they had a show of skydivers. 
 
 




 








 



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Year of Change

It's been an incredibly eventful year so far this year.  With one daughter getting married and the other graduating from high school and leaving for college, this momma isn't quite sure what to do with herself.  Empty-nest syndrome....big time!  On top of all that, we sold our home of seven years and are in the process of purchasing a new home.  I have no option but to adapt, deal with the emotions and move on.  So, to help me deal with all of these feelings, I usually find that I pour myself into something creative.  Here is a look at what I've been up to recently.












Touched


Spent some time at our local Botanical Garden yesterday to get in some of the last few blooms of the season. They are fading fast, but hopefully to be replaced by some fall colors soon.
 
Thought I'd try something new and give a quick tutorial on how to create the effect on this photo.

Touched

 
I use Photoshop CS5 to create all my textured photos.  First I bring my RAW files into Adobe Camera Raw and adjust for exposure, contrast, and sharpness.  Opening the file into Photoshop, I then add my textures.  In the above photo, I added a bokeh layer set to Screen at 78% opacity and then a second texture layer by Distressed Jewel set to Soft Light at 58% opacity.  I then ran an action from Paint the Moon's Photoshop Elements Set, Fresh Wonderland, called Candy Light Pop adjusting layers to desired look.  If you'd like more information on using textures and actions, visit Rita at The Coffeeshop Blog.  She's got awesome tutorials, as well, as lots of freebies. 
 
To download your free bokeh layer, visit here.  I'd love to see what you create, send a photo to Facebook.  While there, please like our page.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Forest Park Balloon Glow

The pictures kind of speak for themselves...it was pretty awesome!  What a feeling walking amongst these giant balloons.  At set intervals, a horn is sounded and at that time, they all light up.  Well, most of them at the same time.  It turned out to be a great night with cooler temps and a beautiful sunset, too.  It was great being down here living only a block away, an easy walk to Forest Park.
 















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