Monday, July 27, 2015

Best Shot Monday: Birthday Celebration


My girls celebrated their 12th birthday this weekend with three friends each. Party started at 2:30pm on Saturday and the last one went home at Noon on Sunday. I was ready for bed by 1pm on Sunday. :-) The photo above is the full group on our dock.


Since they started middle school this past year, this was the first year they had zero classes together ... which meant two entirely different groups of friends! Above is Sarah with the three friends she invited. I saw them sitting there and couldn't resist this shot.


Above is Livvie with the three friends she invited. Molly was happy to join the group!


And lastly, the whole group with their feet in the water. This was a little bittersweet for me, and though they never admitted it, I'm guessing a little bittersweet for my girls too. Though we'll still be coming home for summers and as many weekends as we can, we move to Tallahassee in two weeks. The next adventure will bring a whole new set of friends, but thankfully, with social media and the internet being the way it is today, my girls will have a much easier time keeping up with their Jacksonville friends than I did when I moved several times as a kid!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

2015 Documented Life Project: Week 15

Documented Life Project - Week 15

Week 15's challenge (April 11) was to use acrylics with the journal prompt "cry me a river." I haven't been paying much attention to the journal prompts, but this one fit serendipitously! (Serendipity is my favorite word and I so rarely get to use it!)  When I look at it from a distance, the "river" seems to appear in the hair. I started out with a piece of deli paper that I had printed some stencil shapes on (the purple on the left) and then grabbed the face stencil and used a makeup sponge to stencil the face the pale yellow color. I used my fingers to "paint" the river of hair. I'm sure those of you who've seen pictures of my girls will notice the resemblance. :-) I used a Stabilo pencil to outline the face and journaled my week on the right.

This was the week of my first Council of Athletic Affairs Executive Board meeting. Great group of guys! We met down at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills. I was on the fourth floor of the Inn, and there was an osprey nest at my eye level about 30 feet of my balcony.  It was quite a treat!

Documented Life Project - Week 15

With another little bit of serendipity, I'm posting this while listening to my girls playing and singing with their friends. There are currently eight 12-year-olds in my house celebrating my girls' birthday!  Seems perfectly fitting that this page features a beautiful redhead. See more of my 2015 Documented Life Project posts here, and check out the whole project and everything else the Art to the 5th gals have to offer here.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

2015 Documented Life Project: Week 14

Documented Life Project - Week 14

Week 14's challenge for the Documented Life Project was watercolors. I've never used watercolor paints, just watercolor crayons and watercolor pencils. Here I incorporated my watercolors by laying down a background using my Neocolor watercolor crayons. They are very fun to use. From there I just went to town adding splotches of paint, a little stamping and stenciling and some collage and pen work.

I journaled my week on a little tip in card. I was in Tallahassee just about all week this week as it was the week of our annual state Student Government Rally in Tally as well as the April Council of Presidents (COP) meeting. (The COP is comprised of all the state college presidents in Florida.) Busy week for me! I was asked to speak at the Student Government awards banquet, and it's funny how I can speak in front of that group of nearly 400 without the least bit of nerves and perfect diction, but when I gave my monthly report to the COP the next morning, a group of 28, I felt like the nerves kicked in and I stumbled over my words! I shared that with my dearest friend on the COP, Dr. Chuck Hall, and he had the perfect explanation: the Student Government group has been my family for 20 years; it'll just take a little while for the COP group to feel like family!

Documented Life Project - Week 14

See more of my 2015 Documented Life Project posts here, and check out the whole project and everything else the Art to the 5th gals have to offer here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

2015 Documented Life Project: Week 13

Documented Life Project - Week 13

Wow! I can't believe I haven't posted any Documented Life Project pages since the last week in April! Eeek! I've been steadily working (though I wouldn't exactly say I'm caught up...), but I just haven't had time to photograph my pages. Catching up on that over these next two weeks! This was Week 13, the week of March 28. The challenge was "use a custom element." I just love stars, so I drew several stars on some scrapbook paper I had nearby and incorporated them onto some painted under papers. Wow, this week marked my first few days in our house in Tallahassee. I was so lonely in that house that week.  Funny now to look back all these weeks later...and we still aren't completely moved!

See more of my 2015 Documented Life Project posts here, and check out the whole project and everything else the Art to the 5th gals have to offer here.

Documented Life Project - Week 13

Monday, July 20, 2015

Best Shot Monday: Mikey and Another MEGA


This past weekend, First Coast No More Homeless Pets held another of our MEGA Adoption Events. These quarterly events have the goal of finding 1,000 cats, dogs, kittens and puppies homes in one three day span. Area shelters and rescues all come together at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds. We didn't quite hit 1,000, but 830 dogs and cats are sleeping in new homes this week. For the December MEGA, I went in early on the first day and photographed the load in. Imagine the logistical planning involved in getting hundreds of dogs and cats to one location! At the last one in April, I focused on getting one specific dog adopted, Zoe; unfortunately, I failed, but Zoe was thankfully adopted soon after MEGA.

Jennie and Mikey

This time, we were in the throes of packing for our move all weekend, so I didn't get to spend as much time helping at MEGA as I would have liked to, but after following along on Facebook Friday and Saturday, I couldn't stand it any more and went in for a few hours on Sunday. This sweet boy is Mikey. I photographed him at my last photo session and learned he is a ball dog extraordinaire. We played ball last Sunday for a good 30 minutes! Every time I threw the ball, he happily fetched and brought it right back to me to throw again. He's a ball catching superstar. I was sad to see that he hadn't gotten adopted yet when I arrived yesterday morning, so I took him out and spent some time with him. After helping one dog get adopted, Donald, I walked quite a few others and saw that Jennie was taking Mikey back out so I walked out and captured these shots of him. He just looks so stinkin' happy, waiting to catch his ball. Mikey didn't get adopted this weekend, but I do have some good news for him.  He went to the TAILS program! I can't wait to hear his TAILS success stories. (Read more about TAILS here.)

Mikey catch

All MEGAs are both physically and emotionally draining, but this one was particularly bittersweet for me. While I was sitting on the floor with Donald waiting for his family to complete their paperwork, our shelter manager Jen mentioned my impending move, but she said she also felt certain she'd see me at least four times a year to come back over and help for MEGA. I certainly plan to pop back into the shelter for more than just the quarterly MEGA events though. As I shared in this post, this shelter has most definitely grabbed a hold of my heart for the long run. We "officially" move the weekend of August 7, but I'm hoping I can squeeze in at least one more visit to the shelter before we go.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Best Shot Monday: Meet Sally

Meet Sally! This sweet little girl stole my heart during my Sunday photo session. She's listed as a two year old Chow, but there's lots of other stuff mixed in there. She's smaller than most Chows, and her tongue is not as dark. But good Lord is she a little love bug. She was so well behaved when I took her out of her kennel and walked her. Since she's currently being treated for heart worms, she had to remain on leash, but she walked around like such a little lady. When I squatted down to pet her, she crawled right up in my lap and stayed there as long as I squatted. Let me tell you my thighs got a nice work out! What a little lover.

Sally is available for adoption at Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services, 2020 Forest Street, 10am-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday. And don't forget our next MEGA Adoption Event this is weekend, July 17-19, at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds. We'll join forces with First Coast No More Homeless Pets, the Jacksonville Humane Society and dozens of other area rescues to find homes for more than 1,000 cats and dogs. Your new best friend is waiting for you!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Gratitude: A Week in the Life

We split this week between Tallahassee and Jacksonville, and it really was a tale of two cities! We took the dogs with us to Tallahassee this time, their first visit to our Tallahassee house. Isabelle did fine, though at first she was not very happy with the location of her crate, which she loves in Jacksonville. Molly, on the other hand, refused to have anything to do with anything! Poor girl wouldn't even eat! She just stayed in her crate and hid. By the end of the third day, she finally ventured out into the yard on her own, even if just for a few moments. Hopefully, once we are settled over there, they'll both adjust a little more quickly.

Mermaid Trio

On the east end of the state, the part of our week in Jacksonville was lovely, particularly Saturday and Sunday. Though I lost half the day Saturday to a garage sale that totally bombed (I should have remembered that the last time I had a garage sale, it also totally bombed and I asked Benny to remind me never to do it again), the rest of the day Saturday and much of the day Sunday (after a much overdue visit to the shelter for some photos!) was spent on the river. We had both manatee and sea turtle visitors this weekend. The manatee just lumbered on by so I wasn't able to get a picture of him, but the turtle hung out for quite a while, both Saturday and Sunday, munching down on the algae growing on our floater. We've named him Squirt.


The girls also had their good friend Hailey spend most of the weekend with them as well. Good times on the river. Hard to imagine we'll be moving in about three weeks and then won't be able to see this every day. I picture a lot of weekend trips home in our future.