Being home for the holidays means I get to go in and volunteer at my "home" shelter, Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services. This is where I first fell in love with photographing shelter dogs about five years ago. Since then, I've photographed more than 1,500 animals, and I still love it every single visit.
Missy is one of our long-timers, having been at the shelter since early May. We were so hopeful her people would find her before Christmas, but she's still waiting. We're hoping for a New Year New Forever Home now! She's a very sweet, very smart girl. She's just an older gal who needs to be your one and only four-legged pal. Say a prayer she's home sweet home on a nice soft bed by New Year's Day!
Merry Christmas from our little family to you! I hope that however you celebrate the holiday season that you are having a joyous, restful, peaceful, happy, festive time with family and friends. With two kids in the house, of course we were up before the sun, and after opening gifts, we got dressed and headed to our annual Christmas morning tradition of taking our dogs to the Blackrock Trail and Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island for their Christmas run on the trail and beach. We took this selfie on the trail. Blessings to you and yours!
We are home in Jacksonville for the Christmas break, and after a morning spent at the dentist for our six month checkup, we are having a dreary, lazy day afternoon. These little beauties caught my eye when I went outside with Molly and Isabelle in the misty rain. We have two pots of daisies on our back deck, and they seem to thrive on neglect! I do nothing more than pull the weeds out of the pots every now and then. Other than that, they are fully tended by Mother Nature! Happy cheery Christmas red daisies to you!
While we were home in Jacksonville for the Thanksgiving holiday, we did some yard work. This beautiful little treasure had fallen out of the ligustrum tree in the front of the yard and thankfully landed in the Japanese hawthorn shrubs below. I was so impressed by all the intricate work and detail this little bird mama put into this nest. The pieces of rope woven into it just amazed me.
After taking some pictures of it, Livvie and I placed it snugly back in the ligustrum tree in the event the mama wanted to come back and use it again. I was thinking about it last night and hoping that the recent windy storms we had didn't blow it back out of the tree where we can't find it. We're heading back home to Jacksonville this Friday for the Christmas break, so I will be searching for it. If I find it again, I think that'll be my sign that it needs to live on my bookshelf!
So how about our other nest? I guess we've settled into having two. December marks two years since I started my new role in Tallahassee, and in many ways the two years have gone by quickly. We definitely had a challenging year over this past year with my husband's heart attack and his recovery, but we are coming through it okay. He's actually been working at home in Jacksonville since June, so we've all been doing a lot of traveling back and forth, but again, it's been working out okay.
I think back over these two years and all the times I've wondered if this would ever feel like home. The girls are thriving in the school here, which is the main reason I agreed to take on the new role. Though they both still miss "home" as much as I do, we've all tried to feather our nest here a bit more. We finally have pictures up on all the walls, Sarah has rearranged her room at least a dozen times, and we did quite a bit of Christmas decorating this year. My sweet bonus daughter Courtney visited us here in Tallahassee just before Thanksgiving, and one of the first things she said was that the outside of the house was very pretty but it sure didn't look like us! Tallahassee's a pretty traditional town, and our neighborhood is very traditional brick. We did paint the front door a bright red, and in a jolt of rebellion and a little reminder of our forever home, we put two bright turquoise chairs on the front porch. They are the only shot of bright color in the whole neighborhood, but the HOA president hasn't come after us yet. :-)
We've been working on immersing ourselves here outside the house as well. The girls played city rec league volleyball all Fall and absolutely loved it. We lucked into an incredibly patient and encouraging coach who started them off just right, so they are raring to go next year with the same coach. I've become a regular volunteer at the shelter here, and that's helped me find some firmer ground. And also I've taken on a little bigger advisory board role with our new executive board for my college sorority, Chi Omega, giving me the opportunity to mentor a few students weekly. I've really missed regular student contact in this new job. Benny's still figuring out what he's going to do for work when he comes back over here with us after the Christmas break (he most definitely was NOT ready to retire...), so we'll see where that takes him.
So there you have it. We're still trying to fully catch our bearings in the wind, but our wings are working and our nest is starting to feel pretty strong. While I don't think it will ever fully feel like Home with a capital H, it's working out just fine as "home for now." What's happening in your little nest?
Hello there! I can't believe it's been more than a month since I've stopped in here! Things have been on overwhelm lately, and that's contributed to my lack of presence here. I will be making some changes in the new year to be more present! For now, I'm having a Holiday Clearance Sale in both of my Etsy shops! Yep, a clearance sale BEFORE the holidays so you can take advantage of it for your holiday shopping instead of after the holidays! All items in both my Etsy shops (jewelry and photography) are marked down 40%, no coupon needed. I hope you'll take the opportunity to hop over there and take advantage of some great sales for gifts or a little something for yourself. And if you're looking for a gift for those hard-to-shop-for men in your life, I have two large series of vintage and antique cars and trucks in my photography shop! Have a wonderful holiday season!