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Pandora strikes Lily-Ann mute!

Okay, so y’all are probably getting sick of me mentioning the Goddess Girls series…  well…  too bad!  LOL  Today the challenge was to photograph something that I’m reading, and that’s what I’m reading.  Book nine:  Pandora the Curious.

Our copy of Pandora the Curious by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub.

Our copy of Pandora the Curious by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub.

Usually we’ve been inside the heads of the popular girls, but the last couple of books have taken us inside a couple of secondary characters (the girl and I ADORED Medusa the Mean).  Pandora, along with Medusa and Pheme are the anti-heroines to the cool clique of Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite and Persephone.  So it’s kinda fun to get to see inside their lives.

This book, in particular, is awfully special to Lily-Ann.  The first time she saw it she was actually rendered speechless for the first time in her five and a half years…  well…  since she uttered her first word (which happened to be “woof”) at three months of age anyway.  😉  What exactly caused her awestruck silence?  Take a peek:

There she is, the first name on the third line...  Lily-Ann S.

There she is, the first name on the third line… Lily-Ann S.

Kid kid managed to keep her wits about her when she saw that it was an autographed copy (she has a couple other autographed books too)…  but seeing her name actually inside the book?  Her jaw dropped and her eyes nearly bugged out of her head.  She just stood there and stared at it for several seconds, completely mute.  It was pretty amazing.

Lily-Ann LOVED the little heart.  :)

Lily-Ann LOVED the little heart. 🙂

So, that’s what we’re reading right now.  And I imagine we’ll keep on reading the Goddess Girls books for as long as Joan and Suzanne keep writing them.  I do have to admit…  I really look forward to the day that kid kid goes back on her own to read #1 all by herself.

You can keep up with Joan and Suzanne at the following addresses:  www.joanholub.com   www.suzannewilliams.com

Lily-Ann (hat hair and all) proudly showing off her Goddess Girls books.

Lily-Ann (hat hair and all) proudly showing off her Goddess Girls books.

 

Suzanne and Joan thank you so much!  You’ve given the girl and I many wonderful memories and are helping to build a love of books in a new generation – and that is something that deserves much appreciation.

Join me tomorrow as I share a little “happiness”:

photo a day challenge for january

Thank you for three wonderful Augusts!

After being out of our ordinary routine for so long, the routine is hardly routine any longer.  Getting used to bedtimes the way they were before heading out to the lake will take a little while again.  In fact, my brain is more than a little fried tonight.  It’s one of those days where there is SOOO much I could be sharing (especially after a week of silence) that it’s hard to get myself centered enough to write much of anything.  So how about this?  How about a thank you!

I was looking at my blog stats earlier today.  Cringing and preparing myself for the worst.  After all, a week with no new posts to help drive traffic?  I didn’t expect much.  And while yes, my daily traffic did take a bit of a nose dive, my month still ended up pretty good.  Which made me think back on all the years I’ve been blogging now…  and how crazy it is that so many of you stop in to check on what our family is doing, what I’m ranting about, or to find a new diy idea.  It really is a little staggering, and I appreciate each and every one of you.  I truly do.

By the end of August 2010, I had just finished up my 8th month of blogging.  And my traffic for the month stood at 263 hits.  My blog was a personal challenge, so I was thrilled that there were so many people who came by to check on my photo of the day.

In 2011 I changed the focus from a photo a day to a post a day…  which opened things up a great deal for me.  I still shared a great deal of images, but I also began sharing my thoughts and feelings too.  August of 2o11 this blog saw 978 hits.

Now it’s 2012, and I’m in my third year of blogging.  I write on a number of topics (some of which are fairly “hot button”), and I’ve switched to six posts a week, taking Fridays off.  I share photo shoot previews, and personal snapshots too.  But in all things, you can count on me to be open and honest.  I don’t think there are really any topics I won’t discuss.  If it’s important to me, I’ll share… and yes, sometimes that includes things that are seriously TMI.  And this year?  In August we had a total of 1910 hits (in spite of a serious drop in traffic the last week).

Are those numbers staggering?  Maybe not to some.  But to this crunchy momma who started this journey as a photo a day challenge to herself, not expecting anyone to really follow along?  Yeah, those numbers are pretty darn amazing.

Thank you!  Thank you for your “follows”, your “likes”, your “comments”, your “shares”, your “tweets”, your “pins”, and mostly?  Thank you for coming along with me.  Life is many things, but it’s rarely easy…  and it’s nice to know that there are others along for the ride.

Here’s to another year, and many more wonderful Augusts!

600

So…

Post number 600.

I’ve been blogging here for a couple years now, almost daily (generally not on Fridays).  600 posts though, that seems like a lot.  Granted I don’t always have something interesting to say.  I’ve posted ridiculous things like a snapshot of our refillable slurpee cups at 7-11.  But I think I’ve also covered a lot of serious issues too.  Generally, I’m happy to log on after putting the girl to sleep, and just share whatever happens to be on my mind…  and, as I’ve mentioned, sometimes there’s not a lot there.  😉

My point?  Well…  I just wanted to say thank you.  Thanks for sticking through it with me.  Thanks for the “likes”, for the stars, for the comments…  thanks for the love.  🙂

600

It’s been a ride!  (and no, I’m not going anywhere…  just feeling kinda pensive about the whole thing)  LMAO

 

Thank you Yolanda!

The wee girlie loves her new pool, and here she is to say “Thanks”.  😀

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150248628527353

Being nice goes a long way…

Trust me!  Being thoughtful, and nice to your photographer goes a really long way.

We don’t expect it.

We deal with so many folks who treat us like it’s an inconvenience for them to have to deal with us, like we are taking their time away from so many more worthwhile things they could be doing.  After all, we’re just “the help“.

Forget that we are the expert aforementioned clients had to search out and hire for said expertise…  because… well…  that apparently makes no difference.  😉

So when you are not only polite and friendly, but actually do something kind and generous – like bringing along cool drinks not just for yourselves but for us too?  It honestly knocks us on our butts and just makes us want to create all the more spectacular images for you.  LOL  So yeah!  Be nice.  🙂  It goes a long way.

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And a big thank you to this evenings clients, Jen and Martin, for inspiring this blog post with their lovely (and refreshingly cool) gesture.  🙂  It was very much appreciated.

A bit of a RAK mystery.

It has now happened twice this week (so I guess it’s not so “random” an act of kindness).  Someone has left little “gifts” for us either in our mailbox, or next to our front step.  It’s never anything big…  just dollar store finds.   Things like a toy dinosaur, hair elastics, dog bowls or dog toys.  But all unexpected and generous.  The mystery lies in the fact that this individual has done so both times without leaving a note or any clue to their identity.

The first time it happened, we thought we must have missed a visit from a family member.  That perhaps they’d stopped by unexpectedly to see the girlie, and when we weren’t home they decided to just leave the things they’d brought in the mailbox.  But when no-one stepped up to say “it was me”…  well…  now we’re not so sure.

Whomever has left these sweet little treasures can be sure they’ve been received with gratitude.  Truly a sweet surprise both times.  All the items will be used (many have already) and we will think of your generosity every time we see them.  Thank you!

 

Being that it’s Father’s Day…

I figured I’d try to keep on topic.  But I’m also going to try to be brief.  After working 13+ hour days from Friday through Saturday, and then being busy today too… well…  I’m wiped right out.

Today (after a photo shoot at the U of S) we headed to my parents place to celebrate Father’s day with my husband and my Dad.  It was a pleasant surprise to find my Grampa there too.  As I shared pictures of our puppies (who are now four weeks old) I realized that this might be the perfect opportunity to share the blog post I made in his honour.  So I did just that.

I tried not to spy, as Grampa read through my words.  But I noticed him tearing up, pulling out his old cloth hanky to wipe his eyes and quietly blow his nose.  Afterwards he took the laptop in to Grandma Joan (who was sitting in the other room playing a game on the Wii with my parents and siblings) so she could read it too.

Grampa came back into the kitchen, where I was sitting, and relayed a few memories from some of our camping trips when I was a wee thing.  I’m glad he got the chance to read it.  And of all the days he could have read it on, I’m glad it was today.

Grampa gave me an extra tight squeeze, and a kiss on the cheek when he left.  And Grandma Joan said she thought that it was a lovely thing I’d written about him.  It was a good Fathers Day.  🙂

Haven’t read my post about my Grampa?  Head on over HERE to do so.

So, here’s my thank you.  To my Dad, to my Grampa, to all the men out there who love, nurture, protect and respect their children.  Who give us the space we need to grow, but the guidance to do so safely.  Who are steadfast, true, and ever present – even when we (in the moment) may wish they weren’t.  Who hold us tightly in their hearts, and in their arms too.  To all of you, THANK YOU!  We wouldn’t be who we are without you.  You are appreciated, and what you do matters.  Happy Father’s Day!

The Golden Pen Awards and the MomWriters Anniversary!

Every year, throughout May, I celebrate an amazing group of Women writers.  They are strong, creative, talented, giving, hard working, incredible people – and I am proud to call them my friends.  They are the MomWriters.

I can’t recall how long I’ve been one of them, but it’s as long as I can remember…  before I was mature enough to really be considered an adult, before I really knew who I even was.  They’ve seen me through many, many trials, and they’ve celebrated with me through many triumphs too.  The MomWriters are an incredibly important part of my life.

I started writing out names here – but got to 30 and had to stop…  there were still so many to go, and well…  I’d feel awful if I forgot someone.  LOL  So better to just say “YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!”

Today marks the MomWriters Anniversary.  The culmination of a month full of celebration, and remembrances.  We have a virtual ball.  We all choose our dresses (and yes, we call all fit into whatever size we wish, and take whatever dates we like – it is virtual after all).  So here is my dress:  http://www.simplydresses.com/shop/viewitem-PD675659  And I’ll wear it in MY size.  I’m a 15, but am comfortable in my skin.  And definitely in the coral, it’s my very best colour.  😉  And girls?  This year, I’m leaving my date at home.  It would have been my husband or Orlando Bloom – but I’m feeling like a grrrlz night is in order.  And I’m going barefoot!

The Golden Pen Awards are always organized by our dear Carma – the true heart and soul of MomWriters – and she tallies our votes on this day every year.  I’ve won a few over the years (but always in one category, the John Hancock award).  This year though, not only was the award a surprise, but so too was the nomination.  Still don’t know who actually nominated me – speak up if it was you.  I’d like to give you a big squeeze to say thank you!  So, this year?  A huge surprise to win the Debate Diva award “for the Momwriter who loves to debate issues — any issues — but does so in a kind manner”.  Thank you ladies (and gents, because we do have a couple of gents in our little group), this means a lot.  🙂

When I told my husband that I won the Debate Diva Award for this year, he laughed and said “no shock there”.  LOL  But it was a shock, a really wonderful one.  It really was.  I didn’t even campaign for this win.  LMAO

Congratulations to all the Golden Pen winners, and to everyone who was nominated – you are all such amazing women.  I’m proud to be in your ranks!  And to have not yet been thrown out!  😉  Can you guys throw me out?  Maybe no-one has thought of that yet.  I better be quiet (and pay off Guido).  hehehe…

So…  before I head to the ballroom to join my wonderful incredible friends – my source of support, of unconditional love, of motherly advice and wisdom, of power, of kindness, of all things good that Women are – Thank you!  I know none of us says it often enough.  But you truly mean the world to me.  I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of women.  I believe in the power of SHE!

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