Sunday, June 20, 2010

just me & you doing what i've always wanted to; i'm the luckiest girl alive..

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall, 
but I know you're not scared of anything at all, 
don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away, 
but I know I had the best day with you today.

"Roses on my shoulders, 
slippers on my feet, 
i'm my daddy's darlin',
don't you think i'm sweet?"

"I'm gonna watch you shine, 
gonna watch you grow.
Gonna paint a sign so you'll always know,
as long as you live
there could never be a father
That loved his daughter more than I love you.."

"Sweet 16 today
She's lookin' like her mama a little more every day
One part woman the other part girl
To perfume and make up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world
But I remember
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair
You know how much I love you daddy
But if you don't mind
I'm only gonna kiss you on the check this time.."

"Dad, this could be the best day of my life
I've been dreamin' day and night 'bout the fun we'll have
It's just me and you doin' what I've always wanted to
I'm the luckiest [girl] alive
This is the best day of my life.."

Happy Father's Day to my daddy! He is an amazing individual who has always stepped up to the plate and been an amazing rock for our family. He has taught me everything I know about huntin', fishin', playing softball, and trying to be a listener for others. (He's way better at all of those than I am). 

I know all I know about the woods, the outdoors, the weather, and the land because of him. He has been patient with me while he has told me countless times, "Shh! You have to be quiet", or "be still.!" He has untangled my fishin' line from soo many trees, and reassembled it once I broke it off in the water. He has picked up the tee when I knocked it over with the bat, and he has coached me throughout my years, on and off the field. 

There's really no way around avoiding the fact that i AM my daddy's girl. That's not to say that I don't love my mother to death. She, too, has taught me things about the kitchen, house etiquette, and loving people unconditionally. She is one of the strongest women I know as well, and I can't help but think about her on this day. Although, her daddy did visit me in a dream last night, and all I remember is telling him that I loved him. He was in a yellow polo shirt, and we were at church. He hugged me tight, and I woke up. 

I know that each of you who read this have a father in your life, and I can only hope that they've brought as much joy to you as mine has. I'm so thankful for my family each and every day. No matter where you go, how long you stay, or how mad you get, they'll always be there for you - always. 


Monday, June 14, 2010

.."sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to click the shutter."

 For years now (i don't even know how many) I have been interested in photography. I love to see it, and I love to capture the moments myself. There's really no other way for me to remember things or understand having been there unless I have a photo of it. I can look back at a time in a photo and remember exactly how I felt the moment it was taken, and I can rehash those emotions over and over each time I look at it.
 Photo's, to me, tell stories. The wonderful thing about them is that they never tell the same story to any person. You can look a photo and see something totally different than the person next to you, and that is beautiful to me. There is no other way to capture something that you want to hold as a memory forever. Photos can't be erased. Photos take you into a place that maybe you've always wanted to be. Photos compare to being there yourself, although sometimes I will say that they can fall short.

 Just a few weeks ago, I was googling photo contests in Mississippi because I wanted to participate in some this summer just to get some of my still shots out there. I know they aren't world class photos (by any means), but I wanted to give it a shot, thinking, "what have I got to lose? (other than a ten dollar entry fee.... and postal fee..... and rejection..... oh well, putting that aside...)" So, putting that aside, I went for it. I entered seven photos into the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) State Photography Contest. I was allowed three in each group, and the groups were:

  • Mississippi's Natural Landscapes
  • Wildlife Birds (Native to MS)
  • Wildlife Other (Native to MS)
  • People
  • Floral Macro
  • Macro (Wildlife/Nature)
So, I entered three in landscapes and floral macro and one in wildlife (other).

I got a letter in the mail saying that two of the photos had been judged as winners in the landscape and floral macro categories! I was excited because one advantage of winning (in the Overall, which hasn't been judged yet), is being published in the MWF magazine. THAT is on my "to-do before out of time" list.
 I truly am blessed because all of the honorable mention photos were stunning. They truly were. I would have hated to be a judge in a contest involving those photographs.
 I have a lot of ideas about how I want to use my photography in the future, and I'm really excited about a certain thing, but I haven't quite put it all together in my head yet. I'm hoping that it will hit me like a ton of bricks one day.
 Another thing i'm looking forward to is hopefully participating in these contests year-round. They [it is/are] fun, and it also gives me a little more drive to push myself into more unique photo-opportunities.

If you'd like to check out this year's results or see about entering next year, click here.

"While there is, perhaps, a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see."  ~Dorothea Lange

Saturday, June 12, 2010

the truth, nothing but the truth.

I am SO angry. I really am.

Just today I went to a cook out for some Marine poolee's, and I was so encouraged to see young boys that aspired to be so brave. To me, joining any branch of the military is brave, but being that I know a tad more about the Marines, I was just really proud (ha!) Anyway, while we were there the two SSgt's, GySgt, and the Cpl's talked a little about their lives as Marines. They told how long they'd been involved, where they had traveled, and how good the Corps had been to them. It was a humbling experience for me to be able to see the poolee's faces (and their parents faces) as the Marines spoke. Of course there was fear in their eyes, and nervousness in their parents. BUT, there was pride. Oh, there was so much pride. Not only was I humbled to have been able to see all of that, but I was excited to know that these boys have so much drive. Even after all of their PT's, the only thing they could really say so far about the Corps was "I love it", "There's nothing else I can see myself doing", "I'm having the time of my life". And yes, they ARE just poolee's, and they don't know what to expect (neither do I, and here I am acting like a retired Marine! I was just happy to have been able to be a part of that.

As soon as I drove out of the small civilian parking lot, I shot Clint a text:
"I love you and I appreciate you. Thank you."

Moving on.

When I got home, mom asked, "What is the Diamond Rio song that's being banned from the radio?"

Huh? I didn't even know Diamond Rio was still a band! (Should I be embarrassed to say that? I mean, it HAS been awhile since i've heard something new from them, so i was FULLY unaware that they were now being BANNED from the radio!.)

Later tonight I googled it, just to see if it was vulger or unnecessary. I am posting the lyrics here:

You place your hand on His Bible, when you swear to tell the Truth

His name is on our greatest Monuments, and all our money too,

And when we Pledge allegiance, there's no doubt where we stand,
There is no separation, we're one Nation under Him.

In God We Still Trust
Here in America
He's the one we turn to every time
The goin' gets rough
He is the source of all our Strength
The One who watches over us
Here in America
In God We Still Trust

Now there are those among us, who want to push Him out,
And erase His name from everything, this country's all about,
From the Schoolhouse to the Courthouse, they're Silencing His Word,
Now it's time for all Believers, to make our Voices heard.

In God We Still Trust,
Here in America
He's the one we turn to every time
The goin' gets rough
He is the source of all our Strength
The One who watches over us
Here in America
In God We Still Trust

Here in America
Here in America
Here in America,

In God We Still Trust
Here in America,

In God We Still Trust
Here in America

...PLEASE take a minute to process this. 

First of all, what did I say I texted Clint earlier? Now, what are we going to have to appreciate in years to come if the government keeps depreciating our military, God, our rights and freedoms, and everything else under the bright yellow sun?

Now, can you honestly believe that? Thomas Jefferson, along with the rest of the Continental Congress would ROLL OVER IN THEIR GRAVE. I could not believe my eyes, and I really blogged about that first paragraph to try and open your eyes to seeing the desire that some Americans still have in their heart. One SSgt said today, "Being here to recruit you all is my way of giving back to the government because for so long the government has been so good to me." Now, correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the government slowly stealing away all pride, hope, future, drive, desire, and reason from full blooded Americans? (By full blooded I mean: God fearing, home-cooked meal lovin', American flag in the yard, yellow ribbon supportin' AMERICANS) 
 What is going to happen is simply this: you take away all you can about what America was founded upon, and you delete it from every learning outlet - - boys and girls are going to grow up into men and women who don't understand how hard it was to win over the free soil that their feet are so happily walking around on. They will have no drive to take part in our nation's military branches, and they won't appreciate what their very own ancestors died for in years prior to the ones they will be living in. 

Oh, I pray that doesn't happen, but as of now, there's really no alternative ending in my eyes. Something needs to happen.

Friday, June 11, 2010

maybe it was southern summer nights.

let's go back to the moment i stepped foot in your truck. my heart's emotions flew through my throat, causing me to be unable to think of words to say. I thought to myself about how traumatized my nails would be after this night, due to me biting them to the bed. I wondered what was in store, but I tried not to get ahead of the game. You and I could already write a story. The words you speak to me are said so beautifully that no one, even if they tried, could shape them into anything less than what they actually were. I found myself in a place that I've never been before, and it was actually somewhere I always wanted to be. I heard myself spilling to you about times past, broken relationships, mended heartaches, and bad pasts. You never once stopped me to interrogate me; you just drove and listened intently. Your quick moments of silence when you would slow the truck to a stop, look over at me, and finally say "wow", were always sudden and unexpected. The reason behind them all? Unbelief. Believe it or not, it was unbelievable to me to that someone had hopped on my train of life when I least expected it and was a simply wonderful person.
 Once you were sure that I was finished talking, I would curl my legs in the seat and begin listening to you. As the streetlights vaguely made your eyes shine, I wondered how this had all really happened, and how it was happening to me; the moment, the beauty, the serenity, everything seemed too surreal to be true. You opened up to me like no one else has before. You talked to me of the way you had been treated and the way you desired to be treated. You told me your likes, your dislikes, your passions, your hates. You wanted nothing more than to be right where you was with me, and I scaredly agreed to wanting the same thing. Although we had been in that situation a MILLION times, it was all so new to me to see this side of you.
 As we drove down that road that winded until it was as almost too narrow to drive on, the trees curled over us, and the moon shone brighter than I can remember of any other night this time of year. After taking a left at the almost forgotten stop sign, we were led to an old bridge. You made your way down towards the bottom of it, and the rolled the windows down. We sat there with the breeze gently making it's way throughout the truck, and the music softly playing in the backround. There was silence, but not an awkward silence at all; it was a silence that spoke. In that moment it all fell together, and I wasn't sure about much at all, other than things were changing.
 The nights to follow could simply add up to the others we've had together. We never ran out of words to say, and even if we happened to, the quiet was never too loud. If we weren't having a deep intellectual talk about life and it's simplicity, we had the best time by singing with your radio turned up as if no one else was around; the moment, the world, the night... it was all ours.
 We've for hours on end and I always wanted one more minute after we say our goodbyes. We could have stayed up until sunrise texting of things that amounted to nothing, and it would have been exactly what I wanted to do, and I wouldn't have blamed a minute of sleep deprivation on you. You were such an animated person, one who made ordinary unordinary in the best way possible by turning a nonchalant conversation into something that would put a smile on my face.
 You've taught me a lot about myself that I will always carry around in my pocket. You've helped me understand. You've lit a path for me that I had never seen, and you didn't even realize you were doing it. You unconsciously cared about me without even trying; it was totally effortless. You saw things in me that I was blinded by for so long, but now I can see it all clearly. I respect you for that.
 As i sit here, holding back the tears that want so badly to freely flow down my face, I look back over these past couple of weeks. I'm taking in the beauty of it all, and i'm counting it all as an experience of a lifetime, one that I never, in all my years of living, want to forget.
 To me, it's been a beautiful tragedy. It's been a fabulous disaster. It's been painfully romantic. I wouldn't trade one single second of being with you, talking to you, or thinking about you for anything else in the world. You really have made an impact on my life that I will cherish.
 I don't understand life and the way it goes sometimes. I don't often understand people, but I do know that they make mistakes, and the only way to fix those mistakes is to retrace your steps back to the very beginning of where everything went wrong, and try your very hardest to make it right. That (in my opinion) is all one can do, is try. You don't have to forget; I know that's asking a lot, but forgiveness, at this point, would be appreciated.
The magic of all those memories we made in such a short amount of time will stay with me. There have been no other like it for me, and although you've seen a few more moons than I, I'm pretty sure you could agree that there was a little bit of perfection in those last days.

But all of that is gone now. I don't want your forgiveness. I don't want your blessing or your pity. I want you to be completely erased because I can't stand the thought of you haunting around my life anymore. There have been so many opportunities for me to just be real with you and tell you that NOT ONLY do I not are to be around you, I don't care to talk to you, see you, or hear your sarcastic personality. You've had your chance to have a true and sincere relationship with me, and you've blown it every.single.time. It hurts for me to say that I have to move on, but I do. I can't go on believing that all of this is okay with me. It isn't. I can't see you as the fairy tale I once thought this could be because the harsh reality of the entire situation is that you're nothing like i've let my mind believe you were. You will never change, and you're okay with the person you are. Bless your heart. Bless the heart of the one who ends up allowing themselves to be okay with your sour, selfish attitude. I don't envy them, I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for them because I know how they feel, trying to make you be someone you're really not, trying to put you so high on a pedestal that you're in the stars... it isn't healthy. I just wish change for you. I wish you could see you the way I saw you so that you could turn yourself around for the better. This has gone on too long, and goodbye isn't too far away.
 Presently, i don't know when it was when i realized that all of this had changed for me. I don't know if it has even really set in, but I feel that way in my heart. There are so many things that I used to love about you, and now I can't see past all the wrong. It's as if there are huge boulders blocking the "good" in you, and for some reason I don't have the strength, desire, or "want to" anymore to try and move those boulders. It would take too much energy; energy that I spent trying to get you to understand the way that I felt about you all this time, but it never seems like enough.
 you see, a little bit of my heart breaks to think about this because not only is my mind making my heart move on, but this time it seems to be an utter feeling in my soul - a feeling of change and clarity, and I think I like it. 
 You've always been so confusing to me because one minute I believe that you do no wrong at all, and the next minute I can't see one RIGHT thing that you've ever done. The truth is that you've disappointed me. You've held me here to believe one thing, while in turn your back has been turned and you've been living the life you really wanted to live. without me. without regret. without anything to hold onto, other than a memory. Yet, on the other side of the spectrum, you (in your own way) hold me up to doing absolutely nothing because it's just not okay with you for me to do what I want to. I've always let you control that, even if I never said it out loud to you. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

on a riverbank with all my friends, and a big ole' rope tied to a limb..

day two on the beach was HOT, but it was a lot cooler than the day before. The breeze was actually way cooler, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. 
Before I talk about the rest of our day, i'm sure that you may be curious about the oil situation! As of "Day 2" we had only heard about it. There have been men & women patrolling the beaches, helicopters, boats, and umbrella men everywhere speaking in hushed tones about the crisis. 

It is SO devastating to see a place that i've been vacationing to my entire life be in such a sad situation. There is nothing we can really do now (aside from stop the oil from spilling, but i mean as bystanders on the beaches) except for watch it come in and hope that things eventually get back to normal.

Anyway! We came in and got ready for dinner.

Meg and I had fried shrimp & oysters, and it was so so so good! Mamma and Mimi both had seafood platters, and I didn't take a picture (no need to feel hungry after reading this one, Hollie!!) 

Wolf Bay is located on a marina, and last year when we came there were many boats coming in from fishing, but all had already been tied up by the time we got there to eat at around 5. 

i love marina's :)

then we headed to Target to shop a little (okmaybealot), and came home soon after because we were all fairly tired. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

.."i'm fallin' and i'm fallin' fast; i've got it, and i've got it bad."

first day on the beach! It was a beautiful day! Sunshine, waves crashing, a breeze, and good people surrounding me. 

I had my floppy hat (currently obsessed) and Meg is 4,000 shades darker than me....go figure. I hate taking pictures with her for that very reason! :( 

after a long, sweaty day on the beach, we got ready to go eat at our favorite place! 


Crab claws!! 

Alaskan Snow Crab Legs! (My favorite beach meal, besides oysters)

came home, and ate an embarrassing amount of an "Hot Fudge Sundae (w/ brownie)" It was M-azing!!


we came back and played nine rounds of dominos! We had a lot of fun chatting, laughing, and playing the game! It reminded me of many MANY times when dominos have been the reason behind coming together with people I love and great friends! 

sweet summertime.

WARNING: Lots of pictures! 

We headed out at 7:30 Sunday morning with worries of oil & rain. Although, I decided to be optimistic about it because I don't get in the ocean water anyway, and this would be an opportunity to photograph a little bit of history. (maybe not good history, but history). We made it across the bridge at around 11:00.
We stopped at Felix's and ate lunch. We started that last year because we had heard so many things about it. IT WAS WONDERFUL last year, and this year didn't disappoint. I promise ya'll that I have randomly thought about their shrimp & grits before. So, of course, that's what I got. :)
I feel like Kelly before she had Harper, always taking pictures of their food when they were out to eat :) BUT.. I did it anyway. Meg got Maui-Maui, mom got Shrimp n' Grits, and Mimi had Grouper and Fried RED Tomatoes!
They were supposed to be GREEN! 

Next stop was the "Peach Place" is what I always called it when I was little. They do have amazing peaches, pralines, and brownies! YUMM-O!

Then we checked into our condo (The Enclave) and headed to the Wharf! 


I love The Wharf. It doesn't feel like you're at Gulf Shores to me; it seems like its own town. We walked around, bought a few things, and then went to the Condo.

this is just the living room, and i won't give a full blown tour of the rest. They all basically look the same to me anyway!

We decided not to go all out on dinner because we had eaten such a big lunch, so we just got poboys here, and "enjoyed" an interesting view. (note the sarcasm in this sentence)

Soft Shell Crab Poboy - mmmmmmmmm. :) Meg had chicken, mom had a shrimp poboy, and mimi had fried mushrooms. We also had stuffed mushrooms, and they were so good! They had crab meat, sausage, and cheese in the middle. YUMM-O!! 

Um, weird? A tad.

fellow beach bum for the week! :)