the marching

It’s been a minute. 

I’ve been super slack. 

Funny too because I write here all the time in my head. 

It’s time to put fingers to keyboard and get it done.  

Logo Sam & Philonena 2019

This little Ninja girl slipped into our lives full-on exactly two months ago this day.    I posted here with this picture but, forgot to hit publish.  .  .  what was I thinking? 

This little delight is a complete chatterbox.  She has lots to say. . . and wants her momma’s full attention.  

That momma obliges and my heart sings. 

Today I can hear the conversations as her momma tells her that on this very day she should be proud because her family is Marching for Life.  . . for so many years in a row now, they march.    

They march with the old and young of Greenville . . . they march with the man with the big laugh as he leads his group of youth.  They March with all of America in D.C.  

Marching on. . . peacefully.  

Standing up for what is right

and good

and holy.  

for the youngest ones.  . . for the most vulnerable . . . for all life 

they march.

and I’m not going to lie. . . I’m so proud they stand up.  

The fisherman and I have always told them to be better than us.  Do better than us  .  . they are.  . . they do.  

and I’m in awe of them all.  


2020 – 1001 Gifts

1.) forgotten images that take me back

2.) sweetest conversations

3.) when she takes my hand and leads me to another room

4.) great friends

5.) watching them as adults

6.) time with my youngest

7.) baby smiles

8.) soft rain

9.) pixie lights

10.) a shoot tomorrow

11.) clean curtains

12.) work for him

13.) quite mornings

14.) sleeping in just a little

15.) they stand for what they believe in with all they have

16.) four years now . . . thank God!

17.) that smile she has


Tip Tuesday

 You may have picked up on the fact I love photography.   

I love everything about it. I love the way you can freeze time.  I love the way you can go back years from now and see them little again.  I love the fact when someone is gone – you can go back and catch the joy again.  I love the fact a single photo can take you back in time in an instant – whether that instant was good or bad. . . you’re back.  I love how the angles all work together and shazam you can have an amazing shot.  I love the fact that photography is like going down a rabbit hole – there are so many twists and turns and the learning never ends.

I love the fact that 10 different photographers can shot the same scene and the outcome will be 10 different shots.    

and that to me . . .  is amazing. 

I love the art.

I have grown to realize photos are important.  Portraits of loved ones can become the most important thing you have left of that person.  If printed beautifully, portraits can live forever.

Lillie logo

As a Photographer, for the most part,  I’m self taught. 

I don’t know if that’s good or bad but, that’s what I’ve got.   I’ve picked up things along the way from a much loved cousin.  I read everything I can find. I watch videos late into the night.   I have asked people here and there about this or that and have often gotten very discouraging answers. . . like just stay in auto.  But, I didn’t.  I kept trying. 

Today,  I am asked about photography by new photographers and it thrills me. 

The statement I hear most is: “What kind of camera do you have?”   or  “What kind of camera should I buy?”

and then I hear:  “Why don’t my photos look like yours?” 

and that brings me here:

I would like to introduce “Tip Tuesday”. . . today Tip Tuesday will be on a Thursday but, we are going to look the other way and roll with it.   

I do hope in time other photographers will want to join me here and the tips will be  amazing . . .  but, for right now . . . I’m starting where I am. 

With me. 

Starting at the beginning

“What kind of camera do you have?”

Nikon D 7000 

What camera should I buy? 

When I was ready to buy a camera I did a lot of research, I shopped and waited and researched more.  In the end, I went with a Nikon simply because the Nikon was a match for my goals and my budget.

At the end of the day here is the biggest things I can tell you:  start right where you are.  Seems dumb to say I know, but it’s true.  Think about what your goals are for your photography.  Do you want a point and shot to capture your little guys running around, to take on trips to photograph amazing sights?  Are you planning on taking your photography to another level – maybe start a photography business?

Decide what you want: Own it and start where you are. 

If you answered just a little point and shot is great for me: take a good look at your phone.  People can take amazing photographs with their phones.

You want to take your images to a new level and then maybe start a business? Amazing! Now you’re talking my language.  My first “real” camera was a used Nikon D5000.  I had the kit lens and I still love it.

I learned so much with this little camera.   I learned how to shoot the beautiful bokeh background, shoot without a flash, capture a moving target and started to train my eye to shoot tack sharp images.

Even though I would have loved to have the fancy new camera looking back here is what I’ve learned: You don’t need all the bells and whistles to create a dream come true.   If you can afford all the bells and whistles then GO for it!   But,  here’s the thing: If you don’t work on technique the bells and whistles are just bells and whistles.  I know more people with a bell and whistle camera who have no idea what any of it’s for. It’s like buying an amazing new oven, not know how to bake and expecting French pastry.  You can pop the thing on Auto but, you won’t have any control over your shot.

and the control is what makes the shot. The control is what gives you the dreamy catch light and bokeh.    It’s all in the control baby. 

So with that said, start where you are and be okay with it.  Do your research. Be honest with what your goals are and just start where you are.

and that’s our first tip Tuesday on a Thursday.

See you in two weeks



a fun game of spoons

getting my hair done by my favorite hair lady

a cute new do

surprises in my camera

good work to be done

surprise visit

warmer days

kids feeling better

a new table I love


Dreary Days of November

“Don’t eat those yet!” I say to the Fisherman just before he takes a bite. He puts it down and shakes his head at me. 

Three pairs logo

Last night I see these pears and knew tomorrow’s forecast was rainy, dreary and overcast.   Rainy, dreary overcast days are one of my favorite forecasts for dreamy dark and moody light. 

Oh, my!  Be still my heart.  How I love this moody light of November. 



reaching goals

photographing  many beautiful faces

fall colors


laughs over the phone with my son far away

dark, dreary days

new friends

see her happy face running to the car after dance class




find magic

” You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax all you need is a book.”                                            

 Dr. Seuss              


This one. . . if it’s not dancing . . . it’s reading.     

No  complaints from me. 



Cousins traveling . . . dropping into Graceland. . . making us feel so special

sitting with family around the big table @ the best Nana’s

seeing girls grow closer

messages of love to me from her BFF

kids on fire for the Holy Spirit

courage from the girl who loves music . . . talking to youth about the past 8 months & how you prayed & He answered

that man with the big laugh keeping close tabs

early morning rising . . . getting things done

birds singing their good morning song

empty laundry basket . . . could I really be caught up?  counting it anyway

calls from the Philosopher . . . working so hard two states away

the joy I see from her preparing for “the big dance” @ the Peace Center of all places

watching them turning dreams into truths

a marinette priestly ordination – oh, if you ever get the chance you must go . . . such beauty

a conversation with a stranger turned friend

a texted sent to the wrong person turned into blessings


settling dust

It’s been two months since I picked up the new camera.  Early morning light calling me & I grab the Nikon before the light moves.

Dust settles in.

mcGuffy readers and flowers

It was a busy week last week with five doctors appointments to fill our days.

The girl who loves to dance is the one who knows where we are going and who we are seeing.  When they ask who’s in charge of the eyes . . . she knows the name and place of practice.

She’s keeping us straight.

The consensus of it all on our girl who loves music   . . . the dust is still settling.

Settled dust will give us more information.

But, over all . . . She’s doing well.

In fact I would say she is doing very well.

The face is coming back, and the eye guy gave a happy dance.

The ear guy says there is lots of fluid that needs to be drained but. . . “we must wait for dust to settle”.

So we wait.

and dust settles

and we move on

and she moves on


She’s moving on well.

All kinds of therapy starts tomorrow at Roger C. Peace . . .  a place for the injured. I know they will love her there. She will work hard and do what they ask of her.

She’s a fighter this girl. She’s strong. She’s ready to roll.



light calling me, streaming in

beautiful sky

notes  to me from the best friend ever

good morning hugs from the youngest of us

songs that make us dance in the car

listening to stories to be told from strangers

a phrase that makes her say, “now we have to listen to that song”

she discovered Bob Seger

clean laundry

celebrating birthday dinners with the brown eyed girl


walk in the woods



and that hat!

I dropped into a consignment store one day when I was “helping” my fisherman husband rebuild a fishing pier for a customer of ours.  

and I found a lovely, blue velvet dress for six dollars.  . . and then I noticed a blue hat for two. My heart sang when I realized the dress was a perfect fit for the girl who loves music.  It’s been so long since I have photographed her. 

AND THAT HAT! Oh! my goodness that hat! 

Only as teenage daughters can . . . she tried to burst my bubble. She told me, “velvet was out.” “And a hat! That just wouldn’t work for her.  She said, “I was out of touch.”  “I needed to get with it.” She couldn’t believe I would ask her to wear such a thing. 

I gently explained to this girl who loves music. . . my photographing her . . . had nothing to do with her.  A mother wants images of her 18 year old daughter.  The hat, the dress, the necklace. . . I knew what I was doing and if she let herself . . . she would have a great time. 

And we would have amazing images. 

Like a girl who loves her mother . . . she gave in. 

Kathryn 3Kathryn 3 B Logo

and she rocked our photo session. 

In the end . . . She said, “Wow Mom! You really know what you’re doing.” “That was so much fun!” “and this dress is so comfortable I don’t want to take it off.”   


1001 Gifts:

574.) time spent with the girl who loves music.

575.) dinner out just the two of us

576.) Fall

577.) good school days

578.) healing for Charming

579.) great achievements for the philosopher

580.) work

581.) clean house

582.) fresh sheets

583.) fresh towels

584.) feeling like we may have hit a new normal. . . maybe

Figs on the brain

Figs . . . 

I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind.

Not because I like to eat them . . . I just wanted to photograph them.  fig pumkn logo

It’s crazy I know but, sometimes I can think of anything else but . . what I will photograph next. . . what will look most beautiful in the view of my little 35mm. 

and even though at times I just can’t get to the photograph yet 

I think about it. 

figs logo

So for the past month, anytime I went into a store, the first thing I was in of search of were FIGS.

I had the Best Nana, Lucy and that other sister of mine looking, looking, looking 

for Figs

Fig 2 logo

Figs on the brain 

No one could find them. 

I thought maybe I missed them. . . an internet search told me the time was just not right for the South but,  they were coming. 

_figs 4 logo

So I waited until they came. 


1001 Gifts

505.) cooler days

506.) when the youngest one says, “I love school”

507.) long over due dinners with Good Friends

508.) up coming birthdays

509.) fruit bowl full

508.) longer nights

509.) flowers for a salad

510.) good deeds I’m invited to and orchestrated by our oldest

511.) good health for the best Nana

512.) peaceful house

513.) time to post

514.) an old dog always happy to see me

515.) refrigerator full

516.) kids working hard towards the next thing

517.) time

all Moments

I read this today:  “There is no other day. All days are present now. This moment contains all moments.”
C.S. Lewis

Kelly 6 logo and a year ago I was waiting for word of what was to come for the rest of our lives. I was getting affairs in order just in case my fisherman didn’t make it.

Just in case. . .

we had to be ready,

just in case.

I remember he asked, “are you ready for this?” . . . and I said with fake confidence, I would be.

and this past year has brought many joyful times, and I counted my blessings everyday but, didn’t have much time to share.

and then a nephew got married, and I got to photograph the joyful bride.

and I danced with my greatest love at this wedding –  never forgetting we are living on borrowed time while someone else’s heart beats in his chest.

Today,  this quote struck me and I thought of how true it is . . . there is no other time then the present – this day contains everything.


472.) quick hellos

473.) family gathering for celebrations

474.) hugs from old friends

475.) dances with the ones you love

476.) happy glances

477.) lipstick

478.) dinners with special aunts

479.) smiles and eyes I remember so well

480.) a loving touch

481.) laughter

482.) work for ideal hands

483.) safe trips back home

484.) doctors watching carefully

485.) the fun of false eyelashes

Chasing Light

So there is this today:

Tulips-on-my-back-porch-With-FB-classic-colorKim Klassen is featuring this photo on her blog today. My heart took a leap when I received her message asking me if it is okay, and in that message she called me an artist.  When I hear those words I gasp and part of me wonders what will happen if she finds out I haven’t a clue. So heres the simple truth: I was chasing the light this very morning, and found a golden pocket on my back porch waiting there for me. I grabbed my camera, this old chair, faded tulips and did a happy dance in the morning light.

Kim Klassens Friday Finds it’s so much fun!


387.) much awaited visit from girlfriends

388.) Memaw’s homemade fudge – a surprise in my mailbox all warm by the sun

389.) photography – I love it so much

390.) She reads, and reads, and reads

391.) strong heart beats

392.) the girl who loves music says “Mom let me take her to dance today. You look like you have a lot to do.” and I did

393.) siblings helping each other make the grade

394.) long phone calls with the son far away

395.) mornings light

396.) answers from friends

397.) new washers

Faith. . .

Kathryn's album cover


“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” 

Martin Luther King, Jr.


1.) I am grateful I can exercise.  It’s so good for my body and my mind – and there are so many people that just can’t do it at all.

2.) I’m grateful we have a refrigerator  full of food.  Even though I hear 100 times a day we don’t have anything to eat. . . We do.  We always so.

3.) I’m grateful for soothing music. . . sometimes it just hits the spot.

Little Things Thursday