Saturday, June 20, 2009

Only Two Weeks To Go.......

Two weeks from today we will be loading up the Suburban and heading south. July 4th we will be in Fairhope, AL where we will meet my dad and Debbie, my stepmom, and hang out at our favorite Holiday Inn Express in the pool & also attend the Fireworks Over Mobile Bay at the Fairhope Pier. Really looking forward to this! The next day we'll load up again and head for the beach house in Seacrest. We had to find a new one this year because the other one sold, so we moved a block over. We LOVED the old one so I'm hoping this one lives up to Pineapple Paradise! Both are in Seacrest, right next to Rosemary Beach, so it would have to be pretty bad to be disappointing. This one is near the pool too, which is great! And we have a gulf view from the upper deck. Can't wait to watch the sun go down!

Friday, June 19, 2009

What We've Been Up To....

This photo shows what we've spent most of our days doing! The pool is open & the Buttry's are present & accounted for! It's been so good to catch up with girlfriends, go to family night & most of all, have a place to cool off! I really want to put a salt water pool in the backyard (that will remain a distant dream, I'm afraid) but I do love our neighborhood pool...

Ryder spent her first week of summer in Paris & Barcelona. She made it home fine, but a bit jet-lagged, last Saturday. She had a great time but would like to go back when she can just shop. :)

Last weekend, Chuck's parents came for a short visit & we drove down to Glenwood, AR & floated the Caddo River. Ryder was still on her trip so we only had the boys. We had one canoe, his parents had the other & we let the boys alternate when we stopped at gravel bars. It was so much fun! Nice clear water and not too challenging. Wyatt even took a couple jump off the rope swing. I wish I had photos to post but I didn't even take a camera. We plan to do it again before summer is over so next time I will be prepared.

I've been reading quite a bit, one of my favorite summer pastimes. I love a good "fluff" mystery & I've been reading Edna Buchanan for my quick, entertaining reads. I first heard of her when I read her true crime books written about her career as a crime reporter for the Miami Herald. I really like her light-hearted style of writing & I've always really admired her as a person. I attempted to read Dear American Airlines & finally put it down because it was just not going anywhere for me. Parts of it were funny, though not uproariously funny like reviews have stated, and the flashbacks to his father's life were really just distracting to me. I'm returning that one to the library. Right now I'm reading The Cellist of Sarajevo and I'm finding it to be quite engaging. It's the story of three people attempting to survive in war-torn Sarajevo & a cellist who plays music every day, seemingly without fear. I find the history of this region rather fascinating & although not a true story, I like how the book makes me feel, if that makes any sense. I have such a list of books I want to read that I could literally just sit in a chaise lounge and read non-stop the rest of the summer.

I've also been photographing quite a bit. I've had the joy of meeting new clients as well as the joy of photographing past clients that have grown up on me! Tonight I'm traveling to Searcy, AR to photograph 2 year-old twins that I have never met. Hope they warm up to me! I'm armed with bubbles and Sponge Bob balls to reward them if they're good!

I'm thinking I may have jumped the gun on re-entering the blog world but maybe I'm just expecting too much from each entry! Hope to get on the bandwagon with more regular posting, projects, photography tips, etc. Especially after our vacation....which, by the way, is two weeks from tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Champions....

I was never a mom who set out with preconceived notions of what her children would participate in as they grew older. I didn't envision dance costumes, violin recitals, or long days spent in the sun at ball tournaments. I also had no idea what they would become or want to become. I simply hoped they would find interests along the way & let those interests guide them in their own dreaming and decision-making. Although I took piano lessons as a child & learned to play quite well, I never enjoyed it & it certainly never became anything that I had a passion for. After I left for college, I can count on one hand the number of times I have even touched piano keys. So whatever my kids did participate in, I wanted them to choose. After we had children, our first two showed very little interest in sports. Chuck tried a bit harder than I did to steer them in that direction, at least with our son Wyatt, but he just never enjoyed it too much & never had the greatest luck getting inspiring coaches. His best one, unfortunately, succumbed to cancer & his worst one, also unfortunately, is still coaching. Ryder, like her mother, made it clear from a young age, that we wouldn't be choking on any dust or sitting in the hot sun for her. Sports were not an option.

Along came Brooks... I'll admit that when we enrolled him in soccer in the fall of '06, I assumed it would be like all of our other attempts at introducing sports and the reception would be lukewarm at best. It was, however, at this point, that fate intervened and we were placed on a team with not only a wonderful, encouraging coach but some of the nicest families we've ever been blessed to know. A couple of players came and went along the way, mostly because we advanced from co-ed and the girls had to leave us, but for the most part, we've been together for 6 regular seasons and a couple summers too. We've become like family and now we have two great coaches who seem to have a gift for being able to encourage and bring out the best in our boys while also letting them know they mean business. The boys have learned how to play to each other, who to pass to, how to call for the ball. Sure, they mess up some and they don't win every game but they're good and it's so good for them. In the beginning it wasn't competitive at all but as they've grown it's gotten that way. For one season, we were undefeated, though the boys didn't even know that until the season was over. I learned quickly that having your kid on the team that everyone wants to bring down is no fun. Thankfully the boys were oblivious. They were "brought down" at the end of the next season and never knew it! Brooks spent much of his first 5 years very shy and NOT very social. Coach Tim & Coach Rohan deserve a lot of credit for bringing him out of his shell. I see him step up & do things now that he would never have done before. What we've failed to teach him about respect, thankfully, they have stepped in and covered. My dream is to be able to point my finger like Coach Rohan and illicit the same response! Brooks loves soccer and he loves them. He's really into baseball now too and after watching him pitch and catch in the yard with Chuck the other night, it wouldn't be fair to deny letting him have a shot at that. His pitches, for a 7 year-old, amaze me. But part of me hopes his first love stays on the soccer field and not the baseball diamond. And then again, maybe there's room for both. It's funny how your children can change you. I'm now perfectly happy for those days spent in the sun at a tournament and even find myself longing for more. Maybe I'll be content at the baseball diamond too!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sort of like New Year's Resolutions for the Summertime....

I'm a big list-maker. Not sure it really holds me accountable & makes me more likely to accomplish the goals, but I do it anyway. Growing up, my best friend & I would make lists daily. Shopping lists, packing lists for trips we took together, things we were determined to buy from the Hang Ten catalog - you name it, we listed it. Now my lists are more likely to include the usual "what to buy at the grocery store", "what to pack for the beach", "ways to discipline other than yelling at the top of my lungs", "prescription drugs to ask my doctor about", etc. However, the other night, right as the last day of school was approaching, I decided to make a list of goals to accomplish this summer. Nothing big, but something to give me a little direction and be able to look back in August and not think I wasted the time.........So far, this is the list:

1. READ 10 BOOKS. That's about one each week and they can be both fiction & non-fiction.

2. Have my website finally go live.

3. Take two float trips on pretty, clear rivers.

4. Take 50 photos that I really like.

5. Paint the boys' room - finally!

6. Paint my front porch.

7. Find 5 new locations to shoot sessions.

8. Finish clearing clutter from the house.

9. Begin scrapbooking again.

10. Finally take the kids to Magic Springs amusement park, which we have never done.

11. Recycle even more than we do now. We generate a ton of trash. It truly amazes me.

12. Have a street BBQ. Move the grill out front and invite neighbors down for burgers & hot dogs. How long have we said we are going to do this?

13. Try 5 new recipes.

14. Attend an MLS soccer game in Dallas.

15. Rent 5 movies and watch them. (This may seem silly to some but I'm not a big watcher of movies at home & thought I would try to do it more often.)

And on a final note: Only 25 days until we leave for the beach!