Eleven…

Good Morning!

~~~~~

There are now

34475aa2c8af54d6

days left until I move home to the States.

~~~~~

Let me just begin this with a bit of an explanation!

Yesterday I looked out the window to find a beautiful sunny day.  I just happen to have an east facing window in my sitting room which is now empty of furniture…

I could not resist taking the opportunity to play with my camera’s settings and mess around with lighting and exposure.

Please excuse the vanity but I have no one else to take pictures of during the day except myself!

(Although I really love how they turned out if I don’t say so myself!)

Okay so here we go…

I have a love affair with parasols.  Victorian era parasols to be precise.

They capture my imagination and transport me to long ago times.  I was lucky enough to acquire a beautiful specimen on ebay last year for about 15 dollars. 

DSC_7579

 I was looking at it yesterday morning, thinking that it would be worth it to take it home in my suitcase.  I was thinking how much I would love to photograph my little niece holding it…  I could just imagine her little hands on the feral…  And of course, once the idea of a shoot with a red parasol took root, I just HAD to try it!

DSC_7584

 So I got out my tripod, my lenses, and my remote and went to town! For once in my two years here I LOVE the fact that I have peach walls.  They make a great backdrop!

DSC_7540

I love the contrast… Oh I can not wait to be back in the desert where natural light is not a rare occurrence!

DSC_7529

 Hurrah for a great editing software!  I really enjoy this wash effect…

DSC_7536

 This was my favorite shot and it was a complete accident.  I was holding the remote in my right hand up inside the umbrella and was talking to the dogs because they were kind of skittish about it being up in the air that way (they have a deep seated mistrust of umbrellas!) and my remote trigger bumped against the feral!  Voila!  Rockin’ shot that makes me look exotic and mysterious!  *SNORT*

DSC_7557

Hope you enjoyed today’s lesson on the evils of vanity.  Ha!!!

 I’m off to enjoy the sun that is shining once more today! 

See you tomorrow!

Courtney 

Twelve…

Today we begin the last leg of my countdown. 

I shall call it,

“Twelve Days ’til Phoenix!” 

(Really, I started with yesterday’s entry but calling it ’13 days ’til Phoenix’ didn’t have the same original ring to it! *SNORT* )

Why am I doing this?  Well, I’m feeling a little guilty for flooding your in-box with little pictures of numbers.

But not guilty enough to stop doing it!  🙂

So to compensate I’ve decided to make them a little more fun.

I promise to write something interesting to accompany every days’ count.  It may be a fact, something about me, a random tidbit that pops into my head, something I’ll miss about Germany or (like today’s entry) something I’m looking forward too when I’m back in the states!

So, here we go!

There are now

1409be883ea6920c

days left until I move home to the States.

~~~

One of my very favorite fast food restaurants is Sonic. (And yes, they have them in Del Rio!  I checked)

Every time I’ve gone home to Phoenix to visit the first thing I want (after Starbucks of course) is a Route 44 Peach Ice Tea.

I particularly love the little crushed ice.

Weird? Maybe, but remember…

I have lived in Europe for three years.  They don’t use ice.  EVER.  AT ALL.

Finding this out when I got here was absolute culture shock!  Remember that I’m from a desert!  NO ICE? NO WAY!

Well, here I am three years later and I have discovered something very disturbing about myself.

I am now Ice Retarded.

I can not drink out of a glass with normal ice in it without slopping it all down my front.  I try, I really do!  If I can unlearn how to drink with ice in three years then I should be able to relearn how to drink with ice in no time.

WRONG.

Apparently sometime in the last three years I’ve passed the Old Dog age line and can no longer learn new tricks.

So Sonic, with it’s lovely little crushed ice is my friend!

Ahhhh, excuse me while I go off to daydream about my Route 44 Peach Ice Tea…

Until tomorrow!

Courtney

 

Thirteen…

I have two equally important things to share with you today.

1st,

There are now

c991069c42f10320

days left until I move home to the States.

2nd,

Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream should be it’s very own food group…

I believe the word is AMBROSIA!

In ancient Greek Mythology, ambrosia is the food of the gods, often depicted as conferring ageless immortality upon whoever consumes it.  It was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves (Odyssey xii. 62), so may have been thought of in the Homeric tradition as a kind of diving exhalation of the Earth.” ~Wikipedia~

Yep, that’s B&J’s Peanut butter cup… the ice cream of immortality!  I’m claiming it!!!

Courtney

 

Fourteen…

“There’s a patch of blue sky, let us chase it!”

~Marianne from Sense and Sensibility~

Today Ryan and I saw a patch of blue sky and warm sun.  We ran out with the dogs to enjoy a bit of blue sky chasing.

We ran… and we ran… and we ran…

Until gray was the only color in the sky and blue was but a memory.

There are now

51afd9d51301629e

days left until I move home to the States.

Yep, just two weeks left until I live where blue is all I see!

Courtney

 

Fifteen

 

There are now

2ce7a53b4b1317cc

days left until I move home to the States.

I should take one moment to point out that this move back home to the states is a HUGE deal for me.  You may tire quickly of my raptures…

If these daily numbered entries bother you then you might want to ignore me for a while…

I have 14 more pictures of numbers…

One for every single day I have left!

See you tomorrow 

 

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes…

On December 13th of this past year friends of ours welcomed their first child into the world… a little girl.

In the three short months of her precious life I have been invited to photograph her twice.  Today I’ve been given permission by her mother to share with you some of my favorite photos from those two shoots.

Meet Sydney Grace.

She was a joy to work with.  The first time I did a sitting with them she was three weeks old.  I could not have asked for a better baby!  Isn’t she beautiful?

DSC_6180

 I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more perfectly shaped “Cupid’s bow” mouth…

DSC_6193

 Merry Christmas baby girl…

DSC_6239

 I love taking pictures that show the contrast between a newborn and the size of her daddy’s hands…  I especially love this picture… you can see that she has captured his heart!

DSC_6218

A mother’s hands are poignant too… such tender love and care…

DSC_63192

 Beautiful baby girl!

DSC_62442

 ~~~~~

This past week I was, again, given the opportunity to do a photo shoot of Sydney.  She is now just over three months old and bursting with personality!

She’s all giggles and grins…

DSC_70362

DSC_70452

 This is one of my favorite pictures… it just captures Sydney and her Momma, and the love they have for each other…

DSC_7063

 And Daddy’s heart is lost!

DSC_7084

 Busy little fingers… Ten perfect toes! 

DSC_7121

 Then I started on my favorite series of pictures from this photo shoot!  Both Mom and Dad thought that it would be great fun to have some pictures of her with tulips for Easter… STROKE OF GENIOUS!

She was so cooperative!  I love her pinchin’ cheeks! 

DSC_71622

 Such a fun idea!

DSC_71272

 Then out came the Cadbury bunny!  She was so fun during this part because she just loves the *buwak buwak buwak* noise he makes!

DSC_71862

Soft and pretty and so brand new…

DSC_71142

 This was one of my favorite shots from the day… It looks like the cover of a Mother’s Day card!

DSC_71642

There you have it… a sampling of my first two baby shoots! 

Jon and Belinda, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me this time with your daughter!  She is a true joy!!!

Courtney

Awakening

*Bumping this above my book review* 

 

This past week spring has truly moved into The Land of Fairy tales… It started one morning not too many days back…

I looked over to see the boys sunbathing in the sitting room… 

DSC_7328

 Enjoying the warmth and soaking up the ray’s we’ve missed for so long here!

DSC_7333

 I found myself sitting near the window as well…

DSC_7344

 As I gazed out the window I realized that, cold or not, it was a beautiful day that I could NOT let go to waste…

 DSC_7402

So I put on a windbreaker, a pair of tennis shoes, slung my camera about my neck, and set out to capture the day.

Almost the moment I set out I had cause to switch my lenses to a zoom as quickly as possible!  How awesome are these pictures?

DSC_7411

 I love living near an AFB and the C-17 is one of the loudest planes!

DSC_7413

After I watched planes land for a while I went back to enjoying my walk and the beautiful sun… I quickly realized that I was not the only one!

DSC_7367

 Everywhere I looked there were signs of life…

DSC_7369

 Here in Germany it is a common practice to tie your dog on the front stoop to soak up some sun.  We don’t’ really have fenced yards here so you always want to allow your buddy some good outdoor time!  Doesn’t this little guy look like he’s in heaven?

DSC_7459

And don’t these guys look happy to be out of the barn?

DSC_7383

 I broke out of town into the fields to see miles of green and blue…

DSC_7436

 All the crops are in and sprouted…  Lovely…

DSC_7437

 

DSC_7442

 The village center is suddenly crowded with all the farm equipment…

DSC_7458

 Everywhere you look a freshly washed tractor is out in the sun getting ready to go to work!  (This one is parked up against the parsonage in our village!)

DSC_7375

 In every corner doors and windows are thrown open to the spring breezes…

DSC_7377

 I walked down to the village church to enjoy the gardens… 

DSC_7380

 Beautiful day!

DSC_7381

I love this time of year…

DSC_7385

There is just something about the awakening…

DSC_7397

I decided to take a walk through the cemetery…

 DSC_7394

The village people take such good care of it… they plant flowers here instead of leaving cut ones…

DSC_7384

 It’s always full of quiet beauty.  

DSC_7420

 Small signs of life…

DSC_7432

 And the colors of spring…

DSC_7392

 and summer…

DSC_7398

 Everywhere you look something new is growing…

DSC_7404

Quiet reminders…

DSC_7421

 Birdhouses waiting to be home for a young family!

DSC_7422

 Colors everywhere! 

DSC_7424 

 And still the little snow angels dance in my yard…

DSC_7465 

 I’m glad I was here for the stirrings of spring… I was so afraid that the long dark of winter would be my last memory of Germany.

DSC_7370 

I’m honored to have these as my final glimpses of The Land of Fairy Tales… 

DSC_7386

 Courtney

 

Thomas Nelson Book Review

Kiss by Ted Dekker

I must admit that when I ordered this book I could barely sit still in anticipation. The teasers for it caught my attention completely and I couldn’t wait to delve into the story.

Kiss is the story of a young woman named Shauna who has lost six crucial months of her memory. As she comes to realize that she can trust no one in her life and that every circumstance may prove false she feels more and more the desperate need to fill in the gap the missing six months has made in her life.

As interesting as the story was it failed to capture me. I struggled to get through the first 50 pages and even put the book down for a time. Once I made it past that first hurtle, however, the story got going and sucked me right in. It was compelling, interesting, and absorbing.

However, there were elements of the story that felt as though they didn’t belong there, though I had no strong objection to them. I just never felt like the story meshed. I also felt as if the entire book was leading up to a big finish that would surprise and delight me… In truth, I felt the ending fell a little flat.

All in all the book was a good read. Although it does not make my list of books to read again I would recommend it to those looking for a good wholesome mystery to pass the hours…

CLICK HERE for more information about this book.

 

Babies blankets and sunshine!

Good morning!

Wow, this week has, quite frankly, gotten away from me!

Life is coming down to the wire for me.  I have only 22 days left in Germany.  22 days is going to speed by on wings!  In other words, I leave three weeks from tomorrow.  That means that Ryan and I have only two weekends left together!

I have been busy crocheting…  There are four babies in my family circle due by the end of the summer… in fact one of them was born last night!  My cousin and his wife had their second daughter, Caylie Taylor last night!  I can’t wait to meet her!!!

Then my cousin Kallie and her husband are expecting their second child, this one a little boy, in the next few weeks. 

Then my baby sister Becky is due with her second baby in August… We just found out two days ago that this baby is a boy!

And last but certainly not least, my sister, Charly and her husband Zach (Ryan’s younger brother) are having their first baby in October. 

When you add in how insanely busy we are going to be with the move and getting settled I figured the more I had done BEFORE I left Germany the better… so I’ve been busy!

In other news…  I’ve been talking back and forth with my mom and dad… Making plans for my time in Phoenix.  We’ll be having a garage sale, painting, helping both of my sisters set up their nurseries, ect.  Then we will be taking a trip to Del Rio, TX soon after I arrive so that we can scope out the town and look for houses.  I’m excited to get a look at my new home town! 

Spring is in full swing here in The Land of Fairy Tales!  All week long it’s been cool but sunny and bright!  It’s the kind of sun that actually warms your skin!  LOVELY!!!

Well… I’m off to keep working on a blanket I’m doing for a wedding gift… (Did I mention I have about five adult sized blankets on my docket too!? Aiy yi yi!!!)

Sorry for the extremely boring entry.  Hopefully I’ll have some more pictures to share next week!

Have a lovely day!

Courtney