Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Hey ho!

Happy Monday morning to you all! How are you doing today? Me, I'm recovering from a crazy, busy weekend. Story of my life lately. But it's all good, it's all so good.

Friday started off great with our weekly meeting before school of our FCA group.  FCA is Fellowship of Christian Athletes and we have a group of about 10-12 kids show up every Friday morning to talk about our faith and walk with God. This past Friday morning, my Pastor came to talk with the kids. He is awesome with them, gets right down to their level and is so open & honest with them. The kids love it when he comes.

I had a fabulous date night on Friday  with my Dream Boy. We went grocery shopping! Actually, it's not as bad as it sounds......we do have fun when we're together. We picked out dinner and came home fixing it while putting away groceries and then settling in for our weekly Netflix fix. We are currently working through House of Cards, just starting on season 2. Not sure how many seasons are in it this series, but it is one that grabs your attention & you have to pay close attention to follow all the twists & turns in it.

Saturday was the busiest day of our weekend. Dream Boy headed off on a bike ride & I headed off to our prom venue to set up for portraits. We met back up at home and then headed into town together to celebrate a very special birthday. Dream Boy's Great Aunt turned 100 on Saturday & her church had a cake & ice cream open house for her.
Aunt Eleanor is on the left and my mother-in-law is on the right. Mom's mom, was Aunt Eleanor's sister. 

We walked into the church and were amazed at the display table. She had the original box with her wedding dress & veil stored inside, a dress from when she was a baby, her dress from her high school graduation and a dress from her wedding that she called her "going away" dress. Several pictures were scattered around the table of her in her wedding dress, her graduation dress and then pictures of her with her sisters and mom. She had them stored in her cedar chest and upon her recent move, they were found again and she proudly displayed them.

Aunt Eleanor just recently decided to move from her apartment into a senior assisted living center, but don't let that fool you. She is still very independent, only taking one prescription and that has just come about in the last year. She attends church regularly and is very active.


Saturday night I was the portrait photographer for our high school prom. The kids and parents of the junior class worked hard all day getting the venue jazzed up and it turned out so nice. The kids had a great time!
Junior Class of 2017
Senior Class of 2016

Don't they all look so nice all dressed up? It's amazing how different they all look when they dress up, just so grown up!

Sunday morning we headed off to church and stayed afterwards for an all church potluck. Aren't those the best? So many dishes and good food to chose from, why does it seem you never have a big enough plate?

We headed home and this girl, spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch.


I was just feeling like I was recouping from the senior trip last weekend and then prom hit me and I felt like I was starting all over again. But a 2 hour nap works wonders on a cloudy, gray, cold Sunday afternoon.

This week will be spent editing pictures from prom and getting my order together, along with setting up a group session for my 2017 Senior Models. 

How was your weekend? Got any big plans for this week?

Well, as always, I hope you have a wonderful week, thank you for stopping by, even those of you who "secretly" read my blog.  LOL!

Friday, April 29, 2016

2017 Senior Models

Okay, okay - hold on. I know - it's shocking! I'm posting twice in one week! Been forever since I've done that..........and I do miss it. 

But I have some exciting news!

I've kicked off my 2017 Senior Model program with some tweaks and tightening up and am so excited for the 4 girls I will be working with this year!
While 3 of them are from my home school where I work, I have NO doubt that their networks of family and friends run far & wide!

Meet Kylie - upper left. She's from Vicksburg High School. Granted, she is my niece and there is that obligatory family thing, but even if she weren't, she'd still be in my top picks for this program!

Haley - lower left. This girl has blossomed so much this past year at school and I have enjoyed watching her grow in oh so many ways! She has a heart as deep as the Grand Canyon AND a pet chinchilla, named Elvis. Okay - so with that, how can you resist her?

On the right - the cutie in the orange shirt? That's Madelyne. She's also my neighbor and has one of the happiest dispositions I have EVER seen in a girl. Even when she's feeling down, she's still smiling!

And the chica in the green - that's Taylor. This girl - oh this girl. She is as sweet and kind as they come.

I am so very excited to work with them all!  We're working through their proms over the next few weeks and then we will be gathering for a group session, along with individual sessions to get their model card shots.

I started this program last year and have done a lot of research over that time as well. I continue to tweak it and learn from my mistakes, but I truly feel this program is one I'm gonna stick with for a long time coming!

With graduation just around the corner for the Class of 2016, it's not to early to start thinking about your Class of 2017 senior sessions!  Be sure to contact me soon to book your session for this summer/fall or early winter!

Stay tuned - me and the girls........we'll be back soon!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Nightcap

I can say it!

G-A Senior Trip 2016 is another successful trip for the record! It's in the books & we are back. Everyone was beyond exhausted, but I think it's safe to say, everyone had a good time and made many new memories.
Chaperones included. While this was trip #14 for me & trip #2 for my principal, the other 3 were rookies! 

Four days of non-stop, on the go, are we ever gonna sleep mode will tire out anyone. But it always amazes me how the kids seem to drag along more than this old lady, or any of the chaperones for that matter. And yes, I am the oldest chaperone on this trip - thems are all babies by comparison!

We spent Friday night in a traffic jam coming out of Orlando, which caused us to be an hour late for Grad Nite at Busch Gardens, but once we arrived - I really don't think the kids noticed that hour as being gone.

In all my years of Grad Nite's, I truly believe this was THE quietest ride back to the hotel. I think they were all asleep before we got out of Tampa and onto the highway back to Orlando.

Saturday - the whole day was spent in SeaWorld and they all loved it. A lot of walking for this mama made for some very tired, sore feet by the end of the day, but the price was worth it when the kids got on the bus and were talking non-stop on the bus trip back to the hotel.

We order in pizza for them on Saturday night and after feasting away, they get 2 hours of free time, which most of them spent in the pool or miniature golfing. There were several, as well, who stayed put in their hotel room playing cards or watching movies.

Sunday we rose to a beautiful, clear blue sky and the promise of a great day filled with sunshine. We headed down the road to Aquatica Water Park, my all time favorite water park, and spent the day riding water slides, rapid rivers, wave pools and just lazing on the beach!

Waterlogged and a little sunburned, we headed home when the park closed at 5pm. Talk about being pooped out! When they reported 2 hours later for dinner, they were dragging.

We headed down the street to Dave & Buster's for dinner and gaming before wrapping up our weekend & heading back to the hotel to pack. A 4:30 wake up call this morning came awfully fast for 33 teenagers, not to mention me!

So, we made it home safe & sound this afternoon, with minor bumps & bruises, one lost wallet and a few sunburned shoulders - but thankfully no one will be in too bad of shape this Saturday with prom! They did good, real good, with the sunscreen this year!

I must say though, I am very happy to be home and am glad that my traveling will consist of work and back for a long while. I have loved every opportunity I've had to travel over the last few months, but in the end, there is no place like home.

Back at it tomorrow - back to the trenches, but it's always a fun day to listen to the kids talk and reminisce about the trip with their fellow classmates.

I'll give myself about a week or two before I start working on next year's trip - yep, the planning will begin for Senior Trip 2017 by the first of May!

I hope you've all enjoyed your weekend and have an amazing week ahead.

Take care and thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Off I Go, Into the Wild Blue Yonder!

I'm a traveling fool as of late it seems. Heading to Florida for my 3rd time since the end of February tomorrow afternoon.

Not complaining.

This one is for business. Yep. The kind of business that involves 33 high school seniors! 

Is that better defined as monkey business?

This is last year's motley crew just before we entered Busch Gardens for the Senior Grad Nite celebration!

This will be trip number 14 for me. Never did I think when I took the first class in 2003 that this trip would still be as popular today as it was then! Last night as I was perusing Facebook it was so fun to see posts pop up of former graduates reminiscing that a year ago, or 4 years ago, or longer they were on their senior trip to Florida. Each post talked about the fun they had and the memories they made and how this trip is one of the few memories that they still carry with them like it was just yesterday!

That is why I continue to do this. I love how this memory lasts long into their years beyond high school. It just makes me warm all over.

Or is that another hot flash?

Dream Boy is guarding the home front with the Wonder Dog, and they'll do just fine.

I missed Monday Morning Coffee again this past week, but let me tell you, the struggle bus was real that morning. I could not get moving at a normal human pace for love nor money.

So let's get caught up now!  It has been a busy week at school with my normal duties, then a full day in Lansing at a workshop on truancy, and all the final details that I needed to take care of to make sure this trip goes off without a hitch.

Last weekend was an absolutely beautiful one! Such a major change from the snow & ice that had plagued the Mitten just a week before. It was in the upper 70s and actually hit 80 on Sunday!

Saturday Dream Boy went riding with his buddies while I did the grocery shopping for the week. When I got home I made up a fresh pasta salad and then spent the afternoon out on the patio reading & soaking up the warmth & sun while my Wonder Dog played in her pool.

She was in her glory! Just loved being outside and playing in her pool - this girl was pooped by the time we went in for the night.

We went over to our friends for a cookout later and ate dinner out on the deck over looking the lake and the dock.
Like those kicks? Yeah, I do too. They're new for my trip this weekend. I'm not one to wear tennis shoes, they are to big, heavy & clunky for my liking, so I invested in these cute Skechers. The box felt empty when I picked it up & I had to make sure the shoes were in there!

Sunday dawned and it turned out to be an even better day than Saturday. Dream Boy & I got home from church and he helped me load my kayak up on my car so I could take it to a different lake for a change.

I went out to the local state park and there were over 10 other kayaks on the lake when I got there!  It was a challenge at first as I had to reestablish my sense of balance and pace myself. This lake is a lot bigger than the one I kept my kayak at last summer, but it was so fun to explore! The water was crystal clear and I could see all kinds of wild life waking up beneath me!

When I got done and was getting ready to load up the boat, S2 texted me what he was doing with his day in Seattle.
So he was in the mountains enjoying a gorgeous day of skiing and I was on the lakeshore paddling my boat. 

It was a good day.

And after I managed to get off the struggle bus on Monday, the rest of my week has been a pretty darn good one as well.

So I'm off to the sunny south again tomorrow - ready to play for the weekend and return home completely exhausted on Monday. But I love helping these kids make great memories!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!