Monday, September 16, 2019

Ninja Warrior October 2018

John did a couple of Ninja Warrior competitions last October that were fun (and a little nerve-wracking!) for him.

I liked this motto that was up on the wall at one of the gyms. This is a good way to live life!

Sam had fun playing on a warped wall.

John had less fun trying to do this much bigger warped wall!

The pictures below are from a National Ninja League (NNL) competition that was held at T.A. Fitness, which is Dave Cavanaugh's gym. For those not in the know, Dave Cavanaugh is one of the stars of NBC's American Ninja Warrior because of how well he's done when he competes on the show. And one of the coaches at his gym, Lucas Reale, is also very good and is on the show too. In fact, tonight is the final episode of this season of ANW and Lucas has made it to one of the final stages. And I just ran into him the other weekend at the boys' gym! It's neat to see these people from TV in real life. You see that they're real people just like everyone else, they've just done some impressive things that have gotten them on national TV. Anyway, I digress! Back to the competition...

Listening to the rules before the competition began. John looks so young and vulnerable here. He's really grown a lot in the last year.
We had good seats up above that allowed us to look down at the competition course with a birds'-eye view. 

There's John right before he went. He was nervous! 

I took a few pictures during his run. Check out my awesome live-action photography skills. ๐Ÿ˜„

 This could quite possibly happen someday!

Friday, September 13, 2019

October Roses with a Pretty Fall Backdrop

The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory, so I'll proceed with the pictures and let them do the talking...



This really was the most perfect bouquet of roses I've quite possibly ever had the pleasure of owning. They added such beauty and cheer to my life for over half of the month last October. They were true blessings from nature and from a Father in Heaven who I know is always watching over me. ๐Ÿงก

Roses in Sunlight

Both sunlight and shadow are in this shot. Dark and light, yin and yang. All of it beautiful in this case!

"Illumination!" (to quote the Minions)

I really loved how the sun was shining in on the roses on this particular morning. 

It truly made me think of the love of God, warming us from above and lighting our way, helping us to blossom and grow here in our mortal existence. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

My Extraordinary October Roses

The rest of this week has a very rosy outlook as far as my blog posts are concerned. 
Last October I bought a half-dozen orange roses at the grocery store. They bloomed beautifully and lasted for weeks, exceeding my expectations in every way. They were amazing! I took many pictures to document their beauty, so I'm dividing them up into two or three separate posts so that we don't all suffer from amazing rose overload at once. ๐Ÿ˜

In the beginning, they looked like this. They were quick bloomers!

I loved how the sunlight illuminated the tips of the petals.

What a stellar addition to the kitchen sink area! ๐Ÿ˜„

More illumination...

I was entranced by how swirly they were. I love swirly, full, fragrant roses.

Get lost in the swirliness...

And here are my lovely roses sitting pretty on another day, with no sign of wilting or decay, and further blossoming still to come.

I was obsessed! In terms of the blooms and the longevity (and the beauty!), I think this was the best bouquet of roses I've ever had the pleasure of owning!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Eastern Star Extravaganza

Last October Peter's mom asked me to take pictures at her annual Eastern Star installation of officers. (Eastern Star is a freemasonry-related organization for men and women.) This is a big ceremony that they have every year for their new officers, and she was going to be the leader of her group for the year so it was a special occasion for her. I took a ton of pictures of the ceremony and at the dinner after, but am only posting a few of them here. I was honored to be asked to do the pictures and to have my name in the program too, fledgling photographer that I am!

These two pictures of my guys were for me. ๐Ÿ˜Š I snapped them during the ceremony. 

Peter's mom (Allison) is front and center. His stepfather Larry is on the left end of the second row.

The boys and their cousins.

It was a fun and interesting evening!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Hydrangeas in October

I was surprised last October that there were a couple of fully bloomed hydrangeas still going strong in the yard. I had thought they all died out by summer's end, but apparently not. Just another reason to love hydrangeas!

They provided quite the contrast with the fall foliage baskets that I'd just hung up from the porch ceiling. Summer and fall, my two favorite seasons!

Admittedly, the contrast would be more impressive if the bush were actually covered in hydrangeas like it was a few months earlier, instead of just the few lone holdouts. But still, you get my point!

For these and so many reasons, October really is one of the loveliest months. I'm looking forward to putting together some blog posts about last October for the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Five Things for Friday

1. Seminary started this week. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ I'm a first-time early-morning seminary person, not just mom, but person, because when I was in high school early-morning seminary wasn't an option in my ward yet (thank goodness!) so we did home-study seminary. John, however, gets to do early-morning seminary from 6:00-6:50 in the morning, every morning, before school at someone's house in our ward. Which means he needs to be up by about 5:20, and me by 5:15. It's so early. Too early, I still think, for teenagers (and their parents), but I do hope and believe that the spiritual benefits will outweigh the physical drawbacks and inconveniences.  

Having said that, I've been having a pretty rough time losing an hour of sleep each night, even with trying to go to bed earlier. John is handling it much better than I am. The enviable vigor of youth! He's enjoying seminary, and starting his day out with his church friends is a good way to start his school days. Now my poor tired body and brain just need to get on board! ๐Ÿ˜ช 

2. I got this cute shirt at Talbot's. I like it a lot. I think I'll wear it to the Downtown Abbey Exhibition in Boston next week. Not with white jeans (which I don't even have) but with nice dark blue ones.

3. This week I had our grill professionally cleaned (it was in pretty bad shape), had tree work done in the yard (some trees that got uprooted in the winter/spring were taken down and new ones were planted properly in their places), and I finally got the leaking fridge fixed. Small but significant household victories, all of them! Especially the leaking fridge. No more mopping up big puddles!

4. Yesterday The Wall Street Journal released their annual college rankings for this year. I was happy to see that my alma mater made it to the #4 spot. I've never seen it ranked that high. It's been in the top ten for a long time, and now it's finally cracked the top five! 

Penn ranked well for student outcomes as well. I can attest to that! (Thanks to Peter! ๐Ÿ˜ But I would have done well on my own, too. Probably not as well financially, but still well as I worked my way up in the NYC publishing world. Theoretically.)

5. In related news, something else that happened yesterday was that I became a "Top Fan" for Hallmark Channel on Facebook. Look at what good things I'm doing with my fine Ivy League education! ๐Ÿ˜‚

My weekend plans include helping with a charity fundraiser bake sale for children impacted by the immigration crisis at the border, getting caught up on sleep (hopefully), taking down all the summer things in the house, and decorating for fall. Soon it will be that lovely time of year once again!