We are currently 3 days into 2015 and I haven't even shared my end of year blog post! What is wrong with me! HELLO! 3 days?!? And to think, "blogging more" and view more is one of my new goals for the year. LOL Life is funny that way. But according to Wordpress, I have several drafts of this post and that probably means, I'm just not interested in blogging about the past year. See, I've learned that life really is about the day-to-day and not so much the past or the future. It honestly isn't. And that's not to mean those things aren't important, they are. But living in the now, being present and accountable, and sharing your every day with HIM, the almighty maker of heaven and earth...THAT is what it truly is about.
So, without further ado, here's the blog post where I talk about pictures I grabbed for my "year of end post". LOL After all, I am a photographer that loves taking pictures and blogging about life. So, win-win.
Keep scrolling baby! Keep scrolling!
This was me last year in January. I'm still undergoing treatment for my "bad ass" and 1/2 my hair fell out in the process. My awesome hairdresser cut it for me, short, short, short and this is what it looked like. I had "ombre" hair. It was awful, really. Not the cut! No! The cut was AWESOME, but the color. Just awful. Several different colors and non of them very pretty. It didn't stay that way long. Luke Bryan was coming to town and I needed something new. You know, just in case, Luke looked my way! LOL
Treatment ended in February of 2014. For most of 2013 and some of 2014, I was pretty worn out. I spent a lot of time on the couch with this lovely lady below. Kanga was the perfect companion! But I was very thankful when we both had the energy to get off that couch and get moving! Sometimes, I think she was enjoying the couch too much. She still is matter of fact.
I finally picked a color and went with it. I told the hairdresser, Pink. Not the color, the artist. This is what I got. Not too bad.
Not very Pink.
But much better then what I was dealing with. It's a definite thumbs up! I could add a few tatoos and that might help, no?
Our house is still for sale. We've showed it a handful of times this past year and I'm convinced we will find the perfect someones to love it like we do. I mean come on! Who wouldn't want to look at this door each day?!?! I still love this view! Such a cool door and such a fun place to live! But honestly? It's time to get her sold and get on with our lives. We need to get back to the farm, save some money and go on the road. Take a trip or something. Visit family. Take more pictures. Pay off bills. Pay for more college. All the above and then some. So, if you are reading this, and even thinking of buying a house, call me. I'll give you the grand tour. Ok?
I haven't given a cancer update and I feel like I need to. I know you read blogs sometimes and folks share their stories completely, but my health is such an ongoing thing, it's just part of my life. I know better, I do better. But here's the scoop to living with a colon cancer diagnosis. I will have scans and blood work the rest of my life to make sure I'm cancer free. Luckily for me, many of the indicators can be measured in my blood work. That's fairly easy. And honestly, the scans are that bad either. Just drink some stuff and lay on a table.
This my friends, is doable. Very doable. It's just a way of life when you have a "bad ass".
2014 brought a Luke Bryan concert with this pretty lady and my niece Brooke. I LOVED IT! I was weak and sat down for 1/2 the concert, but I LOVED it! Something about live music and just being with friends and moving to the beat. Oh, and how can I forget? Luke introduced me to Lee Brice. Oh, yeah! New obsession. Don't worry Kenny. He can never take your place, but he's a pretty darn good singer and I loved his new song, "I Don't Dance". LOVE. Although, his performance at the concert of that song, just him and a guitar, it was soooooo much better then the version he released. The release is way over produced. Still a good song, but come on, live is always better. Unless you are Mili-vinili.
Summer had her surgery.
I'd like to say that everything is great and wonderful. But it isn't. Her hip is great. Her pelvis, not so much. And her back? Still giving her grief. We are following up with her doctor in Dallas in the next couple of weeks. She's more then ready for some relief.
You can read more about this issue, HERE.
May also brought graduation. Summer Zoe graduated!
Yep. My last kid graduated high school. My family was here for the occasion, minus my sister and I loved having them here! Something I've learned about cancer, life is too short. Honestly, you hear that all the time, but it truly is and not seeing your family is just plain stupid.
In fact, the expiration date on hugging my momma has come and gone. I need to plan a trip to see her soon. Here we are in our "matching outfits" and hair. Aren't we the cutest? I have her eyes and nose I think. Don't you?
The summer brought more patio time for me. Last summer I mainly stayed indoors. I did chemo from June - December, so I just plain didn't feel like it. This summer? HELLO! I lived poolside. LOVED IT! So, when pulling photos for this post, I found a ton from the pool. I even created a pool play list on my phone.
Yes. Kenny was on it.
He's on every play list. Did you know he's going on tour this year?
The end of summer brought found me wearing a fit bit. You have probably seen these. I even blogged about it. But it has really gotten me moving and moving is good. Around the neighborhood, around my town, even in parking lots. I now park FOREVER away just to get steps.
Having puppies in our house really got me thinking about spending more time training Kanga. She's such a pain in the ass when people come over. Jumps on them. Barks at them. She's a needy creature and I wanted to make her a better dog. I researched some stuff online and made a few adjustments that have helped. Mainly, she has to earn her keep around here. For example, sitting and getting calm before putting her food bowl down. Making her sit and get calm before letting her back inside. Taking her on small trips in the car and to new places. All these things help give your dog a purpose other then simply taking up space. They need a purpose. We all do really.
I hesitate to show you this picture, because we all look so happy, but it was taken after a funeral. Our family lost Idalee this year. She's Devin's great grandmother and was almost 100 years old. I know! Crazy right? It's going to be really strange around here in the next few years as we adjust to her being gone. It's that way when you lose anyone in your life that has a strong presence. You have to develop a new groove without them.
She will be dearly missed.
So, we all took a trip to Austin to surprise Kalyn for her birthday. This was Davida's first time and it was soooooo much fun! I think she really enjoyed it even though Austin has changed a while since she was last here. We took a tour of her sorority house and even though it was a quick visit, we honestly had a great time!
We scoured some cheap rooms thanks to an ap on the phone in a nice hotel and any time we are all together, we have a blast!
This year brought lots of travel to me for work. LOVE that! I hate traveling alone, which happens most of the time, but I love traveling all the same. It's fun to meet people from different parts of our nation and it's AWESOME to see some new places.
For example, I got to go to Virginia and stay with my photographer friend, Allegra. Life is honestly about the life we live in the Body of Christ with the body of Christ. And we ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST. I've known some of these people for a decade or longer and it was so nice to spend time with them. Not cyber time, but physical time in their presence.
Jodel in Wisconsin.
Kim in Wisconsin.
I love my friends with cameras!
I also took a trip back to Kentucky for my birthday. So much fun!!!! I have this ap on my iPhone that helps you take selfies on a timer. I realize the new phones do this on their own, but if you need a timer, try this ap. It's called CAM ME. I think?
This photo below is one of my favorites EVER. We had so much fun that day! And this is what I'm talking about folks. REAL time with REAL people in your lives.
The Body of Christ is alive and with us when we are together, gathered.
We had the iPhone on my dad's car and we were all trying to trigger the timer. LOL Notice our matching fitbits below? UK blue baby!
And how wonderful is our GOD that can paint a picture with nature! HELLO! I had some awesome trees in Michigan, gorgeous views of all in Wisconsin. And then Kentucky. And in Bryan, Texas as well. I wasn't planning a fall tour of the USA, but I got it!
BRAVO, God, BRAVO!
Lots of family time this year. The heart does grow fonder. TOTALLY! Below is me and my nephew Jack, tailgating at a TCU game.
My sister-in-law, Emily.
My BFF, Toni.
Summer Zoe, of course...we are at TCU after all.
My brother-in-law, Jason.
The gang before the game. So much fun!!!
And we even ran into our cousin, Marcus! This was a super fun weekend.
Summer Zoe going to TCU has given Toni and I lots of opportunities to go to Ft. Worth together. HELLO! We are the road trippin' queens! Her sister, Brittany is Summer's roomie. I LOVE this!!!
Devin is even on board with the selfie more now that he's got a new hot bod thanks to hard work and dieting. I like having photos together.
We still own the Bull Stop. Please go and like our facebook page, even if you aren't 21. It's still a family run store with the girls and I working there. We have DVD's to rent, great cherry limeades and popcorn. Yes. We have liquor and the coldest beer EVER as well.
We've been taking lots of selfies lately. This one below is from Turkey Day.
Family is important. Take the time and the selfies. LOL Can I call them selfies if other people are in them? What's the protocol on this. Help me out new generation.
And while your at it, help me out when it comes to posing. I could obviously use some advice from the two on the right below. HELLO! I look like a complete dork. This was also before I started wearing contacts. I completely forgot to share that with you guys. My eyesight after cancer, needed some help. So, contacts are my new best friend.
When it's cold, you can always find a friend or two to walk with you at the FUMC Activity Center. LOVE having this resource available to us! Gotta get my daily steps in.
I've learned that friends can be family as well. Especially when your family is gone and spread out everywhere in the USA. Toni, below, yep, she's my BFF and that stands for Best Friend in your Family. Okay, so my sister is my BFF, too. Insurance in case she reads this blog post.
This is me and mascara at a red light. I don't usually wear it, but I did this day. I do have eyelashes, they are just really blonde. Maybe learning how to do makeup should be a goal for 2015?
You gotta love those West Texas sunsets!
2014 also brought the ap, audible.com into my life. With all the travels, I've been listening to books this way. Gone Girl, I'll Stay, Fault in Our Stars, Eleanor + Park, just to name a few. Good Reads is the ap that is useful to find ones that you may like. I use it a bit as well. Anyway, one of the things I listened to on a trip to Ft. Worth was the 7 Pillars of Catholic Spirituality. He talks about going to mass and taking notes in a notebook, so that you can look back on it after a year. Ask yourself the question each time in mass, to prepare your heart and your head, "What can make me a BETTER version of myself?" And listen to the readings, the music, the homily with this question in mind. Well, when the Christmas Cards started rolling in, I was reminded of this little tidbit in how this one was addressed. I'm keeping the envelope to remind myself to do this. Let's be BETTER versions of ourselves. Because truly this is the purpose of our life! It is!!! It truly is!!
I hear people struggling with their purpose all the time. Their jobs, what they should study, always searching for happiness OUTSIDE themselves. It's not there! It's just not. The purpose is truly being a BETTER version our ourselves.
Just a little tidbit I'm striving for each day.
I'll end this post with this guy above.
He's pretty darn cool.
He doesn't read my blog but many that know him do, and when you see him next, say hi, look him in the eye and smile.
God Bless and LOVE DOES! It truly does do!!!!