Category Archives: gratitude

If it’s to be…

“One of our favorite activities as a family is watching old home movies.”

Photos and Videography….the first time around I was so rushed and anxious to get to the party, I didn’t stop to take the time to get photos you can look back at for years to come. I was so anxious I didn’t remember the vows I spoke or the moment we shared that special kiss. At the end of the day, the camera doesn’t lie and whether you want staged pictures or candid moments the person or people you hire need to have an open and often unspoken communication with you at all times. If your not committed to the moment, no photographer or film crew can photoshop you in it.

A New Beginning

Allen Kee: A proud father who is passionate about his work as an advertising and editorial photographer. Allen took time from his busy schedule working primarily for ESPN to photograph our simple family on our special day. 

Allen had come into my husbands small auto detail business only a couple months prior to our wedding to have his car detailed.  My husband came home and said, “I met this great guy today and he is an awesome photographer.”

I immediately started checking out Allen’s work always thinking outside the box, I discovered this amazingly talented photographer working in the fast paced world of sports and falling in love with his still and loving photos of his daughter.  I knew he was exactly the type of photographer I was looking for. We needed empathy for family and the patience for my high energy and he had already established a genuine connection with my husband it all made sense. I asked my husband to do only one thing and that was to call Allen and ask him to photograph our wedding and he did. Allen said it was his honor,  he had found inspiration in our strength as a couple taking the non- traditional route in life getting re-married to each other. We not only had a true professional but now a friend who’s life we touched and that clearly advocates for human kindness. I encourage you to check out more of his work and I am honor to share we have been able to continue to work together: http://www.allenkeephoto.com/

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Chip Dizard:  A passionate teacher, father and husband. His videography speaks for itself in the work he produces.  I met Chip online threw a Facebook club called “Never Settle Club”, hosted by Mario Armstrong.

Chip and I made a connection via social media, sharing our passion to find a sustainable future doing what we are passionate about in life. He took the time to get to know me, reading my story about finding 365 Days of Joy. I found myself inspired by Chip’s dedication as a teacher and the work he does with his students. Throughout the course of the club online Chip shared his wedding videography and my decision to hire him had already been made.

When Chip came all the way up to our small town, he got to know my family. He spent time passing the baseball in the backyard with my husband and son. He spent time teaching my daughter how to use the camera’s connecting with her as he would with his own children and students. The crew he brought with him, were professional and acclimated themselves with the area we lived, scouting out arial views that would encompass all the things we love about the town we live. I cry tears of joy each time I see just the trailer that he completed of our wedding day. You can see more of his work at:  http://chipdizardweddings.com/

I know these are major expenses and for us we consider them is an investment in our future. I often say, when I look back at my photos it reminds me of the love I have for my husband and my family, by the expressions on our faces.  I have absolutely no regrets in investing in quality people my photographer and videographer. I consider them my friends for life…

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No Greater Gift

I am one of the many members of “St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church” and have been for over twenty years.  I have now officially been married twice here, to the same man. Baptized two beautiful babies and celebrated while my husband and our two children had their first communion at your alter. What I want to say is that none of this would have been possible without you, “the people”, of this church and I am grateful.

Many of you probably don’t know this about our family, but while we celebrated all these wonderful moments in our church lives our home life and first marriage to each other had fallen apart.  Two years ago, after our first marriage ended in a divorce my husband and I thought we lost everything…and we found ourselves at the doors of this church.  I would like to think, God answered our call but I know his hands were stretched far wider.

I know church is a place where all should feel welcome and sometimes that’s not very easy. A church is still a business that has salaries and bills to pay and at the time, leaning on these doors was a far stretch for even my own faith to reach, but I can tell you today it was worth it. It’s important to know where your consistent charitable donations are being spent and what your selfless time and dedication keeping these doors open means. You are changing the lives of people when they are in need and I share that you are making a difference.

After two years of hard work, support and counseling the “Episcopal Church Diocese” of Connecticut, gave my husband and I their blessing to re-marry and we did on September 13, 2014, here at this church.  This parish the staff and its administration opened its arms and embraced my family in a time of need. The music director played “No Greater Gift” while empowering our children to find their voice. The church administrative officer, not only helped me put together a program that celebrated my life, but include the lives of all people who celebrate joy in forgiveness and believe in the covenant of marriage. The alter guild gave me strength as I anxiously walked toward the alter. To the Reverend Steve Domienik…we are eternally grateful for your leadership, counseling and continued faith in a God which has empowered me to share how great it is to believe he exists.

Lastly and most importantly to my church family, you have given me the opportunity to share how wonderful this church is with so many people and to teach our children having faith can make a difference, in the lives of others.

The Ultimate Throwback

When I started my journey to finding my passion,  I was inspired not just by the words and works of other writers, but more importantly the photos that I associated with them. It soon became a quest to seek #365DaysofJoy all year long as I was looking threw hundreds of memories that I truly found Joy, in the simple moments that brought me happiness.

The act of looking at the simple moments that brought me true happiness. 

My ex-husband and I had been living together for two years with our two young children since our divorce back in 2010. I started writing to keep me busy and diminish the anxiety that was starting to build over the holiday season, as I was anxiously awaiting a proposal from him to get re-married again.

We had been married for ten years so I had hundreds of photos of our life together, the life we shared with our two young children. Whether it was a silly face, a new toy, a trip to the zoo, jumping on the trampoline or just camping in the back yard. The photos sparked joy and yes even sadness. Not the sadness of losing all the material stuff that we thought we needed or can no longer afford to buy but sadness that we lost site of the joyful memories we shared just being together that were evident in those photos.

Today I share this with you, in the hope that if you have lost site of what really matters in your life take a look back at your old photos. Look at the expressions on the faces and the feelings that you associated with those moments. Spread them on the walls of your home and use them as daily reminders of what’s really important in your life.

Just maybe you will be inspired to put the past behind you and shine a light on the joy you have today remembering those good feelings. The Joy that I know has lead me to a moment of happiness in sharing my story, with you.

Sharing your story

Yes everyone does have a story and I am humbled to be able to share mine with you, thanks to social media.

I am genuinely transparent exactly what you see and read everyday. I am a human being who is imperfect has compassion and empathy for other human beings and simply seeks a simple moment each day, I celebrate my life.  I am giving back whatever I can and listening to those who need to be heard.  I am just a simple mom that wasn’t so simple-minded and started spreading #365daysofjoy in a hashtag.

I am passionate about being inspired by others and empowered to help others to find their voice in this often changing and very loud world of social media. I wanted to do something for those that aren’t as comfortable to share, or simply just haven’t been given the proper tools to find the right outlets or direction. What was my way of,  “thinking outside the box”, making time for myself as a mom, connecting with my kids online and seeking a sustainable lifestyle…Is now becoming the makings of a successful future educating not just myself but now others on how they can sustain happiness within their own life’s joy and passions.

I use my enthusiasm and positive energy to make a difference.  If we share what we are passionate about with the right people we will most certainly inspire success. There are no excuses or reasons to take the easy road or justify failure, we can all be successful and have dreams that are absolutely sustainable. I do believe “not naive” requirements are hard work, dedication, consistency and a desire to make a better life for your future.

Social media successful story telling is not easy. It’s simply a reflection of how we choose to live our life and the message we send to others that inspires them to want to share. It may be one follower, one like, one tweet but most importantly its one day at a time. I am always gratuitous to those that listen, care and share. We are all able and accountable to at the least try…

This is a healing process for me writing to you being relatable and showing a side of humanity that many people don’t often get to see or lack the courage to share. I hope you do find inspiration and courage, to believe that your story will inspire someone. I know mine has and I hope you take the time to value yours, because I value all that share with me.

I just love you because….

My Christmas miracle, my ex-husband who I have loved for the past 14 years asked me to be his wife again and I said yes. We married again this past September surrounded by joy and love and leading up to that day I found the following advise worth sharing…

We live in a world where we are pre-judged for our past. I often find we are so afraid to be hurt we aren’t vulnerable to trust in love for fear of the pain it will cause, or the shame we will feel if we fail. No one wants to be judged by others especially if they don’t succeed so they never take that chance.  In this life we need to be accountable to ourselves. Love ourselves so we can give true love to others. It’s really that simple…If you trust and love yourself you are capable of being truly loved by someone else.

Leading by example and listening to our hearts, surrounding ourselves with others who help us discover what makes us worth it. Pay your love forward to the children, they need unconditional love always and that’s the greater good. Have empathy for those who are not able to see or change out of fear, have compassion for them.

Sometimes there doesn’t need to be a reason as much as we want an answer the only answer can be, I just love you because…so stop looking so hard for an explanation and just receive the gift of love and leave it at that.

Letting go…

A moment that brings me joy while I am in such sadness saying goodbye to my home. It is never easy when you lose your home. I am not talking about the home I grew up in as a child, rather the home I grew up to become the women I am today. The home I had to let go of because I had to save what is truly important and that is my family.

Two years ago after I got divorced, I moved out of our family home with my two young children leaving my ex-husband to keep the house. My hope was that he would see holding onto something that we couldn’t sustain wasn’t going to bring back that love we had lost in searching for answers that only we could only find within ourselves.

We have found our way back to one another letting the house go to foreclosure and got re-married this past year. We currently live in a rental that is temporarily keeping a roof over our heads while we float in a sea of bureaucracy that has us fishing for happiness in the simple moments that bring us #365daysofjoy and I am grateful for this.

Today one step forward to putting closure on the past, in being accountable to value what’s truly important in life. Letting go of the home where I grew up to stand up for myself and to teach my children the value of what love really is. I have my family which is what matters most and leaving that house to be only a shadow of the many memories we will make going forward. Goodbye to what I thought I had to have before I grew into the women, wife and mother I am today.