I'm still learning when it comes to photography, but I definitely love shooting in manual. As hard as it can be.
These pictures were taken with a Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT, all in manual, except for the mirror one.
Did this video come into mind when you read the post title?
Uhm, that red-head at 3:14.
Or what about this rendition? GLEE fans anyone??
Oh, Jane Lynch.
Despite whatever "physical" they were singing about, I'm definitely talking about the physical as in fitness and nutrition. While I was living in California, I was doing really well on being active and eating healthy. It was much easier there, since everyone around you is pretty much a health and fitness nut. Plus, with a place like that, how could you not get outside and be active? I knew that coming home was going to be a challenge for me. In Tahoe, I got my workout in by hiking a mountain, going to waterfalls, kayaking, walking beside the lake, you know, doing things that I love and find enjoyable. Here in Alabama where I live, I can't easily do those things. It's much easier for me to just stay inside and sit.
I am by NO means a fitness guru or instructor, I'm still learning a lot myself! I'm educating myself on what is good or bad, what will help me and finding things I will like. As much as I wish that reading articles and repinning things on Pinterest counted as a workout and led to me getting healthy, it doesn't. I also need accountability. Here is where the new FITNESS tab above comes in.
What you will find on the FITNESS page:
So, there it is. There is my FITNESS page. Hope you will stick around for the journey! I leave you with some of my goals.
I didn't get this post off as early as I wanted to, but here it is!
4th of July! Independence Day! This has quickly become one of my favorite holidays. Three years ago, I went with two of my friends to the zoo, then we grabbed dinner at P.F. Chang's and watched the big firework show. Two years ago, I was living in New Orleans and we spent 14 hours in the French Quarter. We walked around taking pictures, hung out at the stores, listened to a live military band, had lunch at Bubba Gump's and then sat by the river as the fireworks went off. Last year, I had just graduated from college and was still living on my own. I went with some friends for dinner and then to the top of a parking garage to watch the firework show. I have loved my past 4th holidays.
This year was much more low key. I'm back home with my parents and since the 4th fell during the week, my parents were working. Thankfully, they were both off for the actual holiday. That day we went over to a friends' house and cooked out ribs. Of course that was delicious. That night we went to get fireworks and yes, Dad bought the big ones (see above)! It was pretty fantastic. Our friends even set off 25 ft. of firecrackers containing 200 rounds. It took over 1 minute for it all to go off. Yes, the things we do in south Alabama. Friday night, we cooked out yumm-o hamburgers and had a night in. Saturday was pretty low-key as well. The rain was able to hold off on the 4th, but after that it was pretty much rainy.
How was your 4th of July? Do you have any traditions for Independence Day?
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It's yet another rainy day here. I'm beginning to forget what the sun looks like. Please join me in praying that sunshine will return soon!
So, to pass some time away, I give to you Queen of California by John Mayer!
Welcome to Five Minute Friday!
(Click the button above for how it all started!)
Five minutes of unscripted, unedited, raw writing.
You get the prompt, set a timer, write and wherever you are at the end of those five minutes you stop and publish.
Then, you go and link up at Lisa Jo's blog and visit the person who linked up before you!
(The only rule to this awesome link-up!)
The canyons jetting off in the distance. So many gorges with so many different colors bouncing off the rock because of the Sun. It looks unreal, it looks painted. The giant condors flying around, kings of the canyon, rulers of the air. The Grand Canyon.
The tall steeples of the cathedral reach toward the sky. Facing the mighty Mississippi River as the steamboat and ferry glide across the water. The Quarter with all its eccentric people. The art that takes over the iron wall of Jackson Square. The smell of beignets and gumbo filling the air. The giant houses with their beautiful architecture in Uptown. New Orleans.
The red orange arms stretching to the sky. The fog on one side, the clear valley on the other. Alcatraz sits in the middle of the bay, surrounded by water. The hills go up and then down, some curve. The sea lions makes much noise over in Pier 39. The art musuem sits on the corner waiting for eager eyes. San Francisco.
The beautiful lake. The trees. The snow covered mountains on the other side. Kayaking. Sitting on the beach with a good book. Hikes up the mountains to rushing waterfalls. Lake Tahoe.
Beautiful are the places that I love...
Happy 4th of July!
No new post today (I'm taking a holiday!) Instead, I have some other fun things you can do! :)
I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July!
Enjoy some good food, drinks, friends, family, and fireworks.
Have fun and be safe!
P.S. Go check out the "Google" logo today and join a cute dog family on a trip around the USA! :)
I have always wanted green eyes instead of my blue eyes.
Some days I want ultra straight hair instead of my curly hair.
I want to have 20/20 vision, not wear glasses.
I wish that I could run a mile without getting short of breath like most of my friends can.
I want straight and pearly whites.
I don't want to be single (some days).
If we are being honest, who hasn't wanted to change something about themselves. If I asked you to think about, I'm sure it wouldn't take you long to think of something that you would change about yourself. No matter how big or small, it is there, always in the back of your mind.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body." Psalm 139:13-16
"I know that full well..." Know what full well? I don't know anything full well. Do you know it full well? I don't think we know it full well. Because if we did, would we really be worrying about the ways that we are different than the girl standing in front of us at Starbucks? Would girls be watching Miss Teen America, Miss America, or Miss Universe with sad eyes and wishes to be thin and beautiful like them? Would young girls, women, and men struggle with disorders and harmful behavior in order to be more attractive, stronger or better at what they do?
If we knew it well, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, I don't think any of these things would be a problem.
Yes, we were all created differently. But, how much would changing our outside appearance really makes us feel better? Going back to my list up there at the top. I could get rid of my glasses and change the color of my eyes with contacts, I could straighten my hair everyday, I could workout more to better my running, I could use Crest White-strips everyday to get whiter teeth and even shell out some money for braces to straighten them up. But, even if I change those things it doesn't guarantee that I will stop sizing myself up with the girl in front of me at Starbucks. Who would I be doing these things for? What would be my focus? What is my reasoning behind these things?
We may always want to be different and there may always be something we want to change, but we need to focus more on the inside than the out.
When Samuel went looking for David, he finally came upon Jesse and was looking at his sons. His sons were tall and strong, and Samuel was sure that He would find who God was looking for in the bunch. Then the Lord said something to him...
"...do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
Our thoughts need to be Christ-like right? So, instead of worrying about how we stack up on the outside, let's focus on the inside. Let's focus on our hearts. Our hearts are either soft and accepting of Christ and His ways, or they are hard like stone, rejecting of Christ and His ways. A hard heart makes it tougher to learn and only God can soften a hard heart. A soft heart is also a teachable heart. When we have a teachable heart we are letting God know that we are willing to let Him come in and change us. With a soft, teachable heart He is able to mold us into the person that He wants us to be. From our heart, everything else flows.
"My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:20-23
Our thoughts and ways will never be as grand as God's, but what better teacher to have than the One who created us? He created us in the way that He wanted us to be and in the way that He can use us. He gave us the body we have to glorify Him. Whether we are in a 9 to 5 job, the military, pageants, church ministry or politics, we are to glorify Him. We are to respect and take care of the bodies He gave us so that we are more able to serve Him.
I may not always be happy with my outside appearance, but God has given me talents, dreams, and passions that are found on the inside. My heart is full of love that He first showed to me and I now can use that love to serve Him. My eyes don't have to be green or my hair straight for me to lead a Bible study. I don't need to have perfect teeth or be able to run fast to go to lunch with a hurting friend. I don't have to be in a relationship in order to go somewhere on the mission field.
My identity is not found my appearance or what I'm good at. My identity is in Christ. Because my identity is found in Him, I am able to do immeasurably more because of His power. He does His work, for God's glory, through me. I am Christ's messenger. His love allows me to serve. His love allows me to love. His focus is now my focus. If I continue to put focus on the things I wish I could change instead of what He has put in front of me, I'm most certainly going to miss it.
Now, does this mean that I should forget all about my appearance?? Definitely not. We have awesome clothes, shoes, and hair to enjoy and I believe that God wants us to enjoy those things. Yet, we need to remember to glorify the Lord through every aspect of our life (I'm sure you've seen a good article on modesty before).
Bottom line is that no amount of comparing myself to another or wishing that I had something else is going to change the fact that God created me this way. It's all a part of His plan. The beautiful (and honestly scary) fact is that God has written my story already.
Our hope and joy is found in Christ alone.
Welcome to Chasing History! This incredible link-up was started by OneGirl! Click the button above to go learn more about this link-up and how it works. Basically you choose a woman of the Bible, read her story, write about her and what that story means to you. It's a pretty great thing and I'm glad to be a part of it. Thanks again to OneGirl! :)
First things first. I'm sorry that I'm a day late on this post! But, I'm glad you are here. Enjoy!
Characters in our story:
"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.""
Things Martha did:
Just by looking at the lists of what the two women did, it would seem that Martha accomplished more. She was the one that opened her house and made sure that everything was just perfect for Jesus when He came to their house. But Jesus tells us otherwise. After Martha came up to Him and complained about Mary not helping, Jesus says something that surprises her. Mary has chosen better, he says. Can you imagine what Martha was thinking? Maybe she was shocked that he would say that. After all, she prepared everything for him and all her sister did was sit! Mary didn't help me at all! I've been running around here like a chicken with its head cut off, Martha may have thought, and she has chosen better??
How often are we Martha? We are running around and making sure everything is just right for the big party. The house is cleaned and the floor vacuumed. All the decorations are up and the gift bags are made. The food is hot and ready for whenever everyone sits at the table. The coffee is hot and the desserts are looking fantastic!
We run around doing all these things, but Jesus says that really only one thing is needed.
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed..."
Some versions may say "but few things are needed -- or only one". What is this one thing that Jesus was talking about?
For me, I think He was telling us that we need to only make sure that we have allowed room for Him. That we are open and ready to have him come in and speak to us. In order to do that, we have to worry less that everything is perfect and instead focus our hearts and minds on the Lord and get ready for Him to speak.
We just need to be willing. Willing to stop everything, sit at His feet and listen.
How often we worry that we have so much to accomplish, that our to-do list is five miles long, that clothes need to be ironed, dinner needs to be cooked, the dog needs a bath, the kids need to pick a book for a book report due tomorrow, and our work report is due on Friday. Yes, our lives are busy and things need to happen. But we can't forget to take time to stop and just listen to Jesus. Those moments are where we can truly breathe and relax. We can rest in His arms and listen as He speaks new life back into us.
"Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her..."
His words strengthen us to continue on for another day. We can't continue to be so busy that we miss out on the opportunities to visit with our Lord.
Let's choose the better.
One of the places that I fell in love with while living in California was the city of San Francisco.
The Golden Gate, the city, the valley, the bay, the ocean, the trolleys, Golden Gate Park, the art galleries, the museums. I only went to The City twice, but it was enough for me to keep wanting more.
Today, I was led to some videos by Simon Christen. He created some wonderfully, beautiful videos with breathtaking scenes of San Francisco. One is even dedicated to the famous fog that blankets The City. Needless to say, he is now one of my favorites.
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All photos on this website taken by me unless otherwise noted. Affiliate links on this page.