Dec. 7, 2013 – A Walk To Remember

Although today was my day off and I finally got to enjoy our wintry weather, I have worked very hard.

I have worked hard to make sure this day is exactly right. Perfect, if you will.

See, today is one of those days that you never forget. The moment the clock strikes midnight, it settles over your mind. This presence doesn’t just linger around, but it gets comfortable. It fluffs up the pillows, shakes out the covers, and leans back to witness every part of the next twenty-four hours. And although, I want to fast forward the day, because there are other days, I would rather remember…

I just can’t.

I find myself not running away or speeding through it, but settling down too. Fluffing my pillows, kicking my feet up, and just enjoying my time with it.

So, I can remember.

And remember well, as I celebrate my wonderful treasures, and uplift them with great honor.

I thought of a million ways to get this right, but in the end. I made a video.

I hope you enjoy my day, and my walk. I hope you see the beauty in how it is lived and presented.


Click here to watch the video online.

My Dad died while I was blogging and it means the world to me that this blog holds what was in my heart that day (and continues to). I don’t ever want to forget them and I am so grateful to WordPress for this means to journal and share – the good stuff and the tough stuff.

God Bless you all for watching.

We are having a bit of winter here in Texas…..more on that later.

YouTube Cover Photo

© Angelia's Photography

A Christmas Gift to Remember

Another busy weekend and it wasn’t spent shopping. That, I still need to do.

What I did do was take portraits of the little girls and their mom. It was my Christmas gift to her. I wanted her to have pictures of just her, and her girls. Ones she could share with her family and know they weren’t prints I’d have all over the walls of our house. Because, I LOVE prints of the girls all over the walls of our house, and I probably would. Which? Is why I made them a gift so I wouldn’t steal them ……they are hers.

I’ll just give you a peek.

It was a really nice day. I had my assistant Sydney with me. We went to a park. It was incredible to me that it is December and the leaves are still in color change.

It set a magical scene.

One of the many reasons, I love Texas. Maybe we don’t get to see snow that often, but we get FALL for a long, long time. Psssst, love it!

The girls were excited to have step mom, mom, and sister on an outing together. It was getting in a car and going somewhere. Just us girls – weee!

I was really happy to know they acted the same with her as they do at our house; giggly, loud, and silly – or just like normal little girls.

Sometimes, I get a little afraid when they show affection towards me. There was a time their mom wasn’t very happy about that.

That was a long time ago.

We have come a long way and made great strides toward blended family relations. Based on how we get along, I think a lot of things have changed for the better. Now, I hug with no fear, even her.

I recognize the beauty of mothers and daughters. I could never take that from any one, nor would I want to. I want to always support that bond and encourage their love. What child couldn’t use more love?

More hugs? More laughter?

Am I good person for doing this? People tell me I am. But I don’t think of it that way. I didn’t take photos to get ahead, or to earn favors, or smooth ruffled feathers. I took photos because I love these little girls.

I love them like I gave birth to them myself.

But I didn’t.

I have this woman to thank for that.

For two precious angels I get to love too. I hold that very dear to my heart. I am grateful, so grateful, for being blessed as their step mom.

Incredible husband, beautiful step daughters, stunning daughter, and an ex-wife that is open to my crazy ideas of family. If this is the time of year blessings are counted, I need more than my fingers and toes.

A time to reflect. A time to reach out. A time when we humble ourselves like the deity that crossed the heavens to be a helpless infant for our hope. Hope and love – a gift to always treasure.

I am embracing this time of year, and I am sharing gifts of a different kind. Ones I hope will always be remembered.

Now, I must go and edit my next set of pictures. I took them the next day. Another gift…..a gift of education, a gift of pure pride. My amazing husband got his masters degree and I was there to capture the exciting event (I wouldn’t have missed it – not even for a Survivor finale – right, honey?).

In Remembrance of 9/11

Nine years ago today, I remembered where I was, and what I was doing.

I remembered the fear.

I remembered the love uniting us – one nation under God.

But mostly, I remember the patriotism of the strong, and the brave. Lives were lost, and lives were saved.

To the heros, and to the perished. I remember you.



    Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thru the perilous fight,
    O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
    O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?



    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
    Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!



    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.



    O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

(Composed by Francis Scott Key, “In Defense of Fort McHenry” in September 1814. Congress proclaimed it the U.S. National Anthem in 1931 — history follows.)

Never Forget.

*Photographs taken in Arlington, Texas, on this day, in remembrance of September 11th.

Triple digits

Seems like no matter where I turn, I end up in the land of the triple digits.


Evolution of the glyph – 3 number by Wikipedia.

I wrote about the three flames of love back in April.

I (almost) have three daughters.

Sydney, Molly, and Bridget at the Japanese gardens.

I have three dogs.

Salem first, Anna middle, Brownie last.

I have changed my last name three times. Married name #1. Married name #2. Back to maiden name #3. I actually don’t plan on changing it again. That means it stays at three.

My friend Luisa Doraz at Believe in yourself, represents my blog on her blog roll with a picture of three smiling daisies (I did not pick it out).

I adore them.

I am getting married on three tens….at three ten.

I can cook three things well; chicken with noodles in the steamer, mac and cheese casserole, and spaghetti.

There are three chores, I actually like doing; laundry, dishes, and cleaning.

Texas has more triple digits temps in the summer than Arizona (okay, maybe not, but it feels that way some years).

And finally, the month of July, which is not a three, but does remind me of three very special little boys who live in heaven.

My two nephews, and my friend, and photographer extraordinaire, Kellene, from Bella Lucia photography’s son Leo. They lived long enough to capture our hearts, and they died way to soon – leaving a wake of hearts in their ascension.

Kellene’s story of Leo is a moving one. It touched me to the core the first time I read her blog about him. Kellene is not just gifted in intimate portraits of life, but also in capturing intimate moments of life. Precious moments that live forever. I have those with my nephews and she has those with her son. I feel that is part of what connects us.

She is amazing, not only does she praise God for her day with him, but she continues to shine light and love to all who meet her. She illuminates life through her lens and her memories.

I wish I could describe what I feel for her, and what I felt for her immediately upon “blog meeting” her. I guess I just knew how special she was. And talented. And giving. And loving.

This is someone who deserves to be lifted up and praised, not just for her work, but for the sheer will and effort, she put forth to survive the death of her baby.

When she posted on her blog a remembrance memorial request in Leo’s honor, to celebrate his life. His one day. The day that changed her life forever. I was honored to accept, because it’s such a small thing for me to do, but a HUGE thing to her, and her family.

From Kellene’s blog , here is her request:

This month marks the one-year anniversary since our son Leo passed away after being born at 30 weeks due to a placental rupture. The past year has been a rough journey of both sorrow and faith. As we approach this season of remembering, many of you have asked what we were planning to do to remember Leo. After thinking long and hard, and asking other’s their ideas, I have come up with something everyone can participate in to celebrate his life!!

So, if you’d like to participate, here are the details…. I would like to start a Name Memorial for Leo. Find a creative way to write his name and capture it. You can write it in sand, in a letter, on an object, etc. You can incorporate anything you’d like… flowers, balloons, stuffed animals… be creative and have fun with it! The images will be featured on my blogs in a slideshow for everyone to enjoy.

Email your images to: kellene.maynard[at]gmail[dot]com Please be sure to include you name and where you are from with your submission!!!

Thank you ALL for participating in remembering our little man with us. Your love and support has brought us through the darkest time in our lives. We love you!!

If you read her story – Leo’s story. You will want to honor his beautiful life too.

Click here for her journal entry describing her day with him, Remembering Leo.

    Kellene,

    Your walk of faith. Your strength. Your deep well of love is so precious to me. I can’t think of anything more endearing and heartfelt than sharing the celebration of his life with you.

    Love and joy to you always…

Readers, commenters, friends, and family would you join me? Would you join Kellene? Will you take a picture of his name and email it to her for his memorial? It would mean so much to us all, if you could share this time of poignant joy on his first birthday. I look forward to seeing your submissions on her upcoming slideshow.

I also look forward to meeting Kellene in person on my three tens – 10-10-10. She is my wedding photographer, coming all the way from Washington state. Funny thing……the town she lives in? The only town in Washington I have EVER visited. I visited a good friend, and former co-worker, who had a son the same age as Sydney, we were pregnant at the same time. She had moved before the baby was born and I flew out the first chance I got to meet him. Small world, huh?

And by the way……… today?

Marks three months until the wedding (at posting). Three!