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one of those days. inspired by life april 2018

I told Joshua we could go spend a couple of hours at the beach. We are fortunate to live in a place where an hours drive will take you the most beautiful beaches in America. It’s still a little chilly for me to be hanging out in a bathing suit, but Joshua was all for it!

And then he surprised me. He asked me if he could bring his paints and a canvas and paint a landscape while we were at the beach. Well of course I said yes!! Now just so you know, this was his first attempt to paint on site. And he didn’t take in to account how glaringly bright our beach is with the white sand. So for a while he had his towel over his head painting. It was so fun to watch. While he got his art on, I took my camera and got mine on.

It was one of those days….

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we had to find the perfect spot. so we sat down sightly behind this dune so he “could have some interesting views.”
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in his element.
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“mom I don’t have enough paints.”
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bathroom break.
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after finishing his painting, joshua wanted to go explore fort pickens. we used to bring the boys quite frequently but since they are older we haven’t been as much. i think he has missed it.
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brought my new lens baby so, of course, I had to experiment a little with this new lens.
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it gets dark in the tunnels.
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the landscape is so different around the fort.
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the wildflowers were everywhere.
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i’m thinking he had a great day.

I think we all need one of those days. Find yours. You’ll create memories for a lifetime.

❤️ Brandi

This blog is part of Inspired by Life Blog circle. It is filled with wonderfully talented photographers from different parts of the world. Please follow the circle and see what has Inspired our artists this month. Next up is my friend Melissa. Please check out her blog here. See ya’ll next month!

 

home. march 2018. inspired by life

Home. The place where your soul takes a deep breath because the air is different there. The sun shines a little brighter, the wind wraps around you a little tighter, and the rain cleanses the earth a little better. “Home” doesn’t always equate to a house. It could be that one vacation spot your family chose every summer for a family getaway. Pay a little closer attention to the spots you frequent. You may be surprised at the places and people that make you feel like you’re home.

Here are a few photos of the people and places that feel like home to me.

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this is the view from my kitchen window
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a sunset from our backyard
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my husband, brad, working in the barn
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brad teaching daniel in the barn
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a sunset through the barn windows
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joshua and a birthday cupcake
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my mama
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a sunset at lake jackson

As I type this, the window is open to cool March winds and I can hear the birds singing. It is the first day of spring and the earth knows it. Happy Spring Day!!

❤️ Brandi

This blog is part of Inspired by Life Blog circle. It is filled with wonderfully talented photographers from different parts of the world. Please follow the circle and see what has Inspired our artists this month. Next up is my friend Melissa. Please check out her blog here  See ya’ll next month!!

phoneography. february 2018. inspired by life

Hey Ya’ll!! I have started and deleted this blog post about a dozen times. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to try and express what I want to say. I wanted to talk about phone photography. I’ve been told countless times that equipment does not make a photographer. And, I should add, neither does a computer. When I look at something interesting, I’m always looking to see the best angle for a photo. And just because I didn’t bring my DSLR or my computer with me, doesn’t mean that I won’t get a great photo. I practice every day with a camera…whether it’s my phone or my Nikon. I’m always snapping away. That being said,

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there is an extremely large online photography contest currently happening and it’s the first time I’ve ever entered. Last year I voted a couple of times, but I didn’t have anything invested in it so I didn’t really stick to it. However, since I submitted 50 photos this year, I figured I should at least vote in the thing! It’s become somewhat of an addiction,

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trying to see if you spot your photos among the 100’s of thousands of images that were submitted. And it’s a total high when you do spot one of your own. Not only do you get to vote for it, you can see your photo in a grid of four and see how they look with the other contestants. I can see what I need to work on. I can even see where I have improved over the years. The funniest thing I’ve learned about myself…

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the phone photography category has become my favorite. It’s so interesting! It could be documentary, landscape,

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food photography, lifestyle, action, or portraiture. I love it all!!

All the photos in my blog today are from my phone. Basically, a-day-in-the-life-type photos.  I’ve decided that I’m going to embrace my phone camera. I won’t just take a selfie, I’ll take a selfie with my embarrassed teenaged son photobombed by my husband.

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I’m going to take photos of my grandparents and my parents when they aren’t looking.

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I’m going to practice my phoneography. It’s ok to document your life. And it’s ok to jump into the photo, too.  There’s one more thing you should do,

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PRINT YOUR PHOTOS!!!!!! There are so many companies out there that will print your photos for free, so there really is no excuse.

I just printed these photos (I only paid shipping), and let me tell you, it was like Christmas morning when I received my package in the mail. So much fun to look through “family pictures”. Print them! I promise you will not regret it.

♥ Brandi

 This blog is part of Inspired by Life Blog circle. It is filled with wonderfully talented photographers from different parts of the world. Please follow the circle and see what has Inspired our artists this month. Next up is Sarah’s blog, click here to see her incredible images!!

understanding: artist inspired blog circle May 2017 – purple

Enjoy the spring. There are colors everywhere. Today I found purple.

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The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

This blog is part of that circle. It is meant to share other artists. Please follow our circle by clicking here to see how Sharleen interpreted purple. You won’t be disappointed!!

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the time for white: artist inspired blog circle december 2016-white

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White. Yep, I think about Christmas when I see white. Of course, there’s the snow, white lights in a green tree, fuzzy hats with white trim, and marshmallows floating in hot chocolate. But…I live in Florida. We rarely see snow, ice more often, so we have to make our “white” Christmases.

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One of my favorite things to do is make cookies. I love everything about it. Gathering all the ingredients, watching my family circling around the dough waiting for the beaters from the mixer, filling the house with that oh-so-yummy smell. You can smell them, can’t you? I was thinking about this blog post while I was making chocolate chip cookies. I looked down and viola! White!

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We may not have snow, but we have sugar and flour!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough….

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The kids weren’t too far behind. Even my hubs has to come grab a spoonful. There’s nothing better when it’s a little chilly outside and there are fresh baked cookies. I think it’s time for another batch 😉 happy baking, ya’ll!!!

PS-I promise to be more organized in the future so I’m not trying to type this up the night before publishing!!!!

The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

This blog is part of that circle. It is meant to share other artists. Please follow our circle by clicking here to see Kathy’s interpretation of White.

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the gold season: artist inspired blog circle september 2016-Gold

I dislike September. If something bad is going to happen, it always seems to happen in September. Green Day had it right when they sang “Wake me up when September ends.”

Besides September 11th, there have been many things in my own life that have given me this sense of sitting on tenterhooks waiting for the next disaster. My grandfather, the most enigmatic man I’ve ever known, passed away September 15th, the day before Hurricane Ivan slammed into Pensacola (my hometown). Unfortunately, it took a while to find out where his body had been taken after the storm, much less get a funeral together. My family had to arrange our own flowers for his casket. With power out in the city we couldn’t use fresh flowers. So, we bought silk flowers in Jacksonville. I still have one in a shadow box. I should have know he would have gone out with a bang. Nothing was ever simple with that man.

Several years later, my husband’s grandfather passed in September. His death wasn’t as dramatic, but the impact was felt as severely. I miss his jokes and inappropriate humor. I seemed to have been the only one in which he would share that particular characteristic.

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Enough about me. It’s not really what I wanted to talk about. I just finished reading a wonderful book, The Butterfly and the Violin, by Kristy Cambron. Part of the book takes place during WWII. And it got me to thinking, as any good book should do.

When I was a child I did a social study project on Auschwitz, and during this project I interviewed two survivors of this horrible place. It was one of those moments that changes the way you view the world and the people that inhabit this place. It can be shocking to realize the evil that exists. I’ve always “known” that evil exists. You cannot grow up Catholic and not know. Even the church accepts it. However, true evil, the evil that infects so easily and breaks down every barrier without hardship is completely and utterly terrifying. Oh, and guess when little ole Hitler marched into Poland? September 1, 1939. Evil and terror, such as he created, is incomprehensible to me. Was he even human?

How do you survive such unholy terror? It tries to destroy everything that makes you human. But that’s the thing, being human. Our will to survive is simply amazing. But even more fantastic is the ability of the human spirit to see and create beauty and love in even the most dire of circumstances. And I believe the reason we can is because of God. He is there to help us see and feel it. We just have to let Him.

I wonder sometimes if those moments are special because they are so simple.

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Do you think the people held prisoner in the “work” camps could even see a sunset? Or did the ashes from the crematoriums block out the sun? Could God’s golden sun break through, for even just a moment?

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Was the silence of snow on golden leaves precious? Or did it feel like doom knowing that winter was ready to bleach out the color?bright-woods

How in God’s name did they do it? How did they keep their soul from wasting away behind barbed wire?

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To put it simply, I don’t know how they did it. I’m just glad that they did.

I wonder what their first sunrise was like after their liberation? Do they remember it or was it just enough to know that they would be seeing another one?

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I told my husband today that if anything like that ever happened again I hoped that I would be as courageous as the survivors, or as honorable as the people that helped to hide them or assisted in their escape. Not because I want to be important, but because I want to be the person that God wants me to be.

As for September, well, I suppose there has to be a low before the high. Maybe I’ll use this month to look for the simple beauty in watching the heat dissipate and the clear air reveal all the wonders of the gold season.

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The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

This blog post is part of that blog circle. It is meant to share other artists. Please follow our circle by clicking here. I hope you enjoy Kathy’s interpretation of Gold.

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the truth of Blue: artist inspired blog circle august 2016-Blue

My mind is a wonky place. I can’t say how other people see things when their mind is spinning with all the information and sounds we pick up on a daily basis, but I have a visual mind. I see the world in a thousand stories set to a soundtrack of every genre of music.

When I joined this blog circle I was told the first theme is Blue. A color. I didn’t immediately reach for my camera. I grabbed the laptop. What is the meaning of blue? From what I can gather, blue is seen as trust, loyalty, strength, wisdom and peace. When I think of blue, I don’t see the hot southern sky, the tangy warmth of the salt water, or the satiny ribbons on a new baby’s blanket.

I see my guitar.

blue day 2My mother gave me this guitar as a Christmas gift several years ago. I’ve been wanting to learn how to play for years. I havent made the time to learn, but it is on the list. It’s a representation of all the things I have wanted to learn but haven’t taken the time to accomplish. I see myself sitting on the front porch after the sun has disappeared and the stars have come out to play. Every pick, every strum keeping time with crickets and bull frogs then floating away on the night breeze. My heartbeat quietly beating along.

I love listening to the blues. I’m not good with artist names, but I love the music. I’ve always thought that the blues were a way of showing how moody or down you feel. But it’s more than that. It’s the wisdom you gain with each new experience. It’s the truth wrapped up in emotions. It’s all the hard things you want to say, but can never get right. It’s just simply, blue. And one day I will play them.

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I hear the music.

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This is my great-grandparents’ radio. My dad remembers this from when he was a small child. I can picture this sitting on the credenza, or perhaps even in the kitchen, filling their small house with news shows, radio programs, and all different types of music. Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, Billy Holliday, and Elivs may have been heard through these speakers. The crackly static singing background on the AM wave.

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At 22, I was married and starting a household of my own. Not long after we got married we had our first child. He was born with congenital heart condition known as Transposition of the Great Vessels. It took our local NICU several hours to definitively diagnose him. Once that was done they had to figure out how to get him to a hospital that could perform surgery on his tiny premature heart. It was storming that day, and when the storms finally broke six hours later, he was transported to a hospital 8 hours away. To tell you the honest truth, I do not remember much about those first days. Apparently, my brain was protecting me from the awful truth…my son may die. I don’t remember those feelings, and I’m glad I don’t.

Several days later, in a town I knew nothing about, my husband and I survived in a daze of hospital visits, trips to the mall, and eating in small restaurants. One day, perusing through the hospital gift shop, I found a tape of music for sale. It was Ella Fitzgerald’s At Last. I must have played that song hundreds of times. Since then the boy has been inundated with music.

He wants to play.

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This year is the first time I have ever heard him say that he wanted to learn how to play an instrument. He wants to learn to play guitar. How exciting could this be? Only…

my son has Cerebral Palsy.

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I don’t say this lightly or frequently. We are not ashamed, but we choose not to make it a big deal. However, he does have some muscular limitations. He is left handed. Was he born with the gift of left handedness, or is he that way because his CP affects his right side? Who knows? Who cares? He adapts. He naturally picked up this guitar and put it in place to play left handed. Yes, because this is my guitar it is strung for me, a right hander.  But look at him!! How natural and at ease. Not knowing or caring that it may be wrong way to hold this guitar, HE DOESN’T CARE. Oh, how I wish I could be like him. Have his strength and peace.

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I see him infused with blue light. The calmness, the faith, the truth are all his. His color is blue.

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The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

This blog post is part of that blog circle. It is meant to share other artists. Please click the link to follow our circle. http://www.kgledbetterphotography.com/august-blue-artists-inspired-kansas-city-photography/

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