and a wish that everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day!!
This picture (which is not mine, I got it here) is the perfect combination of what Memorial Day should represent. It is wonderful to kick off our shoes and to celebrate the unofficial start of summer but it is also so important to take a moment to remember and honor all of those that have served our country, especially those that have paid the ultimate price.
That is why when I came across this commercial a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be just perfect to show today to help kick off this weekend right.
I'll end this post with a quote,
"Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life."
and a wish that everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day!!
So we had no intention of going away this summer, you know, aside from the occasional day trip. But then a friend of mine posted on Facebook that, sadly her family would not be able to take full advantage of their house on on Prudence Island this summer so they would be renting it out. I have never been to Prudence Island but my sister-in-law has visited a friend there for years and has told me numerous times that I would love it. In fact, several years ago, she sent me a text while she was there saying that we (my mom and I) had to go there sometime. Coincidentally enough, I think that we (my mom and I) may have been on another Rhode Island island, Block Island, when she sent it. Anyway since it well was within our price range, I immediately decided that we should take advantage of this opportunity (in case you're wondering, yes, it's all about me). But as I mentioned before, we weren't planning to go anywhere so my husband didn't have a full week off this summer, he only had every other Friday and Monday off. I figured that ultimately this might work to our advantage if I could get the right week. If that happened, then he could come with us at both ends and my mom could stay with us in the middle. Win/win, I thought. I knew that my husband would love it over there but may not be up for a whole week and that my mom would be thrilled to get some time there as well (and she is really excited about it). Anyway when I made a comment on Facebook about being very interested, my sister-in-law immediately called me to make sure that I knew that this was the place that she had been raving about for years. Funny story, when she told my brother about this plan, he said, "Oh Sue will love it, the kids will be tearing their hair out by the middle of the week." Which is most likely true, about me and about the kids: I am really looking forward to it and some of my kids are already complaining about an unplugged week and claiming that I am torturing them. Although I am guessing that they have no idea how much pleasure the thought of torturing them with a week of fresh air, nature and no internet access gives me. But I do have to say that my oldest is very excited for a week free of distractions. She is just completing a very stressful junior year (is there any other kind?) so a vacation without the stress of classes, SAT exams, driving lessons and road tests. not to mention discussions about college visits and class rank., sounds like heaven to her.
The friend that we are potentially (hopefully, as long as she doesn't read this and decide that we are crazy) renting from is so considerate that she has gone out of her way to stress to me that the way of life on the island is very simple and to encourage us to visit. I told her that is not a problem for us, we used to very happily rent a house on a lake in Maine that didn't have a color T.V. or a phone, as a matter of fact, it didn't even technically have a street (it was a fire lane). She also stressed that the house is very small but again I think that will be to our benefit. As I told her in a message, we spend so much time these days heading in different directions and doing our own thing that it will be kind of nice to be stuck together. All in all, many of us in my family are very much looking forward to our unexpected summer getaway!
Since it is throwback Thursday, and because posts are always better with pictures, here's a picture of us from one of our trips to Maine (wow, we look young and ok, a little goofy in our matching sunglasses. Hey don't judge, it was a long time ago)
So on Sunday, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with one of my seniors and his family. Sean's mother contacted me about taking a family picture to commemorate her in-laws 50th anniversary. Although I was excited about it, I have to admit that I was also feeling a little bit awkward about the situation since the only ones that I had met before were Sean and his mother. I felt a little bit like I would be crashing a party. Well I needn't have worried, they could not have been more gracious or welcoming (not to mention, really funny). Everyone was excited to welcome the guests of honor and they got hugs from everyone when they arrived.
We then made our way to a really pretty little room in Benjamin's in Taunton and preceded to take a bunch of different combinations.
Like the proud grandparents with all their gorgeous grandchildren:
The whole family:
them with their "kids":
grandfather with grandsons and grandmother with granddaughters:
and of course, the grandchildren:
Sean's father and mother wanted a picture of their family (his sister and her family declined since they had just had portraits done) as well as one of just the kids.
Besides being a fun group to be around, it was also quite obvious that they care for each other deeply and that they enjoy each other's company. And we certainly got some pictures that reflect this joy and caring! And did I mention that they were a blast to be around??
Happy 50th anniversary, you are a beautiful couple and I hope that you enjoyed your anniversary with your wonderfully, personable family!
Thank you to you and your family for allowing me the honor of capturing this special day. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you, you were very welcoming and extremely fun!! Please click here if you would like to see the rest of the pictures from our time together.
So my niece asked me to come down and take pictures for her boyfriend's prom. Unlike the last time when I pretty much invited myself, this time, I was personally invited. My niece called me last weekend to ask me to come over. My mom and I got down there in record time (because my principal was kind enough to let me go a bit early and Pappy drove my daughter to work). In fact, we were there early enough to catch some of the getting ready process.
We then headed over to her boyfriend's house where we welcomed and greeted warmly. I alertly (I am nothing if not alert) snapped some pictures of the flower exchange. I was going to write boutonniere but I can never spell it, oops, just did, thank goodness for spell check.
We got some family pictures, including my one of my new favorites. Really I dare you not to be moved by a dad scooping his baby into his arms.
Then we went to a friend of their's house. Wow, I thought that there were a lot of people there at the last prom. This time we had to park down the street. I didn't mind too much though, I was able to snap a couple on the walk down.
Once we got to the house, there were so many kids there, it was crazy, in a good way, of course. As they were trying to get a group picture, it started to rain and it was decided that they should move to the porch. But honestly, I couldn't manage to get them all into one frame, there were so many friends there.
At one point, my niece wanted some pictures of her and her boyfriend by a tree that was in the front yard. Well I had spotted this awesome barn not too far away so I asked them if they would mind making their way over there. They are awesome, so of course, they said yes! I am so happy that they did!
After a couple of group shots and some fun shots,
they made their way to the high school where buses awaited. It is not an exaggeration to say that there was a sea of people present.
It was so much fun and the perfect kick off to my weekend!! I am really happy that she asked me (believe me when I saw that barn, I was really, really happy!). Please click here if you would like to see the rest of my pictures.
Some of the things that may make it onto the blog this week.
Tomorrow evening, our parish will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a Mass and a dinner. I was in charge of putting together a slide show depicting the 50 years of Faith and Family that we have shared as a parish. I ended the slideshow with the song, Lean on Me for a couple of different reasons. Our church invited Steve Angrisano to perform earlier this year for a Night of Song and Inspiration and this is one of the songs that he sang (by the way, we had a good crowd but not quite the size of the crowd in the video below). Personally though, I used that song because since 2004, it has been a place that I have leaned on, at times, heavily. My mother shared a story the other day that I had forgotten about. When my grandmother was 92, she fell and broke her shoulder. She had to have surgery so my mother called the priest at the church that my grandmother had gone to for most of her life to ask him to come and give a blessing and he refused. Yes, you read that right, he would not come. My mother was not only very angry but she also felt a keen sense of betrayal. Fast forward to Holy Week of 2005 and it became apparent that my grandmother was dying. My brother encouraged my mom to call my pastor, Father Kelly, to come give a blessing. Now mind you, we had only been at the parish since the previous September, my mom wasn't even technically a member of the parish, and it was the middle of the church's busiest week of the year. My mother hesitated and my brother asked her what she had to lose. Her reply, "Everything, my faith." But my mom took a big leap and called and of course, he came right away. That is just one of the legions of stories that I could tell about why I felt that Lean on Me was the perfect song to end a video celebration of the parish.
The celebration was supposed to take place in the middle of June but our pastor is leaving at the beginning of June so it was moved up. It has been so bittersweet planning a celebration of 50 years as a parish while there have been so many changes looming. We don't know what will happen and I am still a little sad and a lot angry about the way the whole thing has been handled. But I am hoping that the twin tenets of Faith and Family that have been a bedrock of the church for the past 50 years will continue to be a beacon that guides us. It is very sad that all of this has to happen during what should only be a period of joy, but as we repeatedly tell our children, "Life isn't fair." Words I have said to my own children countless times and now it's time for me to walk the walk, no matter how sad and angry I am. So I am going to try to do the right thing but I have to admit, my faith in the church as a whole has been shaken quite a bit. A faith that has been put to the test all too often in the last decade or so. I am trying but when I saw the picture below the other day on Facebook, I was struck by how very close to the core of things it hit.
Sorry this was a little longer Friday night video post than usual, I guess that I had a lot to say. Happy Friday, everyone. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!
Well, that was really fun to watch and to shoot. It helped that it was a really close game, a real back and forth affair. I also got to see both of my nephews and they were both kind enough to come over and say hi and pose for a picture with Nani. They really are such great guys. I love this picture of all 3 of them, they all look so relaxed and happy after a great game of lax (sorry, couldn't resist the lax, relaxed thing).
I told my mom after the teams lined up that the two of them just shook hands and do you know what she had the nerve to ask? If I got a picture of it. I wouldn't even justify that with an answer. What am I some kind of rookie or something?
In case you were wondering, the nephew in the red's team won by a couple of goals. And as far as shooting was concerned, it was pretty similar to football. The action moved right along and was pretty easy to track with the camera. But I will let you all be the judge of that, here's the link for the rest of the pictures.
So the other day I wrote about the pros and cons of shooting baseball. Well today I get to add a new sport to my repertoire, lacrosse. All of the stars have aligned perfectly for me to take in a game this afternoon. Two of my nephews are playing against each other, the game is just a couple of towns over, it is supposed to be a pretty nice day out there and we Jolleys don't have anything going on. Well my husband and son are getting a haircut but that doesn't require my involvement (although I better remember to tell him that I like it!!) I have only been to a handful of lacrosse games in my life and I have never attempted to shoot at a game so this should be fun. I'll be interested to see how it stacks up to shooting other sports as far as speed and access are concerned. I will be sure to let you know in the next few days what I thought. Since it is throwback Thursday (and because posts are better with pictures), here's a pic of one of my nephews in action. Obviously in a different sport, hopefully we can get some good shots of him in this sport as well. By the way, he's number 40, taking down the quarterback!
I can't believe that they are in high school, crazy. They are both great kids and great athletes. One is a freshman and one is a sophomore and mark my words, they'll both be stars in high school before all is said and done (if they aren't already!) And on top of all that, this game is a bonus for me because I'll get to see one of my seniors from last fall, Cameron, in action, he's on the team with the nephew pictured above!! Happy Thursday, everyone. Only one more day until it's Friday!
So last week I wrote about a couple of special requests that I received recently. Well I have a couple of more to add to the list. The other day at the First Communion, one of my nieces asked me, "Auntie Sue, what are you doing on May 30th, photographically?" That is how she put it with the photographically at the end. Not only did I think that this was hysterical (my family can attest to this, according to them, "You have told that story about 100 times, Mom!"), I was also thrilled to be asked. Then on Mother's Day, my niece called me to personally ask me if I would go down and take pictures for her boyfriend's prom, and to wish me a Happy Mother's Day, of course. Like I have said before, I am gratified when anyone asks for my help but most especially when it is the kids themselves that want me. And last night, my husband and I were lucky enough to go out to dinner with her parents (a dinner that had been planned since Christmas as a Christmas gift for Nani and Pappy) and they very kindly picked up the check as thanks for taking the junior prom pictures and for coming down on Friday which was totally unexpected and so, very sweet of them. As I told my husband in the car, no good deed goes unpunished!! Funny side note to the prom plan, a couple of my kids need rides on Friday afternoon so the committee (my mom, my sister-in-law and myself) decided that it was more beneficial if I went down than if Pappy did (poor Pappy will miss out on the prom, but he didn't seem too upset by it). And to top it off, yesterday a friend from high school asked me if I would be interested in taking senior pictures of her daughter. It meant a lot to me for her to reach out to me and I am really looking forward to it. I think that we'll even make a day of it which will make even better. All of this makes me pretty happy, you know, photographically speaking!!
I have decided that baseball is the weirdest sport to photograph.. Did you know that it is up to me to decide these things? Just kidding. The reason that I think this is that, in some ways, it is one of the easiest but in other ways, it is pretty tough. For example, it's pretty easy to get shots of a pitcher pitching or a batter batting. I have put a couple of examples below (to help explain and because posts are always better with pics):
But it is so hard to get true action shots. You just never know where the ball is going and it's hard to follow the ball and quickly shift from the batter to the fielder. Plus you never know when a batter will make contact or if the runner will run., and if both of those things happen, where the play will be made. There are just a lot of decisions to make in a split second. Plus even if you get the "shot", there is no guarantee it will express what you want it to express. For example, my son made a couple of catches the other day that I did have time to frame but then the ball got lost in the background so it is hard to actually tell what is happening. And oh yeah, there is either a fence or a screen in the way that you have to focus around or if you aren't behind the fence, then there is always the possibility that a ball will come screaming towards you and hit you or you very expensive camera. All of which makes it that much harder to get really good action shots during a baseball game.
But that said, the light was incredible the other night and combined with the dust, it made for some pretty cool effects.
Sorry that this is so late today, my weekend was so busy and full and fun that I didn't get prepared very well for the start of the week and I was scrambling this morning. And I had to drive my daughter to a test so I had to leave even earlier than usual. The weekend got off to a great start with the fundraiser for my daughter's class. It was a huge success and the committees all did a tremendous job. There were wonderful decorations, great entertainment, amazing auction items and a variety of delicious foods and desserts. All in all, it was a fantastic night and my sincere thanks to all that attended, contributed and supported, it was greatly appreciated. Then on Saturday, we went to my niece's First Communion. She did a reading during the ceremony and she did a terrific job. She was very poised and composed up there, unlike yours truly, public speaking has never been my strong suit. As a matter of fact, I have a distinct memory of getting up to do a reading and bursting into tears. (I don't think it was at my First Communion, I can't really remember when it was, I'll have to check with my mom). Anyway she looked beautiful and angelic and seemed to really enjoy her day!!
Then yesterday was Mother's Day. We started the day with church and then a delicious brunch at my mom's house. My husband asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day and I had to say clean the house. I know, how lame but he was gone on business all last week and we were so busy this weekend that the house was a disaster. And I just didn't think I could face the week in the state that it was in. A funny story came out of though, my youngest daughter asked what we were doing for the day and I told her that we were cleaning and because it was Mother's Day, she couldn't even complain about it. I'm pretty sure that complaining is her favorite thing to do in the world so she was not too happy about that!!! I cleaned for a while and did some of the mountain of laundry that is constantly in my basement then I went out to the hammock for a nap. Ahh, bliss!! Another funny story, when I was leaving the fundraiser, the woman in charge of decorations asked if I could take home some tablecloths to wash. I had to say, "No, these days, I can't even manage the laundry that I have without bringing more in!!" I felt a little guilty but unfortunately, it's the truth! Anyway while I was in the hammock, my husband did some shopping for necessities and stuff for dinner, cleaned the house including the floors and had my son mow the lawn. I felt a lot better about the state of affairs at the Jolley house after my nap, I'll tell you. And I have to say, Mother Nature really showed her solidarity with the moms of New England, it was just a sensational day around here!! All in all, it was such a wonderful weekend, chock full of all the important things in life - family, friends and a good nap!!! I hope all the moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day as well. Happy Monday, everyone!
A quick bonus video today for all the moms out there. I chose this song because when my kids were in first grade, the teachers very sweetly invited the moms to come in the Friday before for Muffins for Mom. They would have the children make place mats and then serve the moms breakfast, it was so sweet and thoughtful. They would also have the children sing this song to us. Since this song is guaranteed to make any mom cry while they are listening to it sung to them by their adorable little first grader, I did not think that was very sweet of them at all, just kidding, it was wonderful. Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there especially the ones in my family and all my friends. You are all amazing and I'm blessed to know you!!
Today's video is in honor of the fundraiser tonight for my daughter's class. It is a parent's night out event and I am sure that it will be so much fun that maybe we'll party like it's 2012 (although I am quite sure that we won't keep it going until 6:00 a.m.)
Although since it is a parent's night, maybe it is more likely that we'll party like it's 1999, that is more our time frame (and maybe we would have made it to 6:00 a.m. then). I looked for that video quickly but couldn't find it. Too bad that would have made this post a double bonus!! Anyway I'm sure we'll have a blast, if you are in the area, please come on by. Happy Friday, everyone, have a great weekend!!
So last week, I got 2 special requests, one from my nephew and one from my niece. Strangely enough, both requests came via text (hmmm, twenty somethings, teenagers, texts...oooh an alliteration, you know how I love those). Up first is my my niece, you may remember her from her junior prom in late March. If you don't, then here's a picture to refresh your memory (how convenient that you may need a refresher since posts are always better with pictures):
Anyway I got a text from my mom the other day that said, "Just a heads up, Marissa wants you to take pictures for the prom on May 16. Jess didn't want to impose on you but she said that everyone was blown away by your pictures." In case you are wondering, 1) Jess is Marissa's mom (and my sister-in-law) and 2) I don't consider this type of request an imposition, after all, isn't that what family is for? Not only did I not feel imposed on but I was thrilled to be included (who wouldn't be when the words, "blown away by your pictures" are involved??). I love that my niece wants me to be involved for a couple of reasons. One is just because it's so nice to when I get to watch my nieces and nephews do fun things and another is that once people see that you know what you are doing, then they are more likely to trust you and if they trust you, then you get better shots. And you all know me, it's always all about the shots!! But as happy as that text made me, the one from my nephew last week made me even happier. It was a text that I wasn't expecting (at all) and even though it was only 43 characters (sorry, just read a book by Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter) long, it totally made my day (scratch that, my year!!). The text read, "How would you like to be Kason's godmother?" Of course, I said that I would be honored to be asked to play that role in his life. Because, 1) Wow, what an honor and 2) Is there anyone out there who could resist these guys?? I thought not!! Happy Thursday, everyone!!
So last October, we went to the Red Sox parade and I took a picture of this guy:
At the time, I had no idea who he was, I just thought that he was a very enthusiastic fan. Well apparently he is that but whereas I thought he was just a special occasion crazed fan type of person, it turns out that he is the been doing this for some 10+ years crazed fan type of person. I discovered this because the other night, my son and I were watching the movie Fever Pitch and there he was. We looked at each other and said, "Hey, wait, stop the movie, there's that crazy guy from the parade." On a side note, I have to admit that I did jokingly text his picture to a single friend of mine, telling her that I had found the perfect guy for her. Anyway I had my son stop the movie and I took a picture of the screen:
Now that's a fan!! He has put more time and commitment into this than some people put into their marriages, ha!! By the way, he really hasn't changed much in ten years, has he? Happy Wednesday, everyone!!