Make like a tree…

…and leaf!

Tomorrow is my last day working for the state of Texas. Hugsband and I are moving to Oklahoma City for his new job and I’ll be continuing my own job search until a good fit shows up.

So in the spirit of leafing/leaving, I bring you this juicy green leaf from a garden we visited on our most recent vacation.

Dewy Leaf


The Royal Treatment

I’m savoring every picture from our vacation as I decide which photos to edit and share next. Definitely excited with the symmetry of this one – it’s *almost* perfection for my standards. I thought about trying my hand at erasing the surfer dude on the far left but couldn’t part with the morning memories of a quiet beach and water busy with surfers and paddle boards.

We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian with the rest of the family and it did not disappoint! The hotel lobby was open air and lead straight to the shore. What you see here is the beauty my eyes soaked up every morning.

Somehow I swapped the color of the water with the sky. I don’t really know how I did that but it’s pretty so that’s fine by me!


Location: The Royal Hawaiian, Oahu
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC

Something Green

We woke up super early for a sunrise photo tour while on vacation in Hawaii. Thankfully, the tour was scheduled for our first morning so it didn’t feel early. Our internal clocks thought it was already 10am-ish.

During the photo tour our guide helped me learn the camera I was using and pointed out a few features. Tweaking the pops of color was super entertaining (especially when our tour eventually arrived at a garden).

These photos are from the sunrise portion of the tour before we ventured on to other sites. I love the pop of green in the first photo. That was all thanks to a setting on the camera. With a few more tweaks in Photoshop, the green (I think it’s called lichen? But don’t trust me on that one) really steals the show.

In the second photo, things feel much warmer and inviting and you can see the gorgeous color of the water way better, but the remainder of the photo feels a little faded and washed out. I wish I could get the color of the water in the second photo combined with the rocks and greenery in the first. Where there’s a will there’s a way. I’m just not up to that challenge just yet.

The downside of living landlocked is there are few opportunities to capture those perfectly timed wave crashes. Possibly my favorite photo subject, I could have sat on these rocks all morning timing photos of crystal teal waves battering the rocks and spreading their mist over the beach.

The upside of living landlocked is the greater appreciation for any vacation time I get to spend on a beach with the waves. Sounds like I’ve found my happy place. Just need to save my pennies up for another wavy vacation.

Green StuffMore green stuff

Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photshop CC


I have a memory card full of ocean waves and palm trees but all of that can wait until you meet my cat.

I’ve never been a ‘cat person’ though my husband is enamored with any cat he meets. When he tells me he loves me more than the cat it can be more romantic than fresh sunflowers on a rainy day. (Joking. Hugsband if you read this: know that I will always appreciate fresh flowers). Story behind the ‘Hugsband’ nickname to follow in a later post.

We also have a dog, Bexley, and she is the energy in our home. Her flying leaps off of the patio give me a smile every time.

Typical dog person, talking about the dog in a post supposedly dedicated to the cat.

Anyways, here she is! Plenty more to follow because she’s the only living subject I have that will sit without moving long enough for me to catch a zillion photos.


Location: Kitty cushion
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC (tried to bring out her calico coloring and remove some glare from her eyes)

USS Arizona Memorial

**Note: this blog entry turned out to be a little heavier than I expected. Maybe skip this one if you’re looking for pretty pictures of happy beaches and waves.

I haven’t found the right word or phrase yet to summarize the Pearl Harbor Museum experience. Maybe one word/phrase isn’t enough?

Eleanor Roosevelt kept a prayer handy during the war. After some reflection I feel it captures the flurry of emotions that ran through me during this visit:

Dear Lord,

Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember that somewhere,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?

Talk about chills.

As I stood processing the poem engraved in stone my husband approached to quietly observe next to me. He whispered to me, “Yes”.  I nearly lost it right then and there.

[Hopefully this isn’t TMI. My husband and I have been working through my depression and anxiety since before we were married, we just didn’t know until recently that there was a name for my not so fun experiences.]

Emotions were already running high because we had just finished the Arizona Memorial tour. Then to be reminded that I have a life worth living? I wish I could build up a storage of that feeling (gratitude? hope? worthiness?), tuck it away, and bring it out on my rainy days, weeks, and months. As a follower of Christ (albeit a very human, very mistake-ful and sinful one) I know that Jesus loves me and believes I am worth dying for. But it seems so easy to forget that truth when the distortions of depression kick in.

There are plenty more photos captured that I want to review and share (from the memorial and from our vacation in general). For now, I’ll just take it one picture at a time.


Location: USS Arizona Memorial, Hawaii
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC (Not much editing on this one. Only brightened up the leis because they were a little faded in the photo compared to my memory of the memorial.)