Weekly Photo Challenge – JOY

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JOY

When you love photography, you tend to see the world through your camera lens. On a recent photo shoot for a young lady, who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since she was 8 years old, I was able to capture this photo. It was a few days before her Sweet 16, and her mother asked if I would take some pictures of her to later have blown up for the party. Of course I said yes, I love this kid.

The day of the shoot, things began normally. Stand here, sit there, raise your chin, smile more…..you get the picture (no pun intended). After a while, I chose to go outside and do things as I typically do….my way with no rhyme or reason. I photographed her as she is, beautiful, innocent, kind, and a free spirit. She was loosening up and having fun at that point and I said to her “Just let go.”  With that said, she did, I snapped the picture, and here I give you “JOY” as I see it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog.

Peace and Love,

Lisa

Weekly Photo Challenge: ONE

Hi fellow bloggers and guests,

I stumbled upon the Weekly Photo Challenge this morning. When I saw what the challenge was, I knew that I had the perfect photo.  We are challenged to focus on ONE thing. A week and a half ago, I attended my nephews graduation. While playing with my camera, which I still don’t know how to use the majority of the settings, and trying to find the perfect lighting, I found myself quickly snapping pictures as he was walking back to his seat. Though many of the photos were OK at best, I was pleasantly surprised at one that made me give it a second look. I present to you my photo that represents “ONE” from my personal album.

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Thank you so much for stopping by and seeing my picture.

Peace and Love,

Lisa

A single moms proud moment.

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Last night, my family and I went to my nephew’s graduation at Florida Atlantic University. Graduations have a way of making you reminisce about life, where it began, the roadblocks encountered and finally, how when you look back you realize that it was all worth it.

What a wonderful and proud moment for all of us to see Chris, my nephew, walk on stage and receive his diploma, but the proudest was my sister.  You see, she raised him as a single mom since he was 4 years old. There were times where she held three jobs just to make it and push forward in life. There were struggles and many self sacrifices but there were also many joyous times and proud moments, but in the end, she got him to the finish line just as she had planned, and now he will venture out on his own to begin his life journey and make his mark in the world.

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Angie and Christopher

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As customary, our evening continued with our clan having dinner and drinks, recounting the funny moments when the kids were little, telling old jokes and creating a few new ones. As a family, though we are not perfect, when it comes to supporting and encouraging one another, I can personally say that we do and we do it well.

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Our evening came to an end with hugs, kisses and talks about the next gathering, knowing that it won’t be too far away. It seems that the older I get and every time my family has a celebration, I realize that it can be the last one where we are all together. I say that because I’ve learned that life changes, children move on in life, people pass away and the old saying, “Tomorrow is not promised” is very true. So appreciate today, don’t take your loved ones for granted and live your life in a way that when you look back on it, you’ll smile.

Love and Peace,

Lisa

Can I rest yet? Oh no, on to the next holiday?

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Hi Blogger world!

Ever notice how every year we make the same startling statement? “Where did the year go???” I’m right there with ya! Today is December 1st and I’m still in shock. I mean seriously, where did the time go? I clearly remember making a list of changes for my life last January 1st, and though I accomplished some of those things, there is still a long list left. The point is that I could have sworn that i wrote that list a month ago, not almost a year ago.

I’ve had a very nice but extremely busy two weeks. Dinner invites here, Happy Hours there, all while trying to get my work days over AND trying to mute that always, persistent, nagging, knowledge that I have to lose some weight. Normally I wouldn’t sweat it (no pun intended) because I do believe that one must be happy in their own skin and I am, always have been but my daughter’s wedding is coming up in under 6 months and there’s this pretty, sexy, lacy dress that I have my eye on and I promised myself to lose a few but that will be a blog for another day.  For now, there is too much memory making to be hindered by my unwelcomed, nagging friend.

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Toasting to a wonderful evening

By now, most are winding down from all of that Thanksgiving eating and that Black Friday shopping. Speaking of that shopping, you could not pay me enough to stand in those lines, push through those crowds, deal with the rudeness of others etc., it’s just not in me. I do know a lot of people who make it an annual event and thoroughly enjoy it so to them, a big High Five. Those of you who are more geeky like me, I’ll toast to our more calming shopping experience like Cyber Monday baby!

I had a nice Thanksgiving with my family. Normally I would be content to stay home but having grown children with their significant others and their families makes for a whole new tradition of laughter, toasting for wonderful futures, and a connection that is needed when you want to maintain that family unit intact.

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My Kids 

I don’t have a large family due to the fact that most are in Cuba. Our families were torn apart with the Castro revolution. I consider myself one of the fortunate ones since my parents decided to make the United States of America their home and I was born here. Still, it makes it sad knowing that there are so many family members that I will never get to meet in person or even know about at this point. I wonder who I got my hair from or my personality. Who, in my lineage, has a heart like me or likes different languages as I do. Those are some of the questions that I think about from time to time. I guess that’s why I’ve always felt that family is important and I’ve always kept a photo journal so to speak. Wherever I go, I take my camera with me because there have been so many times that I’d wished we’d had photos of my parents and grandparents but 99% of them don’t exist anymore.  The pictures were left on the island because you could not take them with you. Again, another idea for future blogging.

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My Family

This year, our family Thanksgiving grew a bit and it was so nice. My daughters had their boyfriends with them and my middle daughter’s soon to be in-laws, also joined us. There is nothing nicer than having two cultures mesh so well and share our traditions and stories. In our case, we are producing a new generation with American, Cuban, Iranian and Armenian roots. In an environment where there is so much hatred when it comes to the inclusion of other ethnicities, I smile proudly at how well we don’t fit that mold. My kids have always laughed saying, “When everyone is married (they are including me, of course, with high hopes lol) and all the grandchildren are around, our family picture will be a beautiful one made up of all shades and ethnicities.” I cannot wait!

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Bianca with Robert, Satti and Arman Taheri

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Me with the Significant Others

There were two people missing at our dinner, my father who passed away in 2009 and my grandmother who passed away in 2011, but I know that one day we will all be together again.

As the evening wound down and we were all stuffed from all the good food that we had to choose from, there was conversation about the upcoming holidays and gatherings. I’m sure this evening was one of many to follow. As I walked the room snapping photos, watching my kids having a wonderful time, toasting with family and making future arrangements to scratch off that one bucket list item that I have right on top, I stopped and said quietly, “Thank you Lord for blessing me so much.”

Oh, you want to know what that Bucket List item says?

#1: I will go to Italy for a few weeks, immerse myself in the culture and enjoy it as if it were my last weeks of living.

I hope that you and yours had a lovely, memory filled day as we did.

Love and Peace,

Lisa