Wednesday, October 27, 2010

166 - Sunset Silhouettes

Collegeville, PA

165 - Night Lights

I think all I can say with this one is that we live in a pretty amazing time when this is what we can do with electricity, water, lights, and gels. And of course, it's also pretty great when you have friends who invite you over to enjoy all the above mentioned inventions. =)

164 - "I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my Squishy!"

Now, if you don't know what that quote is from, you need to go rent (or buy) Finding Nemo. Right now. Because it's wonderful and a necessary part of life and happiness. =)  Plus, this next post is all about Dory, so you need a little background.

Everyone knows how friendly Dory is, right? Well, when we were having our pool party with Silvija, everyone got to meet Dory. Except, as friendly as Dory is, there was an awful lot of falling off. However, the last photo shows you who Dory loves the most (though Josh did come in 2nd, as witnessed here)...


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

163 - Pool Party!

I have some fantastic friends. Seriously. And I love when life's paths bring some friends back around. Like, moving them from Seattle, WA to Philadelphia, PA.

Silvija & Greg are two such people. I met them about 12 years ago when I was in some theatre shows with their daughter and came to know and love their whole family well. I haven't lived in WA in about 8 years now... but last year, Silvija came to me! 

While Greg stays in WA while their youngest son finishes high school, Silvija is managing their new bed and breakfast. Ok, so it's not officially a B&B (yet), but their hospitality makes it about as much! 

One Sunday this summer, Silvija called and invited Josh and I up for "a swim in the pool". Well, four friends later we were in the midst of an awesome pool party, delicious BBQ, and the perfect night for the hot tub.

Now, most of these were just the "for fun" photos, because, let's be honest, I spent most of my time IN the pool, NOT with my camera. However, I figured you had to see some of the fun stuff. 

There were a number of cannonballs done, but as an objective judge, Chris' entry, hurdle, form, and splash won the event (though Carolyn's came a close 2nd).

And Josh became friends with Dory, but quickly discovered she wasn't very good in regards to water fight defense... the back splash is a bit strong, don't ya think?

And while I can't take photo credit for this, let this be a warning: don't mess with me in the water. I will win. :) 

162 - Construction Site

Here are a few more photos of the construction site for Esperanza's new health and wellness center. And, oh my goodness, I know it's just a building site being razed... but oh, how I love all the angles! 

161 - Chains of Hope

A few months ago, Esperanza Health Center was awarded a $6.5 million grant to build a new health and wellness facility. Esperanza is a health clinic located in North Philly (about 10 minutes from our house) that provides health care to the Latino and under-served populations of Philadelphia. Many of the doctors, nurses, counselors, and other employees are members of our parent church (and our church plant, too), and we are all pretty darn excited because the new center is being built across from our (old) church! It's also only 4.5 blocks from our house, and is being built on the site of a long-abandoned warehouse -- great neighborhood beautification!

In Esperanza's words:
When this new facility is completed, it will provide primary health and support services, including new services such as nutrition and fitness classes, a fitness facility, and health education and outreach activities to nearly 7,000 additional patients.

They do such great work and serve a huge need in our neighborhood and community at large. I'm so excited for the facility to open. =) In the meantime, some photos through the chains...


P.S. 'Esperanza' is the Spanish word for 'hope'.

Monday, October 25, 2010

160 - Upwards

As I get back into things, I'll be posting photos from the past few months, largely in the order they were taken. 

However, this one is out of order because it seems to be what my life is right now: many paths, many options, many opportunities to pursue. There might be detours, but they still all move higher and higher as you press on, moving closer and closer to the goal.

A New Beginning

Well, folks, I'm back... once again. =)

A lot of things have happened in my absence... the biggest one being that I quit my job! Yes, you read that correctly: we're in a recession and I quit my job. It's kind of a terrifying thought in many ways, yet I know it was absolutely the right thing to do. 

While I don't have as much life experience as many others who have more, um, "wisdom" as we call it in our family (yes, years), or people who have kids, or those who have gone through layoffs, or other things like that, I do believe I've gone through enough life to realize that there are a few times in your life when you're faced with major decisions that will literally change the trajectory of your life and story. 

A few of my recent story-changing decisions include accepting a teaching position in inner-city Philadelphia with Teach For America in 2006, and saying yes to my ridiculously tall (and skinny) Asian man on August 10, 2008. Now, I'm adding to that mix quitting my job in 2010. 

So why is this such a big deal? I mean, it's "just" about money, isn't it? Not exactly. In a few words, it's simply that I'm saying yes to myself. I'm saying yes to following my dreams; I'm saying yes to letting myself be happy; I'm saying yes to allowing myself to nurture myself as an artist. I'm simply saying yes to things that up until now I've said no to for the sake of being responsible. 

I realize that's a pretty privileged thing to be able to say. Believe me, I absolutely recognize that it is! But after many long months of conversation with Josh, along with lots of prayer, fretting, tears, soul-searching, reflection, and advice from family and friends.... I came to the conclusion that if I wasn't in an "emergency" situation (i.e. one where using some of our savings was an acceptable thing to do), I didn't know when a situation would ever come along. It wasn't a time where Josh and I had physical needs to take care of (mortgage, bills, etc).... but it was a time of desperate emotional and spiritual need. I don't want to live my life with regrets, and trust me, having my spiritual life, my marriage, and my happiness suffer would be things I don't know if I could forgive myself for.

So... I quit. And this past month has been a time of figuring out what exactly that means... but also just a time of stepping back, stepping out, and giving myself room to breathe and recover. And slowly, I'm starting to step back in. 

I know I've been gone for a very long time, but don't be fooled -- I haven't stopped taking photos. I'm still committed to a photo a day; I've just been horrible at posting them. =) However, it's time to step back into this place, and I'm excited to do so.

I'll also have some exciting news to update you on over the next few weeks/months... such as a very important piece of mail I should be receiving this week or next from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. =)

One last thing: I'm really glad you're all along with me on the journey.