My Favorite Bloom

I love to grow things. Vegetables. Decorative houseplants. Flowers.

Yes, I enjoy the heady scent of roses or the delicate petals of an orchid. I even love to blow the seed-filled fuzz off of an occasional dandelion.

Hands-down, my absolute favorite is the sunflower.

Sunflowers are sturdy and strong. They are tall enough to flirt with the sky. Their gold-yellow petals around brown supported by their own bright green stems are a reminder that summer is coming to an end. Seeing them in full bloom tells me that we are about to be greeted with a palate of browns, oranges, reds, and yellows as the trees prepare themselves for winter’s arrival.

The sheer height of the sunflower makes me feel somehow small in the world.

Sunflowers are a smile left behind from the summer sun.

When It Rains on Your Wedding Day…

The beautiful Courtney

Married her true love, the very dashing, Dan.

On their wedding day, there was rain.

They were married at the First Wesleyan Church in Battle Creek and, luckily, that church has a very large furnished atrium that was just perfect for rainy day wedding portraits.

It was also the perfect setting for a romantic wedding ceremony.

Courtney’s Colors were yellow and blue which seemed to add a bit of sunshine to the day.

We found plenty of couches

and chairs to play around with.

I was very thankful for the large windows and subtle lighting.

We did manage to squeeze in a few rain-free moments and we quickly took advantage of them.

Before heading off to the reception at the Robin’s Nest where the sun came out to shine on Courtney and Dan.

Congratulations Courtney and Dan! May your rainy days always bring sun into your lives.

Please visit the rest of Courtney and Dan’s online album here.

The Mantis in my Dahlias

I have a mantis living in my dahlia plant.

He’s been there since Monday when a nice neighbor brought him over for my boys to look at.

We gave him a moth and he ate it. The next morning he was still there. So, we gave him some more “food” consisting of store-bought mealworms and assorted yard bugs.

Next day–still there.

Children from around the neighborhood have been stopping by on bikes to visit the mantis. My boys love watching him bob back and forth on the branches of my flowers trying to mimic the movements of a leaf.

It’s been an interesting week. I found myself saying, “Honey, did you feed the mantis this morning?” and thinking that was maybe a bit odd.

He can leave if he chooses, but I think he’s contented being hand fed meals every day and sitting amidst some very beautiful flowers.

Since he is free to leave and there are no vet bills invloved, I’m not sure he’s a pet. But, is it like lost cats and dogs in that once you feed them, they become your responsibility?

Through The Eyes of a Boy

Once in a while I sit in the yard with my boys and my camera and I let them dictate what I will take pictures of. They love to see the pictures and really get involved in creating art and seeing things in different ways. I absolutely enjoy seeing things through their eyes. Sometimes I have to get down very low to see what they are seeing. In a lot of ways, it brings us closer.

It also brings me closer to interesting things like this:

He is a cicada my boys found one morning. He was one of about ten or eleven of them who decided to shed their skins on our garage this year. Last year, the cicada hot spot was on a tree in our back yard. The year before, it was our fence. Here’s what he looks like on the wrist of my five-year-old:

Crickets are another favorite find.

I noticed this little guy sitting on my echinacea, so we snapped a shot of him.


No bugs here, but a a nice end-of-summer bloom in my tired-looking perrenial garden.


These interactions only took a few minutes one morning, but they were fun minutes we were still talking about later in the day.

An Outdoor Wedding at Kindleberger Park

At Kindleberger Park . In the gazebo. Under the summer sun.

That was the setting of the day for the sweet, adorable, Mistylee on a recent Saturday afternoon.

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Her friends were looking stunning in their pink gowns.

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When I first spoke with Misty, she told me her colors were pink and orange. I was very excited to see how the combination would turn out. Needless to say, it totally worked.

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Misty was ready to marry the handsome (and great dancer) Dave.

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The guys looked cool on such a hot day.

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The guests were gathered.

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The vows were exchanged.

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Misty and Dave were married.

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At Kindleberger Park. In the gazebo. Under the summer sun.

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Misty and Dave headed off to The Fountains for an evening filled with celebration. It was a fun time for all!