Friday, November 18, 2011

Manteo Morningscape.

Before showing the morningscape of Manteo (for new readers, Manteo is the town in North Carolina where I live), let me just mention that I'm linking up today with Kelly at Kelly's Korner who is featuring "older bloggers."  

And that's really sort of funny because just a couple days ago, I was mentioned on the wonderful Pennington Point as being an older blogger.  Lisa Pennington is one of my favorite bloggers so if you haven't been by her blog, you need to do so.  

(But please finish reading this post before you go.  Thank you.)

But since being dead is the only alternative to being older, I am more than happy to be residing in these middle-aged years. (I'll be fifty in March, if anyone is wondering.)

Alrighty then. If you're a new reader from Kelly's Korner or The Pennington Point, it's nice to meet you.  I hope you stop by again soon and hear all about what it's like to be . . . um . . .  older.   

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a gray hair to pluck.  (From my chin, not my head.)

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I hope you enjoyed your peaceful tour through a Manteo Morningscape.
Let me just mention one other thing . . .
You may remember me writing a few weeks ago about installing a new commenting system.   As you may have noticed, it did get installed (and is fully functional) at the bottom of the blog; however, it has not yet successfully been installed where it’s supposed to be, which is under each post. 
The blog designer who was working on it for me ran into some technical glitches having to do with the template I’m using. Then her sister was put in the hospital and then her whole family got the flu. 
So.  We continue to wait.  (And waiting is not one of my gifts.)
It could be possible that she won’t be able to get it installed the way it should be, in which case I may have to make a few changes (possibly switch to Wordpress from Blogger) to facilitate having this particular commenting system up and running.  It’s a system which I know we all love because it provides the chance to not just comment on my posts but also comment on each others’ comments as well which is a really cool way to build on the wonderful Smithellaneous community we already have.
As always, thank you for stopping by here today; I appreciate my wonderful readers more than you can ever know.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Beautiful Bride

Edited to Add:  Meagan's mom, Sheri, signed in with the following info about the place where the bridal photos were taken. 
"Just thought your readers might be interested in knowing that the bridal portrait session was shot at Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando. They boast the largest indoor botanical garden in the southeast. Meagan was a little disappointed that we had to wait until two days before the wedding to actually shoot these. (Scheduling problems.) But the fact that hotel guests "OOOH'ed" and "AAAAH'ed" as they walked past was a special treat. So, that's a little behind the scenes info from the MOB."

Today I’m featuring some of Meagan’s bridal portraits and
thought it would be fun to start with some of the
behind-the-scenes shots from that session.
Shots like this . . .

 . . . which preceded this.

Shots like this . . .

Which preceded this. . .

. . . and this.

It is scenes like this one . . .

. . . which made scenes like this one possible.
on steps

And it’s big sisters like these . . .

. . . who helped create a quirky, funny younger sister like this.

A few more favorites . . .
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portrait collage

(Note:  All flowers for the wedding were done by Meagan's dad and
made from silk and rubber.)

frame collage
final flower

And just because a Wedding Wednesday without Nathan is like a day
without sunshine (at least to this particular mama’s heart), I’ll close with one last shot of the happy, blessed groom.


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Freedom Tree

Saturday night, our church hosted a Veteran’s Day event.

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There were at least fifty veterans in attendance including half a dozen World War II vets. 

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To honor them, one of the members of our music team performed the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B. (She even had the old timey uniform to go with it.)

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The emcee was an eighty-year old, Air Force retired gentlemen—and yes, he still fit into his uniform.

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After Amazing Grace was played on the bagpipes, this man gave a very moving explanation of the elements on the small table in front of him that commemorated our POW’s/MIA’s. I had never heard this explanation before (of things like a lemon and salt and a rose) and it was so beautiful. 

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It was an inspiring, memorable evening giving us all the chance to honor and remember and applaud our vets.

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At the Smith house, we honored our veterans by hanging the American flag on our front porch.  Since Steve is the son of an Air Force veteran, he has an extra deep layer of appreciation for those who served.

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Veteran’s Day also just happened to be the day that Sarah was scheduled to head out the door for an overnight trip to a statewide youth convention.

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As I photographed my sweet, sweet girl with the flag flying behind her, I thought of the thousands of young men and women (not much older than she) who have left the front porches of their homes all through the years and all across this country. They have kissed their moms, hugged their dads and have turned their faces toward war, toward danger, toward sacrifice, toward tears, toward service, toward honor.

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Thirty-six hours after she left, my little girl returned home, safe, happy and unharmed.  Sadly, many of the young men and women in the military who walked down the steps of their own front porches never came home.  Or else they returned home with grievous injuries—to body and soul alike.

On Veterans Day 2011, I was reminded all over again that every American lives under the shade of a Freedom Tree—a Tree planted by many thousands of  men and women who served, a Tree watered by the blood that was spilled.

And I, for one, am grateful.