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Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Well, Hawaii was a blast. I mean, like there’s any other way to describe something so close to paradise. I will say, however, as much as I thought that I was going to be fine in the heat and humidity, I was actually a little overheated a few times. When I had gone there before, it was at Oahu, and it rained a lot. Not a very hard rain, of course, but enough that it actually cooled me down quite a bit.

This time we were at Kona, and while it was still a ton of fun, the side of the island we were on really doesn’t get much more rain than we do in Central Oregon. (Which isn’t much at all.) The muggy humidity and lack of rain got to me a few times, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad overall. I guzzled water like a freaking camel and never went anywhere without my trusty 32 oz. HydroFlask.

We packed a lot into just a few short days, so Brother and I were pretty tired by the time we got home. But we got to see the tallest waterfall on the island, watch a live volcano, and go inside the oldest church on the island. We drove all around and saw a lot of different scenery. Plus our last day there, we got to spend the whole day at one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen in my life. We made definite plans to go back someday, and now we have a better idea of what to do there and where we want to spend more time.

I didn’t get quite as many photos as I had hoped for, but I was still able to get some decent ones. Even a few that I will be able to use for marketing purposes.

Which brings me to my announcement.

I’m super excited (and a little bit scared) to introduce my latest project, Hawk’s Haven Photography and Design. Any of you who have read my book, Prince of Light, might recognize the name Hawk’s Haven. It’s actually a family name. My grandparents used to own this little one-bedroom cabin by a lake. There was no running water, no electricity, and nothing but a wood stove for warmth. But multiple members of the family used it for vacations (and even a couple of honeymoons). I was quite young when we used to go there, but I still have fond memories of it. We went there to get away from the stress of everyday life and just enjoy nature. Thus when I decided to pursue landscape/nature photography and use my photos for home decor, it felt like a fitting tribute to the name.

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Photo taken at the top of Black Crater in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Design by yours truly.

I’m so excited for this, guys. I’m still a writer and always will be. I’m also still working hard on book two of the Prince of Light series.

But there were a series of hardships I had to endure before I could continue working on that particular series. I know some of my followers have been here for a little while, and while I’m not sure exactly how many read my blog on a regular basis, they might have noticed some changes over the last year or so. I won’t go into details for the sake of the people involved, but last summer, I ended my marriage. In fact, this month has been a bit surreal for me, because the paperwork was finalized last October. It’s been almost one year exactly.

Believe me, you never think that you’re going to contribute to that statistic until you do. I never imagined that I would end up divorced. I mean, it’s not like you go into marriage with that mindset. I certainly didn’t. But the situation was an abusive one, and it wasn’t changing despite many efforts and time in counseling. Needless to say, writing a romantic storyline wasn’t exactly number one on my priorities, which is why the Prince of Light series had to take a hiatus.

For the most part, I feel strong. I don’t hate men, and I don’t hate my ex. I forgave him a long time ago. Unfortunately, this was the necessary path for both of us, but I believe we will both be better for it. I have amazing family support and a brilliant church family that I can’t praise enough. I am BLESSED. It’s hard to work through some of the emotional things that come from enduring something like this. Yes, I have moments where I feel like a failure. Moments where I feel like damaged goods. Anyone who has been through this can attest to that. But they’re just moments. I know who I am, and I know what I’ve been called to do. And I’m ready to start writing again.

Part of my healing has come from starting Hawk’s Haven Photography and Design. I’m narrowing down exactly which products I enjoy working on the most, and I’m always looking to improve my craft. This has been my dream since I was in my early twenties, and to finally be able to make it a reality is amazing.

And the best part? It’s a brand-new season and a fresh start.

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Sneak peek at a design not yet available on my site. Lucky you!

Thanks for all the support, dear readers. I’m still going to post on a regular basis, but hopefully you won’t mind seeing some occasional pic-spam from my other projects. Plus, I’m always looking for good quotes that are public domain, so if you think of any that would look good as a print or greeting card, leave a comment.

Be blessed!

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I made a very difficult decision last month. A decision that was life-changing (for me, anyway).

When Husband and I planned our trip to the Mid-West a couple of weeks ago to see some of his family, I had no idea what would be put in front of me. Husband, Mother-in-Law and I traveled there with two dogs…and we came back with only one.

You see, as I’ve mentioned before, Husband and I are in the process of moving. And by “in the process” I mean that we sold our house, but have no other house to move into yet. We had several different houses picked out, and every single one of them fell through. The most recent, however, was the most difficult, as we were ready to purchase the house and were informed only days before closing that the loan had fallen through. Thus we have been indulging on the kindness of a friend of ours, who has been letting us live in his house while he is trying to sell it. (He’s already moved, so it’s just been empty.) However, because he is trying to sell it, our dog and cat could not be inside the house, which meant they had to be stuck in the large pens/kennels that we brought with us. Diddy (the cat) is not so bothered about it, but Samus?

Well, it was pretty much torture for her given how much she loves to play and be with people.

I exercised her as often as my schedule would allow, but I missed having her inside the house with me while I took care of basic household needs. It just wasn’t the same, and while I was willing to make this sacrifice for a couple of months, we were supposed to be in a house by now. With the most recent loan falling through, we have absolutely no idea where we’re going to end up. Suddenly, my poor puppy was looking at being stuck in a kennel all the time for a minimum of 3-6 months.

It certainly wasn’t planned, but when we visited some of Husband’s family over in Illinois, we were introduced to some good friends of theirs who had a teenage daughter. The daughter, a senior this year, is an animal-lover through and through and couldn’t stop playing with Samus and the large golden retriever owned by Husband’s sister.

Long story short, I watched as this family fell in love with Samus, even begging us to let her stay for a little longer one evening when we visited their house. As we drove away that night, I felt a tug in my heart. One that I honestly didn’t want to listen to, because it meant sacrificing my own happiness for that of my pet. But deep down I knew the answer.

I was supposed to offer Samus to this family.

She would have 200 acres to run around and play on, and a family who absolutely adores her. Her life would never be without love, so as painful as it was on my end, I gave her to the ones who could provide a stability for her that I simply couldn’t right now. Won’t lie, I cried for a full day after letting her go. Even now, I can’t think too long on it or I start to tear up yet again.

Thankfully, the family has been kind enough to keep me posted on her progress, which has helped ease some of the hurt. I know that sometimes when we love something, even if it’s simply a pet, we have to think about what’s best for them and not just what we want for ourselves. Ultimately, I wanted her to be happy, whether that was with me or with someone else.

I miss my pup. There are days when I wish that I could have her curl up next to me on the couch, that I could throw the tennis ball for her one more time (and I never thought I would miss that). But it was the right thing to do. I know it.

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Toys everywhere? Yeah, I’m pretty sure she’ll be juuuust fine….

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Why did I never think to put her in a bandana!? So cute!

Miss you, Samus girl. But I’m glad you’re truly happy.

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Sorry to everyone who might have this cross-posted, but I’m so excited I can barely contain it! My book is officially available through Amazon. (As you can see by my lovely banner and sidebar. Overkill? Maybe.)

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

It’s thrilling to finally start living the dream. I’ve wanted to be a published author for years now. I’m roughly ten chapters into book two, which is a good start. My goal is to have that out sometime this year (2013).

What I’d like to do over the next few weeks or even months is do a profile for some of the main characters of the book. I guess it will partially depend on whether or not it garners any interest, but it would be fun for me! (And that’s all that really counts, right? Right?)

We had a great time down in California, as I mentioned in my earlier post. It’s really beautiful down there.

Bye, Mt. Shasta! It's been real.

Bye, Mt. Shasta! It’s been real.

I think driving by Mt. Shasta was one of the highlights for me. I had no idea it was so HUGE. But so pretty. I have a weakness for mountain ranges. I grew up just a matter of hours from the Cascades, so I always got to have them for a backdrop for road trips. I love them.

We even got to go to the coast!

Half Moon Bay lit up by the sunrise.

Half Moon Bay lit up by the sunrise.

We stayed at Half Moon Bay overnight, and it was simply gorgeous. I would love to go back. I sort of have a weakness for the beach, too. We often vacationed on the Oregon coastline as a family, so I was spoiled by that, too. This is only the third time I’ve been to the CA coast, though. I have yet to see a beach that I haven’t liked!

The coolest thing about my time off was being able to get my book online, by far. Yes, I enjoyed seeing family and meeting Husband’s friends, yes I enjoyed the beautiful drive and all the scenery, but having the chance to fulfill my dream was the best part. So what are you waiting for? If you like young adult medieval fantasies, go check it out! Heck, if you just like fantasy in general, go check it out. (I’m shameless, really. Shameless!)

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Gotta love time off

Just a quick post, as we’ve been traveling around the burg of Sacramento for the last few days. I’d never been down here before. (Because I’m kind of a hermit like that, hehe.) Actually, I’d just never had a reason to come down before, but Husband has lots of family/friends here, since it’s where he grew up. Makes me really glad, because if I had to be the one driving in this traffic, you’d better believe there would be bloodshed. No way do I have the patience for this. He maneuvers through the lanes with a precision that can only come from years of experience. And probably lots of language.

But, all that aside, it is absolutely lovely down here and I can see why it draws so many people to it. The views around the outskirts of the city are spectacular. So many oak trees and lush greenery. Really beautiful. Oregon will always be my home, but I will happily travel down here to visit. Seeing the Sierra Nevadas and Mt. Shasta…I just love it. And overall, Sacramento is a pretty cool city.

The best part of this vacation? Having at least two days to work on my book. That’s right. I might just be able to get this puppy up and running by either this week or next at the latest. I’m thrilled, truly. In fact, now I feel the need to go work on it some more. Oh, the excitement!

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