1440 {100} :: About Marriage {23 + 3}

they sat down next to me at a black jack table in las vegas, a small band of friends out to celebrate his up-coming marriage. they were young, though not too young, respectable and professional looking, and kind. and i still regret that i didn’t tell him a few things i know about marriage.

i should have asked him if he was as committed to the idea of marriage as much as he is committed to his fiancé right now, in this dream-like time when he sees nothing but love and possibility for them

because that commitment to marriage will keep them together even when they don’t like each other,
and there will be those times.

i should have told him it’s hard. maybe the hardest thing he’ll ever do.
{but also, that it only starts being hard when you stop serving each other.}

 i would’ve told him that if they  treat each other like friends, 

they will have more joys…

more fun…

more blessings…

photo: our costa rica rios photographer matt

more adventures
than they know how to count.

i would have told him to remember to always be kind

and to never stop flirting with each other.

i should have told him to not forget about her dreams,

and to remember to bring her along,
as he pursues his.

i should have told him to work hard to be a good provider and to set a good example for his children.

i should have told him to protect her, and to respect her.

and to love her right in front of their children,
so that they learn this real love thing, too.

i should have told him to celebrate her,

to remember anniversaries and birthdays and moments that are meaningful to her,
so that she knows how much she means to him.

i should have told him to ask her to help him find what works for them…
to remember patience and forgiveness…
{and again, kindness}
to work as a team
and to always have each other’s back

i should have told him that it won’t always be equal,
that some days he will have to move closer to her
and some days she will have to move closer to him.

and i really should have told him to hold on tight, because it goes so terribly fast.


 we celebrate our 23rd anniversary this sunday, and these are a few things we’ve learned along the way. and there are a few more that worked for us:

let her sleep in occasionally
thank her for dinner, even if it’s peanut butter and jelly, again
be sure he always has clean work shirts and boxers
reminisce at bedtime, and be uninhibited with laughter
always hold her for the first few minutes of sleep, before you turn over because of that bum shoulder
make her get up early for early morning wake-boarding sessions (she’ll not want to do it, but will always be glad she did)
give him a few minutes to unwind after work
let each other keep his or her own interests

spend time together

encourage each other

share your fears
and your hopes
{and your secret moments of pride}

appreciate each other
really appreciate each other

so thank-you, hon, for all of these things and more.

happy anniversary



And to y’all, forgive me these selfies… it’s such a wonderful experience to ‘flip’ through old photos and memories of a life build together.

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Marty - July 25, 2014 - 2:15 pm

Your photos were adorable and brought true joy! Such sweet memories of a wonderful relationship and family. Thanks for sharing. You have such a gift….

Rese - July 25, 2014 - 2:20 pm

this was beautiful – I’m printing your words out and giving to my husband . . . he forgets A LOT of these things A LOT of the time!!

Kathy - July 25, 2014 - 3:02 pm

Happy anniversary, and to many many more!

Dina - July 25, 2014 - 3:04 pm

I love this so much, Patty!

Jessica Winstead - July 25, 2014 - 3:13 pm

Oh, love this…I admit…I cried reading it. Great post. Happy Anniversary.

Jen - July 25, 2014 - 3:16 pm

This is wonderful! It’s a lot of what *I* need to remember with regard to my husband. Thank you for sharing this.

Dawn - July 25, 2014 - 7:27 pm

What a beautiful message so filled with truths.I only made it half way through before I was in tears. You have such a blessed life because of the special way you live it. Happy Anniversary!

Kim Cunningham - July 25, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Such wisdom here. You have it nailed. I think this is something that only comes through time, but it is good to clue the newlies in one how hard it is to serve, and serve. But truly, that’s where the magic happens. Each serving. One wise man told us upon our engagement that marriage wasn’t give and take. It was give and give. So true.

Molly - July 25, 2014 - 8:36 pm

Congratulations on your anniversary… I think two pieces of advice I would have is… ‘if it’s not fun, don’t do’ and ‘if it was easy anyone could do’


Heather - July 26, 2014 - 12:46 pm

Beautiful words . Here’s to both you and Ron….. And many many more memories and anniversaries. XO

Lisa @ FSL - July 31, 2014 - 11:05 pm

What a beautiful post. Happy Anniversary.

[…] About Marriage – Finding Serendipity. I love, love, love this photo essay. The pictures are great, but the words are better. it’s an swesome reminder of what it takes to make a strong, healthy marriage, and I want that for Sweet Husband and I more than just about anything. I particularly love this part because I find it to be true: […]

1440 {99} :: Phoneography and Instagram

it’s a hugely fun time for me, as i’m sure it is for you…

i spend more time than i care to admit on instagram

and i know you do, too, because i follow some of you!:)

so i’m thinking of doing a phoneography tutorial over at my photography site

and i was hoping to solicit your advice and suggestions….

what are some of your favorite phone-photography tips?

favorite apps?
favorite editing programs/apps?
do you use and upload pictures from your 35 mm onto instagram or use your phone-only pictures?
do you like posting videos, too?
do you participate in a 365 project, and what is it called?
do you have favorite instagram communities? or photographers you follow?

and lastly, what’s your instagram user name {so we can come follow you?}

i’m pattyx24

{that’s patty chris-two-four, or christopher… heeheehee}

see you there!

have fun this weekend

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Sarah - July 18, 2014 - 11:47 am

I just started using dropbox to add photos to instagram from my dslr. I love Distressed FX and a new favorite Monovu. I love using my iPhone in the summer, I tend to be out and about more and not always with my big camera. Plus I love the instant gratification of Instagram.

Barbara Hurst - July 18, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Welcome to IG, you will love it, I am sunnybarb on IG and I will add you. Apps are quite addictive for sure, the first and foremost I think is Snapseed for general editing, Waterlogue is fun for watercolor, as well as Brushstoke. Barb Brookbank has a weekly Wednesday app review on her blog Keeping Up With the Times her IG name is Keepingupblog That would be a fun resource. I just added you on IG, and see you have a lot of followers so you are not a rookie, so you already know a lot so you can disregard all I have said. :)

Rese - July 18, 2014 - 12:43 pm

I’m not on instagram too much – I sort of swoop in and out – tiarastantrums I am

Serendipity is Sweet - July 18, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Beautiful pics! I love iphoneography. Michelle Morris is a master and I love her work. I just bought her ebook: A Camera’s a Camera. I’ve only read the first few pages but she give lots of tips and reviews apps. My personal favorite app that I use most often is Afterlight. I also like VSCO. I use the built in iPhone camera and edit mostly in those two apps, though I own several. I post a mix of iPhone photos and DSLR because my feed is also used for my business. So the DSLR pics are client photos. I don’t post videos though – I should probably take a lot more videos of my kids, but I always seem to forget.

My favorite tips would be to shoot from different angles and play with the AF/AE feature to control exposure. And I never, never use the flash! It’s just plain awful, ha ha.

I’m melissablissphotography on IG. :)

Tamar - July 18, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Oh I am SUCH an instagram addict!!

I just started using the VSCOcam app – great editing app, sometimes I pre-edit before I ‘gram it. Very rarely I photostream a DSLR pic in, but tend to keep instagram to the iphone pics!

Kristy Lifenreflection - July 19, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Beautiful captures, I wish I took more time with iphone.

Becky - July 23, 2014 - 2:45 pm

I’m addicted too. It’s just easier. I love snapseed and VSCOcam. I only use my phone, a Samsung 3. I’m farmgirlpaints:-) Love your pics always. You’re a light chaser like me…

Barbara Burgess - August 1, 2014 - 5:51 am

Wow! What a lovely blog, photos, quotes and advice! Very glad I popped by, best wishes, Barbara http://www.dogblog.xyz

1440 {98} :: Season of Waiting

That’s my rising college freshman son on the left, and his friend. And Aja {“Asia”}. And this is the latest we’ve ever opened our pool. July 3rd. We knew it was full of construction material from late last summer, courtesy our newly tiled patio and fireplace, and there was sawdust and aluminum flying this spring and early summer as we updated our deck. And truthfully, our hearts just weren’t into it. 

But the kids, errr… young adults, and bless-her-heart Aja, waited patiently. “Soon,” we said, or “After the [insert whichever up-coming event]“, but we promised by July 4th. And so, with the sawing done on the deck, and July 4th the next day, we opened her up and drained her out. Austin and Chris worked all day scooping out broken marble and solid mortar and chunks of cement, carefully pulling a lot of it right off the walls. They scrubbed her and washed her and then we started the process of filling her up.

With   c  o  l  d     tap water.  

And it was refreshing.

Waiting is hard.  Even for adults. 


Wishing you a weekend blessed with fun and {no waiting}.;)

ps: Thank you, Austin and Chris!


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Rese - July 11, 2014 - 1:36 pm

hope youare able to enjoy the pool this weekend!

Sarah - July 12, 2014 - 11:52 am

My parents have struggled with the pool decision for a number of years now, so I know how you feel. That shot is perfect!

Donna Milburn - July 12, 2014 - 11:28 pm

I am sure you will be enjoying your beautiful pool this summer. Lovely photos, especially the last one! Have fun!!

Dina Lettre - July 15, 2014 - 12:28 pm

Better late than never…and it’s really just gotten hot in Atlanta. :)

P.S. I used to have a sweet kitty named Aja. Steely Dan?

Liz - July 18, 2014 - 11:12 am

I remember the waiting every 5 years when my Dad emptied our pool for repainting. He and my 3 brothers would carefully do the painting and have it ready in time for summer. The filling day was filled with anticipation.

1440 {97} :: Caged Butterfly

{posting my link and pictures for you early-birds…
i’ll be back later today with words.;)
stop back by, and have a wonderful weekend!}

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Viv Halliwell - June 27, 2014 - 12:05 pm

Lovely images so pretty have a wonderful weekend…

Tamar - June 27, 2014 - 12:07 pm

How gorgeous and lush! Happy Friday!

Southern Gal - June 27, 2014 - 1:46 pm

Your focus and clarity in your photos always takes my breath away. How I wish I could take photos like that!

Sarah - June 27, 2014 - 4:48 pm

Lovely images!

nancyjean - June 27, 2014 - 11:14 pm

I just love visiting a butterfly house with my camera! nice shots!

Diane - June 28, 2014 - 12:20 am

I am trying to figure out where the butterflies are. Seems like such a peaceful place to visit. Love the photos.

Sue - July 22, 2014 - 9:28 pm

Neat shots, and thank you for hosting!
How ’bout stop by the new location for Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) and sharing your post? The link is here:

1440 {96} :: Intentional Escape

i only cried a little. like, maybe seven times.

perhaps i began my journey to intentional escape with the wrong movie. i totally knew it would be a tear-jerker. still, i picked it. and sometimes movies like that need to be viewed alone, on a muggy summer afternoon, in the theater with surround sound and a big bucket of popcorn.

i think i was in my early twenties, home from college, watching some movie… maybe about a family with a pet dinosaur? i don’t really remember. i just recall suddenly catching my mother watching me watch the movie, and smiling. she told me that she could read my every emotion on my face… that i was completely lost in it, feeling it.

it’s the way i do it. completely lost in it, feeling it. ev.ry.thing. no doubt life’s lessons load up on me and i need to escape. so i grabbed the bucket and headed for the theater. it was almost a toss up between malificant and the fault in our stars. but, c’mon people. no choice, really, for me.

so i sat there in the dark, catching myself with my eyebrows up high in surprise, with hot tears streaming down my cheeks, craddling my face with my head leaned over on an imaginary shoulder, with little giggles here and there in delight of that character gus. oh, gus. it was only when my chest was cracking and i was starting to hyperventilate that i had to get a grip, take back control and begin re-entry into the adult-sized stresses.

awesome movie, if you like that sort of thing. pure, clarifying, cleansing cries in the safety of a dark, empty theater.


and, for the eyebrow-raising delight of your dinosaur-loving inner child ::

now. open the door. get on the floor. everybody walk the dinosaur.;)

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Julia - June 20, 2014 - 4:52 am

Thanks for sharing-

Sarah - June 20, 2014 - 11:01 am

Love that last photo of the yellow flower (tulip?)

Kristy, Life-n-Reflection - June 20, 2014 - 12:54 pm

I am the same way, but I love a good story with glass wine and dark chocolate.

Jessica Washburn - June 20, 2014 - 2:28 pm

I’ll try to call you in a bit…. I love those kind of movies and yeah, sometimes we just need a good cry…even if it’s in a theater. XO

Dotti - June 20, 2014 - 3:16 pm

Glorious photos! I think it’s really a cool thing that your face shows all your emotions. Just plain honest reactions and that is refreshing in a society where we increasingly hide our emotions … even from ourselves.

Sarah - June 20, 2014 - 3:42 pm

I cried when I read the book too. I had to not read it one night before bed because I knew I would cry and then I would be all stuffy in the morning.

Becky - June 22, 2014 - 12:10 pm

I feel deeply too. Haven’t seen it yet. It’s on my need a good cry list;)

R e s t o r i n g   J a n e
S e l f - E s t e e m