Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Goodbye for Now

If there was a better way to say it, I would.  But the only thing I know to do is cut to the chase.  I've made the decisions to step away from My Mind's Lens for awhile.  It won't probably be forever, but for now the distance is indefinite. 

I have loved getting to know many bloggers, both near and far.  You have all taught me things and brought joy to my day.  I will try to continue to follow some of the blogs I read regularly - but blogging is not going to be a priority for awhile.  I need to redirect my time and energy towards other areas of my life, areas that aren't so strong right now.

Thank you all for being supportive of my photography and my journey.  I appreciate it more than you know.

Maybe I will be back someday - and I hope you will rejoin me then.

Goodbye for Now.

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Guest Post Tuesday: Visiting with Mrs. Foltz

Last Friday I had the opportunity to make a guest appearance over at Foltz Family Life. So I am excited that today, Rychelle is here to share in return for Guest Post Tuesday! *If you want more information on Guest Post Tuesday, click here!*


Hello all you My Mind's Lens followers!
I am Rychelle from Foltz Family Life where most of the time you can find posts on being a new momma, diy projects, recipes, life in general or anything about my sweet Paisley Grace. 
This year has been a big year for our little family! We welcomed Paisley Grace Foltz into our world January 15, 2013 and we also purchased our first home on September 27, 2013. You could say that we have been busy and this year has been quite good to say the least! 

I would be lying if I didnt say that this past year has come with an awful lot of challenges. I want to give y'all a list of reasons why through the thick and thin of this year I am still thankful for everything we have had to go through, not just because its November, but as I look back on everything this far, I really am extremely blessed. 

1. I am thankful for an amazing husband! My hubbys works 6 days a week and to say that he never misses a beat is an understatement. He gives over and above anyone I know and always puts himself last on the list. I am one lucky gal :)

2. Paisley Grace. Its been what feels like a few short months with this little peanut, but she has brought so much joy and so much happiness to our lives. Its ridiculous! I dont know how we ever did life without her. I mean, I was able to sleep every night, but she is so fun and has quite the personality!

3. Our new home. There was many, many tears, blood and sweat put into our home. Buying a "fixer upper" and having a new baby is not the most ideal situation. I dont recommend doing what we did, but I am so blessed to be able to call something "mine."

4. Family. This is huge for me! I love my family so very much and am so thankful for each and everyone of them. I dont get to see my family but twice a year and even though its so hard and I miss out on a lot, I am so thankful that I have in-laws to fill the gaps where my family cant. I have the best family!

5. Being a stay at home mom. This might shock some of y'all but I love being home with Paisley. There are rough days mixed in with all the good, and even though its a lot of work, a lot of patience, sometimes stressful I am so glad I have the opportunity to be with our daughter every single day and not miss a beat of what is happening in her world. 

6. Coffee. Someone please give me an amen??? For all the sleepless nights I get, lets just say I am so thankful that this keeps me running! Dont you agree?

7. Living in FL. I never saw myself ever living in FL, but it has opened a world of doors for us and I am so thankful we get to be here somewhere beautiful. Makes up for being thousands and thousands of miles from my parents.

8. Blogging. I decided to start blogging right before Paisley was born to keep my family in touch with our lives, and well, this little corner of the world has become a great outlet for me to write, learn and make great friends! I dont know what I ever did before I became a blogger.
These are just a few reasons of why I am thankful, but if you havent already its kind of fun to make a list of why you are thankful. Keeps your eyes focused on the GOOD things in life :) 
Thank you Kaeley for having me!
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Everything Changes....

"'Cause these things will change, can you feel it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down
It's a revolution, the time will come for us to finally win"

-Taylor Swift

Change by Taylor Swift on Grooveshark

On Saturday I eluded to the fact that there was something that occurred last week that I was waiting to share. Well, there are some changes in the air, that is for sure.  Early last week I received a phone call from a company asking if I would be interested in coming in for an interview.  Well, Thursday afternoon I sat down with the two owners of the company and an hour later I was offered a job!  It is all moving pretty quickly - they would like me to start as soon as possible since the person who was previously in the position already up and left.  They understand that I am currently employed though and need to provide my employer proper notice.

Which led to a slightly uncomfortable Friday.  That morning driving to work was stressful as I anticipated the conversations that needed to happen when I got to work.  I had to go in and tell the people who I have been working for and who have invested their time and energy into me and my career for the last five years that, with about 2 months before tax season swings into motion, I am leaving.  I almost cried talking to one of the partners just because I felt bad for leaving, one of the other partners nearly teared up when I told her the news.  Overall, I think they understand and are glad that I have an opportunity to further my career, but I know I will missed.  I was also told that I always have a place there, so that is reassuring if - for whatever reason - this doesn't work out.

My new job is going to be quite a bit different from the tax work I have focused on over the least several years.  I am going to be the sole accountant responsible for the business accounting for a company specializing in constructing and maintaining telecommunications towers and antennas!  Let me tell you - after seeing pictures and video clips of some of their projects I am glad I will be in their office and not out on the job.  It is crazy how high up they have to climb and the winds they have to work in.  No thank you!

So - I will be starting my new position in the next couple of weeks.  I am excited to get in there and get started, but I also have work to wrap up for my current position before I leave.  I will be sure to provide an update once I actually start the new job.

I didn't quite have a chance to celebrate the new change in my life over the weekend, but I still managed to stay busy.  Friday night I got my hair touched up - had my roots recolored and got a trim.  Saturday was spent focused on pictures (shooting, editing, sharing), as well as baking some yummy chocolate chip-butterscotch cookies and a little bit of blogging.

True to my recent "bad blogger" fashion, I didn't even think about taking any pictures of the cookies until much after I had packaged them up.  So this is all you get.  Saturday night, I also took a break from editing to experiment a little with taking a few pictures of candlelight, while the rest of the lights were out.  That was kind of fun.

These are a few of my favorites of the little sweetheart I got to meet Saturday afternoon:

Oh yeah - I also received an early Christmas present!! . . . Which I purchased for myself.

I can't wait to try out these beautiful bows and ties!

Sunday, my friend Krista and I had a little girls' day!  She is a proud momma of four, so every once in a while I try to get her out of the house for a bit :)  We made a trip to Craft Warehouse, and had a yummy lunch at Olive Garden.  There will be more to come of my craft treasures soon.

I am anxious to see how this week pans out at work, and after work have some prep work to do on my Christmas-themed photography props!  Have a great Monday!

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Blogging With A Purpose: Home

Part of the prompt for this week's "Blogging With A Purpose" is to share your favorite room.  I am assuming that is means the favorite room IN YOUR HOUSE, but to be honest I don't really have one in this house.  Instead, I am going to share some of my favorite rooms that I have found on Pinterest!

*clicking on any of these pictures will take you to the source-site*


Living Room/Family Room


And of course this pantry is a must...

Master Bedroom
Option #1:

Option #2:

Master Bathroom:


And...of course, the outside!
I absolutely LOVE the wraparound, covered porch in this picture.  Hopefully I can have one someday!

Do you have a favorite room in your house? Or have ideas of how you convert an ordinary room into one that is worthy of being a favorite? Then share it and link up with From Mrs. to Mama!

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Better Late Than Never

Ugh....I cannot begin to express my frustration right now.  I had this post pretty much ready to go Thursday night and had just a few little updates to make before sharing it.  And....somehow yesterday morning in a couple of key strokes I managed to delete the whole thing.  Usually I can do a little "ctrl+z" and get it back, but for whatever reason it was unsuccessful.  And of course I didn't have time to do anything about it before work, so now it's Saturday - let's see if I can recreate everything I had done!

Friday is a busy one this week at My Mind's Lens!  I'm guest posting elsewhere in blogville, My Mind's Lens received an award, and we have a little photo recap of the week.

I don't know about you, but lately online shopping has been a little weakness of mine.  Earlier this week, over at Foltz Family Life, I shared some of my favorite online boutiques - make sure you stop by (plus, Foltz Family Life is a sponsor so you better show some extra love!).  Pretty momma Rychelle will be returning the favor next week for Guest Post Tuesday, so watch for that.
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This week I received some exciting news - not only is one of my favorite NW bloggers *Kelly at Today Was A Fairytale* back online after a little hiatus, but she nominated My Mind's Lens for a Liebster Award! You have probably seen these floating around the blog world, or even received one yourself. They are a lot of fun to receive, even if you've gotten one before.  If you have time, stop by Today Was A Fairytale and read Kelly's post.
Here's how it works:
1. Each blogger shares 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the  questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to, and link back to them in your post!
4. Let award recipients know that they've been awarded!
5. No tag backs.

11 Random Facts About Me
1. If I could fly everywhere instead of drive, I would.
2. I love the feeling of being up early in the morning, but hate actually waking up early.
3. Sweet little babies melt my heart.
4. Rain makes me sad, but I like the sound when it is pounding on the roof.
5. I like to have a clean house, but don't like to actually clean it.
6. It only takes a matter of seconds - from the time I walk out the door of my office and climb into my car - to lose the motivation to go to the gym.
7. If I had to pick only one beverage to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Malibu Rum with pineapple juice.
8. Once I get a crafty idea, I have to try it (so my trip to Craft Warehouse tomorrow could be dangerous).
9. I loved playing softball and volleyball when I was younger, but hate running/can't do it, so I quit after my sophomore year.
10. I think it would be fun to visit all 50 states someday-actually visit, not just have a layover at the airport.
11. My graduating class in high school was only about 65 students.

11 Questions from Kelly
1. What do you find it easiest to blog about? Sharing my photos
2. Is there a topic you'd like to blog about but are too scared/nervous to write about? Not really - I would like to get a little more personal and open up a bit more, but I'm getting there.
3. How has your blog changed since the day you started it? It started as just a way to share my photography, but has developed into something more - where I can share about my life.
4. How has blogging changed your life so far? If you asked my husband, he would tell you that I am on my computer a lot more...OOPS!  But in all honesty, I have gotten to know some really great ladies from blogging.
5. Have you been able to meet, face-to-face, any of the bloggers that you follow? Not yet - but I should!  There are several who are close by!
6. Is there a blogger (or a few) that have helped motivate you or really touched your life in any way?  I've said it before, but Julie at A Beautiful Day is my biggest cheerleader!
7. Does anyone in your real life know about your blog?  If yes, what do they think?  If no, what keeps you from telling them? *See husband's sentiment above* I do have some friends and family members who know about My Mind's Lens - they seem to think it's pretty cool.
8. When you run into a writing block, what do you do to help you out of your funk? Sometimes I will get ideas from other bloggers, and if that doesn't work I will resort to Google!
9. What are your hopes for your blog over the next year? I would like to see it grow - but that may just mean gaining a few loyal followers and I'll be happy.
10. What is the first thing that you notice about another person's blog? The color scheme and fonts used!
11. Do you have any advice you'd like to like to share with bloggers who are just starting out?  Do it for yourself and let your personality flow through your writing.

11 Questions for My Nominees
1. If you had to pick one color to represent your personality, what color would you be?
2. What has been your biggest triumph in life?
3. What are you most looking forward to during the next year?
4. Why did you start blogging?
5. Where do you find new blogs to follow?
6. What is the most fulfilling role you have played?
7. We are approaching the holiday season - what is your favorite thing to bake?
8. If you won a shopping spree for any store you wanted, which one would you choose?
9. How has your blog changed since you started?
10. Where is the best place you have ever vacationed?
11. What is the top item on your Christmas wish list?

11 Nominees
1. Foltz Family Life
2. My Life As...
3. Believe in the Sparks
4. Linda's Lens
5. Martinis & Bikinis
6. Mr. and Mrs. Foster
7. The Sunset Won't
8. Fluent in Sparkle
9. Health, Love, & Fire
10. Scattered Horizons Photography
11. I'll Love You Forever

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There really is only one thing worth sharing about my week, other than a little something that I am holding onto for just a little longer. My friend McKenzie and I went to a "Wine and Canvas" event Tuesday night. I had seen similar events posted on other blogs in the past, so when she brought it up I jumped at the idea.

It really is exactly what it sounds like - they teach you how to paint, while you sip on your adult beverages!

I don't know if I would say my painting looked like a pro did it (or even that it looked like the instructor's finished product), but I am still pretty proud of what I created! We are going to try to catch another class, maybe next month.

And...that's a wrap. Better late than never, right!

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I mentioned last Thursday that I was going to try something new this year for Thankful Thursday.  Kenzie over at Chasing Happy is hosting "The Thankful Project - 28 Days of Intentional Gratitude" throughout the month of November.  If you click on "The Thankful Project" you can see a list of the daily prompts - I have chosen to do these on a weekly basis.  If you hadn't heard of The Thankful Project before, you can catch up now, then post daily for the rest of November, or maybe follow my lead and do a week's worth of prompts on Thursdays, now through Thanksgiving.  At any rate, I encourage you to take a look at the Project and follow the daily link-ups.  Maybe you will learn something about bloggers you follow, or even something about yourself.

A person
In the years since I came back from college, I have found that it is really difficult to make new friends in the real world.  Meeting my husband allowed me to become friends with some of his friends and their significant others, but that isn't quite the same.  During the last year or so, I have had the opportunity to develop a friendship with a sweet gal from work, as well as grow closer to one of those "significant others".

Our office is super quiet and anti-social - there are days you could probably hear a pin drop if it wasn't for the carpeted floors, and the only time anybody really socializes outside of work is during the three annual office events.  So it is a miracle that Mckenzie and I have been able to become friends outside of work.  But she is my gym partner *when we both manage to get our butts there*, my sounding board when I get frustrated with work, my "painting buddy" (more on that tomorrow) and just a really great friend.  We almost always find something to laugh about.

Krista is usually busy raising her FOUR kiddos (including twins), but I adore them and the middle one always makes me laugh.  Her and I are a lot alike and various circumstances have allowed us to kind of open up to each other, which I am not usually very good at.  I try to get her out of the house when possible for some "child-free" time, and sometimes we spend family time all together.  Either way, I am super grateful for her friendship.

A role you've played
Two "busy season"s ago our firm hired a kid right out of college to help prepare tax returns.  In the past, I had been the primary preparer for our individual tax returns, so the partners decided that I would be reviewing the new guy's work before it went on to them for review.  Holy cow - it was overwhelming!  Unfortunately, this guy wasn't able to apply the feedback and recommendations that I gave him on one client to another - which resulted in me feeling like a bit of a broken record.  He didn't end up working out - but the role of middleman made me really appreciate everything that I have learned, as well as the work it takes to be accountable for somebody else's work.

A place
As much fun as I think it would be to move somewhere like Phoenix or Colorado or even Central Oregon, I don't know if I could handle living that far away from the coast.  As a Pacific Northerwesterner {yes, I probably just made that one up} I probably take advantage of living so close to the ocean.  It may be cold, but even in the winter it is beautiful and relaxing.  Not only am I thankful for our proximity to the coast, but to have a friend that lives there who we can crash with on occasion.  

An experience
Oddly enough, before we were married Tristan and I never really "traveled" anywhere together.  We had been camping, and gone to my family's cabin a day's drive away, but never a real "trip."  So being able to travel for the first time together, as a married couple going on our honeymoon, it was a really special experience.

A talent you have
You probably all thought I would say photography, right?  Well, I don't know if that in itself is a talent - it has taken work to get to where I am.  If I had to pick a talent, or skill, that I am most grateful for, though, it would be my ability to learn new things, and typically catch on to them pretty quickly.  This is something that I have been able to apply to multiple facets of my life - including photography, but also my career as an accountant.

A failure
This one I struggled with a bit.  But I think that if I had to be thankful for one of my failures, it would be the issues we had in our marriage a couple years ago.  That time brought a lot of heartache and stress, but in the end it ended up bringing Tristan and I closer together than we were to begin with.

A job
I was extremely fortunate when it came to finding my first job in the real world.  After officially finishing my college classes in June of 2008, I had plans to complete a double major by spending the fall in China on a study abroad trip.  Knowing that I would return from China needing something to do, I started watching for possible opportunities.

There was a day in August that I had 3 job interviews, all at various public accounting firms.  At the final one of the day, I spent over an hour speaking with two of the partners, and even received a tour of the office and met some of the other employees (I know now that this is something that doesn't normally occur until day 1 on the job).  I was told that there was a partner meeting the following week and they would be discussing applicants at that time.  So imagine my surprise when, half an hour later I was walking through the mall and received a phone call, and a job offer!  It was such a relief to be able to go on my trip and know that I had a job to come back to.

For almost five years now I have been with the same company and they have been so wonderful to work for!
I know this was a little bit "wordier" than my normal post, but I hope it spoke to you a bit and showed you a little bit of who I am and what I am grateful for. We all have things to be thankful for in life, and most of the year we are really good about taking advantage of all that. But this is time of year I think it is an important reminder.

So - what are you thankful for?!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Black and White Wednesday

It's been a busy week in my house, so this is going to be short and sweet.  I couldn't miss out on Black & White Wednesday, though.

I'll be back tomorrow for the beginning of my November series: Thankful Thursday.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Post Tuesday: Thankful for Amberly & Joe

Hello friends! It's Amberly from Life with Amberly & Joe, taking over the blog for Kaeley again! Fall is quickly coming to a close and the holiday season is in full swing. Even though I'm sad to see the amazing autumn weather and my favorite season disappear, I am excited about the holiday season. Time with family, traditions, delicious food, and the spirit of the season, just the thought of it all makes me giddy!

I feel like holidays are becoming more and more commercialized every year. Christmas stuff is on the shelves before I've even thought about Halloween, Black Friday is creeping into Thanksgiving parties and festivities and we get so busy that the holidays are more stressful than fun. "The hustle and bustle of the season" has taken on a whole new meaning to me the older I get. This year I am trying my hardest to make the holidays fun and relaxing again! I am looking forward to Thanksgiving week when I have five and a half days off of work. It will be great time for holiday baking, family parties, time with my husband, and relaxing by myself! Each season I create date night bucket lists on my blog that focus on the season and the holidays that come with it. It is hard to get everything crossed off, but I try because I really want to do fun, seasonal things with my husband and enjoy life. In honor of the season, I set a Marriage & Relationship Goal this month to start a new tradition in our little family. We now have a Thankful Jar that sits in a prominent place in our apartment. Each day I write things that I am thankful to my husband for and things that I am thankful for in life. My plan is to read the entire jar together, on the morning of Thanksgiving, before we rush off to stuff our faces with delicious food at family parties.
How do you remember the spirit of the season and not let the stress of it overwhelm you?

I absolutely LOVE Amberly's Thankful Jar and just might have to copy her next year :)

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