Since I’ve been Gone…

It sure has been a while! I’ve been taking plenty of pictures but without internet it was really hard to post on this blog. Hopefully, I can keep it up from now on! Thank goodness to semi-resembling normality! So here we go! Plenty of storm photography! My one true love and passion.

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This was my last tutorial in my house. It was filmed the day that the storm destroyed the house. But, it’s been a good work in progress. It helps heal; being able to see it. So I hope you enjoy this. It was so much work to edit, pick music, annotate. So I hope you enjoy. I am sure you will see I had just a little bit of fun knowing it would have music played over it. ha ha ha

Who knew that Orange could be so Beautiful?

Easter 2014

So here we go guys! Are you ready for some cuteness!? Of course, as I mentioned we don’t “celebrate” Easter, but we did go over to the in-law’s for hiding eggs, food, and family fun. At the end of the day, what’s more important than food, fun, and family right? 🙂 ❤

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From left to right: Rylan, Maddy, Mark, and Madi They all received a bunch of great little goodies from the Easter Bunny! (AKA Mamaw!)

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The Easter Bunny went to hide some eggs while the kids were preoccupied in the house. We lined them up outside. Then, we let them go! To keep it fair since Mark is still so little, each kid counted to six (with help) and then they were done and went to sit and wait for everyone to finish.

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They headed out, baskets in hand to search out for those eggs!

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I wasn’t the only photographer out that day. 🙂 Here’s papaw!

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It was so cute to see Uncle Zach (our tallest Uncle) with out littlest boy Mark.

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It was so hard to get a good picture of the oldest two. They’re just so fast! Here’s Rylan finding an egg. ❤

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Madison shows off her six eggs! ❤Image

Madi looking for flowers along Papaw’s flower row. 🙂

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After we found the eggs…We went back in side…Hid them again….And found them again! LOL

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I think the kiddos decided to do the same things as last year. We’re making playing in the rock garden a tradition after we find all of the Easter eggs. They had the brilliant idea to bury some of them! Us grown ups were surprised they didn’t break many of them! Nana O (Mamaw’s mom) decided to hang out and watch all her great grandbabies play.

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This is my mom in law Sherry, her momma that I fondly write in as Nana O., and Rylan and Mark still playing away in the gravel. ❤

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We decided to play a little bit of dodge ball.

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A cloud picture!? Of course! It was a day ending in Y. 🙂

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Playing in the dirt with Aunt Victoria!

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Uncle Justin playing in the grass with Max! So cute! 🙂

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Hmmm….Just like little mom Madi here to try to figure out what is wrong with Rylan’s truck. LOL

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Some more backyard fun! Probably the only picture I could get him to be still in! 🙂

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When Aunt Victoria and Uncle Zach left, Mark was a little sad. He wanted to, “Go pay-gown-d wi Zaa.” “Go Zaa how.” And he wanted to do all this ridin’ in Papaw’s truck! Papaw wasn’t around so daddy let him sit on the back! 😀

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He wasn’t sad long because Maddy came home from visiting with her other grandparents. We all decided to get all the balls out and we all started kicking them around! They had fun with me being scared of them hitting my face! We had Aunt Amanda, Uncle Justin, Mamaw, Papaw, Mommy and Daddy versus Maddy, Rylan, Madi, and Mark!

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Look at Maddy GOOOOOOOO!

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Uh oh! Something is wrong with Mark, Daddy and Aunt Amanda say! The poor kid is upside down! LOL ❤

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At the end of the day I can safely say that we all had a big smile on our face like my Madi here. I’m so glad to be part of such a great family and can’t wait for next year to roll around.

These photos were slightly edited for color, clarity, and cropping.

I hope you enjoyed your Easter as well! Thanks to Sherry, Alan, Zach, Victoria, Justin, and Amanda for being the best in-laws a gal could ask for and especially to my awesome husband Nick for choosing me to be his wife and to get to know all these awesome people. ❤

 

Happy Easter or Happy Sunday! (Reposted from my original blog at journeyonthefinalcountdown.blogspot.com)

Okay…This post will start off with a warning. I will be discussing something quite controversial. Aka Religion. As a Buddhist and a Southern Gal I please ask you that if you can’t saying anything nice, don’t say anything at all. 🙂 And just wait till the next post. ❤ This is simply my views and I choose to respect anyone and everyone. I think this could be a good story for some of those that have fallen out of grace with the Christian community but are trying to seek that place where you aren’t bitter or angry any more. Because for a time I found myself angry. In the end, I think I was more angry at myself than the poor examples I saw around me. So let’s start shall we?

Today is Easter! I realized today was the first Easter I will spend as a Buddhist. It is really weird because most of my family is Christian and my in-laws are pretty hard core Christian. You’re wondering how a person surrounded by so much Christianism grows up to be a Buddhist? My husband put it this way, that I was more Buddhist than anything most of my life, I just didn’t know it.

When I first had this realization I was happy and devastated at the same time. When I officially “let go” of Christianity I felt free and as if I was able to breath! I didn’t have to hold myself to ridiculous standards that no one understood or couldn’t have one understanding of. I felt I didn’t have to look to God to heal my suffering or my problems. I was in control of my destiny. While I cannot ignore the invisible hand of fate that guides us through life, it’s unexplainable. The Buddha, when asked about these grand questions of where we come from, is there a God or higher being he’d simply remain silent. It wasn’t of importance to answer such great questions because it is beyond ourselves. I like that. No one really has solid proof that any God(s) exist. And that’s okay! Bill Nye the Science Guy really impressed me in the debate with Ken Hamm. He often said if you can bring us proof, the scientific community would welcome it and accept it! I wanted to do that. I wanted to model my ideas around this idea. To respect every religion and if someone else can change my mind, great! If not…I’m just gonna go on being good ole’ Ami!

I think there is this common misconception that if you aren’t Christian that you’re an atheist. If you’re not “with them” you’re “against them.” If you’re not Christian you’re an alcoholic, a drug addict, or you are miserable and suffering in your life. (It couldn’t be FURTHER from the truth!) I just cannot accept that type of mentality. However, this is so unfortunate because it drives so many good people to bitterness against a whole group of people. That’s not good either! So why am I rambling about this? Here’s my point.

Thinking back on last year the song “Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace” by Big and Rich came to mind. I struggled. Oh how I struggled. I was so scared of the reactions of my family. I was scared especially of my in-laws, probably still am, but I’m a little more at peace about my decision now.

So to the point maybe? Hee hee hee…..

Today is the day we celebrate a man that rose from the dead after being brutally beaten and crucified. Hung out on a cross to die. The image in my mind makes me sick. I was not a child inspired by movies like The Passion. I cried and was so thoroughly disturbed that humans were capable of such violence. But, I find myself trying to find something. Something to take away from this story. Something so that when my in-law’s and family are praying over Easter lunch…What can I think of? Where can I be thankful for this story? Where can I relate? Because I’ve learned the beginnings of compassion and love for ALL people starts with understanding and being able to find even the tiniest thing to relate to.

So today is Easter. I’ve always related more the Maundy Thursday. Back with my R Street Family I learned and invited people from our community (AKA a couple from our church since I was new to this concept) to join us for a meal just as Jesus had done. Now, that’s something I like. Community and feeding people. Are y’all surprised!? As I mentioned, the crucifixion itself just disturbs me to my core. But, I’ve read many a story like that. I don’t want to hold onto that negative thought. Ironically…this is where I found a relation. It’s funny how that happens. It comes where you least expect it. Christians believe that Jesus sacrificed his life so that they would not have to offer animal sacrifices any more for their sins. The ultimate pure blood was shed so that we could all have the opportunity at an eternal life so long as you believed that Jesus had done this and was the Son of God. We used to do this liturgical study…I forget what it was called. But we took one passage and read it several times and tried to identify what stuck out for us and what we thought it meant. (I actually really liked this.) What stuck out to me was sacrifice.

It is a really honorable thing that one man would sacrifice himself for others. But, as a Non-Christian I am reminded that Jesus is not the only story to celebrate this sacrifice. There are so many stories and ones that can be celebrated whether you are or are not any kind of religious. There are people who fight every day to keep our country free! There are men and women who walk out their door, give their significant other a kiss. One is going out to protect the streets from crime, or is going to a building trying to keep all of the criminals where they belong. Their partner is just praying they come home safe that night. There are men and women that run into burning buildings for the sake of rescuing and saving other peoples’ lives at the chance they could lose their own.

So…all in all…..What this really long (probably controversial) blog post is about is getting past my bitterness. Instead of rolling my eyes like a child when someone posts 1,000 pictures about Jesus’ resurrection, I’ll just smile and relate. All in all, I just want to encourage people no matter who you are and what you believe that we all are on this one tiny, little planet! We have to live this life together. Instead of living it with bitterness and possibly hate or disdain, let’s celebrate our differences and find ways to relate to each other. Let us love each other because we do, not because we think we’re obligated in some ancient text! When I sign off my posts or vlogs that I am sending you love and peace, I truly mean it deep inside my soul! Why? Because I do…It’s what I’m called to do. This is my True Religion! Kindness and Love and Compassion!

So if you’ve made it this far, thank you! I hope this can give some insight into my beliefs. At the end of the day my goal is to grow as a person, be the best mom, wife, family member that I can be and to encourage everyone around me (or in my audience) to live a positive life in whatever manner you think will lead to the highest amount of good! There are bad people in every group, but I would like to think more on that there are great people out there whether they are Christian, Atheist, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or any other religion.

So to all my Christian family and friends, Happy Easter! To everyone else, Happy Easter! Some people still do Easter egg hunts and have fun so happy Easter to y’all too! If not, if you just don’t celebrate Easter at all…Hey! That’s so okay! Just happy Sunday! I hope you all have a great week no matter what you’re doing. And as always, I am sending you all lots of love and peace to you and your journey.

All the best,

-Ami M. Lee

A great tutorial for the gorgeous, the amazing…Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. Check it out! If you try it out, send or blog me a picture! Lots of love!

-Ami M. Lee, Pure Pieces Photography

P.S. There’s this really cool red button that says “Subscribe” on YouTube that allows you to see all my videos and future ones! Let’s have some fun together. 🙂

Duchess Kate – Layman’s Tutorial