3.27.20



"Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.' -Henry Ford











We are going on the second weekend since the daily life of many Americans have been uprooted from the comfort of our daily routines. The new normal is now that of isolation and uncertainty. Thousands of businesses are closed and shut down.. Many are currently not working and if they are, many have taken to the home office.


A quick trip to the grocery store to get what you need is now hoping the stores have what you need.. This is a new America that I alone with every other American can say is a new experience.


People are avoiding other people. There is no hugging or shaking of hands. I don't think I've even hugged my mom and dad lately.


Through all this isolation, I somewhat feel that Americans are becoming closer as we all can relate to what our fellow neighbor is going through. We are all walking a mile in one another's shoes right now.. in hopes to help flatten the curve of COVID-19.


My husband went to help my dad, his father-in-law, on our family lake house property yesterday. Since Gary has found himself without work due to being a musician.. he is finding ways to keep positive and stay busy.


We don't know when he will be able to return to playing music.. but I do know that he is doing what he can for me and our family.. and I honestly think that is all anyone can do right now and that is to work together!







3.25.20



'Running does not define you;
running is what refines you.'
-unknown







The hardest part that I've experienced about the quarantine is not being able to participate in social running groups that I was involved with prior. The trail running group, B.U.T.S., and the Birmingham Track Club would have scheduled runs throughout the week and weekends to keep people on track and focused with everyone's goals and mileage needs.


Keeping active and fit is a very important part of my lifestyle and I am finding that many of my fellow running friends, along with myself, are feeling like we are moving less.. which for me, it results in pent up energy.. which in return makes me feel irritable and anxious... resulting in a very moody individual to which would call for a very unpleasant quarantine experience for my husband.


So, during this time, I'm making cautious efforts to try and keep myself plugged into the running community and thankful for my friend, Shaunda, who is an avid runner. She called and invited me on a run at one of the parks we frequent.


We were still mindful of social distancing while at the same time, it still felt like we were able to get some social time in from the distance.


It just felt good to get out there and move, breathe in some fresh air and feel the sun on my face.. We ended up doing the six mile route.. to which that was just what I was needing to help me reset and decompress.





3.23.20



'The caterpillar grows wings during a season of isolation.' - Mandy Hale

















The nation has gone under quarantine as the covid-19 continues to spread across the U.S.A. Noone in the world can say that we have experienced anything quite like this before..


As so many people try to find a new 'normal' from the once fast paced lifestyle many Americans have become accustomed to , we are now forced to slow down.


We are stuck with our own thoughts for our entertainment and to be frank with you.. a lot of people aren't liking what they are finding. They struggle with boredom, with anxiety, with depression..


For so long we have all been distracted with work, with social outings and with economic status.. that so many of us are now returning to the basics of life.. simple outdoor appreciation, at home meals and periods of being at rest.


I've decided that this time will be nice for me to document my 'America' as a Covid-19 quarantiner.. as I practice the art of social distancing with a life of simplicity.




3.17.20



'Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination & life to everything.'- PLATO



















Who would have thought that these images would be taken the day before live music and large gatherings would be prohibited in Jefferson County? I never thought it would come down to this and now that the newly discovered Coronavirus has reached new lows.. I find myself reflecting on how, for the first time, the city will be a little less vibrant for the upcoming days.. maybe even weeks!


The once lively venues that generated large groups of people are now being shut down and prohibited to host or entertain group functions.. This is a time where restaurant owners, bar owners and musicians will be challenged with their livelihood.


I know this as my husband is one of these musicians! He went from being booked full week to week to not knowing when his next gig will be.


It's hard to recognize the joy that music can bring to others if one never experiences the silence of not having it around. I realized this firsthand this past Sunday as I observed the smiles of others.. the joy of dancing and singing to live music.


In light of the dark days that may lay before us, I do hope that one thing comes from the silence.. and that is people will have a newfound appreciation of experiencing live music venues!




3.04.20



'We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.'- unknown











So far the year 2020 has been a pleasant transition.. I started out reaching a goal I set for myself and ran a marathon.. Since the hard part of training is now completed, I find myself looking for new ways to challenge myself.


I enjoy having something to work towards, setting personal goals for myself and growing as an individual.


This is when I find myself turning back to my photography, my own personal work. I truly am always amazed how valuable my memories are when I find myself digging up old photo archives..


There are more times than none I wish I had done more. Very rarely do I say, I wish I didn't have my camera or I wish I had NOT taken more photos. It is always the opposite.


Perhaps I have not done as much of my own personal work because of burn out.. because of shooting for others more than for myself. There are several unknown factors but I do know that every artist must reboot and recharge.


Maybe that was what all that running was about. A way to channel my energy elsewhere until I was willing and ready to get back at the photography scene.


I hope to have the fire lit again as I prepare for some of my own personal photo projects.. big or small.. It doesn't matter to me, as long as it gives me something to work towards.



1.26.20



' The person that starts the marathon is not the same person who finishes.'
- unknown







For the past 3 months, I have dedicated the bulk of my weekends to the 'long run' as I trained and focused on running my first full marathon!


The whole marathon experience was most definitely mind-altering for me.. it wasn't as scary as I initially thought it might be. It was life-changing! I don't think someone signs up for a marathon as 'fun'.. at least I know I didn't.


I did it to test the human heart and awaken my inner-spirit. It taught me how to have faith in myself and in others as well as give me a sense of accountability and purpose.


It is true.. the person who starts the marathon is not the same person that finishes one.. This whole journey has taught me a lot about myself. The one thing that I will take away from having completed my first marathon is the ability to be disciplined. There were so many mornings I would have much rather stayed in bed than to have trained.. but when motivation fails you, you must rely on discipline.


Running has shown me that when I set my mind to something I can do things that I once thought would be impossible and I hope to apply this mindset through all the stages of my life.




1.17.20



'Pleasure in the job puts perfection
in the work.'
- Aristotle







Yesterday I had the pleasure to go out to a company that manufactures cabinets.. The place was HUGE. There was a community of over 600 employees that worked there. As I walked through the plant and observed the assembly line, the smiles on the employees and the energy of the company was hard to dismiss..


I couldn't help think on the importance of enjoying the work you do.. Taking pride with making something with your hands and your head as it is true.. your work will reflect your inner spirit!


Everyone that I met and photographed was so welcoming, friendly and always shared a smile with me.. which I must say, I've been in working environments in the past that did not always share the same enthusiasm.


I left the company roughly an hour and a half later believing in their product having witnessed and experienced such a professional, enthusiastic working environment..













So, my whole point is.. whatever you do in life.. Believe in it, be passionate about it. Because when you internalize this, it is hard not to see it reflect in your work.


I've always tried to manage this with whatever I do in life.. even with my photographs. I find that my best work comes from working with those individuals who inspire me and taking on jobs that I am passionate about.



1.05.20



'I took a walk in the woods
and came out taller than the trees.'
- Henry David Thoreau





For 2020, I must remind myself to always make time for me.. to nurture my spirit, feed the soul, go where I feel most alive and soak up all those little moments that make life so wonderful. which I can find most all my answers to life's great questions with a simple walk in the woods.



Happy 2020 everyone!!! It's the beginning of a whole new year which means the beginning of so many new and exciting opportunities for us all. I am always excited about going into the new year but I can't help but reflect on what 2019 has taught me..


This past year of 2019 was the year where I wanted to feel challenged not complacent.. I wanted to move more and do more than just work, go home and do the same thing again. I could feel my spirit slowly drying up.


So what better way to feed my inner-spirit than to get out of my comfort zone.. wake up before the sun, become involved with an Ultra Trail running group and not know a soul, run crazy long distances that I've never ran before and set goals that scared me.


These little day to day habits have slowly become my lifestyle.. to which I am thankful for. I have never felt better. I have more energy to enjoy a life that I'm passionate about and believe in.


As we go into 2020, I feel that the lifestyle I created in 2019 will be a building block for 2020.