Monday, March 29, 2010

Empowering Yourself...

Recently I was asked to read a book called "Empowering Yourself" by Harvey J. Coleman.  It was one of those, "enhance your career" riveting reads...I was sure. 
I attacked the book in a series of "I'll get to it next week" excuses, but was finally in a position where it was all I had to read, so I finally picked it up.  I had been dead wrong about it's content.  It is a very well written book about utilizing the tools and resources available to you to excel in your chosen career field.  While it primarily applies to the corporate world, there are segments of the book that would apply to anyone.  For example, according to the author, you can accomplish anything in your career as long as you understand and accept some ground rules...the game is about people and everything else in life is just details. (I'm quoting)...
You don't get promoted unless someone goes to bat for you.  It takes another person somewhere in the chain to accomplish a promotion...anywhere.  Someone has to believe in you, recommend you and mentor you.   When I read this, it was like a light bulb coming on.  Or as Oprah would say, my "Aha" moment.  So many things in life are about networking...with people.  Whether it's getting to know your neighbors and building a "community",  or networking with others who can help your career ladder rise above the clouds.  No matter what you do for a living, think about mentoring someone else.  Think about being a friend to others...just because.  Think about subject matter experts  you can approach to pick their brains on trying something new you've always wanted to master.  People are truly flattered and willing to share their gifts if they think someone else is  interested in what they know.  Life is a game, to a certain point.  I believe we were all placed here with gifts.  Gifts to share with others.  Mine is photography and the knowledge of horses.  I realize it's a stretch, but it's true!   I've learned not to attempt gardening, painting, singing, dancing or much cooking.  I stink at all of those things.  It took me multiple attempts at gardening and cooking to realize anything I made was NOT going to look like the picture.  
So, hone the gifts God has blessed you with.  Stay in those lanes.  Excel at what you do.  It's okay to be the best Mom, the best Grandmother, the best friend of someone else. You don't realize how much impact one gesture of kindness and love can mean to someone who is hurting or in need of encouragement.   Be  one of those people who pay it forward.  Look around and see if there is someone in your world who reminds you of you.  Encourage them.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Hard Day in the Saddle...

"A cowboy's work is never done." 

This is actually my father's saddle, his great-grandfather's.  
Napping was a hobby of great-grandpa's too!

Photography is one of those professions that is affected by opinion.  Not everyone will love your photos.  Not everyone will want to purchase photos.  Clients will almost never pick the same photos you did as favorites!  That's OK!  

This is a profession that is driven (hopefully) by your love of the craft.  Monetary gain is welcome (and obviously necessary), but becomes risky if that is what drives your "passion" for the finished product.  Burn out would probably also be right around the corner. 

 Photographers and other artists beat themselves up way too often.  We can "see" the mistake or "problem" with a photograph or art work that others wouldn't have even noticed.  I had one of those "Mama told me there'd be days like this..." weeks.  No need for details, but suffice it to say that even when we are trying to be the best we can be, both as a photographer and as a person, things can get dicey. 

So...to my fellow photographers out there, I'm patting You on the back today.  Take a deep breath.  Look at some photos you love.  Get your hearts singing again.  If you've had a Hard Day in the Saddle too, grab your camera and go outside.  Shoot just for the pure enjoyment of it.  You really do touch people's lives every day.  You really do!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

There Are No Words...

After being reminded of the time, energy, money, worry and love that it takes to welcome a newborn baby into your life, I just wanted to say a few words:

Thanks to all the Moms who consider this a privilege and an honor.  You truly are the glue that holds families together. 

Thanks to all the Mothers who adopt children.  You're able to continually remind them that they were chosen and that makes children (me) feel special every day. 

Thanks to the Mothers who, due to whatever circumstances requiring them to give their children up for adoption, do so.  There is no greater love. 

Thanks to the Dads who comfort the Moms when they think they still look pregnant a week after delivery. 

Thanks to the Grandpas who still can't believe their "baby" just had a baby.  They seem to just stand there full of pride, and stare. 

Thanks to great friends, who remind you how much you mean to them, even when you're 1800 miles away and never tire of baby update photos.

Thanks to great-grandmothers who know exactly what to say and do to help with new baby questions and know just when to send help (you know who you are.)  

Thanks to extended family, who remember you in their prayers every day. 

May God continue to bless us, one and all.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My farrier and her daughter arrived today to shoe our horses and out jumps this little guy!
Dozer is so cute and just had to eat hoof trimmings and various rocks he found in the yard. 

I love taking photos of dogs.  Their expressions are so precious and they just have personality that
pops right into the camera.  I have always been addicted to face photos...both horses and dogs.  
I think their expressions are priceless.

Dozer will no doubt look a lot different the next time I see him.  He's just a puppy.  Today he was a superstar!

If you'd like to see more of my favorite dog photos, click here.   Justus Photography
Then click on the Dogs Gallery.  

No wonder we love our canine companions.  They are so much fun!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baby Photos Available...

Baby Photos ...Reserve your appointment today. 

25% off coupons are available for mounted canvases of your favorite photos.

Now offering photo packaging for everyone on your gift list!

Send prints, mousepads, coffee mugs, luggage tags and many other
photo merchandise items...photo packages are fun!

Blessings, Linda

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Josiah Isaac...

If you read my blog post last week, you HAD to know what this one would be about.  
Josiah Isaac Avalos greeted us for the first time this morning at 9:36 am.  I cannot begin to tell
you the emotions in that delivery room!  

I, being the tough soul that I am, was not prepared at all for the flood of emotions that took over
my normally composed demeanor.  Tee hee hee.

This little guy reached in, grabbed our hearts and ran with them!  Welcome, little Josiah Isaac, welcome.

We sure do have a lot we'd like to show you...

  But for now, we'll settle for watching you nap.

Love, G and Grandpa.  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where Did the Time Go?

She is our only child.  
She somehow got away from us around the time she went to high school 
and ceased to be our "baby." 

I had every intention of keeping her home with us until she turned 35 or so. 
It never occurred to me that someday she might have her own agenda and be able
to forge her own way in this world.   

Wouldn't she always need me close by?  

This is the last weekend that we, her parents, will enjoy that single title..Parent.  
We'll have a new title to add....Grandparents.
How in the world did that happen and where did the time go?

She dressed up like a squirrel for a high school play and we were so proud of her performance.
We rode together all day on her first 50 mile endurance ride. 

Tonight, I look back on all the memories, and between tears,
remind myself that life changes all the time. 

I just didn't think it would happen to the three of us.  

Except that now it's the four of us.  

Sometime in the next few days it will be five.  

Welcome, little Josiah Isaac.   We've been waiting for you!

 I'll bet your parents will write something like this about you 
a few years from now...

We are so blessed.