24 July 2009

this is barnabas

barnabas, world
world, barnabas

he is the newest boekell-
paul's early surprise gift.
{{ & a darn cute one at that!}}

"son of encouragement"
also known as
"barnabas, NO!"

he is a bloodhound.
and a trouble maker.
and a wrinkle factory.
he has puppy breath,
ears for miles,
the sweetest eyes,
an impossibly irresistible disposition.

and, at this very moment, i think i just heard him fall off the couch...

hold on.


he did.

but he's ok
(and already back asleep).

and here are our other two cuties:
armi & jewels,
nemesis 1 & 2.
they are clearly up to no good.

i better go check on barns.
PS. he is definitely my friday's obsession! :)

23 July 2009


1. the love of God or Christ for humankind.

this week has hosted the annual Camp Good News Day Camp -
a week i have longingly looked forward to for the past three years.
refreshing, challenging &, at times, heartbreaking.

this past monday rolled around, and i was frazzled.
my heart was callused,
my mind led me to swim in frustration...
scores to count, kids misbehaving, utter chaos.

tuesday appeared...and then evaporated.
i hit the proverbial wall.
already physically and emotionally drained.

wednesday brought with it softness.
and today, well, today...
i found myself alive, aware...
my heart swelling out of my chest.

we gathered around the fire pit to teach the kids today's verse:
mark 12:30

i felt Him.
i felt Him in the wind as it brushed against my face,
turning the leaves.

i heard His rustling.
i saw His touch through the life growing around me.

the campers listening to the verse-
soaking up the words
& the love
& the moment.
many without yet realizing the magnitutude.
so much potential.
what will grip their heart?

paul talked to them with so much passion.
my first week of day camp coincided with the budding of our relationship.
we grew together.
today i listend to my husband speak his soul
& His word.
and i fell in love with him more
& i fell in love with Him more.

i saw two sisters hug while they prayed.
wrapped up and loving it and loving on each other.
a few rows up, two friends held hands -
everyone else with their eyes closed.
not for show, but for love.

after the kids went home
and the counselors had their dinner,
i slipped away to feel.
to feel the ground.
the sun.
to feel.
no camera this time -
i told my mind to remember
and my heart not to forget.
i listened to the sound of my weight on the world.
i tried to see everything with fresh eyes,
inspired by the very ones i was there to inspire and spend the week with.
giant trees with fingers dug into the ground,
& tiny, oblivious lives on their wooden skin.
today i reflected on quiet.
on internal.
on growth.
on beginnings.

i sat down at a picnic table to write, to get it all down.
how is this feeling on my shoulders and in my soul
going to translate into who i am and the work i do?
the surface of the table was gnarly and carved with names

of people i may never know.
they were here, too.
fleeting moments.
peaceful moments.
i may not ever be here again.

but i'm here now.

collect & gather.

{{on a less serious note, i thought i might include this little jewel, a part of the team's winning sculpture. a ram. made of balloons. and which, at one point, had 12 legs.
let's face it: it doesn't get any better than that}}

20 July 2009


i'm back from vacation


no, actually, i'm really happy to be home
i'm busier than a cat covering poop!
(thanks mamaw for the good ole wise sayings!)

i'm off to bed,
just wanted to check in
and ask you to check back...

i feel a huge outpouring coming on.

thoughts (and photos) on the lake...
& this upcoming week of day camp...
& way overdue "obsessions"...
& updates on the garden
(yes, the flowers are still alive!)...


a new Boekell family addition-
but NOT a baby...yet

{{here's a sneak}}


14 July 2009

hasta la vista, babies

hasta la vista,
(with my) baby

going on another (mini) honeymoon to the lake for a few days of
rest and relaxation...

we'll be back


my husband thinks i'm a geologist...

the other day i caught myself showing off
my rock collection to a dear friend.
telling her my easy dreams and big ideas.
actually, my husband caught me.
he said i was a geologist.

there are certain things i remember about growing up.
i remember taking long walks...
back and forth down the dirt road to the neighbor's house.
i was almost always followed by a trail of dogs, even goats.
i'd entertain the trees.
i would think out loud:
imaginary creatures.
i'd be gone for hours without realizing.

physical books would come later...
collaborations with friends.
notebook pages and printer paper bound by staples,
written and illustrated by our own hands.

i remember posing my stuffed animals in the front yard...
i was on a photo safari, creeping up upon
unsuspecting plushes grazing in the flower bed.
i had a lot of animals.
all different kinds.
they made me happy.

i remember drawing in all my spare time.
i remember collecting rocks, coins, fossils, little curiosities...
i even had a rock tumbler.
i remember wearing cowboy boots
and shoestring bows made by my grandmother
for me.

i tell you all this because i came to a conclusion
that was a long time in the making...
you are made to be you.
for awhile i felt as if i had lost sight of myself.
but i feel as if i have settled back into my skin...
i have embraced my heart once again.
i have returned to sunny optimism
and a barefoot soul.

i am STILL a photographer.
i am STILL an artist.
i am STILL a writer.
i am STILL a lover of nature.
i am STILL a wild berry picker.
i am STILL comforted by Reba's quilts.
i AM who i always have been.

and will be.

just reconstructed.

i am STILL a rock collector.
my husband thinks i'm a geologist...

08 July 2009

vine theory

vine theory.

i went outside this evening with a mission: to reclaim the flower beds. someone lovely lived here before me. she loved her gardens; i can just tell. i can imagine them in all their glory. i have been feeling a little ashamed about my neglected beds, so today i decided to weed the evening away. i set out to restore and preserve, tame the gardens, and make their first mom smile. but i discovered something...i discovered that the problem wasn't really "weeds" per say, it was the vines. now, i love vines. i find vines climbing up the side of a brick building to be something very picturesque. but, these vines were taking over everything - covering everything like a blanket. on the surface, they appeared lush and wild, which can be attractive, but...when i started pulling them back, i realized they were smothering the smaller flowers. stems were being choked and tangled. entire blooms were covered, strangled by the vines. as i started ripping the vines away, my thoughts brought me to the vine theory...

blooms awaiting the sun...

imagine my surprise...

the sunflowers are coming up nicely. only a few inches now but hopefully by summer's end they'll be kissing the sky jimi hendrix style...

and these were my helpers (as always)...
armani (armi)

and jewels...

majestic in the jungle...like a little lion

please notice the stick in his poof tail...

jewels helping me weed the dirt...by eating the grass...

& armi helping me dig...

and enjoying his root kill...

back to the vine theory...

here's my theory. we all have vines...certain aspects of ourselves or perhaps weaknesses that we let grow wild. sure, vines are nice...they can be nice. one or two tangle in; we barely notice. we keep it unchecked and before we know it...the vines have taken over. we have lost that part of ourself. the poison vine has strangled it out, interwined within...making it hard to separate the good from the bad. sometimes we don't even realize how deep the roots are growing.

not a new concept.

vine theory.

we all have vines.

07 July 2009

i love him.

two years ago today...


i realized how much he means to me.
i couldn't see the future...
i didn't know we'd be married by now...
i didn't know how he was going

to rock my world...

two years ago i didn't know he was
going to be my forever best friend...
my biggest fan...
my supporter, my comforter...
i didn't know.
but i do now.
he has made me a better version of myself...
a happier version...
God made him for me
and i for him...


and two years ago i didn't even know.

but then again, how could i?

{{i love you. i know you are going to read this...because you love me, too}}

06 July 2009

today's the day

i did it.
because today's the day.

i opened the etsy store.
i've opened the door...
invited excitement, disappointment,
ideas, inspiration, success,
and failure.
it feels good.
please stop in and take a look.
i could use your encouragement,
your support.
right now it's only photographs.
but you can count on more,
i don't even know where it'll go from here.
where i'll go from here.
but, i feel accomplished today.
there's a lot of power in today.
don't underestimate today.

in the words of a very wise and inspirational man...

"I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

04 July 2009

short & sweet & YAY!

The Mac is cured and home safely. This is very VERY great news.
So....without further ado...

My shop opens Monday July 6th!

In light of this extraordinary occasion...
I have scheduled for a nationwide fireworks display
tomorrow evening!


No, but seriously...
My little store will make its debut in front of
the etsy world and many like-minded artists.

I'm a little nervous.

I'm putting it out there.

Independence Day weekend...
a perfect time to start.
The first things hitting the shop
will be mostly fine art photographs.
Later illustrations.
Maybe metalwork.
There will be an opening sale of some fashion.
Basically, be there or be square.

{{ Have a marvelous 4th!
I'll be soaking up the love and sun

03 July 2009



This week has evaporated. Poof. Seriously?
But it's Friday...
So, it's time to obsess a little.
2. Koi Ponds

{{ these flashy guys live at the museum...}}

We just had a fish funeral {again}.

Fang the koi has passed (he was a good fish);
he drifted away to the big pipe system in the sky...
well, err...underground anyway.

I have concluded it's because there are too many fish
growing too fast in our tank.
Until recently I have never cared particularly for fish.
Lately, they have become a thing of beauty and mesmerization.
I think it's because they float and glide; they fly underwater.
I especially love koi fish.

Painted water.

Brush strokes for fins.

Just lovely.
I think a koi pond would look smashing in our backyard.
Don't you?

1. Marathons

I'm not very athletic. Or maybe I should say sporty.
I dread competition, and I tend to feel paralyzed under pressure.
But I love being outside.
I love working in the dirt, riding the horses, and
exploring the rocks.
I like physical.
I like my exercise to be disguised.
That being said, I want to run a marathon.
Actually, a half marathon.
I don't want to compete per say.
I don't know if I can run the whole thing...
or even walk the whole thing.
But I'm going to train.
I'm going to sign up.
Something inside of me is saying I should try.
Something wants to do what I have never done.
Something wants to prove I'm strong.

Something wants to run.

I'll keep you updated.

01 July 2009

do i know you?

A few weeks ago...this blog didn't exist.

But I did.

Here's a recent paraphrase.

{{ i met great friends... }}

{{ i fell in love with them... }}

{{ then i met him...and fell in love...}}

{{ and then i graduated...}}

{{ and then i jumped in...}}

the rest, well the rest is yet to come...