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Happy Birthday to Me

Today is another anniversary of my 29th birthday.  Yep, I’m still 29!

I have a messed up idea of a ‘fun’ birthday gift because I can barely move today.  My bucket list included running a marathon and I figured there could not be a better time than before I turn 29 again.  I didn’t decide to start training until about 6 weeks before the Land of Oz Marathon in Olathe, KS.  Most marathon training schedules are 16 weeks.  I felt pretty good about being able to finish it and that’s all I really wanted.  My expectations couldn’t be too high with such a short training window.  I didn’t sign up until the day before the run because I wanted to make sure the weather would cooperate.  I did not want to run in the cold, rain or high winds.  The forecast looked good, not cold and very low chance of rain.

It’s going to get a little deep now.  Not “pick up your feet Season’s full of poo” deep, but more like “Deep Thoughts by Season Schwind.”

I am a person of faith, but I rarely express it outwardly.  I can’t quote bible verses and I don’t post religious material on my blog or Facebook.  I do believe in God.  I know He is with me and has led me through some difficult times in my life.  A while back, I was looking for something new to listen to while running and a friend of mine told me their church does podcasts.  I really enjoy the preaching style and messages of Lifechurch’s pastor and I look forward to downloading each week’s message to my headphones.  I has saved up the last 4 weeks worth of messages to listen to during the marathon.  I usually turn my headphones on when I start running, but someone gave me the tip to run for a while without listening to anything.  Then, turn the headphones on when you need a boost to keep going.  I decided I would run seven miles before turning my headphones on.

Remember the part about me not wanting to run in the rain?  Well, someone had another plan in mind.  I turned my head to the left about two miles into the run and saw a lovely dark blue cloud-filled sky.  I thought to myself, “Seriously, I am going to have to run this in the rain!  This is not fair.  This is not what I signed up for.”  The clouds followed us and the rain started to come down at mile seven.  As planned, I turned on my headphones and started listening to the first of a series of messages called The Counselor.  As I rounded a corner between miles 8 and 9, I was dealing with rain, wind and going uphill.  It didn’t look like there would be a break in the clouds for days.  How was I going to finish this?  I had barely started!  I wanted to cry.

I started to really listen to the message and the cliff notes version goes like this - God is with you in the storm.  The storm can be any struggle one faces, but in my case, on that day at that moment, I was in an actual storm during a physical challenge.  I was just amazed that this was the message I turned on when I needed a boost to keep me going forward.  Here are some points that stuck with me:

“Don’t let the presence of a storm let you doubt the presence of God.  He is with me in the storm.”

“God is my strength.  He is my ever present help in a time of trouble.  He is with me in the storm.”

“He never promised me the storm would not rock me. He promised the storm would not sink me.”

“Whenever you face trials of many kinds, rejoice. Because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

“You are in the storm with the presence of God.  He is for you, with you, working in all things to bring about good to those who love Him.”

I kid you not, the rain stopped when I was done listening to that message.  God really wanted me to connect.  I just thought it was such a perfectly timed message that I had to share it here.

Well, I finished.  I ran the whole thing and in less time than I expected.  I’m no Boston qualifier, but I was thrilled with my 4 hour 12 minute time.

Of course, I have to share some pictures!

One of the main reasons I picked this marathon was that it went right by my dad and Mary’s neighborhood.  The kids got to visit their grandparents and walk out the door to cheer me on and give me a high-five!

Dustin did amazing running the 1/2 marathon and then he helped me run the last couple miles of the marathon.  I was pretty worn out by mile 22, so I needed his help to keep me going.
Finally! The yellow brick road!
With the help of grandma and grandpa, the kids made posters and watched me finish.

I need to say a few Thank You’s.

  • To our parents who entertained the kids so we could go on long training runs.
  • To dad and Mary for a great carb-loading dinner and birthday cake the night before, for cheering us on and for taking pictures.
  • To Dustin for supporting me in training, encouraging me and for making sure I crossed the finish line.

Now, wish me luck as I attempt to stand up, walk out of my office and up the stairs.  Ouch!

~Season

   

Blue-eyed Everett

Sweet Everett came to visit me for his 9-month session. He was such a happy little guy! Babies grow up so fast and it is important to have pictures of them at various stage. In fact, Everett took some of his first steps while at the studio and just took off walking the next day! So his 1-year session will be a bit more interesting! I will have to rest up for that one because he will probably outrun me.

Here are just a few of my favorites.


~ Season

   

Basketball and Beer – How we did St. Louis

Dustin and I went to St. Louis for the Missouri Valley tournament.  We had a great time watching WSU win the tournament and taking in some sight-seeing.  Here are some of the highlights from our trip.

We stayed at a great modern bed and breakfast called Dwell 912.  It is a two-story little apartment at the back of a really old house that has been beautifully updated.  Breakfast was yummy and the owner has chickens that contribute towards the breakfast.

Before the first game, we grabbed a mocha and walked around the City Garden.  Dustin just loves it when I suggest he take goofy pictures.

Some highlights from the first game.  We had great center court seats that were up pretty high, but I still took a few good pictures with the point and shoot.

We visited the City Museum Friday night (it is open until midnight).  If you have not been here before, you should go!  It is a great place for kids to run and explore.  We felt a little weird going without any kids, but we had a blast and at night there were more adults than kids.  So many cool things to climb through and slides everywhere.  We went down a 10-story spiral slide and I was still spinning when I reached the bottom of the slide.  The pictures below are of the fun stuff to do outside.

We had dinner at Schlafly’s Tap Room one night.  There was a huge oyster fest going on, so it was really busy.  I had a great coffee stout and some yummy fish and chips.  The next morning, we went on the Anheuser-Bush tour.  The walking tour took us through the process of making beer and the best part was two samples at the end of the tour….and it was FREE!

When we travel, we like to eat at places we can’t eat at when home.  After the beer tour, we hit Blues City Deli.  This little neighborhood deli was busy and delish!  Dustin’s sandwich was HUGE!  For dinner that night, we found a local pizza place and filled up on a yummy veggie pizza.

I wish we could go back this week for the NCAA tournament, but we aren’t going to make it.  We will make it back to St. Louis again sometime.  There is so much more to do.

~ Season

 

 

   

It’s not perfect, but it is!

It has been several years since Jetta, our four-legged baby as been photographed. We often get asked if she is still around after our Christmas cards go out and she is not included in the family picture. She is indeed still a part of our family. I just can’t manage two kids and a dog for our annual photo shoot.  I can barely manage the two-legged kids!

We were lucky to have a nice weekend and about 10 minutes to try and get a few pictures of the kids with Jetta. I was quickly reminded as to why I don’t tackle this session more often. Trying to get 3 VERY active subject to cooperate was impossible! Jetta was in an unexplored part of the yard, so the sniffer was on high alert. Nina was not really in the mood and Sam was trying to be the boss and man handle Jetta by dragging her to the right spot.

My plan was to hopefully get one good shot and be done. It wasn’t until I sat down to look at the picture that I realized none of them were perfect with regards to posing or lighting. But yet they were perfect. They represent that moment and how crazy it was. How sweet and sassy Nina’s expressions can be and how soft and round her face is.  Just makes me want to kiss those cheeks!  And how ornery Sam is with is kwazy hair and smirk of a smile.  And how Jetta was like, ‘What’s going on?  What am I supposed to do?”



This little photo shoot reminded me that it’s not always about trying to make everything perfect, it’s about living in the moment and being happy with what you can get.  These pictures just make me smile…a lot!

~ Season

   

Happy New Year 2014

Where did January go???  I am a little delayed in posting my first blog post of the year.  So sorry for the delay in wishing you a happy 2014, but I have valid reasons.

The first week of the year was still vacation for the kids, so I enjoyed my time with them and stayed out of the office.  Once I thought we would return to a routine, the kids got sick for a few days, then I was down with the flu and sinus infection for over a week and then one of the kids was sick again.  AUGGGGHHH!

January has not been the best start of 2014, but it has to get better and I look forward to February and beyond.

As you think about your celebrations in 2014 - welcoming new little ones, celebrating birthdays, family reunions, anniversaries, graduations, etc. – I would love to be a part of capturing your memories.  Feel free to call or email me to discuss your photography needs in 2014.

Sincerely,

~ Season

   
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