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This past week

  • Sunday, April 21, 2013
  • Toya

  • It seems like only yesterday that a mentally ill gunman walked into two buildings on the Virginia Tech campus and took the lives of 32 innocent people. These people didn't deserve to die. They were going about their lives educating and being educated. Some died saving others and all died for simply being in the right place at the wrong time. If someone would have told me 6 years ago that I would have spent that day caring for victims of a mass shooting or transporting the bodies of those who didn't make it, I would have told them they were crazy. This sort of thing just doesn't happen here. Well, this sort of thing happens any where. Terror doesn't care where you live, who you are, or how much you make.

    I didn't realize how difficult this week was going to be for me. Our country has been through so much. Our little town has been through so much. It has been 6 years since the reign of terror enveloped my world. I have handled every year since pretty well but something about this year has caused the overwhelming anxiety and sadness. Perhaps it was the shooting at the nearby mall, the bombing at the Boston Marathon, or the explosion and loss of lives in Texas. I found my self drawn to campus on April 16 to pray and read my Bible. I couldn't stop the tears that rushed to my eyes as I looked across the drill field at the Hokie stone memorial. It was surrounded by people paying their respects to the fallen Hokies. I managed to walk near the memorial but I just couldn't walk by the stones etched with names of all you didn't survive the reign of terror. I found myself hugging a perfect stranger who looked as defeated as I felt. He didn't know any of them personally. But, he too remembers that day like it was yesterday.

    I am reminded that I need to make the most of the life I am given in the time I am given. It can all be over in the blink of an eye. Yes, 2007 was a tough year but we prevailed and good things happened in spite of the evil that was done. Tomorrow is not promised...

    Girls only party at Beadsburg

  • Sunday, September 9, 2012
  • Toya
  • Jasmine turned 10 on September 1st. This definitely requires a birthday party. Unfortunately her birthday fell on Labor Day weekend so she was unable to have a party until the following weekend. We did a quiet celebration at home with cake and ice cream.

    This past Friday was party time. She invited 3 friends and her sister to a jewelry party at Beadsburg. Can I just tell you how loud that car ride was? Oh my goodness the preteen set have a lot to say and they must say it at the top of their lungs with fits of giggles. We arrived to a store reserved just for them. They sat down to enjoy pizza and soda. When that was all gone they sat "quietly" to listen to instructions. They were so happy to learn they would be making 2 things. The first project would be bookmarks. The second project would be a bracelet. They set off to pick out just the right color combination for the bookmarks. This didn't take long... yeah right!

     The owner of beadsburg, Jen was so patient and kind. She helped all the girls finish quickly and was awesome at keeping them on task. I think she deserved a medal for her abilities.

    The girls worked very hard on their projects.

    Once both projects were finished they polished off the yummy cake pops made by a super friend Sara Perks. The girls couldn't stop eating them.

    After opening gifts it was time to go. If you are looking for a good place to have a party for your little preteen I highly recommend Beadsburg. It was money well spent. They girls loved that place and I did too!


  • Friday, August 12, 2011
  • Toya

  • I was reminded today that the work we do, volunteer or paid, is a difficult job. I have been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician for 12.5 years. I have seen quite a lot. Most of the time it is a drunk college student, grandma fell down, or a minor fender bender. On occasion we are apart of someone's first day, someone's worst day, or someone's last day. Some times it is all three. Today one of my best friends was part of someone's worst and last day. I know that the images that she saw today may be etched in her mind forever. I pray that as time goes on they will fade. She has enough bad images already etched that I fear too many more will be too much to handle. We do this job, obviously not for the money, but because we love what we do. Hug your family member today because life can change so quickly. Thank your medics, fire, and police because they do this job for you.

    Moving on... Sort of

  • Wednesday, August 10, 2011
  • Toya
  • When this blog was started, I was in a completely different place. This blog was centered on my online Scrapbook Store. Now, that store is no more and I have began my adventure into the world of photography. Scrapping has helped me to realize my true passion. The past 3 years I have focused more on my photography. While I didn't start photography to make it into a business, it kind of took root and grew on its own. So, I have decided to change this blog. The blog will continue under a new address... Feel free to visit me there.

    G Family

  • Saturday, July 23, 2011
  • Toya
  • I had the honor of spending time with this amazing family. They have 5 terrific boys and 1 sweet little princess. It was so much fun following this group around. I was amazed at how full of smiles everyone was including the littlest one. Here are a few.

    Mini shoot with Baby D and Dad

  • Sunday, July 17, 2011
  • Toya
  • Labels:
  • You will remember Baby D a few weeks ago. He was super sweet. Well, he decided to come back and bring his daddy for a few more shots. Here is a small view of our time together.

    He even brought mom along for a family shot!

    Baby Ben

  • Toya
  • Labels: ,
  • I was happy to see some old friends back in town. The best part is they brought this little guy with them. Meet baby Ben. We had a mini session. He was such a good boy but he had no interest in going to sleep.

    The newest edition

  • Monday, July 11, 2011
  • Toya
  • Labels: ,
  • Our family has long awaited the newest edition. Meet my new niece baby M. We spent the weekend with her. I was in photography heaven. She was the perfect model. I'm sure this poor little girl thinks my face is a Canon camera. Here are a few sneak peeks of the little miracle. I'm so proud of her, here is the flickr slide show.

    Summer Time

  • Monday, July 4, 2011
  • Toya

  • This weekend has been quite busy. The kids have kept us moving. I haven't taken as many pictures because I tried to join in on some of the fun. Here are a couple of pictures I was able to catch. Happy 4th of July!!!!

    Mama's Boys

  • Saturday, June 18, 2011
  • Toya
  • Labels:
  • This morning I hung out with my friend to get some shots of her boys. It was so much fun. I so love these little guys. Here are a few shots of our fun time.
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