Monday, September 27, 2010

Too Cool For School

See the rest of the shoot here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy New Year!

We received the following email from our adoption agency yesterday - and I thought I would share it with you! Now you can say you learned something new today.

"September 11th marks the new year celebration, Enkutatas, in Ethiopia! As the close to the rainy season draws near, Ethiopians enjoy celebrating the spring-like arrival of their new year. It is also the Feast of St. John the Baptist.

The day is called Enkutatas meaning the "gift of jewels."When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her back by replenishing her treasury with enku or jewels.

The spring festival has been celebrated since these early times and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside. After dark on New Year's Eve people light fires outside their houses.

The main religious celebration takes place at the 14th-century Kostete Yohannes church

in the city of Gaynt within the Gondar Region. Three days of prayers, psalms, and hymns,

sermons, and massive colorful processions mark the advent of the New Year.

Closer to Addis Ababa, the Raguel Church, on top of the Entoto Mountain north of the city, has the largest and most spectacular religious celebration. But Enkutatas is not exclusively a religious holiday, and the little girls singing and dancing in pretty new dresses among the flowers in the fields convey the message of springtime and renewed life. Today's Enkutatas is also the season for exchanging formal New Year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers.

When meeting friends and neighbors on the new year, Amharic speakers share the greeting, “Enquan laddis amet aderesachuh,” or, “wishing you all a happy new year.”

Looks like the Kyles will be learning about and incorporating a new holiday into their calendars in the near future!

One Hundred Sixty Three

One Hundred Sixty Two

One Hundred Sixty One

One Hundred Sixty

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Busy as a Bee

Today someone contacted me to set up a photo shoot and - for the first time ever - I had to use the phrase; "I'm all booked up for this month."

Holy smokes.

How overwhelming.

And what a blessing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Never Say Never

I'm fairly certain that on many occasions, I have looked at the beautiful, looming mountain on the Westside of our city and said to myself, "I will NEVER hike that."

But when my husband announced that the activity of the day for his 30th birthday would be to hike Pikes Peak, I laced up my shoes and joined these lovely people for a 5 hour climb to the top.

We started our hike before the sun made its appearance for the day, and the first part our hike was lit only by the moon -- and the tiny flashlight on the back of Mark's iPhone. I'm not what you would call "light on my feet" in the broad daylight, so I tripped and stumbled my way through those very dark 45 minutes.
I was so glad to see the sun and enjoyed this sunrise very much!
As we hiked past timberline, things got a little ugly, and a little steep,
and a little windy, rocky, and cold. (Ok, ALOT windy. It was the knock-you-back-drain-your-energy-steal-your-breath kind of wind. Made me quite cranky, honestly.)
I think my favorite part of the whole day was when I walked over this hill. We had just completed one of the coldest and steepest parts of the hike and we could finally feel the sun on our faces.
And best of all, at the top of this hill we could see our goal. It was the first time on the hike that we could actually see where we were headed. In general, I like to know where I am headed.
There were a few (like a million) more beautiful views on the way up,
and then things got bad. Really, really bad. I looked up at the rock pile and thought, "You have got to be kidding me. There's no stinkin' way I'm hiking up that. I'm pretty sure we must be lost. And hopeless."
But I did it. I showed those rocks that I'm the boss (a very tired, fussy, slow boss) and made it to the top. And the top is where you get your reward. I'm not talking about the joy of overcoming the challenge. Nope. Pikes Peak has more to offer at the top.
Pikes Peak has doughnuts. Delicious doughnuts. Doughnuts that have been features on the Food Network.
And if it's your 30th birthday, you get a special flaming birthday doughnut, accompanied by a bunch of friends who are too tired to sing the whole birthday song and just kind of rush through it so they can get back to eating their doughnuts.
A quick pick by the sign that says "I DID IT" and we were on our way back down.
Four hours of down that is - and curiously, down isn't any easier than up.
Back into the trees and then we saw that beautiful trailhead sign that told us the end was in sight.
What a challenging day - and I really am so glad we did it.

But for the record - I am not interested in conquering the list of things that I said I would never do. Nope, this was enough for now.