March 18, 2011


My head - a giant water balloon, sloshing and swirling with each and every movement.

My ears - a dull, continuous pain in the depths of their canals.

My eyes - burning and watery as though a relentless bully has kicked sand in them.

My throat - raw and irritated as though, with a fork, I tried to retrieve a morsel from my gullet and came up empty.

Ahhhh! Sweet Spring, WELCOME!!

March 16, 2011

Oh the things little ones will say....

One of my 4 year old Cubbies came up to me at AWANA tonight as we were watching a little cartoon video about heaven. He said, "Ms. Ellen! Is THAT Heaven?" as he saw this enormous gold castle on the clouds. I said, "It sure is." He said, "I've never been there." I said, "Me either, but we will both go there one day." To which he said, "yeah, probably when I get real old, like 16".....................

Gotta love'em!!!

March 15, 2011

Fear of the Unknown

The days come and go so quickly I meet myself coming and going. The monotony of my daily life is like a scratched record playing the same part of a tune over and over. The needle, stuck in it's rut. A tempo change is on the horizon. Within the next few months many things will change in my life. The scratch in my life's record will skip forward and the music will then continue. What tune will I hear? Will I like the melody? Will it have an upbeat tempo, to which I will learn a new step? Or will it be a melodramatic sonata causing my cheeks to burn with tears?

My nest will be empty. My priorities will shift. I delight in the possibilities that await me. I cry as the pain of letting go of this life I have grown so accustomed to will be ripped from my being. I will become a new person. Who will I be? Will I like this person? Who is she? I am anxious to meet her, but at the same time I am scared to death of her. It will be like getting to know a stranger.

I hope that with my new life comes a desire to study God's Word more, to nurture relationships, to read more, to travel more, to take more, well, live more.

Lord, thank you so much for all the many blessings of my life thus far. I am so excited to step into this new phase of my life with Your leading. I pray that you will bless and keep me and those reading this now. In Your Holy Name, Amen.

They say the fear of the unknown can kill you. I know it will not kill me, as my Lord and Savior is right beside me. He will take my hand and lead me into this next phase in my life.

March 9, 2011

Where Did It Go?

I can't believe it's been over a year since my last post. It makes me sad. The time has flown by. Wow! What the last year has held. One son got married, one son became a high school senior. And in the blink of an eye, a first anniversary is soon to be celebrated and a high school graduation is on the horizon.

I guess now that it's March, I will resolve to come here more regularly, to this place of quiet and solitude to reflect on my life and my thoughts. Along with the rest of the world I got sucked into the fast paced facebook world of constant interaction, the "fast lane" if you will. A year later, I find myself longing to find an off the beaten path country road to cruise like a Sunday driver. To relax and reflect. To just slow down and take time to think and ponder. I feel like........I've come back home.

It feels so good to be here. I look forward to coming back again soon.........real soon.

Lord, thank you for my desire to find quiet. Thank you for this day and all the blessings that were in it. Thank you for my family and friends. Thank you for saving my life......over and over and over. Thank you for your mercy and your grace.

May the Lord bless you and keep you until we meet here again.

February 5, 2010

Carter James

I got the privilege of spending a nice crisp winter day with Carter James. You've met him here before. He has grown so much you may not recognize him though. He's not that pudgy little baby anymore. Nope, he's a full-fledged rambunctious little boy. Full of energy. Loves to be outside. Here, have a look.

Tomorrow I'll share the whole Coatney family/maternity shoot with you. Yep, that's right! Carter now has a little brother.

December 14, 2009

Where does it go?

I head to work. I get home and cook dinner. I start a load of laundry. I edit pictures. I reply to a few emails. I check the news. That's the general daily things. To these, this month, I add: sign and address some Christmas cards and wrap a few presents.

I just can't believe how fast the days come and go. The ebb and tide of life! It's fleeting! Then, I take a moment, just one though - it's really all I can spare, and check my blog to be totally and utterly disappointed to realize it's been so many weeks since my last post. It makes me sad because I like to be here. I enjoy it. It is relaxing to me and I deserve this time here to reflect on life. So, without guilting myself any further, I leave you with a few photos of what's been going on with me over the past few weeks.

And just in case I don't find my way back here over the next week or two, let me just say, "Merry Christmas to you and yours!" right now! I'd hate to miss the opportunity to shower you with those well wishes from my family to yours!
And now a few photos.

Since we last met I have.............

................worked the first annual Chipley Outdoor Expo

................I finished editing the photos from my son, Michael's shoot (from the summer, I'm embarrassed to say!)

................and did an engagement shoot in Marianna

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

November 24, 2009

Give Thanks!

Ah, Thanksgiving! I can't believe it's really upon us. This year has flown by, but with it, there are many things for which I am thankful. I find things in my every day life to be thankful for. The Lord blesses me continually. I see it, and acknowledge Him for the many blessings in my life.

It is so easy to get caught up in our own day to day lives and take the general little blessings for granted. I am speaking of the things He provides for us that we many times take credit for ourselves. I am speaking of things like, groceries on the table, clothes on our back, healthy families, close friends and a loving church family. I am speaking of our freedoms of religion and speech. All of which should never be taken lightly. It is so important to give God ALL the praise and glory for each and every one of them. Praise God from whom ALL blessing flow!

So, as I ponder the annual "Thanksgiving", I find myself going all the way back to the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth. When was the last time you thought about that? Was it yesterday? Was it last year? Was it when you were in grade school? Do you remember what that was about? Well, if you're anything like me, a refresher course may be in order! Again, how easy to get caught up in our day to day lives and let history and our culture fall to the wayside. Might be a good year to search for that information and share it with your family. It sure couldn't hurt. Who knows, maybe your grade-schooler could teach you something at the dinner table this year. Ask them about the first Thanksgiving. They would probably love to share what they've learned.

Then I think about the good old days. You know the ones I am speaking of. The days when you got to spend Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while your Mama cooked the Thanksgiving feast. All you had to do was wait for all the family and guests to arrive and show up at the table. Yes! THOSE were the days. Now those tasks have fallen to me and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade plays in the background while I check the turkey one more time and stir the gravy. But, I am thankful for the role I have earned and I cherish every single minute of it. It is a wonderful thing for my house to be the one full of people and the smell of Thanksgiving fare!

Always remember to find something every single day for which you can be thankful. It's not so easy for some.

My Mama was the crafty one. She was the girl scout leader, the Sunday school teacher, the Vacation Bible school leader. No, my name is not "the Beave" but my Mama was about as close to June Cleaver as a mama could get. She always planned fun activities around each holiday. She passed that tradition on to me. My boys used to love it. Well, they aren't boys anymore.........they are men. So, they don't enjoy this type of thing as much anymore, but they humor me and play along to spare my feelings. Have fun with this. Enjoy and be thankful for a minute to play.

What's on YOUR Thanksgiving table this year? Are you dining at your house? Are you traveling somewhere to celebrate the harvest with someone else? What are your family traditions? Is it turkey? Is it turkey AND ham? Is it stove top or homemade cornbread dressing? Do you stuff the turkey with the dressing or cook it in a pan separately? Do you even like cranberry sauce? Share your Thanksgiving traditions with me. I'd love to hear about them.
When was the last time you really took inventory of the blessings in your life? Are you filled with joy? So many, at this time of year, have a hard time finding joy in their life. Is there a neighbor or co-worker you could invite to dinner so they are not alone? Maybe your invitation to dinner or to church would be a HUGE blessing to them. I think He would want you to ask and I'm sure it would bring you joy!

In conclusion of this Thanksgiving message, I want to remind you what Thanksgiving is all about. It's really not so much about the turkey, dressing, or even the pumpkin pie. It's about thanking the Lord for our blessings. It's about family. It's about friends. Ultimately, it's about relationships with Him and our fellow man. I pray your day will be a feast of thankfulness enjoying God's abundant blessings and perfect peace.