Life is Good

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My mom got me this little Life is Good knickknack last week while she was out of town and I sat it in the kitchen window as a daily reminder that... life is good. It is good indeed.

It's incredible and wonderful and miraculous and tremendous and magnificent and I just want to soak it all in for the short time that I'm here. This summer has not-so-subtly reminded that life is also short and can change in an instant. It started in June when a guy that worked at the gym was killed in a car accident. I didn't know him personally, but it kind of shook me up because he was so young and I was used to seeing him every day and then just like that he was gone. Then last month a friend of a friend, whom I also don't know that well, got paralyzed from the neck down from a boating accident. I can't even imagine. This past weekend I attended the funeral of a young girl who passed away much too early, she was younger than me. I didn't know her either, but she was the daughter of one of my mom's friends.

And so today, even though bad things sometimes happen to good people, I am thankful and happy and blessed. And trying to not take anything for granted. Enjoying the small things and the big things. Like spending time with friends that used to be family that I'm thankful can still be friends.

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Friday we went boating with my ex-step-dad, Mark and his girls, Josie and Emily. Oh, and the dogs of course.

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Mark's dog, Mack, who is also a Boston Terrier, was a much more seasoned boater than Kosmo.. or Tobey, who both took a little while to warm up to the whole thing. He'd sit on the edge of the boat like a hood ornament, while Kosmo tried frantically to get back inside the boat through the window, and Tobey wouldn't even think about coming outside while the boat was in motion.

We enjoyed a nice ride on the boat until we docked for the afternoon. Then it was time for stick wars, swim lessons, jet skiing, and exploring.

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We gave the Kosmo some more swim lessons and he has pretty much turned into a pro!

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And it was the sweetest thing.. as Josh and I took off on the jet ski for the first time, Kosmo ran from the shore and swam as fast as he could trying to catch up to us. Little guy isn't the best swimmer but he was going to swim his little heart out until he couldn't swim anymore just to keep up with us. That's loyalty right there, and that's why I love dogs.

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It was so good to see them all again. I can't believe how big the girls are getting. And so beautiful! Emily (above) is almost 12 and will be in middle school this year... Josie is almost 15 and starting high school! I was Josie's age when we first met them, and Emily was in diapers. Crazy!

This day was the perfect beginning to a delightful weekend that included three of my favorite things: running, photography, and ice cream cake!

On Saturday I kept my one-race-per-month trend going by squeezing in a race on the last day of July. How's that for procrastination? :)

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I ran the Grand Slam 4 Miler with Erica.

We also got a new lens on Saturday.. the 70-200mm. That bad boy is HEAVY. And huge. Josh had to buy a new bag because it wouldn't even fit in the old one. And if you use a tripod with it, you mount the tripod to the lens instead of the camera. That's how big it is.

So naturally, we had to go try it out on the way home.

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And later that night we took it down to the Falls of the Ohio where Kosmo and I got to work on our modeling skillz...

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falls

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And then? Torrential downpour! It started pouring all of a sudden, which would have been fun if we didn't have expensive camera equipment with us. We were drenched by the time we got back to the car!

The new lens also came in handy at the photo shoot we did Sunday morning with our friend Taylor and her husband and their cute puppy Barley.

I learned one thing about photographing dogs... it's almost as difficult as photographing babies. Many of our photos came out like this:

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Barley also thought the case for the light reflector made a good toy and us trying to get it back made a good game.

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She was such a cute puppy though and since she listened about 83% of the time, we got a lot of great shots! Here are a couple of my personal favorites..

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Thanks for letting us take photos of your cute little family, Taylor! We LOVED it! :) I'll post more once we get them all edited!

Oh, and the ice cream cake? We ate it last night for Mandy's (Josh's sister) birthday! Would you believe I forgot the camera? I was so tired yesterday. We also forgot her card and present. Must have been totally exhausted from that strenuous 4 mile race on Saturday.

So... that's that. Happy August!

life is good :)