Class of 2016 - Senior Caroline

Caroline is the daughter of a friend, and I am used to seeing her wearing sweatpants or a soccer uniform. She was super fun to photograph - even if it was a little windy and chillier than we would have liked. Caroline has a wonderful smile that matches her fun personality and is simply beautiful. These are but a small sampling of our work and we have a follow up scheduled to capture sporty photos on the soccer pitch with friends.

Caroline

Caroline


Caroline plans to attend the University of Illinois in the fall and she looks right at home on the Main Quad, with Foellinger Auditorium in the background. It's Spring Break week, so we had the entire quad to ourselves.
Next Steps

This photo is one of my favorites from our session. I knew it was special when I was looking through the viewfinder.
Caroline

Photography Note - To shoot this, I asked Caroline to look down as I set the focus point on the camera, and then I had her slowly lift her head to look at me. This gives the model some "downtime" from smiling / trying not to blink and allows them to relax a bit.

I still have many photos to cull through and I look forward to getting together with Caroline again.

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Along My Run 22 | Jan-Feb Marathon Training

For the third consecutive year, January signaled the start of spring marathon training. As I've done for the last two years, I plan to run the Illinois Marathon at the end of April.

I am a member of the local running club, which sponsors a half and full marathon training program. The program includes organized group runs in pace groups. This year, I have taken on the role of pace group leader, which means I have some additional responsibilities - keeping the group on pace, knowing the route and keeping folks together. I try to keep the group "entertained" with "witty banter" (i.e, they get to hear all the weird stuff that happened to me the previous week, like my quad injury and the squirrel that nested in my daughter's car) and encourage conversations so we all get to know each other better. I've gained numerous friends through this program, learned a ton about running marathons and gained confidence in my running ability. I now try to encourage new runners and first time marathoners.

Back in the fall of 2015, I started a Wednesday morning running group and we have continued thought the dark, cold winter months. What started as a small group of friends from yoga class has expanded to include co-workers and marathon trainees. I am amazed that I've somehow convinced a bunch of people that it is fun to run at 5:30am, in snow, rain, bitter cold and darkness. We had our biggest group a few weeks ago, with 9 people. Of course the week prior we had, um, one person (that would be me) running in pre-blizzard conditions. I guess everyone has their limits!

January - February 2016 Runs
1. First Run of 2016! , 2. Pre race. Perfect day for a trail run, 3. 6 mile view, 4. Right Here Right Now, 5. And Marathon Training has officially started , 6. Cold Weather Don't Care , 7. First Snow run of the season. , 8. Four Crazies on this morning's run in fresh snow! , 9. Winter's Canpoy, 10. Prelude , 11. Back At It, 12. Tank top Running weather. , 13. In the Groove., 14. Strata Sky, 15. Chime My 14 Miles

January Stats:
120 miles, including a trail race to start the New Year

February Stats:
98 miles, lower than plan due to the Quad injury I sustained while stretching in yoga class. I took a full week off from activity to let my leg heal.
I ended the month strong with a weekly mileage PR - 40 miles in one week.

So that's what's been going on with my running. With the time change to Daylight Savings Time, our morning runs will start and end in darkness again, but the promise of warmth and light increases daily and it is starting to feel like spring.

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March 2016 Desktop Calendar - Orchid

Continuing with the flower theme, here is a Phalaenopsis Orchid for March's calendar.



In warm climates, this orchid can grow wild, rooting into a hospitable nook or cranny that provides moisture - in this case, off a tree branch. Folks may think these exotics are hard to care for, but I've successfully grown these orchids at home - as long as you water them once a week or so (I've gone longer than 2 weeks!), they will thrive in filtered sun. The bloom last for several weeks and are quite beautiful.

To download the March 2016 calendar for free at Box.com, click on the link:
Free March 2016 Calendar - Orchid

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