Thursday, September 24, 2009

The ring bearer was a real dog!

Jessica and Dan got married on September 19 under a brilliant Autumn sun. God smiled on them and gave them a perfect afternoon after showers in the morning.

The ring bearer's name is Pudge and I am fairly certain that there has never been a more beloved ring bearer in any wedding anywhere! It was a bit of a challenge to get him down the aisle but, with the promise of a treat, he was willing to waddle down the aisle!

There were a few tears, well chosen words from Grandfather, and a smashed cake in the face to top it off.

Dan and Jessica's life is off to a great start!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Warm Autumn Day...Little Fishies in the Stream

I just photographed Abby to celebrate a milestone in her life: turning 10. It was a perfect day to be wading in a stream. Abby found that she could catch the tiny fish at Dallas City Park. Getting her to look at the camera was a challenge after awhile.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Defining Moments

Self-discovery, stretching, growing, learning new things. That has been what my life has been about for the last two years.

As part of a quest to redefine myself, I have been doing a lot of reading, some photography, some inspirational, some self improvement, some business. Last night I was reading "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. It is a business book about major corporations that made the jump from being good companies to great companies. Although I am certainly not part of a major corporation, I am finding lots of food for thought about leadership and change.

Living With Adversity

There is an amazing story in the book about Admiral Jim Stockdale, the highest-ranking US military officer in the "Hanoi Hilton" POW camp during Vietnam. Tortured over 20 times during the 8 years, Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner's rights, no set release date,and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again. He shouldered the burden of command, doing everything he could to create conditions that would increase the number of prisoners who would survive unbroken, while fighting an internal war against his captors and their attempts to use the prisoners for propaganda. At one point, he beat himself with a stool and cut himself with a razor, deliberately disfiguring himself so that he could not be put on videotape as an example of a "well-treated prisoner." He instituted rules that would help people to deal with torture (after x minutes you can say certain things--that gave the men milestones to survive toward). He created a series of tap codes so the men could communicate during forced silence.

Stockdale was asked many years later, how he dealt with it when he was there and did not know the end of the story? He said, "I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."

Then he was asked, "Who didn't make it out?"

"Oh, that's easy," he said. "The optimists."

"The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter." And Easter would come and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."

Then he said, "This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end--which you can never afford to lose--with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

What are your goals? What adversity are you facing? Have faith and, "Never give up, never surrender!" (Galaxy Quest)