Doylestown, PA- July 2014

Today’s weather felt like a warm fall day and not a typical July 20th hot day! I LOVE Sundays with no plans. I had an awesome breakfast at Domani Star and then went for a walk with the camera! I had fun with flowers, bees and buildings! Some of you may not know that I have my photos available for sale.  Also, I have started a Facebook page for my photography.  Have a great week!

 

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Evening in the Latin Quarter- Paris, FR

This is my last post from our annual sister trip 2013! We have found to love all the arrondissements in Paris. One of our favorite arrondissements is the Latin Quarter (5th and 6th arrondissements). It is a vibrant area and it comes alive at night. There was live music on the streets. We found a few cute shops to go into and I bought my first piece of clothing in Paris! There is also great restaurants and fish stands! We wanted mussels and oysters. It was YUMMY! Love all of the fresh veggies and seafood to be bought.

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Memorial Day Parade- Doylestown, PA

I know that I am blogging about the Memorial Day Parade on the 4th of July.  Support for our military is the same for both holidays.  I LOVE this parade and I usually tear up when I see the veterans in the parade. Doylestown has a great community parade and here are a few photos of the veterans that participated. Thank you to all of our veterans and those currently serving!

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Michener Museum- Doylestown, PA

This week I have been on a staycation! It has been great. I have cooked, edited photos, gone to the gym/pilates, and relaxed everyday. Today I went to the Michener Museum, it is a great museum. There is a Steven Tobin exhibit and there are some of his sculptures outside. It was great to take pictures and I had fun doing this today.  It is a great to be a tourist in my own town!

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All Because I Asked A Simple Question……

What does your bracelet mean?

In 2008, I was at Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE) annual conference and I asked my friend Jake: “What does your bracelet mean?”  It was simple question, but it wasn’t a simple answer.  Jake told me he was wearing the bracelet for his son Jack.  The blue and teal bracelet was to bring awareness to a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis (NF) and his son Jack has the disorder. If you are like me, you probably have never heard of NF.  It is a genetic disorder and wherever you have a nerve ending, you have the potential to grow a tumor.  Yes, I know that is a VERY simplified answer and there is a lot more that goes into NF.  Jake’s son was diagnosed when he was two years old and in 2008 he was three.  At the time, I didn’t realize that I was the first person outside of the family/close friends, that they had told about their son and the battle he was fighting. Since the day I asked about the bracelet, I have been praying and doing what I can for Jack.

Since that time, the Burke family has started Cure NF with Jack.  Jack raised over $400,000 (2013-14) for NF research through Cure NF with Jack.  Beth (Jack’s Mom) and Jake have done so much for NF research and awareness.  They have opened their hearts and tell Jack’s story to others, so they can bring awareness and raise money to find a cure for NF.

Fast forward…….2013

In 2013, my involvement with Jack changed.  Again, this change occurred at an EACE conference.  For the past nine years, I have been involved with the Front Row Foundation.  It is a charity that was started by a couple of friends.  Their mission is put individuals battling critical health challenges in the Front Row of their dream live event.  The Burke family is loved by so many people and they do so much for others.  My friend Trent and I made a decision at EACE that we were going to nominate Jack for a Front Row Event.  Here is a little insight to the giving heart of the Burke family.  In 2008, I wanted to nominate Jack, but Jake’s response was there were others who needed it more.  This time, I wasn’t asking.  After the conference, we started to put things into motion.  Shortly after we started the process for Jack to be a Front Row Recipient, he was diagnosed with a glio on his brain stem.  When most people hear that diagnosis, they think cancer, but it’s not.  However, the treatment protocol for NF patients is chemotherapy.  As of today, Jack has completed approximately 25 treatments in his cycle of 52 treatments.  In October of 2013, I had the honor of meeting Jack and Beth for the first time.

Now for the fun part………

In record time Jack was accepted by Front Row Foundation for an event.  My goal was that we not tell Jake and Beth about Jack being a recipient until the fundraising was complete. As I mentioned before, Jack is loved by many people and most have never met him.  I know Jake through professional organizations that we both are a part of EACE and National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).  I sent one e-mail to my friends and colleagues (most are like family) and in about 72 hours the money was raised for Jack’s Front Row Event!  He wanted to go to a magic show and the planning began.  In April of 2014, Jack and the entire Burke family went to Myrtle Beach for his Front Row Event. I was honored to attend as a volunteer coordinator for Front Row.  This was my first Front Row event and words can’t describe what it was like to part of this day, it was life changing.  I don’t use that description lightly.  Here is a video that Vector Marketing (where I work, when I am not blogging! LOL) produced in partnership with Front Row:

During the Front Row event, I captured this picture:

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Here is what Jake says about this photo:  “Not sure what you see in this photo of Jack from his Front Row Foundation experience. What I see is a moment of pure excitement, joy and wonder. All the things that kids like him should be focused on as they discover who they are in this world. What I see is success. A successful trip that met the goal of all those involved and then some. I see a kid who has forgotten about his tumors, his therapies and his damn chemo. I see a kid thankful for what he is seeing. I see astonishment and wonder. Thanks to all of Jack’s friends and fans near and far who helped make this trip happen. And thank you all who contribute your time, talent and treasure to help us find a cure. #endNF. #curenfwithjack.com”

Jack is someone who lives life in the front row and a hero!  Thank you for reading about how asking one simple question six years ago changed my life!  #EndNF

 

 

An Afternoon Walking Through Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Our last afternoon, in Paris, we wanted to spend it in an area that we hadn’t explored.  So, after speaking with our cousin we decided to spend the afternoon in Jardin du Luxembourg. She showed us how to get there via the bus. It was cool traveling there and seeing the city. I found more areas to explore. There is a replica of the statue of liberty in the park, but we didn’t get a chance to see. It was a chilly day in November, so we didn’t explore the park that much. However, I was able to take a couple of cool pictures. I love Paris and see myself living there at some point in my future.  So much to explore!

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An Artistic Sunday!

I am feeling artistic with my iPhone camera this morning!

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Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre, Paris

After lunch at L’Escargot, we walked to Sacré-Cœur. During our first trip to Paris, we went to the Montmartre Wine Festival. We mad it to the Sacré-Cœur, but we never found the wine festival. This time we walked around the back of the cathedral and found Montmartre.  We laugh now, because that is probably where the festival was located.  This area is on our list to explore during our next trip. We walked around a little bit, but there is so much more to explore!

One of the funny stories that came out of this trip, was my obsession about finding bright-colored umbrellas. We knew the weather report was calling for lots of rain during our trip. As a photographer, I wanted colored umbrellas for us to use. Once we got there, we didn’t use umbrellas that much. However, there was only one real opportunity to take pictures with the umbrellas. Our visit to Sacré-Cœur allowed for one picture. The only think I don’t like about the walk up to the cathedral is the number of pick-pockets. You have to walk fast and stick together. Our cousin told us what to be aware of, so we were prepared.

The view of Paris is amazing from Sacré-Cœur!

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Morning walk in Doylestown!

One of my favorite things to do is to take a walks in Doylestown! It is a great way to start the day.

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Lunch at L’Escargot and walk around Paris!

We love escargot and when in France, we love getting it at every opportunity!  When we were in Paris in November, our cousin took us to L’Escargot. It was delicious. We had escargot, duck l’orange and a delish dessert. Good food with good people equals an amazing day! After lunch we walked around the area and made our way to Sacré-Cœur.

 

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