2015 Year in Review

When I look back at this past year, I’m completely filled with gratitude. If I had to choose one word to summarize 2015, I would say enlightening.

So much has happened this year. So many changes, mostly on a personal level. When I entered the year, I was less than happy with myself. I had let myself get to a point of being somewhat unhappy. And complacent. Although I had so much going for me, a good job, had just bought my own place, I just wasn’t where I wanted to be. Most of that related to my health and fitness. I wanted to get back in shape, but was having a terrible time finding the motivation and will.

During and after my divorce, I had to find the strength to make some much needed changes in my life. I had grown through that period, but a part of me realizes now that I was kind of flying blind. I was going through the motions of what I knew I needed to accomplish. I glossed everything over, and plowed through, looking for what was on the other side. But I wasn’t fully processing everything along the way, and I didn’t realize that there was so much more to be done. I thought once I came through that period, everything would be ok. Magic. That’s where I got complacent. But life is funny that way. We are constantly growing and changing with the tides.

I’ve experienced so much more growth this year. I set my mind to making changes. I changed my diet. I started running again. I feel fantastic! I lost the weight (for the last time!) and I’ve been keeping it off just by being mindful of my choices. I’ve set goals for myself, and kept them.

I got in front of a camera for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-many years. Like, a real camera. Not just selfie’s with a cell phone. 🙂 And from a photographer that has spent so many years hiding behind one, it was time to practice what I preach. (And I’m gonna preach… get out there and get some pictures taken! Real ones. Do it for yourself and those that love you, just the way you are!)

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I had my first post-divorce relationship, if you’d call it that. And through that process I’ve learned even more. I’ve never been more comfortable and ok with who I am. I have a lot to offer, and either I’ll be accepted and appreciated, or I won’t. But what someone else thinks or feels about who I am or what I have to give, is not reflective of my own feelings. I can only be me, and staying true to who I am is so important. Sometimes friendship is all there is, and that’s ok. I think the biggest lesson here, however, is the importance of honesty. I have no time or tolerance for bullshit (ie people who hide behind lies and dishonesty in any way, shape, or form). At the end of the day, I aim to love the best way I can, treat others the way I want to be treated, show respect and appreciation, forgive when forgiveness is necessary, be honest and open with everyone, including myself, and hope for the best.

I also realized that I need to be challenged. I think running fills a bit of that void. It gives me something to work towards. A sense of accomplishment, too. But I also see the need to be challenged in other areas. I’ve been feeling underutilized at work. I love my job. And I love the industry and what I do. However, I also know that I am capable of so much more. I need something more challenging, more sense of purpose. So I’m going back to school to finish out my associate’s degree and work towards a bachelor’s. I need to feel like I am doing everything in my power to be my best self. And I couldn’t be more excited about it!

So yes, this year has been filled with enlightenment. Realizations that, no matter how much I love everyone else and want them to be happy, ultimately it comes down to doing what’s right for me. Accepting that maybe I don’t have it all figured out. That maybe the best is yet to come. My tag line says it all, I’m still learning to be me. The best me that I can be. One that I’m proud of, regardless of what anyone else wants me to be.

If you have never failed at anything, then you have never reached for a big enough goal. If you only choose goals that are safe, familiar and right, you’ll never stretch far enough to know who you really can become or what you are capable of doing.

To do something different, you will need to be someone different. Decide to leave your safety zone. Move beyond fear of failure to the possibility of authentically and consistently living your truth and creating a bigger life. You have something special. You have GREATNESS within you! ~Les Brown

Bring on 2016!

As I mentioned in recent posts, 2015 brought a lot of changes and awareness on a personal level. Most importantly, learning to accept myself, and accepting the fact that I had never truly grieved and moved beyond my past.

I’ve made a lot of decisions this past year. Accepting who I am today, but also realizing the need to keep pushing myself. To never settle. To always strive for the best.

As I started my workout this morning, the first song to come on Pandora was “I Lived” by One Republic. I’m not sure if I’ve heard the song before, but if I did I never paid attention to the lyrics.

Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall

Hope when the water rises, you built a wall

Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name

Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay
Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad

The only way you can know is give it all you have

And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain

Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say
I, I did it all

I, I did it all

I owned every second that this world could give

I saw so many places, the things that I did

With every broken bone, I swear I lived
Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up

And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup

Oh, I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain

But until my moment comes, I’ll say

I, I did it all

I, I did it all

 

This. This is what I’m striving for. To live. Fully. To explore. To learn. To grow. And to love everything and every one along the way.

I’m not one for resolutions. But it’s that time of year, and I’ve come to the realization that there are things holding me back. So I have a goal for this week. I have so much “stuff” cluttering my life. Physical stuff. Things I’ve been holding onto because I can’t let it go. Stuff from my past. I used to enjoy scrapbooking, but I can’t bring myself to go through all the memories of the past. And holding onto all the “stuff”, the supplies, is just a reminder to me that I never finished what I started.

I promised to at least complete my daughters baby book, so I’m hoping with my week off work this week, I can finish what I started. Then the stuff goes. And all the things I’ve been holding onto to sell on eBay. It just needs to be gone. I’m looking forward to the freeing feeling so I can stop seeing the reminders. So I can focus on what’s important in my life now. Focusing on running. And school. And the goals I have set for myself. Without the weight of the past.

5 and 1

Forgive me. This is going to be long, personal, and full of pain.

It’s been five years. Anyone that knows me probably knows exactly what happened five years ago today. Anyone that’s read this blog has seen me allude to the events of that time in my life.

April 6, 2011. I came home after picking up my then-husband from work, to be greeted shortly thereafter by a police officer and representative from DCFS (Department of Child and Family Services in Illinois). We were only told there was an investigation, and that he had to leave the house. I was to take both children to the child advocacy center the next day for questioning. At the time, my son had just turned 14, and my daughter just 11.

We were given no information. Don’t ask questions, they said.

In the events of the following 48 hours, I found out my daughter had disclosed abuse at the hands of her father. I was in a fog. I was in denial. I was hurt. But nothing prepared me for the pain to follow.

Two days later, they came and took my children and placed them into a foster home. So much I won’t go into now. I could write a book. Yes, I made some mistakes. I panicked. And for those that don’t know, you aren’t allowed to make choices, or God forbid mistakes, when DCFS is involved. (So how, then, do children die at the hands of abusive parents, even when DCFS has been called to investigate? Don’t even get me started on THAT!)

DISCLOSURE: To avoid any accusations, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have to state that he still claims his innocence, and was acquitted of all charges by a jury.

This is one of my character flaws at times. No matter what I have been through or what it has caused me, I will always give somebody the benefit of the doubt, even if they don’t deserve it. I will always treat people with kindness. I will always do the right thing as best as I can. I will say, whole-heartedly, I believe everything my daughter said. I have seen too much pain, been through too much with her, to feel any other way.

When all hell broke loose, there was a time I clung to whatever I could. Whatever was left. The only thing I knew. That which I was comfortable with. I quickly realized though that I had to leave that comfort zone. I knew I was going to face challenges. But it was time to do what needed done.

For the past 5 years, I have struggled. Trying to figure out how or where I went wrong. Feelings of intense pain. Guilt. Feelings of acceptance. Forgiveness. Finding joy and happiness where there seems to be nothing but hurt and sadness.

Only during the past year have I really felt like I’ve moved past it. I realized over the course of the year that I never truly processed the pain. The divorce. I did what I had to do. I pushed through and accomplished what I needed to do for my daughter. I went from a stay-at-home mom, to a full-time working mom, supporting myself. And right back into Mom mode, having to work through everything with my daughter.

Let me tell you, as a parent, there is no greater pain than seeing the intense pain of your child. I didn’t have time for myself. I spent two solid years worrying and hurting for her.

But this past year was different. She is doing fantastic, all things considered. And I’ve been able to take care of myself. And find what truly makes me happy.

In running, I have found an outlet. A stress relief. A time for myself. A few months ago, it occurred to me that I started running almost to the day of the events of 2011. My first run this time around was on April 5, 2015. Maybe I knew. I needed to revisit that outlet.

You see, I started running back in 2012 also. Before my daughter moved back home. And even after, she was in school during the week, and I worked weekend nights, so I had a lot of time on my hands during the weekdays. After I changed jobs, however, things were more difficult. Scheduling was more complicated. I was working a regular day job, and adjusting to a new schedule.

But this time, it was different. I was focused more on improving myself. Taking care of myself. And through that process, I learned about myself. I learned to love and accept myself, first and foremost. Faults and all. I learned to care less what other people think. To stay true to myself. I know the right people will love and accept me for who I am, regardless of my faults and failures.

I know we are all unique and different in our own way. I found running to be a great outlet for me, as I know several other people have. But I also know it’s not for everyone. What’s important, is that you find something. Especially when you are going through a stressful, painful time. Whether it’s swimming, running, biking. Or even non-fitness related, like art. Painting, photography (which also helped me immensely), drawing. Something. I don’t expect everyone to follow the same path, make the same choices as I have. I only ask for support for my choices. And I, likewise, will support anyone in the choices they feel best for themselves.

Running also helped me to cope with being alone, when I had no one to turn to, no one to lean on. Before all my friends and family get on me about that statement, I know I had people, to an extent. But it’s different. When the one person you had to talk to every day, about everything, is suddenly out of your life, there is no other person you feel you can talk to. Not every day. At least not for me. I had to find a way to cope. To fill that void. For a long time, even though I seemingly had all the time in the world, I still had none. So much driving to visits. Working. Court. Counseling. It seemed to be never ending. But there always came a time, when I needed something to fill my time.

For a while I focused on scrapbooking. I can’t do it anymore. It was good at first, when I didn’t have my kids, it gave me something to focus on them. But now, I can’t go back. That’s part of my moving on. I still have all the photos, all the memories, when I’m ready to relive those moments. But for now, that part of me is gone. So the focus became fitness. And running. The one thing that has always been there for me in some way.

Part of me can’t believe I’ve actually stuck with it for an entire year. But that’s part of my growth. It’s become a part of who I am. And I can’t imagine it any other way.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve learned so much. Not only loving myself, but I’ve learned to be alone and love that too. I always said I’d like to find someone else, but I was perfectly ok and happy doing things on my own. But now, 5 years later, I feel like I can finally accept the fact that I don’t have to. I never thought I could be this happy. But I’ve found a place. A sweet spot. And I love every bit and piece of my life. I’m happier than I ever thought possible.

So here’s to several more years. Of running and racing. Living and loving. Healthy. Happy.

Pain, Grief and Acceptance

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do. ~BrenĂ© Brown

Last month, I wrote a post on my birthday about learning to finally love myself. You can read that here. But I’m not perfect.

I love myself for all that I am. I really do. And I accept myself. But it’s a constant battle. Every day is something. Almost daily, I look in the mirror and see the body of the person I was 100 pounds ago. I know that’s not me any more, but that’s still what I see.

Almost daily, I find myself constantly wanting to ask “Why?”. I know I’m a wonderful person, inside and out. And it’s what’s on the inside that matters more than anything. But I still wonder.

It’s a daily thought process of mine, reminding myself that I’m perfect just the way I am. Even though I’m not perfect, far from it. But I constantly see all my mistakes, all my imperfections, and I wonder if that’s what everyone else sees too?

Fall is a very hard time for me. My absolute favorite season, but it bears so many negative reminders. My birthday. Every year for the past 5 years I’m reminded that I don’t have someone to take me to dinner and celebrate. My divorce was finalized in October 3 years ago, another reminder of my failures. And this year a friend posted that they are celebrating 20 years, they were married in 1995, as was I. I don’t think I ever allowed myself to grieve that, given all the other circumstances distracting me. October also marks the anniversary of my ex’s trial, another painful reminder. And through it all, I’m reminded of how strong I’ve had to stay. Carrying so much on my shoulders.

I know I’m strong. I know I’m independent. I know I’m beautiful. But I constantly have to remind myself of these things. And of what I’m capable of. Physically and mentally.

I just applied to go back to college to work towards a bachelor’s degree. Something I’ve always thought of, and never done. I often wonder if part of my desire stems from wanting to be better. Feeling like I’m not good enough. As if some degree will make me a better person. (It won’t, I know that. I’m going back because it’s something I’ve always wanted. Again, proof for myself that I’m capable.)

Like running. I run because I can. I prove to myself regularly that I’m capable. That my body can accomplish far more than I give it credit for.

All these things weigh on me daily. And I just keep pushing through. And trying to remain positive and smile.

And then today happened. Earlier this month, I actually paid a photographer to take photos of myself and my kids. It was more for me, truth be told, but I really wanted pictures with my kids also. It’s been almost 10 years since I had photos of me with them (and of course my ex was in those too). It was money I didn’t really have to spend, but I did it for me.

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And today I got the previews. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up at work. Looking at those photos and seeing me for the beautiful person I am. And accepting what I see. Seeing me still smiling after all I’ve been through. And happy.

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And I’m once again reminded of why I love photography so much in the first place. I always wanted to give others that feeling of being proud of who they are. And showing that love and beauty through the lens. And this is also why I advocate for everyone to get in front of the camera! It’s so important, to do it for your family, but most importantly, for yourself. Especially as women and moms. We get so caught up in everyone else, that we forget about ourselves.

So thank you so much, Scarlett. For making me feel beautiful. And worthy. And reminding me exactly what I’m made of. And that yes, I AM enough. I will treasure these photos always.

In the Raw

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed. ~Ernest Hemingway

Life is complicated. As if I really needed to say that out loud. But sometimes it just makes me feel good to remind myself of that, that I don’t have to have everything figured out. Things are going to happen, whether we want them to or not. People will come into our lives, and people will leave. Things will go wrong, and things will go right. Learning how to deal with it all is just part of the process.

I tend to be very protective of myself. Of my feelings. I’m very guarded. I don’t show emotion. I don’t know if I’ve always been that way. To a point, I think I have. But definitely much more-so in the past 5 years. I’ve been hurt in ways I could never imagine. Pain I would never wish on anyone. And yet, I learned to deal with it. Roll with the punches. I showed more emotion in those first six months then I think I have my entire life. It’s hard to control such intense feelings, when you’ve held back on so much, for so long.

But I’m back to the old ways, I’m back to hiding. But I’m working on it. Maybe not in the emotions I show, but in other ways. I’m still pretty good at hiding behind a wall. But I’m trying to open myself up. To be present. To allow life to happen, and not hide. To say what I feel, what I think. 

This is one of those things I worked on with my therapist, that I always find very difficult. But I’ve also learned that sometimes you just have to put it all out there. There’s something very freeing and liberating about exposing yourself, being raw and vulnerable. I am who I am, and I shouldn’t be ashamed or feel like I have to hide from anything or anyone. I’ll be accepted or I won’t. And whether or not anyone else accepts who I am is not my problem.

I’m constantly reminded how short and precious life is. I’ve tried to make it a mission of mine to tell those close to me that they are important. That they are loved. Especially since I lost so much. I don’t want to ever regret not having said those all important words. And I don’t want to be that person that takes advantage of another, in any way. Its so true, you never know what tomorrow brings, so make every day count, in every way. And never let those words go unsaid. 

I’m not gonna lie, I still have anxiety at times. It’s taking me outside my comfort zone in a way I’ve never been. But I also know that some of the best moments in life start outside that comfort zone. I have no desire to stay where I am in life. I want more. I want the best life has to offer. And if that means putting myself out there, and taking a few hits in the process, then that’s what I’ll do. But I’m sure the benefits will far outweigh the pain.  I’m ready for the challenge, are you?

Dear Mr. Marathon Man

Sometimes the simplest little acts can make such a difference in a persons life. 

Yesterday was a great day. You see, I’ve always shied away from being in front of a camera. I hated myself too much to allow too many pictures to be taken of me. I didn’t want to be remembered, not like that. 

But as my children have grown, and I’ve looked back for photos of me with them and came up practically empty, I regretted that choice. And in the process of learning to accept myself, I’ve also learned to love myself. 

So when you came by us taking pictures outside the Chicago theater yesterday, I was in the middle of a photo shoot to celebrate me. To take some photos with my children. To embrace all that I am. And to move on. To finally let go of that person of the past and all that I dealt with. To embrace the new me. 

And there you were. Asking to take a photo with some strange 40-something female in a dress on a city sidewalk. But that simple act just made my day that much more special. And I thank you. 

Best of luck to you and all the runners at today’s marathon. I will be cheering you on in spirit. 

Sincerely,

A fellow runner friend, who maybe someday will be there too. 

Love, Life, and Karma

It’s so easy to find ourselves pushing & achieving & hustling for love. But those things don’t bring us love. Loving brings us love. ~Shauna Niequist

Over the past several years, well all my life really, but more apparent recently, I’ve always believed that things always work out the way they’re supposed to.

Everything happens for a reason. Yes, I know sometimes we make stupid mistakes, but I still believe there’s something calling us to make those seemingly silly choices. They serve a purpose. We have to live and learn from them, it’s how we grow. I know I’ve made my share of stupid mistakes, a few big ones actually. But I also believe I needed to travel that path. I needed to make the mistakes I did, I needed to lose it all, to be able to grow into myself as a human being. To be given the task of proving to myself that I’m a strong person. That I could be independent. That I don’t need anyone. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still have a longing to have someone special in my life, if you know what I mean, but I don’t need that. I can survive just fine.

I believe in karma. What goes around, comes around. I believe you get out what you put in.

Which brings me to love. I was talking with a friend over coffee, and she told me I needed to read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. So I did (well mostly, haven’t finished it yet). The line that hit home with me, “learning to love others is the fastest way to receive love”. And it all starts with you. I firmly believe we can’t love others fully until we love ourselves. And once we start sharing that love with others, only then will we truly be able to receive the same. (And I’m talking all others, family, friends, coworkers, not just significant others.)

I’m not perfect. No one is. There are things I wish were different about my body. But it’s mine. And I love it. And I want to keep it as healthy as I can, for as long as I can.

I love my heart. Does it cause me pain sometimes? Absolutely. It’s part of growing, and it’s ok. I know I have to put it out there, to feel the pain, to ultimately experience the greatest love there is.

I love my soul. I have a lot of fantastic qualities. I know that. And someday someone will see that the way I do.

It was a big eye opener for me. It wasn’t until this year, that I truly started loving myself. Doing things for myself. Accepting myself and all my faults and flaws. And finding happiness. And I really believe that sentiment to hold so much truth. It was shortly after reading the book that I saw Shauna’s post on Facebook, which is why I chose that to quote above.

The best way to receive love, is to give it. And give freely. Show love every day, in every thing you do. Live with positivity. Gratitude. Appreciation. And love. And you’ll get out what you put in.

  

Me

The best gift I can give myself, is loving me for all that I am.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Happy Birthday to me! Yes, today is my birthday, and it’s a great day! But then every day is a great day, as long as we make it that way.

A little more than a week ago, a friend posted something on Facebook that really got me thinking. About me and where I am, where I’ve been, and how I feel about myself.

For years, I’ve always compared myself to everyone else. I’m not sure why. I never really thought of myself as someone with low self esteem, but looking back I sure was! I was never as pretty as the other girls. Never as athletic. Never the popular one. And the biggie, never as thin as they were. I always saw something in the mirror that, looking back, was completely false. I was never overweight in high school, although I thought I was.

So it’s been a lot of years of fighting with myself. Trying to be something better. Always feeling like I could never be good enough. That no matter how hard I tried, I always failed. And this goes back to my post from last week, I would just shut down and do nothing because I was so overwhelmed with trying to accomplish the impossible. And I hated myself.

Since my divorce, I’ve been trying to focus on finding myself. Figuring out exactly who it is I am, and who I want to be. And learning to be ok with whoever that person is. And doing it on my own and being ok with that too.

Which brings me to today. And the best gift I can give myself, is loving me for all that I am. I’m caring and compassionate. I’m friendly and loving. I’m intelligent, loyal, and honest. Strong and independent. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m flawed. I’m scarred. I make mistakes. I’m not perfect. But I’m me. And that’s ok. Raw and vulnerable. Perfectly imperfect. A constant work in progress.

I avoided the camera for so long. Always choosing to take the pictures rather than be in them. And looking back, I’m sorry I wasn’t there more. That there are so few pictures of me with my own children. I’ve only recently started getting in pictures, and taking pictures of myself. And I love what I see. So here I am. This is me. With makeup and without. Sweaty and not. But always beautiful, just the same.


And because it’s my birthday, I’m just throwing this out there again. Please check out my fundraising website, and help me make a difference for children, no matter how small. That is my only wish today. 

A New Year

It’s a new year, and that can mean only one thing. Change. I’ve never been much of a New Year’s Resolution kind of person. Sure, I’d set a resolution, only to fail within a week, maybe two. But I know I never stuck with it because I didn’t really WANT to change whatever it was. What’s the point in making a resolution for change, unless you are really ready for it in your heart and soul? Yes, a new year is a good time to make those changes, if you truly ARE ready. And that’s where I’m at.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. The biggest ones in the last year. I own them. I know I’m not perfect. And I know nothing will change if I blame everyone else for everything going on in my life. Yes, I contributed to the trials of the past year. But I’ve learned from it, and I’ve grown. True change can only come with acceptance. I accept myself for all that I am. The loving, kind person, that has faults and imperfections. A work in progress.

New Year’s Day I had this idea. How about I make a top 10 list. A top 10 list of lessons I’ve learned in the past year. It just flowed, without much thought. I was going to post it then, but my internet hadn’t been working at home for over a month. I’ve been going to the library almost daily, but my time there has been consumed with trying to find a job. But last week, my smart, kind son fixed it for me! So, here’s my list.

Top 10 Lessons of 2011

  1. Accept help from wherever it comes. Don’t be too proud. Sometimes help can come from the most unexpected people.
  2. Along those lines, don’t be afraid to ASK for help. If you need something, you know who you can count on, ask! After all, friends and family aren’t going to know how you’re feeling and what you may need to get you through, but you know they’ll be there for you if you just ask.
  3. Never act out of reaction. Take the time to think things through. And taking a week to ponder how you will act wisely, is much different than taking a week to plot your revenge!
  4. The most painful life events require some leaps of faith for growth. If you don’t leap, you’ll stay where you are. And that obviously wasn’t working for you.
  5. Truly moving on requires letting go. Moving on does no good if you’re still holding onto what was. The biggest move you can make, is learning to accept what is.
  6. Everything happens for a reason. We won’t understand those reasons all the time, but in time it’ll all make sense. Truly believing in this one statement will really put your heart and soul in a calm, peaceful state that probably won’t make sense.
  7. Believe. In something. In someone. Believe in God. Believe in the power of the universe. Whatever you feel in your heart, just believe. But most importantly, believe in YOURSELF! If you believe, you can achieve!
  8. Being a parent is the most difficult job there is. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions, doing what we think is best, no matter the pain we cause. We can only hope the pain is temporary, and some day they’ll understand. Thankfully, the rewards are more than worth it!
  9. True happiness can only be found within. Relying on others to make you happy will only make you miserable.
  10. Be thankful for everything, and every one, in your life. For you’ll never know what the future holds, and what you may lose. Nothing is permanent.

Obviously, it’s been a while since I blogged, and a lot has happened. Holidays and both kids’ birthdays, which were a great reminder to me to be truly thankful for everything. Tomorrow is never a guarantee, we have to live each moment to the fullest, appreciating what we have today. There’s this part of me that wishes 2011 would never have happened. But if it hadn’t, I wouldn’t have 2012. Yes, it was the most painful year of my life, but it also provided the most awakening, most importantly within myself. I’ve learned so much this past year, and can never wish that away. Here’s to an amazing 2012! For all of us!

On to my photos…. here it is, January 14th. And only two days ago did we receive the first real snowfall of the year! Not just the year 2012, but for the winter season! I don’t think I ever remember a year where we had NO snow until January! Sure, it would fall, then melt, but nothing! So I decided to take a walk this morning, and I took some pictures of the white that abounds. Not as pretty as it would have been had I taken them on Thursday, but late is better than nothing, right?

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. ~2 Corinthians 5:17

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