Monday, August 27, 2012


Summer ends
and it is a
mother's day.

you don't see dads
posting the 
on facebook.

{Although my dad was always the back-to-school photographer}

Mostly, it's the moms.
Remembering all those 

Like Tom's first day
of kindergarten
when he got off the bus
after school
he literally had a new voice
of confidence and knowledge
that I had never heard before.

And Sydney's 
kindergarten waiting for the bus moment
when she said,
"My feet are excited!"

How can you be with them 
all summer long

and they did not seem
like they had grown up

until they put on school clothes
and backpacks?

They bicker and pester all summer long
and then
the "all business" kicks in as

big brother and big sister
 show the ropes
to the kindergartner.

Who was proud and excited
and ready to launch.

I stole a kiss
from my courageous

who was all about being part
of the "club" with her cousins and siblings.

She didn't look back
but just was a big girl

all the way

all smiles



and at last . . . 

not with fear,

not with tears,

not with nervousness,


she looked back.

And that's just
how we want it to be,


Train up a child in the way they should go . . . 


All photos property of Jodene Shaw 2012.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bloom Where You Are Planted

























Sunflower photos
are what's happening in my "Studio"
this week.
Visit these inspirational studios here:
sneak peek




All photos property of
Jodene Shaw.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Time

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done
from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11b

Friends and family
We cannot fathom.
Yet eternity is in our hearts.
The longing is there.
We cannot deny it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Black Hills Legacy ~ Crazy {Horse} Dream

It is what we leave behind.
What we pass on.
Here in South Dakota
 we have Korczak Ziolkowski, 
sculptor of Crazy Horse Memorial.
He said,
"Never forget your dreams."

He passed on his crazy dream to his family.

All my life, when the subject of the
Crazy Horse Memorial
comes up,
the most common thing I hear people say is,
"It will never get done."

He died in 1982, 
and in 2012,
it is still getting done.
I was only 8 years old
and I remember the Rapid City Journal
reporting his death.
I remember people thinking it was the end.
That the dream died with him.

How much do I take for granted,
how much do I casually think about,
the absolute impossibility of Crazy Horse Memorial
being built before my eyes?

How often do I casually think about
the impossible made possible 
when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon?

How much do I take for granted and casually consider
the miracle of Earth and living in the USA
on the clean and safe prairie of South Dakota
where I breathe clean and pure air,
drink clean and pure water,
have an abundance of food,
a safe home,
beautiful wildflowers,
extravagant sunsets,

I can be nonchalant, apathetic, cynical, doubting, a dream crusher.
Or I can be in awe.
I can become fascinated with the ordinary . . . 
and the extraordinary.
I can have gratitude.

Ordinary miracles.
Everyday miracles.
And wild crazy dreamers that do the once thought impossible
 and pass on their vision and commitment . . . 
to keep on doing it,
as John F. Kennedy said about going to the moon,
"not because it is easy, but because it is hard".

Every one should watch the video
of Korczak Ziolkowski,
a Polish immigrant,
commissioned by the leaders of the Lakota people,
to build a memorial of their hero and culture,
who accepted their vision,
and then began
building his crazy steps up the mountain.
Everyone should see his machine
that he would start and it would quit with a
"Kaput, Kaputta, Kaputt!"
 He'd have to go down those
crazy wooden stairs and start it again.

I told my husband,
"I can't imagine the first day."
"Where would  you even begin?"

But isn't it the same for all of us?
If we have a vision, a goal, a dream, a calling, a purpose,
we have to start right where we are,
on something that seems impossible.
We have to put one foot in front of the other.
We have to risk.
We must have faith which means we
believe in something we cannot see.

It makes me think of my ancestors and their crazy dreams
of coming to America.
A land they did not know.
To work for a vision that had no guarantees.
But they wanted to work and have freedom
to worship and create a life.

There is something to be learned
at Crazy Horse Memorial
about resilience,
about commitment,
about hard work,
about vision,
about legacy,
about sticking to it even though it is hard.

This is life.
Be creative.
Have a vision.
Go to work.
Even though it is hard.
Have hope.

There is something to be learned
about knowing in your spirit
deep within
that what you are doing is the right path
for you to journey upon
no matter what
the doubters and skeptics say.

He reminds me of Noah.
How people laughed and mocked Noah as he built the ark.
But Noah kept building.
Noah had faith in the One who gave the vision.

He reminds me of David.
David had a dream to build a temple for the LORD.
But he had to let go of the dream.
He wouldn't be the one to complete it.
It would be his son Solomon.
The dream and vision did not die with David.
It was his legacy passed on.
The Lord gave the vision and he also gave the word to let it go on . . .

One and a half million people visit Crazy Horse Memorial each year.

One and half million people can either say,
"It will never be done"
"I will start living what I believe even though other people do not believe it"
"Even if I cannot complete the vision that I have, I can pass on a legacy."

2012 Photos property of Jodene Shaw.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Black Hills Beauty: Sunday Gulch Hike

The Sunday Gulch Trail near Sylvan Lake
in Custer State Park, Black Hills, SD.

Our family adventure on perhaps
the most rugged and beautiful hike
we have been on in the Black Hills.

It might have even been better
than Jenny Lake in the Tetons . . . 
at the start.
These are the smiling faces above at the beginning
of our adventure
at Sylvan Lake.

There are so many things in our own backyard
to discover and enjoy and this is one of them.

This trail is an immediate adventure.

Erin fell before we even started
making me realize I should pack a first aid kit
especially for my child that insists on doing things
her way.

But the fall
humbled her enough
to take it slower
for awhile.

Handrails are a lifesaver...
we couldn't have done it
without them
with a five year old
and enjoyed it.

It takes a fast drop in elevation
for a mile and half
over granite and alongside
tiny waterfalls
from 6100 feet to 5700 feet.


It was like trekking
through Middle Earth
with loads of crooks and cracks
in the rocks for exploring.

We were all smiles on the journey down,
but the further down we went,
the farther we knew we would have to climb.

There were treasures hidden everywhere:
trees growing from impossible places
weathered roots
stumps covered in moss.

It felt worlds away
from the hot dry prairie dust.

A 2.8 mile loop, it was a challenge with a five year old for sure.
She started the climb back up with loads of enthusiasm
but when we had about a mile left to go, still climbing,
she was done.
But the little trooper did it.

Many families passed us.
We passed no one.

We took our time
drank water and had snacks.
Took breaks.

And we
pressed on.

Pressed on to high-fives at the end
along with
Doritos and fudge from the
Custer County Candy Company.

Erin's "Pups Program" badge
required a "nature hike"
that they suggested around the
Peter Norbeck Visitor Center.
But this girl earned her stripes!

Treated ourselves to a drive through the Needles
on the way back to our "home" in the hills,
the State Game Lodge.

Good stuff.

So much to enjoy just a couple hours from home!