December 22, 2012

"We Wash You a Merry Christmas"

Those of you that know me, know that I'm addicted to Pinterest (amongst other things)!  I made these cute little gifts for my neighbors and I must say they turned out adorable. 

First: Made glass ornaments with acrylic paint inside with a silk ribbon to hang them.
Second: Purchased soaps from Bath & Body Works
Third: Made tags from my Cricket maching which say We "wash" you a Merry Christmas
Last but not least: Placed in clear bag and tied with pretty ribbon.

I will be deliverying these on Christmas Eve to their porches as a little way to say Merry Christmas for such great neighbors.  I always like to do something each  year for them and Pinterest just makes it so much easier to come up with some unique ideas.

Thank you to the following two blogs that helped me achieve success on my project!

Credit due to: and

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December 5, 2012

My Journey Continues

I have been on a journey to learn as much as I can and always have a back up plan.  My full time career as a Learning & Development Consultant with a Fortune 500 Company is truly a blessing for me.  Besides my passion for photography I have a passion and yearning for Leadership Development.  I have always invested in self-help books, Leadership books and Seminars/Webinars to continue to help me grow.  It hasn't been until recently that my journey has taken a new route!  I am now in the process of becoming a John C. Maxwell Certified Coach, Speaker and Trainer and I am soooooo excited!  I'll be traveling to Florida in Feb to meet him in person and receive my certification, did I mention I was soooooo excited!

My passion is to help others become leaders not only in their professional life but also in their personal life.  Remember, we don't need to be in a leadership role to be considered a leader AND you CAN learn to be a leader.  As I travel along this road I will be incorporating some of my learnings into my photography business as well in hopes that some of you may be able to use the knowledge to help build your business and become a better YOU!

Till then....
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November 24, 2012

Fa La La.....

I LOVE the Christmas season!!!!  So what is it that I love about it:
1.  Christ our Savior was born
2.  Love the giving spirit everyone has
3.  Love the family time and making traditions together
4. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Christmas music
5. LOVE LOVE LOVE decorating my home
6. Love everything the season is about

One thing that I find as I get older is that each year I decide to cut down on my decorating.  I think I will always do a tree and fireplace mantle(as long as I have a fireplace) but the banister is something I can see me not doing as I get older (many more years to come of course)!

My tradition is to alway decorate the weekend of Thanksgiving.  We get all the kids together and go as a family to cut down a real tree and I love it!!!  What is your tradition for Christmas?

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November 18, 2012

Blessed Little One

I have been such a slacker, really over a month since I posted to my blog!  So much has been going on, if you are a frequent visitor to my blog I apologize.  I do keep up my facebook photography page daily so you'd think I would have a problem with my blog. 

Anyways, my third and youngest grandson, Bryson, was baptized!  I still can't believe I have three grandchildren and as I sat and took it all in I couldn't help but remember my son, Jeremy when he was that little.  Life truly does come full circle and enjoy everyday that you can before it passes you by.

My son has come such a long way on his journey and I am so very proud of him, he is a great father and I know that God has some great plans for him.

The Thompson Clan from left: Harold & Pat (Jeremy's grandparents) Tiffany, Jeremy & Bryson, Jill & Tony (Jeremy's dad) and of course Aidan, big brother to Bryson!

The Gronley Clan
From left: Margo(Jeremy's grandma, my mommy) Me, Tiffany, Bryson, Jeremy and Melanie and Megan (Jeremy's step-sisters) Missing from photo: my wonderful husband Mike, he had to work :(

Jeremy & Tiffany, proud parents!
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October 15, 2012

A Reflection of Achievement

Don't you just love when you capture that moment in a photo session when you say "stunning"!  Well, I did just that when I was photographing Jake, a senior from Armada.  I had the pleasure of using their property in Armada consisting of beautiful trees in full color, old wagon wheels, burning bushes and a coblestone bridge with water and all!  I couldn't have hand selected a better background for this session.

This is my absolute favorite!

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October 9, 2012

Senior Session in Armada

I love doing senior sessions with all the upcoming graduates!  This week I have two senior sessions and one wedding.  Armada is one of those towns that has the amazing large colorful trees in the Fall.  Cody's jacket with the orange coloring for Armada just went so well with the leaves.  This is one of my fav's from my session.

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October 1, 2012

Sweet little ones

Ever since this whole Pinterest thing I've been wanting to create this photo with a baby.  Well, I am the proud grandmother of three little boys now.  So when Bryson arrived I knew this was one photo I was going to capture.  Unfortunately, he was not to cooperative so it's not exactly the look I was going for, but it works.

1 Samual 1:27

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September 25, 2012

Girl's Weekend

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've posted, but I'm getting back in the game peeps.  I just returned from a wonderful girls weekend with my mom and Aunt.  Now when I say my Aunt, she is actually three years younger than me and we are more like sisters, she is my mom's baby sister.  How cool is that?  Anyways, my Aunt lives in Virginia and since we don't get to see each other ofter we wanted to start an annual girls weekend so this year was our first year.  So the three of us decided to take a long weekend to Gatlinburg, TN.  Now, my aunt also has a love for photography so we decided to make it a little photo trip as well so you know what that meant.  Smokey Mountains and Cades Cove here we come!!!

We had soooooo much fun and laughed so hard, it was a great family bonding weekend for us girls.  I can't wait for next year's getaway, possibly a trip to Virginia.

Here are a few pics of the mountains, our one and only bear we got to see (which was unusual for me) and the three of us.  Great times!!

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September 4, 2012

Out with the old; in with the new

Well, it is official, our company has been sold :(  I have worked for DuPont for 22yrs; plus three years as a contractor with them and have been very blessed to have an outstanding career as a DuPont employee.  I remember starting there as a clerk typing shipping papers.  I had the desire, motivation and goals to aspire to something more; and boy did I!  Here is a highlight of my career accomplishments:

  • Inventory Control Clerk
  • Customer Service Representative
  • QA Supervisor
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Warehouse Manager/Group Leader
  • DPS Expert/Lead
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Learning & Development Consultant

During these 22yrs I was also blessed to work for a company that paid 100% of my college degree.  It is with that opportunity that I was able to attain my Bachelor Degree in Human Resource Management.  I've been fortunate to develop many skills focusing on Supply Chain, Lean Six Sigma, etc.  So this is a situation that I'm not sure how to feel.  I don't have hard feelings, the bottom line is it's all about making money.  I'm glad to be able to have DuPont on my resume and I will continue to support them and recommend them to others.  I have always been a very optimistic person, truly believing that when one door closes another one opens.  Change is necessary to grow.  I think it is the unknowns on my retirement plans where I'm uneasy.  Like, will I have full medical when I retire?  Will the new company still participate in 401K? Will they match and how much?  I look forward to working with the new company, learning more about them and developing more relationships.  Bottom line, I still want to contribute, grow, learn and be a Leader no matter what I do.

My husband and I both work for the same company so we are blessed to have a dual income, but at the same time it is very unsettling not knowing what the future holds at this time.  So I guess we will have to wait and see, pray, and continue to have faith that all things will work out.  It is at times like these that I refer back to my favorite scripture verse to help see me through:

Prov 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and in all they ways acknowledge Him and He will direct they paths."  I truly do believe that!!

Thank you DuPont for a great career!  Thank you to all my fellow employees for your ongoing support, the relationships I've built over the years and for being such a great network of friends!

More to come.....
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August 29, 2012

So, how is your attitude?

I love reading self-help and inspirational books, I'm not much of a fiction kind of girl.  I'm always looking for ways to invest in myself and hopefully continue to improve as a mom, wife, leader, photographer, friend and so on.  My absolute favorite author is John C. Maxwell, guaranteed everytime I pick up one of his books I am never disappointed.  He is a Christian and a great teacher on Leadership.  Recently I stumbled upon his blog and am again intrigued by his wisdom.

One of my favorite quotes from him is, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."  Attitude is so important in our personal lives and professional lives and it can either make or break us, I truly do believe that.  We can only change ourselves and we wake up every morning and it is our choice to choose our attitude.  So, what is your attitude today?

Take a minute and visit John Maxwell's blog or even better pick up one of his books and start getting inspired!
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August 26, 2012

Wedding Bliss

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to capture the love story of Dawn and Lee.  They couldn't have picked a better location than Belle Maer Marina and the bride couldn't be more beautiful!  There are just so many great photos, but I must say this is my favorite fun shot of the day!

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August 24, 2012

God is Good!

An update on my grandbaby, Bryson.  The doctors were able to take out the ventilator and so far Bryson is breathing good.  He is still on oxygen and a feeding tube, but progressing well for a premie.  Yesterday when I visited my little guy I noticed that some of the swelling has also come down.  God is continuing to watch over His little one and I am so thankful for that.

Mommy and Daddy are doing good.  Mommy has a six week recovery ahead of her with no driving and lifting more than the baby weighs so that's going to be a little tough, but they will be fine.  That is what family is all about, supporting each other.  I am so proud of my son and the man he has become over this last year.  He has really been a good dad, can you tell by his beaming smile with Bryson!

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August 22, 2012

Welcome Baby Bryson!

What a miracle child birth is!  My son and daughter-in-law were expecting their baby on October 15th, well the little stinker decided he didn't want to wait.  Tiffany and Jeremy delivered a beautiful little boy yesterday. He is two months early and is having some difficulties. He is on a ventilator and has fluid in the lungs but they were able to stabilize his sugar levels, amen!  Since mom had gestational diabetes Bryson is actually larger than he should be.  The doctor was explaining to us that anytime a mom has diabetes that the baby will put on weight quick, unfortunately his little organs are not ready yet!  That is where the miracles of doctors come in to help him breathe and become more healthy.

I have faith that God will continue to provide for him and Bryson will be able to go home as soon as he can breathe better and that nasty fluid goes away!  Bryson comes from strong genes and he is a trooper.  Mom and dad are seeing him right now and I'm anxiously awaiting my turn since only one visitor can go in with him. We weren't able to see him yesterday so my little visit with him can't come fast enough. Please continue to pray for Bryson health and for Jeremy and Tiff that they find comfort in knowing that the Lord will provide and protect our little guy.

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August 10, 2012

Take Time To Smell The Flowers!

If you can't tell by now I am a fanatic with flowers.  I just love the beauty, the aroma and how decorative they are in my yard.  My friend, Stacey, is always giving me plants from her house and I love it because that means they are even more special.  When I look at each of them I think of her, and yes I can tell you each one she has given me.

This lovely little guy is a Lavendar Plant (at least I think that is what it is called) and it is really starting to blossom.  If you want a flowering plant that spreads like wildfire this is one for you.

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August 4, 2012

Wedding Day

I had the pleasure of photographing Roxeanne and Ray's wedding, a beautiful couple that had been referred to me via a friend.  Word of mouth is an amazing marketing tool let me tell ya!  Anyways, I saw this idea and wanted to recreate it using Scrabble letters.  The example I saw had only the brides ring and I wanted to use both the bride and groom's ring with the bouquet.

I love how it turned out!  I'll be taking my Scrabble letters with me to future sessions.

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July 25, 2012

Pond or Pergola?

My husband and I have an agreement that each year we will do one major project in our backyard.  Last year it was a new shed to free up some space in the garage.  This year it was going to be a pond that my husband was going to build himself with fresh water plants, fish, etc.  So away we go to the local Lowe's Store to look at purchasing our pond.  As my husband is determining how many landscaping bricks to buy I detered over to the patio sets to take a seat and relax (not that I really needed to relax)!

Ahhh, the comfort of a plush cushion in a beautiful grass green color underneath a Pergola set.  Mmmmm, I thought, this would look really nice in our yard.  So my husband approaches and says, "wow that is nice."  As he proceeds to sit down we both look at each other and say, "do we want this or the pond?"

Well, this was our decision and we are absolutely loving it!  Next years project is adding on to our patio for the Pergola set, oh yeah and the pond!

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July 22, 2012

Pepper Life

Sitting on my patio and thinking about my blog post and I realized I haven't shared an update on my garden (or should I say my garden pots). I'm surprising myself that I actually haven't killed these little guys yet! So far I have about 9 peppers growing and I actually have two green beans!! So I guess I may have a bit of a green thumb after all.

So I pulled out the Ipad and decided to check out Instagram in the process.  Here is the final result:

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July 16, 2012

Summer Lilly

How many of you thought I was talking about Summer Lilies???  Actually, these are the names of my two friends daughters.  One of them was visiting from Florida and we all spent an afternoon together floating in the pool, cocktails and some good laughs.  I couldn't help myself and had to capture this precious moment of Summer and Lilly enjoying some quality cousin time.  Two adorable and beautiful little girls!

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July 11, 2012

New Business Name

I have been debating for some time to change my business name from Virg's Photography to Virginia Gronley Photography and I finally made the leap.  I feel that it is more catchy, formal and it just feels right (it should it's my name).  I also had a new logo made and I LOVE it!  Thank you to CIP and Designs for the great logo work.

So now onto changing my website, blog, invoices, etc to my new business name so please be patient as I'm making the transition.

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July 7, 2012

Nostalgic Photography

How funny is it when your step-daughter tells you that she wants a polaroid camera to play around with and she is only 18.  I didn't even know that she knew what a Polaroid camera was!  I then remembered having boxes in the basement with two polaroids in them and my husband told me they used to be theirs when they were younger.  Of course I had to dig through some boxes to pull them out for her.

It's going to be interesting to see what Melanie comes up with when she purchases some 600 film for this Polaroid, that is if they still carry it in the stores!

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July 4, 2012

My Salvation Army Find!

I am always on the look out for photo props at a reasonable price.  One of my favorite ways is to search the local Salvation Army or second hand stores.  I have been wanting an old chest or I guess you could call it an old locker, I'm not really sure.   Anyways, as my girlfriend and I looked around I really didn't see anything that caught my eye.  I then decided before leaving to check over by the baby area and there before my eye is the old chest that I've been wanting!  As I approached this wonderful find I thought to myself "oh this is going to be too much."  Normally, these run between $40-$50 from what I have seen.  As I got closer I could see the price tag and it was $19.99!!  Woo hoo I thought and as I opened it it has a beautiful inside as well.  There was one latch missing so I thought I'd ask if they would come down in the price.  I ended up walking out the door with it for $10.

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July 1, 2012

The Little Man

Last night Jeremy, Tiff and Aidan spent the night and we enjoyed a fun night at my aunt and uncle's farmhouse.  Today I wanted to get some photos of Aidan in high key.  He was a little stinker and did not want to be my model.  We had to get out some fun things for him to enjoy and finally I was able to take a few shots.  Just another reason why I need to get a candy jar for my studio for these type of moments, you'd be amazed at what Smartie Candies will do for a toddler!

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June 27, 2012

What's Your Mantra?

Today, while watching television on the Tia and Tamara reality show (yes I'm addicted to reality shows), a lady asked Tia, "What's Your Mantra?"  I immediately Googled what the heck is a mantra???  So for those of you wondering I took care of the guess work for you.  A mantra is a group of words that create a transformation and is internal to you or your business.

So that got me thinking, what is MY mantra for my photography business?  I would have to say that it is Capturing Memories for a Lifetime.  My goal and mission in life and for my business is to try and capture life through my lens.  Memories that will be forever ingrained in a photo for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to remember.  Capturing a feeling or a story that when you look at the photo it takes you back to that memory in your lifetime.  That is my mantra (at least for now)!

Flowers make me smile and feel good.

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June 26, 2012

Oh me oh my... GG is as cute as a pie!

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity of photographing baby GG.  She is 8 months old and was an absolute delight!  There are so many great shots that it is hard to choose my favorite, but this one is definately in the top 3 for little baby GG.

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June 23, 2012

Marina Molly

My sister-in-law has a black lab and she loves being at the marina and laying on the cool green grass.  This is one of my favorite photos of her.  She always poses so nice for the camera!

Have you taken a photo of your pet lately?

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June 18, 2012

Up, Up and Away

I have the best husband in the world! For my birthday he did something very special. He knows how passionate I am about my photography business and he wanted to make something for me related to photography. So....he went and purchased me... this beautiful basket because it reminded him of a hot air balloon, blew up balloons and bought me this backdrop to add to my studio. Now how great is that? Thank you Mike, I so love you and love how you know me so well. AND, he even had it all set up for me when I got home from work today. Of course, I had to use Mocha as my model since I don't have a baby here.
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June 17, 2012

Grandchildren are a blessing

Last night I had the pleasure of keeping my grandson, Aidan overnight.  He is a little over two years old and is just so adorable.  We played outside, he wanted to keep playing hide 'n' seek, once he hid in the shower and I told him, "I can see you" since we have shower doors and we watched LOTS of Mickey Mouse! 

It's funny as I sat and watched him how much he reminds me of his dad, Jeremy (my son).  Life has truly come full circle and I still can't believe I'm a Grandma.  I am truly blessed.

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June 13, 2012

Golden Girl

So here is the story, there is this vacant yellow house with green shutters that I drive by daily.  Each time I say to myself, "I need to get a photo in front of that house."  The other day the lighting was just right and my daughter was in the most adorable outfit for work. she was walking in the door I said, "you need to be my model today."  Of course, she didn't hesitate and wanted to know when we were leaving.

I shot this with my 50mm and used the gold reflector to give me that golden and warm look that I was wanting.  I couldn't be more happy with these photos.  I was only going to post one, but I love them all so all 7 are getting posted!

I am now on the lookout for some other cool places to shoot at.  What cool places have you found during your adventures?

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June 6, 2012

Venus Transit - 2012

Hopefully you were one of the lucky ones to remember that the Venus Transit was happening last night.  This event happens in pairs that are 8 years apart; so the last one occurred in 2004.  The next one will not occur for another 105 years, so basically in most of our lifetimes we won't see it again.

I set my alarm on my phone, had my tripod set up outside and was ready for this rare event at 6:10pm EST.  These are some of my favorite shots with my 500mm lens and 300mm lens.  All I can say is AWESOME!

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May 31, 2012

The Possibilities Are Endless...

I had the ultimate joy of photographing my nephew at his soccer game yesterday.  He was playing from the heart and this photo I felt really captured the moment.  The moment when a little boy stands and ponders the endless possibilities!

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May 23, 2012

Iris in the Garden

One of the peaceful joys in life is to stop and smell the flowers.  I so enjoy walking in my yard and admiring all the beautiful flowers, greenery and birds that have come to be known as Virg's Garden.  It's a nice time of reflection from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

These beautiful Japanese Iris's were given to me by my childhood friend, Stacey.  So they are extra special in my joyful garden.

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May 13, 2012

Here birdie birdie....

We just love watching the birds in our yard.  A few of them have nests in our birdhouse and I captured this shot with the little ones peering their beaks out.  How adorable!

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May 8, 2012

My Love for Old Barns

I am in love with old barns, I just can't seem to get enough of them.  Sometimes it seems like I take too many photos of barns so I wanted to do something different.  I created a painting out of this one and I love it!

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May 2, 2012

Down on the Farm

I spent a lovely afternoon at my Aunt & Uncle's farmhouse in Almont, MI.  During my drive there I noticed this beautiful horse and wanted to capture the beauty of it.

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April 22, 2012

Photo Funk

These last few weeks I have been in a photo funk :(  We had a dear friend of ours pass away and I just have been feeling out of it.  Today I wanted to get back into my swing and had just had no creative ideas.  So this is just me playing around.  I'll get my groove back, I promise.

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April 7, 2012

A few more macro shots

I couldn't help myself with these new extension tubes for my camera.  In the backyard I noticed more of my plants in bloom and of course the dreaded dandelions in the yard!  Even though these are a weed they sure do make a nice photo as a macro shot.


Lilac bush
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April 6, 2012

Where is Yogi the Bear?

We were fortunate enough to take a small vacation to TN.  One of my absolute favorite spots is the Smokey Mountains and Cades Cove.  This time we took along my two step-daughters in hopes that they might get the chance to see a black bear in the wild.  Well, the mountains didn't let me down, we did spot one bear (photo isn't the greatest). 

Our oldest enjoyed the hunt for bear, while the youngest listened to her Ipod in the car and continued to let us know how bored she was. LOL!  A few of my fav photos below.

Vultures drying their wings

Black Bear just outside of Cades Cove

My step-daughter actually took this of me doing what I love to do best!
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