Being a puppy parent is more than a full-time job. Full-time employment is at least 40 hours a week; full-time parenting, as any mom or dad can tell you, is non-stop, 24/7. Just like human babies, canine babies grow and develop, and as little ones become more independent, parents can reclaim some of their independence, too. Luckily, puppies don't require babysitters when we sneak out to have some fun; they just need reliable crates, and some chew toys and treats.
Weekends are when my husband and I get to take a break from the daily grind. Chuck gets to leave behind his daily commute and worries at work, and I get to spend time with my best friend doing what we love to do. We still can't leave the puppies home all day, but we take mini-breaks for 1-3 hours to do the things we enjoy; photography, listening to music, and eating out. This last weekend we took pictures, listened to some amazing tunes, and feasted our eyes and our lenses on an amazing field of tulips.
Team Bennorth enjoys taking pictures for a few local non-profit organizations. Friday night we put in a quick appearance at the youth group talent show sponsored by our church, and then we drove to Elgin to photograph an open mic night at a non-denominational church there.
The Kingdom Advancement Center welcomed us with open arms, and we enjoyed shooting their event which featured spoken word artists, rappers, and poets. The enthusiasm of the crowd was electric, and the energy level was high. It was a late night for us old folks; it ended around 10:30. If you know us at all, you know we are usually in bed by 8. Somehow when we're taking pictures, we usually don't notice physical discomfort or sleepiness as much.
Saturday morning came early. It was National Record Store Day, so after editing some pictures and a quick breakfast, we headed to Kiss the Sky record store in Batavia to enjoy some live music. We love the variety of genres represented at Kiss the Sky. Last month we enjoyed the Blue Grassical event just as much as listening to the singer-songwriters on Saturday.
|Noah Gabriel. Check out the video clip of his Al Green cover below.|
Two of our favorite local performers, Noah Gabriel and Jake Mack were featured artists at Kiss the Sky. Noah performed some of the songs from his newly released album, Dead Reckoning, available online at NoahGabriel.com, and as a download from iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Jake's music can be found at Jake Mack Music.
We grabbed some Culver's famous butter burgers on our way home to take care of the puppies. It was finally time for Bristol and Sam to have a break of their own. They played in the backyard and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Apparently, one of the homeowners works tirelessly to provide a gloriously landscaped yard full of tulips and other springtime flowers. The golden hour of the day was approaching, so we jumped in the Highlander to see what we could see. We were not disappointed.
Our Friday and Saturday had been jam-packed. We had plans for church and a visit to Cantigny Gardens Sunday, but we were too exhausted to leave the house. We ended up crashing on the couches with the puppies after breakfast, and then again after lunch. I had such a hard time waking up in the afternoon. My only accomplishments were making Chuck some chocolate chip cookies, and his favorite parmesan roasted potatoes.
|My napping buddies are always ready to take a break from puppying.|
Chuck managed to not only play hard, but work hard this weekend. He mowed the lawn for me so my knee can have a little longer to get feeling better, and he installed the new washing machine we bought second-hand. Bless his heart, he even took the middle of the night puppy nature calls so I could get two full nights of sleep. How did I get so lucky?
|My Handsome, enjoying a well-deserved break at Record Store Day.|
We believe in working hard and playing hard. Sometimes we play so hard, we even have to take a break from that, and rest hard for awhile. It's all about balance, right?
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Here is a quick clip of Noah's cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."