Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Eddie Memorial Surfing Invitational

My husband was stationed on Oahu, Hawaii from 2007 – 2011 after living in Monterey, California.  Really tough assignments right?  Though we had hoped to be stationed in Europe, I really cannot complain about where the USAF sent us during his enlistment.  When you live somewhere you can pick out the good and bad things about your present location.  Hopefully you focus most about the good and just roll with the punches with things out of your control.  In retrospect from our time in Hawaii I see the things that I did not like were all military related.  Everything I loved was based on Hawaiian culture, the island way of life, and the Aloha spirit.  
We sat on the beach and the scene was simple put: serenity.
A perfect example of what ‘Aloha’ has meant to me from my time in Hawaii is the camaraderie between people that is more like bonds between family.  I have never felt more accepted and more loved in a community that when I stepped away from the military world and got involved with the photography and fashion circuit.  People really do stick out for you when you need help. People come together to make something beautiful, instead of focusing on what is important for one person.  Hawaii itself is a huge mixing pot of cultures. What a beautiful world it is when people come together.  It made our departure from the island bittersweet to have to leave not just a beautiful location, but a beautiful spirit of people whom I still hold dear as my Ohana. 
Greg Long won the Eddie 2009/2010 surfing invitational. 
Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind.” – Lilo & Stitch

People still come together every year for a famous local boy from Maui, Eddie Aikau. Eddie was a famous surfer and lifeguard whose life was ended too short at the age of 31 in 1978.  A memorial surfing invitation was begun in his honour in 1985.  The Eddie only has happened eight times since its inception due to a need for the wave height of over thirty feet. The last time it was held was in 2009, while we were living on Oahu.
Super excited to say I have seen Kelly Slater surf in person.  Awesome.
It was a normal morning where I had just dropped off my oldest son at his preschool. We always listened to  Hudson and Scotty B on Star 101.9 on our drive back home to Mililani. On this morning the Eddie had been announced to take place and Hudson was telling us how crowded it was becoming at Waimea Bay.  It sounded like we had no chance of finding parking at this rate because the majority of the island was headed to see the epic event.  However I decided we should try anyways and my youngest and I made our way towards North Shore.  I do not know how to explain to you what we saw when we started getting closer to our destination   The best thing I could say it was like watching an exodus happen.  For miles cars were parked up the side of the highway with no open spaces for us to find parking.  People were walking the long distance on foot in groups towards Waimea Bay.  Several times I thought to just try to squeeze in somewhere, but then just kept driving.  I knew the closer we got the harder and less likely we would find parking.  However I remembered a gem nearby that apparently many other people had forgotten.  Otherwise I would not have been so fortunate.
Directly across from the Waimea Bay beach park is the Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens., which on this day happened to have ample parking available for a small fee. Having my toddler with me on our improntu drive up I gladly paid the price to park.  We also enjoyed a nice lunch afterwards since we did  not plan ahead.  Remember sometimes the best plans are those that you make.  We had a really great time sitting on the beach and watching the surfers. It was my first surfing competition to witness and got to see Kelly Slater in person.  It was very chill, laid back, and a typical day at the beach in Hawaii.  Children and dogs were playing in the sand and people were talking with their friends. Oh yes…and the epic surfing competition.  I am so glad that I was listening to Hudson and Scotty B that morning or I most definitely would have missed out on  of the best days and memories I have from living on Oahu.  
With my son Maddox at Waimea Bay beach park for the Eddie 2009/2010
My tips if you get to experience the Eddie:
1) Bring plenty of bottled water, snacks, and appropriate items for sun protection. 
2) Get there as early and try parking at Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens
3) Make sure to bring your camera with zoom lenses.
4) If you want to get the best surfing shots you do not want to be sitting on the beach.  Theres some great look out points on the road up that I would recommend. 

The Eddie is sponsored by Quiksilver.

Expat Love Story: Finding Love Across the Pond

There is something synonymous about the hearts of  expats, third culture kids, and world travelers alike.  Every place you live, every trip you take, each culture you encounter, and the lives that touch your own   find their own special place in your heart.  In turn pieces of yourself, like pieces of your heart, are left scattered across the many places your footsteps once touched. From all corners of the world they are calling for you to return once more.   
I was born and grew up moving and traveling across Europe until I was seventeen years old.  Nearly an adult and thinking I knew everything as a teenager shall.  My parents moved us ‘back home’ to their home culture of America.  Over the next decade I would try to fit myself into that culture which should have been easy to do with my American passport, looks, and accent.  I graduated high school, went off to University, married my university sweetheart, started having kids, and following my vocational pursuits.  All the while my heart was being called across the seas and more specifically across the pond. 
To be fair I was not apart of the world view in America and it was like trying to fit myself into a puzzle where I did not belong.  I married my husband knowing that we would move abroad.  We just did not realize it would take us so long to move me back home. Over that time we celebrated milestones in life, faced tragedies, and met the obstacles that would tear us apart.  Fortunately what broke us did not defeat us. My heart had shattered in 2008 with the sudden loss of my father and the the start to what we thought was the end of our marriage.  Broken hearts can be mended and even shattered ones can again be made whole.  My heart slowly was pieced together and our love story continued  as we moved across the pond.  The pieces of my heart that have been scattered through out Europe have reconnected.  

Our life in Europe is much different from our life in America as we have begun making our home here for our family.  I am not the girl struggling to fit in to an American life, but girl of many cultures just enjoying all the facets life has to offer.  My husband is not the same boy from Illinois that I met at University.  He is a wanderlust expat who seems to fit better in England then back ‘home’.  He adjusted more seamlessly into another country than many tourists I’ve encountered abroad. 
I went from being a girl who forced a smile and said ‘I’m fine’ to being a girl who smiles and swoons over her husband even when he corrects my own pronunciation.  For example when I say ‘Bay-sill’ instead of ‘Baz-ill’.  I love all the cute things he does and the way he thinks as an expat living across the pond.  Here we are abroad with hearts made whole and made stronger through all the challenges we have faced.  I look forward to all that life has to offer in the years to come and knowing my heart is safe.

* All words and photographs are property of Bonnie Rose © 2013

Ask B: How did you get started into photography?

I love photography.  It has been something I have enjoyed since being a young girl.  I started with film and now I am predominantly shoot digital, while still collecting film cameras.  Since that time the age of digital cameras has improved vastly.  The first digital camera we owned used a floppy disk! The quality of photos that phones take now a days is incredible.  If I do not feel like lugging around my big DSLR camera, I simply just rely on my iPhone.  Technology is always improving. What has gotten me is seeing how our expanding knowledge of the subject tied together with practice also evolves the quality of the photographs.  It is that natural progression as you strive to get better that has propelled me into my continual love for photography.
In 2005 my father gifted me with a Nikon Coolpix 8800.  It was not as tiny as the coolpix cameras  are now. It actually looked like a DSLR in size and shape although you could not change lenses.  I had just become a mum for the first time and had a great little subject of which to take photographs.  In 2007 a few months after having my second son I had really gotten interested in learning to shoot manual.  I started going to photography meetup groups with other military wives.  Almost all of them were shooting with DSLR cameras (primarily Nikon or Canon), talking about the lenses they used, and shooting in manual.  There was only so much I could do with my Nikon Coolpix and I was so entranced by the quality of photographs the other mums were producing of my own kids from the meet ups.  When my camera started giving me a lot of difficulty it furthered the need to move up in the camera world.  That was when we we got the Nikon D70 DSLR.  
Let me just say that it is not the camera you own that determines how well your photographs turn out.  Yes the quality of the camera and the lenses do make a difference. However its the person behind the lens knowing how use the camera and their vision for what gets captured in the frame that counts.  I took so many out of focused and badly exposed photographs while I was learning to shoot manual.  Not to mention having little subjects that move very quickly! 
I have included in this post a few of the very first photographs I took on our first DSLR and all though they look nice enough I can rip them apart years later as a photographer.  From the camera settings, to the lighting, to uneven shadows, the composition  body parts being cut off, the subject too centered, too many distracting items in the frame, etc.  I really think its true that we can be the worst critics of our won work.  I was looking at the photographs below today and realized something.  It is not about the level of experience at that moment, but why I took the photograph that is so important to me. All my photographs at this time in 2005 – 2007 were of my kids capturing their innocence and their moments of happiness.  I got into photography to capture the memories and to be fair, my reason for staying with it is pretty much the same.  
These smiles are why I continued my study in photography.
*All photographs are property of Bonnie Rose Photography. All Rights Reserved. 

Q: Why did you get into photography and of what do you like to take photographs?

Kennet and Avon Canal

Across the pond in England our weekend has ended and we are left with wonderful memories to cherish.  Our 2013 has brought a renewed look on life as I look back through the last several years.  It has focused us onto the simpler things of life and to what is truly important.  Times can be tough and it seems these times there are many out there struggling to get through the month.  While there has been times when life was certainly easier, I would not  pass up how we spent our weekend.  
Saturday we slept in and enjoyed the extra hour underneath the covers.  I had been a little under the weather over the last few days and was enjoying the longer lie in.  However have tried to make it our thing that we go out on a country walk once a week.  Sometimes the weather is not as cooperative.  Despite the dense fog, or maybe because of the mysteriousness of it, I shrugged off the appeal to be a homebody and got the family ready to go after breakfast.  With our warm coats and wellies (rain boots) my husband led us to a new direction we had not ventured yet towards Bathampton.  
It was there that we ran into the Kennet and Avon Canal.  The two stretches of river were made navigable for passage in the early 18th century but was only restored and reopened in 1990.  It is surrounded in heritage and now a tourist destination for travelers and locals a like who partake in boating, canoeing, fishing, walking and cycling.  

The Peter John Wells art trail on the Kennet and Avon Canal was one of those things we did not plan on seeing but that made it a really fun experience for my kids.  Along the Canal the kids could spot and point out the different sculptures of art like the ‘ifish’ and the ‘mishell’.  
This image belongs to  and can be found at:

 I had originally taken this photograph because I remember watching a show when I was a little girl in England about puppets came to life and lived on a canal boat like this one.  When we passed back this way on our walk I realized it is a cafe where you can sit on the boat or alongside it and enjoy a nice cup of tea.  Besides bringing a picnic lunch with you there are not really any other advantages for refreshments   Though we did not try it out ourselves, it did look quite popular later in the afternoon.

We started technically from our house in Batheaston and made our way to Bathampton.  We then walked along the canal all the way to the Dundas Aqueduct.  We did take a longer time walking out there with enjoying the moment, taking photos, and talking about all the things we saw along our walk. We did not even look at the time until we got to the Aqueduct to find out just how far we had walked.  In all by the time we got home we had been out for five hours and had walked roughly ten miles.  I was quite surprised my sons had managed it, but it was all about the fun experience. For something where the cost is ‘free’ it became even that more priceless for us as a family.  These moments together outside exploring our home in England are the most precious to us. 
We also found it fun to count the canal boats and I believe we counted a rough number of 120, give or take a few.  Sometimes it can be a little rough counting them all when you are having fun talking with your family along the way.  Some of the canal boats were parked in their designated spaces and others we could see going up and down the canals.   

It was really fascinating to see the bridges move when needed for the canal boats to pass between one side and the other.  On this bridge you can see a few bicycles parked.  Between the runners and the cyclists, both hobbies were quite popular this Saturday afternoon.  Though we do not own bicycles I have read online that you can rent them for the day.  Check out the Canal Vistior Centre  about the Bath & Dundas Canal Co who has a range of bicycles for adults and children alike as well as other cycling accessories for a perfect day out.  The paths are nice and if you can tell from the photographs the views are beautiful and serene. 

View from a bridge looking down on the canal.  
Side sneak view of the Dundas Aqueduct as you round the corner of the canal. 
My family walking on top of the Dundas Aqueduct to see the beautiful views down below.
The beautiful views down below. :) 
We saw two swans swimming on the canal together, enjoying what must have been a romantic afternoon.
Would love to have my own canal boat for a weekend getaway. 
Probably one of my favourite photographs taken on our walk. 

 Sometimes the most fun experiences are the free ones and this was another wonderful family outing to add to our memory books.  It was nice seeing the boys having so much fun while holding the hand of my husband and walking along the Canal.  England is truly a spectacular place to live and I could not imagine not having this as our ‘backyard’.  I definitely recommend checking out the Kennet and Avon Canal on your next visit to Bath.

Liebster Blog Award

Let me start by saying a big thank you.  This weekend I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Casey at True Colours blog. Thank you Casey for thinking about me and for nominating my blog.

The Liebster Blog Award rules:
  1. Each person tagged must share eleven things about themselves.
  2. They must answer the eleven questions the tagger has made for them.
  3. They must then choose eleven fellow blogs to nominate.  The nominees must have under 200 GFC (Google Friend Connect) followers and be told in a comment on their blog.
  4. Lastly they must then think of eleven questions to ask the bloggers they have decided to nominate.

Eleven things about myself:

1. I am a dual citizen because I was born and lived in England to American parents.
2. I am a Third Culture Kid (TCK) because I lived in many different cultures and countries outside of my parents’ home culture during my developmental years as a child.
3. I have gone through cycles of eating strictly vegetarian  vegan and raw food.  For the last year and a half my husband and I have been keeping our family on a more Paleo path, concentrating on protein and vegetables. 
4. I have broken my left arm on four separate occasions but the last time I was in 8th grade.  Knock on wood I am done with broken bones for this lifetime.
5. I grew up participating in community theatres and majored in theatre at University.  I am still very passionate about acting and directing. 
6. I used to do horseback riding as a child in Italy.  Two Christmases ago my husband got me the gift of  getting a new riding helmet.  I hope to get back into it someday.
7. I love to write and I am working on a novel.
8. I love doing photographic projects. While in Hawaii I did a fashion photography project with models of the month.  Last year I started a Self Portrait project and I am starting it again this year. 
9. I live by the notion that life is short and time is precious.  I lost my father in 2007 in a cycling accident when he was run over by a car whose driver was driving under the influence.  There are some things completely out of our control. For me, my family time is the most important. 
10. I am Hairstylist and make up artist trained in airbrush makeup and hair extensions.  It is something I got into back in 2003 and what got me into pursuing photography professionally. 
11. I am currently only fluent in English though I know enough to Italian to travel in the country, enough German to eat, and various words and phrases in French and Thai.  With moving so frequently as a child and going to school with english speaking  students it was not as easy to keep languages that I picked up.  However as my bookshelf can attest, I am always eager to keep learning! 
Questions for me from Casey at the True Colours blog. 
1.  If you could be anything, what would it be?  
If I could be anything, I would love to be a companion to the Doctor and travel in the Tardis.
2.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 
I would love to live in Austria.  It was one of my favourite places to vacation as child growing up and I am always craving Germknödel 
3.  Where were you born? 
I was born in Oxford, England and have dual citizenship with USA.
4.  What is one of your hobbies? 
I work as a photographer but I also take photographs as a hobby.  I am hardly ever seen without some sort of camera on my person.
5.  Why do you blog? I have blogged since 2005 and my answer since that time has probably evolved over time.  As of today I blog because I love it and I love making new friends.  I have never been one to think that you cannot build a life lasting friendship online and have several to prove otherwise.  I do love sharing and writing, but if it was not for the friendship aspect I do not think blogging would be as fulfilling. 
6. Where is your favorite place that you’ve ever been? Oslo, Norway was always been the one childhood memory I draw on when asked that question.  I went tPhnom Penh  Cambodia a few years ago and would also have to add that to my list. Both places made a lasting impression and would warrant return visits from me.
7.  What is one major goal you have for yourself this year? This is the first time in my whole life that I do not have to move, nor have an impending move to another country on the horizon.  My goal for 2013 is to work on establishing roots for my family here in Bath, England so that we can then again focus on traveling around the world. 
8.  Is there 1 thing you wish you would have done as a kid that you didn’t? I do not like to live with regrets, everything is circumstantial and I believe certain doors open or close for the right reasons.  However I do wish I had the means and the know how to take more location specific photographs and journal better and more consistently   I had such a nomadic childhood and memories fade.  I would love to be able to pick up a scrapbook and say here I am at such and such and show you a photo and then turn to the next few months and show you where I was at that time.  Now a days with digital cameras, smart phones, and social media apps make it so much easier to document.  I am working with my own boys (5 and 8) to document the world around them for their own memory books. 
9.  What is your favorite month of the year?  I really love three: November, December, and January.  I love all the holidays, birthdays, and family activities that fall around that time period. We also celebrate a lot of cultural holidays from different places in the world where I have lived and so its a very cultural enriched time at our house. 
10.  What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? To have continued to raise a wonderful family and see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  That our family just grows and continues to be a family that loves to travel and is open to new cultures and ways of doing things.  I really believe that is one of the best lessons you can teach the younger generations.  I have seen too many people in the older generations that have sadly missed out on that fact. 
11.  In one word about yourself, what word best describes who you are? Passionate. 
Eleven “Up & Coming” Blogs that I Nominate: 
(in no specific order)
Robyn at A Dash of Robyn
Tali at Rock My Heels 
Erica at Being Erica
Olia at Love Olia

Here are my eleven questions for all of you:
1. In one word about yourself, what word best describes who you are?
2. Where were you born?
3. What would be your dream job?
4. If you were handed boarding pass to fly any where in the world, where would you go?
5. How would you describe a perfect morning?
6. Why do you blog?
7. Would is something you have never done, that you would like to try?
8. What childhood memory still impacts your life today?
9. What is something many people do not know about you?
10. If you could go to any time period which would it be?
11. What would you like to accomplish in your lifetime?

Note: If you were nominated and do not want to pass this on and keep it going, no worries. 
Thank you for the nomination!
Bonnie Rose

Self Portraits from 2012 Pt. II

Last week I shared the first half of my favourite self portraits from 2012 and today I will share the second half of that list.  Next week I go start my self portrait project for 2013.  So without further adieu I present to you the photographs to speak for themselves.

Did you miss Part I?

‘Hand Me the World on a Silver Platter’ Self Portrait
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights
‘Rescue Me’ self portrait taken in the back of an ambulance.
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
‘Rescue Me – Pt. 2′ Self portrait inside an ambulance.
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
‘I twist my heart round again’ Self Portrait
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
The death of you and me’ Self Portrait
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
‘Stuck in Time’ Self Portrait
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved

‘No Bars to this Cage’ Self Portrait
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
‘Sunday Morning’ Self Portrait with sons.
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
‘Somebody who understands why you can’t let them go.’ Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
‘Heirloom’ Self Portrait by Bonnie Bonnie Rose
This one is a special one for me because it represents more than myself. The tattoo on my arm is the F111E, the plane my dad flew during the Gulf War in the 90’s, my memorial tattoo I got after he died. The fur stole I got when I was in Uni, after my dad’s father passed away. I went to the funeral and it was something I was given as we cleared out his father’s place. It had belonged to my dad’s mother, who died before I was born. I have my father’s eyes, and in this image I really see his mother. Though all three people are gone, the memories, reminders, and heirlooms remain. 
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved

‘Restore’ Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose 
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 All Rights Reserved
Self Portrait Challenge 2013 ♥ Interested?

* All photographs belong to Bonnie Rose and cannot be used without written consent.

Diagram of a Third Culture Kid

I found out about the term Third Culture Kid while I was in University and after I was married.  Since this time I have continued reading, researching, and searching out more answers about being a TCK.  Not only for sharing with others or for understanding of myself but because I now raise two of my own sons in a cross cultural world.  

I like to write and share about my experiences growing up in my nomadic lifestyle because I hope to reach out to another person, whom like me years ago had no idea what it was to be a TCK.  Nor how life impacting being a TCK was to every facet of their life.

It is all part of who I am and who I have become as a mother raising her two sons.  It is why I love to move and travel.  It is why I feel more comfortable in an airport than visiting family relations who have never lived abroad.  


Here is my story of my realization of who I am and where I truly belong. 

FALL 2003
Newlyweds and currently attending Harding University, my husband and I were excited about attending our first missions forum as we were keen to do mission work upon graduation.  This was my answer to how I would get to live overseas again and I may have been a little more excited than Ryan. So excited in fact that I mistakingly I locked and shut the passenger door of our car.  Which would be fine except that Ryan had stepped out to go to the bank and the car was still running with our keys in the ignition.  Not to mention the bus from the University was presently waiting for the last of us stragglers to get on board to leave for the mission forum.  Campus security was not going to be able to get it unlocked with the coat hanger technique and there was no spare key back at our on campus flat.  The university faculty member attending the mission forum was now overseeing our ‘break into the car’ situation.  He at this time was carrying his daughter’s car keys which he did not normally have on him.  The were to a completely different make and model car than my husband’s red saturn coup. However the professor thought to try it and in one quick moment the car was unlocked.  It was a miracle.  To this day I can see no other reason for it.  Perhaps it was God’s way of telling us that this weekend would be more important than we would truly realize that weekend.    

Since Ryan and I had started dating were inseparable.  Yes we were one of those obnoxious couples.  As newly married I still do not see why we split up to go to different sessions at one part of the missions forum.  But for whatever reason Ryan wanted to listen to one speaker and I felt strongly compelled to hear another.  It was a young woman talking about growing up on the mission field and it was lead by a former missionary kid (MK).  I sat near the front of the room and listened to what I thought would be an interesting foresight on being a missionary family.  She started talking about her life and about the term TCK and her reactions to moving to the US.  In the missionary circle, this term TCK I would learn soon after was widely known.  I however grew up in a military circuit where its more uncommon to grow up on military bases overseas and not return the the US after one tour. TCK meant nothing to me until she started to explain what it meant for her ‘returning to the US’, to the home of her parents’ culture.

When she was finished I was doing all I could to hold back the tears. I remember what it was like moving to the US, and how a lifetime of moving never prepared me for how hard it would be to try to fit into that world.  My own parents did not understand why it was so hard on me.  After her lecture I composed myself and went to talk to her about what she had said.  I told her how finally it had clicked and I felt like I knew who I was or where I belonged.  That knowing I was a TCK was more impacting than I would have ever thought.  She gave me a lot of comfort and information on Third Culture Kids. From there I practically ran to find my husband so that I could share with him this revelation of my life to him. I cannot remember if tears finally were shed at this moment or not. But there was definitely a release of emotion felt. I just let it all out and shared to him everything that was racing through my brain, my heart and my soul. 

From then on life and the understanding of it changed for us.  It is kinda hard to explain unless you have gone through the same sort of experience, whether you are a TCK or not. It was like going through life thinking I knew who I was, though I never really belonged to a country or culture fully. I never fully felt excepted by an country or culture. Moving back to the states I felt isolated, alone, and as if I was a ‘nobody from nowhere’. Now all of a sudden there is a spotlight on me and I can see clearly. I know who I am and I belong somewhere, even if it is not a ‘place’ per se but belonging to a small group of people. It was a tremendous weight lifted from my shoulders. Even though I still had a lot of emotional baggage and looking at my life to do, I felt I finally had a sense of direction to go from.

Though I had grown up as a TCK, this was the beginning of my journey as a ATCK (Adult Third Culture Kid).  

The rest of the weekend was insightful and blessed. We got in touch with a group called Let’s Start Talking which sent us to Bangkok, Thailand that summer to teach English and build relationships with the Thai people.  It began our life together as a married couple who would eventually keep traveling overseas until we finally made our home abroad.