Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Book Review: A New Way to View World War II 

Lilac Girls: A Novel pulls you in with its first lines of, “If I’d known I was about to meet the man who’d shatter me like bone china on terra-cotta, I would have slept in.” Author Martha Hall Kelly hooked me immediately, and she gave me three different angles on the two decades that span before, during, and after World War II that I had not read about before. The book felt authentic, and at the end, Mrs. Kelly describes her journey of researching the people she based her characters upon in this historical fiction book.

This book alternates between the stories of three women, Lilac Girls: A Novel, whose lives overlap during these twenty years. From the picture on the cover, of women walking arm in arm, I assumed that these three women were close friends; however, the opposite is true for one of them. Continue reading

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Cherry Turkey Green Salad 🍒 

🍒 Summer heat inspires me to figure out new salads, so here is my newest mixture…inspired by an amazing turkey breast that Stephen grilled/smoked yesterday and what we had in the fridge. Feel free to adjust the fruit to what you have currently… peaches or apples would work well too. Continue reading


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Standing Beside My Man (Book Talk)

Did you know that guys just want the woman that they love to be near them as they work, play a game, fix a truck, or just watch TV? Dr. Eggerichs, in his insightful book Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs, taught me this point again: When my husband says he just wants me near him, that is just what he wants! This winter Stephen was working on his truck, and he invited me to come sit out in the garage near him as he worked; I had lots of lessons to plan and grading to do because of teaching, so I balked for a while, Continue reading


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The Juicy California Smell

When I want to buy nectarines in Illinois, Stephen says, “Those nectarines are like cardboard! You cannot beat the nectarines my parents grow.” We planned our visit to California this summer partly because to be here when the nectarines are ripe. We succeeded!!
The dusty smell of nectarines fills the beck yard of my in-laws–I love how California smells. My husband was right when he said, “These California nectarines are the BEST….you have to eat them over the sink because the juice just runs down your hand.” Today my husband found one of those nectarines, and he shared it with me over the kitchen sink. We might have to come back every summer from here on out!
-Mary Hope
Copyright 2017


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Peaceful Focus


“Focusing is about saying No.” -Steve Jobs

Saying “No,” marks a boundary, making space for what you desire to create, and even though it hurts to reject a person or an idea, protecting that space will result in momentum toward your goal.

For example, this last year as I was teaching middle school English, I had to say “No,” to hanging out with friends on Sunday night because I had to mentally prepare to be ready to teach. In order to be focused, my No helped!

Being able to say no eliminates distractions.

-Mary Hope

Copyright 2017


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Refreshing Chicken Salad

On July 4th, my cousin and aunts put together a great chicken salad for us as we were packing up from our camping trip in Wisconsin, and what they did with their salad inspired me to concoct a similar salad; except, this salad has more vegetables and fruit than chicken! Using chicken cooked on the grill gives this salad even more flavor.

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To Buy or Not to Buy–Essential Items for a Baby Registry 


A friend (who loves simplicity and does not put up with clutter) gave me a list of essential items to have for taking care of a baby! 

I am 5-months pregnant, and I’m still figuring out what we need to get, so seeing this list is reassuring because it seems doable.

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