Wednesday, November 9, 2011


By now, if you are friends with me on facebook, you've likely seen the photos from the cruise that I took with my mother and sister. It was amazing! You've also probably learned about the wicked chest cold/ bronchitis that reared it's ugly head the day after I got home.  I don't really remember the last week and a half.  It was pretty miserable.

Anyway, about the cruise.

Spending that time away just to relax, read a book (books), sleep when I wanted, and be totally goofy with my two favorite women on the planet was really, really, good for me.  We stayed up late (like 11:00 people!), slept in late,  and shared funny stories from past and present.  We read books on our balcony, surrounded by ocean air.  We got massages (and sunburns) on the beach at Cozumel.  We people watched (I have to say, this was surprisingly fun!).  We are going to make this trip a yearly thing (maybe not a cruise every year, but just the time to get away together). 

Here's what I have figured out based on cruising twice.

What NOT to do on a cruise:

1.  Yell at the people who are putting you in line.  We saw a group (who were possibly already inebriated) impatiently yelling at the staff because they weren't in the boarding line they wanted.  Somehow, the more they yelled, the faster the other lines went, it was good for us. 

2.  Forget to pack sunscreen.  We could only find sunscreen on shore in Mexico and it was about $20.00 a bottle.  They saw us coming.

3.  Leave your room on the first day or so without a plan (or a map). Are you familiar with the game portal? My sister and I spent about 45 minutes walking (and laughing hysterically) through doors trying to get back to our floor, only to find that each door led somewhere new...Though, our family isn't exactly blessed with a sense of direction.

4.  Watch the road while you are riding in a cab in Mexico.  Your life will flash before your eyes.  It's like a car chase scene from the movie Bourne Identity, only without the dialogue, because you are too scared to say anything and because the driver wouldn't understand you anyway.

5.  If you are bunking with two other people in a tiny room for 4 days, discussing religion, politics, or the Occupy Wall street movement, is probably not a good idea.  Trust.

6.  Look too closely at the other passengers after the third day.  By then, you realize that most of them are sunburned, drunk/hungover, and easily angered.  But hey, if an emergency situation arises, all you have to do is beat them to a life boat.  Piece of cake.

7. Do eat veggies and fiber.  4 days is a long time.  That's all I'm saying. 

I can't wait until our next trip together! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Literary adventures

I can't imagine going through life without a love for literature.  I worry when I see sects of the younger generation with no idea what a great book can do for you.  Here are some great quotes about this subject.

"We read to know that we are not alone."
C.S. Lewis

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading."
William Styron

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

"Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul."
Joyce Carol Oates

ahhh.  I just sighed.

So, I thought I would post a few of my recent reads and try and get some feedback about what you like to read.

One Day- David Nicholls
This book follows a couple on the same day over the span of their lives.  I LOVED the premise of this book, loved the way the author wrote it.  I felt empty while reading it, however. I didn't connect wth both main characters and had a hard time living through them..  I would reccomend this book to those who enjoy great style, but a grating, at times infuriating set of events.

The Hunger Games Trilogy-Suzanne Collins
If you have not read these books, go now and get them.  Don't wait for the movie. 

Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.(Synopsis written by The Scholastic Book Company)

The Help-Kathryn Stockett
I haven't seen the movie, but the book is gritty, honest, and captivating.

Little Women (again)-Louisa May Alcott
If you don't know what this book is about, shame on ya. Go read it.

Room-Emma Donoghue
Told from the perspective of a five year old. 

You have lived your WHOLE life in a square room, and you know nothing of the outside world.  Your only companion is your mother.  You don't realize yet, that you are living a nightmare.  When the nightmare supposedly ends, has it really just begun? 

I couldn't put this one down, though it is difficult to read at times.  I reccomend it. :)

I read most of these before I realized there were movies about them (aside from The Help) and I would love to catch a few more books BEFORE they turn into a screenplay and before they are "trendy".

So, what book should I put on my "to read" list?  What's your favorite book?

Monday, August 22, 2011

My First Day of "Freedom"

Ella was a suprise blessing for us.  She came just at the point when her older sisters were just starting to become independent, and give old mom a break.  I had to start the midnight feedings, the diapers, and the constant attention all over again.  Needless to say, it was a busy, yet fulfilling time.  I could see a day in the distant future when all my children would go to school during the day, and my house would be quiet again.

Today, it happened.  The girls all got up at an early hour for school (actually they shot out of bed, eagerly anticipating the time to go), and we started the process of getting them ready.  Kayleigh, who considers herself a pro at this by now can do everything herself and just needed some advice on how to fix her hair, accesorize, etc. She was anxious to get back and see all of her friends that she had missed over the summer, and get to the library to pick out some new books. 

Taylor, was excited to pick out an outfit, with multiple accessories, fix her hair, show off her cute shoes to her friends, and see her teacher.  She was eager to see her friends, too, of course and ready to play with them at recess.

Ella was excited about EVERYTHING.  She couldn't wait to meet new people, carry a backpack, have a locker, carry her own tray at lunch, and play games at recess.  She has been watching her sisters talk, complain, and explain everything about school for years, often feeling left out because being home with Mom leaves little room to be cool, I guess.  Earlier this summer she and I were discussing the prospect of her leaving and I teasingly asked her to skip kindergarten and just stay home.  She loves to make everyone happy, so she agreed.  Last night, as I was tucking her into bed, I reminded her of her promise and asked her what she thought.  She smiled at me, looked into my eyes and said "Mommy, you will be okay without me, won't you?" I told her "yes, of course", but as I dropped her off this morning, and returned to my silent house, I thought of all the time I spent thinking and anticipating this day, and realized that maybe I would, but it will be a lot harder than I thought...

Cherish every moment.  Even the difficult ones.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I promise I won't always wait to update during a solstice change..

My husband and I were talking this weekend and wondering if everyone else's life is this chaotic and maddening. It seems there is never enough time do what should be done. My house is never clean, we order take out with an indecent frequency, and I can't tell you the last time we had a date night. Are these just the years we will look back on and wish we could return to when the girls are all out of the house, or are we rushing through this time in our lives with such a fast pace we won't even remember it? I'm starting to believe that something has to change.

If I were to update you with everything that happened during the summer, it wouldn't seem like much. We had lost teeth, more independence, lots of days at the pool, etc. It was your typical summer. I have enjoyed the few moments I could look around at what I am blessed with. All my daughters will be going into those open school doors this year, and I'm sure not looking back at me who will be taking it harder than I predicted. I thought because I am a little worn out, I would be ready for my last baby to leave the house and go to school, but I don't think it's going to be the case. I will simply miss having someone home to take care of. I want to remember her little voice, how she mispronounces words, and how she still comes and needs a hug when she flings herself off of the back of the couch onto the floor. She still plays with barbies, needs me to help get her dressed, so I still have this for a while.

As for me, you could say that I'm flourishing. I get to work a lot, and I love it. I hope to be full time by next spring. I'm a bit tired these days, but I will use my husband's favorite expression when dealing with a bad situation "it is what it is". I look forward to cooler temperatures and leaving the house and not smacking into a wall of heat. I joined a book club, read two books, and have almost made it there twice. Third times the charm right?

Baxter, as usual, is working too hard, and too much. He has his sense of humor (and my nagging) to keep him afloat. He is feeling better these days with his bimonthly visits to the IV chair. Who would have thought psoriasis would change your life in such a dramatic way. Again, it is what it is.

I hate to sound so down and depressing.  Life is really, really, good.  I thank God for the wonderful life that I am blessed to live.  I love everything that makes me busy.  We laugh every day.  If I had to live like this for the rest of my life, that would be okay with me.  I will bloom where God plants me and prepare for rain while I am in this season.
I usually end my blogs by promising to update soon, but by now I feel your disbelief. I try, I really do.

I will leave you with a collage from summer. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011


I'm in such a different place this year than I was at this time last year. I feel hopeful and ecouraged, rather than tired and sad. There are a few things that I believe have helped in the transformation.

1. medicine for my thyroid
2. I have a job that I love, AND get to spend time with my babies.
3. The girls are all older and more independent.
4. I've made a concious decision to be happy, and am intentional about it!

I love this season of new life and hope. Spring.

"See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
Song of Solomon 2: 11-13



Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

From my sweethearts to you!




Thursday, January 20, 2011

I am a legacy.

My Grandma died on January 11th. I have too many memories to recount here today about her. I shared lots of them with my family this weekend as we celebrated her life and what she meant to us.

She was feisty, she was graceful, and she loved to accessorize. She served alongside my Grandpa in ministry for many years. She taught my dad how to cook (something I thank her for whenever I get the chance to eat at my parents house).

As I spend time reflecting on her life, and try to remember that she won't get the emails I sit down to write her, I realize that I am her legacy. She passed things on to me. I get my sharp wit from her, I get my temper from her, and I get my high cheekbones and broad shoulders from her. She is a part of me, so in a way, she is not gone. I know that she is with her Creator, and this makes me immensely happy.

My Beautiful Family by Gina Beth Clark (written in 2007)
My Beautiful Family

The oldest is in his fifties now, and still growing
In wisdom and hopefully much happiness
The younger is wise beyond reproach
And needs a softer touch in life's habits

The eldest granddaughter has become a mother
Who dwells in a land of little people with love.
Her younger sister is learning all about the world
That give mysterys beyond anyone's power

Smart as a whip and reaching for the sky
Is my third granddaughter, life is becoming interesting
My grandson is my favorite one and only.
Who carries much upon his young broad shoulders

I love this beautiful family, and pray to God
To watch over them daily, and give them a boost.
When I leave this planet. I don't want them to miss me.
But to know that they are the best of me on earth.



Please enjoy this while I get my thoughts together for some new posts. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Worth a thousand :)





Project 52!

I'm doing a project 52 on my Photography blog. Check it out! It's a once a week photo about something that I love or that inspires me through 2011.

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