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Day 4: Quotes

Day 4: Quotes

Busy busy day...  but, I was determined not to miss a day...  not yet ; ) Today is some favorite quotes.  I have a bazillion on pinterest - but,  I decided to take pictures of the ones around my house.  Quotes serve as the swift kick that I sometimes need to make me present.  I try to surround myself with reminders.  

Here are some of them - it is an ever growing collection:

For me (and B):

For my family:

For John and B:

For Purpose:

To John - and my dream for B:

In B's Room - great reminders for him, and for me:

From Mom, at least 10 years ago.  Appropriately, the last line is 'call your mother', and it has so many simple rules to live by - I read it while I get ready somedays - it is a good reminder of how to live the day:

For everyone, from the country girl:



Living for Today

"Life is not a race - but indeed a journey. Be Honest. Work hard. Be choosy. Say "thank you", "I love you", and "great job" to someone each day. Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you've been given, it is not accidental - search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them. Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself - plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you've been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment." ~Bonnie L. Mohr

A FB friend posted this as her status.  I really needed the reminder today.  This morning started as one of those... you know the type; As soon as your eyes see daylight (or before) that today would challenge you.  Nothing extraordinary - but the little things pick away just enough to make you glum.  Brayden woke up especially cranky and devastated by my "No" response to his request for a cookie.  We do this every morning...  and every morning I tell him the same thing  "we don't have cookies for breakfast."  The question makes me smile, but his tantrum does not.  I ignored the screaming while I was in the shower, and he eventually stopped.  He wanted cereal for breakfast but cried when I poured milk over it.  He didn't want to change is shirt or have his face wiped or his hair combed.  Nothing about this morning was going right for either of us.  But, I read the quote right after I dropped B off - It was there waiting for me this morning to read, not by accident I am sure. 

It's interesting the sentences that stand out.  Each person that reads it will take away something that another person did not.  The weight of the importance is varied on where you are, not physically but emotionally and mentally.  For me, the heavy parts are:

"Be Honest. Work hard. Be choosy."

I am working my butt off, but I am staying true to me - even more so, in working so hard I am learning more about myself than I ever knew.  And I am learning to be choosy - in many aspects. 

"Go to church, take time for prayer."

I love that I am reconnecting with God, and church - So does my Mom!  I am learning a lot too.  Every Sunday I walk out the doors intrigued and more appreciative of the growth I am experiencing. I am teaching Brayden how to pray - we are starting simple.  "God loves you."

'Love your life and what you've been given, it is not accidental - search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to be.'

It is Not Accidental :) Everything that has happened has lead me here - and here is exactly where I am supposed to be. 

"Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming."

I am a HUGE ball of worry...  non stop and about eveything...  I think I am aging myself quickly.  I need to work on how to let it go.  I smile when I hear the song from the Zac Brown Band "be a fool, not a worry..." I make a mental note each time.

"Forgive, it frees the soul."

Forgive.  That is really hard.  I have let people and their actions bother me for far too long.  I am working on letting it go - and letting them go too.  I pray for them and for the strength to move on.  I know I will feel better when I do.  I actually say it out loud.  I look in the mirror and take a deep breath, releasing the anger.  They are missing out by not being in my life.  I pray that they go where God has intended them too - and that they will see clarity someday.  And if not, it isn't my weight to carry. 




Everyday we have the opportunity to make a conscious decision; to make today the best day.  Make today (and everyday) yours!





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"Welcome to Holland"

"When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland!” “Holland?” you say. “What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy. I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place. So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” And the pain of that experience will never, ever, ever, go away. The loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."

I heard this short story last weekend.  It is written by Emily Pearl Kingsley in 1987. She wrote it about her son who was born with Down Syndrome.   She was a writer for Sesame Street - and her influence is why they included children with special needs - she was far wiser then the times.  She was an advocate for her son and for other children with special needs.  

I have been blessed to learn a lot from my friends with special needs.  It gave me a glimpse (and I do mean a glimpse) of the pride and struggles that come along with these beautiful children.  I spent time in college with a group of children that fell on the Autism Spectrum.  From that moment on, those children sparked my curiousity - they are very unique learners.  They see, hear, and feel the world differently then us 'typical' learners.  After collage I was an aide for a special needs classroom - I was constantly moved by the sincerity that I received from those children.  The experiences that I learned from them I carry with my every day.  I am sensitive to the struggles they encounter in learning and with peer relationships. Kids can be mean, but there angels among them too.  And they treat everyone with kindness, special needs or not.  I pray that Brayden is one of those.  Then I was blessed with my nephew Drew.  He acts with intention, in the love he gives and the sneaky things he does - Just like everyone else.  You can't help but smile.  When he is happy and excited the room lights up - and he does that when someone enters a room.  He lets you know that he is SO excited to see you.  He makes you feel special.  He doesn't say much but he wears his heart on his sleeve, and it is a beautiful heart!  Then, a few months ago I met Tucker and his sisters which brought me to the reading of this story at his memorial service (I wrote about Tucker here).  Within the first few sentences of "Welcome to Holland", I was hit - it felt like by a truck.  I could never possibly understand the feelings of the parents of children with special needs.  I still don't.  As a "typical" parent it gave an interesting insight. That story moved me to tears and I thought about my experiences with my son and how often I rejoice.  Parents of children with special needs, I assume, rejoice deeper.  Through the struggles, it makes the happy times shine very brightly. When I had Brayden my world changed forever, for the better.  As too are the lives of these special parents.  The world is changed forever, differently but just as beautiful.  Actually, I think there is so much that we could learn from those families.  They have many challenges and obstacles but they thrive - really live.  They cherish life not in spite of what turns they have taken but because of them.  

It is appropriate that this is Autism Awareness month.  Donate, Give, Walk, Learn, Advocate.  Teach your children about differences - everyone is different and that is why the world is so beautiful.  Show them that true character is not only standing up for what is right but for standing with those who make the world beautiful.  

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Passionately Curious

"I have no real talents.  I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

I borrow great words from great people - I sometimes have difficulty trying to convey the message that I am attempting to put together.  I am often captivated by the words (or pictures) that people string together to tell their story.  They leave me in awe and intrigue me to want more.  As is such with the quote I used today.  I have found in my growing that I am not very talented, naturally.  I fail, ugh - I mean learn, a lot the hard way - and often! I mess things up more often then I can count.  I have learned to accept this about myself - I learn by doing and that is that.  

My wonderful Aunt Lisa gave me a book over the weekend, Photojojo (very cool book)! She told me that I was talented - which made me smile, but I also didn't really hear her ...  talented?  Me, really?  That was sweet!  I actually just do it because I really, really love it!  Thinking back to my Aunt Lisa, She inspired me - she doesn't know that, but she always had a nice camera and would take great pictures for important moments - family stuff, sporting events, graduations, ect.  I remember thinking how perfect her pictures looked when she would print them out and give them to us.  I remember thinking, 'I am going to do that, someday.'  She has been very supportive and encouraging through this adventure of mine.

I have found that with photography I don't really 'mess up', per say.  There are still moments when I think "Oh, I wish I would have tried this, or done that. "  But actually, it has been the opposite - I should learn to scale back...   I see potential in every angle in every image.  I think most photographers pick their favorite 10 ...  well, not me.  I pick my favorite 50 and then go from there...  I spend a lot of time on the editing.  I edit to highlight the beauty of the pictures.   (Because of this, I am going to need botox at a very young age - this squinty eye wrinkle on my forehead keeps getting worse and worse!) That is where the passion part comes to play - I love it. Really.  Scale back? - I don't think I am able.   It is my creative outlet that was always there - but, I could never find my 'talent.'  Now, that doesn't go to say that I 'have talent' but it definitely means that I have found the patience to cultivate my creativity.  I have finally found my avenue to do that.  Talented?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But Passionate? - :) 

Speaking of passion.  Here is my truest love - who often happens to be the subject for my passion:  

We went fishing over the weekend.  It was a blast!  We fished for sharks - but mostly caught Nemo (or his friends).  And, I am a catch-n-release kinda gal - so, Nemo and friends didn't stay with us long.  We also went searching for Salamanders.  LB is becoming quite the Little Boy...  Loves dirt and worms! Below are a few pictures of him and his Dad.  

And, here is a video clip of 'Catching Nemo' ( ignore the annoying narrator)!




in the dark of night brings clarity for the day


"I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night" ~ galileo

There is beauty in the clarity and silence of the dark night.   I love that.  Stepping outside after a long day and resting a minute on the front porch step. The loud of the world is silenced and there is purity in the smell and sounds - smells and sounds that you can only experience when the world decides to rest.   The stars gleam more brightly when it is darkest. In those moments I feel so small.  And, in that smallness comes a calm.  I exhale deeply, releasing all troubles of the day. It feels that the world weighs on me some days and then I realize that it doesn't.  This is just another day.  And with that brings another tomorrow and another opportunity to not only just exist but to live.  I draw in another deep breath and grin, a thankful smile for the blessing of a wonderful life.  

...Now back to doing laundry ;) - Which, reminds me of a saying a heard somewhere...  

Dishes to do means we have food in our bellies, Laundry to wash means we have clothes on our bodies, and a house to clean means we have a roof over our heads....  And, toys to trip over means I have the most amazingly awesome little man in my life...    

Yup, Our Life is pretty fantastic!

I hope you all have a phenomenal weekend! 



A baby will...

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living ~ unknown

I love doing belly pictures!  It takes me back to one of the most incredible times in my life.  I loved being pregnant!  And, pregnant women have to be the most beautiful thing on the planet.  They turn heads every where they go and inspire people to come up and rub the belly (even though some find that horribly irritating - I am one of those strange belly rubbers)!  Being pregnant signifies one of the biggest shifts in a persons (a couples) life.   It is maybe the only time in life that you create, grow, and support a living miracle - A screaming, pooping, spitting up miracle! :)  Parents quickly realize that things they may have found to be disgusting before they now have an extremely high tolerance for.  Love does that.  

Here is Ali.

And here is Ali's bump.  

Cute and perfect.  We had a lot of fun.  I love every opportunity to talk pregnancy and bellies!  Did I already say I loved being pregnant??  I become flooded with wonderful memories of pregnancy and labor with LB (yes, I enjoyed my labor too).  It is hard to believe in a few short weeks a baby will be here, and the belly will be gone (tear).  I know everyone is excited to meet this new baby....  and find out if it is a little boy or girl! Look in the Gallery for all of Ali's belly pictures!  

 Ali, thank you for the opportunity to photograph this time in your life.  Here is some advice that I try to live by.  Some days are harder than others but,  it is true, they grow up right before your eyes.  It really is simple.  Just have fun! 

"Be there. Say yes as often as you can. Let them (and encourage them) to bang on pots and pans. If they're crabby put them in water. Read books out loud with joy. Go find elephants and kiss them (in our case it is dinosaurs). Encourage silly. Giggle alot. Remember how small they really are. Search out the positive. Keep the gleam in your eye. Teach feelings. Go see a movie in your pj's. Realize how important it is to be a child. Plan to build a rocket ship (and fort).  Stop yelling. Invent pleasures together. Surprise them. Express your love. Alot. Children are miraculous." ~ SARK




...having a bad day...

I am having a bad day...  boo.

I try to usually only post happy, encouraging - if you fall down brush your self off and get back up kinda blogs.  Today, I don't feel like it.  

I did turn to good ol' faithful Marc and Angel to help me look at the brighter side.  It helped.  But, for the reasons I am not so happy today aren't going away because I read some encouraging words.  They will still be there.  And, there is still no immediate solution....  there are choices - none of which I like but sometimes the hard stuff requires actions, even if they are unfavorable.  

I flipped through my 'little book of quotes' that sits on my desk.  It's a good thing it isn't a calendar... because I keep flipping until I find the one that fits me for the day.  I had to go through  a lot to get one for today... but there was one:

'Every flower that blooms has to go through a whole lot of dirt'


So, here is to the necessary bad days.  For with them, they make the good ones sunnier. Hopefully, tomorrow the sun is shining (figuratively and literally). 



Recognizing the 'lasts'?

This post may seem completely random and totally unorganized but I had a few experiences/ thoughts I wanted to share.

Random Experience #1:  Last night, a group of us celebrated my nieces birthday.  We all went to this indoor jump / bounce place. It has all of those big blown up slides for the kids to play on....  there were 3 rooms full!  So, all 5 kids totally scattered! They had so much fun... and to be honest, us adults had a lot of fun too.  Not only watching the kids play but participating in the play too! :)  What a great work out and a wonderful way to spend a Thursday night!

Random Experience #2:  So, this morning LB decided he wanted to spend the day with Grandpa.  He had a little cough so I thought it was a good idea for him to get some rest.  He usually clings to me, especially in the morning. However, I have been noticing lately some detachment... dare I say... independence?  It makes my heart hurt feeling the slipping away of that little boy. But, at the very same moment I smile (through the tears) with so much pride.  I see this is a recurring theme as a parent.  It hurts to let go but there is so much enthusiasm for the next step.  It is exciting to watch them learn and grow and experience the joys of life.  LB now insists on getting into the bathtub on his own...  He attempts every chance he gets to go up and down the stairs on his own.  He is always telling me "Nee Nee do it" (Nee Nee is how he says his name...  Nee Nee and Brayden don't sound anything alike but I swear it is the cutest thing).  This morning he was beaming with independence.  He said "Mommygotowork?" (and he says it so fast - like an auctioneer).  But then he did 2 firsts.  They had me gasping for air.  He said "kisses!" and pointed to his lips.  So, we smooched...  like a million times because I thought it was so adorable.  Then he said "hug? See you soon! Love you!"  My heart ached...  It literally hurt from so much love and joy I thought it would burst.  

B and I - Outer Banks '10Thinking about all of the new firsts makes me sad about all of his 'lasts.'  Will I recognize them before they are gone forever?...   


#3 Random thought: I have had this quote sitting on my desk all week...  I haven't wanted to change it (I peeked at the next one it is good too but this one applies - I will keep it there for a while).  It says: The best way out is always through.  How true. 

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed weekend!  I am excited for what my Monday / Tuesday post will be...  I still don't know what it will be about yet - maybe a fun weekend with LB.  Maybe another furniture make over or the purchase of some new items... maybe all of the above! ;) 




against the wind and tide

"From the beginning I wanted to live my own life and patiently I shored up that desire against the wind and tide." ~Ella Maillart




I saw this quote the other day and for some reason I was over come with this warm familiar feeling. Maybe it is knowing that through the challenges, bits and pieces of me are taken away with the wind and tide but there is always something new brought back.  The shore is changed over time.  Bit by bit and piece by piece but the definition of what it is, what it stands for, and what its purpurose is never really changes.  



I heart quotes

I have always found that quotes and inspirational messages have a way of kicking me into a place I need to be, go, or get out of.  Do you know what I mean?  Some days it seems like the same old thing, same routine, the clock just ticks on.  But, these quotes / thoughts of the days / inspirational messages seem to find you when you need them most. 

Thanks to pinterest they find me every time I am pinning (which happens to be WAY TO OFTEN).  So, I thought I would share a few of my favorites – the ones that keep me thinking.  Thanks to them, those mundane days seem a little brighter.  I appreciate bigger.  Find humor in the challenges.  Show gratitude daily.  

always make new mistakes 

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us 

"Its impossible," said pride.  "Its risky," said experience.  "Its pointless," said reason.  "Give it a try," whispered heart. 

You don’t have to be rich to sparkle 

Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should be 

This is my Keg Stand t-shirt  - click the link to see the t-shirt, seriously... so funny!

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher

Keep the gleam in your eyes. Teach feelings. Be there.  Read books outloud with joy. REMEMBER how small they are … 

Teach him words for how he feels. Answer him when he asks “Why?”  Let him ruin his clothes. Be an example of a beautiful women with brains, determination, and integrity. Build him forts. Take him to new places. Kiss him.  BE HOME BASE. 

I carry your heart in mine 

When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is remember the teacher is always quiet during a test. 

A poor man is not the one without a cent. A poor man is the one without a dream. ~ Henry Ford

Think Happy.  Be Happy. 

Laugh Louder.  (my new desk daily quote book).

I have gone on a little online yard sale shopping spree… I am looking forward to another furniture refinishing weekend.  This will be coupled with 2 mini senior portrait sessions and a family birthday party (happy birthday Mom, Dad, Layna, and Max!).  I have LOTS of items I want to paint.  I will have to see what I can get done.  Stay tuned on Monday for a few furniture face lifts and some new Senior Smiles.  I am blessed to be so busy!! 

Have a wonderful weekend!