Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Landscape Eye Candy



We all have our gifts. Some are great teachers, writers, artists, entrepreneurs etc...my neighbor Craig's gift is Landscaping. Craig is my friend Missy's husband and he owns his own Landscape company called Superior Lawn and Landscape. I wanted to show you a glimpse of their beautiful yard.









The wall above is hiding one of my favorite features of their yard...a front patio. It is THE perfect spot to sit with a cup of coffee in the morning.








Great
yard for exploring. There are little paths winding here and there and bursts of color throughout.





This
little hidden path is their side yard. The arborvitae provide the perfect hedge of privacy for them. It's a great little place to sun in the afternoon:)




See
that fuzzy green evergreen bush. It is my favorite thing in their yard. I absolutely love it...so cute.





I
also love that natural looking birdbath!




This
is the other side yard. He planted a vertical garden. How cool is that?? You do a great job Craig. I'll have to show you MY backyard soon. He also designed it.


Have a blessed day.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Road to Change


As most of you know who follow along, I am on a "weight loss journey". For me this journey will never end. On my mother's side they are all very obese and I have seen first hand the hardships that this brings. My mom has battled her weight for as long as I can remember. Diet after diet and failed attempts over and over have been the norm. Recently she was diagnosed with Diabetes and for once she is getting a handle on her appetite. Her body had certain "requirements" and for her it was the missing key she was looking for. Since May she has lost 25 pounds through a changed diet and with medicine. I am so happy that she is making strides and seeing results. I can't wait for her to realize her dreams of "getting her weight off". It's been such a long road and I'm so proud of her.


Sometimes the road to change is a long one and we may stumble around awhile before we find it. The important thing is to not miss it altogether!! It's never too late to jump on and enjoy the ride:)



Have a blessed day.


Photo credit: Flickr, Edward Dullard
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The Whistler


My Little Chick has finally gotten the hang of whistling and it is driving big sis crazy. Isn't it hard when one of your kids know how to do something and the other doesn't?? So for the last several days all I hear is blowing...and spitting...and sputtering, practicing relentlessly to learn this new skill.



And it cracks her up that she can and Big Chick can't. So what does she do...


She
whistles... NON-STOP!





Have a blessed day.


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guest Retreat


My folks are coming to stay with us for a week. I am so excited to have them!! We created this space in our basement, so they or whoever comes, has a quiet place away from the rest of the house.


This hallway is right off of my studio space.


I got this church pew at a garage sale for $60.00. Isn't it beautiful? It was plain white and chipped up, so I sanded, primed, painted and then distressed it a little. It fits this this long hallway perfectly!



The bathroom is tiny, but functional. The picture doesn't show the corner shower stall...but it's there. This room is so small it feels like a porta-potty to me. I can easily touch the ceiling. I painted the ceiling the same color as the walls to make it feel a little bigger.


I love pictures of France, Italy... anywhere really beautiful. I have lots of framed posters all over my house. It's an inexpensive solution for artwork.


I'm going to make a headboard someday for this bed. Any suggestions?? I've been to some amazing DIY sites. I just need to narrow it down and decide on a gameplan.


My
two favorite colors are orange and green. I love this room. It's really warm and fresh. The ceilings are lower in there too and it just creates a cozy haven. I feel really spoiled to have a space for when we have guests. It's like they have their own little retreat.


Have a blessed day.

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5 years in the hood!

Exactly 5 years ago we moved into our current neighborhood. Before this my husband and I had moved around alot. This was our 8th move if you can believe that!! We had never lived in a neighborhood where people actually knew each other and made an effort to get together. I have to admit our neighborhood is special.


They go to extraordinary measures to mix and mingle. We have progressive dinners, Flamingo Fridays, Bunco, girl's night out, Halloween bashes, Easter Egg Hunts, Pumpkin carving parties, Pub Crawls, sex toy parties;) etc... They have become our extended family. I am so grateful to know them because they have made Minnesota home. What a blessing.




(I'm the one in black in the front...my honey is the goth guy in plaid in the back.)


Halloween Bash








Flamingo Friday





Progressive Dinner



Easter Egg Hunt




Bunco



So many great memories.

What about you? Do you live in a neighborhood with people you connect with? What fun things do you do?



Have a blessed day.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last day on Earth


My brother Rick recently had an accident. He was helping cut down some tree limbs, and was on a ladder with a chainsaw and the ladder buckled. He threw the saw and landed on his ankle. It was only a couple of feet to the ground, but it shattered his ankle and he suffered from a horrible break. All this happened in an instant. I'm thankful it's not worse...that he didn't kill himself, but his life will be altered for the next several months possibly forever. Life is like that. It's unpredictable and can change in an instant.


When I paint I often listen to Steven Curtis Chapman's "All Things New" CD. For some reason I am overwhelmed when I hear many of the songs on it. It is so incredibly anointed I am usually fighting back tears. One of my favorite songs is called "Last Day on Earth". He starts the song singing about a funeral procession and how his thoughts turned to what if it was his last day. The song always makes me think...what if it were my last day here on Earth. How would I live, what would I do?




In
this life there are no guarantees of tomorrow. The words of the song say, "If tomorrow comes to find me looking in the face of Jesus will I hear him say the words well done"?? I want my life to count. I want to make a difference and I want the people around me to be better because they knew me. I know for a fact if it were my last day I would surround myself with everyone I loved and they would know exactly how I felt. I would hold nothing back. I would hold nothing back.


Have a blessed day.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Motivators


In
a few weeks I'll be going home...back to Illinois. While I'm there I will see all of my family, my close friends and then some I haven't seen in ages. We have a wedding to attend in Chicago...yay:) And my cousin Tammy is dedicating her baby William at my Grandma June's church. All these fun activities are a great weight loss motivator for me.

I've also noticed some other motivators. I was at the gym the other day struggling to keep up with my run...about to give up and this cute guy jumped on the machine next to mine. Now this in itself is no big deal or anything, but there were lots of empty machines and he picked the one right next to mine?? Well for some reason this little whatever you call it boosted me and I ran alot longer than I was originally planning;) It works the same with music. I can be dragging literally and a great song will come on my ipod and it is like fire in my veins or something. I can feel the energy coursing through me.


(Tammy and Missy)


Another motivator is being around physically fit people. My friend Missy is a great inspiration. She is a personal trainer and teaches aerobic/weight training classes at my gym and just being around her makes me aware of my physical body. My cousin Tammy is a motivator too. She looks amazing. She just had a baby not long before I went out to visit her over the winter and she looked so tone! But there is something about being around her that makes me want to eat. Analyze that! I think I am compensating for feeling like a defensive lineman around her and eat enough for the two of us...ha;) Whatever the reason, it is a wake up call and gets me fired up.



What motivates you to get your act together??




Have a blessed day.


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Monday, June 22, 2009

Twilight


I'm a little late in getting on the bandwagon with the book Twilight. One of my blogging friends Paige from Simple Thoughts raved about it, and she's a sweet Christian girl, and then one of my good friends back home Marylynn was telling me all about it, so I finally checked it out. I am totally surprised to say I loved it. To clarify, I do not like horror of any sort. I am anti-Harry Potter. I don't get into the witches, warlock or wizard thing. I just don't. So I was very skeptical about a book with vampires. I mean really? But once I started I seriously couldn't put it down.


The author Stephenie Meyer captivated me from the very first sentence. I can't believe it's her first book...wow! There is no gore and it's only slightly creepy. It is written through the eyes of a teenager and it totally brought me back to those days. In my opinion it validates young love and since I got married at 19 I can relate with that. It's a very well written love story about a girl who risks it all to fall in love with a vampire. What an interesting plotline. Her love interest reminded me alot of my first boyfriend. It was probably the bad boy, no good for me, danger quality...not the blood thirsty vampire thing;)


The book was in the teen section at the library and was very clean as far as their physical relationship. Which is a nice change. I guess I've been reading women's fictional romance for far too long, but their "innocent" chemistry-filled interaction with each other was really driving me crazy. Anyway if you want a good summer read definitely check it out. I know I'm thirsty for more:)


Have a blessed day.


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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad's Day



What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete, And so,
He called it ... Dad


~~Author Unknown.~~




Happy Father's Day Dad!
You know I love you so much. Can't wait to see you next week.



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