Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Halloween List.

Recently, the weather had been cold, blustery, and raining.  The clouds were gray, and the leaves have been falling. 

It truly felt like Autumn. 

Bliss.

Naturally, the weather got me in the Halloween spirit.  So, I thought I'd give you a quick overview of some of my favorite, must-see, annual Halloween tv shows/movies.

1.  Hocus Pocus

I love, love, love this movie.  It is so funny.  The resurrected 'Sanderson Sisters' run a muck ('A muck, a muck, a muck, a muck!') in a small New England town.  I love the footage of the town, with the fall foliage, and old fashioned houses, and Halloween decorations.  Granted, it was probably filmed on a set somewhere, but still.  The imagery of fall makes me happy.  This movie is my absolute must-see.
Best line/dialogue: (this movie is full of great one-liners and silly jokes!  I'll stick with a short one!)
Mary Sanderson:  (gets a Clark bar, and takes a bite) Its the chocolate covered finger of a man named Clark!

2.  Garfield's Halloween Adventure

Oh, Garfield.  I thought he was so cute and silly.  In his Halloween Adventure, Garfield, and sidekick Odie, go trick-or-treating, and wind up in a creepy house by a lake.  Inside, they meet an old man, who tells them that the ghosts of pirates were coming that Halloween night to claim their buried treasure.  I'm not going to lie, those ghosts gave me the willies as a child.  But, in good Garfield fashion, all's well that ends well. 
Best line/dialogue:  (Garfield shows Jon his pirate costume, complete with peg leg.  Odie runs in, also dressed as a pirate, with 4 peg legs.)
Garfield to Odie (in pirate voice):  "This be me first mate, Odie the stupid...you be having a might too many peg legs there, matey..."

3.  Roseanne, The Halloween Collection

Regardless of the general feelings one may hold about Roseanne, as a show, actress, or person, it is hard to argue with the fact that her show did some of the greatest Halloween episodes.  Of any show.  Period.  A close second would be The Simpson's annual Treehouse of Horror shows.  They were ingenious, with spectacular costumes, and often silly plots.  My favorite episode in particular is a spin on A Christmas Carol, when Roseanne is visited by the ghosts of Halloween past, present, and future.
Best line/dialogue: (From the first Halloween episode, "Boo")
(Teenager, Becky, has just learned that she was not invited to a Halloween party, hosted by one of her classmates).
Becky:  I hate Halloween.
Roseanne:  Oh, you don't even know what Halloween is.
Becky:  (sarcastically)  Okay, then, why don't you not tell me.
Roseanne:  Okay, I won't...Halloween is the one night of the entire year when the veil is lifted between the living and the dead.  And the dead return from hell to walk the earth and we have to dress up like ghosts and goblins and stuff to fake out the evil spirits, or else they might carry us back to hell with them.
Becky:  So...why do the dead people come back?
Roseanne:  For the candy!  There's no chocolate in hell!  That's why it's hell.

4.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 4, Episode 4:  Fear Itself

I just loved this series, and watched every new episode.  In fact, I recieved the complete series collection on DVD as a birthday gift a few years ago.  This particular episode was one of the few Halloween shows Buffy featured.  The 'Scoobies' (aka Buffy and friends) attend a Halloween party, only to discover that a demon of fear has taken over the house, causing everyone's worst fears to become reality.  It was a funny, clever episode that I still enjoy watching.
Best line/dialogue:  *Spoiler* (At the end of the show, Buffy and her friends are gorging on candy, celebrating their defeat of the fear demon).
Buffy:  There's no problem that cannot be solved by chocolate.
Willow:  (weakly)  I think I'm gonna barf.
Buffy:  Except that.

5.  It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Who doesn't remember this?!  I was always excited to see it when it aired near Halloween.  Darling little Charlie Brown.  Poor kid.  Even trick-or-treating was a bust for him.  A classic cartoon. 
Best line/dialogue:  (Children looking in their trick-or-treat bags, comparing goodies).
"I got 5 pieces of candy."
"I got a chocolate bar."
"I got a quarter."
Charlie:  "I got a rock."

Well, folks.  Thanks for sticking around to read my Halloween list! 
Do you have any favorites that aren't listed here? 
Please share!



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Unrequited.

Unrequited:  (adjective)  1.  Not reciprocated.  Not felt in response, or not returned in the same way or to the same degree.


This painting is the first in a series of 3.  The dress features clippings of the unread letters mentioned here. 
If you have a moment, the following will guide you, the viewer, through some of the symbolisms of the painting:
The ferris wheel, a repeating symbol, represents the situations we often get ourselves into, that go nowhere.  A continual circle, containing us, in which we think that something will suddenly change.  The only change, in fact, is to get off of the ride, and walk away. 
The image in the stained glass represents St. Rita, the patron saint of the impossible dream.  I, personally, do not my place faith in saints, but find the stories of saints, and what they represent, and why, rather poetic, even romantic, in an old-world sense.  I searched for a saint that would signify dreams and hopes.  I chose Rita, a woman who overcame obstacles in her life.  I also love the art of stained glass and desired to incorporate it into this piece.  ‘St. Rita’s Window’ is unique in the approach I took.  If you look closely, behind the window, is a complete scene of a city.  I first painted a cityscape, then covered it with layers of paint, and topped it with the “window.”  I felt that it added an additional dimension to the piece, and representing the fact that the world can await one, if we are willing to look beyond what we see.  Additionally, once the image of St. Rita was completed, I did a paint wash over her in white, and darkened the edges with ink, to give her the overall appearance of stained glass.  Finally, I used a gel medium to create very small strokes and peaks, and topped it off with flaked mica, which reflects the light beautifully. 
The symbolism of the bird will also be a repeating theme.  Birds have a special place in my heart, as a reminder of God’s grace and care in our lives, and freedom, and joy.  That joy can sometimes be hidden in the midst of sorrow.  As the series progresses, the bird will begin to take flight.  It is first seen in ‘Unrequited’ as a small advertisement, a bird in a cage, for sale.
Behind her is a collage, created from images I have found and collected.  I love the vintage images, and how they represent groupings of lovely pictures, advertisements, and tokens of beauty. 
Her dress is adorned with roses, created from the letters.  To cut the first letter was akin to cutting my heart, a little bit.  And yet, it was the most exciting part of the painting.  A true symbol of letting go.  And finding peace.  Also on her dress, I have added swaravski crystal elements, for extra sparkle.  The flower in her hair is adorned with ‘micro-beads.’ 
It may be prideful to share this, but I love this piece.  My soul always gets poured into my works, but this one speaks to me.  I haven’t just put my heart and soul into it, I’ve allowed it to tell its own story, and that’s what makes this painting stand apart from the rest. 
I’ve begun the second in the series, ‘Unrelenting’.  Ultimately, the 3 paintings will journey their viewers through the stages of heartache (or at least what I’ve felt).  We start here, unrequited.  We try to believe that we can change the outcome of Providence, unrelenting in our fight to do so.  And we finally begin to let go, and be at peace, understanding.
My brain has been spinning with lots of new ideas for paintings when these 3 are completed.  I am looking forward to sharing them with you as they unfold! 
Thank you for stopping by, letting me share a part of me, and taking a look at ‘Unrequited’! 
P.S.  Here's a look at the work as it progressed!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Whispers of Fall.

Recently, I woke up early.  My window fan was drawing in the cold morning air.  I heard the faintest sound of raindrops tapping against my window. 
The clouds were hanging low, and the air smelled like damp leaves.

It was as if Fall were whispering a secret to the world, that it was almost here.

I just lay there, breathing in the heavenly scent of earth, and coolness.  The signal that the book of seasons were about to turn the page.

A list of things I love about Fall:

1.  Damp mornings, and cool days.  The sky brilliantly blue, set off by high white clouds, touched with gray.

2.  Pumpkins, gourds, squash, oh my.  I stopped at my favorite little grocery store (Trader Joe's, gotta love them!) and they had bins of pumpkins.  My heart skipped a beat at the sight of orange, and fall flowers in buckets, and piles of winter squash for sale.

3.  Snuggling beneath my beloved down comforter, as the nighttime cools, leaving behind only the smallest remnant of the heat of summer.

4.  The decorations.  Fall leaves.  Pumpkin scented candles.  Scarecrows.  My Silhouette's from my sweet, talented friend Kris at Shadows and Illuminations.

5.  My Spookytown collection.  I've collected pieces for a number of years, and love to put them on display. 

6.  Sweaters and boots.  Our fall weather is rather mild in San Diego, but some days are certainly worthy of a true fall wardrobe.

7.  The way tall trees look, silhouetted against a full moon, on a chilly night.  It makes me think of Halloween, and trick-or-treaters in darling costumes, and apple bobbing, and caramels, and parties.

8.  My second year participating in the annual 'Thrill the World' event.  I will be dressing as a 'Captain E-O' zombie this year.

9.  Orange leaves.  Red leaves.  Yellow leaves.

10.  Drinking apple cider and indulging in a slice of pie, and wandering the quaint main street of Julian.


Oh, Fall, how wonderful you are. 
I am so glad you are nearly here.



Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Decade Has Passed.

A decade has passed...

A decade has passed since he kissed his wife goodbye, and walked out of his home forever.

A decade has passed since she heard his laughter.

A decade has passed since he smelled her perfume on the nape of her neck.

A decade has passed since he saw her walk into the room.

A decade has passed since the child last saw her father.

A decade has passed since the child last saw his mother.

A decade has passed...

And changed us all.






Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter: And Then They Grew Up.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, a little book was written and set in motion a worldwide phenomenon. 
If J.K. Rowling had any idea what would come of her novel about a boy wizard, and the impact it would make in our world, then she was brilliant.  Seven novels, eight full length feature films, and one theme park later, Harry Potter has become a brand.
I have read every book, and seen all of the movies.  Today, I watched the final installment, and was blown away by a number of things.
***SPOILER ALERT***
I will try not to give away any of the specifics of the film, but if you have not seen it, you might want to exit this blog post…
First off, I was floored by the sheer cinematic impact of the film.  The effects, as in the previous movies, were stellar, and utterly breathtaking.  I’m sure most people would agree that the creative team behind the scenes were spot on in their portrayal of Rowling’s wizarding world.
Secondly, I was greatly satisfied in the book-to-film crossover.  Yes, I fully agree that the books explain much more, and a few things obviously had to be given a hard edit in the "book verses movie" spectrum, but I feel that the film stays as true to the novel as it could.  I am certainly not a screenwriter, and give them props for taking the latter part of a 36 chapter book, and turning it into a relevant and stunning film that lasts less than 3 hours.  I’m just saying…
Thirdly, I personally felt that the books, and the films, especially the final conclusions, left the viewers and readers with a good feeling of good conquering evil.  If it had been the other way around, I would have been terribly disappointed.  I, myself, am not opposed to the books or the movies.  I know a debate has surrounded Harry Potter since its release, as I am sure you have known too, and I do not intend to get it rolling again here.  Everyone has the right to their beliefs, and that is mine. 
Lastly, those Hogwart’s kids.  The first movie was released in 2001.  A decade has passed, believe it or not. 

And then they grew up:

(Hey, hey, HARRY POTTER, child wizard, cover up that chest hair.  This is not that kind of blog.  Oh, wait, you're an adult now?  Fine.)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint are excellent actors, and have made the literary  characters come to life.  It has been fascinating to watch them grow up before my eyes. Most films stop with the sequel, or maybe a trilogy, but eight films?!  That’s amazing.  I will miss the anticipation of seeing them act together as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but I look forward to seeing what they may become apart from those characters. 
As odd as it may sound, it was bittersweet to see them in the final two films, and to know it was coming to an end.  That a decade has passed for them, but for me as well.  I admit, I was choked up a number of times throughout the movie, and would most likely have wept like a baby if it weren’t for the fact that I was fully aware of the people sitting around me.  I bucked up, and took it like a big girl. 
Yes, Harry Potter will remain:  books, movies, merchandise, and the like.  What is over now is the waiting and excitement for a new book, a new movie.  It has reached its final chapter, and the Harry Potter insanity will eventually settle into its place in history. 
But, is it completely silly to say that I am happy that I got to experience the past 10 years of Harry Potter madness? 
Because…well, I am. 
Now...if only I could find an invisibility cloak...
Then no one would see me cry during the inevitable jags of Harry Potter withdrawals.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nostalgia.

The other day, I had a pang of nostalgia, and wanted to look through my old high school yearbooks.  Yes, I was one of those students who bought a copy every year.  Freshman-Senior.  I wanted to savor the memories at the time of purchase, and loved passing the books around in those last days of school, trying to think of witty things to say in the blank signature pages.  And then reading them, those platitudes that seemed so important at 15, and again at 18.  “You are so sweet, such a great friend, I will miss you, remember Mr. So-and-so’s class, wasn’t he a nut, K.I.T., 555-6798, etc., etc.”
This morning, after not being able to find them for a bit, I unearthed the 4 books from an unpacked box, and began to peruse them.  I reread the signature pages, and found myself not quite remembering some of the inside jokes, wondering when I had a class with this person or that, chuckling at the pictures of myself, laughing out loud at what my closest friend wrote, still, and smiling at the vast youthfulness of my peers, grinning in black and white, behind the pages of a 16 year old yearbook. 
We were once 16, they and I.  And I, at 16, would giggle at the faculty staff photos, thinking of how absurd it seemed that these ‘old’ people would sit and pose for a picture, when it didn’t really matter for them. 
But today, I was struck by the fact that they weren’t old after all.  Most of them, it would appear, were in their 30s.  Not much older than myself.  I remember my biology teacher talking about her young children.  My play productions teacher, pregnant with her first.  The new, very young teacher, obnoxiously trying to be everyone’s ‘friend’ rather than respected elder.  The spunky, single teacher, happy with just her career.  They were merely the looking glass to our own futures, but we didn’t see the image quite as clearly then, as we do now.
On the flipside, I was struck by how young we were.  We looked like children, but tried to act like cool adults.   The friendships that were sworn to last forever.  The cool ones and the nerds.  The jocks and the drama crowd.  The best and the worst.  The school contained us all, those children embarking on a journey to adulthood.  Somewhere along the line, life crept up on all of us.  And the yearbooks tell a story of the past, musings of days gone by.  Today, there is no printed book to document the changing seasons:  The high school sweethearts are married now.  They have children, and have settled into suburban life.  The one who dreamed of stardom lives happily in a new career.  The crushes you wonder about.  Those who have followed their ambitious desires, those who have not.  The smiling baby faces of peers, gone from this world, and laid to rest. 
I see the pictures of my closest friends, and see how we have gone our own ways, and how time has changed the surface of our camaraderie.  I see the pictures of those who I barely knew then, who have become like family now.
It’s surreal to think that I am a full- fledged adult, not the teenager I once was.  But I am still that person, the same, but completely different.  We all are.  It was bittersweet to reflect on the past, now that the shoe is on the other foot.  It’s like an endless loop, youth and age is.  The way we once viewed our teachers is the way we are seen.  And someday, it will be how they are seen.  And we all stop being 16, and start being grown up.  And our children grow up, and theirs do as well.  I’m relieved that those teenage angst years have come and gone, great as they were, yet I love having a reminder of their existence. 
If you have one, go find your yearbook, or books, and wander for a few moments down memory lane.  Those were certainly the days, but the best is yet to come.
Wouldn’t you agree?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weight Watcher Recipe: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
2 cups Quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup spinach, cooked and cooled
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 oz Mediterranean flavored feta cheese (can be found at Trader Joes)
10 small, pimento stuffed green olives
Kosher salt
Pepper

Instructions:
1.        Precook quinoa according to directions.  Let cool completely.
2.        Precook spinach.  Let cool completely.
3.       Chop 1 tomato, garnish with kosher salt and pepper.  Set aside.
4.       Drain spinach completely.  Press out excess juice between paper towels.  Toss with tomatoes.
5.       In a large bowl, toss 2 cups of quinoa with 1 tsp olive oil. 
6.       Add tomatoes and spinach.
7.       Add Feta cheese.
8.       Chop olives and add to salad.
9.       Toss well. 
10.   Serve chilled.

Serving size:  about ¾ cup
Weight Watchers PointsPlus:  4 per serving
This recipe includes 3 Power Foods (quinoa, tomatoes, spinach).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Glee(k).

I have a confession:

I'm a Gleek. 



Completely.  Utterly.  Hopelessly.

For you non-Gleeks, that just means I'm a fan of Glee.

I won tickets to see their live concert, so my friend and I got dolled up, had a wonderful dinner, and screamed our heads off for the talented cast.

You never really know how some singers will sound live, but....

they were  UH-MAZ-ING. 

Like, out of control A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Those kids (well, adults) are truly gifted.  Lea Michele (Rachel) is as spectacular in person as she is in the studio.  But, to hear Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Naya Rivera (Santana) hit some incredible notes was fabulous.

And when Chris Colfer (Kurt) sang his first solo, I was literally breathless.  He is the next Michael Crawford (Broadway legend who starred in the original cast of Phantom).

Oh, and resident hotties Cory Montieth (Finn), Mark Salling (Puck), and Chord Overstreet (Sam)?  Let's just say this...you think they're cute on T.V.? 
Well, add about a gazillion times more cuteness in person.  Just saying.

It was an incredible, experience to see them perform, one I won't soon forget. 

Thanks KYXY Radio for the rad win!!

I wish every weekend could be a GLEEKend (hehe)!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Unread Letters. {Personal Musings}

My fabulous readers, it has been so long.  I apologize (again, again).  Life has been hectic, and blogging here often takes a backseat to blogging there.  I am working on building up my photography business, and it is taking baby steps, but I am blessed and excited to see how God is making it grow.
But I digress.
Even with my lack of written words, there have been a few blog topics mulling around in my brain. 
Today, I want to share, and (hopefully) encourage you.  I’ve gone back and forth about sharing this…whether it is right to put it here. 
And yet...I will.
I’m sure you have heard, as I have, that writing letters is therapeutic.  And by that, I mean writing letters to those people (or a person) who has hurt you, who you have wronged, even who you have lost touch with.  Etcetera, etcetera. 
And you know what?  It is. 
It began four years ago.  (On a side note:  this post goes hand in hand with this one).
A journey of heartbreak that I know God allowed me to walk.  In the midst of questioning, feeling utterly foolish (still do sometimes), dwelling on silly hopes and trying to understand what was not meant to be understood by me, God came along side of me and began to heal me.  Sometimes my emotions run deep, I don't release things easily, and I let things affect me more than I should.  Let's just say this was one of those situations. 
 It was what it was. 
Nothing more, nothing less.

Mostly, nothing at all.

And still...significant.
I don't want to go into detail, but, looking back, I am glad I walked that journey.  It strengthened me in a way that I don’t think I would have been otherwise.  It taught me to trust in God’s will for my life and to wait on Him.  And to keep waiting on Him.
I began writing letters to that person on the other side of the heartbreak.  Letters I knew, and still know, I would never send.  Letters to that person, and letters to God.  48 in all, the majority written in 2006.

Letters destined to be unread.
I poured out every thought, emotion, question, sorrow, joy, prayer and regret in those letters.  I wrote out my heartbreak in detail, because I didn’t feel like I should (or sometimes could) openly share it. 
I felt like I had set sail on uncharted waters, and writing was the only way I could create the map to the shoreline. 
And now I know this for certain:  those letters are proof that I made it to the other side of a broken heart. 
I can read them now, (though not without occasionally cringing at my own stupidity) and see each step I took, each prayer answered, every silver lining, and every dark cloud.  I have them filed away, doomed someday for the trash.  But for now, they serve as a reference, a reminder of what's finished, a chapter ended.  It may seem silly to some to save them, but I will until the time comes that they should be discarded.
If you are experiencing something:  heartbreak, sorrow, questioning God;  something big, or small in your life, I encourage you to write letters.  To the person, or to God.  It’s not quite the same as journaling about a situation.  It’s pouring your thoughts into words with the intent of somebody reading them.  Journals are often written for ourselves alone.  But letters are written for the intent of being read by another.  Whatever you are facing, try to write a letter.  Short or long.  Simple or wordy.  Keep it.  Or mail it.  I found that letter writing was more honest in my situation than keeping the little purple journal.  Those letters filled in the gap of what was missing in the journal. 
Does it ever bother me that they were never sent?
No.
Because I acknowledge my greatest mistake: refusing to accept that the whole situation meant nothing at all.
{And yes}.
Because they should know that I'm thankful.
Regardless, I am so glad I wrote them. 

If there was one small quote that could summarize all 48 letters, I suppose it would be a line from one of my favorite songs:

"Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
(I do believe I have been changed for the better).
Because I knew you,
I have been changed for good."
...
In some ways, those unread letters are priceless. 

... 
In other ways, they are nothing more than words on paper.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is Risen.

Image Source


'Til on that cross, as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid,
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground, His body lay
Light of the world, by death was slain.
Then bursting forth that glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands, in victory,
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me.
For I am His, and He is mine,
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.


I hope you had a wonderful Easter, celebrating with loved ones. 
I am thankful that I have been made righteous through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
He has conquered death.
He is risen indeed.

I spent the day with one of my best friends, and her awesome family.  We ate a delicious breakfast, went to church, and then my nieces enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs.  It was lovely.




Monday, April 18, 2011

Finding My Stride.

Okay, lovely readers, I have a short post for you about weight loss.  The dreaded term.  The battle of most women.  The ups, the downs, the cravings, the willpower, the fight. 
You can check out some of my past posts here.
Recently, I took up running.  Understand, I am not a runner…yet.  I think I can only average slightly over a quarter of a mile, nonstop, at a steady pace.  It’s not much, I know. 
And yet…
At my current weight,  I never thought running was something I could do.  I was concerned about excess weight on my knees, injuries, heart rate, etc., etc., etc.
I wanted to run, though.  Sometimes, I have an overwhelming urge to run.  To feel the freedom of childhood.  The sound of feet pounding the pavement.  The feel of the wind blowing against me.
So, with the encouragement and sound advice from some great friends who are HARD CORE runners, I began doing walk/jog intervals.  I’ve increased my distance, my stamina, and my terrain range.  I’m kind of proud of myself.
To those who live here in beautiful San Diego, specifically North County, you might be familiar with Lake Hodges, and the bridge that crosses it.  A hard core runner may look at the bridge and say, “easy!”  I can say that in regards to walking it.  But, running?  Forget it.

This last week, I mastered the bridge run.  Additionally, I ran from my parked car which was up the hill.  My legs were killing me, and my lungs felt like they’d burst at times, but I found my stride, concentrated on breathing through it, and did what I set out to do. 
I ran the bridge. 
I see it and feel accomplishment.  I see it and know it’s the first of many steps of becoming a runner. 
Running has proven to add extra weight loss to my typical Weight Watchers regime.  But it also provides stress relief, mental clarity, physical benefits, and, most importantly, for me, it’s something I enjoy.
In regards to physical activity, I’d like to encourage you, as I was encouraged, to push yourself.   Step outside of your comfort zone, be safe, and
be brave
(believe me, it takes bravery for me to run along a busy road where I can be seen by so many people.  I am still very self conscious about how I look while I run). 
The first step is the hardest. 
Get past that, and it’s cake…
…Mmmm…cake….
{wink}
xoxo

Friday, April 8, 2011

Unearthed Treasure {A Personal Post}

Today, I found this:


I almost forgot about its existence, for it has been packed safely away for so long.
Oh, this little journal. 
I think journaling is a great way to record experiences, emotions, thoughts, hopes, and the like. 
I’m just not very good at it.  I’ll get excited about the notion of journaling, then will lose interest.  In fact, most, if not all, of my journals have been thrown away over the years.
Except this one.  This one is meaningful. 
It starts on July 21, 2006.  It ends on November 24, 2008.  Its small pages are filled with sporadic entries that covers 2 years of my life.
Those years, specifically the first one, were pivotal for me in my walk with the Lord.  My heart had been deeply broken, and I began to fully pour out all that I had to Him.  The funny thing is, in reading some of the entries, I never really expressed in writing my prayers, or blessings, or any of the process of growing in the walk.  Rather, it is very situation specific.  It simply documents events, and my thoughts about them. 
This book speaks clearly of a time in my life that happened.  I can almost read it objectively now, (though not completely without a stab of pain) as enough time and healing has passed.  And I am better for the experience.
I look at it, and though it holds no words of my strengthening walk, I can see it written all over the place. 
God brought me comfort, and drew me close to Him.  He soothed my doubt, healed my heart, turned tears into laughter, and matured me in a way I was never expecting.  I remember my prayers at that time, and I can say in confidence that He answered them.  His answer was to my question was no, but He helped me understand that it was for my own good.  I asked for His will to be done, and it has.
Today, I unearthed a small treasure. 
A simple reminder of God’s unfailing love and grace. 
A reminder of growth and healing. 
Life is funny.  I needed this reminder now, more than ever. 

“Memory…is the diary we all carry about with us.”  Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Aqua Wall.

What a weekend! 
(And Monday...and Tuesday...oh, look it's nearly midnight...so Wednesday as well).

The move went very well, and I have most of my unpacking completed. 

The apartment layout was completely different than what I had envisioned, but I love it.  I do have my pink living room wall, and the color really makes me happy.

I opted against painting in the kitchen, but there was a wall that just needed to be painted pale aqua.

Behold:




The stats:
Red rolling cart:  thrifted/refurbished
Clock, mirror, and cupcake liner jar:  graciously gifted
Fabric:  JoAnn's Fabric
Vintage floral pitcher and egg cups:  gifted
Vintage fawn:  antique shop
Frame and ribbon:  Michaels
Dorothy picture:  a card I received in the mail

I'm a little bit in love with it.  Of course I took the picture before making a trip to the farmers market, where I bought a lovely bouquet of flowers, so just imagine that the floral pitcher is bursting with spring flowers.  Oh, and the pictures were taken in natural lighting, so the color is slightly different.  I think it's much bluer in person.

I loved the Dorothy card so much, I framed it, and hot glued ribbon to the back of the frame and hung it up.  I'll be adding a few other small pictures as well.

There you have it!  The small aqua wall space, jazzed up with fun finds and gifts. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Worth More Than A Sparrow.

Have you ever felt insignificant?
That you are just muddling through the day to day tasks?
Have you ever thought:  what more can I do?  And then played the comparison game, which puts you against every other person in the world?
I have felt this way.  I’m not going to lie, and say I haven’t.  But, sometimes I feel stuck in the daily grind, like I’m waiting for the next big thing, for a lightning bolt of significance.  Not unhappy.  I enjoy my day to day life for the most part.  It’s good, and productive.  It’s living. 
I love birds.  Sometimes, when I have my ‘blah’ days, where I take out my mental measuring tape, and try to compare my worth against the expectations of others, and I shake my head in frustration because I still feel insignificant, or not ‘good enough’, I think of birds. 
Birds live their day to day lives, building nests, searching for food, raising their young, and singing joyfully.  When I hear their heartsong outside of my window, I thank the Lord for them.  They sing praises to God, because He has created them to do so.  They don't stress about anything, or try to make themselves more important, or struggle with self worth.  They just live their little lives. 
Luke 12:6-7 says:  “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten by God…you are worth more than many sparrows.”
I love that verse.  Not one of them is forgotten by God. 
Not.One. 
Even the most insignificant creatures are remembered and valued in the eyes of the Creator.   
And how much more so are we?
I want to encourage you of this:  on the days when you are feeling small, or without value, or that you are not meeting the standards of your peers, God sees you.
You are never forgotten before God.
Just look to Him.
If His loving eye is on the tiny sparrow, it is more so on you.
You are valuable.  You are important.  You are remembered.



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Moving On Up!

I officially sign my lease this Friday!

I fear that once everything is moved into my little space, it will resemble a room straight out of 'Hoarders'.  Only, without the rats.

*Shudder*

But, all in good time.

Friday = Lease signing, walk through, and PAINTING.

I'm in love with pale aqua and bright red, so my kitchen will have those themes.

But, I'm playing with the notion of a PINK accent wall... 

In the living room. 

I saw a photograph of a room, with a neutral couch, a pale pink coffee table (which I have), a pink wall, and pops of blues, oranges, greens, and whites.

It was rad, a million times over.

I've always been a little hesitant about pink walls, because the first thought that comes to my mind is always 'nursery'.  But this picture, from Romantic Homes, was fabulous and very grown up.

However, Friday's walk through will help me finalize the colors, the furniture layout, and all that fun stuff.

Oy.  So much to do! 
But, I cannot wait to show you my finished space!

xoxo

Saturday, March 26, 2011

End Table: Before and After

I've been scouring my favorite thrift stores for furniture to fix myself.

I adore 'Shabby Chic' with a touch of French Provincial. 

In case you are wondering, Shabby Chic is a design style in which furniture is given a distressed, aged look, on purpose.  French Provincial is a design style incorporating rustic formal French furniture.

Well, I have a number of great thrifty finds to share, but while I am in transition, photographs are yet to be taken.

A number of months ago, I found the greatest, practically new, oversized couch, thrifted for $100!  I am in love with it, and it has served as my inspiration for all the other bits and pieces of home decor.  I don't have a picture yet, but I will once it's moved and in it's rightful place in my living room.  (Right now, it rests peacefully in the garage, covered in a plastic tarp).

I do, however, have a picture of a cute little end table I picked up for $15 (thrifted).  It was in perfect condition, except for one minor detail:  when it was placed by my couch, it was too stark. 
The white had to go. 

Before:




After:

I spray painted it with a satin finish light aqua, then sanded the tar out of it. 
I painted a very simple design on the top, (using acrylic paint), painted the drawer pink,
and left it 'unfinished' looking. 
I really like it, especially with the streaks of white showing through.
 It seems much warmer now, doesn't it?