goodness and life

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My mom loves to travel.  She is fortunate enough to be able to see the world and she is also very generous and always thinks of her girls.  You see out of the three of us, I for certain am the least traveled.  My sister lived in France for 5 years with her family, of course picked up French and could speak it fluently.  In my mind that was like a dream.  She was living a dream.  She missed her family here in the states though and is now back and soon her husband will also be by her side.  The paperwork and all the shenanigans to have a family together when each is a citizen of a different county is a big hassle it seems.  But after nearly 2 years of paperwork and now finally he has an interview…he will be back with his family where he belongs…and look at that.  I got all off track again!  My point being this.  My mom brings back gifts.  Last spring when she visited Italy she brought me back seeds to plant in my garden.  Two weekends ago I planted them.  They are showing signs of growth and silly me…I didn’t label them so I have no idea really what that one above will be.  I know the melon…or it could be zucchini but we will see.  I plan to put them in the real ground this weekend and it will be so fun to watch them grow and be able to eat the fruit/veggies they will produce.  My mom said Italy had the best tasting produce ever.  I shared these seeds too with my friend Ronda, my Aunt and Mama Bear next door.  There were plenty to go around, plenty more still in fact.  I’m sure I will be sharing throughout this spring and summer the progress of our garden.  I did figure out something good recently too.  My butterfly plant had been infested with these tiny bugs…covered!! The same bugs that destroyed my watermelon plant a few seasons back and the same bugs that seem to love my roses. My solution is very natural and non toxic too. I took peppermint soap, diluted with water and sprayed the plant.  The plant survived…the bugs did not!!!  So this is my plan to protect my melon this season. I’ll keep you posted. xo

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get your green on

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Happy St. Patricks Day but more importantly….Happy birthday to my younger and handsome brother Brandon and my Amazing father-n-law who also both were born on this celebratory day!  Turns out I have had this shirt since 2011 and wear it every St. Patrick’s Day, also turns out I wore the same exact earrings today, not planned but shows what a creature of habit I am though;)

I was so greatly touched yesterday by the encouraging comments left on my blog post.  It seems I reach some of you readers out there but I wonder if you know how deeply you touch me.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a comment left.  I don’t want to say it’s because I’m insecure and I require cheering but I have found that the way I work best is with positive reinforcement and simply a pat on the back and “job well done” is all I need to keep trucking.  I have always been this way. A few encouraging words go a very long way with me so I have also become somewhat of an encourager myself.  Maybe too much at times….or so my kids think.

Favorite thing I heard today was from Dylan aka Moon Rebel “I want to learn to do a back flip, and I know I can do it because I’m athletic and capable, I just need to commit”  I like it.  He also found a butterfly with a broken wing.  Picked it up then placed it in our garden.

and the very last thing shared today here in this space is the inspiration and free bookcase that was delivered to my driveway by Uncle Don and scouted by Aunt Lynn and if it hadn’t been for my father-n-law knowing I was on the search for a bookcase then it would not have fallen into place so perfectly.  Let’s just say it will include yellow paint…such a very happy color and peacock-blue.  More to come on that later. I hope you will come back to see.

Color makes me happy!

do you believe in yourself?

I have been doing a lot of reading and researching.  I think its part of mid-life. Questioning, where I am, how I got here and what’s in the future for me, for our family. I have been reading Dr. Phil’s book, “Self Matters” I’m in the chapter where he has one thinking about the defining events in your life. We can’t possibly remember every single day but there have been some events in our lives that stand out. I thought of a handful of personal and violating things that have happened in my life. I’m not going to share in this space but I will share the few things that came forward that are good. These events are times in my life where someone believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself and turns out…they were right about me.

SHINEWhen I was in the first grade I was very shy, a lot like I’m still shy today. I had this teacher that really, really believed in me. She was going to have her class put on a play for their parents and she had to pick a part for all her kids. She chose me, the shyest girl in the class to play the starring roll. I had lines to memorize that my mom helped me with and when the big day came, I shined. I don’t think anyone would ever know I was the most shy, most quiet girl in the class. I don’t even remember being nervous that day. I know I was very young…but I remember. My teacher had full confidence in me.

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When I was in high school I took art class. I had the same teacher for art as I had for yearbook staff. I thought it strange but when I was in her art class she would tell me I could do whatever I wanted and I didn’t have to do the class assignments. She said she believed in what I had in my head and what I could do with it. I just thought it was because she liked me. I didn’t pursue my talent in art. I stopped drawing and painting by the time I was 19. But she saw something in me. I will never forget that.dont give up

When I was a young married women I went back to college for a time and took a writing class. I love to write. I remember a few weeks in we had a writing assignment. I wrote about Vietnam and I used my father-n-law as my inspiration. My paper was picked and read aloud to the class. She asked the class who they thought wrote the piece. Nobody guessed it was the shy girl with red hair that sat in the back. They all seemed pleasantly surprised and I was noticed that night and received a handful of really nice compliments.

portraitLooking back on some of my inspiring memories, I realize all 3 were TEACHERS who had faith in me. Do we give our teachers the credit they deserve? They shape our lives. Not all teachers are good but some are really great. I’m thankful for these teachers who had faith in me. Now to bottle their faith and make it my own. This is my challenge.

This AND That

I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe I have not blogged since last week. I think it may have something to do with my video making craze. I’m so into making video clips these days it’s all I can think about. I dream of it. Not even joking I literally have dreams of making films. Since I’m talking about it, I will share at the end of this blog my Sunday video. That’s what I have been doing, making a video every single Sunday for 5 weeks straight now. The practice is great but making them slightly different from one another is a little challenge. Of course each Sunday is its own but it will always include my family, eating and just hanging out at our house. I keep them private and you will need a password to watch it. My password for all my Sunday videos is always.     love

Since I have been utterly consumed in video dreamland it has left little time for anything else. However, I must share with you a recent impulse purchase. I got an email from The Paper Source and February is one of my favorite months considering it has so many hearts available for my eyes to see, whelp, the email was about valentine stuff. I saw these most amazing, pretty glasses and I couldn’t resist. Right then and there I clicked PURCHASE. Before I knew it I was typing in my payment information. They arrived today and I have already showed every human being who will look at them. This just means I have to toss our 4 jars to make room in my cupboard. I mean look at them! Great stuff right? Sadly, last time I check they were out of stock, so everyone else and their mom must have thought they were the bees knees too!

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I suppose the last thing I have to talk about is the lovely blog I have admired for quite some time now. It’s called Natalie Creates and she shares 20 random acts of kindness that cost 5 dollars and under. It’s worth checking out.

That’s all for now. As if anyone is really reading this besides my mom. Thank you mom, you have always always been my biggest support.  I can’t forget Kate too, she always leaves a little love on my page after she reads my swirling mind nonsense.

from the bottom of my heart

peace to bethThe heart is where the beauty of the human spirit comes alive.  Without the heart, the human would be sinister.  To be able to feel is the great gift.  When you feel for someone, you become united with that person in an intimate way; your concern and compassion come alive, drawing some of the other person’s world and spirit into yours. Feeling is the secret bridge that penetrates solitude and isolation.  WIthout the ability to feel, FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE COULD NEVER BE BORN.  All feeling is born in the heart.  – JOHN O’DONOHUE

Today I got home to a package on my porch.  I thought “I have not ordered anything?”  “I wonder what it might be?”  I opened up this beautifully wrapped package and inside was this framed photograph of a far a way friend of mine.  A friend whom I have never met yet the connection is so real.  She had posted this image and I asked if I might buy this print from her.  I fell instantly in love with it.  It was her and it was peace.  She said she would send me a copy.  I expected it might be a print that would arrive in the mail and in a flat envelope that I would then frame.  She went above and beyond sending me a print.  She had it framed.  I’m overwhelmed with how someone I have never met would do something so nice for me.  Yesterday I was down about my own little skin issues and I wrote a frustrated poem about it.  Today I came home and I can’t stop smiling and it doesn’t mater that I still have sores on my legs, it doesn’t matter at all.  Today I have gratitude in my heart from a far away friend.  Thank you Beth for your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity.  I will hang your art in my dining room with the rest of my favorite images.  It will look just right there.

Trust Issues and Control Issues Equal Anxiety

I can remember very clearly when I was a teenager, having a blue beach cruiser with no gears of course and living on hills on either side of me. (No wonder I could eat whatever I wanted)  So back in the day we liked to ride our friends on our handlebars.  I always had to be the one who rode the bike because I didn’t trust anyone to ride me around.  I needed that control or else I would be full of anxiety.  Even now today I’m a bundle of nerves in a car…unless I’m driving.  Sounds so strange that I, miss easy-going, roll with the punches type girl would have these issues, however I do.   I have them so much so that it can consume me.  I’m not any different from many women out there who wake at 2:00 a.m. with their minds twirling and spinning and clicking forward and backward in time. I believe it’s a common trait in many busy women who like to be in control of their world.

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My beach cruiser now a days is orange and black and my passenger is Pablo

When I sat in church on Sunday the sermon wasn’t on control so much but rather living out our faith as opposed to just reciting our faith or believing our faith.  To live our faith as the greatest man of all time did.  Christ lived what he taught and what he believed.  He is our best example of how to fully trust, how to release that control to something bigger.  How about the creator of all the universe.  Who could be bigger than that?  If my one and only God knew me before I was ever born, if he created all the stars in the sky, all the sand of the earth’s beaches and oceans, place rainbows of promise in the sky and be the greatest artist of all time.  If I can’t trust Him, who can I trust?  He made me human.  He gave me a mind to question, he gave me a mind to be defiant because He also loves me that much to give me the free will to choose or not to choose.  I find myself often frustrated because in my world I want to be the one in control, I want to ride the bike with my friend on the handlebars.  Until I realize I’m not in control I will experience issues of trust and feel this dark heavy fog of anxiety.  I always say something like this “It’s that simple and it’s that difficult” because for me that’s how it is.  I know logically what I’m supposed to do but I often just don’t do it.  I’m working on trust, I’m working on releasing my control.  I think it will be a long journey but awareness is the first step and my God, he is a patient God.  I wish to live my beliefs but first I need to release my lack of trust and my control.  I’m just going to start today by putting one step in front of the other, knowing I will take a few steps back now and then but I’ll get there eventually, I will.

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Scripture reference.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Luke 12:25 

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?

Strange, life is amazingly strange

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I’m guessing if one is a blogger and one has children that one might just blog about their child on their birthday.  I have three children.  I have two spring babies and just one fall baby and technically I know he is really a summer baby but in my mind the moment it turns September, it’s fall.  Right here in Southern California September is up there as one of our hotter months of the year, but let me think what I will think, to me the entire month is fall.  He is my fall baby.  I have three, I have two A’s and one D.  He is the one D.    I have three, two righties and one lefty.  He is my lefty.  I have three, two free spirits and one of great discipline.  He, this D, this lefty, this fall baby….he is my one of great discipline.  I joke lots saying “I want to be like Dylan when I grow up.”  It’s hard not to say because he has all the qualities I do not.  I have never had to make him do his homework.  He just does.  He does what he knows he needs to do, he does what he knows is required.  When he was little he shared a room with his big brother.  He was the one who desperately wanted his own space.  Why?  To keep it clean.  A few weeks ago he asked if I might get him some cleaning stuff for his face.  I did.  He tells me yesterday, “I have not missed a day mom, I wash my face twice a day since you got me the stuff” Me, I often forget to take off my make up at night.  Are you getting the picture?  But this doesn’t mean he is not fun.  He is full of fun.  He pranks me nearly every day.  He video tapes me without me knowing and performs silly off the wall crazy stunts while he is secretly videotaping me to see what reaction I will give.  He LOVES a reaction. I would say our most common ground is that we are both dreadfully shy yet completely insane with our behind closed-door behaviors.  And the other really, really big thing we share in common.  We share the same faith.  This common ground creates a bond that cannot be broken.  These two very big things help us to get each other even though we are nearly nothing alike.

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 He began high school yesterday.  The class he is the most excited about?  Finance.  He can’t wait to get into the meat of that class.  In fact he already let me know as soon as he gets a job he will save 10% of his earning in a savings each week.  He said if he really manages his money just right he can be a millionaire.  And if anyone can, it will be him.  I believe it’s no mistake he was named after his uncle another well-disciplined, fun-loving, lefty, man of faith who also just happens to know a lot about finances.

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 He shows me how to do hard things.  I learn from this kid.  I learn from him.  He is a gift to me.  It has been an honor to be his mother.  A complete honor.  Happy Birthday D-man.

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Oh yeah and he is athletic. and these days you might find him doing hand stands simply because he can.

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 or yoga type poses without even realizing it

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The birthday part of today is good.  He had his birthday breakfast.  We are going to his favorite Chinese restaurant tonight and he got that robe he has been wanting (shhhhh, he hasn’t opened his gifts yet)  But on a far stranger and sad note.  Austin was in his first car accident today.  This is how the phone call was received.  “Mom?”  “Yes Austin”  “It happened”  “You were in a car accident?”  “Yep”  And that was that.  He is okay, his two friends who were in the car with him are okay and this is good considering he was sitting at a stand still and was hit by a woman going at least 45 miles per hour.  He was ready to make a left hand turn, had a panic situation when he realize he started to turn left on a green rather than wait for all the cars to clear, the bug stalled and he basically just braced himself for the hit.  He has been a wreck himself the rest of  today and is the type of kid who is very hard on himself.  I mean Rich and I knew this would happen, it just happens right?  At least that’s what I’ve been told.  I totalled out my first car when I was about his age.  I knew when I took pictures of the pretty new/old bug there would someday be a different story.  His world has been rocked, the car shouldn’t be driven at this point.  Rich got the bug home but at 30 miles per hour and with lots of crazy noises.  The kid is wondering how he will get to work now, how he will see his girlfriend, he is devastated that he has “cost” us even more money you know all those normal thoughts.  I hate when things like this happen to people I love. I told him it’s okay, everyone is alive, a lesson will be learned and it will give you problem solving skills, what to do next?  Stay tuned.  Life, it’s still very, very good.  Just one of those things.  unfortunately since it happened on Dylan’s birthday we will not be able to forget the date of his first accident.  And you see we are a family of celebrations.  So we do not celebrate the fact that he crashed his first car, but we celebrate in the fact that he had the wits about him to jump out immediately to see if the person who hit him was alright, that he knew exactly where his insurance card was and that he in his own hand writing got her name, address, phone number, license plate, make model, and drivers license number which happened to be expired and out-of-state but still it was his fault for being the one in turning left.  He even sounded calm on our phone call.  He kept it together when it mattered the most.  The woman even complimented us on our son, She told Rich “you have a good boy here”  So this is what we celebrate.  The lesson learned.

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In the glory days

photo (2)Her she sits today.  even the passenger door got buckled from the impact but I have to say these awesome German-made cars are like mini tanks, could have been far worse and his buddy Kris the one who was sitting up front there, could have had it much worse.