Saturday, September 28, 2013

Adorable Pups


This afternoon I had the honor of photographing Honey, an extremely sweet Golden Retriever, and Callie, an extremely shy Mastiff.  Their personalities were vastly different, but they were insanely well-behaved which is a testament to their mama. 
 
Honey has such a spunky personality!  She wanted nothing more than to be super close to me and stick her snout in my camera!  I loved it!  Her personality was magnetic! 
 
Look at that adorable nose and silly tongue!
She just wanted to be pet!
Super happy pup!
 Miss Callie was a little more challenging to photograph because she is extremely shy.  I definitely had to keep my distance because I didn't want to scare her. I would have loved to get a few close-up shots of her face, but you need to respect a dogs personality.  She didn't want me too close to her, so I didn't get too close to her.  She is beautiful!  Her stance is stunning!  Her body coloring is such a stark contrast to her snout.  It's gorgeous! 

Such a good watch dog!

Look at that posture!

Oh heavens!  That jaw and that tongue!  She's beautiful!
When I walked in the door from the photo session, this little one was all about sniffing me and then she decided to model for me!  I love her cute little legs and adorable fascination with watching the street through the front door. 

These eyes always make me melt!  She just stares at me like I'm the most beautiful and perfect mama probably because she wants cuddles, scratches, walks and cheese!!  Love her to pieces!


Let me know what you think of these pictures!  I love animals and capturing their personalities!
 
Thank you to the pups and their mama for letting me take pictures of them this afternoon!  I truly appreciate it!

Much love.

Friday, September 27, 2013

On My Mind


I’ve been extremely energetic and scatter brained recently.  I love the energy aspect, but being scattered brain isn’t quote up my alley. Lists have been my saving grace because by God if I didn’t have them, I don’t think I’d actually get anything done.  Between working full time, dancing at least twice a week, tutoring once a week, working towards being self employed, being a friend, being a wife, keeping the house in order and enjoying the fall, I am one busy lady!  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love to be busy; it drives my husband crazy at times, so I definitely try to manage my time wisely and allow for some down time when my husband is around.  He’s definitely a good balance for me because if it wasn’t for him, I’d probably be busy every night of the week and that’s not good for me mentally or physically. 

So last night I woke up thinking I was in a grocery store with a mama bear and her 5 cubs on the loose.  Holy Cow it was startling, but it was really cool!  The interaction between mama bears and their cubs is always fascinating to me.  I once saw a black bear and two cubs run across the road while I was in Florida and their movements and awareness of their pack are really neat.  While I never want to randomly come across a mama bear and her cubs in a grocery store in real life, I did enjoy my dream.  Dreams are nice in that way.  You can experience life without really experiencing it. 
 
On the topic of dreams, the sky has been absolutely amazing the past few days...almost dream-like.  Fall skies always amaze me!  The layers of clouds, the bright sun, and the crisp air offer a new perspective. 

 
This morning driving to work, I felt an insane sense of calm.  It was heavenly.  I've been on edge lately and doubting humanity a bit which I absolutely hate. This morning, my faith was renewed.  The sky, the sun, the clouds, the crisp air, the smell of fall...it all consumed my senses and made me feel calm.  There is no way that something so beautiful exists if God doesn't truly love and have faith in humanity.  It was a very needed feeling. 
 
A High Bun and Fake Lashes.  They make me feel pretty and classy.  The high bun is keeping me from chopping my hair.  I just really love the look and I will miss it dearly if I chop my hair.  Oh heavens, I am definitely debating on how short I should go.  I'll make the decision this weekend.  I need a haircut, I just don't know how much of a haircut I need. I know it will grow back, but it will take time.  I worry I'll look fat faced with short hair. Ahh.  I'm just talking myself into getting my hair chopped and driving myself crazy in the meantime.  

 
Puppy Love:  My little angel was sick last week.  We don't know exactly what was wrong with her because she was eating, drinking, going potty and walking, but she would squeal and whimper randomly.  I was a worried mess.  Thank heavens she is back to her peppy self.  I really wish she could talk sometimes. 

 
Have a great weekend!! 
Much love.

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Update on Little Man

My stepson aka little man is living with his mom this year.  It is a huge adjustment for us because we have had him for over two years and have enjoyed every second of it.  He’s a good kid with his own interests and talents.  Watching him grow over the past 5 years since I’ve become part of his life has been a blessing.  He is far more confident than I was at his age, but he is also far less attentive than I was.  I think that is a huge difference between boys and girls.  I cared a lot more about getting good grades and not getting in trouble than he does (and his dad and my brothers and pretty much most of the people I know).  Maybe it’s just the difference between me and the majority of the world.  Regardless, I’ve loved watching him grow and I continue to watch him grow.  For heaven’s sake, he has grown two inches since the spring!  That’s crazy!  He’s totally stoked!  Height isn’t a strong point in his genes, so every inch is a huge achievement!  Grow Little Man Grow! 

He is a month into his first year of middle school and is doing well!  He is in advanced Science aka 8th grade science.  The school he goes to doesn’t have gifted programs for each grade; they simply bump you up a grade or two for that specific subject.  He’s learning all about atoms, minerals, the periodic table, genetics…chemistry basically, and he loves it!  You always know when he’s excited about something because he talks his head off about it.  He’s talking about his science class a lot which makes me very happy!  He also flat out said, I LIKE SCHOOL!  I'm stoked!  I've been waiting for those words to come out of his mouth.  Middle School is so much more fun than Elementary School.  You have more subjects, change classes, are given more freedom, and you feel like a big kid.  I’m so happy that he likes school and is doing well in it!

I really wish I had pictures to post, but you’ll all have to wait a few weeks for them.  Hubby and I are going to visit him in October!!  We are soo excited!  Given that he is in Iowa and we are in Virginia, we are going to take advantage of fall things like corn mazes and haunted hayrides while we visit him!  I’m going to try to get a few family pictures for Christmas too while we are out there.  We are driving the 15 hours to visit little man because flights are absolutely insane and we’d have to rent a car once we got there and get a hotel.  Do you hear the dollar signs adding up because I sure do?  Even though we are driving, we are excited.  My husband will be able to hit a few more states!  He is so close to being in all 50 states.  His mom just hit her 50th…Alaska!  I’m not even in the running, but it’s a big deal in his family and gosh darn he’s going to check all 50 states off his bucket list.

 

If you know of anything awesome to do in Iowa, let me know!  It’s a new state for us and we are open to ideas.  Preferably ideas that aren’t too expensive.  Traveling is getting quite pricey these days. 
 
Much love.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm Normal...according to a health screening


My place of employment is kind enough to offer health screening twice a year for all employees.  I’m pretty sure they get a discount on their health insurance plan based on the results, but regardless it’s a perk in my mind.  I love to know my current state of health without going to the doctors.  I don’t even remotely enjoy going to doctor’s appointments.  The waiting room is full of germs and I always feel like I sit there for far too long.  The nurse weighs me and it’s always 3+ lbs more than any other scale I’ve gotten on in the past month. I wait for the doctor….and wait.  Doctor comes in, does a few things, says a few things, and is out in less than 5 minutes.  I rarely feel better after leaving.  Just not my idea of a good time.  Anyways, being able to have my Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, BMI, and Blood Glucose measured, while never stepping foot in a doctor’s office is right up my alley. 

So how did I measure up?  I’m NORMAL.  WooHoo!  Who woulda thunk? 

Cholesterol
Total Cholesterol: 130 MG/DL which is good because I should be <200 font="">
HDL Level (Good Cholesterol): 75 MG/DL which is good because I should be >40
LDL Level (Bad Cholesterol): 64 MG/DL which is good because I should be <130 font="">
Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 2.4 MG/DL which is good because I should be <4 .0="" font="">

Blood Pressure & Temperature
130/77
That top number (systolic) is a little high.  It should be below 120.  Might be those dark chocolates and Punk’N Beer I had last night…or the yogurt I ate this morning absentmindedly.  Oops. The bottom number is fine though.  I’m below 80, not much, but I’m below.  My blood pressure has always been on the high end when compared to my healthy lifestyle.  Ironically, my temperature has always been on the low end.  I take my temp every morning and it ranges from 96.9 and 97.8 without fail.  That’s about a degree lower than the average 98.6 that I grew up hearing.  Recent research is indicating that the new “normal” temperature is actually lower than traditionally thought.  Studies indicate 98.2 as the new norm and that as we age, our temperature actually drops slightly.  Interesting… I think I’m evolved!  Hehe!

BMI: Body Mass Index
I should be between 18.5 – 24.9 and I am 21.2, so I am right on point.  Women tend to have a slightly higher BMI, but regardless I am happy with where I stand because I definitely used to be higher that 21.2.  Baby steps.

Blood Glucose
For eating a lot of fruit and having quite the sweet tooth, I am normal!  Whoop Whoop!  I was minorly shocked when I heard that because I definitely ate chocolate last night. You gotta have your little indulgences now and then.

My overall mottos:
I workout so I can eat.
I eat healthy most of the time so I can enjoy sweets some of the time.
When it comes to food, moderation is key. 

Oh and I got this nifty antibac pen.  It kills 99.9% of bacteria with 24 hours. The protection lasts the lifetime of the pen, Helps prevent the growth and spread of bacteria. Effective against viruses, fungi, and bacteria.  Antibacterial additive molded directly into the plastic body of the pen...Interesting... Have you ever seen one? 

Much love.

Monday, September 23, 2013

DC Freestyles: Ballroom Dancing the Weekend Away!

My third DC Freestyle Ballroom Dance Competition with Arthur Murray was this past weekend and holding true to tradition, it was amazing!  I competed in 19 heats: Open & Closed Waltz, Open & Close Foxtrot, Open & Closed Tango, Two Step, Samba, Mambo, Open & Close Rumba, Open & Close Cha Cha, Open & Closed Triple Swing, Hustle, Salsa, Bachata, and a random partner dance that happened to be a Cha Cha.  Closed dances are only school figures with strict lead and follow. I am Associate Bronze, so I can dance Bronze I & II school figures during "Closed" heats.   In "Open" heats, choreography is allowed and you can dance outside of your level.  Personally, I am so much more comfortable during my "Open" heats because they follow the "Closed" heats, my muscles are warmed up and I have generally worked all my jitters out. 
 
Here are some videos of a few of my rhythm dances:
 
 
 
A post cannot be complete without some pictures!  Here is the Arthur Murray Virginia Beach Fall 2013 DC Freestyles Team in our rhythm outfits!!  We all did wonderful!  Congratulations!
 
 
I have some self shots this time around too!  I felt super sexy and sassy this time.  I was definitely having a skinny day and I was tan and since it was my third time competing, I was slightly less nervous...until I walked into the ballroom.  Having hubby there for the first time was definitely great for me!  He kept me from over thinking everything...which I have a tendency to do.  Thanks babe!  Love you!
 
Here's one for my baby.


It was fun to have Ryan take pictures of me!
 
What's rhythm without a some classy smooth dresses to balance out the fringe?!  Here we are looking elegant!
 

A Tango shot!

I like this picture because it captures the floor and really shows you what the audience sees when they are looking at the floor!

Dancing is such a wonderful experience for me mentally, physically, and emotionally.  The fulfillment I receive from conquering a certain step, grasping a concept or just feeling a song and rocking out to it, is simply amazing!  The rush of knowing you just danced one of your best dances, and it was being judged, is fantastic!  I felt it a few times this weekend and I continue to relive it in my mind.  That competitive spirit is burning inside of me.  It's a neat feeling.  I've always been a team player and I am definitely Team Virginia Beach, but when push comes to shove, I want to personally do the best I can and absolutely dominate.  When I am on that floor, I am competing for the studio and for myself.  I represent the Virginia Beach Studio and by God, I want to represent them in the best light possible. 
 
Thank you to the instructors for letting my light shine and for bringing out the competitive spirit within me.  Ryan is really appreciative!
 
SPIL: Simple Pleasures In Life
+Competitive Spirits
+Fringe Dresses
+Feeling Sexy and modeling for you hubby
+Dancing your heart out
 
Much love.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Letter to My Future Children


 
My Dearest Angel,
 
You don't exist anywhere but in my dreams, but one day you will fill my arms with your tiny body, my heart with your perfection, my eyes with your adorableness.  One day, my life will be sweeter than it's ever been.  The day you come into this world will be the most amazing day of my life and the day your father and I give you a little brother or sister will be another most amazing day of my life.  You are loved before you have been created.  You should feel special, very special. 
 
When I think of the little human you will be I see a huge love of life!  You'll embrace nature, smile wide, laugh loud and love with all your being.  You'll be witty like your father and slightly awkward like your mama.  You'll have athletic legs, a fair complexion, probably red hair and tiny eyes, but baby, you'll be beautiful inside and out!  Your mama's heart will be passed on to you.  You'll be a little nurturing with a dash of mischief.  Without a doubt, you will be intelligent.  I cannot wait to witness how you see life and use that noggin of yours. It will without a doubt, be interesting and wonderful!
 
Since I know your father well, I know you will have a golf club in your hands at a young age.  I hope for your dad's sake that you enjoy the game.  For me, as long as you are happy, I'll be happy.  We'll definitely enjoy the outdoors and music together. I know you'll be a dancing baby because your dancing mama will be carrying you and moving to music is in my blood, so I have faith it will be in your blood.  You'll make someone very happy one day! 
 
I don't know if you'll be a boy or a girl, but I think you'll like mud, being dirty and being naked.  I've never imagined having a child that didn't like any of those things.  Bugs won't scare you.  You'll be a tough cookie that saves spiders and picks up worms from the street. 
 
The only thing I know for an absolute fact is that you will be loved, very loved and you will feel that love from not only your mama, but your entire family! 
 
Can't wait to meet you one day little angel!
 
Love,
Your Mama
 
Much love.
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Teach Me To Soar and I Will - NDSS

I bought a onesie today from TreeSpring for a special baby!! This special onesie supports the National Down Syndrome Society and was designed by Miss Kelle Hampton!  I own her book, love her book and share her book with anyone who will listen.  I read her blog, follow her on instagram and just love how Kelle puts her life into words and pictures.  She is truly an inspiration to me!  This onesie is perfect!!  I love it!!  TEACH ME TO SOAR AND I WILL. 
These cuties are modeling some of the varieties!  Holy Cuteness!!



Raise awareness and help the National Down Syndrome Society with its mission to promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome with this positive message. This design is by Kelle Hampton and includes a small NDSS logo on the back. For each shirt purchased, at least $5 will be donated to NDSS.
NDSS reached its initial goal of 626 shirts within 24 hours. The campaign will remain open until September 30th and now that we have met our goal, NDSS will receive an increased donation per t-shirt purchased. Please continue to support the campaign as we near Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October.
 
SPIL
+Supporting causes close to your heart
+Embracing differences
+Kiddos...they simply rock!
Much love.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Praying


A Prayer for the World

Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain;
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.

Amen.

- Rabbi Harold Kushner – 2003

I’m a cradle Catholic and I love prayer.  It is powerful, calming and extremely helpful for me.  It’s common to turn toward prayer during times of trouble and don’t for one second think that God isn’t listening because you aren’t a regular prayer.  He is always there and always welcoming you with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart.  We need to unite in prayer for those families affected by today's mass shooting and for peace in this world.  

Today’s mass shooting at the Naval Station in DC touched close to home for me.  I live near a major naval base, have loved ones that work on the base, and have close friends that work on the DC base.  Luckily, all my loved ones are safe, but there are many that are suffering today.  These men and women that were targeted today are among many that have put their lives on the line for this country here and abroad.  They are brave men and women, much braver than me, and their families have sacrificed tremendously for our freedom.  Birthdays, holidays, first days of school, first words, last words, have all been missed because they are serving the citizens of the United States.  I am not saying their lives are more important than other lives because I truly believe we are all equals, but they have sacrificed for us and now they are sacrificing again, and it's for a completely unnecessary and and selfish reason. 
 
I pray for those who lost a loved one today. 
I pray that tormented souls deal with their pain in a healthy fashion and not at the expense of other’s lives. 
I pray for Peace. 
I pray for Love, an abundance of Love. This world is in dire need of a little more love. 
 
I firmly believe that the more respectful we are to each other, the better this world will be.  Treat others as Jesus would treat them. 

Much love.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Off to the Ball

If you would have asked me two weeks ago if I thought I'd be able to compete in the Fall 2013 Arthur Murray DC Freestyle Ballroom Dance Competition, I would have told you no with an extremely sad heart, but my knee has healed quickly and I can in fact compete this coming Friday!  I am beyond excited!  My knee injury was a result of overuse.  I basically strained my IT band and staying off it, icing it and stretching it, was exactly what I was supposed to do.  The doctor was completely find with my dancing, but told me not to run or cycle for 3 weeks.  The constant repetitive motion is what irritates the IT band and in turn my knee.  Luckily for me, dancing isn't repetitive or pounding. 
 
While I do not feel nearly as prepared for this competition because I missed three weeks of lessons and I am not dancing with my traditional instructor, I am still very excited to compete.  When I dance, I feel so alive.  There is an energy that exudes from my body.  I absolutely love it!  When I dance, I feel. I feel the music. I react to the lead most of the time. I'm focused. I'm smiling. I'm in a different world for those two minutes per dance. 
On Friday, the studio had a "spotlight" or a mock competition for all the students competing in DC, so Ryan was able to see me somewhat in my mode.  I wasn't in costume and my hair and makeup weren't done, but I was all smiles and much more confident while I was dancing.  He was thoroughly impressed and said I like seeing you like that.  You are way better than you used to be.  It's cool.  He has never seen me compete, but fingers crossed he will be able to see me this weekend!  It's a different world and for those who aren't competing it's like watching a movie.  There are costume ball gowns, an abundance of fringe, tan bodies, fake lashes, an insane amount of diamonds and glitter, constant dancing, and plastered on smiles. The one thing that bonds us all together, we love to dance and we want to be great!  It's such a fun family to be a part of.  We are competitors on the floor and friends off the floor.  I watch in awe of several dancers, take mental notes on how to improve my skills, compliment others, but the second I get on the floor, I dance and if you are in my way, I'm sorry, buy you'll probably be hit with my arm extensions or stepped on my by heel.  It goes both ways.  I've had my fair share of damages.

Here is a picture of a picture of my during my last competition!  I've got some swag, but I also have a ton of room for improvement.
 
Oh and for pure entertainment, each competition has a theme and this year it is an 80's theme!!  Like my costume?!
 
 
SPIL: Simple Pleasures In Life
+Feeling like a rock star on the floor
+Fringe dresses that give you sass
+Amazing instructors and friends
+Dancing
 
Much love.

P.S. If anyone has any digital pictures of me, please let me know!  I don't have any because I am always behind the camera...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Arbonne Skin Care


Arbonne is my brand choice for skin care.  It is natural, green, and extremely gentle on your skin. The first time I attended a facial party, I remember thinking how soft my skin felt and how fruity the cleanser smelled.  I had never thought any facial cleanser smelled like anything edible. 
 
I am a Consultant for Arbonne, but I am not one that is extremely active.  I am still learning about the company, their mission and all of the products.  I know from my experience that I have been impressed with each product.  I use their skin cleanser, facial lotions, hair products, make-up and perfume.  A good friend of mine who has a 6-month old that has shown allergies towards several products, has had nothing but rave review
 
The beautiful thing about Arbonne is that it provides external skin care as well as a health line for those who want supplements, protein, teas, etc.  I will be dedicating posts to individual lines, but in this initial post, I want to introduce you two the facial cleansers and lotions that I use on a daily basis.  They are not a complete line, but rather a mixture of lines that fit my specific needs.
 
When I wake up, I wash my face with Calm Gentle Daily Cleanser.    This extra-gentle, sulfate-free cleanser, formulated with only the most essential ingredients, gently washes away makeup, excess oil and dirt without irritating or over-drying the skin. Leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed, and can be used day or night.
Personal Experience: It is a smooth cleaners without any scrubbing agents.  It is extremely gentle and rinses off the oils from a night of sleeping. I also use this Calm Cleanser after working out.  It's great for rinsing sweat and dirt off your face before it begins clogging your pores.
Calm Gentle Daily Cleanser from Arbonne 
After a simple wash, I use Revelage Concentrated Age Spot Minimizer. A convenient, highly concentrated formula for brighter, clearer skin. Helps skin become more even-toned while delivering powerful antioxidant and brightening ingredients to diminish the appearance of age spots and skin discoloration.
Personal Experience: Since I have been using this, the dark spots from zits has lightened significantly.  My skin looks so much clearer and younger.  I only use it where I have dark spots, so it lasts for a long time.
Revelage Concentrated Age Spot Minimizer from Arbonne
After the spot remover, I use FC5 Nurturing Day Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20 on my entire face.  For normal/dry skin. Rich moisturizer filters UV rays to help prevent sunburn. Leaves skin feeling moisturized and looking more youthful. If used as directed with other sun protection measures, will decrease the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun as well as helps prevent sunburn.
Personal Experience: The SPF 20 has come in extremely handy this summer.  I didn't  burn once on my face which is a first for the summer time.  This lotion is very lite.
FC5 Nurturing Day Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen from Arbonne
After some facial lotion, I put on some eye make-up and call it day!

My evening routine consists of washing my face with FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub.  For all skin types. Gently exfoliates to uncover more youthful, radiant-looking skin. Do not use this product on abraded skin .
Personal Experience:  It gently scrubs my skin, removes all make-up, doesn't irritate my skin and leaves my face feeling as soft as a baby's bottom! My pores are definitely less noticeable since using this scrub.
FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub  from Arbonne
I am known to have small eyes and puffy eyes with lack of sleep, so I use Calm Soothing Eye Gel under my eyes before going to bed.  This gentle ophthalmologist-tested eye gel, packaged with a convenient roller ball applicator, feels instantly refreshing on the skin. Helps reduce the appearance of puffiness around the eyes and hydrates and smooths the eye area for youthful, vibrant-looking skin. 
Personal Experience:  This gel is cool in temperature and seems to work well.  I have less visible bags under my eyes.  Granted more sleep and lots of water can help with bags as well, so the combination of the three works best.
Calm Soothing Eye Gel from Arbonne
Finally, I use FC5 Moisturizing Night Crème some nights, not all nights.  For normal/dry skin. Rich moisturizing crème nurtures skin while you sleep, helping to maintain young, beautiful skin.
Personal Experience: It all depends on how my skin is feeling. If my skin feels dry or tight, I will use it.  If my skin feel healthy, I generally sleep without any products on my face.  This is a personal preference.
FC5 Moisturizing Night Crème  from Arbonne
I primarily use a combination of the FC5 and Calm lines with the addition of the Revelage spot remover.  Both the FC5 and the Calm lines are wonderful in themselves and I have used them each, but I have found that a combination of them works best for my skin and best for the my lifestyle. 
 
I will be posting on the make-up line, health line, baby line, and hair care in the future.  If you would like to make a purchase or sample a product, please let me know.
 
SPIL
+Youthful feeling skin
+Clear skin
+Healthy skin
+All natural
 
Much love. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five Love Languages


Do you know what Love Language you are?  If you do, do you know what love language your partner is?  If you’ve taken then test, do you think you may have changed since the last time you took it?  We are all human and we are constantly changing.  I for one know that I am a very different woman from the woman I was five years ago.  I’m much more confident, I have different priorities, I’m still emotional, but I am more in tune with my emotions and I understand myself.  I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, but I’ve learned to embrace the woman I am and the relationship I am in. 
Sometimes we need gentle reminders to love others how they want to be loved.  We are all unique and need love to be expressed towards us differently.  My husband and I took the 5 Love Languages test over 3 years ago and it was eye opening.  It was completely accurate and we realized that we could love each other better.  I just took it again today to see if I scored the same and I did, so my love languages are holding strong. 

Love Languages are scored from 12 to 1 with 12 being the strongest love language for you.  I scored the following:

9 Quality Time
9 Physical Touch
7 Words of Affirmation
4 Acts of Service
1 Receiving Gifts
My primary love language is Quality Time, always has been and probably always will be.  In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says “I love you,” like full, undivided attention.  Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loves.  Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.  Quality time also means sharing quality conversation. 5lovelanguages.com The challenge arises when the person you are with is not the same love language as you are.  It’s hard to explain to someone how hurt you are when they are watching TV while you are talking when it doesn’t bother them in the least.  Ryan and I definitely struggle with this one at times because he is NOT a quality time person.

My second love language is Physical Touch and my husband is great at this one!  This language isn’t all about the bedroom.  A person whose primary love language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy.  Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love.  Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.  Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship. Ryan and I share Physical Touch as our second love language, so we are pretty good at this one. 

Ryan’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation.  This is a struggle for me.  I have to constantly remind myself to give him words of affirmation more frequently than I do.  There are some creative ways that help me remember and let him know I love him without me actually speaking them.  I used to write him so many emails and send him cards all the time, but I haven’t done that lately. I definitely need to step up my game because I do love him and I want him to feel loved with all my heart. 

  1. Think of something encouraging to tell your husband...and tell him in creative way. You could use a card, an email, a text message, or a skywriter in the clouds...your choice.
  2. Go buy 4 “Thinking of You” or “I Love You” cards at a local store. Write out encouraging notes or love notes and give them to your husband...once per week.
  3. Thank your husband for how he takes care of at least one specific need for you or your family. Be sincere and heartfelt.
  4. Meditate on Proverbs 25:11, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Share your reaction to this verse with your husband and how you will be intentional about giving him more “words aptly spoken.”

If you or your partner want to take the test, click here.  It only takes 5 minutes and is quite eye opening.  It’s completely free and you get an email with detailed results! 
 
SPIL
+Loving with all your heart
+Bear hugs from your hubby
+Love taps on your booty
+A squeeze of your hand
+Passionate kisses
 
 
Much love.

Time for a Chop.

I need to cut my hair. 
Heck, I really want to cut my hair.
But I am so indecisive.
I wish there were wigs that I could try on.
I know it's hair and it will grow back.
But to have an idea of what I will look like with short locks would be nice.
 
I am thinking of having the longest strands at my collarbone and the shortest ones at my chin.  I will NOT be getting bangs because I'd like to look at least half my age.  Bangs instantly make me look 14 and I definitely don't want to go that route.  I may do the long angled bangs, but not traditional bangs.  The bigger question is, do I angle it shorter I the back and longer in the front OR do I do long layers and one general length??  Help!  This is me with my long straight hair:
This is a horrible picture, but you can see the length - bra strap length.
  These are my favorite options for my future chop-a-roo:
Option 1: Angled
Option 2: Keeping some length, long layers

Option 3: Shorter with long layers and long bangs
 
Option 4: Very close to option 3 with a side part (my natural part) and a little shorter
Please. Please. Please give me your honest answer.  Which one's your favorite for this round-faced brunette?!?

SPIL
+Quickly growing hair
+Foam rollers that loosen tight muscles.

Much love.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stop Littering

Please.
Stop Littering.
It's selfish.
It's lazy.
It's flat out dirty.
It can kill.
 
I'm not perfect, but I don't litter and instead of preaching to you, I'm going to tell you an amazing story.  Brace yourselves because it's a good one and it's real.
 
This past Sunday my mom, dad, sister, brother, brother's girlfriend, the family dog and myself were fishing and hiking the creek when we heard the family dog barking, growling, and splashing through the water.  We immediately took off up the creek to see what was going on.  Bella, the family dog, was attempting to attack an 8-point buck.  Why wasn't the deer running?  Then we realized that there was what appear to be a rope strewn from a tree and across the creek that the deer's antlers were caught in and prohibiting the deer from running away.  We were able to get Bella away from the deer without injury to either the deer or our pup, but the deer was farm from calm.  Deer are strong. Antlers can spear the human body.  This was a sticky situation because we didn't have anything to cut the rope.  After debating about whether or not we should run back to the house or try to find a house in the woods, my brother decided to use his animal instincts and knowledge of deer.  He took his shirt off and slowly walked towards the buck that was now lying in the brush.  Slowly he was able to get close enough to the deer to put his shirt over the deer's eyes.  When deer can't see, they are very calm because they feel safe.  The deer stayed calm and my brother proceeded the sit on the deer and unwind the electric fence rope from the deer's antlers.  After a few minutes, my brother slowly stood up and walked away.  With that, the deer shook the shirt off of his face, looked around and took off into the woods.  He was free!  My brother saved him!  It was one of the coolest nature experiences I've every witnessed.  I am beyond proud and in awe of my brother.  It takes a special person to be able to do that. 
 
The electric fencing rope was over 100ft in length and was extremely strong; it is a tightly woven flat rope with wiring through it.  There was no way the deer was going to get out; his antlers were tightly tangled. 
 
Please stop the littering.  This rope probably came from a job site and was most likely no on purpose, but it trapped a deer and could have turned out far worse than it did.  Just be aware of your belongings and respect nature.  
 
Thank you from the deer community!
 
SPIL
+Brothers
+Deer
+Instincts
 
Much love.

A Visit Home

Home.  Ahh!  I absolutely love going home to parents’ house, seeing family, enjoying nature, catching up with best friends.  It’s a version of my heaven.  This past weekend was no exception.  Lir Lir puppy and I had an easy drive north, enjoyed an extremely colorful and sometimes blinding sunset on the Easter Shore, were greeted by a very excited and much larger pup the second we drove into the now PAVED driveway, and then we were embraced by my parents and younger sister as we walked in the door.  It’s so nice to come home!  The paved driveway was neighborhood news when it happened.  No one ever thought my parents would pave the driveway.  It’s never been paved and they have lived there 28 years.  Never say never.

Saturday morning Jamie came over with her dog and we have a puppy play date.  A huge yard that isn’t perfectly manicured is perfect for puppies to play in.  These dogs are puppies in age and dogs in size, so they can do some damage.  We had a few quarrels, but other than that there were just lots of running.  The weather was perfect so we just hung out at the picnic table and talked about life, love, vacations, work, you know the norm.  Sometimes perfect weather and good company is all the heart, mind and body need to thrive.  This weekend I enjoyed just those things with a huge dose of love. 
After some awesome friend time, I enjoyed some wonderful family time.  Bonnie had Soccer Day...yes, that's a day filled with soccer games and it is an extremely exciting time as a community soccer play because it is the one tournament of the season.  I used to love soccer day!  Bonnie's team came in second place.  They were so close to winning, but sluggish muscles won over and they failed to hold off the gold team.  

My sister is so pretty :)
 
 
In between soccer games we visited with my Gramma because her nursing home is literally next to the soccer fields!  It was perfect!  She definitely loved the company.  We took a nice walk outside and enjoyed the weather.  Fall is definitely coming because while it was sunny, Gramma was quite content in her sweater. 
 
She's such a strong woman, whom like many people her age, has suffered great loss and experienced monumental joys.  She is an inspiration to me because while she has very little feeling of her lower body, hallucinates at times, and is bed/wheelchair bound, she loves deeply, always has room for sweets and  speaks her mind!  She loves visitors and tells you straight up that she wants you to come back.  So, Saturday evening after seeing her twice that day, my little sister and I brought little lir lir puppy in for a surprise visit!  Gramma was sleeping, but in her words...I sleep a lot, just wake me up!! Time passes quickly when she has visitors and when she sleeps. Lira loved the visit just as much as Gramma did!  Gramma loves animals, especially cuddly ones and Lira loves to cuddle and be pet, so they make a perfect pair!  It was one of the sweetest visits I've shared with my Gramma and I wouldn't change that spur of the moment visit for anything.  She was happy.  I loved it.
 
Fall is coming!
 
 
 SPIL
+Grammas who speak their mind
+Small hometowns
+Flowers grown with love
+Huge puppy licks across your face
 
Much love.