Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Much Needed Reminder

I haven’t been great at going to church lately.  I’m not proud of it, but I’m being honest.  Attending Mass had been on the backburner lately.  It all started a few months ago when week after week we left Mass feeling like we had just attending a political presentation.  I don’t go to Mass to hear political opinions.  Frankly, I hate hearing about politics during Mass.  I got discouraged and I was slightly embarrassed by the homilies.  It wasn’t good.  I decided to take a break for a little while and then I started feeling guilty for taking a break from Mass.  So, this past weekend Ryan and I went to Mass.  I prayed for a homily that would inspire us, speak to us and rejuvenate my spirit to come back to Mass.  Boy oh Boy, were my prayers heard alright! 

Father gave a beautiful homily on humility.  At times he went a little extreme and made it sound that accomplishments and success are to be looked down upon, which I completely disagree with because when you work hard and succeed, you should be proud of your accomplishments.  Not proud in a boasting, I’m better than you manner, but a healthy sense of accomplishment isn’t anything to be ashamed about in my opinion.  Father spoke about humility and how with humility comes a great love and appreciation for others.  When we are humble, we open our hearts to others, accept others, and understand others better because we aren’t judging, we aren’t competing and we don’t have a sense of entitlement.  He reminded us that only God knows the inner workings of our hearts.  Only God knows the motives behind each action.  Only God knows what we have experienced and how we have been impacted.  Only God truly knows who we are.  God is all-knowing and only God can truly judge us.

This homily was exactly what Ryan and I needed.  We can both become overly confident and judgmental at times.  It’s a definitely weakness of ours.  I’m grateful that we heard this beautiful homily and were reminded that we need the Lord in our life and we need to be more understanding and loving to all of humanity.  Only God knows what’s in our hearts. 

A Prayer for the Virtue of Humility:

Lord Jesus,

When You walked the earth, Your humility obscured Your Kingship. Your meekness confused the arrogant, Hindering them from grasping Your purpose, Your nobleness attending to the destitutes. Teach me to model after Your eminence, to subject my human nature to humility. Grant me a natural inclination to never view myself greater than anyone. Banish all lingering sparks of self-importance That could elevate me greater than You. Let my heart always imitate Your humility! Amen.

I definitely feel much more fulfilled after attending Mass.  It’s truly amazing how much my soul thrives off of experiencing the Mass.  It is who I am and I have been abandoning it for selfish reasons.  I am still learning and growing in my faith and understanding of how much my faith influences my life.  While Mass was lacking in my life, Prayer was very active.  Prayer is an integral part of my life, but not in a traditional sense.  I pray while I drive, I pray while I walk, I pray for people when I’m reminded of them by a smell, a song, a flower, an image, you name it.  Before I go to bed, I pray traditional prayers.  All day long, I pray nontraditionally, more conversational.  Before meals, I whisper a prayer of thanks.  Before dinner, we pray as a family.  When I see the moon, I pray one of my favorite prayers:

I see the moon.
The moon sees me.
God bless the moon
And God bless me.

Amen.

One reason I am super stoked to have kids is to teach them all the amazing children’s prayers out there today!  There are so many wonderful books that are packed full of beautiful prayers and stunning pictures!  One day…

Much love.

Monday, October 28, 2013

2,600 Miles in 5 Days


Ryan drove 2,594 miles and I drove 6.  Yes, I drove 6 of the 2,600 miles, but I was a heck of a good copilot with my incessant air braking, stellar radio station selections, and in general healthy food supply.  I would never have made the drive by myself, but luckily I married a man who can drive.  I’ve learned to be a decent copilot who never sleeps, can read in the car and is more than willing to provide entertainment given that I am not in a pivotal point in my book.  Back to the trip…Why would anyone willingly choose to drive 2,600 miles in 5 days?  Well, if ticket prices are outrageous and you have a little boy that needs to see his papa and stepmom, you hitch up your bootstraps and drive.  Believe me, all the body stiffness and pain from a silly ticket for going 10 over, disappeared the second we saw Little Man’s smiling face!  He was waiting for us in the street and led us to his house on his bicycle!  It was cute.  He was really excited! 
 

Our first night wasn’t too eventful because we were exhausted.  We found a hotel, got some Mexican food and passed out!  It was lovely to sleep.  The next day we had!  Little Man got his hair cut, we went to the mall and he showed us all the guns he wants for Christmas (but will not be getting), I got a pair of jeans, and then we headed to Amana Colonies.  

 
The Amana Colonies were fun!  We bought honey sticks, ate fudge, drank beer and root beer respectively, took lots of pictures, walked around and had a nice afternoon.  The Amana Colonies remind me of Amish Colonies in Lancaster, PA.  It’s a religious communal colony that’s virtually self-sufficient.  Little Man had a good time palling around with me and Ryan.  We are still kind of cool in his eyes, which is nice! 
 
 

 
After the colonies, we headed back to the hotel and I took a nap.  Not really sure what the boys did, but I definitely slept a bit.  Traveling is rough on my body.  That night we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and it was bad.  The wings were too hot, I spilled an entire glass of cold water on my lap, the restaurant was freezing…it was unanimous that BWs was a bad choice. I really needed a cup of soup and a side salad, but hot wings were consumed instead.  After that we got ice cream… why you ask?  We have no idea.  Once again, bad choice.  Off to bed it was with our sick bellies. 

 
Saturday was good!  We got up, packed our room up and went to see Gravity!  Awesome movie!  I totally, 100% recommend seeing it in 3D!  Ryan and I loved it!  Jared definitely liked it and thought it was cool, but immediately informed us that he never wants to be an astronaut.  Ryan and I just chuckled.  

 
Saturday afternoon was wedding time!  Ryan’s friend from when he was in his late teens/early twenties was getting married and we all attended!  His bride was beautiful and the party was fun!  The 6 miles I mentioned that I drove earlier…they were from the reception to the hotel.  I behaved myself.  Someone I love dearly didn’t.
 

Sunday was a sad day.  It was our last day with Little Man.  We all knew.  There was a general heaviness in our hearts and we weren’t nearly as perky as the days prior.  We made the most of it by golfing at Little Man’s 9-hole course and getting pizza!!  The course was covered in leaves, so it was challenging to find your ball even if you were in the middle of the fairway.  It wasn’t a stellar performance for any of us, but really not for me.  I pretty much played a horrible 9-holes.  That’s what happens when you never play, like ever.

 
Before saying goodbye, we walked around the track at Little Man's school.  He is in middle school, but the middle school is with the high school because the town is so small.  He loves it of course!
 


 
We said goodbye, hugged, bawled our eyes out, and then hit the road again. Goodbyes are horrendous.  They kill all of us.  We can’t wait until he’s back with us, but for now Skype is our best friend.  He really needs a strong father figure to keep him in line.  All children need a consistent firm hand during their preteen, teen, and post teen years. Little Man is 11 ½ and in full swing of his preteen years.  Fun times!  We’ve all been there.
 
Much love.

 



 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Music Lovin


“Let Her Go” by Passenger is a song I am completely lovin right now.

Well you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast
You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

[…]
 
 

The emotions that music brings out in me astound me on a daily basis.  A simple song can turn me from sad to happy, frustrated to light hearted, carefree to heavyhearted.  It never ceases to amaze me how my mind, body and soul react to music.  Dancing is an expression of the way I feel about music...and I am not just talking about ballroom dancing.  I'm talking about PJ dancing, interpretive dancing, kitchen romantic dancing, baby bouncing dancing, puppy cuddling dancing, crazy "I'm going insane" dancing, cleaning dancing...it's all an expression of the music in me!  Feel the music!  Embrace the music!  Love the music!
 
Much love.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rainy Weekend Turned Bright

 
It’s been raining here in Virginia Beach for what seems like an eternity.  Yet only two weeks ago I was bragging about the beautiful fall skies.  Shame on me for bragging too much about the amazing skies.  Mother Nature has shown me nothing but grey skies for 10 days now.  Vitamin D supplements have been consumed to combat any possibility of moodiness. 
 
Instead of giving in to the grey skies, high winds, damn air, and puddles, I embraced them.  I lit candles, turned on some tunes and went all Betty Homemaker!  It was glorious!  I made tomato soup from scratch…mostly from my garden and it was delicious!!  We are still eating it and my tummy is very happy!  I painted a little rocking chair fire engine red!  It’s a happy little chair, isn’t it?!  Oh and it was a thrifty endeavor!


 
Rocking Chair: $5.99 at Thrift Store
Spray Paint: $3 at Home Depot
Sand Paper: Already had
Damp Rag: Free
Total Cost: $8.99

Since I had this happy little red rocking chair, I only needed a cute little boy who adores climbing to model with it and model he did!!

 
 
 
While he loved climbing on the rocking chair and eating playing with the pumpkins, his mama and I had fun documenting his 8 month pictures.  His mom is so great at taking pictures each and every month of his little life so far!  I can only hope that I am as dedicated with my future kiddos as she is with him. 





Totally Random…having a dirty baby diaper in my trashcan kind of made me happy.  Oh and I was so proud of my little Lira puppy who belly crawled up to baby C man and sniffed him.  She was wonderful with the active baby!  Yay!  I think Lira and I are both ready for some babies in this house! 
 
Aside from these two creative endeavors, I hung out with friends, went on a spur of the momeny date with my hubby, and cuddled a ton with my puppy!  She was in such a cudde bug mood and I ate it up! 
 
SPIL: Simple Pleasures In Life
~Friends that "get" you
~Cute diners with Christmas lights & Flying Pigs
~Homemade Soup in the Fall
~Babies learning to be mobile
 
Much love.
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review: Capturing Life Through Better Photography

Tamara Lackey’s Capturing Life Through (better) Photography
By Tamara Lackey
Gift Set
I’m always looking to improve my photography skills and I refuse to pigeon hole myself.  I have found some methods work better than others for me, but I know I am far from polished as a photographer.  I have a lot to learn and am eager to immerse myself in as much knowledge as possible.  You never know when inspiration will hit?  Sometimes you need a little nudge in one direction or another to make you realize what you have been struggling with for weeks, months, or years, to express.  Because I am a constant student and I thoroughly enjoy learning, I read….a lot. 
 
This book was great!  It was easy to read and easy to understand.  By no means is this book technically informative, but if you are a mama who wants to capture better pictures of your babies or a camera owner that wants to know a bit more about how to approach a photo, this book is a great starting point.  Since I know a decent amount about my camera and the technicalities of taking a certain picture, I read this book for its approach to photography.  The tips on how to look at a subject, the reminders of certain lighting situations, the focus on the photographer as opposed to the camera, and the ease of read all made for a pleasurable read. 
 
Tamara Lackey has a website that you can browse here.

 Much love.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

No Plans!

No plans pretty much sums up my weekend and it was glorious!  Ryan and I just flew by the seat of our pants which is something that is rare for us because we are both quite busy these days.  Friday I got home before Ryan which never happens so I cleaned the house without interruption and it was glorious!  A clean house makes me feel amazing.  A clean house on a Friday makes my weekend freaking amazing!!  I went a little crazy after cleaning the house...I turned little man's room into a photography studio.  It isn't complete, but it's far closer than it was Friday morning. 
 
Since Ryan still wasn't home, I decided to go for a run.  For those of you who have been following me, you know I strained my IT band in the Rock N Roll half marathon over Labor Day weekend and I wasn't allowed to run for 4 weeks.  Well, it's been 5 weeks and I decided to run.  It was a glorious run!  I felt like I was floating!  I just kept getting faster and I felt amazing.  It may have been the best 3 mile run of my life.  Wow!  I missed that and I never thought those words would come out of my mouth...ever. 
 
Around 7/7:30, my Ryan got home and we headed out for a late dinner at a casual bar.  I went all country on him and felt super cute!  I like date nights a lot and I love wearing shorts and boots!  I'm a quality time kind of girl.  We both had mouth watering burritos and a Amber Ales.  Yum!
 
Saturday Ryan played golf and I walked the beach in the morning with a  girlfriend.  It was a beautiful morning on the bay.  The sun was high, the bay was completely calm, and there was a gentle breeze.  It was perfect!  I definitely love beach walks.  They are good for my legs!
 
After the walk, Han and I got our hair cut!  We didn't make appointments.  We didn't have a time set.  We just went to Supercuts when we were both ready and we both got great cuts!! I went short...6 inches gone.  What do you think?
 
Saturday evening Ryan, Lira and I went to the beach an hour before sunset so that I could practice my photography.  It was extremely beneficial to work with that perfect lighting.  The beach, while beautiful, offers challenges when trying to capture perfect photographs. I definitely learned a few things and for that I am thankful.
  

 


 

 
Sunday I slept in until 10:45 and it was perfect. This body needed sleep and it got it.  Sunday was a lazy day of walks with the puppy, fabric shopping, and football watching.  I hope your weekend was glorious!

Much love.