Monday, June 30, 2008

Our favorite part would have been Cotton-Eyed Joe...

I'm writing the run-down of our weekend a little late this week because I didn't turn my computer on at all on Sunday. Believe me, that is a big deal for this girl! I'm usually quite compulsive about checking email and bloglines.

Saturday morning A and I worked on our patio table refurbishing project. We made some good progress on it! In the afternoon we worked in the office for several hours. My desk had become a disorganized mess and I needed some time to tackle it. I got it cleaned up and it looks much better now. Saturday night was pizza night and we watched "The Bucket List."

I really, really liked this movie! It has some good lessons that most of us wait too long before learning. I can't say that I have these lessons down, but I'd like to make a better effort at trying.

Sunday morning we went to church and heard an excellent message about road hazards that threaten to trip us up on our journey. The message focused on seven major sins in our lives (also called the 7 deadly sins) which was a great reminder for me. Sometimes we gloss over sin in our own life while it is so easy to see sins and weaknesses in others. I want to be better about focusing on my own shortcomings since they are the only ones that, with Christ's help, I have any power to change.

After church we stopped at Walmart to buy more paint for our patio table. We've also been wanting to buy some more mulch for our front garden so we picked that up while we were there. After spending some more time working on the table in the hot Colorado sunshine we retreated to the family room which is in our basement. We totally participated in the day of rest by resting and watching several episodes of "Jon & Kate plus Eight." We also caught TLC's new show "Rock the Reception." If you haven't read BooMama's post about her friends who were on this show, you really should. It's a great post and it's fun to get the inside scoop on the show. Anyway, A and I have decided that if we had it all to do over again, we'd totally do some kind of choreographed/funky/non-traditional first dance at our wedding reception. Maybe for an anniversary party some year...

To close, I will leave you with this: I'm not sure if you've seen the Evolution of Dance video on YouTube. It's awesome and if you haven't, I totally recommend it. The following video is a wedding take on the whole thing. This is the kind of thing A and I wish we would have been clever enough to come up with. Stick with the first part of the video that's kind of really kicks in around 1:34. Enjoy!

We have a winner!

Congratulations Steph at It's Toile, Y'all!

Thanks to all who entered this giveaway! Wishing you many great reads this summer...

A Giveaway!

This post will stay at the top of my blog until Monday afternoon, June 30...scroll down between now and then to see what's new.

Do you enter giveaways on other people's blogs? I didn't for a long time but I slowly started entering one every now and again. I enter them more often now, but am still waiting for my first win. I'm now going to try the other side of the coin - hosting a giveaway!!

Gretchen at "Jewels in My Crown...Someday" had the awesome idea to host a Book Giveaway Carnival. I am an avid reader and am always on the lookout for a good book. I'm also constantly needing a new bookshelf, which is one reason this giveaway is so perfect...I'll get to bless someone with a good read and make a little space on my shelf.

I am giving away "Quaker Summer" by Lisa Samson.

I chose this book for my book group last September and it was very well-received. It is also the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2007. Here's the blurb from the back of the book...

Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything - a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband, and soapstone countertops - yet still feels miserable inside?

Yet when Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun in a downtown homeless shelter, she suddenly finds herself at a crossroads.

Sometimes you have to go a little bit crazy to find the life you were meant to live.

Just re-reading the back of the book brings a smile to my face since I know how the whole thing turns out. It really is a delightful read that will stretch you too.

To be eligible to win this book, just leave me a comment on this post. If you have a book recommendation that you'd like to leave with your comment I would love to hear it, but that is optional. The contest is open until Monday, June 30 at 1:00pm Mountain Time and I'll announce the winner shortly thereafter. Also, this contest is open to U.S. readers only.

Happy Reading!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

All Better! :)

Happy Friday everyone! We made it to the weekend - hooray!

First off, thanks for your kind wishes and prayers for my migraines. I'm happy to report that I have been migraine-free for 2 days now. It's so nice to feel GOOD during the day so that I can actually get things accomplished.

One of the things that I did while I was laying around waiting for my head to stop pounding was select my next Bible study. My small group through church wrapped up at the end of April and I've kind of just been doing my own thing since then. I need to get back to a structured study, so I've decided to work through Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself.

I'm going to watch the intro video this afternoon. I've actually started this study twice before but have never gotten past the first week, not because I didn't like the study, but life just seemed to take over, I got distracted and never came back to it. Thus the reason I am blogging about it this time. I'm hoping that by declaring to the bloggy world that I'm planning to complete this study in the next 10 weeks, I will be more accountable to actually following through on that goal. The study is about the Holy Spirit's power in our lives and the fruits of the Spirit. I don't know about you but I could use some of the Spirit's power and fruit in my life!

I've also been catching up on blog posts this week and I found a cool thing over at BooMama's blog. A and I were already hoping to do a little home improvement project in the next couple of weeks, so I figure I'll blog about it and take part in BooMama's Before and After event, too! My goal is to refurbish our patio table. We'd like to clean and repaint the whole thing and recover the chair pads. I've had the table for almost 10 years and I've never done one thing to spruce it up, so it is l-o-n-g overdue. I look forward to sharing our (hopefully successful!) results with you on July 25!


Tonight we are going to my in-laws house for dinner. A's aunt from Seattle is in town and we're going over to visit with her. I'm taking a tossed salad. I wasn't too lofty in my cooking goals when I talked to my mother-in-law on Tuesday since I didn't know how I'd be feeling. I'd better get myself some lunch and put together a salad while I'm in the kitchen. Hope your Friday is a great one!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Could someone please pop my head off?

Sorry I've been MIA lately...this week I've been fighting a migraine almost every day and I'm about to loose my mind over it! My sleep has been kind of erratic and that's the only thing I can figure that they might be linked to. Anyway, it's been hard enough to get my regular daily stuff taken care of so blogging has been moved to the back burner for now. Hopefully I'll be back to regular blogging (and no more migraines) soon!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What City Do You Belong In?

You Belong in Rome

You're a big city soul with a small town heart

Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome

Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand

And gorgeous Italian people - could life get any better?

Interesting - never thought of myself as an Italian kind of girl. Hmmm...maybe I'll have to consider a vacation to check it out first hand. ;)


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Jasmine!

Today is our baby kitty, Jasmine's birthday - she is three years old. Two years ago today we adopted her from our local humane society and she's been a blessing to our home ever since. We celebrate her birthday on the day we adopted her since we don't know her actual birthday.

Her birthday gift was a new scratcher and she loves it. We gave it to her this morning and she just kept playing and scratching on it - it was too cute. She's currently enjoying a birthday nap in the summer sunshine. :)

We're having brownies tonight for her birthday treat. She won't be having any (we'll probably give her some kitty treats instead) but we're glad to enjoy them for her!

Happy Birthday Jasmine!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday - Cut Flower Preservative

ETA: I'm not sure that this recipe is the best for your flowers. When I used it my flower's stems got really weak and the flowers seemed to die awfully quickly. I wasn't sure if maybe I got a bad batch from the florist, but I'm thinking that it might have been the preservative. I'm not going to use this recipe in the future - so sorry!

This time of year I love to cut fresh flowers from my garden to bring into the house. I see them more often and get to enjoy their fragrance all day long. But I feel guilty when I bring them inside and then they die shortly thereafter. It's like I killed them with my selfish desire to enjoy their beauty.

Floral preservative helps significantly, but I don't always have it around. I would feel badly taking one from the floral department of my grocery store every time I'm there, and to be honest I still don't know if that'd be enough to have on hand around home. So I did a little web surfing to come up with a floral preservative recipe that I can make at home with items I already have around the house and here it is!

Cut Flower Preservative
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
* 1 quart warm water

That's it - isn't that easy? Homemade floral preservative and beautiful, long-lasting flowers work for me!

For more great tips, stop by WFMW at Rocks in my Dryer.

June 18, 2008

Dear Baby,

You are on my mind today since this is the day that you were due to come into the world. I will never know what day would have actually been your birthday, but June 18 is a date that will forever be seared into my heart and mind.

Is it okay to tell you how much I miss you? How sad I am that I won't hold you or hear you laugh or coo this side of heaven? That some days I am incredibly jealous that you didn't have to face the pain and heartache of this world but instead went straight to the arms of Jesus? Oh how I wish I could see you in His arms. I know I am biased but it must be the most beautiful sight.

I wonder what it will be like to meet you in heaven. What will you be like? Will you be like an infant or is there an "age" that our souls become when we arrive in heaven? So many, many questions that I have learned to live with. Some days I want all the questions to go away, but other days I embrace them as they are one of the few links I still have to you. I still touch my belly and wish you were there. The lilies in our front yard are starting to get buds on them, which is comforting since there is one planted there in memory of you. When they open in a few weeks, they'll paint the front porch with the sweetest scent and I will think of you fondly. You were such a sweet blessing in my life.

I've been listening to the song "Better is One Day" a lot lately. I usually think of myself and my own life when I hear the song, but today it made me think of you. You didn't have a thousand days elsewhere, but instead have already started your eternity with Jesus. Your days with Christ are so much better than the total days I will spend here on planet earth. Oh how I ache to have you here on earth with me, but I am also happy for the glorious existence you are in. I bet if I could see heaven and know how amazingly perfect and fulfilling it is, there's no where else I'd want you to be.

I hope that you'll have siblings, but I also hope that I'll get to share the rest of my lifetime with them on earth before we all meet in heaven someday. What a family reunion that will be. I can't wait to know you. I love you and am so thankful for the months that I got to be your mom, even if it was way too short.

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be.

All My Love,

Monday, June 16, 2008

Seattle Recap...

Sooooo, I've actually been back from Seattle since Friday night, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. I was hoping that I'd have a chance to blog while I was on my trip, but my work obligations were a little more intense than I anticipated. I did have a few moments of down-time here and there but my computer was very public and very much on display and I just didn't feel like sharing my blog with all my coworkers. :)

When I leave town, I obviously have to leave food for A to eat during the week. The thing is that he doesn't really cook, because I always take care of the cooking. In the past I've cooked up a storm for him - lasagnas, casseroles, etc. But this time, I just didn't have the time or energy to do a bunch of cooking in advance. So this is what I left for him:

Considering I like to cook from scratch as much as possible and try to avoid heavily processed foods, this is quite abnormal for our home. It's perfect bachelor food though! :)

Monday afternoon I arrived at the Seattle airport to clouds and rain - what a shock, huh?! I had a super cute black trench coat with little white polka dots on it that I bought earlier this spring, and with my basic black umbrella I felt cute and well-equipped for the weather. I boarded the shuttle to the hotel and got this view of Seattle:

I took a few pictures of downtown Seattle as we drove to the hotel:

When I arrived at the Westin Seattle, I got checked in, went up to the room and freshened up before work. As I was about to head down to the registration desk, I looked out the window and saw sunshine! I figured I'd better snap a few pictures in case it was the only sun I saw the whole week. These pictures are the view from my hotel room - the first photo is Elliot Bay, part of Puget Sound, with some of downtown Seattle in the foreground.

These next two are Lake Union:

Here is Interstate 5, which takes you south to the airport and further south to Portland, OR:

Tuesday afternoon when I got back to the hotel room at 6:00pm, it was overcast and cloudy, but Lake Union was full of sailboats, which I thought was so pretty!

In the evenings after work, I'd head up to my room, change into my pjs (I'm SO not used to dressy work clothes any more!), watch TV and work on my card kits, and then talk to A before heading to bed. I took 4 card kits to work on and actually finished them all.

I did no sightseeing and saw no tourist attractions during my visit. If I couldn't see it from my hotel room or on the shuttle between the hotel and the airport, I didn't see it. Fortunately, the Space Needle did pop into view several times on the bus back to the airport, so I did get to see that and managed to snap a couple of photos, too.

The only thing I didn't get to see was Mt. Rainier. I wasn't out of hope though because I thought there might be a possibility of seeing it on the plane as we left Seattle. Those northwest mountains are so different than our Colorado mountains and they are especially breathtaking when you see them from the air. I was so delighted to look out the window (from my aisle seat no less) as we began the flight home and see the beautiful, freshly snow-capped, Mt. Rainier.

Sights like this bring me so much joy over God's incredible creation!

I was so glad to land in sunny Colorado Friday evening. A met me at the airport and then we drove back to Fort Collins. I was SO glad to get home to my husband, my kitty, and my bed! I spent the weekend sleeping, unpacking, doing laundry, and getting rested up for a new week...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Please pray...

for this sweet couple. William and Glenna are hoping to adopt their first baby who was just born yesterday but the birth father wants to terminate the adoption rights. I am heartbroken over what they are having to go through, but have faith in our miraculous God that He can turn this around for good. No matter what the outcome, I know that God has them in His hands. Thanks for your prayers...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday - Aerosol Hairspray

This week, I'm blogging about my hair. Because I am a girl and am never quite happy with my hair. Okay, I take that back. I am happy with my hair sometimes - maybe one day out of every 68.

Lately, I've been having some serious style issues. I have been blaming my individual hair strands, my genes, my hair style, etc.

A couple of weeks ago I had a fun, girls outing that I wanted to look good for. I got together with two friends that I've had for oh, 25+ years. These girls have known me in grade school, the awkward junior high years, high school and beyond. You know they have seen me with some bad hair and have loved me just the same. But still, a girl likes to make a valiant attempt at looking her best for a little girl-time doesn't she?

So as I'm standing in my bathroom attempting to get my hair to look decent, I fluffed, curled, primped, and styled. And when it was to my satisfaction, I grabbed my hairspray. Which was nearly empty.

So from under my sink, I grabbed a new can. And sprayed and sprayed. After a quick double check in the mirror, I was out the door.

I drove approximately 45 miles on the highway to this gathering. With all my windows down and the sunroof open because my air conditioner isn't working. Are you getting the high wind picture here?

And when I arrived and double checked my hair in the mirror - oh glory! My hair still looked great!!! It held all day. Through a walk in the hot Colorado sun. Through playing with a 2 year old. Through my drive all the way back home - all 45 miles again driven with the windows open. My hair hasn't held this well for months! Even when I've spent the day at my sewing machine, which isn't really the most strenuous activity for a hairstyle.

So what was the difference? One simple word - aerosol. The last bottle of hairspray I bought was the non-aerosol, pump-style bottle. I can't believe I didn't make the correlation between that and my limp, lifeless hair!! I am always going to buy the aerosol cans now. And yes, I know it's not great for the ozone layer, but I only spray once a day. I'm making strides toward living green in other areas of my life, but this area is just going to have to wait - until they invent an aerosol product that doesn't harm the environment, since I'm never going back to a pump. Because good hair works for me.

For more Works for me Wednesday tips and tricks, visit Rocks in my Dryer.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

If this post isn't random, I'm not sure what is...

First of all, my rose is blooming!!!

Isn't it GORGEOUS!?! And there are three more buds on it!

Last night while we ate dinner we caught a little bit of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" on TV. I couldn't help but think about Angela Thomas's teaching in her study, "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" about how extravagant and lavish and loving God is so He must be Greek. What an awesome picture of our God. Mwah!!

After dinner we took a walk around our neighborhood. We hung out by the lake for a little while and even played on the swings. It was dusk and the lights around the lake plus the last moments of the sun setting over the mountains were breathtaking!

There is something so carefree about swinging - what a great break from all the stress of getting ready for a trip.

Speaking of my trip, I think I'm finally all packed and ready to go. I've got my card kits to work on in the evenings in the hotel room, and plenty of reading material for the plane and any downtime. I'm taking this...

(Yes, I know I started it over Memorial Day weekend but time has gotten away from me. I'm hoping to finish it during the trip.)

...and this

(Oh how I love this magazine but it is meaty and I need to have some quiet, uninterrupted time to truly absorb all its wisdom.)

...and this

(I recently started getting this magazine again (for free!) and I missed it. Like Real Simple, there are a lot of great tips and advice in here so I need some good, focused time to take it all in.)

...and this

(So I can have a little cozy, cottage charm with me in my posh, urban hotel room.)

And finally, tonight we are going to Praise In The Park in Loveland to have a little worship time on a beautiful summer evening - can't wait! We've been going for 6 or 7 years now and it's one of my favorite traditions. In the past we've attended the event in Fort Collins which isn't until late July when it is still HOT at 6pm. So this year I got the bright idea to attend the Loveland event in early June. Praise the Lord for that idea!

Hope everyone has had an amazing weekend!

Didn't I just get home?

I'm not sure how this happens, but it seems like this week has flown by and been so l-o-n-g at the same time. After getting home from my visit to my parent's house last Friday night I had a bit of catching up to do at home - unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping. I had my friend Dottie over for a light lunch on Monday which was so much fun. And, she brought me the most delightful little gift!

Seriously, you should smell this stuff - it's just like being on the beach! Such a treat and so perfect for summer.

I had some errands to take of this week and one of my stops was at the Bath & Body Works semi-annual sale. I usually hit this sale a lot harder in January, but I did get a couple of great bargains this time. Anyone remember their Tutti Dolci line from a couple of years ago? I have a jar of the Lemon Meringue moisturizing souffle which smells incredible. It really does smell like a real pie! So at the B&BW sale this week, I found this product, which is a completely different line, but is the perfect complement to the lotion.

Mmmmmm, lemon meringue pie! All of the splurge and none of the guilt. I guess I've gotten pretty well stocked up on body washes this week haven't I? I LOVE them though and can never have enough.

About the point in the week where I got caught up from being gone, it was time to start preparing for my next trip! I'm am off to Seattle this next week to work at a conference. So Thursday, Friday, and this weekend have been devoted to trip preparations and packing. Since I'll be working all day at the conference, I don't have much for sightseeing or touring the city. I'm usually pretty tired at the end of the day so running around town to see the sights isn't as appealing as just relaxing in my hotel room. I'm pretty much a hermit in the evenings. One of the things I'm planning for the evenings is to put together a few cards. I've done all the stamping and cutting, so all that's left is to color the images and then assemble the cards. I've made four "kits" so I'm looking forward to getting those cards finished this next week. I'll have pictures after I get back.

Since Father's Day is a week from Sunday and I'm out of town all next week, I've had to get the Father's Day cards and gifts all ready this week. Here is the Father's Day card I made this year.

My dad's Father's Day gift will be a gift certificate to the Broadmoor Pro Shop to buy some merchandise from the U.S. Senior Open which will be held at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs this year. A's dad's Father's Day gift is a gift card to Inca Mexican Restaurant here in town. We're all about gift cards this year!

Back to the trip preparations!