Saturday, June 28, 2014


One of my favorite artists - Chihuly - has done an installation in Denver!  My daughter got to visit and sent me these gorgeous pictures.  Jealous, yes!  But I'll probably get to see it in a month when we head up there for vacation....there's something really amazing to me to see artwork displayed outside...subject to the elements and mixing in with nature.  Just incredible!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014



What would happen if you lost your child, only to find out later she grew up without you?  A story with lots of twists and turns.  This wasn't my favorite, but the story kept me in its grip.  I had to finish it.


I've been perusing the library lately trying to find the best book about organization and decluttering.  This one helps you think about not only your stuff that clutters up your life but also time clutter in your schedule.  It cites different examples of people working through the process and helps you see yourself in them.  This one is really helpful.

THE ART OF FALLING by Kathryn Craft

The first couple of chapters had me wondering but I kept with it.  A wonderful story about a dancer who struggles with her body image, relationships, and finally learns what it is to really live from an unlikely friendship.  I enjoyed getting into a dancer's mind and the world of dance in this one!

UNREMARRIED WIDOW by Artis Henderson

A story of love and grief - the author finds herself in love with an Army man and after a few short years with him, she loses him in a helicopter accident in Iraq.  It chronicles her feelings through the process and how she eventually realizes her dream job as a writer.

CALLED AGAIN by Jennifer Pharr Davis

I absolutely loved this one!  This is my third book I've read about hiking or going on a journey since I went on Wilderness Trek a couple of summers ago, and this one is by far the best.  Jennifer Pharr Davis set the record in 2011 for hiking the Appalachian Trail in 46 days. It details her adventure.  How was this possible?  She had a great support team to walk alongside her at times and help her so she wouldn't have to carry a heavy backpack.

Some of my favorite quotes:  "Do you think that being a woman helps you to be a better trail runner?  I asked.  What do you mean? Anne replied.  Well I was just thinking about it, and it seems to me like Mother Nature forces us to take breaks.  Whether it is a monthly break for our cycle or a seasonal one to have children, we're not always expected to perform at our best.  It's like we have an excuse to take breaks.  I almost feel bad for men who have the pressure competing at a high level all the time."

"Reaching for a life-long goal was rare enough, but actually being able to grab onto it seemed too good to be true.  I was currently in a half-aware haze of turning my aspirations into a reality.  It was a difficult and tangled but also beautiful and liberating place to be.  And now I wondered, and even feared, what it would be like to wake up."

Out of this bunch, Called Again was my favorite 
and Shed your Stuff the most helpful!  Happy reading!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I DID IT...15 BY 50

Well, I met my goal.  Woohoo!  At the beginning of the year as I thought about turning fifty years old, I decided I really wanted to lose the weight that had been annoying me a long time.  My pants were all so tight!  So my Lose 15 pounds by age 50 goal began.  It wasn't a lot of weight, but something that made me feel that I wasn't as healthy as I should be.  I wanted to look good in the graduation and birthday pictures I knew were coming and oddly enough, I don't think we even took a whole lot!

Around Christmas last year, the hubs decided to cut out refined sugar when my daughter told him how much sugar was in the hot chocolate drink he got daily (sometimes more than once) at Starbucks.  She said, and I quote, "Sugar is like Crack to your body."  So that is one thing he and I have both been made more aware of...just how much sugar is in the foods that we eat. He's lost 24 pounds! He does eat things sweetened with raw honey.

I didn't totally give up refined sugar but have been eating more fruits and less dessert.  I found that I could get away with something sweet in the afternoon, but not after dinner.  Also, if there's not going to be kids at home for dinner it has changed to more like a snack.  Weird, I know.  My exercise regimen has just changed slightly.  I still do some kind of exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes to an hour.  We trained for the OKC Memorial Marathon relay race, even if we ended up not running it due to weather this year.  So my exercise regimen has varied between Curves, Body & Soul classes, running, and now I've even added in Pilates classes.  I'm beginning to sound like an exercise junkie.  I guess that's a good thing!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my motivation jar!  I made THIS and it's in my bathroom.  I weighed every morning.  Yes, every single morning and paid myself $1 if I maintained.  I got $5 if I lost and had to pay $5 back to my husband if I gained.  Even though it was just a small amount of money, I rewarded myself at the end of every month.  It may sound selfish, but I decided it could not be used on anyone else. The last day of the month I had some fun money for some new beauty product or a pedicure - no food rewards!   For some reason I feel guilty about spending money on that kind of stuff, so this made it all right.  Anyway, it worked for me and I felt success every time I got to put in a $ and disappointed every time I had to pay out of it.  It motivated me to do better!

So I revealed my secret.  Everybody has their own way of maintaining a healthy weight and hopefully I'm there for a long, long time.

Do you have any behavior/diet modification 
secrets you want to share?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I thought this was a really cute way to serve cupcakes, using plastic martini glasses at our women's event the other night!  Really colorful too!

 We also went to a wedding the other night, and I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures of this Candy/cookie/cake bar.  They had it all!  Isn't it gorgeous?  The great thing about this is I didn't even care about getting a piece of the wedding cake (the real reason I go to weddings).

Finally, here's my sweetie!  They had a photo booth at the wedding too, 
and I couldn't resist sharing!  :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014


For a long time, the hubs has not really liked the light fixture over the island in our kitchen because he occasionally bumps his head - make that 13 years to be exact...

I've never really been sure what would look good over it and just didn't really want to mess with getting more connections if we did pendant lighting, etc., etc. Anyway, he got an award from work, and had to pick gift cards instead of directly getting cash.  So, I picked out this from West Elm:

What do you think?  My kids like it - especially the Edison bulbs.  BUT now they say I need to redo the entire kitchen.  The industrial look doesn't fit with my French Country style.  Especially my beloved rooster!  Anyway, I'm leaving it for now even though we have to turn on more lights when sitting at the island now.  The new fixture is all about mood and is definitely not task lighting like why didn't I think of that when I picked it out???

Thursday, June 12, 2014


This  morning I lay in bed looking at the blinking clock, not knowing what time it was since the power had gone off due to storms during the night, I smiled to myself and realized the dreaded birthday was here.  Today I am 50 years old!  I thankfully prayed to God for all the years, the blessings and for what is even greater to come.  I thought about how I was planning to spend my birthday and contemplated how we hold onto youth.  I now regularly color my hair to look younger, take medicine regularly to hold Lupus at bay, hope vitamins and hormones will retain my vitality, go occasionally for a spa treatment...all for what?  I thanked God for his TRUE MEDICINE.  His medicine that is a cure for all.  Medicine that never runs out.  His love because of the sacrifice of his precious Son is all we really need to hold onto.

I admit I am still thinking/praying/contemplating about the "second half of life" and I'm sure it's not just because of my 50th birthday - it's magnified because of the graduations of my sons lately and the empty nest looming on the horizon.  I've been reading HERE and asking myself a lot of questions about these things:

Even though my husband was out of town, I had a wonderful day!  I received sweet phone calls, texts and Facebook messages.   I didn't pick up a thing today...just let the mess sit there!  I exercised, ate well, got a new book to read, then headed to the spa...
Love a good massage and facial!

 I got a good laugh over this card from a relative!

 Finally, I had emailed friends about seeing movie, so we met for frozen yogurt first, then went to see "The Fault in our Stars."  I had read the book, so I knew what I was in for...and it did not disappoint!

One of the themes from the movie that especially resonated with me today was that we may not be significant to the world, but we CAN be significant to SOMEONE.  Having friends and being a friend, being a loving spouse or a caring parent makes you significant! 


Monday, June 9, 2014


Well, I'm getting ready to turn the big 5-0!  When my son told me he wanted to have a party last week and requested that I make some food, I thought about it later, and a little light bulb went off in my head.  I thought, "I bet that party is really for me and I'm making food for it.  My family is so sneaky!"  Ha.  They got me.  It really was just a party for him being cancer free a year!

So then Sunday when a friend of ours said to come over to eat Sunday night, I was a bit suspicious.  I was right.  Except it wasn't just a few friends from church - lots of family too!  They got me there.  We had a nice - really nice dinner and it was decorated with lots of pretty touches, including some old glamour shots of me - funny!  The hubs even had a few nice words to say about me.  It was a great evening and I truly appreciated it.
 Me and Mom
 My Aunt and cousin

 Delicious Chocolate cake with layers and layers of ganache from S. Carolina!

My sweeties!  The only thing that would've made it better would be for my daughter to be there.  She was there via FaceTime.  Turning 50 isn't so bad when you get parties like this!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


My oldest son informed me last week he was having a party...being cancer free for a year!  Definitely worth celebrating!  He invited some of his friends and we made up lots of goodies.  Can you guess the theme?

 We had Meatballs, malted milk balls, cake balls, oreo maybe you get it....
 Glad they can laugh about it!
 And some other random pics they surprised me with...

Goofballs!  :)

Friday, June 6, 2014


Grief is an interesting thing.  I wouldn't have thought I would have grieved much over the death of an aunt who left our family due to divorce 30 years ago.  But I have some fond memories of her those first 18 years of my life.  She was the one who first showed me how you make cinnamon rolls from a giant circle of dough on the table.  She was the one who had cute little baby boys when I was 10 years old, the first babies I really got to play with.  She was the one who let me keep the chicken feet for Show and Tell when my uncle killed the chickens.  I just hadn't thought about these memories for so long.  Yes, I thought I was all done with grieving that loss of relationship, having not seen her except for a couple of times through the last 30 years.

One reason for grief was because of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding her death.  No one would ever want this!   She was 62 years old, went to bed, and didn't wake up.  Only problem was, no one missed her for 8 days.  8 days!  It's hard to process how that can happen.  Why didn't her employer call someone - or did they not have any contact information?  Her son did not call either.  Finally a neighbor inquired and the investigation began.  It was not a pretty sight.  I did not go there but heard plenty.  Just how does this happen?  Did she not have people who cared about her?  So sad.  I am trying to remember the sweet, smiling face in the pictures of the slide show of her life that I put together for the funeral...

Another reason for my grief was just because of what SIN had done to her family.  Once a faithful Christian family, SIN entered in and caused marriage problems and divorce.  Two young children were scarred and all church activities ceased.  SIN continued to deceive and cause more trouble in their lives and eventually one son committed suicide and one served time in prison.  I think about the scriptures like I Peter 5:8:  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  This family was devoured.  I can only pray for the one that remains, be loving and accepting to him.  

Yes, grief is a strange thing.  It hits you when you least expect it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


One of my favorite websites is, where you can read real reviews from real people.  I have thoroughly enjoyed using this tool when planning a vacation - you can find out if the hotel is located next to a trash dump or other helpful information the hotel might not share on their website.  I've posted my opinions there on many restaurants, hotels, and activities.  While reading about a particular bed & breakfast, I came across this post:

Grand style architecture, wide hallways, immense lobby with fireplaces and 1890s feel. Well appointed with engaged staff. Located to visit the hot springs. Arrived and departed by train with free shuttle. Good restaurant and bar. Very comfortable. Only they are too religious: they place an open bible on the table in every room. This seems like proselytizing and pushy to me which is very unwelcome in a hospitality vendor. Very inappropriate and unwanted. I requested a religion-free room. No Bibles please.

It just got me to thinking, what does my home "say" to people?  Better yet, what does my body language say?  It sounds like in the description that the staff did a good job.  Unfortunately there will always be those who feel we are "too religious."  It's up to us to follow Jesus and his example of meeting every person where they are and accepting them. 

It reminds me of I Cor. 9:19-23:
19 I am free and belong to no one. But I make myself a slave to all people to win as many as I can. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew to win the Jews. I myself am not ruled by the law. But to those who are ruled by the law I became like a person who is ruled by the law. I did this to win those who are ruled by the law. 21 To those who are without the law I became like a person who is without the law. I did this to win those people who are without the law. (But really, I am not without God’s law—I am ruled by Christ’s law.) 22 To those who are weak, I became weak so I could win the weak. I have become all things to all people so I could save some of them in any way possible. 23 I do all this because of the Good News and so I can share in its blessings.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Got 'em all three, right here.  

The morning started off pretty great!  We hadn't biked since February because we had both been training to run the relay race in the OKC marathon.  We made it to the Bricktown Starbucks and took our hot chocolate break! I thought we should take a picture since the flowers were so pretty!

A few minutes later and it was drizzling rain and the hubs wanted to stop and put his phone away so it  wouldn't get wet...he took a little detour on these railroad tracks and his tire got in the groove of the tracks and off he went...and of course, being the sympathetic wife, I watched him and promptly did the same thing myself!  Ouch!

 Thankfully we were only about 6 miles away from the car, and we made it...but it ain't pretty, folks!