love at first sight

Corduroy = love at first sight  
Have you ever read this book?  It is phenomenal.  One of my most beloved childhood stories.  While perusing the used book store the other day, I almost passed out and pooped my pants when I came across it.  It was one of those never-gonna-forget-this moment-of-destiny type thing and if I could do a high pitched scream, I would have done it right then and there.  For the record, I have never been able to do a high pitch scream. Never.  I am always amazed (and somewhat irritated) at folks who can.  Anyhow, Corduroy is a wonderful story about love, hope, adventure and happily ever after.  Those are always the best kinds of stories.  I've read it several times to my young'un and several times by myself.  It's that good.  If you haven't read it before, well, you've just gotta!  I'd love to say I'll let you borrow mine, but with lying being wrong and all... here's a link where you can purchase a copy of your own or hit up a local (new or used) bookstore to see what childhood treasure you find.  

What was your favorite childhood story?  

how to be productive


Don't let this happen to you today.  

Put your big girl panties or your big boy undies on and go get cha work done!  Turn off the cell phone (gasp!), turn it on silent for a little while or put it on lockdown in a cookie jar. Do whatever works!  You'll be surprised at just how much time there is in an hour minus the incessant use of technology.  

If you have reading to do, take it to the great outdoors and get some au naturale Vitamin D while you're at it.  If you're stuck inside, open a window.  No window?  Take your lunch break in the great outdoors.  If you must work with music in the background, make sure it's  music that pumps you up to be productive, but doesn't pump you up enough to abandon all work and start a dance party.  
The point today is this: our time is a precious commodity.  One that is finite and non-renewable.  If you are working 9-5, cleaning up after kiddos, running errands like you're on a reconnaissance mission or just soaking up the sun, please realize that today is a truly unique gift and it's meant to be cherished, embraced and experienced fully.  Whatever you are doing today... do it well, with all of your might and DO NOT let the internet (or any other technology for that matter) knock you on your backside.  Do not let life happen to you.  You happen to your life!    Flip the switch and punch your to-do list in the face by actually getting stuff done today.  


p.s. Congratulations to giveaway winner, Stephanie Victoria!!! chose you and Paper Hug Factory will contact you shortly! 

have I told you lately?

a few of my fav cards & notes
Lately I have been thinking about the power of the written word.  How I still have current and age-old handwritten notes and cards from friends and family that encourage and inspire my heart to this day.  When I think of the consuming reliance on text messages and emails, my heart gets a little sad.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate technology and I do send text messages and emails; however, I still write and snail mail (USPS) notes to people too.  I hope you do as well, but if you don't, I am going to challenge you to write a note to someone special... someone you love... someone who has blessed, encouraged or inspired you presently or in times past.  Sharing your heart with someone on paper is such a beautiful thing.  It makes your heart well up and overflow with joy and it'll open your eyes to the abundance all around ya.  If we actually wrote notes to each other more often, I am convinced there'd be much more happiness in this world.  So what are you waiting for?  Get to writing already! :)  Write a cherished friend, a teacher, guardian, caretaker or your lover... just write!  As long as your expression is sincere and heartfelt with no expectations for the recipient, you won't regret it.  I promise.  

A few days ago, my friend Holly wrote this blog post about National Card and Letter Writing Month.  Did you know April is National Card and Letter Writing Month?  Me neither! Ain't nobody told me nothin!  LOL! Holly references this post over at The Art of Manliness, which is all about the beauty, nostalgia and invaluable art of letter writing.  The Art of Manliness post makes me want to get a fountain pen and one of them there wax seals so I can send my letters with a dose of royal style, flair and swag! 

So in honor of National Card and Letter Writing Month and just in time for Mother's Day, Paper Hug Factory is the generous giveaway sponsor for the darling set of cards below.  Do you know about Paper Hug Factory???  It is the handmade greeting card company owned by a friend who is a fabulous, vibrant and sweet, sweet spirit. I just received my personalized set of cards in the mail and I squealed with glee!!! Every card is a miniature work of art and isn't the name Paper Hug just brilliant? And adorable?  I mean, the name Paper Hug truly captures the essence of a handwritten card therefore I lurve it! Click here to check out Paper Hug Factory on Facebook, browse card photos or shop the Paper Hug Etsy store.  Brace yourself because these cards are swoontastical!    

On to the giveaway!!! 

Here is the super cute card set from Paper Hug Factory: 

Waves of Love
  Sending warm thoughts 
                of LOVE 
      and waves of peace 
              your way! 

Mother's Day
        Thanks 4 Everything!                                                       
        Happy Mother's Day!!


I'm gr8ful for you,
I appreci8 you,
And you deserve
to be celebr8ed

*Birthday Hugs*

To be entered into the drawing to win this adorable set of 3 cards, just leave a comment with your favorite thoughts or memories (past or present) about summertime. 

Leave your comment below!  

Contest runs through Monday, April 23, 2012 at midnight (CST).  
Winner be selected by true random sequence number generator @  
Winner be announced sometime Tuesday, April 24, 2012.  

life begins

When you stop pretending that you've got it all together.

When you stop pretending like you ever did.

When you surrender to the concept of amazing grace
and dole it out by heaping spoonfuls to yourself and others.

That's right, forgive yourself first; because then it's much easier to release others.

When you admire and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us everyday
in nature and in people of all sizes, shapes and nationalities...
without the thief of comparison and without feeling diminished or insignificant yourself...

When you lose the US vs THEM mentality.

When you recognize and count your blessings even on the toughest days.

Because if you are reading this blog and/or you ate today, you are among the richest in the world.  That's right...  The richest.  

When giving becomes more important than receiving.

When you realize that it's not all about you and it is no longer about what they have or haven't done, but it's about what this heart, this mind and these hands can do for the greater good.  

When you're no longer singing the Everyday Blues and you send the Woe Is Me mentality a packing, that is when life begins, my friends.

Open your eyes to the magnificence that surrounds you.
Unparalleled beauty is just a glance away.

Surrender (again)
to Trust
to Beauty
to Grace
to Love

When you trust the process and accept the divine rhythm that has been given to you for this measure of life.  Then you are fully alive...

Let's go there,


beautiful things...

Today I have been talking with my good friend, Holly about life, parenting and simplicity... celebrating and honoring the gift that you are as an individual... doing this for others as well.  Playing to your strengths... One of Holly's many strengths is party planning.  (Click here and here to see proof!) While I like me a good party, planning one all by my lonesome is not so much my thing.  It is A-OK that Holly is PartyPlannerCentral and I'm not.  I don't have to pretend to be PartyPlannerCentral either... yet I can honor and celebrate the awesome giftedness of my PartyPlannerCentral friend... and hire her to plan my events lol!  If I had to plan an entire event all by myself, everyone would be dead and there would be no party.  *Insert howls of laughter from me and Holly here*

It is a beautiful thing to honor and celebrate who we are.
It is a beautiful thing to keep everyday life simple.  Remembering that life is not about the clothes you wear, the car you drive or the company you keep.  No, who we are is all about what we do--not so much job-wise, but our actions, reactions and interactions with others in the passage of everyday life.  Showing Love, Extending Grace, Navigating Relationships, The Words We Speak, Parenting and just Living Day to Day Life is supposed to be a beautifully simple extension of who we are.  It is the grateful acceptance of this fact: there is more than enough room for You to be You and Me to be Me.  Both valued, cherished and respected as a work of art from our Creator.  

So whether you are thoughtful, creative, rational and observant like Holly or a silly, creative, and bossy daydreamer like me, know that God is making a beautiful masterpiece of your life.  "A colorful mosaic" is how my pastor described it on Easter Sunday and the absolute coolest thing of all is that our Creator's work is highly specialized.  He ONLY makes Beautiful Things...

"You make beautiful things...
You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things... 
You make beautiful things out of us."

Today let's stop pretending like life is so complicated.  For me today is all about laundry, homeschool, this blog post, a little bit of planning for an event this weekend, jammies, Lego blocks and My Heart On Legs singing, "You make beautiful things out of us and dust." 

Today can you trust that God is making a beautiful thing out of us?  

Because He is... 

For real.  

Even when it don't look like it.  

What if we just do the thing that is directly in front of us... and then keep doing whatever is in front of us over and over again?  I am convinced that each little action we take is part of this giant mosaic of Life.  

Open your heart, your mind and your eyes to recognize and embrace simplicity, which really means to see the beauty of any given thing.  

I do but I don't...

Want to get along with everybody even though I know that I can't.  As much as it depends on me, I do my best to be at peace with all people; however, I have recently realized that it's just not possible to get along with everyone.  Hell, ten percent of the population just ain't gonna like you no matter what you do.  Auntie Laura told me that minus the hell part.  I don't know why it's like that but it is, so my goal is to operate in Love towards everybody... even though I may not like you and you may not like me.  In these instances, I remind myself: It's all good.  Oil and water, baby.  Oil and water.  

Want to save the world, but since I am not a Savior... I'm committed to do my best to make wherever my corner of the world is a little brighter.  Sometimes that means listening to someone share their heart, sending a sincere letter in the mail or making a meal for someone who just had a baby or isn't feeling very well.  Other times it may mean showing up and trying again (even though it didn't work the last time), smiling graciously when I really want to cuss, forgiving what seems to be unforgivable or reminding myself and others that Jesus loves unconditionally and actually likes us too.  Turns out he's the Savior and all... 

Want to always say yes because on some level, I equate saying yes with fun.  Turns out it's not... Saying yes all the time leads to a worn out, emotionally drained trainwreck of a being, which is just not a good look.  So, I'm STILL learning how to say no.  I blogged about that over here and by now I thought I would have already had it down pat.  Turns out this whole saying-no-thing is a tidge tougher than I thought.  No worries, I have a couple of people who give me ample opportunities to practice.

Want to have it all!  Typing out those words just felt ridiculous because I know the concept of "having it all" is bogus.   A girl (or guy) just can't have it all because in the pursuit of all things, everything that is essential, invaluable and irreplaceable gets lost or severely damaged at the very least.  Wanting it all is just a really bad trick.  It's a rigged trapdoor that pretends to be a fun and fabulous all expense paid vacation when it's really a one way ticket down the rivers of regret to the doldrums of discontent.  PASS!!!

As I was typing this post, I noticed one word over and over again: 

Want Want Want Want Want... 


This challenges me to focus on all I Have Have Have Have Have today.  

To remember that there is enough grace to do this day and this day only.  To revel in the beauty of all that is present right here, right now.  And then to repeat that over and over again until it's time to go to bed and embrace sweet sleep.  

There is a song by One Republic that cuts to the heart of it so well, "All I need is the air I breathe and a place to rest my head..."

Conflict resolved.  

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