Friday, February 27, 2009

Lent - Giving Up Fear

Fear is something that I, and most people, struggle with. Whether a phobia of elevators or fear for your children's safety, from time to time most of us have felt paralyzed by the power of our runaway thoughts.

So here is an idea. If you are looking for something to give up for lent, consider giving up worry and anxiety. Easier said than done, I know! But here is a prayer I found that is great for meditation and restoring balance when all seems out of whack!

"Fear not for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice" (Isaiah 41:10, AMP).

Father in heaven, thank You for Your precious promises. I renounce fear today and choose to trust that You have a plan of victory in store for me. Thank You for filling me with Your peace and joy and staying close to me all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Thursday, February 26, 2009


That is what I think of photoshop - it's magic! Now, I am no Rachel Absher (wink, wink) but I am pretty excited about the tricks I am learning! Here is a pic of Lily with a little bit of magic applied! I was practicing using "masks" so I could pull color from the black and white effect. Cool, huh!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Broadway Bound

From Annie to Mary Poppins to The Jersey Boys - Lily's favorite songs and movies are straight from broadway! This is a thrill for her stage-loving momma. And, Papa is even in on the act! They like to join in on the kick-line scene from Annie. It is quite a sight to see my baby and husband kicking along with the Rockettes!

The soundtrack in my head jumps from "It's a hard-knock life" to "A spoonful of sugar" to the hits of the Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons. When I lay my head down at night, I drift to sleep singing "The sun will come out tomorrow." 

Not a bad thing for a girl who grew up dancing to show tunes! And proof that there is a little of me in Lily after all!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mommies In Vegas

I would write all about our trip.....but you know the saying, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!" I can tell you that we were very motivated by the chicks in the last photo! Buns of Steel here we come!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Well - here is my first photoshop project! I have only learned a few of the tools, but I was able to adjust the levels, correct the color and "burn" and "dodge" areas of the photo. I wish I saved the "before" image so you could see the improvement! In addition, I have "graduated" from InDesign classes - I learned a lot but need to do some serious practicing!
Won't be doing to much homework over the next four days. I am VEGAS BOUND!
Be back soon!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Super-Sized Manners, Please!

True story:
"Hi. I would like a medium diet coke and a small fry."
"A diet coke please, and a small fry."
"$4.35. Drive up."

Nothing in reply, just a hand out the window to collect my money
"Here you go," I say.
No eye contact, just grabs my money. Gives me change.
"Have a nice day," I say.
No reply. Already talking in the microphone-thing. Never looks at me.

I pull up to the next window.

Another hand out the window with a bag and a drink. No eye contact.
"Hi," I say.
Nothing - she is talking to someone behind her.
"Seriously, Hello!"
Ahhh, eye contact.
"Hi. Can I talk to your manager?
blank stare.

Manager arrives at window.
Cars behind me, mad I'm sure.
I don't care.
"Hi," I say.
"I have an 18-month-old daughter in the back seat."
"She knows how to say please, thank you and you're welcome."
"I am making a promise today that I will not put up with anything
less than good manners, especially from people who are taking my money."
"If my baby can use her manners at the age of 18-months, I bet you can
teach your employees some common courtesy."

Diet coke is flat. Small fry cold. Service bad!

You know, we don't have to put up with it. I am passive with a capital P...but I think I've had it. We've let it slide too long. Kindness has to make a come-back! There has to be an expectation to provide service and offer a little common courtesy - at Saks Fifth Avenue, walking down the street and at the drive-thru!

I dare you: Ask for a smile with your next super-sized combo!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Be Mine

Holidays are just more fun with a little one around! We enjoyed a great weekend celebrating St. Valentine. We kid-swapped with friends of ours so each couple could enjoy a few hours of adult time. And, the happy stones made it to Fan Fest to kick of the Ray's season - here's hoping for another great run! Today is mucho lazy! Lily and mommy were up all night. Seems Lily's cough is back. So were are all just lounging today and watching Elmo and Annie - again and again and again!

I love you Buck, Lily and Izzy! I am so glad you are my valentines.
Here are a few pics from the weekend:

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Today I learned that my college roommate has lost her husband to a long battle with bladder cancer. They have three beautiful children. A few years ago, another friend lost her husband just shy of their one year anniversary. A few friends have divorced and mourned in a different way. Several of my friends have lost children - either before they ever had a chance to live, or after too short a time on this earth.

All of them handled their losses with more grace than I could ever muster. All of them continued to care for their families, put on brave faces and comfort those around them. All of them inspire me.

As for my college roommate, she is one of my favorite people. It has been years since we've seen each other, but a place in my heart will forever be hers. I ache for her sadness.

And, as weird as this sounds, I am so proud of her.

The family hosted a website to keep us informed. Entry after entry, friends wrote about her hospitality and generosity in sharing his last days with those who loved him. I could tell from the emails that she was doing everything she could to make his last days joyful and memorable for all - especially their children.

As a mother and wife, I draw from the inspiration of others. And, I could not be in better company. My extended family of strong women are amazingly powerful, compassionate, creative, intelligent, generous and kind.

I am learning more and more that loss is a part of this journey, but it still jars me and knocks me off balance when it happens. And, I am on the outskirts of the pain.

I guess I just wanted to write a tribute to you all who have felt such deep and life changing sadness. I am moved by your strength and so grateful for the hapiness you have found.

Loyally - MS

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cowgirls Dont Cry

I love this song by Brooks & Dunn.

I'm not much of a cowgirl. I love wearing my boots and Sundays are meant for country music. But I don't have that sense of adventure that lives in the hearts of true cowgirls. I am hopeful that Lily has a bit more cowgirl in least enough to make life interesting! Every night I kiss her hands and say, "I pray these hands touch kind and wonderful people, and these fingers write letters about amazing adventures." Then I kiss her feet and say, "I pray these feet carry you to every place you dream of visiting." And, I always ask God to be there with her every step of the way.

I am finding my cowgirl more and more these days. Lily brings it out in me. And, I am challenging myself in new ways. I keep this postcard by my desk as a reminder that we all have a little cowgirl in us......just enough to get a little rowdy every now and then!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I La Yas

I remember this day as if it were yesterday. I was at Target (I write about Target a lot?) the shoe department. A couple rows behind me I overheard a dad with his little girl. He was persuading her to try on a pair of church shoes. They had a dialogue going back and forth - and then it hushed.

I thought they had moved on.

As I was checking out the clearance sticker on a cute pair of flops, I heard the sweetest four words, "Daddy, I love you.". It came from nowhere - out of silence. She said it because she meant it....not because he asked her to repeat it or because someone else suggested it. In that moment, that little girl's heart filled with an emotion she recognized as LOVE....and she let it out.

I teared up and thought about the day when my own little cherub would say those words to me.

Feb. 3, 2009.

That was the day. I picked her up from school and was greeted with the same enthusiasm I have come to look forward to. Running, giggles, screaming with delight and a huge hug. But this day I got even more. She pulled away from our embrace, cupped my cheeks in her tiny hands and said, "Mamma, I La Yas." Because she felt it and because she wanted me to know.

There is no mistaking love. We all remember the first time that word is shared between you and another person. This was my day with Lily. Now, there is no doubt that we are in love!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl of Food

Did you know that Superbowl weekend is the second largest food holiday behind Thanksgiving? Sounded like a good reason . And Lily enjoyed her first ketchup-dipped french fries! The Elmo bib proved very helpful.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Life Is Sweet

Life Is Sweet.
Tiny white flowers blossom and release a heavenly scent
Like sugar and sunshine.
They are messengers....telling us that fruit is on the way.

Life Is Sweet.
Rows of trees explode with orange balls of candy
Dangling from the branches like giant gumballs
So many juicy oranges....the trees are heavy with blessings.

Life Is Sweet.
The Lord sends new angels to the Earth; new eyes to take in his creations.
New hands to touch the trees, tiny fingers to pick the fruit,
Noses to smell the sweet aromas.
Wide eyes to take in all the beauty!

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