Friday, January 31, 2014

Pace Your Race

If you've ever run a race you know that you have to pace yourself so that you will make it to the finish line. Life is a lot like running a race.

A runner that takes off at the start often loses steam before reaching the finish line. The runner that comes out a little slower may be able to pace herself so that she has a little extra to push to a finish line win. Are you pacing your race? If you rush along too fast you might be missing important life lessons and feel like you are running out of steam. A slower pace will allow you to meet interesting people and enjoy experiences you have. 

 Slow down your life this year and get to know people along the way. You never know how much they can influence your life. They can refresh you, inspire you and guide you. I am trying to say yes to as many opportunities as I can this year. That means being open to new people. For me that is a little daunting. My hubby can strike up a conversation with anyone but for me that is a little harder. 

 Stop and think about the people who have influenced you the most already on your life's journey. If I were to compile a list my family would be at the top of the list. So would my best friend Gail and some of my teaching partners. Usually the people you are the closest to have the most impact. However, sometimes people you meet in passing can have an impact too. I am hoping to meet some interesting guys and gals. (As we were driving I saw a homeless fellow carrying a sign that said... "Can you help?" and down a little ways the sign read, "Your ad here". Now there was a creative fellow! Wouldn't you like to know his story?) 

 You know people are a thirsty bunch. Many of us need a kind deed, a wise word or a shoulder to cry on. We all have a story to tell and we each have something to teach the world. Pace yourself as you run through life. Make sure you are not running too fast and missing out on moments around you. Just like in a race runners slow down or stop to refuel/refresh themselves. We also need to slow down or stop on our journey. You never know who you might meet and whose story you'll hear.
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Easy Way to Frost Sugar Cookies

I don't make sugar cookies very often, mostly at Christmas. When my kids were younger we always made those cookies and everyone helped with the cutting out and frosting. Now that they are grown with kids of their own, it's quite a job to do all those cookies by myself. It is a teensy bit time consuming. 

So I was tickled to come across this post by Autumn about a quick way to frost sugar cookies. I might even be tempted to make Valentine sugar cookies! 

Have you ever tried frosting cookies like this? Any other shortcuts you use when you make sugar cookies by yourself?
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More Happiness

Day 10 Seeing blooming flowers in January. 
Day11 Being able to do a short run. 
Day 12 Having a martini at a beachside bar with my sister Annie made me happy.
Day 13 Getting to photograph Annie and David before the ball they went to. Loved, loved her shoes!

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Young fellow netting a leopard stingray that was on his line.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday and Happy Pics

               Day 7 I was so happy to be able to see my chiropractor and get my leg worked on!

 Day 8 With all the below zero temps we've been having, I was so happy to stay home
and sit in front of the fire.

 Day 9 Packing for a warm vacation makes me very happy today!
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Monday, January 20, 2014


 What an amazing, inspiring man.

                                                  (This is great quote for runners too!)

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

100 Happy Days, con't.

     Day 4 Finding a Free Library across the street made me happy today. I traded the book I read on the plane for a new one.

                                                       Day 5. Sad to leave DC but happy to be flying home.

                 Day 6 What a treat to see Maggie in church. She has really grown in the week we were gone!
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (and 100 Happy Days)

Day 2 Listening to the "Glass Harp Guy" (Jamey Turner) in Old Town, VA.

Day 3 Spending time at the Library with my two favorite guys.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Blow Out

There are days when I am so happy to have short hair. Getting back from a sweaty run I can jump in the shower, wash my hair in about 2 minutes and let it air dry. It's very easy to color (I do my own). 

But some days as I'm reading my favorite magazines I see these gorgeous women with long hair. Yes, I'm envious for a little while. Then I remember how long my thick hair takes to dry and what a pain coloring long hair is. Guess I'll stick with my short do. 

However, I thought I would pass along some tips for a DIY Blow Out. I'm all for saving money if I can (hence the home coloring)and this routine seems pretty easy. 

 1. After shampooing and conditioning your hair, blot your hair with a towel. Rubbing your hair dry can result in broken hairs and can cause frizz. With a paddle brush or wide tooth comb, comb in any product that you are going to use. 

 2. Pre-dry your hair using medium or high heat to get about 60% of the moisture out. Use your fingers to tousle small sections and be sure to move the heat around so you don't burn your hair or scalp. To prevent frizz, point the nozzle toward the floor to seal cuticles and create shine in your hair.

 3. Then section your hair using some big clips. Separate your sections no wider than your brush. Using a round brush pull your hair tight from roots to the ends.Pointing the nozzle downward, move the brush and follow it with the dryer. You should be moving the dryer down the length of your hair. Repeat all over your head. If your hair is thick like mine, this might take some patience! 

 4. Last you might want to apply a finishing product. There you have it. If you try this, let me know. I think I'll just have to live long hair vicariously through you.
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Monday, January 13, 2014

100 Happy Days

Are you too busy to be happy? A project called 100 happy days encourages you to post or email one picture a day of something that makes you happy, for a hundred days. The project is aimed at those who use social media and email a lot anyway – no one's suggesting that you stop what you are doing and head to your computer just for this. But if it sounds like the kind of thing you could manage, and if you're up for the 100 day challenge, sign up and enjoy.  If you simply want to challenge yourself to find something every day that makes you happy, with no pressure to post it anywhere, that would be great too. 

I'm going to take the challenge but I don't know that I will be posting a picture everyday. I'll certainly keep a list and if I can, I will take a photo. Maybe I'll post a few at a time.

What do you think? Could you find something that makes you happy every day for 100 days?

                          Day 1           Seeing a little whimsy on my walk this morning made me happy!

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What Oprah and I Know For Sure

Oprah and I are the same age...well almost. I turned 60 in July, she turns 60 this month. In her recent issue of O magazine she writes about how she feels turning this new decade. It got me thinking about how I feel turning 60.

Oprah says she's glad she has lived long enough to celebrate this age. So am I.  Oprah says that at 60 she is healthy and strong. So am I. Oprah says she has earned the right to be who she is and to be secure in being herself. I agree.

Oprah talks about being in awe of how her life journey continues to unfold. She says her life has been marked by a series of miracles. That got me thinking. 

I am also in awe of how my journey is unfolding. I come from a family of 10 children. My parents are hard-working people. My dad farmed, my mother worked in a factory while raising us. I learned many life lessons growing up that I can still apply to my journey today.

Miracles...aren't those incredible experiences you read about in the newspaper or online. They are mentioned in the evening news. They happen in usual place to special people, don't they? Yes...but looking closer at my life's journey I think there were small and large miracles along the way for me. A miracle that I was able to take piano lessons (which I am grateful for) when money was so tight. A miracle that I was able to go to college (again money was tight). A miracle that I found the absolutely most perfect partner to share my life journey. A miracle that we were blessed with three healthy, happy children who have turned into extraordinary adults. A miracle that we have been allowed to live long enough to see our grandchildren. A miracle that Jerry and I are in such good health for being as old as we are. My list could go on. I think there are miracles all around us if we stop to recognize them.

Oprah says that she knows for sure that God is for us. He offers us extraordinary in the ordinary--just think about how incredible it is that our bodies know to keep breathing! Our heart keeps beating! It brings her to her knees with gratitude. I know this too.

Oprah says that she is approaching her milestone birthday with humility, supreme thanksgiving and joy. Knowing for sure "that grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home."
Oprah and I both know this for sure!!!

I have a feeling my 60's are going to be wonderful. My first year is off to a great start! I hope Oprah's is too.


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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Newborn Photography---Three Times Is Not the Charm

I have a really good reason for not posting here for awhile. Her name is Maggie Olivia. She entered the world and our hearts on Dec.15. Ever since grandma's been on a quest to get that perfect newborn shot.

                     One of the few sleeping shots of Maggie. Notice she is wrapped up.

To get ready, I watched Creative Live's class on photographing newborns. I studied Pinterest boards for the perfect pose and props. I bought a space heater and nubby blankets for texture. I watched YouTube videos. All I needed was a sleeping baby.

Take one:  Maggie at 6 days old. I brought everything over to their house. I set everything up while mom fed her. Yes! a sleeping baby. Slowly we undressed her and got a couple shots with just a blanket and then...wah, an awake baby! No getting her back to sleep.

My first attempt. She was wide awake!

A few days later mom and Maggie are over at our house. Again, a sleeping baby. I quickly set up a backdrop and get out some blankets and props. The heater is set up, I'm sweating and as soon as Maggie's little legs are out of the sleeper she is AWAKE! So, I take a few awake pics. But I really want just one of those barebutt sleepy photos!

                                                               My second attempt. Cute, but not sleepy!

OK, so I'm thinking it's never gonna happen. Then a few days ago mom and Maggie are over again. She is out like a light. I quickly get everything set up again. Heater is on, fireplace is on, heating pad under the blankets for awhile to heat it up. Mom starts to undress her guessed it. As soon as she felt the sleeper coming off she was AWAKE!  I mean really.

            This is Maggie at two days old. Wide awake. Guess that's how grandma will photograph her--awake!

I have come to grips with the fact there will be no cute photo of newborn Maggie asleep without her clothes. I do have sweet shots of her awake and a few of her asleep but she has her clothes on. Mom said she does not like to be cold. Maggie is most content when she is swaddled. It's Minnesota, it's winter...I can't blame her.

So my big plans to photograph newborns will have to wait until I have a more cooperative subject. Meanwhile I will enjoy every chance I get to hold Maggie all bundled up. If I'm lucky enough to get a photo of her like that, it'll just be a bonus!

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Blessings

Happy New Year!!! I thought I'd share one of the neat things
 I stumbled across from Sexy Mother Runner Danyelle that I am incorporating into our household 
starting today. Happy 2014!

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