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A Foreclosure Hitting Close to Home

Today I have a heavy heart. My neighbors have had one bad thing happen to them and then another. They’ve fought through their finances to be able to afford their home for over a year. My neighbor’s wife now has to wear an oxygen tank, and she’s only in her 50’s. Even though they’ve been heavy smokers, who are aware of what cigarettes do to your body, I hate to see them deal with those repercussions.

Today my neighbor walked over to my car, as I pulled up in my driveway. I could tell he his spirit was not one of joy, like the usual guy I visit with when being neighborly.

He broke the news to me and told me of their situation. I know financial companies in today’s market are scrambling and will not give anyone a break. I know bail out or not, my neighbors will not get the help they need.

They’re going to be homeless in days, and I feel like crying. They’re so good to us and I just want them to have a roof over their head. Keeping up with the Jones’s has never been important to my husband and I, but something like this certainly puts that all into perspective.

Each night I pray a prayer of thanks for simply having a roof over our head, and food on our table. I never knew something like this would happen to someone I knew, and it’s heartbreaking.

I’m doing what I can to help them find a place to live, and in the meantime offering a couch and a guest room if they need it. Please pray for my wonderful neighbors that God provides them a way out and a place to live.

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A few reasons why…

Marriage is a tough road. Most couples focus so much on the wedding, that they forget to prepare for life with their spouse. They don’t think to remember that there will be horrifically tough times when you see your partner in a light, you never expected. In 8 short years of marriage, and 10 years total with my husband…we’ve seen each other through a lot.

The life of our child.

The flat line of my husband’s heart, and the miracle that he lived through a horrible experience.

The death of loved ones.

Financial strain.

Financial surplus (still waiting to have that one back).

Proud moments, when the other shines in the spotlight.

Sad moments, when the other almost breaks in defeat.

Tough times, when the other fights through something.

Life throws us all curve balls, and I just don’t know how couples make it without Christ as their center. I know some do…so I know it happens. BUT do they have the peace that only Christ can give?

I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell my adoring husband how much I love him today. And here’s a few silly reasons why…

*Because he leaves me a dry towel hanging in the bathroom every morning for my shower.

*Because he lets me do whatever home improvement project my heart desires, trusting my instincts.

*Because his chest puffs up when he tells people about my book.

*Because he spends so much quality time with our son, who in turn adores his daddy.

*Because he tells me I’m sexy even when I feel I look my worst.

*Because he trys to make me laugh when I’m mad. Try’s being the operative word! Sometimes he succeeds 🙂

*Because he remembers the smallest details and surprises me down the road with little things.

*Because he teaches my son about the most amazing things…from sports to life in general.

*Because he’s himself and that never changes, no matter who he’s talking too…even if resonates a little too loud…I still love him.

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So far it’s been a blast…

Today is my birthday. 36 wonderful years I celebrate today, but the parties started on July 4th. My mother went into labor on July 4th, so I think it’s appropriate that we start celebrating then with fireworks as she probably felt them then too!

My parents had us over for a great night of home-made Japanese cuisine, and a truck load of fireworks to shoot off afterwards. It was my son’s first time to take an active role in lighting the small fountains or sparklers, as in years past…he’d been too afraid. I think the big ones that my dad would light, that lit the entire night’s sky, still scared him though. This is not him in the pic (up above) by the way…for fireworks like these, he’d either be wrapped around me on our blanket…or running off screaming, “run for your lives!” I think after a while he got the hang of it.

My sister and husband go every July to a huge fireworks stand, where my sister happens to know the owner. They get a professional set up for a friends and family discount. My birthdays are always quite impressive when we have a 4th that overlaps a weekend. My son has always thought that we shoot fireworks for mommy’s birthday. This is the first year he gets that our country’s independence has something to do with it. 🙂

My mom is so pretty. Thought I’d just throw that in there.

Last night we had a party at my house and had about 15 people over to play our new Wii. We partied like it was 2099 pot luck style. My husband and I cleaned house from 9 am to 6 pm non stop to make sure every little detail was taken care of. With the exception of my kitchen being half painted,half stripped of wall paper…I think it was beautiful. I had to point out the before and ‘almost’ after in my kitchen, so people wouldn’t wonder why it was half way done. I can’t wait to have it completely finished so I can start on my next project!  See the 4 layers of wallpaper  that I’m in agony stripping chunk by chunk.  The purple paint on the wall below is the paint that I’m re-doing in it’s place.  It will have a whole new feel to it .

Today my son sang me the sweetest version of Happy Birthday, that brought tears to my eyes. Just to have him in my life, and get a huge hug while being told I’m the prettiest birthday girl…is such a gift. Afterwards we left to teach children’s church. I saw many parents I’ve not been around in a while. It was good to catch up with people I enjoy being around. That in itself is a huge blessing. And of course my son was handing my business card out to some of them, which I always appreciate. Tonight I have dinner with my in-laws and can’t wait to have the rest of my birthday weekend extravaganza!

I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Woke up

After these all night and morning,

we woke up to a few surprises.
Surprise # 1:

but I chose to focus on Surprise # 2:

Then I called the cops…
This is what I get for living near Hud housing with kids that are out for the summer, roaming neighborhoods looking for trouble.

Our neighborhood gets vandalized weekly and the police are so understaffed that they can’t do anything. So my husband and I have decided to get a infrared camera to post under the eaves of our home, to catch the little buggars who feel they can egg our cars, write bad words or obscene gestures on our driveways, race down our streets/through our yards, and bash and uproot our mailboxes. Maybe then the police can do something.

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Fridays are full of Blessings 6-6-08

Well anyone who read my latest post knows how well my week has gone. God is so good!

*My grandmother has been praying for 3 years that my book would get published. She faithfully and tirelessly would get on her knees every night, and pray for multiple things…my book being one of them. How wonderful was it for me to get to call her this week with the good news? She started crying and rushed off to church Wednesday night to tell everyone about her grand-daughter, the author. She lives in a small town, and I’m sure reveled in the moment. To me that was a huge blessing.

*My son got to be on stage with my husband, in introducing KC and the Sunshine band. My son got to turn to the crowd of about 1,000 and shake his booty to warm up the crowd in hopes of KC coming out to start the show. My little guy was a hit! The crowd roared in laughter as my husband then introduced the band, before joining the rest of us in the crowd for the show. IT was a blast. It was my son’s first concert and he had so much fun.

*My son asked me why it was special to get published. I gave him an analogy that he could understand a little better:
“You know when I teach your Sunday school class and I ask questions, that all your classmates raise their hands to answer?”
“Well everyone wants me to pick them, right?” (head nod)
“I can’t pick everyone. I can only pick one person at a time to answer, and when I do pick that person it makes them feel pretty special…right?”
“Well a publishing house is like me, the teacher, picking one person, like the student, to feel pretty special. LOTS of people want their books published, and they can only pick one.”
“WOW! Mom, that makes you special! I’m so happy for you!”
—This was a special moment for me because he got the big picture. He even answered the phone within minutes of our conversation and told my sister excitedly how his mommy was getting published!

*I put my notice in at work, in plans to focus on my photography/writing. Two days later I got another photography job, for July.

*Today is one month till my birthday! Yay! I told my son I’d be 36 years young. He responded with, “Yah, you are young…but I’m younger! AND your skin is getting thinner every year!” Okay now I’m imagining my veins showing through my skin when I’m 70, and wrinkles everywhere, but I’m still blessed.

*This week we bought our tickets to Oahu/Maui for my brother in law’s wedding, in July. We couldn’t afford to buy them until now, so we were blessed that our finances finally fell into place PLUS we found some tickets at a rate we were happy with considering how late we were buying them.

*My future sister in law, whom I adore, asked my son to be their ring bearer. So not only do we get to stand on a beach and watch them take their vows, but I get to watch my baby be a part of it. I’m so happy.

*I confirmed that I can stay with my aunti and uncle on Oahu, on our 3 day trip, before heading to Maui. That will save us a lot of money with room and meals. They’ve not met my husband yet so not only do I get to introduce my son to them, but my sweet husband. It’s going to be a huge blessing to show them where I went to school, lived in which houses, and attend church on Sunday at my church home. This church sits down in the valley, where the breeze flows through the slatted windows from the mountains above. I’m blessed to think of how peaceful that will be.

*My husband used his academy sports gift certificate and came home with a big 40″ X 12 ft pool for our back yard. It will give our son the practice he needs swimming for our trip next month. The mere fact that he’s home at 5:20 at night, from his new job, is a huge blessing….but that now he’s home to take care of the back yard and now put in a pool is bonus!

*Lastly I took my first Zumba class with my sister at the gym, we recently joined. I loved it and lasted the whole class. I got to shake my booty and have fun with my sis!

I hope you all have had a great week!

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Fridays are Full of Blessings 3-21-08


I’m posting my blessings a day early in case tomorrow gets a little too crazy, which I’m sure it will. I’ve had some quality conference time with my boss this month, and we all know what that means. It’s when you sit down and have the same conversation over and over, basically until the desired results are achieved. This being said, it’s been a good thing.

Here are my blessings for the week:

**Although I have a boss, who is puppeted by his own superior, he’s basically a good guy with good intentions. He truly wants whats best for me, so this I am thankful for.

**Today (Thursday) I got a really big contract at work, that will hopefully pull my month through. I need to make a certain number this month to make up for what I didn’t get for Jan and Feb. Pray that March will be what I need it to be, so that I can A) pay my bills but B) keep me from having any more pep talks from my boss!

**I got a phone call from a potential client, whose been avoiding me for a year. I’ve called him monthly for 12 months to the point that now it’s kind of a game. I leave voicemails like: “I know you’re not going to call me back, but here I am calling again so if you’re free for oh like…2 minutes in the next month you can reach me at #######” He called me today to set up a meeting.
Please know that I’m not a bug in general. This was a client that did something pretty underhanded when he canceled our company’s contract. So I made it my mission to bug him until we sat down to talk about it. 12 months later…I’ve got an appointment. Yah!

**My son has grown up overnight. He’s just so happy and mature. Right now it’s all about daddy too, so that means I get some solo time to get things done around the house. I’ve got a great kid, but I won’t lie…it’s nice to let daddy take care of things lately.

**I played matchmaker for the first time last week, with a couple of good friends of mine who I thought would hit it off. To date, they’ve had 2 dates and like eachother. This is a huge blessing to me as they both were in the same place in life, and although didn’t need anyone…needed someone. Does that make sense? So far so good with them.

**My husband is happy about how clean the house is. I got the whole house done from top to bottom today. He walked in and is very pleased. That makes me happy, as he’s been overstressed lately. Seeing him smile is a huge blessing!

**Again….some huge blessings on the horizon that I can’t talk about yet as they’ve not come to fruition but I know God will provide. I will let you know when it happens.

**And my last blessing is a new blog I’m doing with two amazing women. It starts April 1rst. Check it out soon.

Please remember, especially through the rough patches, to count your blessings. Trust me it’s all that is getting me through right now as my work is pulling me through a really rough patch. My blessings and my faith are the only things that sustain me. If you’re not wanting to dedicate a whole post about your blessings, feel free to just leave me a comment on your blessings. I’d love to read about them either way.

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faithful friday 2/22

I’m going to start challenging you all to start counting your blessings each Friday. Life is full of stress, fatigue, family drama, or whatever else is thrown at you. It’s so easy to focus on the negatives we’ve encountered. To live in a constant state of negativity is the easy way out. It’s toxic and it keeps you bound in a constant state of oppression.

I challenge you to break the cycle and literally list 7 things that you can look back on as blessings, that have occurred in your week. Those in my own life, that I encourage to do this, have noticed a huge change in their outlook on life. How can something as simple as focusing on your blessings make such an impact? If you’re not sure…than all I do is ask you to do it….starting this week.

Keep a mental or physical list of the things in your world that have blessed you, and then post your blessings next Friday.

As far as my own life:

I’m 8 days down of little or no sleep from my life circumstances. I’m worn thin and sleep deprived….BUT my blessings are these:

*My son has finally turned a corner and recovered from his nasty bug. Hallelujah!

*I’m hugely BLESSED from the amount of time I’ve been able to spend with him this last week and a half.

*I got to eat lunch with my sister today, and with a coupon. Our lunch cost $6.00—yay!

*My mom bought my Starbucks Frappacino’s, which I’ve not been buying due to budget cut backs at home.

*My sister and I layed out the ground work for our new business this week. Next Christmas we’ll have our 2 year project in local shops. (another—yay!)

*I gave a photo project to a family friend for his birthday. It was a shot I took of him, at one of his races, made into a magazine cover. He was so excited about it, and it was a huge blessing to see him react to it.

*I’m stripping the wallpaper in my kitchen, and found TWO other layers underneath. It feels good to peel off that nasty busy wallpaper, and it’s so motivating to start another DIY project.

*My husband is out right now driving to the grocery store to buy me yogurt for my upset tummy, (think I’m getting more flu like symptoms) and I’m so blessed to have someone in my life who takes care of me.

It is sooo normal to get a little frustrated, but it’s highly important to let go of the negativity in your life and focus on your blessings. Life is too short to hold onto the anger or negativity in your life. Give yourself a break by focusing on what good things God has given you.

One week from today, post about your blessings through all life’s stuff that was thrown at you. Blog it and let me know each week how many blessings you’ve had and how it’s making an impact in your life.


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Faithful Friday

I wasn’t near a computer much yesterday to post for Faithful Friday, so a late post will have to do. Yesterday, I rode along with a colleague of mine. One of his appointments was an assisted living center outside Oklahoma City. As my colleague finished up with the office manager, I wandered out to the lobby. It was full of residents visiting with each other, but one was sitting off to herself. There was an empty chair across from her. I asked if she was expecting anyone and she invited me to sit.

We had the most touching conversation. I never found out her name, but I know that one of her three daughters died two years ago. I know that she’s suffering from some memory loss due to her grieving, as it’s taking it’s toll. I know she’s 86 and a believer. I know that she has a lot of loving family members and friends that visit her often. She was a very strong and sweet lady, who is trying to get past her loss. I shared a story with her about me, and told her something that is just between she and I…but I will tell you that it made her and I both feel blessed to have made each other’s acquaintance.

The best thing was I got a huge hug before I left and it made my day…all day. My heart says her name is Mary…and although I don’t know her real name, I know Mary blessed my day and am thankful to God for her.

If any of you have ever just thought about visiting an assisted living center or nursing home, take a hard look at the joy you’d be bringing someone. If you find yourself driving while during errands or on your way home…if you’ve got a few minutes…and it crosses your heart, please listen to the holy spirit’s request and stop in. If only for 30 minutes, you could not only make someone’s day but get a huge blessing in just meeting someone new.

These men and women have so much history to share…so much love to give. Some are blessed to be in safe and comfortable centers, some are not. Some are in deplorable conditions. Thankfully my Mary was in a wonderfully safe and nurturing environment, but I’ve seen some that aren’t very pleasant. I’ve been in some that smell of urine and sound of cries for help when you walk in. These are signs of neglect…and if you do happen upon one of these it’s your duty to report it.

This is just something that was on my heart today and I felt led to share it. I hope at least a small handful of you will consider stopping in to make someone’s day….and your own.

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New DYI Project

I finally got the paint from my sister’s house. She had a gallon of mocha paint left over from her bedroom paint job, and it was the exact color I wanted to paint my brick fireplace. This weekend I stripped my wall of any decor or curtains, and my son and I started taping it off. Tonight I found an old roller in my garage, from the last paint job we did (5 years ago). Talk about designing on a dime…or less.

I still have to buy the new fabric that I’m going to make my curtains from, so those will go up in the next few weeks. BUT here are some photos for your before and after pleasure.





That same eggshell color was about to drive me crazy, and I needed a splash of something in my living room. The fireplace is the first thing you see when you walk in my house, so it needed to make a statement. I think it looks a whole lot more rich now. I can’t wait to get the touch ups done near the wall and the woodwork. Then I’ll take the newspaper off the mantle, and decide if I want to paint the bricks at the base…or not. I kinda like the bottom left alone…What do you all think? Paint the bottom or not?

Once my pictures go back up on the wall, and the curtains are hung…it’ll be a whole new room.

Next project? The kitchen needs stripping and a paint job (apple green). Then I need to replace my master bath faucets. I’ll wait for my birthday though, until I get more Lowe’s gift certificates to buy the supplies. As for now: I plan on going in my living room and enjoying my new color! I love to make my house a more livable space, and my son loves helping me too. He’s such a little handy man. Have a great night!

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Stripping Down to the Bare ….wall (what did you think I meant?)

More Home Improvement 101!

My house has had a dark hallway with wall paper, that I’m sure other’s would feel was very pretty but I haven’t been able to stand. It’s tasteful sure…but not my taste. The colors were beautiful, but too dark to give the first impression of my home as one of serenity. Instead when you walked in, you felt like you were in a cave.

About 4 years ago, I put one of those solar tubes in my roof to give it some light. I was hoping the mirror in this hallway would reflect the sun’s rays and give this hallway some light. It helped, but still felt depressing to me. So this year I’d had enough! I couldn’t wait to strip it all down! I thought it would be a simple job, but no no no! I should learn that nothing with me is easy.

My son, thankfully, loves to help. We scraped the paper, sprayed on the solution, and tried to scrape. Unfortunately, that magical solution which was supposed to loosen the paper was NOT working. Back up plan…I got out my shirt steamer and started to go inch by inch…steam and peel. Next, I found a lovely surprise underneath….80’s vintage baby blue flowers on pink paper that had been applied with industrial paste. The home builder had troweled on a super human paste that hermetically sealed the paper on it’s walls.

Finally, after 3 weeks of peeling two layers of nasty wall paper off, I got to take my trip to Lowes! My aunt gave me a gift certificate and it was just enough to pick my #61 Carmello Venetian plaster and all the tools I’d need! Yeah, I couldn’t wait to get home and start putting it on. One spatula swipe at time, I layered this awesome paint on my hallway walls. It went on fast….dried fast…and polished easy! This was well worth the hassle of stripping that crud off my walls!

Now I walk in and just stop and stare at my hallway. I’d be happy sitting in it for hours. In fact, I’m thinking of buying a small bench to set in the entry way. Not only does it look good, but by dumb luck I picked out a color that perfectly coordinates with the floor tile. I didn’t even think about the tile when I picked out my paint. I’m like that … I’ll see something and just sense it’ll work. I’m sure subconsciously my brain knew it would all work together.

I just had to put my pics up….I’m so content with my old..new home.

Round 1

Round 2

The finished product…ahhhh! I still have some touching up to do around the doorways and woodwork…but here’s how it looks so far!