Thursday, June 30, 2011

me : photography dabbler 2

Monday evening while we were in Red River, NM, we decided to do a little photo shoot with my brother in law and his family. Here are some of my favorite shots:

I had some fun and I got to try out some new ideas that I really loved (i.e. the chalkboard stuff) but I can definitely see areas where I really need to improve. But I read a photography ebook on the way home and got some great tips from that. I'm also hoping to save up some money to buy a nikon SLR sometime in the next year. That would be awesome. But for now, I'm learning, I'm experimenting and I'm just having fun. :)

inspiration : thursday thoughtfuls

Hi ya'll! This is the first time in 2 weeks that I've actually been at home for a thursday thoughtfuls post. Most of the traveling is over for now, I still have a trip in mid-July back to Oklahoma for another wedding. But until then, I'm happily working on a letter to my penpal/amazing friend Amanda and I'm planning on starting on the kids scrapbooks in the next day or two. :) I'm as "happy as a clam". But enough about that, let's move on...

This is my problem. And as Joey says, "expectations are just premeditated resentment," I really shouldn't come to expect so much from others because I end up resenting people for not doing things for me that I would be so willing to do for them. Ugh... it's a vicious circle.

This is the least I would expect from a true friend. And here I go, expecting things again... but my question is how can you not have expectations of people? Is that even possible?

I think the graphic is beautiful, I think the words are wise. Sometimes we can even surprise ourself.  

{source unknown. please comment if you know so I can credit properly.}
This is beautiful and so true. I try to be myself everyday. It's hard, especially when you're worried about being too much and/or not enough at the same time. But it's only when I am being myself, that my soul has room to breathe and my heart can truly sing.

And sometimes, even when trying to not have expectations and trying to just be yourself, you fail. You realize that you had expectations and now you're lost in disappointment. You realize that you weren't true to yourself and now you're lost in falsehood. And with that failure of your heart and flesh, you remember that you are only human, and you make many mistakes. But God is your strength and portion, and that's all you really need.
So what do you say? Is it possible to never have any expectations? Can you go through life never expecting anything so you are never resentful?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

inspiration : 4th of July

Hi ya'll! We made it back to Texas from New Mexico. It's bittersweet really. I've been enjoying the cooler weather and the time with family, but I'm really looking forward to being home for a while and working on some crafty things that I've been putting on hold for far too long.

Next Tuesday is the 4th of July. Happy Birthday USA!! :) When I was younger, my family would always get together for a fish-fry/barbecue on the 4th. We'd spend time eating and laughing together then, when it got dark enough, the show would start. My dad was the biggest of the pyros in my family. In fact, we used to take a family vacation in May or June up to Springfield, MO, to a fireworks warehouse where he would spend an obscene amount of money on fireworks. People would even send money with him so he could buy fireworks for them for much cheaper than we could get them in Oklahoma. Needless to say, if the truck ever caught fire back then, we would just have to sit back and watch the show because there would be no saving it. haha.

I digress... haha... anyway, the 4th of July was a big deal and has always been my 2nd favorite holiday. Second only to Christmas because really, how can you beat Christmas? You can't! Not possible! haha. Anyway, I still love the 4th of July. It's still my 2nd favorite holiday and I always look forward to it. Unfortunately, this year Joey will be gone to church camp on the 4th AND fireworks are banned this year due to the drought. But... I will not be disheartened. I still have plans. :) And if you have any plans for the 4th (or maybe you need to start thinking up some plans), maybe these will inspire you:

1. Take empty metal cans, poke holes in them, paint them and use them as luminaries. {source}
2. Pin scraps of red fabric to a foam wreath. {source}
3. Wrap red, white and blue scrap book paper around corks and glue ribbons to the bottom to make your own "fireworks". {source}
4. Cut our paper stars and sew them together as a garland. {source}

And for some foodie inspirations...

1. Make a layer cake with red, white and blue layers. {source}
2. Freeze kool-aid in layers for a fun frozen treat that fits your theme. {source}
3. Put marshmallows on a lollipop stick. Dip in chocolate and then in sprinkles. {source}
4. Dip strawberries 2/3 of the way into white chocolate or vanilla. Then dip them 1/4 of the way into blue sprinkles. {source}

Don't worry, you still have 5 more days to work on your 4th of July inspired DIY projects. And just think, you can get them all perfected in time for your Labor Day celebration in September. ;)

Do you do anything special for the 4th? What do you like to do?

Monday, June 27, 2011

inspiration/goodies : shades of summer s11:f6

Hi ya'll! Happy Monday! Welcome to Feature #6 of my shades of summer series. This feature is coming to you live from Red River, NM. We are here so Joey and his brother George can speak at the Red River Family Encampment. This is their 3rd year to do so and we love having this time together with family. Especially since we don't get to see each other very often as George's family lives in Colorado and we live in Texas. We leave tomorrow to go back home and I'm so happy! I'm so tired of travelling. I don't have to make any more trips until mid-July when I go back to Oklahoma for my last wedding of the summer. Woo-hoo! I'm excited to get home and stay there for a while. I've got loads of crafting that I've been wanting to do. Okay, enough about that... let's get to the good stuff! :)

Welcome to shades of summer s11:f6

This week's inspiration comes from this beautiful photo:

image source
isn't that just lovely?

Blackberries take me back to summers with my grandparents. In late summer, when the berries were ripe, we would get up early in the morning, drench ourselves in sunscreen and bug spray and head out to property that belonged to friends of my grandparents. They lived on a hill and all along the side of the hill were blackberries. We would spend all morning picking bucket after bucket of blackberries. We had to be careful and keep our eyes out for bears and snakes. Then we would take a break for lunch and then go back home. We usually had a LOT of berries at this point, even after all of the ones that I ate. And in a day or two, Granny would make a blackberry cobbler and we would have delicious blackberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream. Which is one dish that is the epitome of all things summer.

home-made, vanilla ice cream
the american flag

{midnight blue}
the night sky
dress blues
the american flag

{dark red}
my fingers after eating lots of blackberries
the american flag

How could I do a shades of summer series and not do red, white and blue? I couldn't. Red, white and blue are some of the colors that I always think of when I think of summer. So, in honor of my second favorite holiday and in honor of our great nation, here are some goodies for you, inspired by summer, berries and the American flag.

Do you like cobbler? Or are you more of a pie fan? What's your favorite?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

inspiration : thursday thoughtfuls

Hi ya'll! First off, did you miss me and "thursday thoughtfuls" last week? I hope so... it would be sad if no one missed me when I'm gone. In case you missed my weekend recap post, I was gone to Oklahoma for a wedding. :)

And today we're leaving again for a wedding in New Mexico, and afterwards we're going further north in New Mexico for the Red River Family Encampment. But, this week I was better prepared and already had this post ready. ;) Afterall, how could I call myself a true blogger if I missed one of my very own weekly features TWO weeks in a row? Ugh... I couldn't LIVE with myself. And now that I'm done being overly-dramatic... ;)... let's get busy!

Check out my newest thumbnail. That's right... I designed that. I know it's nothing fancy, but thank you picnik, for making me feel like a graphic designer. ♥ Feel free to link up with me on these posts... I'd love to see your thoughtfuls. :) [to link up, provide a link to your post on "thursday thoughtfuls" in a comment below & I'll add them to my post.]

image source
Yep... I'm totally doing that right now. :)

image source
Haha, when I saw this I couldn't help but laugh. Especially after recently cleaning up some of my office/craft room and finding all sorts of goodies that make me want to start some new projects. I won't even have to buy supplies!! haha ;)

image source unknown. please comment if you know so I can give proper credit.
I feel like this a lot. Joey would like the house to be perfectly clean. I like it looking like we live here.

image source
Have you ever had someone call to make plans and you already had your own plans of non-plans? Yeah... that's totally happened to me. haha.

image source
Yeah... this is a great reminder. I really need to think about these things right now instead of the other things I want to think about. I will not slap anyone, I will not slap anyone...
I know you've felt like that too, huh? ;)

Well... I hope you're having a good week so far. And if not, take my advice and make a date with your most comfy clothes, your favorite movie and your favorite drink. You've come this far, you've earned it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

inspiration/goodies : shades of summer s11:f5

 Hi all... well... we're travelling again. We're getting ready to leave tomorrow for almost a week. I think I would be more excited about the constant travelling if I was going to new places to see new things. But instead, I'm just going back and forth between Texas and Oklahoma and Texas and New Mexico. Where's my road trip to NYC? Seattle? Where's my tropical vacation? Siiigh... oh well. One day. I keep telling myself one day. But really I mean it. Next year, I'm going somewhere. I'm not sure where yet, or when, or any of those tiny details... I just know I'm going somewhere. :) But anyway... moving on to this week's feature of shades of summer. :)

Welcome to shades of summer s11:f4

This week's inspiration comes from this amazing photograph:

Click on the link to visit her Etsy shop. Trust me, this isn't the only gorgeous photograph she has... ;)

Isn't it just gorgeous? I love this photo! It makes me think of summer evenings when the sun sinks low out of the sky and kisses the horizon. It also makes me dream of going somewhere... seeing things not in pictures, but in real life. Not posting gorgeous photographs that others have taken, but gorgeous photographs that I've taken. To not just see the picture, but to use all my senses to explore new places and new things. I'm dreaming of a trip.... dreaming of an adventure...

But for now, how about some awesome goodies? Like these:

Do you have a dream roadtrip? Where do you plan to go? What do you want to see?

Monday, June 20, 2011

me : a cove story

Once upon a time, there was a little red-haired girl growing up in the smallest of small-towns, on the outskirts of the Ouachita National Forest in Summerfield, OK. She loved God, her family, school and sports, but she felt like the little town of Summerfield, nestled in a valley, was just too small to contain all of her dreams. So when the little red-haired girl grew up to be a red -haired woman and graduated from junior college, she left the small-town life, and moved to the big city where all her dreams were destined to come true.

But it didn't take long before the red-haired woman started missing the quiet rural life. One part of the red-haired woman thought she had "made it" because she was living in the big city. (Isn't that what's supposed to happen... it always does in the movies... But that's another story.) One part of the red-haired woman loved the bright lights of the city, the fact that at anytime in the night she could drive 1/4 mile down the street and get Taco Bell, she loved the tall sky scrapers, the old run-down buildings, and even the traffic. Well, maybe not so much the traffic.

But there was another part of the red-haired woman that longed to hear the wind blowing through the trees, longed to feel the grass beneath her feet, longed to lay down on the soft grass and dream again. Because while the smallest of small towns, nestled in a valley could not contain the red-haired girl's dreams, the bright lights of the city were blinding the red-haired woman until she couldn't see her dreams there either.

Then one day, the red-haired woman found Lake Hefner. And in finding Lake Hefner, she found a little cove, where the lake breaks in towards the shore, and where a number of ducks come in to nestle for night. It was there, with the interstate to her back and the sun setting beyond the lake to her front, that the red-haired woman finally found her balance. And in finding her balance, she remembered what her dreams were again.

Memories of the little cove are not always pleasant. There was the time the red-haired woman had her heart broken at the cove. There was the time when she broke another's heart at the cove. There was the time when she was there, and no one came to her.

But there was also the time, when she took someone there on their very first date ever. And almost five years later, they've been married for 4 1/2 years now. :)

There came a time, a few years ago, to say goodbye to the little cove as the red-haired woman was moving on to a new journey, starting a new adventure in a new state. But still, to this day, she misses that little cove. It will forever hold a special place in her heart as the little cove took the smoldering embers of dreams, and fanned them until they erupted again in full, burning force.

Where is your "little cove"?

me : summer busy-ness

In high school, summer was the BEST. I always had a few weeks in Texas to look forward to, church camp to look forward to, basketball camps to look forward to and when I wasn't gone with those trips, then I was at home, sleeping in, getting up and watching TV all day (sometimes while doing laundry and cleaning the house) and playing ball in the evenings. It was so grand.

But now, summers are so busy, I don't feel like there's much time left to enjoy them. But this past weekend was an exception... it was like one long date all weekend long.

I do not know why these pictures come out sideways sometimes. So strange. Anyway, Joey had left his sunglasses at someone's house on our previous trip to Oklahoma and since he was driving and having to squint a lot, I let him wear my sunglasses a bit. ;) Cute huh?

Thursday morning we woke up, packed, and loaded the car heading east towards Oklahoma City. We got off to a rough start, but things soon ironed out and the rest of the weekend was just glorious. We had left the kids at respite because we couldn't take them with us this weekend and we really treasured the quiet moments together of doing nothing. Just being still, not having to answer questions or keep an eye on anyone.

Thursday afternoon we went to Olive Garden in Oklahoma City for a late lunch. Then we went on to Guthrie, OK, for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I've decided that despite the fact that the Guthrie post office wouldn't let me in when I was just 2 minutes late, Guthrie would still be a great place to live. It's such a beautiful town. After the rehearsal dinner, we went shopping around in Edmond (I needed some jewelry for the wedding) and then we went back to Guthrie and checked into our hotel.

Some of the beautiful architecture in downtown Guthrie. I had never been in town in Guthrie before and I'm eager to go back someday and take lots of pictures. :)

And let me just take this moment to say that I love hotels. I really do. I know some people have squeamish feelings about hotels but I don't. I'm just very trusting that the beds and bathrooms are as clean as they say they are and I love that housekeeping is going to come in and make my bed everyday.... I love it. :)

Friday morning Joey got up super early to go golfing with the guys. I got up pretty early myself to go to work. I got to the office and got to see so many lovely people that I've missed and haven't been able to catch up with for so long. It was great seeing them. AND then, an IT guy came by and told me he was going to get my new laptop out and setup because I was due for a new computer. SWEET!!! Then our department went out to Zio's for lunch.... mmmm so goood! It was great because I usually feel so out of the loop within our department because I work from home, and I really appreciated catching up with everyone in the department and getting updated about things as well as brainstorming about other things.

Friday evening was the wedding, it was lovely. Hot, but lovely. Thankfully though it was quick and we got inside to the a/c and that was better. The reception was super fun. There was dinner, wine, dancing, lots of laughter with friends we never get to see often enough and it was just a wonderful time.

After the wedding, Joey and I were exhausted. So we left and headed back to the hotel but not before stopping at the Braum's across the street from our hotel and getting french fries and ice cream. YUM!!! It was so good, even if I couldn't eat it all.

Oh Braum's.... how I miss you! A small twist in a waffle cone. However, I think I'm just going to have to start getting the junior size from now on because I can never eat all of the twist. But ohhhh is it ever delicious!!!

Saturday morning we slept in late, then got up, packed and checked out of the hotel. We went to lunch at a chinese place in Edmond that we used to frequent, and then we set out on the road. We stopped in Amarillo where we had dinner at Olive Garden. (Yes, we're Olive Garden fans. We just can't get enough of that salad! Plus, we've got it down to a fine art where we can eat there for fairly cheap. So cheap and delicious is okay by me in my book.) Then we left Amarillo and drove on down to Lubbock where we went to the movies and watched the new Green Lantern movie. I'm a fan of Ryan Reynolds and we definitely enjoyed the movie. Then it was on home where we unpacked, cleaned the house a bit and shortly went to bed.

Sunday we went to church, went to Lubbock to eat lunch and then picked up the kiddos and came home to clean house and everything. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend and I'm glad we got a little mini-vacation. We definitely needed it.

Sooo... that was my weekend. Now this week I need to finish a friend's flowers for her wedding and we're leaving on Thursday for another wedding in New Mexico and then Saturday we're leaving Ruidoso to go to Red River for the Red River Family Encampment. Whew.... summers sure are busy!

How's your summer going so far? Anything fun and exciting planned?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

inspiration/goodies : shades of summer s11:f4

Hi ya'll! Whew... I'm already tired of travelling and I still have 3 more out of state weddings to attend this summer. Two of them this month. I'm definitely looking forward to July when things settle down for me. Although, July does mean lots of lonely days and nights since Joey will be gone to camp for two weeks. Oh well, it's bittersweet I suppose.

Welcome to shades of summer s11:f4

This week's inspiration comes from this amazing photograph:

Ahhh... yes. Summer time and bike riding definitely go hand in hand. Not that I didn't ride my bike throughout the year, but during the summer, I rode my bike everywhere. My first real bike was pink, white and purple and I got it at my birthday party that was at McDonald's. That used to be the cool thing to do. Anybody else do that? It was awesome.

My second bike was a purple ten speed with pink and teal accents. I called it my convertible and I rode it all over town. My grandpa and dad used to have me ride down to the only gas station in town and buy their cigarettes. Because of our small town, no one ever carded me, they knew who I was buying them for. Although, when I got a little older, towards the end of my bike-riding days, I would have them call down to the gas station to let them know I was coming because I was afraid I would get in big trouble for buying their cigarettes.

Then I turned 16, got a car and that was the end of bike riding (and cigarette buying) until several years later in college when I would pick it up again. I currently don't have a bike but I'm definitely looking into getting one because it's a great workout.

all of my white shirts by mid-summer from getting so dirty
the clover flowers that I tied together and wore as crowns, bracelets, necklaces, etc.

the soft grass I laid in as I daydreamed and made clover jewelry
the tall corn stalks that I ran between, pretending I was somewhere else
the leaves on the trees that I climbed and had picnics under

{light orange}
creamcicles - that I really want right now
the wild plums in the early summer, before they have a chance to get really ripe
hazy summer sunrises

and for the goodies:

Do you remember your bicycles? Which was your favorite?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

inspiration : thursday thoughtfuls

Hi ya'll! Today is LB's birthday party and I'm pretty excited! I've got everything done but the food (still gotta run to the store for some stuff) but it should be a BLAST!! Anyway, getting back to the heart of the matter... here is this week's edition of thursday thoughtfuls.

This week I just want to focus on laughing and being happy:

image source unknown. although I saw one picture of this image and it was on a greeting card.
hahaha. This totally makes me laugh.

image source
I love scary movies. (Notice I said scary, not gory.) But my hubby doesn't share that love. He kinda feels like this image and thinks everything everyone does in scary movies is just stupid. I find it entertaining. :)

image source unknown. please comment if you know. :)
haha... oops!

image source
Just a little reminder to carry you into the weekend.

image source
Such a great reminder for all of us.

What's making you happy today?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

fashion : summer

Summer. Yes, I understand the heat can be horribly uncomfortable at times. The kids are wound up from being out of school. Your air conditioning bill is just ridiculous. But what about the beauty of summer? The snowcones that dye the kids lips. The freedom and breadth of possibilities. Moments like this:

image via elgarboart

Which inspires fashion like this:

Old Navy racerback tank top, $17
By Malene Birger jersey tank top, $50
Short shorts, 50 EUR
Christian Louboutin platform heels, $505
Krystal flat sandals, $20
H M straw handbag, 30 GBP
Watch, 99 EUR
Disney Couture pink gold ring, 30 GBP
Stud earrings
Dorothy Perkins long pearl necklace, 7 GBP
Dorothy Perkins turquoise jewelry, 9.50 GBP
Nail Polish, $6

Summer. Hot, fun, fashion, those are all relative. But to me they are also related, and when combined, create a beautiful moment, or the perfect outfit.

Find fashion around you. In every moment. ♥

Monday, June 6, 2011

inspiration/goodies : shades of summer s11:f3

Hi ya'll! I survived our trip to Oklahoma and back! It was wonderful to see my family, although I'm sad I didn't get to see ALL of my family or many of my friends. :( There's just never enough time to do everything you want to do. But we all had a blast, we got to swim every day which was AWESOME, except now I'm pretty sure I have a sinus infection (it's okay, doctor's appointment tomorrow...) and we all got to eat yummy food and get a little sun. AND, big bonus here... because I still went walking AND went swimming everyday, I actually still lost weight even while on vacation! YIPPEE!! So now that brings my grand total up to 15 pounds lost! HOORAY! Okay... I've completely gotten sidetracked... haha!

Welcome to shades of summer summer 11:feature3

This week's inspiration comes from this wonderful photograph:

image via bomobob

a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or in my case, a portion of tahitian vanilla frozen yogurt)
the foam on root beer floats

the tomatoes that used to sit atop Granny's furnace during the summer
the wild plums on the ground and in the tree at Granny & Papa's house
my poor skin the summer I got the worst sunburn ever while on vacation in Corpus Christi

the juice from the wild plums that stained all my shirt fronts as a little girl
the sun as it tucks itself below the horizon for the night

{seafoam green}
is there ever any seafoam that is actually the color of seafoam green? because while I haven't seen many oceans, or seas, I've only seen yucky brown sea foam.

I have a serious love of amusement parks. Carnivals kinda scare me a bit, but amusement parks... siiiiiigh. They stir up a flurry of emotions that give me warm fuzzies and cold chills at the same time. I have a future post in mind about this little phenomena but you'll have to wait a bit for that. ;)

And now for this week's goodies:

How do you feel about amusement parks, carnivals and fairs?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

inspiration : thursday thoughtfuls

Hi ya'll! GREETINGS FROM OKLAHOMA! ;) That's right, in case you forgot or didn't know, I'm on vacation all this week! YIPPEE!! It's nothing especially grand, I'm in Oklahoma visiting my family. But that doesn't negate any of the wonderful-ness of it. I love being back home, breathing the Oklahoma air, experiencing moisture instead of drought, mountains instead of plains, and TREES instead of tumbleweeds and cotton fields. YAY for home. ♥

I couldn't forget about thursday thoughtfuls while I was away so here we are, inspired by traveling and adventures:

image via source

image via source
I'm determined to do MUCH more traveling in the next part of my life.  

image via source
So true... I'm focusing more on being happy, being me and being happy being me. 

image via source
I do NOT want my life to be nothing. :(
image via source
Today is my last full day here. Tomorrow morning, we pack up and head out bright and early, making the long trek back to Levelland, TX. I'm sad to be leaving my family again as I've had such a wonderful time. But tomorrow night, when the hubby and I curl up in our own bed, I'm going to be quite content to be home. :)

I hope you all are having a most delightful week. :)
Have any of you travelled recently or are going to travel recently? Where did you go/are you going? :)