Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Favs {or Hallejuah it's FRIDAY!!!}

Happy Day to my Peeps!! A humongous hug all around to all of you read and commented on my story. I am a bit embarrassed for sharing that with you...like I said yesterday I don't like talking about it. HOWEVER, it was therapeutic for  me and Lacie, it sounds like maybe your Dad is looking for some relief. If my story helps someone then that is why I told it!!!:) Also just so you know...this is the first day in a week I have woke up without any pain anywhere {not even a glimmer}!! The energy I have is AMAZING!! Whoo Hoo!!:)

Okay...on with Friday Favs...

1. Today is the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for my kiddos! So happy about that. Summer is just so much fun...having them home, swimming, late night horror flicks. FUN! The sad part of today is my son is already finished with his first year of HS and Em begins her last year of middle school. How did that happen?

2. Contacts Lens. Yep. I am so crazy about them this week. You see, we have had several BIG medical bills to pay this spring so I kept putting my eye exam and new contacts off. Since February I have been wearing my glasses {which I don't enjoy}. Yesterday I went in for my exam and contacts! So thankful to have them back:)

3. My clean bedroom. Try as I might my bedroom somehow always ends up the dumping ground for our clothes and my paper and magazines. I was getting so tired of going to bed at night surrounded by reminders of what I had to still get done. So Wednesday I made a decision and a promise to myself. No more papers or piles of old magazines or clothes lying around allowed in my room. None. Zero. Gone. I put every item of clothing in our closet then gathered up the various baskets of papers and put them in my office. I dusted everything, vacuumed and cleaned our bathroom. It was so nice going to bed last night in a clean and uncluttered space. Doing this has inspired me to totally re-do our home office. Be on the lookout for the "Before" photos here as well as step by step photos of how I re-organize and sort everything from our papers, to Em's sewing area to my creative writing area. Can't wait to begin!!

4.  My last Friday Fave today is my friend Angie's Blog along with several blogs from her blogroll. I continue to be inspired by her "treasures" as well as her decorating ideas. Her blog is what inspired me to get our bedroom spruced up and now our home office. Thanks Ang!!:)



I never did share my WORD with you from last week and to be honest I'm not sure which one to choose at the moment. It will have to wait:)

Girls, have a wonderful Memorial Weekend!! Looking forward to hearing what your Friday Favs are this week...be sure and leave a comment below!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And now the rest of the story...

Sorry to leave you all hanging yesterday. Really, it was more about all I had planned yesterday not just being mean and leave you wanting more {well, mostly!!}
{Just another note before you continue...I have read through this post several times. Writing this and sharing this has been very difficult for me. I don't like talking about it for several reasons. First and foremost I don't want people to think I want sympathy. I never want to be one of those people who constantly complain about their situation. I am very blessed and know there are so many people who have it worse than I do. And secondly I end of crying so much when I think about this time in my life and the fact I am still dealing with it. I just don't ever want it to get so bad again...thank you for reading and thank you so much for all your warm and kind comments. They mean the world to me.}
I need to tell you a few things before I go on with my story. {i should have told you yesterday} 17 years ago Dave and I were rear-ended by a car going 40 MPH. I suffered whiplash. When I was taken to the hospital I never given an x-ray {the doctor on call was later fired for DRINKING on the job!}

So, the jaw tooth came out...the dentist was mad {the tooth was healthy} and my pain got WORSE!
That first week after the tooth came out I would just sit in the recliner with ice anticipating it would all be better soon. It wasn't.

The pain in my jaw became more severe and now radiated up my neck, across my shoulder and would settle in my left eye. I would take Excedrin, Advil and my migraine medication Zomig daily. The only relief I got was when I slept. I did a lot of sleeping.

What bothered me the  most was not being able to spend time with my family. I would just sit in my chair, in a pain-filled fog watching my life pass me by. I didn't feel like doing anything. I couldn't do anything. On a scale from 1 to 10 my pain was a 9 most days with a few 10's in the mix. I was depressed. I seriously wanted to die.

By mid-November I was desperate. A month before I had rushed to my Doctor's office hoping she could give me some heavy duty pain killers. I remember sitting in her office answering the nurse's questions...when I told her I was at a level 10 pain at that moment she kind of scoffed at that and walked out. It felt like hot screwdrivers were being stabbed in my skull. I was screaming inside "What the heck is wrong with me!! What did I do to deserve this?!!!!" 
My doctor was amazingly sympathetic. She knew me well and was certain I would never walk in her office, begging for drugs without there being something terribly wrong. She actually reprimanded that nurse right in front of me. {that part was pretty sweet}I was prescribed some meds then sent home. For the first time in 2 months I had hope the pain would go away. The pills gave me very little relief. :(

Back to November...the prescriptions meds aren't doing anything...I'm not living my life and I am seriously thinking my life is over. Everyone was out of the house...I was just sitting in my chair, all curled up remembering what my life was like before the pain. I would cry and cry, feeling sorry for myself. 
Then, a peace came over me. I folded my arms, bowed my head and began praying out loud to my Heavenly Father. I poured out my soul to him that day. I begged Him to please help me. Please give me a direction to go in my life. Help me find help to make this pain go away or at least be manageable. 

I lifted my head and immediately an image popped in my head. It was of a sign that I often saw after church every Sunday. "River Song Massage". I grabbed the phone book and found the number. Within an hour I was laying on a massage table so grateful that my Heavenly Father had led me here.

Within a week {it was Thanksgiving} I felt better than I had in months. I was able to cook up a feast for my family, laugh and play with my kids. I was feeling human again. For the next 2 years I had a massage weekly and began chiropractic treatments. I still would have my bad days...but the good was outweighing the bad.  I was having a good day if my pain was just at a level 4 or 5. Slowly those levels were dropping to 2 and 3's and at times I was enjoying pain free days. It was a miracle to me.

Since those dark days 7 years ago I have had many flare-ups. They kind of go in spurts. I'll go 2 months without pain, then I'll have a week where my migraines are daily and my teeth ache. I have kept up with my massages and the chiropractor...I go about once a month There have been times the pain is so severe it reminds me of those months when all I wanted to do was sleep and never wake up. 

It scares me when that happens. 

Last week...that is exactly  what happened. The pain came back. It wrapped itself around neck, my shoulders, my jaw and teeth and held on tight...determined to stick around for good this time. That is my biggest fear in life...my pain, those 9 and 10 days will come back and hunker down and stay. I can take anything but please Dear Lord...not those 9 and 10 days.

Saturday was my Em's 13th birthday. I woke up MISERABLE. I was so upset. Here it was...her special day and we had so much fun stuff planned and I was a mess. The night before we had gone to dinner and a movie...at a level 8. Anyway, I just knew there was no way I was going to enjoy my day without a chiropractic adjustment. I knew my usual Doctor wasn't in so I called around. No answer anywhere. Then I remembered this new guy {he has been here about a year or two} and I made a call. They answered! And yes they could see me....and oh, by the way this won't cost a thing because it's our Customer Appreciation Day. 


So we went. And guess what? 


They were also taking X-rays at no cost. Remember now that I had never had an Xray...not even my chiropractor that I have been seeing for nearly 8 years had done that.
 So they begin doing all sorts of tests on me. Touch me in certain spots to see how tender my muscles were. At one point the Doc was like "oh, my your neck and shoulders are once big spasm!"
He also turned my neck back and forth to check on my mobility. I failed big time!!


Then came the Xrays...oh WOW! They did such a thorough job. I was so impressed for the care I was receiving...I mean I wasn't a patient and this was all at no cost and they were just so caring. Anyway, they do several Xrays on my back then my neck. I could tell they were concerned with the neck...lots of whispering going on. The Doc said "We need to do a few more, Leslie. We have found something that is going to help you...we have found the source of your pain."


For Real?!?!  You've found the source of my pain?! Ha, yeah right. NO ONE has found the source of my pain {i saw a neurologist during my whole "9 and 10 " days and they threw up there hands and sent me home} So good for you that you think you found the source...but..."

Then I thought...what if they have found it? I never have had Xrays...I began to get anxious. I began to feel a glimmer of hope.


The Doc took Dave and I to his office. He had the coolest life size screen on the wall with my Xrays on it. Then he showed me....

I had a broken neck! I had fractured my C1 vertebrae 17 years ago!! Because of that it was messing up my C2 and C3 vertebrae.  I had bone spurs and arthritis in my neck and oh, my neck is supposed to have a 46 degree curve in it...mine is 17.5. Oh and guess what?? All of our nerves that control the pain in our TEETH and our FACE are where??!? C1 and C2!!!!!!

Dave and I just sat there in shock. I cried. I was relieved. I was scared. I had hope that maybe, at last someone could help me because they had actually taken the time to know where the problem was and could now fix it!!!


So this week I began an intense treatment on my neck. What I love about Dr. Matt is his approach. He doesn't just adjust me...he incorporates other holistic type methods to my treatment. I truly believe I am {at last} on the path to 100% wellness.

I also believe that my Heavenly Father was with me and that I went through all this pain last week so I could find Dr. Matt and have these Xrays.


I am so grateful.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Here's My Story {or pain, pain go away}

Yes, I know. It's Wednesday. Already. And I'm just getting around to posting. I have a really good reason. {promise}

Okay, so in my last post I left you all wondering "what the heck happened to Leslie?" I really didn't mean to sound so cryptic. {really} The past few days I've waffled on whether or not I'd share "my" story with you. But then I thought...this is my blog and my faithful readers come here to know me. I mean most my friends outside of "bloggyville" know this about me...so maybe it is time to share with all my on-line friends. AND maybe what I say will help out someone else. {i would be just tickled if it did} So {deep breath} here goes...oh, and this story is LONG. I thought about condensing it but if I do you d\won't understand where I've been and you won't understand the complete JOY and RELIEF I am now feeling. So, as not to make this so long I am going to break it up into two posts. Hope that is okay:)

Approx. 7 to 8 years ago, in February I began having tooth pain. Actually more like teeth, jaw and facial pain. I ended up seeing a dentist and he proceeded to give me a root canal. and then another one. and another one (on the same tooth!) You see after every root canal everything still hurt. Each visit was met with frustration on both my part and his. I would tell him how much pain not only the tooth was in but all the surrounding teeth and my face hurt. On my third visit with him he was so upset with me that he told me there was nothing more he could do with me and to not come back. {i was appalled and so mad. i left in angry tears}

It was May and I was still in pain. In fact the pain was worse. It was becoming more and more difficult to chew. I had to give up eating my favorite foods...raw veggies, salads, apples...basically anything that had to be chewed with my back teeth was out. I used mostly my front teeth. Oh, and chewing gum? Unbearable! I was downing Excedrin like they were candy. I was also not just laying around waiting to get better. I was researching the internet and books trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I knew it was more than just a normal toothache. I thought maybe I had TMJ.

That July I ran into my old dentist at the County Fair. I was having my usual pain {masked a bit with the Excedrin}. I began sharing my "story" with him and my thoughts on maybe having TMJ. He told me to come to his office that Monday. So I did...

For the next few weeks I would visit him...he x-rayed my tooth...saw no decay, no crack...nothing that would require a root canal or be causing me pain. He checked the surrounding teeth, too. Then he checked my jaw...all areas that would make it TMJ. He recommended I go to a dental school in Kansas City that specialized in TMJ {but he didn't believe it was that}. We didn't go to the Dental School because my dentist was afraid they would break my jaw and do lots of other unnecessary things to me all in the name of "learning".

Fast forward to the last week of August. It's the Thursday before Labor Day weekend. I am in AGONY. I am sitting in a chair crying in pain. Out of desperation I call my dentist. He says come in. I drive to his office {my kids were at school and Dave at work}. There I was, in his dental chair begging him to pull my tooth. I mean it was killing me. It had to be a toothache, right? This TMJ stuff was all crap...it was my tooth!! He did another xray then, with great hesitation, agreed to pull my tooth. He thought maybe {just maybe} the tooth had a hairline fracture that couldn't be seen with even an xray and that was the cause of my agony.

POP! The jaw tooth was out. I felt sick to my stomach as something told me this was NOT the cause of my pain AT ALL!!!! I looked up at my dentist. He was horrified {i mean he was sick...i knew by the look on his face he wished he hadn't pulled the tooth}. He then proceeded to tell me {after examining the tooth} that he had, in fact pulled a perfectly healthy tooth. I was devastated.

That day was the beginning of my nightmare. I thought the pain was bad before...oh, baby I hadn't seen nothing yet!


***I'm gonna stop here. The kids need to get to school and I won't have time to get back on the computer for most of the day. Later on this afternoon I promise to stop by and read all your blogs {and comments!!} I haven't been able to do that all week!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Alive and Kicking

What a weekend. It was sooooo very good on one hand and sooooo very awful on another. *sigh*. Details later. AND also an interview and a post and my word and a few stories :)

Today I'm catching up and recouping from the {awful} part of the weekend.

Happy Monday girlies!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Favs {and my word-finally!}

Here it is FRIDAY and I haven't posted my WORD from last week! It's not that I don't have it picked out...I just kept putting it off then I forgot about it...you know...
So...here it is the WORD that best described my life last week...



GRACIOUS
Gracious means merciful, compassionate, pleasantly kind, and courteous.

I am so very grateful for the love and mercy my Heavenly Father has been showing my family and me. I feel like He has graciously been pouring His blessings down on us. Even though times are tight and stressful I continue to feel His love in abundance. 

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Drumroll please as I announce my Friday Favs....{lol} 

1.  I have been a BIG fan of Hungry Girl for several years now.

 Not only do I get her daily, motivational e-mails but I her first book. I highly recommend Hungry Girl for delicious, nutritious food ideas. And if you are on Weight Watchers she assigns a Points value to every recipe-cool!


2.  Excedrin Migraine
What would I do without this stuff??!


Unfortunately I get migraines { a lot} and without health insurance it's nearly impossible to pay for my prescription meds all the time. These little pills help fill in the gaps and I am so thankful they work.

3. My day wouldn't be complete without my caffeine fix {see why above}. These are my two favorites...


And this one...{wish i could find that shirt. love how "old school" it is!}

 4. There is one show I have enjoyed more than any other this winter..."The Biggest Loser'. Talk about inspiring. And really, I think the main reason it has spoken to me so much this year is the fact Dave and I are on our own weight loss journey. I learn so much listening to Jillian and Bob talk to the contestants! Here are my biggest inspirations this season... This is Daris. He has come such a LONG way!!!

 And then there is Ashley....she is soooo strong!!

 The finale airs Tuesday...but I won't be home....so I'm gonna DVR it and have a friend over on Wednesday afternoon!!

5. Speaking of weight loss. I have lost 2 more pounds this week for a total of 13 pounds!!!! I am soooo loving this!!:) 

6. Just gotta share this project I created a couple of weeks ago. I made one for a friend who needed some cheering up and one for me! The one I made for Lauren is a bit larger than mine. Here it is, sitting on  my kitchen counter. It makes me smile!


Now for a close-up...




These are just butterflies I punched out of scrap paper with a bunch I won from EK Success lots of years ago!!! 


The inspiration for this came from one of my favorite "life artists" Ali Edwards.

7. Remember this photo I shared with you yesterday??


I took my Mom and Emma here Wednesday after school. It's an Iris Farm and it's GORGEOUS!
 
 


We had never been here before. It was one of those things where I was looking in the paper and ran across an ad for "Rainbow Iris Farms". 

It was a short drive over the border into Iowa and then a few twisty turns about 4 miles on an old, gravel road. These iris's were breathtaking {on a gloomy, old, blustery day!}

Iris's are my Mom's favorite flower EVER!

She just loved it and ended up buying quite a few bulbs to plant in the fall.

These purple flowers are my favorite!!
These aren't iris's but aren't they cool?!

Me and Em...love this photo!!:) What was so fun about our journey...is that it felt like an adventure. This reminded me how much fun {and how important} it is to just get out and do things!!

8. My last Friday Fav today is nothing short of amazing {to me!!} I have been a HUGE fan of American Idol ever since it began. This year, however, I haven't felt connected or passionate about any one Idol. All that changed with ONE song Tuesday night. All I can say is.... INCREDIBLE!!!

**See video below!!!!

And there you have it!! Lots of Friday Favs fun!!

Ladies. I appreciate you all so very much!! Thanks for all your kind comments. reading my blog and just so you know...I love your blogs, too!!

Lee DeWyze on American Idol 2010 - Hallelujah

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Revolution Art

Hey, girls. I feel like I'm out of the loop. I know it's only been a few days...but yesterday I had another cyst burst and OUCH... I was down for the count. Didn't get to read too many of your blogs till last night. I did get caught up {a bit}...still have e-mails to answer.

So Tuesday I spent a few hours of ALONE time with my art stuff. Ahhh...nothing rejuvenates me more {other than writing a good blog post}.
I told you last week how inspired I was by these two books "Journal Revolution" and "Visual Chronicles". Love them!! You can read that post here if you missed it.

Anyway...I was inspired to create 3 projects from them...and here they are!

In the book "Visual Chronicles" the authors encourage you to make a "personal color palette" to use when creating your journal pages. They stress that color speaks louder than words in some cases, so it's important to choose what "speaks" to you. Here is what I came up with. I used a 12x12 piece of white cardstock, a few Sharpie pens, a large arrow foam stamp and paint. {the cardstock is folded in half}

Here is what it looks like inside.

The book lists several suggestions to use...emotions, memories, etc. For example RED can mean love, fire or anger. PURPLE can mean royalty, whimsy or passion. I did use some of their ideas along with my own. My "happy" colors, for example, are orange, pink, lime green and turquoise. My nervous color is purple.

I really like the idea of having a "personal color palette" and I already plan on adding to it.

Here is an 8x8 page that was inspired my this darling, little valentine from the 1920's.

Notice I added "Dave +Les"? The valentine is even signed by it's original "owner".

Several years ago I purchased an entire box of old postcards...I have dozens! {and can't wait to use them!!}

Here is what I created...

The paper is 8x8 glossy. I put the valentine in the center. The 20 stands for 20 years together. I added silk flowers and buttons. Here is what you see when you open  the card... "Dave+Les forever and eternity"

My last project is poster size.

"Write outside the lines"

Some close-ups...

That's my left hand. The sticker is Making Memories. "Let your voice be heard" was created by mini letter stamps.

The foil stars are what teachers use to reward their students. I put them on my poster to remind of the rewards I get when I dig deep, stay true to me and what I have to say/create. Love this!

Just a close-up of part of the title. I used my fave lettering technique here...foam stamps with paint then outline with a marker. Looks like it was hand done this way. The flower is cardstock that was crumpled and inked with a chipboard flower in the center.

I had so much fun working on these!! Now I know I'm no artist. You may think these things are silly or not very good. And well, I'm okay with that!:) Like the women who wrote "Jouranl Revolution" and "Visiual Chronicles"...it's about what you have to say...you should never create with others in mind {when it's about you!!}.

One more thing...I spent an hour here yesterday.

I will share during my Friday Favs.

Happy Thursday!

Oh and get out there and create something for YOU!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today I'm gonna....

Catch up on-line, a bit of laundry THEN I'm off for a {creative escape} to my craft room. Working on whatever my heart wants. Can't wait!!


Happy Tuesday, Girls!

***An update...I had so much FUN! I finished my first "Revolution" piece, my own personal color palette and the sweetest mini page celebrating my sweetie. I will share everything here tomorrow!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Make My Monday-"Controlling My Chaos"

Happy Monday, ladies!! Mondays are one of my fave days. I know, I know I say that just about every Monday but it is so true!! After having fun all weekend I need a break {lol}. Time to clean up after our time at home, get re-focused and re-committed to goals AND post here. Love all of it!

So today is another installment of my blog interviews "Make My Monday". This week's interview is with Jill from
Controlling My Chaos. You MUST go and check her out. Found her through SITS and so happy I did!! She has oodles of talent including organization skills {that i soooo obviously lack} AND she is crafty. What a wonderful combo right??



Hi, Jill! Thanks so much for the interview. I found you one morning while checking out blogs from SITS. I have found so many wonderful women bloggers on there! Anyway, the first thing I loved about your blog were all the articles on organization. Tell us about this obsession:)
Aw shucks. You're so sweet. I know what you mean about all the awesome blogs out there. I have spent many hours pouring over blogs for ideas and inspiration. It's an addiction.

You think I'm obsessed about organization? Well, you wouldn't know it if I let you take a look at my basement right now, but yes, I am a tinsy bit obsessed. It's possible that the label "OCD" is flung around my house from time to time as well, and not just to describe myself. Each member of my immediate family has their own special little gift, and sadly, it doesn't necessarily reach all areas of our lives. Or rooms in the house. But we are a bunch of freaks and it works for us.


I try to be organized but I'm not. Can you tell us the one place we should start to becoming better organized?

For me, it's lists, namely "To Do" lists. I like to make lists for everything, and for some reason, just writing it down has a way of alleviating some of the pressure from the black cloud of doom that seems to settle on our shoulders when we are overwhelmed by our stuff. It might seem like an extra step to write everything down, but really, it frees your mind so you can focus on one thing at a time.

For example, I went back to teaching this school year so my house is a ginormous mess from all the neglect that's been heaped on it these past nine months. My guest room is a dumping ground that I can't even get into, and it needs a serious decluttering

I'm making my lists now for all the things I want to accomplish this summer. Since I don't want my entire summer to be drudgery, I'm making separate lists so I can dabble in some of the fun stuff and some of the not so fun stuff. Like the deep cleaning. Yuck, yuck, yuck. The goal is to make myself do something very undesirable for two hours each day, and then I can spend the rest of the day however I choose. That's the plan anyway, Flexibility always comes into play--sometimes I just don't wanna.







Love your blog look. From the bacground to the banner to the button...all so cute. How did you come up with these ideas? I know so many of us want to customize our blogs don't know where to begin.

Well, I'm into digital scrapbooking, so that's how it started. I used to create a new banner every month, but it was getting too hard with working full-time, so I hired someone to give my blog a makeover. It was money well-spent because all that HTML hoo ha makes me crazy. Plus I'm old and my sight isn't what it used to be. I highly recommend hiring a web savvy blog designer.







How long have you been blogging and what got you started?


I started blogging in June of 2008. I had wanted to start a blog for at least a year before that, but I didn't know how to get started. Then one day my BFF told me she started a blog and she told me how to get started. From there, I just got a little carried away and kept going. It's been a blast. Starting a blog is so much easier than most people think. 



How did you become so organized? Were you always this way??


Was I always a freak? Yes! I remember growing up and having to share a bedroom with my sister, Oscar-the-Grouch-Who-Lives-in-a-Trash can, and I wanted to jump off a bridge, she was such a slob. At one point I even taped a jump rope down the middle of the room to keep our sides separate. I needed my own little oasis of clean and orderly. The only problem was that she had the side with the door, so I had to beg to enter and exit. It wasn't the best plan, but it was a start.

My mom is a bit of an organizational disaster too, so it's possible I was traumatized into becoming the freak that I am today. She used to buy us Christmas presents, hide them, and then she couldn't find them when it was time to give them to us. She still does that.




And finally just for fun...Please share 3 movies with us that had an effect on your life.

Oh that's easy. "The Blind Side" is my current favorite. I love Sandra Bullock and it's just a super cute movie. The message is heartwarming. Next, I love "Enough" with Jennifer Lopez. I'm big on strong women and not taking crap from anyone, so I just love it when she creams her creepy husband. Then before that "Forrest Gump" is one that sticks with me. The whole box of chocolates message is so true.

I think that does it. Thanks for hosting me today. Have a great week!
Thanks so much, Jill for the interview!! It has been so fun seeing what inspires you. I will be stopping by Controlling My Chaos very soon!!


Girls, I have so much fun with these interviews! Thanks to each one of you who has participated so far!! Next week we'll hear from a very talented blog designer. {my current background is some of her handiwork}
Be sure and leave a comment below...I stop by every blog that leaves a comment and I would love to make you a part of "Make My Monday!!"

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So much going on today. Trying to stop by all your blogs today, catch up on e-mails, cleaning house, laundry and even trying to squeeze some "art therapy" in {my friend Courtney calls it that}.

Happy Monday!!!

PS...I finally got signed up for the Kelly Rae Roberts on-line class!! I have never done anything like this before and I am soooooo excited!! I will be taking with my blogging buddy Leanne!!!:)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Favs

It's Friday! It's Friday!! Whoo Hoo!! Having such a GREAT day so far! Went for a brisk walk after taking the kiddo's to school. After my shower I headed out to 2 garage sales. Found a few bargains for Em...lots more this afternoon. I LOVE garage sales!

Let's get on with my Friday Favs List...

1. Mother's Day! What more can I say other than I am so very blessed!!! Here I am with my kids and our doggie last Sunday.

I mean just look at us!! I never imagined I would have the life I lead right now. Only in my dreams {truly} did I ever think it was possible. I wake up everyday with a song of gratitude in my heart for these guys:)

More Mother's Day photos...

That's Em, my Mom and me. See those beautiful corsages? My Mom bought those for us to wear to church! How sweet was that??  My family thought they would play a funny on me...this was the first present I opened...It's Santa Shrek!!

Jacksy gave me a cross with a verse about love from Corinthians. He knows me well:) He also bought me a pretty diamond necklace with 3 stones to represent Dave, Em and him. So thoughtful!

Dave and the kids picked out her gift and boy did they do a GREAT job! This angel from Hallmark was perfect and made Mom cry:)

And finally here is a pic of me with the card my creative daughter Em made for me...

I love my family!!!

2. Yard Sales...boy do I have fun!! Every Friday I grab my paper and meticulously go through the sales for the day. Then I make a list of the order I want to go to each one. Em and I usually grab a soda, a few snacks and head out after school. {most of our sales begin between 2 and 4} I love rummaging through books, household items, cloths and purses!! You just never know what you'll find!!! I'll have to post some of my finds here next week.

3. Healthy living. As I look back on my week I am so grateful for my daily walks, fresh fruit and veggies and the support I receive from my husband. This clean way of life has turned my attitude around. I am living with an abundance of energy and gratitude. My husband, too. Life is so good right now.

4. My church. Throughout my life I have tried my best to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many times I fall short but each and every day I try. I am so grateful this week for my Father in Heaven and the grace he continues to pour over me and my family. I am so thankful for my church and my church family.

5. Girl's night!! Yep, me and Em are having our very own Girl's Night tonight!! After yard sales we are headed home to spruce up for dinner and a movie. We can't wait to see this movie!!






What about you? What are your Friday Favs??

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Words to Live By

Sometimes I have nothing to write about. Nothing to say...to share...to inspire. In those times I turn to my collection of quotes. Ever since I trained and ran my first marathon {now there's a story} I have been a collector of quotes. Everything from books to chinese fortunes to scribblings on scraps of paper...quotes energize, entertain and motivate me.

Several years ago I found this little gem titled "The Third Book of Words to Live By". Found it at a yard sale {Ang, this is one of MY treasures!}It is a spectacular book filled with quotes and short stories from people like Robert Louis Stevenson, Alfred Noyes and Florence Nightengale.Here is a bit of the introduction by William Nichols...

"The Words to Live By page has been a regular feature in This Week for 15 years. A thousand of these brief articles have appeared in This Week, and been read by many among the 14 million families who regularly receive the magazine each Sunday. Inspiration is in danger of becoming a lost art. The national magazines seem to have lost heart. In the headlong pursuit of readership they have bcome self-concious, or cynical, or sophisticated. And in the process I believe they have lost that strong, outflowing force of faith and leadership which once united them so intimately with the American people. Man does not live by bread alone, but by faith, by admiration and by sympathy. It is my greatest hope that, in the shared experiences on the following pages, you will discover something of all three." 
                                                                                        -William Nichols,  Autumn 1961

Love that. Love this little book. Love reading the stories...even though they are dated, they inspire me today. And isn't it neat that Nichols was so concerned with "preserving" inspiration? Very smart man.


Here it is 2010. Inspiration is definately not a "lost art". There are hundreds of thousands of shows, magazines, books and blogs oozing with enough inspiration to last years and years.

I, for one, am so grateful for all that inspiration. I am grateful that Mr. Nichols cared enough about it to compile my book.

I am leaving you with a bit of inspiration today taken from Words to Live By...

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, assering itself with ever-growing insistency."  -Daniel H. Burnham

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

R U Ready for a Revolution?

Creative things happening at Words of Me Project and I can't wait! So ready to write, get to know myself better, bring all that's inside into my art...ready to inspire and be inspired. Ready for this....

and can't wait for this...

Two AMAZING books written by sisters Linda Woods and Karen Dinino.


Visual Chronicles came out first in 2006. Some of the chapters include...

*I'm just not artistic
*I can't write
*Nothing happens in my life
*I have no time

One of my favorite sections in this book encourages you to come up with a personal color palette to use in your art journals. The authors share that the color RED may be used to show anger, heat or love. While BLUE shows water, sky, calm or trust. However, as they state in their book you can use these guidelines or "turn them upside down" with your own color guide. I am making mine and will be sharing here very soon!

Journal Revolution: rise up and create! shares more ideas for journals, personal manifestos and other works of art created based on your emotions. Here is a sampling of a few chapters...

*Plan your attack
*Crack the code
*Take cover
*Trespassing Zone

This book gives you questions to answer so you can dig deeper, learn more about why you think a certain way then shows you artistic ways of expressing yourself on everything from art canvas to trading cards. Love these books!!

You can buy both books here and here.

Last week I "gathered my forces" into one small basket with handles so I can take it anywhere. Here it is...

Another shot of my "forces"...

Here is a list of some of my supplies. Most of them I already had.

watercolors
acrylic paint
scrapbook tape in several different designs {it 's the yellow with blue flowers in the photos}
a ruler
avery labels
colored pencils
mini alphabet stamps
chipboard journal discs from Urban Lily
several sizes of paint brushes
several sizes of foam brushes
chipboard words
word stamps from Heidi Swapp
lots of ink pads
a baggie with little treasures {brads, buttons, flowers, postage stamps, tickets and more}
sandpaper

I had so much fun gathering these supplies. Everytime I look at my basket I get so excited thinking of all the possibilites {my word for 2010 by the way!}
These books are full of so much that my head was swimming with ideas. Plus after getting my art basket ready I was inspired to CREATE! I decided to make a mini journal to put my ideas in. I love how it turned out!

I started with a mini chipboard album kit from Jenni Bowlin Studios. Love her stuff!! I took it apart and painted the chipboard covers a lime green.


I inked the edges black.
I really loved how the heart was cut out on the cover so decided to call my little book this...



"Journal my heart out".

Decided to put the date, too {I date EVERYTHING!}

Wanted to do something with the inside of the covers, too. Here is how they turned out.

This is on the front and here is what I put on the back inside cover.
That chipboard square is from Urban Lily from several years back. I use these all the time...so great for journals!!

I wrote "the good. the bad. the ugly." Because authors Linda and Karen encourage you to be REAL with this artistic endeavors.

Here's the back.

Now here are pics with the book put back together...

I know my little journal isn't perfect. But that' is why I am in love with these books. They aren't about perfection. So many times when we think of traditional scrapbooking it's all about cutesy and sweet and adorable. And while I enjoy scrapping those things and in that way I am ready to explore that side of me that takes what's inside and puts it on a piece of grungy cardboard, uses watercolors, bubble wrap and masking tape. It's gonna be hard to get out of the "proper" way to "do art"...but this is exactly what I need to break down those "perfect" walls and truly see what kind of artist I am.

I have always considered myself a "word artist". That's what writers do...create art with what they say. That's what appeals to me so much in these books "Journal Revolution" and "Visual Chronicles". It's putting WORDS with EMOTIONS with ART. For me, the perfect combination!!

I encourage you to try this, too!! Go to Amazon, buy one or both of these books!! Right now you can purchase them here for almost half of what I paid...

Even if you don't have the books...you can grab a basket and start "gathering your force". Put what speaks to you in your basket, sit back and just look at it. Your creativity will start running amuck and you will be so excited to create your very own art journals, too!!!

This is something I'm gonna be doing EVERY WEEK here at Words of Me. Sharing, creating, gathering, jouraling and inspiring. I sure hope you'll join me on this journey!!!

****I better share my WORD from last week as it's a good one!!

BEAUTIFUL

–adjective
1.
having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2.
excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3.
wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.


As I continue to lose weight and inches I am feeling more confident than ever!! I went clothes shopping and ended up finding the PERFECT dress! I have always and forever wanted a polka dot dress. I found one in a smaller size. I feel BEAUTIFUL in it!!

I also felt like my week was beautiful spiritually and emotionally. I felt the Spirit of gratitude fill my heart on more than one occasion last week. And finally I will leave you with a sneak peek of my Mother's Day celebration and this beautiful gift I was given...


{I will have the full story on this gift and lots of photos to share later in the week!!}
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