Saturday, October 30, 2010

So yesterday I spent the day grumpy. It seemed everything I tried to do was a failure {all except for the Speech Tournament. i did good there}

Now, if you know me here or at home I am rarely down. I am known as Miss Perky, Bubbly, Miss Happy Girl.....

Anyways, even the happiest of girls needs a day or two of the blahs.

Why? Because it can help us put our lives in perspective. It creates an environment where we MUST come up with ways to get out of our funk. And that is just what I did...

This weekend I'm working on my "Creative Life Makeover".

In the next few weeks I will share what I decide to do.

I am excited and ready to see what happens:)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Plans {thank you}

I appreciate all of your thoughts and kind words regarding my post on creativity. Next week I plan on visiting all your blogs and sharing words of wisdom with you;)

Today I am judging the Speech and Debate Tournament at Maryville High School. This is something I do every year and love it.

Our weekend will be spent in Kansas City for Em's soccer tournament. Home on Halloween night for our annual Harvest Dinner with Mom.

Life is moving waaaay too fast for me at the moment. I am feeling overwhelmed and a bit out of sorts. I am in need of creative, quiet time. Soon, very soon....


Happy Halloween Friends!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What is my cREaTiVe Purpose?

“Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you.”  -Ghandi

Lately I have been feeling out of sorts. Not myself when it comes to my creativity. I am feeling, well, not very creative.

No, no let me rephrase that.

I am feeling creative yet unable to put my thoughts into my projects.
I want to create. I look around at all my stuff...you know the stuff that makes your heart race. The paper, the glue, the paint, the stickers and rub-ons. The buttons and flowers and little bits of this and that. My big bin of rubber stamps with words and butterflies and birds. 


I see it all. I go to my studio. I gather a few things then...nothing. Or I'll have something but something that is so juvenile looking I would never share it with any of you. Never. Ever.

*sigh*


“The creative mind plays with the object it loves Carl Gustav Jung  

I love paper and pens and words. I use sunshines and butterflies in my work and words. It always goes back to words. Whether I'm writing or creating a scrapbook page or art journal...it's all about the words.


 
“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others” Ayn Rand quotes

When it comes right down to it I must stop comparing myself to everyone else. There are sooo many amazingly talented Bloggers out there who create these masterpieces. Lately I find myself comparing where I am creatively to these women. This is not good.


Not only have I felt inadequate in my artsy stuff but my writing has suffered. My ideas have been stagnant. I haven't been learning and growing and inspiring.


That's not a place I want to be.


Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” Arthur Koestler 

So, I am here, being honest with you and myself. Realizing that even though I don't create those one of a kind collages that are publication worthy and my paintings resemble those of a kindergartner...I am just a pupil. Trying my best to find my own Van Gogh. I know an artist lives within me. I just haven't found her yet.


“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”  — Martha Graham


How about you? What do you feel about your creative work? How do you get through the rough times? I would love to know!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cute Couple


My son, Jackson with his girlfriend. They are soooo sweet together:)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 25, 2010

I APRECIATE My Life

What a glorious weekend spent with family...all women. Fantastic! My Mom, My Aunt and my Cousin, Lora.

We laughed, we cried, we ate yummy, fattening food, we played cards, we hung out in our jammies. It was perfect!!

Gotta tell you about a GIVE AWAY going on over at this website!! Be sure and stop by. You could WIN a wonderfully inspiring book from my Blog Friend, Jen!!!:)

It's hard to imagine...but this time next week Christmas will be everywhere. It seems the day after Halloween every television station, every newspaper add, every magazine becomes Christmas. Now, don't get me wrong...Christmas is my favorite time of the year...but I happen to ADORE Thanksgiving, too. Sheesh, time is is slipping through my fingers.


There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men:  time.  ~Napoleon I, Maxims, 1815

Speaking of time passing waaaaay too quickly...we are already into Week 4 of our 52 Words 52 Weeks Challenge. Wow! 

Our Words so far have been...

gratitude
bliss
order

If you missed any of these words...no big deal. No need to start from the beginning. Just jump right in!

I have given quite a bit of thought to this week's word and have come up with this...



appreciative

–adjective
feeling or showing appreciation: an appreciative audience at the concert.

 There is lots going on in my world this week and instead of feeling overwhelmed I want to appreciate all that I get to do. Soooo....this is the Word I need to help me through the week;)

Several of you have created scrapbook layouts of your Words. LOVE this!! Stop by Sharla's Blog for a bit of scrappy inspiration.

This week I have two goals...to start eating clean again and continue working out daily AND to create a bit everyday...no matter what. I find I spend more time thinking about creating rather than doing it. Not this week...no matter how busy I am! 

 

What are you working on this week? I would love to know. Remember to appreciate all that you have to do and get to do!! Be appreciative to your family, your friends, your boss, your Maker. It will make a difference in your life. I promise!!;) 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Autumn Splendor

Fall is, without a doubt my favorite time of year...


The colors, the pumpkins, the mums, football games, cool weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving...the list goes on and on!

Here is a peek at my front porch...


It is so much fun to decorate!! Aren't those the cutest little scarecrows you've ever seen??:)

This beautiful, fall weekend my Mom and I are headed to Southeast Iowa for an All Girl's Weekend. Mom, my Aunt and 2 cousins will spend the next few days chatting, laughing, crying and bonding like never before.

Seriously...we've never done anything like this before.

This weekend means so much to me.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
Jane Howard

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends:) 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

Many times I have shared my love of quotes with you. Throughout my home you will see words and quotes decorating my walls, end tables and shelves. They motivate, uplift and inspire me to be my very best.



“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” ~ Arthur Rubinstein

My passion for quotes began in High School but really became an obsession during my 9 months of marathon training back in 1999.

I was unable to walk for a whole week after that, so much did the race take out of me. But it was the most pleasant exhaustion I have ever known.
Emil Zatopek's description of the Olympic Marathon win in Helsinki

Through the years I have collected thousands of quotes...
Book of Possibilities by Me
Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)

 I have books, calendars, scraps of paper and notesbooks filled with famous and not so famous words of wisdom. These are my some of my greatest treasures!

I have overcome some of my greatest fears with the help of others words...


Page by Me
 “To overcome a fear, here's all you have to do: realize the fear is there, and do the action you fear anyway.”
 Peter McWilliams

During my 5 years of writing "View from the From Porch" I turned to the inspiration of others words.
Everest Base Camp {Bing.com}
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.
Helen Keller
Today I find myself not only turning to my books, my notes and calendars but when I'm having real writer's block I end up on the computer, surfing the net which nearly every time leads me to YOUR blogs. Your stories, your words lift me up, inspire me and give me a renewed vigor to keep pursuing my passion.
So today, my friends...give yourself a pat on the back, a high five, a smile. Remember that YOU truly make a difference. The time you spend typing, searching and sharing...it means something.
It means something to me.





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bringing ORDER to your week

Whoo Hoo!! We are HOME! While i enjoyed every moment in Vegas {well, almost every moment. the hugemongous blisters on my feet really made me unhappy} I am always so ready to be home!! How about you?

And, no I didn't take any photos in Vegas...Dave and I did have our photo taken at a show though. We saw Donny and Marie! They were awesome:) We also saw "Menopause:The Musical" {oh, my heck...hysterical!!} and one of the Cirque Shows "Mystere". If you go to Vegas...you MUST see a Cirque Show...incredible!! Thanks to my amazing husband for a wonderful getaway!! 

Also I big THANK YOU to Soraya, Leanne and Doris for sharing their talents here at Words of Me while I was away. I hope you enjoyed reading their posts and visited their blogs.

Speaking of blogs be sure and visit my Blog of the Week...Dawn from Life Lines Journaling. Lots of inspiration there.

It's hard to believe we are Week 3 of our 52 Words 52 Weeks Challenge. If you don't know about the Challenge...go here.

Our WORD this week is 

ORDER

prevailing course or arrangement of things; established system or regime: 
 
a condition in which each thing is properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious arrangement: You must try to give order to your life.
 
With the holidays right around the corner I am in need of adding ORDER to my life. Not only do I need to organize my home, clean and pick-up but I need to have ORDER to my days. A time and place for everything. This is what I'm working on this week.
 
Stop by Stacey's Blog to see how she used last week's WORD in a layout. Very cute...

What kinds of things do you need to bring ORDER to in your life?
 

I am BACK!

I am HOME and ready for a new blog post!!

Check back in later today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to check in with all of you:)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Living in Color

Note: While I am out of town I invited 3 ladies to guest post for me. This is Doris. I am not sure how we met but I am soooo happy I stumbled upon her blog. Please be sure and visit her when you a minute. She always writes such thought-provoking posts!! Thanks for this, Doris!:)

 
 
Do you notice the colors in the world around you?  There are so many different shades and hues; it’s a wonder our brains can take it all in.  Even as I sit here at my computer in a corner of my house I see pink, brown, beige, yellow, coral, blue, red, white, aqua, black… the list goes on and on!
 
I’ve always found it fascinating how some colors are soothing, some are invigorating, and some are even annoying (neon anything comes to mind)!  I decided to do a little research on the meaning of colors and chose the basic colors of the rainbow to share with you.
 
Red is exciting and energetic; red (and of course pink) are highly associated with romance.  Red has been shown to increase enthusiasm and encourage action.  Red is a color of confidence.  It is bold, and can sometimes be considered a color of aggression.  Beauty, love and good fortune are all common associations for red.  Did you know that red is the first color you lose sight of at twilight?
 
Orange is known as one of those colors that people either like it or they don’t, with very little “fence-riding” about it.  Orange, like yellow, is associated with energy and vivaciousness.  In China, orange represents happiness; however, orange in Christianity represents gluttony.  It looks like that “you like it or you don’t” philosophy is pretty accurate!
 
Yellow brings to mind happiness and optimism.  It is stimulating and often associated with energy.  Lance Armstrong said, “Yellow wakes me up in the morning.  Yellow gets me on the bike every day. Yellow has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yellow makes me suffer. Yellow is the reason I am here.” 
 
Green is ever-present in the world around us.  So much so, our brains likely don’t even recognize its prevalence.  Green is tranquil and refreshing, and generally associated with peacefulness and nature.  In many cultures and religions, green represents resurrection and eternal life.
 
Blue is the most popular color and the least gender specific.  Blue represents dependability and constancy.  Lighter shades of blue have a calming, cooling effect, and the brighter shades tend to be described as dramatic.  In Mexico, Iran and Korea blue is a color that represents mourning.
 
Purple – which is my favorite color – is said to be a balance between the energy of red and the calming of blue.  It is said that purple is often the favorite color of those who are creative and/or eccentric.  Purple is associated with royalty.  Purple was the color of the first man-made dye, which was made out of coal tar – wow, that doesn’t sound very regal does it?!
 
The next time you’re out and about, take a minute to look around you at all the different colors in the world.  They all seem to blend together perfectly, which is amazing to me.  Humanity with all its quirkiness spends so much time trying to match colors or choose colors that complement each other – but in nature it all just seems to fit together effortlessly.
 
What is your favorite color and how does it make you feel?  What does it make you think of?  Consider looking up meanings and traditions about your favorite color – it’s interesting and fun!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pure Bliss {photo fun!}

Dear dear Leslie!
Thanks so much for letting me stop by and share a story with you. Your words inspire me, and this week, I thought it would be fun to expand a little on your word of the week . . . and what a fantastic word it is.
BLISS: Supreme Happiness. Utter Joy or contentment.
Just saying the word kind of brings me there, to that happy place in my mind.  After reading Leslie’s post earlier this week, I started thinking about moments in life when I had that blissful feeling, and realized that Bliss may come around at the most unexpected times, and in the most unexpected ways.
Years ago, long before our daughters joined us in this world, my husband and I were great adventurers. Phil & Leanne (the second Louis & Clark, I’d like to think.) We were always up for something – be it hopping in the car on a Thursday night and driving to New York City for the weekend (we live in Chicago), or deciding to wake in the middle of the night and drive to downtown Chicago to watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan. We were spontaneous, and if you could find us, you’d usually find a silly story behind what we were doing and why we were doing it. We often took our adventures with a camera in hand, and as the brilliant thinkers we are ;), we decided to photograph these escapades by way of our feet. Yes, our feet.

Photo of us in the streets of New York City, back in 2006.
In our home, we have three large photo collages displaying our FEET pictures, showing our life (and feet) chronologically. From early adventures to places like Michigan and downtown Chicago, to our wedding day, to our feet on the freshly laid grass of our very first house, and photos of our daughters feet the days they were born. We have photos of our feet during some of our best, most blissful times in life.

It’s funny how these simple photos … or FOOTo’s (sorry, couldn’t resist!) … can remind me of the very moments when I felt so happy. When I look at the above photo from New York, I remember this very day like it was yesterday. We were walking through the streets of New York City, in Little Italy, to be exact, and we were searching for an Italian Restaurant that we had visited years. I remember exactly what we were wearing, I remember the sights and sounds of Mulberry Street, the smell of garlic in the air, and the feeling of love that I had for being here with Phil. We had been married for 8 years and Katie, who was 2 years old at the time, was staying with my sister-in-law overnight so Phil and I could enjoy a bit of New York on our own. I remember feeling happy. In love. Bliss. 
Isn’t it wonderful how bliss can happen at the most unexpected times, in the most unexpected places, and when looking at the most unexpected photos? In the very beginning of our “feet” picture days, our family thought we were nuts (maybe it was because of all of the spontaneous escapades that had them shaking their heads at us, too.) Now, you’ll laugh to know that each time we are out doing something fun, someone in our extended family will tell us “Don’t forget to take pictures of your feet!”
Next time you are on an adventure, look down at your feet and snap a photo of them … wherever they are. You’ll be surprised how happy that photo might make you years from now. It may even bring you some BLISS

Note: Thank you to my dear friend, Leanne!! I admire her writing sooooo much and want to be just like her in sooooo many ways!!:)  Please stop by and visit her very, very soon!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Power and Gift of Scrapbooking










Note: While I am on my trip I invited 3 ladies to guest post for me. Meet Soraya!! I interviewed her a few months ago for "Make My Monday". I love her work and am always inspired by her posts. She is a MUST Read for me:) Please stop by her Blog today!!


I started scrapbooking seriously when I was pregnant. I am an artist but stopped painting at that time for fear of exposing my baby to all the toxic substances. Scrapbooking became a major creative outlet for me and was a great way to prepare for baby. I plunged right in buying all sorts of how-to books and fell in love with all the decorative papers and epherma. I made layouts to fill a whole book that included ultra-sounds, a baby shower and a month by month of baby’s first year. All the while…I never really understood how powerful this craft  really is; it is visual storytelling in art form.  Here are the extraordinary gifts I received…


Communicating with future generations:

 I was able to preserve memories of Tara’s life that only I, as her mother, would know. These memories will get passed down to generations…how powerful is that? Tara’s great, great grandchildren can read all about Tara. They will have an idea of their roots; they will know where they came from and have a sense of identity and belonging. I can communicate with my direct descendants yet to be born!  


Writing:

Another gift is that I started journaling  a lot on my pages. My writing took on a whole new direction and a whole new avenue of creativity laid before me. My writing became infused with vulnerability, honesty, humor, heart and soul. I started writing poetry again and once I wrote a whole page about Tara’s beautiful little feet! The minutia of life became important enough to preserve.


Photography:

 My photography skills greatly improved; I wanted only the very best pictures for my layouts. I started taking pictures from different angles and in different light. I started capturing the mundane and the beautiful. 


My Art:



 Scrapbooking also affected my art. When I started painting again after the birth of my daughter, I found myself using decorative scrapbook papers and my own text. I loved the visual elements of storytelling that I was now able to incorporate into my art.


I don’t get a chance to do much scrapbooking now…I am very busy with Tara and painting…but one of my all time fave things to do is to pull out the beautiful book of Tara and re-experience her magical beginnings. Its’ all there…preserved, cherished and come to life on these pages. It brings tears to my eyes and fills my heart with the most incredible joy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

44 Never Looked So GOOD!

May you live all the days of your life.
- Jonathan Swift 

 Today I am 44.

Yep, 44 years old.



We turn not older with years, but newer every day.
- Emily Dickinson



That used to sound so very, very ancient to me. Like when my Mom turned 40. Wow! She was over the hill. 

I am looking forward to this year like none before. For the first time in my life I know where I'm going. I know what I believe. I know my life is blessed....and I am grateful.


We are always the same age inside.
- Gertrude Stein 


I have everything I need today. A loving family. Friends. My Church. My Savior and Heavenly Father. I have my talents...writing...creating...inspiring.

And I have YOU. Each one of you mean the world to me. 


One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.
- Virginia Woolf



Thank you for taking time to read my blog and leave such uplifting and inspiring comments. I appreciate you so much:)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are You in Need of a Little Bliss?

So, last week's WORD was Gratitude. I found myself repeating "I am grateful" throughout my days. It was a wonderful  way to kick off our 52 WORDS 52 WEEKS Challenge. I even had a chance to share my word journey in Relief Society yesterday during a talk on repentance. I realized, that for me, my greatest sin is being ungrateful.

Choosing a consistent focus of heartfelt gratitude and appreciation elevates the quality of consciousness which without fail elevates and enhances quality of life. -from Abundance and Happiness.com


In case you are new to Words of Me Project and our 52 Words Challenge...WELCOME! Click here to learn more about the Challenge.

On to this Week's WORD!!


BLISS

–noun
1.
supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment: wedded bliss.
2.
Theology . the joy of heaven.
3.
heaven; paradise: the road to eternal bliss.
4.
Archaic . a cause of great joy or happiness.
 Couldn't we all use a little bit of bliss in our lives?!?

“Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender. You will then experience Bliss.” Sri Sathya Sai Baba 

This week I will focus on giving up my bad qualities...

*thinking negatively about others
*beating myself up for not getting everything done
*not eating whole, clean foods
*not getting enough sleep
*not exercising and spending time outside 

I will focus on the positive in my life. I will take last week's gratitude and keep it in my heart.

There is nothing to practice. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking. .


 I would imagine if we could master the above quote we would all find our bliss...


I am doing something creative with my Weekly Words. I have decided to create my very own ART JOURNAL of all 52 Words. I will be sharing very soon...


What can YOU do to find your BLiSS this week?

PS!!!  My Birthday is TOMORROW!! My goal was to get to 175 Followers by then. I am almost there! If you are NOT a Follower already would you be so kind and give me an early present:)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Images from DC {Random Friday}

Whoo Hoo! We made it to Friday!!!!!!!!  Today my daughter Emi, my Mom and I are headed to Kansas City for a day of shopping!!!!! It's been a looooooong time since we've done anything like this {you know...hard times and all. This economy stinks}

Anyway....I can't wait!

Our WORD this week is Gratitude. How are ya' coming along with that? I am loving it. I have been reminded on several occasions just how blessed I am.


Since it's Friday I have a few Random goodies for you. Please check out my friend Angie's Blog this weekend. I loved her post "What I've Learned". You can read it here.

I love Marching Bands. As I sit and type this morning I can hear the Maryville Marching Spoofhounds practice. Just says "Fall" to me:)

Here are a few photos from our DC trip....

DC...Here we come!!!

 One of our favorite parts of the trip was driving through Pennsylvania and Maryland. This part of the U.S. is BEAUTIFUL!!
 Wednesday night we spent the night in Frostburg, Maryland. What a quaint, little town. We LOVED it! Dave and Jacks at the restaurant where I enjoyed fresh crab cakes-YUM-O!
 Along the interstate in Pennsylvania.
 This was our view from the photo above...soooo pretty.
 Our family on the back veranda of George Washington's Home Mount Vernon. That's the Potomac in the background. This was our favorite part of the trip, I think. What a lovely place to spend the day. I highly recommend it!
 Mount Vernon. The afternoon was perfect!
 If you've ever been to the White House then you have seen this. These people have been camped out here for like 30 years!!
 In front of the White House. We took this same photo back in 2006. Our kids have changed so much...
 The Smithsonian Art Museum
 Jacks and Emi were fascinated by this protester in front of the White House...

 Okay, if you want to have inspiration oozing out of your ears then you MUST go to the Smithsonian Art Museum!!! This painting so fits mine and Em's personality:)
 Doesn't she look artsy??
 Jacks snapped this of Dave and I...the museum was getting ready to close so there was like no one around and we were on the 3rd floor. It was kinda cool. All I kept thinking was "What if we get locked in here? Sweet!"

 On the backside of the Art Museum
 Rally Day. This was taken at approx. 4 am. It was soooo spiritual.
 There were dozens of buses from all over the United States!
 An image from the Rally
 After the Rally, walking towards the main part of DC to catch a cab. My kids in front of the Washington Monument.
 Ms. Photographer
 Love this photo. I snapped it after the Rally. We had been walking forever and finally got to the city part of DC. This photo is great!! These folks didn't know one another at all...yet having quite the conversation. I loved it!!

Being a part of history was something I will never forget. My family and I are so blessed to have been there that day. Here are a few things that continue to amaze me about that day....

*All the PEOPLE!
*The Spirit that was there. Here we were in a sea of people yet I felt nothing but a sense of joy, hope and peace. Everyone got along....
*No trash was left behind. We left the place SPOTLESS!
*Alveda King. I will never forget her powerful prescence
*Staying up for 24 plus hours, arriving at the Rally at 3 AM. The place was filling up soooo fast!
*Standing at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial at 4 AM. Incredible.
*Feeling Glenn Beck. Seriously...when he is on stage you feel his energy, his passion for our country.
*Being with my family, in that place at that time. I will never forget.


Ladies, thanks for letting me share! You are all amazing and I appreciate all my NEW Followers and all the comment Love you have given me this week!!

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to keep writing down 5 things a night you are grateful for!!!!
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