Monday, December 26, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Seventy-Six

A Bittersweet Christmas.

Copyright 2011.  Christmas at Granny's house was just not the same this year...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Seventy-Five...

Today was one of those days that's a tough reminder of how beautiful life is...
and how important it is to live every moment to the fullest.

Copyright 2010.  My granny at the beach in Nags Head.
All Rights Reserved.

*Somehow I know we'll meet again,
not sure quite where and I don't know just when.
You're in my heart, so until then....
It's time for saying good bye.

Wanna Smile... Wanna cry...
Saying Good bye.*

-- The Muppets --

In loving memory of my granny;
August 2, 1940 - December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Seventy-Four

Copyright 2011.  Connor in Gratz Park.
All Rights Reserved.

*There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other;  only in winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.*

-- Ruth Stout --

Friday, November 25, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Seventy-Three

An easy holiday craft :)
Ribbon Ornament

I made this ornament today -- it only took about 30-45 minutes to complete and I love how it turned out :)


1.  You will need a round styrofoam ball (any size - I chose the 4 1/2 inch size) which can be purchased at your local craft stores (I bought all supplies at Michaels), a container of straight pins (I prefer the ones without the colored ends) and 5 or 6 different coordinating ribbons of varying sizes -- again, purchased at Michaels - total cost of ribbon was approx. .35 per each because of the great deals!

2. Cut your ribbons into 3 inch strips.  The white snowman ribbon below had wire on each side -- I removed the wire to make it easier to use.

3.  Begin by looping each piece of ribbon and sticking it to the styrofoam with a straight pin (sometimes the wider ribbons need another pin added once you've gotten it placed where you want it.) Arrange the ribbons on the styrofoam ball in any manner you wish.

Finished product!
You can add a hanger at the end by cutting a longer strand of ribbon (approx. 8-10 inches) and pinning it with 4 or 5 straight pins into the top of your ornament.

Have fun!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Seventy-Two

Copyright 2011.  -- My cousin Laura and I jumping at the beach.

*This world's gone crazy, and it's hard to believe
that tomorrow will be better than today...

Believe it anyway.*

-- Martina McBride --

Thursday, November 17, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Seventy-One

Copyright 2011.  Little Zachary :)
All Rights Reserved.

*Woke up this morning, smiled at the rising sun,
Three little birds sat on my door step,
Singing a sweet song,
a melody pure and true,

"This is my message to you-ou-ouuuu..."

Singing, "Don't worry, about a thing,
cause every little thing is gonna be alright.
Don't worry about a thing,
cause every little thing is gonna be alright.*

-- Bob Marley --

Sunday, November 13, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Seventy

Copyright 2011.  Connor at Gratz Park - November '11
All Rights Reserved.
*Yesterday a child came out to wander,
caught a dragonfly inside a jar.
Fearful when the sky is full of thunder,
and tearful at the falling of a star.

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons,
Skated over ten clear frozen streams.
Words like, "When your older," must appease him,
and promises of someday make up his dreams.

And the seasons, they go round and round,
and the painted ponies go up and down.
We're captives on a carousel of time.
We can't return, we can only look
behind from where we came,

And go round and round and round
in the circle game.*

-- Joni Mitchell --

Sunday, November 6, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-Nine

Getting Ready for the Season :)

Copyright 2011.
All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-Eight

Copyright 2011.  Halloween night in Lexington.
All Rights Reserved.


Monday, October 24, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-Seven

Let Them Be Little

Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved

*My Grandmomma was a wise old soul,
took me by the hand not long ago.
Said, "What's your hurry child, slow it down,
Taste the wild honey, listen to the sound
of the wind that's blowing through the trees,
river's flowing to the seas.
Yeah they're all heading home just like you and me.
Life is for livin' child can't you see...

That these are the days we will remember.
These are the times that won't come again.
The highest of flames becomes an ember,
and you've got to live 'em while you can."*

-- Keith Urban --

Saturday, October 22, 2011

365 Days Take Two -- Day Sixty-Six

Copyright 2011.  Sunset at Bi-Water Farms last night :)
All Rights Reserved.

There's nothing quite like the sight of a beautiful fall sunset...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-Five

Copyright 2011.  At the Lexington Cemetery.
All Rights Reserved.

“Then summer fades and passes and October comes. We'll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure. ”

-- Thomas Wolfe --

Saturday, October 1, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-Four

Copyright 2011.  Fall flowers today at the Lexington Cemetary
All Rights Reserved.

*Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.*

-- Carol Bishop Hipps --

Sunday, September 25, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-Three

Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

I, at my window, sit and see
Autumn, his russet fingers lay,
On every leaf of every tree.
I call, but summer will not stay.

-- Unknown --

Saturday, September 24, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-Two

Getting in the spirit of Fall!!

Mummies and Monsters cupcakes :)

These spooky little guys were made using Wilton icing tips -- the mummies were made using the basketweave tip upside down (you can use any of the tips 44-47) and the Monsters were made using the grass tip (tip 233).  I used the Wilton buttercream recipe and the neon food coloring that you can find pretty much anywhere now.

They were super simple and super fun and my preschool class LOVED them :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty-One

Sometimes we all need a little power up!

Copyright 2011. -- Cakes I made for my godson's birthday today :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty -- 6 Months.

Copyright 2011.  Me and Connor on a paddle boat ride :)
All rights reserved.

*There are millions of people in this world, but in the end it all comes down to one.  I still panic some times, forget to breathe, but I know there's something beautiful in all my imperfections.*
-- Crazy Beautiful --

6 months.

Wow.  It's hard to believe that it's been 6 months today since I heard those life changing words.  "It's malignant melanoma."  -- Cancer.

I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that I've been through some incredibly difficult, life altering, painful experience, because truth be told, I haven't.  I know it could be so much worse... SO much worse.  But that's why it's important and that's why the experience is life changing.

It's not lost on me that there are men and women diagnosed with melanoma who do not even LIVE to see the six month mark.  And you may say what??  Skin cancer?  Kill someone in six months.  Yes. 

Melanoma is the deadliest of all the skin cancers. 
It is the most common type of cancer in young adults (aged 25-29).
Melanoma kills more young women every year then breast cancer.
Exposure to tanning beds before age 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75%.

But there is one advantage of melanoma over other cancers and that is this;
Melanoma shows itself on TOP of our skin.  Paying attention to your moles, getting yearly exams and being cautious of the sun can save your life.

There are many things I cannot do because I had melanoma...
- I cannot donate blood
- I cannot be on the bone marrow donor registry
- I cannot donate organs (even if a family member were to need a kidney... I can't donate one.)
- I cannot get health insurance (I've tried... and been denied multiple times by multiple companies)

There are many things I CAN do.
- I can get up in the mornings and go to work
- I can spend time with my family and friends
- I can be more cautious about the sun in the future
- I can feel the sun and breathe in the air and feel good

And all of this is because of early detection.

Be aware.
It can save your life.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-Nine

The photo below is not my own... but the only photo that felt right today was a photo of the complete New York skyline.

Photo Credit:  Jamie Squire/Allsport 

To those of us old enough to remember the day... every single moment of where we were and what we were doing... there is no doubt that 9/11/2001 was a defining moment in our history.  There will always be, for us, a before September 11th and an after.  The world changed that day.  Our perceptions of the world changed.  Our lives changed... forever.  

We will never forget... we never can.

My prayers are with those still grieving the lives of their loved ones lost that day. 


Thursday, September 8, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-Eight

Copyright 2011.  The Tater Head on our paddle boating trip.
All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 5, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-Seven

It has been a rough few days...
but images like this, taken yesterday,
remind me that even amidst the bad stuff, there is still so much hope.

Copyright 2011.  Connor and Caydence at the park - 9/4/11
All Rights Reserved.

*I have unanswered prayers.
I have trouble I wish wasn't there.
I have asked a thousand ways,
that you would take my pain away...
that you would take my pain away.

I'm trying to understand, how to walk this weary land.
Make straight the paths that crooked lie,
Oh Lord before these feet of mine...
Oh Lord before these feet of mine.

When my world is shaking,
Heaven stands.
When my heart is breaking,
I never leave your hands.

-- JJ Heller --

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-Six

Copyright 2011.  Life jackets just waiting for the paddle boaters.
All Rights Reserved.

*There's a wild, wild whisper
blowin' in the wind,
calling out my name
like a long lost friend.

Oh I miss those days as the years go by,
Oh nothing's sweeter than summertime,
and American honey.*

-- Lady Antebellum --

Sunday, September 4, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-Five

If there's any face in the world that can brighten my day...
it's hers.

Copyright 2011.  Caydee at the park ready to ride the paddle boats.
All Rights Reserved.

*Everybody's looking for that something,
one thing that makes it all complete.
You find it in the strangest places,
places you never knew it could be.

Some find it in the face of their children.
Some find it in their lover's eyes.
Who can deny the joy it brings,
when you've found that special thing...

You're flying without wings.

-- Westlife --

Friday, September 2, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-Four

Copyright 2011.
All Rights Reserved.

There are no quotes that can adequately describe what I'm feeling today.  When I came home from work this afternoon, it was to the news that the wonderful, kind and amazing doctor who has cared for me and performed all four of my surgeries since my melanoma diagnosis in March, was killed as she was leaving her office last night.  My heart breaks... for her family, her friends, her co-workers... for us.  Her patients.  She is not a doctor who can be easily replaced, but was instead the kind of doctor everyone would hope to have.  Not only did she always remember who I was... but she always remembered things from conversations we'd had at past appointments.  It was clear she wasn't just looking at my chart... it was clear that she cared.

I can't even begin to imagine why this happened... why things like this ever happen.  But I pray for her husband and her children...

that's all that I can do.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-Three

Where does the time go?

How did this tiny blue-eyed baby,

Become a beautiful 5-year old big girl so quickly?

Caydence's Birthday August 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Caydee-Bug!!
We Love you :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge -- White

Copyright 2011.  Sweet Tater Head.
All Rights Reserved.

*And above all,
watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you,
because secrets are always hidden
in the most unlikely places.
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.*

-- Roald Dahl --

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty-One

Copyright 2011.  Beautiful sunset last night on the way home from Paris.
All Rights Reserved.

*Everytime you wake up ask yourself,
"What good things am I going to do today?"
Remember that when the sun goes down
at the end of the day,
it will take a part of your life with it.*
-- Indian Proverb

Thursday, August 25, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Fifty

Thinking of my family in the Outer Banks right now...
and everyone else in the path of Hurricane Irene.
Stay safe out there everyone!!

Copyright 2011.  Nags Head, NC.
All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Heart Faces -- Pets :)

Whatchu lookin' at!?

Copyright 2011.
Blue Jay in the Ice Storm

Pretty much everyone in my family has allergies to cats and dogs and other furry friends, and so we've never been able to have true "pets" in the sense of animals that live inside our house and allow us to cuddle with them and sleep in our beds with us.  That's okay though!  We have TONS of birds and chipmunks and squirrels outside that come to our home every single day for peanuts and bird food and other treats.  They are just as much our 'pets' as those that someone buys in a pet store :)

This little guy is one example.  He'd been visiting our home a lot as the winter was turning to spring and when the horrible ice storm hit and everything outside was covered in a thick layer of ice, he came and sat there on that bush, staring in the window until my dad went outside and remedied the frozen feeder situation!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Heart Faces -- Beautiful Eyes

Sweet Baby Girl...
Beautiful Eyes.
Copyright 2011.  One of my favorites ever.

*I have looked in your eyes with my eyes.
I have put my heart near your heart.*

-- Pope John XXII

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Forty-Seven

Copyright 2011.  Seagull over the ocean - June in Nags Head.
All Rights Reserved.

*I wanna sleep under a different piece of sky,
I wanna live a little before I die.
I wanna be so close to Heaven I see angels...

Angel carry me, oh so far away,
may my body never touch the ground.
And if I promise you that I'll be back someday,
Will you set me free so I can fly away?

Fly away... fly away...
Fly away... fly away.*

-- Sugarland --

The tragedy in Indiana (link below) is weighing heavily on my mind tonight.  I have been to so many concerts and will even be going to a Boyz II Men concert at the Kentucky State Fair on Friday... I know the pure adrenaline and joy that you feel when you get to spend the hours singing and dancing to one of your favorite bands.  I simply cannot imagine the fear... the saddness that everyone who was there must have been feeling.  Still must be feeling.

But mostly, I watch the videos they show on the news and can only cry, because, it is moments like these, when people are suffering and the world around us seems to be falling apart, that you can truly see the best in people.  Watch the videos... the reactions of the crowd to run towards the stage to help instead of away from the pain and mess.  To stay there when most would want to get out.  To stay and try to do anything possible to ease the suffering.

It truly speaks of human compassion.

My prayers are with everyone involved.

Friday, August 12, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Forty-Six

Copyright 2011.  My cousins, Laura and John, on the beach in June.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Forty-Five

Copyright 2011.

*Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
Think only of the best, work only for the best and expect only the best.
Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
Give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side as long as you are true to the best that is in you!*
-- Christian D. Larson

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Heart Faces -- Friendship Challenge :)

*Sometimes being a brother
is even better
than being a Superhero.*
-- Marc Brown

*The highlight of my childhood
was making my brother laugh so hard
that food came out his nose!*
-- Garrison Keillor

I saw that the challenge for this week was "Friendship" and this photo immediately sprang to my mind.  It takes me back to the early days of my godchildren's lives when Caydence was born and Connor simply refused to even acknowledge her existence.  To the fear we had that he would ever really grow to love his sister and not to be constantly frustrated by her.  Frustrated by her every movement and noise.  And now... we see from the photo above (and of course from every day life) that we had nothing to worry about at all.  The love between these two is what we call "crazy love!"  They make each other laugh daily... they make US laugh daily, and they are definitely true friends in every sense of the word. 

In this photo Caydee had just sneak attacked her big brother with a kiss and this was the reaction :)

365 Days Take Two -- Day Forty-Four

Can't believe this baby girl is starting Kindergarten in TWO DAYS!!

Copyright 2011. 

Or that this Taterhead will be in the SECOND GRADE!

Copyright 2011.

And if I look back now,
that SUMMER seemed to last FOREVER,
and if I had the choice,
yeah, I'd always wanna be there...

Those were the best days of my life!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Forty-Two

Otherwise titled... "How did I get so far behind?"

Copyright 2011.  The very first vegetables I ever grew :)  -- radishes!

*Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.*

Lindley Karstens