Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 31- Finishing Well

There is something to be said for finishing well.  One month ago, when I decided on a whim to challenge myself with this series, I was not sure what things would look like on this end of the month of posts.  What would I write about? When would I find the time to blog every day? I'm really happy that I listened to that nudge that told me to participate, because somewhere along the way, somehow, I feel like I found my writing a little bit again.  I have struggled with that off and on for several months- that feeling of being a little bit lost in what I wanted to say and the direction I wanted to go with my writing.  But since I entered into this challenge on a whim, I was not prepared and did not have my month's worth of posts beautifully written or prepared in advance the way so many other crazy talented people did who also participated in this journey.  And because of my lack of preparation, I had to sit down every day (well almost every day) and write, think and create....and it was soo good for me!  My posts were not perfect but they were honest with where I was during this journey.  I loved that I did this and will do it again next year on a different topic.  There is something about the feeling of finishing and accomplishing something that feels daunting, intimidating and big...even if you were not perfect.  It makes you feel a little bit stronger than you believed yourself to be...and that feeling- that with a little help and nudge from above- that you can become more than you imagine you can be and can accomplish more than you think- is one of the best things in life.  Here's to giving your heart and energy to something that challenges you and to finishing it well.  You can do it! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 30- Handmade Gifts

 There are not enough words to describe the beauty of the heart that accompanies a hand made gift.  The time and talent invested in these special one-of-a-kind gifts make them more than presents wrapped in love, they -through their very creation and giving away- become treasures.  Over the past couple of years, we have been so blessed by the gifts and talents of so many of our dear friends and family.  We cannot thank you enough for all of the sweet things and talents you have lavished upon our lives.  We are rich beyond measure.  Thank you. xo

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 29- Home Cooked Meals

Deirdre preparing a delicious feast...seriously de-lish!
There are times after a hectic day when it is nice to have some carry out for dinner or better yet, to actually GO out for a meal.  However, there is something extra delicious about a home cooked meal.  Ever since we got married, Joe and I have enjoyed cooking together and experimenting in the kitchen with different meals and preparation techniques.  It has been fun and we have learned a ton and have had some really yummy meals together as a result!  Making a menu, purchasing the necessary ingredients, and then preparing them according to the recipe takes time...sometimes more than you expect.  However, in our experience, the results are nearly always delicious and as an added bonus, you have the fun memories of slowing down, putting forth the effort and of being truly present for your meal together.  As for cooking with friends...well, just multiply the fun times fifty!  A beautiful, delicious home cooked meal is always one of the sweet things in life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 28- Babies

our little lily ...beyond love at first sight ...xo
From the very minute you hear about them, there is so much joy, excitement, laughter and love to be found.  All of the little cute clothes, changes to your life, the firsts, the walks together outside, the discoveries, the fun toys, the bright colors, the developmental milestones, the snuggles, the giggles, the little hands, the artwork, the adventures, the story books, the routines, the bath times, the birthday parties, the little feet, the little bellies, the naps, the baby snores, the softness, the sweetness of it all.... I could go on and on and on and on....

I'm of the mindset that babies (and all children) are a gift from above and most of them tend to spread delight, sunshine and smiles wherever they go.  We have had the joy of getting to meet several new babies over the past several weeks both in our family and out and just seeing their sweet little faces and snuggly selves all while holding my own, is just almost too much happiness for my heart to hold.  We have many dear friends expecting long awaited babies over the next several months and it is safe to say that we are counting down the minutes with them.  Babies tend to bring with them hope and a forever sense of home and it's my opinion that no matter whose they are, little babies have got to be one of the sweetest things in life.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 27- Girlfriends

I hope no one here kicks me for posting this photo- it is just one of my all time faves!
One of my favorite things about good girlfriends is that no matter how much time has passed, or the distance in between, you can still just jump in, pickup the conversation where you left off and it is like no time has passed.  My girlfriends...we have seen each other through high school, crushes, college, jobs, relocations to different cities across the country, boyfriends, careers, home buying, breakups, engagements, weddings, marriages, divorces, pregnancies, infertility, pregnancy losses, loss of a child, births of healthy babies, adoptions, joys, sorrows, retirements, ups and downs, tears and laughter....through thick and thin.  Having great girlfriends in your life has got to be one of the sweetest things!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 26- Community

I tend to be more on the introverted side of the spectrum and my hubby tends to be more on the extroverted side.  We are a good balance for each other and we are able to give one another grace when one of us needs to either be at home or be out with some friends in order to feel recharged.  However, no matter where you may fall on the spectrum of people-ness, there is something so special about community...of knowing and being known.  It is a challenge to open your heart to be embraced by others and to embrace and love in return, but it is unbelievably worth it. 

I truly did not realize the full gift of community that God had blessed us with until we received the shattering news of Luke's diagnosis.  Suddenly in our darkest hours and days, we had so many wonderful, amazing, brave, true, honest, kind, generous and steadfast friends around us.  These people were a tangible reminder from above that there was simply no way the Lord was going to let us falter as we walked that path with Luke.  Daily he reminded us that we were not alone through the cards, gifts, meals, gatherings, prayers, encouragements, thoughtful conversations, warm hugs and time spent together with these was literally life sustaining for us.

It wasn't just during that season that God provided community when I needed it.  Looking back, as I have navigated my adult life, I can see I was given good friends when I needed them, friends in my same life stage and with my same beliefs when I was single, and now new mom friends as I begin to involve myself with the women's ministry at our's amazing how he brings such incredible people into your life just when you didn't realize you needed them as much as you do.  He gives us community and we get to enjoy and love them well.  God often blesses us through the people he brings into our lives...I know that to be absolutely true.  It's one of the sweetest ways he loves us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 25- Beach Vacations

Palm trees...sunshine...the sound of crashing waves....clear, beautiful, blue water....the feel of sand between your toes....sunglasses...a floppy hat...a gentle ocean breeze....sipping from a cool slushy, fruity drink with an umbrella in it....a cabana for shade....some salsa and guac and chips for a snack...a comfy lounge chair for sun.... a good book...some to-do lists....just pure relaxation for body and soul... a beach vacation....*sigh* of life's sweetest things!

Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 24- Recess

Taken from my back porch.  I had to take it quickly so that I would not look like a creepy predator, so please excuse the fence...I already cropped out a ton of wires... but you get the idea.
Was recess not the best part of your day when you were a little kid going to school? We currently live directly behind an elementary school and I LOVE when it is recess time.  My heart feels happy listening to the sound of children at play, the cheers, the yells, the whistles, the chanting around the tether ball game, the sight of swings, soccer games, kickball games, four square, tag and general monkey-ing around on the monkey bars.  It is one of the happiest sounds in the world and one I will genuinely miss when we move away.

I see kids running out to the playground as soon as they hit the door and they don't stop until that whistle blows.  Sometimes I wonder what I "run" toward in my days.  Do I build in time for genuine play in my days? I want to! I know it is an area I need to improve upon and one I look forward to improving especially now that Miss Lily is here to play with! 

I don't want to imply that I just sit in my house or on my porch and watch recess every day because well, that would be weird.  But- there are times when I watch out the window while washing some dishes, or I will take Lily outside onto the back porch because she LOVES to watch and listen to the kids playing.  Wherever I am in my house, I can always hear when it is recess time whether I'm looking outside or not, and I love that about this little house.  It is perched next to a great, loud and joyful noise several times a day.

I think recess is such a good metaphor for life- work hard, be focused when you have to, but when you get the chance, play hard, play fair, do your best and have a LOT of fun!  I love recess and it always will remain one of the sweet things in life- no matter how old you are!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 23- Thunderstorms

this was taken one evening on my way home from work...
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved thunderstorms.  LOVED. THEM.  I am so lucky to live in the midwest where we have a pretty decent thunderstorm season from around March through July.  There is nothing better than the gentle rumble of thunder in the early morning hours, to the winds that roll through the thick air right before a good storm breaks out. Some bring lots of rain, and some just the thunder and lightening...but I love them.  I should clarify that I love to watch them from the safety of my home or somewhere safe.  I get really anxious when I am out in a thunderstorm or can't see the road or have trees falling all around me.  I'm not a fan of that, but if I'm safe somewhere and the people I love are safe too, then bring on the thunder and lightening and rain! (*note: I also am not a fan of mass destruction from storms like what happened in Joplin, Mo! I can do without those mega storms!)

Some of my favorite memories as a child are of watching storms roll in while sitting on my beloved grandmother's porch out in the country.  She would always make us go inside before it got too close, but I loved (and still do) feeling and listening to those first distant rumbles of thunder that gradually become louder as they rolled closer, the stillness of the air right before a big storm, the sudden gusts of wind followed by those first few drops of rain hitting the ground falling harder and eventually fading....and then finally, the different coolness of the air after a storm passed through. There is just something so beautiful and powerful about the magesty of nature that is desplayed through thunderstorms.  

I have long had a hobby of photographing the sky and have so many images captured of different storms, clouds, cloud formations and just your average beautiful sky...but (aside from cirrus clouds of course) thunder storm clouds are my favorite.  Thunderstorms are one of my favorite things in life and I'm so thankful to live in a place where they pass through.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 22- Surprises

My brother meeting my daughter for the first time
I'm one of those people who love surprises.  I'm talking about the good surprises in life, where people genuinely want to surprise you with joy and happiness...not the kind where you get into your car and are surprised to find you have about 2 miles worth of gas left in the tank.  No, I'm talking about the good ones...the kind where tears just flow due to the sheer joy of the moment.  Those moments in life are gifts. 

I've been blessed by several of those moments in my lifetime and without question, they are some of the sweetest moments in my life.  Two that instantly pop into my head are my engagement day when Joe popped the question and I realized that that was only the beginning of one of the most magical and romantic days of my entire life filled with surprise after surprise so lovingly thought out and planned by my beau...all just for me.  I swear, I thought my heart would burst!  I know now, that God was just expanding my hearts capacity to hold all of the love that was ahead. 

Shortly after saying 'YES!'
The second surprise that pops into my head happened on Lily's birthday.  My younger brother lives in Jackson, Wyoming and I did not think he was going to be able to meet her for months.  However, I had no idea that the night before she was born, he flew into town and surprised me at the hospital when we were in the recovery room!  I love that he was one of the first people she got to meet in this world and it meant so much to me to have him there for such a monumental event in my life. (photo at top of post)

Some people don't like surprises but I love them.  I even surprise myself sometimes.  I often worry that my heart has become cynical or hardened due to news reports, my interactions with people or just an attack from the Enemy.  But then there are these beautiful moments where I catch myself being overwhelmed by love, emotion, happiness, or sentimentality and I surprise myself in the recognition that in order to feel these things, my heart has to remain open, tender and soft ...and I'm so thankful all over again. 

Being surprised (in a great way) is one of the sweet things in life...even when you surprise yourself!

Friday, October 21, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 21- Date Night

Tonight was special.  My parents watched Lily for us, we had a generous gift card to use and an entire evening before us.  We went to a special restaurant, sat in a cozy booth in the corner, had an appetizer, some wine and a delicious meal and great conversation.  Afterwards, we went to another favorite spot for some coffee and dessert.  It was so fun to have a reason to get "dressed up," to have something on the calendar we were both looking forward to all week and most of all to have the time to ourselves with no responsibility to fix or clean up the meal!  Having the gift card to help make it possible and knowing Lily was in such good hands made it even more fun!  We were both able to relax, laugh and enjoy each other's company without a care or worry in the world.  We laughed and said it was like the old days when we were dating.  Back then, I loved every minute of my time with Joe...and I still do.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 20- The Christmas Season

our tree last Christmas...
Family. Friends. Merriment. Joy. Fun. Parties. Gatherings. Carols. Candlelight. Tradition. Memories. Games. Gifts. Snow. Fires. Hot Chocolate. Twinkly lights. Giving. Bells ringing. Christmas movies. Evergreen trees. Delicious meals. Laughter. It's the most wonderful time of the year and one of the sweetest things in life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 19- Genuine Random Acts of Kindness

Beautiful flowers left as a surprise for me by a beautiful, kindhearted friend....
 I am not sure why, but kindness always surprises me and leaves me a little bit breathless. Whenever I see it or experience it firsthand, I am left to secretly wonder, "Am I kind like that?" or "Would I have responded in that kind/helpful/gentle way?" A lot of the time, I fear my response is sadly, no.  Or if it does happen to be a 'yes,' it is only often after some serious self talk about what I should do in a particular situation.

Just the other day I was having a situation in a busy grocery store where I needed to leave immediately to get home to get our house ready for a showing.  My cart was full and there was no way I could wait in line to pay, make it home, put stuff away AND clean the house AND leave again all within an hour all while taking care of Lily.  I was proceeding kind of numbly as I aimlessly drove my cart along toward the milk section (I was at least going to put my milk back while looking for a staff person to explain my delima to...I'm telling you I felt bad about abandoning my full cart of groceries!)

Anyways, there I was, my head spinning with all I needed to do in order to clean up our post-vacation-laundry-piles-stuff-all-over house, when I saw the smiling face of my friend, Sara.  She was excited to see Lily and I just blurted out our problem and the very first words out of her mouth were "How can I help?"  Seriously!  I was just blown away.  She offered several suggestions and then eventually helped me by taking our three jugs of milk back to the milk case for me.  I was frazzled, a little sweaty and a whole lot of stressed and her little act of kindness saved me several minutes which helped me to get our house presentable in the last possible minutes! 

It was the smallest thing, but her words and gesture of kindness is still resonating with my heart today.  I long to be kind, I really do.  I'm working on it, I really am.  I'm deeply touched by it and my heart is always changed by kindness.  I love it and seeing it in action is certainly a sweet thing in life.

To read another post I wrote on my old blog about other random acts of kindness click here.  I'm telling you, kindness is so cool!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 18- Inspiration

I remember exactly when it was that I first started reading and loving blogs- and not just the blogs of people I knew personally.  It was the summer of 2009, in August, just a couple of weeks before learning of Luke's diagnosis.  (Understandably, everything in that season of my life is as vivid as if it just happened last week!)  I remember clicking around, jumping from blog to blog (easily done via various blogger's list of blogs they love etc) and I came across this amazing blog (  At the time, I had no idea who this person was but I remember that I had to stop reading it because I was sobbing. I was just about 20 weeks pregnant with my (so I thought at the time) healthy baby boy and I was reading her story of losing her daughter and how she carried her to term...and the grief and loss. And well, I just could not imagine anything that awful happening.  It was way too much for my heart to take and so I clicked away from her site and tried to regain my composure before heading into my next appointment.  It wasn't until later that upon reflection, I could see God's providence in leading me to her blog that day...that simple click has continued to help shape who He is making me into today.

Flash forward a few weeks, my entire world has shattered with news that we would lose our beloved Luke, and I remember thinking about Angie's blog. At the time, I could not remember her name or her blog address to save my life, but I knew I had to find it because she was the only person I knew of who could "talk" to me and "tell me" her story of going through what I was about to endure.  I spent a lot of time trying to retrace my cyber steps to how I found her, and eventually I found her blog again.  I spent hours reading her story and learning about her beautiful family and especially her daughter, Audrey.  Angie was such an inspiration to me- she was someone I could look to, check in on through her blog and see that she had not only survived losing her daughter, but was building a happy life for herself on the other side of that loss.  I still love to check in with her and see what God is doing in her life today.  She gave me so much hope and I know she has for many others as well.  Angie, although she has no idea who I am, through the power of her words, has impacted my life and was an anchor for me during the greatest storm of my life. I will be forever grateful to her and her daughter, Audrey.  I pray that Luke has had the joy of meeting her in heaven.  Thank you, Angie...with all my heart.

That experience, was my springboard into my love of the blogging world and all of my online friends I have "met" there.  I am not the best comment leaver (I am REALLY working on that!) but there are so many cool, inspirational and exceptionally talented women out there just living life, raising families, honoring God, writing and connecting out there and I just love (and long to at the same time) to be a part of that. I have loved discovering so many wonderful blogs out there and tremendously enjoy posting here on Lassoing.  I have no idea who all stops by to read what I write here, but just know this, I'm so happy that you do and just want to thank you for sticking with me! 

People often ask me what blogs I love and who I read and I always feel scattered when answering that question because there are so many that I love (literally over 100 on my reader alone!...and no they do not all get read on a regular basis, but are just little bookmarks of things and friends I truly enjoy and who bring life and inspiration to my heart...) ....home decor/design blogs, motherhood blogs, DIY blogs, general inspiration blogs, faith blogs, writing blogs, photography blogs and of course my friends' blogs and even some people-I-don't-know-but-just-know-we-would-be-friends-in-real-life-and-just-love-their-blogs blogs! Like I said, I'm all over the board.  

My blog reading tends to take place in waves these days since Little Miss has arrived, but I always look forward to my catch up time when I can just sit and enjoy and look at the photos and marvel at the projects completed, and ooh and ahh over the room re-dos...I LOVE it and I always find my heart and spirit are encouraged and inspired afterwards....a feeling I'm certain is one of the sweet things in life- no matter who or what inspires you!

Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 17- Special Seasonal Holiday Beverages

I admit, I'm a complete sucker for sweet treats. I do not claim to have a ton of self control when it comes to desserts, baked goods or candy.  BUT, I do make an effort to not order super fancy drinks at Starbucks unless it happens to be an especially special day or unless its during the holiday season (or if I have a gift card *Thank you, Molly!*). But even when its during the "holiday season" of Fall through New Years, I still do not treat myself all that often in this way because it is rather pricy and crazy calories! So, to kick off the 2011 season, I enjoyed my first "holiday" themed beverage - the Salted Carmel Mocha- and let me just say, it did not disappoint!  Special treats (especially holiday flavored ones!) are some of the sweet things in life- literally and figuratively!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 16- Making a Difference

I am guilty of sometimes feeling like I don't have "enough" or that I have to have a certain this or that...when in reality I have waaay more than I need.  I have been entrusted with so many riches in life and I know I am called as a believer to give away and share my resources...because they are not mine, they are His.  So simple to say, yet so difficult to do. 

A couple of years back, my husband introduced me to an organization called Kiva.  (Check them out here.) Its design is to connect people who have resources with people who have none so that they can get their business started and support their family and then eventually pay back the loan they have been given.  It is amazing.  I recently invested in a woman in Paraguay who was starting a clothing business to help feed her family.  I saw her photo, read about her story and am now following her progress.  Seriously, this organization is SO COOL.  I love that a little bit of money from my pocket is making a difference in her life.  We will probably never meet, but we are connected.  I love that. 

Another program we are involved with as a family is called Compassion (learn more about them here).  By adopting a child through a monthly contribution, a relationship is developed with that child over the years and you can watch them grow and see how just a little bit can go a very long way. It's not like what you see on TV where they talk about adopting children, but it is about really building that connection and relationship with the child you sponsor.  You learn about their family, their life and what they are learning in school in addition to so much more.  We love our little guy who lives in Ethiopia and we continue to pray for him and his family during their drought and famine. 

I am not writing about these things because I want to give the impression that we are extra spiritual people because we give to this group and that organization etc.  But more because I want to convey that by giving away even the smallest amount of money or a fraction of time, it can make a huge difference in the lives of others...and ripple effects can be felt all the way to heaven.  God sees our heart, our compassion and often our (my) struggles with giving and is so faithful.  He uses whatever we can give to make all things beautiful and to grow hope all over the world.  I'm learning that the more I open my hands, life and heart to giving, that being able to play even the tiniest part in what He is doing to make a difference in the lives of his people is one of the sweetest gifts in life. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 15- Fresh Clean Laundry

I'm not a laundry fanatic.  I don't mind doing it, but just am not a huge fan of sorting, folding and putting it away.  I am finding however, that since sweet Lily has come along, I no longer mind the sorting and folding and putting away.  Perhaps it's because her clothes are so cute and smell so clean and baby fresh when they come out of the dryer.  I don't know, but I love the feeling when we all have clean clothes in our drawers, the baskets and hampers are empty and the gentle hum of the dryer is going in the background.  I love it.  Clean clothes, sheets and the sense of accomplishment that follows finishing all of the laundry (for however brief those fleeting minutes are) is certainly one of my favorite things in life!

Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 14- LAUGHTER!

I went through almost 15 months of my life without a belly laugh.  It sounds wierd to know this about myself, but I will never forget my first laugh that broke my drought.  It was during Thanksgiving weekend 2010, almost 15 months to the day after finding out about Luke's diagnosis.  Sure, over the months, I had occasionally laughed since finding out the tragic news that changed my life forever, but not in a way I could not stop.  I certainly was not laughing as much as I had before.  I just figured I really would not truly laugh that big way again.  It wasn't until I was several minutes in, with tears rolling down my cheeks and my shoulders shaking, that I realized what was happening and that this laughter was healing a long wounded spot in my spirit.  I will always be thankful for my brother and that Irish music he played for bringing that kind of real, genuine laughter back into my heart again after such a long absence.

I can't say that I laugh that way all the time now, but I do love to laugh and am laughing so much more these days.  At the end of our days, Joe and I love to watch Modern Family for a good laugh.  It is a show that never fails to make me laugh out loud...even after seeing the episode a few times!  

Laughter is good medicine and one of my favorite things in life. I'm so thankful to have my true laugh back.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 13- Flowers

these were a surprise from the hubby on friday afternoon...XO
I love flowers. Love, love LOVE them.  Whether they are just pushing their way through the frozen ground in springtime, arriving on your porch unexpectedly or delivered by your beloved as a surprise, fresh flowers have a way of brightening your heart.  I think God knew this because He went out of his way to create literally thousands of different varieties and while I have not seen or smelled them all, I know I would love them.  Fresh flowers make just make life sweeter.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 12- Bookstores

I have always loved to read and walking into a delightful bookstore always makes me happy.  In the town where we are staying right now, there is a beautiful, local book shop that reminds me of 'The Shop Around the Corner' from one of my favorite movies of all time, "You've Got Mail."  It is staffed by readers and people who know their books and authors and generes.  

note...this is not my house!
I have a few shelves of books in my home holding books that I have yet to read, but nevertheless, I will always take a few minutes to peek when passing a book just never know what you may find and even when I leave empty handed (which happens more now that I'm on a my heart is always happier for the stopping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 11- Sunsets

Sunsets happen every day before our eyes, yet somehow we sometimes forget to notice.  

Whether you are on a beach, a mountaintop, by a lake or in a wide open place...taking a few moments to be still and watch the beauty unfold before your eyes is always time well spent.  

Those final few moments when the time moves so slowly toward twilight...quiet, peaceful and oh, so beautiful.

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 10- Time with Family

These days my family is spread out across the country.  It is a rare jewel of a time when we are all able to get together for any stretch of days and I always consider it one of the sweet times in life when we are able to pull it off.  The past few days have been that way for me.  We have all been here in the mountains together, with no agenda other than taking a family photo and enjoying some delicious meals together.  It has been so much fun to see how our days have evolved...the time has been filled with conversations, football games, cooking, playing with baby girl, going for walks, reading, napping and watching episodes of Modern Family.  We are so fortunate in that when our family gets together it (for the most part) feels very easy.  We enjoy being together, we laugh, we sometimes need our space, we come back together and always have fun.  The photo above was taken yesterday when we were all crowded into our little den to watch the Chiefs game on the computer because we could not get the game on TV.  It's a glimpse of one of my favorite memories from this weekend together....nothing fancy, just a lot of fun.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 9- Celebrating Milestones

Marking milestones is an important part of any journey- a journey of the heart, an actual physical journey, a journey of recovery...any journey.  As with any milestone marked, its representational meaning is made all the more special when it is shared with friends and family.   This weekend we celebrated a big marriage milestone for my parents with some celebratory champagne.  There were toasts, memories shared, pearls of wisdom gleaned from the path and visions cast for future celebrations to come.  It was so special to be clinking glasses with my most dearly beloved and it was a complete joy to be able to celebrate together.  

These are my parents and today is their 40th anniversary!  

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Here's to another happy 40! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 8- First Snows

We are spending some time in the mountains and today I awoke to this view out of my window.  For me, first snows always intensify my excitement and anticipation for the upcoming holidays. I love the way they tend to bring out the cozy blankets, warm sweaters, pots of delicious soup, hot chocolate, the glow of warmth from the fireplace and books.  It is difficult to articulate, but there is something so beautifully peaceful about the quiet of snowfall that somehow seems to also quiet my heart and spirit as well.  First snowfalls are definitely one of the sweet things in life.

Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 7- Grilling Out

My brother....
We have been spending time with our family lately.  My parents, my brother, his has been a lot of fun, and tonight we grilled out.  

The air was chilly and it was so much fun to get outside and fire up the grill. It seems that during the summer months, food always tastes better when grilled and it was a lot of fun to extend the grilling season a little bit longer.  

I loved it and it made me want to add grilling to my list of some of the sweet things in life.

Luna: the supervisor

Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 6- A Good Cup of Coffee

It wasn't until after college that I became a coffee drinker.  Something about going into work and starting the day with a warm cup of coffee in hand...I don't know....I just loved it.  When I got married, my husband introduced me to the french press.  At first I did not understand what all of the hoopla was about, but now, I get it.  The little ritual of making coffee in the morning is one of my favorites.  There are some days when I don't even get to enjoy more than a few sips, but just knowing its there, for some reason makes me happy.  If you have never made french press coffee before, or feel intimidated by the process (like I did), here are the simple steps to making an amazing cup of coffee.  I promise it will start your day off right.  A good cup of coffee is one of the sweet things in life!  (At least my life!)
French presses can be purchased at any kitchen-ey store (Crate and Barrell, Williams Sonoma etc).  

 The first step is to boil some water on the stove...

Then you take your helps if you grind them fresh just before making your coffee.  (I'm lucky that I'm married to a home roaster!)  Any kind of whole beans will do...what ever suits your fancy!

Then you measure out your beans...the recommended amount is 2 tablespoons per 6 oz of water.  (Sorry, when we took this photo, we were not using tablespoons b/c we were making a mass quantity of coffee...)

Grind your beans.  Its recommended to grind it coarsely...

Next...dump the ground beans into the french press...

Then add your water... (keeping in mind your water to grounds ratio...)

Then just let it sit...the grounds and the water (that is boiling) for 3-4 minutes

As an added bonus, you can use your extra hot water to warm up your coffee mugs while you wait...

After your timer goes off, use a wooden spoon (or whatever you have handy) to stir up the ground and the water.

*For some unknown reason, I seem to have forgotten to document the most exciting step! After you have stirred your grounds and water, put the plunger on top of your french press and slowly push down filtering the grounds through the water....

Now its ready! YUM!

One final step is to put any extra coffee from your french press into another container until you are ready to drink it.  By leaving it in the original container, the grounds will continue to brew and your coffee that remains will be SUPER strong.  So by putting it into another container, you just keep it at a consistent strength.  


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Lisa Irwin Flyer

I have no idea where you live, but this sweet baby girl was taken from her crib in the wee hours of Tuesday morning and I cannot stop thinking about her or her family.  I have been trying to think of ways to help ...and prayer and giving exposure seem to be the main things I can personally do to help her and her family.  This is the worst nightmare of any parent and ever since reading her story, my heart has been broken in prayer for her.

I have never done anything like this on the blog before and I hope you all will just take a moment to look at her little face, read her story and say some prayers on her behalf.  Her name is Lisa Irwin and she is 10 months old.  A baby! The search for her has gone national as of today, so as you are holding your loved ones tight, please keep your eyes open for sweet, baby Lisa and whisper some prayers on her behalf.  Thank you!!

31 Days of Savoring the Sweet Stuff: Day 5- Walks

Today me and the little one went for a walk outside... 

 It was not for physical fitness, but more for the pure joy of being outside together in the crisp fall air.

  We did not go far and were not gone long, but we had fun enjoying the breeze, 

watching leaves fall, talking and

noticing the beauty of nature all around us.

We loved just breathing the beautiful fresh air.  

It was certainly a walk I will remember for a long time 

as there was no motive other than enjoying ourselves 

and appreciating the beauty that is found outside.

Walks like these are certainly one of the sweet things in life...