Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words...

If you know me, you know how crazy I am about my niece Maeve. I believe she captures everything about the true essence of being a little girl. She's fearless and adventurous and full of wild spirit. She's already so nurturing and loving. She has fully mastered everything from the devious smirk, to the sweetest giggle, to the most contagious belly laugh you have ever heard! She is by far sugar and spice and everything nice.

She turned 2 yesterday on June 15th, and we celebrated all weekend! She picked out her first Cabbage Patch doll at Babyland General, Uncle Steven bought her a prime rib dinner at the Oar House, and then Sunday we had a cook out and birthday party with family and friends.

But, my favorite part of the weekend was my "Photo Shoot" with Maeve! Leah had asked me awhile ago if I would take her 2 year old pictures, I said of course! I instantly envisioned her standing in their field in Converse high tops and a pink tutu! And I think it ended up suiting her perfectly:) The rest was easy! Since her favorite thing to do is run around outside, I just followed her around and let her do her thing! And it definitely doesn't hurt that she happens to be the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen :) If you want to see all of the pictures, you can visit here.

But here's some of my favorites!

By the way...

I'm not just behind the camera! My friend Rachel has been designing and making jewelry and she asked me to model some of her fabulous creations! It was my pleasure. So check out the pieces I modeled, "Float with the Wind," "Icy Lime," and "Trois Saules," along with the rest of her site. It's definitely a perk having friends with so much talent!
The Little Jewelry Box: Designs by Rachel Elizabeth

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Pictorial Post

I have had so much fun this past week, outside of work that is. But that really goes without saying. So, since I usually end up writing so much, I thought I would post some pictures to let you in on our festivities! Here it goes...

It started last Friday when I got home from work and Steven and I decided to ride our bikes to go see a free outdoor concert downtown. A little exercise, fresh air, and live music, perfect.

Once we got home, by some handy maneuvering of our head lamps, my ever so kitchen friendly husband got the whim to bake a chocolate chip pound cake. You know, with all that exercise, it wouldn't make since to go to bed without eating cake first! So delicious...

The next morning Steven had to go replenish some cigars out at Barnsley Garden so we decided to make a little date of it. We had lunch at the Beer Garden, listened to a little live music, then walked down to the ruins and around the grounds for a little while...

Then we were off to our dear friend's Jon and Jennie Pruitt's house for Jon's 30th birthday party celebration and cook-out.

Swimming pool, yard games, a charcoal grill, good friends, and even a cute little 8 week old baby...now that is a good time :)

Saturday was definitely a late night, so Sunday morning we really slept in! After recooperating we decided to head up to John's Mountain (note, not named after the previously mentioned Jon) to do a little fishing and relaxing.

Little trout :)

Moving into the week, Tuesday June 9th, we had a little something to celebrate. That's right, it was June 9th. Our ONE MONTH anniversary! I couldn't believe it had already been one month! So we went out to a Mediterranean restaurant to celebrate.

And my sweet husband even had a gift for me...

No, those are not flowers I'm holding. It's my brand new fishing pole :) Can't wait til the one YEAR anniversary! I also have to share this very sweet card he gave me. First I have to say that out of all his tremendous wonderful qualities, special occasions aren't exactly Steven's thing. If you've heard my past stories of birthday's anniversary's and Valentine's Day, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. So this card meant so much too me! Let me start by sharing with you the card from two Valentine's ago:

It's a paper tear-out card from a magazine with two squirrels holding a nut shaped like a heart. And it read...

"I got this card out of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Which is perfect--cause you're hot in a bikini and you're a little bit nutty! Anyhoo, I love you so much and look forward to spending many more Valentine's with you!"

Can't wait to share that one with the kids :) And yes, I still have it and will keep it for always.

And here's what my uncharacteristically sentimental anniversary card said...

I love how you look, I like how you speak,
I live for the touch of your hand on my cheek.

I love that you trust me, I love that you're kind
And honest enough to say what's on your mind.

I love that you're silly, I love that you're wise,
I love how the world looks when seen through your eyes.

I love all the wonder and mystery of you,
I love that you're someone who loves me back, too.

(And Steven added...)
I love you in the morning, I love you in the night.
I'll love you forever, if that's alright!

I know, so sweet:) And Steven was so surprised by my tearful reaction, I think he finally realized how much just a sweet card can mean! But I'm definitely liking this whole marriage thing!

Enough with the mushy stuff! Now I'd like to pay tribute to my favorite thing about longer days. Dinner outside, grilled to perfection!

Well, I know this is long. But I hope you enjoyed catching up with us! I'm so excited about this weekend as well. I'm heading home for Maeve's 2 year old birthday party! I'll give you a sneak peek at what I got her because I can't stand how cute they are!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's time...

So I came across this poem, that quite frankly blew me away. It's by no means the greatest poem ever written. But it was a moment where the timing was so right and the words were so appropriate, I have no way around believing, and full heartily accepting, that this was a message straight from the Creator himself! Although it doesn't take much to convince me when it comes to signs of the universe all around us :)

For now, I'll get straight to the poem, and then explain why it meant so much…

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

I am a middle child as well as an introvert, not to mention a dreamer. This combination already sets me up to be a big ball of complexity! I long to travel and live in so many beautiful places, yet I love being home and surrounded by my family. I live for adventure and trying new things, yet I settle in my comfort zone in the safe security of my scheduled everyday life. The dueling desires can be quite exhausting! My head and heart are in a constant swirl of finding a balance between wanting to change the world and live huge but still reveling in the peace of sitting with my husband and talking over a cup of coffee.

So where does this poem enter in?

All through college, I was able to accomplish so many dreams. It seemed like there was nothing holding me back. Sure some people can say I wasn't living in the 'real world,' but nonetheless, there were no limits. Well, afterwards I'm not quite sure what happen, except for the reality of, you need a job that pays the bills. Then that comfort zone sneaks in and then starts the evil waves of self doubt, insecurity, and the many many excuses of why this is as good as it gets and you have no choice but to stay where you are. But here I am 25 years old and I still dream about what I want to do when I grow up!

I still have many dreams and goals and skills I want to pursue. Ideas of how I could make a living and have the life I want. The world needs people that have come alive and love what they do. I owe that to myself and I owe that to Steven, who is so loving and supportive and willing to help me find that. I feel like I've been on the verge of taking the leap and finding out what I'm meant to do for quite some time and reading that poem was just that last little nudge I needed. I'm so ready to be living at my max potential! So I've reached my "One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,..."

But it's just the beginning. Part of being an introvert is that I'm always in my head thinking and analyzing and I will have to fight off the self doubt and insecurity, "though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice..." And they will try to convince me that there are other things I need to take care of and this is probably never going to happen. And watching the news only sends the message that you'd be crazy to venture out on anything in this economy, who would leave a stable job just to be happy?? But I know it's worth whatever ripples it creates , "though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. 'Mend my life!' each voice cried. But you didn't stop..."

So I will keep walking in that direction, and I will start now. "It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones." So yes, it is scary and wild to walk into the unknown. But it IS already late enough, how much longer can I just sleep???

And then to the part that makes it all worth it. Saying no to the message from Satan that you can't do it and it's not worth it. "But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,..." My own voice, I will truly become authentic. My own true taste, free from the flavor of anyone else! I will follow my heart and settle for nothing less. And that is how I feel I can give my best to Steven. It's like my dad always says, "the Lord wants only good and perfect things for us." HE wants us to have joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, kindness, compassion and faith. Well, I found that in waiting for Steven and I trust that the Lord will provide the same in pursuing everything else! I greatly look forward to the journey.

So here's to pursuing what makes us happy! Life is too short to not do what you love.