Surprise!

My engaged niece went dress shopping today.

So exciting!

Do you want to see a picture of her dress??

Okay

Here it is…

 

My niece's wedding dress

My niece’s wedding dress

Um. No. Not really. 

Did you really think I was going to tell you what she was looking at? Some things just need to remain a mystery!

Until the big day, that is.

It is so easy to spill the beans about your wedding these days. There are so many social media outlets and it is so tempting to show your friends and family what you’re doing.

You can go to some of these sites, and know everything about an upcoming wedding…

Flowers

Dresses

“The” dress

Food

Decorations

Music

I think that some (most) things should be kept quiet until the actual day. Don’t you think your guests want to be wowed as much as you want to wow them?

So, show off that engagement ring! Take lots of engagement pictures! Put them all over FaceBook!

Take lots of pictures of your showers and share them with friends. They will love to see them.

But

Make your Pinterest page hidden and invite key people to view it. You know, people like your mother, future mother-in-law, maid of honor.

Try not to put things on FaceBook. I know it’s hard! You’re excited! But try.

Your friends will want to know all the details. Have an answer ready. When I’m asked what my niece’s wedding is going to be like, I tell them

Rustic

Romantic

Elegant

These words convey the emotion and feel of her wedding. But they don’t give anything away.

You will see some projects of mine on future blogs. Some of these are for her wedding; some are not.

I don’t want to give away her secrets!

And on her big day, all of her friends and family…and her lucky, lucky groom…will be wowed!

Okay

I will share one secret

She

will

be

beautiful

A Good Samaritan Kind of Day

Tuesday was a Good Samaritan kind of day.

Don’t you love those days?

I was blessed Tuesday with two guardian angels. Lucky me!

Midafternoon, I was in the grocery store. I had, of course, gone to get two items.

Yeah

That didn’t happen. So here I stand in line behind some very chatty older ladies, with my hands full of stuff and things shifting and falling all over the place.

Remember how I went for two things? Who needed a cart?

So there I am, arms full, in a slow lane, when this kind voice speaks up behind me. This lovely man with his cutie pie of a daughter offered to let me put my things in his cart.

Wasn’t that nice?

I decided, since the line had started moving, that I would decline his offer. I was sweet! It was just easier to hold it than to untangle all the things in my arms.

So

They ring my things up and what’s the first thing they ask? Do you have your customer card? Well, of course I didn’t…I only went in for two things, remember?

So the lovely man with his cutie pie of a daughter standing behind me offered me his card. He saved me $3!

I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I was touched!

It was Tuesday. Tuesday is yoga day. I love yoga day!

So I twisted, and breathed, and was still.

It was a great session.

Then

On the way home, lights started flashing and there was this ominous flumping sound. If you don’t know what a flumping sound is, you’ve never had a flat tire.

Let me set the stage

I’m with my 82 year old father (who, by the way, had just finished a yoga class!).

My 82 year old Daddy getting his yoga on!

My 82 year old Daddy getting his yoga on!

It is about 40 degrees and very windy outside.

It was almost dark.

I told my daddy to pull over…because I always know what needs to be done, right?

He didn’t want to pull over on the four-lane highway, so we limped along until we go to a gas station. We hoped we could just put a little air in the tire and be on our merry way.

Oh no

Since we had driven on the tire, it was completely shredded. Plus, it had a giant hole in it that looked like it was made with a railroad spike.

So

We had to have it changed. I thought of who I could call. My boyfriend was still at work. My sisters were too far away. So that left my brother. I had the phone in my hand to call him…and that’s when our guardian angel drove up.

Let’s call him…

Matt

…because that’s his name.

He pulled up in a crew cab truck and got out in a mechanics uniform.

He said he saw as we were turning into the station that our tire was flat and he wanted to make sure we knew it.

He left his warm truck and changed that tire, because daddy and I were really clueless and he knew it.

He laughed and smiled and talked the whole time.

We met his wife, who had on scrubs. I’m guessing she’s a nurse or medical assistant or surgical technician or something similar.

They were lovely people.

They would not let us pay them.

They said to give that money to someone who needed it.

I was overwhelmed by the kindness of these two strangers. All they got for their trouble and time was a hug and a handshake.

Matt

If you see this, we are going to give that money to someone who needs it.

I wish we knew your last name and address so they could send you a thank you note.

Matt

You and the nice gentleman at the grocery store restored my faith in mankind.

Now I know that there are truly kind, caring, unselfish people out there.

Thank you so much. You are appreciated more than you will ever know.

Luke 10: 25 – 37

Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying,

“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus answered, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he travelled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’ Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?”

He said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

I think I will.

Negativity and the Internet

Negativity is an insidious thing.

It is an evil that has to be battled constantly or it will overtake your life.

Now

I love FaceBook and the internet.

I think FaceBook is a great place to catch up with old friends, find support groups and play games. I’ve whiled away many hours playing Candy Crush.

I have used search engines to look up everything from pictures of purple dragons to my family genealogy.

But

The other side is the anonymity of it…how very easy it is to hide behind keyboards and doors.

I allowed myself to get sucked into that evil side the last couple of weeks.

See…

This is a hard time of year for me. It’s the time of year my niece died. My family has always relied on my mother to get us through these tough times. We don’t have her this year.

That made it hard.

So

I’m in this bad place…sad about my niece, missing my mother…and I let myself get sucked into the vortex of a “discussion” page.

It made me feel worse.

It made me feel defensive.

It made me say things that were better left unsaid.

I realized that this was not who I am.

More importantly

It’s not who I want to be.

Today on Breathe Day

I decided to inhale good, positive, uplifting thoughts.

I decided to exhale the negative thoughts.

Let’s do it

Breathe in…

Breathe out…

I feel better already.

I made a decision today to be positive.

It won’t be easy. It will be hard to forget some of the things that were said about me. I will forget to breathe and I will get upset.

But

Then I will remember.

And everything will be better.

Picasso Dove

Picasso Dove

peace.

it does not mean to be in a place

where there is no noise,

trouble or hard work.

it means to be in

the midst of those things and still

be calm in your heart.

On birthdays and memories

I had a hard week. I forgot to

Breathe

Today is one of those bittersweet days. 15 years ago, we lost my precious oldest niece. It’s so hard and we miss her so much.

On the other hand, it is my oldest brother’s birthday.

Yes…my niece died on my brother’s birthday.

So, today, I’m going to go see my sweet brother and sing Happy Birthday to him.

And

I am going to remember how lucky and blessed we were to have my niece for 17 years.

And

I’m going to miss my mama a whole lot today. We need her so much! She was our rock.

As you know, my youngest niece is getting married. When you think about celebrations and special events, you start thinking about those who will not be there with you. She and her fiancé have lost several special family members. How do you honor and remember your loved ones and still have a fun, positive day?

It is not easy, but it can be done.

First of all, it is better to acknowledge it in some way. Letting yourself feel that sadness helps let it out.

Some people use a memory candle or mention them in the program. These are both very good ideas and everyone else can share in your memories and love.

A more subtle approach can work, too.

Did your loved one have a favorite necklace? How about cuff links or a pocket watch?

Maybe you can find a favorite hankie or something they personally made.

Now

I know that these items may not go with your theme. That’s okay! You can do it subtly.

Find a way to incorporate them into your bouquet…pin something to the inside of your hem…carry that hankie.

Everyone else there may not know the significance of your item, or even know you have it.

But you will.

And that makes all the difference.

Grief. Memories. Longing. These are all very personal emotions. The best way to honor your loved one is to do it in a way that is meaningful to you. That’s all that matters.

(I love you Lindsey! I love you Mama! I love you Steve and Happy Birthday!!!)

i carry your heart

i carry your heart

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)

i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

~ e. e. cummings

What’s Your Goal?

I missed blogging yesterday. I’m sorry.

I was distracted.

I just found out some good news!

Lovely Pink Peony Bouquet

Lovely Pink Peony Bouquet

My youngest niece is getting married!

I am so excited…she is marrying the love of her life and I’ve never seen her happier.

The almost as good news is that I get to be her wedding planner. I’m giving her two weeks to enjoy being engaged, then we will have to get to work.

The first thing I am going to ask her is a seemingly very simple question.

What is your goal for the wedding?

I’m sure her reaction will be “Goal? What do you mean goal? I want to get married!”

And of course, that’s the purpose of wedding.

But

It really goes deeper than that. What are her priorities for the day?

Does she want to show off for her friends?

Does she want to be the center of everyone’s attention?

Does she want it to be an intimate, family event? Or a glitzy, over the top, invite-everyone-you-have-ever-known event?

Does she want great pictures to have forever?

What’s the most important thing? Flowers? Food? Signature cocktail? The dress?

That is a lot of information to process. Most of the time, though, when you start planning an event, you have an idea of what your goal is. The key is to keep that goal in mind as you make your plans.

This isn’t just for weddings, either.

Say you want to plan a road race. Is it to raise money? Increase awareness of being healthy? A fun race for families?

What about a downtown street dance? Your goal could be to bring awareness to the district. It could be to raise funds for downtown improvements. It could just be to get people out and dancing.

From big events to little ones, having the end in mind is important. Once you set your goals and priorities, making decisions should be much easier.

As each choice is made, ask yourself one simple question: Will this help me reach my goal?

(Congratulations, sweet girl!)

…now at last they were

beginning Chapter One

of the Great Story

no one on earth

has ever read:

which goes on forever:

in which every chapter is better

than the one before.

~C. S. Lewis

Two Seconds to Better Photos: Try the Rule of Thirds

Great, simple photography tip!

The Daily Post

We’re constantly taking photos, from Instagrammed images of that really good sandwich at lunch to posed, just-so portraits of family gatherings.

It’s easy: look through the viewfinder, center the subject, and press the shutter button, right? Next time, try skipping step two — take those few seconds to put your subject off-center, and see how much more engaging your pictures become. Say hello to the Rule of Thirds.

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Daily Prompt: I Believe

For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.

I believe this in my heart to be true…

My mama and I acting silly

My mama and I acting silly

Your Mother is always with you.
She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and perfume that she wore.
She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well.
She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow.
She is Christmas morning.
Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take.
She’s your first love; your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space…not even death.

Author: Unknown

I believe this in my heart to be true…

Only I have control of my life. Only I can make it great!

I believe this in my heart to be true…

I love my family and my boyfriend and my friends more than anything in the world.

I believe this in my heart to be false…

You have to be thin, tall and look like a model to be happy.

I believe this in my heart to be false…

You must deny who you are to make others happy.

I believe this in my heart to be false…

Others can make you happy.

What does your heart say? Tell me how you feel in comments.

Reblogged

Beware the Ides of March

I know what it means! Do you?

TIME

The 15th is the Ides of March, and you know what that means. You don’t? Oh. It wasn’t good for Julius Caesar — he got stabbed 23 times by his trusted friends on this day in 44 B.C. Fast forward a few thousand years and Ryan Gosling gets fired from George Clooney’s presidential campaign in the political drama The Ides of March. Even Homer Simpson is warned of his downfall on the Ides of March after being the Chosen One of the Stonecutters club. The Ides of March have a doom-filled reputation, but every month has its Ides. Let TIME be your soothsayer and explain exactly why you should, or shouldn’t, beware.

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