November 25, 2011

Anthro Wishes

Rising Snowflakes Cardigan from Anthro.  Wish Saint Nick would bring me this cozy number in a few weeks!   Can't you just imagine, sipping hot chocolate in this?  Snuggling up reading Real Simple or Better Homes & Gardens sipping tea on a cold night?  This number just captures the essence of winter for me. Leggings, jeans, boots, I would wear it with everything. I might even like it so much I would fall alseep in it for the first few times.


Seen here

November 20, 2011

Thankful


This Thanksgiving, when I gather around the table, I will silently say thanks for that which I am thankful for:  things that although might shake and jiggle in the wrong places...but I am healthy.  I might joke that my family is dysfunctional, but I love them.  My friends might live far and I might not be able to see them as often as I like, but they are little guardian angels to me.  My job - I might not be saving lives, but I am happy.  My faith....which gets me through each day.  My old tiny little nook of a house that might not have all the furniture I want - but it is filled with love, and it is my home and I am proud of it. And "The Lady & Her Pen". I have no idea who reads it, I have no idea how often, but I am thankful, for you my readers.

What are you thankful for?  As you pass the turkey and potatoes and pie on Thursday, please take a moment to remember what you really are thankful for.  Before you get caught up between the cleaning, the cooking, and the preparing for the Holidays....just be thankful for the little things and  the big.

Thanksgiving Table seen here




November 17, 2011

Each Day I Am Thankful For



Above picture here.

November 16, 2011

Hiding Behind a Mask

I read this post months ago and I cannot stop forwarding it to friends, and rereading it myself. It is just so well said, and I believe it resonates with so many woman.  It is written by Mary Carver, and I have pasted it below:

Several years ago I took a graduate course in organizational communication. One of our early assignments involved giving a presentation to the class, and my day came much too quickly. I had taught an undergraduate speech class at the university the semester before, so I felt extra pressure to perform well on top of the normal giving-a-speech jitters.
My professor knew I’d been nervous (to say the least!), so she was kind when I approached her after class. I asked her if I’d done okay, and she paused.
(Never a good sign, right?)
She said, “It was the most fascinating thing, watching you give your presentation.”
“Okay . . .” (Let’s face it. “Fascinating” could really go either way.)
“It was like you were wearing a mask,” she went on to explain. “But every once in a while, you’d trip up and that mask would begin to slip. You floundered around a bit and then, Whoosh! Up went the mask. I’ve never seen anything like it!
I wish I could say the same. But I’ve seen that mask – on myself and on others – many times before.
You know what I’m talking about, right? That mask we put on whenever we feel the need to look confident, calm, happy, better?
—————————————
I wear a mask to church almost every Sunday. After a morning fraught with arguments over outfits and frustrations over breakfast, we swerve into the parking lot, snapping at each other and even the other drivers vying for the closest spots. Then, as we grab Bibles and purses and jackets, we step out of our car and walk toward the doors – and the greeters.
“Hi, welcome to church! How are you today?”
“Oh, we’re great! Just great. How are you?”
I could only be less genuine if I threw in a “God bless you” for good measure.
But church isn’t the only place I wear a mask. I remember putting in notice at one job after only being there for a few months. Feeling relieved to be putting a terrible fit behind me, I was honest when my boss asked, “Were you that unhappy?”
“Oh yeah,” I chirped. “I’ve been miserable!”
She’d had no idea, and I left that meeting still thrilled to be moving on, but strangely unsettled at the realization that I was a really good faker.
And then there’s the mask I wear when talking about my new life as a stay-at-home mom. Since leaving my job six months ago, it seems like everyone wants to know how I’m liking this change. Afraid to admit the truth – that it’s hard, that it’s lonely, that I’m a tad bit bored – I almost always smile and say lightly, “Well, I’m still adjusting, but it’s good. It’s good! My daughter just loves having me to herself!”
—————————————
My emotions are never far from the surface, and very few who know me have not seen me cry. Yet, even though I’m not afraid to show my feelings and I pride myself on my honesty, I hide behind a mask quite often.
Certainly, some circumstances call for professionalism, confidence or an even temper. But wearing a mask all the time can be harmful, preventing us from developing genuine relationships and denying those around us the opportunity to encourage – or be encouraged by – us. It can also be exhausting, maintaining a facade of everything’s-okay and I’m-fine-how-are-you.
Do you hide behind a mask? I’m so thankful that even when my mask is fastened on the tightest, held on by ribbons of fear and insecurity and doubt, God still sees the real me.
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Psalm 139: 1-4, 13
What mask are you hiding behind?

See the rest of Mary's writings at her website here.
Above picture here.

November 13, 2011

Northwoods

Happy Sunday!  I just got back from an extended weekend in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  The Northwoods.  It's a feeling, a spirit, a change in energy.  It's a slow in your pace, and as you make the trek up the great state of wisconsin and finally pull into the driveway, the sign welcoming you to the lake house says "At Last" and it really is that feeling.  

This picture below captures that feeling - a farmhouse bedroom from Coastal Living Magazine - just wraps up country essence for me.



Vacationing in the northwoods is calm, peaceful, rustic, quiet.  Full of pine trees, changing leaves, fallen acorns, snow. A  homecooked meal with friends and new acquaintances from town, a young boy's first hunting trip with his uncle.  Sleepy in pajamas until noon, making my grandfathers famous pancakes from scratch for everyone:

2 cups milk
2 cups flour
2 eggs 
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder

Directions: mix together.  If it looks too thin, add more flour. The more flour you add, the denser it is. Pour onto a griddle and flip when the top is covered with bubbles...(I usually alternate between using pam spray and butter. I prefer the pam.) They are nice and dense, thick - not too light and fluffy, more substantial and hearty.  I'd like to try to make them with whole wheat flour and a sugar substitute but I'll have to try some experimenting and get back to you!

Yes the weekend was filled with lazy mornings while the boys are out hunting, afternoon naps, turning in early after a night cap and snuggling up with a thick blue wool blanket, surrounded by quaint country decor, whisking off to sleep effortlessly,  and thoughts of Monday morning far away.  
 Kind, friendly people wherever you go, seeing the first snow of the season, watching a deer come right up to the house, venison beef sticks, hearty breakfasts, country music, hunting gear, snow boots, that familiar Wisconsin accent that I .   ~ Just sitting around with old friends who know you better than you do at times, just making memories. 

Not a bad way to spend a few days.


Pictures above farmhouse bedroom, pancakes, throw.

November 6, 2011

Living Life


One of my favorite verses by Bonnie Mohr.  I have this hung in my living room and when I first spotted it, it spoke to me because I felt it was a motto for life.   Daily reminders, things I hope I appreciate and believe in every day, and someday if I am lucky, I hope to teach my children these lessons also:


"Living Life"
Life is not a race - but indeed a journey. Be Honest. Work Hard. Be Choosy. Say "thank you", and "great job" to someone each day. Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you've been given, it is not accidental ~ search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you inspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself ~ Plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you've been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment.

Above painting along with the rest of Bonnie Mohr's collection found here.

November 4, 2011

Angels Among Us

"All God's angels come to us disguised" -James Russell Lowell

Angels are everywhere.  They are not wearing white grand wings and floating around 10 feet above the ground hoovering...{at least the ones that I can 'see'} but trust me, they are everywhere.

Like, one of my best friend's dad - who spent hours hanging pesky Ikea window hardware for me, as I don't know how to work a drill.

Or my other best friend, who constantly checks in on me with cards, emails, phone calls, despite the fact that she words full time, has 3 step kids, and is a newlywed.

Or how my mom just knows what I need, and takes me out for some comfort food and really listens to me with her heart and her ears.

Or when I get an letter from one of my kairos kids that absolutely shakes the very ground I am standing on, because I never knew how much I made a difference in their lives until that moment...and I am forever changed.

Angels are really everywhere.  Like the guy that stands outside of Treasure Island with all of the flowers and no matter what always has a happy go lucky smile and "I'm so glad you're shopping with us today" look on his face.   Like the man who gives you a smile, when you really need it.  Like the cashier at Trader Joes who says "pretty flowers for a pretty lady!" when you're buying a pot of Kalanchoes.   Or like the girl at Nordstrom who tells you that you're top is just stunning and it's the perfect style and perfect color for you {and you know she means it because it's not from Nordstrom, it's really from Kohls!}.   Cards, texts, phone calls. Fowarded emails, people that let you in line, people that smile for no reason.  When extra care is given to you when you don't even realize it.

Genuine, sweet, angels that just make you look up at the sky and think, wow, I am so blessed.







image via