Monday, January 12, 2015

Five Faves

I first saw this idea on Alison's blog although it apparently originated with Jo who morphed a meme to fit her needs - and I thought the idea had huge merit - both as an incentive to take more and better photos AND as a way to stay at least somewhat current with scrapbooking.

So my plan - somewhere near the beginning of each month, post my five favorite photos from the preceding month.  Then, during the month, scrap them and share the pages. Now December wasn't a particularly good month for me. I was sick for most of it. I did not take a single photo on Christmas day. Not one. And what Jay took... meh.  But I still managed to find five favorites for the month...

I had a little helper while I was trying to finish off the girls' t-shirt quilts that I made for Christmas. Any idea how hard it is to sew a seam with a cat on your quilt?

Jay's annual "Birthday" photo with the girls. Okay, it didn't get taken until December 23rd, but hey everyone was dressed up for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, so the timing was good.

And yes, we managed a little sisterly love for the holidays.  I wasn't feeling up to being a photographer, so the composition is terrible, but I'm very grateful to have the three of them together looking happy!

Becca snapped this photo on her iPhone in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center when we were on our way in. Literally on the fly. Which gave me no time to pose or fake anything... And I LOVE it!
Does it still count if I wasn't the photographer? I think so.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  I was queasy the entire concert and the smell of stale french fry oil that permeated the place sure didn't help. But I still enjoyed the concert!
So there you have it. My five favorites from December. Which I hope to scrap at some point this month. Wish me luck!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Me On Monday

Now that I'm not doing a "Kindness" post every Monday, I can join in with Sian's Monday meme!

It was an organizing, blog-reading, grocery shopping, class starting, novel reading, project starting kind of weekend. And here I am on Monday, still trying to get things organized for the year, the month, this week. I know this is going to be a big year and I need to have some structure to accomplish my goals!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

One Little Word - My Year to Thrive

Hello friends and welcome to 2015!

I don't know about you, but I am so glad to be here - in this fresh new year, full of promise and possibilities.

I'm so excited!

2015 will be my 7th year participating in One Little Word, and honestly, it has changed my life in so many ways.

2009 "Enrich" - learned Photoshop Elements; began digi-scrapping.
2010 "Whole-Hearted" - a big word that didn't really work.
2011 "Happy" - LOVED every minute of it.
2012 "Focus" - rolled up my sleeves, worked hard. Totally worth it. I still use many of the techniques I picked up during my year of focus to keep me on track.
2013 "Dare" - pushed me way out of my comfort zone.  Had a lot of fun and a little heartbreak as well... not every "dare" works out to your advantage... but still lessons well learned.
2014 "Kindness" - weekly blog posts really kept my word front and center. In seeking opportunities and ways to be kind, my gratitude practice grew as well - they really do go hand-in-hand! Even when I was in the hospital, I couldn't help seeing the good in every situation. I had the best nurses. I had a successful surgery. I lost weight. Yes, even the worst moments of my year of kindness had a silver lining. This practice is now thoroughly ingrained in who I am. It is an important and integral part of my life and will stay with me.

Which brings me to now. After a year of focusing outward - on family, friends, community, the environment - I feel a strong pull to have a year that focuses inward and specifically on me.  Rinda, you are in good company!


Because I was truly Inspired by the changes that Melissa made last year.

Because I know I'm finally ready.

For what?

  • To focus on my health. It has been a sub-goal every year. It is my primary goal this year.
  • To kick the sugar addiction. For reals this time.
  • To MOVE my body. Every day. Tai Chi, Yoga, Stretching, Walking, Strength Training... bring it on!
  • To be intentional about my choices. Every day.
  • To make time to PLAY with my art. Every day.  You know, for my mental health.

Sure there are tangible, measurable goals involved. Like losing weight. In 2014, I gained 15 pounds in the first three quarters, then lost 10 of it in the last quarter. I'm still up, but a darn sight better than I was in September!  Like doing a forward bend and touching my toes. Right now my fingertips can only reach to 8" above the floor. Like being able to plank for a full minute (I can barely hold ten seconds at this point). Like being able to walk the length of a flea market without back, hip, leg, or knee pain.  I'm fairly certain these are reachable goals. But in the end, the numbers and accomplishments aren't truly important to me.  It is the feeling of  being healthy and fit that really matters!

This will be a year of change and growth and getting to know myself.

This will be a year of seeking help in unexpected places.

This will be a year of being a beginner again in so many ways.

This will be a year of kicking self-limiting beliefs and negative self-talk to the curb.

This will be a year of baby steps.

This will be the year I become leaner, stronger, healthier, more flexible, and more fit than I have ever been. Seriously.  When we get to the end of 2015, I want to look back and be amazed at the progress I've made! And I have all of you to help me stay accountable to myself.

This will be the year I experience a true sense of vitality.

This will be the year I THRIVE.

Quote About Living Life to the Fullest - Maya Angelou
photo sourced from

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 52

We made it! One full year of weekly kindness challenges. Thank you all for playing along with me. I hope that while I was busy raising my own awareness of opportunities to be kind, I helped to raise yours as well.

In this final week, my challenge to you is to

Whether in the form of a New Year's resolution, a part of a One Little Word practice, or simply as a concept that you are fully embracing, I hope you will continue to spread ripples of kindness throughout the world! :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 51

Throughout the year, I have tried to highlight acts of kindness that cost you little or nothing other than a few minutes of your time. This week is my big exception to that rule.

In line with the Christmas spirit of giving, the challenge for Week 51 is  DONATE TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Club

I haven't been playing along. Time and I haven't quite made a truce yet. But today I felt the pull, the urge, the calling... to come out to play... to wax nostalgic... to join in...

At Christmas We... used to go to Elmira every year. The girls would have Christmas at Grandma's house.  They would all dress up in matching Christmas outfits and see Santa (a.k.a. Uncle Frankie... who, by the way, still plays Santa to this day).
 Our last real Christmas at Grandma's house was in 1996.  In 1997 she was already sick and confined to a bed. In 1998 we had our first Christmas at home, just the five of us.

At Christmas We... used to put up the Christmas Tree in the basement. And the girls used to hang all the ornaments. My job was simply opening them up and passing them out.
 Now the Christmas tree is put up in the family room. Same Christmas tree though! Now I hang all the ornaments. They aren't interested any more.  They want it done. They just don't want to do it.

At Christmas They.... used to love each other... pretty much unconditionally.
 Now, one of them is choosing not to speak to another one of them. Perceived hurts and injustices combined with a little unwillingness to forgive makes for a bit of tension in the air.

At Christmas We... used to hang the stockings along the bannister.
 Now we hang them above the fireplace. Same stockings though!

At Christmas They... used to wake up ridiculously early and wait at the top of the stairs for the all clear to come down.
 Now they wake up later and aren't in any rush to see what Santa brought.

At Christmas She... used to get excited about simple little things like slipper socks...

At Christmas We... gather in the family room, around the tree, and open stockings first... then presents. We eat a turkey dinner, watch the parade on television, and eventually go out to see a first run movie. Some things have changed over the years.  Some things have stayed the same.  I haven't caught a decent Christmas photo of my girls in years... hopefully this will be the year to remedy that.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy your family, enjoy your traditions... whatever they are!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 50

Is your holiday shopping done, or do you still have a few last minute items on your list?  As I'm typing this, I know I have at least one more run to make. And while I'm out, I'll be looking for an opportunity to fulfill this challenge for week 50:


Whether you hold a door, carry bags to a car, let someone with only an item or two ahead of you in line, give directions to an area of the store, share coupons or information about sales for a product someone is looking at... just make someone else's shopping day a little brighter!