Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Monday - Children


My kiddos enjoying some hot chocolate!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

31 day challenge

In an effort to post often and with quality posts, I am thinking this will be a good challenge to partake in! Some of the days are light and fun, but after reading through, some will be more thought provoking! So, I am hoping to dive in on Tuesday (which happens to be my little Miles' THIRD birthday! Aww!)




The 31 Day Photo & Prompt Challenge




If you are on Facebook, you may have noticed that some people are taking part in the “30 Day Challenge.” I love things that like that, but I’d never have room to get my thoughts out on Facebook, so I’m going a different route. Every day during March, I’ll post a prompt and answer it either with a photo, a story, or both. I’ll also add a linky, so we can all get to know each other better. Some of the prompts are straight from the Facebook challenge, but some have been changed.

A Photo Of
or
Tell Us About
or both..



1. A photo of yourself with 10 facts.


2. The person (or people) that make your world go around.


3. Your favorite show.


4. An experience that made you who you are today.


5. Your day.
 6. A favorite memory.


7. Something you use every day.


8. A birthday celebration.


9. Your most treasured item.


10. Your favorite room in your house.


11. A photo that makes you laugh.


12. Something you do every day.


13. How you relax.


14. One thing you want to do before you die.


15. Something that bugs you.


16. Your least favorite chore.


17. Are you named after anyone?


18. Something you are afraid of.


19. A skill you’d like to learn.


20. Your biggest insecurity.


21. Something you love about yourself.


22. Your favorite holiday.


23. How you came up with the name of your blog.


24. Your favorite book or author.


25. Something you are looking forward to.


26. The best gift you’ve ever received.


27. Your favorite meals or recipes.


28. If someone gave you $1,000 to spend on YOURSELF, what would you buy?


29. Your dream vacation.


30. Your spouse or significant other.


31. Free day. Whatever you like!


Remember, there are NO rules. You can participate one day or every day. You can simply put up a photo or you can write up a long post. Just have fun with it.






Come back March 1st ready to link up your post!




Friday, February 25, 2011

What am I doing wrong?

I am typing with a heavy heart right now. I have a strong desire for role modeling behavior to be 100% around kids. It is our job as adults to form the future generations that we bring into this world and in simple day to day ways, we could either help or seriously harm the future! I go out of my way to act and speak in a way that if young ears were to hear they would pick up kind and loving, subtle, non aggressive cues. It becomes habitual if you are paranoid to the fact that there are always little ears listening when you act and speak. I feel like I have mastered the habit, though will never be 100% perfect, human nature stinks sometimes! It hurts to have those close to my kids not use role model behavior, and on top of that don't seem to have a desire to change it. Suddenly I have no control over it, and even more so it's something my children can easily pick up because it's in my home. My struggle to remain humble and not come off as better than my "neighbors" is really blurring the line between how to be a gentle servant and guiding those that have such strong influence on my kids. It's a really hard line to find and I am feeling like I am failing miserably. Not only jeopardizing my kids, but worse, jeopardizing knowing the difference between my standards and God's standards. There is so much more to learn.

Alluring Abodes




Please link up!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Capture- "L"

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Something that starts with "L"



Light

Lips

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eye Contact

I have some experience with kids (my mom does home daycare, started when I was 2) but becoming a parent has set up a whole new line of "what should I dos??" Discipline is always number one on my list. Being a mom that doesn't spank, and really wants my kids to feel as though their opinions matter in our family, there is a fine line of what will work for discipline. I've noticed that yelling only adds to a moment that feels crazy and really it doesn't get the children to stop and look at you anyway. One other thing I've noticed, you can say something to a child, and they will genuinely not hear you, but if you say the same exact thing to them while you hold eye contact with them, it's amazing that they really do hear you.

Eye contact. It's a simple small thing, but I am telling you, before you say something of importance to your children, ask them to look at you first, and then tell them what you need to say. You won't have to yell, you won't have to repeat yourself, you will have their undivided attention and you see, they will be happy they have your's as well. Eye contact. It truly is important not just as a parent, but in real life too. If your kids start out life with the habit of looking at the person speaking to them, I can't help but think it will help them in the future as well!

E y e   C o n t a c t .  Try it, you can thank me later ;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Epiphany

I have admitted before that I like to have control. If someone in an authoritative way demands that I do something in a disrespectful way, I find it really hard to do what has been asked of me. I realize this is a weak point inside of me, because my heart for Jesus tells me that no matter how I am asked I should have a serving heart. Today was a nice little epiphany, I have a lot of those on Sunday's due to the sermons at church!

Today's sermon was Matthew 5:38-48.
"If someone sues you for your shirt, you are to giftwrap your jacket and present it to them as well"; is just one example of what was talked about today and it had me thinking about how I can still spin it to gain control, but in a good way instead of a negative way. Someone can demand something of me, I could simply CHOOSE not to do it, or I could CHOOSE to do what was asked and then some. I could make the Christian CHOICE to do what was asked and then some, and in a sense still have the control that I for some reason always yearn for.

Our "homework" for the week was to give some thought to how to simplify life. There are three road blocks when it comes to service:
Pride
"Stuff"
Time.
Can you come up with three ways to simplify your life in those areas? I had a few ideas flood my mind when we were still in church, guess God had a few things that needed to be brought to my attention today :)
I will meditate over that on my own for now! Happy Sunday!! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Marriage Design

Many people get married, it seems to be the "standard" thing to do in life. God designed it to be a once in a lifetime thing and through thick and thin, you stayed united as one. God has a way of making things sound so easy. Marriage is like that in my eyes. God finds a spouse for you, you get married, and then your most intricate life details are shared with another person. Those things you find completely undesirable about your spouse, turn back to things you don't like about yourself. I personally believe God matches you with a person that is not like you in many ways, infact I believe God matches you with a person that will bring out your ugliest traits. Yup. It's true. I have learned more ugly things about myself in the last year through my complaints about hubby. I have been training myself not to point at hubby as my source of conflict. Instead I look at what *I* can fix about myself. There is always something that can change. What gives me the right to tell my husband HE needs to change? Isn't that God's job? Yes, it is. But I will admit, I am impatient and selfish and I want my marriage to be what the fairytales promised. Not gonna happen. My instinct still wants that and society today has us programmed to believe that if we aren't happy in the marriage we have vowed to be in, then we can "ditch" that marriage and go seek that "perfect" match. I have news. Your spouse *is* your perfect match. It's no mistake you got married. It takes quite a bit of planning to get married. Was it a mistake to get married? Nope. Sorry. I had to apologize to myself too, because I truly believed I had made a huge mistake getting married to who I did, when I did. Not a mistake. Infact looking back, God knew exactly what he was doing. Hubby and I are pretty much opposite in every sense of the word. I could say that's a bad thing, but in truth, I am learning so much from my spouse; things he does, the WAY he does them are completely different from how I would do them. It drives me nuts sometimes. BUT I do learn. I am open to growth, I want to grow as a person to be loving and forgiving. My marriage is molding those qualities and nurturing them. This post is dedicated to those tempted to give up on their marriage. Open your eyes, assess what *you* can change about *you*. It's simply not our job to make our spouse change. God knows what he's doing. He asks that we trust Him. I vowed recently to recommit to my marriage, I vowed this commitment at the lowest point of my marriage. The point where I was walking away. God turned my heart around like a switch. Suddenly what I would be doing to my family if I walked away was something I was not willing to sacrifice. Especially since I was finally convinced that I wasn't going to find better, until I worked from within.
I am here asking you to give it another try. Work on yourself, take full responsibility where it's needed and allow God to do the rest.

Alluring Abodes










Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nonfiction

I have a story to tell, I have a book to write, I feel it in my heart, I try to be inspired, it's just not there.
I am trying to get this book going, about my kidney donation, it's such a great story to tell, but I can not zone in on the direction, I am highly intimidated and the words just won't flow. I keep trying. I started writing the book a while ago; had gotten fairly far when my computer crashed and I lost it all. I lost my mojo when my computer crashed! I've been trying to get it back. I keep wanting to write while it's fresh and surgery was already over a year ago. Time. Is. Ticking! Someone, anyone, give me the motivation I need! Anyone have online resources or tips for writing nonfiction? Help!
Help me now, and I will give you a free book when it is FINALLY published! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

   

 I sit here today reflecting on the love that is surrounding me and I can't help but feel incredibly blessed and thankful! I have never put much into Valentine's Day, but I will tell you, this year feels very different. Hubby and I went out yesterday for a few hours sans kids and we had such a lovely time together! We went to the International Motorcycle show and then we went to dinner at a cute little restaurant named "Shinto".

Today, Acilia had off school so we layed low most of the day. I started reminiscing about our earlier years and pulled out some old pics. Then I got the "creative" idea to post them on our bedroom wall in the shape of a heart. The "picture heart" turned out super cute, if I may say so myself! I love that Valentine's Day symbolizes love. It doesn't have to just be for your significant other, but for others in your life as well. Share the love today.

I grew up with a great role model for love. My parent's. My mom goes out of her way to ensure the kids in her life feel especially loved on little holidays like today. I remember she baked my brother and I ginormous heart cookies and decorated them to match our personality. The dinner table was always decked out with red themed foods (jello, spaghetti, etc), table cloth, heart plates and napkins. Such a great memory. She has now passed that down to her grandkids and takes time to make each of them cards and gives them little gifts too. So sweet!




After visiting my parent's house today, the kids and I happened to pull into the drive at the same time as hubby. We all went in together and ate dinner that I had in the crock pot (scalloped potatoes and ham), then we took hubby upstairs to see his heart on the wall. He was pretty surprised and loved it! We snapped a few family pics and of course a cheesy "love bird" pic and now we have all settled in for the night.



I leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from over the years.
Al & Karrie
Together 11 years

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baby Debut!

You may remember when I announced my good friend was going to be a new mommy! Well, little babe was born and he's already full of personality!! Born a big baby at 9 lbs 6 ounces, with a lot of hair and looking like a 3 month old! I was shocked at how when I came to see him at less than 24 hours old, he was awake the entire time, held his head up more than once; and was eating like a champ! This boy is going to grow fast. I am so happy for his new first time parents, Nena and John who I can already tell will be amazing parents! Euphoria!


John Philip


Thursday, February 10, 2011

You Capture-COLD

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It was a perfect day for this theme, it's the coldest I have ever seen my car thermometer read!!!!!!!



Monday, February 7, 2011

What the Sell?

Today was fun, I started to explain what was going on here ; so to explain more I share my story :)

I went to a local store today called The Perfect Thing and was a part of the filming process for a new show airing in March called "What the Sell?".  It's sort of a mix of "Pawn Stars" and "Antiques Roadshow"...but in my opinion the ladies and their personalities blow both the other shows out of the water!
I was excited about being a part of it because I have been in the store numerous times and was thrilled to find the pilot when it aired on TLC a few months ago! 4 million viewers tuned in, so they will be running a full season (12 episodes) which will begin next month! I had a ring to sell so I went in and had an "entrance" interview where they questioned the background of the ring. I then had my appraisal conducted by Gloria; we had a great little conversation about how my ring reminded her of Kate Middleton's engagement ring and that led to all sorts of "Royal talk" :) They did an exit interview so I could share how I felt about the experience. It will probably only be about 5 minutes of air time, but hey, it was still fun!! I hope you will tune into the show, it's very entertaining! The ladies are a R I O T ! And hopefully you will catch my cameo :)

Me with the cast: Judith, Karrie, Gloria and Kate



National Marriage Week Feb. 7-14

National Marriage Week begins today. I am using it as a chance to remember why marriage is a part of my life and how to keep it that way; because it's not something to be taken lightly.

I am reading a book called "How to act right, when your spouse acts wrong" below you will find an excerpt that spoke to me, sort of sums up how I feel about marriage at this point!

"Loves actions
Even when we believe our agenda is for the good of our spouse, we must watch our methods. George became enraged whenever his wife, Jennifer, contradicted him, especially in front of their children. In his fury, he forced his wife to stand in front of their three teenage daughters while he scolded her for being a rebellious and unsubmissive wife. He warned his daughters that worse would happen to them if they chose to follow in their mother's footsteps. When confronted by his pastor on these abusive tactics, he said "I am acting in love and for all of their best interests." George was deceived. God's Word never endorses sinful behavior in order to teach anyone a lesson, even if, in our opinion, that lesson is necessary or in his or her best interests. George wasn't nurturing his family's spiritual growth; he was crushing it with his sinful and disrespectful behaviors. Genuine love is always accompanied by loving actions. The apostle John says "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18). If George wanted to learn to act right when his wife contradicted him, he would need to learn to act right when his wife contradicted him, he would need to look at what her behavior brought out in him (see Chapter 2) before he would be able to lovingly confront her.
     Hillary grew increasingly tired of her husband's selfishness. In her own hurt and anger she informed Tood that she was filing for divorce. Todd broke down. "Why are you doing this to me?" he sobbed. "I love you so much." Todd was inconsolable over Hillary's decision to end their marriage. He couldn't understand why Hillary found it difficult to believe that he really loved her.
     Throughout their 10 year marriage, Todd rarely showed much interest in things that mattered to Hillary. He often worked late, played hard with the guys, and spent money whenever and wherever he wanted, despite Hillary's pleas to purchase a home, spend time as a family, or allow her to complete college. Todd couldn't be bothered with Hillary's needs. He was too busy living as a single person with the perks of married life. Now his world was coming apart at the seams, and he was crumbling.
     Do not be misled by calling powerful emotions real love. Todd's feelings for Hillary, although I'm sure they were genuine, were not love. Love is active, not passive. His actions were not loving, not were they directed toward Hillary's best interests or spiritual growth. Todd's entire lifestyle actually demonstrated the opposite of love. For the most part they were selfish and self centered. Todd's strong feelings for Hillary were set into motion when he feared losing her. We might better define these emotions as feelings of dependency, not genuine love. That is why it is so important that we not rely on certain feelings to define what love is."

there is more to this excerpt but I think I have shared enough for the book to speak to you, if it is going to.

Happy Monday- Black and White


Black and White
This is one of my favorite pictures of my little Miles.
 It was taken in black and white.
I edited it to spruce it up a bit.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ooooh fun!

Long story short, I am going to be on TV!

Here's the story! :)
I've been known to get myself into random gigs (modeled wedding dresses for a newscast a few years ago, my huge Italian family was on the news for largest and healthiest Italian family in America back in the 90's, little print ad work once, maybe twice) I am NOT a professional by any stretch, always feel like I am out of my element but it's still SO fun to be involved. A few years ago I was into wedding planning. I had landed a job for a bride and groom in the city and I brought my husband with as my assistant for the day. This bride has networking ties and she posted on her Facebook account about a gig that is in my area. Of course I thought it would be fun; so I let her know I was interested! I am not telling anymore about it, but tomorrow is the day of my call. I am anxious, giddy, excited (will probably have to take a tranquilizer do some meditation tomorrow!). I will be sure to let you all know when it will be on so you can watch :) It happens to be on a pretty well known channel :) :) :)  :::::::::::building suspense?::::::::::::::

STAY TUNED!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Needed again.

It is no surprise that Al and I struggle in marriage. We have had many deep lows in our years together, and though a lot of them have been circumstantial, how we treat each other is soley on our responsible adult shoulders (ugh! complicated adult life!). We had a great routine going. We were seeing a counselor weekly sometimes biweekly but it was regular and it was routine and I really enjoyed getting out with my husband on a regular basis. Even if it was to sort out our dirty laundry in the confines of a small room with a counselor. He is a great counselor and I am so thankful we found him; someone that clicks with both of us so we can both feel at ease. Life is pretty OK when we are on that track. Our counselor recently took a new turn in his career, and though we can still see him, the location is different and the price tag is way higher. That's like trading in a used car that you love, for the SAME car only more expensive and located across the country! (Like my analogy?) Well, Al and I had decided with our counselor that we would see him on an "as needed" basis. Naturally since a little over a month has passed, the need arises. It's like if no one is there to keep us on track, we forget how to treat each other. Frustrating. Even more frustrating is now that we haven't gone in a while, hubby's resistance to going is high again and he is telling me I will be going to the appointment alone. I know that I am the one that pushes for us to go, and hubs would much rather stick his head in the sand and pretend all is bliss  feel confident that we are perfectly capable of making things work without a third party. The things I have to put up with my husband has to put up with :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sunrises/Sunsets


I missed the link up to this challenge, thought it was next Monday....but this picture is so amazing, I am still adding it!

It was the sunset last Thanksgiving!

Ok, fine!

My irritated post yesterday was probably bad timing, because as I sit here now, all the hype was true. The snow CAME! I still feel that the insurmountable amount of build up the media places on our TV and computer and radio is unneccesary. The snow blizzard (snowmageddan, snowpocolypse, BLIZZARD OF 2011, just a few of the "nick names" this storm has earned) arrived, and dumped miles and miles of snow. We are officially snowed in, 3 feet of snow is resting against my garage. We had to dig out of our doors to let the dogs out. It's sort of fun though, my reaction when the dogs were out in the snow this morning was a LOUD "HOLY COW!" Ha! Then I looked to my right and my neighbor waved to me from the window; surely my reaction was heard by more than just me.

In seriousness, I am hearing stories of people that have cold related injuries, people that were stuck in their cars all night, people that lost power and even deaths. Prayers for those that need it, and for those that don't, grab your shovel! (OR BEFRIEND A PERSON WITH A SNOW PLOW ON THEIR TRUCK!)



You capture- Red

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The challenge is "RED"
There is a house that has really cute huge red hearts on their entrance, I had planned to capture those, but with our blizzard, I took many pics and this one screams "RED" to me; though I guess you could say it screams "WHITE" too! :)