Wishing you gentle times in which you play on the floor, watch lots of movies, sip some hot chocolate and just be still.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
My mom and I have been making a regular time to spend time together. It's been enjoyable. I've found it a fun way to prompt me to try a new recipe once in a while.
Today's recipe was one I would definitely like to make again...It's quick to assemble and smells sooooo good while it's baking and tastes DELICIOUS! Here is the recipe so you can try it, too!
Sour Cream Blueberry Cake
1 C. Butter
2 C. Sugar
1 C. Sour Cream
1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
2 C. Cake Flour
1/4 t. Salt
1 t. Baking Powder
1/2 C. Blueberries, well drained
1/2 C Brown Sugar, packed
1 t. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Chopped Nuts
Mix until combined.
Cream butter & sugar; add eggs. Fold in sour cream and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to mixture. Fold in blueberries. Pour 1/3 batter into a greased and floured fluted cake pan. Sprinkle with half the filling mixture. Pour 1/3 batter over top. Sprinkle with remaining filling. top with remaining batter. Gently swirl cake to lightly mix. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour. Cool and invert onto a cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar. Serves 12 to 16. ENJOY!!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Yes! I am still alive!
This weekend, I got a sweet reminder from a sweet friend. It was something like this: "Just a friendly reminder that you haven't updated your blog in about a month."
I put my phone down and said, "REALLY?!?!?"
Sure as the world! I looked at my blog and she was right! I tried to update this weekend, but time just keeps slipping faster and faster.
I've been keeping myself very busy with keeping up with demands from the everyday schedule and this year, too, I challenged myself to hand knit stockings for every one in the family. WOW! I am happy to say, I just got Quincy's stocking off the needles this morning. I just have one more stocking to knit for Amanda's beau and then that project will be complete. I am very happy to have met the challenge. I love seeing all those stocking lined up in a row like that. All the different colors that each kid chose. They selected the stripes and solid patterns, too. Quincy's has ended up being everyone's favorite...I tried to get him to trade me. He said he would at first, then when he saw his cute little stripy stocking progressing, he decided that he just needed to keep it for himself. His is the one on the far right.
Thank you, sweet girl, for your gentle reminder. I really do miss this space and will keep coming back. I promise.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
November is the month in which we observe and celebrate Thanksgiving. Several years ago, I hit a bump in my life path and found that I felt sad a lot. During that time, I remembered seeing an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show in which she mentioned the book title "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Sarah's book contained some encouragement for thanksgiving - not the holiday, but the simple act of giving thanks. Readers are instructed to find five things at the end of every day for which they are thankful. It seemed like such and easy thing to do, but in that deep sadness of my divorce, there were days it was all I could do to think of one. It was usually my thankfulness for my five children.
To this day, I sincerely believe that this little exercise really helped me get through that darkness and sadness because I started feeling thankful for a little piece of gum. To me, that thankfulness was equal to happiness. Even if it lasted for twenty minutes, I definite did feel happy. I started to really take note of everything in my life I did have. I wasn't focusing anymore on what I didn't have. I know this may seem silly, but I even began to realize I was thankful for sunshine and so on and so on.
My encouragement to you is that if you're ever feeling down, sit down and make a list of things you have for which you are thankful. If five is too much, then start with one thing. IT WORKS! Saying thank you isn't just good manners! It's beneficial THERAPY!
Today, my list of five things is:
- my wonderful children. Each is so different and so wonderful. They make me feel so proud every day.
- My husband. He is so supportive of all my endeavors.
- Hot coffee. It's the stuff that helps get me really going in the morning.
- creativity. I have to have this in my live EVERY day. HAVE TO.
- my computer. It works and it is amazing.
...and a bonus item: thank YOU for reading my blog.
Monday, November 1, 2010
When I was growing up, my parents moved around a lot. I was a shy child and the moves were uncomfortable and even a bit painful.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had this notion that I wanted my kids to graduate with some of the same kids with whom they had gone to kindergarten. My firstborn baby eventually became a kindergartener. I registered her for school and away she went. In the blink of an eye, she was finished with high school. She attended schools in the same district the entire time. I was so thrilled that I had given her the continuity I wished for her before I'd even laid eyes on her. I have a son who also graduated recently with some of the kids who were in his kindergarten class. It really meant a lot to me.
A few weeks ago, my younger daughter and I were driving in the car. Kaitlyn is a junior in high school. On this particular day, she was so excited about a song she wanted me to hear. She looked it up on the internet and played it for me. It is a beautiful song by Miranda Lambert about a girl who grew up in a house and as an adult needed to go back and feel that connection. As the song played, I listened and I felt the tears well in my eyes.
When the song was over, Kaitlyn asked, "Don't you think that song is so cool?"
I said, "Well, it is a lovely song. But what I think is cool is that YOU think it is cool!"
She could see that the song moved me to tears. I explained to her that I'd fought so hard for them to have that deep-rooted connection. I told her that her enthusiasm for this song told me she has it....she "gets" the reason for my determination to stay here for so long. This little gray house is the only house every one of my children has known. I brought them each home from the hospital as newborn infants to this place. The colors on the walls have changed, the floor looks different, too. But this is the house that has built them.
Go ahead! Have a listen....click here!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
A List of Five...
I feel especially thankful for:
...All the beauty that surrounds me in this world...
...The glorious change in seasons...
...A refreshing glass of iced water...
...The health of my family...
I am getting ready to pursue a very big dream I've had for a very long time. It is going to be a very time consuming endeavor. I am happy to have the support of my family and friends. I plan to maintain this blog as I have time and energy. I hope you'll stay with me through this journey!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I don't have a lot of words today.
I've been feeling sad about a few things and today, I felt happy looking back through little photo collections on my computer. This one made me smile. It was from Mother's Day this year.
That was a really good day.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I saw a picture of a sweater similar to this one in a knitting magazine. I loved the sweater and decided it was something I could handle knitting. I bought the magazine for the pattern. There is a matching hat, too. I started it on Monday this week. I still have to knit the sleeves for this, but my hope is that Quincy can either wear it to school tomorrow or to Gramma Margie's birthday party on Saturday. Needless to say: It knit up quickly! Yay! I love fast-moving projects....not to mention that for me, knitting stripes is very addicting! I might even have time to squeeze in that crazy color combo request of Quincy's. He wants a Halloween sweater in black, orange and green. ;)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I was messing around with my daughter's cell phone and caught this lovely image. I was thrilled with it! That was when I asked her, "Who knew clutter could look so pretty?" She looked over my shoulder and exclaimed, "That is so cool, Mom!" Now, both of our phones have this image as our wallpapers.
Looking at it makes me think of John Denver's Song Sunshine On My Shoulders
I hope you are feeling happy, too!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
autumnal |ôˈtəmnəl|adjectiveof, characteristic of, or occurring in autumn
Just the word itself seems so fancy yet makes me feel almost giddy. This is my absolute favorite time of year. As a child, I could never quite grasp why so many people were so animated by their enchantment by this stretch of three months. Then, it actually seemed ... pointless. The trees were dying and everything was brown and ugly. It took a level of maturity to appreciate that the trees really only stay these brilliant colors for a short window of time. It really IS a special time, I think.
Now, as an adult, the allure comes from a perfect mix of the cooler temperatures, the light seems to shift to a richer amber, the sky is a more brilliant blue, the thoughts of warmer foods like soups being simmered all day and then eaten with my family around our dinner table. For me, autumn means warm woolen sweaters, rich colored leaves to decorate the trees in the neighborhood, icy cold floors to greet my toes first thing in the morning. There are so many reasons to love this season. What are your reasons for loving this season?
Currently, I am limping along while my regular lens is "in the shop." I hope to have it back soon. I sure do miss it. I have used an older auto focus lens, but it was injured, too, and using it just annoys me. I am reminded why I decided to go ahead and just replace it. Right now, I am using only my 50mm lens that came as a kit lens with my very first SLR camera as a gift to me from my parents for my 15th birthday. Yes! I STILL have it. And...YES it works on my DSLR. I've done a little experimenting with it. While I wouldn't use it to shoot a wedding....at least not exclusively, I am grateful I can use it to capture some fun shots like this one.
During this time of learning patience with the repair shop, I have tried to relax a little more when snapping away and I am not even looking for technically correct images. Not every photo that works well hast to be completely thought out or possess technical strength I just want to have fun and I simply cannot go a single day without taking a photo.
Before my post production edits, this capture includes those happy, crisp-white, puffy clouds backed by absolute cerulean. It also include the nearly naked top branches of tree across the street from my house. I sat on my cement stoop in my bright pink striped jammy pants. My feet were bare. The sun was shining. The air was warm. This was a beautiful moment I wanted to freeze forever......don't you ever have those?
We were invited to spend the evening with a friend and her son. We were on our way to their house when I spied this most lovely sunset. I know I say it a lot, but I truly feel blessed to live in such a beautiful place on this planet. I've also said a lot that, "When God made Colorado, He was showing off!" I know there are other beautiful places on this planet, but I am particularly fond of Colorado!
Thank you, God, for my wonderful friends! And thank you, Rose. We had a delightful time!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Also in my recent absence, I celebrated another birthday! We LOVE birthday celebrations around here. My children gave me a lovely little party. They selected Cilantro Enchiladas and Amanda's friend sent me a beautiful carrot cake. It was a wonderful little party! We had a terrific time!
Thank you, my sweet babes.
I loved this shot of all the preparation of the cake and Quincy capturing little video clips. I just had to share it here.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'm not even sure how we decided on hydrangeas for our wedding flower, but it really worked out well. We used a mix of fresh and silk flowers. My bouquet consisted of fresh white hydrangeas spray painted with the lavender color I loved and then the florist included some lovely ivory roses.
Three days after the wedding, the bouquet still looked fabulous. I decided to play around with it a bit and got some close-up shots....with our rings as I wasn't sure our wedding photographers got a shot like this one. And I really wanted one.
All of the details were just perfect and I loved each of them. I have finally gotten to see our photos from our photographers and I was still just so happy about how the day perfectly unfolded.
Friday, October 8, 2010
I wish I could load these photos in chronological order...but blogger is not very user-friendly that way, apparently. So I will share these photos with you of my recent fourteener hike with my sister in the order BLOGGER allows me. It seems to skip around a bit...sorry for the confusion it might cause.
My sister and I decided we needed a little more time together. We decided to hike in the mountains...but we didn't just decide to hike ANY mountain! We decided we wanted to hike a fourteener. For our first hike, we chose Mount Bierstadt. It's elevation reaches 14,060 feet above sea level!
Mount Evans is behind my sister on the left-hand side of this photo. The sawtooth that connects Mount Evans to Mount Bierstadt looks mean and unfriendly! Doesn't it?
This is my sister near the summit. I shot this photo to show the massive boulders we scrambled over to reach the very top.
Very early into our hike, we spied a moose. It was truly a thrill as neither of has ever seen a moose in Colorado.
Near the end of the day; after six hours of hiking, we made it back to the car. We were tired....very tired and really ready to fall into our beds.
At the summit, the air was very thin and made it difficult to breathe and think clearly. In fact, we'd encountered a man who really was in trouble. He was struggling with dizziness and disorientation. He'd hiked up the side of Mount Evans, then over the sawtooth and met us at the summit of Mount Bierstadt. Living in Colorado, we often hear warnings and are cautioned about signs of altitude sickness. After living here for so long and hearing about altitude sickness so much, a person tends to tune it out and maybe even blow it off. I have to admit, I was a little worried when I saw this guy was very clearly confused and I didn't even know him. We encountered another couple. She was a nurse and he was a very experienced hiker. She helped keep the confused hiker from getting into any more possible medical trouble.
Looking over to my right upon reaching the summit, I will admit: I felt a bit squeamish. I was feeling a sense of urgency to get back onto more level ground, for sure!
Once we had gotten to a certain elevation my legs felt so heavy. Each step was small and felt like it took so much effort. Well, because it did! Every hiker huffed and puffed their way up the rocky trail. Some even joked with us as they hiked near us about how we all trudged along.
My sister and I stopped long the way to eat lunch and take in the views. She packed healthy turkey sandwiches to fuel our hungry bellies.
Hey, SissyPoo! I am ready to go again. Are you?
Friday, August 27, 2010
I hope you don't mind. That I have shared so many photographs lately of my gardens; my garden has brought me so much joy. I haven't been able to enjoy it as much this summer as I have been distracted by planning for my wedding. It just so happens that my own camera has suffered and injury and while my regular lens is being repaired, my sweet friend, Rose, loaned me her camera so I can make sure that my wedding assignment next weekend is covered. WHEW! So learning a whole new camera system. I speak fluent Nikon. I am taking a crash course in Canon. YIKES! The controls are all so very different. It's a little daunting, but I know that I will be okay.
I have really great friends!
Here is a list of five things for which I feel grateful:
- My computer
- a sense of humor
- Amanda's ability to share
- nasal spray that makes it so I can breathe while I sleep...
- BONUS GRATEFULNESS: It is the WEEKEND! There is just a wonderful energy surrounding weekends, isn't there?
This delightful pouch of chocolates arrived at my house from my dad and stepmom. It was perfect timing as I was craving chocolate....
Thank you, Dad and Karen, for remembering my birthday. I really enjoyed the very lovely birthday gifts! I wish I could hug you!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I am not exactly sure what the name of this particularly beautiful plant is, but when I saw it, I knew I had to have one in my garden this year. I was so elated when Ro treated me to this special garden gem. I had a feeling the hummingbirds would just love it.
Sadly, I haven't been able to spend as much time outside as I normally do. I haven't seen any hummingbirds go to it, but I am certain they have indeed found this plant. I enjoy looking at it while I have my coffee on my patio. The flowers' life cycle promotes an interesting display. First the balloon out and explode open in a most vivd red. They stay open for about a week and then the color starts to fade to a yellowish pink. i am sad to say that I know that this lovely vine is an annual. It would be nice if I could enjoy it next season, too, but maybe I will find another lovely plant to fill in this spot in my garden?
This seems like a lovely image for The August Break.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
A List of Five (things for which I feel grateful)
- My fantastic children. They are all so unique and each is so wonderful! Amanda, Ryan, Kaitlyn, Alex and Quincy: I want you each to know how very PROUD I am of you and I truly am glad that I get to be YOUR mom!
- My man is back in the United States again after his third tour in Iraq. Rob: I am so very proud of you, too! You have made so many sacrifices not only for us, but for people you don't even know...and for people who don't even appreciate it. That is a BIG deal to me!
- ABUNDANCE. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends, and family members...
- My creativity.
- This absolutely LOVELY green August we've had. Thank you, God for the moisture and the beautiful, green grass!
Tonight, Amanda and I had a lot of fun playing with make-up. Alter, Kaitlyn and I had fun playing with fantastic shoes. Kait suggested I take a few snaps of us. I pulled out my cell phone and snapped a few photos in the bathroom mirror. This was my favorite. I just had to share it here...with you.
It is frightening to think back and realize just how quickly summer vanished! It seems like the kids were just starting to get excited about school being over and Ryan was getting ready to graduate from high school. And now, here we are kicking off a brand new school year. Kait is a junior in high school, Alex is a sevvie and Quincy is starting Kindergarten on Thursday. We celebrated with fresh-baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast and hugs and kisses all around!
I really liked this snap of the two older kids. Some, times, I really miss the old film photographs. You know the ones that our moms put into those practically dripping with chemicals PVC pockets that turned our baby photos a tell-tale orange? Oh! And let's not forget the sometimes delightful grain from the film! Okay, so this image isn't old enough to have the "aged characteristics"....but I love what they do for this image!
Hey, Kids! Here is to a STELLAR school year filled with lots and lots of A's! I love you guys and am so very proud of each and every one of you.
P.S. I signed up to play in Susannah Conway's August Break and have been so scatter brained, I finally remembered to mention this is one post for that challenge!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Barry Manilow may write the songs, but I capture the moments! And while the moments I capture may not make the young girls cry, I certainly hope they make my clients smile!
If memory serves me correctly, this great couple has an anniversary just around the corner!
We were on our way into the state park this afternoon for my photo assignment when I spied this lovely scene. The kids all looked out my window to see what I saw. I think they were a little disappointed when they saw that it was just little flowers. Perhaps they were expecting some wildlife?
I live in a beautiful place in the world and I love this place. I don't know that I have ever even seen these bright magenta little wildflowers before. I thought they were BEAUTIFUL! Enough so that I really felt compelled to stop my car and snap a photograph.
I know that someday soon, I will have to move away. I'm not sure how far, but I do feel a little sad that I have loved this place for so long and that I will have to leave it. I also feel so very excited at the opportunities I will be given and new things I will learn, see, new foods to taste and new friends I will make.
I love coffee sweet and hot!
Indeed! I love hot coffee. I love iced coffee. Heck! I have been looked at with crossed eyes, when I make it known that even lukewarm coffee is even acceptable.
This morning, when I got back from my run, my whole house smelled so delicious with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Kaitlyn knew I would love a big, strong cuppa hot java. And she was right!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Holy smokes, you guys! This is my 300th post to this blog. I want to celebrate and dance and sing....and give away stuff!!!!!
This stamp set comes right out of my studio. It would go nicely in your collection...don't you think?? You have a chance to win this lovely set of retired Stampin' Up! stamps!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. A winner will be chosen on Saturday, August 14, 2010!!!
AND THE WINNER IS: Adee
Adee! If you will send me your e-mail address to kelly dot m dot wilsey at comcast dot net, I will be in contact with you so I can send you your PRIZE!!!!!
Thank you all so much for playing....I hope you will all come back!!! :)Publish Post
If you live in our house, you will be given many wonderful pet names. I adore pet names. They exude endearment. My youngest child's name is Quincy. In his short five years of life, he's been called lots of sweet names: Pookie, Q, Q-Man, Q-Bert to name a few for starters. Since the first letter of his name was one, I slipped one day and called him Q.P. That quickly became Kewpie and Kewpie Doll.
Last week, during one of my sanity breaks, I stopped in to see my friends (and browse antiques) at The Carriage Shops here in town. I stopped in my tracks when I saw this wonderful little Kewpie Doll. I smiled and picked up the tiny plastic doll and knew immediately what I wanted to purchase.
I brought it home to show Quincy exactly what a Kewpie is. Naturally, being a five year old boy, he was not at all amused. I sat and studied the little doll for a short while and just had to giggle about the little airbrushed eyelashes. Both sets are going the same direction!
I really love vintage things. Especially the whimsical vintage things!
for my list of five:
- Vintage treasures
- a weekend with my man who just came home from hist third tour in Iraq
- the invitations will go out in the mail tomorrow morning
- UPS and FedEx delivery people
- A very lovely GREEN August. (I don't think I can ever remember such a treat here in Colorado!)
I long for the afternoons that I can go out into my garden and watch the ladybugs, listen to the hummingbirds, and photograph my beautiful flowers. I crave the simpler times when I could sit and watch a movie and knit a sweater for my little boy.
Life has become a crazy whirlwind of the color blue, birds and hydrangeas. Both of my daughters have asked me, "What ARE you going to do when the wedding is all over?" Well, I know that there is a lot of hustle and bustle now for all the preparations we have to make, but I can't hardly wait until I am married and can just sit back and R-E-L-A-X. The tension is really starting to become something of a challenge.
I must confess: I do feel so giddy when the UPS trucks stop in my street and the man dressed in brown delivers a package to the front door and it is something beautiful for our special day. I was tickled pink today when two deliveries were made. I told Rob about the first one, but insisted that the second delivery must remain a surprise until the perfect moment reveals itself.
This wedding is proving to be my biggest DIY project, indeed! I will be so elated to have my friends and family gather around us and wish us well and enjoy our special day. I have paid very close attention to every detail. Until the day we say "I do," I will enjoy my morning coffee. And I will rest easy knowing that the simpler times will return.
Sometimes I am lucky enough to get to enjoy a few moments of togetherness with my children for a Saturday morning coffee club.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The warm sun in the big, blue sky...
Happy, smiling, well-adjusted children...
green grass all around....
I have had the pleasure of photographing these siblings twice now. They are such happy, wonderful kids! We had a great time eating huge suckers and playing in the tall grass!
Thank you, Katie, for allowing me to record these moments of you and your children.
Hey, look! It's another picture of the hollyhocks. Usually when these beauties are gone, the temperatures start to drop. I can hardly believe my kids will all be back in school soon.
I have been so immersed in wedding planning details that I have hardly really taken notice of the world around me. Except when I was at the local discount department store, I noticed a gal changing out an end-cap of candles. I inquired about my favorite scent Mulled Cider. I usually burn one votive candle for every year of my age on my birthday and I LOVED to use those candles. The friends associate checked her plans and discovered that Mulled Cider was not on the list. I was so disappointed. Looks like I will have to decide on a new favorite, perhaps?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The sun burned bright and hot this morning. I thought about going for a run. Then I thought about just sitting quietly and enjoying a cup of coffee. That sounded much better than running in the heat.
Early this afternoon, the storm clouds rolled in and covered us in a veil of beautiful diffused light. Then cool, cleansing, refreshing rain fell. Such sweet relief!
These sunflowers were used in a shoot earlier in the week. They stood so majestically on my kitchen counter in a Mason jar of water. I scooped them up and placed them in my favorite shooting area of my dining room and I pressed the shutter. This was a 7-ish second exposure.
I love this capture!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I really love summer. I love to run around barefoot, with capris and sleeveless tops. I love the smell of sunscreen and how the world smells after a good rain shower.
This summer has been a really good year for my hollyhocks. They're just really big and fluffy and perfectly pink and beautiful. I did not even try to grow vegetables this summer. I knew I would be too distracted. I did not even want to try! I bought a few annuals and really focused on my perennials.
Tonight, I got home and sat on my garden swing until the mosquitoes found me. Let me tell you: That was not long at all! I saw a few hummingbirds at the feeders which prompted me to run inside to get my long lens. I got back and sat patiently for about ten minutes hoping one would come by....but I was not so lucky. It was as if thy were playing coy I was pretty disappointed, actually. as the light was gorgeous. I will just have to try again.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
It's been hot. Unbearable, in fact. The kids have spent quite a bit of time in the pool....where it's cool. I am too afraid, still, to shed the street clothes and don a teensy swimsuit so I sit on the patio in the shade of the blue umbrella that was supposed to be red. I really had my heart set on a red umbrella, but by the time I got to the store to get mine, they had blue, black and brown. The blue umbrellas were $20 less. I guess you can figure how difficult it was for me to decide on the blue one, right? Now that i have it home and it is set up on the patio, I am actually quite satisfied with the blue umbrella. I think it's really pretty. Earlier in the season, I picked up some twinkle lights designed specifically for umbrellas.....so of course I NEEDED the umbrella to go with the lights....right? .....and you know just how much I love twinkle lights, don't you?