Saturday, September 24, 2011


So tonight, I welcomed my girls home with a glowing fire in the fireplace - it was a surprise! They were pretty excited. Arriving home in their jammies, and I in my snugglies, we snacked, read books, chatted about their day with grandma, and thanked God for our blessings. Then, I tucked them into bed, reveling in the opportunity to share that hour with them, as well as the relaxed ambiance that the room provided, lit only by the fire and surrounding candles. It was the perfect culmination of my rejuvenating weekend. Good memories made here tonight. And lots of relaxies for me too.

TIP: If 'little' things mean something to you, chances are the little people will pick up on that too. Teach them how to enjoy all of the little moments a day can offer. 
A QUOTE: "Enjoy life – there are no re-runs." ~ Shirl Lowery
WHIDFML: Bonded with my girls, fireside! :)

Forgot to Share~

I enjoyed working with the Trader Joe's gals - creating an article relating to Gluten Intolerance/ Allergy - and sharing some recipes that Joel and I have created together! He and I still plan to put together a recipe book as time and publishers allow. Looking forward to that! In the meantime, see my article published by Wona & Deana of "Cooking with Trader Joe's". Kudos for the opportunity! 

TIP: Dream it... then actually DO it. :)
A QUOTE: "Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. " ~e. e. cummings
WHIDFML: Ordered Thai... Dinner last night, and lunch today! Mmmmmmmm

No No No...

While I normally might be found saying that to a naughty 3-year-old who is coloring all over herself with markers... Tonight - it's about NOT doing that... No misbehaving kiddos. No dog. No chores. No responsibilities. No schedule. Tonight - "No" is a good word! An integral part of a mini-sabbatical. 
Normally a fellow huntress, I'm currently a hunting-widow. My sister is struggling with an illness, and so my family is helping out. It just so happens that her husband is out of town at this time, and so there is a greater need for the family's helping hand. They've been amazing - stepping-in and basically 'taking over' (in the best possible way) while my sis heals. I was looking forward to the waterfowl outing - but I've come to embrace the opportunity to do a little bit of pleasing everyone under these circumstances. My fam doesn't have to take on more young children in addition to my sister's right now for more than a day (since I am in town)... My hubby gets to enjoy a little guy-time, I get to enjoy some ME-time, and the kids are having a blast for the time! Who's unhappy in this scenario?? "NO" one! Heehee! Kudos to my fam for giving me this little breaky-poo. XX! Just look at my pent-up brain-splatter all over these pages! Ah, online diary ~ I've missed you.

TIP: While pleasing everyone is generally an unlikely outcome, every now and then - it can happen. The key is to knowing just when that can actually apply. It's rare. So don't get hooked on the idea!
A QUOTE: "Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment." ~Lao Tzu
WHIDFML: Just had an uninterrupted listen to Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"... Got to be one of my top faves of all time. Can't get enough of it, can never hear too much.... It's moves me. What can I say? It's fitting for my enjoyment of this MomME time... as I can literally feel my heart rate slow down, my blood pressure drop, and my muscles relax. Can't explain it. Only know it's real. When I get anxious about something, or feel stressed - this song can literally turn it around again. The power of music.

Some Day...

So, we found ourselves in a really coolio situation - and we FINALLY (oh so finally) got some comfortable furniture, that is plenty enough for hosting guests, and no longer embarrassing to offer to said guests, in our beloved basement. We even made the leap to the flat-screen TV! And, we can link it to the web so we can watch our weekly winter shows (Grey's Anatomy, Raising Hope, and The Office) - on the comfy new digs! Thank you HOM clearance center! You see, we wait 'til the weekend when the kiddos are sleeping, and sip wine and indulge in things like chocolate and frosting-covered cookies, to unwind on the weekends (after the shows have already aired on regular television.) Yay! 
We've begun a new overall trend of enjoying life more, and making the most of each day (not just those weekends or 'special' occasions.) We're doing more of the things we've been dreaming of - because we don't know what tomorrow holds, and why chance it? Time to enjoy more and stress less! This has been a very healthy trend. Mind you, there is a line between enjoying life, and being frivolous. We are well-attuned to the enjoying part.I have to say I'm darn proud of us! ;)
I kind of liken it to being in school, versus getting out there and gaining experience in the field. I've always been a hands-on learner, and while I have had some informal training, an elective course in high-school, and on-the-job learning experiences in my line of work (as a wedding photographer), I have primarily just fine-tuned my abilities as I've made my way through life - and I've been enjoying it immensely. People place so much emphasis on school - but I've learned so much that can't be learned that way... I've even been 'mentoring' some colleagues and new assistants in this regard, because most of their questions have no applicable 'course' to enroll in for answers. I've been experiencing it first-hand for over 8 years now. It was reaffirming to have a wedding guest recently respond with, "...good for you - you learn so much doing it that way - on the job. That's wonderful!" He had asked whether or not I'd attended 'school' for this line of work... I explained that I had my very basic training, and learned the rest hands-on in the field - fine tuning as I go. Often people have the expectation that all fields should require formal schooling. But one thing that is justifiable in this line of work, is the fact that you can't exactly teach someone how to see the world around them. They either have that, or they don't. You can teach technique, and the technical skills, but the rest is either there or it isn't. More power to those who benefit from additional schooling. But I like to break the rules anyway. If I go to learn the rules of this field, it's so that I can avoid following them! I want to live this - right now - so that's my approach - but it is doable because my genuine passion for it propels me in the right direction. In as much, my passion for life continues to propel me in the necessary directions for fulfillment. I just have to trust the Big Guy - and His plan. So be it!

TIP: Though it may not provide you with a document of some kind, the classroom of Life offers quite a bit of knowledge that cannot be otherwise adequately obtained or put to proper use.
A QUOTE: "Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." ~Oscar Wilde 
WHIDFML: Officially stopped (well, quite a long while ago) waiting for 'some day'! That day is TODAY, people! Live it up. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Little Treasures

Bet you were thinking that I was referring to my little ladies in that title, weren't ya? Well, of course they are little treasures! But, little treasures come in many varieties for us mommies. I've found a couple of note-worthy treasures in recent months that I'd like to share. 
#1) ARGAN OIL! OMG - my hair is soooo happy! I have course, frizz-prone, semi-curly hair... and this stuff is a dream! Luckily - Garnier has incorporated it into their $5 bottle of conditioner - and that makes me one giddy low-maintenance kind of girl! I don't like to fork over too much $$ for my hair products, and I don't like to need 2 conditioners (et all) to get my hair to remain calm and manageable. So KUDOS GARNIER! (I used to be able to link to Amazon for these things... but I don't know how anymore... The new Blogger is still a bit of a mystery. Perhaps at some other time. Maybe they automatically 'canceled' that for me - since I wasn't writing for so long. Oh wellsies - their loss. Kinda yours too, but you can find this product at Target for very affordable cost anyway! JOY.)
#2) HENNA, baby! Oh yeah. I hadn't realized that henna could be so easy and convenient to use. I originally thought it would wind up on walls, floors, pillow-cases, clothing... Basically, any-and-everywhere, if you prefer the nutshell version of this description. But it's been an easy learning process, and neat and tidy, producing FUN color results that actually SOFTEN my tendrils! One word: YES!  [PS: Can be found online for pretty darn dirt-cheap.]

TIP: Keep experimenting. I guess when I had the opportunity to do some research, it paid-off.  So I must also thank Google~
A QUOTE: Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. – Lucille Ball 
WHIDFML: Spent a little time loving myself. (Hey - read the quote, and get your mind outta the gutter - Oy!) 

Cute-Ass Moment in Time!

"Ha - ha - ha, Ho - ho - ho - And a couple of tra - la - las That's how we laugh the day away, In the Merry Old Land of Oz! Bzz - bzz - bzz, Chirp - chirp - chirp - And a couple of La - di - das That's how the crickets crick all day, In the Merry Old Land of Oz! We get up at twelve and start to work at one. Take an hour for lunch and then at two we're done. Jolly good fun! Ha - ha - ha, Ho - ho - ho - And a couple of tra - la - las That's how we laugh the day away, In the Merry Old Land of Oz! Pat, pat here, Pat, pat there, and a couple of brand new straws. That's how we keep you young and fair In the Merry Old Land of Oz! Rub, rub here, Rub, rub there, Whether you're tin or brass That's how we keep you in repair In the Merry Old Land of Oz! We can make a dimple smile out of a frown. Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown? Uh-huh! Jolly Old town! Clip, clip here, Clip, clip there, We give the roughest claws. That certain air of savoir faire, In the Merry Old Land of Oz! Ha - ha - ha - Ho - ho - ho - Ho - ho - ho - ho - That's how we laugh the day away In the Merry Old Land of Oz! Ha - ha - ha, Ho - ho - ho - Ha - ha - ha -ha - ha That's how we laugh the day away, In the Merry Old Land of Oz!"

"Heeeeeey!!! DANCE PARTY!!!!!!" [Insert killer 3-year-old dance moves...]

TIP: Get 'em dancing with the vids. Then, they get exercise while watching! Bonus. If you join 'em - extra points for you!
A (multi-)QUOTE:  
Scarecrow: I haven't got a brain... only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right. 
WHIDFML: So - had me a craving... a hormonal one, if you know what I'm getting at... (and NO, I'm not talking pregnancy - quite the contrary, in fact!) Anywho. Cookies. I'm a gluten-intolerant chick, who craves cookies. What kind of evil?? Anyway - Thanks to good ol' Betty Crocker, I have at my finger tips, a lovely boxed recipe of DELISH choc-chip cookies that bake up beautifully in about 10 mins per dozen. But this won't do. (Well, it will in a pinch, but there's more!) I love to have mine frosted... always have! My mom has a near-famous recipe for frosting - as it is most delectable. I modify it  - using Spectrum brand, non-hydrogenated, all natural, all vegetable, organic shortening in place of the poison-laden traditional variety.
I make 2 dozen, frost 'em up, and freeze 'em. Wallah! Frosting-cookies any time I 'need' them. (Oh, and just ask Joel... I NEEEEED them when I need them.) Freezer is currently fully stocked! ;) Hmmmm... Starting to have me a craving here~

An Outing with Daddy

So this is one of those memorable moments that we'll never want to chance forgetting... 
Daddy and the little girls are on their way to the family farmstead near Alexandria, MN. En-route, many farms are bypassed, bearing some of the typical aromas.

Daddy: "P-UUUU! I smell cow poop!"
[Slight Pause]
Addie, age 3 (from the back seat): "That's not cow poop... ... My FARTED!!"
[Insert gut-busting laughter from all 3 parties for the duration of the trip!]

TIP: Those handy little kiddo 'computers'/ toddler I-Pads/ whatever you want to call 'em... FAN-TASTIC for longer car-treks. They're actually learning from them, it requires their interaction, and they occupy the restless little minds entrapped in their 5-point-harness car-seats for a good long stretch of time.
A QUOTE: "A baby changes your dinner party conversation from politics to poop." ~Maurice Johnstone 
WHIDFML: Sat in front of the new flat screen, Netflix streamed an 'Is It Real' episode with the hubby, and soaked my feet in a massaging foot-bath. Breathe with me now... "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

I'm Baaa-aaaaaack!

WOW. I mean WOW!!! It's been over 3 months? Jeeeshe... I guess SO. This is all due to darn good reason, however. I've had pretty darn steady business this season! New babies, HS seniors, Anniversary celebrations, and some grand Weddings - and 'training' some additional assistants who are being added to the mix besides! Ad to that my own personal pix resulting from my summer-time fun and family excursions - and I have an unending pool of photos that will carry me over probably into November. But I'm not complaining - I'm super pumped about the surge in biz - and am welcoming it with open arms!

Whilst the girls aren't yet in school full time - I'm finding that it offers me a greater amount of time to devote to such projects nonetheless... And with this realization, I'm pleasantly surprised. But I've still been itchin' for a tiny bit more me-time ~~ you know - to play. And hot dog - here it is! I'm taking a mini leave of absence tonight! Whoohoo! Wine, anyone? Candles, Music, and freeing my mind are all on the non-schedule-'schedule' as well. Cheers to that!

Doin' a little somethin' for me right now... and tonight, that means catching up on some mind-rambling. Join me, won't you?

"Dododooodoodo - I'm a souuuuul man!" Maybe some sing-along & dancing are in order too~

TIP: It WILL get done... Stop frettin' and start freein' yourself! Life's too short to focus solely on being responsible ;)
A QUOTE: "Absence is one of the most useful ingredients of family life, and to dose it rightly is an art like any other." ~Freya Stark
WHIDFML: Read above ;) ;)