Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Baby Boy Is Engaged!

My son Zach has been dating Kendra for about 2 and a half years now and has been planning a Proposal for some time. Back in November He took his Mom & Sisters ring shopping. He had a picture on his phone of a ring she said she liked some time before. And after looking in many Jewelry stores to find one similar, he found the one he wanted! Kendra is tiny, so it was a challenge finding a ring that could be sized down to a size 4 without changing it's shape too much, which would loosen the prongs. 

He's taking the Plunge!

He was so funny with the ring, he wouldn't let anyone touch it. He kept it in the Ring Box inside the store box, inside the store bag, inside a Ziploc bag! He hid it in his Dad's sock drawer in case when Kendra was here for Christmas she wouldn't accidentally find it in his room! He let everyone know if he gets any calls or mail from the Jewelry store while she's here not to give it to him.

 At the Airport on their way!

They had planned a trip to Oregon (Where Kendra is from) for Spring Break so Zach could meet her Brother & Sister In Law & 2 Nephews. Her favorite place is the Beach, so he thought the Beach in Oregon would be the perfect backdrop to pop the question! He messaged her Brother & Sister In Law and told them of his plans and to get their help in planning the special event. He wrapped the ring box in a pair of his socks & hid it in his carry on bag. 

Zach & Kendra with her Brother Shawn & Tawnya, 
and their boys; Taylor & Colin

Now Kendra lives in Northern Arizona about a 5 or so hour drive from us. So Zach enlisted her other Brother & Sister In Law who lives in the same town to get Kendra out of the house so he could Skype with her parents to tell them of his plans and ask for their Blessing. So they had her over for dinner. Zach was so nervous to talk with her parents, but they gave their Blessing! So our whole family, her whole family and a very few friends knew about the plan, but all kept it a total secret from Kendra! Good Job Everyone! :) 

The Moment before The Proposal!
She has no idea!

Kendra's brother in Oregon told Zach of a Lighthouse on a Beach you can take tours of, Zach liked the idea of a Lighthouse, since Oregon in March could still be pretty cold to do it on the Beach. So her brother looked into it & set it up so that after the Tour, they could have the Lighthouse for 30 minuets or so to themselves!

She said "Yes!"

He said he was so excited and nervous! Going over & over in his head all day, everything he wanted to say! On their drive out to the Lighthouse a song came on the Radio by a band called The Rend Collective about a Lighthouse. Zach, Shawn & Tawnya tried not to laugh, as not to give anything away to Kendra that something was up! :)

The Beautiful Ring on her finger!

After he proposed, they wanted to buy a momento of the occasion, but the Gift shop had just closed. :( Shawn knocked on the door & told them they had just got engaged & wanted to buy something! They let them in! :) They chose a Christmas Ornament of the Lighthouse! Their first Ornament together! And you know how much I love Christmas! They couldn't have picked anything better!

On the Beach at Yaquina Head Light 

After the Proposal they walked on the Beach & took some pictures. Then they all went out to a nice Restaurant called Tidal Raves looking out over the Beach to Celebrate! And they called their families to let them know, of course! We Love Kendra and my girls are excited their going to have an older Sister!

We had their cars ready for them when they got home! :)

Zach has about 3 semesters left at ASU, then they will get Married! Let the planning fun begin! Congratulations Zach & Kendra! We are so happy for you both! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our "Couples" Photo Shoot

A good friend of mine posted on Facebook that her Daughter, Maddie, one of my Girls' Best Friends since Kindergarten, needed a Couple to take pictures of for her Photography class. And that she was tired of using her parents! :)

 I told her we'd do it for her. Why not?! Our Daughter, Erica has taken Photography classes as well and I know some of those assignments could be hard to come by. And we could always use some new, fresh pictures!

She took us to a big, empty warehouse type building, that use to be a locally owned Furniture store called The Potato Barn here in town.


 She had some ideas for posses she wanted, and then we all came up with a few others, inspired by the rustic surroundings.

There were Train Tracks out behind the building, and they always make for some great shots as well. 

This next shot is one of my Favorites of the day.

And our own little Photog, Erica, uses any opportunities to take some cool shots as well. Making her sister, Lexi pose for her . . .

Gotta love this Photo Bomb by Maddie! :) Flying into the picture, she didn't even drop her Camera!

And when I saw this little opening I told the girls "come get under here and I'll take some shots of your feet! It will be like Footloose!"

These girls are all Dancers and Daughters of 80's Moms after all! They were all for it! Love them! :)

This is my girls with Maddie back when they went to a Harry Potter Movie Premier and made their T-shirts! So cute!

And a more recent shot of the three BFFs! Beautiful young women!

Maddie did a great job! It was a fun Photo shoot! And who doesn't want to be a Model for a day?! Just wait till she gets my bill! :)


This last shot was the one she turned in for the assignment. So cute! And she got an A on it! How could she not with these subjects right?! :)

And someday when shes a world famous photographer, which she will be! I'll be able to say I had my pic taken by her! And you can too! Check out her website: EMZY Photo. this Girl is going places!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Invention Of Wings

When I first started a Book Club, the first book we read was The Secret Life Of Bees. After reading the book, I got the Movie & watched it with my family. Both are very good. My Daughter Lexi really liked the movie & wanted to read the Book. If you ask her today what her Favorite Book of all time is she would say The Secret Life Of Bees! I've also read another Book by the same Author, Sue Monk Kidd, that she wrote with her Daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor called Traveling With Pomegranates. I really enjoyed that Book as well. And in my What To Ask Santa For Blog Post this past Christmas, I told you she had a new Book coming out soon that I really wanted to read called The Invention Of Wings. 

"We're all yearning for a wedge of Sky, aren't we?
I suspect God plants these yearnings in us
so we'll at least try and change the course of things."

Oprah had selected it even before it came out, for her new Book Clubs first selection of 2014! I couldn't wait to read this one! And soon after it came out a local Indie Book Store here in Arizona called Changing Hands Bookstore announced they were bringing in Sue Monk Kidd to talk about this new book! They had such great response that they had to move it from the Bookstore to a local High school. And of course Lexi wanted to go with me to hear her favorite Author speak! I love the fact that I can share my love of Reading & Books with my Kids. We took our books in hopes of getting her to sign them as well. Authors are my Rock Stars! :) 

"If you must err, do so on the side of Audacity!"

I was so excited to hear her talk about this Book. She told of how she came to write it and what it meant to her & even read us some portions of the Book. Confessing "Writing is an Act of Courage!" She talked about the Feminine Journey, as The Invention Of Wings was based on the life of the Grimke sisters, who are real & a slave girl who was also real, but passed away in adolescence, it is the imagined life of this slave along with the sisters who owned her from childhood & became some of the first female abolitionist, changing the course of History. 

"I wanted to know things, to become someone."

Sue Monk Kidd stated "Women only realized how oppressed they were when they decided to stand up to the oppression of others!" By taking a stand against Slavery in the South, the Grimke sisters also became some of the first Women to ever speak in front of men, putting them ahead of their time in the fight for equal rights for Women. She said "Empathy is the real purpose of Fiction!" I loved that! Lexi & I both loved getting to hear her speak and having her sign our Books! She commented on how my Book, Traveling With Pomegranates was all marked up, I told her that was for Book Club. :) And I told her how when I let my Niece borrow my copy of The Secret Life Of Bees, Lexi had to go out & buy another copy of it, because she couldn't be with out one! She was very grateful to have someone as young as Lexi come out to hear her speak!

 "Carry on my Sisters!"

I read The Invention Of Wings pretty quickly, it's that good! I really loved it! And now, after hearing the Author talk about it, Lexi is reading it as well! We highly recommend it, if you are looking for a good read! How are you doing with the 2014 Bookshelf Challenge? This was Book number 6 for me this year! :) If you've read it, I love to hear your thoughts on it as well. Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Month Of Gratitude

Even though things haven't been going well for me, not having a job & everything, I determined to be Thankful for all the things that I do have in my life. I decided that in the month of February I would cultivate an Attitude Of Gratitude

So I found something every day of the month to be Thankful for. Because there is Always, Always  something to be Grateful for. And I kept a list! Here is my list (in no particular order)

1. John (My Husband)
2. Kyle (Son)
3. Zach (Son)
4. Erica (Daughter)
5. Lexi (Daughter)
6. Tinkerbell (Our Dog)
7. Books
8. God's Provision
9. Kendra & Katie (My Boys' Girlfriends) 
10. My Husband's Family
11. My Mom & Dad
12. My Family
13. Music
14. Quality Time Spent With The People I Love
15. Health
16. Gods Protection
17. Living In The United States
18. Laughter
19. Holiday's
20. Self confidence
21. Change
22. The Beauty Of Nature
23. A Good Nights Sleep
24. New Friends
25. New Opportunities
26. Social Media
27. Photographs / Memories
28. My New Job

One item for each day of the month of February! Most days I would wake up & fall asleep thinking of my item for that day! And I didn't just put it on a list, I actually gave Thanks! Yes I Thanked God for giving it to me! I thought when I started this venture, that I would be including a new job I'd have gotten, but that hasn't happened yet. But I'm still thankful that it is coming! So I included it in my list anyway! Believing it will come. 

And I must say it really has helped. Being Grateful really changes your perspective! It gives you a better attitude. It forces you to think positively, instead of negatively, which is an easy trap to fall into when life isn't going your way. You always hear "Look On The Bright Side Of Things!" Well it really is a better way of looking at life.

So, what would you add to the list? What are you Grateful for today?