Friday, July 22, 2011

A Friday Favorite

Moments of Change


My sweet friend Wendy have me this little devotional
and it has really been such a blessing to me.

It has short devotional entries from many different people including Ravi Zacharias, Randy Alcorn, Chris Tomlin, Joni Eareckson Tada, Dennis & Barbara Rainey, and Ryan Dobson.

It has been just the encouragement I need...
in small digestible pieces.

It isn't even dated... just days of the week.
So I don't feel guilty if I fall a bit behind.

Here's an entry by Rick McKinley that I really loved.

In the Margins

Jesus answered them, "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
I have not come to all the righteous, but the sinners to repentence."
Luke 5:31-32

Our world, our culture, our society--all have margins, just like the page of a book.

Margins are places occupied by people who seldom figure in with what the mainline world esteems. In the margins are where I find people like me--people with brokenness or pain or sin. The margins are places where you want to go and hide and keep to yourself. Yet inside, your soul is screaming for someone to come and love you and know you.

The beautiful thing about Christ is that He does know you, and He knows what it's like to be in the margins. In fact, it's in those margins that Jesus shows up and calls us to Himself to reimagine the beauty of life through the lenses of His love.

Lord, thank you for ministering in the margins.

Is there a book that has been encouraging to you lately?
Do you read a daily devotional?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Fedora, Capris & Beauty vs. Brawn

WIWW #6

pleated poppy

We are finally beginning to get a bit of consistent sun
in my little coastal town.

But I'm still doing lots of layering,
'cause that's just how it goes around here.

To be honest, I've mostly been in PJ's and sweats... not feeling good at all the last 2 weeks.
Chronic illness really stinks!!!!  Thanks for letting me vent!
And I'd appreciate prayers if you think of it!  Thanks!

 Fedora: Forever21; Blouse: Derek Heart via Gottschalks clearance ($6); Shorts: Nine West via Marshalls;
Belt:  Bass Outlet; Flip flops:  13 year old Reefs; Bracelets: Gifts

I was about to give up on this blouse.  
It's a "baby doll" style and it just wasn't very flattering.  
I think it made me feel pregnant, which isn't good when I'm not!
But then I tucked it in... and now I love it!
Good thing, because I have another one just like it, but a different color!
Do you wear fedoras?
I've wanted one since I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in 4th grade!
I also wanted to marry Harrison Ford, but that is a whole other story!

 Cardigan & Capris: Marshalls; Top: Ralph Lauren Outlet sale; Scarf: Gift

I saw a photo of a cute European gal in a similar outfit, 
so I gave it a whirl.
I was feeling awful that day, but at least I looked decent!!
Yellow is always good for a little dose of sunshine!

Jacket: gift/Hurley; Top & Scarf: Marshalls; Jeans: gift/L.E.I. via Walmart;
Shoes: Sperrys; Flowers: c/o Huasna Valley

We took these photos at the evening Centennial Parade.
Why was I was carrying flowers? 
I always carry flowers around like a princess, don't you?
Just kidding... they were a sweet bouquet from a local farm.
I guess because I had the floral beauty, the guys decided to bring on the brawny.
(Either that, or they are trying to "pump... you up.")
I scored my honey's manly-man Pendleton shirt for only $4 at Goodwill.
I love it on him!

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Fine Day

Sleeping in...

Shelling walnuts...

Baking brownies...

Playing fetch...

Afternoon snack...

Sidewalk drawing...




Friday, July 15, 2011

The Faces of Alvin

Just Another Day on the Job
A Friday Funny

Did I ever tell you my brother-in-law does stunts for a living?

I never know what funny character is going to text me from month to month.

Will it be...


A mysterious magician?


 A middle-aged executive?



A dead gang member?  Yikes!


A happy Indian man?

 

Or a female cartoon character?

You just never know what you're gonna get!

But, he always manages to give me a big smile!!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

AG Centennial Parade

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arroyo Grande, California
turned 100 years old!


It was so fun to be a part of the history of this little town.
I'll have to admit I got a bit teary eyed.

Here are some parade highlights...







 








I'm not sure what the roller derby girls had to do with AG's history,
but if I were one of them, my name would definitely be Cosmic Crush.
Not that I've ever given it any thought.
Besides, Lin Diesel is already taken.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Shadows of Mordor



The Valley: Part 7

I don't know if I want to continue with this story.  It just gets so depressing.  Why would people want to read it, I wondered aloud.

Things have to get really bad before they can get good, my husband assured me.  It's like going into Mordor.  It just has to get worse before it gets better.  That's what makes a good story.

So this isn't the happy ending...  not yet. 

Act 2, I thought,  and I mentally traipsed toward the blackened landscape with only a bit of lambas bread in my pocket.  At least I have my "Sam."

I changed my diet.  No sugar, no high glycemic fruit, no processed foods, no refined flour, no dairy, no caffeine.  Not even occasionally.  Goodbye edible happiness. Hello to high quality proteins, whole grains, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables... and a bit of seasoning from the Shire.

I began taking handfuls of supplements to support my adrenals and address my systemic viruses.  And I rested, tried to rest... a lot.

I was doing everything "right," only I was getting progressively worse.

The "sisters" were tethered to me like a schizophrenic Gollum on an Elvish rope.  They would ultimately lead me to my destination, but they would become utterly unbearable along the way.

Each day my symptoms jumped from one jagged landscape to another, through the Dead Marshes, and on to Mount Doom.

Doom... I felt it so heavily.  I thought about death more frequently than I would like to admit.  I wasn't trying to focus on it... I was trying to focus on abundant life... on Jesus.  But it was as if I was locked in the solitary confinement of my body, and my own mind began to betray me.  My tears followed me deep into the night and settled into a pool of nightmares.  I was trapped.  Someone was after me.  I was being left to die.  Wake up... wake up.  Night after night I was drenched in a bath of my own tears and perspiration.  Where was rest?  I was terrified of closing my eyes.  My "Sam" would hold me and pray over me.  Your life is worth living... I won't leave your side.

And then there were the nights when Gollum spoke to his refection in the pool.  The reflection that couldn't stop thinking and couldn't sit still.  These were the bitter nights I couldn't get to sleep at all.  The moment I laid down, the disturbing palpitations in my heart began.  Thump thump.  Thump thump.  Louder, stronger.  Like someone startled me, and my adrenaline spiked and wouldn't return to normal.  I wanted to run, I wanted to climb the walls.  There was an inner trembling and an intense agitation.  Spurts of panic awakened me after I finally found myself in a sound sleep.  My muscles twitched and my limbs felt like pins and needles.  The pressure and pain in my head and ears intensified.  So much pain... like a migraine that went on day after day, night after night.  It was so hard to think... I could only feel intense emotion.  Irrational emotion and physical pain.

Some nights I would endure a fitful sleep, and others were tormented by incessant insomnia.  There was never any legitimate rest.

And then there were the days...

I couldn't  think... nothing would ease the perpetual pain in my head.  It felt as though I was living in a fog.  As hard as I might try, I couldn't concentrate or process my thoughts.

The sisters were always fighting it out, and their fights became terribly severe over time.

So weak, so tired... I couldn't get out of bed for days at a time.  The bedraggled cousin wouldn't stop following me around.  My muscles couldn't bear her weight.

Then I felt wired... and I couldn't turn myself off.

My hair was falling out.

My blood pressure was far too low.

My blood sugar wouldn't stabilize.  I couldn't even digest my carefully selected food properly.

Couldn't handle people, couldn't handle stress, couldn't make decisions... everything was overwhelming.

Fragile... if I were pushed any farther, I was sure I would break into a hundred little pieces.

This couldn't possibly be happening because of my adrenal glands alone.  I had never felt quite like this before... I had never been this physically and emotionally ill.

Something else was wrong.  There just had to be something else.

After several months of suffering, I discovered the base of the mountain was just up ahead.  Finally, I would find answers and begin the ascension.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Fun

Stranded at the Drive-In

We have a sweeeet drive-in in our county!
Summer movies are tradition...

And we go all out, baby!


 The van gets loaded with a queen air mattress and a ton of blankets and pillows.
Patrick makes his amazing popcorn and kettlecorn on the stove.
So many awesome cuddles to be shared.


 We bring friends and play pre-movie games.

We saw Cars 2, but my favorite was the Toy Story short they showed beforehand.
It made me laugh out loud!

Have you been stranded at the Drive-In?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Red, White, and Stripes

WIWW #5

pleated poppy

I love Independence Day!
In honor of the 4th of July I donned my red, white and blue all week.

I went to a fun little small town concert and listened to a patriotic band
and a women's barbershop group.

It was all very Mayberry, and I loved it.


Top: Marshalls; Capris: Old Navy (about a decade ago); Wedges: Clarks; Necklace:  Thrifted

I thrifted this necklace for $2, took it apart, restrung it to be a shorter necklace, as well as the bracelet in my last outfit of this post.
I have since made the necklace even shorter... my friend suggested it should be more of a choker, so it has been restyled yet again.

Tee: Marshalls; Striped Sweater: Ross; Shorts: Old Navy (old!); Belt: F21; Shoes: Clarks

This "sweater" is one of those "drapey" things  
(their official fashion term, I think), and it's always bugged me.
I decided to try it as a wrap... do you think it works this way?
How would you wear it?

Linen Blouse: Old Navy (super old, too); Tie Shorts: Marshalls; Bracelet: Thrifted, restyled;
Flip-flops: Reef (13 yrs & going strong!); Bag: Fossil via Gottschalks final clearance

I felt so Cape Cod in this outfit, so I found myself a great picket fence!
Should have worn my Topsiders!

Here are some dapper gentlemen at the concert.
I just love their American spirit!

Of course, I wouldn't want to cross that first guy, cause I wouldn't want to risk the roundhouse kick to the face from those bad boy pants of his!!


And look at this adorable, matching pair!
I hope Patrick and I end up this cute someday!!

How was your holiday weekend?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Do you Bocce?

We've been having some serious Bocce fun this holiday weekend.

Bocce is not just for Italian grandfathers.



We challenge you with our fantastico Bocce skills!

Are you playing any fun games this weekend?


photos by Tito Alvin

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Favorites



Jason did a drawing of "UP" in his art camp.  I almost cry when I look at it.  I mean the first 10 minutes or so of that movie is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever seen.  A cartoon, mind you!


Here's a little snippet in case you haven't seen it, but get a tissue box, first.  Oh, Carl and Ellie.


Another favorite... we had a birthday party for little J-Bear on Sunday.  It was his first "big" party, and he had so much fun doing gymnastics with his friends.  Six already... he needs to stop growing!




Everything needed to be super easy, because I'm still struggling with my energy level.  The gym staff was so great and did almost everything for us.   I was so thankful!

Jason and I made some "trail mix" or maybe it should be called "gym mix" for the party.  Everybody loved it, and it was so simple... I thought I should share.




Pretzels, Trix cereal, Bunny Crackers (like goldfish), and Cookie Crisp cereal.  So colorful, fun and easy!  Jason loved "cooking" it together in the bowl. 


Next, have you heard of tiffins?  I just discovered them, and I think they are such a cute way to carry your lunch or meal, all separated in levels.   I also like that they are made of long lasting stainless steel, and you don't have to use plastic baggies.  Colorful ittle silicon cupcake liners can separate your food... so fun!









  source

I wasn't sure why these appealed to me so much more than bento boxes.  Then Patrick looked at them and said they are "totally Anne of Green Gables."  I think that's it!  Didn't Anne carry around her lunch around in a little pail?  I love that my husband knew that about me... that these little tiffins would appeal to me on an Anne Shirley level!  He's watched the entire series with me... more than once.  He's a good guy!


Have you seen the short film "Validation"?  No?  I found it over here and really liked it. Check it out... watch the whole thing... there's a message! 



Smiles and encouragement are good things.
You... you're great!


Have a wonderful July 4th weekend, friends!!
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