One Raindrop

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Inside one raindrop the world changes.

Beginning as droplets on chipped windowsills

bringing their forgiveness, happiness, or sadness.

Not because the translucent angel tears

seep emotions out with the rain,

but because it is the rain.

Sunny days are beautiful, but the rain…

the rain reveals true feelings

while rainbows are proof of promise.

Such a beautiful thing in this world is

raindrops on soft and fragrant flower petals

the kind that only bloom for a week or two all year.

It’s a dream.

A dream that replays like a favorite black and white movie.

Maybe it’s a memory? And finally waking up is inevitable

while the sun of a new day beams down its glory.

It’s that one little raindrop filled with life…

that just disappears.

It evaporates into the air

or soaks its way into the stem of that flower.

Here it will forever live on and come back in memory.

Only on another rainy day

will I see that one raindrop,

and be chasing the lilac dream.

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Happiness Blooms From Within

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Last night, before the sun went down, I watched as six robins flew freely about, singing and flocking their feathers in stray water puddles. I always love to experience the sight of robins after winter. There’s something magical about a change of the season. Spring is nearly here, and soon a mamma robin will be nesting right under my balcony from the same nest left year after year.

Today is my day off, and as I wait to see those robins again, I sip my coffee slower, not gulping it down to the last drop and jumping for the second cup. It wasn’t too long ago that I had stopped drinking coffee all together (a whole twelve days). Now I limit myself two to four ounces daily. It’s just enough to satisfy my craving, but not so much as to cause acid reflux or anxiety. It kinda sucks to get older and have to deal with acid reflux. After the new year something clicked in me and I decided to start making changes. A ton of changes. Call it my new years resolutions times two!

For awhile now I’ve been a mostly all organic grocery consumer, and very particular about what goes in my household as far as toxins go. But I guess this new year has challenged me more so. It became so that I was changing everything. I mean EVERYTHING! I got rid of our microwave and bought a new toaster oven. It’s actually amazing! I used my 40% off at Kohls to purchase a KitchenAid brand. I got rid of the last of our aluminum pots and pans and bought a really nice pair of All-Clad D5 Set of 2 French Skillets 9 Inch & 11 Inch which I bought at Williams-Sonoma, but amazon has them on sale often as well. Now my kitchen is stocked with Le Creuset and All-Clad cookware, and I completely love it! If you want to know more about this cookware checkout “A lesson on cookware” to see why I love these brands.

My changes didn’t stop there…

After my mom went through breast cancer treatment, I learned about wire-free bras so of course I changed out all my bras, too. Even all my candles are now only beeswax, though I’m craving to get some really good smelling soy candles. I found myself doing so much research about what’s healthy and what’s not. It was almost overwhelming. Henry said it’s just a phase I was going through after seeing my mom go through what she had and I believe that. It was hard, and maybe this is a way I cope. But, of course, my changes didn’t stop there…

I decided to make a dreadful doctor appointment to remove a mole on my back. No one wants to do this, ever. But it was here when I realized something. Right here, when I was cooking my oatmeal on the stove instead of the microwave, having Henry change my bandage on my back from where the mole was, and trying hard to overcome the sluggish feeling I was having after quitting coffee. I had realized that it was too much and I was frustrated because I couldn’t recognize my lifestyle anymore. I was trying hard, yet again, to be and do everything perfect. And that is a scary thing.

A huge part of me is glad that I made those changes though, because I learned a lot. I learned that I can overcome it. I learned that I can set limits on my coffee consumption. I learned that it’s okay to not be perfect. I learned that it’s a good thing to do things we are afraid to do, like make those doctor appointments and just go through with it. Because now I can be excited for our vacation to Florida and Door County to wear any bikini I want and not have to hide the mole on my back. Now, I can cook real food and reheat it without a microwave.

My decision to embrace these changes led me to a little spring inspiration. I took a shopping trip to the Jo-Ann store and picked up a copy of The Magnolia Journal (the only magazine where I’ve actually read all of it). I went with Henry’s mom and found a magnificent spider plant. My favorite houseplant for many reasons-one being a great air purifier. But while I was shopping I found a beautiful quote, “Happiness blooms from within.” Yes, it sure does. Happiness can be found by changing things in life, sure. But, don’t change too much, because we are who we are. Try changing things that would make your life better. And just remember, not all change is bad. Sometimes that change can bring new happiness into your life.

 

 

Baby Barnyard Themed Baby Shower

img_8672My sister called me one day asking me how I felt about being a Godmother. At first I was confused, but then it hit me. You’re Pregnant?! I was over the moon when she told me. Before she hung up, eager to tell our Dad, I asked her who was going to do the baby shower because I was so willing. When she told me she wanted me to plan it, along with the daddy-to-be’s mom, I became even more excited and honored. I’m going to be an Auntie and a Godmother!

In no time I was buying a box of Pampers Swaddlers Newborn Diapers Size 1, 148 Count (mom-to-be’s choice) and burp cloths and washcloths to make a diaper cake that so many are raving about on Pinterest. I bought small bottles of Johnson+Johnson bath time essentials, also mom’s choice, although now she likes Burts Bees Baby Bee Getting Started Gift Set, 5 Products in Giftable Box (Packaging May Vary). If you are making a diaper cake, it’s important to know the brand the mother wants, otherwise she may not use it.

There were so many resources online but none were as simple as Jessica Bailey’s “How to Make a Diaper Cake” tutorial. I followed along and had a nice looking (but bare) diaper cake. So here’s what I did to make this cute diaper cake.20150611_170012

I decided to go on my own journey from there by adding little things to make it extra special. I added a book that goes along with her theme, Tabbed Board Books: My First Farm: Let’s Get Working! (Tab Board Books). I also added little baby finger puppets; a cow, pig, and chick from Carter’s. What I used to hold them up are actually spoons from her registry Munchkin White Hot Infant Safety Spoons, 4 Count. If you’re planning a baby shower and making a diaper cake, add little things from her registry. It’s a two-in-one kind of deal. It then serves as a decoration and as a gift.

One thing I loved to do for my sister was help pick out an outfit for her to wear the day of her shower. This way she had nothing to worry about. Eventually I ran into a problem. Yes, I had a million gifts from her registry and needed either a huge gift bag or a large bucket to present to her. Instead of those options I decided to just get the stroller from her registry while my mom got the matching car seat.

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If you’re wondering how I was able to get so many gifts from her registry, the answer is simple! Amazing deals at Kohls! When I was seventeen, I applied for a Kohls charge card after seeing all the benefits of being a cardholder. I was denied because, of course, I was seventeen with no credit history. I was so jealous because my boyfriend Henry had a Discover card. So I didn’t give up. At eighteen I applied for the same card as him, the Discover credit card, and learned quickly that paying it off in full every month benefited my credit score. Not long after, I re-applied for a Kohls Charge Card, and I literally danced at the register when I was approved! I then was receiving 30-40% off items I bought anyways in cash that were already reduced up to 80%. I was saving a lot of money where I was spending it anyways. Here’s the BIG SECRET of all. Kohls MVC cardholders get mystery offers online every once in awhile. Wait for it….!!!! Yes, I received 40% off online while also being able to add an additional 20% off baby and toddler items. So yes I received 60% off baby items that were already reduced. That’s my savvy shopping advice for the day. Now, back to the baby shower…

I struggled putting the stroller gift together and was so relieved when it was done. Then, I had fun filling it with light gifts, you don’t want anything real heavy in a stroller. Luckily, the majority of the gifts I purchased were bedding and clothes. Now all that’s left is one giant sized bow to place on top of the stroller. Here’s some great barnyard gifts for baby…

Trend Lab 5 Piece Bib Set, Baby Barnyard
Trend Lab Musical Mobile, Baby Barnyard
Trend Lab Set of 5 Wash Cloth, Baby Barnyard
Trend Lab Changing Pad Cover, Baby Barnyard


The daddy-to-be’s mom had done most of the yummy food and balloons, while I added in chips and salsa placed in a toy dump-truck, serving two purposes, decor and a gift for baby. I got country themed table cloths and hanging decorations from Party city during a sale event. My mom and I picked out the cake. Many of my sister’s friends and family also brought a dessert as well. We decided to have it at a newly renovated bowling alley where the mom and dad first met. It was a perfect place. I ordered pitchers of soda from the bar which made it easy on the initial car load.

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Food and dessert on the left. The drinks on the right. A sign in book in the very center of the room when guests arrive. All the games and gifts in the back. I kept everything simple, wanting most of the decor and work to be towards items the mom can take home after the shower. 

For baby shower games, I decided on a few just for fun. The late night diapers activity is where friends write advice on a diaper and the parents get to read them when they change the diaper. I like this because the storage caddy holding the diapers was on her registry, so again it’s a game but also a gift. Here’s where you can find that cute storage caddy Trend Lab Baby Barnyard Storage CaddyA fun game to play is the baby food game. I like this game as well because the mom can also use the food later for baby (if you guess the flavor without opening). And lastly, the string around baby belly is fun because it gets the guests to come up and chat with mom, and of course feel the baby belly. Now, I know a lot of moms don’t want to be touched by a million googling-eyed guests at their shower, so be sure to ask the mom-to-be what she wants to do.

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Baby barnyard tattoos are a fun themed item that moms can take home for their kids, and also for any children at the event as well.img_8617

Make sure to have Thank You bags near the exit when your guests leave. I added little themed candies inside, aka The Cow Pie from where we live. img_8619

Take lots of pictures so you can always remember the event. After all, it is a once in a lifetime event.img_8674

The latest artwork by my little nephew…

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Forgiveness and Letting Go…

Forgiveness. The final fork-in-the-road decision where one must choose between love and hate. It’s when we can’t go forward, backwards, or up, until we choose left or right. Do we choose to forgive and let go of the hurt and sadness that’s consumed us? Or, do we choose to hold onto it, and never forgive? It is ultimately one of the biggest decisions we have in life, and if we choose wrong, it could haunt in the shadows and burden daily.

I was always one that held onto things for a while, until eventually the emotion came out with tears and I forgave. My mom thought it weird that I’d be crying over something from months before, rather than crying that very day the hurt first hit my chest. Call it strength, or call it weakness. Either way, I was able to let go of it, to truly deal with a life situation.

I truly feel my life is blessed, and that God has only given me challenges He knows I can take. That being said, it wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies growing up. With my parents at a constant disagreement, or rather a lack of understanding for each other, inevitably it led to their divorce. If I could say one thing about divorce if in any way to help educate others, it is this- divorce scars more than just the two that sign the parting papers. It hurts the children involved as well- they are losing half of their lives too.

It’s a very weird reality to live in. All of a sudden, Christmas is no longer the same white Christmas tree dressed in garland of red. Instead, it’s driving here and driving there. It’s a constant back and forth and I’ve felt like a yo-yo being played at the hand of divorce. I have moved on from my parents’ divorce. Both my parents have as well and are in new marriages. But, divorce really doesn’t go away, ever. I feel it’s a long battle on that road to forgiveness. No, I don’t want to start a “parent trap,” but I do miss that white Christmas tree.

Forgiveness is letting go so that we can move on with our own lives and not be pushed around by that word lurking in the shadows. For me, my word is divorce. To forgive my parents so that I can move on with my own life, trusting that someday I will have a successful marriage.

I can only hope that everyone else is able to move on faster towards forgiveness, sooner than later and choose love over hate every time. If forgiveness is something you just can’t do, then at least think about it. Come up with all sides of the situation and truly understand it. Work daily on trying to let go. You may not forget whatever the hurt is, but you will find a way to forgive so that you can live on. Find something important to you like for me it is writing, and find a healthy way to exercise forgiveness. Because one day, it will all blow away with the wind, leaving the shadows, and taking the heavy weight with. Forgiveness is freedom. And we have to work on it every day.