Monday, July 28, 2014

30:52 {life}

When I was a child, love to me was what the sea is to fish; something you swim in while you are going about the important affairs of life. -P.L. Travers

This quote strikes a minor cord with me.  Love is the sea that children should swim in as they are learning and growing.  Perhaps given my studies, I am too acutely aware that not all children swim in the sea.  Regardless here are photos of children (and I can't forget the dog(s)) who swim in love daily.

Happy little guy...

Nadia isn't ever forgotten in the "love sea" at this household...
To my nephew, this is his garden.  To the adults this is a patch of weeds.  My nephew has put a sign in his garden.  The adults smile and encourage his play.  To not ever mention that they are weeds growing; is love.

Nadia would love nothing more than to be human; or perhaps I am humanizing her.  This is her attempt at climbing the steps to the slide.

Here my nephews bask in love by having their dad take time to read each of them a story they have chosen.

Sometimes the sea of love shows up in not getting reprimanded when you've been told not to put legos in the water.  To my nephew the lego boat belongs in water.

Shaggy is part of the "love sea".

And sometimes love shows up in just having your parents sit and watch you play.

Monday, July 21, 2014

29:52 {love & tomatoes}

Motivational Monday

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand. 
-Mother Teresa 

Love, such a complicated subject.

Recently a good friend came with me to Home Depot.  What I was purchasing there really is a mute point for the story.  What is important to know is I often find myself listening or engaged in conversations with pure strangers.  Here is the jest of the conversation...

CASHIER: Wow!  You must have quite the project going on.
ME: nodding and smiling
CASHIER (Directing his gaze to my friend): Is she your sister?
ME: Nope, but I'll take her as a sister.
CASHIER: Do you have sisters?
ME: Yes, ten of them.
CASHIER: Are you married?
ME: No, but I will be married in August.
CASHIER as he starts his monolog: Will you have children?  It's so important to have children.  You won't ever experience what it's like to truly love someone until you have children.... Childless people don't know what true love is.

[Me thinking to myself- hmmm... I've been single for 36 years and I love God, I love my family, I love my friends, and I love my dog. I think I know what real love is.]

CASHIER continuing... You see these childless people they may have all the money in the world but they don't know what true love is.  They don't know what it's like to go to the store and buy everything for someone else because you love them and want to care for them....

Well he continues in this fashion for a while.  And while, I disagreed, I didn't say anything as there was a line behind me.  So to the cashier as Home Depot:  I knew what it felt like to love someone/something unconditionally before I met my to be husband.  And I know that my friend who is also single and childless, knows what it's like to experience unconditional and true love.  

As you see the two points of the above mentioned quote is first, that there are all types of love just as there are many types of fruit, and secondly, love is always the best way to respond to any life situation.  One type of love not better than the other, and no type of love intends to be more important or to replace another type of love.  

I love my dog.  I may have rescued her from a shelter, but I believe she rescued my heart.

The tomato
Love is a fruit always in season... although sometimes we don't know what love is or looks like until someone blatantly tells us.  Just like I was nearly an adult when I learned that a tomato was actually a fruit and not a vegetable.  

This tomato picture was taken with a very dear friend of mine in mind.  He recently told me he was growing tomatoes and taking care of them.  If he should read this blog entry, he knows who he is and he should know that I greatly respect him and love him as a friend.  I do believe your tomato plants will grow and your efforts of care will be rewarded.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Who Am I?

Last night night I attended a bridal shower.  It was for me.  During part of the shower we played a game called, "Who Am I?"

The game
The shower guests were instructed, "Please write your personal memory of the Bride.  These cards will be read aloud and the bride-to-be will try to guess who wrote the memory!"  Seems easy right?!!  Not so much.  To give you a glimps of who I am here were some of the written memories:

"The only person I know, who can always find a 4-leaf clover"
Side Bar--It's true I guess I have found hundreds of four-leaf clovers in my life.  The most recently one was as I stepped out of my fiance's Jeep last weekend.  It was just right there.

"Driving in the blue boat and having to drive in reverse to Hasscib"
Side bar- I didn't initially recall this, but yes I drove eight miles in reverse because my exhaust system fell and as I drove it was resisting the road.  So to avoid ripping it all out by continuing to drive, I drove in reverse to lessen the damage.

"We used to go on walks in the evening after or before having tea and pulla.  Maybe saunas too?"

"Good times at haps with lots of laughs."

"Tea for two, my faithful friend" - written by a dear friend and fellow Speech Pathologist.

"Lots of memories in Ranua, Finland.  Rachael wasn't shy to use her Finnish and have fun!"

"We were in a rented van waiting to leave Russia, time was getting long and boring.  We got out and played children's games, found a 2 X 4 to sit on and created a scene entertaining the other cars with our antics.  The hours sped away!"

"I slept over at your old house to clean and we used to eat pizza almost every day" - My beautiful niece Hallie p.s. I have to say she was hired to clean for her Auntie- I'm not a slave driver :)

"When you rode with us back from Michigan and we were so busy talking you were speeding and got pulled over.  I think about you every time we pass that spot now."

"Rock climbing at Vertical Endeavors."

"We talked about the trips to a 'country' and the fun she had."

"Singing songs, playing games, and carrying our portable bench at the Russia border."

side note... apparently Russian's liked our singing or we had good voices because we sat there for nearly 5 hours trying to cross back into Finland.

"I remember coming to visit you in the hospital after your jaw surgery and being amazed at how different you looked."

"I was holding a broom upright in the laundry room after haps.  I asked you {Rachael} to come and hold the broom for me.  You did and I then told you there was a mouse under it!"

"On a hot 4th of July morning, Rachael called to ask if I wanted to go skydiving.  I said yes and a few hours later we were jumping out of a perfectly good plane.  Rachael is an adventurous fun person.  It's one of her many good qualities." Thank you, Nicole

"I remember making lots of noodles with you are Roger's summer services.  Lots and Lots of childhood memories!"

"Spending nights at your house growing up when my dad was in the U.P. for services.  Good chats on a road trip with my sisters and you."

"When Rachael brought me to the store in her awesome Jeep and letting me sit in the front seat" - My niece Aaliyah...I guess I missed the memo on how old kids need to be to ride in the front.  Apparently she knew but didn't tell me ;)

"We were roomies for a while.  You graciously agreed to put up with my no-so-cooperative fiance and take our engagement photos."

"Rachael was always a very generous older sister.  Upon coming and visiting Minnesota she would borrow her Jeep, bed, and treat me out plenty of times.  And although I am a bit younger than her she never made me feel like I was so much younger which I truly appreciated!" -<3 you Mia

"Typing a piece of thread around a skin tag in the middle of her back to help remove it... eventually."

I felt truly blessed to have been surrounded by the beautiful women who attended my shower last night.  It is so very hard for me to be the center of attention but you all made it easier for me.

-With love to you all!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday afternoon fun...

I had the opportunity to watch my nephews for half the day.  Through some crafty planning, they painted while I had the opportunity to shoot pictures.  Here are a few...

The arsenal 

The painting begins..

and continues...

is inspected...

and continues...

final touches being placed...

and one last paint swipe.

I was sleeping while the painting happened.

Monday, July 14, 2014

28:52 {idleness}

Motivational Monday

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
-Thomas Jefferson

What a  great quote!  As a procrastinator it is important for me to always have a plan for the day.  There are days spent reading too much, pondering too much, and there are days when super efficient Rachael shows up.  I am not a mother, so I can have these kinds of days without feeling too guilty.  As a mother particularly of one who is as little, like my niece Ella is currently, you almost don't have the luxury of being idle.  Ella is learning to eat.  First comes the meal then comes the bath.

Sophie generally is involved in Ella's meals.  Her feet taste delcious.

This drinking bit is complicated.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Presque Isle

Driving around Presque Isle tonight my sister and I were reminiscing about the amount of deer which previously lived on the island.  I also remember as a student at Northern Michigan University there was one such activity in which there was a deer thinning process.  I don't recall the details of this process but I do remember a human line walked over the island to help move to deer to a common area.  Just as we were exiting by the old zoo area we spotted two deer.  

Apparently he has a scratch

Next is a potty break
I guess this is the result when you get too close to a deer.  

and, this one will just hide behind a branch.  "You can't see me!"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

27:52 {goals}

Motivational Monday 27:52

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
-Henry David Thoreau

growing up with unstated goals
Whether we realize it or not, children have goals.  I don't think it was until I was in high-school that discussion of personal goals was verbalized.  In reflection, it feels a bit like a disservice.  If children are able to verbalize their goals earlier in life, I expect that goal setting would become easier and easier to follow through with.

I know that my nephew is unable at this age to verbalize his goal, but I know, his goal was to hit the ball.  If it subsequently hit me, my response would have been added value to reaching his goal.  It's just the way boys are.