Thursday, May 31, 2012

On writing (and some gratitude)

Can I just say that the last few weeks have been so very encouraging to me. All thanks to you, dear readers and fellow bloggers.
I have greatly appreciated your time and comments on our little blog. This exercise of mine in writing about our everyday life.

It has been so very personal to me. And just like so many other bloggers, writing is a great passion of mine. And I don't think I am stretching too far when I say: there are few things as wonderful to a writer as someone taking the time to read what has been written.

I have come across a lot of articles and blog posts lately about what it means to be a writer. What does it mean to be "a blogger?" And of course, like a community of writers would have it, there is a varying in opinions.
Everything from the content of the blog, the quality of the pictures, to the outline and design is discussed and considered. Some comments are critical. Some opinions are shared. Discourse.

I just can't help but recognize the need (in me) to be quite transparent when I say that it is so easy to lose sight of what we are here to do. What am I here to do as a part in this community of writers? What am I here to share?
Because it's so easy to get caught up in design, and numbers of people reading, and how to spread the word that "hey! I exist over here!"

You know what I mean? 

At the end of the day we are all here to share something that is very personal about our lives. Our family. Our adventures. Our dreams. Our fears. Our failures. Our joys. Our story. 

It's about sharing our story. So that maybe someone else might find the courage to share theirs. Or someone might connect and begin to relate to a situation. Or maybe it brings a smile...some joy to the day.

Writing it down places our story out there. 

So, thank you for the last few weeks friends.

Thank you for reading our story and sharing in it and sharing yours in return.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just another day in Michigan Pt. 2

I promise this is the last blast of pictures from this weekend. But, when you're having fun sometimes you get a little camera happy......right? Maybe that's just me.

We explored a trail when we were at the beach in Empire appropriately called: "Empire Bluffs Trail." Original, I know. I can't be too hard on "them" for the name though....because the end result was pretty spectacular.
The thing that I love about Michigan is that there have been many times when we (the husband and the family plus myself) have been walking through what seems like just a trail in the woods and then it suddenly opens up to something unexpected. A Michigan practical joke. See pictures below for proof of this theory.

We also spent a good part of our day in what has to be our favorite city: Traverse City. Their downtown is full of quaint shops and interesting buildings. One could spend a whole day down there just perusing through shops. Perusing and eating burgers. Over at J&S Hamburg that is. Good prices. Good burgers. Good times.

Lastly, I'm really not sure what any vacation would be without ice cream. That's just common sense. So many roads lead to ice cream. Naturally, our road led there too. Literally. Come to Michigan. Go to Moomers. One, the name is enough to make anyone smile. Two, this was the best ice cream I have ever had in the best waffle cone known to man (or at least known to me).
It was the perfect way to end a perfect day.
Now, here is a whole lot of pictures to hopefully confirm everything I just wrote....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just another day in Michigan Pt. 1

This weekend was just what we needed. Sometimes you just need to relax and enjoy what's going on around you, right? Well, we decided that there is no better place (in our minds) to do this than some of our favorite places in northern Michigan. So, we packed up the vehicle with the essentials: snacks, spf, Erick's brother (Kory), and headed north. We also caught up with our friend Caleb who was already enjoying all the amenities that northern Michigan has to offer.

 Part of our day was spent in a tiny town that sits right on Lake Michigan called "Empire". There we got to enjoy the beautiful lake shore and enjoy some of the views of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Brace yourself, here comes some state pride: the Sleeping Bear Dunes was voted the "Most Beautiful Place in America" by the viewers of Good Morning America. And I have to agree. Partiality and all.

Lake Michigan is still pretty cold, but it was extremely refreshing to walk along the shoreline and experience the breeze that comes off of such a large lake. And the presence of my husband and friends makes all this gorgeous scenery even more wonderful. This might just be the sun talking, but there are few things that I enjoy as much as spending time with the people I love and enjoying it in God's creation. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey you!

Hope you are having a very Happy Memorial day! And a happy Monday at that. We are hanging out in northern Michigan today: enjoying the sunshine and the lovely landscape.
Welcome summer!

Friday, May 25, 2012

And we're off!

Are you as excited as I am to have a long weekend??!! Alright, so I'm actually excited that the husband has a long weekend, which in turn qualifies me under "long weekend" status. Right?

We are off to a slight bumpy start as we both got burned by the sun (not kind sun, not kind) in the exact same place ( back shoulders and arms) but on completely separate days doing completely different outdoor activities. Yes, we are rocking the lobster look over here people. But, there is strength in numbers. I aloe his back. He puts aloe on mine.

Minus that issue, we are looking forward to welcoming summer this weekend by attending a wedding, spending time with family, and hopefully traveling to northern Michigan to one of my favorite places (on this planet).
We are wishing you a great weekend as well full of lots of sunshine and summer fun (don't forget the spf!). 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Marriage and ice cream

Last Friday Erick and I decided to stop at one of our favorite local ice cream shops. With the warmer weather hitting Michigan everyone has been getting into that summer mode. Shorts and all. There is a really long trail that backs up to this little joint (which we normally ride bikes on) that we decided to take a little walk on. It's obvious at this point that trails can be used to justify ice cream consumption. 

We had a really good time, just the two of us. Discussing life. Discussing the last few months and the journey our life together has taken. Even though we are married, I find we have to take time for each other. We have to make time where it can just be the two of us, away from distractions, so we can communicate.

It's just so important.

I honestly can not believe that we will be celebrating 6 years of marriage this August. Time flies. It really really does. Marriage is such a precious gift. A precious commitment. I am so grateful for my husband and the way he loves me. He is still my best friend. The one man that I love. The one man that I want to eat ice cream with.

Time simply flies when you are having fun. 

(P.S. I really want to push the husband's bangs to the side in this picture. That's commitment right there.) 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What you plant will grow

I was "up north" again yesterday at my parent's house. My mom plants a lot of flowers every year and I wanted to help her get the job accomplished. So, my mom and I started our day very early and full of coffee. That's the only way things get accomplished with me. 

I find planting flowers to be extremely therapeutic. My back finds planting flowers to be extremely painful. But, I tend to ignore the latter and focus on what I'm doing:
 Digging the hole. Placing the flower in gently. Packing the dirt around and back into the hole. Patting the dirt, thus firmly securing the flower. Dousing the flower in water. Staring at the flower....willing it to live and grow.

My process works something like that. 

 In the midst of planting, my periwinkle garden gloves donned, I realized something. A very simple something. Planting flowers is a pretty basic formula. You plant it, and with the right conditions, it grows. Your simply responsible for getting it into the soil. 

I can't help but think of the correlation between that and us as human beings (just how my mind works here people). As in, the words and things we speak into the people around us have the same potential of a new plant.
 In some form, in some way, when we speak into people's lives it grows. Given the right conditions, I'm sure some things grow faster than others. But, it caused me to wonder how many times we speak careless words? Or say something that might grow insecurity or hurt into someone? How many times have I done that?

 I think we have all been there ourselves: someones speaks words to us that are negative and we can feel the accusation take root in our hearts. It begins to grow. And sometimes it shows itself in the form of sadness or insecurity or worry or the big one: bitterness.

These are emotions that can grow so quickly and begin to cut off the encouragement that others may be planting in our lives. I want to be a person that speaks love and words of affirmation into the people around me. I want to see it grow in their lives. And I definitely do not want to be someone that allows bitterness or negativity to be planted into my life. That's a large difference between flowers and us: we have the choice to choose what can grow in us. We are in control of our response.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Linkin' Up on a Tuesday!

Good morning everyone! It is definitely Tuesday. 
And I am super excited (it's true) to be over at His Little Lady today where the lovely TJ calls home. 
It is definitely a party over there. So, if your Tuesday allows, head on over and say hello!

With that, I leave you with a picture of kitty being economical. 
Why use one chair when you can use two?
 Lesson of the day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some things I learned over the weekend....

90 degree weather in Michigan brings everyone out of their home. Your mom. Your dad. The uncle you never see. Everyone.

Ice cream dates with the hubby are always full of good conversation. And good ice cream. Mint chocolate chip is the bomb.

We are consuming a lot of tacos over here people. And I made guacamole for the first time. It rocked with those multi-grain chips (the start of a beautiful friendship).

Sour patch kids are still one of my favorite candies. But, my tongue is raw from consuming way too many (does this happen to anyone else?)

I wore shorts this weekend and realized how very white my legs are at this point.

Grilled hot dogs. Hot dogs on the grill. Enough said.

Spending time at the beach with your friends is pretty much like welcoming summer with open arms. Or at least pretty close.

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