Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strawberry Fields

"....Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to (too.)

Strawberry fields...."

While my mom and I did visit John Lenon's memorial site in Central Park while in New York (not on purpose -- just a part of the tour we were on)....

....and our pedi-cab driver showed us the building outside of which Lenon was shot and killed (since I like history that part was interesting)....

....THIS post is NOT about those strawberry fields.

It is about THESE strawberry fields!

In the spirit of not forgetting the little things, the special moments, the gifts that God has given to us, here is a little photo journey of my day at the "strawberry fields."

Boxes start out empty, ready to be filled

Fingers move quickly, not wanting to be stilled

Taste buds water with the desire for these juicy treats

Overflowing to the brim, see the delights that we get to eat!

Fingers show the signs of our dear labors of love

And God give us extra delights with His own special gift from above.

Loved spending the day with my family, doing something that

we have never done before....


as we went down to the "strawberry fields."

**Special thanks to Oakley Farms for letting us pick in their fields! SO YUMMY!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Minute Friday: I Don't Want to Forget

I'm up late {as usual} so I decided to check for Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday prompt/post. I usually see it on Thursday night/Friday wee a.m., but I always let it marinate until the next day....usually later into Friday afternoon and evening, and then I write on whatever topic she has shot out to us for the week.

But tonight....I am just going to go for it....tired brain and body and all. Let's see what 5 minutes right now will bring. The ironic thing in my decision is the topic....

On Forgetting...{smile...NOT forgetting isn't as easy when you are tired, right? Oh well! Here goes!!!}


Remembering has always been important to me.

As a child, I wanted to count the days until I would see my extended family again. I didn't want to forget how much time had lapsed or how much time was left to wait. I would keep track of when I wrote which friend and family member on a little chart I developed as well as when they would write me back. I didn't want to forget when I wrote them or who I wrote.

I loved the database program that I worked with the past 8 years at both churches that I worked at because I could keep track of my conversations with members & disciples so that when I talked to them again, especially those I didn't know as well or whose faces I had never seen, I could remember and ask, "How did your knee surgery go?" or "Your little boy must be about 5 months old now." I wanted to remember.

Now, I take pictures....almost obsessively....I want to remember. I want to remember my grandmother's laugh, my mother's hands, my husband's eyes. I want to remember the day at the beach, the way she looked on her wedding day, the moment just before we all burst into laughter.

I love the details. I love the knowing each other. I love living life TOGETHER.

I don't want to forget.


Won't you join me and link up your 5 minutes??

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I'm Watching YOU!

This "LOOK" cracks me up!!
{My 2nd cousin (left) and my boss's/friend's daughter (right)}

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From Good to Graced

Katie at Imperfect People in love with a Perfect God asked me MONTHS ago if I would like to share my testimony on her blog. I was very excited and I said, "Yes!" immediately, but then I felt stumped about "what to share....exactly." So, 3 months later, I finally felt like I had "the words" so here they are....

I am
the good girl.

I got that expression from Emily @ Chatting at the Sky, but the meaning behind it, I learned that on my own, because you see, I REALLY have always been "the good girl."

Let me explain...

I have always wanted to do the right thing.
I have always wanted to be pleasing.
I have always wanted to have approval from those I love.
I have always wanted my life to be successful.

So, I was the good girl.

I did what was asked of me...for the most part...probably all the way through college, and I didn't JUST do it to please others. I truly felt GOOD about ME when I was....well....GOOD!

However, you know what happens when you try so hard to be good and right and perfect {oh that's almost a dirty word for me -- PERFECTION!!}?? The result is someone who is on a never-ending cycle of proving one's self.

Each achievement has to out-do the last.
Each kind deed has to hold more meaning.
Each event has to outshine the previous one.

Won't you hop over and join me for the rest of the story at Imperfect People?

I am also linking up with Faith Barista in the coffee shop serving up my brew on perfectionism...

FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG well as Imperfect Prose on Thursdays {special thanks to Shaunie at Up the Sunbeam for sharing her post there that turned me on to this community linky}.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bachelorette, Masters, & Firsts {Multitude Monday #231-245}

For the 2nd week in a row, life has been a whirlwind, but in a good way.

My parents flew in from Haiti for a week...

My girlfriends and I partied celebrating another bride-to-be pal...

We picked strawberries as a family for the FIRST TIME. Can you believe it? Yeah, no strawberry fields in Haiti!....

My sister, after MUCH hard work, achieved & received her Masters degree...

My 22-year-old cousin's little girl's 1st birthday....and 1st taste of cake!

I think she liked it! ;)

Adding some more of my gifts this week....

Gratitude - a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts or favours;
the state of feeling grateful


~Hugging my dad with my sister at the same time {had been 5 months since we had seen him}
~Laughing with girlfriends whom I have known for many years
~Talking married stuff with memories of when we were ALL single together
~Laughing with my mom over Diet Pepsi exploding in the freezer
~Beautiful strawberry fields
~The taste of fresh strawberries
~Watching the sun set over the fields
~Spending time with family doing simple things
~Loving on my goddaughter all day, taking her places with me
~Celebrating my sister's hard work
~Hanging out with old friends in town for the graduation
~Sharing yummy new desserts with my sis & cuz
~Having fun at a 1-year-old birthday
~Watching her taste cake for the first time
~Receiving prayer and encouragement from a sister in the faith

I have joined The Gratitude Community -- a place to be inspired by others and what God is doing in their lives, a chance to share my own journey of gratitude, and an opportunity to REMEMBER to be grateful in ALL things. So on Mondays, I will add to my list of 1000 gifts of all the graces God has provided in my life. Would you consider joining me? Even if you don't blog, you can join the gratitude community by starting a gratitude journal, mentionning your gifts on Facebook, or sending e-mails to your friends. Let's work together to help in creating a more thankful, joyous world!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Minute Friday: When Seasons Change

I was so surprised when I pulled up The Gypsy Mama's blog today to check out the Five Minute Friday prompt, and I saw that the topic that I had suggested late last night in Lisa-Jo's Twitter shout out was used as this week's topic.

Yay! How cool!

Since I spent the day with my family watching my sister receive her Master's degree and babysitting my goddaughter, I only logged on a few minutes ago, and I TRULY only have 5 minutes since we are continuing the festivities tonight.

So here are my five minutes.....

When Seasons Change


It's funny how the seasons changing on the outside seem to speak so much to the inside...

Of WHO you are
To the core of your being.

Or is that just me?

Maybe seasons changing means more to me now that I am in my thirties or more to me after a Year of Winter, or more to me as I see my parents & grandparents age.

What I do know is that as the seasons change, I find myself savoring the moments more and more and more.


Just savoring the MOMENTS of life together means looking for the beauty, the light, the life, the heart, the joy in every single situation.

I don't get it right EVERY time....but I am learning....

when the seasons do I!


Don't know what 5 minute Friday is? Check it out:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link up with Lisa-Jo @ The Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in.
3. Go buck wild with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

****Won't you join in with me? Click below!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To Quit or Not to Quit - That is the Question

After the same woman skied past me on the slopes THREE TIMES, as I lay sprawled on the hill after falling MORE times than I can count, each time inches from the previous fall, I made my decision then and there. I took off my skis put them under my right arm, poles under my left arm and walked down the hill, 3 hours after I started.

I quit.

And no amount of convincing from any of the chaperones or my friends could convince me otherwise. I spent the rest of the day in the lodge, drinking cocoa and nursing my wounded pride & disappointed soul.

Two years later, at the age of 14, I tried again, with "slightly" better agility, but the whole experience of skiing at that point was just one that NEVER ranked high on my list of fun activities. So for years, whenever I found myself at the slopes with friends, I would choose tubing over skiing or boarding ANY day.

Then I met my husband -- a snow-boarding, roller-blading, surfer-wanabe, X-games-lover guy -- and I found myself in Denver, Colorado, on Thanksgiving weekend, a 2-month-newlywed, freaking out because I was "late" and planning to go skiing the next day to be a part of something that my love....LOVED.

So I did what any self-respecting girl would do.

I cried. And I cried. And I cried.

Then I fell asleep, got up the next morning, nervously got ready, and got to the slopes.

And I cried some more.

Now I have to tell you, I HATE crying in front of people. I HATE looking weak in front of people. I HATE failing in front of people, but my fear of skiing, of falling, of making other people fall, of making a fool of myself on the slopes was so great that it outweighed all of those other emotions.

Finally, though, I couldn't take the scrutiny and/or the "I-feel-sorry-for-you looks" so I told everyone to please go on, and I would get myself together....EVENTUALLY!!

I started down some greens, or "bunny" slopes, and of course, fell repeatedly, so I persisted, and kept falling. The air is MUCH thinner in Colorado than in humid Haiti or Maryland, so I found myself, YET AGAIN, sitting in the snow preparing to just give up, when a woman slows to a stop next to me. I think to myself, "Oh, how nice that she is stopping to help me and see if I am okay." That is when she says, "I just want to let you know that you need to watch out. You are in the snowboarding lane."

Okay. Great. Thanks.

So, what could I do....? I got up and tried again.

It felt like an eternity getting down that slope, but something happened to me on the way down.

I started gaining confidence.
I stayed up longer each time between falls.
I think, dare I say it, that I even may have started having a little fun.
{I know....I know...radical, right?}

I never got very good that day but I improved little by little, slope by slope, fall by fall.

The next year, Arno and I went skiing again, and I have to tell you....I was PASSING him on the slopes. {In his defense, on skis, one can be a bit faster than on a board.}

But I learned a lot from those experiences in my life.

After quitting at 12 years old, it changed me. I remember trying a little bit each year to be braver and stronger in the face of things that were hard. In college that meant trying out for every club, meeting, activity, leadership position, etc, that I wanted to be involved in.

In my 20's, overcoming my fear of skiing meant conquering that moment where life tried to define me as a quitter.

In the past couple of years, I have had to make some decisions and choices that have made me feel like that 12 year old girl again, and I have felt a plethora of emotions facing that fear in the face again. In some situations I have fought valiantly & won, and in others, I have fought a felt the sting of loss. Some moments I have face bravely, and others I have "tried" to bow out gracefully.

What I am thankful for is an amazing Heavenly Father who does not define me by my successes and/or failures like I do to myself.

I am NOT a quitter.
I am NOT a failure.
I am NOT washed up.
I am NOT finished.

I fact....HIS, unequivocablly and irrevocabaly.

We fall down.
We get up.
And the saints are just the sinners who fall down and get up.


Monday, May 16, 2011

My Week in Review {Multitude Monday #211-230}

Supported with my "little" sister as she did her final assignment, a gallery walk, towards achieving her Master's degree in Counseling.

Celebrated with Nikki, one of our former youth group members, as she received her associate's degree.

Bachelorette-partied-it-up with da girlz for "my girl", Maribeth's impending nuptuals, but I forgot to take pics so here are some pics that we snapped last week when we were wedding shopping. Oh yes! The Royal Wedding was definitely on our minds!

Played ceremony coordinator with my uncle, Pastor Mike at the rehearsal

Cried with heartfelt joy at the blessing of God and my own personal sadness as Maribeth became Mrs. Adam Singleton.

It was definitely an emotional week -- both joyful and tearful -- and this upcoming week promises to continue on with another bachelorette party, my parent's flying in from Haiti for a week, my sister's graduation, and my cousin's little one's 1st birthday with the family. But I will try to through a post in here about something OTHER than current events.

But for today {and since I haven't counted my gifts in awhile} here are a few things that I am thankful for this week.

Gratitude - a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts or favours;
the state of feeling grateful

~Meeting international students at my sister's gallery walk
~Getting ice cream with my sis to celebrate
~Spilling my "Firehouse 31" {cinnamon-flavored} ice cream all over her...accidentally of course
~Sharing bunches of laughs, stories, heartaches, joys, etc.
~Seeing a girl I have know since she was 14 and pre-Jesus, walk across the graduation stage as an accomplished, engaged, full-of-love-for-Jesus young woman
~Sharing memories with her and her closest friends and family
~Staying out late with some of "my" girls -- sad and exciting how they are growing up
~Playing games with girlfriends
~Laughing about all kinds of "new" married stuff
~Receiving forgiveness when I messed up
~See the details of a planned-for-day come together
~Giving an act of love through planning & designing a project for the bride-to-be
~Anticipation of the blessed event
~Lovely bouquets - each different from the other
~Little flower girl
~Parents' tears on their child's wedding day
~A bride's tears as she turned the corner of the aisle and realized, "This is it. That is him."
~Laughter & tears through those precious vows
~Feeling productive and creative in my work projects today
~Anticipating the upcoming week and the future plans

I have joined The Gratitude Community -- a place to be inspired by others and what God is doing in their lives, a chance to share my own journey of gratitude, and an opportunity to REMEMBER to be grateful in ALL things. So on Mondays, I will add to my list of 1000 gifts of all the graces God has provided in my life. Would you consider joining me? Even if you don't blog, you can join the gratitude community by starting a gratitude journal, mentionning your gifts on Facebook, or sending e-mails to your friends. Let's work together to help in creating a more thankful, joyous world!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Breathing Deeply....

I have been pretty silent here this past week as my life has been filled with parties and celebrations and festivities, which are ONLY just beginning as a wedding, another graduation, and a 1st birthday all approach in this week beginning today. So, today, not only did 5 minutes seem PERFECT to me, but well, the topic was EXACTLY what I need to write about.

So here goes.....



I take a deep breath today, this week, this month filled with emotions and chaos and bliss.

I take a deep breath as I watch my sister finalize her last assignment -- the gallery walk -- before she receives her master's degree next week. She has come so far. Wasn't this the little girl who HATED school? Look at her now!

I take a deep breath as my "spiritual niece" walks across the stage to receive her diploma for finishing her associate's degree. Wasn't it just yesterday that she finished high school, and I sat in these same chairs cheering her on? Deep breath. WoW! She has come so far.

I take a deep breath as one of my beautiful "Timothy" girls preparing to say, "I Do" tomorrow. Can this really be real? I remember teaching her how to look up Scriptures in the Bible and whether to wear pads or tampons, and how to have a little more of the character of Jesus each day, even through my mistakes. She has come so far.

Deep Breath.

Breathing deeply of these moments that are riddled with emotions threatening to break through my carefully constructed walls of decorum.

Deep Breath....and cry!

Just breathing today....


Won't you please join me and share your 5 minutes today??

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