Monday, March 30, 2009

Check her out and get a chance to win!

Today, I want to re-introduce you to one of my absolute favorite stamping bloggers ... Carolina !! She is amazingly talented and thoroughly creative, inspiring me to try new and better stamping things. She has an excellent post on a lip balm purse and in honor of her birthday, she is giving away awesome blog candy!

Check her out here.

If you are a stamper, spend some time looking through her blog posts. I guarantee you will be inspired as well!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grumpy or Grateful?

I woke up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed this morning, or couch as it may be (my small bed was filled with children and pets). Little things continued to irritate me all morning (like, why do I have to request forms from the school be in English when I live in an English speaking country? In France, would the schools send home everything in English for me? Not very PC, but you can see how this morning was getting out of hand!) By the time I got to work and spilled coffee on my shirt (grrrrr), I was pretty much done with and downright angry at the world, shaking my fist in rage! But this is no fun! So I opened my gmail, and there was my daily Christian inspiration. Well, said I to myself (silently, because my co-workers already think I am insane), if ever I needed some Christian inspiration, today was surely the day.

The topic, timely as always, was “Grumbling or Grateful?” with the following scripture:
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name." Psalm 100:4

Me, grumbling? Why, yes I am. It was a very good devotion. It ended with the following sentence: “Go through the alphabet and thank the Lord for something beginning with each letter and choose to be grateful.”

So I started to do this, and by the time I got to the letter I, I felt much better. So I thought I would share with you the 26 things for which I am grateful. If you are feeling grumpy, why not try this exercise too.

A – Air, fresh sweet air.
B – My bed (when I get to sleep in it).
C – Coffee. Thank you, Lord for coffee!
D – Dave, my husband.
E – The Pooh, my sweet daughter.
F – Family, mine, who love and support me.
G – Grace, for without it, I would be a wretch.
H – Hope. I am grateful that I am hopeful.
I – Incessant Inquiries from my daughters, which means they are smart enough to have them.
J – Joy. I am grateful that I can feel joyful. It means that life is good!
K – Kindergarten, where my daughter will have a blast and that makes me happy.
L – Love that I get from my family.
M – Music, which is such a big part of my day, singing and dancing.
N – Noise. It means that my children have the ability to make it and I have the ability to hear it.
O – Oh Oh it’s magic, you knowwwww. Never believe it’s not so!
P – Popcorn. I am grateful for popcorn. My favorite snack.
Q – Dairy Queen, because I do so enjoy a heath bar blizzard every now and again.
R – The Roo, my other sweet daughter.
S – Sun! Sunshine! Need more of it!
T – Tea. Hot for the rainy days, Iced for the sunny days.
U – Umbrellas that are so much fun when you are 5 and 3!
V – Views. Nothing like a scenic view to make you appreciate God’s green earth!
W – Winter. I am grateful that it is over!!
X – I am grateful for the XX’s and OO’s in my life.
Y – Yesterday, for the memories. And that I can remember them.
Z – Zebras. I am grateful that they remind me that God has a sense of humor.

Thank you Lord! Even though I might be grumpy sometimes, I am still very grateful for your blessings!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day !

A Blessing ...

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

And a Curse!

May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

And a history lesson:
St. Patrick and the Snakes

All I can say is "Hosanna!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"What on earth have you done to poor Mr. Darcy?"

My girlfriend sent me this link today: Are Chick Flicks Wrecking Your Relationship?

Why did she send it? You might ask. Because I LOVE a good chick flick. I will watch a good chick flick repeatedly. I will email her pictures of hunky, dreamy leading men (current favorite ~ Gerard Butler ~ and coincidentally, page two of said article mentions him specifically). Truly, I love the fantasy romance of chick flicks. Because I love a happy ending, dang it! I love that Harry and Sally’s wedding cake had the sauce on the side!! I find that today’s world is so depressing sometimes with all the reality shows, shock TV shows, the news. UGH. Enough already. Give me a good fantasy where la la la everyone ends up happy (horrors ~ I know)!

That being said, the title of the article hit home with me! What if chick flicks were ruining my relationship? I’ve been married for nine years. I believe we are happy. We have had our moments but I have not considered with any seriousness leaving or throwing him out. I anticipate growing old with him because I am pretty confident that he loves me like no other (sigh), but what if? What if I should stop watching (and re-watching) my beloved chick flicks?

While normally, I do not read Cosmo or take stock in its articles, I have read and re-read this one. I have come to the conclusion that it is completely ridiculous. In an effort to defend the chick flicks I love so well, hereforto are my arguments!

Their Point One:
You're Constantly Thinking, "That Would Never Happen to Us!"

I can guarantee you I have never thought this when watching a chick flick. Not once. Not one little smidgen. I have, however, chanted it repeatedly while witnessing failing marriages or horrible relationships of friends and acquaintances. Arrogant? Maybe. Over-confident? Probably. Hopeful? Most definitely. So while this may be a valid relationship wrecker, I don’t think it is a direct consequence of chick flicks. (WAIT! I have said this! While watching Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” I do not forsee us dancing through the woods while singing “I know you, I’ve walked with you once upon a dream. It is on my bucket list though, so I will not say never.)

Their Point Two:
You're Keeping Score (Me: 3, Him: 0)

This is such old news. Anyone read “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus?” This is a classic difference between men and women. Man goes to work – score to man, 100; score to woman, 1. Women have been thinking this long before moving pictures. Like back in the days of Noah! Mrs. Noah was complaining that Noah never did anything around the ark. His rebuttal? He built the ark, so he shouldn’t have to do anything else. Typical. What does this have to do with a chick flick? Maybe I am watching the wrong chick flicks. Again, if I keep score, it’s because I am doing waaaay more than him and he needs to catch up. (However, I think in the points race, I am behind. He does laundry after all. And cooks dinner. And tends the garden. And shovels my car out. And reads my blog. Oh crap, I am way behind!!!!)

However, this point does offer solid advice:

The solution is simple. If you're about to do something nice for your man, ask yourself whether or not you'd be mad if he didn't return the gesture. If your intentions are purely to surprise him or make him happy, then go for it. If you're secretly hoping it inspires him to suddenly transform into Gerard Butler in P.S. I Love You, then stop yourself then and there.

Oh, and Gerard Butler is hot by the way.

Where was I? Oh, Their Point Three:
3. You're Positive It's in the Stars
“It is your destiny.” ~ Darth Vader

Hmmm. Karma? Fate? God lending a hand? Yes, some chick flicks play the destiny card (Sleepless in Seattle, anyone?) But, I won’t blame the chick flick for getting it into our heads that we may or may not be destined for someone. After all, just because I love to eat and love all thing irish, doesn’t mean I was destined to marry an irish chef… (oh, wait… I did that…)

The only intelligent paragraph in this article states:

Researchers from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland found in their study that romantic comedies can create unrealistic expectations for love and relationships — especially when it comes to communication. Turns out that chicks who love romance flicks are prone to mind-reader-itis: that is, they expect their guy to know what they want or how they're feeling without having to tell them.

I do believe this to be true. And while it is true, I don’t think the chick flick is to blame. I think society, soap operas (which was all we had to watch after school when we were impressionable teens), Broadway (Marius and Cosette? Christine and Raoul?) and music have all had a huge influence. Literature alone has corrupted us. After all, who after reading Twilight did not want to get all snuggly with Edward (sigh). Who hasn’t longed for their partners to be so into us that it turns us to mush?

At the end of the day, I think impressionable people might be swayed by a chick flick or novel or song or their own imagination. We can’t blame any one thing for it. As for me, I will watch my chick flicks. I will continue to ask my beloved to grow his hair out like a rouge, speak in an Scottish accent while wearing a kilt and bite my neck. After all, I get enough reality every day.

Favorite quotes that make me weak in the knees!

“You are my life now.” ~Edward, Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)

"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." ~ Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

"I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday," he said softly. "Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I'd be strong enough to send ye away." He shook his head, still gazing up the hill, a faraway look in his eyes.

"I said 'Lord, if I've never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me be brave enough not to fall on my knees and beg her to stay.'" He pulled his eyes away from the cottage and smiled briefly at me.

"Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach."
~ Jamie, Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

Monday, March 9, 2009

At least it wasn't a tornado!

Hang in there, little ones. It will melt soon!

Tee hee. My gnomie homie. Not only do we have "St. Patrick's Day" lights, but I have a garden gnome. I told you, we are those people. And I like it!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Taunting Mother Nature :-P

On Friday, February 27th, the day was heavenly, warm and sunny. Our nine thousand inches of snow was mostly gone (okay, so maybe it wasn't quite nine thousand inches, but it WAS gone). I was home early, so I popped outside to check to see if any flowers were poking their heads out. To my delight, the daffodils were about an inch high.

I grabbed the camera, taking pictures of their promising sweetness. I thought of the brilliant post I would write, welcoming the signs of Spring in all it's glorious rebirth! It would be amazing, award-winning! I would submit it to a future Write-Away Contest.

Then, on Sunday, March 1st, this:

I did not post my most brilliant post ever! I will never submit it for praise and awards. Sigh ...

But today!! Today, it is 60 degrees and sunny and I am hopeful again. Spring will come. So, bring it on, Mother Nature! Your snowstorm days are numbered and I am not afraid of you. So there!

Now if you will excuse me, I will be in the basement, hiding from any errant tornadoes that find their way to central Massachusetts.

p.s. those are st. patrick's day lights you see hanging off the tree. yes, my beloved likes to decorate for all holidays, not just Christmas. we are those people. and mother nature had the audacity to knock them off his tree. oh, he was not happy. no, he was not.