Cut to the Chase

Art Doodles

I love mail.

My family knows that.

My brother encourages it.

Done.

Thanks, Zach, for wielding your talents, again, to create a favorite mail-inspired accessory!

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No funny business here when it comes to opening mail or defending my home.

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Opening Act at the Big Top

Art Doodles

I’m excited for the next Family Camp already!

One of my birthday wishes, this year, was for special camping dishes. I was inspired by Deru, a local favorite spot, who serves their food on black and white enamelware dishes. Clean, functional and perfect for camp life. Add a dent or two and suddenly it has more character with memories.

Thank you, Mom and Dad^2, for a wonderful gift and many memories to come!

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Camp life is always a juggling act of some kind. But, oh is it fun!

Here is the link to the dishes I received.

Neighbors to the Rescue!

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I think the moments I enjoy best being a homeowner is that we get to meet our neighbors. Knowing that I am not temporarily renting a place where I may only stay for a year or two years is really refreshing. I like that our neighborhood has people who are original owners of their homes and have great grandchildren now! Such history in one area!

I asked a friend (and neighbor) to do a quick drive-by bathroom break for Manny while we were away on vacation. Even though she has three children in school, various sports and clubs she agreed to let the little guy out. The fact that I can feel incredibly safe and comfortable handing over the keys to someone in my neighborhood is such a blessing!!!

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A snapshot of Manny chillin with me today. He really is a calm puppy dog and a delightful conversationalist.

Thank you very much, Lissa, for taking time to let Manny do business and play with him. Truly appreciate it! Now have a glass of wine to celebrate, hehe.

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Our dog, Manny is the first to greet anyone at our door, or the driveway, or the sidewalk, or the squirrel in the backyard. He takes his welcoming job very seriously. Some could say he has made a career out of it.

Lady Luck

Inspiration by Mail

I received a note and present in the mail! Yipppppeeeeee!

My mom always seems to know when I need an smile boost. I firmly believe my mom has super powers. She can see into the future to the exact day that I will need an extra pick me up.

Mary, my mom, is incredible at showing love to me through notes and little presents. Really its the notes that get me the most. Especially now that I live across the country from her. Knowing that it takes extra effort to put her thought in an envelope, address it, stamp it and put it out for the mailman makes them even more special. Living at home when I was younger these notes would show up in my school lunches, bathroom mirror, door frame or tucked into something. Whatever form of deliver, their presence was joyfully received. I’ve saved a few of my favorites in a scrapbook  from over the years.

I have many many more that are tucked away in my “Pick-Me-Up” box. Labeled accordingly for the days where a touch of home and family are just the right medicine. I’ve had this box even when I lived with my family or close to. Sometimes a reminder is all you need to feel the love. I am happy to say I have overfilling boxes of them! (I’m not big on knickknacks but notes from special people will always be saved.)

Here are the most recent additions. They are tucked or taped into the door frame, light switch and shoe rack to remind me when ever I leave my room that I am loved. (Oh hello! Yes, that is me sans hat.)

To the package at hand. What inspiration to receive at one time! Not only a note from my mom but a little artwork to go along with it.

I don’t know whether to send these beauties (to a deserving individual!) or frame them. The cards are produced by Hope for Women, a fair trade company.  The cards featured above are flowers from El Salvador that have been arranged on the lady bust forms. All of the products sold by Hope for Women are made from artisan women who are supporting their families worldwide. A great cause to support the arts and women.

Another bonus is Aveda has partnered with Hope for Women to help promote and sell their products in the Aveda salons. What better way than women supporting women all in the name of unique beauty!  This is where my mom found these ladies after getting yet another cute haircut. Glad to say I have fashionable mother who is also aware of world issues and appreciative of the arts!

A Lifetime of Love

Art Doodles

Like clockwork my birthday comes every year. Amazing how when I was younger I wanted to speed it up and now that I am getting just a little bit older (not much) I wish that it would delay its coming. But one thing that I can always look forward to at my birthday is my Aunt Lois’ birthday cards.

My Aunt Lois is actually my dad’s aunt who has lovingly taken every great-nephew and great-niece of hers on. I don’t know how she remembers everyone’s birthday and keep us all straight! I am extremely blessed to have her in my life and appreciate every card, check and smile from her!

A little story about Aunt Lois and I is we spent a trip together when I was 11 to Disneyland with my Grandpa, Nana, Aunt Cindy, Uncle Andy and little cousin Alec. One night, while we were in a tropical oasis that I would later in life call home for 7 years, we witnessed a beautiful display of God’s painting abilities with a pink and orange sunset. For some reason we had created a tickling contest associated with pink sunsets. Now our favorite joke is to mention a pink sunset. If you look closely birthday card number 23 is a pink sunset just for my Auntie Lois!

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Art Doodles

I’m blessed.

There really isn’t any other way to look at it.

Close friends helped me in a pinch with the use of their car. It may not sound like much but when needed the smallest things can have the biggest impact. Because of them I was able to attend my brother’s surprise birthday party, run a bunch of errands, meet friends from out of town and visit the family. All in all a wonderful weekend with four wheels.

I also realized that I cherish my morning and evening commutes about my day. This is where my musings on appreciation and Kindle time come into play. So a thank you goes out to God as well for charting out time in my day for me to be quiet.

I kind of felt like the commercial for Ikea that weekend with the car overloaded with things. So much to do and only a short amount of time to do it. Stuff it all into one trip is the solution!