Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Hard to believe we are in the last week of January, isn't it? It's also the final week of our 1st semester of this school year, with exams scheduled for Wednesday through Friday.

While the east coast seemed to be pummeled all weekend, from pictures I've seen streaming through Instagram and Facebook, it was a fairly beautiful weekend here. 
We spent Friday night in, and Saturday spent our morning cleaning and puttering around the house. I had some things I needed, so Dream Boy & I set out in the afternoon to run some errands.

The sun was shining brightly all afternoon, but the temps didn't reflect the warmth the sun was trying to share. But in spite of that, the sun sure lifted our spirits and it felt so good to be out and about.

We ran our errands and ended up stopping at Goodwill. I had been looking for a new pair of jeans, but was not able to find any that I like or wanted to pay top dollar for. I never, well hardly ever, pay full price for anything. While browsing through the jeans at Goodwill, I came across a pair in my size and they looked long, so I took a chance and tried them on. Whoa - they fit AND were long enough and were Silver Jeans and were only $9.99. I looked them up online when I got home and they normally retail for $99.00! I was so excited to find a pair of jeans that fit at Goodwill AND they were talls - added bonus - but then to realize the original cost & what I found them for. Major bonus!!

Saturday night we spent bowling in our living room. Ha! Yes.....once upon a time Dream Boy & I belonged to a bowling league and bowled every week with my parents. It's been ages since I've actually bowled, but Dream Boy noticed on his new Apple TV that there was a bowling game, so we downloaded it and bowled 3 games. He beat me on all 3 - oh, was he excited! You see, when we actually bowled, I took after my dad & was quite good at it, usually beating Dream Boy most games.

But don't put us on an ice rink, because he'll skate circles around and around me.

Sunday morning we headed off to church before returning home where Dream Boy took a bike ride in the basement. When he was done, we packed up and headed to the shoreline of Lake Michigan to South Haven. I've wanted to go to the beach in winter for ever and it's silly that I've never done it before this. While past winters have seen the lake frozen over, this year we've had a much warmer winter & so the water is still very open. 

But the ice formations and the beauty and power of the Big Lake were amazing. We were not disappointed.
Absolutely breathtaking. 

It was something to listen to the water move back into the channel and the sound of it pushing the ice away from the pier and even cracking in places where it had frozen solid to the piers.

The power that this water possesses in the summer, when everyone is carefree and happy and frolicking in the waves, was even more evident to me while standing here amongst the frozen tundra and listening to it.

So what did you do this weekend?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday Tea

As I look out my classroom window this morning, I see the beautiful break of dawn. The heavy gray snow clouds have moved, if only for a moment or an hour or two, I will take the magnificent oranges that are breaking through. The silhouette of the tree line giving a sharp & dramatic edge to the promise of a new day.

The last 4 or 5 days have been a typical Michigan winter. Bitter cold temps, the snow, blowing, drifting and swirling. Winter weather advisories for almost 2 days have once again reminded us that we live in a winter wonderland. While it is cold, and the snow seems to bite the tip of your nose as you walk from here to there, it is crisp, clear & refreshing. It seems to bring a newness to the landscape surrounding us. I do love this part of winter, the freshness that comes with a new fallen snow.

Our weekend didn't start out with snow though. Friday was gray.....and wet. Lots of misty rain & fog - melting almost all the snow we had from a previous snow earlier in the week. But the rain just makes things muddier and browner and uglier. At least this time of year. 

I know in the spring my heart will sing a new song with the rains as they bring on a freshness and newness and promise of a different beauty in the daffodils and tulips and trees budding. The birds return and the mornings are filled with their song.

Our weekend wasn't filled with anything crazy, major or too exiting. But instead, it was a relaxing, stay at home, get caught up on this or that and just chill. We snuggled in with a warm fire in the wood burner because after the rains came the snow & chill. 

We watched movies On Demand, we cooked dinner at home, Dream Boy continued to work at mastering his new Apple TV in his basement bike shop & I worked on my business plan for my photography. We went to church on Sunday morning and after a quick stop at the grocery store, we headed home & hunkered down again.

Just what we both needed. No rushing here or there, but just enjoying a quiet, do as we please type of weekend.

So here we are on a Tuesday, not Monday, but a Tuesday. Because life is like that sometimes. Not in a rush, not in a hurry, but taking each day as it comes. Living in each moment that presents itself and breathing in the life that God has given me.

I hope you have a beautiful day, and an even better week!

Thanks for sharing your tea, or coffee or whatever it be with me this morning!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

I'm here - are you?

A little slow moving this morning, physically & literally. We had gallons of rain over the 1st part of the weekend, which turned to freezing rain and then snow by Sunday morning.

Yuck - at least the rain part. It makes for such a gray, dismal landscape.
So - this is my life........it's the end of the 1st semester, or close to it. So I'm working on grades continually. It comes with the territory. I rarely see the top of my desk these days, until I clean it off at the end of the day. But that's okay, it's better than being bored, right?

We stuck pretty close to the home front all weekend. We were under a winter weather advisory for most of it, but it fizzled out & was not near as bad as they had predicted. The northern counties of the Mitten were under a winter storm warning - and I don't think they got the snow amounts that were predicted either.

That's okay too. 

Dream Boy spent the weekend installing and learning how to use his new Apple TV in his workshop downstairs. I spent Saturday cleaning the house (yuck), and then grocery shopping. Have you ever gone to the grocery store when storm warnings are implemented? Crazy - crazy - crazy I tell you! You'd think people had never lived through a Michigan winter storm before.

We continue to work on our living room makeover and it is coming along swimmingly. Loving the color and the new clean look we have. It's still a work in progress though.

We did watch a movie on Showtime this weekend that actually was quite interesting. It was called, "Bernie". It took place in Texas and was a true story about a funeral directory named Bernie Tiede. Have you seen this movie? It has Jack Black, Shirley MacClaine & Matthew McConaughey and is done in a documentary type format. It's so far fetched that you think, "how can this be true?"

Well, it's time for me to get back to the regular schedule programming called, "my life".

Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to spend time with me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Tea

It's a little late for Monday Morning Coffee, so shall we have a cup of tea on Tuesday afternoon instead?

It was back to the salt mine yesterday and so my schedule was a little off, hence the reason for no coffee with y'all yesterday. It was a fairly smooth transition back to school, but heavens to Betsy - could they go in a few days prior to our return and turn up the heat? Seriously - the kids' are still walking around with coats on today & I've been toasting my tootsies with my little magic space heater.

I spent my weekend cleaning out the clutter in my office/studio space, trying desperately to get some organization back! It always becomes a dumping ground over the holidays, but this year it was over the top out of control! I did a deep cleaning - drawers, cupboards, everything! I now am happy with the current results, but will be working over the next few month to bring even more order to it.

Dream Boy spent the weekend painting our living room - it is our Christmas gift this year to each other. We decided that we would spruce up the joint one room at a time throughout this year. It's been ions since we've painted. We picked out our colors & found our carpeting, but then the refrigerator decided that it may or may not want to work much longer.........so the carpeting/flooring is on hold until the refrigerator makes up our mind.

I also spent a lot of time over the weekend reflecting on the year past. It was an amazing year with so much family time involved. Many wonderful memories were made as well.

The year started out very cold & snowy, unlike this year. But Dream Boy & I went ice skating on New Year's Day 2015 - something I haven't done in a very long time. Dream Boy? Ha - he's a hockey player & it took him no time at all to warm up on the ice & show off to the little boys who were trying to impress the little girls.

February found my big sister and I on a road trip to celebrate the upcoming marriage at a wedding shower for my soon to be daughter-in-law! We headed to Minnesota and spent 3 days together. We drove over on a Friday, spent Saturday morning at the bridal shower and then zipped up the highway and spent the late afternoon & evening at the Mall of America! The roller coaster ride - oh the memories that I have of that crazy event! I'm sure big sis won't soon forget getting lost at midnite in the middle of cow country - aka:Wisconsin, looking for our hotel.

April found Dream Boy on a plane to Seattle to visit with our kiddo's before the big day at the end of May! We were treated by them to field side seats at the Seattle Sounders soccer match, which included beverages, appetizers & an awesome meal and a ring side seat to an amazing game! Dream Boy & S2 were like 2 little boys in a candy shop and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their excitement!

May was wedding month! The time had finally arrived for our 2nd born to wed the woman God had chosen for him. It was a weekend that we will never forget - having rented a home in the town where they were to exchange nuptuals for the weekend - found us fully surrounded by boys! It has been so long since I've had a house full of rowdy boys and this mama's heart soaked it all in, loving every single moment of it.

The wedding day was wet & windy, but that didn't put a damper on the spirits of the bride & groom! In fact, once they were pronounced husband & wife, I do believe that my DIL shouted out, "Yeah!" for all to hear! Love this girl and her outlook on life!!

June - the long awaited summer break and a day on the dock with my Wonder Dog. We look forward to that day every year!

We spent many a day on the dock this summer, cherishing each moment & soaking up the summer sun. Many a day were spent in the kayak paddling along the lake & exploring the wildlife that surrounds the shores.

August sent me on a 4 day trip to Chicago to meet up with 2 fellow bloggers/photographers! We met for the 1st time the summer prior here in Michigan, so it was once again a joy to spend time together exploring the Windy City!

September sent me back to school and dreaming of summer days gone by. But the school year started out peaceful and has continued, for the most part, to stay that way. It truly has been a wonderful school year so far! Hard to believe in a little over 3 weeks we'll be halfway through this year!

November sent us packing once again and on a cross country flight to spend Thanksgiving with the younger married couple. We had hoped that the older married couple might join us, but it didn't happen this time. However, we enjoyed cooking for the kiddo's and spending some great time bonding with each other & hooking up with some beautiful girls from back home, who are now living in Seattle as well.

December - what a rush of time! Lots of celebrating and reflecting on the reason for this beautiful season. A time spent with most of our family, the younger marrieds weren't able to make it home, but we were able to Facetime with them on Christmas day, not once - but twice & even able to get them into the family picture when at big sister's house! We missed them so much, but were thankful for the technology that gave us all an opportunity to see them & talk "face to face".

And here we are. 

January, 2016.

Phew - I think I need a little time to relax after such an amazing year! But I look forward to all this year may hold. I am ready for anything that comes my way - the memories to be made & the journey before me.

And I look forward to all of you joining me every week, whether it be for Monday Morning Coffee, Tuesday Tea or to sit on a bench and reflect.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcome To Two Thousand Sixteen

Bring it!

Let's go - let's do this, let's move forward and onward and upward.

The good, the good the bad, the ugly & everything in between!

Dare to walk under that ladder and open that umbrella indoors. Dare to let that black cat run across your path. 

Dare to be different!

It's a new year with new possibilities! Take the memories of the past year - all of them, and leave them as that. 

Memories.

Some are hard, some really hurt, some dig deep into our souls, but take each memory and file it into that special place where you will learn from it, you will live better because of it and you will treasure it as a special part of your life journey.

I know this past year I really started to find a terrific peace within myself. I dug into my Bible and into me. 

I began a 365 self examination project. I am 150 days into it. I missed a few days over the last 2 weeks, but I don't care because I was enjoying time with my family and making memories that will last me through this next year.

And beyond!

But I'm ready for this new year and the journey it will take me on over the next 366 days. It is leap year you know! An extra day!!

I am grasping and holding onto 2 words this year to guide me and mold me and make me a better me!

Be.Still.

In my heart, in my mind, in my soul. 

Be.Still.

Are YOU ready?

Bring it on Two Thousand Sixteen. 

Bring.It.On!!