Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Matt, Liz and Madeline

I have been reading this blog for a while. It is a story of a man who celebrated the birth of his daughter one day and experienced the death of his wife the next. The story is sad, but it is inspirational, too.

In a time when he could have ran and hidden from the world, Matt used his blog to voice his feelings, vent his frustrations and share his experience as a single father. I love that he's keeping Liz's memory alive and that he wears her wedding rings. I admire Matt for how he has chosen to keep moving forward and his decision to help others with the donations received through Liz's foundation. I think his actions speak volumes to the kind of person Matt is and the way he lives.

Matt's love and devotion to Maddy is so heartwarming. I know raising Maddy on his own wasn't the plan, but Matt is doing the best he can and he is doing it well.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I have a few friends that I am so blessed to have in my life. This blog is about them, I am sure it won't say everything that I want to say, but it's a start in telling them what I want them to know.

M.W. ~ For years we did not have the opportunity to be apart of each others' lives due to circumstances we could not control. There were times when I thought we'd never have a relationship because I wasn't sure how we'd ever make up for all the lost years. A little at a time our relationship grew into what I had always hoped we would of unconditional love and support. I know no matter what may come you are there for me as I am there for you and nothing will ever keep us apart again.

Kerren ~ My dear friend, thank you for all your kind words and support. Your beautiful spirit shines through each time we correspond and I am so lucky to have met you.

Cyn ~ I love talking to you everyday. Hearing about your & Patrick's adventures brightens my days and makes me smile. The time I have spent with you is filled with wonderful memories and a lot of laughter.

Shawnnita ~ I remember the day we met in Le Fer Hall like it was yesterday. Little did I know then that I had met one of my best friends. Your spirit and strength inspire me to be a better person and to believe in my dreams. I hope you know how very much I miss you and how much you mean to me.

Jeannette ~ Your beautiful spirit and strength shine through each email. You are treasured and so are your wise thoughtful words.

MaryBeth ~ Your wisdom, wit and writing skills are admirable. I strive to be as eloquent as you. Thank you for noticing the little things and for the inspiration.

More than anything, I want these special ladies to know that their friendship, love and support makes all the difference to me. I am so thankful to have you in my life.

Love you all.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Taking wildlife photos is challenging. I think that is why I like it so much because I have to make the most of each opportunity to get a photo that is any good. It's not like I can ask the deer to stand still while I get the perfect's all about being in the right place at the right time and being prepared.

Here are a few photos I like.

Three drakes in this photo, but the back two look like decoys.

Wild ones. They didn't stay around long.

I like this photo because of the light on the doe in the back. I love how she stands out.


One step, continued...

Yesterday, I blogged about my struggles. Today, my workout went well. A friend called just as I had started to workout, so I listened and chatted with her as I worked out. The time passed quickly and I am feeling back on track! I know if just continue on and make little changes along the way that I will get to my goal weight and fitness level.

I do have to correct myself. I said that in the ten days I had worked out that I had gone over seven miles on the elliptical. I did not count yesterday's mileage in my mileage total, just the day, so to be correct the mileage is over eight...almost nine!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One step at a time

I am struggling a bit...well, actually a lot. I am finding it very hard to get through my cardio workouts and get any strength training & ab work done. I am still determined to get fit and be healthy, but am letting my slow weight loss (& external factors) wear on me. I need to get through this quickly or I am afraid I will fail.

I am trying to work through this by continuing to put one foot in front of the other. My goal is to do cardio for a minimum of twenty minutes, five to six days a week. I would like to do more, but at this point just continuing with the exercise is what is important. I know if I can get through this phase I will be successful because by continuing I am making steps towards my goal.

While on the elliptical this morning, I totaled my miles for the twelve days of March. I have gone over seven miles on the ten days I have exercised. Although, I feel like I am struggling I guess I am making progress towards being fit and healthy. Maybe I just need to be more patient with myself and trust that the weight will come off if I just keep working out and eating right.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Learning opportunities & photos

I love taking photos and want to be able to take good photos more often. My desire to improve has driven me to search for learning opportunities. I have looked into some online photography courses, but haven't found something that fit my needs that was within my budget. Knowing other opportunities had to be available, I searched the local library and found some great books on digital photography.

I try to incorporate what I read into my next photo shoot, so I can practice the technique or idea. I have learned a lot about lighting, focus and composition. I am really excited to be learning more about photography and look forward to continuing on my journey. I can't wait to see all the photos to come!

I like old barns, something about them makes me feel at ease. I think it may be that the old barns remind me of my early years when my parents farmed. I spent many a day tromping in and out of our barn playing with the calves, piglets and my ponies. Those memories are something I will treasure forever.

A few old barns...

This barn was restored a few years ago when it was moved. It doesn't have the old weathered look that the others do, but I like it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

There are four ponies that live a mile or so down the road from me. I would love to bring them home with me and give them the love, care and attention they deserve. I am very concerned about one of the ponies. His/her physical condition isn't as good as the others.

I hope to find their owner visiting them sometime, so I can ask about taking pictures of the ponies and an old silo on the property. If I am lucky enough to talk to their owner then I will casually mention my love for horses & ponies and ask about the ponies. Hopefully, I can find out the ponies' stories and connect with the owner enough that I can get permission to take pictures and visit the ponies. If I can get permission to visit then I can keep a closer eye on them...and maybe just give them a little love.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I live across the street from a cemetery and every time I look out my front window I see the cemetery. On most days there isn't much going occasional visitor or car driving through. I try not to invade the privacy of those who visit their departed loved ones by looking out my window if I glance up and see car parked there. It's not that they know I see them but I feel like I am somehow being disrespectful to them, so I try not to look.

It's been hard not to look outside today, it's beautiful out...but there has been a lot of people visiting one grave site. It's a grave site that weighs heavily on me. It's the grave a 40 year old mother of five. I did not have the opportunity to meet Kathy when she was alive, but have thought a lot about her & her family since learning about her a year ago today. Kathy was a teacher at my two older daughter's school. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer just before she delivered her fifth child. She fought a brave battle and went through every treatment she could in hopes something would save her life. Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasized and only a miracle could have saved her.

Based on what I have read and heard about Kathy, she touched the lives of so many people and was well-loved by those who knew her. Here is part of a song that one of her fellow teachers wrote in her honor...

"This Angel that we knew was such a gift you see. She blessed each of our hearts and souls; she lived a life so free. This Angel flew on earth, and now she flies above. And when our thoughts turn to her, our hearts are filled with love." (Lyrics from "Angel (for Kathy") from Candle of Hope: Remembering and Celebrating Kathy Luby)

I think it's wonderful that Kathy is remembered so fondly and left those who knew her with so many memories...what a legacy for her children.

I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet Kathy, but since I never had the honor I will take away what I can from the way she lived life...

I will live life fully, I will love deeply & adore my family, I will try to inspire and bless those around me, and make the most out of each day I am blessed to have.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I blogged earlier in the year about being determined to make some changes in my life. I am still as committed as the day I wrote that blog. I thought I might struggle with motivation, but even on the hardest days I have my goals in my sight.

My efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle have led to a 6.5 pound weight loss. Woo Hoo! I did 419 minutes of cardio on the elliptical in January going 12.96 miles. In February, I did 449 minutes of cardio on the elliptical going 15.5 miles! I have been doing strength training and ab work, too but not tracking the time.

I am proud of my progress, but have moments where I don't think it's good enough. I guess that's one of the things I need to change about myself...I need to not be so critical. I need to let myself be proud and chose not to be hard on myself. I may not be losing weight in large amounts, but I am making better choices and I am making time to in time I will reach my goal. In the meantime, I will continue to take one step at a time towards a better me.

I have been making a little time for outside interests. I am currently stealing moments to take photographs. I love it. I look forward to my photography sessions and am constantly striving to improve. Thanks to my husband, I have two leads on possible opportunities with horses. I am so excited! It would be incredible to be in a barn again and back in the saddle. I will blog more about the opportunities as I learn about more about them.

I have continued to reconnect with old friends, but haven't found a lot of opportunity to make new friends. It's really hard for me to take that first step to go out and meet people, but I must do it even if it is a bit scary.

I am staying focused and continuing on my journey to make those changes...