Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cosmo's Summer Cut

Sadly, this is actually the first Summer we have had Cosmo's fur cut. I guess the reason behind this is that he always looks so handsome with longer fur, and he's never really gotten that hot outside in our yard...(mainly because he's either under the deck or sneaking inside the house.) :)

I called last week and made him an appointment at Pet Palace here in town. I had heard really good things about it, and they were all apparently correct, because they couldn't take him for a full week. This Tuesday, Zach dropped him off and picked him up, and we were both really pleased with the result. I looked back in my camera to see if I had an older picture of him to show the difference. This was the best one I found, but it was taken last Fall. He still looked the same before the grooming, so you get the idea...



The After pics are a little grainy, but he was moving around a lot (as usual), and the lighting was bad. It may just be me, but he seems much more peppy since his little trim. When I got home yesterday afternoon, I came in the door and he came trotting toward me and jumped up on me a little. He usually just walks up to me and sits. Miss Daisy is even a little jealous of all the attention he's been getting. We're just happy that he'll be a little cooler now, especially when it gets into July and August.

Zach said it reminds him more of when he first got him when he was a little puppy. It does make him look a little younger. I do miss his pretty long fur, but it will grow back soon enough.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Better Pics :)

Heather posted some of her pictures from the wedding last weekend, so I wanted to share. Hers of all of us turned out so much better than mine & Sheena's, so here it is:

Also, I didn't even know that Meg & Zach took this picture together until Heather posted it. Doesn't he look handsome? :)

Zach & Meg were really good buddies back in high school, and Heather & I had a blast listening to their stories Saturday night. We had such a great time catching up with our friends!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Daffodil Garden

Zach's grandmother forwarded me this email that I wanted to share. In summary, the story is about one woman named Gene Bauer who wanted to share something with those around her. She began The Daffodil Garden in Lake Arrowhead over 50 years ago (1958), and people have been visiting ever since. It is from the point of view of a woman who visited there with her daughter.

"It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

'Who did this?' I asked Carolyn.

'Just one woman,' Carolyn answered. 'She lives on the property. That's her home.' Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. 'ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS I KNOW YOU ARE ASKING' was the headline. The first answer was a simple one---'50,000 BULBS' it read. The second answer was, 'ONE AT A TIME, BY ONE WOMAN. TWO HANDS, TWO FEET, AND ONE BRAIN'. The third answer was 'BEGAN IN 1958'.

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman, whom I had never met, who, more than 40 years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration."

"That is---learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

'It makes me sad in a way,' I admitted to Carolyn. 'What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 or 40 years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years?

Just think what I might have been able to achieve!'

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. 'Start tomorrow,' she said.

She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, 'How can I put this to use today?'

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting---

Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until the kids go to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 pounds
Until you gain 10 pounds
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die.

**Did you notice it makes the shape of a vase?? I noticed that when I copied it over. It's a vase for your daffodil. :)

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination...So work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like no one's watching.

Don't be afraid that your life will end. Be afraid that it will never begin.

As a sidenote, this email really meant a lot to me. I wrote a policy for a lady on 5/27/10. She sat here in my office right in front of me, and we talked for a long time. She showed me pictures of her newborn great-granddaughter. I found out that the day after, on 5/28/10, the lady had passed away. It's crazy how fleeting life really is. We don't realize unless we're touched by something like this, even in some small way. Really take the time to think about it. Cherish every moment!! 

Wishing you a beautiful daffodil day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Catching Up With Friends

...This pretty much sums up this past weekend for us. It was great!! It all started on Saturday. Zach woke up early and went fishing with his dad. (They caught lots of catfish & bream, which his dad cooked last night and we thoroughly enjoyed!) I stayed in bed a little longer (shocker), then caught up on my house cleaning and made a quick trip to Wal-Mart. I must be a weirdo, because I just love going to Wal-Mart by myself. I actually love shopping in general by myself. Nothing against the people I love, but alone time is great sometimes! After he got home that afternoon, we got ready and headed to April Fox's & Brent McClung's wedding here in FP. It was so great to see and catch up with high school friends at the wedding and reception. I included a few pics from the day. On our way home, I realized that Zach & I had not even had a picture taken of the two of us together!

Megan Lindsey, Brittany Reed (a bridesmaid in the wedding), April (the bride!), Sheena Quizon (sorry, Sheena, I'm waiting on Heather's pics to get a better one of this one!), me & Heather Godwin

Me & the cute little bride! (I was the only one who didn't have to bend down all the way. Me & April are the shorties of the bunch!) :)

And this little jewel is one Zach likes to call, "Heather In A Nutshell." She's so goofy, God love her!! :)

After the wedding, we had to stop by the funeral home for visitation for Rex Keeling. I am praying for this sweet family. I know people are talking everywhere about their situation, but I pray that no one would judge. I know how things look to people on the outside, but there was a lot of love in this family. I hope everyone keeps his wife and especially their two precious little girls in their thoughts and prayers.

After going home to change, we met up with Meg & Heather at our favorite, Don Chicos. We were having so much fun talking and laughing, so we invited them over to our house. They had never been to our house before, so we were excited to show them around. They stayed over for a long time- we had so much to talk about. I had missed those girls!

Speaking of missing others, we (finally!) made a trip to Chattanooga to see Shad & Carrie on Sunday! We had not seen them since sometime last year. We visited their church and really enjoyed their service. Their kids, Jonah & Anna Grace (who were the ring bearer and one of the flower girls in our wedding), came and sat with me & Zach during the service. :) We had lunch with them and caught up on things that afternoon. It is so wonderful to see what God is doing for them there! I hope we can make it back soon for another visit. It is a little difficult to get away from our church on Sundays, and I really hate to miss our choir too (which is a good thing, I know)!

After we left their church, we went to see Robin Hood. This was actually my end of the deal that Zach & I had planned. He went with me to April's wedding, so I told him I would go see Robin Hood with him. Marriage is "give and take," ya' know? We enjoyed dinner after the movie at Fat Daddy's. It's becoming one of our favorite little places to go after a movie at The Rave. I am in love with their pizza and Zach loves their calzones.

We then headed to see Zach's mom. While there, he called his brother-in-law, and we headed to their house to see them. I hadn't seen them since January I think, so it was great to visit with them. Zach read to Ella, and she entertained us. We had a great time seeing them!

Needless to say, we had a jam-packed, tiring, but fun weekend! It was easy to go to sleep on Sunday night, that's for sure.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brother & Sister :)

Just wanted to post a cute pic of Cosmo & Daisy. I was folding laundry Saturday morning, and had opened the back door to our deck so Daisy could go outside for a while. As soon as I came back inside the house, she followed me with Cosmo not too far behind. Who can blame them?? It was so incredibly HOT outside this past weekend! They stayed inside most of the day until we had to leave for April's wedding. I'll post pics from that soon! Hope everyone had a great weekend like we did!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Update- "Dramas, Weddings & Singing...Oh My!"

...I hope you enjoyed the "Wizard of Oz" reference. :)

Life has been really busy, but fun, lately. Last week, our childrens' choirs had our End of Year Program. We have been practicing for this for months now, so it was exciting to see it happen. My entire day last Sunday was consumed with the program. We started decorating the stage early that afternoon, and then had one last rehearsal. I only have a few pictures of the stage during set-up (which aren't very interesting), so I won't bore you with those! I am waiting on a few parents to post some pics of us on FB, then maybe I can share some with you.

This past weekend was Eleanor Isbell and Colby Mathews' wedding at our church. I was a part of our small choir ensemble, and we sang two songs during the wedding. They placed us in the balcony, and we received so many compliments on how that was set up. The church was absolutely beautiful and the music was incredible! Two of my favorite classicals were sung in the wedding...yes, sung live!...Ave Maria & Con te partirĂ² (this song was originally done by Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman, and is featured in Blades of Glory.) The reception was held at The Building in historical downtown Fort Payne, and it was the perfect setting for their reception. Slade Carden did the food, and it brought back memories of our wedding reception. I have to say, though, that our selections were better. :)

A band played and sang most of the night. It was the same band that had played at my best friend Jennifer's wedding back last May. Eleanor & Colby attended that wedding, and picked them out from the start. They were really entertaining and kept the fun going. My mom & I were actually headed out the door to leave, but we stopped for a while to watch everyone having fun on the dance floor. As we were watching, Bob Johnston (our Sunday School teacher and a soloist at the wedding) told me that his daughter Abigail (also the flower girl in the wedding) wanted to dance with me. How could I resist?? Later, Rachel Walker joined us too. I had both cuties by the hand, twirling them around. We had a blast! :)

Next on the agenda is April Fox's wedding this coming Saturday. I can't wait to catch up with friends!...ah, I love weddings!! :)

Since the wedding began at 7:00, we got home rather late. I had to be at church early the next morning to rehearse, because our women's ensemble (Miranda Chambers, Susan Downey, LaRae Thurman & myself) were singing that morning. We rehearsed without a hitch, and the performance went well too, if I do say so myself. I enjoy singing with those ladies so much!!

On Monday, we got up early and I completed the final touches on the deep house cleaning I had started on Saturday. It always feels great to have the house completely clean after a long weekend. For a late lunch, we headed to Zach's dad's house on the lake. He fished a little and I enjoyed a little sun. The food was great- we had BBQ chicken, potatoes, green beans, and (my favorite!) corn on the cob. I had also made homemade ice cream earlier that day, so we enjoyed that for dessert. We found Pearl Harbor on one of the movie channels that afternoon, and watched most of it. It really made me stop and think what the day was all about. Anyone can enjoy a day with grilling out, laying out, and enjoying time with family, but it's always important to me to seek out the real meaning of the holiday.
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