Rabu, 26 September 2012

Hello From D.C.!

I'm spending a couple days in D.C. this week, since my hubby had to travel here for work. Tomorrow we head off to our real vacation destination... I'm so excited!

I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't diet when your on vaca. The diet will be there when you get back, and the fun times and memories are worth the 2 pounds you gained. It's time to just enjoy yourself, relax, and be happy. Counting calories doesn't make me happy ;)

By that I don't mean drinking 64oz of soda a day, and chowing down on cookies and fried food. There's a way to treat yourself on vacation, while still being mindful and having a balance.
taking off from the airport heading to D.C.
  For instance, I knew that there were a couple restaurants the hubs wanted to take me to, and I knew I wasn't going to order a salad. So I wanted to make my breakfasts and lunches a little healthier. It was a little challenging, since I'm in a hotel, without a car during the day, and there's nothing in walking distance. To my surprise the hotel had breakfast bars, and lean cuisines! I've also been drinking a ton of water, and have stayed away from soda completely.
When Joe got off work, we headed into D.C. the first night we were here.
We walked at least a mile, going from the White House, to the Washington Monument, and trying to figure out where the heck we parked. It was definitely a good exercise. Most vacations I've been on always include a ton of walking. I remember I lost 3 pounds the last time I went to Disneyland (even though I ate like a pig), because we were of course walking all day, everyday.
 Tonight we drove up to Baltimore. I love that place. We went to Phillips for dinner. I ordered a stake, drank 3 glasses of water, stopped eating when I was full, and didn't order dessert. We had a dessert sampler platter the night before, and I plan on getting dessert tomorrow night, so I thought I'd skip a night in between ;)
These are all ways I keep a little bit of a balance, while still enjoying myself on vacation. It's about being :Deliciously Healthy. Not perfect.

Tomorrow we head off to the next location!

How do you maintain a balance while on vacation?

Senin, 24 September 2012


More photographs from our Apple Picking Adventure!

Photos are used courtesy of S. Gray.


K in the pumpkin patch.



Farm Stand: Goat Treats and Apple Cider.

Auntie Sara!

Pony Ride: Violet and Raven the Pony.

Pumpkin Patch!


Bee Farm.

Kamis, 20 September 2012


There was a huge artisan festival at my work place this past weekend.  So I did not see Violet on my usual day.  This was a hard thing for me to do... BUT I was able to take yesterday to compensate.

We had a very good day together.  I didn't want it to end.

We went out for breakfast, visited three parks, went shopping and made Halloween decorations for our home.

Park bound.

She bought these fine items with her own money!


Lunch at the park.

My girl now does things she once watched the big kids do!

Halloween pumpkins!

A blue ghost.


Rabu, 19 September 2012

My New :Deliciously Healthy Kitchen

We started building our home in October 2011, and on May 29th, 2012 it was done!

During the 7 months it took to build, we dreamed of what we wanted our lives to be like when we moved in. Every time we would come visit the house, we would set a new goal for ourselves.
Breaking ground!
All framed out
Dry wall up (construction workers are messy;)
All done- day before we closed
 One of the biggest goals I set for myself, was to have a :Deliciously Healthy kitchen. During the 7 years that we've been married, we've eaten way too many restaurant dinners, over home cooked healthy dinners. I promised myself that when we moved into the new house, I would get back to cooking/baking up a healthy storm again. My goal was to only eat out once a week. We've lived here for about three months, and I'd say I can definitely do better on that goal! I've realized that I need to start focusing on the dreams I've set for myself, and put the effort into making them come true. I'm all about keeping promises.

Kitchen after being all moved in:
Butler's pantry
This week, I've kept that promise to myself. I've cooked more, and have eaten out less.
That puts a smile on my face.

Selasa, 18 September 2012


I have been trying to make peace with a lot of the chaos that has happened in my life over the past few years, since Violet's birth and the changes in my family and marital relationship.  It hasn't been easy and sometimes, I often feel like things will always be kind of "screwy" as if, maybe I will never feel at ease.  As if maybe I am always going to be this way, not sure of myself, questioning things every day, feeling "not quite right".   Not comfortable in my own skin.  I wake up thinking, what the hell am I doing and how the hell did I get to this place in my life?

I am always trying to figure things out.  Always.  And I am coming to find that it is really all ME, how I think about myself and my life.  My own twisted sense of my self.  I know that we as individuals rarely see our own lives as they really are.  We see them through a personal lens.  I believe that the key to really changing negative feelings or outlook on life must begin with a shift in thinking. 

I want to figure out how to see my life as it really is, without the negative spin cycle.

One of my favorite bloggers wrote a post on this very idea and I find it very insightful...

Reblogged from Aimee at Sunday is for Lovers.

every path you take leads to a dead end

All paths lead to nowhere (now-here). So you might as well skip the plan, & just get present.

I was looking at a diagram with a friend this morning. It’s one of those charts that show you different paths, depending on what choice you make. As he examined it he said, “This is pointless! Every path you take leads to a dead end! What’s the use!” When I heard that, something clicked. I laughed inside. I heard the truth & the wisdom. It made me smile to hear how every path that we think will lead us somewhere — brings us right back to ourselves.

I need peace,
I need children,
I need money,
I need property,
I need space,
I need accomplishment,
I need success,
I need creativity,
I need sex,
I need love,
I need freedom,
I need education,
I need friendship,
I need career,
I need protection,
I need expression,
I need rights,
I need balance,
I need security,
I need religion,
I need opportunity,
I need equality,
I need partnership,
I need family,
I need health,
I need answers,
I need individuality,
I need truth,
I need unity,
I need simplicity,
I need comfort,
I need luxury,
I need silence,
I need understanding,
I need help,
I need companionship,
I need solitude,
I need forgiveness,
I need romance,
I need independence,
I need support,
I need acceptance,
I need travel,
I need work,
I need solutions,
I need nature,
I need attention,
I need beauty,
I need respect,
I need allies,
I need nothing.

Pick any one of those that rings true for you, & ask yourself what you think it will ultimately give you. In what way will it be the answer? How will it complete you? Will it end the search? The constant need to want, like, or need something — will it finally be over?

And really be clear. Do you think fighting against something will give you what you want? Do you think you will be happy? What about striving for something? Or working for something? Will that do it? Will you be complete then? How about creating something? Will it end there? What about not wanting anything? Will that finally finish the job? What will it take for you to feel like you are whole & complete & content — like there is no path to take that would be better than the present moment?
Where are you in all of this? And why is it that you need so much to feel like everything is OK? What is it about you that isn’t working for you? Why are you never enough? Maybe the problem is you?

For me, when I get stuck on the “you” problem (a.k.a. the “me” problem). I can usually trace it to three things (actually, just one, one will do the trick). All three things lead to suffering. And all three things are just confusion in my opinion. Confused thinking.

Bring any problem you have to mind. Trace it down to its roots. Go really really deep. Don’t cut yourself short. Dig down deep. What’s down there? Really look at it. Expose it. Give it a good face-to-face look. Is it fear? You betcha. So the problem you think you have — that you needed something to solve — really isn’t the problem, is it?
I can pretty much take any problem, any source of suffering, & catch myself dwelling on the past, or in the future. If I take myself out of those places (that don’t exist!), & I get fully present to what is happening ONLY in the present moment — if I can do that, then I am fine. And I don’t mean the current moment somewhere else. I mean right now, right here — with the one that was lost in past/future based thinking. If I just get still. If I stop & just feel what it feels like to be in the present moment fully — I will see that the suffering is unjustified.
The next time you are frustrated, or angry, or jealous, or stressed, or lonely, or discontent — the next time you are suffering in any way — ask yourself where you are. Where are you mentally? I bet you aren’t present to the gift that is now. This moment, in all it has to offer.

Ahhh… back to the “me” & “you” problem. :) Don’t cha just love it! It’s everywhere. Look over your day. Look throughout your life. Look all over the world! Don’t you see it? It’s like a disease that everyone is suffering from. There is a Zen quote that I really love, it’s “No Self, No Problem.” That quote is one of the most profound quotes I know. (And if you have ever seen my Facebook or Twitter pages, you know I am a quote magnet. So if I say this one is tops, I mean it!) Everything is integral in my opinion. Just like it is becoming more obvious that we are all part of one world (no country is separate), because the planet earth is showing us that (e.g., destroy the rainforests, and everyone everywhere feels the impact). When you believe that every person, every living being, isn’t moving as one, from a common source, totally & infinitely connected — you will feel it. And it isn’t a good feeling. It’s called suffering.

All three of these things, these roots of suffering, or feelings of incompleteness, all of them can instantly disappear.

On Thursday evening I was bent out of shape, not in a good head space. That night I couldn’t sleep. I felt terrible. The next morning I received an email from someone. They reassured me that there isn’t a problem. Everything will be taken care of. All is well. After that, I was light as a cloud & had the most amazing day! How is this possible? I asked myself, “Aimee, what happened between last night & this morning? How can you go from distraught to bliss? Nothing happened, but a few brief words from another person! Nothing physically changed — just a few words were read!” I thought about it & I realized that I could trace the distraught feeling to all the roots of suffering I mentioned above. And the person that reassured me in their email, addressed each one of the three roots: There is nothing to fear; This won’t happen in the future; We share the same goal. –And whalla! I was back to bliss! But what I should have realized is, that I don’t need that to come from outside of me. Not from any person or circumstance. It was there all along.

Try it for yourself. Just notice. Hold up your wants. See if they can solve your problems once & for all, or make you feel totally complete & whole. Then, hold up your problems. See if you can trace them back to a feeling of fear; past or future based thinking; or an idea that you are a separate individual. Have fun with it. Have fun digging & checking out the roots. Dig deep. Get your hands dirty. Everyone is in the mud. But everyone doesn’t have to be stuck.

Take a good look at what paths you want to take to get you somewhere, that isn’t already here. Check to see if it leads you to a dead end (right back to you). Or just give up the search, & find what you have always been looking for — right here, right now — in this moment — just as it is. See that it is already perfect, already complete. Stop & settle into it, fully feel & embrace it. Feel how it feels to love fearlessly.

Minggu, 16 September 2012


My baby sister's baby boy shower:

Look at that bump!

And look at that cake!  Mmmm.

Yup I put these babies together!  An owl-themed shower calls for owl cupcakes.
My sister S made these super cute nests.

Cake courtesy of my Aunt Donna.


Baby A!

J and her main man, Jake.

All the girls.
Much love happening here.