21 November 2009
20 November 2009
First you must begin with the party girl. She must be one year old and dressed appropriately for said party--in this case coifed in a cute little hairstyle and suitably dressed in an adorable yellow and blue sundress with ribbons down the back.
Of course, there must also be party guests prepared to celebrate such a grand occasion with said one year old birthday girl--parents, big sibling, grandparents, great-grandparents and other friends and family.Party decorations are likewise vitally important to every first year party's success and must be carefully chosen --BIG balloons are an absolute party MUST!! Also key to the party's success is their placement; BTW Grandma thought the balloons were totally awesome!!
And then it is time for the rite of passage; the symbol of a new year arriving for said baby girl--it's time for the birthday cake of course!! And in baby girl’s case it was delectable birthday cupcakes.
The birthday candle, the birthday melody, birthday candle extinguished--good thus far!
The traditional birthday cake mess all over the face and body? WHAT? Nope, not much of one at all--one wipe with a towelette is all that is needed! AMAZING!
(BTW baby girl cupcakes were made by talented mom of baby girl, and her very talented mom! And have I said yet that they were really, really yummy?) Especially the chocolate ones with the white frosting! --
Party gifts included some beautiful clothing, a big red colander (kind of like grandma's big red bowl), some cute little toys and stuffed animals, and these wonderful noise making maracas!! Baby Girl really liked them--maybe she will be a percussionist someday? Maybe, not.
A milk break for one thirsty little party girl -- after all partying can make baby girls SO very thirsty when one is not used to it!
19 November 2009
Yes, I know this isn't Thursday, but yesterday as a friend and I were traveling over some mountain roads, I was thinking how grateful I am for them... but it hasn't always been that way.
Those who know me, know that I've loved mountains for a very long time. When I look at them (or better yet are on them) they elicit a deep emotional response within my soul - as if God placed this deep love for them within my DNA-and I know that it is on them that I often feel closest to the Creator. But mountain roads are another thing. Dread and outright fear would be the term I used to describe them -- for a very long time.
It wasn't always that way though-nope! Earlier in my life you would have found me on places like the top of Pike's Peak (CO), traveling up a gondola at Grouse Mt (BC, Canada), on a chair lift in the Cascades--in summer-and on the countless mountain roads my parents and others took me on in the NW, Canada, the Rockies and the SW. You also might have seen me on cliffside trails in Hawaii and the Pacific NW, on the side of the Grand Canyon, at the top of the Space Needle and other 'high' places. No problems until THAT night...the beginning of the change.
It was a cold and VERY snowy night about 25 years ago. We were traveling in our small convertible when we hit ice and slid straight towards the other (lake) side of the road. Now I don’t know if I cried out to God for help; knowing me I probably did, but a miracle occurred--we came to a stop on the only embankment in the area. A little bit to the left or right and the ending might have been very different. Did I say my infant son and young daughter were in the back seat at this time (my daughter still remembers the incident)?
Over time I developed a rather pronounced reaction to mountain roads, especially those that ran by water or had drop offs or cliffs and it got worse as the years passed. It limited travel, at times, and caused conflict; it changed travel plans and it hurt me deeply as I loved to be in the mountains more then any other place. My PCP ordered meds to take during trips but these, at times, were not sufficiently strong enough to help-most noticeably on one trip to the Canadian Rockies, a place I really love, where we had to change our itinerary completely when. after miles along cliffside and other roads, I ended up with a severe anxiety reaction that couldn't be controlled.
At work, a suggestion by a fellow employee to look only at the road ahead of me, instead of to the side, helped--and I still do that at times but this was not enough and I could not truly enjoy the journey upwards. Years later, another friend said something about taking baby steps and attacking the problem by not avoiding it (actually the fellow employee had mentioned something like this too, but I wasn’t ready for it then). And so the process began--slowly but deliberately and with a friend driving that I had total trust in.
Now I can truly say that I am doing better; still on fairly non dramatic roads--no outright cliffs like some roads in the Gorge, mountains and coast have, but high enough so that there are definite panoramic views. I am also trying to travel upwards often enough so that fear does not have a chance to build up again.
As for the original site of THAT incident--the one we believe precipitated this fear of mountain roads and heights--I have yet to return there and feel at ease and yet, the idea of doing so at some point in the future does not fill me with the same trepidation it once did. However, it would not be on a snowy, dark night and would certainly not be in a convertible!
So on this third
Alaska (4 photos)
Canada (2 photos)
An apology for the quality of some photos. The prints themselves are beautiful but I was
a) too lazy to scan them
b) the house is still caught deep in the throes of chaos--albeit not as deep as previously so it would not be an easy process to scan them:)
Credit for Alaska and Canadian photos goes to my dad (yea, dad) and thanks to both of my parents for permission to post them here. They were taken during a trip on the Inner Passage to Alaska--a place I have never been but which I would love to go as it reminds me of some photos I've seen in Norway--another place I have never been but would love to go! The Canadian photos were taken in the Rockies--near Banff and Jasper from what I can remember. I have been there before but not for some time. Incredible place:)
18 November 2009
“Christians follow their Lord by imitating His life and obeying His commands. To shoulder one’s cross meant to carry one’s own cross to the place of crucifixion...Applied to the disciples, it meant to identify completely with Christ’s message, even if it meant death. We must deny our selfish desires to use our time and money our own way and to choose our own direction in life without regard to Christ. Following Christ in this life may be costly, but in the long run, it is well worth the pain and effort.” (Ilumina Software: © 2003, Tyndale House Publishers)