Owl Teach You A Lesson

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I love painting. I liked it as a child, but I love it as an adult. Kids are overwhelmed with opportunities of fun, and repeating the same task doesn’t fare well against trying something new. I think that’s how my love for the brush and paint got overlooked.

Painting with my daughter last night provided an accidental lesson. Easels in tow, I set us up for hours of creating. We were equally excited to get our hands into the array of colors (ok, maybe I was just a tad more excited!).

My least favorite part about painting is the background. I can’t wait to get it over with so I can get to the fun stuff, the details. As I spread a mixture of blue and white paint throughout, bristles made their way on the canvas. I’m talking dozens of bristles. I have tons of quality paintbrushes, and this still happens some, but this was ridiculous. My image of a colorful owl sitting on a tree branch beneath the Aqua sky, crushed amidst the hairs. I picked several off with my fingers (this works miserably, by the way). I tried a twirl of the brush, scooping them up, one by one. Then I noticed what my continuous strokes did to the background. Specks of white seeped through and the blue boasted just the right amount of texture.  It looked better than I’d originally pictured it.

Sometimes beauty comes from our mistakes. This is true in life, too. Just because we mess something up completely, doesn’t mean that God can’t turn it into something better than we’d originally pictured. But have patience, not everything dries as quickly as acrylic.

 

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Top 5 Summer Movies

There’s something about the cinema experience that you can’t get at home, and it’s not just the big screen.  We rent a lot of movies, and recreate said experience with popcorn and chocolate-covered raisins.  I’ll admit, it’s great covering up with a blanket and laying on the couch with my family, until someone has to go to the bathroom, or the phone rings.  It’s so easy to check out Pinterest while waiting on the previews, but this sets the tone for distracted viewing.  When we’re in the theatre, all distractions fade away and nothing occupies our minds but our wildest imaginings coming to life on the big screen.  And there’s the butter.  I love a side of popcorn with my movie theatre butter!  Here are the top 5 movies I’m most excited to see this summer.

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron
    Rated PG-13, Release Date- May 1, 2015

    This made the list for obvious reasons.  The Avengers was a massive success at the box office, and the sequel is bound to be the movie event of the summer.  I can’t wait to see what baddies Ironman and company are up against when they save the world from destruction once again.  But can we please get more Thor and Jane?  It’s disappointing Natalie Portman didn’t have a cameo in the first (I realize Thor: The Dark World touched on this).  Also, my villain standards are pretty high, so Ultron better bring something that Loki can’t.  Miss you Loki!

  2. Jurassic World
    Expected MPAA Rating PG-13, Release Date- June 12, 2015

    Dinosaurs. Steven Spielberg.  That’s enough reason for me to race to the theatre on this one!  Jurassic Park was an insta-classic and beyond ahead of its time.  I can’t wait to experience velociraptors and the newest monster, the Indominis Rex, with today’s visual effects.  As someone who watches Jurassic Park every time it’s on the tube, it’s been too long since I’ve sat in the theatre in wonder at the beasts of yesteryear.

  3. Max
    Rated PG, Release Date- June 26, 2015

    The story of a Belgian Malinois that helps save Marines in Afghanistan.  After the loss of his owner, he’s sent to live with the grieving family.  As a fan of Marley and Me, André, and Shiloh; I need a good four-legged hero in my life.  The fact that it’s based (loosely I’m sure) on a true story is just a bonus.

  4. Minions
    Rated PG, Release Date- July 10, 2015

    They’re yellow!  They speak their own language!  And they were the most memorable characters from the Despicable Me films.  It’s about time they get their own gig!  My kids and I don’t care what this is about, if it has minions in it, we’re seeing it.  Plus, Sandra Bullock voices the super villain, Scarlett Overkill.

  5. Pan
    Expected MPAA Rating PG, Release Date- Expected July 24, 2015

    Oh Neverland, how I’ve missed you.  This re-imagining tells the tale of Peter Pan before he becomes the notorious child-like hero that we all know and love.  Garrett Hedlund plays the infamous Hook, though Dustin Hoffman’s mustache will forever live on in my heart.  I love a magical film on the big screen, and I hope this lives up to my expectations.

There you have it, the top 5 movies I’m most excited to see this summer.  And, yes, I realize that a few of them actually have a spring debut, but I’ll be in a summer state of mind by then.

Moth Among Butterflies

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It’s easy to get caught up comparing ourselves to the fashion models that fill our Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds.  And sometimes the mirror doesn’t help with our lack of confidence.

A centrally placed zit (thanks new primer), and curls in every direction contribute to my confidence woes at times.  I can do my hair and make-up exactly the same as the day before, only to have it turn out not quite right.  Then there’s the allergies, blah.  If there’s one thing that can make you feel less beautiful, it’s allergies.  Runny nose?  Check.  Itchy throat and eyes?  Check.  It’s easy to feel like a moth among butterflies, a weed among flowers.

Abundant perfect-looking, blemish-free women in the media make us forget the one truth to appearances: outward beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.  I can’t count how many times I’ve pointed out someone’s looks to my husband, only to hear him completely disagree.

If our faces revealed our character, maybe we’d care more about our integrity than our eyebrows.  In a perfect world, right?! (please excuse the idealistic INFP in me).  Until then, put on your confidence like you would your favorite pair of heels, or sneakers, and ROCK IT!  Nothing’s prettier than feeling good in your skin.  Just don’t forget the tissues and nasal spray.

First Spring

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What’s that? What’s that? What’s that?

I imagine that’s what my seven month old son would say if he could talk. The world must seem so bright and colorful through his eyes. If only we could all appreciate a dandelion, a robin’s egg, or a warm rain the way he does.

What if we could experience the new-ness of Spring again? Would we look at the allergy season the same, or have a newfound respect for the season that’s responsible for the beauty of summer?

As I look at my son’s smiling face, I’m reminded of how much he’s teaching me.

Life’s Little Indulgences 

  

Hump day blues?  Sometimes a little indulgence is all the pick-me-up you need!  A cappuccino in lieu of regular coffee can be just enough to start your day off right.  As a stay-at-home mom of three, I tend to watch my wallet and my calories pretty strictly; the former more than the latter!  Because of this, I enjoy the extras so much more.  

It’s all about balance.  If I drank a milkshake, bought a new pair of shoes, or slept in all the time, it wouldn’t be an indulgence, would it? Go treat yourself to that pedicure so your sandals can make their yearly debut.  I plan on grabbing an iced coffee along the way, and I’m not getting nonfat milk.

5 Tips to Keep the Vacation Mindset

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Ah, vacation; there’s nothing like the feeling when you’re on one. There’s just something about waking up in your hotel room, looking out the balcony at the sunshine, and starting your day. No worries, no schedule, and all the time in the world, is how I prefer my time away from home. With my family’s vacation over a month away, I’ve started getting antsy thinking about everything I need to do to prepare for a week away from routine. What to bring? What to do with the dog? Can I incorporate a history lesson for the kids into the trip? How am I going to keep the kids entertained in the car? It’s overwhelming.

What makes vacation so much better than everyday life? Sure, there’s the view, and the food, and the entertainment. But LIFE can be a vacation; it’s all in our mindset. Here are a few tips to try to keep that in mind:

1.  Try something new! Vacations are filled with new experiences. Tap into that by trying a new restaurant, even if it’s a town away. You just might find somewhere else to explore along your drive.

2. Count your blessings. How many times have you been to a water park and there’s not one beach chair available? No one is sitting on them, but everyone has their towel or water bottle strategically placed so that no one will take their spot. Annoying, right? But one negative isn’t enough to make you forget that you’re at a water park! Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t.

3. Take in the beauty all around you. Whether you live near a beach, the mountains, a cobblestone street, or a roaring metropolitan; beauty is everywhere. Go to a local park and picnic or hike a nature trail. Absorb the outdoors; there’s nothing more pure.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten lost on vacation. Taking the wrong exit is pretty much expected. But when you have the beach to look forward to, an extra half an hour on the road is no big deal. Don’t let something minuscule ruin your day.

5. Find time to laugh. Why is it that things are funnier on vacation? They’re really not, we’re just in the memory-making frame of mind. Keep that notion; make memories every single day.

Vacation itself is great, but the feeling that comes with it, is what we remember most.

Blurple…

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Blurple is a thing.  No, really, just look at this years prom dresses and you’ll see what I mean. The way the two colors blend is actually, kind of magical-looking. But more on that later. There were only three simple, teeny, non life-threatening tasks that I set out to do this week: writing/revising, organizing, and cleaning up my backyard. How many did I complete? Zero, nada, zilch.

For some unknown reason, I decided to fight with the crowds and take the kids shopping on Good Friday. Big mistake. Women were out in groves snatching up every pastel-colored blouse and matching accessory they could find to look their best for Easter Sunday. The sunburnt spring break crowd had returned and teenagers filled the food court.

This was also the day that my shy toddler came out of his shell and chased several innocent little bystanders, all while roaring like a dinosaur. It’s a cute gesture really. Though I doubt the little boy that tripped, while running from him, agreed.

Beautiful candy-colored prom dresses were on full display. A department store sign advertised all the pre-prom necessities that every girl needs. Because it’s just not prom without a fancy sweat suit and tank top to wear before the gown goes on. I can only imagine what’ll be a necessity when, and if, my kids go to the prom.

Our trip was interrupted by a curiously colored, bubble-gum filled sucker that took my daughter’s crown off with a single bite. Thanks Blurple.

Until next time, spring break✌️