My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box
somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be
wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From
your thoughts, you can create greatness.This is what I need to remind
myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with
gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes
to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create.
Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but
how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around
you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgmental,
love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 10th anniversary and I want to tell you about the man that I fell in love with on November 2nd, 1997, and who I married on October 26th, 2002.

I've never before loved another man nearly as much as I love this man. This man adores me, and that, alone, is enough to make me love him the way that I do. But that is not the only thing that encompasses our relationship. The little things that he has done everyday for me: little notes, little drawings, putting my socks on my feet when I'm bundled on the couch and my tootsies are cold (without me asking), are just a few things that this man does. Not because he's "whipped" or anything like that, but because this is a kind and generous and giving human being who is unselfish and loving and really pure of heart.

Now, he's made mistakes, alot of mistakes, like most human beings, and, not too long ago, I used to remember each and every one of those mistakes, and could recall them quite clearly. But now, since I've gotten older, and have advanced in my own relationship with myself and we've advanced in our relationship together, I don't know that I could recall or tell you many of those mistakes that he's made, nor do I have a desire to. At least, I try, anyway. Rest assured, he has never reminded me of mine. That is the earmark of a precious relationship; when you can accept each other for all of your flaws and mistakes and forgive each other for them wholeheartedly and without any type of reckoning.

There's a give and take that is unspoken but not unrealized. I've got the most precious man in my life and my life is completely enriched because of him. I've been in relationships in the past that were absolutely no good. I was always (terrible cliche, here) "lookin' for love in all the wrong places."
I got into relationships with people over and over again that wanted to make sure that I knew my place; that I knew that they were better than me, or even that other people were better than me. I was constantly put under their thumb. I don't know why I, too often, accepted that, and I don't know what made me wake up. I thought maybe it was getting pregnant with my son that did it, but I realize I woke up from this before he was born. I guess I just knew it was time to grow up, that his well being had to come first.

 I think of how magical my life is now, because I can see the miracle of change that occurred that helped me stop going through the terrible motions of tortuous relationships. I've been with people who were abusive, people who were cruel, I've been been on the roller coaster ride of mental and verbal abuse, and even endured a little physical abuse. Most women who go through this will continue the cycle; will continue picking the same man over and over again. By some miracle, that I can only now attribute to God (not religion), the Great I Am, I stopped that cycle, especially since I knew that I was going to make the decision to raise my son alone, if it meant that we would be in a safer and more sound environment. And only then when I made that decision did I opened myself up for true love.
And that is definitely what I found and what we have grown in exponentially over the last 15 1/2 years.

 I've never met anyone more generous to have taken on a ready-made family and an 18 month old baby when he was only a young man in his 20's, and he is the only father that my son has ever known. We could never ask for better. Ever.

I've never met anyone that makes me feel the way that Noah makes me feel. And for that I owe him my life. And he will have it because I intend to spend every last drop of my life with this man, and I hope that that life extends far, far into the future. Long enough for us to both see the wonderful changes that we are hoping for for this planet and all of the life on it.  He is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to us and I feel blessed every day to have him. And if you all only knew the little things, the little miracles that happen everyday between all of's just a special and magical life. I only pray that everyone can have just an ounce of what I have with my Noah.

"...just as the flower cannot survive without the sun, nor can I without your smile..."
                                                           -from my vows to my husband, October 26th, 2002

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween pillow cover, a look at our town

Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you've all had a chance to get out and enjoy the Autumn splendor...
I finally got that pillow cover done out of that vintage-look Halloween fabric.

Here's a close-up

I also took a drive around town and through our neighborhood. I wanted to get some pictures of the color before we left for Tennessee. Here's a look down one of our streets.

I love the view of the courthouse peeking up above the trees...

Here's a view from our own street...

Trees on the corner of a house we walk past on our walks.

 The view down the street I come down every day on my way home from work. At the end, take a right, that's our street...

Here's a cute house we walk past...

Our town is full of color.

 Some more houses on our route....

 Our courthouse in the middle of town.

A great house across from the courthouse, and the Library behind...

                                                                     Our Library

 More houses on this side of town where we like to walk

                                        Everyone's starting to get into the Halloween Spirit!

Tomorrow we're going to get some pictures along the Great River Road and surrounding streets and historic areas, so stay tuned.
Just when you may be thinking your getting tired of where you live, look a little closer at the everyday things you may be taking for granted. You just might find some wonderful things that have been there all along!

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

My scenic drive and a town that time forgot

Well, I didn't get the photos I promised on the day I said, I got rained out. So we drove out last evening after some errands. I took the route (mostly) that I take home from work everyday. The only thing I missed a picture of is the Piasa Bird and caves. I'll get those soon. Anyway, I snapped these while traffic was slow and then we drove on down the road a few minutes to historic Elsah. I'm so glad we did...we haven't driven through Elsah in a while, and it is such a treat, especially this time of year.

This is The Great River Road

A side route to a main road we take...

And here is Elsah. This town was was founded in the 19th century and still reflects that time today. There are tours and events that still take place today. You can find more information here. The homes are lived in by regular folks, and Noah and I had a very close friends who owned a home here for quite a while. It is a lovely little village, I hope you enjoy this little tour...

 The pre-civil war gate lodge (1894), a wonderful place to sit and read, don't you think?

The ruined ice house (1865)

The Keyser-Read-Holt house (1850's)

The street markers

The Keller-Teatz house

Elsah school (1857)

This was all in someones back yard, right at the base of the bluffs, and right off the road.

Methodist Church (1874)

Village Hall (1887)

I hope you had fun on that little trip to the far past. I would love to live here, but I'll have to settle for visits. It's just small enough to walk the whole village and that would make for a lovely fall afternoon. Add a picnic and there you go, a wonderful relaxing day!

Well, Noah and I will be off Friday morning. It's our 10th anniversary and we'll be beginning our long drive to the beautiful Smoky Mountains. I'll have loads of pictures to share, and who knows, maybe we'll drop a post to say hi while we're relaxing in the mountains. This is our first vacation alone...ever. We never had a honeymoon, and we've only been on two family vacations, so this is pretty special, especially after everything that has happened over these past six months. I can't wait!

Have a great week, weekend, and a WONDERFUL Halloween!