Monday Milestone

McKinley plays guitar:

Everyday for the past two weeks McKinley has been going over to the guitar and strumming it. And in those moments, I’d think to myself, I have to start playing again— dad would want me to—I’ll feel him with me. But I haven’t picked up the guitar.

When I drive, I sing. Ohh, and I get really into it.  For the last couple of weeks while singing I’ve thought, I should learn this song on the guitar– it would be beautiful. But I haven’t yet. And why not!?

It seems clear now, but my mother actually pointed it out to me in an earlier conversation.
I said, “I’ve been praying for a sign from dad.”
“Today McKinley strumming on that guitar, and being silly– that was dad,” she said. Then it hit me.  All my thoughts from the last two weeks flooded my mind.

I havn’t been listening!

My dad once told me, “God speaks all the time, but very few know how to listen.” My dad believed that at certain times, in certain moments, God spoke through people—That someone could say something to you, and it could be God speaking, and if you weren’t listening, you would miss it.

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“Most Influential Blog” Award!

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I was nominated for the Most Influential Blog award! My jaw dropped when I read the email. I thought to myself—Me? My blog? Influential!? Oh my gosh..really!!!!? I am ecstatic and truly honored about this nomination. Genevieve over at Coloring Outside the Lines graciously nominated me. Thank you Genevieve! Her blog is wonderfully written. She inspires others and candidly writes about parenting, education, and her experience with her three children. Check her out!

The rules:
1. Display the Award on your Blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment.
5. Answer each of the 10 questions that your awarder asked, and then write 10 for your awardees (or use the same ones up to you)

My answers:
1) What is your favorite season?
I feel in love with Autumn years ago. Beauty just radiates. It’s also, a time of “shedding” for me—as the leaves fall I let my worries and woes fall too.

2) Who is your favorite singer?
My father. He was amazing at manipulating his voice. My personal Bob Dylan!

3) What is your favorite kind of music?
90’s–Indy—alternative—70’s—and R&B/Rap

4) Who is your favorite author?
Truthfully? I don’t read enough to have one.

5) If you had enough money, what charity would you donate to?
Faith Mission.

6) If you had enough money, what room in your home would you renovate?
If I had enough money, I would buy a home.

7) What is your favorite television show? The League–Suits–Survivor–Parenthood

8) Which of these is your most favorite drink: Pepsi – Coke – Ice Tea – Water? Water.

9) Do you own a desktop PC or laptop…or both? I own an iMac desktop and PC laptop. I prefer Apple products.

10) What would you rather do for relaxation, read a book or watch television?
When I want to relax, I take a bubble bath and light a candle. 🙂

My questions to nominees:
1) If you could have one last meal–what would it be?
2) What is the last song you listened to?
3) Dogs or cats?
4) What is your favorite holiday and why?
5) What is the last book or article you read?
6) Kit-Kats or Reeces?
7) What is your favorite movie?
8) Anchorman or The graduate ?
9) What is your favorite constellation and why?
10) What is your ideal vacation spot?

These are the blogs that inspire my creativity and challenge my core being.

My nominees:

1. Pocketful of Motherhood– Hannah is amazing. She encourages me to become a better person and re-evaluate and strengthen my relationship to our Heavenly Father.
2. Reversecommuter– Without her — I would have no fashion sense whats-so-ever. She seriously influences my entire wardrobe when I step outside the house.
3. Mommytrainingwheels -Sophie is like my mother in crime. 🙂 Her blog is really fun to read.  She posts great advice on products for parents and is very engaging. Her son Charles, or The Dude is very adorable.
4. Adventures of a stay at home dad– Matt & Sandy- they are a cute couple that get into all kinds of fun stuff. Matt is a great writer and I have found myself chuckling often!
5. mindlovemisery– A beautiful poet, who has a way of letting words dance.
6. Pennypinchingpeach– Keisha has influenced me to really look for good deals and steals! 🙂 And, I mean, she is a Georgia Peach & so am I 😉
7. Livenlovenlearn-Love this blog! Amanda is awesome.  An elementary teacher turned homemaker.  So her blog has become my haven.
8. Flyingbubbles– Love this blog for a quick read & for conversation starters.
9. Sisterhoodstickynotes– It’s a blog all about celebrating woman. A true feminist blog (I mean that in a good way–some people don’t understand the true meaning of the word “feminist”).
10. Little sign, and more– Growing up signing with my brother, this blog is awesome for learning to sign with little ones! Bethany’s blog is awesome I love reading it for beauty, recipes, craft ideas and more!

That’s it ya’ll.. I’ve been meaning to do this post for over a month now.  I’m glad I finally got around to doing it!  To all my nominees you guys are awesome keep up the fabulous posts!

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Monday Monologue: The Oyster Idiom

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I’m not gonna lie–sometimes idioms make no sense to me. The words just don’t always process the right way for me to fully comprehend the metaphor. (I’m sure having dyslexia doesn’t help my case). So please chime in if I’m way off base.

The world is your oyster!

Meaning: The world is yours to do whatever you want! Make life what you want it to be. Enjoy life by working hard for what you want, or by being lucky.

The world is our oyster? Really though? Is it? Ours for the taking? Opportunities everywhere?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m constantly having to depend and rely on others. Yes, it’s a part of life and I get that…but…uh, then the world is not my oyster… right?

See, life and people are unpredictable.  Someone could bust their ass working hard and still never find the “pearl.” How does that make the world anyone’s oyster? Is the oyster for an elite group of people who can afford opportunity?

While I do consider myself both lucky and hard-working…It doesn’t change the fact that at times my decisions and choices rest in the hands of others. I can’t just go and do whatever I please. I think people need to have the right resources, like Pistol’s “sword” in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. —> (This is where the idiom comes from).

Well, at least for now I don’t have the resources, but one day, the world will be mine. Muhaha! (Not sure why, but the creepy evil laugh felt appropriate).

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“An Unexamined Marriage”

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A sort of miracle happened today. I was able to watch my wedding.

What you don’t know is that for the past two years, over two years actually, I have tried to watch our wedding DVD’s.  They were in a .mov file format.  I tried watching them on different MAC computers and PC computers.  I tried converting the files and I’ve even spent time talking with professionals. You name it– I’ve tried it.  And, the outcome was always the same.  You could only listen to the audio.

Today I had a thought. I wonder if my wedding DVD’s will work now that I have iDVD on my computer. 

So, I popped in the DVD’s and sure enough there was picture!  I was finally able to watch my wedding!  And do you know what clip popped up first?

My father’s speech.

“The unexamined marriage is not worth living.”
“Live your lives together and try to transform yourself, but the one thing you don’t want to do… is try to change each other.”
“Transform yourself, never try to change your best friend.”  

These words come at such important timing in my life. Mainly because, my husband and I are working on transforming ourselves. Sometimes, it’s not easy.  Actually, it’s never easy.  And as you work on becoming a better person, the marriage is something that needs to be examined. The transformation of a marriage never comes from changing someone else, but changing yourself.

Most of the time in marriages, partnerships, and relationships in general–individuals can always pinpoint and point fingers at what the other is doing “wrong.”  But, true and honest growth comes from within each of us.  To be able to take responsibility for our own actions, thoughts, and behaviors.  To forgive. To acknowledge. To apologize. And, to become.

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You’re right–we all have wishes.

I know that usually on Friday’s I post a
curriculum piece, but something else is on my mind. Today marks 3 months since my father’s passing.

Dear Dad,

My mind is flooding with memories of you, like when you were bent on the ground smelling different soaps and lotions from under the sink with McKinley. You were smiling ear-to-ear looking into her young and (at the time) blue eyes. I loved watching that moment.

And I loved watching so many other wonderful moments between the two of you. Here’s the thing, I can’t help but wish you were here to see her becoming an artist. I wish you could see her brush her own teeth…oh gosh dad, there are many wishes I have.

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You’re right–there are many wishes we all have. Haha, I remember you would come home with a dollar lottery ticket and we would go around discussing our various decisions with the winnings. You loved doing that!

Spit it out.

I just…I struggle with your absence. Sometimes it feels like a moral void. Sometimes empty. So I try to wrap my head around, and remember clearly, our conversations about the afterlife. Do you remember? One time we were sitting outside on the back patio late into the evening. Stars above us.

What do you think is going to happen to me?

I told you– I didn’t know, but that it couldn’t be bad, because logistically speaking it wouldn’t make sense. And there started another amazing- thought provoking-conversation.

Dad, I’m sorry I took time for granted. I thought we would have more time together. I’m sorry for the days I was a grouch and the times I was to tired for another wheelchair ride.

Most of all dad, what I want you to know? Even if I have said it before (I want to tell you again). I’m incredibly honored to be your daughter. Proud to call you my father. I’ll miss our in-depth meaningful conversations. I have deep admiration for you, for your compassion, and kindness towards others. I look up to you in ways you won’t understand. And I’ll never stop my quest to becoming a better me. Geez I could write a lot here so—I love you and I miss you.

Thank you for supporting McKinley Milestones and my blogging world. 🙂
This blog today is dedicated to you.
R.I.P. dad. And, I’ll see you again. XO

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