A Wonderful Day

How are you doing today? 

It’s been a hectic few weeks around here and I feel like maybe the ticking of the clock is stuck on full-speed-ahead. 

Today we’re actually home. As in, not somewhere else!! Woo hoo! 

Isn’t that the best feeling in the world when you’ve been gone so much you forget what it’s like to stay standing in one spot? 

I am rather proud of myself, in the pile full of mounding chores, I have gotten quite a bit done today. 

The garage now has some breathing room, the furniture has been shifted around, the laundry isn’t jumping out its basket anymore, and even the toilets are smiling. 

Still there’s a billion more things I should be getting done, but honestly, all I want to do is stop and breathe-in these last few hours of September. 

So, instead of checking another “to-do” off the never ending list, I decided to take Sandy’s advice. 

Recently, I wrote about all the zinnias that came from one package of flower seeds and she asked if I use them as cut flowers. 

I haven’t. 

Until today. 

I just went out and cut some. Aren’t they pretty? Thanks, Sandy! 

Well..looks like I may have spoken too soon about this being a stay at home day. 

My little Superman just appeared all decked out in his costume, raring to go save the world! So, we’re off once again! 

I just wanted to check in with you and tell you I hope you’re having a wonderful day. 

Day 148 – Dog Walk Challenge

Do your pets ever do anything that makes you double over in laughter?

Oh man, ours do. Seems like animals can certainly be entertaining.

Yesterday I was looking through some new blog posts when a cat sitting in a cooler caught me eye. I immediately thought of our new cat, Skunk! That is totally something he would do.

Then, I laughed so hard when I read the what happened next and I knew you’d want to see this, too. It is hilarious!

If you haven’t had a chance to see Travels With Choppy yet, you may want to check it out. She is sooooooo creative and very, very nice!

Thank you, Sarah, for letting me share Choppy and Schooner! I just know a laugh will be a great way for everyone to start the day!

Travels with Choppy

Day 148 – yesterday – was also International Rabbit Day. Appropriately, there were many bunnies seen on the morning walk.

Date: September  24, 2016
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
Length: 1.3 Miles
Who: Sarah

img_6580 About ten seconds after I took this picture, Choppy came over and scared Schooner. Schooner jumped about six feet straight in the air and right into the kitchen sink. He then proceeded to run all over the counters, where he is not allowed. If only I had put the camera on video…

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A Nice Surprise 

Don’t you just love when someone does something so nice that you get a bit tongue-tied when it comes to thanking them? 

This weekend I found out that Faye, at The Chicken Grandma, nominated me for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award. 

When I read what this award represents, I’ve got to tell you, I was sort of stuck in awe. Just listen to this description:

“This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee.” 

Gratitude? Impact? Everybody? 

Talk about a compliment! 

Here’s something else I love, when I read what Faye said about the seven bloggers she nominated, I’m pretty sure my heart was beaming. 

She said:

“These seven bloggers have made me think, they have made me laugh out loud, they have inspired me but most of all they have made me wish I could meet them in person.” 

My goodness, that’s incredibly kind. Thank you so much, Faye! 

Here are Faye’s 3 questions:

1. How do you find your inspiration for a blog post? 

This is interesting because I gave a Writer’s Wordshop to a homeschool group this week called, “Let’s Inspire Our Desire to Write.” I told them the best tool I have for coming up with writing ideas is my eyes. I usually see something first, and then the stories come. 

2. What do you enjoy most about where you call home? Why? 

I love that there are lots of windows and wood floors in my home. When Little Bit is playing on the sidewalk, I always take lots of pictures of him through the doorways and windows. I love the sound the wood floor makes when he’s running up and down the hall in bare feet. 

3. What is your favorite thing to do and with whom? 

I love to take drives with Little Bit. This week we said goodbye to summer and took some new gravel roads. We ended up in the middle of many Amish farms and even got to see little Amish children standing in their yard and waving at us. So fun. 

Normally, I’m don’t like to pick only a certain number of nominees because I don’t like leaving anyone out. 

So, this time I decided to bypass the seven, and just list everyone who commented on a recent post I wrote that I love called, “Enjoy the Ride.”

My nominees: 

My questions:

    • Favorite memory of your parents or grandparents?
    • Favorite recipe handed down to you?
    • Favorite vacation from childhood?

    Thanks again, Faye. Being nominated is such a nice surprise. 

    A is for Apples…and Applesauce!

    Is it fall where you are?

    Today was the first day for us. It’s hard to believe summer is officially over and I’m guessing that before we know it, winter will be knocking at our doors.

    I haven’t shared any of my favorite blogger’s posts for a long time. When I saw Jenny’s post about this homemade apple treat, I thought it’d be a perfect way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

    She’s very nice and has some amazing recipes on her blog if you’d like to have a look. She even offers gluten free and vegetarian options, too. Love that!

    Thanks, Jenny, for letting me share your wonderful writing and recipe.

    SpoonGood

    applesauce-yogurt-2

    Happy Fall! I was saving this post for tomorrow, the first day of fall, but I just couldn’t wait!

    I love applesauce. There, I said it. Actually wrote it, but you get the picture.

    I have written before about having been a picky eater as a child. Applesauce was a daily staple in my diet. My mom was actually very smart about feeding MANY picky eaters (I have 5 siblings and we all had food quirks, allergies or sensitivities). She always included bread and butter on the table at dinner, and usually served a veggie tray with pickles and carrot ribbons too (or a bowl of homemade fridge pickled cukes and onions). Then there was the ever present applesauce. There were definitely evenings where my dinner consisted of a butter sandwich with applesauce and carrot ribbons on the side.

    By the way, just so you know, Mom is a great…

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    Meet Me

    Do you ever find yourself right on the edge of brave? 

    Toes on the line, feet firmly planted, trying to decide whether to step backwards or forwards? 

    Back, safe. 

    Forward, unknown. 

    That’s where I find myself standing right now. 

    You see, since I started this blog nearly a year ago, I’ve never posted one single picture of what I look like now. 

    There is one picture from when I was a kid, but there are zero of me all grown up. 

    Why?

    Because posting pictures online completely freaks me out! 

    I’m sure that sounds crazy, I mean all of my friends and family have pictures on Instagram and Facebook. 

    Not me. 

    I don’t put pictures of myself online. At all. 

    Remember in that movie “Pretty Woman” when Julia Robert’s character says she’s a bum magnet? 

    Well, there’s a running joke that I’m a weirdo magnet. It’s true.  

    If there’s one within 250,000 miles, they’ll find me… 

    So, I have a tendency to set up a zip code in self-protective mode. 

    The whole idea of it seems kind contradictory to me, because when I was 20, my parents let me go to modeling school. 

    Boy, did I have big dreams. 

    Scratch that. I had huge dreams! 

    I wanted to be famous and have my face plastered on magazine covers all over the world. (Gotta love a young person’s vivacious will.) 

    Now, here I am afraid of being seen. 

    Isn’t that ironic? 

    A few days days ago, I spilled my guts about my health journey this past year and your response has been incredible. 

    I’m absolutely humbled by all the compassion and understanding in your comments and well wishes. 

    And, quite honestly, to me, that is what true friendship is all about. 

    Yesterday something really, really strange occurred to me and I suddenly had an urge to post my photo. 

    Like on here. 

    Two weeks ago would I have ever done it? No way. 

    But after my health post, I realized something. 

    Almost all of my Facebook followers personally know me. Maybe we went to school together, are related, are lifelong friends, or are new friends, but at some point, most of us have all seen each other.

    But, a handful of my Facebook followers and all you kind bloggers have never seen me and have only  gotten to know me through my words alone. 

    That is so amazing.

    I think today is a good day to send out a gigantic thank you to every single person who reads my blog. 

    Thank you for sticking around, for coming back, for your kind remarks, and for sharing your unending support of me and my writing. 

    So, picture this:

    I’m standing here at the threshold of brave and instead of retreating backwards like usual, I’m going to do it! 

    I’m jumping forward with both feet!

    Thanks for being here! 

    Meet me! 

    Now and at 20❤️

    Small Town Living

    Remember the days of cake-walks and cook-offs? Of saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall? 

    Today we went to Harvest Days up on our town square. Booths full of crafts and treats lined the block while a band played on the courthouse steps. 

    To me, it felt almost like stepping into a memory book. I remember the small town festivals of my childhood and they hold a special place in my heart. 

    There’s something sort of heartwarming about all the people of a town coming together to celebrate the seasons.

    Pumpkins and mums were spread about and looked so welcoming after the hot days of summer. 

    Even the roses bushes were busy making their debut. 

    We entered our Fall “Free”dom Bars in the dessert contest, colored with sidewalk chalk in the street, and ended the day two blocks over with a helicopter ride. 

    Then, something occurred to me when we got home. Today is the very last Saturday of summer that my Little Bit will ever have while he’s 9.  

    How cool is it that we got to spend it doing all these wonderful things? 

    Here’s to the changing of seasons, making more childhood memories, and of course, to small town living. 


    Enjoy The Ride

    Have you ever been on one of those amusement park rides that whips you all around and flips you upside down? 

    That happened to me exactly a year ago today. Only there was no admission price, no cotton candy, and no waiting in line for this ride I’ve sort of been stuck on. 

    On September 15,2015, I was driving. Little Bit and I were on our way to meet friends at the bowling alley. 

    We never made it. 

    About 15 miles from home, my health somersaulted resulting in an ambulance ride, 13 hours in ER, extensive testing, being scared silly, lots of tears, and a 4 day hospital stay. 

    It. Was. Hard. 

    And, not just on me. 

    The doctors were talking about the possibility of some terrible things being wrong. Cancer, Lyme Disease, MS, stroke…

    We were devastated. 

    At one point I remember looking over at my husband and seeing tears on his cheeks.

    I could barely see him through my own…

    My parents drove 5 hours to be with me. My husband and Little Bit STAYED with me the entire time. Little Bit slept with me in my hospital bed.

    Only I didn’t sleep.

    I laid there looking at him, thinking I was dying of brain cancer and I’d never see him again. 

    If I could’ve reached into my gut and pulled out that knot of fear, I would’ve. 

    During the days, my friends showed up with their kids and gifts to cheer us. 

    The nights were excruciatingly long, worry packed, and nurse filled. 

    I was put on a really strong iv medicine those four days. It made my blood sugar spike and I had to get insulin injections. 

    I’ve never been on insulin. Ever. 

    I was sent home with a prescription of the same medication in oral form and a prescription for insulin. 

    Oh, and I was sent home with a “diagnosis” by the doctor who was treating me at the hospital. 

    He was absolutely positive he knew what I had and even yelled at me in front of my family when I questioned it. 

    His diagnosis was not a good one. 

    We prepared the best we could. Immediately after I got home, I started researching diets, alternative care, outcomes, and statistics. 

    Then, over the course of the next 3 months, we found out his diagnosis was wrong. You read that right. 

    Misdiagnosed. 

    We spent a total of 5 months in and out of doctor’s offices and on the phone with them when they called with more devastating news.

    However, at the end of those 5 months, the best they had to offer was guesses. 

    Guesses. 

    With my life. 

    Guesses are great for gum balls in a jar for a prize, but man, guesses tied to health are difficult to carry around. 

    One even suggested doing a surgery and if I still had the symptoms afterwards, we’d know it was something else. 

    Seriously?

    I passed. 

    After that and a failed attempt to get into the Mayo clinic, I cried for 2 solid days, then declared “enough.”

    Enough questions, enough doctors, enough worry, enough putting my friends and family through it, enough guesses, enough sleepless nights. Enough. 

    We took a medical break. 

    It was in the months that followed, that Clarity came skipping in, with a smile on her face, and flowers in her hand. 

    Soon Hope, Grace, and extreme Thankfulness barreled through the door and wrapped their arms around me. 

    Was this last year something I had in mind? Never in a gazillion years. 

    Do I know what’s wrong? Still working on it. 

    Did it end up being one of my most interesting years ever? Most definitely. 

    It’s been a beautifully rough year. 

    What I choose to carry around with me, is that life really is like those crazy amusement park rides.

    It seems like once we’re buckled in, it’s up to us whether we close our eyes and duck our heads, or stick our arms above the bars. 

    Even after all I’ve been through in 12 months, my arms are stretched up high, there’s a smile plastered on my face, and I’m still trying to enjoy the ride. 


    Simply Super 

    I’ve been thinking about my grandma Wilma a lot lately. Her birthday was at the end of August, but she wasn’t here to celebrate it with us. 

    She went to sleep and stormed the Heavenly gates the day before Little Bit turned 9 last December.

    Oh how she loved my boy! 

    She loved all her boys, grandkids, and great grandkids. And, she had a soft spot for my little miracle boy. 

    She knew all about our infertility struggles, my high risk pregnancy, and she just knew what a blessing he is. 

    Maybe it was because she raised six boys of her own, or because she was a school teacher, but I always felt like she saw a special light in my boy. 

    She used to get so tickled when we told her stories of what he was up to and the things he was saying. 

    I found myself really missing her yesterday when my little Superman insisted on wearing his costume to town. On a Tuesday. In September. 

    Grandma would’ve gotten a kick out of how he walked right into his jumping class. 

    His gracious coach not only let him keep his costume on, but she also let him look in the mirror and pretend he was flying. 

    She would’ve loved that after his class, we walked into the bank. The gals working “ooo-ed and ahhh-ed” over him and he was so proud. 

    I can just imagine the sparkle that would’ve been in her eyes if she would’ve seen his big ol’ smile when one of them handed him a Superman sticker. 

    At Walmart, as he drew a lot of quiet smiles from passing shoppers,  I couldn’t help but think that grandma would’ve loved to see our little boy all dressed up while shopping on such an ordinary day. 

    I love the fact that grandma got to love my Little Bit until the very last day that he was 8 years old, and even though she didn’t get to see him be 9, I’m guessing she’d think he is simply super.