Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Finally getting started....

Here it is December 11th and I have just begun my Christmas prepping; well except the tree. For the first time in YEARS I had our tree up just a few days before Thanksgiving so that we could enjoy the holiday weekend stress free with family. But since then, nothing has been done. Shopping is starting to scare me.

So, the first step - our Christmas card. I have been spoiled the last few years with amazing pictures taken by friends of me with my family. This year just went by a little too quickly for me to schedule that let alone contemplate it again this year.

It is important to me to have a picture of the girls on our card each year; they are growing up so quickly...

Without further rambling, here it is, our 2012 Christmas card:
Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Hoping that they will arrive in your mailboxes BEFORE Christmas!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Goodbye Hershey...

Picture taken by Jillian Carvo 2008

Yesterday, we said good-bye to our very loving and loyal black lab Hershey.

It wasn't until this morning that I realized I personally have never been around when the family pet has passed. I had a cat, PepĂ©,  growing up and when I moved out of the house she lived on to be about 20+ years old! I was sad when she passed but not like I am now; I had been away no longer having that everyday connection with her. Brett & I had two other cats after we got married, Snuggles and Oreo, but they went to another home verses passing away so that was a different for me.

 I hold a very special place in my heart for Hershey. Brett & I spoke for him and his sister Mica in early 1999 and found out the next week that we were pregnant with our first child, Alissa. I remember going to pick out the puppies;  they were a beautiful litter! Brett picked out the strongest of the group, which happened to be a female (girl power!) we named Mica and I got to pick out the second dog. The runt of the litter caught my eye from the get go; he was so small and adorable! I picked him up and immediately we had a connection! He nestled into my neck and the rest was history - he was ours!

These two were my first true experience of having a dog. (Side note: There was a dog in my childhood, but he was my dad's hunting dog and in my memory he was only around for a very brief time when I was very little. Brett & I also tried to be dog owners in college and rescued a Dalmatian, Pongo. Way too much energy to be a house dog for a college student. Soon after we got him Pongo found a home with one of Brett's Aunt & Uncle's. So that connection, the family pets weren't until Mica and Hershey.) Hershey was always the snuggler and Mica always the one in charge; both thought they were lap dogs! It didn't take long for Hershey to pass Mica in size! He went from the runt to the largest of the litter; and still thought he could be a lap dog!

A few years later, we chose to separate the two dogs as Mica was being quite the bully to Hershey; food and attention were her issues with him. She might have been shorter than Hershey but she was in charge; its all in attitude. Mica went and lived with Brett's parents; her need to dominate/compete diminished and she lived a great life out on the farm. She passed a couple of years ago; her passing didn't affect me like Hershey's has...

This has been hard. Over the last 6 months or so, we have watched Hershey's quality of life decline due to age ailments. But despite his pain and discomfort, he was always happy to see us and so very loving.This last month his ailments had worsened and the time had come...we had to put him down. Oh..that just sucks. There is no nice way to write it; it hurts your heart. I find comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain; that was hard to see too. As awful as that was, then we had to tell our girls. He has always been here; they have grown up with him in our lives. Last night was a hard night for us all....

I never understood the true heart ache of losing a family pet until now. When I would have friends and family share that they had lost a pet I expected sadness but not truly grief. I get it now. 14 years is a long time to have such a loving and loyal companion...I truly feel like a member of family has been lost.

You may wonder why I chose to write a post about a dog and share it. A few reasons - One, this blog is a part of my history; Hershey is definitely a wonderful part of my history. Two, to share with those who have been there my understanding. Three, to those who have not yet been there to make sure you extend compassion to those who are and have an idea of what someone else is going through.

We will get through this. Time will ease the pain of the loss and memories will always be with us. I'm sure that another pet will be in our future, but there will only be one Hershey. Love ya puppy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Birthday Weekend...

Oh what a night! What a weekend! Not only was it my birthday Saturday but it was also the 2013 Mrs. Washington America Pageant weekend in Olympia, Wa.

(A little back story: After the 2012 pageant I was honored to move from being a contestant to become the Executive Assistant to the State Director, Pamela Curnel. This position suits me well! I am able to feed my creative side, help others, and meet some pretty amazing people! I am so very thankful to have been welcomed in not only by Pam and her family/friends, but by her pageant family as well. This is a remarkable group of people that bless me daily!)

What a celebration! I was blessed to share my birthday with not only my husband and two beautiful daughters but with the incredible pageant staff/family/friends, 23 amazing contestants, a celebrity judges panel, 19 former Mrs. Washington America’s, a handful of friends from Moses Lake, and well - EVERYONE that attended the pageant! Yes, you read it correctly - EVERYONE in the theater (more on that in a moment).

My birthday celebration began Friday night after interviews at the contestant gift exchange. I was surprised by the contestants and pageant staff/family/friends singing "Happy Birthday" to me and having not one, but two cakes there to indulge in the night before the pageant!! I thought it was so thoughtful for them to take time out of their weekend to acknowledge my birthday. So, after Friday night, I checked my birthday off my list and focused on the pageant ahead.

What an amazing pageant it was! We celebrated Pam’s 20th Year as the Mrs. Washington America State Director with a breath taking show! 
And oh so much more! Truly a first class production by Pam, as always! Nothing but the best will do.

The competition was fierce! The class of 2013 was filled with such wonderful women! I am  very thankful that I was neither a contestant or a judge! Each contestant is so individual and offering something so different than the other. Ladies, you should be so very proud of yourselves and your journeys! You are each AMAZING! Seriously! You guys ROCKED it!! It has been my honor and pleasure to share in this year with you!

During the awards portion of the evening, I was awarded the “Staff Volunteer of the Year Award 2013” and acknowledged on stage. HUGE surprise! I am so honored and so touched to receive such a prestigious award. As, I was walking off stage Mark and Debbie, our emcees, shared that it was also my birthday...so I was called back on stage where I received an overwhelming “Happy Birthday” chorus from everyone in the theater. How often in ones life does that happen?!? WOW! Again, I was humbled.

I’m not sure anyone, other than my husband, realizes how much just a small token of appreciation means to me. Receiving this award, others taking that time to personally acknowledge me...I am overwhelmed. From the bottom of my heart - thank you!

To our new Mrs. Washington America 2013, Amy Clark - congratulations sweetie! I look forward to the amazing year ahead! I am excited to be able to participate in moments of your new journey!

Thank you to not only those at the pageant, but friends and family that sent me birthday love via Facebook, cards, texts, flowers, etc!! This birthday was definitely a once in a lifetime event!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A life lesson in exercise...

Have I shared lately how much I LOVE my life? Yes, it's been CRAZY busy but the truth is, I wouldn't have it any other way - as long as there is still time for ME.

I had gotten to the point in my schedule that I was truly running like a chicken with my head cut off! Those moments happen but they need to be just that, a moment, NOT a daily routine which mine had become. I have FINALLY gotten to a point that my schedule is still nice and full but allows me to have some me time. I have made a promise to myself that I am unable to tackle my "to do" list for the day unless I have taken the time to exercise.

I am not too proud to say that exercise is NOT one of my favorite things to do but I do like how I feel after. Simply walking outside rejuvenates my mind and the fresh air helps me focus on my day ahead. I can also share that in the last couple of months, not getting the simple exercise with my crazy schedule truly affected me mentally and physically. I made excuses for myself that I didn't have time to exercise, which I didn't because I didn't make it enough of a priority. I hit stress overload and crashed! I don't like that kind of reality check; I encourage you to not get to that point.

Many of us think that everything we do couldn't be done by anyone other than us; or is that just me? Take a look and see what REALLY requires your attention and deligate those things that could be tackled by someone else. Even if they don't do it the way you would, bottom line - it's getting done.

So, why all this rambling? I guess to share that happiness depends on you. Take a look at all that is required of you, what you add to the mix, and how you choose to tackle it. Excuses are just ways that we try to justify why we aren't doing the things that we know we should be doing. If you are at the tipping point of meltdown, I encourage you to reassess your daily routine. You and your loved ones will be happy that you found time for you.

Happy Monday!!


Monday, February 27, 2012


Life is all about balance; isn't it?

I have always been a scheduled person and at some times in my life that has been a downfall; I miss out on the little things going on around me because I am too focused to get to the next task I miss out on the happenings between Thing 1 & Thing 2! I realize that the schedule mode has gone a bit to the extreme when an alteration in my schedule occurs and I am perturbed....I don't have time for that change. Realizing that change naturally occurs and I am causing myself undo stress I flip into a complete opposite mode, like a seesaw, and try to go with the flow of the day! Let me just share, that creates problems too...

Photobucket Image Hosting

In addition to my husband and our girls busy days, I have many things that I am interested in and that I would like to be a part of; so to be careful not overextend myself, I schedule...Then I get my schedule SO booked that I don't have time for any change and sometimes I miss out on why I was doing it all in the first place because I am no longer enjoying these things. Really?!? Any of you feeling me right now?

I am working on finding lifes balance...what I am learning is that each day requires adjustment. Instead of going from one extreme to the other, like a seesaw, I need to make little adjustments. Currently, I am in the "going with the flow" end of the seesaw and I am in full frustration! 

How do I plan to remedy my current situation? I am going to make lists writing down all that I currently do and what I would like to do. I am going to work on the balance of getting some me time in somewhere! I will make sure that I have time to exercise my body, mind, and spirit. I will not over schedule my days so that there is allowance for life's "changes". I will enjoy the journey that God has given me and do my best to be a bright light in everyone else's life that I come into contact with. I am going to work on delegating the parts of the "to-do" list that I can, and I am going to have an accountability partner that helps me stay on track during this transition.


I know that this is not a one time fix; remember, each day requires adjustments. But I've got to start somewhere and sometime, the time is NOW. Each day will be easier because I have a plan, a course to follow, that I have created based on me.

Look! It's already started!

Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Teleportation...the more I travel the more I wish it were a reality.

I love my life and I am blessed to be able to travel often. The ONLY downfall is all the packing! It never fails, no matter how prepared I think I am with my lists of what to bring, I forget SOMETHING! LOL! Anyone else feel this same frustration?

If I really sit down and put more thought into it I get a little freaked out about all the logistics of it all and instead of the cool Star Trek vision I have in my head my imagination turns to Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory; all the tiny particles flying through the air....Then my imagination goes from wouldn't teleportation be so cool to what if I got somewhere missing some of ME! LOL! Isn't it funny how our minds work.

It's good to dream and think of the what could be; it all starts with a "what if..." Some people are scared of the "what if's", I am thankful to those who took a chance on their dreams; they've made so many things in our everyday lives possible.

So, my reminder in this silly little post, is to wake up your dreams! Some can be silly like my teleportation becoming a reality in my lifetime but it brings a wonderful childhood happiness back into your life. Get dreaming again! Don't let your "what ifs" be something that hold you back, allow them to be something that push you to your next step in life. Dream!