Life can sometimes be hard to balance.  Work, fun, motherhood, cleaning, friendships, relationships, family… Some days, I just want to throw my arms in the air and scream Eff it all!  I have always been such a people-pleaser, all I ever wanted to do was make the people around me as happy as I could.  What I didn’t realize in all of this, was while I was nearly killing myself to make others happy, deep down inside – I was not happy, I was miserable.  Don’t get me wrong, serving others is very dear to my heart, and understandably, serving without the expectations of receiving is as selfless as one can be – that’s actually what I was striving for.  But not being able to serve yourself because you are always serving others is a daunting and exhausting task.  Sometimes you need to ask for help and just hope that maybe, it will be given back to you.

I have learned so much this past year.  I learned that in the end, sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself.  I learned that the only person in charge of your happiness is you.  Life is only what you make it to be, and that you shouldn’t or can’t depend on others to make you happy.  I learned that Gary Chapman’s “The five love languages” only works when both parties are willing to fill each others love tanks.  I learned that life is so fleeting and ever-changing, you never know when something life altering is going to come into play.   I learned to be diligent in my goals, knowing that if I didn’t follow the proper steps, I would never reach them.   I learned that life can be so beautiful if you take the time to appreciate it.  I learned that I was strong enough.  And more than that, I learned that I deserved happiness.

I hope you all had a great weekend and my challenge for you this week, is to find YOUR happy.



An Encouraging Word


Dreaming encourages me to think outside of the realm of reality.  Truthfully, reality can seem so depressing day after day.  All one has to do is turn on the news or open up a newspaper and there it is: death, destruction, loss and poverty.  Its a wonder how we manage to function daily with knowing all that is out there, all that is going on.

Dreaming is a means for ideas to be born, if we dream of a better future, can we dream a way to make it so?  (<- Ha!…Star Trek reference) The doors can be opened to any possibility, beyond your wildest dreams.  Right now, I dream of moving.  I dream of my son growing up to be a successful husband and father.  I dream my father is able to walk again after his stroke.  I am encouraged to make my dreams my reality.  It encourages me to work harder and be stronger.  What lies beyond these doors for you?




So this isn’t my best portrait ever and it may seem like it would have absolutely nothing to do with my goals.  Ah, but it does!

Today I went out to lunch with a good friend of mine.  We were so tired of the same ole-same ole, so we decided to try someplace different, someplace we hadn’t been before.  We found a little Greek/Italian restaurant in a strip mall down the street from our work called Milano’s.  Throughout the meal, my friend was making these funny faces at me, I couldn’t figure it out.  Eyes wide, on the verge of bursting out with laughter and here I am, thinking she might be choking to death.  She finally kicks me in the shin and under her breath says “look over there…” (I equate the moment to that part in Ferris Bueller’s Day off when they are in the cab and Cameron, with tight lips, tries to tell Ferris that his Dad had pulled up right next to them.)  So I look and WOW!  Doth my irises deceive me?  There are these 2 women, in these Fantastic hats!  Decked out in jewels and sparkly brooches, I thought to myself “Well it’s too darn cold for the Derby and we sure as hell ain’t in Kentucky…”  (I live in Virginia.)

I looked past the register and there were more women in hats.  All different shapes, sizes and colors!  I looked around at the other patrons eating at the restaurant and they were just as dazzled.  The waitress came by to refill our teas, I asked her what the occasion was.  She explained that it was a hat club meeting and that there were nearly 40 more ladies in the back wearing these hats and jewels, just having lunch together.  What an unbelievably lucky day this turned out to be, as I had my camera tucked away in my purse, as most amateur photogs were taught to do.  But I got nervous and started sweating.  I can’t go in there and ask them to pose for a picture for me.  How would I recover from embarrassment if they refuse me in a restaurant full of people?  Surely the patrons were all staring, as interested as I was.  Buuuut, if I never asked, I would never know and this moment would be lost to me forever.

Pulling up my big girl panties, I decided to bite the bullet.  They were all getting their long, fur coats together, readying to leave and I walked right into their private room.  The first person I made eye contact with, I would ask.  And I did.  I explained that I was studying photography and found her hat so lovely, would she mind if I took her picture?  I reassured her that the photo wouldn’t be sold or used in any improper way.  The woman above smiled, and agreed to pose for the picture.

So while this picture may not be the best I have ever taken, or a true representative of what my goals are as a whole, it certainly portrayed one goal I am hoping to overcome, especially in my photography.  If I don’t reach out for the fruit, I will never get to taste its sweetness.

Now I just have to find me a hat club to join.