Journey… Arranged. ;)

I am thrilled to find that I am finally getting checks on my backlogged to-do list! (Not everything is checked, but hey, it’s the journey that matters, and I’m getting there, right?) 😆

So here I am, catching up on two WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges that I missed in the past. (Somehow the ne’er-give-up part of me has been whispering “Better late than never” so I just had to get these two challenges done, even if they happen to be long overdue).

The Journey

First, because life is a journey for all of us, here’s my take on the Journey theme:

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Would you agree that we all have the same goal at the very end of life (which, I would say, is to have lived a life worth living, one in which we were able to leave the world a better place than when we first came into it)? Yet, although there is one end that we all journey toward, there are different paths to lead each of us there… or not. And isn’t it precisely that “or not” that encourages us to use our wisdom, our talents, and our faith to choose the right path to get to the right destination? And then, yes, to travel that path and to make the journey in the best possible way we can (not according to any person’s criteria, but according to that of our conscience and our faith). Ah. The journey called life. It’s awesome, is it not?


As a mom of five, I am a big advocate of order (especially when it comes to getting my kids to pack away their toys. 😆 ).

Seriously, though, I do believe order is essential. One needs only to look at the world around us to see that what is most pleasing to the senses is that in which order reigns (cadences and chords in music, flowers swaying in the field, the rising and setting of the sun, even the way dappled sunlight falls on the leaves of trees). Even the account of Creation as recorded in Genesis reflects order. Amazing, no?

Too, seventeen years of teaching have given me enough evidence to agree with child specialists who proclaim that children naturally seek order in their lives (which is why I understand that it is not only good but necessary for us to set boundaries according to a child’s maturity and capabilities as he grows, with the objective of course of ensuring not that he will rely on us and our judgment forever, but that he will one day be strong enough and wise enough to let go of our hand and venture out on his own :)).

Speaking of children and order leads me then to my take on the Arranged theme for WordPress’ Photo of the Week Challenge:

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Even little plastic men feel the need for order imposed by my sons’ hands. <teehee>

And of course, I could not resist leaving you with an old but nevertheless wonderful song to go with this post:

And a question for you too: Of all the journeys you’ve taken in life, what is the one that you will never forget?


Two is for the number of weeks that I’ve been getting less than 4 hours of sleep, working on ten million and one projects, all at the same time. (Could life get any better? 😆 ). Two is also the number of WordPress Photo of the Week Challenges that I have missed and need to catch up on.

And two is the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo of the Week challenge (and thankfully, I’ve managed to grab the time to get back on track).

The challenge prompt for this week was:

Two Subjects. This “theme” is more of a composition challenge. In the picture above, there are actually two subjects – one in the foreground (the cup), and one in the background (the dog) – both are essential parts of the picture and they each contribute something differently to the photo. Share a picture with TWO SUBJECTS! 

[ If you want to see the cup and the dog in the prompt photo, you can see it here ].

I am always delighted when the theme for a challenge is open to a million different interpretations. I am also delighted by sunrises, snowballs, delicious pairs of boots (note the plural form 😉 ), children’s laughter, my camera, and my computer… and above all, I am delighted by love in all its myriad manifestations.

Which brings me to my interpretation of this week’s challenge:

[ Click on the photo to see it in full size ]

My sweet nephew and his darling girlfriend have decided to tie the knot next year, and he got her the ring to seal the deal! (About time too, Joey! ;)). Ah, youth and love. *sigh & swoon* What a delight.

And delight is this song, too, which is, quite literally, perfect:

My Perfect Two is of course my hubby and me (which over the years morphed into the Perfect Seven = one girl, me, and six men… or boys, as the case may be :grin:). Still another Perfect Two of mine are my camera and my computer. Oh, and my coffee and my biscotti too!

What’s your Perfect Two?

Yes, Yep and Yeah!

Wouldn’t it be great if every day every single thing went exactly the way we wished it to, with bright sunshine and happy flowers and smiles on the faces of everyone we happen to pass by on our way? If there were no more fighting, no more wars, no more killing and no more suffering? (And while we’re at it, no more traffic too? heehee).

But then life’s not always like that. Not every day is perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t just rain, it pours. Sometimes no matter how we try our best to control the variables, things don’t go exactly the way we planned. Sometimes even the best intentions fail.

But you know what? It’s okay. It’s fine. That’s life, after all. This is Planet Earth, not Heaven, and struggles and obstacles and setbacks are part of what gives us the strength, the will, even the ammunition to get to that final destination. That is, as long as we hold on to that great don’t-leave-home-without-it essential, Hope.

Yup, that wonderful thing that keeps us going even when the going gets tough. That thing that pushes us back on our feet after we’ve slipped and fallen the 53rd time. That thing that puts a smile on our face, determination in our heart, and a spring in our step.

Methinks it’s really all in the attitude, and if there’s one thing that life has taught me, it’s that the attitude that wins is one that overflows with optimism even in the face of defeat. Kind of like being able to  peer beyond the lightning and thunder and know that there’s a rainbow that lies behind. Kind of like choosing to laugh instead of weep. Kind of like electing to say Yes, yep and yeah instead of No, no way, never again, ever.

Because it is a choice, isn’t it?

As always and in all things, we have a choice. We can throw our hands up in despair, moan groan and wail, gnash our teeth and bang our heads on the table. Or we can smile, dust off the backseat of our pants, and start walking again along the path, grateful for whatever lessons that baptism of fire might have handed us.

I ‘m guessing we all know which choice leads to the path of happiness. 😉

Which brings me to my interpretation of THROUGH, which is the latest WordPress Photo of the Week challenge theme:

(And speaking of the best viewpoints through which to view life, I’m pretty certain there’s a silent—if coincidental—message written between the lines in the image above. After all, that “peephole” in the image above happens to be the back of a chair found in the Happiest Place on Earth 😉 ).

Positivity. It’s a great attitude to have, isn’t it?

Suede agrees:

And so, as the Irish blessing goes:

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

And may the birds sing for you today, too, my dear darling friends!

What Albert Einstein Was

… aside from being a genius—and perhaps this even served as the stimulus for his being one—was incredibly curious. He said so himself:

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
~ Albert Einstein

I grew up hearing the old adage, Curiosity killed the cat. But I think now that this might hold true only for things that (cough, cough) one perhaps has no business being curious about. But curiosity, in and of itself, is I believe a wonderful thing. For doesn’t every amazing quest for knowledge begin with a questioning mind?

A big part of curiosity is wanting to see beyond the surface, searching for the unusual in the commonplace, seeking the extraordinary in the ordinary. (And funnily, at the end of that road is often the discovery of miracles that, far from being rare and few and far between, are actually unfolding every day right under our noses, if we but choose to really see).

All of which brings us to my contribution to this week’s WordPress Photo of the Week challenge, with the theme Unusual:

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Edward Weston said, Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.

I love that. I have always been a firm believer in searching for the special qualities that lie underneath what we otherwise take for granted as ordinary and mundane.

What does the image above look like to you? To me, it looked like some alien creature’s double-tongue helping itself to a taste of tree sap. What it actually is: sliced strawberries surrounded by crystallized and caramelized sugar. Unusual-looking but really just your usual everyday stuff that goes by the name dessert. Ordinary yet extraordinary. (Awesome tasting, too! :D)

So to my dear extra-special friends, here’s to an incredibly extraordinary day filled with curiosity that brings happy surprises to your doorstep!

Beauty and Distortion

Quick! When you hear the word “distorted,” what’s the first thing you think of?

Something twisted? Something misshapen? Something that looks like itself but with a quality that makes you a bit uneasy, precisely because it’s not supposed to be there, because it kind of breaks the flow of what would otherwise seem perfect?

The dictionary defines distortion in many different ways: to force or put out of the true posture or direction; to twist out of natural or regular shape; a crookedness. Some distortion can be jarring and uncomfortable, even disturbing (I’m thinking, specifically, of truths that are distorted, for instance—when reality or facts are twisted in order to suit one’s motives). But there are also distortions that can be natural (like that which is the result of refraction of light, as when a perfectly straight straw in a glass seems bent out of shape). And then there are “distortions” that can actually be beautiful, such as the fluidity and flexibility of the bodies of the acrobats in Cirque du Soleil.

Case in point: (Okay, so this is not an acrobat, but I swear I actually saw an amazing acrobat in this exact position when we watched Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai last year):

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Beautiful, no? (Thank you, Ms. Cat of my dear friend Jes, for that amazing pose).

Speaking of beauty, I do agree with Charles Beaudelaire, a French poet, who said:

That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity—that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment—are an essential part and characteristic of beauty.

And here’s Mandisa, who has a great song about what true beauty is all about:

I hope your day is filled with true beauty, dear friends!

Shifting Views

I love windows. My home is filled with them. I love that they let light in, and I love even more that they allow me to look out, up, and down.

To me, windows—and the views they allow—are a great metaphor for wisdom. If we look, and look well; if we look and take in different views, odds are we’ll eventually find the answers we’re seeking. Only when one is able to see things from different angles can complete understanding, often even true wisdom, walk in.

Speaking of wisdom, one of the wisest things I’ve learned came from one of my past relationships in my late-teens / early-twenties (yeah, that time when you think you’re an adult but you’re not really there yet, so there’s still a spattering of angst and a tendency to brood over things that don’t quite go the way you want them; that kind of thing 🙄 ). I don’t even remember what I was moping about, but the lesson I have kept well and have practiced all the time since, and it is one I have passed on to my kids:

When things don’t go the way you want them to, or something makes you frustrated / depressed / angry et cetera, ask yourself this question:

Can I do something about it?

If  the answer to that is Yes, then go do it. If the answer to that is No, then laugh. That’s right: laugh! You can’t do anything about it anyway, so you might as well keep your sense of humor and get on with the rest of the business of living… of living a happy, good life. Right?

We can be down, honey, but we’ll never be out. 😉

Which brings me to the WordPress Photo of the Week theme (Down) and my take on it:

And extolling the wonders of looking at the world from a different viewpoint, here’s Jack Johnson:

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found
I’ll share this love I find with everyone…

Have a wonderful day loaded with amazing sights and views, and much love too, my friends!

Bring It On!

I love the word ready because it denotes a willingness, an openness, to jump into adventure, into learning, into life.

It also happens to be the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and here’s my take on it (a triathlete standing on the shore of the beach at dawn, stretching before jumping into the cold waters for the swimming event):

And here’s U2’s singing People Get Ready!

May you be ready for all the adventures this week has to offer! 🙂

Old Photo Restoration & Digital Design

Sometimes it’s fun to have entrees, salads, soups, and appetizers, and other times you’re hungry enough to want to forgo everything and jump right into the main course. Today, we are hungry. 😆

So, right on to the main course of today’s blogpost, which I am so excited to tell you about!

We have three new courses over at the Spraground (otherwise known as

This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Photos:

First, a class that has rated high on the in-demand list: old photo restoration! Do you have boxes full of old photos stored somewhere (now if I could only remember where…), perhaps in the attic, perhaps in the basement (hopefully free of humidity), and have always wanted to somehow save the lives of those precious mementos of those dear to us (and part of the reason why our hair and skin color are as they are)? Have you looked through them, marveled at them, and then sighed with slight despair upon seeing scratches, old-age stains, perhaps some acid from those nasty magnetic albums rapidly eating away at the dear smile of Great-Grandma carrying 3-year-old Mama?

Fear no more! In a two-week instructor-led class (led by no other than the master guru and one of my dearest friends, Jessica Sprague), you will learn from Jes herself how to restore those vintage snapshots to their former glory! (And considering how we can never go back in time and re-shoot those old photos, this is the next best thing to getting them looking like they did back then!)

Click on the image below to learn more about the class, This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Shots:

This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Shots

The class begins on April 26 and ends on May 9. Registration is ongoing! There’s a special price for this beta course (isn’t it great to be among the first to learn? heehee), and if you’re signed up for the email/newsletter, you get a coupon code with extra bucks off! Isn’t that awesome? 🙂

But wait. There’s more goodness!

The Art of Digital Design

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create those awesome digital papers and embellishments? Wondered what goes into the process? Been curious enough to want to dip your toe into the design pool and learn the secrets of creating, packaging, uploading, marketing, and selling digital product? Or maybe you don’t want to really sell your product but want to create your own and maybe keep your options open for the future?

Here’s another of the most in-demand courses doing its debut at the Spraground!

Click on the image below to learn more about this awesome course, The Art of Digital Design:

The Art of Digital Design

This is a 5-week class, led by no other than the fab Jessica Sprague, and it’s perfect for advanced digital scrappers who want to learn about creating and marketing digital product! The class will start on May 24 and runs up to June 28. Stay tuned for future announcements re: when registration will open… or you can click on the image above, then hit the Notify Me button to get the news about class registration once it opens, delivered right to your inbox!

Want to learn how to draw digitally?

Or learn how to tackle that program that’s been sitting on your hard drive for so long because you needed a hand to hold yours and show you the ropes? Or wanted the perfect complement to the process of designing and creating for yourself? In a  follow-up to her fabulous first course, Illustrator 101: Designing for Yourself (in which you learn how to use Adobe Illustrator to create and build your own products, templates, cards, and more), the awesome Carina Gardner is now offering  Illustrator 102: Tips and Tricks of Drawing.

Illustrator 102: Tips & Tricks for Drawing

Carina’s class is self-paced, which means you can register *and* take the course immediately. Learn more all about it by clicking on the image above!

Looking for inspiration?

Seeing the fabulous layouts created by our Spraground Creative Team with my product never fails to both excite and inspire me! Check out the latest eye-candy!

Here are some layouts created with my Swirly Words Elements Pack…

… and my Swirdles pack too:

Can you tell I’ve been loving swirls lately? 😆 { NOTE: Images are linked to the shop, for those who are interested in knowing more 😉 }

I just looove the fresh look and the pretty little girl on this fab layout by Miki:

{ Her papers are also from my Gentle Morn Kit HERE }.

This wonderfully whimsical layout is by Chris:

And yet another one from uber-talented and uber-productive Miki:

Remember my Not Quite White Paper Pack from two posts back? Here’s what Miki made using it (just love the warm home-y feel of this layout):

And because these girls super-inspire me, I decided to create a layout which was inspired by Linda’s Spraground Challenge two weeks ago (We hold our challenges weekly… come join us? It’s open to everyone and free and fun! And you get the chance to win 5 Spragbucks!):

Looking for inspiration? (Part Two, lol)

We just wrapped up our Creative Search 2010, and boy, I have to say, I wish we could take in everyone who applied! The talent in the CT Search Gallery was just overflowing! Have a look here, and see for yourself… I’m pretty willing to bet my two little pinkies that you’ll come away from it totally inspired to take up your mouse, pen and tablet, or Cropadile (whichever your inclination is, :lol:) and start creating layouts left and right!

Check out the CT Search layouts HERE.

And stay tuned for the announcement of the final cut! (Biting your fingernails? I am, too! So exciting!)

Well, gotta get crackin’ on creating more schtuff! See you soon, my dear sweeties!

Beam me up, Scotty! 🙂

It’s a New Decade! {Ten Plans for 2010}

Well, hello there! And happy new year!

If it seems I’ve disappeared into thin air these past few months, I am so sorry. 😦 I got abducted by some germ monsters who stole my alien DNA and left human genes in their wake (read: I suddenly needed more than 3 hours of sleep and I actually GOT SICK! ~ bleah ~ The thing is, for people who hardly ever get sick, once they do it’s like having one foot in the grave. I still have a major cough that makes me sound like a great barking watchdog but at least I now have the strength to sit up and work on my compy! So YAY! :D)

Then there was that great tsunami-like wave of activity brought by the holiday season 😉 , which in this part of the world can get seriously crazy. Christmas is the best time of the year for me–a sentiment shared by everybody in this Pacific archipelago, methinks–so traffic on the roads increases a hundredfold, parties and social obligations leave you crossing out every single square on your December calendar all the way till January 1st of the following year, and then there are all those gifts to buy, lists to check, and let’s not forget the most important part of it: preparing yourself internally for the reason for the season (which I will admit is such a struggle to do during this most hectic of months of the year! Luckily it’s the struggle that really counts! 😉 )

Oh and yeah, it didn’t help much that, according to my dear friend Tori, I suffer from this illness affecting my extremities: the kind that makes my right hand shoot up involuntarily whenever I hear the question, “Who wants to volunteer…?” and the same one that makes my left hand slink down under my chair whenever I hear the question, “Are there any objections?” hahaha. Pretty dangerous disease to have around Christmastime when there’s just more stuff to do than there are hours in a day.

This condition gets especially challenging when you’ve got your high school celebrating its 25th anniversary a week into January and you’re completely aware that your right hand feverishly shot up when the question about who could make the slideshow presentation was asked. (Okay, so here’s the confession: I volunteered because I didn’t want to have to sing or dance. HAHAHAHA!)

Seriously though, I have been missing in action (shamefully hanging head down here). And I have so missed sitting with you on my blog porch, my dear friends. And I have missed my Spraground family… and I promise to never stay away this long again!

Speaking of promises…

Have you made any resolutions yet? I do mine on a daily basis (and if you’ve been coming to my blog porch for some iced tea and some nice talkies, you’d know my rationale for this)… but it’s nice to do the whole traditional new-year’s-resolutions thing… *and* blog about it so that there’s pressure to live up to it. 😆

I checked my 2009 Resolutions and realized that I failed at 3 out of 5 but passed 2! Not a great grade to get on a pop quiz, haha. But I believe in walking on the bright side of life, so I’ll be happy with the fact that one of the two I actually got to accomplish was the top one on my list! (Lose 25 pounds I did! YAY! )

Who was it who said “If you don’t succeed, try, try again” ? (It happens to be attributed to several sources… plus did you know that it was originally a maxim used to encourage American children to do their homework? Got that from a google search. Love me some google).

So here we go, my resolutions for 2010 (in which I have absorbed a couple of the unresolved ones of the past year):

1. Discover something new every day. – Learning is a good thing. A very good thing. I love learning something new every day because the excitement of that eureka moment always brings a rush of excitement (and reminds me I’m alive!).

Speaking of learning, I just learned how to use imovie and idvd in a couple of hours the other night! Gotta love that! Did I mention that I volunteered to create the slideshow presentation for the … uh… 25th anniversary of my high school batch (totally dating myself here 😆 )? The only presentations I had ever made in the past were powerpoint presentations (I know, shameful, huh?) but I knew that powerpoint certainly wouldn’t do for this big event (which is coming up in a few days, by the way).

So MacGyver (aka my mac) got a workout and I learned how to use two programs that I never even touched before. And now I have a new saying to add to my collection of  LivE Philosophies: Desperation is the mother of education. (Yes, I was beating a deadline which is what led to me learning the two programs in one evening, hahaha!).

One thing that thrills me even further about this first of my 10 plans for 2010 is that the day’s discovery doesn’t even have to be a big thing! It could be a flower that I never noticed growing in the little pot that was barren for months. It could be a new word. It could be something new that I happen to read about in A.J. Jacob’s “The Know-It-All” (I’m on page 324 in the Ts) that makes me smile.  It could be… geesh, it really could be anything!

Now doesn’t that just make the new year seem even more exciting? 🙂

2. Create weekly. – I love creating. I just take forever to do it. In my wildest fantasies I am like the Energizer Bunny (just keeps going and going and going). But in reality I get so absorbed in the process of creation that I enter a time warp and come out of it with a few new strands of white hair. 😆 So this year, I promise (as I did last year) to be more productive in less time. Promise!

3. Blog at least 3 times a week. – Ooh! This is yet another carryover from last year. I failed miserably this year, I know (picture me shuffling my feet in shame). But hey, the great thing about being alive is being able to begin again! In Latin, we say Nunc coepi: Begin now! Love that philosophy… It’s like your angel whispering in your ear: So you didn’t do so well today? No matter,  you can always begin again. Why yes! I can!

(Ps. I actually considered just saying “Blog weekly.” But hey, dream big and fly high, right? 😉 )

4. Make a layout every week. – I hardly scrapped during the 2nd half of the past year and I have to admit (banging fists on table, tears gushing down my cheeks, dramatic music doing a crescendo in the background): I miss it! I can’t even remember the last layout I made. I think it must have been during our Type+Writer 2 course. (Not counting the 3ft x 9ft poster layout I created for my 7-year-old J’s classroom… a Christmas wall decor that had me photographing and extracting 32 kids and a teacher for 3 straight nights. Phew!)

But creating layouts is one of my deepest passions. It’s how I celebrate moments in life and those I love! So I. Must. Make. A. Layout… every week (crossing fingers here).

5. Do an act of kindness every day. – Why not? Making people happy is one of the few things in life that give a greater ROI than what you put in. You make someone happy and it makes you happy too. Can’t think of too many win-win situations like this one. 😉 Serving others (the ultimate act of kindness) is easy… but to consciously make an effort to do something concrete every single day… now that is the adventure!

6. Take a photo every day. – Okay so I may regret ever writing this down. I attempted to do this last year (though I didn’t turn it into a resolution) and I failed miserably.  The funny thing is I take photos all the time! And lots of them. Just not on a daily basis. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed on this one– let’s see how it goes.

7. Be grateful for something every day. – It’s easy to think that we all have a general attitude of thankfulness, that resolutions don’t have to be made about this. But to consciously notice and pinpoint in concrete terms what it is that makes our heart sing for that day, every single day, is something that can be easily overlooked. So I promise not just to have a thankful heart throughout the year… but to visualize and verbalize and then celebrate that gratitude. That is the essence of Plan No. 7.

8. Write family once a month. – I grew up in a very close-knit family: seven kids who counted each other as our first and foremost best friends. Today we are kind of scattered across the globe. My sister in Paris and I chat every single day, something that makes me love technology that much more. But the time difference between me and my brother (who is two years older than me) is not so ideal, so that makes it harder to stay in touch. But I miss him a lot. And he is as much a genius at keeping in touch with monthly updates as I am his polar opposite (let’s see now: that makes me effectively a doofus at keeping in touch. Nice.) So I resolve to shed off my doofus costume and get my fingers working at keeping the family ties tied tight! (Say those three last words six times, quickly!)

9. Surprise a friend every month. – I like surprises (nice ones only, please. No lizards, no black furry fat spiders, and certainly, absolutely no cockroaches). When I was a kid, my dad would give me a big box on my birthday, year after year, and there was no way to tell what was inside the box because it was a generic box with its standard shape and its basic dimensions. But when I tore off that wrapper, I knew the inside would be filled with little doodads, a collection of little items that taken altogether made up my birthday gift. I loved the thought of not knowing what was inside till I unwrapped the big ol’ thing.

Today my favorite gifts come one at a time instead of in little collections, and they’re mostly bigger than the little trinkets of the past (and also, usually sport plugs that attach to my computer or my camera, mmm!). But I still love surprises, my most recent one being the that came in the mail all the way from Sweden last Christmas (more on that later because that deserves a post of its own!).

So because I think surprises are wonderful and they bring out such childlike glee, this year I’d like to make a conscious effort to bring that whee-clap-your-hands kind of happiness to a friend once a month. 12 friends, 12 nice surprises, 12 little yelps of glee. Can’t wait to do this!

10. Make a book within the year. – The summer between Fifth and Sixth Grade, my best friend and I sat down for a week or two at the country club veranda and wrote a children’s book. I kept the transcript written in our childish penmanship all these years. Yep, I still have it. It has always been my dream to publish that book and surprise my friend with it. If I actually manage to accomplish this in the next 12 months, I’d have accomplished Resolution No. 9 for one of the 11 months in the horizon while making a childhood dream a reality. So hello, Blurb. I’m going to need to learn how to work with you. (Hey! That could totally help me accomplish Plan No. 1 too!).

NOTE: Resolution Corollary to the Ten Above: I promise not to beat myself on the head and stress out if I don’t manage to accomplish all that’s on my list.

Now let me tell you, it was not easy to think of 10 for this year (I was struggling at no. 5). But 10 was my plan and I can’t flake off on the first plan of the year, right?

Three Things: A Question, a Challenge, a Gift!

So I’d like to ask you: have you thought of your plans for this year? (If you haven’t, here, sit right beside me and have a glass of iced tea while you ponder the matter. If you have actually thought of your plans… oh man, you put me to shame! And if you’ve actually written them down, then make a bit of space for me while I grovel at your feet).

Anyway, here’s the challenge part: Come up with TEN plans for 2010 (that’s right, baby, TEN :D). What do you want to accomplish this year? Doesn’t matter if they’re big or small; they just have to be what YOU want them to be. But here’s the thing: They have to be concrete and measurable. That way, it makes it easier for us to check how we’re doing throughout the year. So instead of saying, “I’m going to be nicer,” try “I’m going to smile every morning at that old man down the street whose pet rooster wakes me up at 4AM every single bloody day”. See? Now that’s a nice and concrete and specific plan! 😆

Next, write them down, all ten of ’em. (Kind of like carving your resolutions in stone, hehe). But seriously, write down those 10 plans for 2010, and if you’re comfortable doing so, maybe you can link me up to your blog or send me an email? I’d love to know what yours are!

And here’s a little gift for you if you do decide to come up with your own list of 10 for 2010:

It’s a .png file in two versions — curled and flat, with and without shadows. You can print out the flat one and write on it with your favorite ink pen… or if you live on the Dark Side like I do, you can open any of the two files on your compy and type in your ten. (Here’s a little tip: if you use a standard font and set it at 14pt, your words will fall perfectly within the notepaper lines 😉 ). Oh! and I’ve made this large enough for you to attach to a layout if you are so inclined. But you can certainly reduce the size if you want to print it out and put it in the little notebook you carry around in your bag. 🙂

You can download the freebie by clicking on the image above. And thank you so much in advance for the love you leave right here on my blog (Go ahead, click on that red Comment button at the bottom of this post; it’ll make me so happy! You know I love reading each and every one of your comments! heehee!).

So that’s it, folks! That’s all I have for today! I’ll see you again real soon, and thank you so much for your patience with my being totally remiss at coming out on this porch swing and sitting a bit with you. HUGE, no, HUMONGOUS hugs to you!

And may your new year be filled with lovely new beginnings!

Last sunrise of 2009, taken on our post-Christmas trip to the mountains. 🙂

Open Road = Freedom

Last week, the boys (read: my family 😆 ) and I went on a 5-day vacation to the mountains/beach. I have to work through uploading the tons of photos I took. This post is meant to give myself a jumpstart. >heehee<


“Shine sweet freedom, shine your light on me. You are the magic, you’re right where I wanna be…” ~ Michael Mcdonald

Hope you’re all having a great day!