Thursday, March 29, 2012


we get up early because we live thirty minutes away. the lighting up of the new morning sky and the freshness of the day awakens my soul. brother, sister and i all ride together to each one's work.

the phone rings. does it ever stop? the secretary doesn't think so as a sigh escapes her lips. she answers with friendliness like no other anyway... "hello, thank you for calling the Lads to Leaders office, how can i help you?" my fingers have rubbed from the name tag after name tag i've clipped with lanyard and checked off the list. soon that job is all done but there's more to do. office supplies to pack, new group door prizes to collect, name tags to be put in bags then boxes and taped up tight to bring to the outside trailer. we are preparing for six different national youth leadership conventions, one of which i am a part. thousands will be in attendance at each. i am here today to volunteer. i see my mentor, my hero, who is the founder of this organization. my brother calls him which is seen by his interaction with others and the {awkward} way he holds my hand in the picture he requests. he has given so much...

i realize as one list is checked, one program is packed, one name badge is assembled at a time...boy, volunteering feels good. {and you just might even get a cookie or two}

give + aways

Friday, March 23, 2012

just one of those weeks.

it's been one of those

headband wearing, card playing, pretty little moment living, winn dixie grocery shopping...

color outfit explosion, hanging with little raegen, memory match up game playing, driveway walking...

home cherishing, haircut loving, m&m mcflurry savoring, scrapbook page numbering...

rainy morn calling for hot chocolate, couch to 5k, silly brother, chickfila - ice cream cone eating...


{it's been this good and the week isn't even over yet.}
how was yours?

p.s. i can't wait to hit the library with list in hand that YOU created and read up on all the suggested books!
thank you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

i like books.

ever since i can remember, i read. growing up, we read more books than we watched tv. that's just the way mom and dad raised us. on tuesdays, right after piano lessons, was a trip to the library. us kids loved the library.

i still do. i go every chance i can. poor mom has to sit out in the running car with the groceries and wait while i browse all the books, carefully selecting my titles. sometimes i consider myself a picky reader. on some days, i feel so desperate to read a book, i'll read just about anything... as long as it's clean. mostly i enjoy true stories. the real life, feel-like-you've-been-there, daring stuff. as of late, biographies grip me and draw me in more than anything.

sometimes i ask myself why i like to read. i love words. i love writing so i love seeing how others write. reading about other's lives fascinates me too. there's nothing like being drawn into another life and learning - another world almost. reading makes me forget everything else. you can be anyone you want to be when you read.

a few titles i have read recently...

black heels to tractor wheels {not my favorite}
by ree drummond

i am herman cain! by herman cain

a few titles i am going to read...

enjoy every sandwhich by lee lipsenthal, m.d.

walt disney: the triumph of the american imagination by neal gabler

one of the best books i've read is one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. that book changed the way i look at life. to date, the best book i have ever read is the Bible. there is never a lack of inspiration with this book in hand and in life.

what do you read?

{photos taken by me}

give + aways

Thursday, March 15, 2012

absence makes the heart grow fonder

cropped till i dropped {scrapbooked till 1 AM}

read a book or two

received a box of love from this cute girl

made some cookies and shared the sweets

drunk in the suns rays

and continuing my loved unhealthy kick {i hope it never ends}

so that's what happened while i was away.
what's the news?

Friday, March 9, 2012

i am happy.

(1) i am happy. because working with and being squished between these two guys in a truck cab on the way to zaxby's is just way fun. because i had a job copying cd's for a college lectureship this week {i loved it}.

(2) i am happy. because this boy took me to work friday morning. because a yellow scarf is just sunshine to my day. because this girl and i always have a good time, no matter where we find ourselves.

(3) i am happy. because peanut m&m's and vitamin water at 7 in the morning is just what it takes to get the day rolling. because a beautiful sky with sun ablaze with old tower standing tall is just breath taking. because six state troopers {in a row} lined up at the local gas station's parking lot like it's another day at the office makes me smile.

(4) i am happy. because my beautiful maryland friend sent me this picture of her and her cute little brother playing outside on a warm northern day {it put warmth in my day}. because i got to hit softballs and spend quality time with this neighbor-friend. because a note to marli scribbled on my hand made her laugh and i earned some quarters in wednesday's Bible bowl class at church.

i am happy. because life is good and God is great. the happy days just keep coming.

what makes you happy?

{give + aways}
seattle, sleepless

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

a campaigner's day

the door is opened after we knock. we are all smiles as the person behind the slab of wood stares in bewilderment at out entourage. Pops begins his spill: "hi, i'm marshall and i'm running for county commissioner. we were just out knocking on doors in the area trying to meet some people."

there's more and he makes it sound better than it looks on paper. i've known all along he's the man for the job. he goes into his plans for the county when he gets elected and a conversation is born. my duty is to hand out candy with our last name on it. i also am on the sign crew which involves hammering holes in the voters yard and placing our yard sign there {only after their permission}. normally its just Pops and me working together but this day my family, cousins, aunt and uncle are campaigning too. my cousin anna leigh and i make friends with a couple of kids. i ride their little tricycle and we have fun. many people are met, votes are promised and signs put up. sometimes a day campaigning is the best way to spend the day. we eat o'charley's. {because that's just the way of a campaigner's day.}

{give + aways}
the happy hour

Monday, March 5, 2012

love spread

words fly and i cringe. the hate emanates from their tones like an angry snake hissing at an unwelcome intruder into it's den.

just keep walking. don't look over there. act like you don't hear them.

the shouting proceeds from both sides - man and woman. the child is silent when the hate words are hurled at him. head down, shoulders slumped. imagine it - i can't to have those horrifically obscure words thrown in the wide eyed face. mine own green eyes are wider than saucers, but theirs are not. as their parents are unleashing, their eyes are downcast. i know because i have observed from behind the shelter of the tree bark. as the profanity moves from bad to worse i leave my hiding place of bark. her own barking continues loudly as i hurry to the box that holds mail. i pull out the notes from afar and turn back down the sandy lane. the envelopes are white and so is my face from bewilderment.

the boy neighbor i know, his older brother i do not. the parents divorced and remarried i've met but once. the man is friendly enough and she has yelled her apologies from a distance when her biting dog fiercely approaches me.

the boy neighbor is a cute kid and he knows my name. the neighbor girls around throw softballs and he and i met on the neighborhood practice field. he's country and sweet and his blond hair pointedly falls into his dark eyes. he rides a bike, telling me of it's model and make. i listen as he talks.

it seems he hardly ever smiles and i sadden at the thought as i finger the envelopes of paper. i wonder if the boy neighbor ever receives mail.

i think of the sweet notes from my own parents that are so lovingly placed throughout the house. does his mom ever do that? the words spoken today don't convey love so i can't picture love notes scattered for him. my eyes fall as i see that our lives are two very different ones. one of hate and discouragement, the other of love and peace. an almost daily look of his life from the outside shows me just how granted i take the love in my life. love is all around. will i spread love round?

{give + aways}
much love, illy
dearest lou

Thursday, March 1, 2012

when we go to town

when we go to town, we get dolled up and put on our girly clothes. i drive, she drives - we both drive.

when we go to town, we treat ourselves to a little mocha-love. we hope there's still some Valentine's candy clearance loot. i go to Ross next door and try on clothes (to buy or not to buy?).

when we go to town, we make a new cashier friend at Publix and greet our old ones at Winn-Dixie.

when we go to town, we quietly giggle at strangers we see in the store and suck on our free lollipops like little tikes.

when we go to town, i push the buggy while she loads up on the good stuff... cheez-it's, goldfish and the like.

when we go to town, i treasure the day. these are the good times. sometimes we talk a lot on these little trips, sometimes we don't say much. it's all okay, because it's just me and my mom.