Sunday, August 28, 2011

Milestone Birthdays are for Celebrating! {Free Printable}

Mr. Wonderful whispered "Happy Birthday" in my ear while I was still dreaming 
as he headed to work on Monday morning... 
I stretched, breathing air deep into my lungs... It was great to be alive!

Although some dread birthdays, I had a change of heart after defeating breast cancer nearly 10 years ago... When another birthday rolls around, it is a gift~ and every age spot, wrinkle and achy joint is a sweet reminder that I'm still here!

Although I've said "YES!" to all kinds of things this year...
lots of fun times and spontaneous silliness...

It was the precious "little things" that I counted on my special day.
My life, when partnered with God's abundant grace, is rich, indeed. 
So I've been giving thanks all week...

For the truth of His word in surprise places.
 The privilege of sending my kids to college;
and prayers said by friends for safe travel...
for sipping fancy coffee with the Aggie Sisterhood....
 ...who made a surprise trip to Dallas just to say they were glad I was born.
{One of them even in the midst of her own cancer battle}
For  little touches of hospitality~
 And bubbly toasts to another year!
For the lavish love of my sweet parents and sister and friends...
for the gifts and cards and calls and Facebook blessings~ 
And to help with your next celebration, why not do this adorable idea from 
And here are a couple of downloads that would make precious cup cake toppers!
 And Yellow Mums

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life on Purpose: I'm taking charge! {Free Download}

"Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose–
a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye." 
– Mary Shelle

This PRECIOUS printable by Sarah Jane was just what I needed.
 {Also, see what Ashley Ann did with it here.}  
When I saw it, I was reminded that it was time to consider my 
commitments for the school year.
I begin the year twice.
Once in January with a fresh calendar,
 and again when school starts with a fresh spiral notebook. 
Both seasons beg for a plan.  
For sooooo many years, I just followed the plan that life laid out before me.   
Which ALWAYS ended in over-commitment, frustration and fatigue.
And it is really hard to love others well when you're grumpy.

What will you say yes to this fall?
 PTO, coaching volleyball, or volunteering at church?

As I think through the things I want to say "yes" to this school year,
I'm trying to filter opportunities through my gifts, passions and ultimately, 
where I want to end up.

Mr. Wonderful asks a good question when these times arise,
"What is the one thing you'll regret that you didn't get done at the end of the year?"  
Once you identify it, make a plan to get it done.  
That's a great place to start~ with just one thing. 

Finish well with Austin, my high school senior...
who looked like this when he started kindergarten yesterday.
and here he is after a summer basketball game:
If I do this ONE THING, I will have no deep regrets.

But I have a few additional things on my list.. 
1. Take a photography and photo shop class.
2.  Scan and organize photos.
3.  Make health a priority; Exercise consistently.
4.  Purge closets and attic.
5.  Write and encourage the Touch a Life kids.
6.  Hire designer to spruce up my blog.  
7.  Plan more nutritious meals.
8.  Grow spiritually

I'm working on the plan for each goal.  As I plan them out, I'll share the things I think might be helpful.  Telling you my goals makes me a bit anxious, but is actually part of my plan~  
You can be my accountability partners!
When I run into you in the grocery store, 
I hope we can talk about the progress I'm making.
 and if you see M&M's and Blue Bell Ice Cream in my cart~ be gracious!
 {refer to goal #7}

There are some great resources for planning over at Design Finch  
where this entry links you to free charts and lists.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Love them after school: the perfect snack!

I remember years when my kids were so nervous about their first day of school, I had to bribe them with the promise of a special afternoon snack... 
Wouldn't this be a fun muffin tin smorgasboard?  From Lil' Buck's Creations~ it is simple and sweet!  Find more back to school products and ideas HERE on The Creative Mamma.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to School: First Day Photo Signs! {Free Printable}

If you're like me, you feel a twinge of regret when you see these sweet little signs.  
Oh, how I wish I had them to begin my children's school years.  
Austin will be heading off to 12th grade~ can't wait to print that one out!
As pathetic as it sounds, I wish there was a sign that said, "First day of college!"
Moms never stop wanting to be there... 
but my college students would definately shrug if I showed up on campus with my camera.

Pass these treasures along to all the moms you know. 
Especially those with little ones. 
They will love the time-line they create if they use them year after year!

Find them HERE!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Loving Your Street Neighbor: Mobile Library

Medicine for the soul.  
~Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes

These women found a practical and profound and remarkable way to love their neighbors.
Got me thinking...
What humanitarian need could I solve with a simple solution like this?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spontaneous PRAISE! Oh, Happy Day!

Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; 
speak of all His wonders ... 1Chron 16:9.

Thanks for your patience with my lack of posts.
The "best summer EVER" has nearly come to an end...
And I will soon have all the time in the world to blog again.
The kids are packing up to return to college in two weeks.

In the meantime, when I saw this video this morning {thanks, Julie!}, 
I found myself grateful and hopeful and inspired to praise HIM. 

Oh, how HE is worthy of our spontaneous PRAISE!

Also, many of you remember my sweet friend, Cindy, who is battling cancer (who I wrote about HERE and HERE.)  I traveled to Houston to hang out with her a couple of weeks ago~ 
I absolutely marvel at her tenacity,  grace and unyielding faith!  
Please keep her in your prayers as she and her family travel to Hawaii on Friday.  She calls it her "happy place!"  May the trip be all that she hopes and dreams for!