Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

As you know I am a huge military supporter and do as much as I can to help and honor all of our military men and women. I think today is an important day to stop and give thanks to all those who have served for us, but more importantly I think it is important to remember that every day. Remember those who have lost their lives. Remember those who have served. Remember the families and friends who are at home waiting for their return, and remember all those who return home, but will never again be the same. They truly are making a sacrifice for us, and for that I thank them.

There really aren't words to adequately express my gratitude, but I don't think it can be said any better than this. Please take a moment and listen to the words of Ronald Reagan, and stop to say your own little prayer, and give thanks.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thursday Favorites: Music Edition

Normally for Thursday favorites I tell you 5 things I am enjoying in my life, or 5 products I love. Well this week is going to be a bit different. This week I have been listening to lots of music, and of course watched the CMAs as well. So this week I am going to give you 5 songs that are topping my list this week, and I guess this is the country edition. I didn't intend for it to be that way, but got to the bottom of the list and there it was.

1. Luke Bryan- Drink A Beer

His performance on the CMAs was amazing and very touching. It isn't up on YouTube yet but I am sure it will be so check for it in a few days. He performs this song for both of his siblings who have passed. His older brother was killed in a car accident, and they still don't know what happened to his sister (read more here) . Such a sad story and such a wonderful tribute to them.

2. Blake Shelton- Mine Would Be You

Blake performed this song at the CMAs as well. He also won Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. I have been a fan of Blake's for years. I believe I have seen him in concert 11 times. When I first started following him he would play in some of the Country Club in the areas and wasn't selling those out, and now he is selling out the Sprint Center. It is just crazy. Oddly watching him perform this on the CMAs made me a bit sad. I think it was a combination of things. First, I didn't get to see him the last time he was in town because of my concussion and that really bothers me. Also though I miss him playing in small venues, the connect with the audience, it was such a fun time, but that won't ever happen again.

3.  Collin  Raye- Love Me

This song came out many many years ago. I remember hearing it for the first time on the radio and it immediately brought tears to my eyes. I heard it on the radio this week, for the first time in years, and once again tears immediately sprang to my eyes. It is such a touching song. Love like that doesn't come along every day, but this song makes me wish it was this way for everyone.

4. Jason Michael Carroll- Alyssa Lies

This is another tearjerker, but it is also a necessity. I wish everyone had to listen to this song, especially those working with children. This song does an excellent job of highlighting the fact that sometimes one night can make a huge difference. I was trying to relay that to someone this week, and eventually ended up just having them listen to the song, and then they got it. Sometimes one night, or one more chance can be a matter of life and death.

5.  Carrie Underwood- How Great Thou Art

If you haven't seen this performance by Carrie Underwood featuring Vince Gill, you seriously need to. It is done so beautifully and so powerfully. I come back to it all the time, and am still amazed by it. She is a true star both musically but also the way she presents herself. She is definitely someone people could look up to.

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Thursday Favorite Things

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Here's Your Sign: Follow Your Heart

In a post last week I discussed the fact that I have been having a bit of a rough time lately. I am working on some things to help with my happiness and hopefully keep me from being so overwhelmed, all while adjusting to changes and restrictions. With some things changing so drastically it's hard not to get down from time to time, or to mourn the loss of my old life. It would be easy to just give up hope, but instead I'm really trying to focus on the positive things.  With that comes accepting the things I can't change, without dwelling on them. That sounds easy enough, but some days that's simply easier said than done.

Friday while I was at work I was trying to stay positive, and was having a pretty good day. I was looking forward to the weekend, and I felt like some of the changes I was implementing were already starting to make a difference. During the afternoon I had some quiet time to myself and was thinking about several different things.  As my mind continued to rehash everything going on in my life there was one question I kept coming back to.  I was trying to make a rational decision but basically needed to decide if I should follow my heart, and I am not sure there is anything rational about that. I felt like it's what I wanted to do, but was trying to determine if it was really what was best for everyone in the situation. I honestly felt like it was, but was having a hard time determining if that was a realistic view, or if it was skewed by my own personal wants. About 1:30 one of my coworkers came in to let me know she was taking over and they were letting me go early. I was still in the middle of thinking about this, when she walked in, and decided I would give it a little time before making a decision, and by then maybe there would be some sort of sign letting me know what to do. Maybe there would be something that would show me a little bit of hope that I was doing the right thing.

I started closing out which included taking the trash out to the dumpster behind the building amongst other things. On the side of the building there are several trees, which are gorgeous throughout Autumn. They have long oval shaped skinny leaves that are brilliant shades of yellow and red. I walked down the hall with thoughts still running through my mind and hoping that over the next few days I would get some sort of sign, some reassurance that I really was doing the best thing. I knew I couldn't dwell on it so with a quick "please let me know I am doing the right thing" I stopped thinking about it and stepped out the door.

As soon as I stepped out the door a smile spread across my face, and that quickly turned to laughter. All I could think about was Bill Engval saying "here's your sign" or John Wayne showing up multiple times and me saying "okay okay I get it!" You see, as soon as I walked outside my sign was laying right at my feet.

I picked the small sign up and took it back inside with me. I meant to take it home over the weekend but somehow it got left behind. Unfortunately it had some time to curl up, change color a bit, and wasn't in perfect shape by the time I returned on Monday, but that almost made it better. I wish I had a picture from the first day, but today when I walked in it was flat once again. It is now pressed between some tape and tucked safely inside my book. It's pretty hard to ignore the sign when you ask "Should I follow my heart?" and walk outside to find a beautiful leaf in the shape of a perfect red heart lying at your feet. Where this leaf came from I don't know. All the others are long skinny ovals, but wherever this leaf came from I am sure glad it did, because it's exactly what I needed that day. It was my sign, a little shimmer of hope that I am doing the right thing. A reminder that my heart may be bruised, but it's still intact and when I follow it, things will be okay.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Making Memories: Gnome/ Fairy Houses

A couple week's ago several posts started popping up across a variety of the parenting sites I visit. Gnome or Fairy houses seemed to be popping up in Overland Park, no one knew quite where they came from, but they were on a walking trail for everyone to enjoy. Originally people mentioned finding two and later finding three, but after our visit we believe there is even more. The girls might not be into gnomes, but they are very into fairies so I knew this was something we had to go check out.

So Sunday evening we headed out. The trail is located directly behind DeAnna Rose Farmstead so we parked there and then headed to the trail. We found the trail and headed to the right, it was only a few minutes before we came across the Firefly Forest sign. We were a bit confused because from what we had seen online we thought there were houses near the sign, but couldn't find any.

We decided to continue on the trail and soon came across the first two houses. They were adorable. Decorated both outside and inside, and with multiple messages of sharing kindness. People had left small notes and trinkets in both of the houses, and one was even complete with a pumpkin by the door. Both homes were completely decorated from crystals hanging from the ceiling to beds and nightstands. No detail was neglected, these homes were perfect. After thoroughly examining these two houses we continued on.

 We had walked for several minutes before discovering the third house. This house was built into a tree. A small red door opened to share the small details located inside. It like the others had many trinkets inside and looked the perfect place for a fairy to reside. It was complete with a flag, welcome message, lantern, and even a small plaque above the door. Someone had clearly put a lot of thought into this tiny home.

We walked a bit farther but since it was getting dark and we were unsure if there were more we turned around and headed back to the car. It wasn't until we got home and saw some more posts that we discovered we had missed two of the houses that we would have had to follow the path under the road in order to find.  We had been told there were 3 and we found three, but as near as I can tell from our experience and other's pictures, as of today there are at least 5 homes to discover. It is a very easy walk on a paved path and the houses are easy to spot. It was definitely an enjoyable outing and both Larry and I came home with the desire to create our own fairy houses and add it to the Firefly Forest. I hope others do this too and that it will continue to grow. I think not knowing where all of these are coming from adds to the magic and enchantment of it all. I hope we can return and see the other houses we missed and hopefully some new ones as well. This is a great little outing for families in the area, and in the spring when Deanna Rose is open again it would be a great add on to an afternoon trip.

According to the KMBC website, there are the two homes we missed.  (source: ) They look just as adorable as the three we did see.

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