Friday, May 31, 2013

May Photo a Day Summary

I made it through another monthly challenge. Whew... Is May really over?!?

This month was a little difficult because I was SO BUSY! Mostly work crap but SO BUSY! However, the photo a day challenge was a nice distraction from the mundane tasks of life. And I got to capture some fun moments also.

Here's what May looked like...

I had good intentions of having a Mizzou theme this month, but I'll be honest... the prompts did not lend itself very easily for that task. So I abandoned that idea on day 4. Not every day was an original photo either... Mother, Sunrise/Sunset, Season, My Favorite View... those were all old photos. Season was unique in that I stacked three photos into one (a favorite for this month), but it was still not taken on that day. Still, it was an interesting month. I really enjoyed it.

June is a significant month. I will complete a whole year of Photo a Day challenges on June 14. ONE YEAR! Hard to believe...

Aaaand June will be my one year anniversary of this blog. June is going to be a fun month. I can just feel it.

So join me, won't you??? I promise... you won't regret it.

05.31.13 Four Things

More fun with kitchen utensils!

I really like symmetry and balance. The fork provided just the right look I wanted to convey with four things. Four forks with four prongs creating a square in the center and four squares in each corner of the photograph. Perfect symmetry and a great way to end this month of photos.

Summary coming up soon so stay tuned...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

05.30.13 Tool

Remember these? The cheese grater... kind of a lost art with the pre-packaged shredded cheese around now. This is a tool that is seldom used anymore, but we still have it. 

Are we really that lazy that we must buy pre-packaged shredded cheese rather than shred it ourselves?!?

Yes. I believe we are.

It's a matter of convenience and time. We want things quicker, faster, and easier. Ever tried to clean a cheese grater? Shreds my sponge better than the cheese!

I think I'll stick with the pre-packaged shredded cheese.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

05.28.13 What I'm doing now...

Dinner and a movie with my husband. It was a great night. 

We saw Star Trek Into the Darkness. It was really well done! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The young Captain Kirk... Chris Pine.  Hotty!

Then we went to one of my favorite restaurants here in Columbia, 44 Stone. Had a very nice dinner.

It was a great birthday all the way around.  Cheers to another trip around the sun!

Strike a Fire in Your Heart

I've added one more candle to my cake and enjoyed another trip around the sun. Today is my birthday.

Last year at this time, I composed "40 things I've learned in 40 years." It was a lot of fun putting that list together. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my life and carefully composed each little pearl of wisdom. It's a wonderful list and really describes who I am as a person. I'm very proud of it. I posted one thought a day on Facebook during the 40 days leading up to my birthday. I looked forward to sharing each and every post.

When the list was finished, I searched for something new to focus on. As I have said before, I love and need a creative outlet. What would my next creative outlet be? Then I found the Photo a Day list by Fat Mum Slim! I have always enjoyed taking pictures, and this was something creative I could do every day. I could learn how to use my camera better and capture moments in time that I probably wouldn't have captured otherwise. I will complete a full year of photo a day next month.

But back to the pearls of wisdom... I just reviewed the list and wondered if I might add one each year. Have I learned anything new this year? What has this trip around the sun taught me? Fortunately I have this blog and my photos as a reflection tool. It's my own personal timeline of photos and thoughts.

This past year I had two significant losses in my life, but many wonderful gains as well. It's been a year of surprises, laughter, tears, and joy. It's been a full year! And I'm happy to say, I've captured a moment each and every day. Wow... So this year's pearl of wisdom is this...

"Do something creative every day."

Whether it is writing, photography, painting, drawing, cooking, sewing, singing, dancing or ....arranging matches into the shape of a heart... do something creative. 

41 matches for 41 years

What?!? You don't think you are creative? Being creative is simply creating something original that defines who you are as a person. It could be anything! Find something you enjoy, that is personally meaningful to you, and go for it. 

What strikes a fire in your heart? When you find it, I guarantee you'll know it, and you'll look forward to it every day.

Photo a Day Catchup

We went out of town to the lake this weekend. Otherwise known as the land of little internet service. So... I wasn't able to post much and I certainly couldn't blog. However, it's nice to have a break from technology once in a while. It was a great weekend with family and friends.

May 25. Us

This sums up a big part of my family. The M stands for Marks, our last name, but can also stand for Mizzou! My in-laws, my husband's brother and his wife, my husband's sister and her husband, and of course Pat and I are ALL Mizzou graduates. My Mom is also a Mizzou graduate. You could say we all bleed black and gold.

May 26. Fave thing to do on a Sunday

Sundays are a time to kick back and relax which is best done at the lake. I had a great Sunday with a good book and lots of sunshine. 

May 27. Can't Live Without

My family agrees... I can't live without my morning cup of coffee. I probably could, but it wouldn't be pretty. A close second would be my phone (but I was using it to take the photo.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

05.24.13 Go!

As a runner, this is the first thing I thought of when I saw the word GO!

This is part of Stankowski Field on Mizzou's campus. The plan was to actually get on the track to take my photo, but there was a construction fence all the way around. Bummer! So I aimed through the fence and cropped out some stuff.

One your mark.... get set... GO!

Enjoy the long weekend!

Over the Rainbow Bridge

She was a gift to me fifteen years ago for my birthday, and today it was time for her to go.

The love for a pet runs deep. It was very hard to let her go, but fifteen years is a long time for a dog. Her eyesight and hearing was failing. When she walked, she looked like a hip hop dog (doing some awesome pop and lock, I might add). It looked almost robotic... but I'm sure it was painful for her. Occasionally her legs would slip out from under her. She was losing control of her bladder (making a mess of my carpet). And her appetite was getting smaller and smaller. She was simply... aging.

But she was the best dog ever. Actually, she was more than just a dog. She was a companion, a friend, and my first baby. My kids grew up with her. She's always been there with them. She was a part of our family.

She was also an excellent teacher. Skyler taught me everything I need to know about life....

1. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
2. When it is in your best interest, practice obedience.
3. Take lots of naps in the warm sun, and stretch when you wake up.
4. Thrive on attention, and let people touch you.
5. Avoid biting when a good growl will do.
6. When you're happy, wag with your WHOLE body.
7. Eat with enthusiasm! And stop when you've had enough.
8. Delight in the simple things like a long walk.
9. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
10. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close, and nuzzle them gently.

Over the Rainbow Bridge you go, Skyler. 

"Absent from our lives, but never from our hearts."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

05.23.13 PJs

Do you have a favorite pair of PJs? These are mine...

I love the color, the feel of them, and the fit. They are the most comfortable pair of PJ pants that I own. I usually wear a black or white tank top with them. 

And then off they go before crawling into bed! I don't typically sleep in them. I get too hot... but I will definitely lounge on the couch in these PJ bottoms for sure.

I need an all day PJ day stat. Good thing it is a 3-day weekend coming up.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

05.22.13 Change

"I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change, I spent on you."

-Maroon 5

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

05.21.13 I Care About This...

My family.

This is the side of our refrigerator where we hang all the important stuff for school, display artwork, and pin up pictures. 

This is my memory wall. 

There is a family picture of us on here in our Mizzou wear. I think we are due for an updated one!

My kids are on here... in their Tiger Tot onesie, graduating from pre-school, soccer pictures, Brandon's 5th grade graduation and school pictures.  

All of my wonderful nieces and nephews are on here. I'm so proud of all of them. And I have a picture of my grandma with her great-grandkids.

The only one missing is my fur-kid, Skyler! I'll find one of her tonight.

Yep, I care about each and every one of these people very much.

Monday, May 20, 2013

05.20.13 Light

My daughter sleeps with this adorable nightlight on every night.

Who can resist Snoopy? He's one of the coolest dogs I know. Here's another pic so you can see it a little better.

I remember sleeping with my closet light on in my room. I can't recall exactly what age I was when the light was turned out at night permanently. But now as an adult, I need it to be pitch black to sleep. I slept in the basement of my house as a teen. It was super dark! My son requested black out curtains for his room so it can be super dark in his room too. But once upon a time, he too slept with a nightlight.

I guess it is a rite of passage most of us go through. Did you?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

05.19.13 My Favorite View

This is my favorite view. Sunrise at the lake. 

This is an old photo... can't wait to see this view more often. The kids are finished with school on Friday. Summer is almost here!

05.18.13 Want

I want to congratulate the Class of 2013 on a job well done!

It was a beautiful sunny day for graduation. The Quad was full of excited graduates getting photos at the columns. An exciting day for everyone!

Another school year is done. Time seems to go quicker every year. I received my 15 year ribbon this week. I've worked at Mizzou for FIFTEEN YEARS! Half-way to retirement....

Best wishes, graduates. Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger!

Friday, May 17, 2013

05.17.13 Season

Pick one.  I couldn't... Doesn't matter what the season is, I think my campus is beautiful!

This is Jesse Hall and the Columns at Mizzou in the Spring, Fall and Winter.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

05.16.13 Mailbox

The weather has been fantastic lately, so I took the looooong way home last night. Rolled down the windows, turned up my music, and cruised.

I also took some pictures. I wanted a country feel for today's photo.

I think I succeeded. I also really like this one...

Nothing better than a slow drive through the country.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

05.15.13 7 O'Clock

At 7 o'clock this morning, I was applying my make-up (or putting on my face as my grandmother would say).

What were you doing at 7 o'clock this morning?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

05.14.13 Need

Tough prompt today. I feel I have all I need. A good job, a loving family, my health... what else could I possible need?

One thing that makes me very happy though is sunshine!

And there was plenty today! I enjoyed a few glasses of wine on my deck this evening.

I think the warmer weather might be here to stay!

Monday, May 13, 2013

05.13.13 Sunrise/Sunset

Nothing better than watching the sun rise and fall at the lake.



So looking forward to some lake time this summer.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

05.12.13 Mother

When I think of my Mom, this is what I want to remember....

Not that robe (wow, Mom)... I want to remember the togetherness. This is my little sister and me with our mom on Christmas morning 1976. Looks like we're having one of many tea parties. This is what being a little girl is all about... dolls, tea parties, and dress up. I love these memories.

I hope my kids have special memories like this of me with them. For my son, I hope it's going to Tiger football games, watching sports on TV, and our bracket challenges during March Madness. For my daughter, I hope it's dolls, tea parties, and dress up.

The important thing is to build memories with your kids. Be there for them. Listen to them. Support them. You are always there for me, Mom, and I can't thank you enough! I'll be forever grateful. Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do. I look forward to many more memories with you.

Happy Mother's Day to Moms everywhere!

Now go call your Momma!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thank you!

My blog has reached 10,000 page views! Wow! Really?

When I started this little writing project almost a year ago, I had this fear that no one would read it. But then I thought to myself.. why should that matter? I mean, why did I decide to write this blog in the first place? I write for me, for my family, for my creative outlet. If anyone reads it, then that is just a bonus.

Thank you for my bonus. Seriously. I'm really amazed that you follow my silly little life. Am I really that interesting?

Um... don't answer that. Just keep reading, and I'll keep writing.


05.11.13 A Smile

I'm smiling because I made my goal!

I ran a 5K this morning for Girls on the Run. My goal was to run it under 35. I've been steadily increasing my pace and getting a little faster. Well, today was the day. I made my goal! 34'38"!!! I placed third in my age group!  (Edit: that was the time on my iPod. My "official" time was 35'09" which was the same as the gun time... so, I'm going with my time.)

That's reason to smile, don't you think?

Perfect morning for a run. Just under 60 degrees and sunny. Plenty of people smiling!

Friday, May 10, 2013

05.10.13 Stars

This summer, I will attempt to photograph the night sky. Until then... here are some stars.

This is the back of a 4th of July shirt that's covered with stars. I made it more fun looking with my Tiny Planet FX app. Love that app! The effects and creations are limitless with this app. Highly recommend.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

05.08.13 Shape

I took two pictures for today's prompt. I think they show the two different meanings for the word.

I first think of primary school. Learning your colors and shapes. So I made the shape of a heart using M&M's. They are bright in color and also the basic shape of a circle.

a little sweet

I also think of the outward or physical appearance of something or someone. More specifically, something a little curvy, a little sexy. I like the way the reflection of the blinds seem to hug round the curvature of the vase.

a little sexy

So shape to me means both sweet and sexy. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Tunes Tuesday - Pistol Annies

The Annies have done it again! The super trio of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley have released their second album, Annie Up. Like their first release, it's full of attitude, grit, and a little humor delivered in perfect three part harmony. Their thick, bluesy guitars moan and wail throughout the 12 tracks as they sing about the trials and tribulations of life.

The album begins with what could be considered their mission. "I Feel A Sin Comin' On" comes alive with attitude and danger. "And you can see it / All over my face / Sweet temptation / All over the place" they sing after an acapella opening. This leads right into the next song, "Hush, Hush," about keeping family secrets.

Appearances are also talked about in "Being Pretty Ain't Pretty." It tackles the unfair standards of beauty for women in a way that only the Annie's can do. And there's an aggressive edge to "Unhappily Married" which paints a sad portrait of domestic decay.

My favorite track is "Damn Thing." It's a bluegrass, bad-girl's anthem, and is probably the most fun they've ever had on a record. "It's a damn shame that I can't change / I can't undo everything I'd like to / So I roll on, and I shout it / 'Cause I can't do a damn thing about it!"

The Annies show a softer side by the album's end. They drop the attitude altogether on "I Hope You're The End Of My Story" - a beautiful love song as poignant as the rest is fun.

05.07.13 Begins with "F"

Morning Dew

The rising sun comes into view
glistens upon the morning dew
damp on the lawn under my feet
disappears with the warming heat

Monday, May 6, 2013

05.06.13 Broken

On the outside, it looks like a normal rock. But break it open... that's where the real treasure lies.

Geodes remind me that real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. It is what's inside that really counts. That's where the real person is. You've heard the sayings... "Don't judge a book by its cover." "Beauty is only skin deep." But it's true. A person can appear more attractive after you've gotten to know them. I hope that I have stayed true to that definition as well.

What I have learned about my heart in my adulthood, however, is how I handle pressure. Sometimes you don't know your true self until you've been knocked down, stressed to the max and have reached your breaking point. 

Do you know what you get when you squeeze a lemon? You get what's inside. We only know that what's inside a lemon is lemon juice because we've squeezed a lemon before. 

I admit I haven't always been a beautiful person when I've been squeezed. I've yelled, sought revenge, and have become really stubborn. But I'm thankful for those experiences. They have taught me valuable lessons about myself and others. I can recognize when I'm being squeezed and can choose a different response. But as is the same with the geode... that process can take time and requires patience.

What would someone get if they squeezed you? How do you handle pressure?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

05.05.13 Paper

No photo project is complete without the obligatory book art picture...

Now I just need clothespins on a wire, a neat bokeh shot, and some nature macros.... 

And Happy Cinco de Mayo! How are you celebrating today? Margarita, Mexican food, or maybe a beer from Mexico? I wish I was having a beer IN Mexico... The weather is supposed to be nicer today though. So I'm going to log off and enjoy.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

05.04.13 In My Cup

Take a wild guess what's in my cup in the morning...

The kids slept in late this morning. I was able to enjoy two cups of coffee this morning before anyone was awake! I love lazy Saturday mornings when we have no place to go. Enjoyed bacon and eggs for breakfast and a little time on Facebook.

Enjoy your weekend. 

May the 4th be with you.

Friday, May 3, 2013

05.03.13 This Is Really Good

It's May, and in some parts of the state, it is snowing. Crazy! We should be barbecuing and sitting on the deck! What is wrong with you, Mother Nature?

But a little cold weather won't stop me from enjoying my food. Here is what was on the dinner menu this evening, recipes are below the photo.

This is really good!
Pulled Pork
This was SO easy. I bought a pork shoulder roast. Put it in the crock pot with a bottle of root beer (I just used HyVee brand). Let that cook on low for 7-8 hours. Drain it well. Shred it with a fork (should have NO trouble with that - I had trouble getting it out of the crock pot in one piece!). And mix it with your favorite BBQ sauce. I love Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet and Spicy. Serve on a toasted bun. It had just the right amount of sweetness and very tender. Highly recommend!

Broccoli Salad
Everyone who has ever tried this dish asks for the recipe. I got it from a co-worker a few years ago. Mix up the dressing - 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 Tbls balsamic vinegar. Cut up 2 large bunches of broccoli (I just use the tops) and then pour on the dressing. You'll want this to set either over night, or I just mix it up in the morning. Leave in the fridge until you are ready to serve. This allows the broccoli to soften and the flavors to meld.  Before you serve, add 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of sunflower kernels, and crumbled bacon (extra crisp). My family loves this stuff.

Apple Cole Slaw
This was a great side dish to the pulled pork. I used a bag of premixed cole slaw cabbage with carrots (handy and easy to use). Chop an unpeeled red apple (I used Fuji) and an unpeeled Granny Smith apple. Toss the apples with the cole slaw mix. The dressing is 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1 Tbls of lemon juice. Pour that over the apple/cole slaw mix and serve. Next time I will also add some green onion tops. Crisp, a little sweet, a little tart, and very good!

Cole Slaw on your pulled pork sandwich or on the side?
Which do you prefer?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

05.02.13 Morning Ritual

It always starts with coffee. Before I do anything at all... for your own benefit... I have a cup of coffee.

The cereal varies to keep life interesting. This morning it was Honey Bunches of Oats. And I'm usually logged into Facebook while enjoying my breakfast.

Following that... a little exercise (really trying to make this a morning habit), shower, make-up, get dressed, fix my hair, and then out the door...

Exciting, huh? But I do love routine. The morning ritual doesn't vary much from day to day.

Edited to add... Notice the coffee mug? I talked about it here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

05.01.13 I Bought This

I bought this visor last year. It has become part of my essential running gear. Keeps the hair out of my face and the sun out of my eyes. I've gotten so used to running with it that I must have it on when I do. Even on the treadmill....

And I give a shout out to Mizzou each time I wear it! Nothing wrong with that.

Happy running!


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