Monday, April 30, 2012


Eek!  Tomorrow is May!  I think April has zoomed by at super-warp speed this year.  And I can't stand things left unfinished, so I must finish up my Photo-A-Day for April!  Here goes 4 days crammed into one.  Which, now that I think about it, is very fitting for how the days roll in my life. 

Day 27:  CIRCLE

This is a circle of beauty.  A little travelin' treat as we headed down the road for Ellensburg!


Well, this was a good day for a picture inside my purse!  Sheesh.  This was taken just after Alex played his solo on Saturday.  We were travelling, keep that in mind.  I kept my prescriptions in my purse so they wouldn't get too hot locked in the car, I don't normally pack them around.  And I had my book to keep me distracted while I hurried up and waited.  And there's a copy of Alex's Mozart music.  Goodness gracious.


This wasn't taken yesterday, but it absolutely screams peaceful.  Wait...can peace scream?  How 'bout it softly beckons you to peaceful?  Whatever.

Brad is sitting about 10 feet away from me, emailing pictures from his phone that he thinks I should use for peaceful.  So here ya go, Brad.  Peace.

Day 30:  YUMMY

Aw, my perfection in the yumminess department.  Apparently I have a "longing for summer" theme going on today. 

And, with that, my photo a day (though not all taken on the day) is complete!  Let's have a happy May!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

First Things First

Oh, photo-a-day, you taunt me.  I've missed 2 days for a wonderful reason, so I'll catch those up tomorrow to make sure I tie the bow on the package all tidy before the month ends.

But first things first...

And speaking of first...

This is my firstborn who is also the first place bassoonist in the State Solo and Ensemble Contest!  Yeah, first in state.  First!  I'm pretty proud of him.  And I'm proud of his humility and desire to give all the glory to the One who gave him his ability and drive.  Proud of humility?  Maybe that's an oxymoron, but I'm feeling all a big bundle of emotion for my big kid.

Relief that he's turning out okay.
Hope that he has a very bright future because he's turning out okay.
Tenderness that our time together in this season is quickly running out.
Pride in his determination and tenacity.
Curiosity about his future.
Love for his character.
Frustration for the smell of his stinky feet combined with the smell of Cheetos.  In a car.
Love for his thoughtfulness and kindness.

So much.

Anyway, now that I'm wiping my tears, let's recap the joyful day!

warming up to begin!

receiving his first place medal!

His score sheets were amazing.  Extremely happy comments from 3 very impressed judges.  I listened to 21 of the 22 bassoonists, and I totally think they made the right call.  I'm totally, completely biased, and am not a master at bassoons, but he really did stand out amongst this crowd.  I'm so happy for him.

sweetness upon sweetness...his sweet girlfriend placed 2nd for her clarinet solo!
she played so beautifully!

the top three bassoonist in Washington State! they've become much more friend than competitor over these last couple years, and they were all so happy for each other.  love the camaraderie and respect.

happy, happy, joy, joy!

So there it is.  The culmination of a God-given gift and love for music, hours upon hours of practice, lots of lessons and check writing, and miles driven...worth everything to see it all come together in a beautiful way!

 "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 26 ~ HAPPY! (Pioneer Woman Style!)

Okay, today's word is happy!  I love the word happy.  I really do.  It's such a...happy...word!

I'm stretching the "photo-a-day" idea to share some real happy that was actually 2 days ago already.

I think it was a couple months ago when Marlece called and told me that The Pioneer Woman was coming to the Seattle area for a book signing when her new cookbook came out.  I don't think I even let her finish the sentence before we had decided to go. 

I missed my son's pre-state solo recital (with his blessing) to go see my cooking hero.  This gal is one of my dearest friends, I just hadn't met her yet.

Before I go on, I've had several people ask me who The Pioneer Woman is.  REALLY??  I am shocked, but I will back up and fill you in.  She is a delightful gal who had her life plans interrupted by falling madly in love with a real life cowboy, married him and moved onto his working ranch in Oklahoma.  She cooks real life food, and does it with such humor.  She blogs about her life on the ranch, about her bassets named Charlie and Walter, and about cooking.  She is still crazy in love with her cowboy, and is a bubbly, passionate lady who makes you want to eat cinnamon rolls and kiss a basset.  You must check her out if you have never met:


She also now has a cooking show on The Food Network, 10:00 on Saturday mornings, as a matter of fact. 

So now that you know, here's how our happy day unfolded:

We left town at 3:30 in the afternoon, arrived at 5:00 to get our "signing tickets" so our new cookbooks would have the lovely branding (that's a cowboy word, thank you very much) of PW or P-Dub, as her close friends call her.

Our ticket?  Group "K".  Yeah, about 50 people per group, starting with "A".  Uh-oh.  We did the basic math and realized it added up to a late, late night.  We didn't hesitate at all.  She spoke for almost an hour, told her happy stories and made us laugh.  I forgot my glasses, so I couldn't really see the slide show she shared, but I laughed at all the appropriate spots and Marlece filled me in on what I was missing.

here we are waiting for PW to show herself!

here's my zoomed in view of her speaking

So after she spoke, and they lined up the "A" group, we began the long (and FUN) evening of talking and talking and talking and eating and wandering the bookstore and laughing and thoroughly enjoying our night together.

Shortly into the evening, feeling overheated because of THE TEMPERATURE!, I got myself a cookies-n-cream milkshake.  Yum, right?  Well, there was an unfortunate cup malfunction, which I discovered when Marlece looked at me and gasped with wide eyes.  I had brown milkshake running down the front of my white t-shirt.  And then on my jeans.  Leave it to me to finally get close enough to meet this lady I love and spill ice cream all down my front.  I can't take myself anywhere these days.

as we sat and waited to be called, Marlece pulled out her reading glasses and opened her book.  we had some good laughs about how old we are getting.  we met when our oldest were newborns, and now here we are fanning ourselves in the "heat", holding books at an arm-length to read, and wearing reading glasses, yawning at 10:00 at night.

FINALLY at 11:00, they called our precious group K to line up!  We were a bit rummy, but everyone was.  We laughed and had a great time...

and here we finally are in line, about to hit the final straight-away to meet our friend.  isn't my friend lovely?  here she is in her horse-shoe jeweled necklace, cowboy boots, turquoise jeweled purse...lookin' the part to meet PW.  I love this girl.

And then...THEN!! 11:54...

She was everything I knew she would be.  Funny, gracious, warm, HAPPY!  We laughed together, I showed her my messy shirt and told her I would hide behind her for the picture, we just shared a moment of friendship!

And then she signed our books:

Can you read it?  It says "Love to Leanne! PW" with a heart and a smiley face.  See?  She loves me.

So, 7 hours after walking into the bookstore, we walked out.  Happy indeed.

So thankful for this fun night with my precious friend, and so glad we got to make this fun memory together!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 25 ~ Something I Drew

Well, if this wasn't a dumb thing to post about.  But I decided to make the best of it and draw something while I watched Survivor.  I drew what was on my mind.

I am not an artist.  But it is sure fun to color with crayons.  There is something quite relaxing about it.  I think I will get myself a coloring book and a new box of crayons.  Crayola therapy. 

Day 24 ~ Sweet!


I know I'm a day late, but I have a very good reason.  That is coming soon, but in the meantime I'll pretend it is yesterday for just a bit.

Sweet?  Yes.  This little kindergarten cutie made the hat on my head for me during her free choice time.  Talk about a bundle of sweetness!  Her mommy was my son's 4th grade teacher the year she found out she was pregnant with her!  And she is as sweet and lovely as her mommy.

And then, not to be outdone, this little one came up to me with a hat she made:

It's hard to tell in the picture, but there are streamers coming down all around this crown, and she was so very proud of her handiwork!

I love these little people so much, and it is such a joy to be surrounded by such sweetness every day!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 23 ~ 3 pm

3 pm!  In the interest of full disclosure, this was actually taken about 3:21.  Because if I posted a picture of exactly 3 pm it wouldn't be bloggable.


3 pm!

Fresh home from work, a delightfully gorgeous day once I grabbed my new book and an iced coffee.  I thought I'd relax while Brad worked.  We are beginning a re-do of our backyard...and the best way for me to help at this stage is to sit nearby and relax.  And my faithful buddy rested near me...pathetically telling me about his rough morning:  Cortisone shots for the aching joints, antibiotics for the skin infection, being weighed.  Poor old dog.  We are hoping he will be feeling better in the next 5 days.  If not...we'll have a decision to make.  In the meantime, on this day 3 pm means sitting by me and soaking the warm sun into his aching hips and knees.  It's tough getting old.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 22 ~ Vegetables

Vegetables today, huh?  Well, I could easily morph this into a long rambling about the beautiful sunshine, and all the vitamin D I soaked up these last 2 days, and that vitamin loaded orb in the sky MUST be a vegetable if it provides vitamins, right?

Or not.

But here's another tie-in to the beautiful day...we grilled my favorite summertime veggies tonight.  And by "we" I mean one of us fired up the grill and the other of us did all the prep and cooking.  Not that I mind at all, it just struck me as I typed "we" that I was woefully misusing that word.

It should be obvious by now that my brain is a bit tired and scattered and ADD tonight.  It's trying desperately to slow down and chill, but it can't quite get there yet.

SO back to the veggies!!

This tasted like summer.  Just any kind of sausage or brats.  Chopped peppers in all sunshine colors, chunks of tomatoes, chunks of sweet onion...skewer them up and sprinkle liberally with Johnny's seasoned salt and garlic powder.  Serve with plenty-o-rice and yuuuuum.  Bursting with flavors.  Love them.

And that's all I have to say about veggies.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 21 ~ Looking Up

Ah, looking up.  I love all connotations of that.  It's such a cheerful, optimistic phrase. 

This evening I'm looking up, in the way that you do when you start to feel yourself getting all choked up and you know you need to STOP IT!  I'm full of a whole bunch of conflicted emotions, and I'm going to share all that in the near future.

But, for now, I'm going to take "looking up" in the literal.  This is my very favorite "looking up" moment captured.  A vacation day.  A perfect day in every way.  A moment of total, complete, pure contentment. 

I had a great book to read, warm weather, an iced drink, and total peace.  It was a "thoughtful spot", as Pooh would say.  It slows my pulse just to look at this picture and remember the perfection of that day.

And while that is what I saw when I looked up, this is what I saw when I looked out:

Those are my very favorite people at the water's edge and my unpainted but oh-so-relaxed toes.

Beauty.  Perfection.  Peace.  Looking up.  In more ways than one.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 20 ~ Liquid and Annoying Change

Well, how irritating is this????  Blogger has gone all different on me, and I'm not even sure if this is going to work.  I'm not a fan of things being changed when I don't ask for the change.  But that's for another day.  For today?  Liquid.

And I have so much I'd like to blog about, but out of respect for my son's privacy I will remain silent for awhile.  Not long.  But for today.  But I will say that we had a fabulously fun evening just now, and that we are terrible at covert operations.  We apparently learned nothing of value by watching all those seasons of 24.

Anyway, back to liquid.

I've really got nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  So I went back to a couple weeks ago, when Alex had yet another curiosity-driven experiment going on in my kitchen.

It was an "Easter Smoothie".  It contained 2 TBSP of liquid multi-vitamins, apples, bananas, milk and purple Easter Peeps.  He blended all of that up into an ugly purple-ish liquid.  And he drank it straight out of the blender with one of my Starbucks straws.  Cuz he's cool like that.  Or something.

He loved it, of course.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 19 ~ Color


I was going to be so creative with this, but in all honesty I'm just worn out tonight.  So this is my color shot.  It's clearly not from today, but a very colorful shot of my girls on vacation.  Love the blue of the eyes, the blue of the sky, the green of the grass, the bursting colors of the swim's color.  This will do!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 18 ~ Flowers

Flowers.  I could go so many directions with this.  I do love flowers. 

Beth's favorite flower is the daffodil.  Such cheery little flowers, aren't they?  These happy little guys are growing right out of these old pilings on Capitol Lake.  It was a treat to see on one of our many laps around that lake!

Me?  I'm a tulip girl.  I love tulips.  Love them. 

Day 17 ~ Looking Down

I'm pretending, just for a few minutes, that it is still the 17th.  Great intentions get derailed when work, meeting, dinner, meeting, home to a son wildly excited about the potential of a music opportunity which has him researching music on the computer until 9:30, then the hubs working from 9:30 until 11:30 (yawn).  A mush of words that equals a bad sentence and no time to post this yesterday!

So it's the 17th again, just for a bit...

Today's word(s)... Looking Down

This is me and mine.  And I'm thinking of down in the horizontal way, not the vertical.

The road with this man has been way more than I could deserve, hope for, or express in words. 

And looking down the road?  It makes me smile.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 16 ~ Words

The words I chose for today come from the book Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom.  I think this book is on a very short list of my all-time favorite books.

These are the last words of the book:

"I am in love with hope."  My favorite line from a book, ever.  I truly am in love with hope.

Haven't read the book?   You must.  Your heart will be warmed from the inside out, and you will also be in love with hope.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 15 ~ Comfortable


Some things just fit.  And are comfortable.  And comforting.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 14 ~ A Younger Me

Well, let's go back to September of 1972, shall we?

A three year old version of me.  My kids are amazed that I have the same eyes.  Yep, I've kept them all these years.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 13 ~ Hair!

I had to find a way to make some things fit into the topic of hair.  I can twist just about anything to fit a given topic, so this really wasn't that big of a stretch. 

Here's the hair of my baby girl, with a little display help from her goofy brother:

Beth's hair is going to take me straight into Beth's award:

The school's annual climbing competition was a couple weeks ago.  They were raising money for a great organization, Outdoors For All.  A part of the event includes speed climbing...a timed climb across a horizontal climbing wall.  Beth was the big winner, her time beat everyone else in a school of almost 500 kids!  And her time was just a smidgen off the all-time school record, set a few years ago!  Way to go Bethie!!!

This afternoon, with Brenna off to celebrate a friend's birthday, Alex and Beth had a need for a smoothie.  So off they went together to Safeway, with a baggie filled with $6 of quarters.  They returned home with a whole pineapple, a mango, 2 bananas, 2 small containers of Pina Colada yogurt, 2 donuts, and 4 pennies.  Then they started slicing up their fruit to make a tropical smoothie, donuts on the side!

Cheers to you, Bethie-boo!  Cheers to beautiful hair, speed climbing, and making memories with your big brother!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 12 ~ What I Bought

Oh, my goodness.  I almost completely forgot.  I'm so glad I bought something today, and that it's something worthy of sharing.

After a long walk around the lake on this beautiful evening, we went here:

This place is so very, very it so much.  Love.  It.  Burrito...with pork, mild salsa, corn salsa, brown rice, black beans and pinto beans, jack cheese and guacamole.  So.  Good.

It was the perfect way to end this bizarre day.  Getting a text at school to find out your son is in a full lockdown because of a report of a man in the neighborhood with a rifle?  Not fun news.  Then coming home to witness a man get hit on his bike by a huge 4x4 truck...and that truck continue on driving as if nothing happened?  Uh,  That is not okay!  So I followed the truck.  With 911 on the phone.  Got his license plate number.  Then a state trooper came to my house to have me fill out a witness statement form because they are charging the driver.  A bit more excitement than I like to have in one day.  Craziness indeed.

So to take advantage of this beautiful evening walking around the lake and then eating Chipotle?  The perfect way to balance the day back to where it should be!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 11 ~ Breakfast

Okay, this is going to be officially the lamest blog post ev-ahhhh!  Pathetic, actually.  But maybe there's beauty in simplicity?  I don't know.  Sometimes my deepest thoughts seem the most empty, so maybe my most empty thoughts will be the deepest.

Probably not.

Anyway, today is "where I ate breakfast".

I know, you are probably sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for this riveting news.

I know, right??!  Can you hardly stand it???  Yep, I sat my tushy right there, drank a cup of coffee and watched something on The Today Show.  I can't even remember what I watched, but I remember something with Willard Scott poolside saying Happy Birthdays to 100 year olds who liked to talk on the phone and work hard.

Anyway, I feel that I've sunk to a new low.

But sinking into that couch is where I'm headed right now...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 10 ~ Something I'm Thankful For

Absolutely lovely that this photo prompt fell on this day!  An easy one...

I'm thankful for my friendship with this beautiful lady:

We have been friends a long time.  She's even watched me give birth!  There's a bond you can't break here.  She is a loving, Christ-centered, nurturing, kind, strong woman, and I'm so thankful to call her my friend.  She has a fabulous laugh, loves dogs, loves coffee, loves kids, loves her family so well.

Too many miles between us, especially today.  I'd love to bake her a cake today and take her out for coffee.  Or stay home and have cake and coffee for breakfast.

She's a beautiful lady, inside and out!

So here's to you, birthday girl!  I hope you know how deeply thankful I am for you, and how blessed I am, how much better I am, because I've had you in my life.

Happy, happy Birthday, Shelley! 

I think I will make that cake today anyway.  Feel free to hop a plane and come share it with me!  Love you and miss you...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 9 ~ Shadow (oops)

Here I am on Day 9 on this month-long photo-a-day adventure...and I've already messed it up!  When you check the word of the day at 8:00, and the word is shadow, and the sun has already denied you the opportunity for capturing a shadow, you may find yourself picture-less.  Bummer.

However!  I pulled up this cute little old picture from summer 2010.  A chipmunk's shadow?  Now that's fun!

The hand is that of my son.  And all I think of when I see him hand-feeding that cute little guy is this...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 8 ~ Sunset on Easter

I'm a little sad to get to the sunset on Easter.  What a great day, and overall a great week!  Back to school and work tomorrow, mixed feelings about that.  Love the job, love the people, love the routine, yet dislike the transition to routine.  This week has made me ready for summer and the downshifting of our pace.

Anyway, today was glorious in so many ways!  Started off with early church, had a most lovely 70 degree day, time with just my family, a nap, great food, lots-o-laughs...absolutely perfect.  We all feel like this was the best Easter we can remember!  Simple, satisfying.

I suppose we should start with the sunset, so I'll recap in reverse order...

It wasn't a really sunset-y kind of an evening, but Brad still took some beautiful shots of "sunset" at the Capitol.

Just before

Just after

I sure live in a beautiful city.  Sometimes I forget that, but today it was easy to remember.

SO the rest of Easter...

Love my sweet peeps...

Even like this.

Easter wouldn't be Easter without putting peeps in the microwave and watching them inflate.

Our yummy, yummy dinner.  The sunny day, eating outside made it extra yummy!

A beautiful day to sit in the apple tree!

And dessert?  Homemade cream puffs with chocolate mousse, vanilla custard, and dark chocolate ganache.  And a cute little boy peeking out behind his plate!

And here's a pretty shot of one with the vanilla custard filling.  So.  Good.

And one last random shot...cheery little daffodils, huh?!

A glorious day to celebrate a risen Savior!