Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I dreamt of you last night.  

Your gentle touch.

Your strong embrace.

Your beautiful eyes gazing into mine.

You were out of reach, out of touch.  I screamed for you, but the screams were just a whisper surrounded by noise, as you floated farther away. 

I stand here, helpless, wanting to fix it all, to bring you back to me, but you continue to move in another direction.  

And I am lost.

“I just told you my dreams and you made me see that I could walk into the sun and I could still be me and now I can't deny nothing lasts forever.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What is YOUR Word?

I had an awesome conversation with my brother-in-law this past weekend revolving around "what is your word."  If you had one word to describe YOU, what would it be?

I had a separate conversation last night with a friend about happiness...what makes YOU happy?

A few things that make me happy...

...exercise fur-kids
...incredibly supportive family and friends
...good food
...good wine!

And the one word that makes me happy AND describes me (99%) of the time...


I've been dubbed (mostly by me when describing myself) as "The Sunshine Giver."  It's my job in life to be positive and uplifting for those around me, no matter how gray the skies are.  This is a job that I take very seriously and that makes me so very happy!  I am thankful that people feel comfortable enough to come to me when they are down, and that I can (hopefully) lift them back up!

So do tell, what is YOUR word?

Have an awesome day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thankful Healing

This weekend...what can I say.  I'm thankful that it's over.  This was one of the worst weekends of my life, for reasons I won't go into on this blog because that's not what this is for, and it's just not my style.

However, I do want to share with you some of the things I am thankful for that did occur this weekend.

A beautiful, sunshiny drive on Friday with gorgeous scenery and a lovely view of Mt. Hood...

Watching my nephew's last basketball game of the season...

Funny faces...

Sushi dates...

Successful retail therapy...

My first experience with glass fusing.  Hoping to get into glass blowing one of these days!

God's promise...

Today is the only day you get like today.  What are you thankful for?

Have awesome weeks friends!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pass It Forward

As promised...

Friends, I'm so very excited!  Through this blogging experience, I've met some amazing people, one of them being Ashley over at The Shine Project.  What an AMAZING woman.  She has a strong, beautiful, caring heart and a desire to DO SOMETHING for everyone!  From the first moment I laid eyes on her blog, I was inspired, and wanted to act!

Ashley has mentioned a few times on her blog that she's "working on something big," and patiently I've been waiting.  A couple of weeks ago, she put out a call for help in announcing her new endeavor, and I jumped at the opportunity to help.  Tuesday evening, she let the cat out of the bag to the select few (100 people!!) who offered to help. 

So, without further adieu, I introduce you to Pass It Forward!  From Ashley...

"Pass It Forward was designed to get people to do little things, everyday, that makes an impact on the community around them. Pass it Forward is designed around a card (see card below). Each card is given a unique ID number. Lets say we're at McDonalds, and I decide to pay for the person behind me in the drive through. I'd give the cashier the card, and tell them to pass it along to the next car when they give them the food that has been paid for. I then go home and log into the website that was on the card, and find my unique ID number. I log into it, and add my information... My first name, city, and a description of what I did....Let's say the person behind me was you, you would pass it forward to someone else, and then you would go home and do the same thing. From the very beginning, you will be able to track where your card goes, and how many people you affect just by doing one simple act of kindness."

SEE!  I told you!  So. Very. EXCITED!  Go to The Shine Project so that you can learn all about this incredible adventure.

What will you do to Pass It Forward?

Have incredible days friends!  I love you all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stay Tuned...

Friends, on Friday morning, I will be sharing something with you that is very exciting...something that I am very happy to be a part of, and something that I'm sure you all will be equally as excited about!

But, it's a secret for now. So you'll just have to trust me and remember to come back Friday morning.  I's TOTALLY going to be worth it!

In the meantime, I want to introduce you to my dear, sweet niece, Hadley Flynn.  She created this tutorial for her mom.  I've watched this at least 30 times, and shared it on my Facebook and with coworkers.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Have an awesome day!

Monday, February 20, 2012


It is unclear to me why I am battling myself on Goal #1 so very much.

I find myself in a good spot for a couple of weeks, moving forward, making great strides, feeling good about choices I make, and then BAM!  Right back to the start line. 

Self destruct much??


BUT, as annoying as that is (every. single. time.), today is a good day.  And today is the first day of my climb back up the hill. 

No more tumbling backwards. 

No more re-reading the old stories. 

Not to say there won't be slips, because honestly, I'm human, not Wonder Woman.  But desire and determination will be my guides from this point forward.  These two have guided me to a healthy physical state, and with a little work (OK, maybe a bit more than a little) and a refocused attitude, I'm certain they can take me to a healthy mental state!

What do you do to refocus when you slip off the track?

Have an awesome day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happiness Is...

Celebrating a friend's birthday...twice!  The first night, at our favorite restaurant in town, Twigs, and the second night, at dinner with her family. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet and visit with her parents and cousin.  What amazing people!

A gorgeous sunset Saturday night.  The weather hadn't been perfect Saturday, but the wind finally blew the clouds away, just in time for the sun to hide behind Thompson Hill.

Wine tasting at Smasne, and then a lovely dinner with new friends at Veritas.  BEST fries in the Tri Cities!  No's FACT!

Two strong, hard runs, a bathed dog, and a clean house.

We'll call this weekend a success!

What sort of excitement did you get into this weekend?

Have an awesome day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Humor

Good morning friends, and happy Friday!

Unfortunately, I don't have anything inspiring to say today, other than it's Friday and that makes me pretty darn happy.

Fortunately, Hannah Harto does have a little inspiration to share at the end your Valentine's week.

I hope you all have super fabulous weekends!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring Fever

Oh yes, it's here and it hit HARD today!  How could it not with an afternoon that looks like this...

All afternoon, I stared out my office window...OK, who am I kidding...I don't have an office window.  But when I would leave my four walled cell with no windows and wander out into the hall, as I did often today, the glorious blue sky and sunshine beckoned to me, screaming for me to come play!

Alas, there was work to be done.  And work I did.  And when I was able to leave for the day, I walked out into the light and took it all in...all 53 degrees of it (hey, that's warm this time of year!).  What a beautiful afternoon!

And the thing about this makes me want.

It makes me want to drive with the windows down and listen to my music loud.

It makes me want to eat a huge salad with all sorts of yummy veggies on it (which I did!).

It makes me want to drink margaritas on my patio (which I refrained from doing because honestly, it's not that warm).

It makes me want to run harder and faster than I did the day before (which I did!).

And it makes me want to smile really big happy smiles!

Has Spring Fever hit you yet?

Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Day

Ahhhhh....Valentine's of love and chocolate and everything warm and fuzzy....

To be honest, V-Day isn't one of my faves.  Well, at least not for the past 15 years or so.  I suppose when I was little, it was and receiving valentines at school, getting a little treat from mom and dad...that was always fun.  But as an adult, not so enjoyable.  I think it has a lot to do with expectations, and those expectations not being met.  See, I'm a girl.  And girls have expectations (thank you Disney and Hallmark).  And when the expectations aren't met, hopes and dreams are crushed and days are ruined.  Really dumb, but totally true.

So I learned to stop expecting.  I expect nothing, therefore, I'm not disappointed.  And I go on in my happy little life expecting nothing and receiving very little and it's all good.

UNTIL....until the day I realized that I have incredible people in my life.  Not that I didn't know that already, I promise.  But you know that day when you wake up and look around and think, hey, maybe I can't count on this one person to do something a little extra, but I have so many other people who send me love every single day, no expectations, nothing wanted in return, just unconditional love and kindness.  THAT is a reason to celebrate!

So I made a promise not to *hate* Valentine's Day anymore.  And in fact, today is an awesome day!  And I'm thankful that I am able to enjoy this day with the people who choose to be in my life!  Thank you and I love you so very much!

Today and every day, celebrate the ones you love, and always remember....the gesture doesn't need to be grand, even the smallest thought can put a smile on someone's face!

Have amazing days friends! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Feel Compelled tell you that I love you.  Not because I have to, or I'm filling dead space with words, but because I do. do something so much bigger than I've ever done in my life.  Trouble is, I'm not sure what that is yet.  But I've been crying about it for a few days now, and every time I think about it, I cry more, so I need to figure out what "it" is before I run out of water in my system!  ;) sing really really loud!  I hope the roommate doesn't mind....'cause I'm doin' it! spread my sunshine to everyone I know and meet.  I had the opportunity yesterday, and I'm thankful that circumstances allowed me to take that opportunity and be the person I know I am. move in a forward motion every minute of every day, because I am strong and I am doing what needs to be done to be healthy in all aspects...because this is my life, and I own it.

In this life, what are you compelled to do?  Are you listening and taking action?

Have an awesome day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

and then i met you

I was standing in line waiting to order my coffee this morning.  In front of me was an older gentleman, and to my right, standing out of the line, a younger-than-him-but-older-than-me woman, talking on her cell phone.  He finished ordering, she waved me on, I ordered coffee and went to the "wait here" area.

She finished her call and walked over to became clear that they were a couple.  And then it dawned on me....I know them!  OK, I don't know them, but I see them at the gym most evenings.  And secretly, I'm in love with them.  He might be 70, she's probably not 60 (I truly am NOT good with age.  In my mind, my mom can't be over 50, so this could be a bit off).  He turns around to walk away and sees me..."You workout at the Club, don't you?  You're the one who goes crazy on the elliptical!"  Why yes, yes I do!  She tells me how she is inspired, watching me get on the machine and just go for it!  *love it*

He proceeds to tell me that he and his lovely wife married six years ago and they were very happy.  And then they put on a couple extra pounds and became not-so-happy, so they started working out.  He is so cute...I am instantly inspired by THEM!!  He tells me that a year ago at his annual exam, he was borderline diabetic.  Since they started working out, she has lost 30 lbs., and he recently went for his annual examine and diabetes wasn't even mentioned!

I notice this couple every evening at the gym because of their interaction.  Fran and Lyle are so in love and care so deeply for each other.  And they are helping each other be better partners by keeping each other accountable for health and life.  Fran and two ROCK!

Friends, go out, do what inspires you, and most importantly, do it and be healthy!!

Have an awesome day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Updates and Stuff...

Good morning my friends!  Happy Friday to you!

So, I know these things have been weighing heavily on your minds (what did Angie decided??), so I thought I'd put your worries to rest!!  Last week, I asked for your help here regarding which shoes I should keep because, unfortunately, one pair has to go back.  I'm happy to report that the Loafers have won!  WOO HOO!  And I. Love. Them!  Thank you for your assistance!

Secondly, I am this close to signing up for my first 5k!  As part of my 2012 Goals, I decided that I need to run my first 5k.  Now, I'll be honest....I've been slacking a bit on the "means to the end" part of the goal (running outside), but it's been so stinking cold here and I'm totally a fair weather outdoorsy sort of girl.  But don't fret....I'm still hitting the treadmill like a mad woman, so at least I have that under my belt!

Lastly, and I think most importantly, Goal #1 from the above mentioned 2012 Goals...BE as happy and sunshiny as I pretend to be, inside and out.  Over the past, oh, I'd say two weeks, I've really started refocusing my energies.  My thoughts and actions are working toward getting me to a healthy and happy place....and I'm not going to's been difficult, very difficult.  But at the same time, it feels really good to reexamine what path I'm going down and to take a minute to slow down and ensure that it's the right one.

So with all of that, I wish you all the happiest of Fridays and awesomely amazing weekends!  Seek out what makes your heart and soul happy, and never let anyone take that from you!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Star light, Star Bright...

Oh how I wish I could see the stars tonight, because I have some wishes I'd like to send.

I wish that my friends with troubled hearts will find peace within themselves.

I wish that friends who have lost their jobs, and those who I don't know but soon will be going through "restructuring" efforts, will find prosperity in their new found freedom to choose a new direction.

I wish that YOU will see how incredible you are and CHOOSE to believe it.

I wish that Diesl will sleep well tonight so that the momma can too!  (Yeah, that one's personal.)

I wish for all of you happy hearts and sunshine filled days!

What are you wishing for?

Have an awesome day!

Bad Habits

Note: I actually wrote this post yesterday after having a particularly rough day.  I am happy to report that today has in fact been a million times better.  But I still thought it was a good one to share. 

I have a confession.  I have a bad habit of reacting to what I'll call spun up energy.  Typically, I'm a go-with-the-flow, easy going type of girl.  But every once in a while I'll catch myself sucking up someone else's spun up energy, and I feel my calmness start to slip away.  This is much more likely to happen when I've had a personally difficult day.  Today is one of those days.

At work, we have visitors in town.  And we have normal work that carries on with or without the extra distraction.  And the craziness started yesterday with finalizing the agenda for TODAY'S 9 a.m. meeting.  And we have people who stress out over things that really don't need to be stressed over, and then share that energy with others (that's me, over in the corner, soaking it all up).

On these days, I feel my stress and anxiety levels soar.  I feel my shoulder and neck muscles tense up.  I feel the looks I give people that very clearly state, "Are you freaking KIDDING me?!" over this day.

But I'm going to move on now.  This day is almost done and tomorrow is a new opportunity to have things go mostly smoothly rather than not mostly smoothly.  And I'm going to take stock in the fact that, more than likely, tomorrow is going to ROCK!  To help this evening calm down, I'm going for an awesome run!!

What do you do to avoid other's spun up energy?  And if you contract it (yes, like a disease), how do you rid your body of it?

Have an awesome day!

Beautiful flowers to brighten the day!


Not sure if it's the full moon or what, but I have random thoughts for you today.

I'm afraid of snakes.  Completely, utterly, scream at the top of my lungs, run away and jump around like a crazy person, afraid of snakes.  I blame thank my momma for this one.  Years of seeing her reaction to snakes, even on tv, has been drilled into my head.  My sister, on the other hand, is afraid of spiders.  I find this humorous because spiders are just little guys.  Snakes though....slithery, yucky grossness.  My house in Portland backs up to a natural green space, and one of the species that inhabits this area is snakes.  On move-in day, my sister saw a 14 inch slither-er in the grass out back.  That day, I decided mowing the back lawn would NOT be my job, no way, no how.

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  I absolutely love getting together with the family and enjoying our little traditions.  My absolute FAVORITE tradition is making caramel corn.  My mom has a recipe that we've used for years, and my sister and I always make sure mom has the ingredients for this treat.  My niece and nephew have really started enjoying this tradition too....and by that, I mean eating all of the caramel corn so that the adults don't get much.  Silly kiddos!  (Just for the record, my second favorite is the 4th of July!)

I rarely remember my dreams...hardly ever.  But the last three nights, I've had some vivid ones that are sticking with me.  One was about spring.  During spring and summer, I thoroughly enjoy having the windows open in my bed and bath rooms so that I can listen to the sprinklers throughout the neighborhood.  Saturday night, I dreamed that I was preparing for work and my neighbor's sprinklers came on.  Instantly I was overjoyed that it was at least April (because that's when the irrigation system starts flowing for lawn watering), and it was sunny and WARM!  Needless to say, I was slightly disappointed to wake up to freezing fog and temperatures below 30 degrees.  Oh well...only a few more months!

What sort of Randomness are you feeling these days?

Have an awesome day!

Fireworks over Detroit Lake.  Another tradition.

Occastionally, my not-so-steady hand makes for an awesome photo!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It Takes Practice to be AWESOME!

Yeah, I said it.  It takes practice.  And determination.  And passion to be Awesome.

And here's the are NOT required to be Awesome at EVERYTHING you do!  Yep, I promise, it's true!  I know this goes against some of my analytical-minded friends' opinions, but I am under the firm belief that it is near impossible to be Awesome at everything.

For example, when I was in college, I really wanted to be an Environmental, really, really badly. That is, until I flunked my first math test and was well on my way to flunking the class before I decided to drop it.  After some deep soul searching, I realized that there was absolutely no way, no matter how much I studied and practiced (because I did!), I would be Awesome at math.  Thankfully, I had my amazing writing skills to fall back on [patting myself on the back].  I'm kidding!  kind of  

Friends, the truth is, the only thing you truly need to be Awesome at is being YOU!  And yes, I promise, it takes practice to be the best you that you can be.  It takes practice to learn who you are.  And it certainly takes practice to accept who you are.  And guess what!  I'm hear to remind you that YOU are AWESOME, and with a little more practice, you'll be even better at it!

How can I help you in your practice of Awesome?

Have a great day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Friday!

I hope you all are having super lovely days!

So, the UPS man delivered DSW goodness to me yesterday.  As I shopped online, I found myself conflicted on which pair of shoes I *really* needed, so I ordered both.  Unfortunately, I can only keep one.  At the suggestion of my beautiful friend, Marion (check out her amazing style blog here), I'm putting out a call for assistance!

Which pair deserves to live at Sunshine Palace and which pair will spend more time with the UPS man?

Have an awesome day!


Over the past month, I've been reading.  A lot.  I've been reading stories of people's lives, stories that they choose to share on their blogs.  I am thankful to have discovered some truly amazing people.  These individuals have the Courage to put their words "out there," to share their stories and lives, to take the extra step to do something that is important to them, and to share that with the world.

It takes a lot of Courage to stand up.  It takes a lot of Courage to say, "hey, I deserve to be happy."  It takes a lot of Courage to share with the world something deeply private that you thought would never happen to you.  It takes a lot of Courage to express your honest opinion about a situation.  It takes a lot of Courage to express your deepest thoughts and desires.  It takes even MORE Courage if you know those thoughts and desires are going to hurt someone you love.

But it takes a lot of Courage to believe in yourself and know who you are...and ACCEPT who you are.  It takes a lot of Courage to share with people, even though others who have been very important in your life may laugh at you and make fun of you for what you stand for and for what you enjoy doing.  It takes a lot of Courage to say, "I won't accept this from you any longer."

At this crazy little juncture in my life, I find myself standing up and letting the little lion inside me roar, screaming out, "I have the COURAGE to do this!"  And I'm not going to let anything stand in my way or tear me down any longer.

Today, I'm feeling a surge of words coming from me, and I'm opening my heart and fingers to you.  The Courage that I've found in writing is amazing and humbling and remarkable and exciting and thought-provoking and just plain AWESOME!  I am thankful (and amazed, and quite frankly, impressed!) that I took the time to look inside myself and ask the question, "do you have the Courage to share this with the world?"  And I'm forever grateful to you for taking the time to read my words!

What have you done today to show your Courageous side?

Have an awesome day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's All About the Attitude!

This morning, a friend shared with me that he was laid off yesterday.  I was shocked and worried for him.  He, on the other hand, was all good, and informed me that he already had some ideas about what to do next and that he was fine with the decision.  Perfect attitude! 

Usually I'm pretty good at "faking it."  In fact, I was told on Tuesday that, even though I was in full-on panic attack mode ALL DAY Monday, no one knew any different.  Not sure if I deserve an award or a suite at the local mental hospital.  Either way, it's all about the attitude!

I woke up this morning knowing that today had potential to be another less-than-stellar day, but I immediately refreshed that thought and attitude with a "nope, not today."  Friends, I pulled on my skinny jeans, new bright yellow and grey striped shirt, threw on the boots and said "HECK YES!"  It's all about the attitude!! 

For me, the best cure for an attitude that may be subpar is dressing to the attitude I WANT to have.  By the time I was done this morning, nothing was going to stop me or get me down.  This is how I do it!  Yes, yes it is!!

So tell me, what is your trick to producing a Perfect Attitude?

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm sorry to disappoint tonight, but I just wanted to say hi.

It's close to my bed time.

It's been a very long evening.

I'm tired, and tomorrow is squats and lunges day.  [insert you feeling sorry for me here]

But I will leave you with this gem...maybe this is why I'm extra sleepy (the glass if for sure empty tonight!)??

Sleep well friends!