Monday, December 29, 2008

it's mimosa for 2009

Did you know that there is a color assigned to each year?
The color for 2009 is Mimosa, which is the color to the left.
Mimosa embodies hopefulness and reassurance in a climate of change. (Source)

"Pantone, an X-Rite company, and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced PANTONE® 14-0848 Mimosa, a warm, engaging yellow, as the color of the year for 2009. In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow.

"The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation."

Best illustrated by the abundant flowers of the Mimosa tree and the sparkle of the brilliantly hued cocktail, the 2009 color of the year represents the hopeful and radiant characteristics associated with the color yellow. Mimosa is a versatile shade that coordinates with any other color, has appeal for men and women, and translates to both fashion and interiors. Look for women's accessories, home furnishings, active sportswear and men's ties and shirts in this vibrant hue."

Personally, I can't think of a better color. Yellow is my favorite color and I do associate it with the sunshine, with warmth, and with optimism. In case you were wondering, the color for 2008 was Blue Iris (PANTONE 18-3943).

Friday, December 26, 2008

day seven

It's late Friday night here in California. It's the day after Christmas and I spent most of the day with my brother and sister and their families. It's so wonderful to spend time with my siblings, their spouses, and their children. And I love watching the six cousins play and interact with each other. I sure wish we all lived closer to each other.

I know it's late Friday, but it's still Friday and I can still do Aloha Friday. So here's what I want to know....

Tell me something you received for Christmas.

I received a blanket with the logo of Danielle's school on it, from who else... Danielle. And I received a pair of pajama bottoms with the logo from Jake's school on it, from who else.... Jake. I love and will cherish them both.

I had three very nice Christmas celebrations. One at home before we left with our immediate family and Jake's girlfriend, Hollee. The second one was with Don's family. And the third one with my family. I hope everyone had a wonderful day(s) of celebration.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

it's that time...

Wishing you all a very
Merry Christmas
and a
blessed New Year

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the pier

Yes, we are enjoying our visit here in southern California. The past two days have felt so relaxing and care free. Both kids have mentioned how good it feels to be on break from school and not to have to think about classes, papers, or professors. For Don, the much needed break relieves him of the stress he's endured lately.

Today we went down to the pier and enjoyed walking around and observing everything going on. It's a fishing pier with shops and restaurants, so there's a mixture of fishermen, tourists, and wildlife. This pier holds so many memories for us all and we will most likely spend more time there this week.

Pelicans seemed to be in charge as they were everywhere. Most of them would you let them walk right up to them. Tourists were snapping pictures left and right. As Dani and Jake approached this pair, they scooted over, not wanting to get to close, which was fine with Dani, who was a little freaked out being that close. This pier holds so many memories for us all and we will most likely spend more time there this week.

We've enjoyed how care-free these past two days have been because we now go into visitation mode. We'll be traveling to see my side of the family and Don's brother and sister will be here in a couple of days. Let the celebration begin.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

what time is it?

You know how it is. Rushing around trying to get yourself - and your family - ready to walk out that door to get to the airport on time. Last minute running around, figuring out what clothes to take, making sure whatever needs to be taken is in the suitcases, and making sure all that needs of the house are taken care of.

Jake got home Thursday afternoon and had about three weeks of laundry that needed to be done. I had the whole day to do laundry, pack only for myself, and get all those last minute details done. And yet, as the hour of departure neared, I was more frantic. As usual, for our family, we were late walking out the door and drove frantically to the airport in fear that we would run out of time.

The first potential problem is parking. There is limited parking at our airport and there are many times that the signs say "parking lot FULL." Usually when the signs show state this status they aren't actually full but it means you'll be driving around for a while looking for a spot. As we approached the airport and could see the signs, we were relieved to see each and every lot's sign said "OPEN." Phew.

Don drops us off and drives to the economy lot. The plan was for us to go in and grab a place in the long, long lines and by the time Don gets the car parked and takes the shuttle back to the airport, we may have moved close enough to see the top of the heads of the agents who stand behind the automated kiosks.

As the kids and I walk in, we're pleased to see that the lines are medium in length. There were quite a few travelers, but nothing like we've experienced in the past. We then innocently check the monitors and realize that our flight had been delayed by an hour. Ugh!

All that frantic frenzy the last hour at home. Had I known the flight was delayed, I could have used that extra hour. At least we then weren't worried that we would be able to get our bags checked, get through the dreaded security lines, and to our plane in time for it's departure.

After checking in the bags and before going through security, we stopped to eat a quick meal at one of the many fast food eateries. But we didn't want to linger too long because we still would have to stand in the long security lines. At our airport, you have to pass through one of two security areas before you can board the underground train that take you to the the gates.

After eating, we head over to one of the security areas. It's CLOSED!! Great! We figure the other one is going to be a mad house. But as we approach the other one, we realize that there are NO lines. None. Zip. Nada. We wind through the empty rows only to walk straight to the agent and screening area. On to the train. On to our plane.

As the escalator ended at the platform and the monitors stared at us with their useful information, we realized we were in for a longer wait. As we sat at the gate, the plane was delayed a couple more times and we finally boarded nearly two hours after the original departure time, which wouldn't have been a huge deal except our original flight time was 9:00 pm, which meant we didn't touch down in California until 12:20 local time, which was 1:20 our body time.

I'll spare you the part of the story where we had to then go get our rental car. Let me end by saying that it felt wonderful to finally fall into bed at my mother-in-law's.... at 2:30 - which my body was screaming... it's 3:30!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

did you know...

I opened this over at Susan's and now I'm obligated.... as are you!

50 random things about you! If you opened this, FILL IT OUT! Learn 50 things about your friends and let them learn 50 things about you!

1. Do you like cheese? Of course
2. Have you ever smoked? Yes, for a couple of months back in middle school
3. Do you own a gun? Not me. but my husband does (and I'm not crazy about that. I don't like guns)
4. Do you like listening to Christmas music? Some. Not a lot. It gets old after a while.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No
6. What do you think of hot dogs? The best place to have a dog is at a baseball game, where I usually always have one.
7. Favorite Christmas song for all time? O Holy Night
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Usually nothing
9. Can you do push ups? I'm not sure. It's been a long time.
10. Who is your favorite Grey's Anatomy Character? Have seen it only once or twice so I don't have a favorite.
11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding/engagement/anniversary combination and my diamond pendant necklace.
12. Favorite hobby? Blogging and photography
13. Do you eat "exotic" foods? No
14. Do you have A.D.D.? No
15. What one trait do you hate about yourself? Procrastinating
16. Middle Name? Lynn
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I love Christmas decorations; Everything I need to do before getting on a plane; I should go to bed.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? A book, a shirt, and a gift card... all Christmas presents.
19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Diet coke, ice tea, and water
20. Current worry right now? Getting everything done in preparation for our trip and not forgetting anything.
21. Current hate? My weight
22. Favorite place to be? Hawaii
23. How will you bring in the New Year? Not sure. I like it more on the quiet side.
24. Where would you like to go? To see and experience Central Park
25. Name three people who will complete this? I don't know
26. Do you own flip flops? Of course
27. What shirt are you wearing? a sweatshirt with a cute snowman on it
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Never slept on them, but I'm guessing no.
29. Can you whistle? Kinda
30. Favorite color? Yellow
31. Would you be a pirate? I don't even know how to answer that
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't really sing in the shower
33. Favorite girl's name? Besides Danielle... Jolene
34. Favorite boy's name? Besides Jake... Jason
35. What's in your pocket right now? A dime and a gum wrapper
36. Last thing that made you laugh? My daughter (she's a natural born comedian)
37. Bed sheets as a child? Don't remember
38. Worst injury you've ever had? I have been relatively injury free all my life. Probably a sprained ankle.
39. Do you love where you live? Yes! Not just my home, but my city and state.
40. How many TV's do you have in your house? 5
41. Who is your loudest friend? I don't think I'll reveal that here =)
42. How many dogs do you have? One, and he's enough
43. Does someone have a crush on you? I think I'm past that
44. Do you get embarrassed easily? I guess I do
45. What is your favorite book? Besides the Bible... Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
46. What is your favorite candy? Milky Way
47. Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince theme song? Nope
48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Sunshine on my Shoulders by John Denver
49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Writing a blog post
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Why does the dog have to wake up so darn early!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


(+) I heard this story this morning and I don't know if I find it heart warming or disturbing. It seems that a four year old boy left his home at 3:00 in the morning, walked across six lanes of traffic to get to a dollar store. He first tried one door, but it was locked. He then went to the second door and much to his surprise -or not - it was unlocked. He walked right in, tripping a silent alarm, and headed straight for the toys (my assumption). When the police arrived, they found him sitting among the toys, playing to his heart's content. (source)

(+) We have been experiencing frigid weather here in the Denver area. We broke a record the other day with an overnight low of minus nineteen. That was Monday and we didn't get above 5 degrees that day. Brrrr! It's warmed up a little each day since and we hit mid thirties today. It looks like we're getting out of Dodge just in time. The state will go into the deep freeze again this weekend. I'll be thinking about that as I'm walking on the beach in California [smile].

(+) I've entered a give-away over at Mile High Mamas that I would really love to win. They're giving away a Wii system along with the Wii Fit program. I've been hearing a lot about this system and the Fit program lately and I think it would be something I'd use. Anyways, I get extra entries by mentioning the give-away on my blog. So that's what I'm doing. Even though my chances of winning diminish if anyone reading this goes over and enters themselves. Oh well. It's all luck anyways.
Contest ends at noon, December 20th. For more info, go here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i'm a junkie

Yesterday I wrote about my first Christmas tree and how special a tree and the ornaments are for me, but not enough was said about the ornaments. I think I could be considered an ornament junkie.

I love each one of my ornaments because most of them have some kind of sentimental value. Many were given to me and I attach the love I have for the giver to the ornament. Some have been on the tree each year since the kids were babies, including those that represent their childhoods. And others are ones that I bought because they struck my fancy in some way. They symbolize something or were just beautiful in my eyes.

My mom has bought me an ornament every Christmas for as long as I can remember. It's always fun to see what her pick for the year is and they become special because they're from her. My dad and his wife have also given me some beautiful ornaments. Ornaments from friends mean so much.

I usually buy myself an ornament each year, too. Here's this year's...

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is lower the lights and sit looking at my tree. I let the muted glow of the lights wash over me while reflecting on the people and times represented by the many ornaments. I ultimately come to a place where I reflect on Christ and His glorious birth and what it means to have Him in my life. That's the reason for the season.

oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree...

I remember my first Christmas tree. The year was a few years after I moved out on my own. Don and I were dating and I had my own apartment. We picked out the tree from a local lot and brought it home. It was a perfectly shaped Noble Fir. Even though I had the perfect tree, I had no ornaments for it.

Except one. My boss had given me an ornament along with his wishes for a Merry Christmas. It was a cheap looking plastic globe type with a little ice rink scene within the ball. I'm sure it was inexpensive and not much thought went into it's purchase, but I loved it. Ever since that first year, it has been one of my most prized and loved ornaments and it holds a prominent place on my tree each year.

But my beautifully shaped tree didn't go unadorned that year. Don asked his mom if she had any extra ornaments that she would be willing to give me for my tree. I don't know if they were "extra" or not, but she gave me a small collection of ornaments that instantly became very special to me. She never asked for them back and I still hang many of them on my tree every year.

My first Christmas tree will forever hold a special place in my heart. I can close my eyes and still see it, remembering exactly how it looked with it's twinkling lights and the few ornaments hanging from it's perfect limbs. That first tree started my love for the Christmas tree and ornaments.

Not having a tree up this year has left me with an empty feeling where there normally would be an awe and love for the many ornaments displayed. I didn't realize how big of a part my tree would play in connecting me to the Christmas spirit that seems to elude me this year. I will take this as a lesson learned and plan to always put up a tree each Christmas. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

are you ready?

My Aloha Friday question for this week:

Are you totally ready for Christmas?

That means tree and house decorating, gift buying (and mailing), card writing and sending, cookie baking and giving, and whatever else you need to do to feel "ready."
If you're not ready, tell us what you still need to do.

for me....
NO! I am not ready in any area.
and yes, I know Christmas is less than two weeks away.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ho ho hum

I'm having a problem. I can't seem to get into the Christmas spirit. I think I know why, but it hasn't helped me get into the season the way I usually do.

Because of our decision to go to California, I decided not to put up a tree this year. I figured I'd just pull out a select few decorations, but I haven't even been motivated to do much of that.

I think the biggest reason I haven't been motivated is because the kids aren't in the house. Even though I'd like to have the house filled with Christmas cheer, I figure it's just Don and I and the need just isn't that great. The kids will come next week but within a matter of days, we'll be on an airplane. I'm sure I will put more out this weekend. But the change in the house from previous years is very noticeable.

The other thing that I'm not motivated to do is shopping, and this is very unlike me. I L.O.V.E. to shop. Again, there's a couple of reasons for this, and they go hand in hand. Knowing how bad the economy is, we've decided to scale back on our gift giving. Part of my extended family's gift giving is, instead of doing a gift exchange, we're taking that money and giving it to a worthy charity or cause. We have done this in a couple of ways already but most of it doesn't include going into a store and buying large amounts of merchandise.

I have decided that the few gifts I need to get for nieces and nephews will be bought in California so I don't have to transport bulky gifts in my luggage. And maybe it's because I can't get into the spirit, or because of my attitude about spending right now, or that I just can't find anything to purchase that brought me home yesterday, after hours of shopping, empty handed. I need to get just a couple of gifts for friends and a family and I couldn't find anything.

So here I sit, on December 11th and only two weeks before the big day, having purchased only a few little things for gifts and in a home that doesn't reflect the Christmas spirit. My attitude isn't bah-humbug, but it's not where it should be. It might not be until I get to California that I finally feel festive, spiritual, and wanting to celebrate the true reason for the season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

my heart breaks

When it comes to teenagers, many situations break my heart. But one of the biggest heart breaks comes when seeing teens without hope. I've seen this in varying degrees and varying time periods. One day the kid thinks all is lost, and the very next day they can be on cloud nine. The longer you work with teens, the more you can recognize these mood swings and know that they are different than true hopelessness.

In a church/youth group environment, when a teen is experiencing such hopelessness, Don and I (individually or collectively) have been able to combat that condition with the hope that Christ gives us all. Not only have we prayed for the teen, but we could pray with him/her as well. I think this alone gave some hope to them. We could give them scripture to hold on to and meditate on. We could take them out for a coke and let them pour out their heart. We had so many resources, and I felt comfortable and knowledgeable.

I no longer work officially as a youth worker, but have a job where I have the privilege of working with middle school teens. I have now seen this hopelessness in some of the kids I work with. There's two girls that I really feel is suffering right now. They haven't shared much of their personal life (as a youth group kid probably would) but it's clear that they aren't happy, and that it's more than just a mood swing.

One symptom is that they have lost all motivation to be at school. They just don't see the need to be there, to learn, to push on to higher education (and at this point, that's high school). They don't do what's required of them, they don't participate in discussions, and they're grades are almost at rock bottom.

When I talk to them, I feel helpless to help them. I can't bring my faith into the conversation. I can't share the hope that God gives me. I can't even take them out for a coke to allow them the opportunity to talk. About all I can do is pray for them and continue to show I care by engaging them in conversation.

This has been weighing heavily on me. I want to help. I took this job with a request of God to use me, as He sees fit, to help the kids I come in contact with. Am I supposed to help these two girls? How? My prayer will continue to be that if this is what He wants, He will show me how and give me the opportunities.

In the mean time, my heart breaks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

monday musings


Outside my window... the clouds are inching ever closer. Rain and then snow will arrive some time this afternoon.

I am thinking... how could I forget my hair appointment! I know; I usually schedule them for Wednesday. For some reason, I scheduled this one for a Monday. Good thing I can get in later this afternoon. Still.....

I am thankful for... for such a kind and understanding hairdresser. This isn't the first time I've done this.

From the kitchen... nothing. I just loaded the dirty dishes in the dishwasher so it looks cleaner than usual.

I am creating... nothing. Unless you consider decorating and wrapping presents.

I am going... to California next week!

I am wearing... jeans, long sleeve t-shirt, and vest. No shoes or socks yet.

I am reading... Twilight. I enjoyed the movie and wanted to know more about the characters. So, here I am reading a book I never thought I would.

I am hoping... to get a phone call from my son today. (He said he would)

I am hearing... I have the news on but I'm not really listening to it.

Around the house... not enough Christmas decorations. I don't want to put them all out since we will be away for a good portion of the holidays.

One of my favorite things... Christmas

A few plans for the rest of the week... a trip to the mall tonight, work, mailing some gifts, small group meeting, meeting with some friends, and a Christmas party at the end of the week.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... here's what you get when you try to fit three on a [small] couch....

The Simple Woman's Daybook originated at The Simple Woman.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

random act of kindness?

Don and I were waiting in line to pay for our merchandise. It was one of those types of lines that there's just one line and the cashier calls you up once he/she becomes available. It was late and there wasn't much business going on. There was one cashier who was ringing up a customer and we were next in line.

All of a sudden a little old lady comes up from behind us, says "excuse me," and as we move, thinking she wanted to see some of the merchandise displayed there at the cash registers, she moves past us to stand right behind the current customer at the cash register.

So my question is...
Am I practicing Random Acts of Kindness by not telling this rude sweet little old lady that she just cut in line and that she should go to the end of the line and wait her turn?

Because I really am looking for ways to practice R.A.K., especially during this holiday season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

it's the time of the year for traditions

What is one of your Christmas traditions?

We have a a few, but I'll just share one today. This is how we spend Christmas Eve...

We attend a Christmas Eve service and depending on the time of that service, we plan to eat dinner either before or after. We usually eat afterwards, but it's always dinner out at a nice restaurant. We then drive around (length of time varies) and look at Christmas lights and home displays. We try to find those houses that are literally dripping with lights and decorations. Some years we've done this in our pajamas with travel cups full of hot chocolate.

Once we get home, we each open one gift (our choice). By then, it's usually getting late and it's time to get to bed. We don't want to be up when Santa comes visiting.

Visit Kailani at An Island Life each week for Aloha Friday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

i did it!

I made it! I posted everyday during the month of November as a NaBloPoMo participant. There were a few days I didn't feel like posting, but for the most part, I was able to find the time and content to post each and every day. And contrary to the graphic here, I have a great sense of accomplishment.

One of the things that helped was posting a blessing each day with the goal of having 30 different blessings at the end of the month.

Here's a recap of my 30 blessings:

1. my children
2. the opportunity to vote
3. unseasonably warm weather
4. the beautiful colors of the season
5. not having to work everyday/my days off
6. my home
7. two very good friends
8. to live in America
9. my husband
10. to have men and women fight for my freedom
11. my relationship with my daughter
12. gas prices continuing to fall
13. owning the cameras I do
14. when it snows and the beauty of it
15. the luxury of Saturdays
16. getting together with good friends
17. my prayer group
18. that Don's mishap in Canada wasn't worse than it was
19. Don's company and how much they helped him to get home
20. healthy teeth
21. good health/dental insurance
22. my current level of health
23. being a mother
24. being around kids (my job)
25. Don being able to provide for our family
26. feeling better after catching a bad cold
27. enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and family
28. being able to go to California for Christmas
29. blogging friends
30. my faith

Now I look forward to the Christmas and the season of advent. Christmas will be here before we know it. For me, it's important not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and to take time to reflect on the reason for the season.