Thursday, October 29, 2009

a tale of two cities...


I don't want to go home!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

sunny with a high of... 90!

Little known fact #1 and #2

Did you know...

... It snowed yesterday in Colorado and the temperature in Anaheim, California - home of Mickey Mouse (see previous post) - was around 90. Shorts, T-shirt, sandals were the attire for the day. Even as midnight approached, there were balmy breezes blowing through the park. Not even a light jacket was needed. So nice!

... When you come to Disneyland on your birthday, they give you a birthday button for you to where. The employees and even other park goers wish you a happy birthday. It's quite nice. Don and I could wear our button every day that we're here if we wanted to since this trip is a celebration of our birthday, but we've decided one day is enough. We look forward to wishing a happy birthday to others today.

... and it's off to the park. Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

happiest place on earth


I am going to Disneyland TOMORROW!!

Don and I turned 50 last week. We had several friends and members of our families who asked, "what are you doing to celebrate?" Many felt that we should be having a big party to rub it in celebrate the fact that we turned 50. No thank you. But we did want to celebrate in some way.

Don had already taken the week off of work so all we had to do was figure out where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do. After throwing around (and out) some ideas, we came up with the perfect way for two 50 year old kids to play and celebrate. Disneyland!

Tomorrow we fly out to California and step into the happiest place on earth! If you didn't know, that's Disney's tag line. And if you've ever been to Disneyland or Disney World, you'd have to agree. It's a very magical place. And I get to spend most of the week there. We're staying on-site and will be park hopping between Disneyland and California Adventure, spending as little or as much time as we want at each. It should be a wonderful week.

Six Word Saturday is hosted each week by Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, October 23, 2009

keep your hands inside at all times

This week's Aloha Friday question is...

What is your favorite ride at Disneyland or DisneyWorld?

This one is a hard one. There are so many fun rides and attractions. But if I have to pick one, it would be the Indiana Jones ride. It's a fun recreation of the movie and has a little bit of the roller coaster feel.

I didn't ask about California Adventure which is the sister park to Disneyland. I love the California Soarin' ride over there. You feel like you're flying over the fields, mountains, cities, and ocean of California. It's so realistic. You really feel like you're hang gliding as you feel the wind in your hair and you can smell the ocean and orange groves.

There is a reason why I'm asking. Can you guess?

You can find Aloha Friday each week over at An Island Life.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

while watching the snow fall...

I did something today that I haven't done in a very long time. I had the blessing of watching our Pastor's one year old daughter for a couple of hours.

At first, I did my best to entertain her with toys that made noise or reading her a book about farm animals. She was leery of me and wasn't much interested in engaging in either activity. I racked my brain to remember what I used to do when my kids were this age. How did I entertain them? How did I spend my days? I mean, if the child isn't taking a nap, they're in need of your undivided attention. How did I make it through those days?

Then I caught wind of a familiar odor. It was diaper changing time. I wasn't really nervous but heck, it's been y.e.a.r.s since I've changed a diaper. As I laid her down and unsnapped the multitude of snaps on her clothing, it all came back to me... taking clothing off, putting clothing back on, the varying degrees of a diaper load, and making sure you've done a good job of cleaning the entire area. This little girl needed to be entertained while all this was taking place and I reflected on happy memories of singing, playing, and laughing when my kids were on the changing table.

It then became obvious that she needed and wanted to take a nap. Her dad told me that she probably wouldn't go down in her crib and that I would most likely have to hold her. Even though she wanted sleep, she fought it. I had to walk with her, holding her tight and singing lightly in her ear. The crying stopped and her body finally succumbed to the inevitable. Not knowing how deep she slept, I walked and rocked for some time. I then lowered myself to the couch and spent the next hour reclining with a precious little one sleeping on my chest.

I spent the time watching the snow fall outside and listening to the classical music that was playing. Not a bad way to spend an hour of my day. I prayed (it seemed like the perfect time to do that), but most of the time I reflected on when my kids were young; when they were infants, when they were toddlers, when they started school, when they started sports, when they went into middle school and then high school. There are so many memories, but there are also great gaps of lost memories. Oh, how I wish I had recorded more than I did - either on film, video, or through words. I want all those memories at my finger tips. I want to be able to pull them down whenever I want - whenever I need to feel close to my kids.

As little Jorah slept contently and I could feel her breath and the rise and fall of her chest, I wanted to go back into time and hold Danielle or Jake. I would have held them so tight and would have never wanted to let go. I now know how fast time can fly and how fleeting memories can be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a trip to the zoo

I wanted to go to the zoo on my birthday but didn't because of the weather. Two days later, the weather was perfect for a trip to the zoo. It was a beautiful Fall day and I enjoyed walking around by myself, watching the animals, and taking pictures.

Here are just a few of the special moments I captured...

I could spend the whole day watching the lions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009


My Aloha Friday question this week is...

Would you rather meet your great-great grandparents or your great-great grandchildren?

This was actually a question posed at the small group I belong to and it sparked some great conversation. It really makes you ponder.

Of course, I'd love to do both. I love history and I figure my great-great grandparents lived somewhere in the latter part of the 1800s and early 1900s. I love that time period and would love to hear what life was like for them during those times.

But if I had to pick between the two, it would have to be meeting my great-great grandchildren. I'd like to see if the way I lived and raised my children had any effect on them. In other words, if Don and I left a legacy for our family. I'd also like to see what kind of technological changes there are in the world.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

came and went

Tuesday was my 50th birthday... yesterday was Don's 50th birthday... today is Thursday, and it's a beautiful day.

Thank you to everyone who extended good wishes for my birthday and described how they would or did spend their 50th birthday. They were fun to read. I stated in my Tuesday post that I would let you know how I ended up spending my birthday.

Well, I didn't do anything monumental. I had wanted to go to the zoo with my camera and spend time photographing the animals. Capturing life through the lens of my camera is one of my favorite pass times and thought that would be a fun way to spend the day. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate. I scrapped the idea early on.

After spending most of the morning reading, I headed off to the mall. I hadn't gone mall shopping in some time and enjoyed walking, looking, and trying on a few pieces of clothing and a couple of pairs of shoes. I walked out with only one bag - a new pair of shoes.

By then, the sun decided to make an appearance. I headed over to my favorite reading place, the plaza, and sat in my car and read. I find I get so much more reading done outside my home. I love feeling the warmth of the sun collect in the enclosed space and feeling the peace and calm while losing myself in the pages of a good book.

Don came home early and we decided to go to the movies before dinner. There weren't many movies out right now that we felt like we would both enjoy. We settled on Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis. After the movie, we ate dinner at PF Changs. I tried something new and I now have a new favorite dish at this favorite restaurant. It was a very nice day and evening.

Just for the record, our kids came home last weekend and we all celebrated the birthdays with a dinner out on Saturday night and then going home and playing a game. Some girlfriends will be taking me out tomorrow and another group of friends are treating me to breakfast next Monday.

Okay... on to who won the give-away. I wrote down everyone's name (only once, Mighty Mom) on a slip of paper, put them into a bowl, and drew out one. That piece of paper had the name of... (drum role please)... Melissa of Mejojac's Memos. Congratulations Melissa, and thank you to everyone who commented.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

he is one special man

Happy birthday to my better half. Yep, today is Don's birthday and he is also turning 50.

You hear people referring to their spouse as their "better half," but in my case, it's so very true. We have been married nearly 29 years and we are truly one - two halves that make a whole. Don is a very modest and humble person and that is one reason why I don't write about him very often, but today he deserves every word of praise and love that I can put together. I wish my words could convey how special this man is, but they won't. They simply can't.

Don, you are my life. I can't imagine what it would be like without you.

You make me laugh and have made laughter and fun a staple of our family. The kids and I thank you for that.

You give me balance. You pull me up when I'm down and calm me when I get worked up. Your insight and wisdom always gives me direction, and ultimately, peace and comfort.

Your compassion and caring spirit for others has taught me what a difference one person, in this hurting world, can make. And you have made a difference in so many lives.

Thank you being such a Godly man and a man of integrity.
Thank you for being my partner in not just life, but in ministry. Thank you for being such a wonderful father and husband. Thank you for being such a responsible person and providing for our family. Thank you for your love that has been a part of more than half of my life. That love is a big part of who I am today, and for that, I cannot thank you enough.

I know you don't care about birthdays but I hope you have one that is as special as you are.
I love you more than 100 white elephants. =)

Don't forget to leave your comment on yesterday's post for a chance to be the winner of my 50th birthday give-away. And thank you for all the wonderful happy birthday wishes. They helped make my day a happy one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

you don't want to miss this...

Well, today is the day. The day that I wish I could just skip over. I usually look forward to October 13th each and every year, but not this year. October 13th is my birthday and this year I turn 50.


I'm not trying to sound sorry for myself. I'm just trying to be honest here. I consider myself a positive person and I'm not going to spend the day feeling down, but it's not a birthday I've been looking forward to. 50 just feels so old. 49 didn't and I'm sure 51 won't bother me as much.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do today but I've got a couple of ideas. I need to do something that says, "you're 50 and you're fabulous!" (thanks mom)

I thought of one way to lift my spirits... have a give-away. Giving gifts always makes me feel good, so one of you can be the lucky recipient of a special 50th birthday gift (you won't be disappointed). All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post telling me how you would or did spend your 50th birthday. I'll randomly pick one commenter Wednesday night and post the name along with how I did end up spending the day on Thursday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

can i quote you?


My Aloha Friday question this week is...

What is your favorite quote?

If you've ever left a comment here on Sunshine on my Shoulders, you may have noticed that I include a quotation of the day in that section. I love quotes. They make me smile. They make me reflect. They make me nod in agreement. They make me think.

I come across so many that I really like, that I started writing them down and keeping a journal of my favorites. The problem is, I now have such a large collection of "favorites," it's hard to pick out just one favorite. But for the purpose of this post, I will quote two of my top favorites.

"Live well ~ Laugh often ~ Love much"
~Bessie Anderson Stanley
(these are my words to live by)


"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these are roots, the other, wings."
~Hodding Carter

Try not to answer this question with a piece of scripture because that is going to be my question for next week; what is your favorite Bible verse(s)?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

exciting stuff

Yesterday I took my first trip to a granite warehouse. Why? To pick out granite, of course. Yep, we're getting new counter tops in my kitchen and I am so excited.

When we moved into this house six years ago, there was really only one thing I didn't like about it; that would be the tile counter tops. We had tile in a previous house and I hated it. It is so hard to keep clean. But even though Don and I both didn't care for the tile, I never thought I'd have anything but.

So imagine my shock a few weeks ago when Don announced that he thought we should get new counter tops. He had a couple of co-workers who had just had granite put in through a company who, probably because of the economy, were offering great deals. We looked into it, had them give us a quote, and the next thing I know, we're having templates made and picking out the granite slabs in a warehouse across town.

Did I mention how excited I am?
And can I just say... there is some gorgeous granite out there.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

six word saturday


Vampires and werewolves... my, oh my!

I'm 100 pages into the second book of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. I'll admit, I kinda dragged my feet - not really wanting to read it. Part of it is the whole stigma of reading a book (and seeing a movie) about vampires. The other part was that there are so many books on my "to read" list that I'd rather read at this time, but I wanted to read New Moon before the movie comes out next month.

But surprise... I am totally enjoying it. It's so much more than just a simple story of vampires and werewolves. The characters are complex. It's adventure. It's romance. It's a good story.

Six Word Saturday is hosted by at Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, October 2, 2009

happy friday


I usually play Aloha Friday each Friday because I really enjoy reading the answers I get to not only my questions, but those posed by others playing along. I also like answering the many thought provoking questions out there. If this sounds interesting and fun to you, head on over to An Island Life where Kailani hosts Aloha Friday. And thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

My question this week is...

Would you prefer money for a housekeeper, cook, gardener, or personal secretary?

It would be between the first two for me, but in the end, I'd pick a cook. I've never been a good cook and I don't really enjoy doing it. Oh, how I wish I did. I've lived my whole adult life with the challenge of not only coming up with what to cook for dinners, but then achieving the goal of cooking something that tastes good enough that my family would want to eat it again.

I think it would be such a treat to have a personal cook. I wouldn't have to worry about meal planning, shopping (because I'd have my cook do the planning and grocery shopping), and preparation and cooking of the meals. And I bet I'd eat healthier than I do now. I know I'd eat healthier.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

nothing but...


(> The Colorado Rockies' magic number is 1, with four games left, to win the wild card spot. We're big Rockies fans here in our house and this is an exciting time for the Denver area. Go Rockies!! Let's see how far we can go.

(> We are hosting a [church] small group meeting at our home every Wednesday night for the next 10 weeks. That means my house will remain clean for that long =). We're watching some of the Nooma videos, followed by discussion. The discussion last night was so good, we went an hour over the time we were supposed to quit. Is anyone familiar with Nooma? They're great.

(> October is now here. Don and I each have big birthdays this month. A big number that I haven't been looking forward to.

(> I am looking forward to November. The family, all four of us, will be spending a week in California with family. The main reason for the trip is to attend my grandmother's 90th birthday party.

(> I got my flu shot today. I get one every year (and so does the family). I have never had any adverse effects from the shot and I can't remember the last time I had the flu. I'll just leave it at that. I probably wouldn't get the H1N1 vaccination, but I've been told I really should because of being diabetic. So, I guess I'll be doing that in a couple of weeks.

(> I made the decision not to return to the tutoring/mentoring job that I had last year. The schedule just didn't work out. From how busy I've been the past couple of weeks, it's pretty clear that I'll have things to fill my time. When God closes doors, He opens windows.

(> Is Fall like this in other areas? The weather Tuesday was beautiful, with a high of 87. It was still warm yesterday, somewhere around 80, but windy. Today it's not supposed to get out of the 50s and cloudy. Yuck. I'm hoping that we get a couple more months of that beautiful Fall weather that I love so much... sunny, in the 70s, and blue skies with big white fluffy clouds.