Showing posts from December, 2019

Picture Imperfect: How to feel authentic & beautiful in every photo

I took nearly a hundred pictures this Christmas. Pictures of food, presents, people, and pets. As you can imagine, not all of them turned out well; some were blurry, some had closed eyes, and some caught errant hands or feet in the frame. I deleted several of these for obvious reasons. When I looked at the photos of me, I  paid close attention to each one, scrutinizing minor details of my facial expressions and body placement. I almost got lost picking myself apart in each picture. Then I was reminded that the self-judgment wasn't worth my time. I accepted that the camera had captured an authentic view of who I am, and no matter my feelings about it, this was how I looked.  And I decided to be okay with that.  Once I let go of my expectations of perfection, I was able to see the beauty in the photos, the moments of joy, and the memories. In this digital age of photography and social media, it's become easy to put forth only the best version of ourselves. 

Tattooing Love: Honoring a loved one and adopting a mantra

There are three things you need to know before you read this story. Butterflies give me peace and remind me to have faith. I have six other tattoos. I consider each of them meaningful expressions of my life, and most of them were done on special dates. Both of my grandmothers were the model of Love, and though they lived thirteen-hundred miles away, they impacted my life regularly. Eight months ago, Grandma Kelley, my dad's mom, passed away at the age of 95. At the funeral service, her pastor shared a phrase of advice that she had given him during a challenging personal time. "It takes a lot of Love to get along in this world." The words landed on my heart and stayed in my soul. I immediately typed them into my phone and thought, This is my next tattoo. I had been thinking about a butterfly tattoo for several months, but I didn't want anything generic. With Grandma's words in mind, I envisioned putting the two items together in one design.

4 Steps To Spot an Angel: Christmas tree hunting gives new meaning to snow angel

We used to have a dog that liked to eat pine needles. However, he got impatient waiting for them to drop to the floor, and he started gnawing on the low-hanging branches. We feared that he would topple the tree, so we stopped bringing home a live tree and bought an artificial one instead. After fourteen years, our dog grew old and passed away, so we  reinstated the tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree.   Last week, I bundled up for the cold weather while my husband loaded up the chainsaw, shovel, and tire chains. We planned to drive to forest land  about an hour from our house. The highway led through a small canyon, and a few miles later, we turned onto a snowy mountain road.  The trip started out fine, but as we went on, the tracks left by snowmobiles and hunting trucks began to decrease. And then the tracks were gone. We stopped immediately, but not soon enough. Shawn pulled a little too far to the side of the road, and the truck was sucked into a snow bank.