A Fun Halloween-Themed Weekend

This weekend we started celebrating Halloween. We had a family fun filled weekend picking pumpkins at Whitcomb’s. We found a beautiful selection of pumpkins and gourds and picked up lunch at their deli. I finally got our Halloween Decorations up and out. 

Halloween Centerpiece

We also caught up on some house cleaning – I was able to tackle that chaotic baking and spice/sauce cupboard that’s been on my to-do list for months and even cleaned out some of my ever-collecting craft supplies. We then curled up Saturday night with ‘Wreck It Ralph’ while chowing on some take-out. This morning we rounded up and got rolling with Halloween activities: after some spooky pumpkin carving, we indulged in a Zombie Meatloaf.

Pumpkin Carving

zombie Meatloaf

I wrapped up the night baking (it was getting late so I did cheat and use a box cake mix and jar of icing – but it’s the thought that counts, right?!) up a batch of pink iced cupcakes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month for an office potluck. Yummy!

BCA Cupcakes

 

Having Confidence in Change

So here I am, 4 am, cranky, awoken by the dog chasing the cat, actually taking a selfie in the mirror just so I can share with the world how irritated I am. Knowing that in a few hours I’ll probably need a nap because I can’t fall back asleep now, feeling frustrated trying to think of ways to be productive without waking up everyone else in the house (darn I can’t even make a pot of coffee – trials of living in a condo – and Starbucks isn’t open yet)…and I won’t lie – I am not motivated the slightest bit to take the dog on a wee early morning walk.

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Turning thirty a few weeks ago has seemed to bring my New Year early. I knew there were changes on the horizon but what I didn’t know is how much my mindset would be morphing too… I have been trying to detach myself electronically more. I would like to say I had been busy working towards my goals and dreams when I was plugged in so much but the truth is I spent most of my time scanning Ebay for deals and hours and hours on Pinterest. I wasn’t using my “plugged in” time efficiently. I was spending more time thinking about what I want and where I want to be than time acting to get there. So my “electronic device” time is now limited to productive time – I only open up my laptop when I have a task to complete (However sometimes my tasks are still a little exaggerated – for instance I spent 1 1/2 hours on Shutterfly designing a calendar for next year – all the pages do not need to be completed in a day!) and I limit myself to no more than 15 minutes on Pinterest and Ebay daily.

At the beginning of this past week I had quite a leap in my professional life which in the last five days I’m finding is greatly affecting my personal and home life. I was transferred to a different office – closer to home. I am thankful for the growth and experiences I was able to have while in the Maryland office and I think it has and will continue to help me develop in my career. And though I truly miss my staff from Hagerstown, I feel this was a good change for myself. This past week I cooked dinner on a week night for the first time in about six months.

Sometimes it’s the small things things that we miss. I know that this change also brings some re-adjusting to habits I had lost but I’m up for the challenge.

With hitting thirty, a new sense of confidence has betaken me. I’m not sure if it’s a realization that my twenties are over and it’s time to take control of my life theory or if it’s me becoming more comfortable with who I am, but either way I like where it’s leading me. The past few months were tough in a lot of areas for me and now that I’m through it I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am starting to feel like I’m on a path to where I want to be. My new found self-confidence is helping me ask for what I need, do what needs to be done, and feel more positive about the outcomes.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

I know there are still many changes and challenges to come but this time I’m ready to take them head on and grow from the experiences.

 

A Mommy & Son Day Trip

First a stop by Starbuck’s for a much needed coffee and spinach & feta wrap and for the boy a mocha chocolate chip frappuccino and blueberry scone (Mr.Fancy Pants!) and then off to an elephant wonderland we go!

Car Ride to Mommy & Dyl DayGettysburg PA Pitstop

We head down Rt.30 on our way to Mr.Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium – off Rt.30 between Gettysburg and Chambersburg. Making a pit stop as we passed through Gettysburg at General Lee’s Museum and Gift Shop, we knew this day was going to a day filled with smiles and laughter.

Enter into a world of imagination and fun:

We parked on the side of the building in front of a big sign reading “Mr.Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium. Knowing this wondrous place would be an adventure of photos and surely some sugar packed shopping, I tucked my phone and credit card into my crossover and climbed out of the car meeting my big-grinned son on the other side of the car. This day trip had been on our to-do list for quite some time and we were so excited to explore. Being a somewhat elephant fanatic (to give you an idea – The first time my boyfriend’s long time friend Mark visited our place his words were, “Wow, your place has some major elephantitis.”) So you can imagine my glee to finally make it to Mr.Ed’s!

My son and I were greeted by a giant talking elephant named Miss Ellie. Upon her suggestion, we set off to explore. We saw sitting bears to sit and relax with, a tree to hug, and a mailbox adorned with an elephant drinking a cup of tea. We were then led by tin soldiers to stroll the woods and gardens, and this is where we went “nuts at Mr.Ed’s”, made a wish at a pond, sat upon some colorful polka-dotted balls, met “Mister”, and shared even more smiles and laughter.

Mister Ed's 1 Mister Ed's 2

Upon entering the Enchanted Forest, we walked up the Stairway to Nowhere, came upon an elephant cow, and mourned at the elephant cemeteries. After exploring the forest, we made a stop to meet Gunther before wandering down the gnome’s path and visiting a fairie garden, then stopping for a sitting spell before going inside.

Mister Ed's 3 Mister Ed's 4

Inside we found a shop full of treasures (and candy!), Santa, and shelves full of elephant collectibles. Before heading out with a box full of fudge, and some other goodies, we made sure to stop for a photo op with Dumbo!

Mister Ed's 5

dyl with dumbo

Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium is located off of Rt.30 between Gettysburg and Chambersburg in Pennsylvania. Surely a place to add to your trip list for a day trip if your local or a stop to make when you’re visiting Gettysburg!

www.mistereds.com

 

If I knew what I know now…

…when I was 19…

~ I wouldn’t have gotten married. It wasn’t right for me, we weren’t right for each other.

~ I would have completed college, and majored in Psychology.

~ I would have exercised more, and kept up with it!

~ I would have saved my money.

~ I would have quit smoking then… and not eight years later.

~ I would have spent more time with my family and less time with the friends I no longer have. “Don’t waste your time on people who don’t spend time on you.”

~ I would have told my family I love them more times.

~ I would have spent less energy on finding “a guy” and more on ending up with the right guy.

~ I would have kept writing instead of stopping and waiting 10 years to start again.

~ I would have spent less time trying to “fix” other people and more time focused on myself.

~ I would have accepted failure as steps to success.

~ I would have spent more time studying and less time socializing.

~ I would have forgiven more.

~ I would have appreciated the things I had more and less time worrying about the things I didn’t have.

~ I would have prayed more.

 

 

Race Car Through Life

Racecar through life

Ever feel like your life is a huge Nascar Race? We spend our younger years yearning to grow up and once we become adults all we want is the simplicity of childhood. We take one second to breathe and realize that a whole year, or ten years, has passed. Slow down, savor the moments, take time to learn from mistakes, and take time to love life and all its lessons.

This year I am turning 30 and when I look back over the last ten years I see a lot has happened but I haven’t accomplished the things I wanted to, I haven’t taken time to really enjoy the moments I’ve had, everything has been such a blur. Two weeks ago my Grandmother went into the hospital unexpectedly and it really hit me that I need to make some changes. I need to spend more time on the things, and people, that mean the most to me and less time trying to change the world overnight. My Grandmother said something very important to me one night when I was visiting her – she said, “Stop worrying about everything and just do your best every day. Everything will work out”.  She’s right. So this year as I continue on my journey through life, I will wake up every morning prepared to do the best I can that day and I will trust that God has a plan and that everything will fall into place as it is meant to.

Inspiration always comes when you are not looking for it…

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At the beginning of this week I vowed to find inspiration every day. Since then I search, starting as soon as I wake up, to almost “pick” out what my inspiration will be. The thing about inspiration is sure you can develop it within yourself but the truest ones come by surprise. The challenge I set for myself was to help me learn to see everything in a positive light and to always find something special in each day.

I continued through my day, soon losing focus of “picking” my daily inspiration. I spent the first part of my morning returning patient phone calls and inquiries. As I was wrapping up with my last call, the patient says to me, “Thank you for being great”. There it was, that warm and fuzzy feeling hit me. That is why I come to work every day – to help patients. That is the strongest motivator I have for me to do the job I do. I replied back to the patient, “Thank you but you deserve it”, as I thought to myself, “Thank you for being an awesome patient”.

 

A Shining Light from a Blue Eyed Boy

This morning started out challenging… I woke up achy and tired and realizing I only had about $18 to make it through the rest of the week. Adding to it we were out of lunchmeat and out of peanut butter so with that fueling the fire I snapped that I’d have to stop in my time crunch to spend money I didn’t have to pick something up for my son for lunch at his summer care. Quietly my son and I walked out to the car – his water bottle dropping and rolling all over the parking lot. My son and I tackled it as a team and finally caught it as it rolled under the fourth car. As we were climbing into the car to rush out, my son pulls out his leftover half of sandwich from the day before and cheerfully says, “I can eat the rest of this for lunch today!” My day was just saved by a bright blue-eyed nine-year-old boy. Sometimes our heroes are only four and half feet tall! Needless to say my daily inspiration came early today and with perfect timing. As the day went on the frustrations kept pouring in (was just one of those days) but with every challenge that the day presented to me, I thought of that smile my son gave me and remembered the strength it gave me. Don’t ever give up on a day just because it is rough, today I was reminded that there is always a solution!
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