Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sweet Little Ryleigh - On Our Upcoming Trip

Remember this little bean?  Well she has certainly grown and is getting A LOT of personality :)  

Before heading to my sister's wedding in Baltimore next weekend (October 11) we are visiting some family on the East Coast.  First we are heading to New Jersey and spending time with Bill's Aunt and Uncle and then we are heading to Pittsburgh to hang out with my twin brother, his wife and our sweet little niece.  We are planning a zoo trip, spaghetti night and lots of time relaxing. 

I receive a daily text of pictures of my niece from my sister-in-law and below are some of my favorites I have gotten over the last few months.  I just can't wait to hug her.  She really is such a spot of joy for everyone and we are thrilled to get to spend time around them all.  

The packing has begun and we take a red eye flight to New Jersey on Friday night.  I haven't been super active on here as of late, and I guess that won't change for a few weeks.  

Cheers to the beginning of fall, family time galore and a fantastic wedding ahead!

Friday, September 19, 2014

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things - Happy Images

I love this small collection of happy pictures.  It's the little things that often time bring so much joy.  A donut, a sunflower, a puppy... the list is endless.  As we move from summer into fall, the list for me seems to shift and I love that with different seasons come different happy things.  I will post on some of my favorite fall things I am sure, but for now these bright colorful images hold onto a last little bit of summer for me.

My sister Joy's tumblr could be described as a collection of happy images in a lot of ways - while she intersperses words of wisdom as well - if you get a chance you should pop over and scroll through.  So many pictures will bring a smile to your face.

elephant love. but does he like it though?


Have a lovely weekend Friends ;)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wedding Festivities - Palm Springs Bachelorette

My sister's bachelorette party last month was such a fun weekend!  Before any of the festivities started, me and her bestie were able to pull off a huge surprise and fly her out here for the weekend without Faith knowing.  It was so fun to see Faith over the moon excited for her to be there for the very sparkly celebration.  We drove up together and talked and sang and danced a little in the car.  We arrived at the absolutely beautiful hotel and could not believe how blessed we were to have my parents let us use it for 2 nights.  It was gorgeous!

A group of her favorite girls headed out to Palm Springs to meet us, which is about an hour and a half (without traffic) from where we live.  We spent lots of time chatting and sitting by the pool, had a few drinks, went to a lovely dinner and went out dancing.   We bought her gifts, ate her favorite snacks, wore sparkly clothes at her request and overall just had the most amazing time.  We all just wanted to keep hanging out at the end of the weekend, which shows it was a blast.  I will always think of this weekend fondly.

My sister has the lovliest friends, I'll be honest, there is some overlap so I am a little biased!  They all really tried to make it special for her.  There was no drama, such wonderful conversation and an outpouring of love for her.  It makes me happy to know that she is in good hands in her friendships and that she is surrounded by so much love and so many good people.  

The wedding is in less than a month, and I can't wait to see these ladies faces on the dance floor.  It's gonna be the best day celebrating the couple we all love so much!

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Season of Reading - The Language of Flowers

This book hooked me.

It's hard to review it, because I want everyone to read it and I don't want to give anything away!  It brings you through a time in a young woman's life, where she is emancipated from the Foster Care system and has to make a way for herself, and her path is both fascinating and alluring.  The characters she encounters and the way she spends her time fascinated me and the more I read the more I wanted to read.  You flashback to a certain time period in her past which brings her into a completely different light and helps you understand why she reacts to things the way she does.  Isn't it 

The fact that different flowers communicate different things is a concept I was not familiar with, but something about the way she talks about flowers made me want to run through a field of them and go to a flower market immediately.  A girl who is in most ways not dignified or put together certainly appreciates beauty in this way, and she learns to become more comfortable with the beauty she possesses within herself.

I would recommend this book to everyone and anyone.  There is something beautiful about it.  I don't want to give away themes or tell you too much, just that I want you to read it, and then tell me that you read it and then talk to me about it!

Have a lovely weekend friends!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Season of Reading - The Road of Lost Innocence

This book was tough for me.  Not because it wasn't good; it was excellent.  But rather because it made me feel like the bubble I allow myself to live in is ignorant to the world around me.  The Road of Lost Innocence focuses on the life of Somaly Mam and her journey through the sex trafficking industry of Cambodia as a child and teenager;  followed by her journey to start an organization to rescue girl's out of sex trafficking all across Southeast Asia. 

It rips out your heart that someone could be treated this way.  The industry that this book describes will make you want to cry and scream, and the way that it numbed her and others to even seeing themselves as fully human will teach you something about what abuse does to humanity.  The things that are done to these children are wrong.  I could not even believe them as I turned each page.

This book makes me feel like there is nothing I can do.  This woman knows the system inside and out, and so was able to work against it, but not without consequence.  She experienced death and pain and attack and everything that comes with those things.  Her story hurts the deepest parts of my soul.  Every part of her life is difficult, but that doesn't stop her from trying.  It makes me think I need to try harder to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than myself, because the simple fact that I am typing these words shows how fortunate I am.

Wow, just reflecting back, this book had a profound effect on me.  The way it is written is very matter of fact and not emotional.  This style choice breaks me down as the things she is writing are extremely emotional for me.  While some controversy surrounds whether the book is true in its entirety, one basic truth remains the same: Horrible things are being done to children across this world and it is hard to stop them, but it is people like Somaly Mam that bring us hope that even rescuing one girl makes a difference.