Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Attitude and Gratitude

I have recently been reminded of the importance of my thoughts. The way I chose to think about things, the way I decide to look at the world. It's my choice alone, nobody can make me have a certain outlook, in the same way I can't control other people's thoughts and outlook as well.

It all comes down to your attitude. They say life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how we react to it. And that is so true. I know people who are "debbie downers" and complain, yet they have so much, and really their situation isn't that bad. I know people who are really going through hard trials and yet have so much joy. And it all comes down to the way they choose to perceive their circumstances.

It all comes down to gratitude. Being thankful for what you do have, and appreciating your blessings. Seeing that the glass is half full, instead of focusing on the empty part. So many people miss out on the many blessings in their life and don't fully enjoy them because they think they need something more to really be happy. All they can see is the empty part of the glass, and they miss out on what's already there.

I am a glass is half full kind of girl. I am blessed. And that is my attitude.

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. "
~ Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Wedding in Charlotte

This past weekend we headed down to Charlotte, North Carolina for Clarke's cousin's wedding. Although the weather wasn't ideal (it was cold and rainy) we still had a great time.

Saturday before the wedding we had some time, so we decided to visit The Billy Graham Library.
I don't know why they call it a Library, because it was more like a museum, all about his life and mission. It was really neat. The building was suppose to be a farmhouse, because Billy Graham grew up on a farm in Charlotte.

Saturday night was the wedding. They had it at a yacht club on Lake Norman. It was beautiful.
Allison and Bryan are such a cute couple. They have been together for almost 7 years, we were so happy to finally see them get married.
Us at the wedding with Melanie. One of my favorite things was the pasta bar. I had never seen one before, but you had a choice of pasta, toppings and sauce. I loved it.
Me and Clarke. I just love weddings, they are such a happy event. We were talking about how two years ago it was us saying our vows and starting our life together. I can't believe it's been two years already.

Well that was our weekend in Charlotte!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Betty!!!

Today is Betty's Birthday! She is 2 years old!!!
What would I do without that smiling face everyday?!?
 Love you Betty!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Anniversary Trip 2

Last year we started a tradition of going away on a weekend trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This past weekend we went away to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. Technically it's still 2 more weeks till our anniversary, but because we bought our package to The Homestead from Living Social, there were blackout dates, so this weekend worked the best.

We had a wonderful time. I just love the mountains, and The Homestead is beautiful.
We had great weather too. It was in the 60s and sunny.
We walked all around the grounds. I had never been, so of course I wanted to check everything out.
The Homestead is in Bath County, Virginia. It is absolutely gorgeous out there in western Virginia. 80% of it is national forest, and there are no stoplights. They also have natural hot springs flowing throughout the county. Here I am dipping my feet in one at The Homestead.
Saturday night after dinner we went swimming in their indoor pool. It was really nice.
Sunday we went for a hike up the cascades that flow through the mountains. It took about 2 hours, but was relatively easy.

Overall it was such a fun trip. If Living Social has another great deal to The Homestead, we are definitely going again!

Friday, March 18, 2011

spring is finally here

Seeing this in my backyard makes me happy.....
When we moved in late spring last year, it had already turned green. Right now it's just beautiful!

I am loving this little gem.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Miscellany Monday: March Edition

I haven't done one of these posts in awhile, so thought I would today!
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. I am loving that spring is almost here. I am loving making plans to finally landscape our yard and make it look better. I am loving that warmer weather is around the corner. It makes me so happy.

2. We had a great lazy Saturday. After traveling to the other side of the country it was nice to relax and sleep. We raked more leaves in our yard on Sunday, but they just won't disappear! I don't know where they are coming from, but I can't wait to be done.

3. I have really been enjoying teaching the preschool Sunday school class at church. When someone at church asked me to volunteer because she thought I would be good at it, I admit I was doubtful. I have never worked with this age before, but I am loving it. And it surprises me how much I am loving the little ones, but I really do.

4. The 10k is 3 weeks away! I am really excited, I can't believe how close it is. Got a postcard in the mail, and it's on my fridge now. Makes me want to run more, which is always good.

5. My heart breaks for Japan. I honestly try not to think about it, because it is so sad. But, I know I need to pray for them, and pray things get better. I can't imagine not knowing if my family is safe or not, and loosing so many loved ones at once.

6. I start training for my job tomorrow. It was optional, but they are paying me to go, and I find special ed interesting, so i'm eager to learn more. I really enjoy learning and will take most opportunities to do so. I hope I get something out of it that helps me do a better job at work.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Colorado: Part 4: Downtown Denver

Sorry if I have been boring you with all these posts about our recent travels. I really want to "scrapbook" our memories, and blogging is such a great way to do that. But, this is my last post about Colorado.

Sunday night we heard a big snowstorm was coming in and we were afraid of  getting stuck up in the mountains. So we decided to head down that night instead of waiting till Monday morning as originally planned. It ended up working out great because we had plenty of time on Monday to explore downtown Denver before catching out flight later that afternoon.
We loved this over sized bear at the convention center. (Especially since that is our nickname for each other.) The main reason why I wanted to go explore the city was because of their art museum.
The Denver Art Museum is amazing! The extension was designed by Daniel Libeskind, who is my favorite living architect. I know, most of ya'll probably don't care about this, but as a former design student I have always dreamed of seeing one of his building in real life.
As soon as we walked up I recognized it from the pictures. Same as the buildings in NYC I recently visited, it seemed much smaller than in the all the pictures. It was still amazing, especially all the details.
 Directly across the street from the museum were these condos, also designed by Daniel Libeskind. I would love to live here.
On the other side of the street is the Denver Public Library, designed by Michael Graves. You should recognize that name, he is the architect who has designed all that cool stuff for Target. We own his toaster!

After seeing all the amazing buildings I was a happy girl. We decided to go eat lunch at Bubba Gump. Clarke had never eaten at one before, and it was really good.
We rented a car for the day because we thought it would be easier and cheaper than getting taxis everywhere. This was our first rental car ever! A silver Sebring, it was pretty nice, and only cost us $30 for the whole day!

We had an uneventful flight home, and arrived back in Richmond around midnight. Tired but thankful for a great trip.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Colorado: Part 3: Ski Day!

When we decided to go visit my cousin out in Colorado everyone asked us if we would be skiing. But we weren't sure if we wanted to or not. I hadn't skied in ten years, and Clarke had only skied once before and didn't have a good experience. But when we got there and saw all the skiers, and the beautiful mountains, we couldn't resist.
 We were both glad we ended up skiing. It came back to me (like riding a bike, my aunt said) and Clarke was great. In fact we all couldn't believe how great Clarke was, he looked like a "real" skier. I think also the really nice ski pants that he borrowed from a friend helped. But really, I was impressed.
Don't my hands look huge in those gloves? I was wearing two pairs, maybe that's why? For lunch that day we cooked out. They had grills on top of the mountain that you could use for free, so we brought a bunch of hot dogs and ate lunch up there.
Us getting off the chair lift. I love this picture!
This was the last picture of the day. We skied from the very top of the mountain, to the very bottom of the mountain, it was about a mile the whole way. We had such a great time, we are already talking about skiing next season!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Colorado: Part 2: Saturday

We woke up Saturday morning ready to explore more of Vail and get to the top of the mountain. After breakfast we headed to Lionshead Village, which is right next to Vail Village. It's basically another cute area with really neat architecture, cool shops and fun restaurants.
After lunch in town we headed up the gondola to the top of the mountain. And saw this:
Beautiful snow covered mountains. It was gorgeous. We went on a snowshoe hike, which both of us had never done before. It was really hard, but fun.
The snowshoes hooked onto our boots, and it took awhile to get used to. We kept feeling like we were "waddling" up the mountain, because they are so wide. It was great spending more time with my cousin and aunt.
A closer look at my snowshoes. Can you find my feet in there? After the hike, we decided to do something that took less energy, so we headed off to go snowtubing. After some convincing, my aunt agreed to go with us.
Us getting ready to head back up for another run. The tubing park was really cool, they had a covered lift that took you up to the top. I guess it made it a little bit warmer. They also let you hook yourself to each other, so the three of us hooked our tubes on each other, and we went a lot faster. I had forgotten how much fun snowtubing was. Afterwards, we got ready for dinner at The Swiss Chalet Restaurant.
It was a fondue place, and it was soooo good. I love fondue, we had Swiss cheese, lots of meats, and of course, chocolate! Yum. After dinner we crashed, we were so tired and wanted to get plently of rest for the next day: skiing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Colorado: Part 1: Getting There and First Day!

Sorry for my absence here, we have been out west in Colorado having wonderful adventures and enjoying the beautiful state! We had such a great time, I can't wait to share it here. I'll start with getting there (which was an adventure in itself) and our first day.
Clarke in the Richmond Airport.

We left Thursday afternoon, my in-laws picked me up from our house and we headed to get my husband at his work, then head straight to the airport. I had been praying for our flight. I have the worse luck with air travel. My flight is always delayed, they loose my bags, or someone brings a knife on the plane and we miss our connecting flight (and it's our honeymoon, but I digress.) So, I had prayed for a safe and on time flight. And I was so happy when we arrived in the Denver airport, on time and with no complications! But, I forgot to pray about the weather. And we were headed to Vail, Colorado, where my cousin lives. Vail is about 2 hours west of Denver, and up in the mountains. Where it snows. A lot. And that night it was coming down.

I called my cousin who was suppose to pick us up at the airport, and she was stuck in the mountains, and we were stuck in Denver. The roads were closed, so we would have to spend the night in Denver. It was 1 in the morning, but really 3am to us, because of the time change. Luckily we found a hotel room, and got some rest. The next morning it was still snowing, and my cousin didn't feel comfortable driving (she is from Florida.) So we took the Colorado Mountain Express up.
On the ride up to Vail.

We finally arrived at our destination almost 24 hours after we left. We were so happy to finally be there, and it was sooooo beautiful there. Vail's elevation is 8,150 at the base and almost 12,000 at the top. We could defenitley feel the altitude change.
We walked around Vail Village, which is a really cute ski town. All the shops and restaurants are around the slopes and skiers are everywhere.
Me and my cousin, Amanda. It had been over a year since I last saw her, so it was great to catch up.
The mountains made a beautiful backdrop and most of the buildings had european architecture. I loved it.
Us by a firepit, with the Eagle River in the background. My pictures don't do justice to how beautiful it was up there. Colorado is defenitley one of my favorite states!
One last picture of the town. Lovely!

Up next: snowshoeing and snowtubing!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A March Milestone

This March marks my 5 year anniversary of my last anxiety attack. It's a pretty big deal for me.

5 years ago I had taken yet another semester off of college to stay home and try to overcome my anxiety. I didn't know if I would ever get back to JMU and finish my degree, I didn't know if there would ever be a time in my life without the panic, chaos and sadness that those attacks brought.

But, it's been 5 years this month. 5 years! Back then I would have never believed that I could go so long without an attack. I'm not even taking any anti-anxiety medication, and haven't in a couple years. I finished my degree from JMU, I have a great job and I'm happily married. I've come a long way from being that girl so afraid of her future.

And I have Jesus to thank. I know it's only because of him that I am free from anxiety attacks. It is still a part of my life today. I struggle with not knowing what comes next for my life, I struggle with insecurities and I struggle with fear. But, I have a new found hope which keeps me going. I know God has a plan for my life, and has created me for a purpose. Although there are things that are out of my control and things I wish I could change, I know ultimately He is in control, and that is good

5 years, that's half a decade! Thank you Jesus for getting me here.