10 yrs ago I was on a plane headed west. I was handed this napkin with a packet of peanuts. I had just left behind a world of security and love and traded it in for the unknown.

The freedom to be yourself is the freedom to be your best. The message is so clear to me now as it was then.

The freedom to be yourself....The freedom to make the choice to take action or react. The freedom to show your weaknesses or strengths.

I always get sentimental this time of year. When July rolls over into August. When children get excited to return to school and fall is just around the corner. It was also 10 years ago that I made one of the hardest choices in my life.

It was my fourth year in a nanny position and I loved the family. I wasn't happy with the choices I was making for myself and I knew I needed to fix some things to find true happiness. I'll never forget how afraid and frightened I was. I only had a tiny ounce of faith in myself and the faintest belief that I would be strong enough to carry it out. I wasn't sure if I was running away from my problems or running towards a solution. It was a leap of Faith.

On the ride home I was given this napkin with a packet of peanuts.

I've thought about this saying for a long time. We get to choose everyday who we are and how we will react. Every day is a new day. We get up...we put one foot in front of the other...we breathe in and breathe out -

Every day we decide who we are going to be. Do we show our best face or do we stomp our feet and scream that life is unfair.

A important person to me passed away almost one year ago. Her influence lives on but her absence has left a huge hole. It is one of those life events that changes your heart and either brings you to the depth of sorrow or helps you embrace your life more fully.

I chose to grab my camera and I started planning activities that would create happy memories and help my children develop good character. What we give of ourselves to others is the only legacy that we will leave behind.

The freedom to be yourself is the freedom to be your best - Robin McGraw said it best in her book "from my heart to yours". She was mad at her husband and had every right to be and instead of being mean in return she chose to show her best self. She loved him enough to give the best of herself - to show him how good and forgiving she could be. I LOVE that!

This post is for all the people in my life that cheered me on - to find the best of myself - to give up the bad parts and learn to really love myself and to really love others.

There are people whose feelings and well-being are within my influence. I will never escape that fact.

Isn't that where true happiness lays?

Summer update

Summer is two-thirds the way over. In less than 40 days the kids will return to school and my schedule will be wide open. I have no idea what I'm going to do with all my free time with just Valorie at home. When this summer is over it will mark another big transition in life.

We made a goal to hit all 35 parks in our city this summer - so far we've done about 10. We will have to hit 4 a day before we go to Idaho - we will be spending an entire month at my mothers - we usually go a few days at a time - so I'm not sure how well behaved my children are going to be out of their element. I may have to take along some duck tape!

The swimming pool is coming down early...we gave away our "baby bikes" ....we have our clothes organized for school, the classroom supply list has been purchased. The extra computer is packed ready to scan all my mothers photo's...

I spent the past few weeks organizing and putting things in order. Life is flying by so fast that I'm trying to be ready for it before it happens. Some things you can't predict but by having things in order sure helps.

I've discovered all the wonderful things a Kirby vacuum can do and I've been shampooing everything that can possibly be shampooed. MY house has never been this clean and organized before - but it still needs help.

Well enough of this journal entry. I hope to have a TON of pictures to post when I get back - I hope to have some good memories to share with you.

heart watermelon Pictures, Images and Photos

Fun in the sun?

Summer Park Hopping has been interrupted by this ugly little picture...

That's sun allergy. My baby has decided to break out like this every time we go outdoors. It looks really bad but doesn't seem to bother her. We have to dose her up with Claritin and rub her down with 100 percent Sun Blocker.

So....we replaced park hopping with this and this and that....

That water is freezing and they love it! I love it.

We had another round of my husband being sick and needing medical attention - which I'm getting better at handling. I've come to the relization that life is in God's hands and so rather than reacting to it - I will use my wise intuition and not my "Oh no! The sky is falling approach".

I was able to pull out my compassion and "get er done attitude"- usually my first response is to get angry that he is sick and not feeling well and afraid that I may have to resort to doing daycare to take care of my family. Which is why I started my daycare in the first place and chose to move into a big house on the hill next to the childrens school and church. I will check myself into a mental hospital before I EVER do daycare again.

I've been reading Robin McGraws book from my heart to yours - It's Dr Phil's wife and I absolutely love that girl. She is wise and witty and has used her life lessons to impower herself. I have also been having a love affair with Joyce Meyer - she really knows how to tell it like it is and paints a clear picture of what God is like.

SO...in the meantime while trying to find a happy balance with each of my responsibilites we have been creating memories like this one...

And enjoying the Holidays - like this one...