It’s Necessary

A friend of ours recently lost her husband this week. They still don’t know what caused the heart attack but they are praying for closure and peace. This week we also heard about more friends with loved ones who have passed on. I hope they all have a belief system that brings them peace. I believe that death isn’t the end and that I’ll see them again one day. Have faith in what you believe in.

This week is the rest of YOU week and here’s a piece of me. The view of the mountains is actually from our driveway, with the city cemetery at the end of our street. Some people might think that’s creepy but it’s quite peaceful! We go for walks through there quite often. Not with Pippin though. We take him for other walks.

The next photo is my most recent mug! To know me is to know that I LOVE Disney, mugs and hot chocolate! Everywhere I travel to, I get a mug. Not just the tourist looking mugs, but cool looking ones that I would want in my home. It’s actually pretty cool to see them all in the cupboard now!

My gloves. Red heads have this thing about the weather and temperature. We know when the temperature is changing and we get hot or cold very easily! And right now, I am loving these gloves! They actually work and my finger tips aren’t ice cubes. Hooray!!

Pippin standing in front of my wanting a treat. He will always perform for treats. He LOVES food!

The black and white photo is a peak at my morning routine. This is where I keep my makeup and lotion.

And then there’s Pippin and Taylor. Being outside is necessary! It’s good for both the body and soul. Unless your child’s pants are wet from the snow so he goes for a walk in basketball shorts, but at least we were outside for a little while!

This weeks word prompts were:

  1. YOU (again)
  2. Outside
  3. It’s Routine
  4. Currently Loving
  5. Where I stand
  6. Necessary

Be confidently, genuinely, imperfectly you,

Dawn

All About YOU week is coming!

This week was the rest of color week (Red) and the beginning of putting yourself in front of the camera. So how many of you mentally just said, “Ummm‚Ķ no.” Or maybe you mentally pictured yourself mostly hidden behind something or someone else in the picture? Let me just start out by saying, that God didn’t put you here to hide. You were meant to be seen. You are meant to be loved and give love. You are meant to make a difference to somebody.

That being said, I believe half of the pictures are in the next collage, but we’ll start with these! And because everything has a story, this is mine for the week.

If you scroll down to the photo, the beautiful fabric in the top left corner is actually my camera strap. I got it for Christmas last year and it’s still going strong! Plus, it’s red like me.

Next is me with my 5 month old teddy bear, Pippin! He LOVES hugs and I love to receive them so this was right after he jumped up for another one. And his goofy hair cut in the front… he couldn’t see and that’s all he would hold still for. I still need to finish. Lol.

My hair. I get sooo many questions about my hair. When my hair is damp, and this is a must, I use mousse on the roots (use whatever your hair likes that won’t break the bank) and flip my head upside down to blow dry it! The secret is keeping your head upside down until it’s dry. Then I curl it with a large curling iron, spray it, shake it, make sure my part’s in the right place, give it a finishing spray, and then I let it do it’s own thing. It has a life of it’s own. I’ve learned that for me, if I keep it longer, my hair is more tame. When it’s shorter, let’s just say we don’t get along and it’s a love / hate relationship. So long it is!

Then there’s Taylor. He wants to be just like his brothers in basketball, so Lance is coaching his team. If you never try then you’ll never know how good you can be.

The paint swatches. For work, I go to a lot of ribbon cuttings when a business opens and this one was for Sherwin Williams! Aside from being able to mix any color you need, They also have classes for fun projects! My mind was racing with possibilities!

And finally there’s the flower. Our office had a continuing education training all day, so we were stuck inside. This picture is from the center pieces on all of the tables.

The word prompts I may have followed, or I may have done my own thing, are these:

  1. Exposing your red.
  2. From Behind
  3. Delightful
  4. Pop of Color
  5. Contemplative
  6. You

Be confidently, genuinely, imperfectly you,

Dawn

A Challenging Start

What is it about January… it always manages to throw life at me. So first let me say, I’m grateful for everything January throws at me. If you stop growing then you’re moving backwards. I whole heartedly believe that.

So while challenges are in abundance, I’m looking for beauty and the ordinary, in different places of my life. Including the fire hydrant across the street! Who knew they could look so cool zoomed in! It’s not just cool though. Every picture tells a story. The fire hydrant for example… It matches how I was feeling that day when I heard my moms cancer is still spreading even with the chemo. But she’s still here when she wasn’t expected to be. So it’s working to some extent and we are counting our blessings.

The budding pinecone story? Well, it all started while I was at Salem pond walking the path around the park. A black duck hopped towards me while I was standing under a pine tree, looking at the snow on the branches. That’s when I noticed it’s neck and leg were totally wrapped in fishing line, and the hook was in his foot. I had nothing on me or in the car that could help so I called animal control. When the officer arrived, instead of helping me, he shewed it into the water! I was floored! He promised he was going to call in the guy with the big net and tools who could help him. To sum up the rest, I never saw anyone come and I never saw the duck again. The picture of the pinecone is for the little black duck.

The shoe laces… Trevor came home after two years in the Spokane Washington area, and these shoes were the only thing that wasn’t falling apart. He was getting ready to go workout with his brothers so I snapped a quick picture of his shoes.

The water and it’s reflection… I have not been drinking enough water for my body. I’m 6 feet tall and I know my body needs 100 – 120 ounces of water daily! I’ll get back up to it!

The weed… I have a hard time not living close enough to drive to the ocean anymore, so when I’m really missing the ocean, I look for the beauty in things that look dead and blaw during winter. I used my macro lens to zoom in on this one and I think it looks so cool! So many layers to make something so small. Beautiful!

My One Word for the year is “Finish.” We’ll see how I do!

Last but not least is Pippin, my little hobbit, I mean puppy. ūüôā He loves to play in the fresh new snow. He literally tries to dig a tunnel through it with his face. He’s a character!

Now that you know the stories behind the pictures, these were the prompts I may or may not have used for the following daily photo prompts:

  1. Welcome 2019
  2. Fresh
  3. One Word
  4. Branches
  5. Room to Grow
  6. Red
  7. Shades of Red

Be confident, genuinely, imperfectly you.

Dawn

Symbol, Reminder, New

It’s here; the first day of January 2019. Happy New Year everyone! This year I’m committing to two things: watching my water intake, making sure I’m drinking enough, and taking a photo a day.

I’ve realized something about myself… when I’m actively trying to take a photo each day, I found I was not only doing more things, but I was completing more things! Gasp, right!

Last year I didn’t do the photo a day thing and I didn’t finish most of the goals I set out to accomplish. But the two years prior I took daily photos and I crossed goals off my list left and right! It felt so good! I I felt soooo good! Talk about satisfaction!

I want that feeling of satisfaction back! So here’s my first photo. A reminder to track my water and to create a photo journal of my life in 2019.

If you would like to follow along or join in, (trust me, you’re worth it), here’s the link to the monthly lists that I’m using this year: Photo Lists

Let’s do this!

January 1, 2019 – Symbol, Reminder, New

Be confident, genuinely, imperfectly you,

Dawn

Poof! It’s December…

It seems like only yesterday that I was starting to blog and set goals. I had the right ideas and plenty of good intentions, but good intentions can only get you so far. Without commitment and action, it’s only a dream. To sum things up, 2017 ran away from me. I blinked and then, POOF! It’s December.

I’ve also realized how much I missed taking a photo a day, or on crazy weeks having a photo for the week. I didn’t realize how much it kept me motivated to do other things, like blogging. So I’m committing this year to tackle my intentions with action. Starting with a list of photo prompts for taking a photo a day.

What 365 lists have you used in the past that worked for you? What do you guys do when you get into a funk? Would anyone like to commit to taking on this challenge with me?

If I were to pick a photo for today, it would be of my dog when he was being grumpy. Why was he grumpy? Well because the cat got to play in the bows while I wrapped presents, and he was jealous! He’s such a kid! So he grabbed a bow and held onto it and kept it from all of us. It was one of those, “Oh, I’m totally getting a picture of this!” moments. You’re welcome!

Stay humble and kind, and brush your teeth. ūüôā

Dawn

Beauty is an Inside job!

What is beauty? Both Google and the dictionary say, it’s “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” But I don’t believe that beauty is what you look like on the outside.

I believe beauty radiates from your heart because of your character. Money can buy a lot of things, but it cannot buy your character. Sure, it can test your character, and yes, people can become greedy and selfish because of it; but there are so many things out there that can work at changing you, if you let them. So how do you stop the change? Protect your character. Be true to who you are, even if it means standing alone sometimes.

To be honest, I would rather be alone and be proud of who I am, than with people who expect me to compromise who I am and what I believe, just to satisfy their own egos. Ask yourself, can you be truly you around those in your inner circle? What about in public? If not, why? What is stopping you?

Are you going through a trial or hardship in your life? Are you feeling stuck in a rut and just blah? Honestly, the best medicine is serving someone. That doesn’t mean you have to go find a charity. It can start with a loved one, a friend, a neighbor or a co-worker. Start with something simple. Sometimes the smallest things you do for someone can be the most important.

When my son was diagnosed with cancer, the only way I could keep smiling and stay positive for him so that he could fight it was to think outside of myself and serve someone. And in whatever way my son could help from his hospital bed, he would. It helped both of us. It also helped develop our characters and who we are today.

So I challenge you. Find someone to serve. Develop your character and protect it! Learn to be confident in your own skin. And most importantly, Let your light shine. Because that my friend, is where real beauty lies.

 

Be confident, genuinely, imperfectly, you.

Dawn

 

 

Pictures don’t lie

scales
old scales

There comes a time at the beginning of every year where many humans, myself included, decide to be healthier! So I decided to jump on the band wagon of weight loss!

I have a food and water plan in place, plus movement (notice I didn’t say exercise) plan in place to reach my goal. It’s doable and a life style change! I’ve done it before and I can do it again! But doing it again is so… much… harder…!

So why did I slack off? Ugh! Luckily I only gained half of my weight back that I had lost 4 years ago, so I’m not totally starting at square 1, but it’s still harder than the first time. Why? I haven’t really thought about it actually. So on the spot I would say I lost my motivation. I lost focus of the reason I lost the weight in the first place. Yep, that’s it.

Here’s where the cold hard truth chewed me up and spit me out. In the mirror. This is me saying, “No, I am not pregnant!” I just happen to be sporting this lovely spare tire… all the way around. *cry*

IMG_2589

Plus I now see where I missed cleaning my mirror over the weekend. Bonus!

So here’s to changing my focus back to what matters, so that I can do the things that matter with the people that matter!

Is anyone else jumping on this bandwagon? Let’s do this!

Eat your veggies,

Dawn

The person in the mirror.

Someone walked up to me today and asked, “How do you make friends?” I gave her a puzzled look so she added, “No really. I don’t know how. I know plenty of people but I don’t really have a real friend.” And that’s when I noticed the tears welling up in her eyes. So I smiled at her and asked if she had a minute to talk. She said yes so I guided her over to a quiet corner where we could sit down, and this is what we talked about.

(If you are struggling with self doubt, please follow along and do the steps too)

  1. You can’t be a friend to anyone until you are a friend to yourself first. I asked her if she was confident in her own skin, happy with her life and if she loved herself. This is when the tears started to flow.
  2. I smiled at her and said ok, now we know where we need to start. I handed her a piece of paper and asked her to write down the positive qualities / character traits that she wanted in her future self. (Don’t hold back, the skies the limit!)
  3. It took her a while, but when she was finished she handed me the list. I then handed her a list that I written while she was making her list. On the paper I handed her was a list of everything that I saw in her. While she was reading them I was also saying them to her her. The only thing that was missing from¬†the list that I wrote vs¬†the list that she wrote, was that¬†her future self was “Punctual.” She was crying¬†again, so I took the papers from her and said, “Now I want you to do something.”
  4. I ripped up the list that I had made so that each word I had written about her was on it’s own piece of paper. I asked her to tape all of these words around her mirror when she got home and to send me a photo. I received the photo from her a few minutes ago. This next step is the hardest part.
  5. Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am ________.” with each word that’s on the mirror. Say it out loud and with confidence. Say them all again before going to bed. Do this every day. Learn to not care if anyone can hear or see you. This is part of getting comfortable in your own skin. Everyday as you do this, your subconscious will start believing the words.

To switch it up, play some music while you do it. Jump on YouTube and play some Epic soundtracks. Be careful of the music you select when doing this exercise because words have power. You don’t want the words of a song to takeover what you’re trying to accomplish. I’ll say it again, words have power. That’s why this exercise works!

One day you will notice that you are actually starting to like¬†yourself and that you really are those words on your mirror!¬†Plus you will be able to answer question # 1 with a confident yes! But you have to do it for this to actually work. You can’t just wish it into existence. You have to take action.

 

Be confident, genuinely, imperfectly, you.

Dawn

 

 

 

 

30 Day Happiness Challenge!

I consider myself a pretty happy person. I know who I am, what I stand for, and what I want to do with my life. But I also believe in continual personal growth, so that my ripple effect in this world continues to be a positive and uplifting one.

Did you know that studies show that being happier increases overall productivity by 36%, and on the business side, being happier can increase sales up to 31%? That’s so cool!

So I was given this challenge today and I’m passing it on to you too. It’s called the Success Ritual. It’s to create a daily routine that¬†helps you to become more intentional.

After all, people remember about 10% of what you said and 100% of how you made them feel.

Morning Check-in:

I am grateful for:

My top two priorities today:

Today I want the people I interact with to remember me as…

I want others to feel…

Evening Reflections:

Three things that went well today:

On a scale of 1-5 how well did I maintain an outward mindset today?

How could I have made today better?

What am I looking forward to tomorrow?

*Do this everyday for 30 days and see what happens! I would love to hear about it! As for myself, I might post mine or I might journal mine. I’m still trying to decide. lol. ūüôā

But here’s mine for today:

Morning Check-in:

I am grateful for:

  1. Learning opportunities
  2. New friends
  3. My home

My top two priorities today:

  1. Lift someone’s confidence.
  2. Plant seeds for new friendships

Today I want the people I interact with to remember me as… Thoughtful.

I want others to feel… Like they are the most important person in the room

Evening Reflections:

Three things that went well today:

  1. Planting friendship seeds.
  2. I made someone feel valued.
  3. I Blogged.

On a scale of 1-5 how well did I maintain an outward mindset today? 4

How could I have made today better? I could have learned more about the people I interacted with.

What am I looking forward to tomorrow? Yard work in the sun!

 

Castle on a Hill

Beauty can so easily be known but overlooked, forgotten, neglected, and worst of all, not even seen. Yesterday we were driving by some orchards, and I’m looking¬† at the mountain that has been covered in bare scrub oak and snow for miles now. I’m enjoying the ride finding beauty in the landscape, when I suddenly tell my friend to stop.

I pointed and said, do you see what I see in the scrub oak? So we back up and I point again saying right through there! Now she sees it too! It took a good 20 minutes to figure out how to get up there, but we found a place to park on the hill and hiked through snow the rest of the way in.

Can I just say, that standing at ground level it looks like a hidden fortress! It was amazing! And the view! The lake was off in the distance with mountains behind it, and the sun was about to set. So the sun was giving off that golden glow on the water and on the snow all around us. There were deer, birds everywhere. It was like something out of a storybook.

How often have you felt like this? If someone would only take the time to get to know you they would see how amazing and beautiful you truly are! You might feel overlooked, forgotten, neglected and not even seen.

Honestly, being a 6 foot tall red head by the time I was in 6th grade, was not easy and still isn’t. Yes, when I walk in a room heads turn. They see me, judge me, and then I’m left standing alone while people¬†continue to judge¬†me. So at a young age, I had to learn how to walk up to¬†someone and get them to talk to me, and make that person feel better than how I found them. And you know what? That alone made me feel better. I would spend the entire time talking about them. I would find out their story. They would learn nothing about me except now maybe where I work, because it had to be all about them. People like to be heard. It’s a way to connect. Yes, I would like to be heard too, but it’s not my time. I have walls to breakdown first.

Yes it can be exhausting to always be the one who has to make an effort. And as an adult, that still hasn’t changed. But that gives me a choice. I can choose to feel alone and be alone, or I can choose to make connections and make a difference in other peoples lives. I don’t want to be alone. I want to know joy from being around other people. I want people to see how beautiful they are and to know that they have a purpose.

So let them judge. Let them criticize. It’s only showing¬†me their own insecurities so I know how to approach them.¬†I know who I am and I’m happy with who I am.¬†Do not give¬†time for self doubt. No, this is not my whole story, only the beginning of it. But there are¬†future blog posts for that!

Learn to love yourself. Make a plan and set goals that will get you there. And most importantly, don’t give up!

You are worth it! Be genuine, imperfect and uniquely you!

Dawn