Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Could This Be The Year?

Some gutsy guests have decided to move into our home this Spring.  Well, not exactly move INTO our home, but rather move ONTO the front porch.  These valiant visitors have found our porch to be the perfect, cozy spot to settle down in.  Who are these daring little guests?  They are…“The Swallow Family.” 

These bold birdies are bound and determined to move in.  My husband didn’t really like the idea of them pooping up the front porch and making a muddy mess everywhere, so he and the kiddos made a makeshift scarecrow.  They constructed it out of a cardboard box and palm tree branches.  The girls colored a funny face on the cardboard box, wrote “Stay away!” and stuck the branches in the top of it.

Well, The Swallow Family just laughed and laughed.  I heard them.  In fact, I hear them chuckling now as I type this Sips.  Actually, they temporarily moved to the back porch.  Yep.  I hear them unpacking at this very moment.  They’re staying.  However, did you know that one of the family members was insistent on taking up residence on the front porch?  That winged warrior was brave enough to make his nest INSIDE the “scary” cardboard box!  Uh-huh.  NO FEAR!  None.  Seriously.

I just have to giggle because I admire the birds’ courage, fearless motivation, and never-give-up-attitude.  My husband has been battling this audacious feather family for a few weeks now.  Mr. and Mrs. Swallow got me to thinking more about fear though and how fear can hold many of us back from doing the things we really want or need to do.

So, of course, I was inspired by “Sparrow Spunk” and decided to write a poem.  Here goes:

Could this be the year?
Could this be the year to tackle fear?
Take a big breath and make it deep,
Let go of the fears that we may keep.
Make that appointment.  Go on that trip.
Cringe a bit and bite that lip.
Find a way to take that class,
Study hard and you will pass.
Go for a check-up.  Take that job.
Find the peace that fear does rob.
Mend a friendship.  Take a test.
Harmony is found when souls find rest.
“Don’t be afraid,” the Lord does say.
He’ll be with us along the way.
It won’t be easy.  Fear is rough,
But God does know we are enough.
Pray for strength.  He will provide.
Tackle fear.  He’s by our side.
Public speaking, heights, and such,
Flying, tight spaces, thunder – too much?
Doctors, dentists, snakes, spiders?
Dig down deep because we’re fighters!
We will doubt and that’s okay.
We’re not perfect in any way.
Go ahead – laugh.  Maybe cry.
Whatever you do, just please try.
“Increase my faith,” we asked the Lord,
And all His love…out He poured.
He’ll send friends in fearful places.
He’ll send hope through many faces.
Something or someone hold us back?
Many things can get us off-track.
Let it go and let them be.
Without fear, we’re stronger, see.
Fear just limits and takes away,
The beauty God blesses in each new day.
Take a chance and dive on in,
It’s where we’re going, not where we’ve been.
Right now, we’re ready to do great things.
Fear is too heavy for our wings.
Ready to soar?  Ready to fly?
Fear likes to stay, but say good-bye!
Could this be the year to tackle fear?
I think the answer is yes, my dear.

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!  Bye for now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

You Are Enough

Photo Credit:  anitapeppers from
God needs us.  This I know.
He has ground to till and seeds to sow.
Have you ever thought God can’t use you?
Far from perfect.  Mistakes we do.
Our feelings of doubt and those of fear,
Can hinder God’s work all through the year.
His knock on our door may be gentle or loud.
You’ll hear it alone or when in a crowd.
Can you be the one to help God out?
Be available.  That’s what it’s about.
Do you question your gifts, your talents, and more?
Be open to see what God has in store.
He believes in us more than we see.
Saying yes to Him is truly the key.
He doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called.
He doesn’t care if you’re hairy or completely bald.
If you’re short or tall or maybe between,
A seasoned helper at times or fresh and green.
No matter your age, background, or money,
If you’re quiet, calm, upbeat, or funny.
He needs us.  He wants us.  He’ll bless us for giving,
Ourselves to Him – instruments while living.
Am I enough?  Are you enough?
He’ll take us all – the tender and tough.
Temperaments differ.  Personalities vary.
He needs us – the single and those who marry.
On this earth, we’re His feet and hands,
There’s much to do in all His lands.
We are clay in His care, ready to mold.
He needs the young, middle-aged, and old.
Need a sign?  Well, this is it.
It’s time to take action.  Don’t just sit.
You’re enough.  I’m enough.  We are enough, I’ll say.
God is calling us in a very special way.
Thank you, in advance, for your yes to His call.
Don’t be afraid.  He’ll pick us up when we fall.
Let’s spread His love the ways we can,
To every child, every woman, and also each man.
Are we overly sensitive?  A bit too rough?
Worry not, my friend, because YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!  Bye for now!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dancing With Daddy

Daddy-Daughter Dance - April 2016
My girls received a special invitation a few days ago.  It was the invite they were waiting for all year long!  The invitation is for the Annual Daddy-Daughter Dance at their school.  This year’s theme is Enchanted Garden and I’m certain the place will be blooming with charm, beauty, and memory-making!

There are only 11 days until the big night arrives!  The girls are already discussing hair, nails, and dresses.  They love the thought of hanging out with their dolled-up and decked-out girlfriends, but the main thing is time with Dad.  They have Daddy all to themselves.  They’ll dance until their feet hurt and twirl until they’re dizzy, I’m sure!

I wrote a poem last April that was inspired by the epic Daddy-Daughter Dance, so I want to share that again with you today:

The dance is tonight, Mom.  I can hardly wait!
I get Daddy to myself.  Tonight, he’ll be my date.
Mommy, will you paint my nails?  How ‘bout Dazzle Red?
Please curl my hair this evening, too.  That is what you said.
Mommy, how about mascara, lipstick, and some blush?
Can I get ready early?  I sure don’t wanna rush.
Let’s take some pictures on the porch.  I’ll smile and pose just right.
This Daddy Dance is once a year.  It’s happening tonight!
I’ll dance with Daddy every song.  How much longer til we’re there?
I’ll wear a dress that sparkles.  I’ll put flowers in my hair.
I’ll grab some snacks, chat with friends, but this is special, Dad.
When the night is over, I know that I’ll be sad.
Let’s make the most of every moment.  Twirl me once or twice.
A waltz, two-step, or polka.  Boogie-woogie would be nice.
Hold me in your big, strong arms and never let me go.
And, don’t forget to tell me what I already know.
Tell me that you love me, Dad, and that you always will.
Every time you tell me, it’s my heart that you fill.
Tell me I’m your sunshine, the twinkle in your eye.
If you shed a tear, Dad - I’ll wipe it if you cry.
Do you think I’m beautiful?  Inside?  Outside, too?
Tell me Dad - I’ll have no doubts, if it comes from you.
I’ll always be your baby girl, as the years fly by.
I won’t forget you danced with me.  You’re my favorite guy!
Thank you for this evening.  Your time means much to me.
Let’s go, Dad – it’s date night.  Here’s that ol’ truck key…

I want to take this time to also thank the amazing people who host this event and make it such an incredibly memorable night for daddies and daughters!  On behalf of all the mommies, I want you to know that you are truly appreciated!

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines, and may you have a loving, joy-filled Easter with your family!  Bye for now.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Point A to Point B

Photo Credit:  Ladyheart from
Point A to Point B may not be a straight line,
If it is or it isn’t, the path is still mine.
It’s not how or when we get to Point B,
Who we meet, what we learn - THAT matters, you see.
Sometimes our journey has curves and bends,
How we view the turns – on us, it depends.
The road can be bumpy or smooth on some days,
Grab the wheel, hold on, embracing each phase.
Do we set goals and follow our dreams?
Or have we lost sight, to some, it seems?
Each person, each moment, all have a part,
Of the adventure we’re on – a piece of our heart.
The ups and the downs, confusion, and doubt,
The glass we view is what it’s about.
Is it half-empty or maybe half-full?
Experience from both is what we will pull.
Successes and struggles create who we are,
To better our vision, more clear by far.
What is God’s plan?  What is His will?
Have we prayed for guidance when going uphill?
Life can be messy and that is true,
But, never give up, whatever you do!
We have gifts and talents unique to us,
Find them and use them.  Don’t worry and fuss.
Be confident you were created for more,
Do you hear God knocking?  Open the door.
He’ll take our hands, you and me,
And help us travel Point A to Point B!

A sweet high school friend of mine, Alison, traveled the winding road from Point A to Point B.  She pursued her passion of becoming an Interior Designer, by way of a few other credentials after her name.  I was inspired by her story, so I wanted to share it with you today:

I have always loved houses.  I remember vividly, a conversation with my Dad before going off to college.  He'd asked me what I wanted to study, and I answered something like historic preservation of houses.  In his own, Dad-only-wants-the-best-for-you way, he suggested I pursue something a little more likely to offer, say, a job when I got out of school. 

When I visit with peers and potential clients, they often ask how I got from point A to B.  Let's just say it was a circuitous route.  It seems a bit self-indulgent to post, but my journey might offer some insight to others who may be searching for their True Path, so I thought I'd share.

When I landed at The University of Texas, (hookem!) I knew it had a renowned School of Architecture, but didn't think it was for me.  I ended up majoring in Nutrition, and despite sharing the (dismally-named Home Economics) building with the Interior Design students, I never knew Interior Design existed as a profession.  Forgive me, but I thought it was a place-holder degree for women waiting for their MRS.  Little did I know!   After graduating, I went on to work in medical sales.  It was a good living.  I enjoyed meeting with patients, but I just didn't feel a connection to the sales aspect.  After about five years, I decided to leave the business.  

At the time, I was dating my soon-to-be fiancĂ©.  When I told him I was thinking about leaving sales, he (who was just finishing up law school), suggested I get a law degree.   

So, I did what anyone trying to find a fitting career does - wrack up a lot of debt!  In the meantime, my new husband and I were renovating our first home - a 1920s bungalow. Maybe I should've seen it as a sign that I was WAY more interested in the space planning and finish selections of my house, than I was in keeping up with my studies!  Ultimately, law school was a good experience.  I made great friends, but by the time I earned my JD, I think I knew in my heart I didn't want to practice law.  But who wants to admit the last three years were potentially a very expensive mistake?  

I floundered for a few years as we moved out of state, started a family, and moved overseas to Brazil.  There's a sort of limbo you go into when you first move to a foreign country.  You know you're not in Kansas anymore, so to speak, but you're also not acclimated to the new culture.  It was in this time of semi-seclusion that I first learned of design blogs.  I pored over blogs written by people who were schooled in Interior Design, were practicing it, and writing about it in a way that showed it in its true, professional light.  It was one of the biggest lightning bolt moments I've ever had - I knew it was what I was meant to do.

I started a blog as a way to channel my thoughts and inspiration about interiors, but being overseas, wasn't sure how to make my way forward with actually becoming a designer.  I used the time in Brazil to absorb as much design as possible - the Country offers a fantastic study of classic mid-century design, mixed with cultural aplomb.  There's no doubt that living in Brazil significantly impacted my aesthetic, honing my preference for eclectic design.  It was, in itself, an education in design.

When we returned to the States, I focused on settling our family, and personalizing our home.  Once again, I felt that rush of excitement of having a design project to dig into. Truth be told, I probably crave renovations more than straight up decorating, but am happy as a clam doing both!  It gave me time to think about how I wanted to pursue a design business in an area where I have no friends or family to do those "freebie" design projects for to build a portfolio.  I decided there was NO WAY I was going back to get yet another degree, but still wanted some street cred, so I enrolled in Northern Virginia Community College's Interior Decorating Certification program.  It's a great program that provides sound fundamentals in the design process, and was just what I wanted in terms of credentials.  

Sometimes, I feel like I'm getting such a late start, but I also can't imagine coming to the table with any different experience.  My story comes through in my work, and I dare say, will ultimately make me a stronger designer.

You can find Alison in her beautifully cozy, decked out and jazzed up, corner of the web at Alison Giese Interiors.  I’m so very proud of you, Alison!  You found your Point B and I can see how happy you are using your gifts and talents!  Keep shining, my Dietitian-Saleswoman-Lawyer-Designer Friend!  Woo-hoo!

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!  Bye for now.