Thursday, April 25, 2013

[ How I see it... ]


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

[ Work & Play ]

Remington got to come to work at the college with me. Our counseling department puts on a Stress Relief time before Finals start next week. Every year they have a petting zoo consisting of kittens, puppies and dogs. So I figured that this would be a great time for Remington to make some new friends, practice his social skills and a fun excuse to bring him with me to work! He had a blast and even got a bit overstimulated at times (I never thought that day would come!). My work day ended with him crashing on my office floor.

Last night we went out to the Sugar Shack. I know, it seems like we live our there right now. But since the season is so dependent on the weather and we're about to hit a really warm streak, we have to collect and cook as much as possible. Otherwise it'll go bad. Last night was like every other night, where we bring the dog. (Sorry, but this is turning into a bit of a dog post. Bear with me, mother!) I got the sweetest shot, including waning evening sunshine, a dog sitting still, and me actually getting my camera out before he got distracted. Meet the caramel eyes that melt my heart....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

[ Meet the Sugar Shack ]

Meet the Maple Syrup Sugar Shack. Better known as the Sugar Shack. It is one of my favorite places on earth. Yes, it's right up there with the Lake Morraine in BC, Canada and the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. Maybe it is the quiet charm or remote location. Maybe it's the memories or the hours spent staring at a fire boiling maple syrup.

It's my favorite and one reason I'm so glad it just keeps on snowing in Minnesota. The Sugar Shack's maple syrup season has been stretched to capacity with multiple gallons of pure, golden-delicious syrup ready for consumption.

Don't believe me? Don't think it's all I've cracked it up to be, you should come visit. Seriously.

[ My Half Full Glass ]

I'm typically your "glass is always half empty" type of gal. It must come naturally or something because there's not a lot of effort put forth on my part, yet that's just how it seems to be. One of my dear brother in-laws has a number of different sayings, all of which revolve around the idea of the glass always been half full. Bless his dear heart, but when we come to Friday and I'm totally stoked for the weekend, and his response is, "There's only 2 days left until we GET to go back to work!" I swear we are not related. Not even by marriage. Yet, recently something has started to shift. Something in my world is changing. I see potential. I see joy. I see happiness. I see half full glasses. I'm beginning to see the world like my brother in law sees it. And it's beautiful.

A great example would be the 7 inches of snow that was dumped on us this last Thursday and Friday. Yes, that would be a mid-April snow storm that once again sent us into a winter wonderland. Facebook was filled with complaints of wishing spring would just come already and everyone wanting be anywhere but in Minnesota. What about me? I totally loved it. I embraced it. I watched in awe as three foot drifts slowly filled in our driveway and another drift that was taller than me formed by the barn. The storm was magnificent and beautiful. I know that spring will come. I know that soon I will be wishing for colder weather when the humidity is pushing 100% and the temperatures won't drop below 60 at night. This snow storm was one last time to embrace and enjoy winter before another season moves in.

I don't know what this new outlook is doing to me, but I have found myself encouraging others to embrace this season.  I've found myself thinking the best of people. I've found myself seeing joy even in circumstances that seem dark. Maybe it has something to do with The Journey that the Hubs and I have been on. It's been a long few years as we've been this journey, with a lot of ups and downs as we've searched for our place in the world. As we've searched for his place in the world, I can see the growth in my husband. I can see the man he's been shaped into and is being shaped into. His experiences, education, and character have enabled him to grow immensely through our hard times of jobs, schooling, different jobs and all the other curve balls that we've have had thrown our way.

I can see the growth in him, but until recently I must have thought I'd escape unchanged. I'm beginning to realize that I could not have been more wrong. Something is changing and my glass is half full....

Friday, April 19, 2013

[ Pain is Inevitable ]

Our news stations bring us horrible stories this week of death and tragedy. It's on Facebook, Instagram- we cannot escape. I learned about the Boston bombings through Facebook as friends and family  began offering up prayers. I learned about Texas and the fertilizer plant on Instagram as people began remembering those suffering as they went about their days. Pain and suffering is inevitable. Without it, we would not know God. We would not know good. We would not know hope. Yet, during weeks like this when it seems as though pain is everywhere, it's hard to grasp. Hard to comprehend... 

Yet, there is hope... a friend posted on Facebook that she was praying through Psalm 46. I read it aloud with a friend and we were both struck with the powerful words of hope found only is God. It's the only way I know how to swallow what's going on. The only way I know how to pray for those who hurt and are dealing with a pain I've never had to face. 

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, 
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way 
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and
the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; 
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
 he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done, 
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; 
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; 
I will be exalted among the nations, 
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
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