Friday, September 30, 2016

My Favorite Picture of the Month - September - From Happy Mom

Hi Swappers & any friends who stop by!

For this month, my photos come from travels with friends and time with family.  It's been a good month, but I'm not ready for colder weather.  I started the month with a trip to Marco Island, Florida, with my best friend Margaret.  First is a photo from the pier where we had brunch one day, and the second is the two of us finding sea shells.  We were there just after Hurricane Hermine, so the shells were amazing!

We had a nice vacation, and it was so hard to come back to work!

I finally got to meet my son's new girlfriend, as they came to visit on September 10-11, and we all went up to Washington, DC for a Nationals Baseball game.  
Here's a picture of our group:
L-R:  Michael, me, Callie, Bria, Ande, Jacob

Here are some additional random shots I took or found this month:

Tobacco growing in rural Virginia
Pretty skies and vegetation


This is one I found online to use as my wallpaper on my phone

I'm trying to enjoy Fall this year.  Usually, I mourn the fading of Summer, but I'm really doing my best to stay positive this year.  It's been a challenge because the weather has been dreary and rainy, but there's lots to look forward to.  I hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures, and feel free to read some of my previous blog posts while you're here.

Have a Happy Fall!

Posted with Love,
Ilyse - Happy Mom

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Where I Live - swap from Happy Mom

The idea is to share photos and give your partners a good idea about where you live. I find it fascinating to see life through others' eyes, and hope you'll enjoy a quick visit here with me.  

These first two photos are from the front of our lot, looking up to the house from our driveway, and then looking up the street.  That mailbox is where I get my mail.  If you've ever sent me a swap via snail mail - that's where it was delivered.

This next shot was taken standing in front of the house, looking to the left side.  The garden is done for this year, and we really need to work on regrowing the grass in the back yard.  It's one big mud puddle right now.  If you look towards the tree line, you'll see a concrete angel sitting on a bench.

Here's a closer shot of the bench and the angel, along with my front porch angel too.  

And my "fur angel" always has to know what I'm up to -- That's Leia, my 9 year old English Spaniel/hound dog mutt -- You won't find a sweeter dog anywhere!

Also outside is the shed, AKA - the Man Cave.  The plan is to tear this one down and replace it with one for Christmas - My hubby spends a lot of time out there, and he deserves a decent place.  Right now, it's creepy- cobwebs, bugs - YUCK!  

Alright - Come on inside and take a look around!

First, we walk through the Living Room, and then into the kitchen.


We had our carpets cleaned today, so stuff is everywhere 
while the floors dry.  The first picture is taken from inside my son's bedroom, through his door and into my daughter's room.  My son moved out of state after college, so his room has become a guest room and storage space.  The second photo is a custom bookcase that my daughter's boyfriend built for her when he remodeled her room.  She never has enough room for all her stuff!

So - that's the tour of where I live.  This last shot is from the entrance of my neighborhood.  I hope you enjoyed the visit, and come back any time!

Thank you for remembering to post a rating after you've viewed this swap.

Ilyse  -  Happy Moom

Friday, September 16, 2016

Gratitude List - from Happy Mom

I like taking time out to be thankful.  There's so much all around to be thankful for, that it can be easy to miss....even with the craziness of the economy, politics, crime and whatever family or work drama you're surrounded by.  I choose to see what's good, even if it takes a little digging!

Here's my list of things I'm grateful for right here, right now:

1)  Always grateful for God's Love.
Not only did He give me life, but He's made it worth living.  Even when He feels far away (which isn't often, but happens at times), I know that it's me that moved away, not the other way around.

2)  My family and friends.
They put up with me, give me a sense of value and keep me on my toes.  Even when we can't be together or things aren't going the way I want them to, I am grateful for unconditional love.  I'm especially grateful for my parents, whom I miss every day with all my heart - they were amazing!

3)  My work and my clients.
I have been at my job for 6 years and thank God every day that I accepted the job and stayed with the company, even when I had the opportunity to leave.  I work with some great customers, managers and co-workers who challenge me and celebrate me - what could be better?  It's been rewarding in every way.

4)  Music.
From the early days of listening to folk music with my dad, to the crazy days of being a rock n roll dj, to today as an 'upper demo female listener' -- I have always found meaning and connection through music.  Heartfelt or silly lyrics can reboot my mood or encourage me through tough times.  My kids tell me that I have a song for every situation, and they may be right!

5)  The 5 Senses - or is it 6?
Tasting good food, hearing sweet sounds, seeing beautiful mountains, feeling warm sunshine or smelling fresh ocean air...these all make me grateful for nature, God's gifts and the ability to experience it all.  I'm also grateful for intuition and being able to sense when something isn't quite right or when it is.  

6)  Freedom
Some people might think we take our freedom for granted, or that it's something we're entitled to for one reason or another.  I always count my blessings when I think of the sacrifices of American heroes or trailblazers who went before us, enabling us to live free.  It makes me sad when people miss this or don't respect the sacrifices of others.

7)  Technology
I admit it -- I'm a geek-wanna-be.  I love computers and blue tooth and the internet.  I think connecting on social media is awesome, and discovering old friends online is amazing!  I know I don't know enough to be a real techie, but don't tell me that my computer can't do something that I know it should, because I will work into the wee hours to prove it can.  

8)  God's Word and Bible study
My personal faith journey started with a great foundation and morphed into an all-out pursuit of knowing God better and living for Him.  I am fascinated by the layers of Scriptures, their meanings and applications.  I know that I fall way short, but I'm always challenged and encouraged to dive deeper.

9)  Books, Movies and TV
I love getting lost in a good story!  I like forgetting about myself and getting so involved in other characters' lives, that their presence lingers even after the story ends.  Maybe its an escape, maybe it's an excuse to just veg out for a bit, but there's nothing like getting wrapped up in a great series and chomping at the bit for the next episode!

10)  The extra degree - Be 212°
I'm grateful for the extra degree that changes water into steam.  I have this on a mug on my desk:
"At 211 degrees, water is hot.  At 212 degrees, it boils.  And with boiling water, comes steam.  And with steam, you can power a train.  One extra degree makes all the difference."  I strive to be 212° and appreciate others who do too.

So....that's my list!  I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and if we're partners on the "Gratitude List" swap on Swap-bot, thanks for posting a rating for me.  I am grateful for YOU!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

ESG: My favourite picture of the month August - from Happy Mom

Once again, I'm sharing multiple favorites from my photos - Another busy and fun month - and I celebrated a MILESTONE birthday.  I am a summer-lover big time, so the hot weather has had me in a great mood and I'm not looking forward to the change of seasons.  I do like early fall, but you can keep November and what comes next.  

Here are my favorite photos from August:

Starting with our early morning flight out of Richmond, heading to Phoenix.  The sunrise was breath-taking!

One of the highlights of the trip was that daughter's boyfriend came with us, and we kept that a secret until he just showed up at the airport!  She was looking forward to the trip, but not excited to be without boyfriend for 4 days... and lo and behold!  There he was!

The skies in the southwest are so pretty -- I really liked this photo taken from the resort.

This photo is of my brother.  He's 4 years younger than me, but in so many ways, he's more like a big brother and best friend.  Our parents passed away way too young, so he and I have always been extra close.  He's wearing his Blackhawks t-shirt, and you won't find a bigger fan anywhere!

This next photo was taken of my husband getting his first-ever barber shop razor shave and haircut.  I've had a few spa facials and really love how relaxing they are... He loved this experience too.  

While my daughter and her boyfriend were able to come to Phoenix with us, my son and his girlfriend had to stay in Tennessee.  They had just gotten back from California, and they were definitely missed.  However, they're coming to Virginia next weekend, as we're all going to the Washington Nationals baseball game on September 11th, which was the kids Father's Day gift to their dad.  I always love seeing my son, but I'm especially looking forward to meeting his girlfriend!  I snagged this photo from her Instagram.

Here's a photo I snapped at one of my favorite stops along US-460.  They're famous for their peanuts, but the menu is good old southern comfort food and it's ways fun to stop when I'm in the area.

So ... there you have my favorite photos from August.  I hope you enjoyed seeing them, and I hope that you'll read some of my other blog posts while you're here.  I'm really enjoying the blog!  If you're one of my partners for the swap on Swap-bot, thanks for posting a rating for me.

Have a great month!

Ilyse - Happy Mom