Blessings abound


When I started this online journal six months ago, I never dreamt it would be this fun, interactive, or rewarding. I also never imagined how much I would enjoy sharing life’s struggles and celebrations with my blog readers.

To every visitor: I’m grateful. To every visitor: I appreciate your time. To every visitor who’s left a comment: I appreciate your kind words.

To all of you, whether a first-time visitor or a long-time friend (or my parents – hi Mom and Dad!), I’m glad you’re here. Thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll come back again. Share the link with your friends, invite them to my little place in Blog-land.

I created this blog without a distinct purpose or theme. I had a similar blog going at Blogger, but to be honest, I was bored. Someone once asked me which blogging platform I preferred (Blogger or WordPress) and I responded with WordPress for one reason: its streamlined simplicity. I have nothing against Blogger (still have an account there), but I felt disconnected with other bloggers and longed for a sense of community. I feel connected within the WordPress family. I especially love browsing through Freshly Pressed and participating in blog groups, such as the weekly photo challenge. I’d love to be “freshly pressed” someday….hint hint, WordPress people!!!

Feeling that sense of community and connectedness with fellow bloggers is just one of the many reasons I love sharing my rants and raves in a public forum. My friend, Lisa, introduced me to WordPress through her personal blog, but she also has a fashion blog at Blogger, which I love and follow religiously. Funny thing about Lisa and I: we’ve never met face-to-face. We used to work for the same transportation consulting firm. Lisa was in the Norfolk, VA office and I was in Dallas/Fort Worth. We both worked in marketing and business development. I can’t tell you the number of times I’d call her in a panic for a project code or photo or project manager’s bio hours before a deadline. She’d laugh, provide the information, and then we’d talk for 30 minutes as if deadlines were nonexistent. I miss the phone ringing and seeing her name on the caller ID. I always knew a treat awaited on the other end of the line. Nowadays, she’s still doing her thing in marketing (but with a different, more friendly company) and I’m spending my days with cranky teenagers as a middle school teacher. Not much as changed in my world….except three things every teacher loves: June, July, and August.

Anyway, I’m really proud of Lisa and consider it a privilege to call her my friend. She is constantly sharing tidbits of her life, whether it’s a to-do list gone wrong or tips on how to effectively (and fashionably) pack for a vacation. You’d be surprised how much she can fold inside a carry-on luggage piece! Her blog expectations continue to exceed her imagination and I’m so glad to share in her journey. Most recently, she received a pair of Costa Islamorada sunglasses to review. Not only is that a wonderful opportunity, but it’s a compliment that speaks volumes to Lisa and her blog.

Lisa - thanks for the digital camera suggestions and discount links…..YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

Another blog “connection” I’ve made in the virtual world is with Jan, over at The Diamond E. If you’re a regular visitor here, you might recognize her name because she was the winner of my giveaway last week. Jan and I met through a WordPress group. I read her post about working in a hay meadow and pulling a truck and trailer through the pasture. Since I’m permanently banned from operating any automobile or piece of equipment with an attached trailer, I instantly considered Jan a hero. Our blog-ship (blogging relationship) blossomed even more when we realized that we lived within 30 minutes of each other. What are the chances?!

I bet Stefanie Gordon never imagined her transformation from just another passenger on a Delta flight bound for Florida to an instantly famous snapshot-taker of the Space Shuttle Endeavor as it launched from Cape Canaveral, FL headed to the International Space Center early Monday morning.

Space Shuttle Endeavor from Delta Flight 2285 ~ Photo courtesy of Stefanie Gordon

I saw this photo on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and knew I had to share it with my students as we were discussing the beginnings of NASA and the construction of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. I even assigned a current event article summary based on the current Endeavor mission. I never imagined I would “connect” with the actual photographer via WordPress when I saw Stefanie had been “freshly pressed.”. Again, this blog thing is crazy.

Congratulations, Stefanie, on being Freshly Pressed and taking such a memorable photograph during your flight!!!!

I’m constantly impressed with the opportunities that present themselves through unconventional channels. A few years ago, my Aunt Georgia gave me a book that she had read with her book club and wanted me to have it for my own collection. That moment changed my life forever. The book was The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg. Fast forward to today and I have Sacred Echo, Scouting the DivineTwentysomething and Margaret’s most recent publication, Hungry for God.

"Hungry for God" ~ Photo courtesy of Margaret Feinberg

I’m always excited when I receive a piece of mail from Colorado, as I know it’s from Margaret or her assistant, Jade. Those ladies know how to make me smile….send me a book and my soul is happy. Send me an autographed copy of Hungry For God (released THIS WEEK) and I scream, shout, and dance around the dining room table.

Next Tuesday (May 24), I will get an opportunity that I’ve been looking forward to since the moment I opened Organic God: I will meet Margaret Feinberg. She is taping a segment on LIVE Today and Margaret has invited me to be in the live audience at the studio located in Euless (a suburb of Fort Worth). Excited doesn’t even come close to my emotions right now.

To celebrate two milestones here at my blog,  27 & Counting, Margaret has graciously offered to host a giveaway and I’m including some surprise gifts of my own too. Please check for updates on this exciting event, I’ll be celebrating my 100th post soon and more than 5,000 site visitors.

I couldn’t do any of this without YOU, my visitors, so thank you. Again. From the bottom of my heart.

In the meantime, visit Margaret Feinberg or her Facebook Fan Page and Twitter @mafeinberg.

Check it out: http://mar.cta.gs/00y

HAIL TO THE QUEEN


Forget that the Royal Wedding is later this week (it is Friday, right?!), I’m singing “Hail to the Queen” in my own way.  Check it out!

North Texas, bless its heart, finally got a teasing rain this evening. Most people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex experienced heavier rain and thunderstorms, but here at our humble abode we collected about a half-inch of rain and a good sprinkling of marble-size to ping-pong-ball-sized hail. Luckily, no damage. Plus, I honestly didn’t care what was busted or broken or crushed because I desperately wanted rain. I swear the grass turned three shades greener in a matter of minutes. It was thirsty.

I’ll take the half-inch and be grateful. Kevin says he’s never seen this much hail. I like celebrating these little “firsts” with him, he’s such a cutie-patootie. In 2009, Kevin had his first White Christmas. It was the coolest thing. Ever.

Hail Storm - April 19, 2011

I have a question for you:

Who spends more than $50.00 at Hallmark on birthday and Mother’s Day cards?

Me. That’s who. $57.21 to be exact.

I think my Mom, grandmothers, and other lovely ladies who are also mama’s, will be pleased with the cards (yes, plural – I send multiple cards to individuals!) I send with love. I’m a stickler for cards. I probably own half of the company’s stock and the royalty checks have gotten lost in the mail. That’s got to be the problem. I should have my people call their people and get this whole thing figured out. I might have a trust in place – with lots of zeros on the account balance - waiting for me. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Another lovely thing is this gift I bought myself: it’s purdy. (That’s country slang for pretty, in case you didn’t know.) I was inspired by my friend and fellow-blogger, The Coastal Chicster. Miss Lisa went on an incredible Caribbean vacation in February and bought herself a fabulous piece of jewelry…click here to see her beauty. 

My gift to me, myself and I isn’t as fabulous as hers, but it’ll do in a pinch. I’m a real pinch though: it’s called being REALLY allergic to my wedding band. Yeah, that sucks BIG time. I’ve got to get it reset in platinum this summer. I’m severely allergic to the nickel elements in the white gold of my ring. It sucks. But here’s something else to add to my to-do list. The last time I wore my ring, I thought my finger would fall off after just 20 minutes. I spent the rest of the day with the symbol of my love and committment to my husband in the pocket of my pants. That was nerve-wrecking. I still have the scar from that nervous day in January. It’s like a severe burn on my ring finger. Ouch.

A Gift for Me, Myself and I

Whatcha think?

I think my nails need a manicure. Bad.

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