Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer's End


I'm officially waving the white flag on summer - at least when it comes to outfit posts. Time to transition to fall.  September is usually a beautiful, warm month in Seattle - however, they are predicting rain for Labor Day weekend.  Yikes!

This is a perfect time to find some great sales on summer clothes for next year.  I picked up both of these pieces at Old Navy for $5.49 each.  That's practically free!

I love polka dots, and I will be able to wear this shirt into fall with a light jacket. The outfit seemed a little dark though, so I added this pretty turquoise necklace that my mom bought me in Arizona.



As much as I've enjoyed our sunny, warm summer, I have to admit that I'm excited to pull out my boots and sweaters.  Looks like the weather is going to cooperate....

Linking up with Get Your Pretty On, The Pleated PoppyBecause Shanna Said SoNot Dead Yet StyleVodka Infused Lemonade, Why I Do Declaire

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Fun Day Scrubbing Mutts

dogs
T and our dog Abby
A few weekends ago, my family and I spent the day washing dogs.  Lots of dogs. Actually, hundreds of dogs, of all breeds and sizes.  At the end of our adventure, the canines were clean, but we were smelling a little.....dogish.  The event is called "Scrub A Mutt", and it is run by my good friends, Elizabeth and Jennifer, as part of their non-profit organization, Save A Mutt.


Elizabeth and Jennifer work tirelessly year round, bringing rescue puppies up from California, and finding new homes for old dogs.  Scrub A Mutt is their main fundraiser, and this year we washed 300 dogs and raised over $5500!

We started early, setting up the washing stations and vendor booths.



Soon our clients started to arrive!


Our first customer.


No dog is too big or too small for Scrub A Mutt.  And let me tell you, we washed some BIG dogs that day!  My hubby was in charge of maintenance - he takes his job very seriously :)!


Of course we brought Abby for a bath.  Apparently she's enjoying it - look at that smile!


To learn more about Save A Mutt, you can visit their website.  We'll be back next year, ready to scrub more mutts!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Breaking Up With My Best Friend


Three years ago I broke up with my best friend.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done - we've known each other for thirty five years.  I know it was the right decision, but there are many days when I still miss her.

We met in sixth grade and clicked right away.  I was the awkward new girl, and she lived in my neighborhood.  I'm pretty sure I followed her home and asked her if she wanted to be my friend. We had a lot in common, but our personalities were completely opposite. She was loud and fun and a little bossy, and I was quiet and meek and willing to go along with whatever crazy idea she came up with.  

Through the years we went through a lot together.  We were teenagers, college students, newlyweds, and mothers at the same time.  I saw her almost every day, and most of the time we had lots of fun.  She could make me laugh like no one else.  Our families vacationed together, and I was there when her children were born.  We felt more like sisters than friends.

From the beginning we had our ups and downs, but as the years went on, my friend became more controlling and quick to anger.  I'm not sure what was going on with her, and it was the one subject we couldn't talk about.  And even though I had grown and matured, for some reason I was still that meek sixth grader when it came to her.  No matter what she said or did to me, I always forgave her.  She was my best friend.

Unfortunately, over time the negative parts of our friendship started to outweigh the positive.  I was making excuses for her behavior to myself and my family, and I found myself dreading our time together.  I had stayed in the relationship because I kept thinking things had to get better.


I don't want to go into the details of what happened, because they aren't important.  And I don't want to lead you to believe that I was without fault.  Every relationship involves two people, and I was by no means the perfect friend.  But one day she finally did something that crossed the line, and I couldn't ignore how bad things had gotten anymore.

For three months things were strained and uncomfortable.  It came to a head one day, which resulted in an ultimatum from her.  What she demanded offered me only one clear choice, and I walked out of her house, and though I didn't know it at the time, out of her life.  We haven't seen each other or spoken since.

In the beginning, I thought that things would repair themselves after a short break.  We had been friends for thirty five years, and we had argued before.  But the longer I went without having her in my daily life, the more clearly I began to see.  Over time, and after discussing it with my husband and children, I came to the sad realization that our relationship had become unhealthy, and the friendship was over for good.  

Still, I have mourned the loss of that friendship deeply.   I had never experienced a break up with someone I care about.  My hubby and I started dating when we were fifteen - I married my first love. These were new emotions.  There has been grief and sadness and now, finally, relief and acceptance.


I didn't write this story to ask for sympathy, or to hear that I did the right thing.  I think I did, but it doesn't even matter now.  But I do want to share what I've learned.  

I've realized that life is hard enough without having toxic people around to bring stress, drama and frustration into the mix.  Relationships with your spouse, children and family can be hard sometimes, and they require a lot of work to make them strong and healthy. Friendships should be a safe place to land when you need a shoulder to cry on or advice about a problem.  They shouldn't be so difficult.

I've also learned that it's okay to let some relationships go as you get older.  Life is too short. There are many things I can't control, but a bad friendship isn't one of them.  And even though we had a long history together, I don't have to be unhappy.  I finally stood up for me.

We live in the same town, and although I pass her occasionally in my car, we have never come face to face since that last day.  I tried sending a letter to explain how I felt, but it came back "Return to Sender".  That was my final wake up call.  She couldn't hear any side but her own, and that wasn't going to change.

I still think about her often.  I miss her sense of humor, the fun we had, the heart to heart talks, and especially her children.   But I am slowly mending, and I know I made the right decision when I broke up with my best friend.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Solitude


It's been a busy summer.

My mom was here for a month, but she went back to Arizona yesterday.

C and T and their friends have been coming and going a lot, but both boys are working today.

This is the busiest time of year for our hardware business, but my husband has gone tuna fishing with my brother this weekend.

I can't remember the last time I was alone in my house, with nothing specific on the agenda.

I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I will enjoy the
solitude.


Hope you have a wonderful weekend!



Friday, August 22, 2014

Cupcakes - The Perfect Dessert


It's Friday, it's been a long week, and I want to talk about cupcakes.  Honestly, I think they're the perfect dessert.  I've never met a cupcake I didn't like, and I ask for them for every birthday. Nobody seems to know who invented the cupcake, but if I could find out and travel back in time, I'd give them a big hug.

T made these for me a few years ago for Mother's Day

Although I'm sure bakers have been making them forever, cupcakes have become quite trendy lately.  When we're in the L.A. area, I always get a cupcake (or two) from Sprinkles.  How I wish we had a store in Seattle - I'd even be satisfied with a vending machine.  Yes, Sprinkles has a cupcake ATM machine at many of their locations, because you just might NEED a cupcake at 2am.  It happens.

Locally, we have a delightful bakery called Cupcake Royale which makes this beauty.


The Lavender Cupcake, AKA my favorite cupcake of all time.  They stir real lavendar buds into their buttercream frosting, and it is delicious.  This treat was voted one of the top ten cupcakes in the USA by MSN.com for a reason, people.

I have Saturday to myself this weekend, and I just might have to make some cupcakes. I've narrowed it down to these three options.  The first recipe comes from Jamie at Love Bakes Good Cakes.  Orange and cupcakes?  Sounds so good I'm speechless.


Fall is coming whether I want it to or not, but I wouldn't mind if I had this cinnamon cupcake from Dana at This Silly Girl's Life.


Or cupcakes with mint and chocolate from Jamie at My Bakery Addiction - because chocolate AND cupcakes?  Enough said.


Which one should I make?  Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Teens And Cardiac Arrest Part Two

A few months ago I wrote this post about teens and sudden heart failure.  Fall sports season is upon us, and many students will be hitting the fields and courts.  If you have a teenager or know one, PLEASE pass this information on to them.  It could save their life.


Teens and cardiac arrest.  Those words shouldn't be in the same sentence.  
Unfortunately, sudden heart failure is the leading cause of death in teen athletes. It's estimated that a young athlete suffers cardiac arrest every three days in the U.S.

Sudden cardiac arrest usually occurs during or right after exercise and there are no warning symptoms.  The heart stops pumping adequately and the child loses consciousness.  Unless a normal heart rhythm can be restored quickly, death will follow.

Scary stuff.  Tragically, these deaths are preventable in most cases.  A simple heart health screening, which involves a medical history and an ECG, will detect most cardiac abnormalities.  If there is an issue, it can be addressed before it turns deadly.

Both of my boys are athletes, but I had no idea about this until a young man in our community died  suddenly after a football game.  His mother formed The Nick of Time Foundation, a wonderful organization that provides heart health screenings at local schools and helps to educate the community about this problem.


C and T have both been screened, and it only took thirty minutes from start to finish. Your child's doctor can perform the ECG or give you a referral to a cardiac specialist.

Mandatory heart health screenings should be included in every sports physical before a student can participate.  It makes sense to be sure their hearts are capable of strenuous activity.
  

So many of the things that can hurt our teens are out of our control.  But this isn't one of them. And no parent should have to suffer the loss that Nick's mother did after that football game.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Love Looks Like ... at 40


Seven years ago my amazing hubby planned a REALLY big surprise for my 40th birthday.  Like epic big.  Today I'm guest posting at Shoes to Shiraz, where I hope you will follow me to find out the rest of the story.  While you're there, take some time to look around Deena's blog, because it's pretty great.  She's one of my favorite bloggers, and she never fails to inspire me.

In related news, I got to meet Deena last week!  I think that forming relationships with other writers around the world is the BEST part of blogging.  When Deena and her family were in Seattle on vacation she suggested that we have coffee, and I jumped at the chance.  She is just as beautiful, smart, and wonderful in person as she is on her blog, and I'm so happy we had a chance to chat for awhile.  Her kids were pretty cute too!



Now, off to Shoes to Shiraz we go....

Linking up with Motivation Monday