Heart Choices: 2009-07-19 -->

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AZ Bloggers Meet Face to Face

This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet six other AZ bloggers for lunch at Gooseberries in Phoenix. It's one of those lovely tea rooms that we gals tend to love.

When you read someone's blog consistently, you really get to feel like you "know" that person. After all, most of us write what's on our heart. Many of our real life friends and family don't always understand the blogging bit.

But I must say that getting to know these women online made it so easy at this first "in person" meeting.

I jumped at the opportunity when Michele of Beelieve You Can suggested it. The occasion that prompted our meetup was that Michele is moving to Pennsylvania next week. Since we both live in Phoenix, we've often written each other about one day getting together for coffee or lunch.

But you know how life is. You get busy and keep putting it off. But there's nothing like moving to another state on the other side of the country ...to give us a push.

This is Mary of Pile of Smiles and Michele of Beelieve You Can. Both of these women were just like they write.

From left to right is Sherry of Country Wings in Phoenix Donetta of A Life Uncommon and Marty of A Stroll Thru Life.

We didn't leave empty handed either. Sherry gave us each a gift bag of goodies and Michele had a beautiful hat box and asked us each to pick out an item to take home.

Here's Charlotte of At Home in Scottsdale and Charlotte's Weblog. Did you know that her hubby is also a blogger and a retired pastor? He should have joined us for lunch too. She shared the story of how they met. I got to sit next to her.

Take a closer look at these adorable bookmarks. Charlotte made them for each of us. She obviously researched our blogs and used photos and wrote the name of our blog on each one. She's very creative and good on that computer of hers.

And on my other side, I got to sit next to Mary of Pile of Smiles. We were matching in our blue tops and we had lots to talk about; too much in fact so I think we need to get together again. She is just as nice as she seems on her blog and I love her smile. She's the real deal.

In fact, I have to say that this time together was a delight. Donetta was so interested in our stories about how we came to know the Lord. It was so interesting listening to how He's impacted our lives. That alone makes us instant sisters, doesn't it?

Thank you Marty, Donetta, Sherry, Michele, Mary and Charlotte. I loved meeting each one of you and hope to see you again soon. In the meantime, I'll be following your blogs.


BlogHer Blog Hop '09

I really wanted to go to BlogHer's annual conference this year. Last year I followed many of the #BlogHer tweets on Twitter. I loved reading the posts written by many of the women attending.

We all know that women can multi-task! These gals were listening, learning and blogging ...all at the same time.

So what else is new?

My writer friend Ruth and I talked about going to Chicago together. But then life happens ...and I'm at home and not attending AGAIN.

Instead of being sad I decided to join Pensieve in her BlogHer Blog Hop '09. If we can't be there this year, we can all write about it and visit each other.

I was so excited to learn that next year's BlogHer conference place and date was announced.

New York City BlogHer '10 ...here we come!

My friend Ruth already lives there so I'm sure she'll be going. And I'm originally from NY and my "favorite" niece Katie has an apartment there ...so just maybe I'll get to go too.

Mark your calendars early. Next year's date is on Friday and Saturday August 6-7, 2010. I hope to see you there!

I almost forgot to tell you about me and Heart Choices. I worked as a cardiovascular nurse for 25 years but now work with my hubby in technology. I had to learn all about social media because we have a patent for a new way to share recommendations online. How cool is that? More to come on that later. But Heart Choices is my personal blog where I share about things like getting back in shape, what I'm thankful for, memories and fun times with my family and friends and so much more. So, hope you will come on back to visit any time!

And don't forget to visit other bloggers who didn't get to go either this year. Just link to Pensieve and there's a long list to visit and why not add a link to your Blog Hop '09 post? There are prizes, if you follow the rules.

The Shoe Show Blog Party

The Shoe Show

I'm participating in the Shoe Show blog party thrown by none other than ...Southern Lady.

Now, anyone who really knows me, knows that I'm no southern lady. I'm New York born and bred. However, I think I've lost my New York accent. But I thought this shoe party would be fun! And frankly, I think I need a little bit of fun!

I have a confession to make though. I'm not one of those women who simply adores shoes. I own one pair of really expensive Stuart Weitzman shoes I bought for a wedding I attended. Oh and I almost forgot, I also own a red pair of Via Spiga shoes. But I can't even remember the last time I wore them.

You see, I love to go barefoot! I have small, wide feet.
And when I go outside I usually wear ...flip-flops! After all, I now live in Phoenix, Arizona.

Here are my back door flip-flops.

Here are my garage door flip-flops.

Here's my closet with my shoes. Can you see the hiking boots and my Stuart Weitzman's on the top shelf? But take a look at all of my flip-flops. I have many colors, some are very inexpensive and a few are a little bit fancy. Those are my church flip-flops. I try to have class and ...match my flip-flops with my outfits.

Well, I guess I'm a failure at the Shoe Show Blog Party. Gosh, do you see those two bites on my left foot? I was gardening the other day and something bit me.

But back to the Shoe Blog Party! Don't let me spoil your fun. I always enjoy seeing other people's shoes. So, don't let a flip-flopper take any excitement and joy away from this party.

Now, you all don't forget to stop by Southern Lady and say hi. Is that Southern enough for you? You can choose to write your own shoe party post or simply find other participating blogs to read and add your comments. And thank you for this invite, Nancy. It really was fun!


Fitness Friday ~ Living a Fit Life

It's Fitness Friday! As always, I link up with my good friend Sandy of God Speaks Today.

I know she's been so busy working on her book manuscript. Did you know she will be at SheSpeaks Conference July 31st and will be meeting with potential publishers? I think she's got a great message to share and I'm praying for her.

I was so honored to be asked my other good friend Lisa Shaw to write a guest post on her Living a Fit Life blog. It took me longer to write because I wanted to do a good job for her. If you've ever done a guest post, you know what I mean. So, I hope you will link over to Lisa's and read this post.

And don't forget about Sandy. She always has such a unique writing style and she's so encouraging and ...funny.

Thankful Thursday ~ Victory

It's Thankful Thursday and Lynn of Spiritually Unequal Marriage is once again our host. Lynn has chosen the theme of victory for this week. You can join in and link there or find other participating blogs to read.

Have you ever started to read a mystery book and couldn't wait to find out how it ended? I used to love to read Nancy Drew and Grace Livingston Hill books as a child. And I have to admit there were times when I peeked at the last few pages just to find out how it ended. I couldn't wait but then I returned to where I was reading even though I already knew the ending.

Well, I have a news flash! I already know the ending to the greatest battle of all time. I'm so thankful that the battle has already been won and ...Jesus is the victor.

Learning to live in victory today is the challenge. But it helps to remind myself that I already know the ending and ...I'm on the winning side.

So, in the midst of many challenging days when I become discourged and tired, I can continue to be thankful and praise God.

How about you? Have you reminded yourself that you already know the ending?

I find it amazing that God chooses to use me as His hands, feet and dare I say my mouth ...for His purposes in this world. If my job was done, I'd already be at home with Him. So, what's my response?

Listen, obey and press on continuing in the work God has called me to do.

Happy Thankful Thursday to you!


Wednesday's Walk ~ Iva

I look forward to Wednesday's because I get to participate in Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane. Lynnette hosts this meme on her blog called Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground. You can link there to find other Wednesday posts.

Today I have a few memories I'd like to share about Iva. I first met Iva when she was about 14 years old. She was raised by her grandmother, Ruth. I was volunteering in the Homebound Ministry at my church and I was assigned to visit Ruth so of course, I met Iva. I'll have to save my memories of Ruth for another post.

This photo was taken several years ago of Ruth and Iva.
I had the opportunity to take Ruth to church each Sunday. And Iva got to attend also. I remember the first day I took her to her Bible study class with others her age. I felt like a mother who didn't want to leave her child. She didn't know anyone and I was so concerned she would feel left out.

But Iva actually went to summer camp with the church teens in California. Ruth and I were just about crying as we waved to Iva. When she returned, we were so glad she had made a friend at camp. Yay!

Iva and I even got to go to Santa Monica, California together! She had never been to the ocean in her life and when I asked her what she wanted to do she said ..."let's jump in the ocean!"

Well, as many of you know the Pacific Ocean is cold, especially for an Arizona girl. But I didn't want to disappoint Iva ...so we put our bathing suits on and jumped in the ocean.

I can't tell you how much fun that was; to see the delight on Iva's face. I may have been shivering but after a while, I couldn't care less. This was such a special time for us.

One thing that was very important to Iva's grandmother was that she graduate from high school. And she did! Here's a photo of the two of us at her high school graduation. Unfortunately, Ruth didn't live long enough to see this day but I was so glad to be a part of the celebration.

This photo was taken on Iva's 18th birthday. We went to the Diamondback's game and had great seats. We even ate at Friday's which is located overlooking the baseball stadium before the game.

I was so proud of Iva when she got her first apartment on her own. She got a good job with a bank and continues to work there today. She even got her driver's license; something she's wanted for a long time. I know her grandmother would be so proud of her!

And take a look at this little angel face. This is Kaylie Hope, Iva's little girl who is a year old. I just wish Ruth had lived to see her great granddaughter.

I haven't seen Iva much lately because of my work but we are going to plan a reunion. But I wanted to record a few of my special memories of a very special relationship that ...continues to this day.

Iva celebrated her birthday yesterday, July 20th.

Happy Birthday Iva!

I love you lots!


Blog Hop ~ Favorite Recipe

Nana's Norwegian Waffles

Combine the following:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of melted margarine or butter
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream

Beat above ingredients well.

Alternately, add:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk

Then add another:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk

And add:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

And finally add:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Bake on hot waffle iron until lightly browned. Serve warm or cold plain or with butter and jam.
MckLinky Blog Hop


In Other Words Tuesdays ~ Running Away

Today is "In Other Words Tuesday" and our host this week is MiPa of Miriam Pauline's Monologue. She has chosen the following quote for us:

Have you ever wanted to run away? Has your life ever become so difficult that you felt the need to escape? Maybe you're tired of married life because you lost that excitement? Maybe you want to be married but your boyfriend doesn't share your faith but you just know he'll change?

Jonah was attempting to run away from the Lord's instructions. The word of the Lord had come to Jonah very clearly. He was instructed to go to Ninevah and preach.

God was aware of the Ninevites' wickedness and wanted Jonah to proclaim a message God had given to him. But Jonah didn't want to go and tried to run away and instead ...go to Tarshish.

I can laugh at Jonah as I think in my head "Jonah, what were you thinking? Like you can really hide from God! He knows everything and sees everything. Who were you kidding?"

But Tarshish doesn't have to be a place.

We can try to escape and run away to our Ninevah's through:

  • Excess food
  • Shopping and spending money on things we don't need
  • Drinking excessive alcohol and wine
  • Drugs
  • Constantly seeking approval
  • Keeping up with the "Jones"

I'm sure you can add a few I've not thought of.

Many times it's easier to delay or not fully obey what we know God has told us through His Word.

But who are we kidding? After all, God sees all and knows all, especially the motives in our heart.

And delayed obedience is disobedience and ...that's sin.

Instead of justifying our running away or escaping, why not recognize that God's way is the best way? After all, He has our best interests at heart.

Yes, we have choices to make since we have been given a free will. We can choose to satisfy our own flesh. Or we can submit to God's will for our life.

Will you do things the hard way like Jonah? Or will you simply listen to God in the first place?


40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Today is the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. I remember watching this historic event on TV. It was July of 1969 and probably most of you ...weren't yet born! I guess I'm showing my age but I was in high school at the time.

I grew up in Lindenhurst and our house was old. It was situated across the street from the canal that led to the Great South Bay on Long Island. Many clam boats were docked within sight of my bedroom window. There was a hatch that opened to our roof and we used to climb the ladder and sit on the roof. We were told it was built that way so the fishermen's wives could watch for their return. As a kid, I used to love to lie there and look at the stars. I'd try to pick out the patterns in the wondrous sky and was amazed.

( My brother and me in front of our house)

Little did I know that another young man who lived on the opposite side of the US was also fascinated with things of space; much more so than me. My husband Greg loved all things space. He hoped to be an astronaut when he grew up. He enrolled in electrical engineering at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The space program had some problems and he ended up switching majors but he never lost interest in space.

Years after we got married (long story in between), we were able to purchase a painting by Robert McCall. He is the famed space painter and he happens to live in Paradise Valley which is very close to where we live. The painting we purchased is a Master study oil on canvas. The final mural is displayed at the Dryden Space Center in California. It shows the history of the space program and is entitled "Celebrating One Hundred Years of Powered Flight, 1903-2003".

Greg displays it so proudly in his home office.

If you've ever been to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum you can't help but remember the huge mural at the entrance. Robert McCall painted it along with a Russian painter. I captured a photo when I took my nieces Kristin and Katie to visit Washington DC. It's the picture I posted at the beginning of this post.

So, if you've never had the opportunity to witness the moon landing, here's a YouTube video from USA Today:

"One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." ~ Neil Armstrong, astronaut

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." ~ Psalm 19:1, God's Word


Calling All Savvy Aunties!

Have you heard of a website called Savvy Auntie? I heard about it shortly after the founder Melanie Notkin introduced it.

I became a charter member and even blogged about it. I was so excited. You can link there if you'd like to read my initial impressions. That was way back in July of 2008.

Since I was unable to have children, I hate to admit this but ...Mother's Day can still be a little bit difficult.

Not that I don't want to celebrate moms, because I do. They deserve all the recognition they can get.

But Savvy Auntie is a place where you can find other women who are also aunties. You can join forums and chat with others, blog, give and receive ideas for things to do with nieces and nephews according to their ages and so much more. Check it out for yourself.

So from now on, the 4th Sunday in July will officially become Savvy Auntie's Day. And the symbol will be a flower in honor of Melanie Notkin, the founder and CEO of Savvy Aunties. She is known to wear a brightly colored flower.

Check out this video of Melanie talking about this new holiday. She is too cute!

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