Stolen Childhoods

I just bought my lil’ guy balloons to celebrate his last day of 2nd grade. It saddens me that these children will never know such gestures. It saddens me that these children’s parents will never see the pure joy in their child’s eyes of receiving a gesture so small.

Lil’ Family Adventure

Memorial Day Weekend, my lil’ family decided to take a scenic drive along mountain roads to a music festival.  We listened to music while rock climbing, playing on rocks near the river, climbing trees, watching kayakers, eating amazing food, throwing sticks to our lab in the river, and marveling at my son who stopped along the way to write everything down in his journal.  We even threw in a little bike riding, shopping, and some ice cream.  After the festival, we found an amazing little campsite and enjoyed a camp fire while gazing at the stars.

We ended up camping near a 200 year old cemetery and visited an old mining town before heading to another small mountain town for lunch, more bike riding, more rock climbing, more kayak watching, more throwing sticks to our lab in the river, all while surrounded by beautiful mountains.

I thought I would share just a few pictures from our amazing two days.  I will most certainly be sharing more.

_MG_2437 _MG_2454 _MG_2489 _MG_2543Did you add some memories to your memory bank this Memorial Day Weekend?  Please share.

#makesmesmile (7)

For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you are aware that on most Fridays I like to do a photo dump from my Instagram account of the little daily things that just make me smile.  So, these are the things that put a smile on my face this week.

A friend brought me a rose just because…#makesmesmile


Grilled veggies for dinner #makesmesmile


Spring is happenin’ in my yard #makesmesmile


My lunch salad with pancetta wrapped turkey breast and homemade strawberry vinagrette #makesmesmile


Received a sweet hand painted note from a friend #makesmesmile

I would love for you to follow me on Instagram.  And I recently joined twitter and post additional photos there throughout the week.  So please join me @simplylifestuff.

I hope you have many daily things that make you smile.  What is one thing that made you smile today?  Sometimes, it is the little things.

Daily Prompt: gift for kindred spirits

The Daily Prompt for photographers today on The Daily Post is gift.  This bracelet was given to me by my best friend on my birthday.  She is the kind of friend who understands me, does not judge me, and at the same time is honest with me when giving advice.  She knows my reactions before I even begin to react.  She also purchased one of these bracelets for herself.  Since we live miles apart from one another, it is a way for each of us to feel our kindred spirits.  She is “my person.”

I adore this bracelet.  I have loved wearing it often since receiving it.  But, just a couple of days ago, my best friend gave me some heart wrenching news…her husband has been diagnosed with leukemia.  I took a picture of this bracelet and sent it to her after a phone conversation filled with tears.  I informed her that I would wear this bracelet every day until her husband gets well.

This bracelet is beautiful, given from the heart, daily reminding me of how special this friendship is to me.  Now I wear it in honor of her husband in hopes to give both of them strength, courage, and hope.  In hopes that she will feel my presence even though I am not physically there.  My best friend, “my person”, I love you.

Weekly Photo Challenge: escape

This week’s photo challenge at The Daily Post is escape.  This word, for me, conjures up images of engaging in an activity or possibly an adventure that totally submerses you.  You leave the world behind and focus only on the enjoyment at hand.  Your brain is free to take it all in through all 5 senses and to run a continuous loop through your brain of all your stress free moments.  These pictures represent escape to me.

Aunt Sandy's turn.. Micah and Nicklaus checking out the map.What do you do to “escape” the stresses of the day to day?  Do you engage in outdoor activities?  Enjoy a nice meal with a perfectly paired wine?  Submerse yourself in a great read with a cup of coffee and a comfortable chair?  Sometimes, it is the little things…