The Beauty in the Beast

The beauty is in forgiveness, the beast is in all the anger, resentment, hurt, guilt, shame, or any negative feelings that keep you locked down.

I’ve had an amazing holiday weekend so far. For those around the world who don’t know, it’s Memorial weekend here in America. It’s a holiday we celebrate to honor and remember our fallen Armed Forces and it’s also become a day of remembrance for any passed loved one. It was one of the most beautiful weekends we’ve had in a long time.

Friday I grilled some burgers for my daughter and nephews, brought them on a nice walk, then sent them home around 9:00pm. My daughter and I then camped out on the deck for the meteor shower. It was a bit disappointing though, from 11:30pm-1:45am we only saw three. One of those was pretty amazing though, it was like a tear drop falling. We noticed it out of nowhere, blue at first then it entered our atmosphere, turned to fire and just burnt out. It was really neat and my daughter saw it too. She fell a sleep before seeing the other two but they were blue and flew by very quickly. I couldn’t make it any later than 1:45am so I’m not sure what I missed after that? But before she fell asleep we had some great and deep conversations about life and the unknown. She is truly an amazing little girl and I’m so lucky to be her mom.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early so I could bring her back down to Minnehaha Falls Park and enjoy the beauty and walk with her.
I love doing those things with her. We have the best bond and I cherish it so dearly. I hope we never lose it.
While at the park we enjoyed watching the falls, sitting on the bank of the river skipping rocks and watching our Elly dog go crazy in the water and in the sand. We explored the sandstone cave and my daughter carved our initials into the side of the sandstone. We left our mark in the rock and now we’ll make it a tradition to keep going back and carving it deeper so the rain doesn’t wash it away. A truly beautiful moment.
To wrap up our beautiful day we went to a girls BBQ at my kindred spirit’s house, my good friend Angie, who I blogged about last year. She is the mother of the special needs little angel I was blessed to work with.
Angie has become like family. She is in the process of writing a book about her daughter. She was expressing her frustrations with feeling blocked and not being able to capture such an amazing little girl in the right way. We were trying to problem solve on ways to unblock. I shared some of what I knew and she shared that she was going to be going to a workshop that I hope helps. She has an amazing story to share with the world.
But as I’m sitting here now I completely understand her fear in what she meant…
How do you truly capture emotions and put them into words? How do you capture the true miracle that this little girl is? How do you capture the effects she has on someone in just one meeting? It’s a lot of pressure and she’s a perfectionist which makes it even more difficult but I admire that in her.
Angie’s understandably afraid she won’t do her daughters story the justice it needs and deserves but I think no one could give her story more justice than her, the person that was there, gave birth to the miracle in the mists of doubt all around her, she went through it all and felt everything whole heartedly. Her. She will write an amazing book, I know it!
I knew and understood why I found this little girl and why she came into my life when she did, back in 2008. I needed her to show me true beauty in all things. She set my life on a completely different course. And now I’m finally understanding the role Angie has and is playing in my life today.
She is my voice of reason and understanding, plus so many other things… We share so many similarities. She brought such clarity to me Saturday evening when I was telling her about my struggle with the beast that has been consuming me lately. She said something that really hit home,
“We are all wounded souls just trying to find our way in the world but we have choices, some make the right ones and some don’t. We can only change ourselves.”
It really hit home with me. On Sunday she sent me a sweet text with forgiveness quotes. I love her dearly.

I’m on this journey right now to forgive all who have wronged me but most importantly, to forgive myself for all I’ve wronged, myself included, forgive myself for wronging myself by allowing things into my life that had no purpose, things I knew shouldn’t have been there and for all that I let weigh me down.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing, a powerful healer.

I’m trying to learn and figure out how to do so, to truly forgive and release but it’s not easy. It means you have to reopen doors that you slammed closed and sealed with anger, hurt, resentment and negativity. But to truly move forward in life and release myself, I’ve been reopening these doors and it’s been tough. You relive everything that comes with it but slowly you feel the weights lifting and the chains loosening. One letter at a time… Breathe….
What’s really helped me is writing letters of forgiveness. Even if the letters never get sent, just the writing it out and the release of the emotions have felt very relieving. The letter to myself seems to be the toughest… I’ve shed many tears and I’m only on page 2 and still writing… Breathe…

So anyways, on Sunday I got up early (6:30am) did my morning pages, continued my letter of forgiveness, had my coffee outside on the deck, then cooked some breakfast for the little one and we relaxed before heading to my moms for another BBQ. Yes, that’s 3 days of BBQ’ed food! I think I’ve gained 10lbs in the past 3 days!! I’m going to need a veggie cleanse after this weekend. Ha!
But that’s what you do on a beautiful weekend. You BBQ a lot here on beautiful days in Minnesota. I love this time of year. It’s just perfect in the lower or mid 70′s.
The sun kisses your skin and gives you that warm feeling inside. I love it.

Today I woke up early, of course…. Sleeping in is just not something I do.
I’m sitting here on my deck listening to the birds, drinking my favorite coffee and writing out my thoughts to all of you…
So yeah, today is going to be just a relax and do whatever day. My little one is still nestled all comfortably in her bed, hopefully dreaming of theme parks and fun. I’m going to make her a breakfast bagel sandwich, her favorite, as soon as she wakes up and then later, for lunch, I’m cooking us some salmon spinach feta steaks. Oh yes!! I’m a little excited about that. They’re delicious! And healthy!! I’m sure we’ll get out to the dog park or some park, I actually want to go walk in this nature preserve down by the River in Bloomington. I haven’t been there in years but I remember it to be so beautiful so I think that’s what we’ll do?? But I don’t really care, today we’ll just do whatever but I’ll make sure to tell her the true meaning of today and together we’ll say our prayer of thanks to the heavens and remember those who went before us.

I love this life, truly I do but I don’t want to come back and do it again. I believe in reincarnation/past lives. I believe you have lessons to learn here but you get sent back to this world until you get it right.
I want to learn here and now. I want to confront and deal with every lesson The Lord above knows I need to get through so that I can live in his/her/their good grace for eternity with my loved ones and never want for anything ever again or feel pain, hurt or loss.
I am going to make the rest of my life the best of my life and I want to help as many people as I can, to do the same along the way.

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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A Beautiful Hidden City

Minneapolis is one of our big cities here in Minnesota but when you think of going into the city, you mostly think about the, the big beautiful buildings, restaurants, night life, work, sporting events or, something like that. Rarely do you ever think about the lakes, creeks and beautiful parks this city conceals.

I was up bright and early to meet a friend by 9:00am to roam around south Minneapolis today. I got my camera, my dogies and away we went. By 9:30am we were on the southwest side in a neighborhood known as the tangletown where all the cool funky homes run along the Minnehaha creek on tangled roads and it’s home to a really neat mid-evil looking water tower.
After a few miles of walking and roaming on that side of the city we got in the car to take a short drive to the southeast side by Lake Nokomis, another great spot in the city, and we stopped just a few blocks away from Minnehaha Falls Park.
We ended up roaming the park for hours and got some amazing photos.
If you look back on my, A Beautiful Creation of Light and Ice blog you can see what the falls are like frozen, just a few short months ago… Crazy how our weather fluctuates like that.
We ended up following the creek all the way down to where it meets the Mississippi river and I found some great carvings in the sandstone down there. The boobie o face lady is just my favorite!! Best find in the world!! You’ll enjoy it, trust me! Ha! It’s oddly creepy, funny and fascinating all at the same time.
Anyway, so I was climbing around in the woods, under bridges and jumping over flooded paths today all in the name of a good time. Ha! It was such a beautiful day here in MN I just couldn’t waste a second inside. I even edited my photos on my deck and ate outside. I just purchased some new patio furniture and it’s like my Zen place out there now, I just love it!
Although, I must confess, as I’m laying here (in bed not outside) trying to relax and write this, I swear I’ve felt about 3 wood ticks crawling on me!!! EEK! I found one crawling up my leg earlier and that’s all it took, now I have the wood tick heeby-jeebies!! I’m never going to sleep tonight dammit…. Ha!

Well that’s all I got for tonight, I’ll post my photos for you to enjoy and it’s time for me to now enjoy my favorite guilty pleasure… Game of Thrones!! Oh yes… Goodnight world.

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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The Beauty in Morning Pages

Well I tried to hold off as long as I could before I started sharing things I’m learning in school on my blog… I made it 9 weeks… I gave you some juicy and not so juicy reads so now it’s time for self improvement…

This week, I listened to a beautiful inspiring webinar by Julia Cameron (the author of The Artist’s Way, a book I just started reading) on writing Morning Pages. If you’ve never heard anything about it, it’s just what it is. You wake up an hour early every morning and write exactly what you’re thinking/feeling, anything that comes to mind for one hour. You WRITE it in a journal, no typing.
For example, mine have been starting like this “I just woke up, I’m feeling really tired. I am also feeling a bit angry that I woke again in the middle of the night and was not able to fall back asleep right away. Why? Are my nights of 6-7 solid hours of sleep all in the past now? Do I just think too much? Am I too stressed out about my future plans, are my expectations of myself too high or not high enough? I fear change?” And then I go more in depth in all that.
Morning Pages is a purge of all your worries, doubts, fears, anger, just all negativity and things that could be holding you back or blocking you from yourself, your creativity and moving forward on things in life. I always end my pages on a positive note though and write what I’m thankful for.
I’ve been doing my Pages for 5 days now and even in these 5 days I already feel lighter, less weighted down by my worries, fears or past failures. I’m even processing things clearer. It’s truly fantastic.
The real coincidence (or I should say sign) in all this is that, just last Sunday night, I finished a very inspiring book called Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner. She talked about the same type of thing, in a way, and mentions Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages… come Monday morning when my class schedule and work is revealed for the week, I see there is a webinar by Julia that I have to listen too. This is how I know I’m exactly where I need to be in life, these little signs… You can’t ignore them.

This week has been my week of re-centering myself, detox, meditation and my new found love, Anusara yoga, I hope I spelled that right?? I’ll attach a link if anyone is interested, you can even follow the video, if you’re not a group setting type person. I followed this a few times but I need a class setting for any type of exercise/aerobics just so I know I’m doing it right and so I do not quit, I can talk myself out of any strenuous activities… Ha!
Anusara Yoga
So, my prior two weeks have been a little erratic and off the wagon, umm… Yeah, I’ve just been enjoying the simple pleasures in life, if we can call it that… Ha! I think it’s necessary after a closing of a chapter in life though, it definitely makes the hard ones a lot easier to get through. But don’t let yourself get away with yourself for too long. Enjoy the new moments and people, then focus and remember yourself and your goals, stay true to your wants, dreams and always make room for self-improvement. I’ll keep sharing as I go and learn.

References:
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

-The photo below was taken on Easter morning when my Daughter and I went to see the farm babies at the MN Zoo. Cutest little thing was taking a pee, I wonder if my pee face looks like that… Ha!

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Beautiful Inspiring People

I no longer believe in coincidence…

I believe that we somehow end up being exactly where we need to be and around the people we’re meant to be around. I even believe that the negative people play important roles in teaching us lessons, apparently I needed to relearn a lesson for the 3rd time in my life but I heard it loud and clear this time and will no longer need that repeated in my life, I hope!!!!!!
So, as you know from my previous post, I’ve had better days… But just when I thought I might be stuck in working through this rut for a while, I had my first Coaching Circle Class tonight (basically a conference call with 8 other classmates because our school is online).
We all happened to be women and these women are so beautiful inside and out! So uplifting and inspiring.
We shared a little bit of our life stories and what led us to the place we are now. I really connected a lot with a model from New York who has went through some similar things recently as I did. Aside from our connection in an unfortunate way, what makes her truly amazing is that she is originally from Spain, she has been in the modeling industry for 20+ years and still going. She is beautiful, if I could show you a photo you would understand why she’s still successful in it. Anyway, (girl crush) She wants to help coach/inspire the young girls just coming in the business about proper health and nutrition so they don’t have to starve themselves and live so unhealthy, they can have the best of both worlds. Truly inspiring.
Another women who inspired me was a beautiful 7th grade math teacher from the Bronx (another beautiful women) who was fed up with all the regulations in schools now and not feeling like she can make learning fun anymore because the pressure and demands of the school system. I can relate to that, having worked at a private autism school and having to follow a certain curriculum/therapy even though you know the child is disengaged and will not be successful for whatever reason. Instead of taking them out to engage them in physical activity to release their energy then going back to apply the therapy, this making their learning experience successful… So yeah, I completely related to her. I also heard from another teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, another in Tennessee, Illinois and all over. But what I found most ironic is that before choosing this path, every one of us went on some sort of a spiritual journey, adding in some form of meditation, yoga and detoxing. I felt like I was meant to meet these women. And I’m so unbelievably excited to be able to meet them in person this summer when we attend a school conference in New York City! Our wonderful Mentor/coach just informed us of tonight. I’m so excited I almost cried. I thank The Lord above for allowing me to be exactly where I’m meant to be and for these wonderful women to enter into my life at a time when I needed them the most. Life truly is beautiful even in the darkest of days.

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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There is nothing beautiful about a Liar

I am not angry that you lied, I am angry that I can never believe in you again…

I am angry that I actually believed I could make a difference in your life.
I am angry that I believed in your lies, I ignored the warnings, I believed in the lie that you are. But that’s just who you’ve become, a lie. You lie to everyone around you. I know it’s hard to see and hard to admit. It’s who you are now, it’s just what you do, that’s what you pride yourself on now, your lies… You prey on people like me, who believe in the good and in second chances. You prey on those who try to see the good in all but your ugliness can’t hide for long, your few good deeds can’t cover the hollow darkness you hide inside you, you slip up.

And truth always finds a way.

You will seek and seek and seek but never find, no one big or small will ever be enough. No one will ever fill the void that you yourself created, nor will you ever be at peace with the lies you live. Your only peace comes in a form of a pill you have to take every day so you can begin again. But your lies haunt your dreams and your soul. You will never find any kind of love that is based on your empty lies.
Your outside is polished but your inside is dark and hollow. One day your lies and the pain you inflicted on others will bury you and your pills will no longer help you, you’ll be forced to face what you’ve done to others and then you’ll know… So keep swallowing those pills that make your reality livable and bury yourself in your own dark emptiness.

I will forgive you and set myself free, this is not my burden to carry but you will continue on, lost, searching, and hurting others but still never finding, until the day you finally find you. I pity the day that awaits you when you’re faced with your own reality and all that you’ve hurt and deceived.

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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GrownUp Decisions

Well the title says it all… I just wish most grown-up decisions could be more enjoyable but most tend to come with a bit of sacrifice. Bright side, it’s a temporary sacrifice to a beautiful and enjoyable outcome.

I made a big decision to follow my dream again, which led me to sacrificing my love of travel for the next year or two, maybe? I still might be able to squeeze in a trip or two but I’m not going to worry about that just yet. My plate is full enough for now and will be for the next year or so. One thing at a time…

I’m back in school. The travel fund is going to my tuition each month. Not easy….

Breathe…

Another check off the list of goals/dreams to follow. I am becoming the person I never thought I’d be. It’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. Complete yourself and the rest will follow.

I had to make a big choice between a career in photography or my dream to continue with expanding my spa into a wellness center and that is my ultimate dream. It was/is a tough choice. I have a friend opening an event center in downtown Minneapolis and he wanted to contract me out for the events as part of a event/photo package. I would have had a booming photography job, no doubt. But would the demands of the job make me lose my love and release I feel when taking photos?? I would be forced to give up a lot of my evenings and weekends with my daughter and frankly, no job big or small is worth that to me, or should be to anyone. My little baby is growing up and she’s entering in that awkward pre-puberty stage of coming into her own and the time when a young girl seems most insecure and needs the comfort and guidance of her mother more than anything. I would never forgive myself if I chose greed over our love and bond. I want a place I can one day pass off to her.

It only took me two years to get this all in motion but I did it! In one year I’ll have another license and then I’ll move on to get my next one and my goal in the next two years is to decide to stay solo or partner up but either way I’m going full blown wellness.
My main focus may be women but I’m not sure yet?? One thing at a time…. My brain goes 100miles a minute with ideas and what there is a market for but I just want to create a space of total wellness. Pure intentions. Mind, body and soul.
I want to help coach people cleanse their lives. I want to create a space where people can free themselves of the stress and demands of the world through nutrition classes, meditation, yoga, Pilates and other exercise classes, support groups, social nights… You name it, I want it. I want women to be able to connect and confide in one another, fuel each other to release negative energy and relationships we often tend to cling too or think we deserve.
I think I want to focus on women more just because we tend to carry a lot of unnecessary stress that causes us to form unhealthy relationships with food, people and life choices. Not that men don’t either. I’d never turn a man away from my center but women tend to relax and let go more when men are not around, I myself am one of those women. I’ll probably have classes for both??
I love men and think it’s just as important for them to be able to release and let go as well so don’t get me wrong but there is an openness bond that women share when we get together and it empowers us emotionally.
I want to empower women to live a more fulfilling life and change negatives into positives and there is no better person to do that than I. To lead by example. I have no issues sharing my failures and bad choices of my past, we all have them but the beauty of it is we do not need to lay victim to our pasts.
That’s my passion and the mark I want to leave on the world and I will. I’ve never been so focused or motivated in my entire life. I’ve never done so well in doing so either. I know this is my chosen path and it feels so good when you finally find it. No more doubt or anxiety about the future, it’s just all so clear. I see myself and my center in my mind like it’s already real, nothing will stop me now. Never let anything hold you back from your life, create your focal point and keep moving no matter how hard it is or how long it takes. Never give up.

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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A Beautiful Island of Ice

Today I’m going to take you on a visual journey of unfathomable beauty and wonder…
On my latest photography adventure to the Apostle Island Lakeshore Park, also known as the Apostle Island Ice Caves, in Bayfield, WI, I was just completely awed by this amazing display of frozen caves along the shore of Lake Superior. It’s 3 glorious miles of caves, nooks and crannies filled with ice and icicles, some 40-50 feet high. You can walk through them and crawl through them. It is such a beautiful site to see.
Due to our crazy freezing polar vortex type of winter the water was able to freeze all the way through, this has not happened since 2009 and before that in 2000 so it’s rare and I knew I just had to get out there to see it and capture this beautiful phenomenon.
It awed me.
I felt like a kid again climbing around in the big and small caves just enjoying this amazing wonder. I almost slipped on my bum a time or two as well but it made for some laughs.
The people you encounter there all seem so friendly as well because it’s like you’re in this state of beautiful bliss. You’re awed by what you’re seeing and experiencing, sharing it with loved ones and strangers. You see many slip and laugh it off, you take turns taking pictures of each other to keep this beautiful moment alive forever.
I love meeting new people in this way. We met this fun group of 6 or 7 women, who must have been in their 50′s who were just absolutely joyous. They were having such a fun time photo bombing one another, crawling in small little caves, just having the time of their lives. I can only hope I’m that lively and joyous at that age still out there experiencing the beauty in the world. They were truly inspiring.
Ok, so enough of my babel for now, you must see this beautiful place and I took many pictures to share for you to enjoy!

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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A Beautiful Creation of Light and Ice

WE DID IT!!! Finally! I got my butt out of bed pretty early this morning, woke my daughter, got her breakfast then told her to bundle up because we’re heading to a beautiful frozen park. She did protest, a little, but I told her it would be so worth it and didn’t give her much of an option to refuse. I’m momma and what I say goes! Ha!
Plus, I needed to free my mind and find a beautiful inspirational place to pour my creative energy into. It’s just what we did! I love showing her true beauty in the world that has nothing to do with a tv or video game. Connect with nature and everything pure. It’s uplifting.
So anyway by 10am we had packed up the cameras, bundled up and headed out.
Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota is a beautiful 193 acre park and not only is it gorgeous in the summer but in the winter it becomes a beautiful stunning creation of ice. When the sun is shinning perfectly it is jaw dropping.
This 53 foot waterfall takes on a whole new life of illuminating beauty. It’s just what I needed today. I’ve been trying to get down to the falls for a month now but it seemed something would always come up when I wanted to go but today was go time! No excuses!
It was/is beautiful here in MN. Sunny and 16 degrees, I know to most around the world that is freezing but compared to the temperatures we’ve had, it felt like 35 degrees!!
Getting to the falls was not easy… You have to slide down 6 staircases (maybe more?) I say slide because that part of the park is actually closed so they do not shovel. My daughter loved it! Then once down you have to hop over a fence and hike up a snowy ice mixed trail that someone (bless them) tied a rope up to the side of the falls to help get you behind it. It’s not easy, you’re on frozen water, pure ice. In some places you could walk close to the side where little bits of rock could be used for traction but mostly we just slid on our butts or scooted our feet. It was so neat. My daughter was just in awe. She thought it was one of the coolest things she’s ever seen and she was so glad I didn’t let her stay home. We had so much fun! Take a look….

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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When Darkness Falls and Dulls Your Beauty

Tonight I sit here with so many words to write but nothing to say… I’m so glad I don’t have to verbally speak, nothing would make sense… I’m stuck in my head. My mind is questioning every milestone I’ve faced, every demon I’ve confronted and every belief I found in myself. I’ve let myself believe in something that just wasn’t real. I put my all into something and it failed. I feel like I let the devil walk right through my door to take my soul then laugh in my face as he lied and said he’d bring it right back…
Sometimes in life, no matter how hard you try to make your life better, make good choices and surround yourself with good people, evil people have a way of creeping in and they seem to ware the best disguises.
I guess it’s just life though. We’re surrounded by evil. You can’t blame yourself for others wicked ways. As long as you yourself set out everyday with an open heart and good intentions you can move forward with peace of mind. You can’t lose hope or close yourself off. You have to pick yourself back up and find your optimistic outlook and move forward. I learned a long time ago that you can never let another person or their actions dictate your feelings or actions. You have to know who you are, know what you want, know what you deserve and stay true to that, no matter what.
Find your light and inspiration in life and surround yourself with it. Tell the devil to piss off and never let him/her back in. That’s just what I’m going to do. I’m going to take my own advice that I so freely give out and I’m going to stay true to everything that this blog means to me by finding beauty in the dark. Not everyday can we be sunshine and rainbows, sometimes we have to accept our failures, allow ourself some time to grieve them, learn from them and then move on. Life doesn’t stop for you, it keeps on going and that’s the true beauty of it. In times like these I look around me and start saying out loud the things that I am thankful for, and I am thankful for so many things. I’m so grateful for so many things and so many people in my life. Once you start doing that and repeating that to yourself it’s like you can feel the weight lifting and darkness retreating. You pull yourself out of that place with no point and you make it mean something.
I’m going to mentally vacation back up to The North Shore here in Minnesota and take you with me now because that’s what I do when I need clarity.
Last year I blogged about how I wished the whole family could go up north together again, well this past summer I got that partial wish. My daughter and I went up to Little Marais on the north shore with my parents and stayed in a cute little cabin right on the shore. I must admit by day 2 I was thinking to myself… Be careful what you wish for… Haha! I love my parents, truly I do but I remembered real quickly why I moved out at 19 years of age. They’re very set in their ways and bicker VERY EARLY in the morning and when you’re in a small cabin, you hear everything. But that was just a minor annoyance to the fun we shared together. By day we’d sightsee and by dinner we’d be back at the cabin to grill and lay on blankets in the grass to enjoy the peace and serenity. We’d stay up late by the bonfire ducking our heads as bats swooped in, laughing at what weenies we all were, we’d roast marshmallows and I’d try to capture the beautiful stars with my camera. I really can’t wait to go back. But this year will be even better. I rented my own cabin (2 cabins down on the end, hee hee) and this time my sister and nephews will be coming up. Then my wish to have us all together again vacationing will come true. One more wish to check off the list. So much to be thankful for. I’m going to post a lot of pictures starting in Duluth and ending in Grand Marais. I’ll try to go in order as we drove up hwy 61. I’m not going to post the most viewed and known pictures, I’m going post pictures of places that you don’t see in the magazines and tourist sites. It’s absolutely beautiful so I hope you enjoy it. Pictures truly have the power to take you away and lift your spirits. Enjoy…

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81

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Good Beautiful Bitter Cold Morning

One picture will sum this up….

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This my friends is becoming just another day in Minnesota. I think I’m going to try to talk my daughter into going to an out of state college, somewhere warm, when she gets older so I can move with her. But it’s doubtful being that she is just loving these school closing. I must admit, I do like being able to be home with her all day. We play some games, watch movies, veg out and we invite my nephews over to play this game called Minecraft. Yes, I play video games with them. I love it. Best way to keep an eye on them and a great opportunity to teach them valuable life lessons through play, like, if you go out after dark you’re going to be attacked by zombies. Haha! Oh and if you do not eat, you will die. Ha! Yeah, I do what I can. It’s an unusual addictive game but it’s pretty neat.
Ok back to the blustery cold… My dogs didn’t even want to go out this morning. It makes me sad for the poor wild animals stuck out in this weather. Every winter, once a week, I buy extra carrots, bean stalks and bird seed to help the squirrels, birds and bunnies survive the winter, yes I’m that lady in the neighborhood. Ha! I hide it from my townhouse association because we’re not supposed to feed the squirrels. I quickly learned why they don’t want you feeding the squirrels… I used to hide a couple bird feeders on my deck and the birds would knock down the seeds into the cracks of my deck, well the little squirrels started chewing on my deck in the back to get those little fallen seeds that got caught on a support beam below. Funny little trick to get rid of that, very gross, dog poop. Yeah, it works! Smear that in the crack and it becomes squirrels be gone. Ha! I hid the bird feeders in a pine tree in my side yard. I also have a beautiful cherry tree in my front yard that the squirrels have been getting plenty of food from and it gives me great opportunities to photograph them. Here’s a few favorites. I took theses with my new Samsung NX2000 it’s a mirror less, so let’s hope it’s as good as my Cannon?? I think it is? I might need to make a few adjustments but I’m still learning all the bells and whistles on this beauty.

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Cute little things. They look so soft, I wonder what they would feel like? I hope the poor little guy is warm enough today.
One thing I wish this bitter cold would do, kill off the misquotes and woodticks!!! My little Peanut dog was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease this summer. It scared the willies out of me because he goes everywhere with me! He sleeps in my bed, you name it. We hiked so many state parks last summer I thought for sure we were exposed. My daughter and I went in right away for blood draws and thank God, we were negative but that was too close. I even Frontline my pups?? Anyway, it doesn’t seem to be too bad, he gets little flareups of joint pain, then you have to go into the vet and he takes a round of antibiotics for it but that seems to be the only thing, let’s hope it stays that way or just goes away! My poor baby!
Here are a few photos from the State Parks we hiked this past summer…

Taylors Falls, Minnesota

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Gorgeous, right? This is why I live in MN. Our spring summer and fall is absolutely beautiful and worth sticking around for! So much to do and see. The next park we went too is Willow River State Park in Wisconsin, which is only a 45min drive for us. Of course I was too blown away by the falls, I didn’t take any other pictures because the hike down to the falls is steep, and torturous! If you have bad knees, wear a support brace! Ouch! Well worth it though! We went on the 4th of July so the falls we’re packed, take a look….

Willow River State Park, Wisconsin

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Another spectacular beauty! I love seeing that beautiful green! Oh how I miss the warmth!! I think I just might be heading out to a warmer climate soon… Where to go… Mexico, I think so! Ha!

Sincerely,
beautybeholder81