Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Secret Balloon Message

Not too long ago I ran into a fun idea for what to send in packages through the mail. Since my boyfriend is in the military and will inevitably be deployed sometime, things like this really catch my eye. The idea is to write a "secret" message on a balloon to send in your package. Recently, my boyfriend was having a bit of a rough time, so I made him a "happy package" to help cheer him up. Inside my package, I included some balloons with secret messages! It was fun to do, and Rusty said he really enjoyed discovering the messages. Since it was a success and a fun idea too, I thought I'd share it my blog...

To make these secret message balloons, all you need are balloons and a permanent marker.
(NOTE: You can use any color balloon you want, but I discovered that it is much better to use one of those dark purple or dark green balloons that look black when deflated. ...You'll see why in a minute.)

Next blow up your balloon, but DON'T TIE IT OFF... Hold the end shut with your fingers and write a secret message! 

Then, let go of the end and let the balloon deflate. The receiver will have to blow the balloon up to discover the secret message!
(NOTE: If you look closely at the balloon below you can see the writing... However, it's not very noticeable because, when deflated, this dark purple balloon looks black just like the writing. That's why I like to use the dark purple or dark green balloons. I tried writing on other colored balloons, and you can always see the writing VERY well when deflated... And if you can already see the message, then it's not a surprise!)

Make as many as you want! But before throwing your balloons into the package, tie them together with ribbon to make a balloon bouquet. Also be sure to make a cute tag that says something along the lines of "Blow these balloons up to reveal the secret messages!" (NOTE: As an easier alternative, use a plastic baggie instead of making a bouquet and tag. Just use your permanent marker to write the instructions on the front of the baggie and then throw the balloons inside. ...Viola! Easy as pie and done in seconds!)

Have fun with it and be creative! :)

Day 2: A Day In the Life

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, just for one day... I would definitely choose to trade places with my amazing boyfriend, Rusty


It may seem strange that I would not choose to trade lives with someone famous, wealthy, or someone with a lot of power. But quite honestly, I don't have much of a desire to trade lives with any of those people. It may also seem strange that I WOULD choose to trade with someone that I see on a regular basis, and know so much about already. However, to me, it makes perfect sense. There are actually many reasons that I would love the opportunity to trade places with my darling boyfriend. ...Let me explain...

The first reason I would love to trade places with Rusty is so that I could learn to better appreciate him. Rusty is an incredibly hard worker. He works 12 hour graveyard shifts every week, and picks up extra electrician jobs every so often. He also goes to school, and is working on a locksmith course right now. To top off his already overflowing load, he is also in the National Guard. He ALWAYS helps in ANY way he can when someone he loves is in need. He is constantly sacrificing time, money, sleep, and more for me and his family. To me, Rusty is superman! He truly is amazing. Obviously I KNOW the hard work he does... But I believe that if I could trade places with him, even just for a day, I could better UNDERSTAND and appreciate all of his hard work and sacrifices. 

The second reason I would choose to trade places with Rusty is so that I could see myself through his eyes. Rusty is constantly complimenting my beauty and character. He always builds me up, and reminds me of my self worth. He always sees the best in me no matter what. ...However, I don't have the best self esteem/ confidence and sometimes I find it hard to believe what he says and see it myself. If I could trade places with Rusty, I could see what he sees in me, both inside and out, without my own criticism. I would love to see myself through the eyes of someone who loves me so unconditionally.

The last, and very most important reason that I would trade places with Rusty is to learn how to better support and be there for him. Rusty deserves the very BEST, and that is what I try to give him... But I would always like to do better and give him more. Trading places with him for a day would help me to better understand his needs and what I can do to help. I would love the opportunity to learn first hand how to be a better support for him!

...And there you have it! ...Day 2 complete!...
I know I'm already a week behind in my challenge... I should change that to "Week 2 complete!"! But I am still determined to finish my challenge, even if it does take longer than 30 days. Hey, I still think I'm making progress!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The 30 Day Challenge

So, obviously I am super horrible at posting on my blog! That is why I have decided to make a 30 day blog challenge for myself. I've seen lots of bloggers do various challenges in all sorts of ways. Mine is a combination of one I found online and a few ideas of my own. For each day I have a certain topic that I would like to blog about.. So without further ado... May I present....

DAY 1: 
10 Random, Embarrassing, Ridiculous & Strange Little Things That Make Me, ME!

  1. I hate wet hair touching my face! It drives me absolutely CRAZY! 
  2. My feet have not grown since the 4th grade! ...Leaving me at a size 4ish- 5!
  3. The right side of my jaw pops out of place and locks up ALL the time! It's the absolute worst ever!! It even pops while I chew! (My sister won't sit next to me when we eat because of it!)
  4. I usually sleep on my side, and I have to have the EAR facing up covered by my hair or a blanket before I can fall asleep!
  5. I have a perfectly round chicken pock mark half-way up my left cheekbone. Everyone is always asking me what's on my face!
  6. I started to talk BEFORE I walked! And now, if you really get to know me... You can hardly get me to shut up!
  7. I love to make LISTS. When I'm stressed out I obsessively make 3 or 4 lists about the SAME thing!
  8. I talk to myself ALL the time! It freaks other people out sometimes... and occasionally, even ME!!
  9. I really hate admitting when I am wrong... I secretly think I know everything, but really, I'm FAR from it... SHH, don't tell!!
  10. I am ALWAYS behind on SOMETHING! Ahh.
....And thus concludes the 10 random, embarrassing, ridiculous & strange little things that make me, me! Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Are You Happy?

I saw a pretty cool "Are you happy?" chart on another site. Since I liked it, I decided to make one myself & make it more cute!... Take a look! And think about it a bit... Are you truly happy with your life and everything in it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

A (Late) Celebration for Veteran's Day

I know I'm a day late... But I wanted to post in honor of Veteran's Day. I am proud to live in this amazing country, and I am even more proud of those who stand ready to defend it. Among those brave men and women, stands my incredible boyfriend Rusty.

Rusty & his older brothers at the Governor's Celebration 2010 

Following in his father's and two older brother's footsteps, Rusty joined the National Guard when he turned 18. I gained a huge appreciation for the US military service after I met Rusty. He has taught me so much about sacrifice and courage. His bravery, loyalty, sense of duty and respect continues to awe and amaze me each and every day. I am so grateful for him, and the many others like him who sacrifice so much to protect this country. They truly bless our lives, even when we do not realize such. And we would surely be in a much worse position were it not for their dedication.

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

My experience in getting to know Rusty and his military-oriented family has taught me that despite the wonderful work of a soldier, it does not come without its price. Freedom is not free... It requires hard work, perseverance, and a dedication even so great to leave everything behind to fight and defend. Because of this, we owe an even greater debt and gratitude to the sacrifices made by these brave men and women. Furthermore, we owe and even GREATER debt and gratitude to those who have given their lives in the service of our country. Among these fallen soldiers are those who did not die while in battle... but rather those who took their own lives when the price of being a soldier became to much to bear. And similarly the loved ones of soldiers who took their own lives when the price to support their soldier became too much.

Rusty called me a couple weeks ago during his lunch break at drill. (Monthly, scheduled meetings/trainings for the National Guard that usually lasts 1-3 days on the weekend.) I asked him how things were going. Part of what he told me was that in their morning meeting, it was announced that 2 men from his command had taken their lives since the last drill (about a month earlier). In addition, 2 more military men in their area had also taken their lives in the same time period. As Rusty explained this to me, it sounded all a bit too normal to him. I asked if it was a big problem. ...Come to find out, suicide in the military, and suicides of military loved ones, is becoming a huge problem. The number of military-related suicide deaths is on the rise. Rusty's command changed their plan for that drill at the last minute, and they spent most of their time in suicide prevention training. Also, next month's drill is another suicide prevention training which family and friends are invited to attend. 

It absolutely breaks my heart to know that this is becoming such a problem. These service men and women and their loved ones give so much. And yet, I cannot stop these tragedies. It may be tempting to judge these men and women. Or to judge the military and assume that it must be corrupt if it is causing suicides. But perhaps that thinking is altogether wrong. Yes, it is hard to serve as a soldier. And yes, it is hard to support a soldier. But it is not hard just because of the burdens that come from simply being a soldier... Perhaps, we, the people, are not offering enough support and love towards our soldiers and those who stand behind them. Lately there has been a lot of protest in this country against our military. There are those who have spent their time tearing soldiers down and complaining about their work. ...Why? These soldiers give us so much. They preserve our freedom and liberty. Why then should we protest? The answer is simple, we should not. We should, instead, give back as much as we can in gratitude for their service. 

Have you thanked a soldier lately? Have you thanked their loved ones for their sacrifice as well? Even just a kind word is greatly appreciated. One day, Rusty and I were walking from our car to a restaurant a couple blocks down. Rusty was still in uniform from drill earlier that day. As we passed a couple of young men, one of them smiled and said, "Thank you. I'm praying for you." It was simple, yet profound. It greatly touched my heart to know that there is still love and support for the military.

I love this country. I love my freedom. I am humbled by the opportunity I have to live here. I am grateful for my right to vote, for my right to practice my religion as I please, and for my rights as a human being and as a woman. I am deeply grateful for the sacrifice of the US military in protecting and serving this great country. I recognize the good that they do. They do MUCH more than fight our wars. I thank them for their dedication and courage. I thank God for this amazing country and all the many things it has to offer. I am PROUD to be an American!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

50 Things: That Make Me Happy

  1. Creativity& Imagination 
  2. Spending time with my family
  3. My boyfriend, Rusty
  4. My dog, Cheyenne
  5. Driving/ My car
  6. My TV shows
  7. Painting my nails
  8. Holidays 
  9. Peacock feathers
  10. Possibility
  11. Smiles and Laughter
  12. My book & DVD collection
  13. Puzzles
  14. Earrings
  15. Playing the piano
  16. Dressing up
  17. Pajama pants
  18. Singing in the shower
  19. Little kids & Babies
  20. True friends
  21. Writing letters
  22. Starting a new craft/ project
  23. Knowing that I am truly and deeply loved
  24. Learning something new and UNDERSTANDING
  25. Making funny faces
  26. The sound of rain on the rooftop
  27. Clever ads
  28. Playing dress-up/ costumes
  29. The mystery, intrigue & romance of foreign countries
  30. My idol, Audrey Hepburn
  31. Crystal Light
  32. Support for the Military
  33. The funnies (comics)
  34. Dessert
  35. The "Weekly World News"
  36. Fun memories
  37. Getting flowers 
  38. Holding hands with the one you love
  39. Heartfelt hugs.
  40. Rubber ink stamps
  41. Old castles
  42. Big Porches
  43. Swings
  44. 4-Wheeling
  45. Wind chimes 
  46. Ice skating
  47. Going out to eat
  48. Getting mail
  49. Star gazing
  50. Hot chocolate