These two. Ha!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fascinated with... and watching moments like this make me so thankful I'm able to be a grandmother.

Adding a little Spring!

Currently ignoring my inbox and spending some time adding a little spring to the family room.  I also find that it's an excellent stress reliever...

A One Hour Workout is 4% of Your Day!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Did you know that taking one hour to focus on your health equals only 4% of your day?  NO EXCUSES ladies & gents! I hear it all the time, "There's not enough time in the day." It just simply is not ture, there is always enough time. Believe me, if you don't find the time today, you're losing exponentially more time down the line,  It's simple math. Subtract a little now or subtract a lot later.  And believe me, from waking up before the crack of dawn, working out, taking care of my home, being a wife, mother, grandmother, business owner, pulling many 15+ hour days in my home office or off site directing special events, there are lots of times that I want to say, "There's not enough time." But then I envision the alternative... so drop the excuse about time, isn't a longer, better life worth 4%?

Now About Last Night...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

"The Unforgettable Princess"  That was the theme for the 2016 Phoenix Chapter of the Links 33rd Biennial Cotillion.  And "Unforgettable" she was...

Sabriya's was escorted tonight by Jonathan Miles Johnson.  Jonathan and Sabriya meet almost 2 years ago now, when she volunteer to be a Belle for the 2015 Beautillion.  We are very thankful that Jonathan agreed to return the favor as her Beau for tonight's Cotillion.  Their dance styles compliment each other so perfectly and was definitely a highlight of the evening.

Over the past year, Sabriya and the other 14 Debutantes, had the pleasure of being exposed to educational, civic, and cultural opportunities.  On this journey they learned the importance of community service, developed important leadership skills and created some life-long friendships.  These young women embodied the Cotillion's theme, "The Unforgettable Princess," and were honored for their academic and extracurricular successes.  These debs worked hard and showed steadfast commitment to their futures and are definitely poise for success.

Sabriya, the image of you tonight will live in our minds forever... It is hard to put into words the pure joy you bring to life.  It has been magical since the very first moment you were placed in our arms.  Just like the best scenes in a favorite movie, your life for the last 17 years just flash through our mines with such clarity over and over as if it was yesterday.  Watching you grow from a little girl into this beautiful, caring, outstanding young woman is one of our greatest joys.  I am so thankful to Jakob Owens Productions for capturing the magic of this evening.

Love & Thanks to each of you who attended Sabriya's Debutante Ball, your presence helped to make this night so much more rewarding & memorable...

Photography ~ Jakob Owens Productions
Hair ~ Only 1 Triece & Shamara Smith (sister)
Makeup ~ Shamesha Smith (sister)
Cookie Favors ~ The Baked Equation


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Cousinnnnnns!!!  I have no ideal who that grown-up boy 2nd from the left is.  Sniff sniff.

There isn't anything like cousins that are close in age.  I am so thatnkful that my grandkids have cousins that live in the same state and it is so fantastic to see their interactions.  Luckily, they get to spend a lot of time together... at birthday parties, cookouts, the beach, or just hanging out at MiMi's house.  They act more like siblings than cousins, and more like best friends than siblings.  They are each others first "best" friends and prayerfully they will develop that rare kind of friendship and they will remain close for years to come.  And because they are more than just friends, they're blood... The ties that bind them is deep, and prayerfully the pride and loyalty they will have for their family will be fierce and their relationships will last throughout their adult lives... Until then, the memories we are creating together are priceless.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Well, there's my heart walking around outside my chest. #granddaughters

I am your grandmother, you call me MiMi. There are some things you should know...  First, that you are deeply loved.  The love I have for the two of you is so strong, and so innate.  There is nothing you can ever do to make me love you more, and nothing you can ever do to make me love you less.  Second, your parents are my children.  That may seem strange to hear, but I love them as they love you.  They will always be my babies, even as they hold you in their arms, my precious granddaughters.  My love for each of them overflows into your life.  Finally, and most importantly, I want you to know that even now I am praying that you will be in the same relationship with Christ that I am in and that your parents are in.  It is the most important thing in all of our lives, and in truth, the only thing that matters in this life.  I long for your emotional health, your physical health, your relational health; I hope you fall in love, get married and have a family' but all of those pale in comparison to your eternity.

More than anything, I hope to spend it with you, and you with Christ. So know that your are prayed for.  Faithfully.  In fact, if you ever wonder if anyone in this world is thinking of you and praying for you, rest assured.  PaPa and I are.  God wanted you to be born.  He made you to love you.  There is only one Malaysia Kyah Iwebema and Lola Lucille Smith, and you are them.  I cannot wait to see all that you will do with your life.  And for as long as I live, I will stand by that life, and serve it in any way I can.

Love MiMi

I Could Be Stronger...

I could be stronger, I could be fitter, I could be faster...  Sometimes the gym beats me up more than I crush it...  But I'll tell you one thing: I'm here.  Every day; I'm showing up. I'm trying, I'm growing, I'm learning. (Yes, even after more than 20 years of working out.) And I'm pushing farther.

Today my workout smashed me and made me feel weak: but I completed it. It's OK to have hard days; it's OK to modify or reduce...  So show up, be consistent, listen to your body and remember...  You are doing great!

Treat Your Body Right!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The more energy, sweat, and time I spend challenging my body physically in a workout, and the more I nourish it with healthy choices, the more I fall in love with the body I've been given.

Treat your body right and it will love you back.  Then and only then, will the scale or the clothes size or the opinions of others not matter.  You were made in the image of the One true God.  Glorify your Creator by loving yourself well + hard.

Celebrating 54 Years

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Today we get to celebrate this guys 54th birthday.  But although it's his birthday, my mind is filled with all of the gifts that he's given to me...

  • He endures many long hours and lots of hard work for us and our family.
  • He motivates me when I want to desperately give up.
  • His strength and determination eases the fears that I carry through life.
  • His calm softens the sharp edges of my anxiety.
  • I often get frustrated with how far we still have to go, and he'll calmly state, "But look how far we've come!"
  • He has protected, cushioned, and loved me through our struggles to build our family.
  • His level-headed nature reassures me that together, we can face anything with grace.
  • His silly side keeps me from taking life too seriously.
  • He brings a sense of stability to our lives that makes me feel safe.
  • When we argue about the kids or the business or just life (Yes, it happens!) with the accusations flying, words rising up, quick tongues lashing out, eyes shooting fire. When I snap at him and act like a spoiled teenager with the huffing and silent treatment... he forgives and forgets, he lets go and he moves on and he still says, he loves me.
  • He makes every day feel like it's my birthday and even though we've been through much, growing with him has been the greatest adventure and I'm glad it's not over yet.
So although we're so caught up in parent and grandparenthood, bills, running a business, planning, prepping, and surviving - I would never let his birthday come and go as just another day that ticks off that another year has passed.  He is the best father, husband, friend anyone could ask for, and we are very blessed to have him as ours.  Thank you Mark for a beautiful life and Happy 54th Birthday, I pray that God blesses you with many, many more wonderful ones to come.  I love you! 

Your wife, Anna

I Dislike the Healthy Life...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sometimes I really dislike the "healthy" life... because sometimes I just want to inhale a box of donuts and wear yoga pants pretending they won't make me feel lethargic and fluffy.  Like today... but the funny thing is if i do:

1. I always feel horrible when I eat poorly.

2. I always feel great when I norish my body well.

So instead of having those donuts for breakfast I went for the 3 egg white omelet with spinach.  If it was eay, it wouldn't be worth the effort and everyone would do it.

24 Hours

Thursday, March 17, 2016

24 hours, just like everybody else. There is nobody who cheated and got 25 and there is nobody who cheated and gave you 23. #noexcuses

I am often asked how do I muster the motivation and find the time to exercise regular.  And this is almost always followed by, "I just don't have time."  I know that most people think they need to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes, which can seem very daunting especially when it hasn't been a part of your regular routine.  But just start somewhere... you can still get a workout in, with just a 20 minute window and somethimes it can even be a better one.  The time-trimming trick... is intervals.  For example: Try alternating 2 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio with two minutes of high-intensity intervals.

Still can't squeeze in 20 minutes in one sitting?  Then try one 10 to 15 minute session in the morning and one after work... Studies have found that there are equal amounts of weight loss doing one 30 minute workout, two 15 minute sessions, or three 10 minute bouts.

Now where to find these interval workouts...  Google it!  I promise you won't be disappointed, there are endless amounts of programs out there just waiting for you.  Keep searching until you find the ones that are right for you.  I use several different workout programs and will even combine favorite parts of one with another... Customizing them a bit to my likes and/or ability.  Maybe I'll share a few of my favorites with you all one day.

Incredible Family Gatherings

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sundays are for laughter and family! What's your favorite game to play as a family!  We had a birthday to celebrate and the birthday boy wanted to play a little Wiffle Ball in the park… What a fabulous and fun family game!

Like everyone else, I feel overwhelmed with the daily demands of hectic schedules, trying to balance quality time with quantity time.  Cultivating family togetherness should incorporate both quality and quantity.  Quantity time creates a safe environment and fosters a sense of security for our homes.  Basically, forming a home base where our families can feel safe, secure and accepted.  Quality time is the family time we create intentionally.  Important family bonding, which can last a lifetime, can either be spent in an ordinary way or you can have an extraordinary family gathering. Because I am a notorious list-maker, I have listed some tips for a few incredible family gatherings:
  • Make a Time Capsule.  Celebrate your family now and later by preserving chosen family artifacts by your family members!  Place your child's reports, artwork, movie stubs, family journals, a printout page from Facebook or family blog, etc. into an archival box, and stow away in a cool dark place.  Do not bury your artifacts, since they are usually a soggy mess when unearthed.  Instead add a silica-gel pack (pack usually comes inside vitamin containers) to absorb the moisture and set a date for the family reveal in 25 years!  *Tip: Items that usually do not stand the test of time are food, delicate clothing, tapes/discs (technology may be outdated on reveal day).
  • Volunteer Together.  Quality time spent with your kids as they learn about the joy of helping others.  It's most enjoyable to have your child/children choose a topic they love.  If they love animals, then a pet store supply run or visit to the animal shelter would be ideal.  Most kids enjoy the outdoors, so a day cleaning up the nature trails or your neighborhood park is picture-perfect.  Other ideas are a visit to the nursing home or making cards for sick people in the hospital.  This is time well spent, while your children learn valuable lessons of life.
  • Plant Something.  It's best to plant something that is easy to grow and will encourage your child to eat healthy.  Try cherry tomatoes, zucchini or bush beans and use a one-by-two-foot-self-watering planter.  Your co-farmer/s can be in charge of watering and harvesting and your family will have something delicious to share at the dinner table.
  • Get Cooking.  Share an old family recipe with your children or create a new family recipe tradition.  Try baking bread.  If your kids love to mold Play-Doh and make mud pies, then they'll be experts at kneading dough.  When their masterpiece is done, they will feel a sense of pride and togetherness.
  • Create Self-Portraits.  Even if you are no Picasso, drawing self-portraits of your family members magically captures the present time.  This could be a comical and memorable family event to share at your next family reunion or just with your immediate family.  You can scan and upload your art masterpieces, then transfer the images onto everything from postage stamps to water bottles to calendars for the holidays.
These unique family bonding events can be celebrated at your next family reunion or with your immediate family at the park or at home on a rainy day.  Enjoy and get creative with your ideas!  My next blog post will have five more incredible ideas for your next family gathering… but until then, here are a few more pictures of our family Wiffle ball game.

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