VLV Photography, LLC


My Life Monday | Beauty Insider

I just wanted to share a bit about how I’ve been using Young Living oils for beauty (and otherwise) and what I’ve noticed personally, after using them for over a month now.

Here is an info-graphic example of how the premium kit oils can be used daily.

Young Living Everyday Oils Infographic

I purchased a steel, 20 oz. mug (should be steel or glass, not plastic) and use that for my water with 3 drops of lemon and usually also add tangerine or grapefruit.  I can say that I have not had a craving for coffee like I used to.  Actually, there was one morning where I started with my water, worked out as I normally had, and didn’t realize I didn’t have coffee that day until after 5pm.  Also, I’ve noticed it has delayed my hunger in the morning.  I will still typically eat something but it’s helped to keep me from binge-eating/snacking.  Also, I feel my digestion has improved.  Having been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) years ago, I feel this has been beneficial.

I also use a drop of Frankincense mixed in with my skin moisturizer.  Since doing this, I’ve noticed my pores aren’t as large around my nose and just the overall tone and texture seems to have improved.  I didn’t start having facial skin issues until after I turned 30 – dark spots, blemishes and noticeable pores, so I’m glad I’ve found something that has been working.  I haven’t tried Melaleuca (tea tree), which is also used for skin care but I also like the scent of Frankincense.

For mood I use Harmony, Citrus Fresh (love diffusing this one) and Peace and Calming.  I could not stand the smell of Joy and had read that the one you can’t stand the smell of is likely the one you need.  In order to get to where you can actually like Joy, Harmony was recommended (for emotional healing).  Harmony is used in the Chakra clearing practice and if that’s all foreign-speak, you’ll have to do your own research and come to your own conclusion.  I know, for some, these oils are kinda woo-woo and where it gets into the feelings and such, I’m sure there will be skeptics.  But, I can say I feel Harmony has been helping me – although, I’ve been doing other things along with it, not just using the oil and waiting for something to happen.

I’ve been using peppermint on my youngest’s growing pains, as well as on her belly for tummy-ache (diluted, of course) and used thieves on my toothbrush with toothpaste too.  Although, thieves is a warm oil, be ready to swish afterwards!  But boy your mouth feels fresh afterwards!  I used it on a canker sore too – but I still prefer a Tums for that.

These are so versatile and that’s why I love using them.  They also make the whole main level of our home smell wonderful!  I love mixing purification with Citrus Fresh!  I usually diffuse lavender at night and although it’s probably the most popular, I find it’s the one I mostly use to diffuse at bedtime.  You can use it on bug bites too, so I’m sure I’ll get more use of it this summer.

Anyway, just wanted to share this week, my experiences after having been using Young Living Oils for a month.  If you’re interested in knowing more or would like a free sample of lemon or lavender (limited number), get in touch!  No need to sign up, but if you do, it is the better deal as you get a diffuser as well.

My other beauty find is my Jamberry Pink Lemonade lacquer.  I must have been in a pretty awesome mood when I bought it because normally I would not spend $15 on a bottle of nail polish, but it really is good stuff.  It goes on nicely and dries quickly.  The Jamberry sticky things aren’t my thing…more old school here! lol!

Jamberry Pink Lemonade Lacquer

Well, I’ll close today with a quote.  Have a wonderful week!

“The ultimate gift from the river of life is its stepping stones of misfortune because it is these misfortunes which help you to build the bridge of experience to cross.”

- Seamus Makim, nephew of the Duchess of York

My Life Monday | Joy in the Mundane…

This will be a short & sweet post.  A rare event for me, I know.  I’m really working on my writing skills, so I’m hoping “diarrhea of the fingertips/mind” gets under control.  I’m actually taking a writing course on the very subject because I know it’s an area of writing I need to improve.

Last week I got my monthly newsletter out and also shared my Mother’s Day Promotion on the blog below some of my own family portraits I shared. This year on the Chamber I’m on the Dairy/Ag Day planning committee and we had our second meeting.  I very much enjoy brainstorming and since I have never actually been to Dairy/Ag Day, I thought this would be a great way to get involved and know what it’s all about.  The week ended with the kids having 4H and then the weekend we went out of town to celebrate our nieces confirmation and first communion.  It was such beautiful weather to celebrate, spend time with family and grill out.

Today, I headed out to get some photos for the Emmons County Record.  I’m enjoying the assignments I am receiving for the paper.  It’s kinda funny that at one time in my life I was considering going into journalism and it’s actually an area of occupation recommended for me based on those occupation tests – what you’d enjoy/be good at type of test.  Funny how things turn out….

I have meatloaf in the oven and I need to add my topping (ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar) before it’s done, so I’ll close for now.  But, before I do I have to share this video.  Before we left Bismarck Saturday, I took the kids to McDonald’s to see their grandma and eat.  I had been watching Xavier eat his chicken nuggets (by the way, awesome that the happy meals now include yogurt!) and I decided to record him.  He inhales his food like his dad.  So, what I got on video could not have been a better depiction of what my kids are truly like at the table on any given day and really shows their personalities.  Click the link below to watch and I hope you get a good chuckle on this Monday! They sure gave me a moment of joy, in what could be considered, a mundane part of life (mealtime).

A typical meal with my kids.

Portraits of a Mother

These portraits of my mother and with myself, as well as my children are a treasure to me.  This was a spur-of-the-moment idea I had;  my mom just so happened to have her dress with her for some occasion.

My kids dread when I bring out the camera.  But this time was for them – as much as it was for me.  The makeover was for my mom, but, as I mentioned, this session was for my kids, that I know, one day they will appreciate and love having these photographs.

My mom had a blast getting her hair and make-up done.  I know she loved that time with just she and I;  me doing her make-up, hair and tweezing her brows, just as I did when I was a teenager.

I can’t say it enough – how glad I am to have these and to have that day as a memory.  I know my mom won’t be around forever (she’ll be 73 in July), despite her stubbornness (lol!) – and none of us know when it’s our time, but I forever have these portraits.

Maybe this is why my path lead me down the road of photography – to capture my adult life, where my childhood pictures are lacking.  I don’t know…but in this moment, as I look at these, it feels full circle to me.  Maybe it’s a road I needed to travel so that my own children recognize the importance of documenting their own lives, once they are adults.  Because really, memories remain in our minds, but what we have to show for them is in pictures.  Future generations can’t go back and retrieve the memories of others – they need to be documented, or it’s like it never happened.  Hmm…never really thought of it exactly like that before.  All those years of learning, late nights, growing, practicing and practicing some more….gave me these.  So thankful….so, so thankful.

Wrinkles of beauty – showing years of smiles, years of sorrow, hard work, worry, wisdom (your mother truly does know a thing or two), sunny days and the special love a mother has for her children and grandchildren.  If only the lines on a woman’s face could talk.  I wonder what story they would tell?

 before and after over 70 beauty portrait

The one on the left is my favorite, I think! :)

mother and grandmother beauty portrait

A grandmother’s love is a different kind of love, I think.  I hope one day I get to experience that as my mom has.

grandmother with grandchildren portrait ND studio photographer

I gave this to my mom as a 20×10 print with an easel, along with a mini-album filled with images from her session.  Sadly, I know one day I’ll get this back.

I just love, love, love this quote.

mother and daughter beauty portrait

Also, I have been meaning to share images from a session I had with my family.  Although it was a bit of a hectic day, as I was make-up artist and hairdresser for my mom and nieces, I love the end results.  The photo credit of myself with my mom and siblings, goes to my brother-in-law.  It was quite a challenge trying to coach family with posing, when I wasn’t behind the camera.  And I had to include some outtakes.  When the photographer is away, the children will play. lol!  I love my crazy family!

mother with children and grandchildren portrait

Sis-in-law with my mini-me on the left and my sister on the right with my other mini-me. :)

ND studio photographer

I love these people.  A lot.

ND family photographer

Crazy kids.  Can’t leave ‘em alone for two minutes. Ha!

family session outtakes

So, mothers….if you are wanting to capture your own memories like these, I hope to see you in my studio in honor of YOU and the love you give each and every day to the mini-you’s in your life. ;)  I shared this in my newsletter I sent out yesterday but in my haste, I left out a few details.  So, if you saw that promo in the e-news, this one is the correct one.

Mother's Day portrait promotion

Get in touch and let’s give your future generations something to hold on to, and of course, something for you to brag about. ;)

701.336.7720 | victoria@vlvphotography.com

My Life Monday | Easter Re-Cap

Hey there!  Feels like April is already flying and it just started!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.  Ours was pretty great!  Although, my week could have been more enjoyable, without the daily headache that paid me a visit.  After four days I finally went in and here I had a low-grade fever and after five days of a prescription, today was my first day since last week Monday that I was headache-free.  I absolutely sympathize with anyone who experiences migraines.  These weren’t migraines, but were definitely nothing I had ever experienced.  I would get sudden sharp pain in my head at random times too – all I could do was grit my teeth, close my eyes and wait for it to pass.  Nothing I tried would help, which was also unusual for me.  The doctor was stumped too.  I wasn’t showing any symptoms other than low-grade fever and head pressure with pain in the back of my head and left side.  My sinuses weren’t presenting like a sinus infection (which I do get), my ears were good….really was a mystery.  The doctor decided to treat it like a sinus infection (since our kids had recently been sick too) and after the third day I finally felt relief.  I sure hope I don’t get that again, but another sign to me, that there sure was some weird stuff going around this cold/flu season.  I was pretty tired yesterday and still am today, but overall, I can’t complain.  I’m just glad I went in when I did – I caught whatever it was before it got worse and before the start of Easter weekend.

Our Easter was good though – took the kids to New Salem for the All-State Tournament.  Xavier took first, Alexandra got her first 1st place too and Jozlyn took 4th.  It’s always kinda sad when it gets to the end of wrestling season.  I know how much Junior, their coach enjoys teaching the kids and I know how much our kids enjoy it as well.

On our way to the school, we decided to stop by “Salem Sue.”  The last time I had been up there I was just a little squirt.  I think I might have a photo of me standing right where Tony and the kids are standing.  Will be fun to go there again when the kids are much older and get the same pictures….maybe even one day, hopefully, with our grandchildren.  :)  I also had to throw in a first birthday photo of Gizmo – he turned one April Fool’s Day!  We’ve never had a pet long enough to celebrate a birthday, so for us, this is kinda a big deal. ha! We probably surprised all of our family having a pet (of any kind) this long.  But, he is a keeper, that’s for sure!

New Salem All State Pee Wee Wrestling

Sunday we were lucky enough to have Easter Sunday Mass here in Hague and the rest of the day was spent with family; eating far too much and watching a pretty terrible movie – “Interstellar” which somehow managed to get an “8” rating out of “10,” if you open that link.  I’m pretty sure they watched a different movie.  There was maybe 30 minutes of it worth watching.  It was very drawn out and far too long.  Put it this way, it put 3 out of the 6 people watching it to sleep! lol!  So, can’t say that I recommend it;  unless you want a good nap, that is. ;)

Well, I am looking forward to a pain-free week and another busy weekend ahead with confirmations/first communions and a wrestling dual in Napoleon.

I hope your week is a good one!  Some sun and warmth (and rain too) would sure be nice for a change!

My Life Monday | Young Living Essential Oils

We’re on our way out of March already.  Soon it will be April Fool’s, which is also our pooch, Gizmo’s first birthday!  The kids think we should make him a bone cake.  I think Gizmo would love a burger.  I think he just might get that burger (minus the onions and seasoning).  Hopefully, we’ll get blessed with some grilling weather.  Sounds like we might get grilling weather tomorrow!  Woohoo!!

I know, just by talking to people this past week, that there are a lot of people just sick of the sickies going around.  Our family hasn’t been hit like others I know, but we have had to deal with illness this past week that we don’t normally.  Jozlyn ended up missing two days of school last week due to lung and ear infection.  She ended up on a 10-day antibiotic and nebulizer treatment.  The week prior, Xavier ended up on something for testing positive for Strep.  We’ve never had an issue with neither ear infections nor lung infection with any of our kids in all their lives.  I get sinus stuff, as does Tony, but overall, it’s typically the gastroenteritis that usually makes its rounds in our home.

Young Living Essential Oils:  My New Addiction

Around this time, it was perfect timing to be invited to an essential oil party.  I got my hand scanned, which told me exactly what my body was needing, in terms of oils, to aid me in feeling better.  And holy, spot on.  And I have already been convinced of their benefits.  Just today, I’ve been dealing with really bad sinus/head pressure.  I usually get two sinus infections a year (a deviated septum is likely the cause), where my entire face hurts and it’s probably comparable to a migraine – ice pack on the face, prefer dark room, etc..  It started last night and quickly got worse this morning.  I got my (young living) oils this past Friday and have been using them for various things since.  But, what’s convinced me is after trying peppermint and that not working, then trying ibuprofen (more than an hour prior) and that not working this morning, I went on to try Pan Away and I can say that the pain from the pressure has subsided.  I still feel pressure, but the pain is gone.  I am a terrible liar, so please know I’m not joking.  I’m not making false claims with this.  Pan Away worked to take my sinus pain away.  It’s been over an hour since applying it (diluted with olive oil to the back of my neck, behind my ears, and my temples) and it’s still gone.

My favorite way to use them, so far, is diffusing.  My diffuser pretty much runs all day and I’m usually diffusing a blend of 2 different oils, sometimes 3.  I have to say there is a little learning curve – what to dilute, what not to dilute, best way to use on children, to ingest, what not to ingest, etc….but seriously, I can safely say that I will be incorporating these into our daily lives.  My “oils to get next” list is already getting quite long.

I realize there are many that may think these are a scam or just coincidence, and those people are entitled to their opinion.  And having been kinda slow to get on the bandwagon myself, being somewhat skeptical and after doing my own research, holistic approaches to common ailments have been around for centuries.  So, there must be something to this whole essential oil thing.  Furthermore, my own experience in a short amount of time, tells me there are many potential benefits.  Not all oils will work for everyone, as I found with peppermint and my sinus pressure/pain, but where there’s one that won’t work, there are possibly 10 others, or a blend that might.

I did get the collection of oils that allows me to be a distributor;  however, I first and foremost, got the collection for the savings.  I don’t plan to push it or ask people to sign up.  If you want information or have a question, I’ll try and help you, just send me an email or give me a call.  I’m in the very early learning stages, but am more than willing to help you find a solution that may work for you.  If you find something that helps you, then I can feel good that, by sharing my own experience and what I’ve learned, that I’ve helped someone else.

In other news…

The kids had their last regular wrestling tournament last week in Wishek.  Jozlyn missed it, as did I, as she was home sick.  Xavier will be taking part in a dual tournament, I believe, in Napoleon later in April.

On Saturday, I set up a booth at a vendor fair in Sterling in the back of Flash’ Bar.  It was a great turn out and I met some fun people.  I also got to taste some pretty amazing cupcakes (even brought some home) from 7 Arrow Bakery in Driscoll.  Highly recommend!!!  I also learned all about Jamberry, as I had no clue.  I can’t see myself taking that kind of time on my nails.  Or, maybe I’m just old fashioned – I do like their lacquer though.

Yesterday, we closed the weekend by dying Easter eggs.  We don’t get too crazy with dying eggs in this house, as I am pretty much the only one that eats hard-boiled eggs.  Don’t they look enthused? lol!

Dying eggs with McCormick Color Recommendations

Well, I hope this blog post finds you well and that your march (pun intended) into April, is an amazing one!

And this quote is for those who have lost a friend/loved one in Becky Humann.  I did not know her, unfortunately, but do know how much the Chamber of Commerce appreciated her service to the community in a quiet way.  My thoughts and prayers are with those (including several of my clients) who will miss her dearly.

“A person never gets rich that she can afford to lose a friend.”

- Anonymous


My Life Monday | Just keep swimming…

Ever have that feeling like….ya just gotta keep swimming?  Ever have that feeling so much that you actually start dreaming of swimming?  That was my dream last night – with a cameo appearance of a cliff and a computer.  lol!  Dreams fascinate me…always have.  Back in the day when I would get scholastic in school, I ordered a dream analysis book.  I don’t have that book anymore, but there is a website, with a corresponding app, if you’re fascinated like me!

Here’s the deal, we only add to our plates what we put on them, what we say yes to and what we make the time to add to our lives.  This month has just kinda been one of those months.  Add all the sickies going around, two of my three being home from school a few days, wrestling tournaments, the never-ending dust-bunnies, and just the hustle and bustle of life….March has just called for wine, making time to decompress with friends and spending time with family.  Those moments have made the craziness of March all worth it and so I (and probably you too) just keep on swimming.

I had the realization yesterday that in approximately 7 weeks or so, school will be out for summer.  WHOAH!  Hello!!  Where the heck did the school year go and seriously glad I realized it now so I can prep (weekly summer night dates with friends and all our kids requires s’mores & refreshments, ya know)!  I have an ounce of guilt, a shot of shame and I know I’m not alone when I share the thought of….ugh…soon the kids will be out of school.  I probably wouldn’t have the dread lack of enthusiasm that I do if they wouldn’t look to me every second of their waking summer lives to entertain them.  Summer is a reminder, every single year, how times have sure changed.  Gone are the days when mama’s would send their kids off to play on their bikes, never to see them again until dusk, when they finally come home for supper.  Sigh……so, maybe I should just start planning now, for the sake of my own sanity.  Who’s with me?

Business News

Onto other news, this past Saturday I photographed high school sweethearts, as they plan to say their “I Do’s” later this year.  It was a “Pinterest” inspired session and I will share sneak peeks on my Facebook page and on my blog sometime this week.

Also, working on finishing up grad card designs and just finished up this video that I will be embedding on the home page of this website.  I’ve been working on it off and on over the past few weeks.  Check it out – you might just see you or someone you love making an appearance! :)

Sterling Spring Fling Vendor Fair

This Saturday there is a Spring Vendor Fair in Sterling, right off Hwy 83 at Flash’s Place from 1-6pm.  I, along with two other local gals, will have booths set up for our businesses.  From the list, there is quite the variety and several I had never heard of, so hopefully you can make it!

Well, I will close for now and I wish you a blessed, sunshine-filled and not-so-crazy of a week!

“In dwelling, live close to the ground.

In thinking, keep to the simple.

In conflict, be fair and generous.

In governing, don’t try to control.

In work, do what you enjoy.

In family life, be completely present.”

- Tao Te Ching


My Life Monday | Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know?

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!  Have you had your colonoscopy?

I’m only 36 but I’ve already had one and am due for my second this year due to a polyp being discovered and removed during my first exam three years ago.  When you lose a parent from colon cancer at a young age (my dad was 44 when he passed away – March 31st will be 28 years) and also have an uncle and grandparents on the same side who also had a colon cancer diagnosis, it automatically puts you in the category of being at higher risk.  And, since I’ve already had one polyp removed, I’m now to be screened every three years as opposed to every five.  Someone as young as myself, I was told, should not already be having polyps.  Polyps aren’t uncommon, however, in the elderly population.

For the general population, regular screenings (typically every 10 years) should begin at age 50.  Trust me, anyone over 50, in mine or my husband’s family have heard my colon cancer screening shpeel.  There’s simply just no good reason not to.  If you have people who you love and who love you, the hours of discomfort to “clean” yourself out and the best sleep you’ll ever have (with the help of sedation) are totally worth it.  And with colon cancer screenings being a preventative procedure, I imagine most healthcare plans cover it.

So, consider this your public service announcement that, despite your age, polyps can happen to you.  And, if you have a family history, it’s even more critical you be screened.  Had my dad been screened, he may still be alive today and that is probably the hardest pill for me to swallow.

Colon cancer can be beat, if caught early enough.

Share this information with someone you love who should be screened.  And if you’re reading this and you know you should be screened, make your appointment asap.  There is no time like the present, because if you wait, you may not get to say “I’ll just do it next year.”


Although the signs can vary, common symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  • No signs or symptoms at all
  • A change of bowel habits
  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Feeling very tired

Check with your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms, regardless of your age. Remember colorectal cancer is preventable!

Are you a survivor of breast, colorectal or prostate cancer – completing treatment recently, within the last two years, six years, or beyond?  Shawna Hudson, PhD and her research team are looking for women and men who have completed breast, prostate or colorectal cancer treatment to take part in a survivorship study. The purpose is to learn about their needs to help design a new program to help set long-term wellness goals and manage side effects and other life issues that are common after cancer treatment.  For more information or to share your story to help others, click HERE.

For more facts on colon cancer and general information, this is a great resource: http://fightcolorectalcancer.org/

“Never cut what you can untie.”

- Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)


My Life Monday | late thirties

I was reminded by my sweet sister-in-law, in a birthday card, that I am now officially in my late thirties (36 this past Thursday).  How sweet of her!  lol!  Tony is getting creative with the candles, since we’re getting old(er).  He makes my favorite cake (angel food with strawberries and whipped topping).  On the top are six candles, then “H” on the left side (happy), “B” on the right (birthday), then “+30″ because after you hit 30, it’s just a pain in the ass to put that many candles on a cake!  ha!  I’ll have to start thinking of a clever idea for his cake….. :)
birthday family selfie

The kids also had their winter music concert this past Tuesday.  I had a moment – sitting there as we were waiting for the program to start.  It had hit me that in 10 years nearly all the kids will be out of the house.  At least I hope they will be.  If you were to ask my hubby though, he’d be happy with the kids being with us forever.  I, on the otherhand, hope they want to be independent and care for themselves at that point.

In that moment though, I would have stopped time, if I could have.

Also on my birthday was the kids’ Napoleon wrestling tourney (first photo).  I was told there were 280 kids participating.  And I would believe it!  It was craziness in there!  For the most part it was pretty well organized, considering the amount of kids.  Last year, at All-State in New Salem there were about 400, so that’s quite a big tourney for Napoleon.

Saturday we headed to Ellendale, where the kids had a wrestling tournament.  All the kids had a pretty good day, with most kids from Zeeland, placing first, second or third.  Xavier had a couple really good matches and Jozlyn was pretty excited when she (sorta, by accident) pinned a kid.  Alexandra wrestled really well – she’s come a long way in two years.  She ended up with second, and with a little more smarts on the mat, I think she can defeat this one opponent that she always ends up wrestling and always ends up losing to.  She’s a good sport about it though.  I would love to see her win one match against this girl though – I know what a boost it would be to her confidence.

Until my kids wrestled, I never realized how much of a mental game wrestling is.  It’s also a game of opportunity – and knowing an opportunity when you see it.  It’s just been fun watching the kids improve with every match.  And it’s amazing how many older girls go out for wrestling.  It takes a lot of courage for those girls to go out and wrestle boys.  I think it’s great when schools support and encourage that too.  It teaches them so much, that goes beyond the mat, in my opinion.

ND Pee Wee Wrestling

pee wee wrestling

I think we’ll all be seeing happier faces, with the warmer weather that is fnally here!  Unfortunately, in Hague, with Spring – we get mud….and lots of it! :/  And it’s probably the worst season for indoor dog owners in a town without paved roads.  We only let Gizmo out on a tie-out, but I wish I could take him for a walk without having to give him a bath when we get home.  BUT, we gotta get through the mud and the muck to get to the drier (and much warmer) days of Summer.

Enjoy your week and this beautiful Spring weather in the forecast, everyone!  It’s also a great time to get a family/senior session scheduled….before the mosquitoes and ticks pay us a visit once again!

“Behold the turtle.

He makes progress only when

he sticks his neck out.”

- James Bryant Conant (1893-1978)



My Life Monday | Change is good

Goodbye February, hello March!  We’re one month closer to spring and if you’re like me, you’re over the deep-freeze cold we’ve been having lately! But, on the other hand, without the cold of winter, we wouldn’t savor the sweetness of summer, right?

A photographer-friend who lives in Hawaii once shared an article representing those who live in Hawaii year-round.  This article was referencing what it’s really like living in Hawaii that, as a main-lander, we wouldn’t even give thought to.  The one that stuck out to me, and that I still remember, was the one that those living in year-round warm climates, such as Hawaii, often experience feelings of guilt.  Guilt that they’re not being active enough or living each day to the fullest, and therefore, have feelings of laziness.  I can totally see that because, if it were 70-80 degrees on a daily basis here, I too, would likely feel like I should be outside doing something.  Winter gives us a reprieve;  an excuse, if you will, to stay in.  All that being said, would I trade my gloves and winter coat for flip-flops year-round?  Heck yes, in a heartbeat!  If even just for a few years.

Moving on…..wrestling is full-speed ahead with daily practice for the kids and tournaments throughout March, followed by All-State Pee-Wee’s in New Salem in early April.  This Saturday we’ll get to see Jozlyn wrestle for the first time.  The tournament we went to in SD didn’t have a girl in her weight class to wrestle, so we’re excited to see how she handles herself.

In other news (and what the title is about), I chopped off 10″ of my hair.  It’s quite a change to get used to but I’m loving the reduced maintenance, less product needed, reduced static, and knowing I did something positive for a child!  I was going to have my hair 3″ longer than it is now;  however, the past three haircuts I’ve had, I’ve been wanting to donate to “Locks of Love.”  When I would see how short my hair would be, I decided to wait until hopefully the next time around, when it would’t be so short. Well, this time, it was to my shoulders (after the 10″) and figured since I was cutting it anyway, I might as well help a great cause.  I was ready for a change.  I can go to bed and wake up and seriously look like I never went to bed.  I can blow dry a bit and since I have some natural curl that isn’t weighed down, I don’t have to curl it if I don’t want to.  For so long, I would throw my hair in a messy ponytail and call it good.  I rarely did anything with it and I think, in a way, my hair was weighing me down too.  It seems weird to say or to describe it that way, but it’s just amazing how something so simple can make you feel.  I really only loved my long hair when I actually put the time into it, which was on a rare occasion.  And even then, I think it aged me because it was so long.  I’ve been told I look much longer now…..considering my birthday is coming up, I accept that compliment wholeheartedly! ;)  I have to share too, how little I really understood about “Locks of love.”  I was under the impression that the hair was processed into wigs for adults.  The truth is, the hair is used for those 21 or younger.  Either way, it wouldn’t matter to me – either way, it feels good that a change I made for myself also creates some joy in the life of a child.  Maybe sharing my story will inspire you to do the same.  And thanks to my stylist, Missy of Unique Attractions, whom I’ve gone to for 5 years now, who cut my hair! :)

locks of love

If you’re looking for something to do this week, Zeeland Public School will be having a concert tomorrow night at 7:30 at the school gym.  Thursday, the pee-wee wrestler’s head to Napoleon for a tournament, as well as a tournament Saturday in Ellendale.  And mark your calendar’s for March 28th, as myself, along with a couple other vendors, will be having booths at the Spring Fling Vendor Show in Sterling from 1-6!  If you’re heading to Bismarck that day, stop in – there are many vendors I’ve never seen before, so I’m excited to see what others in the area offer as well!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

And perfect timing for this quote as last night we watched “Rescue Dawn” via Netflix Streaming, based on a true story.

“Optimism and humor are the grease and glue of life.  

Without both of them we would never 

have survived our captivity.”

 – Philip Butler, American Vietnam P.O.W.

My Life Monday | Taste the Rainbow

“Taste the Rainbow.”  We all know that slogan well.  At the end of this post I share a little take-away I got from this slogan, but in a more personal way.  But first……

Trivia Crack – seriously, the game is named appropriately.  I don’t know what it’s like to be on crack, but since being introduced to this game app, I’ve been hooked!  My oldest two have since followed suit as well.

It’s the one game I don’t mind them playing.  I’ve been learning by playing it as well.  What I don’t like is the waiting…..waiting for someone else to take their turn.  Patience, grasshopper.  Bah!!

If you’re unfamiliar with this game, basicly, the object is to collect 6 characters, each representing a category;  the categories being:  geography, science, history, sports, art, and entertainment – before your opponent does.

There are 25 rounds and within each round you and your opponent have a turn.  You spin the wheel, get a random category and you can answer from the category or spin again if you have spin to use (which you earn).  You continue to spin and answer questions until you either answer incorrectly (at that point it’s your opponents turn) or until you answer three in a row correctly, then you get the chance to earn a crown (or character from a category you choose that you have not yet won).  You can also choose to challenge your opponent in a “draw” of sorts, where you both answer the same questions in a certain amount of time and as the challenger, if you get more correct, you choose which character, belonging to your opponent, you want to steal.

It’s a game of luck, strategy and smarts.  Certainly if you retain a lot of information and can answer more correctly, you have an upper-hand.  However, you may not be very good at challenges, so it can be a game of strategy too….as well as when to use tokens (that you earn) to skip a question, add more time, or just use a spin to hopefully get a category you know more about.

I think it’s a great game for kids and mine are certainly enjoying it!  My son has it on his kindle and my daughter has it on her “generic” tablet that uses the jellybean operating system.  So, since it’s an app, I’m guessing you can put it on most devices.  A great way to pass the time while waiting at the doctor’s office or friendly competition to have with family/friends!

Not too much has been happening in our world….which is fine with me.  I love quiet.  I love when not much is going on.  I took our girls to bingo Friday night, where Alexandra won a little cash.  Yesterday, we took the kids rollerskating in Herreid.  It’s seriously the cheapest and best entertainment around here for the winter.  Afterwards, they were treated to strawberry malts.

You just can’t do much else, as a family, for $2 per person anymore.  What a blessing it is, that the couple running the facility gives every single Sunday through March, their time to their community.  I wonder if they really know what they are giving kids and families in the area?  They certainly aren’t doing it for the money.  Today, I just give my gratitude to them and the joy they bring to so many faces every Sunday and throughout the year, where people can rent the facility for birthday parties.

I have to share a random joy moment today as well, as referenced at the beginning of today’s post.  I entered, via text, a Super Bowl prize pack giveaway from Skittles.  Although I didn’t win the grand prize or even the runner-up prize, I did win the final prize – a free bag of skittles. ;)

A reminder, that on the cloudy, cold days – we can always find joy in the little things…skating days, strawberry malts, lazy Sundays….ya just gotta taste the rainbow!  Sure, I’ll have to wait 8-10 weeks to receive my coupon to actually get the free skittles….just fitting as this very morning I read a passage about how God put a rainbow in the sky as a reminder that there will be no more world-destroying floods.  Kinda ironic that I win a bag of skittles today too.  Don’t ya think?

There’s always hope…..for a rainbow in the sky.

“Joy exists only in self-acceptance.  Seek perfect acceptance, not a perfect life.”

- Unknown


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