Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Candle

Another candle will be added to my birthday cake today! :)  Each year that passes, I truly believe that we not only get older but wiser too.

There's something about an upcoming birthday that makes you evaluate where you are at in your life. How far you've come in the past year or more, what you've accomplished as well as what you did not achieve, the new dreams that lay ahead and new interests that await. This year for me I also contemplated where I had become distracted and how that affected so many areas of my life. I was confronted head on with the demanding perfectionist that lies within and tells me that in order to accomplish something it must be done perfectly when I know that it is not true. I've allowed this little voice to halt more than one project, leaving me feeling as though I've started many great things over the past year but accomplished only few. This will be my goal this year-discerning and dismissing that voice which hinders my progress. Sorry if this post sounds a bit heavy, I don't mean for it to be. I'm just a gal who always strives for personal growth and attempts to learn as much as possible from the past so I can move forward into my dreams. And while I could create a post filled with nothing but beautiful celebratory images with no real heart, meaning or depth, that is just not me. I choose to be real because this is where I'm at.

Even the mirror's reflection looks a little different today and in the weeks leading up. I've noticed fine lines that I swear didn't exist yesterday, new sun spots marked by days spent at the beach care free without the greasy and thick potion that is sunblock, and the the appearance of an enjoyable yet challenging year stare back at me. That's a hard one for us ladies sometimes, isn't it? So much of what the media sells women tells us that our worth is lost when we age. I'm also reminded on a regular basis by many well meaning friends and family members (even strangers sometimes) that I'm not getting younger and should act fast if I plan to have babies. Oh, the things we as women must endure. *wink*

I've made new goals and set new commitments for myself this year I really hope and intend to keep. Of the list in my head, these are a few things I've been thinking about:

1. I want to begin each day reading God's word (instead of when I randomly feel like it or once per week at church). I began again this morning before doing anything else and it felt great. Hubby sat in the living room with me as I read aloud and thanked me for our morning 'bible study'.

2. As a former Fitness Trainer, I know the value of exercise in one's life not only for appearance but overall heart health too. After an injury that set me back many months, a couple months ago I began getting back into the swing of things easing in with yoga classes. I really truly want to be in the best shape of my life by my next birthday which truth be told is sort of a milestone birthday. It's good to have a goal to shoot for, I have a plan of action and I'm really excited about it. For me it's not about weight loss, it's about taking this body and making it even more strong, flexible, fit and energized than it is today.

3. I have some writing goals. I've been working on three different books for a few years now. My mistake was trying to write all three at the same time. They keep getting put on the back burner while other projects pop up. I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I had a block of 4 months time where I could have focused solely on just finishing the first one and I did not. Again, it all comes back to sometimes listening to the wrong voice in my head instead of believing God's word for my life and also becoming distracted and being somewhat undisciplined at times. It feels like a bit of an uphill battle but the results will be SO worth the effort and I am excited about the process as much as the result.

Those are my top three. I have many others but as to not overwhelm myself I think it's best to stick to these and keep it simple, anything else is a bonus. ;)

Does anyone else make these kind of goals for themselves or at the very least think about what took place in the past year and how you might like to improve? I like to believe it's an ongoing process, I am constantly thinking about these things. I think one of a classy woman's best characteristics is her desire to endeavor to grow as a person and do things with excellence. Notice I did not say perfection? Doing the best that we can with the resources we have should be the goal.

Today it's raining in Florida but I can tell that in the distance the sun wants to peek through. Thankfully, hurricane Isaac didn't come too close to us and we only had to endure the rain so I'm daydreaming a little bit about what I would love to spend the day doing if it were sunny and I could go anywhere in the world. Here are a few beautiful images that highlight what a celebratory day would include if I could design it any way I wanted.....

An elegant outdoor garden lunch filled with ruffles, beautiful flowers, satin, pink & gold, sweet treats and savory snacks but most of all my very best girlfriends who I miss dearly that live back home in Toronto.

Until you've been to Santorini you cannot fathom how beautiful it is in person. Photos do not do it justice. This is by far one of my favorite places-a little village called Oia (pronounced EE-yuh) stole my heart. I would love to spend a whole month there but would settle for one full day of snapping photos, eating yummy Greek food, relaxing and just soaking up everything it has to offer again.

Paris is not only a dream destination for many, it is where my husband and I got engaged over 6 years ago. I adore the architecture, the simple yet delicious food, the elegance and beauty of the city. Knowing that we'd be doing a lot of walking on our trip to Paris, I packed mostly comfortable shoes, and mostly low-key casual attire since my hubby's a pretty relaxed kind of guy. My one regret is not getting to glam it up in Paris and get some photos of us all dolled up in one of our favorite cities with all of the stunning architecture as our backdrop. I'd love the change to do that for a day-just he and I.

I could spend a day at the beach anywhere, I love salt water, sand and sunshine. As a little girl we lived on the lake so I'm a water baby at heart. If I could choose where to spend a beach day it would be Fiji where we spent one week of our honeymoon. The water was pristine and  they have some of the best snorkel and scuba diving in the world. A hammock in the trees is a must!

Sweet Pink Lemonade- the perfect refreshing way to beat the heat of 
one's perfect sunshine-filled dreamy day. 

Since hubby is enrolled in a new set of school courses that begin today, we decided to do our celebrating yesterday instead of today. The rain washed out our outdoor plans for a relaxing day at the beach but instead  we relaxed at home headed out for a low key night of a yummy Italian dinner followed by a comedy movie at home-did I mention I love to laugh? We had a gorgeous backdrop of a street lined with stunning palm trees and white lights outside the restaurant but they all turned out pretty blurry since it was dark and rainy. The pic above was taken from my iPhone because we forgot to bring the camera. I'm thankful to have at least one picture that turned out to remember our evening even if it is a bit squinty. ;)

Even if it's not your birthday, I believe we all can begin EVERY day like it's a celebration-waking up with a smile, feeling happy and expectant as though good things are about to happen!

Happy Monday! XO

Photo Credits: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)


  1. Happy birthday, Karla! I am so glad you had a wonderful day! I'm about ready to celebrate my 18th birthday (so excited!).

  2. Hi Karla,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! What a wonderful, insightful post. I too, evaluate my life thus far, on my birthday. What goals have I met and which have I missed? What do I want to do in the near and distant future.. Do I want to have another baby after 19 years? EEK!!

    Then I stop the anxiety in it's tracks but reveling in the fact that I know I have a very blessed life. I try not to beat myself up.. I know it's hard with us Virgos *wink* I just always attempt to do better.

    Hope you're having a wonderfully perfect birthday doing whatever it is that brings you joy!

    1. Thank you so much! Wow another baby after 19 years, that could be a wonderful experience. My mother had my brother 11 years after me. I agree, I too know I have a very blessed life and even when I'm not accomplishing all of my goals, I know there is more time and more opportunities so I try not to beat myself up too much. ;)

  3. Happy birthday, Karla! I'm sorry the weather ruined your plans for the outdoors, but you seem like the kind of person to make the best of every situation. I hope you are having a lovely birthday and I wish you well in pursuing your list of goals!

    1. Thank you for the well wishes! I certainly try and I'm getting more used to the rain since it rains here nearly every day in the summer months. ;)

    2. Thanks for the well wishes! I certainly try and I'm getting more used to the rain since it rains here nearly every day in the summer. ;)

  4. Wow, there are just so many wonderful things to comment on!!
    1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I too evaluate my life and goals on my birthday, and usually find that it's a time of growth, realization and new commitment.
    2. That outdoor garden party photo is so beautiful! Shout out from a Toronto girl!
    3. Greece, Fiji and Paris are all in my top 5 travel destinations. I can't wait to visit each of those fabulous places.

    xo Jenny

    1. Jenny, thank you so much for stopping by to comment and for your birthday wishes! Oh, that's awesome, so glad to hear you're a Toronto girl too. I'm actually going home next week for my annual summer visit for 2 weeks-I'm really looking forward to it!

      They truly all are fabulous destinations that everyone must see in their lifetime! :)

  5. Happy Birthday. I love that you create goals on your birthday. I also evaluate my life on my birthday, and I think there can be an added elegance to a woman as she gets older.

    Again, Happy Birthday and God Bless,

    1. Thank you so much, Rosemary! I love your perspective. I too have always noticed that many women become more graceful and elegant with age. It's as if we have more time to polish any rough edges. ;) Something to look forward to!

  6. I tend to do my goal-making at the new year (and the new school year for my kids), but I think having a good think about things at a birthday is also a great idea! I make travel goals, fitness goals, family goals, financial goals, etc. It's really the only way to live the life you want!

    1. Hi Laura! I do create goals for the start of the new year also. Since my birthday falls near the end of the year, it's a nice way to revisit and see how on track I am for the next 4 months to come. I'm totally with you-setting goals and putting it on paper adds a level of accountability. It's the only way to achieve your dreams! :)

  7. This time in my language. I think, You will understand:

    Liebe Karla,

    alles alles Liebe und Gute zu Deinem Geburtstag. Und möge alles, was Du Dir wünscht in Erfüllung gehen.

    Herzlichst Deine

    1. Hi Sanne!

      You are so sweet! I used Google Translate. Thank you so much for your Birthday wishes, they are greatly appreciated. Hugs, Karla.

  8. Happy Birthday Sweets. May this year be everything you wish for yourself.
    So pleased the hurricane has passed you by also. xx

    1. Thanks Vanessa! Such a great declaration and wish-I also hope the same. Yes, hurricanes can be scary but I feel blessed that in the past 6 years I've lived in FL I have never seen one of the hurricanes many speak of from years gone by, like Hurricane Charlie. XO

  9. I am behind in my google reader so am catching up a little, and wanted to wish a happy belated birthday.

    1. Thank you, Leigh, for taking the time to stop by and send b-day wishes. I really appreciate it! I am a bit behind in my google reader also.


Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


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