Monday, April 23, 2012


There is so much we can add to others lives; things that are so simple that anyone can do if we just get out of our comfort zone a little bit and reach beyond our little bubble we are in. We have the most beautiful opportunities day in and day out to add to the beauty of life, and here are some of them. . .

noticing the cashier when you are checking out and asking them how their day is going with a smile, 

when you pass people in an elevator or a door to a building, just smile,

when I got into my cabs this weekend in Chicago, I got to know the drivers; they have such sweet hearts most of the time, and enjoy chatting...

when you see the hotel "maid" in your hallway, tell her you appreciate her hard work...

when others might not be talking to you or treating you well, treat them good anyway, it's easy to love others that love on you, love others that don't...

bake something for your neighbor "just because",

tell someone you love what you think they are good at and watch their face light up,

write a letter to someone in prison telling them that God is the God of second and millionth chances,

ask to pray for someone,

being thoughtful, and thinking of someone else can take effort. we are so prone to think of ourselves, but if we make the effort and keep reaching out, it will become more natural...It's such a humbling experience to add these things and more to someone's life and to this world. it feels good to get out of my own selfish rituals. I think what made me think about writing this now is because whenever I get out of my own element, like going to a different city, I notice more how I can reach out; there is something about someplace new that pulls you out of your same ol' patterns and you can see things with new eyes. It's like new land and new people waiting to be loved on.

And now for some Chicago pictures! The trip went really well. And my daughter's show choir group took 3rd place! Which is really cool and a total honor.

 Almost packed American Tourist
 Arrived in Chicago!
 Michigan Avenue

 Tulips on Michigan Ave.

Can not go to Chicago without having their pizza, oh boy-YUM Giordano's this time. I still think Lou Malnati's is my fave.
Mom and I.

 Such supportive Grandparents!
 The girls after their rockin performance! And they are besties!

I dug the carpet at McCormick Place.

 At a rest stop on our way home, Onalaska Iowa, so beautiful.
Ooooh I was so happy to see this little guy! And his fur just keeps getting more and more perfected as it grows. I love it when I can't see his eyes :o

I handled the trip better than I thought. The roughest part was Saturday toward evening time and into the later night. I could hardly function, and then the last couple hours on the bus ride home. But it was worth it to me, it was so so cool to see them perform there and then place 3rd, what an exciting time. The entertainment in between show choirs was awesome too. The M.C. was a young performer from Branson and he was actually very very entertaining. There was also a laser light show with hip hop music too. Glad the season is over but so very proud of my daughter---now for dance season (few more competitions and a recital) to finish up it's season, a couple more months and we are free of activities til September!

Have a lovely Monday everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend!


Michelle said...

Love what you said about doing things for other people :)

Gorgeous pictures!! I miss Chicago so much. I'm hoping to visit this summer :)

sarah {on the brightside...} said...

I have never been to Chicago, so I enjoyed following your trip on Instagram! :) Looks like you had fun!

& Congratulations to your daughter!

fiddlehead said...

Oh what fun! I love Chicago too...always a treat to visit. What a wonderfully memorable weekend for all of you! Thanks for sharing all the joy of it!

Lydia Criss Mays said...

Thank you. You just oozed it. Oozed see beautiful and create beautiful thoughts. You always do. They are always appreciated. It's part of what makes visiting your blog such a treat!

Happy seeing beautiful!

Farrah said...

I love the list you wrote about the many opportunities we have to do good for others and to put a smile on their face. Something I always do is strike a conversation with the cashier, love talking about their day.

Glad you had a fun trip to Chicago and happy 3rd place for your daughter's choir. Yay! sorry you felt unwell parts of the trip but glad you pushed through! love your positivity :)


Nicole Marie said...

Congrats to your daughter! Chicago looks so interesting and fun. It is one of the places I seriously want to visit one day!

Emily Kate said...

Ahhh Chi Town, jealous! You and your girl are stunning!!

chambanachik said...

It almost feels like you were in town...almost. :) Love Giordanos, love the river, and it's awesome we've walked down the same streets. :)

Janis@All Things Beautiful said...

Love your pics! and I love how your shoes took up most of the space in your luggage,...but soooo worth it!! So happy you went and hung in there! You and your daughter are beautiful!! Have a lovely day!!

vintch said...

ooh gina! these pictures make my heart swell! a few notes!

1. you are so PRETTY!! love your hair.

2. chicago is my favorite city. my uncles used to live there and it's just the cleanest, most interesting place. i'm so glad you went!

3. NELLS! his natural curls are so delightful.

i've been a bit absent on the blogosphere, but now that school is out, i can comment and read like i want to! :)

Emily said...

what an amazing time of year to visit chicago! your pictures are wonderful, i love the tulips so much (and giordanos!!) congrats to your daughter! i also loved catching up on your california pics, the google campus looks so neat! i can't get over the bright colors and the bikes, i want to go visit so bad!

lilly said...

Oh how fun for your daughter! and you! I also loved your sweet suggestions on how to just be a nice person :) so easy to do if your open to it


What an absolute FULL post of beauty, love, and blessing!

I LOVE the reminder to show love & kindness to strangers :)

Love your beautiful photographs, too!

I'm *following*!!

God bless!

jennifer blair said...

I love that list AND your photos of Chicago! That's so awesome that they placed!

Julie Marie said...

So encouraging...and totally speaking my heart:) glad you had a good Chicago trip. If you ever take another trip, we can plan a meet up :)

Yara Simón said...

Those were great tips. And I like your pictures. Looks like a fun time.

Tamera Beardsley said... pack a lot into your posts!!!

Totally agree about going out of my way to love on people...Whenever I am in a dark place...I have found it an almost fool proof way out!

Gorgeous photos Gina!!! I have never been to Chicago...but it's on my list. Thanks for sharing your travels so beautifully!

Take care of your self. Sending you love!

O'Melly said...

Great photos! And you look lovely as always. :)

I love your first tid-bit of kindness. I'm the assistant manager at a health food store, and when I'm doing a till shift, once in a while a person will do what you mentioned.. and it makes all the difference in my day!

memory said...

You pack so neatly! Wish I could do that.
Great pictures! Those girl's and your hair is so pretty.


Cheap flights to Chicago said...

What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.