Friday, July 28, 2006

What in the world?

Life seemed to be really “off” for me this week - emotionally, physically and mentally. The world just didn’t seem to be rotating on its proper axis. Was it just my little corner of the world or did it spread farther than that?

All that I really wanted to do most of the week was sleep and eat. And then sleep some more. That was the one time of the day when I could find a little peace. Yet, even that peace was disturbed with some thought or another that would wake me up every couple of hours. I even woke up with a song running incessantly through my brain last night. At least it was a “good message” song, that made me feel better. But it was still weird!

Thankfully, I seem to have exorcised most of the demons from my brain as of Thursday afternoon. My lunchtime workout that day was a good way to clear out the bad and bring forth the good which brought me some much needed peace. Thank you!

I hope that my world will now be put back in order so I can have a good weekend. And follow it with better days next week.

I wish you peace and happiness in YOUR world. : )

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Auntie" to be...

I got some GREAT news this last weekend from one of my best friends...she is 10 weeks pregnant and so far doing fine. I am SO excited and happy for Angie and Tom. They have been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half and were about to give up. And now they are expecting in February. YIPPEE!! The whole idea of creating a brand new life is simply amazing! God has blessed them and He made a great choice because those two are going to be the best parents. That will be one happy and loved child!

Congratulations Angie and Tom, I can't wait to be an "auntie" again!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's been confirmed...

As of Thursday, July 20th, 2006 at about 5:30 p.m. I am now a full member of the Catholic Faith. I had my Sacrament of Confirmation at Christ the King Church with Father Ken Phillips and my sponsor Jason Signalness. I then was able to participate in my first Eucharist. It is a great feeling to now belong and fully participate in the Mass.

My Confirmation was performed at an evening Mass with parishioners and about 10 of my local family members and friends present. I was very nervous to stand up in front of all of the people but Fr. Ken and Jason did a good job of helping me feel more at peace. Thank you gentlemen!

After the Mass concluded we all headed to the home of my aunt and uncle where they hosted a great meal and I opened all of my presents, pictured above. I received a lot of wonderful gifts, love and support that night. Thank you to all, I love you!

Friday, July 14, 2006

12 of 12 - July 2006

I am a couple days late in posting these but I did take pictures of my day on the 12th of this month to share again, as I did in back in May. Enjoy - but if you don't, I'm sorry, this really is my life! :)

5:45 am - I got up early to take a walk before work that day because the weather forecast said it was going to be a HOT day. That is was! It was a beautiful morning for a walk but it was already 70˚ at 5:30 in the morning.

6:15 am - I walked to the top of Hillside Park, north of my home. They have this great little landscaped area at the top where you can sit on benches and...

look out over the scenery of the city. The trees look really nice but you can see how hot and dry it has been this summer by the brown grass. It hasn't been this dry in several years.

7:45 am - I am showered and ready so it's off to work I go. I thought I'd bring you with on my quick commute from home. For your safety I didn't speed or anything - but I suppose taking photos while driving isn't recommended by the Department of Motor Vehicles. :)

10(ish) am - I am now in the midst of my busy morning at work, but I still have a moment to share a smile with you! (Oh, I know, I'm such a dork. That's just who I am! :) I was "on fire" that morning and felt very productive, which is always a good thing at work.

11:30 am - The sun is out in full force beating through the tinted windows at work. I think it was over 90˚ by this time, and it was about 80˚ in my office. The poor little OLD air conditioner by my desk couldn't keep up with the heat and humidity that day.

1:15 pm - I ate my lunch at my desk so I would have time to get some errands done on my hour break. I had to make a stop in the cereal aisle. Oh, the choices!

1:45 pm - A quick stop at my humble little abode to drop off all of the goods that were purchased.

2:00 pm - Back to the office now to finish out my work day. 3 more hours to go - I can make it.

5:30 pm - Packin' up and heading for the beach! It was now 105˚ degrees so a couple of friends and I decided it was a good day to hit the water and try to stay as cool as possible.

6:30 pm - Ahhhhhhhh, that feels much better. Kennedy, the daughter of my friend, is thoroughly enjoying her "floating monster" while staying cool! It is really nice to have the river so close when you want to get to some water. (I like the leg sticking out of the water behind Kennedy in this photo. Good timing.)

7:30 pm - A storm moved in rather quickly and looked threatening but we only got a little bit of rain out of it. Not nearly enough for what we need right now.

13th BONUS PHOTO: The random word generator that we were using this month to determine our individual 13th bonus photo gave me the word "paper." If there is one thing that I have in my life during the week at work it is PAPER - everywhere!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


OK, so I did a blog in winter about how cold it was. Now I have to do one about how warm it is. Last I heard on the 6 o'clock news it was 100˚- so far. The weatherman thought it might still go up a degree or two before it started to come back down to around 70˚ for our low tonight.

Most people who don't live in North Dakota have the impression that our state is like the North Pole or something - always cold. Well, that just isn't the case. We have a very WIDE range of temperatures throughout the year. The "winter" blog mentioned above said we were at -10˚ and now in this blog we are at 100˚. That's a 110˚ difference in 5 months. Crazy!

This weather is just too warm for me. I can't even sit outside in the shade right now and be comfortable. I haven't had my "outside" time for the last couple of days and it's starting to drive me nuts already. And this warm spell is supposed to last for the foreseeable future. Oh man, what's a nature girl to do when she can't get outside to "play" in normal daylight hours. I guess I will have to sacrifice my sleep completely (I haven't been getting much of that anyway) and go outside during the night when the temperatures are much nicer.

OK, I will stop complaining now and find something to entertain myself with until it cools off enough for me to head outside, probably around 2 or 3 a.m. Sweet dreams! :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Becoming Catholic...

For the past several months I have been going through lessons all about the Catholic faith taught by my best friend Jason and his cousin Father Kenny. It is A LOT of information but it is really great stuff.

I was baptized and raised as a Lutheran but never really seemed to be drawn in or connected to the Lutheran faith. I hardly ever went to church and the subject was something that I just didn't want to talk about usually. I knew that something BIG was missing from my life and I always felt so lost and unsettled. These feelings had bothered me for a long time so I finally started searching for whatever it was that seemed to be missing. I attended a couple of different churches to see if anything would "spark" for me. I did like them better than the church I had been going to most of my life but still nothing seemed to really connect.

In the process of all of this I was introduced to this guy named Jason through a blind date set up by my friend. Now, through past experience these blind date situations hadn't worked out very well for me so I didn't have very high expectations for the situation. To my happy surprise, he turned out to be a really nice guy who seemed pretty normal. In fact that is how he described himself on one of our first outings - "I think I am a normal person." We have been good friends ever since so he must have proven that he is indeed "normal!" :)

Jason had fairly recently been confirmed into the Catholic Church so the subject came up a couple of times in our conversations. Since I was in my search for the missing link in my life mode I became pretty curious about the Catholic faith. Then I learned that Jason was also considering going to seminary in order to become a priest for the Roman Catholic Church. Wow, that one shocked me! Well, a few months later his thoughts became reality. He is now a seminarian who will begin his 6 years of schooling in August. So who better to start asking about the church than someone who is about to dedicate their life to it. Jason graciously agreed to start teaching me about the Catholic Church by means of the lessons that he had gone through with his cousin, Father Kenny, a Roman Catholic priest for the past 15 years.

I have learned an amazing amount of information in these lessons and for the first time in my life have felt a real connection with religion and God. Everything that I have been taught has made so much sense and really fallen into place for me which has bonded that connection even further. That missing link has now been found and I no longer feel that void inside. It must be showing on the outside as well because I have had many family members and friends comment on how much happier and different I am now. Some of the best things in life come to you through the most unexpected ways. Thank you Jason and Father Kenny, and Sommer for introducing me to Jason. And of course I can't forget to thank God. Amen!

Now I am reaching the end of my lessons and will soon be going through my confirmation into the Catholic Church... I am becoming Catholic!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Leader of the pack...

I have been waiting weeks for these flowers to bloom in my back yard and was so excited today when I saw that the first one had finally opened. I was so happy I figured I would blog about it and share my pretty flower with you! :)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Back among the civilized with an assignment to do...

I have made it back to civilization where there is computers, internet, email and cell phone service. Yay! Talk about a culture shock for a few days, wow. I felt like I was back in the 80's! :) Just kidding, but it really was strange to feel cut off from the world that I am now so used to. All of my extended family members were feeling the same way - young and old. Up in the mountains of the Black Hills, where we were staying, we had very little or no cell phone service. Yet almost all of us still had our phones with us continuously. I guess it's like a security blanket, even if it isn't of any use it still feels better to have it with you.

Despite stepping back in time electronically it was a nice vacation/reunion. I had fun visiting with my relatives that I don't get to see very often anymore. We had some adventures that became even more adventurous than originally intended. That seems to be the way it goes when you get a large group of people together. I even rode a horse on a mountain trail which was really fun. I hadn't ridden a horse in many years so I ended up with a saddle sore butt the next day. Well worth it though!

Now, I see that I came home to an assignment issued by my fellow blogger friend Michelle. Apparently I have been tagged! I really wasn't sure what that meant at first so I was somewhat confused. Now that I have read Michelle's blog, and gotten the instructions, I am more than up for the challenge. Thanks for including me Michelle, I feel so important now! :)

The instructions for those of you that didn't go look at the link are:

"The rules are simple: Write 10 words beginning with that letter (which was assigned to me by Michelle) in your journal, including an explanation what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along."

So with no further ado - I have been assigned the letter "N."

Natural: Since my blog is named "Natural Design" obviously this word means something to me. I like things and people that are natural, not fake and/or made up for show. God has created things the way He wants them, so that is the way they should stay. Everything and everyone is beautiful in their natural state - maybe you don't see it that way but someone does.

Nature: Natural leads me to nature. I am a "nature girl" at heart. I love to be outside and can just sit and look at the nature around me for hours. I find it beautiful and calming to be out in the peaceful nature that we have been given. I urge everyone to slow down for a few minutes and appreciate the nature around them today - summer or winter!

Nephew: Jacob, the little bugger that can melt a girls heart just by one smile or laugh. He is amazing to watch grow and change so quickly, every time I see him in fact. Jake led the pack of all of us out horseback riding that day. His first time on a horse, instead of a pony being led in a circle inside a fence, and he did GREAT! He wasn't nervous even though he was seperated from his mom and had so much fun. His independence and personality really showed this week and it was incredible to see.

Near: It's always so much better to have friends and loved ones near, but near or far you are forever in my heart and mind which keeps you close to me!

North: North Dakota, namely Bismarck, North Dakota, is my home. This, of course, makes it special to me. I didn't appreciate this place as I was growing up but that has changed a lot the last several years. As I have gotten older and done some traveling I have discovered that I am always happy to get back home to North Dakota where I am established and comfortable. Not to say that I would never live anywhere else, that is always a possibility, but North Dakota will always be "home."

Nest: Speaking of home - I have a bird nest that was built out on my old air conditioner (that I don't use anymore) which has been occupied for the last three summers now. Every year that nest is put to good use to bring some new baby birds to life. I look forward to seeing and hearing the birds in the nest each spring. So far it seems we have had a 100% survival rate, which is amazing since I have a cat that gets to freely roam the yard. She is such a spoiled house cat that I don't think she even comprehends the idea of being a predator/hunter. Lucky birds!

Niagara Falls: I love water and water falls. Since Niagara Falls is one of the most widely known and popular water falls around I would like to get to see them live and in person one of these days. I am sure the site and sound would be incredible to behold.

Nerves: Those nasty little things that can make me such a bumbling idiot - and so easily! Being an introverted, somewhat shy person these nerves make their appearance quite often in my life. Thankfully, with age, it has gotten a little better but I have come to accept the fact that they will always be with me showing themselves to the world.

Name: I remember (way back when) in school that everyone always seemed to be unhappy with their own name for some reason or another, especially us girls. We were always coming up with different names for ourselves that we thought were better. As adults, with our own distinct personalities, we seem to have "grown" into our given names. I can't imagine being anyone other than Dawn now.

New: Every morning is the start of a new day. That is a gift given to you, so try to make the most of each day. Even if you're not doing anything "exciting" find one thing from each day that you are greatful for. Before long you will start to appreciate even the "small" things that we tend to overlook in our busy lives.

Now, to "pass out letters to those that want to play along." I don't know if they will really WANT to, but I will dole out a few letters anyway and hopefully these GREAT people will play along. :)

jsignal - you get the letter S
creative chicen - you get the letter B
Michelle - oh, OK, I will give you a pass since you have been tagged a couple of times already :)

I'm not really sure of other people that read my blog, that have their own blog, so for these people below I will post their responses on my blog when I receive them via email. Hint, hint. ;)

Mom - you get the letter L
Jodi - you get the letter H
Rena - you get the letter K
Angie - you get the letter M

Alright Michelle, assignment completed! And now I have a blog long enough to be a book. :)