Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dallas, Camping, Home

So here I am with both feet (or should I say with both boots) planted firmly on my own solid Michigan ground after an enjoyable week with old and new friends in Dallas, Texas at the CPSA International convention.
This was followed by a week of camping at the Warren Dunes along Lake Michigan as one of several parent chaperones for my daughter's cross country girls' and boys' teams.
Rekindling the friendships I had made from last year in San Francisco brought memories of young giggling school girls who were so excited about a huge sleepover away from mom and dad (a.k.a. the husband, family and responsibilities).
The exhibition displayed some of the best colored pencil artwork by international artists. I was very impressed this year with the competition.
Because of the 104 degree heat in Dallas we didn't venture out too much but five of us were dead set on purchasing a pair of cowboy boots! We had a ball trying on several styles and sizes and one by one we chose the style that seemed to applaud our personalities. As you will see in the photo my boot (the dark chocolate with the red accent) applauds quietly. *Sigh* I'll have to work on that next year ladies. ;)
What diversity in our choices!
After our boot shopping we were famished for some delicious Mexican food!
Kendra Ferreira with her beautiful "Sea Foam" at the top.
Yours truly with "Beyond All Boundaries"
Deborah Friedman with her prize winning "Counterpoint in Green"
Lynda Schumacher and her "Canadian Cowgirl" above. Lynda also received her five year Merit Award!
The Cippy Award "The Sisters" went to C.J. Worlien
Myself, Elizabeth Patterson and Lynda Schumacher getting a little crazy at the reception. I think the Dallas heat was getting to us!
Now, onto the be honest, I have never camped out in my life! I lived in the country when growing up, so why would I go camping?
We borrowed a camper from a good friend and my husband took care of the rest. We left for Lake Michigan the day after I returned from Dallas. I was looking forward to some cool nights coming off the lake after the oven-like temperatures in Dallas. Unfortunately we had temperatures in the 90's and the humidity, of course, made it worse.
The cross country team lightened their work-out schedules and spent more time in the water. We chaperones, ladies especially, didn't mind it. Tradition among the team is to run up the biggest Warren Dune (not once, not twice, but three times for the girls and five times for the boys)! Since my daughter asked that I be the girls' photographer I knew that I should be on top of that dune in order to get some good shots. Yes, I did it! I climbed it once on "Dunes Day" and once on the final day before going home. A year ago (75 pounds heavier) I would not have been able to climb it and would have been embarrassed in front of my son and daughter. As I made it to the top I hid my tears of joy and excitement behind my camera.
What a journey my past year had taken! I am and have been blessed by so many people, family and friends! I have seen and done things I never dreamed of doing! I have a wonderful and supportive husband, children who are considerate, kind and loving and most of all a mother who has always been the best role model by putting others before herself but always teaching us her motto that I live by today..."Be true to yourself".
This year I am especially grateful for those close friends and new friends that have been there for me to support and applaud my weight loss. I have overcome several personal obstacles and continue to do so as I battle my food addiction. As I reach out and seek positive relationships I become stronger and more confident physically, mentally, spiritually and most of all artistically.
I draw and paint what I feel and I feel what I paint. I have tested many new boundaries this year and so it was only fitting that "Beyond All Boundaries" be the title of my displayed piece at the CPSA exhibit this year.
As always, thank you for reading!
Julie is one of five girls' captains this year on a team of 140 girls.
At the very top of the Warren Dunes along Lake Michigan!


Debbi said...

Great write up of the Dallas convention Dianna. I love the photo of you, Lynda and Elizabeth by the wall. I think your boots will look super wild when you pair them with jeans and a bright red western shirt!!! Also love the photo of you and your husband and daughter.

Teresa Mallen said...

Great pics Dianna. Your boots are terrific! I have seen photos of you popping up on other blogs in the last week or so and I was delighted to see the new you. A big congratulations on your very significant weight loss! You look great but even more important, you look very happy!!! Well done. Congrats also on climbing the dune and wow, all that sand, are you still shaking it out of your stuff? So, next year it is signature status...woo-hoo, you go girl!

Dianna Soisson said...

Thanks Debbi! I was actually thinking of getting a red western shirt just the other day! I miss you gals already. I wish conventions were held twice a year. :)
Teresa, you're so sweet. Yes, I am very happy! It's amazing when one gives up trying to control other lives and just focuses on her own!! ;)) Moms have a habit of doing that. :D As far as signature status...that would be great, but I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch. The competition is getting tough!!

Lynda Schumacher said...

Hahahaha........We are PLASTERED (against the wall). Please email me that pic when you get a chance; it is too funny. Well, you survived the convention followed by soccer camp in the sweltering heat and poor thing. I think you officially deserve super-hero status now.

Dianna Soisson said...

Lynda I'm not sure super-hero. Temporarily insane would be more like it. :D

Kendra said...

Dianna, I enjoyed reading your entry, especially about the camping trip because you were telling us about how you were leaving the day after you returned from Dallas. Congratulations on losing the 75 lbs. that is amazing! YOU are amazing! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your colored pencil work in the upcoming year!

Dianna Soisson said...

Thanks Kendra! I enjoyed the boot shopping expedition with you gals! I enjoyed the camping with my husband and watching my daughter become a leader but unfortunately my achilles tendon did not like the dune climbing.....I've been icing a swollen ankle for over a week now. This old body has seen better days! :)))