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 camping......to 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!