Monday, December 31, 2007

From Endings to New Beginnings


As I begin to reflect back on the year 2007, I recall so many blessed memories. What more could anyone ask for then to be richly blessed with good health as well as family and friends that remain loyal through all things.

2007 was a year of ending of many things, be it work, relationships, current financial situations, spiritual journeys and even life. Although to some this may be posed as a negative, but rather endings are a great thing, and certainly a natural progression of life. For those of us that have loss work and/or revenue during 2007, we realize we’ve been freed to now explore the possibilities of what God has in store for us next----how exciting. For those that have ended relationships whether it is romantic, friendship, family or otherwise, we embrace the moments we had with them and hopefully grow into stronger individuals as a result of these endings. For those that have been seeking spiritual growth, this has been perhaps a year of ending old patterns or expanding our minds to grow deeper into our faith, which is certainly the most precious of all things in this lifetime. For those that have lost a love one (or more than one) 2007 was a reminder that their time here was finished. Although sad for those of us that are left behind because we miss them so painfully much, it’s also a great reminder of how compassionate and feeling we are in our hearts. It’s very easy to go through life and rationalize everything in an attempt to protect one’s heart from pain, but when instances as described above come along and cause us to feel with our hearts and no matter how much we try to reason ourselves out of our hearts, our heart is always successful if only to a degree, and this wonderfully painful or joyous experience is another precious gem from God to us.

As we soon begin to embark on 2008 it will definitely be a year of new beginnings for many, inshallah. Who truly knows where the road will lead each and everyone of us except for God. As we perhaps set goals and/or New Year’s resolutions for 2008 I would be curious to see how many of those truly come to fusion. For me personally no matter how many goals/plans I’ve prepared for, I’m always pleasantly surprised to see that they usually don’t turn out as planned-----and most times thankfully they didn’t because the result is always greater. Truly each year, I’m blessed far beyond that which I could have ever possibly imagined, alhamdullilah. May God bless each and every one of you far beyond your dreams and imagination. May you always be surprisingly gleeful when you recognize his blessing in all things.

My love to all.

Friday, December 28, 2007

What's in a day?

You never know what a day can bring. Yesterday morning as Vicky and I arrived at the gym to have our final workout together as she’s traveling to Las Vegas to spend New Year’s with her family, we climbed on the treadmill to begin our routine cardio warm-up. Nothing unusual or out of the ordinary from the day; however, the moment I looked up to one of the many TV monitors positioned in front of the cardio equipment I saw for the first time the headlines of the assassination of Pakistani’s former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. For those that know me at all, know that politics are my least favorite topic as it’s something I neither show interest in or have enough knowledge to even sound remotely intelligent when discussing the latest news; however, the moment I saw this woman’s face----again without even knowing who she was, but merely an assassinated woman I could feel tears begin to well up in my eyes. All I could think was how senseless----murder. Of course this is not the first political leader, high profile person, actor/actress or ordinary person like you and me, that I’ve heard murdered, but there is something so extremely precious about the human life that when it is taken from them in such a heinous manner it pains me.

Of course, things can be corroborated, justified, and even rationalized to somehow subdue the pain and suffering of the human heart, but the fact remains whether we knew, agreed, or opposed Benazir Bhutto’s political nature, another one of God’s creations has been killed. And the result of this recent event throws an already pained country further into despair; again, not from a political standpoint, but from a humanistic standpoint.

I’m not certain why, but it always seems more painful when it’s a woman or child. Maybe somehow, someway we can become more compassionate people through such hardships----I don’t know.

May God forgive her and bless her soul as well as all the others that have been killed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

This was the first Christmas since Amira's been born or maybe even longer than that that the holiday was enjoyable for me, alhamdullilah. What set this holiday a part from years gone by was I'm sure my mindset. As a result it was mild, calm and very peaceful. I don't like the whole commericalism of any holiday and certainly Christmas is no exception; however, I do enjoy the get togethers with family and friends. I hope this little slide show presentation link I threw together comes up for you to glimpse inside our last few days. Sorry MusicLover some of the pictures are not clear and concise, but nonetheless still included. :-)

I hope all of you have a blessed New Year and that Allah blesses you beyond words. May He continue to provide for you all your needs which are not always necessarily our wants, but without fail exactly what we need when we really think about it.

The best part of the whole day was at my brother's house when 2 1/2 year old Evan had recently woke up from his nap and walked out to the living room just as Anthony and Amira were opening some presents and said with his arms all stretched out and his one eyebrow raised, "What's going on? Did that Santa come again?" Classic!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tis the holiday season

As the holidays begin to spin at a much faster pace this time of year, one must keep their senses keenly aware. Last night after the gym, Vicky, Amira and I grabbed some dinner, and then decided to drive through one of the nearby neighborhoods to look at the decorated houses. There's just something so spectacular about seeing all the lights lit up at night---so many different colors, themes and designs.

As an aside, I was so surprised to see these white lights dawning on buildings in Dubai when I was there last February. I learned that this is a tradition for announcing a wedding. Thought that was pretty cool, and yet reminded me of Christmas time. :-)

Anyway, as we are slowly driving down these lovely streets, ooooing and aaaahing over the houses and their displays we see Santa on a moped with a plastic Rudolph either bungee corded or duct taped to the front of the moped. I'm telling you all three of us laughed so hard. We could not believe our eyes. This was yet another reminder to myself to be ready for anything because I was so shocked at the sight that I failed to pull out my camera and capture the sight, so my apologies for having to share another image. However, it certainly was a fun way to wind up the week and the evening.
Last weekend Grandma, Amira and I went to our local mall so Amira could see Santa. She had decided on her own that she wanted to write him a letter---which she told me, was about God and the angels. Anyway, we waited in line for an hour or so, but made great use of our time by watching all the people. People are rather amazing creatures and such a fun form of entertainment. There was an older couple in front of us that we assumed was holding the spot in line for their grandkids or something, but when it came their turn they gleefully went to sit on Santa's lap for their picture. The older man said, "by now at my age he (Santa) should know my name and what I want", to which we all laughed.

Amira bravely walked up to Santa, handed him her letter--to which he and the photographer looked so pleasantly surprised to receive, and dazzled them with her brilliant eyes.
It was so fun to share this experience between Grandma and Granddaughter---one I will always remember and feel blessed for experiencing.

The next few days will absolutely be madness in the retail business, of which I plan to take no part in----other than to maybe sit somewhere and watch the delirious madness in people’s eyes. :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Monkey Business

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Speeding Ticket

Got stopped for speeding the other day.
I thought I could talk my way out of it until the cop looked at my dog in the back seat.
A sign you might be driving too fast! (This didn't happen to me; I just thought this was funny.)


Monday, December 17, 2007

Cochrane Mural

Look closely by clicking on any part of the mural.

For those not living in the WEST, Cochrane is NW of Calgary and east of Banff, in the foothills of the Rockies.

This mural was unveiled last week at the Cochrane Ranch House.

Each tile is 1 foot square, is it's own individual picture and each is by a different artist. All of them together form this huge mural.

You can click on each of the tiles to see them in detail. Check out the horse's eye.

http://www.muralmosaic.com/Cochrane.html

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Interesting Artwork


How many horses in this picture? Should find 7




DO YOU SEE FOUR PEOPLE?



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Evil Eye

video

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Littlest Nutcracker

Well the big day finally came for Amira's first dance recital, and as to be expected we were so EXCITED. She and her little friends did a great job. The show was really fun.

Can you tell it's a bright sunny day for her big performance?
Little sweetie getting ready for her big "Candy Cane" performance.
Anthony presenting Amira with a rose after her performance.
The "star" feasting
Grandma & Grandpa had a little party after the show for Amira


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Feel Terrible

Oh my goodness, I just got some news that's going to change my life as I know it, and I'm scared.

I just received a call from one of my bosses and I was adviced that I'm being let go from my position due to the economical market.

With having my own business, and it's a little unusual how it works, but regardless, I've been so blessed to have the people I've had around me to work for as it's allowed me to concentrate on raising Amira as a single mom. Receiving the news that I did today, advising me that my position will be done away with by the end of December, forces me to have to re-evaluate my life's strategies. Again, I've been so blessed to have all this time with Amira.....now there's a part of me that feels I need to go get one of those corporate jobs just so I can continue providing for us. If I do, this will ultimately take away the flexibility to take care of Amira if she's sick or anything like that.

It's never a good day to get a call like this because your ego immediately places you in the seat of "OH GOD----NOW WHAT DO I DO? PANIC? YEA, THAT WILL WORK----I'LL PANIC".

All I can do is cry, then fall to my knees and pray. Some how some way, Allah always opens a way-----I just have to find it, but until then my human side is screaming "what the hell am I going to do?"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Confession Advancements

With technology these days, our mode of managing life just seems to be speeding faster than ever. Moreover, with such advancements, so many wonderful things are happening. However, in the case below, it seems some things should just be left alone. :P

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

Well Amira and I had a great Thanksgiving holiday this year. Of course Thanksgiving day we spent at my parents home with my family (previously remarked on "Thinking Out Loud'), which was nice.

For the remainder of the weekend Amira and I spent everyday going to the gym and then to a park near our home. We were so pleased to have such nice weather, and with all the crazy people shopping like it's the 'last supper' or something, the park was truly our calm paradise, alhamdullilah.

We enjoyed a picnic of leftover turkey--sandwiches and soaked up the lovely weather and atmosphere. Amira loved climbing on this one piece of equipment that looked like a rock wall, so had take a video to show Grandpa when he and Grandma return from their cruise. Last year we went on a mini cruise with my family and Grandpa decided he wanted to do the rock wall climbing on the ship, and with great effort he was able to succesfully make it to the top and ring the bell......mabrook to Grandpa. Not bad for a guy in his early 60's. Anyway, since my dad and I like to joke with one another, I decided to take this video of Amira rock wall climbing not only to show him, but to rub it in his face that she successfully does so in a skirt-----effortlessly. :-P

Gotta love family kidding. ;-)
Just wall climbing


Throwing in a slide ride as well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Simply profound

While I was finishing up my workday today, I had Oprah on in the background. Denzel Washington was on there with some of the caster members promoting his new movie, The Great Debater. As an aside and probably too much information, Denzel is yummy. LOL

Anyway, one of the younger actor’s was talking about what they learned from Denzel while they were filming the film. He said that one of the things that will stick with him always that Denzel said was “A man gives awards, but God gives rewards”. What an awesome statement!

Love these little God winks as I consider them----messages that God sends to us in whatever fashion it takes to remind us of his everlasting love for us, alhamdullilah. Moreover, reminders for us to always keep our eyes focused on Him rather than seeking approval from mankind.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thinking Out Loud

Well I suppose in order for there to be balance there must be good with the bad, huh? First, I’ll start with the good. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with my family, with the exception of my brother’s absence, as his station was called to southern California in case there were anymore fire outbreaks. I have a small family, so celebrations are generally intimate and relatively quiet. Certainly my sister-in-law who comes from a larger family brings the loud excitement into the household, which we all welcome and enjoy, yet somehow enjoy the solitude once she leaves. No offense to her, it’s just sometimes it’s a bit much. Again, with all that being said we had a wonderful time, alhamdullilah.

Now for the flipside. I decided to call my grandmother (mom’s mom) who lives in southern California. She’s 86 years old and still lives on her own, alhamdullilah. Our families (grandmother and mom) have never been close---apparently there’s some issues between the mother and daughter that have gone all these years unresolved, which I can only continue to pray get resolved before either of them depart this planet, inshallah. Even though there’s not much closeness with our families, I still try to remain in contact through holidays, special occassions, etc. So, on Thanksgiving day I decided to call grandma and wish her a “happy thanksgiving”. She never answers her phone---it always goes to voicemail for her to listen to whose calling. So, I identify myself and continue to leave small talk on her voicemail until she picks up as I know this is her routine. She answers the phone so cheery and pleased to hear from me. She tells me her plans for the day and what she’s been up too. She then ask me if I’m getting ready to go to Jr’s, to which I just kind of blow off to perhaps her being a little confused because Jr is my cousin. Then she says, ‘well you know how your mom is with her lead foot”, and laughs. I quickly realize she thinks I’m my cousin, Kim. I tell her this isn’t Kim, grandma, it’s me, Ibeebarbie. “Oh, oh I’m so sorry”, she says. Instantly her tone changes, almost a little meloncoholish, which I find interesting, and then our conversation goes something like this. She ask in a somber tone how Amira and I are doing, to which I respond we are doing well. “Oh good, glad to hear it”. “I’ve been getting along ok, you know aches and pains and such”, she says. Then as if this isn’t a strange enough conversation she says, “so, did you find a man yet?” “No grandma, I haven’t”, I said. “Are you sure? What’s wrong?”, says she. “I don’t know grandma, just hasn’t happened yet.” “Oh, ok, so are you still dancing?”, ask she. “Yes grandma and so is Amira---she’s really enjoying it.” “Oh that’s nice. Have you lost any weight?”, ask her. At this point, I’m anxious to get off the phone because I’m tired of this crap as it always comes along with holidays and family stuff. We end our call with love for one another.

Get to my folks, and my dad starts in with “did you do something different with your hair?”. “No, dad. Just curled it.” “Oh”, with a smirk on his face…”it kind of looks like Hedy Lamarr's”, to which he starts laughing. Feeling so great about myself already because I have two strikes according to grandma because I don’t have a man and I haven’t lost weight dancing, now feeling the third strike cross the plate I’m being laughed at about my hair. Oh good grief---we still have Christmas and New Year’s to get through.

Quotes by Hedy Lamarr
"Any girl can be glamoous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." Now, doesn't that seem like something to strive for?

"If you use your imagination, you can look at any actress and see her nude, I hope to make you use your imagination." Good grief! I have a pretty good imagination, but I can't get past that HAIR. I swear mine doesn't look like the one in the picture. LOL

Anyway, I'm still thankful for all God has bestowed upon Amira and I's lives, alhamdullilah.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happymoi

Salam Happymoi,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
May all of your dreams and wishes come true, inshallah.


MySpace Comments - Happy Birthday


MySpace Layouts - Happy Birthday
Free Comments & Graphics

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

MusicLover Recommendation

The other day MusicLover posted a comment on one of my post regarding a movie recommendation. After doing some research, I was not able to find this movie at my local movie rental place via their website, and was disappointed.

Tonight, however, after work Amira and I went to the movie rental place to pick up a couple of movies to watch over the long Thanksgiving holiday, and low in behold the movie, Away From Her, was starring right at me as soon as I rounded the corner. Of course, I immediately picked it up along with a few others. When we got home we had to watch Amira’s movie first which was Mickey Mouse’s Christmas….LOL It was cute. After finishing her movie, I immediately popped in Away From Her. Oh my goodness, what a perfect movie for the holidays. For the matter, it’s the perfect movie anytime. It will definitely be one of my favorites. I should caution to keep tissue nearby because it’s a very powerful movie.

I cannot and hope I never have to experience what both these people experienced, inshallah. But, how I would love to be able to spend 44 years with a beloved, inshallah. This movie is a great reminder of how we should be ever so grateful for every moment we have on this earth, and every moment we spend with our dear families, friends, and people will meet in the future. Truly life is the most precious gift on this earth, alhamdullilah, and we, as humans should cherish life as if it were a rare and precious gem. Moreover, we should always remember to never take advantage of the wonderful relationships we have with every human that crosses our path, inshallah.


MusicLover, thank you for the recommendation.

Thankful for All Things

MySpace Comments - Happy Thanksgiving


As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.
We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.
So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Greedy Dominators + Ass-Kissers = Politics

Those that know me know that I’m not a fan of politics. Can’t stand politics actually. Think of politicians and all that are surrounded or associated in politics are a form of inbreeds that either strive to be greedy dominators or to be ass-kissers. Moreover, as to not offend or leave any political group out, I feel this way globally. However, with that little unsolicited bantering, I received this email this morning and the following cracked me up.












































































Monday, November 19, 2007

New Turkey Recipe

Well as we begin Thanksgiving week, I thought I'd share a new recipe that someone may be interested in trying.

NEW TURKEY RECIPE
Your dinner will be the talk of the TOWN!!
You should try this!
Sure to bring smiles from your guests!
Here is a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving Turkey.

1. Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.

2. Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan, position the foil carefully. (see attached picture for details)

3. Roast according to your own recipe and serve.

4. Watch your guests' faces...

May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dress Rehearsal

Today was dress rehearsal/picture day at Amira's dance studio. They have been preparing for their dance recital, which will be taking place on December 8th. I'm sure at this point the parents are far more excited than the kids because I don't believe any of the four performing have ever done a recital before so therefore don't know what to expect.

I was able to sneak a couple of pictures of her in her costume (her group is going to be Candy Canes - performing a song from the Nutcracker). The first two were captured by my digital, but then the batteries died, , so had to resort to my cell for the other two.

Her teacher let the girls show the parents a preview of their dance routine today, which was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute. ;-)




Thursday, November 15, 2007

Demotivational

I received these from Ryles (MixedUpMe's sister), and couldn't help but post them as they made me smile. Thanks Ryles. :-)