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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: January 2011

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has been moved to new address

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

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Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: January 2011

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

January 26, 2011


This is it. This marks the last post I will ever make here on Blogger. It’s been a good run; a great one really. I’ve learned tons and tons about the blogging world and this has been home for a little over 2 and a half years. But it’s time to part ways.

From now on, I’ll be making my home at Wordpress. If you remember correctly, I promised that this day was coming when I made my New Years Commitments. I didn’t intend for it to come so soon, but after many, many run ins with Blogger and their programing, I had to hang it up. Had to make the move. It’s time.

So…that means that you have to head over to my new home and check it out! Things are set up different and I’m hoping to integrate all of the things that I said were coming in the next few weeks! I look forward to what the future has for me over at Wordpress and I hope all of you will follow me there!

Thanks for being such faithful readers! I look forward to all that the new home [and the rest of this “new” year bring!]

**Please Note, Google Friend Connect is giving me some issues, I would encourage you {if you love me} to subscribe to the new blog via RSS/Email.

January 24, 2011

Not the “It” girl

I was never “Miss Popularity” in high school.

I was always the wingman…the third wheel…the other friend.

I’ve never played the leading lady in any aspect of life. I was always the friend that the guys went to when they needed someone to talk to the girl they were interested in. I was that girl who played matchmaker for every single one of my friends. Usually the guy that was wanting the “hook up” with my friend {and I mean that in a completely non-sexual way…not like the kids use that word today. When I was in high school it meant a date…} was a guy that I had a crush on. A guy that I had usually been eying myself. But, it never worked out that way.

I was not what I would consider an ugly duckling by any means, just not that girl, ya’ know? I can’t use the “beauty queen” example because I was-in fact- a beauty queen on up through college. :-) But I just never had whatever that gene is that makes people “it.” And I still haven’t figured out what it is that makes some people that kind of person, and others not.

I spent a lot of time in my life feeling sorry for myself because of that. Because I wasn’t a cheerleader. Because I didn’t sit at the right table in the cafeteria. Because I didn’t get invited to the parties and whatnot on the weekend. Because of this, that or the other. Lots of excuses for feeling sorry for myself back in those days. When I hit college, I was determined not to be that girl. Not to be the wingman again. Not to be the one who played on the sidelines while my friends were starters {sorry…sports analogy from a chick who DID spend a lot of time on the bench. In everything except softball…I kind of rocked at that…}

But, again, that gene just wasn’t there. I made friends with some great girls {only two of which I really talk to anymore} and pledged the best sorority on campus {nope. Not a matter of opinion. It really was!} and surrounded myself with some pretty great people. But, I still never quite reached the point of being the “it” girl. It took a lot of time and a lot of mistakes to make me reach the point that I’m about to make:

Insecurity is a matter of mentality. No one can make you feel bad about yourself. That’s something that only YOU can allow.
It took a lot of tears and a lot of learning to reach that point. To understand that very, very simple concept. However, over the last 8 months {mostly during the time my husband was away when I was forced to do some soul searching} I came to that conclusion. I’m a good person. I consider myself to be an attractive person. I have things to offer, things to give, things to teach others if they are interested in learning. For the first time in my life, I am completely and totally confident in who I am, who I was created to be, my marriage, my parenting techniques, and my individuality.

I don’t know how I got here. I’m not sure when I left behind that scared, somewhat depressed and lonely girl and became this new person. But here I am. She’s alive and well inside me..this new woman {sorry…I always feel strange referring to myself in that way…guess I’ll always be a “girl” in my mentality}. And I like her. I hope she decides to stick around for a while.

*Kid Credit: The little girl is Presley, daughter of my dearest and bestest real life and blog friend, Courtney. And the little guy, well, he’s mine. :-) I take full credit for him…okay, and his dad can have some too. And contrary to the look of this photo, he doesn’t have a lazy eye…he was blinking. Haha.

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January 21, 2011


That’s how I’m feeling right now.

This image was included for visual purposes only…just thought it was a pretty photo that semi-sort of fit with my title. Please feel free to disagree…haha.

I don’t think it really has anything to do with the snow and the rain and the bleakness of Kodiak. Because, in all honestly I really love this place. I love the slow paced, laid back mentality. I love that the people here don’t feel the need or the pressure to spend all day every day “keeping up with the Jones’” and living their life in the fast lane. I love that the people here have been friendly and welcoming; which is very warming in the cold atmosphere. I’ll be quite honest with you: the husband and I haven’t had the best luck with making friends in the different areas we’ve lived. Sure, we’ve made acquaintances and there are people from the different places we’ve lived that we still keep in touch with. But those really good friends; those that you call for anything? Yep. We don’t have very many of those. And the ones that we do have don’t live anywhere near us. So we are really enjoying the openness and the welcoming nature of the Coast Guard family here in Alaska. We are both looking forward to building those friendships and getting involved with the different things offered here.

I think my restlessness is coming from the lack of “to-dos” right now. We don’t have our house yet, so that is putting quite the damper on my parade. Though there is a kitchen in the Guest House where we are staying, it’s being used frequently by all of the other families holed up here waiting on their houses; so cooking meals and all that jazz is kind of out right now. We’re going with the easy fixes and the simple to make meals for now. {Fingers crossed that we get a house soon.} We did get our car back today. We snagged it almost a week and a half before they told us we would. So that’s a good thing. I’m hoping that we’ll land a house sooner than they originally told us.

The snow is melting here. It’s being replaced by slush. The rain mixed with the three feet of snow that was on the ground when we arrived has made a mess. They’ve been on top of their game with the snow plowing, though. We haven’t had any real issues driving around the base. These guys have been on their job 24/7 since we got here. The only issue so far is the ice. Not so much on the road, just in the parking lot of the Guest Housing. That’s the only place I’ve really noticed it. It’s about an inch and a half or two inches thick and slick. This chick almost busted her rear earlier. Fortunately, we have snow cleats [like studded tires for your feet…they grip the ice pretty well so you don’t fall].

I’m hoping to get out on the island a little more this weekend and take some pictures of the little guy and some more of the scenery. You guys have been so encouraging and excited about my photos that you’ve put me back in the mood to grab my camera. I’ve been in a creative slump lately. I’m blaming it on the extended amount of travel and the exhaustion associated with it. I’ll get back to normal self, soon I hope.

Hope you guys have a fabulous Friday! Here’s to an amazing weekend!

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If I were anonymous…


I’ve thought many times to myself that maybe, just maybe, I should have started this blog as an anonymous mother. Just a woman somewhere out here in this great big, wide world who has thoughts and opinions and ideas about life that she wanted to share. I’ll be honest, my life might possibly seem all the more interesting if I’d chosen to blog anonymously. Granted, the blog might not have grown the way that it has [anonymous blog=no sharing on Facebook, which is where a lot of my readers have joined in from]. But there is a lot more that I may have been able to blog about.

When my husband drives me nuts, which isn’t too very often, I could have blogged about it without worrying that his feelings would get hurt or that his buddies [who, again, may read on Facebook]. When family members annoy me to the point of yanking hair out of my head, I could write it out, vent to my hearts desire and be done with it. Without having to worry about dealing with the run-ins later. When my son does those things that are absolutely hilarious but a little too…ahem…personal to share because of the “embarrassment factor” that I’m sure we’ll run into down the road.

Oh yeah…if I were anonymous, then I could really tell you some stories.

Like the time that…oh wait…*note to self* you are not anonymous. And that story might go over so well with certain people.

So, why did I choose not to blog anonymously?

Aside from the fact that I like the attention [everyone who has a personal blog does, whether they admit it or not], I think people connect more with someone they feel like they really know. Someone they can see. It’s easier for me to read a blog when I can put a face with the “voice” behind the writing. {And sometimes an actual voice, like my friend Annie just did over on her blog…I’m a little too country, I think. Never been a big fan of hearing my voice on a microphone, etc.}

I enjoy the interaction. And despite how much easier it would be sometimes to be anonymous, I like having a voice. I like that my name is connected with my writing, my thoughts, my opinions. I watched some random movie on Netflix back when the husband was gone about a guy who wrote novels but wrote them under a different name. There is no credit in that. I don’t mean that come across in an “I’m brilliant and everyone needs to notice me” type way, because that’s not what I mean. But I believe that if you have a talent…a gift-be it writing, photography, painting, whatever-those gifts need to be recognized and put to use. Then again, some of you may feel completely different.

I had a point when I started writing this post…but the snow plow pulled up outside the window and started scraping ice and I’ve gotten distracted. Think: nails on a chalkboard. Now I can’t remember where I was going with this topic…

30 minutes later…

Okay. The snowplow is gone. Whew. I can concentrate again.

Where was I? Oh yeah…anonymous. Writing anonymously. Taking credit for your work…

My point: I think that the blog world has gotten so political that sometimes we are afraid to say what we are really thinking for fear of repercussions and ridicule. It’s easy to say what we want when no one knows who we are. I really strive to be honest and open with all of my writing. I try to not worry about the ridicule and the questions that may arise from followers. For example, my post on parenting confessions received over 150 hits the other day when I posted it. People like real. People connect with honest. I get off track at times and find myself wondering what people will think if I write about something in particular. I’m doing my best to avoid that fear and to maintain my integrity here. I’d rather blog about something that interests me and take the ridicule for it than blog about things that bore me and create no discussion.

What are your thoughts on anonymous blogging? Ever wish you had chosen an alias name when you put your first words out for the world to see? Love to hear your thoughts on this one!

*image credit

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Day3-4Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

I have always agreed with this quote. Beauty is found in the simplest of things. Sure, there are things-people even-that you look at and automatically you think, “Wow! They are beautiful..” Ahem. For instance, I think Matthew Maconahay is one of the most beautiful men, well ever. Don’t ask why, he just is. Reese Witherspoon? Easily one of the most beautiful women. They just are. There is no denying it; no ignoring it. It’s just there.

But aside from that, there are things that are beautiful…beautiful in a way that words will never touch. Beautiful in a sense that only the human eye can catch it…only sight can sense it…only feelings can embrace it.

The simplicity of God’s creation…


The innocence of a child…

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The love between a parent and a child…

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God-Given friendships…

The love of the person you were always meant to be with…

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Being a mom/dad to heavens perfect little gifts…

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Beauty is more than just a physical thing…it’s more than skin deep…

It’s all around us…

We just have to choose to see it…

She Breathes Deeply

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January 20, 2011

Seattle, WA

I realize I’m pretty behind on showing off the rest of our photos from our cross country trip, so today thanks to my lack of creativity for a more original post I thought I would show you the remainder of our photos from Seattle.


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So there ya’ go! We didn’t get a chance to make it to Forks :-( Our schedule was way too crazy and the day that we planned to drive out, it snowed the night before and the roads were way too questionable for people {i.e.:us} who had never driven in snow and really had no clue where they were going. Maybe next time we hit up Seattle. Okay, definitely next time we hit up Seattle. This should pretty much wrap up the photos and the posts on our cross country trip. Hope you guys aren’t too relieved and excited bummed out about it. I’ll be posting more photos at random of our trip in the coming weeks and I can guarantee that there will be more posts about life in Kodiak.

I’m hoping to get back to some real blogging in the next few days. I have intentions of writing up some more interesting posts over the weekend to share with you guys. I have very, very few ideas a handful of thoughts and post topics, so you’ll just have to come back and see for yourself! 

Happy Thursday, lovelies!

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Urban Before & After

After weighing my options and the opinions of many, many people here on my blog, I’ve decided to go back to posting some photography related topics/posts here instead of on another blog. The decision was partly due to the fact that for whatever reason, I can’t seem to get my photography blog to work. Secondly, like I mentioned, so many of you have commented on how much you like seeing the posts here instead of on another blog; and thirdly, it’s much easier for me to keep up with only one blog instead of two.

Today, I’m joining {and hopefully I remember to actually link my post} with Monica over at Pixel Perfect. This shot is one I took in Seattle while we were exploring downtown a few weeks ago:

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I knew when I saw this shot SOOC (straight out of camera) that I wanted to give it a grungy, urban feel. I used The Pioneer Woman’s Seventies action and upped the contrast on the photo. I then used two different textures from Kim Klaussen and upped the saturation. I shot this photo using my Canon Rebel Xsi and an 18-55 lens. I edited in Photoshop Elements 8.

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January 18, 2011

Because I can’t think of a title…

Today is going to be one of those list posts. The ones I tend to try to avoid, but on occasion just need to lay out there. I’m not going to bore you with my almost empty because I don’t have a house or a kitchen grocery list or with more reasons why I am currently loving life on the somewhat secluded island of Kodiak. Instead, you just get an all out random list of thoughts. Enjoy.

     * I took the little guy to the CDC {child development center} here on base today. Much to my surprise, he loved it. They let us explore the center and he got to go in his “classroom” and look around. The kids were transitioning from nap time to play/snack time and he jumped right in. He has always been a little social butterfly, but I won’t lie and say that it didn’t break my mommy heart a little when he ran right into the class like he knew he belonged there. I kind of wanted him to cling to my leg and be shy and anxious about joining in. But he didn’t. He actually threw quite the tantrum when I made him leave.

     * Still no house. Bummer. But we did find out that our car will be here tomorrow and we can pick it up on Thursday {which means no more rental car}. And all of our HHG {household goods} should be here in three weeks. Here’s hoping we don’t end up with all of our household possessions and no house to put them in.

     * On a brighter, these-things-never-happen-to-me type note: I found the exact furniture I was wanting to purchase at Ashley Furniture while we were in Florida, in our base exchange! For much cheaper. So that made me pretty excited. We still have no bedroom furniture for ourselves, and Noah will be in need of a new set of “big-boy” mattresses once our stuff is here. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

     * They are calling for more snow in the coming days. Something the “locals” don’t seem too thrilled about, but I’m just joyous! I love the snow. Little guy loves it too. He just hasn’t quite grasped the concept of wearing gloves/mittens so his hands don’t freeze. He got pretty mad the other day when he was throwing snowballs and his hands started cramping because they were cold. Hard-headed, stubborn child. One day he’ll learn. (Edited to add: it is already snowing…as I started typing this, I looked over to see the snowfall. Score!)

     * Our guest house accommodations are pretty cozy. With the exception of the fact that I can’t seem to get the temperature in this place just right. The thermostat seems to have a mind of its own {or maybe it’s preprogrammed to not allow you to set it higher than a certain degree?} and it’s always a little bit cooler than what I like.  But it’s comfortable, and bearable. The people that run this place are really friendly and they have a nice setup for those of us who are in between moving and having a home of our own again.

     * Little Man is digging the extended hours of darkness. If you follow me on Twitter, then you will have read my tweets the other day about how he’s sleeping like a mad-man. His wake up time this morning? 10:15. I didn’t complain at all Because that simply meant extra sleep---errr, cleaning and laundry time for me.

     * The hubby and I are finally starting to get ourselves all winterized and acclimated the climate here in the last frontier. It’s definitely not all about the fashion here, which is somewhat of a relief. The Exchange on base has a pretty decent selection of clothes and there is always online shopping, but it doesn’t seem to be such an issue. For instance…check out the snow/rain boots that I got this weekend:

mucksOh yeah. I present to you: Mucks. That’s the brand of shoe. {image credit} They are a big brand here because of their insulation and their rain/snow wearability. These are most definitely not a shoe I would buy if I were in the lower 48. But they are actually extremely comfortable and they keep my feet toasty in the multiple inches of snow we have right now. And it’s not like I’m walking around looking out of fashion or anything. One of the ladiesxtratuffs in the housing office the other day was sporting a pair of these with a skirt and sweater. So again…fashion isn’t a big deal. We bought those same boots {the ones to the right of the screen…the brown ones} for the husband and the little guy. He’s a BIG fan of boots. Calls them “big boots” {the little guy…not my husband, that is.} It’s fun. Life here is most definitely going to have it’s perks and it’s adventures. And we are pretty excited to see what’s in store.

That’s all for now. One of the guys who works at the clinic invited us to supper tonight with him and his wife. So we’re getting ready to head that way! Enjoy your evening, folks!

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January 17, 2011

Winter Wonderland

I’m still having issues with my photo blog allowing me to post, so I am going to do another “photography” post here on this blog. Hope you guys don’t mind…if I keep having issues with my photo blog, I’m likely to delete it and just do my photography posts here. That would mean two posts a day every few days [once I get back into the swing of things] which means that you guys would have to come back more often than you already are. Hehehe.


On to my I Heart Faces “Winter Wonderland” entry:


And, simply because I am completely and totally in love with this little guy and his sweet face and our a new home here in Alaska, I’m also including this photo in with Jhen’s photo hop called [you guessed it] in love.


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Hurry Up & Wait

That seems to be the motto of our lives right now.

It seems like we had to “hurry up and wait” to find out where we were going. Then we had to wait for the husband to graduate school and get home. And then we had to wait to actually leave Alabama to head to our new home. And now we are having to hurry up and wait for our actual house. We are almost home. After our frustrating debacle at the airport in Anchorage this past week, we made it to Kodiak…at midnight. We arrived on Thursday Evening at around 11:30, so it was nearly 1:30 or 2:00 am [which was around 5:30 or 6:00 Alabama time…] before we were finally able to get some sleep. We went to the housing office on Friday morning hoping that we were going to land our new house but we didn’t. No worries, however. They put us up in really nice, apartment style [two full bedrooms] guest house and are giving us a pretty nice financial compensation for the frustration.

For lack of a better explanation, I will just simply say that the husband and I are loving the island. I know that it’s early and that we haven’t experienced all of the “elements” of living in Alaska, and we understand that; but even despite the nearly three feet of snow on the ground and the cold weather, we love where we are. We love the community, we love the base, the husband loves his new clinic, and the people here are fantastic. They are all so friendly and eager to help us out and make us feel welcome. And since I know that you all have been dying to see where we are and what home looks like now, so here ya go:

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And because I know some of you are dying to know how Noah is taking to life in the last frontier, I figured I would just show you and let you make your own assumptions:

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Hope you guys are having a great week!! We are getting somewhat settled so I’m hoping to get back to blogging about things other than our move and our travels. I know you guys have to be getting tired of it [then again, maybe not?!] Also!! Just a reminder that No Mom Talk Monday will be starting back up next week! Get your posts ready!

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