An Experience Of A Lifetime

11707523_10205659837147587_7888750578414982962_nAnd, I’m back from Guatemala! Wow, what an experience. I am not exaggerating when I say that this trip was one of the best weeks of my life and I highly recommend a similar adventure to everyone. Sure there were ups, downs, and all-arounds, but that’s what makes it all so amazing. You learn a lot about the world, life and of course, yourself. Luckily for me, I had my travel journal to document each and every day. When I would sit down to write at night I just couldn’t help myself. The words would pour onto the pages.

Some of my entries were more serious in nature, exploring questions and interactions that I had. And then, as I scroll through the pages I also see quotes like “drop it like it’s hot” or “the globe is still round” scribbled down. Such great reminders that even when you work hard and don’t sleep all that much, you can still have some fun!

11794389_10152874778570683_42298003221812590_oLooking back on my journal I am most surprised by how much my perspective changed in less than one week. On our flight to Guatemala I kept thinking that when I arrived I would feel sorry for the children that I was about to meet. I thought I would want to bring them home. Love them. Expose them to life in the U S of A. Now that I am back on home soil, I can say with certainty that I have an entirely new outlook. I now realize that even though those children live in a much different environment, they are truly happy. They take the hand that’s been dealt to them and make the best of it.

If anything all the kids needed was a little bit of love and attention and I am grateful that in just a series of days we were able to give that to them. They don’t need fancy clothes, iPads, or a lot of the other things that money could buy them. Instead of arriving with massive suitcases of “stuff” we spent our time helping the kids find Jesus, understand compassion, and feel truly cared for. Focusing on human connections and a greater purpose brought us all so much closer together. Walking away from it all I feel accomplished, and I think I have a perpetual smile on my face.

It’s really amazing how much of a difference just four days can make.

11817262_10205795441097601_3812254524765026457_nWhile my time in Guatemala was short in the grand scheme of things, I am lucky to leave with memories and new insights that will stay with me forever. As you can imagine there is so much more to share, but for the time being I will leave you with a few themes that have been top of mind for me …

  • God revealed to me that people are happy. All they need is love and a bit of knowledge
  • I can’t fix everything nor should I try
  • Things are just things
  • I am blessed with what I have and now I need to figure out how I can use them to further God’s kingdom
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Appreciate family time
  • Life has a hierarchy. God first, spouse second, children third, family fourth and work fifth

As a result of this whole experience I have a greater awareness of the world, am more appreciative of what I have, and feel excited to share my stories with others. Thanks to all of you to allowing me to do that! And, a huge thank you to my family for making this trip possible.

Summer In Style

Finding jewelry that you love is one thing, but pairing it with the right outfit is another. If you’re looking to summer in style read below for a few tips to elevate your wardrobe. All it takes is a little bling.

Maxi_DressElevate Your Maxi Dress

Summer is here, which to me means dress season. Spruce up your everyday maxi dress with a bold, statement necklace. I especially love this Turquoise piece from the Tacori Island Rains collection.

CasualTry Classy Casual

Casual doesn’t have to be boring; in fact it can even be classy. You would be surprised how easily you can transform your look with the addition of a great timepiece. I’d recommend checking out the Movada Bold. One word – stunning.

Little_Black_DressPerfect Your Party Look

With weddings and anniversaries galore, it’s likely that you’ll pull out that little black dress at least once this summer. And, when you do, be sure to add a pair of great earrings. I am loving these chandelier earrings from the Simon G Fashion Collection.

With any outfit, when in doubt add some bling. Wishing you all one very stylish summer. If you are ever in need of more recommendations just stop by Yelton Fine Jewelers and I would be more than happy to help you accessorize.

Food, Family & Fun

imageIt seems like it was only yesterday that the boys got out of school and yet somehow it’s already the Fourth of July? Where does time go? While I can’t believe it’s already here, I am definitely looking forward to the festivities. In our house the Fourth of July is synonymous with three things –  lots of food, quality time with the family, and of course, fun!

Food: When it comes to Fourth of July, or any summer gathering for that matter, you can almost guarantee that I’ll be bringing fruit salsa to the party. I can’t help it, it’s a staple. For those of you looking to get a bit more adventurous with your holiday snacks check out this list of fifty festive recipes. Thank you Pinterest!

Family: Good food, parades, and fireworks aside if you ask me the most magical part of Fourth of July is the family time. And, with the store closed on Saturday, I am going to take full advantage of the extra hours with my three favorite guys. Looking forward to the laughs, the hugs, and the sun-kissed cheeks.

Fun: Fireworks. The Freedom Festival at New Life Chapel. Time outside. What’s not to love? With a bunch of great events happening in and around Cincinnati this weekend I don’t think I’ll have a hard time keeping the boys, Mark, or myself entertained.

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. As a reminder, Yelton’s will be closed on Saturday, July 4th, but we’ll look forward to seeing you after the weekend of fireworks.