Goals 2018!

Goals 2018!

January is off to a great start. It did take me a minute to kind of figure out what I wanted this year in regards to setting goals.  Somehow I lacked a bit of motivation at the start of the year but I’ve since caught up.  One thing that’s helped is this course I’m taking for work. It’s good to be a student.  I love to learn and this particular course is certainly inspiring.  It deals with the brain and how it develops and it’s reminding me that I’m never too old to learn or change. Anyway it got me in the mood to share what’s been on my brain as far as goals for 2018!

I know no one likes the word resolutions. And trust me I get why – it just sounds so constricting. I must do these things or else. That said this year I’m calling my goals resolutions. I need constricting, or else at the moment. I need to tell myself to take myself seriously or no one else will. So if resolve is what it will take then resolutions are what I will make. (sorry for the rhyme! 🙂  Here are just 5 excerpts from my resolutions this year.

Better My Health

Last year I didn’t really think too much about my health. In fact I focused so much on the health of those around me but didn’t really make much of an effort for myself. Then later in the year I thought of it like one of those things you know you should do, but would get to later. Well, this year my health is priority.


I specifically want to work on creating a good morning and evening routine. So important to me. Little J is potty trained now and so much more independent. Right now everything is so haphazard I really need a bit more order to my days and nights.


Ok so I’m a mom. I put everyone ahead of myself and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon. It does mean however that if I’m going to be able to keep that up then I need to take better care of me.  Putting my self first isn’t being selfish, it’s being kind.  I need to be kinder to myself so I can be kinder to you. I’ll definitely be working on this in 2018.


I don’t drive. This is a long story but to make it short…every time I’ve gone to learn some big life event happens and I never even make it to the driving test. Shame I know! But I can’t be the only thirty something who can’t drive! Can I? Ok so this year the goal is to become a good and safe driver. If you see me around you have permission to nag me about it . It’ll whip me into shape. Lol.

Be more present and in the moment

I need to be more present and just enjoy time with my husband and son and leave worry behind.

Welcome 2018! Happy New Year

Welcome 2018! Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Welcome 2018!!! Optimism. Hope. That is the great gift of the new year. All the injustices of the past can be rectified with the promise of 365 brand new days. We devote ourselves, with maybe more thought and energy than any other time of the year, to the improvement of ourselves. It’s a time for reflection and commitment and joy. Please know that we at the Beach to Prairie home wish you and yours the very best for the coming year.

Enjoy these pics from our holiday celebration and Blessings to you all.

Just a few Pics From Our Christmas Celebrations

Christmas Eve. Helping little J hand out presents! Lol We open presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.

Little J enjoyed playing with his gift from family on Christmas Eve. They were even gifts from the cats 😉

Then on Christmas Morning we open the gifts that Santa has left in our Christmas Stockings!

With Love Always! Michelle

Christmas Barbados and North Dakota

Christmas Barbados and North Dakota

I love Christmas. I love shopping for other people, decorating, Christmas carols – the whole nine yards. This Christmas I find myself thinking a lot about my Grandmother. As a child I’d often spend lots of time during Christmas Holidays in my Grandmother’s home. I remember all the cleaning that was done, and the decorating, but mostly I recall the food and the activity. The bustle.

I can see so clearly my mom and aunts in the kitchen baking Bajan Black Cake. I recall sitting on the steps shelling peas for the pigeon peas and rice we would later enjoy at Christmas. Every time my aunt would visit from England around this time, she’d bring Cadbury Chocolates and real treat for my sister and I in our youth. My mom and Aunt would always fill the house with music as they prepared for one Christmas Concert or the next. For this reason choirs singing remind me very much of home. My dad was very present at Christmas holidays and would go shopping with us and such but the women in my family fill my thoughts of Christmas for some reason.

I can’t say I recall any particularly special gift I got for Christmas as a child. I’m sure there were great ones but that’s not what makes me miss home at this time of year. It’s my family and friends.

I’m sure my North Dakota Christmas experience is far more specific to our family than local culture. People pop by with homemade treats for the family to enjoy. A great many gifts are exchanged. More than I’d ever grown up seeing, never mind receiving! Thank you cards are big here. In Barbados not so much. You give a gift, the recipient says thanks or calls you to say thanks and that’s it. Here in North Dakota, you write a card of thanks! Not something I ever grew up doing though I think it a nice thing to do.

My favorite things about Christmas here though is still the family and friends I share it with.  They make it a warm place despite usually being surrounded by cold and snow.

I often think about loved ones who have passed on and are no longer a physical presence in this world. What would they think of all the goings on of the past year?  And what my grandmother would make of the woman I’ve become? I make a silent vow to make all my departed loved ones prouder of me in the next year. It warms my heart to think they are some where seeing all the bustle and perhaps laughing at me a little.

The trees are up and my thoughts drift to the upcoming work week. I’ve decorated the house and have some pictures of to share. Hope you enjoy and I hope you have a wonder Christmas if you celebrate it no matter where in the world you may be. That’s all for now. With Love Michelle

Thanksgiving, Birthdays and Holiday Musings 2017

Thanksgiving, Birthdays and Holiday Musings 2017

Hey all! We hope your thanksgiving was excellent. Ours certainly was. I worked until Wednesday and had Thursday, Friday and the weekend off which I was grateful for.  My mother-in-law did all the cooking this year, which was a big undertaking (but she didn’t do it all the same day which helped). She did such a lovely job. We couldn’t be more grateful and Thanksgiving dinner was so delicious. We did spend some time outdoors as it was pretty warm here this weekend. I’m sure I will have to work twice as hard this week to work off the pounds surely gained this weekend.

This year I’m super thankful for: my family, the blessing of loving and having known family members who have since passed on, my son’s progress in speech and social interaction (something he’s working on still) and all the people who have helped us help him. I’m so blessed to have employment I believe to be important and helpful to our community and work associates that are just good people. My list is long guys, and it’s true my life is not perfect, but it’s perfectly mine and I’m loving living it.

Today is actually a shared birthday in my family. It’s my mom and my mother-in-law’s birthday. They are two very different women who have influenced my life in very different ways. I love them both. I hope to be a little like each of them as I continue to navigate life and motherhood and marriage.

The Holidays are here. I haven’t decorated anything yet. We usually don’t until December as we have birthdays to celebrate between Thanksgiving and December. Next weekend I will likely get everything up. I will try to share a decoration tour of sorts with you then.

Thursday is Independence Day in Barbados. Barbados gained Independence from Britain on the 30th of November 1966. I want to take a moment to wish all of my Bajan readers, family and friends the Happiest and Best for Independence Day this year.

That’s all for now. With Love Michelle



Let’s catch up! November 2017

Let’s catch up! November 2017

It’s November and I can hardly believe it. Well, that is until I see all the snow outside … then I remember. I hope it’s been a good November so far, for all of you.  It’s been cold here and we have been very busy. Let’s catch up on what’s been going on here since my last post.

Little J got to go to the local Halloween festival again this year. He had a blast and perhaps loved the bouncy house most. This year he actually went trick or treating too. (Last year he fell asleep before we got to the first house!)  It was a cold night but a fun one and it felt like the very next day there was snow everywhere.

Josh has been very busy and very productive working on his Fun Little Books business. Now available on Amazon ($7.99) is Josh’s first book in print, “Alice Dear, Would You Please!” This was not an easy task but it’s definately a worth while one. I’m so proud, not only of all the work he put into it but the quality of the work he’s produced. If you have kids who love to read, please support a young writer and try “Alice Dear, Would You Please! If you do drop a line in the comments if you purchase this book so we can thank you.  Hope you like it.

It’s beautiful here when it snows.  I continue to love the first months of snow in North Dakota. We took Little J out to enjoy some fun in the snow the other day.  I think he had a good time. Hope to get  back to a regular posting schedule soon.  Enjoy a few other pics from our November so far.



With Love Always – Michelle

Summer Days 2017

Summer Days 2017

Summer has just about ended. Kids are in school and the leaves have begun to change color.  That means it’s time for me to blog again. We had a wonderful summer although it was a busy one.  I last posted in the spring and I’d just started working full-time. I took the summer off from writing so that I could focus on my work and building new routines for my family.  I’m feeling a bit more settled now so writing can begin again.

Summer Entry Pekin

I worked all summer so I didn’t do anything too thrilling. No special trips this year however we still had a great time as a family.  We started the summer once again with  the Pekin Days Art Show.  This year was just as wonderful as ever.  So many talented artists sell their work in this show. Amongst them this year were works from my father-in-law Boyd and my husband Josh. I didn’t submit an entry this year but I did judge the sidewalk arts festival again.  It was even tougher to judge this year as the kids did such great work!

Summer Garden 2017

One of the summer undertakings was our garden. All of the credit for this goes to Josh. As I work forty hours a week outside of the home, I had little to do with this. We’ve enjoyed our garden produce. Especially jalapeño poppers and baked tomatoes. Yum 🙂 Lots of potatoes and one or two sweet potatoes. We have lost some to critters here and there but all in all the garden this year was a success. We love having Little J in the garden at least long enough to know where his food comes from. Hope he’s learning.

Summer Gardening Dad and Little J

Josh was busy this summer. He’s now writing!  His new business “Fun Little Books” is a collection of stories for children available on Kindle and iTunes.  I’m so incredibly proud of these stories and I can’t wait to see where this avenue leads him.  In addition Josh is still storyboarding, sculpting and illustrating for clients.

Josh's summer undertaking. Funlittlebooks.com

My, my how Little J has grown this summer. He is now a Preschooler. I’m thrilled with his progress. He’s a Mickey fan and has now taught himself to draw Mickey Mouse.  He’s a fan of the outdoors and loves to write, read and play with cars. I’m so proud of him. We had a great time at the Threshing Bee at Stump Lake Village this year. While Josh helped to make Lefse for patrons of the event, Little J and I got some quality time together.

Summer fun at Stump Lake

I hope you all had wonderful summers. I know there are some among you who are going through a lot in the aftermath of storms and flooding please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

That’s all for now. With Love Michelle