There comes a time in one’s life that you question what your life’s purpose is. Some would call it a life crisis, an intense yearning for something more. The past six months I’ve experience great changes in my professional life that has led me on a path of new discoveries. This past November I left my job of eleven years as a special education paraprofessional to take a leap of faith to work in a whole new setting, as preschool teacher in a well-known daycare. It was my hope not to just better myself but give my family a better financial future working a year around job.


Few weeks into this job, I soon discovered that it was not for me. Corporate run childcare, wow what was I thinking?  I longed to be the children I educated and cared for, I missed their unique style of language and expressions highlighted for their achievements of their goals. I found myself on my days off, volunteering in the special education class of my previous post. I felt like I was at home, a new perspective, about a position I once held confirmed what has always been a huge part of my life. My purpose, to glorify God it is not about money it is about what I can do for those in need. Princess Diana once said, “Only do what your heart tells you.”  I agree.

In the days following of the revelation, a sense of dread swallowed me, volunteering to work with sped students added to the feeling of being trapped in my current position. My passion inside that I once felt at its full intensity, now had been snuffed out suffocating my sense of purpose. It was evident that I needed to fix my current situation and make it right with the universe.  I really did not know what was going to happen next, but I knew I needed to go back to the position I once held for more than a decade. As my anxiety arose on a cold winter’s day as I head into the director’s office and handed her my resignation. At that moment, my heart-felt warm and I knew a new journey was on my horizon.

What was the new journey?  At first I thought about going back to school for teaching, but found out that boat had sailed even though I received news of acceptance to the Para to Sped program at a state university. Feeling no regrets in turning it down as I felt an immense relief because I could not in good conscience put my family’s financial future at risk so I could accumulate debt in my mid-forties.  Not to mention I have a teen daughter and in two years would be off to Art College to realize her dream of an author / illustrator.

Finally, the circle is almost complete, securing my substitute position with various districts I now know what I really want to do.  I love the flexibility of subbing, able to explore different positions while practicing the virtue of patience letting my destiny be revealed.  In the meantime I plan on spending time with inspiring students, colleagues, bloggers, friends, and family. And who knows maybe I am meant to be a writer after all, sharing inspirational stories with readers like you.  If anything is learned from such an experience is to live in the present, let your destiny complete your circle.

Happy Blogging,


Full Circle

Spiritual Journal: Entry 1


In the need for a Spiritual Reset? I know I am and that is perfectly okay, as a believer in Christ having some doubt can be discouraging but it is a natural feeling to have when you our on a path of truth. .

Reaction to outside influences are what tests my faith, I need to remember what my purpose through our Lord Jesus Christ. I  need to remember to fulfill the Great Commission and honor the Greatest Commandment. In such a dark place of our culture I must remember to let my light shine through no matter how personal it may feel to me. I must love my brothers and sisters, no judgement but convey God’s word truthful. As a Christian I must live the life of truth, often  remember God’s love and His plan for us!

Today I profess my faith, I pray that I keep strong in obedience to the Lord, I am so bless to have a wonderful husband and daughter. I feel humbled by the obstacles the You have laid before me, to teach me how important it is to stay pure in my heart, to be faithful. Faithful is what I struggle with, culture I pray that it will not be a distraction from the truth. Not to surrender to what feels good but instead be obedient to the Word of God. Lord I pray that as I explore your Word, the Creation and outside forces that I must remember when I am true to the Word, that I will meet up with intolerance of others. I must remember that this is a sign that I am be faithful to you my Lord.

“Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Mark 13:13 NIV

Holding this scripture to my heart, when I feel defeated this refuels the fire in my heart to honor Christ’s path.

Thank you Lord, Jesus Christ for fulfilling God’s promise for redemption so that I may have eternal life. Amen

Legacies & Heirlooms

When most people think of legacy they think of wonderful gifts or heirlooms passed down from generation to generation, keeping family traditions alive.

Traditions are to be treasured, like my great grandmother’s collection of jewelry from the roaring twenties and my grandfather’s collection of classic books written by literary icons like Shakespeare and Mark Twain. These classics inspired my love for the written word. (Almarinda)

My great grandmother left behind beautiful, handmade quilts as her legacy. She passed her gift onto my grandmother and my grandmother is now passing it onto my mother (You know her as Almarinda). Whenever I snuggle up with one of great grandma’s quilts I think of her and all the good times we had before she passed. (Becca)


Even though heirlooms are just objects, they tell the inspiring stories of our loved one’s past trials and tribulations that made them stronger and wiser.

What is one of your most treasured family heirlooms?

Happy blogging,

– Almarinda & Rebecca

Simple Life: Where have we been lately?

Our walk down the path of simplicity has taken a drastic turn, thanks to an enormous dose of reality when it comes to living modestly. Let’s recall that our mission at the time was to write about my family’s intent to Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. Our very first post, Sacrificing + Downsizing=Big Reward explains the early steps we took to get to where we are today. I must concede my idea of simplifying is much different today than it was a few years ago. Our family’s goal was to live life simpler so we could enjoy the small things in life but most importantly each other. On this journey I’ve discovered that there are many twist and turns in this roller coaster we call life. These trials have brought us together and given us a new perspective of faith in one another and most importantly faith in God. Which brings me to the question of where have we been lately?

Six months ago life was getting really stressful with Rebecca’s ongoing health issues as a result of living in close quarters. It was clear that we needed to provide a safe environment for Becca to dwell in day by day. Not only was she depressed by her health but not having a space of her own made it much worse. Imagine as parents Mitch and I felt like failures, so this affected us immensely impacting our relationship with each other and individually we felt the physical and emotional effects. It was during this time that we started going to church and growing our faith and it has helped us stay positive during these hard times.

As you recall my last post was in December 2014, this was the time when started to look for other living arrangements. We started to stress because we needed money to put down on a future rental. Thankfully God blessed us with fulltime jobs and a family member willing to help us with the money needed to rent.

It was not until the last week of January 2015 that we were able to move into a modest rambler nestled on an acre lot that has 3 bedrooms and 1 bath and enormous 1,248 square feet. This is not as small as I would have liked but it fit our budget in fact it was almost $300 less than our previous mortgage on our home of 1,980 feet in a country setting on 7 acres. In theory we have downsized, we hope that we can buy a home in the future perhaps the one we are currently living in. We will wait and see what God has in store for us!

Here are some pictures of our home:


Front of the house


Front yard


Apple tree



Artwork by Rebecca L.

Artwork by Rebecca L.

School Room

School Room

Becca's Room

Becca’s Room


Living room, with big window for Mittens

Master Bedroom

Master bedroom, with big bed for Mittens

Fast forward to the now, when we took an unforeseen break Simple Northern Life highlighted in a post titled a Welcoming a New Season , at a ‘Crossroads’ and began to shift the focus on more lighthearted topics. Now that our lives have settle down a bit my daughter and I want to pick up where we left off. We are ever grateful for our current and future readers for giving us a platform to share our lives and hope that we may inspire you to live your lives to the fullest.

Happy Blogging,

Almarinda and Rebecca

Simple Faith: Quote of the Week

“I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.”

— Tracy Chapman

For as long as I could remember I have always believed in angels and the messages of hope they convey in times of great despair. Perhaps it is a fallacy to believe that a mere human being could process such grace and dignity that of an angel on earth. However, it is true that an ordinary person can do great works of inspiration by simply being a loving and compassion being. Ordinary people making a great difference in the world without notice are truly the angels of the earth. In the bible Jesus Christ says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14.

Perhaps, ordinary people give a great gift of hope, faith and love as they have chosen a path led by Christ. A great illustration of this is the Ebola crisis, a Good Samaritan story relived as those who are fighting this epidemic on the frontlines demonstrate of their selfless act courage so that one day that healing come to all those infected by this horrible disease. Therefore, ordinary people who are doing God’s work every day and sometimes goes unnoticed let today be the moment that we pay homage those ordinary angels. Let them know we desperately need them to continue their life’s purpose of message and inspiration. Finally, it is their example that inspires me and as a Christian, on my own path I pray that I can do a fraction of good that these ordinary angels have done.

Have a blessed week,


Simple Faith: Quote of the Week

“Every one of us needs show how much we care for each other, and in the process, care for ourselves.”

Princess Diana

In the tremulous word we live in I believe that as human beings we need to show compassion for one another as we experience the trials and tribulations of life. The simplest act of compassion is having empathy for one another, we may never know what a person feels but we can put ourselves in their shoes and bear some of the worries they are experiencing as an act of being a good friend. Be a good listener and offer support when needed or a shoulder to cry on. Perhaps it could be the opposite, in good times we can share in one’s fortune, be elated when one gets a promotion in their career or celebrates one’s new marriage. In good and bad times we must care for one another so as challenge to you throughout this week think of a simple act such as an offer a sympathetic ear, remember to listen with your heart and be the light in that person’s life. Jesus Christ’s teachings are simple, “Love is Law.” Caring for our fellow mankind, is the simplest gift to offer in this merriest season of hope and love.

Have a Blessed Week,


Simple Life: Welcoming a New Season

Majestic Crimson Maple

Majestic Crimson Maple

As my aging becomes real to me, I never thought I would worry about the unknown woes of my forties in which have kept me busy in the past several months. I would rather remember the moments of the celebrating milestones I’ve experienced in life. The following recollections I coined as a season of independence, starting with my sweet sixteen, passing my driver’s test an opportunity to escape the stresses of a young lady. Perhaps it was my ability to produce my first newspaper article, giving me a since of pride. Possibly, the most important rite of passage, the right to vote after turning the age of 18 giving me a feeling of liberty, knowing that I my vote counts electing President Bill Clinton my first choice as I entered adulthood. Life events can be marked by different seasons, as I enter the next season I am starting to wonder if this could be my winter.

The coldness of winter sets in, my new season in which I call the ‘diagnostic roller coaster ride’ which is the result of turning forty. Welcomed by many women with a chilling procedure known as a mammogram along with other tests to ensure that preventative measures are taken in preventing disease. My first mammogram showed some concern which led to other diagnostic testing, ultimately led to a biopsy. Fortunately, the tests revealed no malignancy but did reveal future storm brewing evidence of precursor conditions that increases my chances of developing breast cancer almost double, as a result the my doctor wants frequent screening. At first I was worried but after some research, the storm has settled leaving me at ease, I am confident that if such diagnosis occurred my chances are good with exceptional health care and treatment options.

Ironically, I never thought I would ponder about getting older, I always thought of myself as an advocate for aging gracefully like Diane Keaton and Jamie Lee Curtis. Embracing the charm of silver streaking in my autumn hair, instead of heading to a salon to dye my hair a color that only enhances aging while the laugh line serves as reminder of my good humor. Perhaps the crow’s feet adding mystical beauty enhancing my bright blue eyes revealing my soul. The little imperfections of my forty year old face reveals my life experiences, I view as a reminder of growing older gracefully.

At A Crossroads

So now I can reveal that I am truly at a Crossroads in my life, I have choice to make, embrace my new season of life to navigate uncharted waters. No doubt that storms will be brewing but the choice to be made here, how shall I conquer the unknown? Easy for me, I want to be a role model and embrace the season with purpose to gain more knowledge to pass down to my daughter that she not to fear the season that life offers in her future.

***Update on Blog****

As I start this new season of life, my purpose for this blog has shifted to a simpler mission, one that embodies the motto “Simplify, Simplify, Simplify”. The mission to inspire readers to embrace what makes them passionate about their lives. The format will be more concise and easier to follow by allowing the content to be clear in its intent to either inform or entertain. Future posts will have head line to help readers to decipher the post intended purpose. The three categories are as follows: Simple Life, Simple Faith and Simple Prose.

Simple Life:

All things our family’s life influencing our goal of living a simpler life such as our budget, our future home and all things that fall in between. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!

Simple Faith:

Our family life verse, “Love is Law.” Our family’s focus is to follow Christ and be the light in the darkness in which our goal is to share our journey of being a Christian. The focus is to uplift those readers who thirst for inspiration, to give hope to the readers that there is kindness and love in our world. Exploring topics of good will inspire those in furthering the causes that matters in our country and world. Lastly, more creative side while adding simple quotes from great influences of the past and present of biblical scripture and great humanitarians of all time. The goal to inspire diverse readers while implementing our life verse, “Love is Law”.

Simple Prose:

A mother and daughter team, Allie and Becca exploring their creative talents together or individually. Simple creative works like original drawings and digital photography along with written prose telling the story of the piece. The purpose of these posts are to practice our shared passion for the written word and Becca’s artistic flair it is our hope to create a closer bond with each other. We are looking forward to this new journey together.

Happy Blogging,

Allie & Becca

Wondrous Wednesdays: Goal of Poetry

Look forward to new format and more creative posts to come. Thank you for being patient because I am truly At A Cross Roads!

Simple Northern Life

railroad crossing

By A. Zych

In life there comes a time; an urge to throw caution to the wind.
A time of change, a bit of new.
Embrace the unknown, hold on tightly.
As you choose to go forwards or backwards.

An awakening of butterflies as your destination comes upon you.
An abrupt halt and it is a decisive moment.
Encompass by truth, dawning of a new day.
The sun rises at the crossing.

Recently I came across another wonderful blogger, Spice of Life who is very ambitious when it comes to setting goals. Therefore, with her little nudge I decided to challenge myself by writing a poem. Poems are scary for me mainly I find them a difficult challenge to break down my thoughts into several verses. Therefore, the goal is that I need to write one poem a month.

Do you have any challenging goals and if so what…

View original post 4 more words

Simple Life: Home Sweet Home

Simple Life

Simple Life

This past year went fast, although we had many obstacles to overcome such as Rebecca’s health issues and her environment being a factor we were able to remedy the situation. In fact Rebecca seems to be doing much better and is more settled. I must confess my family has the itch to own a new home in the future.

If you recall more my plan than my husband Mitch’s was to own a home little to no mortgage has proven to be an unrealistic quest. I must admit that I am a bit of a dreamer, however I am smart enough to know that we have to alter our thinking to fit a realistic one. In a perfect world of mine, my family would have no debt and only have to pay a minimal utility bill with other expenses that can occur such as Becca’s needs as a teenager. It has always been my focus to live a meaningful life and not be a slave to the banks and to live a simpler life.

A change of heart, within the last several weeks several factors have influence our discovery that buying a home with cash will never happen for us! For many reasons, cost of living putting a damper on our savings, the housing market is recovering and for most American’s the taking a mortgage is a must to buy a home that is fairly decent. For instance, a home in our area of interest made a price adjustment to increase over $20,000 of our budget. Talk about sticker shock!

A few days ago, we recently consulted with a mortgage advisor and received information to buy our next home. Stunning to know, that more than half of his clients are in similar situations like ours, you know, either buying above their means or victim of the housing bubble that resulted in a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure. Ironically, we discovered that we are not that far out from owning a home. In fact we may qualify for the “Back to Work” program which waives the wait time after a foreclosure from 3 years to 1 year. However, because we did not seek credit building tools like a credit card and a line of credit we were unable to build new credit. The consequence of our fear of debt will put us behind about 3 to 6 months of receiving an approval for a new mortgage.

However, more time is a blessing because we will have more time to save and get our financial house in order before we make the big move. We can take our time, buy within our means perhaps we may need to go more rural and it will be close to my job at the school. We may be looking in town or a home with some acreage outside of town just as long as it is a healthy environment for our Rebecca. Finally, for my family we are still on the journey to live a simpler life, what is simple for one may not be simple for another. It all depends on one’s perspective and the path we choose to get there. So life throws us many curve balls, what is important is how we play those curve balls hopefully for us we will hit it out of the park when it comes to owning a home in the future.

Happy Blogging!

Just wanted to inform my readers that if you should find yourselves in a similar situation that you should consult a professional on how to get back on track. So that you may not find yourself in a similar situation like ours. Good Luck!

Helpful Resources:

Sunrise Vista: Back to Work Extenuating Circumstance.

Lender 411: Letter of Explanation. At http://www.lender411.com/letter-of-explanation-sample-lender411-com/

Simple Faith: Legacy of an Elder

“The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.”
Tavis Smiley


Legacy of an elder is an amazing gift, I made this discovery while attending my husband’s great aunt Helen’s funeral. Inspired by her family’s tribute as a testament of the legacy she left behind. Legacy to me are to be defined by traditions, faith and life lessons left behind from a beloved elder. The inspirational experiences that our loved ones endured and to lead the way for future generations to live life with courage, compassion and commitment.

Legacy to some are what material things are left behind of monetary value but it is the life lessons and the growing wisdom shared by our most beloved elder. What may seem ordinary are the extraordinary, such are the valuable lessons when it comes to the legacy. Keeping the heritage a live by honoring traditions such as preparing family traditional dish. In the case of great aunt Helen it was a Polish recipe, Galumpkis (cabbage rolls). Or could it be the sharing of family memories at reunions and weddings she spoke of these times with great pride and respect of those she loved of the past.

An unwavering faith in God and her belief in the Catholic Church molded her into a compassionate person. Defining characteristic of extraordinary character a strong will to never give up when life present challenges. . The proof of great aunt Helen’s strength shone brightly through her work ethic because a job no matter how mundane it seemed solidified her commitment to her family. To be a role model for her love ones. A great example by conquering many trials and tribulations to prove to the younger generation a choice to never give up.

An elder’s legacy is to be cherished, to serve as a reminder that no matter what life offers you but what remains clear is how we embrace it with grace and to leave a lasting impression for generations to come. My gratitude to those who have come before me, a choice to be made and to embrace the wisdom that comes with life experiences. To honor those before me I will make an attempt to leave a legacy for my decedents, one that honors their heritage to pass on for future the generations to come.


Special Thanks to family members for urging me to get back into the art I love so much. For being so gracious in allowing me to write about family and what matters the most in this thing we call life. My gratitude to my husband, Mitch and daughter Rebecca and beloved family member, Jim. Your support means a lot to me!