Please note: All images on this blog (except where noted) are original works of Miki Baxter and cannot be duplicated without permission. Also, if you're inspired by a project featured on here, then please link back to me and give proper credit. Thank you!!!


Ballast Overboard!

Days 10-14

Something uniquely wonderful about living in Colorado 
is looking out of the window some mornings and seeing a hot air balloon 
lifting off from a field not too far away.

Like a hot air balloon, 
I've been in the process of slowly ascending by releasing ballast, 
those weights than hinder upward progress.

Physically, I've lost about 20 pounds since January.
I'm dreaming of dressing this soon-to-be 40 year old body
in all of the vintage treasures too-long stored away in my closet.

I'll post many more photos of the After.


Dance. Delight. Risk. Love. Celebrate.

Days 8-9

 Starting this year,
'cause 40 is the start of a new adventure in oh so many ways,
I will...

Dance more often.
I love to dance.
Disco, salsa, merengue, goofball moves in my kitchen with my Ipod.
Don't get me started about the joys of Just Dance for the Wii.

Be delighted.
There are so many things in the course of the every day that are delightful.
Giggling. The sweetness of an orange. A scented candle.
Breathing in and out.

Share my heart. Try. Look deeper.
Face instead of turning away.
Really feel the emotions.

Freely. Wholeheartedly. Extravagantly.
Basking in the way He loves me so very, very much.
Receive love.

Celebrate Life.


Moving Right Along

Days 5-7

The last three days have been spent huddled up in the living room 
with the children,
fighting fevers and coughs and feeling yucky.
But we're better now, thank God.

The reflective journey towards 40 continues.
Stay tuned!


The Wisdom of Madame Roosevelt

 Day 4

Quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt:

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.  

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.  

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.



Day 3 

I like numbers and patterns. Never had a favorite color but like color combinations. And I enjoy recalling significant moments:

Age 0 - I was born in a bright pink hospital on top of a hill in Hawaii. If that isn't an auspicious start, I don't know what is!

Age 10 - Rode my 1st roller coaster with my dad and received several significant books from a family friend, including Mandy by Julie (Andrews) Edwards. This story of a 10 year old orphan longing for a place of her own resonated with my heart and gave me a sense of calling in life. 

Age 20 - I committed my life to God. Numerous tragedies had taken place leading up to this year, but He picked me up out of the mess, cleaned me up, and reminded me of His love and purpose. 

Age 30 - Just had my 1st baby and shaved my head bald. The two events are very loosely related, story for another post. 

Age 40 - A new beginning, feeling the most comfortable in my skin. Lots of adventure, "can't" has been erased from my vocabulary. 

Age 50 - The fabulousness continues. Watch out world! Reinvention, the fulfillment of grander dreams. Left my mark in Paris, Venice, and London. 

Age 60 - Dress totally inappropriately for my age, but since 60 is the new 40, I'm reliving my peak all over again. Wear too many rings at one time, just like my Mama did. And what's with the bright lipstick and big hair??? 

Age 70 - I've always wanted to be an eccentric. Another dream realized. Still love loud polyester pants but enjoy throwing Chanel into the mix too. Have to get more pages for the passport. 

Age 80 - No plastic surgery, thank God for great genes and an Asian mother. Decide to take up the Tango, a dance I've not mastered yet. May compete in an Amateur Ballroom Contest - love wearing the dresses. Still look great in them. 

Age 90 - Climbing mountains, maybe literally, definitely figuratively. 

Age 100 - It's been a Beautiful Century (the meaning of my name). It's up to God if He wants me here or there. I'm willing either way. My intention is as this poem describes: 
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave 
with the intention of arriving safely
in an attractive and well preserved body,
But rather to skid into Heaven sideways,
chocolate in one hand,
champagne in the other,
body thoroughly used up,
totally worn out and screaming
"WOO HOO what a ride!"
Author Unknown 
(I tried to discover the author and searched for it - if anyone knows, please let me know!)


Thoughts and Dreams

Day 2

Oprah sharing a conversation: "And as I sat there crying, he (Sidney Poitier) said, 'You have to remember you are carrying people's dreams, and when you are carrying people's dreams, oftentimes they put burdens on you that are not yours to bear. You have to decide what your dream is for yourself.'"

That statement hits home - so many things happened last year, including the passing of my mother. 39 was rough. But those challenges have also served as a catalyst for a deeper examination of myself.

The last decade was spent moving around, re-creating a home multiple times, for the dreams of a spouse. Staying at home with the children and homeschooling. Serving my church and community in a number of areas. And I've done it all gladly. No complaints...well, except for the moving around (a woman can pack and unpack boxes only so many times before going completely mad.) 

Prior to getting married, I worked with an international humanitarian organization and lived in Ethiopia for a year. I also spent a few months traveling around Bulgaria for that organization. It was life-changing and exciting.  One dream fulfilled.

At that time, I condensed my life into two suitcases, sold my car and gave away prized possessions (including my favorite pair of orange, red and black polyester bellbottom pants.) Disposed of anything that didn't fit into my new responsibilities as a representative of God and the organization overseas.  

And I've used that same approach ever since.  Though I haven't "lacked in personality" the last 10 years, I want to play the role of ME more too. I am no longer apologetic for loving psychedelic polyester bellbottom pants and plan to wear them more often.  (I've picked up a pair here and there.) 

The dreams of my heart that I will embrace as a 40 year old aka what will make me look more like me...
Drawing.  I stopped when I had babies because of the time and messiness.

Piercing my nose (and I'm gonna do it too in 39 days!)  When I was little, no one looked like me because I am a blend of two distinctive, culturally different parents.  The first time I saw a picture of woman in a sari, I screamed, "There's my people!" I had never seen someone that looked like me until then.  Inside, I am an Indian-Pakistani princess mixed with Diana Ross and her hair.

Writing a book.  I've had the idea for a biographical compilation for a few years now and have started conversations with several individuals.  Stories about people's lives are fascinating to me.

Collecting vintage gowns and using them in my photography.  My love of costumes and dresses began when I was around 3, with an aunt who used to make me hundreds of intricate paper dolls with hats, purses and fancy dresses.

Other passions and intentions...going to Paris, running a race, establishing a tea shop/photography studio/eclectic treasures shop, swimming again in the freezing cold beaches in Maine, dancing, studying design, renovating homes, poking about the whole country, taking my kids to Ethiopia, doing a photo shoot in both a bikini and my red satin gown.

What are your dreams and passions?  Though every day may not be a party, how do you celebrate life?  


40 Until 40

I'm counting down the 40 days until I turn 40,
and today is day one.

I've eagerly anticipated turning 40 for as long as I can remember.

Ever since I was a child, 
my heroines have always been elegant and sophisticated
with a decided air about them.

Women who knew their minds,
were decisive and sure.

I admired their confidence.

I think a woman just starts being 
truly beautiful at 40.
She's set in who she is,
no longer experimenting or trying to please everyone else.

I love the delicate lines that appear on the face,
the more hollow neck and collar bone areas.
The graceful hands.
Eyes that sparkle with wisdom and knowledge.
All of the ladies I've looked up to have increased in loveliness after age 40.
My mom.  
Benazir Bhutto, one of the ladies I most admire in the world.
Audrey Hepburn 
(more beautiful as she worked with UNICEP than in her younger years, to me.)  
Elizabeth Dole. Sophia Loren. Jane Fonda. Oprah Winfrey.
And many ladies over 40 who are not famous but are so very lovely to me!
40 days until 40...
to me this is where life begins to happen!