Friday, February 9, 2018

You're Never Poor When You Have Family. Celebrate Them With 2 Great Clipart Collections

Clipart image of a family
Scrolling through Facebook the other day, I happened upon a video, its message a simple but often overlooked truth. "No matter how poor you think you are, if you have a family, you have everything."

In a time when long marriages are few and far between, I'm happy to say that I've had the joy and pleasure of sharing my life for almost four decades with my best buddy, my greatest love, my warrior, my champion.  Together we have raised four incredible kids, and been blessed with six amazing grandchildren.

But our family doesn't begin and end there. From siblings and in-laws to nieces, nephews and cousins, we have been supported by a crazy, loving brood of uniquely interesting people.  An opportunity to celebrate these bonds seems perfect, particularly in the funk of winter.

This weekend or next, depending on where they live in Canada, people will be enjoying the first long weekend of the year — a time to gather with the folks who know them best and love them anyway. Family Day, celebrating the importance of these special relationships,  is a public holiday in provinces across the country, providing us with an extra day away from work to share in games and activities, or simply to just be, together.
Clipart image of a family outside in winter
It's always been a rather haphazard event for our group. With many working strange shifts, we've come to expect that everyone won't be able to make it for the festivities. But family is family, in whole or in part, so we definitely do our best to make the most of the time together, regardless of the configuration.

As for the aforementioned festivities, they tend to be random too. After a few years of keeping it simple with Family Day suppers, our older daughter latched on to the idea of hosting an annual fish fry. It was such a success, however, that it was decided to open it up to include friends and acquaintances. Since that would increase the numbers significantly, it also made more sense for the date to be changed to sometime in the balmy summer when it could be enjoyed out of doors.

Clipart image of a family playing video games
To replace it, we agreed upon a sledding party, which was great fun. However, that fell flat the following year when there was no snow upon which to glide down the slopes. Our fall-back then became a games day, a riotously memorable time.

Taking all of these past years into consideration, looking out the window at the thick carpet of fluffy snowflakes,  acknowledging our competitive nature as well as our ever-present pleasure in good food, we've agreed this year to combine the successes of previous Family Days into one. There will be sledding, games and a tasty meal.

Most important, of course, is the reality of enjoying all of it together. Life can be so incredibly busy that we often lose sight of what's most important.  While this materialistic world can often confuse our values, once surrounded by family we remember that we really do have all we need right there.

From the Vital Imagery Ltd. family we invite you to enjoy these clipart collections in honour of the upcoming celebration: Family Day Family Day

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Hearts Beat, Lovers Cuddle, Cupid Strikes. They're All Here in These 360 Amazing Animations

Animation of a dog jumping on a heart pillow
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."  — Maya Angelou

I don't know about all of that leaping and hurdling, but love is certainly an active condition. There's really nothing about romance that's static.  Hearts beat, lovers cuddle, cupid strikes. Even gazing into someone's eyes requires a certain amount of eyelash batting.

When you think about it, the emotions themselves are ever moving. There is an ebb and flow to love. At times it is as gentle as the soft ripple of a lake on a still morning, at others it hits with all the force of a tsunami.

We all remember the intensity of love's first blush. Just hearing your beloved's voice could set your stomach aflutter. A glimpse across a crowded room took your breath away. A gentle touch and your heart skipped a beat.  It's a state of being that can stay with you. Not, perhaps with the same heat as in the beginning, but with the warmth and glow of a candle flame.

Having been married for several decades I'm quite familiar with how love changes throughout the course of a couple's life together. Less head in the clouds and more feet on the ground, I suppose you might say. There are phases and patterns that interchange, the weaving of passion and ardour through strands of turbulence and teamwork, strength and stability. Life has a way of changing what is normal, and over time as a result of circumstances, we come to expect these alterations in our relationships.

Animation of a couple kissing
The early days of infatuation and rose-coloured glasses soon take on a more pragmatic vibe as realities of co-existing with another person, of building a partnership with them begin to take hold.  Introduce a few children into this collaboration, and romance not only often gets put on the back burner but a diligent effort has to be made, amidst the practical busyness of being a family, to infuse a little spice back into it.

Quite simply, falling back on a familiar cliché, if you're together long enough, it's not always going to be clear sailing.  Any partners that say otherwise are either fibbing intentionally or they really have low expectations.

Given that our personal existence is full of highs and lows,  it's bound to to be the same when you try to share a household and life with another.  You might love each other, but as I've just tried to illustrate, the form of that love will be ever changing.  Even day to day. A cold shoulder on Monday, warm lips on Tuesday.

The important thing to remember is that while there are many conditions that can affect a relationship, it really seems that we should never allow anything to surpass in priority,  the love and romance that began it all.

So as I find myself pondering love and romance in the time leading up to Valentine's Day,  as I consider all of the actions that define and describe it, it seemed most appropriate to highlight animated images. Here's a great collection from Animation Factory:

Valentine's Day Animations