Flashback Friday – Fall Beauty

fallback1Hi and Happy Friday!  Yesterday was the first day of autumn or fall, my favorite season of the year.  Did you have a good one?  I did, but the weather sure doesn’t feel like fall, at least not yet.

This photo was taken two years ago in North Carolina.  The colors of the leaves was gorgeous.  I don’t know how this year will be since it has been so dry and hot.  We shall see.

Don’t get me wrong I really like the summer and we always have a great time and enjoy the time we have together.  However, fall is when the weather is the best, our routine comes back, and life is very rich with so many great activities.

There are so many things that I like about the fall:

  • Pumpkin Spice lattes
  • The chill in the air
  • Not sweating on our walks home
  • Celebrating my wedding anniversary with my love
  • Celebrating Ian’s birthday
  • Celebrating my parent’s birthdays
  • Celebrating two nephews’ birthdays
  • Celebrating cousins’ birthdays
  • Football games
  • Hot drinks
  • Cozy blankets
  • Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Baking items
  • Campouts and campfires
  • Premieres of favorite shows
  • Amazing smells and scents
  • Lovely reds, brilliant golds and oranges
  • The crunch of leaves
  • Long sleeve shirts and jeans

I wonder what this fall will bring?  I hope it will be cooler weather, fun times with family and friends, and some great food and drinks.  Take care and enjoy!

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TGIF! Time for rest and fun

I don’t know about you but I am so thankful that it is Friday!  I am so ready for the weekend and for us to have some time for fun and relaxation.  The last month has been really hard and I have had a hard time focusing on my writing.  That is frustrating.

So much sadness has been going on recently that putting together coherent thoughts has been difficult.  A friend passed away, another one is now in hospice care, a former co-worker’s son was found dead, people are suffering and hurting, and several friends are undergoing chemo treatments now.

That is so very much to deal with and my heart has been heavy.  However, I still try to find the good in life and be positive each day.  That is hard some days, but I continue to pray, and have been touched by all of the prayer support for these people.  So things are starting to get better.  When they are, I hope to have the desire to write again and more frequently.  I do miss it when I don’t.

This photo is one that calms me and helps me to remember fun times with family and friends.  It is lovely and one of my happy places.  So that is why I decided to post it for today’s blog.  Hope you also have a happy place or things that can help you when you are down.

Also, it is heartbreaking to see so much hate in the news and online.  We seem to have real and extreme problems with those we don’t agree with and I just don’t understand that.  What happened to having differences of opinion, compromising, and respecting someone else’s opinion and ideas?

I grew up learning to appreciate another person’s take on life.  It was enriching and not scary to me.  These days, people seem to be scared and filled with hate towards others.  This has to stop.  We have to be a people again who love others and show kindness to our loved ones and those we don’t know.

As a mother of a child with a loving heart, I don’t want him to grow up thinking it’s okay to be mean, hateful, and judgemental of someone who is different than he is.  Instead, I want him to be loving, kind, and willing to listen to differences and respect them.

A few quotes about hope:

  • “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu
  • “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Hope is like the sun, which as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” — Samuel Smiles
  • “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” — Michelle Obama
  • “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from today.” — John Wayne
  • “What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” — Rick Warren

May we always remember to be loving, kind, compassionate, willing to listen to others, and respect those who are different from ourselves.  May we have this weekend to recharge and have some fun.  May we have hope despite all of the pain and suffering.  May we remember that our Lord is there with us through everything.

Tears and Joy

lake.summer.7-27Today we say goodbye to that sweet soul I mentioned last week.  Ian’s dear friend Malachi passed away at 8 years old from brain cancer.  He was a joy to know and made us laugh so much.  Now as I remember him, it is with laughter through my tears.

His funeral is this afternoon and one of the hardest decisions I have ever made as a mother was deciding to have us not go.  You see it’s been hard enough for Ian to process the loss of his friend, much less attend a funeral mass in his honor.  So Kirk and I thought that school and his regular routine would be better for Ian.

Not sure if this was the best decision but Malachi’s dad totally understands.  And, that is a great comfort.  I don’t feel so guilty for not being there in person.  We are there in spirit and praying for the family and friends who have lost this amazing young man.  We are hurting too and clinging to our fond and funny memories.

When we met him, he came right up to Ian at preschool and said “Hi.  I am Malachi.  What is your name?”  Ian told him and they went to play together.  Then a few months later when Ian started full-time, Malachi made a point of saying, “I remember you.”

boys-9-6-2016Each time the boys played together, they had so much fun — whether it was Playmobile, Lego, or cars, they made up stories, made each other laugh, and shared.  Both were only children and got along really well.  They were a joy to watch and listen to.

Selfishly, I wanted to see the two of them grow up together, stay friends, and maybe room in college, go on vacations together, and so many other ideas.  But that was not to be.  The Lord had something else in mind.  So now, this amazing soul is in Heaven having a great time.  We miss getting to see him but are so thankful he is no longer in pain or suffering.

There are some people in our lives who come in and make an amazing impression and he did just that.  He lived an incredible and rich life for someone so very young, he had faith beyond measure, and a wonderful sense of humor.  He loved to help people and joke around with them as well.  He never met a stranger and enjoyed his time with family and friends.

I have learned a lot about friendship, faith, loss, joy, tears, laughter, and so much more from both Malachi and his parents.  I feel that my family is blessed beyond measure to have had these friendships. I will forever be thankful they came into our lives when they did.

May we all savor those relationships we have, make a point to tell those we love them, hug our loved ones, be there when they need us, and remember to laugh and enjoy life.  It is a gift and each day is so very precious.  May we also have joy.