The Blessing of Friendship

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday is the birthday of one of my oldest friends.  I don’t mean oldest by age but oldest as in the one who I have known the longest — except for family members. Happy 40-something Birthday to you dear Tammy!

My earliest memory of us being friends was in second grade.  We may have known each other before that too, but I just don’t remember.  Do you remember Tammy?

While in second grade, we had the same teacher Mr. Toler.  He was a fantastic teacher and one of the best.  One day that I still remember, we got in trouble for talking in class.  He pulled us out of the class and sent us to the coat closet to try to behave again.  Well, needless to say, we still had too much to discuss.  The punishment didn’t quite work since we kept talking.  Our parents were both called I think.

In addition to talking, we have always loved to laugh.  She is one of my favorite ones to laugh with.  We liked to laugh with our younger sisters too.  The four of us had a blast together! I hope that the four of us and our families can get together soon.

One of the nicest things that Tammy ever did was surprise me by attending my wedding.  The day before the wedding, she called me and said she wished she could be there. Little did I know she was downstairs.  When she came up the stairs, I screamed and starting crying happy tears.  It was so special to have her in town for our wedding.  If I had known, I would have asked her to be in the wedding.

So that day, I had my sister, my sister-in-law, and my best friends from elementary school, high school, and college there.  Five very special women were there for the big day and that meant the world to me. I am still friends with all of them and keep in regular touch with all of them.  What an amazing blessing that is!

Long-term friendships are few and rare so I am very thankful to still be friends with Tammy.  Although we don’t see each other as much as I’d like to, we seem to always pick right back up where we left off.  And, we always have a great time.  And, Ian had a blast playing last time with her son.  Hopefully the boys can get together again.

This photo is of the two of us the last time we were together at the beach two years ago.  Tammy, hope to see you again soon!

Hope you have a wonderful birthday Tammy!  Thanks so much for the blessing of your friendship!!    And, just between us, Cindy, and Sonya, AGADKTGA!!!!!!!  GGP rock!!!

Happy Birthday To You Mom!

1596SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday is my mother’s birthday!  Happy Birthday to you dear Mom!  Hope you have a wonderful day!

I thought an assortment of photos would be nice.  One is of me with Mom and Ian.  We took that on Mother’s Day of 2013. Another  is of the two of us at a yummy Mexican Restaurant in California.  The last one is when I was very young.  It was taken at my grandparents’ house, I think.  I love our hairdo, clothing, and smiles.   We have been smiling and posing ever since!

Tonight we are having my mom and dad over for dinner, cake and ice cream, and then all of us will go to a Cub Scout meeting when Ian will get his first patch.  The fact that they will be there is awesome!  I love that she is sharing her birthday with Ian and his accomplishments!  Should be a fun evening!

My mother loves to be with her children and now her grandchildren!  She loves spending time with all of us and making amazing memories.  She has taught me so much over the years of the importance of family and spending quality time together.

For many years, Mom worked as a teacher.  She was fantastic, did an amazing job of teaching, and loved those kids.  And, they loved her.  Last year, she helped in Ian’s class and that was also great.  She is now retired but still loves teaching and helping children learn to read.

Mom is one of the best singers I know.  I always love hearing her sing Bali Hai from “South Pacific” as well as O Holy Night during the Christmas season.  She is now the choir director at church after having done that years ago.

She also loves to read, sew, make jewelry, travel to the beach house, and is our family genealogist.  When I was a teenager, we worked on a family book.  This was the era before computers.  So we traveled to many libraries and looked up in many card catalogs with actual cards.  Now, she is doing an update and finding a lot of things online.

Mom, until I became a mother, I didn’t appreciate all that you have done for me.  I cannot thank you enough for always being there for me throughout my life.  You have taught me love, the blessings of family, the love of music, family history, reading, and so much more.

Here are a few quotes about mothers:

  • “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.” ~ Mildred B. Vermont
  • “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” ~ Jane Sellman
  • “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~ Rajneesh
  • “Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you’re the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.” ~ Rachel Wolchin

I love you very much Mom!  I wish you a very special day!  Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Birthday Wishes

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AIDEN AND PAUL!!!!!!!

Today, June 29, is my nephew Aiden’s Birthday.  He is 12 years old today.  To him, I want to say Happy Birthday and hope you are having a great day!

Tomorrow is my cousin Paul’s birthday.  He is six months older than me and so much fun.  Happy birthday to you too Paul. Love ya cuz!

I hope that both of these great guys have fun days.  Love you both so much!  I wish I could be with both of you!

(I am not on my usual computer so I can’t post any graphics with this post, but hope to soon.  Take care!)

Happy Birthday Dawn!

Dawn_bdayTomorrow is my friend Dawn’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to you dear Dawn!   She wrote a great blog today about it.  Please see the link at the bottom of the posting.  It is a fun read.

Here are some fun pictures from the era we met — when we were in college.  We met our freshman year and have been friends ever since.

The black and white photos were taken on a trip we took to Ocean City, MD.  We had a blast and were real hams for the camera as you can see. The color photo is from our college graduation!  YEAH, we made it.  We celebrated with our families and had a lot of fun.

Dawn is a forever friend, which is a rare gift!  I am so happy that I have known her for all of these years. Now we are in our mid-40s, which is truly amazing to think about.  Where did the time go?  It seems to have flown by.

I like that for many years, we lived near each other after college.  We stayed in touch and saw each other regularly.  Now, we no longer live close in distance, but do still keep in touch.

I just miss spending time in person with her over a glass of sweet iced tea, a tasty meal, and a shared memory.  I would love to go dancing with her, go to a chick flick movie, or on a long walk with my friend.  Another trip to the beach would also be fun.

We have always had differences but also quite a few similarities.  I like that about our friendship.  I continue to learn things from her and am inspired by her life, her career, her relationships, and those things that are important to her.  We clicked from the moment we met during freshman year and I am very thankful for her being in my life.

Dawn, may you have a wonderful birthday!  May your time with family and friends be blessed!  Hope to see you again soon.   Happy Birthday to you!  Welcome to the 46th year of life.  Can you believe we are that age?  I sure can’t!!!  Love ya!

You can read Dawn’s great birthday blog at http://gibsongirl247.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/a-rich-life/

March 7 – Time Flies / Happy Birthday Beckie

Fly_POD_3-7-2014Hi and Happy Friday.  Hope you will have a great weekend.  I don’t know about you but I am so very ready for it.

Today’s photo challenge is Fly.  Rather than a photo of something flying in the air, I decided to go with a photo that represents time flying, as in “time flies when you are having fun.”

Here in the left picture are the three of us at the beach several years ago with our mouths open and having fun.  Then in the right, last Mother’s Day, here we are again.  It is amazing how much Ian has grown and changed in that short time.

Rather than a cute baby face, he has stretched out, grown a lot, and turned into a young man, a boy.  My baby no longer looks like a baby.  He looks like a boy who is in school. That seemed to happen really fast too.  And, I was looking at his feet recently.  They have grown so much over the years.  Such tiny baby feet and now his foot is the size of my hand.

Where did the time go? This fall he will turn 7 years old and start 1st grade.  Wow!!!  That is just amazing as I can still remember the day we brought him home from the hospital.  We have had so many fun times ever since.

We do our best to savor our time together and I plan to continue to do just that.

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Happy Birthday to Beckie! Happy Birthday to you!!!

I also want to wish my wonderful sis-in-law Beckie a very Happy Birthday.  She is celebrating her birthday today.  I hope she has a great one and a wonderful weekend!

Last March I wrote a blog about her and her birthday.  I realized that I wanted to say almost the same things to her and about her again as in this link.  So I decided to repost that link.  Hope you don’t mind Beckie!   https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/happy-birthday-beckie/

This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.  We were enjoying a lobster lunch together for her birthday celebration while at the beach.  We’d just had a family portrait taken so we were in similar outfits.  What a fun day.

I hope we can do that again sometime!  It would be such fun.  Love you Beck and hope to see you again very soon.

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Have a great Friday and weekend!  And don’t forget to spring your clock forward on Saturday night before bed, if you live in an area starting Daylight Saving Time this weekend.

Happy Birthday Dear Richmond!

SRP.33.Patti_Richmond.1990Today, December 28, is my brother’s Birthday! Happy Birthday to you dear Richmond. This picture was taken in 1990 at the beach and is one of my favorites.  It cracks me up how similar our hairdos are.

I am 5 years older than my bro and we are very close.  It wasn’t always that way – at least not when we were growing up.  But, we overcame that and put aside our sibling rivalry junk. Now we are adults who love to spend time together and have our families get together.

It is a blessing to have shared all that we did with our sister Cindy and be able to come out the other side as friends who enjoy being together.  The three of us are pictured below.  And, I must admit it is amazing that we are now in our 40s.  Where did the time go?  How did I fly by so quickly?

It did and we have made a point to keep in regular contact since we no longer live in the same towns.  We get together when we can and our kids enjoy being together too.

Richmond has a great job, a wonderful family, is a lot of fun, and makes me laugh.  He is a fan of U2, dress clothes, and loves to quote movies.  I just wish we could spend more time together.

Tonight is his birthday party and I unfortunately won’t be able to be there, but will be in spirit.  With my son having been sick this week, Kirk and I decided to rest and stay closer to home.  I am, however, looking forward to photos and hearing about the evening.

Richmond, I hope that you have a wonderful birthday and can have fun and do what you like!   May you have a blessed birthday and another amazing trip around the sun!  I love you bro!!!

3 kids

Birthday Blessings

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy 1st day of December.

Today is the first day of Advent — our season before Christmas.  They will light a candle at church and we will hear part of the Christmas story. And each Wednesday between now and Christmas, we will have a dinner and short service.  The time of year helps us remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

It is also the day after the birthday of five of my friends — Laura, Karla, Phyllis, Becky, and Donna.  Hope all of you had wonderful birthdays!  I got to see two of these ladies last week during a fun girls night out.  The others I keep in touch with mainly through Facebook and do see around town some.

This is the day that some of my friends have to move out of their homes.  I am going to do my best not to cry today when I think of these changes.  Instead I want to smile and focus on knowing them and being excited for a new chapter in their lives. You can read more about these changes in “An Ode to SRP.”

Today is the first day that I am truly going to work on my weight loss journey again.  I saw a recent photo of myself and didn’t like how I looked at all.  My face has gotten much heavier than I realized — as has all of me.  I know what to do, I just have to do it.

December 1st is the first day of the last month of the year.  It is hard to believe that it has gone as quickly as it has.  It seems like we just started 2013 and now are nearly into 2014.

It is also my birthday.  Normally I don’t write about my own birthday but today I wanted to share my blessings with you and some of my thoughts over this last year.  Here is a picture of me from 2010 with my birthday cake.

It has been quite a year.  There have been losses but also several new people have come into my life.  It is so hard to say goodbye to people who mean so much to you but unfortunately this is a hard and sad part of life.  New friendships are fabulous, as is seeing your son make a new friend who he has a ball with.

We didn’t have a real vacation anywhere this year so Ian’s Christmas break from school will be our time off.  There are a few museums in our town that I hope to visit, we’ll be sure to go to the library, the park if it isn’t too cold, as well as other fun things that we will be doing.  Perhaps a road trip or two but mainly time at home and with friends and family.

Ian started kindergarten this year.  At the beginning, I had a very hard time and missed him like crazy.  But, over the weeks, I have come to like going to the store by myself, being able to run out quickly and do something, read a book without interruption, and go to the bathroom by myself.  The fact he loves school makes this so much easier.

Last night at my birthday party with family and friends, my grandmother was there.  I feel so fortunate at my age to still have a living grandparent.  For most of my life I knew three of them and always felt very fortunate for that fact.  This year is something that was another treasure for me.

Some of my blessings and things I am thankful for:

  • A man who loves me no matter my size or mood.
  • A son who comes to me when he is hurt and asks questions and who wants me to put him to bed each night.
  • Parents who taught me about love and family.
  • My brother and sister and their spouses for showing love and kindness to me.
  • My nieces and nephews for being the fun and amazing kids they are.
  • In-laws who have welcomed me and all my quirks.
  • Friends who I have known for many, many years and still can talk so easily to and have such fun with.
  • A feisty grandmother who enjoys being with her family.
  • Aunts and Uncles and Cousins who are so fun and special and important to who I am.
  • New friends who I am still developing a relationship with.
  • Ian’s teachers who watch over him and teach him so much.
  • Ian’s friends that he is making and having fun with.
  • Our house and neighborhood where we love to be.
  • Our church where we met and got married and continue to enjoy services.
  • Our city’s library where we check out so many great books and go on great adventures.
  • A computer where I can write and keep in touch with others.
  • A journal where I take sermon notes and write down inspirational ideas and quotes.
  • A piano where I am re-learning music and trying to practice more.
  • Our neighborhood where I can walk and Ian can ride his bike.
  • The ability to sing and the fun of singing with family and friends.

I am so thrilled to have made another journey around the sun.  Hope you have a wonderful 1st day of December!

Happy Birthday to Pam!

DSC00108Happy Birthday to my dear cousin Pam!

Hugs and love to you Pam!  Here is a photo of us at the beach.  I thought it was cute since it shows a hug.

Pam is one of my favorite people.  She is someone who I always enjoy spending time with and never seem to have enough.

Any time we are together, we pick up right where we left off.  That is a rare thing to have with a friend.  And, a real blessing. We can  and do talk for hours and laugh, and enjoy a glass of White Zin together.

Since we were teenagers, we have been close and have kept in touch.  Each summer when I was growing up, I looked forward to seeing her and we always had a blast when we did.  Then, when I couldn’t, I enjoyed the Christmas cards and cool pictures.  She was always the coolest and still is.

I have enjoyed also seeing her family grow and her girls grow up and start families of their own.  All of them are a blessing to me and such fun.  And, I like that Ian has also gotten to know Pam.  Here is a photo from a while ago when he first met her.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFun times!

Pam, I hope you have a day full of blessings, love, and fun.  Have another wonderful trip around the sun!!  I hope to see you sometime very soon.

Hugs and love to you!

Happy Birthday Robbi / Clouds

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy November 12. Today is my cousin Robbi’s birthday.

Happy Birthday to you dear Robbi.  I hope that you have a great day today!  This is a picture of us from last Christmas.

Robbi is a lot of fun and I enjoy spending time with her and her entire family. Ian likes to play with her kids.

She is a great cook, a very talented seamstress with her own business, enjoys her job, and spending time with her friends and family.  She is the mother of two kids and is married to a great guy.

We enjoy getting together as a family to celebrate birthdays and just did celebrate Robbi’s as well as her daughter’s.  It was a lot of fun.

Robbi, may you have a wonderful birthday full of fun and blessings!  Love you!

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GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s photo challenge is Clouds.  Here is a pretty picture I took recently in the morning.

I love how the light is peaking through the clouds.

Hope you have a great day.

Happy late Birthday Mom!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday was my mother’s birthday!

We had such fun celebrating with her both yesterday and during a family party on Saturday.

I didn’t take the time to write anything then.  But I did want to wish her well and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU online.

I love my Mom and love that we are friends.  She has taught me so much – both as a child and now that I too am a parent. She is a great example for me and I am so thankful for her.

Like me, she loves to read, sing, take photos, spend time with family and friends.  And, she loves her children and grandchildren more than words.

Here are a few pictures of us.  The first one is with her on Mother’s Day earlier this year with Ian. The other two are from many, many years ago.SRP.34_Mairy.Patti.Artha.1968 SRP.72.Bill.Mairzy.Patti.late1960s The first is me with my mother and her mother.  We were having fun at the beach.  The last picture is of me with both of my parents.

Thanks Mom for everything!  I love you very much.