Throwback Thursday – Fun With Pam

TT.11-19-Patti.PamIn honor of my cousin Pam’s birthday tomorrow, I decided to post a few photos of fun times with her.  She is one of my favorite people on the planet and we always have a great time together.  As you can see, we enjoy smiling and silly poses.

The picture at the top of the blog is in the beach house kitchen when we were making dinner.  Looks like we are making spaghetti and having a blast as usual.  I recently came across this photo.  She and her hubby came to the house for dinner and to visit with us.  It was July 2009.

Pam has been a dear friend since we were kids.  We don’t see each other regularly but when we do, we always pick up right where we left off.  I just love that about us.  We have different ideas and opinions on lots of things, but we still enjoy long and lively chats.  There is nothing more fun than having a glass of White Zinfandel with her.  This is a great time to talk and laugh.

TT.11-19-4.girlsThis other photo is from another trip to San Diego. It was taken in 2006, before Ian was born.  From left are me, Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie.  These three gals truly are my sisters.  They are all awesome women, great fun, and fantastic mothers.  They all love their hubbies and kids as much as I love Kirk and Ian.

I love having these strong women in my life.  I also have several more awesome cousins who are as fun and special to me as Pam is.  And, I am blessed with some wonderful  friends and other terrific family members as well.  My girlfriends are so very important to me.  I only wish that I could see them more than I do.

There is nothing like time with female friends and family. Sometimes I just need that time or else things are not right in the world.  You know what I mean?  Don’t get me wrong, I love the guys in my life, but a gal has to have time to just chat with other gals.

This blogs celebrates those amazing women.  I am blessed beyond measure to know and love Pam and so many other amazing friends and family.  I cherish each of them.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Celebrating Pam’s birthday tomorrow even though I won’t get to be with her
  • Being able to pick up right where we left off when seeing each other
  • Laughter and a glass of wine with Pam
  • Female friendships
  • The fun of an inside joke with a life-long friend
  • Photos of summer fun
  • Girls Night Out with high school friends
  • Mother-daughter activities and fun
  • Chatting with my sister and sister-in-law
  • Being with my cousins and aunts and nieces

Happy early birthday to you Pam!  Hope you have a great day.  Love you!!

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!!!

Throwback Thursday – Toes In the Sand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday!  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to post a photo of Ian taken in 2009.  We were at a great shelling beach in Fort Pierce, Florida. He was 2-years-old at the time and always with his paci (pacifier).

I love the sand on his hands and feet and that he is so carefully and intently studying the stick. I also love the look of wind blowing through his sun-kissed hair. It is hard believe that this picture was taken 5 years ago.  My how time flies.  My short and sassy two-year-old now is almost 7-years-old.  Now he is just under 4 feet 1 inch tall.

The notion of time flying is especially true knowing that my best friend from college has a son who is leaving for college this week. She wrote a lovely blog about him, which absolutely made me cry – both sad and happy tears.  I have a feeling that it will touch you as well.  The link is http://gibsongirl247.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/good-byes-are-hard-they-just-are.

I remember meeting Dawn in college during our freshman year.  All four years, we were in the same dorm, just changed floors a few times. We even roomed together during our senior year.  That first year, we clicked right away and have remained friends ever since.

We have been through good and bad together and we’ve had some very funny times and some very sad.  She is someone who I have a very long memory of and love dearly.  To have a friendship like we do is very rare and I am so very thankful for it and for her.

And, now her son is going off to college.  I remember the year he was born and seeing the two of them at the hospital, along with her hubby.  I remember when her son was the age Ian is in the above picture, and at 7-years-old. And, so quickly he grew up into an amazing young man.  Now he is leaving for his own college adventures.

I hope that he has as much fun in college as we had.  And, I hope that he learns as much as we did and that he makes some life-long friends.

There is a song that states how I am feeling this week, “Time keeps on slipping into the future.”  It goes go by so fast.

I wonder if I will remember to savor each and every moment? I plan to since before long, Ian will be off to college. For now, I will enjoy our adventure as he enjoys 1st grade.

Happy Birthday Dear Karen!

Karen-2Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Karen, Happy Birthday to you!!!

Happy birthday to my friend Karen.  Hope you have been having a fantastic birthday!

Karen has been a friend for many, many years!  We met at work and have stayed friends long after leaving those jobs.

Here we are many years ago at the beach with her wonderful hubby.  These two have always been like my big brother and sister.  We always got along really well and for that I am truly thankful.

I knew them for several years before meeting Kirk.  When Kirk and I started dating, it was fun to have a great couple to do things with.  The four of us have always had a great time together.

Karen is a friend who I enjoy being with and spending many hours together talking, shopping, eating, or spending time at the beach.  We have always had a great time together!  We always like to smile and laugh.

When I think of a happy and cheerful person, Karen is who comes to mind.  She loves her family, her friends, is passionate about several hobbies, is a hard worker, and is quite smart.  I have learned many things from her over the years and continue to do so.

I decided to post these old photos of us. (hope you don’t mind)  At the end of the post, the photo on the left was taken at a luncheon with colleagues from work and the second one was taken at my old apartment.

May you have a wonderful day as special as you are my dear friend!  Hope to see you again soon.Karen-3 Karen.1

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Jen.1Happy Birthday to you dear Jennifer!!!  Today is my friend Jennifer’s birthday.  And, since it is also Throwback Thursday, I decided to include some photos of the two of us from many years ago.

Jennifer is a friend who I met in high school.  We were in chorus and show choir together and had a ball.  We went on a few trips with the chorus our senior year with many other friends.  I have such fond memories of this time in our lives.

This first picture was just after we graduated.  We were ready to take on the world and both went off to separate colleges.  We still stayed in touch and remained tight. For that I am truly thankful.

Jen.2This next picture was taken at the back of Jen’s car while we were both home from school.  We loved riding around town in this Z28.  I love our big late-80s hair!

Through the years, we have remained dear friends and have been there for each other through good times and bad.  I love having Jen in my life and always have.

A few times, we were more distant than others but always found our way back to spending regular time together.   We still often see each other and always have a great time.  We still can talk about almost anything.

As Bette Midler said in the movie “Beaches,” my memory of Jen is very long.  And wonderful and full of happiness, some sadness and all of life’s experiences.  It is a true blessing to have Jen as my dear friend.

To Jen, I want to say thanks so much for being you and for being such a great friend to me over all of these years.  How many again?  Many wonderful years!  Thanks for inspiring me, teaching me about being a mother, and for being you.

For my dear friend, a few quotes about friendship:

  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.” ~Author Unknown
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” ~Sicilian Proverb
  • “A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad.” ~Arnold H. Glasgow
  • “The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” ~Elbert Hubbard
  • “A good friend is cheaper than therapy.” ~Author Unknown
  • “A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.”~Donna Roberts
  • “Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.” ~Author Unknown

Jen, may you have a wonderful and truly blessed day!  Happy Birthday!!!!

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/

May 7 – Taken From Above

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday.  Today’s photo challenge is Taken From Above. I chose to use this photo of Ian with two of his friends at a recent field trip to a small zoo in our county.

After a pony ride, we stopped by this great swing.  I was behind them and pushed the swing.  They loved it. One of the boys said, “She’s swinging us,” and then grinned from ear to ear.

Sitting on this swing, the boys looked at everything all around them — the pond, animals, birds, the sky — and they talked to each other.  It was such fun to watch them.

This moment didn’t last long before they were ready to jump up and move to the next thing.

On a day like the zoo trip, I am thankful for:

  • Childhood friendships
  • Smiles with missing teeth
  • Being called Ian’s mom
  • Enjoying a picnic lunch
  • Swinging outside
  • Talking to boys and girls

I wonder what new adventure I will get to enjoy with Ian and his friends?  I so look forward to finding out!

Five Minute Friday – Friend

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  For Today’s Five Minute Friday, the word is Friend. This when we write for five minutes on a subject.

On your mark, get set, GO!!!!

At a recent Writing Seminar dinner, the keynote speaker asked us who our favorite imaginary friend is.  This is a great question and certainly lends itself to some great answers.  Many people responded with characters that we all heard about growing up.

I have two answers for this question — the girl in The Secret Garden whose name I still can’t remember, and Willie, the sweet elf in my grandfather’s stories.

As my regular readers know, Willie was always on a quest to find out where rainbows come from.  Inevitably, he’d get into trouble and need his friends to help him.  They were always there for him.

Looking back as an adult on this story that my grandpa created, I think he had some great life lessons to teach us — being real friends, setting and sticking to your goals, being kind to others, and mainly perseverance.

For my real friends, I am fortunate to have quite a few.  Some of them I have known for many, many years.  Even though we don’t see each other much, we often pick up right where we left off.  That is a blessing.  And, I have some newer friends who I have clicked with and am so thankful for them as well.

This photo is of a few years ago of Ian with two of his stuffed friends.  He has quite a collection of them.  And, he, too is making real friends. For that, Kirk and I are very grateful.

Okay. Stop. 5minutefridayIn case you wanted to know, the rules for 5 Minute Friday are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Here are a few quotes on friendship that I looked up after my time was up:

  • “A friend loveth at all times.” — Proverbs 17:17
  • “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” — Douglas Pagels
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” — Sicilian Proverb
  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.” — Author Unknown
  • “The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” — Elbert Hubbard

To read more thoughts on Friend from the Five Minute Friday community, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2014/04/five-minute-friday-friend-2/

I Am… a busy wife and mother

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday to you!  I was just looking to see how much I have posted this month and it has been almost nothing.  Sheesh!

Here I am with my hubby and son last year at Valentine’s Day.  This is one of my favorite pictures of us. These two guys are awesome and the loves of my life.  I am so blessed.  Since this photo was taken, Ian has started kindergarten.  This was a major shift for me as a stay-at-home mom.  The first few weeks were tough but have gotten much easier.

As all busy wives and mothers know, there are no days off, no real chances to sleep in (at least with young kids), and always many projects and activities going at the same time.  I have never been so busy, sleep-deprived, or loved as I have since Ian came into our lives.

Summing myself up in a few words and photos was a challenge since there are so many facets. I guess that is true for all of us.

Beyond being a busy wife and mother, I am also a writer who loves to write and share about items on my mind.  And, as you may have read, I have a few ideas for a children’s book and historical fiction book.  Those are still in the works.

I also am a reader and love to immerse myself in the stories that I read.  They say to write the book that you want to read and I am hoping to do just that.  Meanwhile, I will enjoy many fascinating stories along the way.

I am a friend.  I have been blessed to have a few friends in my life for more than 20 years.  We have had many adventures and as the line in Beaches goes, my memory of them is very long.  I have some newer friends who have enriched my life as well.

I am a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, granddaughter, and in-law.  My family is extremely important to me.  I love spending time with them and joking and enjoying the time we have together.  It never seems to be enough.  And, I am glad to have them for when times get tough.

I am a lover of the ocean and sunsets.  I truly love going to the beach and spending time looking at the water.  There is something magical about it for me.  And, my favorite beach and sunsets have always gone hand in hand.

I am also a Christian who does her best to be kind and compassionate and loving to others; a singer who enjoys singing with the radio, with a choir, or a favorite musical; an amateur photographer who enjoys capturing special moments and amazing sights; and a blogger who has fun sharing and hearing from others.

I am also a lover of movies and well done television shows.  I do like my entertainment and have had the pleasure of meeting some of my favorites.  Those are some fond memories as well.

For many of us, there is no one word to describe us.  Now you know a few items about me. What about you?  How would you describe yourself and what photo would you use to show it?  I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Birthday Tammy!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  Today is the birthday of my best friend from elementary school — Tammy.   Happy Birthday to you dear Tammy.

It is amazing to think how long we have known each other — for many, many years.  We have been through a lot and I love that we still stay in regular touch with each other.  That is so rare and I am so blessed to have her as my dear friend.

This photo is from the summer of 2012 when we were together with our families at the beach.  Our sons had fun playing together, which is so cool.

She recently reminded me of an incident when we got trouble in school – in Mr. Toler’s class.  We were giggling as we often did and he sent us to the coat closet.  His idea is that we were supposed to be quiet.  Needless to say, we weren’t.  Instead we just kept talking and laughing.

I remember when we were in junior high, she and her family moved away.  I was so upset and truly missed her for a long time.  The fact that we have kept in touch and still have a great time when we see each other is amazingly special to me.

When Kirk and I got married, she surprised me and showed up for the weekend.  I was totally blown away and touched. If I’d known she was coming, I would have asked her to be in the wedding as one of my bridesmaids.  But the surprise was such fun.

Tammy is an amazing woman, a strong Christian with a cool hubby and four great kids, and one of the best math teachers I know. She loves her family and friends and loves to laugh — something we loved to do together and still do.

I wish I could see her in person and give her a birthday hug.  But, that is not possible this year.  So instead I will wish her a very Happy Birthday!  Love you Tammy!  From one giggle gal pal to another, AGADKTGA!!!!!!!!!!