Family and Friends

flowerMy weekend hasn’t gone the way I expected to.  Do you ever have a weekend like that?

First I was supposed to go to my cousin’s renewal of vows.  She invited us months ago and we were all set to go.  But then for a variety of reasons, we weren’t able to make it.

I am sad that I wasn’t there to see them and their family.  It has been a few years and I miss all of them.  It was supposed to be a weekend of fun and family and we had to miss it.  Bummer!!!

We will try again in a few months for a visit.  Hopefully then the timing and plans will work in our favor.

Then tonight is my niece’s confirmation.  We weren’t able to go to that either, although we did want to.  I am thrilled for her and her family.  This is a very special time for her.

She is growing up into a lovely young woman.  It is great to be a part of her life and see her when we can.  Unfortunately, that isn’t as often as I’d like.  I hope to see my niece and her family very soon as well!!

Several road trips for me, that’s for sure!!!

Instead today, I had lunch with two friends who are in town for a writer’s seminar.  It was great to see them and catch up from last year.  The three of us met at last year’s seminar and instantly clicked.  Since I was supposed to have other plans, I wasn’t able to attend the seminar.

Have you ever met people who you clicked with?  I remember that happening when I was in school, but it has been a while since I have been a grown woman.  It happened in MOPS and then last year at the seminar and with some friends from my high school reunion committee, and a few other times in life.  But it is rare and wonderful.

These author friends and I have stayed in touch for a year.  Seeing them in person was fantastic!  We had so much to talk about at lunch.  It was so much fun!!

Books2Both of them have published books.  I can’t wait to read them!  I now have copies of the books and I am thrilled.  I will be reading them and letting you know what I think.  Should be fun!  And, hope to join them as an author of a book!

After lunch, Kirk, Ian, and I took a walk around our neighborhood and then did some yard work.  It was a lovely day and gave us a little taste of the spring weather that will be here soon — at least I hope so.  And it was without the pollen!!

Tomorrow will be church and some time to relax, at least I hope so.  I also want to get in touch with a few of my friends and family who I didn’t get to see this weekend.

My friends and my family are so very dear to me.  I am fortunate to know such a variety of great people who have enriched my life.  May I never take them for granted.

I wonder if this week will be more what I expect than this weekend was.  I sure hope so, since the unexpected can sometimes be stressful.  But, we tried to make the best of it!

People I Am Thankful For

This week I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying, as I am sure you have too!

I have been thinking a lot about all of the precious people in my life.  I am thankful for:

  • You my followers and readers!  I appreciate those of you who I know and who have been supportive to me.  I also appreciate all of you who I’ve never met and have decided to follow me, like my blogs, and share your comments.
  • A husband who loves me and truly “gets me”
  • A son who has discovered the computer and enjoys playing on it for hours
  • A son who is learning to read and already loves books
  • Parents who taught me what love is and how to share it with others
  • A sister who has been a wonderful friend and confident for as long as I can remember
  • My sister’s great hubby and children.  They are always fun to be with!!
  • A brother who I love with all my heart
  • My brother’s wife who truly is another sister and their great kids.  They are also a lot of fun to spend time with
  • Aunts and uncles who have cared for me and taught me so much
  • Cousins who have been close friends
  • Grandparents who cherished each other and their families and a grandmother who will soon be 92 years old (she is a real spitfire!)
  • Friends who love me and whom I love – several who I’ve known for years and others who I have just recently met
  • (I wanted to add this one which I forgot) — In-laws who have enriched my life. I have a second set of siblings and parents and nieces and nephews who each have special gifts.
  • A Savior who loves me and guides me in my spiritual journey

I hope that you too have many important people in you life!!

Happy Birthday Tammy!

Tomorrow, December 5, is the birthday of one of my nearest and dearest friends, Tammy.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI guess you could say she is my oldest friend.  We met in elementary school and have been friends ever since.  Here we are after some time at the beach last summer.

When we were little, Tammy and I and our sisters Sonya and Cindy formed a club!  The four us loved to laugh so we thought we’d expand that into this sisterhood.  We lived around the corner from each other so we had lots of play time.

One day I will never forget was in third grade.  Tammy and I were talking in the class.  Our teacher, Mr. Toler, sent us to the closet since we were in trouble.  Instead of being quiet, we moved all of the backpacks out of the bottom of the closet and then continued talking.  I think after that we were sent to the principal’s office.

When we were in the 8th grade, Tammy and her family moved away because of her father’s transfer of work.  For a young girl like me who was painfully shy, this was devastating!  I remember when I found out and how sad I was.

But we have managed to keep in touch and stay friends over the years!  Isn’t that cool?  Even though we don’t see each other all of the time, we still can pick up from where we left off and always have lots to talk about!

When Kirk and I married, I had hoped that Tammy was going to be able to come to the wedding, but she told me over the phone, no.  Then what do you know, she surprised me and showed up on the day before our wedding!  My family was in on it and they all pulled one over on me.

I remember how happy and truly blown away I was.  It took me a while to compose myself after crying some happy tears.  My oldest friend was there on my wedding day.  If only I had known she would be there, I would have had her as one of my bridesmaids.

Now, we are both married and have kids – I have one and she has four amazing kids.  Three girls and a boy.  This past summer we saw them at the beach and the boys had fun playing together and we had fun catching up.

It is never enough time but I am always blessed to have time with my dear friend and see her with her precious family.  The kids are well-behaved and fun to be with.  Tammy’s oldest daughter looks like she did as a child.  And the other kids look like some of Tammy’s sisters.

Having a friend for most of your life is a real and amazing blessing.  I thank God for bringing Tammy into my life and for keeping her there for all of these years.

Tammy, may you have a wonderful birthday!  Love you my friend.  And never forget, AGADKTGA!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Late Birthday Pam

Yesterday was my cousin Pam’s birthday!  I was late on my posting since I wasn’t on the computer at all yesterday.

Pam, so sorry this is late!  I did think about you all day yesterday and hoped you had a fabulous day.

Pictured at left and from left (in 2006) are me, Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie.  These three gals are my sisters and I am so blessed to have all of them in my life!!!

My cousin Pam is one of my favorite people!  We have been friends for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, Pam was my cool cousin from California! I always looked forward to hearing about her adventures and seeing her in the summers when the families would get together.

We had such fun together in the 1980s and before and since.  Here we are pictured in the 1990s, I think.  There have been so many funny pictures taken over the years with great grins and poses that I am not sure.  We always have enjoyed being hams and laughing.

She is an awesome mother to two wonderful girls who I had the pleasure seeing grow up and getting to know.  They are awesome just like their mother.  And, her hubby, Bob, is funny and great to be around.  She has an amazing family who I also love very much!!

I will never forget the first time that my husband Kirk met Pam and Bob.  We went to a Mexican restaurant in Old Town San Diego.  The two guys cracked up and yelled at each other as if they’d known each other forever.  I was thrilled to see how well they got along.  It makes me laugh to think about!

Now, Pam is a grandmother to a beautiful girl.  Her oldest daughter is a great mommy!  I can learn so much from Pam during Ian’s growing up years.  Pam is less than 2 weeks older than me.  We have been close for a long time.

Pam has met Ian and is great with him, and so is Bob.  Ian also got to meet their daughters, but not their granddaughter yet.  Hopefully that will be soon!

It has been several years since I have seen my cousin and I really do miss her!  I do, however, love the fact that when we see each other, it is as if no time has passed.  We pick up as we’d seen each other the previous week, not three of four years ago.  It is awesome.  I hope that you have someone like that in your life!!

I love ya cuz!!  And, can’t wait to see you in April of next year!  YEAH!!!!  It will be so much fun.  So glad you had a great birthday!

What A Week!

Hello and Happy Friday!

Hope you’ve had a great week!  Mine has been a good one but has flown by.  As they say, time flies when you are having fun.

On Sunday, we went to the library and checked out a pile of books and videos.  I managed to finish one of the books I checked out in four days.  It was very easy to read and hard to put down.

We checked out several Mouse the Mouse books – “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “If You Take a Mouse to School,”  and “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies.”  Ian loves all of these stories. And, he enjoys looking at the amazing drawings in each book.

It is especially fun since Ian has a stuffed Mouse the Mouse doll from those stories.  Last night when we were reading one of them, Ian said as Mouse, “I sure miss my family and I am glad to be a part of your family.”  I told him we are glad you are part of our family too!  Isn’t that cute?

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This week we watched the Presidential Debate on Tuesday and then we voted on Wednesday.  An amazing week of politics!

The debate was a good one with both men standing up and firmly presenting what they believe in.  They were both interrupted, both corrected, and both had some real zingers.

On Monday is the last debate and soon will be Election Day.  I must say I am ready since it has been a long 18 months of campaigning, spending huge amounts of money that might better go to programs we need to have funded, and plenty of mud-slinging.

Here is a quote I came across this week.  It sums up very well the attitude I would prefer to see as we wind down the election season:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy, 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those who voted on the other side.” — John Wesley, 1774

May we have that heart as well between now and election day and afterwards as we transition to the next President, either Obama or Romney.  May we also respect the position and the man who is elected.

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Yesterday, Ian had his 5-year-old checkup at the doctor’s office.  He was a little bit nervous but not as much as he might have been.  We have been watching the Disney Channel’s “Doc McStuffins.”  A young girl is a doctor for her toys.  In it they sing about “Time for Your Checkup” and talk about the fact that a doctor is there to help you.

He is now 44 inches tall — quite tall for his age.  And he weighs 43 pounds so he is tall and skinny!  Hopefully he will stay healthy as he is now!!  We are truly blessed.

The only bad part of the exam was getting a flu shot.  We tried focusing on the fact that the needle was very small but Ian still cried and was scared.  The nurse who did the shot gave him some stickers so that helped a little bit as well.

But as he went to bed last night, he said, “Mommy my arm still hurts.”  I told him I was sorry but that shot is to help you from getting really sick.  He said, “Okay Mommy.”

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Today at lunch I am eating with a good friend who I used to work with named DiAnn.  We worked together for nearly 8 years before I left for maternity leave and then decided to be a stay-at-home mom.

We had a great time working together and still enjoy seeing each other.  However now it isn’t as frequent as it used to be.  You become quite close to people who you see for 8 hours a day 5 days a week.

The main thing that I miss from no longer working is my girlfriends.  That daily interaction was very special and I didn’t realize how much until I no longer had it.  I miss our regular chats about our families and other friends.  We will have much to discuss and gossip about I am sure and I cannot wait.

And for dinner we are eating with another close friend who I have known since high school — Jennifer.  She is one of my absolute favorite people on the planet and was a bridesmaid at my wedding.

I have seen her daughter grow up to become an amazing young woman and now Jen will see my son grow and change.

Over the last few months we haven’t seen each other very much and we’ve had time through the years where we lost touch.  But the amazing thing is that we can always pick right back up where we left off.  It is a real blessing to have a friend like that!

Both of these gals have meant a lot to me and I look forward to spending some time with both of them.

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No matter what you are doing today and this weekend, I hope you have a good time and enjoy yourself!

To Making It Count!

In the movie “Titanic,” the characters raised a glass in a toast and said, “To making it count.”  That is such an important phrase to remember, and yet, I know that we don’t always make things count.

This morning I found out a friend of mine in college died.  She lived each day to the fullest and knew how to make it count!!

Her name is Shelli and she fought a long and very hard battle with cancer.  She went through treatment on and off for many years and was in constant pain.

And yet, she was thankful for each day the Lord gave her.   And she was one of the most positive people I have ever known.  She also was constantly praying and had a very strong faith.

I had lost touch with her in the years since we graduated from college.  Then in 2010, I saw her at a reunion at our alma mater, Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.   We then stayed in touch over the years, mainly through Facebook.

It was great to see the fun things she did with her husband Joe and their children.  And, to also share in prayer support when needed.  Shelli was a blessing to me and I know to her many friends and her family.  She will be greatly missed.

Dear Lord, I hope that I too can make each day count and truly live my faith as my friend Shelli did!  Please welcome her to Heaven with your open arms!!  AMEN.

Steel Magnolias

I recently saw an ad on Lifetime for a new “Steel Magnolias” movie that will air this fall.  A new take will be presented by this network and I am so excited!

This is one of my favorite stories ever made into a movie.  I like the closeness of the six women, the things they go through, and the fact that the southern hair salon is so important in their lives and the storyline.

Both this new movie and the original that was released in 1989 are based on a play.  The play is quite fascinating to see since it is only the six women in the story — M’Lynn, Shelby, Ouiser, Clairee, Truvy and Annelle.  And, the entire play takes place in Truvy’s salon.

The play was written by a man named Robert Harling who lost his sister to diabetes.  He is an amazing writer and truly has, in my opinion, a great insight into women and how they relate to each other.

When I was in college, I studied the play in one of my classes and loved it!  And, we as a class got to see the play.  That was before the movie came out.

It was neat to then see the translation to the big screen.  The movie added many different locations for the action and the lines and added men to the cast.

Some of the best lines ever in a play/movie, in my opinion, were in “Steel Magnolias.”  A few (but by no means all) of my favorites are:

  • “I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special,” Shelby tells M’Lynn
  • “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion,” Truvy says
  • “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin’ across your face.” — Truvy
  • “Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.” — Annelle
  • “There’s so much static electricity in this room, I pick up everything but boys and money.” — Truvy
  • “Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!”– Clairee
  • “I have a strict policy that nobody cries alone in my presence.” — Truvy

The 1989 movie starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Shirley Maclaine.  This was a phenomenal cast and I liked each actress in the part they she played.

Since the themes and content are universal, it will be neat to see a new version of this story with an African-American cast.  I look forward to a new set of six actresses making the parts their own.

The new cast includes Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad, Condola Rashad, and Adepero Oduye.  The first four ladies I have enjoyed in many movies and television shows.  The last two I am looking forward to learning more about.

I can’t wait to see these ladies in the parts which I love so much!  And, I like the fact that I will be able to watch it on my television at home.  I just have to check and see when it will be airing.

Are you looking forward to this remake?  Please share your thoughts and comments!  I’d love to hear from you.