Happy 7th Birthday Ian!!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERASeven years ago at this time, I held a newborn baby boy in my arms. That morning, we met Ian Cates for the first time. So much has changed from that day to now. It is truly amazing. I have loved seeing Ian learn how to do things, discover the fun of reading, and share his own thoughts and ideas.

He is a sweet soul who cares about others, enjoys playing and having fun, enjoys special time with Mom and Dad, and time with his grandparents and other family, and loves to play and tell stories. It is hard to believe our boy is 7 years old today. My how those years have flown.

This morning before school, we put candles on his biscuit for breakfast. He enjoyed blowing them out and loved hearing me sing Happy Birthday to him. Tonight we are having a birthday dinner with family. He is excited about that as well.

He enjoys his birthday and enjoys making a big deal about it. He was appreciative about the gift we gave him this morning as well. “Thanks, Mom and Dad,” he said with a smile that stretched from ear to ear.

This picture was taken several months ago. It is amazing that now he looks more like a little man than a little boy. I am not exactly sure when that happened, but it certainly did.

Today I am thankful for:

  • A boy with dimples and a wonderful smile
  • Big blue eyes that are full of wonder and love
  • October 2 for that is the day we met this amazing boy
  • Hugs and hearing, “I love you Mom”
  • Ian appreciating a special gift
  • Making meals and sweet treats with a boy wearing an apron that is a little too big
  • Reading a hand-written note that says, “Mommy, I will love you forever”
  • Hearing Ian pray at meal time
  • Watching him play, discover, and learn

I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my hubby and our son. They are two amazing blessings who I am very thankful for. Today I will enjoy looking back on all the phases of our sweet birthday boy.

I wonder if I can savor each moment of Ian’s birthday?!  I plan to do just that and look forward to him getting out of school today.

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 Cindy!!

DSC06098Tomorrow, June 8, is my sister’s birthday!  Happy Birthday to you dear Cindy!  Here we are with our brother.  Cindy is the one on the right.

We are 2 1/2 years apart so we have always spent lots of time together.  We have always had fun and have been close. She is a true blessing.  I am glad to call her my sister.

We were each other’s maid/ matron of honor at our weddings. We have always been there for one another.  When we had children, we were there to see the new gifts of life and celebrate together.

I don’t know where I’d be without Cindy.  She has blessed me beyond measure!  I am truly thankful for all that she has taught me and shared with me.  Many stories I won’t share because they should stay between sisters.

girls at beachHowever, I do want to share some of my favorite memories with Cindy:

  • Camping with our family
  • Playing pounce
  • Singing songs at Camp Tiyani
  • Sleep-overs at our grandparent’s house
  • Listening to Grandpa’s stories
  • Watching favorite movies and singing along with them — The Sound of Music, Grease, and White Christmas
  • Family sing-alongs
  • Her amazing ability to learn a part in a play in one week and perform it masterfully
  • Fun times at the Playhouse and drama club
  • Our family cross-country trip in the car
  • Sharing a room for many years
  • Learning the importance of laughter at a young age
  • Sharing precious friendships for many, many years
  • Standing up for each other at our weddings
  • Seeing each other’s newborn children
  • Fun times with cousins and friends at the beach
  • Sharing our beach adventures with our spouses and children

Among all of the fun, there have been sad times too.  We have been there for each other through those.  She has always had my back and that means the world to me.

Cindy.Patti.on.slideFrom one of our favorite movies, a great song, “Sisters, sisters, there never were such devoted sisters.  …Caring, sharing, every little thing that we are wearing…”

Here are a few quotes about sisters:

  • “Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.” ~Louisa May Alcott
  • “Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” ~Margaret Mead
  • “A sister smiles when one tells one’s stories — for she knows where the decoration has been added.” ~Chris Montaigne
  • “More than Santa Claus, your sister knows when you’ve been bad and good.” ~Linda Sunshine
  • “In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips.” ~Author Unknown
  • “A sister is a forever friend.” ~Author Unknown

Cindy, I hope and pray that you have a wonderful birthday and can celebrate!  May you be pampered and have a great day.  Hope to see you soon.  Love you!!!

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!!!!

93 Years Young

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday.  Today is expected to be a rainy one.  Oh well, at least it’s not feet of snow.

We had a fabulous weekend.  How about you?  We had some time to relax, watch some fun shows, and also party with a very deserving birthday girl (well woman).

Saturday was my grandmother’s 93rd birthday.  We had the pleasure of celebrating with her.  Some of the family and friends gathered together. We had a great lunch, cake, and time to visit.

Grams opened her gifts and truly appreciated what she received.  Ian had drawn her a special picture and she listened intently as he explained what it was.  And, he wrote, by himself, her name on a card.  It looked great!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThe entire family and more friendswill be together in a few weeks for a big party celebration.  Should be fun and a very rare treat.  I just hope and pray that everyone stays healthy and can make it!  Our  family has a silly tradition of reversing our candles on the cake — so her’s was 39.  Cool, isn’t it?

I feel very blessed to still know and love my Grams.  She is such fun. As I wrote about her last year, she likes a good bottle of wine, real cheese and cream, a sunset at a favorite beach, sailing, gardening, reading, and being with her loved ones.  She also likes word finds, good desserts, and pictures of family. We are blessed and honored to be a part of her family!

A book of quotes that I have has a nice one, “Birthdays are a time to reflect on the memories of yesterday, the joys of today and the dreams of tomorrow.”  Congratulations Grams on another great year! Another one states the way that Grams has lived, “Happiness is living well, laughing often, loving greatly.”

And as Pablo Picasso said, “It takes a long time to grow young.”  Here’s to you Grams!  Love you and look forward to another fun celebration of you and your amazing life! You are 93 years young!!!

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

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!!!!!!!!!!

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 Early Birthday Dad!

Patti_Dad_2006Tomorrow, October 24, is my dad’s birthday.  It is also my anniversary.

He was generous enough to share this special day with us and we are very thankful.  The year we got married, 1998, he truly enjoyed being The Father Of The Bride.

I wanted to wish him a happy and special day and wish it early.  We look forward to seeing you today and hopefully tomorrow too, or another day this week.

Here we are pictured are together in 2006, before Ian was born.  We were having fun on vacation as we usually do.

Dad, thanks for everything!  You have been and continue to be a great dad and grandfather.  I am so thankful for you and our relationship and your love.  And, I am thankful that you love to play with Ian and visit and be with Kirk as well.

You have taught me so much and I cannot thank you enough.  You are a man I greatly admire and love.

Happy early Birthday to you!!  We love you and wish you another amazing and fun journey around the sun.

A few quotes about fathers that I thought you might enjoy:

  • “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland
  • “Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.  ~Bill Cosby
  • “Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!  ~Lydia M. Child
  • “A father carries pictures where his money used to be.  ~Author Unknown
  • “Dad, you’re someone to look up to no matter how tall I’ve grown.  ~Author Unknown

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.