December Blessings

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt is hard to believe that it is the first day of December.  The first day of the last month of the year.  Wow, where did the time go? I love December 1st since it is my birthday.  It is and has been a very special day for me for many, many years.  My family makes a big deal out of birthdays and I love that.  We take time to celebrate each of us and our uniqueness.

Today, I feel overwhelmed with blessings!  From my fabulous weekend of love, family, thanksgiving, and great food.  We had a blast on turkey day with friends and family, ate terrific food, took some wonderful family photos, and watched one of the funniest movies ever — Clue.  There are so many great one-liners.  I just wish I had taken more pictures with my camera!

Then on Friday, Kirk, Ian, and I enjoyed being home and getting our house ready for Christmas.  We puttered around, put up the tree, hung ornaments on it, and then just vegged out.  Ian really enjoyed helping and put our manger under the tree. We stayed in our pjs all day and loved every minute of it.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOn Saturday, we hosted my birthday party with the family. Great time!  Kirk made his delicious chili and made my cake.  I ventured out that morning at 7:30 a.m. to buy our last-minute items.  Then everyone came over and we had a great time.  I received some wonderful gifts and am so very thankful for all of my loved ones. It was a special evening.

Again, I just wish I had taken more photos.  We have a silly tradition of switching the candles around on our cakes.  I don’t remember who started that or when but it is fun and keeps things lively.

Sunday, we went to church and had a great service.  The church is lovely with all of the Christmas decorations and the advent wreath and candles. Ian gave out the popcorn that people had so nicely ordered from him.  We appreciate the support for his Cub Scout troop.  We ate lunch at our house and enjoyed more of the tasty chili.  Mom and Dad stayed for most of the afternoon and Mom and I watched a fun Christmas movie.

Today, we woke up and Kirk and Ian wished me a happy birthday and sang Happy Birthday to me.  We then took Ian to school. He was ready to be back and see everyone after a long weekend.  Kirk and I will have lunch — just the two of us — and that will be fun.  Then after school, we will dine out at one of my favorite Japanese Steakhouses for dinner prior to Ian’s pack meeting.  Each Monday night is busy with Cub Scout activities and today is no exception.

The week will continue with fun and blessings with our first dinner and Advent church service on Wednesday and then assisting in Ian’s room one day this week, and plenty of other fun and adventures are to be had.

Today I am so thankful for:

  • My family who knows me so well
  • Thoughtful birthday gifts
  • Fabulous new accessories
  • Birthday cards that make me laugh and cry happy tears
  • Sipping hot tea while chatting with my mom, aunt, sister, and cousin
  • Special photos with my parents
  • Play time for Ian and his grandparents
  • Ian having a blast with his cousins
  • Laughing like crazy over a funny movie
  • The lights of our Christmas tree
  • Making a wish as a birthday candle is blown out
  • Family clumping
  • The family circle of prayer
  • Birthday wishes from friends and family
  • My faith and beliefs
  • Old photos
  • Holding hands with loved ones

I wonder if I will be able to cherish each and every minute of my special day?  I plan to do just that.  Thanks so much to all of my loved ones who are helping to make it special!  You truly do rock!!

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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!)

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!

My Family Rocks!

girls at beachI don’t know about you but I have a fabulous family!!!

Yesterday was a luncheon celebration for my sister’s birthday.  Her name is Cindy and she rocks.  Here we are as kids.  I wanted to post this picture again since it is one of my favorites of the two of us!

We had a great time at a new restaurant.  I had a Cobb salad and fried green tomatoes — yummy.  Others had burgers or other salads.

It just so happens that this place is owned by two guys from my high school class.  I thought that was cool.

Anyway, we had 17 people at the table for lunch and it was fantastic.  My parents were there as well as me with Kirk and Ian.  Also, there were my sister and her hubby and two kids; my brother, his wife, and two kids, and my cousin, her hubby and one of her two kids and my aunt.

It was a table of love and happiness.  And many great memories!

I enjoyed talking to my brother and sister-in-law about their vacation they were returning from, catching up with all of the kids and their summer plans, my cousin and sister about a variety of items, and chatting with everyone.

We also took quite a few pictures as we always do!!

We enjoyed a great lunch, sang happy birthday, my sister blew out her candles, and then we enjoyed a delicious cake with yellow flowers.

My family has always made a big deal about birthdays.  We celebrate each member of the family and that has always been special.

It was great to visit with everyone and have such fun!!

I hope that you too have a rockin’ family!!

March Birthday Madness

birthday cakeTis the time of year for March Madness.

For a basketball fan, this is the best time of year.  Are you a fan?  Are you loving all things hoops? Like come from behind wins and the occasional upset?

We are almost to the Sweet Sixteen (top 16 college teams) and then on to the top 8, the Final Four, and finally a winner.

For my family, it’s March Birthday Madness.  Well, not so much madness, but I wanted to tie it into the events of the month.  It is certainly March Birthday Celebration, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Between my husband’s side of the family and my side of the family, we have 8 people who celebrate birthdays in March.  It is always a busy and occasionally very pricey month, but also a fun one!

On Kirk’s side, we celebrate his mother’s birthday, his sister Anne, his brother’s wife Diane, and his oldest brother Pete.  On my side of the family, we celebrate my brother’s wife Beckie, my cousin Dennis, Dennis’s son Justin, and my sister’s daughter Gussie.

I am naming them this way so you know the connection to the two of us.  Unfortunately, we can’t always be with all of them to celebrate but we do always remember them fondly.

This month, Gussie is 13 years old and Justin is 12 years old.  I remember when both of them were babies and now she is a teen and he is one year from being a teenager.  Where did the time go?

These 8 people are very important in our lives as are the rest of the family.  We love them all and are excited to celebrate them!

I also have several friends who celebrate birthdays this month.  Happy Birthday to them as well.

To all of you my friends and family, I want to sing,

  • Happy Birthday to You
  • Happy Birthday to You
  • Happy Birthday Dear Loved One 
  • Happy Birthday to You!

You are all loved, thought of, and celebrated!  Have another great trip around the sun!!

I wonder if I will get to celebrate with all of my people?  I doubt it, but sure wish I could!

Happy Birthday Beckie!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday, March 7, is my sister-in-law Beckie’s birthday!

Happy Birthday to you dear Beckie!  I wanted to wish you the best and hope you have a wonderful day!

Here Beckie and I are pictured during a lunch last summer at the beach after family pictures were taken.  That is why we are both in white blouses and blue jeans.

We both enjoyed lobster during this fabulous meal.  I had lobster chowder and salad and Beckie had lobster tacos.  We were able to see the ocean as we ate and had a great time!  What a treat it was!!

Beckie is a great person and so much fun.  We get along really well and always have so much to chat about.  Like me, she loves to write, read, and sing.  And, she is great at playing the piano.

I am so glad that my brother married her so we have her as part of our family!  They are a great couple and have two wonderful kids.  Ian loves to spend time with his cousins, Uncle Richmond and Aunt Beckie (and the rest of the family as well).

PattiBeckie2In July 2012, we had a great time while at the beach.  There were many chances to visit, eat together, enjoy laying out, have the kids play together, talk, and just enjoy the down time.

We went to a roller coaster and park one day and had a great time.  This picture is from that day.

Since the beginning we have clicked and been able to get along.  That is rare and something I truly do appreciate.

A few quotes about birthdays for you:

  • “A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip.”  ~ Author Unknown
  • “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”  ~ Chili Davis
  • “You’re not 40, you’re eighteen with 22 years experience.”  ~ Author Unknown
  • “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”  ~ Lucille Ball

Beckie, may the Lord bless you on your birthday!  Enjoy and hope to see you again really soon.

Happy Birthday Richmond!

SRP.33.Patti_Richmond.1990Today, December 28, is my brother Richmond’s birthday!  He is 40 years old today!

Here is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us from 1990 at Mission Beach California!  Don’t you love our matching hairdos?

Happy Birthday to you dear Bro!!  I love you so much.  It’s great to have you in the 40s now!  Welcome to the club!

I am 5 years older than my brother.  Throughout our growing up years, there were plenty of conflicts and problems.  And, I remember when I went off to college, he was still a teenager in junior high (before middle school).

Despite some issues through the years and our age difference, we found a way to forgive each other and move on.  Now, we are good friends!  I am so proud of us for doing that!

And, as we were going through the growing pains, I told my parents that Richmond would one day be a fine adult and would impress all of us (or something like that since I don’t exactly remember).

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERATurns out, I was right.  He has grown into a very fine young man.  He has a good job that he enjoys, a great wife who I am also close to, and two great kids.  He is a blessing!!

I love you my dear brother and am so thankful to have you in my life!!  Here we are this summer in San Diego again!  We do like our family time there.

Richmond loves life and his family and friends.  He is crazy about his wife and two kids and has a great time with them.  He is a huge U2 fan and knows all of their songs by heart.  He also loves to read, watch television and movies and can quote from his favorites.  In addition, he likes sports — especially the San Diego Padres (just like me).  He is fun to be with and I love him with all my heart!

Richmond, I wish you a wonderful birthday today!  May you be surrounded by love of family and friends!  And, do some things that you want to do!

I look forward to seeing you tonight for your birthday dinner!  Love you lots.

Happy Birthday Dad!

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~ Clarence Budington Kellan

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”  ~Author Unknown

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DEAR DAD!!!!

In two days, my father Bill celebrates his birthday.  Happy early Birthday.

These quotes explained the kind of Dad that he was!  I am so blessed and fortunate to have grown up with such a great man in my life!

The reason that I am writing today about Dad is that Wednesday, October 24, is also my 14th anniversary with hubby Kirk.  I will be writing about him on Wednesday.

Dad was nice enough to share his birthday with us when we got married.  At the rehearsal dinner, we enjoyed a cake which said “Father of the Bride” on it.

Pictured to the right is one of my favorite pictures with my Dad — at least from when I was a very young child!

My father is a very special man and was a fantastic role model and dad growing up.  He enjoyed spending time with the three of us kids — me, my sister Cindy, and my brother Richmond — and he was interested in us and our activities.  He actually and fully listened to us and was engaged in our lives and still is.  What a gift that has been!!

For many years he worked in human resources and we worked in the same building for a while.  It was always fun to talk to people about him and have them tell me what a great and fair man my dad was.

After retiring from that job, he took a year off and had a blast!  He then decided to try a second career in teaching.  He took a year and a half to earn his master’s degree.  He then taught 5th grade at a small school one county over from where he lived.  He truly cared for each and every child that he worked with.

He has since retired from that position as well and now has a lot more time to spend with family — his wife and kids, grandkids as well as his sister and mother. Pictured are Mom and Dad with my family on Easter morning.

I learned so much from my father over the years.  He was always great with money and helped me with a tough patch.  Several years after I graduated from college, I had racked up some debts so I moved back home for a while to help pay them off.  When I moved out, he said, “This will never happen again, right Patti.  We love you but you can’t move back in again.”  That is exactly what I needed to hear!  He was so right.  I then was able to get my financial act together and a few years later met Kirk.

He has taught me too about real love, compassion, caring about others, thinking about life and what I believe in, forgiveness, patience, volunteerism, and how to truly be in the moment with a child.

We were in the Lions Club together and that was a very special bond.  Neither of us have been as active lately, but hopefully that can change.  It was fun to attend meetings and activities with him.

Now he has a ball with all of his grandchildren.  He has five of them ranging in age from 15 to 5 years old.  He gets in the floor to play with Ian and Ian loves time with his Augaguk (the name he made up when he couldn’t say Grandpa).  They have a special bond that is marvelous to see.

I love you very much Dad and so appreciate the man you are!  Hope you have a wonderful birthday!  Thanks again for sharing your special day with Kirk and me!

A few more quotes about fathers:

  • A father carries pictures where his money used to be.”  ~Author Unknown
  • Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad.” ~Author Unknown
  • Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever.”  ~Author Unknown

Happy Birthday Dawn, Jennifer

Happy Birthday wishes to two of my dearest friends who are celebrating birthdays this week — Dawn and Jennifer.

I have known both of these ladies for more than 20 years and we have been through so much together.   We have shared wonderful times and also some very hard times as well.  Both of them were bridesmaids in my wedding.  I love them like sisters.  We have each other’s backs and that is awesome!

A memorable quote from the movie “Beaches,” was about having a very long memory between the two lead characters.  My memory of both of them is very long too.  I have had the pleasure of both of them in my life for many, many years.  That is a true blessing!!!

There is something truly special about a long and endearing friendship.  You can look at each other and just crack up laughing.  Or remember and reminisce over so many wonderful times and experiences that you have spent together.  Having inside jokes and amazing times together is a real treasure.

Dawn’s birthday is the same week as her son.  Happy Birthday to him as well.  We met in college during our freshman year.  We lived on the same hall in our dorm all four years while in school.

Our senior year we were roommates.  She had to put tape down the center of the room one time since I was quite messy and she was the neat one.  I have tried to change my ways and be neater but I still clearly remember this.  Sorry for my messes Dawn!

We used to like going dancing quite a bit and had so much fun.  We had so many great memories through the years.  Both of us had amazing dreams for our future when we first met and now since we have lived interesting lives, some of those have come true and some of our life has turned out differently.

Jennifer and I met in high school.  We were in chorus and show choir together and had fun traveling several places during our senior year.  We since have worked together with our reunion committee and had an absolute blast with seeing our old (pun intended) friends from school.

I remember her Z28 that she used to have.  It was a stick shift and we used to go out for lunch quite a bit and get together after school as well.  It was a great car to run around town in.  I have a picture of the two of us in front of the car with our big 1980s hair!  What fun memories.

She was a young mother and I was privileged to be very involved with her daughter through the years.  And I remember singing Handel’s Messiah one year at midnight mass with Jen.  That was great as well.

I could go on and on with stories about the two of them, but most of those should remain between us.  After all, friendship and the secrets of friends are sacred.

Happy Birthday to these fine ladies who I am honored to have as such close friends!! I do love you both very much!!

Here are few quotes about friendship:

  • “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.”  ~Douglas Pagels
  • “Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with.” – Robert Brault
  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.”  ~Leo Buscaglia
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.”  ~Sicilian Proverb

I hope that you also have a dear friend to share the good and bad times with.  Please share something about your friends with me and the other readers.