Flashback Friday – Family

ff118_familyHi and Happy Friday.  For today’s Flashback Friday, I decided to use an old family photo from the 1970s.  It is one that Mom just sent to me and I love it.  Besides, the photo challenge for yesterday was family.

Here is my family.  I am the one in the middle. Interesting how we are all barefoot except for Dad.  I love these old photos and treasure them like gold.  Seeing the changes of all of us and the next generation in these faces is fascinating.  I just wish I could remember what I was thinking back then.

I love this family of mine — me, my sister, my brother, our mother and our father.  I love this photo too since it is so 70s.  The clothes, the hair, the couch, the wall, and did you notice the flag in the corner?  So retro and so cool.

I am fortunate to have grown up in a family where we were taught and shown unconditional love, acceptance, and compassion.  Also, we were taught to be kind and respect those different from ourselves.  Kirk and I are now teaching that to Ian.

My extended family is equally as awesome.  We are diverse in everything – our beliefs and our religions, who we love, how we earn our livings, what we are passionate about, our politics, and so much more.  Each one is unique and special and I love them all with all of my heart. Also, I have learned a lot from them.

I have recently had the pleasure of editing a family history book that Mom wrote.  And, I have to say from ancestors to those living today, my family is amazing. So many people have been passionate about so many things and we are all so different.  I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of this amazing legacy.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My loving parents
  • My fun siblings who are life-long friends
  • My amazing hubby and son
  • My wonderful in-laws
  • My fabulous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews
  • Learning about my heritage
  • Learning about my grandparents and many great grandparents
  • Growing up knowing that differences in people are okay and interesting
  • Long talks with loved ones who see the world differently than I do
  • Kindness and compassion towards others
  • Love not hate

I look forward to family time during the holidays and cannot wait for more time to chat and learn more about them.  I hope to see my extended family in the summer again soon.  Love to all of them.

December 8 – Family

Hi and Happy Wednesday!  Today’s photo challenge is Family.   I am blessed with an amazing family.  Both the one I grew up in and with and the one that I married into.  I am thankful for these amazing people – all different, all unique, all special.

From my family, I have learned that differences of opinion are okay and to be respected.  I have learned the meaning of unconditional love.  I have learned how to deal with the joys and sorrows of life.  And, I have learned about partnership, acceptance, and forgiveness.

I have learned so much on every subject from my family.   We all have our own ideas and are comfortable with sharing them.  That to me is an amazing blessing.

My family is perhaps unusual in that we like to be together, we look out for one another, and we truly love one another.  We don’t always agree and may have arguments.  Still there is love and respect and a bond that I am thankful for each day.

This photo is one of my favorites ever taken of my hubby, me, and our son.  We were on vacation at the beach and being silly for the camera as usual.  For some reason, Ian and I had our mouths wide open.  I wish I could remember why our mouths are so big. Anyway, I love this family of three so very much and cherish them both.

For my family who I love so much, I am thankful for:

  • Parents who love me unconditionally
  • Siblings I can always count on
  • Cousins who are true friends
  • Aunts and uncles who loved me like their own
  • Grandparents who I will always cherish
  • My amazing husband and our family
  • A child who I cannot imagine life without
  • In-laws who accept and love me
  • Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who are truly siblings
  • Nieces and nephews who I knew and loved before Ian was born
  • Friends made long ago
  • Friends made in all walks of my life
  • Loved ones I have lost and will never forget

A few quotes about family:

  • “The truth is maybe we are just average. But the way I see it — families where parents get up every morning and go to jobs that are hard so they can get their kids through school and through life, and struggle to make it all work and manage to do it with dignity and a little humor — well, that’s not average. That’s extraordinary.” ~ DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, The Middle
  • “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” ~ Erma Bombeck
  • “Ohana means family — no one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten.” ~ Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, Lilo & Stitch
  • “When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.” ~ Joyce Brothers
  • “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~ Jane Howard
  • “Having a place to go — is a home. Having someone to love — is a family. Having both — is a blessing.” ~ Donna Hedges

I wonder who of my family I will see over the holidays?  I hope I will see each and every one of them.  That will probably not happen.  Still, I will be in touch with all of them.  Hugs and love to you all!!

Happy Birthday Dear Pam!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people — my cousin Pam.  Happy birthday to you dear Pam!  May you have an amazing and wonderful day! May you have fun and a great celebration!!!

We have been good friends for many years but have never lived close to one another.  The distance doesn’t matter and for that I am always thankful. In fact, each time we see each other we pick up right where we left off and always have much to talk about. And we stay in touch with one another during times we aren’t together in the same city.

Kirk, Ian, and I went to see her this summer and had so much fun.  We laughed, we chatted, we drank our wine and it was terrific!!  It was great being at her lovely house with Pam, her hubby, and family.  We hadn’t seen each other for 4 years before that.

img073Growing up, she was my beautiful and cool cousin from California.  I loved the summers we would go there and see her and her family.   I remember in high school listening to the  music of the day and always remember “You Spin Me Right Round,” by Dead or Alive as a song we’d dance to.  That was one of many songs that we used to enjoy together.

To borrow a line for the movie “Beaches,” my memory of her is very long.  I love that and love that we still have a blast together.  And, our husbands get along well too.  She still is my cool cousin and just as beautiful, but I like it that now we both live in the south.

Pam, I wish we could be with you today to celebrate!  Hope you have a wonderful day!  Love you so very much!  And I hope to see you and your wonderful family again soon!!!

The first of these photos was taken this summer.  The second is from the early 1990s when I had a sunburn. These are two of many photos I have — all of them remembering a special moment.

I love all of my other cousins too!  I am so fortunate to have a great group of cousins.  Last week, one cousin Robbi celebrated her birthday.  She too is an amazing woman and a friend.  I am sorry that I missed a blog for you Robbi!  We enjoyed a wonderful and fun party with her and her family.

To all of my cousins, I love you so very much and wish we could see each other more than we do. Hopefully we will again soon.  Cousins truly are our first friends other than our siblings and I am honored to have the best!

Throwback Thursday – Yummy Meal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a photo when Ian was about 2 years old.  As you can see, he is wearing much of his meal.  He seemed to like it and thought it was yummy.

I love his expression, his smile, big and bright eyes, and the messy hairdo.  I just wish I could remember what the meal was.  Probably spaghetti since that was always a messy time.

Now that it is 1 week since he turned 7 years old, it is fun to look back at these old photos. Images like this bring back such fun memories. And make me realize how fast time goes and how important it is to capture such precious times.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Messy hands and faces
  • A happy boy after a yummy meal
  • Remembrances of Ian at 2-years-old and each year since
  • A 7-year-old who is excited to buy a new book with his birthday money
  • Upcoming fall break for some down time
  • Having a camera to capture our fun and crazy days
  • A chance to visit great teachers during a school open house
  • Cooler mornings and evenings and warmth during the day
  • Laughter and funny stories
  • Catching up with a dear friend or family member
  • Making meals with my family

I wonder if the next time Ian eats spaghetti it will be this messy?  I doubt it but can’t wait to find out.

September 24 – Loud

Sept.24_POD_LoudToday’s photo challenge is Loud.  I decided to include an old picture of my family.  We are loud, boisterous, silly, theatrical, and fun.  This photo is from the early 1990s.

Come to think of it, both the 1980s and 1990s were loud — with the music, clothing, and hairdos.  And, I loved it!  That was the era that I grew up in, graduated from high school, went to college, earned my degree, and then started my first job.

Many years ago, Saturday Night Live did a sketch called The Loud Family.  We called them “The Louds.”  This family would yell at each other at the dinner table.  My family mimicked that a few times and it was so funny.

I don’t think we meant to be loud, but all of us are passionate and have good lungs, so our voices carry.  That and plenty of singing and theater experience has helped all of us to project our voices.

Now, Ian is carrying on our fine family tradition.  He often has a loud voice and loves to talk and play. I think he too will have time in his life on a stage.

I love my original family and all of our fun times we have had together over the years.  My parents, sister, and brother are my favorite people.  Now all of us kids are married and have kids.

Dinners together were always important growing up and still are to all of us.  Now, we have all of the kids, as well as cousins, aunts, uncles and others to join in the fun.

I wonder when I will get to be loud again with my goofy family?  I sure hope it’s soon!  Love you all.

Throwback Thursday – Pam and Patti

img067For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a few pictures of me with my cousin Pam.  In honor of our recent visit, I thought I’d go back a few years for the photos.

This first picture was taken in the early 1990s.  I don’t remember what year.  I love it of both of us.

Since this was taken, we have posed for many pictures, including our recent visit.  We have also laughed a lot, cried a little, and had so many fun times together.

girls 2Pam is one of my best friends.  And, I love that we are family.  No matter how long it’s been since we have seen each other, we pick up right away and chat like no time has passed. Vacation 2006 185The friendship we have is rare and I cherish it.

This second picture is (from left) of me, Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie. And the third was taken on that same day while shopping and walking on the boardwalk of Beckie, Pam, and me.  These were taken in 2006. Fun times with my girls!

Shared stories, laughter, togetherness, time at the beach or pool, and talking over a glass of wine are some of the many things we enjoy doing together.

Now that we are both married and have families, our circle has grown.  There are more people to have fun with and to love. Our families are so important to both of us and I just love that!

A verse in scripture (Proverbs 17:17) says that a friend loves at all times.  And Elbert Hubbard said, ““A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”  I am blessed to have such a friend who is also my cousin.

I wonder when I will get to see my dear cousin again?  I do hope that it’s soon!

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!!!

June 3 – Family

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s photo challenge is Family.  Here is a selfie or should I say ussie of my family and me that I took recently.  We were having a fun day.

I have been blessed with a great family.  The family I grew up with, my husband’s family, and now our family with our son are all a blessing.

I have a circle of dear friends who are also my family.  Many of them I don’t get to see as much as I’d like to, but when we are together, we always have fun.

I love the family I grew up with – my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  From my family, I learned all about love, humor, laughter, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and consideration of others.

I love that although many of us are different, we have found a way to get along and have fun together.  That is rare and an amazing blessing.

With my family, I have always felt loved, appreciated, and valued. My family is so very precious to me.  I am truly honored to be a part of these people’s lives and for them to be a part of mine.

A few quotes about family:

  • “I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.” ~ Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
  • “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” ~ Ogden Nash
  • “The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” ~ Erma Bombeck

I look forward to family time this summer and many fun memories that we will make.  I wonder how soon we will have that time?  I hope it is very soon.

March 11 – Something Good

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday.  Hope you are having a great day.  Here it is sunny and will be nice and warm.

Today’s photo challenge is Something Good.  I am first reminded of the song with that title from “The Sound of Music” movie.  It is one of my favorite movies and a romantic song.

Maria and The Captain sing to each other, “For here you are, standing there, loving me whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.”

For my something good, I wanted to include a photo of me with my grandmother.  She is very dear to me and a lot of fun. Also, I think it is something good that we are close as is the rest of my family.  This photo is from January when she turned 93 years old.

Also good is the time our family spends together.  I love the fact we are there for one another through good times and bad times as well.  My grandmother is the matriarch and loves each of us very much.  It is a blessing to be in such a family.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Seeing old photos taken by my grandfather whom I never knew.
  • Laughing with my family.
  • A sunny morning and a walk to school with a sweet boy.
  • My hot tea and breakfast.
  • Friends who I have known for many, many years.
  • A fun night out with family for pizza at a favorite restaurant.
  • Hugs from my son and other family members.
  • Hearing my husband say I love you.
  • Singing along to favorite songs.
  • Hearing and watching the birds outside in the morning.
  • Singing “Amazing Grace” with friends and family.
  • Old photos and new.

May you have a blessed day full of good things!

Throwback Thursday – Beach House and Big Hair

Throwback_Thursday_2-27-2014Hi and Happy Thursday!  How are you doing on this next to last day of month?  Can you believe it — a few days away from March?  This year is flying by.

Today I decided to post a fun picture from the late 1980s (87 or 88) for Throwback Thursday.  It is of myself and my mother at the beach house we love so much.  Don’t you just love our big hair?  That was such a part of the 1980s and 1990s.

This house looks quite different now and has shutters, but it is still a favorite gathering place for our family’s multiple generations.  I think this photo was taken before our family friend made a special table with benches for the porch.  It turned the porch into our dining room and often has been the favorite “room” in the house.  Look one direction, you have a view of the ocean.  Look the other, the bay across a street.

This was taken when I was in my 20s and still super skinny.  To be that size again would be amazing. I just didn’t realize how good I had it at that age.  I could eat nearly anything that I wanted to, stayed pretty active, and I didn’t seem to gain any weight.  It was easier at that age.  One difference was I was in college, living in a dorm with no elevator, and had no car.  So I walked miles and miles each day.  I am working on the walking again and hope to do more and more each week.

In the 1980s and other years since, I have tried long and medium length hair.  Short hair has always been better for me but it has been fun to try different lengths.  I may have even had a perm in this style.  I just can’t remember.  Mom has had a variety of short styles — sometimes with more hair than others.  This particular time was more hair.

I also think that both of us have bigger hair because of the ocean breeze.  That always makes a difference for both of us.  At this particular beach with your windows open, you don’t need air conditioning since the breeze is constant.  I love the feeling of that breeze and the smell of the ocean in the air. Actually I love all things about the beach and being near the beach.  I love the sound and feel of the ocean, the sand in my toes, the relaxed way that I always feel, and the fun that we always have.

The down side is because of all of the salt, it is very hard on metal.   A few years ago, my dad changed the lock on the porch gate.  It was rusty and corroded and looked like it had been in the elements for years, yet it had been changed the previous year.  It was amazing how quickly that changed.  That salt is also hard on buildings and cars at the beach.  Rust quickly appears on many things that are outside.

This is just one of many photos from that summer and that era.  I will have to share others.  And, I’d love to hear about your big hair and beach adventures.

I wonder when the next time will be that I am at this beach house with my mother?  It may be a while since money is more limited these days.  There still is plenty of fun to be had.  And on the plus side, we had 5 years in a row that we went.  So, I certainly don’t feel deprived.  Hope you have a great day!