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.

August 22 – Words

Words_POD_8-22-14Today’s photo challenge is Words.  I decided to include a note that is one of my favorites that I ever received from Ian.  It says, “Mommy, I will love you forever.”  Honestly, what is better than that from your child?

The photo is a little fuzzy since it is hard to take a photo of a piece of white paper.  I did the best I could. Ian wrote this for me last year when he was regularly calling me Mommy.  Now, he’ll say “Mommy, I mean Mom.”  Still not used to the new name, but I am getting there.

Seeing this sentiment in writing from my son was so very special.  This note is on the side of a photo that he drew for me.  I think it was for Mother’s Day.  Honestly, it was more special than any store-bought item could ever be.

I don’t know about you, but I love words.  Just love them!  As a writer, I spend a lot of time with words and can’t get enough. The written word in my writings, books, songs, and other writings are very special to me, as are spoken words.

One of the funniest commercials on television right now is about Words and that Words can truly hurt you.  It is a Geico commercial.  Have you seen it?  I sure hope so.  I crack up each and every time I see it.

As an editor, I have had to check the correct spelling of words as well as their usage.  This is something I also enjoy.  Another thing I like to do with words is Word Finds.  I can spend hours and hours on these. And, some days actually have.

Most people seem to either like numbers or words.  I definitely am a words person.  A few of my favorite words (but by no means all) are:

  • Love
  • Family
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Mommy or mom
  • Daddy or Dad
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Husband
  • Wife
  • I Thee Wed
  • Hug
  • Friend
  • Trust
  • Forgiveness
  • SRP
  • Brigadoon
  • Home
  • Clumping
  • Prayer
  • Belief
  • Faith
  • Be still and know that I am God
  • Trust
  • Honor
  • Respect
  • Happiness
  • School
  • Learning
  • Celebration
  • Compassion
  • Reading
  • Singing
  • Fun
  • Laughter
  • Aunt and Uncle
  • Cousin
  • Niece and Nephew
  • In-laws
  • Beautiful
  • Waves
  • Ocean
  • Beach
  • Beach house
  • Breath
  • Imagination
  • Blessings
  • Jesus loves me this I know
  • I Still Wonder Where Rainbows Come From

What are some of your favorite words? Please share them with me and our other readers.

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 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!

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!

My Gal Friends Rock!

girls 2Yes, I’ll say again, my gal friends or girl friends rock!

They are so very precious to me, yet I don’t get to see most of them very often.

For a while now, we have been splitting our time in two places — one of which includes me with a house full of guys.  It is fun to travel and see another place, but I must admit that after a while, I really miss talking to other women.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with these guys — including my hubby and son — but there is nothing like talking over something with a girl friend.  Gals, you know what I mean, right?!

Here I am pictured with (from left) my cousin Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie.  I am at far left.  We had such a fun visit that summer!!

This week and next are the birthdays of two of my girl friends who I have known the longest.  Jennifer I have known since high school and Dawn since our freshman year in college.  I have written about both of them in other blogs, such as https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/happy-birthday-dawn-jennifer/.

I love that we are still close and can pick up where we left off with one another!  We can look at each other and laugh about some inside secret or read a posting and instantly have a connection or a shared memory.

A few gals who I have known longer than these two are my dear friends Tammy, a friend since elementary school, and my cousin Pam who I have been close to for as long as I remember, and my sister Cindy who I have known since she was born.

Again, I wish I could be with them more but they all understand and lead their own busy lives.  I just love that we can pick up where we have left off when we talk or see one another.

And, a few dear friends that I worked with through the years are also very special — Karen, Gaye, Michele, DiAnn, Linda, Phyllis, Deborah, Brenda, Angela, and a few others as well.  I have fond memories of each of them.  The cool thing is that I am friends with all of them on Facebook so I can keep up with them!

I am fortunate to also be close to two of my sisters-in-law, Beckie and Diane, and getting to better know another three others — Linda Hope, Linda, and Anne.  They have been fabulous additions to my life and I so enjoy time with this as well.

My wonderful cousins also rock (Val, Chris, Sue, Jen, Marit, Sarah, Robbi, Trish, Tanya and Dawn).  And, I am blessed to have friends from high school who I have planned reunions with and friends from college who I keep in touch with.  All of these great women are so important to me.  I won’t name everyone since I am afraid that I will leave someone out and I don’t want to do that.  In fact, I may already have.  I am sorry!

Just last year I met a few amazing women at a writer’s conference.  Among them, I immediately hit it off with Ann and Vicki.  I saw them this spring again and we had a great visit.  They both have self-published books and inspire me.

There is nothing like spending time at having tea, shopping, going to a movie, dessert, or a restaurant with my girl friends!  Talking and laughing or commiserating and crying are what we can do together.  Each of these moments is truly special.

When thinking about girl friends, I thought of television shows and movies which highlight female friendship.  My two favorites are Golden Girls and Designing Women.  Both of these had four amazing women who were strong, funny, and tightly knit.   And, they cracked me up.

A few more recent favorites are Hot In Cleveland and Sex In the City.  Again four close-knit women — isn’t that interesting?  These shows also make me laugh and I enjoy watching the dynamic of these friends.

Some other shows and movies that I thought of are:

  • Girlfriends
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Army Wives
  • Cagney and Lacey
  • Friends
  • The Facts of Life
  • Gilmore Girls
  • I Love Lucy
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Rhoda
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Thelma and Louise

What can you think of?  Are there other shows that I didn’t include?  Please let me and our readers know!!!

What do you like to do with your girl friends?  I also would love to hear from you on this.

May your life be blessed and rich with friendship and dear friends!

I wonder what fun and new things I will be able to do with my girl friends?  Can’t wait to discover!   I also wonder how soon I will see them.  Very soon I hope!

The Gift of Friendship

5minutefriday5 Minute Friday Word for April 25 is Friend

Today’s topic for 5 Minute Friday is Friend.  Here the rules:

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…

Now GO …

Friends are a gift from God!  We chose our friends and make an effort to spend time with them, so they are extra special.

I have been blessed in my life to have several lifelong friends.  A few of these gals I have known for 30 years.  That is amazing!  It doesn’t seem possible.

There is a great song that I remember singing …

  • Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of Them
  • And a friend will not say never cause the welcome will not end
  • Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know
  • That a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

That to me sums up real friendship!!

I also love that my friends and I can go for years not seeing each other but when we do, it’s like no time has passed.  We pick up right where we left off.

A friend loveth at all times!  This is a great piece of scripture.

Whether a friend from childhood, from my work life, from meeting while pregnant, attending a writing seminar, or hanging out at the beach, I have been blessed to meet and know many awesome people.  I thank the Lord for each and every one of them!  I hope that you too have such friends.

There is so much more to say, but it’s time to say STOP!!

One last thing to add about friends.  This is a rhyme I remember from my childhood and still applies, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”

May you be blessed with a friend-filled life!!

Read more thoughts on “friend” at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday link-up today.

Happy Birthday Rich!

candlesToday is my friend Rich’s birthday!

Happy Birthday to you dear Rich!  I hope that you have a great day!

Rich is a great guy and has his own business.  He can fix about anything and is smart.  He loves Nascar, his wife, family, and friends, and to tinker around with a variety of things at his house.  He is a lot of fun to be around too!!

Many years ago, before I met Kirk, Rich nicknamed me Patti Cakes, and used to call me that for a while.  Little did he know that my name eventually could be Patti Cates.  Notice just one letter is different — the K which starts Kirk’s name. Interesting, wouldn’t you say?

I have known Rich and his wife Karen for almost 20 years.  Karen and I worked together in the same office for four years.  During that time, we got together a lot.  I was single at the time and the two of them always made me feel welcome and not like I was a third wheel.  I have always appreciate that about them.

One time we went to their beach house and had so much fun.  We talked the entire way in the car since it was a road trip, and then continued when we got there.  It is nice to not run out of things to discuss.  For a time, Rich was the big brother that I never had.

After I met Kirk, the four of us would get together and have a blast.  It was great that all of us got along well with each other and liked each other. That is rare and I so appreciate it!

Rich also tells great stories and jokes.  He is always fun to talk to.  I haven’t seen him or Karen in a while and miss them both.  We now live in different states so it is more of a challenge to get together.

We do, however, keep in touch, so that is great.  Hopefully we can plan a get together soon!!

Happy Birthday to you Rich!  May you have as fun a day as you are!  Love you both!!!

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!