Happy Birthday Dear Beckie!

Today is my sister-in-law Beckie’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to you dear Beckie!  Hope you have a great and wonderful day. Hope you can do something fun and enjoy the entire day!

Beckie is married to my brother and is my second sister.  We always have a great time when we get together. I am always wishing for more time with her, my brother, and their two teenagers.  For example, we missed her party over the weekend since I wasn’t feeling well.  Bummer.

This photo is from our lunch out years ago at the beach.  We had a great time that day and some delicious food.  Over the years, we have enjoyed many meals, many laughs, some sorrows, lots and lots of conversations, inside jokes, and have taken, posed for, and shared many photos.  I am blessed to have her in my life.

Beckie, I hope that you have a great day and another wonderful trip around the sun!  I also hope to see you again soon.  Take care!  Love ya.

A few birthday quotes:

  • “The first fact about the celebration of birthdays is that it is a good way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
  • “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
  • The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” ~ Lucille Ball

The Blessing of Friendship

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday is the birthday of one of my oldest friends.  I don’t mean oldest by age but oldest as in the one who I have known the longest — except for family members. Happy 40-something Birthday to you dear Tammy!

My earliest memory of us being friends was in second grade.  We may have known each other before that too, but I just don’t remember.  Do you remember Tammy?

While in second grade, we had the same teacher Mr. Toler.  He was a fantastic teacher and one of the best.  One day that I still remember, we got in trouble for talking in class.  He pulled us out of the class and sent us to the coat closet to try to behave again.  Well, needless to say, we still had too much to discuss.  The punishment didn’t quite work since we kept talking.  Our parents were both called I think.

In addition to talking, we have always loved to laugh.  She is one of my favorite ones to laugh with.  We liked to laugh with our younger sisters too.  The four of us had a blast together! I hope that the four of us and our families can get together soon.

One of the nicest things that Tammy ever did was surprise me by attending my wedding.  The day before the wedding, she called me and said she wished she could be there. Little did I know she was downstairs.  When she came up the stairs, I screamed and starting crying happy tears.  It was so special to have her in town for our wedding.  If I had known, I would have asked her to be in the wedding.

So that day, I had my sister, my sister-in-law, and my best friends from elementary school, high school, and college there.  Five very special women were there for the big day and that meant the world to me. I am still friends with all of them and keep in regular touch with all of them.  What an amazing blessing that is!

Long-term friendships are few and rare so I am very thankful to still be friends with Tammy.  Although we don’t see each other as much as I’d like to, we seem to always pick right back up where we left off.  And, we always have a great time.  And, Ian had a blast playing last time with her son.  Hopefully the boys can get together again.

This photo is of the two of us the last time we were together at the beach two years ago.  Tammy, hope to see you again soon!

Hope you have a wonderful birthday Tammy!  Thanks so much for the blessing of your friendship!!    And, just between us, Cindy, and Sonya, AGADKTGA!!!!!!!  GGP rock!!!

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!

Happy Anniversary / Birthday

Patti_Dad_2006 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Anniversary to my sweet hubby Kirk and Happy Birthday to my wonderful Dad.   It is an honor to celebrate today with these two amazing and important men in my life.

To Dad, I say thank you for teaching me all that you did, for being so attentive and interested in your family and our activities, for showing me the importance of being a good steward with my money, and for spending time with our family.

To Kirk, I want to say thanks so much for loving me as much as you do, for being an amazing father to our son, for being a great friend, partner and so much more, for always making me laugh and for comforting me when I cry, and for sharing in all of the little and important things with me. You are the best!

I remember the day of our wedding so vividly and cherish the memories of both of you that day.  Dad walking me down the aisle to greet my hubby-to-be, having the opportunity to dance with both of you, and being able to share the day is such a gift. You are both such a blessing to me and I thank the Lord for you each day.

A few quotes about marriage:

  • “The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds — they mature slowly.”~ Peter De Vries
  • “To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart — about a finger’s breadth — for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule.” ~ Marnie Reed Crowell
  • “Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” ~ Barnett R. Brickner

A few quotes about fathers:

  • “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.”” ~ Harmon Killebrew
  • “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~ Clarence Budington Kelland
  • “A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” ~ Author Unknown

I wonder if these two fine men will truly understand how great they are and how dear they are to me?  I will do my best to let them know and look forward to special time with each of them.

Throwback Thursday – Dad and Kirk

10-24_TBTTomorrow is my wedding anniversary as well as my Dad’s birthday.  He was kind enough to share his birthday with us. So for today’s Throwback Thursday, I wanted to include a photo from 2010 of (from left) Kirk, Ian, and Dad.

We were at the beach and the three of them were being silly with their backwards hats. I only wish Ian had been looking up, although it is cute since they are both holding onto his arms and keeping him on the fence.

That year, Dad was the amazing Father of the Bride, which we put on a cake in his honor at the rehearsal dinner.

The other photo is of me on my dad’s lap when I was a child.  It is one of my favorites of the two of us.

I love these guys!  I can’t wait to celebrate our special days with both of them tomorrow.

Happy Birthday to you dear Dad — tomorrow.  And, Happy Anniversary to you babe — also tomorrow.  Love ya both so much!

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!!!