Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Handmade Gift

When I was little I loved playing with my mothers Nesting Dolls from USSR.
It wasn't very often that she let me play with it but when she did, I was so excited!!!

Over the years I have told my kids the story of how I was only allowed to play with them when my Mom was in the room and only for a limited time, as they were special to her.

They have all asked at one point to play with them, I am very hesitant each time one asks. If they were to damage them of lose one I would feel sad but also I was feel like my Mom would be disappointed.

A few weeks before my oldest daughter Hannah was to move to University campus she was spending a lot of time painting in her room with her best friend Andy.
When I would ask what she was painting she would tell me Andy was working on a painting for my wall. (I truly enjoy displaying art from people I love).

Just a couple days before we packed her things in the car, she gave me a gift!! One of kind, extremely meaningful, swell your heart kind of gift!!

She had hand painted a set of 6 Nesting Dolls... but not just doll faces, she painted a 'set' per each piece. One person from each set one one side and the other person on the back.

See in our family we have 5 'sets' plus one...

Set 1. Mom and Dad
Set 2. Jacob and Hannah (less than a year apart in age)
Set 3. Isabelle and Michael (also less than a year)
Set 4. Eva and Grace (same)
Set 5. LilyKate and Annelise 
Leo is our plus one.

On the back of Leo's, she painted our last name and the year.

I was so excited and impressed, she really knew the perfect gift for me.
Which by the way was brilliant timing, as I was dreading her leaving my house (sad face).

I shouldn't be over dramatic, she is only 3 hours away (not 14 like my sonny boy).

So when she came home for Holiday break, I found another set of blank Nesting Dolls and asked her to make me another set.
She found 5 sets online that she liked and asked my opinion.... Well I love animals, especially penguins. And my favorite colors are black, white and red.
So I picked the black and white set and asked her to please add a little something red to each....

They are (in order) a penguin, a panda, an owl, a fox and a hedgehog!!

I love them and am excited to see my collection of Nesting Dolls grow!!

Do you have something you adored of your Mother/Father that you still cherish?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Each time I read this I think of a different test I was put through.

Something that has taken me years to figure out ~ EVERYTHING feels like its spinning out of control and is amplified way more when you are right in the middle of the test!!

How about the time the diamond from my wedding ring had fallen out....
OH MY WORD I was a lunatic!
I was talking on the house phone (yeah that was back in the day haha), and I when I hung the phone back on the receiver on the wall when I noticed a black hole where my beautiful diamond used to reside!!
I remember that I hadn't gone anywhere all day because I hadn't been feeling good, which meant it had to be around the house.
But then it dawned on me that I had been in the car and rode with Jon to pick up my inhaler from Walgreens, however I stayed in the car. 
I was crazy and crying and screaming and just acting a fool!!!
Hours into my search, I looked down into a crack in the car and saw my sparkly diamond. I was relieved that I had found it, but I couldn't get it out of the crack!!!
Another round of acting like a crazy idiot!! 
Once the diamond was finally retrieved, and dropped off at the jewelers, I was calm and could laugh about the whole thing.

That is just one example of THE END OF THE WORLD!!

The reality is... we all have things happen that makes us feel out of control.
These are tests.

How well do we handle things when the pressure is on?
Can we think things through before reacting?

For me, I am doing way better than when I was in my twenties!
Back in the day, I fell apart anytime anything didn't go as I had planned!
and what did that accomplish? NOT A SINGLE THING, except maybe hurting someones feelings, making a fool of myself, or embarrassing my family.

This isn't me saying I don't fall apart ever. I am human.

What tests have you gone through?

22 Months = Lots of Changes

So many changes have happened since I last posted 22 months ago.
I think I will drop a line or two of each event, and go into more detail about each event in their own post.

They have grown so much!  Photo credit: Jim

Jacob graduated. My first baby all grown.

Then he joined the Air Force and is stationed in Omaha Nebraska. He is 16 hours from us. (sad face)

Hannah graduated top 20% of her class

She is living on campus at Texas State University. Only 3 hours away.
Her awesome friend (and roommate for a bit) Sarah 

Michael is a Sophomore in High School
He has a part time job.

Isabelle is a Sophomore,

She made the Angels Dance Team. She has 2 part time jobs, and is in Choir.
Isabelle as Moana. She dresses as characters for kids parties.

Eva is in her last year of middle School, and is in PALs.
She is giggling because it is her first time holding a bearded dragon. His name is Cowboy.

Grace is in 7th grade, and plays Euphonium in Honors Band.

LilyKate is in 5th grade.

Annelise is in 3rd grade.
I made her bow out of wrapping paper, we didn't have a bow that color

and Leo started Kindergarten. 
He looks up to his big brother, he loves his ABU's like Jacob.

Jon surprised me for my birthday with a trip to Cancun...
Christopher and Terrie came too!

I took the kids to Virginia to meet Diana and Chris.
We helped Diana while she was healing from surgery.

We bought a Ford Explorer (one of my dream cars)

We survived our very first Hurricane but lost a lot, including Explorer
and a little of my mind

Had to move from the house we lived in for almost 5 years
(due to flood)

Jon and I went on a cruise.

I started a new company ~ Chocolate Vibes

Valentine's photos credit Laura Miranda

Thank you to everyone that has been here for us through all or just some of these events!!

What would you like to hear more about?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cherished Friendships

Today I was blessed with 2 friends coming over for morning coffee. We chatted eagerly non-stop for hours. I once read that you know its a true friendship when you always have something to talk about. I believe it is a great friendship when you can go weeks, months, or even years without talking and can pick up as though no time has passed. This type of friendship is rare and should be cherished.

As I think about all the different friends I have and have had in my lifetime, I realize most of my friendships last years!!!

Heads up
~~~~~ I do not have pictures of everyone of my friends so please do not be offended if you are not highlighted in this blog. You are important to me. 

I am blessed so many different kinds of friends, lifetime friends are among my favorites, they know me. all the good and the bad and they have stuck by my side year after year. We may not speak every day or even every month, but once we get together it's like no time has ever passed!
I have friends that have been a part of my life story for over 27 years! Maid of honor at my wedding, friends since 7th grade. so many great stories and memories!!

NOW, on to my very best friend for the past 20+ years.... my good looking, sweet, hard working, kind hearted, smart, and let's highlight patient husband!!!

I cherish this man. He has my heart like no one ever has!

This man encourages me and pushes me to become a better person.

He makes me smile, laugh, crazy, and mad. But he loves me and shows it!!

I thank God for blessing my life with such a wonderful friend, husband, and baby's daddy (haha).

Do you have a friend that is honest, even if it means hurting your feelings?
I do, it is so nice to be able to call that friend for any and all things and know there will be no sugar coating. Also knowing the truth told to me is all covered in love!

Do you have a friend that you became friends through someone else, but it lasted forever?
Thank you friend for sticking with me.

 I love having a friend that no matter how messy our houses are, or how crazy our kids get, our friendship is strong!

Friendships that last a lifetime, no matter the distance, family drama, or differences in our lives we remain friends.

Friends that encourage you to pursue yours dreams, let you know that you aren't the only parent struggling through misbehavior, and always welcome you when you wan to come over.

I cherish my friends that always pencil you in when you want to see them, friends that trust you with sensitive information and that you can also trust with secrets.

 I adore this friendship a lot because he puts up with me... have I talked about my amazing husband?

 Making friends in another country and keeping them, loving them, and laughing with them is pretty amazing. I love having friends that encourage me on my fit mom journey. Even if its baby steps to get me there.

Being friends with family members is a double blessing... I have so many friends that are my family members... I mean there they are kinda stuck with me, but they don't HAVE to talk to me. I appreciate my family friendships.

  Isn't it cool when you meet a friend through your kids and even if the kids lose touch you remain friends. Laughter and love that last for years!

Friends that have you over and adore your kids is such blessing. Love all the fun times and laughter with great friends!

I have many friends that are younger than me, actually young enough to be my kids, but I like them to fill me with thoughts of when I was younger to remind me how far I have come. Also they are wise to things I wouldn't have a clue about if they weren't my friends. Keeping me up to date and young.

What a blessed Gal I am. 
I have a handsome best friend. 
And every kind of friend a girl would want in her life!!

Do you cherish your friends? 
Maybe you should reach out and tell them!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015


This is just a caboodle of funny or interesting pics found in my iPhoto library.

This makes me laugh just as much as the first time I read it.

I love tulips! My husband surprised me with a trip to The Tulips Festival in Holland Michigan.
While in a field of millions of beautiful tulips, I found this one! Most unique tulip I have ever seen.

Hannah drew this. I still am amazed that this is just a flat piece of paper!

This may not be that interesting you anyone else, but my son, Jacob really found this chair to be neat and comfy and we want one to go next to our pool ...when we get one.

Gideon in a doll robe, looks like Yoda to me!

We were taking a picture of the cotton candy and didn't notice his face until after.
We have no idea what made him make that face. 

Interesting... Learning details about and how to make Mums. A Texas tradition for Homecoming.

Hannah loves to read and just HAD to have this book.
The cover alone makes me smile.

Did you know brussel spouts grew like this? I didn't until I saw this at a grocery store here in Texas.

This made me laugh, maybe because the truth is so uncomfortable sometimes, it makes you laugh.

My kissing Mickey and Minnie Birkies make me happy every time I wear them.

I need these! Pillow cases match my shoes and duvet is just perfect!!

Crazy cool!
My friend Brandi always has the best smelling house.
She has candle warmers around her house. 
One day she about to change the fragrance and found that a moth had landed perfectly spread out in the hot wax before it had cooled. I asked if I could keep it to show my kids.
(and apparently blog)

Sometimes when my kids are bored (mostly when electronics are unavailable or internet is out), they create some pretty interesting things.
My oldest son is pretty creative when he puts his mind to it.
I love this. 

My cousin Justine is extremely talented!
I love all of her bead work. 
You can see more here, the first blog I wrote about her talent.
She started making these spectacular spiders this year, aren't they just fabulous?


Hope you enjoyed my collection of funny and interesting pics.

Do you have funny or interesting things that you could share?