Tag Archives: friends

TGIF!!!! Linking it!!

Bringing it to the 7 QTs with Jennifer Fulweiler and crew….Must be FRIDAY!!!

  1. This week the kids went back to school after Spring Break….can I get a WAHOOOOOO!!⁄?!?!??!?!????  Fine, I’ll give myself one…WAHOO!!!!!  Actually, I’m glad for them to get a little break in the schedule, but I didn’t take any time off so it was a little boring for them, the weather wasn’t all that fantastic, so I’m happy we are all back on schedule and the weather is FINALLY springing up.  Longest winter ever, right?  Even here in Central Florida…gray skies for months.  Boo hoo…I’m certain several people have just clicked away after that comment.  You can always come visit and escape the snow….come on!!
  2. Speaking of people escaping the cold….my mom is here!  She lives in Pennsylvania and has been enjoying the fantastic weather all week!  Of course, she had a rocky start with bad weather  through the southeast mid-trip and was delayed a night in Charlotte, however, she’s been running to and fro catching up with my grandparents, us, and a lot of her friends all week.  We’ve loved visiting and I know she has, too….but man, oh man….it gets exhausting running around visiting, doesn’t it???  Today she and I get lunch together and I am looking forward to our one-on-one!!
  3. I made it back to the gym AT LUNCH this week and I am still sore.  It WAS great to get in a good workout and not be up at the crack of dawn.  This weekend I may have the Hubs get in the pool with me and give me some pointers and add some swimming in on lunch, because it IS getting lovely out!  Although I don’t think I can give up my 5 a.m. spin class which is TORTURE getting up for….but oh, so worth it!!!
  4. This week saw several Paleo-based meals at our dinner table and with the weather changing, I feel I may be emerging from winter time hibernation and almooooooooooost ready to plan and cook ahead our healthy meals and snacks for the week.  The planning and prepping ahead is THE hardest thing for me to consistently stick with and it is also the thing that makes the biggest difference in sticking to a healthy routine or not.  Taking it all one day at a time, and remembering daily that summer’s coming and my bathing suit is waiting.  Motivation?  Um, yes.
  5. Our Yukon needed an oil change this week and it only cost us $465.  Occasionally, when your truck has almost 200,000 miles on its 12-year-old self, service is required.  Painful?  Always.  Grateful for a solid and well-maintained vehicle?  Yup.
  6. Some interesting opportunities are turning up for me in the work arena.  BIG changes and I have been crazy conflicted and praying up a storm.  Must be working because so far, I’m OK with whatever happens.  Of course, I’m not actually at a point where I am making a choice yet; interesting how things present themselves sometimes though.  “Jesus, I trust in You”…..my prayer and my mantra.
  7. Wrapping it up as I bring the first shortie to school #1 and get ready to own this Friday.  Y’all have a great weekend and don’t forget to check back Monday for the Photo Link Up…if all goes well, I’ll have it figured out by then.  How hard can it be, right?  famous last words!!

Trading earth’s cross for heaven’s crown

Dear Lisa,

Woman.  It is the most breathtakingly STUNNING day here today.  A rough start with the rain and wind this a.m. but now….oh.  My.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Nice wind.  Hovering on the 70’s….just barely.  I can’t think of a better day to celebrate you.

Somehow I managed to make it through with 3 tissues.  Your humongous family, your beautiful girls and your brave and valiant husband filing in just made my heart ache.  In the same breath, my heart was filled with joy at the sheer numbers present.  You seriously made an impression on a lot of people, an indelible print on their hearts.  Way cool.  What a blessing to call you friend.

Your faith and courage in your fight with Ovarian cancer could not help but to spill over on to everyone you came in contact with.  Sharing that faith just came natural and so did encouraging your students and friends to live life to the fullest.  Embrace every day and when you introduced Brendan (and our family) to the story of Nick Vujicic your genuineness and love of God became that much more real.

Thank you for your friendship.  It was a true blessing to know you.

A few words from today that I KNOW you’d be shaking your head “YES” to:

  • You traded earth’s cross for Heaven’s crown.  WOW!  I just love that.  You are free.  You are free.
  • When we let go of fear we step out and grow in faith.  Like taking off without training wheels for the first time.  May we ALL be propelled to grow in faith by crushing fear with the same German stubborness you had.
  • Fight the GOOD fight.  Life is busy and we get pulled in so many directions.  May we all focus on those priorities of living this life and fighting the GOOD fight.
  • Life is hard.  So many people, situations and choices constantly turning us sideways; faith is what guides us through.  A beacon of hope.  You stayed focused on that faith in God’s plan to the very end.  I can think of no better race that was run.

Rest in peace, my friend.  Until we meet again!



The bluest of blues.  Sky today.

The bluest of blues. Sky today.

Good, bad, ugly and a conference!!

I’ve been MIA and so very hit or miss lately….life, ya know?  Sorry.  I’m preaching to the choir, I know.

It looks like our weekends are slowing down a leeeeeeetle bit here to a more manageable busy-ness which is good and gives me hope to recharge and reboot and refresh and all that because I needs me some down-time, people!  Wahhhhh, cry me a river, I know.  We are all busy.  So.  I am done complaining about that.

Here’s a few things my mind is juggling lately, good bad and ugly.  Ok.  NOT the really ugly, because I’ve already sent THAT email to a few people and I’m just not ready to go live with that.  Yet.  It is brewing though.  It will probably be a total **it-storm when it happens, I’ll say that.  Intrigued?  Well, guess you’ll have to keep checking back in.  wink-wink-wink

Goodnesssssss……all over the place.  The busy-ness has been good stuff.  Kids music stuff, going to All-county for two kiddos 2 weekends in a row.  A certain almost-12 year old birthday coming up and a trip to Plato’s closet to feed her shopping desires and birthday gift!!  Last minute visit from an old friend from Tally in town with her daughter’s volleyball tourney.  (I didn’t get to visit with her but Hubby did and it does a soul good to have some quality friend time!)  A coming visit from Hubby’s Alaskan cousin this weekend for the night.  A total nut and very fun!!  A great AA dinner party meeting Hubby’s AA friends.  Always nice to put names with faces.  Even nicer to hear the inspirational stories coming out of these people.  My dear friend may (HOPEFULLY) be doing Apologetics classes for middle and high schoolers.  Y’all she is DANGEROUSLY on fire and the most AMAZING teacher EVERRRRRR.  I am completely committed to bugging her to YouTube the classes because this is something the Church needs…this area is so lacking.  So offer up a prayer for her would ya?  This cookie dough pie made by our 16 yo.  Oh.  MY.  Deliciousness.  **one special note:  USE the blender/food processor for the beans.  Makes allllllllll the difference in the world.  Hubby and I are planning on renewing our vows this year.  The big 2-0!  Point of contention:  our audience.  Our church generally does this in front of the general Mass.  All several HUNDREDS of people.  Hubby is in favor of this venue.  This gives me absolute palpitations and anxiety I cannot describe.  I’m all for the quiet chapel route.  Also, I know I will be bawling and this is not a good look for me.  Let’s face it, half of our marriage was the “for worse” part and having come through that……..Phew!  Good stuff, but man, oh, man……what a ride!!!

Badness:  (I know, not a word, but in keeping with the theme)…..I didn’t get a job I applied for.  Again.  I DO have promises of other positions in the next few months, so we shall see….but disappointment, I’m really over you.  Really.  16 yo broke his foot skateboarding.  Not super bad, but definitely waylaid the skating for a while.  Good stuff is coming out of that, though…..the ole stepping back and getting a bird’s eye view of friends, new likes and maturing.  Colds.  Several have blown through this house.  5 of 6 of us have had the flu shot, so holding steady there…… lastly, a friend of mine (son’s 5th grade teacher and the best EVER! and not just because she reads my blog) is suffering mightily these past couple years with a recurrence in her ovarian cancer.  The past few months have been tremendously brutal.  It’s heartbreaking and I’m so sad for her suffering and for her family and mad. Mad that the prayers I pray for her don’t fix anything.  Mad that the dinner I’ll take her family won’t fix anything.  Mad that God allows this.  Mad.  Mad.  Mad.  And this is so definitely going on my list of conversations God and I will have in heaven.  Because I just don’t see the purpose of it.  At all.

And on that total bummer note:  let me offer up some fun times for you….There is going to be a little conference in Austin, TX this summer.  A weekend of Catholic gal fun!!  All the deets are here……  my pocketbook can’t swing this, but maybe yours can and I think it would absolutely be worth every second!!!!

Go on and have a super day.  Providing you aren’t snowed in for the umpteenth time this winter.  We’ll be scooting through the day in the humid 80s here…..  tough.  tough life it is.


Away at All-State: Fun, Fotos and Friends

this kid RARELY takes a regular picture.  Here's his Mr. Serious pose.

this kid RARELY takes a regular picture. Here’s his Mr. Serious pose.

A few months back we found out our son qualified for the All-State Middle School Honors band.  Quite the accomplishment for this French Horn player who is on his third year of playing.  The boy is disciplined and driven and when he sets his sights on a goal…stand back and watch.  It’s pretty awesome.  Anyhoooo….fast forward through  a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season and two days back in school and then Vroom, we are off.  All the way across the state (only 2 1/2 hours thankfully!).  Here’s how it all went down.

Wednesday:  I worked a 1/2 day so that I could get packed and ready and we could leave after school got out.  That meant I was able to use my 6 month old mani-pedi gift from the Hubs and THEN start packing!  For the win!!   Enjoyed a nice lunch with the Hubs, picked up the kiddos packed myself and helped our EXTREMELY excited and hyper 14-year-old and we hit the road.  We stayed at my friend’s outside of Tampa.  We used to work together back in the day, pre-kids and have a few crazy stories behind us.  She and her family were so very gracious considering it was a school/work night for them and we stayed up WAY too late for both of us trying to cram in the last couple of years of catch up into a few hours but it was so very worth it.  She’s a crazy hot mess of extrovert and Type A to the MAX (some of my very besties fall in this category….they balance my TypeB/C/D) and it is like being in an alternate universe when I’m with her and fully entertaining, enjoyable, comfortable and awesome.  Great way to start off our weekend!

Thursday:  We hit the road with PLENTY of extra time (in my suburban brain) for Tampa “city” traffic and made it to check-in/warm-ups well within the window (10 minutes to spare).  The boy took his time, was the last to go in the reseating audition and…….the kid got FIRST CHAIR.  Un-FREAKIN-believable.  I still get a big ole lump in my throat when I remember the most gigantic hug and gratitude he expressed when we got here to his dad and I.  And then he gets FIRST CHAIR.  You guys.  Just.  Wow.  The enjoyment in seeing his hard work paying off in such a tremendous way and the joy he experienced in that moment is heart-bursting-over-flowing-this-is-what-its-all-about.

Upon getting him settled into a 4 hour rehearsal, I was then free to explore.  In clogs and inclement weather.  Where better to do that but a bookstore.  Oxford Exchange.  And with one of my besties and former neighbor from Tally.  A taste of heaven, people.   A taste of heaven.

Tea time.  Lovely bookstore.  Awesome friend.  Heaven.

Tea time. Lovely bookstore. Awesome friend. Heaven.

Post-rehearsals the mad dash for dinner was beyond crazy.  We opted for a pre-made sub at CVS and hit the room for some down time before his 2 hour rehearsal from 7-9p.m.  This kid will have no lips left after this weekend.  Sleep was most fabulous, I’ll tell you.

Resting these pups after a day of walking.  To and fro in clogs.  (not made for walking)

Resting these pups after a day of walking. To and fro in clogs. (not made for walking)

Friday:           6 a.m. forced us out of bed so that we could grab some grub ahead of the masses (40,000 people in town for this conference).  Most awesome move, ever.  No crowds.  Yummy food.  (neither of us could eat it all, but I DID finish that coffee mug!).

Holy....who EATS all that?!?!?!

Holy….who EATS all that?!?!?!

More rehearsal for him and I get to spend time with another friend and then did a little scrapbook shopping and thrift shop exploring with my other friend.  Sadly, not only could we not figure a way to bring home a most amazing velour chaise for $50, a migraine crept up on me and delayed our plans a bit for the evening. However, somehow I rallied and we were able to enjoy the All-State Middle school and High school jazz concert.  Phenom!


This girl: friends for almost 30 years. Sweetest thing ever. I have no idea what I am looking at though.

Saturday was a whirlwind of checkout, rehearsal and prep for the concert.  Truly impressive how well these kids pulled it together after two days of practices together with a new conductor.  The hour-long concert went far too quickly.  The drive home was blessedly traffic-drama-free as our boy decompressed from a wild ride of hard work, accolades and new friends.  We were both glad to be home and the Hubs and other kids got along just fine without us, even enjoying a lunch on the river Saturday.  Life is good, friends.   Life is good.

Silly faces=universal Fun friends at All-State.

Silly faces=universal
Fun friends at All-State.

Next weekend, we get to do it again as the kids and I trek it to Savannah to visit with my mom and her husband!  Woot, woot!  More pictures to come and any recommended sites, restaurants, etc are more than welcome in the combox!!  So bring it!

Early morning walk in the park

Early morning walk in the park

2013 Photo-Palooza

It’s a linkup of photo fun with Dwija and her torpedo baby bump (cutest ever!)…13 in ’13.  I love looking at pictures and looking back on the year.  Looking forward to catching up with all these tomorrow a.m. with a big ole cup o’ joe!  (because these kids are forcing me to stay up until Midnight.  slave drivers, I say).

Here’s a smattering of 2013 in ’13 random-ish pictures.  Enjoy and then head on over to the House for some mo’.


was this ONLY last year? OMGeeee and now that 11 yo is taller than me!! Note to self in 2014: stop feeding these kids!


Trying out winter hats and wishing we had more than a day to wear them and 2 sleepy boys. What?


This guy. Does what he wants. Where he wants.


Date night. This guy. My heart. This year: 20 years.


This kid. His photo. Some years they morph into young adults right before your eyes. It was this year.


Another year for the yearbooks. Love them to the moon and back.


My mom. My sis. Girls night out. Love them!!!


Cheer comp. What? You’ve never been? hit me up, I’ll bring you next time. And earplugs.


Friends of my heart. Forever. If we could just bridge the miles….


I won this. He read this. Laughed out loud. All the way through. You will, too!


A little baseball with the fam in town.


Even the ELF knows. BCS prediction? Hoping this guy has the inside track!


More girlfriends. Same trip. Left with a full, happy heart. These pictures still make me smile!

May your 2014 be happy, healthy and full of life, love and happiness!