Monday, August 29, 2016

Reality Check

 So this is really how I like to think of my 19 year old. Yup, about 5 years old, dressed up in her favorite princess costume, headed to go and see Beauty and the Beast live. Below is a pic of her and her other two gorgeous sisters this past Easter. And yes, I did make them dress up in similar outfits, because again, it gives me that piece of fairy-tale, it is a perfect life that I so desperately long for, yet never have been able to achieve. (let me know if you have, because I want to know your secret!)
 I got an ugly dose of reality this summer, one I really was not prepared for. I was face to face with a teenager who is used to freedom at college, not really ready to be back home with rules and curfews. A teenager who really loves to party and is now, much to my dismay smoking, among other things, and really doesn't have much use for her parents, except for us to pay for stuff. The rational, semi-healthy side of me says, "it's a phase, you did stuff your mom would have died over too" (sorry mom, at least you never found out!) and the other part of me wants to jump into what I see as her drowning in the depths of the ocean (even though I am terrified of the depths of the ocean) and rescue her from what I see as mistakes being made.

Our girl is SMART, going to school on a scholarship, and she works hard and her professors love her, and so do her friends.This past weekend I moved her back to college for her sophomore year. She was dying to get back and I was happy for her because she attends and amazing university in one of the most beautiful locations in the country, but I have to admit that I was a bit melancholy at the thought of not seeing her on a daily basis for several months. Although she is not very outwardly affectionate, she is my first born, and of course, one of the true loves of my life. Yesterday as we were finishing up with her move in, I was slapped in the face with the harsh reality that those feelings are just not mutual, and I guess that is normal. She is supposed to someday fall in love (hopefully with someone who loves God and her beyond measure, and treats her like gold, and if he were a genius, that would be a bonus!), be gaga over her own kids, and live a great life. I have to admit that I drove home alone and cried most of the way, for 4 1/2 hours on and off, no joke, and then proceeded to smother the two "babies" (13 & 16) that I have left at home once I arrived. I then crawled into my bed, with an extra large glass of wine, watched some football and fell asleep feeling quite sorry for myself.

This morning as I was working and going over my notes from an event I attended, I ran across something that was said in one of my classes. The quote reads "If you are willing to suffer, then you will be willing to do the work of God." This really hit home with me. Suffering is just part of parenthood, plain and simple. Anything we truly do for the Kingdom of God will involve suffering, and as parents, we truly do not have a more important job than that of raising our kids. Truth be told, they are just temporarily on loan to us anyway. I know it is time for me to STEP BACK (my friend Clay, who has no children of his own affectionately calls me a helicopter mom, he has no idea what that really is, but I know reading this will make him happy), and just keep praying. We have loved her deeply, raised her well, given her good values, and now, it is time to give her the space to make her own way. She loves us just the way she is supposed to, and I am grateful God chose to loan her out to us.

So to all of you parents out there who may be struggling with this, you are not alone. Feel your feelings and then move on. This is the circle of life, and we are along for the wild ride, so we should at least try to enjoy it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tis the Season ~

I  know that I have not blogged in ages, but tonight I felt so compelled that I knew I had to do it.  So very much is on my heart, and for me, there is never a better way to make things better, than to write.  So here I am emotionally blogging, which is better than me emotionally eating or drinking, and I have been known to do both, so hopefully this will be the best decision for my emotional well being.

I think it all started bubbling over when I called my Baba in CA to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving.  She will be turning 90 at the end of January & it was one of the saddest conversations that I have ever had with her.   Let's just say her health is not so great.  She is nearly deaf  & has only been able to see out of one eye, but she is quickly loosing her sight, which they have now realized is from a tumor on her cornea, and surgery may not be an option because of her age.  So needless to say, it was not a fun conversation.  She is so precious; she is one of the smartest & most brave women I know, still sharp as a tack, but so very frightened, which nearly shattered my heart.  Below are a couple of my favorite pictures of her from a trip we took back out to CA a couple of years ago. 

 And now we get to today....down to the nitty-gritty, and my breaking point.  Moving.  Yup we are moving.  Thankfully not out of KY, or even Lexington for that matter, but we are moving.  We have decided to downsize; imagine that in this day & age.  I thought I was really ok with it until we started moving things over to our new home, and really started taking the BIG stuff, and then today my amazing  mother-in-law posted a picture from her annual chocolate party, and I cried like a baby.  For real, like a baby.  Something about that picture made me so sad.  You see, the chocolate party was something that was around long before I was in the picture 20+ years ago.  It was something she did wither her mom, a.k.a. Granny, and with all the girls in the family & then when I married Charley, I was invited, and as we all had daughters, they came too.  Along the way we sadly lost loved ones and then 9 years ago, we moved away.  Bette's party this year was with just cousin Lisa & cousin Valerie  & for the first time, their husbands. 

It showed that we had entered a new stage in our lives, and it just made me very sad and miss them very much.  For the first time in 9 years, I really felt "homesick" .  Homesick for my Baba, my family and for my friends back in CA.

 This is all of us a couple of years ago.  We had a summer chocolate party
 And some of my best girlfriends back in CA.
So I went to the new house and did one of the things I do best, and love to do; decorate our Christmas tree.  Now, I pretty much cried the whole time I did it because most of the ornaments hold such special memories, but it made me feel closer to the people that I love that are far away, and I know that I need to make our new house feel like home, and this is one of the best ways that I know how to do that.
 Cousin Lisa gave me that heart ornament too many years ago to remember when, but I love it just as much today, as I did on the night I opened it at the chocolate party.
 And cousin Valerie gave me a set of 3 of these precious candy containers that I absolutely cherish & one day, I know my girls will each cherish theirs that I pass each on to them. 
They say that "there's no place like home for the holidays" but home is not only where your heart is, but who you keep in it too.  Time passes and things change, but love remains the same.  I am so grateful for my amazing family & friends & most of all, our three precious daughters that I am blessed to spend each day with.  God is good, all the time, and the best is yet to come!
Merry Christmas & God Bless you,

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Showing A Little Leg

My friend Polly called me yesterday morning and asked if I felt like taking a spontaneous ride up to Cincinnati to do a little bit of window shopping with her. The completion of Polly's custom Jimmy Nash home is just a few weeks away and she is just itching to start her furniture selections. I love watching Polly when she is in shopping mode; I can see the wheels turning in her head and I enjoy her passion for the hunt! Well, it was a beautiful fall day, so how could I possibly pass up what I knew would be great company, beautiful scenery on our ride, and fun to boot? Little did I know that I would be the one to come home with a shopping bag, but I am SO happy that I did! I found these fabulously chic heavy linen pleated slip covers and I fell in love with them right away! Being that they were at the Ballard Designs Outlet for only $19.00 a piece made them a no-brainer! I replaced my pretty Shabby Chic white floor length damask slip covers that I have had for YEARS, with these for a fresh more modern chic look. I absolutely LOVE the way the legs of the chairs are now exposed and I also adore the way they pull the grey tone out of my wallpaper and rug and give the room an extra pop of color.

If you want to see what's going on during Polly's custom home build, you can take a peek at her blog at Polly has a wonderful way with words, and her taste is fabulous, so I know that you will really enjoy reading about her journey and seeing the pictures as well.

Ciao for now,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Sweetest Thing

When my precious niece Kristen was born 22 years ago this past April, I was so in love with her and beside myself over her being born into our family, that I had never really thought about her getting married someday. Kristen was like my first born child. We are a really "tight" family; what's mine is yours, and what's yours is mine kind of thing, and children are no exception. We love deeply in our family and she was everything I had ever imagined, and as she grew, and grew, and grew, that never changed. Kristen has never stopped being "Tetka's Princess" and one of the greatest loves of my life. That sweet and precious baby girl is all grown up now. She just graduated from Auburn University in Alabama, Suma Cum Laude I might add, and an amazing young woman. She is an amazing dancer and uses her gift to teach and inspire others.

There is so much I can say about my brother's first born, but I think by now you all see that she is amazing and loved immensely! When Kristen asked me to do the flowers for her wedding I was so honored. Her husband Jon's Aunt Michelle is an amazing local florist in Alabama as well as an incredible event planner, so to say the least I was touched. Kristen wanted simple elegance and more than anything, I wanted to give her that. We had sooooo much fun picking out the flowers together, and let me tell you, seeing the excitement in her eyes in that huge cooler at the flower wholesaler was such a treat. Kristen is such a happy person, so excited about everything, passionate and life loving, that all of this was such a joy!

Kristen wanted her bouquet to be romantic and elegant and she hand picked each flower herself, so it was easy for me to put it together for her. Excellent taste runs in the family, but seeing her face when she saw her bouquet was priceless, and something I will never forget!
The Roman Catholic Church in Montgomery that Kristen and Jon were married in is spectacular as you can see, so it did not need much in the way of decor. Just simple rose orbs and small bouquets of white flowers.
Another great part of this wedding was having our family together. This is my gorgeous mom, Jovanka, with Kristen and my other beautiful niece Michelle.
And this is my other precious niece Veronica. She is such a love; she and I were slow dancing at the reception and I whispered to her that it looked like she was having a great time, and she told me that it was the best day of her life. I cried!
I just love this picture, it makes my heart smile!

This is another of my favorites.

The smile on Kristen's face is always there. It is one of the things that I love most about her. She is a joyous person and that just spills over onto everyone around her. Her happiness is contagious! They waited 4 years for this!
This wedding was truly a family affair; Kristen's Godfather, Al made the wedding cake for Kristen and Jon as a gift. I just got to have fun doing the finishing touches.

I had to finish with this photo. This is Kristen dancing with her maternal grandfather. Their faces say it all. When people asked me to tell them about the wedding I told them all the same thing. It was THE SWEETEST wedding I have ever been to. There was so much LOVE and the two of them were SO HAPPY and GIDDY that my heart will always be full from the memory of that day. I will for always remember them being pronounced man and wife and the way that they held onto one another in the sweetest hug. I could go on for days and tell you one memory after another of sweet moments, but I will stop and just say that I wish everyone the same joy and memories that our family had on that magical day, May 21, 2110.
Thank you my sweet Kristen and Jonny for they way you love each other and for allowing us all to share it with you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can You Ever Have Too Many Flowers on Your Kitchen Table?

Spring in Kentucky is absolutely stunning and I have the allergy problems to attest to it, but it is all worth it to have abundance like this in your own yard, available to you at any time for your pleasure!! I am one of those people that likes to take full advantage of what is in our yard to add to the beauty of our home inside. Whenever I buy a plant I always think about what it will be able to produce for our pleasure inside as well as outside. Abundance always helps. And to be honest, I will take as much as I please from the outside and bring it in. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE when the neighbors are all out walking and they stop to admire the yard, but it doesn't stop me from going to town with the clippers to have fresh flowers in the our bathrooms and other rooms in our home. As I was clipping the lilac tree on the side of the house yesterday I could hardly contain myself that I actually had such beauty growing right in my own back yard!!!

So when we are blessed with having such incredible beauty in our yards, I encourage you to clip some and bring it in and enjoy it! You can see I went to town on our crab apple trees, but I figure it is good pruning and I always tell myself that it is because I clip them so much for my indoor arrangements that they look so pretty each year when they blossom!

Viburnum, this puffy green ball that almost looks like a mini hydrangea is one of my most favorite plants in the whole yard, and I have decided that I am going to let mine get really BIG! You can keep them small or let them grow like a tree, so I am going to see where ours goes. I figure that the larger I let it get, the more abundance of flowers I have for the house!

Seeing our girls faces when they came home from school and into the kitchen for homework and snack was icing on the cake for me. It touches my heart so much that they love flowers as much as I do and that they can appreciate the blessings from God that we have in our own back yard.
I hope I have encouraged you to go out into your own yard and create something beautiful of your own, you never know what you may find!