This picture embodies the guests that we had here over the last week. The word is Carole's "word" and the sweet little bird is a gift from Dale. A gift of friendship and the hope of Spring soon to come.
If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart... I’ll always be withyou. ~ Winnie The Pooh
I know that so many people loathe this holiday, but I have loved it from way back when I was young. I remember how much fun it was to pick out my little box of valentine cards to pass out during elementary school. The excitement of decorating my valentine's paper bag that would set atop my school desk and the anticipation of opening all of those cards from classmates...and the candy.
Valentine's day can be a hard one though, especially when you have recently been through a break up...been there and done that! For some reason however, I have never connected romantic love with this holiday (probably a good thing). It has always been more about love, just love, and candy. Love for my husband, my children, my family and my friends and it is one I have always loved to decorate for. Perhaps it is the grown up expression of what that little paper bag on my desk meant to me. It was always a happy day for me in those young years.
So on this cold February day, I want to say Happy Valentines Day to all of you out there!
The language of friendship is not words, but meanings. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Yesterday a delightful package appeared in my post office box. A sweet little Mary Engelbreit card with the sweetest little hearts on the envelope. Mary's designs always make me smile and inside was this beautiful kitchen towel in my favorite colors of honey embroidered with my favorite sister bees.
Such a delightful gift to lift my spirits during this dreary and very cold winter. :) I mentioned in my last Ten on Tuesday post that I am basically a shy person and it is super hard for me to put myself out there, outside of my comfort zone, but I do it because I love the people I have met when I do step out of that comfort zone. My blog has really helped me forge some of my dearest friendships. I have no trouble with the words once I get to meet someone, as my friends will tell you, it's just the putting myself out there that I am always challenged with, but I challenge myself all the time and because of this, I am so fortunate to have the people I get to call friend in my life.
In the past 2 weeks, I have had a delightful visit with Claudia, received this lovely towel from Margene and we will have a fun time playing in the snow this weekend with Carole and Dale. I am very blessed! I will end with this lovely poem.
~ Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust
What a trend our Ashley has set here in my house. As you remember, she sent me a link to a Pinterest headband that she liked and I knew she was hoping I could make something similar for her. I went to my favorite pattern place, Ravelry, and within a few minutes I found this beautiful pattern designed by the talented Bonne.
Once everyone saw Ashley's Christmas present, all of the girls in my family (and there are more than just a few) all wanted one for themselves. I told them that I would be happy to make each one of them a headband, but the deal was a picture would be involved. I'm sure that anyone who knows me at all and knows how much I struggle with that darn second sock would be very proud of me for making 4 of the same headband and finishing the 5th tonight, which is for McKayla's mom. It speaks volumes for Bonne's pattern!
This is my oldest grandchild, McKayla. She is a very busy young lady with school and sports, so while this headband has been finished for a few weeks, tying her down for pictures was not an easy feat.
Today, I knew she had a basketball game at 5, so with camera and headband in hand, I headed over to the middle school for a quick photo shoot, and I mean quick, because this **tchy woman was barking at me to move my car. (if she knew how hard it was for me to walk, she probably would have been nicer).
McKayla was so cute asking me if she should smile or be serious. I said just be yourself as I snapped off a lot of pictures. She is such a beautiful young lady and it was easy to capture her joyful spirit.
Kites harness the force of the wind. They express our intent, But they can not change the wind. Deng Ming~Dao
It's been a while since i have done Ten on Tuesday, but I thought I would give it a go this week. Carole asked everyone to write ten sentence that begin with the same two words: I am. Here is my list of ten:
1. I am tired of winter. I never thought i would say this but yet, I am.
2. I am the proud mom of 5 children and a grammy to 5 more wonderful children....I could just eat up the two littlest ones, truly, I could!
3. I am SO happy to hear new birds besides the Jays. Ken told me some were home and I didn't believe him until I heard them singing while I was out with the dogs this morning. (see them in the picture?)
4. I am so happy that a friend gave me a gentle push in giving Tai Chi a try because I am really enjoying it.
5. I am starting to realize that I may have SAD (you know, that sad seasonal thing). I don't think I could ever live in a mostly gloomy climate.
6. I am learning to accept my limitations. I may not have learned yet to embrace them, but I am accepting them.
7. I am basically a shy person, even though most people would be completely surprised to hear this. I have to constantly push myself outside of my comfort zone.
8. I am the biggest procrastinator when it comes to housework. While I enjoy a clean and organized home, I can find 10 other things to do until I just can't stand it any longer.
9. I am excited and nervous about some new challenges coming over the next year.
10. I am going to finish your socks Courtney....I promise!
Markings in dry clay disappear Only when the clay is soft again. Scars upon the self disappear Only when one becomes soft within. Deng Ming~Dao
The past few days have been a roller coaster of ups and downs, so I am a little late at getting to one of the "up" portions of our week.
On Sunday, we headed west to bring Hannah back to Plymouth to finish her second semester of her first year. Ashley, lives so close and I had a little something to bring to her, so we decided to head up for a visit. Usually it's one of the girls that I show on the blog, but since Brian was making some delicious mocha toddies to chase away the chill it was his turn...Mmmm, they were SO good! Thanks Brian!
It's no secret that it has been cold, cold, COLD up here, actually it's been pretty cold over so much of the country. It's only January, but it feels like it should be Spring pretty soon, doesn't it? Ashley and Brian's little family of pets however know just how to stay warm by huddling around the radiating wood stove. Little Romeo however did manage to singe the tip of his tail, silly cat!
Eventually we had to pull ourselves away from the toasty wood stove and away from the good company, but we were treated to an amazing sunset when we got home.
Hopefully the rest of the week is going to be filled with more "ups" :)
I don't think I ever posted pictures of my son, Miles's destination/elopement wedding last year in New Orleans. It's hard to believe that a whole year has gone by, but yet it has. There were many reasons why they chose to spend their wedding/honeymoon alone and we all understood. They found the most amazing photographer to photograph the event and when they came home we had a party to celebrate their union. The photographer took such incredible pictures! This one above is one of my favorites, so romantic.
The photographer managed to capture the love that both of these young people worked very hard to achieve after a period of separation.
...and she captured a friendship that had been nurtured through good times and bad times. (this picture is my favorite.). Friendship is what sustains us through the bad times and is what makes us celebrate and enjoy the good times! Yes, I love this picture!
Today Miles posted this picture for their 1st anniversary. A picture of him, Jen and her son Jax, who Miles loves very much. The happiness and joy in this picture makes my heart smile, as I know that their road was not always an easy one, but it is a happy one now.
So much love in the pictures that this amazing photographer captured. Even though many of us had wished we were there, Summerford Photography captured so very many beautiful moments for all of us to treasure.
...and today on their anniversary, January 22nd, their sweet little son, Finley, born on November 22nd is a wonderful anniversary present to all of us. Happy Anniversary, Miles and Jen!
Last year on Pinterest I saw a "Thankful Jar", which is a jar where people toss a note in the jar when they are happy or thankful for something, and then on New Year's Eve, you read the notes to each other. I LOVED the idea, so I put one on our kitchen table and told everyone to just toss in a note when something good happens in their lives.
Many who know me, know that I have been struggling with chronic back pain and in my mind when I look back over the year, I was almost afraid to look at the notes. We had barely filled the jar 1/2 way, which made me feel sad. Even though I said I was going to start a new one at the beginning of the year, I kept looking at that 1/2 full jar of notes and just couldn't open it yet.
This morning I had a rough start to the day. I could barely walk and was feeling a bit sorry for myself (a place that I HATE to go to).
In my usual ADD way, I had a number of tabs open on my computer so that I could go back to watch or read them when I had some extra time. This morning I needed time to be able to move, so I watched Sam Bern's video on his philosophy for a happy life here...
Wow, just wow! What a positive outlook this young man had inspite of the overwhelming mountains he had to climb every day just to be who he was. Such an inspiring message he shared shortly before he passed.
In that moment after watching that video, it reminded me that even though each one of us has either an internal or physical struggle, there are good parts. Maybe not what we want, but still good parts, so tonight Ken and I opened the jar after dinner and you know what.....there WERE good parts! Funny little notes from Courtney's friends, touching notes from Hannah and a few earthy ones from Courtney. Two new babies were introduced into our family. Miles and Jenny bought a house. Hannah was accepted to Plymouth and got a room in the dorm she had hoped for. Notes of love and a few of struggles, but the struggles were very few and the happy notes made us laugh and smile.
So....a new jar with a pretty bow was put back on the table for a new year of new notes and memories. I am committed to putting in one note every single day, even on the days when I am not feeling hopeful, because I know that if we look hard enough, there are good things, every single day!
Normally on Wednesdays I do "One Word Wednesday", but I completely lost Tuesday under a haze of valium after a small procedure, so I thought I would follow Carole's lead and go with the knitting.
After I knit Ashley's Elisbeth Headband all of the girls in my family (and there are more than one or two) all wanted one. Hannah decided that she wanted one in the same shade as Ashley's which was great because I am able to get 2 headbands from one skein. I love the darker gray against Hannah's lighter hair. (PS....go check out Ashley's new blog )
Courtney chose a lighter shade of gray to match the hood on her new jacket. Do you notice anything different about Courtney? Well....her hair is MUCH shorter! She donated 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love. I love her shorter hairdo and I know chopping off all that hair was a bit easier for her knowing that it was going to towards helping a child dealing with cancer.
When the girls all asked me to knit this headband for them, part of the agreement is they would all let me take pictures. These two both loved the hats, but getting them to be serious with pictures was another thing completely. This was the "Mom, what do we do with our arms?" awkward look. My response was...your arms are not what I am taking a picture of..ha!
....and Courtney who can not possibly be serious for more than 15 minutes...this was her side view. Yes, that is our girl Courtney who enters the work force next year as a grown up! Ey yi yi!
All in all, I have really enjoyed making these headbands, they are addicting. The blue one will be finished tomorrow and one will go right on the needles for my oldest daughter, Stacey..and then another blue one for me.