Tag: family

Our Last Dance

My last post highlighted a bridal shower given for my dear niece.  We celebrated the wedding this past week.

How wonderful it was for our family to be together at such a joyful time.

At the reception, music was playing and folks were dancing to all the usual crazy songs, including oldies.  I love to watch everyone dance.  It is obvious you don’t have to be a good dancer, you just get up and dance, do your own thing, and just have fun!

The DJ played a slower song and asked that all couples take to the floor.  As the music started my husband said to me “let’s dance, if you don’t mind me leaning on you a bit”.  So sweet!

He suffers from progressive MS, and he is getting worse as the months and years pass.

Walking is impossible without using a walking stick to steady his balance.

Our marriage has been far from perfect and he has not been the ideal husband, but every single time in my life I needed him, he has been there for me.

During this season of our lives we need one another more than ever.

I can’t see into the future, but with no cure for this disease, I thank God for this special opportunity, and ask Him not to let this be our last dance together.

Cherish special memories and moments in your life, I will cherish my husband leaning on me!

Love to all with a grateful heart.

 

Gold and White Bridal Shower

My spring cleaning had an extra special purpose this year, co-hosting a bridal shower, with my sister, for her granddaughter.

Our sweet bride to be requested the shower be at my home, so I wanted everything special.

Today I am going to share some of the highlights.

I decided on a simple but elegant gold and white theme.

Decorations again were simple, using banners of white with gold glitter dots. So easy to make, using purchased card stock, gold ribbon, and a hole punch.

Once you decide on the size and cut out a template, simply punch holes on each end and run the ribbon through, under and over.

I used the banners everywhere as you entered my home, in the entry, on my dining room hutch, behind the table, our focal point.

Gold and white napkins found at Hobby Lobby were perfect, only embellished with the word “love” in script.

Our cake was simple as well, white on white, with dots.  It was beautiful enough to be used as a wedding cake.

Since our cake was ordered plain with just the dots, we needed a cake topper to complete. I found this elegant gold cake topper on Amazon.  Gold script, “love”.  Perfect!

To bring in a little more gold I spray painted thrift store frames gold, framing photos and favorite sayings.

We served punch, both plain, and spiked with a bit of vodka.  Serving punch was a must for me so that I could use my $3.00 thrift store punch bowl.

Isn’t is gorgeous? Seriously, only $3.00.

Served the punch in my stemless wine glasses along with gold and white straws. Although not shown in this photo, I made a fruit filled ice ring ahead of time which is always a must when serving punch.

We served a light lunch, small sandwiches, turkey, chicken salad, roast beef, and egg salad, also a colorful bowl of cut fruit, veggies and dip.

While we were all enjoying lunch we played a video, a “he said, she said” thing!  We ask our bride questions and played the groom’s answers. It was so cute!  Questions like, favorite song, movie, and what attracted you to each other.

At Christmas gatherings we have been playing a gift pass game, passing gifts when the words left and right are mentioned.  My Sister wrote a sweet story of the bride and groom’s first meeting using the words left and right. Everyone selected a wrapped gift, some large, some small. Guests passed the gifts to the left and to the right, at the end of the story the gift you ended with was yours to keep.  We did allow everyone one chance to steal another guest’s gift before the end.

Other games included, an ongoing Ring Game.  Guest with the most “bling” won!

Who’s Got the Groom.

Using a template of a tuxedo, I added heads of famous people including the groom.  Placed each one in an envelope with a gold glitter heart, opened at the very end of the shower, guest with the groom won!

Big Screen Romances.

Name the movie, the actress, and the actor.  Guest with the most correct answers won a beautiful turquoise bowl for popcorn and of course, popcorn!

The last game was an older one used at many showers over the years, but we wanted to bring something sentimental to our shower so we used our Mother’s apron as a prop.  Mother is with the Lord now, she was such a force of love in all of our lives, including our bride’s.

Filled the apron with many things, had our bride wear the apron walking around the room for a few minutes, guests then had to write down as many items as they could remember.  The guest with the best memory won!

As our quests were leaving we gave favors as a “thank you”, hand soaps from Bath and Body Works, and a cute pack of embellished “tic tacs”, easy to make by printing on adhesive backed paper used to cover the Tic Tac logo.

Our shower was simple, elegant in ways, fun, and so very special for our bride.  When love is involved special things happen, this shower was filled with love for my niece, my sister’s granddaughter.

The wedding is in a couple of days, the family is gathering, it is a wonderful time for all of us.

Love to all today, hope you enjoyed the highlights of this “love” filled shower.

 

Finding Green!

Cold, rainy, sleet, thunder, and even tiny hail fell today, St. Patrick’s Day.

In my husband’s oatmeal bowl this morning I left him a little something green for a treat.

His grandparents came from County Galway, Ireland, as I wrote about last St. Patrick’s Day.

He is weary, his brother is very ill in a hospital in Arizona. There is much on his mind.

He smiled as he found his surprise, and enjoyed his shamrock cookie with his coffee. The smile was enough right now.

On my weekly visit to our local thrift store, I found a little green myself, a sweet bowl for 25 cents.

Loved the shape and the scalloped edges.  It was marked on the bottom, E. O. Brody Company, Cleveland, Ohio.  Checked listings online and found my little bowl selling for as much as $20.  Just love it, and I will use it every year around St. Patrick’s Day.

Most of us collect or accumulate special treasures during our lives, I have added the little green bowl to mine!

Happy findings today, whether it is enjoying a cookie, or just sharing a smile with someone you love!

Love Hurts

My oh my, it is so very hard for me to believe it is February 14th, 2017.

I somehow got lost in 2016, emotional issues and sudden emotional outbursts brought sad times to my life.

Unfortunate happenings to those I love also filled my mind and days.

So many missed memory making days gone and overwhelming disappointment took over.

Can we love too much?  Love so much that we hurt ourselves?  That’s me!

People, even those who you love so very much, disappoint and can unknowingly hurt.

Over the months, with lots of prayer and soul searching, I’m better, not sad most days, I’m OK.

I realized so many troubling things about myself… that not all folks love the same way no matter how many good things you have tried to do for them.

We are all different, I could not ever think about disappointing anyone I love, that would kill me, but maybe I did.  Maybe not being there for them during troubled years in my life, when it was all I could do to survive myself, hurt them!

Why do I desperately want to be included, doing anything I can for their acceptance. I see now that this comes from being isolated, not always able to get out, due to my husband’s disability.  He cannot travel and do things others can, he does his best and has never asked me not to go and enjoy myself.

Aware that my life is passing so quickly!  It can’t be stopped, realizing I have wasted so many days.

Too much time on my hands since I stopped working, not having that daily interaction with people is huge.

So thankful to God for loving me and giving me another day, month, and hopefully many more years to love.

We must all live our lives fully engaged and that’s what I am working on!

Enjoying my new found passion for finding thrift store items, giving them new life.  Exercising everyday, taking an online fun lettering course, reconnecting with old co-workers, all these help me stay busy.

I know that I am loved no matter how crazy I have been, and I am so thankful to have folks in my life to love.

Love to all today, and never forget to live your life fully engaged!

 

I have attached an old song (1960) recorded by the Everly Brothers years ago, ‘Love Hurts”

 

Living with Multiple Sclerosis

In several posts I have shared that my husband Jim, suffers from Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Our days together can be so difficult and challenging, filled with overwhelming sadness for me to see what this disease is doing to his body.

Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Diagnosed many years ago, starting with numbness and double vision, the doctors told us that they thought he had a “mild case”, if there is such a thing!  They stated that he would probably not be crippled.

At one point he suffered from extreme, relentless neck and shoulder pain.  His neurologist sent him to the Mayo Clinic for a week of testing, only to be told the pain was due to Multiple Sclerosis.  Jim described the pain, “as if someone were putting a drill to his shoulder and neck”.

As with many episodes of the disease, the pain eventually ended, but the fear that it may return is terrifying to him.

I have decided to post more, from time to time, on what we face living together with Multiple Sclerosis.  I need someone to talk to and I have chosen my blog.

After a bit, no one, not even family members, who love us, can understand the devastating way this disease is taking his body from him.

Can I say I am “Loving my New Simple Life” when my husband is deteriorating little by little every single day?

Believe me, if I had not changed my way of thinking about life, identifying what is really important, love, family, being together, our lives now would be filled with even more unhappiness, depression, and dark clouds.  We do laugh and find joy in being together on most days.

Life is rough, but I knew when I stopped working it was the right thing to do, to be with Jim.

Living with less money, doing without a bunch of extras was hard for me at first, but now it has taught me to love all that I have.

Maybe some of my writings will help others who are living with someone with a physical hardship.

Until the next time, I wish all of you love and courage.

 

Not Just a Cup and Plate

An enjoyable afternoon for me, when I just want to get away from the everyday things in my life, is to visit an antique shop or antique mall.

On my most recent trip I stopped and focused on this glass plate with a sweet matching cup.  I almost immediately remembered why I loved it so!

Glass cup and plate

Years ago, when my parents bought a new home in an ordinary subdivision setting for that time, my mother began to experience lots of neighbors.  Most women in those days did not work, so getting together for coffee and such was common.  Once a month the ladies took turns hosting luncheons.  This was something new for my Mom, and I still recall her anxiety when it was her turn.

She cleaned and cooked and she even managed to buy some special dishes. She wanted everything to be special. The dishes were glass with small matching cups, which fit on the plate. She loved the little dishes, and although I was only in the sixth grade, I loved them too!

I bought the plate and cup and will always cherish the things I have in common with my Mom, especially the love of caring for my home as she did.

Mom's cup and plate

My story has a sad ending, my father was troubled and eventually lost our home. Overwhelming heartbreak fell on us, especially Mom.

This memory brings sadness and tears to my eyes when writing it, since today is my Mom’s birthday.  Mom would have been 92 today.

My parents divorced, but Mom kept us all together with her love and caring.  We all miss her every single day.  She was the most loving Mother and Grandmother to all of us for all of her life.

My comfort is knowing she is in the presence of our Lord, and the suffering she experienced at the end of her life is over.

Happy Birthday dear sweet Mom.

birthday mom

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Are you all wearing a bit of green today?

Shamrock

My husband’s grandparents came to the United States through Ellis Island from County Galway, Ireland.  They met in New York and married before moving to Ohio.  Grandma was a maid and Grandfather worked for the railroad.  They were truly wonderful people, loving parents of six children, hard working, and devout Catholics.

I love these wedding photos taken over 85 years ago.

Irish GrandparentsGrandma looks so lovely, and Grandfather so young and strong.

When my son was small, not yet in school, we would make a trip to see Grandma once a week to help with cleaning or errands.  The best part of the visit was sitting and having a cup of tea with her listening to her stories of Ireland and of meeting Grandfather.

We do not have a huge celebration on St. Patrick’s Day but I try to do a little something special and always Shamrocks on the table.

Although I was having dinner out with a friend tonight, I left chocolate cupcakes and Cincinnati’s famous Greater’s mint chocolate chip ice cream for my husband and son.

St. Pat's TreatsYummy!

Wishing all of you lots of Leprechaun kisses on this day.

May your troubles be less

and your blessings be more,

and nothing but happiness

come through your door.

“And the rain will fall ….”

I have always loved the Bee Gees, especially Robin Gibb.  When he passed I was so very sad.

The lyrics in a song he sang comes to my mind as I think of events in my life over the last few lost months.

On my last post I wrote of losing both of our beloved pets, but I did not know at the time that there would be more “rain” to fall.

With Christmas approaching, I had to pick myself up and try to make our home festive for the holidays, although my heart was not there.  My family was coming for Christmas Eve so with the help of my son we worked on painting and carpeting our finished basement, which we had not used in years. When completed it was so very nice.

Two days after Christmas, the “rain” did come literally.  On the morning of December 27th, I discovered that our newly finished basement was flooded.  Our hard work for so many weeks was ruined.  It was such a mess!

With a calmness I can’t believe, and again with the help of my son, we cleaned once again, dried up everything, and moved on looking forward to a new year.

The weather turned very cold and on January 5th, we decided to warm up with a fire in our wood burning fireplace.  After about an hour we suddenly started to hear a noise which I can only describe as pounding coming from our fireplace.  My son ran outside and when I got to the door he met me saying, “Mom, we are in trouble, call 911”.  Flames were coming from our chimney!

The “rain” had once again fallen on our lives.

Thankful to the Fire and Rescue folks, and so very thankful the fire did not spread into our home and to others homes around us, and we were all safe.

Smoke and a black soot rested on many rooms in our home, but again with a calmness from God, we picked ourselves up, brushed off the soot, and started again with our lives.

I really do believe God does not give us more than we can handle.

In the song the lyrics continue to say, “and the sun will shine, it will shine on you”,  and I am happy to report, the sun is shining once more on us.

Hope your lives find calmness when the “rain” falls on you.

Spending Time with Ana!

The leaves are falling in my part of the world like crazy, so before the snow falls, I want to share a special time I had at the end of summer with my niece Ana.

Ana with water dropsI have written before on the joys over the years of spending special time with all my nieces.  Since God blessed me with only one son, my nieces were gifts that allowed me the fun of shopping, buying dolls, dresses for special events, crafts, all the things you just don’t do with boys!

During our few days together we shopped, for clothes, some extra school supplies, including a silver glitter notebook, and some neon colored pencils.  Ana loves “bling”.

I let her pick out her favorite treats, cereal, donuts, Sun Chips, nothing healthy of course, I did say treats.  This is something my Grandma would do when I would visit her as a little girl. Such a sweet memory for me even to this day.

We played “Crazy Eights” until I thought I was going crazy, decorated a large wooden “A”, painting it glow in the dark hot pink with black glitter dots, and put together an outdoor place for Ana.

Our days were perfect, warm and sunny, so we set up our “swimming pool” in the backyard.

Ana with beachballCartwheelsWe came up with a game where I gave her actions to complete around and over the flowing water, so many cartwheels, jumping jacks, and such.

The morning we decided to build Ana a special outdoor place, we first needed to shop for fabric. Ana picked a black and white zebra like print.

Once we were home, we found a rope in our garage, attached it to two branches on the large maple tree in our backyard, and using some bricks we secured the fabric across the rope.

Ana's Crazy EightsWe added a quilt and lots of pillows, and finished up with a chalkboard paper banner, “Ana’s Place”, which added the final touch.  Perfect!

Just Ana

Our finished placeWe did laugh together and enjoyed our creation all day. I felt like a kid again.

Although Ana also loved time spent on my tablet, playing games, and working with my touch screen computer, watching movies, listening to music, I thank her for spending time with me doing creative things and spending silly time with her aunt.

As this second part of my life is playing out, and Ana is growing up, I thank her so much for being with me for a few days this past summer.

Life has a way of keeping us from our love ones, jobs, relationships, just life and living it our way, good or bad.

I so regret the years that passed and I did not keep in touch with Marissa, Amanda, Dawn, Amber, Carrie, and now Ana.  Those years are gone.

Please make time to connect and be with your family as much as you can, even if it is just a call, or text.   “I love You’s” mean so much, especially the unexpected ones!

Blessings and love to all!

 

Celebrating the 5th!

4th of July tableWe were invited to my sweet niece’s new home for the 4th.  Just being with my sister and her family is always a reason to celebrate for me.  They are all so dear and such an important part of my life!

On Sunday, July 5th, I decided to bring out my red, white, and blue for a small celebration with “my family”.  Of course, we had another reason to celebrate, looking forward to watching our USA women’s soccer team playing in the final game later that evening.

I set a small table on our back porch with a few special colorful, holiday items.

The utensil bags were easy to put together using a cut off small brown bag and adding a band of star paper and a glitter star.

I love the red and white dotted ice cream cups which were perfect for our dessert, Greater’s chocolate chip ice cream. Greater’s is a famous ice cream shop in our Cincinnati area, and now famous across the country.

IMG_0570[1]

Greater’s is also a candy maker and uses the broken chocolate pieces for the “chips” in their ice cream selections.  Some of the “chips” are small candy bars!

If any of you ever visit the Cincinnati area, stop for some ice cream at Greater’s.  They not only offer chocolate chip, but also chocolate-chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, and the cherry cordial chip is one of the most popular.

I brought out the beverage tub I recycled last year at this time, and tried a Martha Stewart idea, filling balloons with water and freezing, using to surround the drinks.

IMG_0550[1]It worked great.  They froze hard and did not break!  I like the idea that you can choose any color of balloons for the occasion.

Our day was fun, peaceful, and most of all, “my family”…… me, my husband, and our son, were together for another 4th and 5th of July!

The day ended with our USA women’s soccer team winning!  What joy!

Love and joy to all!

Happy summer!