Saturday, December 31, 2011

Making Resolutions....well, kind of...

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"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

All over the world this song will be sung in some form or language.  New Year's is such a time of celebration for many people.  I have had big celebrations that I will remember forever, and very small ones that were just as another day.  There have those New Year's that I wish I could get back and do over... and those that I would wish to never remember.  But always I have a feeling of reflection at some point through the period.  

New Year's is such a time of reflection, hope, wishes and dreams.  It's a time to let go of the bad and tough times of the previous year that is drawing to an end, and grab onto the good that can possibly come during the New Year that's now upon you.  For some reason that single night brings tears to so many eyes, because there is a special hope that comes upon you... hope for something better.  

For many people the yearly tradition is to set resolutions.  I've set {and broken} more resolutions than I would care to even list.  But this year I decided to handle it in another way.  

  • Rather than resolve to lose weight, I hope to be healthier in the new year.  If weight loss comes along with that, then that will be an added reward. But I hope to live with habits that will make me feel better, sleep better, and feel healthier than ever before.  
  • Instead of resolving to pay off all debt, I'm hoping to just be smarter about the way I make spending choices.  I pray for financial blessings, but also pray for guidance in the stewardship with what I do have. 
  • I pray for the ability to give more to others... not just in a financial or material way, but of myself.  And that my giving comes from a heart of love - because I have been blessed so greatly.  And I pray that each time I give of myself that God would grow me a little bit more into a better person - a kinder person.
  • I pray to be an even stronger person in 2012.  That I am able to lean on God through every trial - rather than try to deal on my own and eventually realize that HE was there to help me the whole time.  And I pray I will keep forefront in my mind that I can get through whatever I need to - that I am never alone, and God will give me whatever I need to deal with things in life.
  • I pray that the opinions and words of other people will not matter so much to me... that I will welcome advice and words given in love and sincerity, but those in a mean spirit will bounce off of me a little bit better.  And that I will not allow in myself a vengeful spirit - but one of pity and sadness {and sincerely pray} for the person who needs to be so unkind, realizing that obviously they are unhappy in their own life. 
  • MOST OF ALL I pray that I am a kinder and better person in 2012. That I smile more - and laugh more - and appreciate more.  I pray that I remember all of the blessings God has given me in my life - rather than dwelling on the negative things that have come along the way.  Even through the negatives, God has brought so many blessings. And I pray that I live a life that touches other peoples lives... that I bring happiness to others through the way I live my life.  And that will make me a successful person in every way! 
As you move into 2012 (or if you already have arrived when you read this!) I pray for YOU that it is with strength and integrity and a mind of endurance...  ready to face this year head on. Make it the best ever. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  May 2012 be a year of blessing for you!  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hope and Newness of a New Year

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Only a few more days until the big New Year's celebration.  Out with 2011 - and in with 2012.  For me New Year's is always a time full of hope...a time of putting away the bad memories of a year that is ending and moving into a year of making good memories.  After all, when those bad memories do come to mind they will now have the date "2011" attached to them, and I will be living in 2012!  The New Year is a time of promise... there are new chances, new opportunities, new adventures.  

Several years ago I was very blessed to bring in the New Year in New York City - it was definitely a dream come true!  I was 39-yrs-old, and was there to bring in the New Year as well as my 40th birthday (which happens to be January 2).  Can you believe that somehow on New Year's Eve we ended up in the very front coral - right at the main stage!?  There are a lot of less than awesome things I could share about that afternoon and evening (like how badly I had to pee - and you couldn't leave once you were in there unless you didn't want to come back.... or how COLD it was {it was even snowing some of the time!}...).... but the awesomeness was the part I remember the most.  It was snowing - and snow is something else that makes me think of hope and newness.  The crowds were incredible - but everyone was kind to one another.  And when the ball finally dropped, and the confetti started falling from heaven and all you could hear from anyone around was "Happy New Year" I could not help but to have tears running down my frozen face.  And it was amazing to look around and see so many other people with tears in their eyes, running down their cheeks.  It was simply magical.  The feeling that something had truly clicked over from 2005 to 2006 and had brought MORE hope and MORE promise for a better year... new chances... new opportunities... it was incredible. And most incredible was sharing it with over a million other people right there in New York City.

This year, wherever you are when the countdown starts, try not to include the negative things about 2011 in your thoughts of hopes and wishes.  Concentrate on the NEW hopes, wishes and dreams that come with the New Year.  And pray that the negative things of 2011 stay right there in that past. 

It's only December 29th.... so please come back again, as I'm sure I'll have a lot more to write about New Year's in the next few days!  

Thanks for being here with me.... and I truly hope you'll stay with me in the New Year!!!   

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hold Them Close....

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Anyone who is close to me at all knows that my children are the power behind my heart beating.  I love them with all of my heart, and truly have felt that God has shown me through my love for my kids a small glimpse of just how much HE loves me!  I am forever amazed at how powerful it is to love another human being as much as I do love my children... and will never feel worthy of the blessings they have been in my life for the 24+ years since they started entering my world.  Yet, through the different stages of them growing up there were definitely times that I thought "Oh, I can't wait until this phase passes!" because, honestly, sometimes it's just not that easy!  Anyone who is raising (or has raised) children knows that there are times that it is downright difficult.  They can be hard to get along with, disobedient, lazy or whatever... but, my goodness, they smile at you, or hug you and say "I love you, Mama..." and all is perfect in the world.  Now that my kids are all grown (the youngest JUST graduated college a week ago!) and in their 20's I am finding that sometimes they pull at my heartstrings even more than when they were young.  It's not so much about raising and disciplining them any longer... most of that work has been done.  But now I have to allow them to test their wings... make decisions and choices in their lives.  And sometimes it just nearly kills me to see them making a decision that I just know is not the best thing for them or isn't going to turn out well... but I also know THEY have to live their own lives.  I very much believe in boundaries - but also in respecting boundaries with others as well.  That definitely includes my own kids.  So how do I deal with this stage?  I hold them close when I can... and hold them close in my heart all the time.  I pray for them daily - and some days I pray for them LOTS!   And I never miss an opportunity to tell them that I love them.  I'm sure they know it... but I want them to hear it.  I want there to be NO question at all.  

If your children are still growing up, hold them close.  Hug them every chance you get.  Tell them you love them often.  And if they are already grown - then hug them even more... and make a point to tell them how much you love them as often as you can.  Leave no room for question or doubt.  We all know that growing up can be difficult... but I do believe it's harder than ever.  How much easier it is to handle life with love and support behind you.  

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas... and that 2012 is the best year yet for you! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011


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How often do you reflect on your life?  Whether it is to reflect back on the day, the week or the past year...much less to reflect back as far as you can remember?  I guess I'm a "reflector" of sorts, because I'm constantly reflecting on my life.  I am looking for change, improvement, growth in myself.  It makes me sad to look back and see a bad habit or behavior that has been there for a long time, and I haven't done what I need to do to bring about change in myself.  And it makes me equally excited to reflect back and see growth and change from something bad to finally reaching a place of having it under control.  YEA - something to celebrate!!  But something that makes me a bit leery is those people who DON'T reflect on their lives.  Ever.  And there are those people.  To me that is a dangerous - and maybe irresponsible way to live.  What is behind us is DEFINITELY behind us - it is the past and we can't change it.  And often it is best to leave it back there!  But you can't ignore it or make it disappear.  So you LEARN from it.  You learn what did and what didn't work - what did and didn't hurt.  

Just like most people, I don't like to fail at things.  It can be embarrassing, humiliating, hurtful, and sometimes even damaging.  But failure can also be good... and we need to remember that. A failure can sometimes be EXACTLY what we need because what we were going after wasn't good for us to begin with... and not the direction our lives needed to go.  So failure can change that path.  And a failure almost always offers a chance to learn.  We can analyze choices & decisions and figure out how not to make the wrong ones the next time! And quite honestly, sometimes a SUCCESS is so much sweeter after there has been a failure.  We seem to appreciate that success so much more because we KNOW how hard it was to achieve.  At that point, we can often look back and see so much growth because of all the lessons learned along the way.  Without reflecting, this would just not be as possible.  

Don't be afraid of the past.  LOOK at it square in the eye - see what you want to repeat, and exactly what you don't.  And don't let it be shame that you take the most from the past - but lessons in life that will help you grow into a stronger and better person.  That's what it's all about.  We fall down, get get back up and try again.  Embrace your past - reflect on it often - and it will give you a better future.  

Have a GREAT day!! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

A girl with dreams....

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Too often in life I find that people think dreams are only for the youth. Children, teenagers, even those who are graduating college but still in their early-20's... to them we will say "follow your dreams."  But for some strange reasoning, we no longer think that when someone gets into their 30's and beyond.  Seems that the thought is that they have had their chance, and now it's time to start taking life more seriously.  Stand up to their responsibility in life.  As a child, my dream was to grow up and be a Mommy.  Anyone that would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up would hear the same response "a Mommy."  (well, I also wanted to be a go-go dancer, but I realized early on that it just wasn't going to happen for me!)  I can say that my dreams did come true - and I was a Mom for the first time when I was second child was born when I was 23 and my third child when I was 24.  And then I was going through a divorce by the time I was 25.  Sometimes dreams just don't happen the way we actually dream them!  So it was time for lots of reality and extreme responsibility.  But fear not, I was up for the challenge, and along that road of parenthood were many laughs, tears, surprise turns and cliffs (which occasionally I either fell off or dove from!)  It was never boring, and although my dream-come-true sometimes left me quite exhausted, it never left me regretful.  Now let's turn time ahead 20 years....

I'm now 45 (and can you believe, I'll be 46 in 3 short weeks?!) and the kids are all grown.  I've been with my husband (and father of my kids, as he adopted them and is the only father they've ever known) for over 15 years.  There have been many rocky times along the way, but also many triumphs.  I can definitely look back and see the many times that there was only one set of footprints in the sand, as God carried me through.  Yet getting to this point - the place where my dream of having children and raising them - is basically done... and the realization has been that I needed a new dream.  I needed to look back into my heart and find that passion and zest that would fuel me from here.  Coming to that place of feeling unneeded much of the time is a tough place to find yourself, but it's a choice as to whether I would stay there or move on to making another dream a reality.  2011 has been a year of realized dreams... it started that way, and I am coming to the end of it in that same way.  This year I have started living more of my dreams... almost as if I opened up my little box of dreams and started letting them out one-by-one.  First was to start my photography business... to take something I have loved so much, have worked on and pursued, and actually make it an even bigger part of my life.  There has often been anxiety and frustration along the way, and while I still have so much to learn about running my own business, amazingly I have been doing it!  Little by little I have watched clients trickle in, and trusting that as time goes by there will be more and my business will get stronger and larger.  This weekend I started on another dream: a guitar.  It's been something I've wanted to learn for so long, and now is the time of living with no excuses.  If it's a dream that is worth going after, then I will go after it.  

What do you do with your dreams?  Sometimes our dreams may be ridiculous.  Wanting to own the world, be the richest person in the world, live in the largest house... those things are silly and don't bring happiness or joy.  But those dreams of accomplishment, of making people smile, of helping someone and giving to another persons life, of learning and maybe teaching... those are dreams that can change the world.  They are the dreams we should strive to make true. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Life as a Pin Board

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Pinterest has really become a craze with many people, and honestly I've become quite an addict myself. Looking at the interesting things: recipes, quotes, projects, styles, etc, and pinning the things that I love to a board of my own.  Sometimes I wonder what it would look like if I had a pin board to showcase my own life.  No doubt such a board would be quite a jumble - and it would have to be huge to include all of the important things that would need to be pinned.  It definitely would not be without blemish or embarrassment, because there has been plenty about my past that I would really not care to have pinned to a board to have to show or even be reminded of very often.  Needless to say, it would have lots of tear stains... both happy, sad and hurt tears.  Broken hearts, disappointments, losses...but more importantly accomplishments and celebrations that brought tears of joy: A new tiny heartbeat that would be born that I would nurse and nurture and it would change my life so great that emotions couldn't contain the joy without overflowing into tears.  And all of these tears are so important to the completion of that pin board to this point.  Amongst the many pins on this board would be styles that came and went - and possibly some that were never "in" to begin with!  There would be no way this board could be missing the many friends along the journey of my life.  Some friends have been there all along, and some for just a part of the time... but their importance was no less great.  And the board wouldn't be right without them being pinned on it.  I would have to have some order to this board, simply because I have to have some order to anything in my life... so if it were arranged chronologically I would like to think that the pins would reflect a strength that has grown in me as a person as time has gone by: as a woman, a mother, a wife, a friend, a Christian, a daughter... everything that I am.  As I have gotten through the tough times, and as I have celebrated through the joyous times, I have become a stronger person...hopefully a better and kinder person.  And I hope that would show in all of the pins along the way.  All of this makes me kind of wonder: if this were a reality, and my life were a pin board for the world to see, would I live it in any different way.  Would I make different decisions, would I react differently in certain situations.  Would I BE different so that I could be perceived differently?  And if the answer to that is YES, then I need to change those things anyway.  

Pinterest is a really cool idea... and I, along with millions of other people, am addicted to picking the things that express who I am, to finding the pins that interest me and putting them on MY board...but I want to concentrate a little more on my real life as if it were a pin board, and make sure I'm living it in the way I would want displayed...because actually it really is, in a way.  That is one of my challenges to myself.   

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

24 Days of Thankfulness

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It's been so inspirational to see each day a new thing listed on so many of my facebook friends pages...each day a mention of something they are thankful for.  My approach will be a little different, as I will just put it all together in a blog... 24 days of thankfulness.
  • Life.  Very simply, I am thankful for my life.  
  • My Savior.  I cannot imagine what my life would be like without Jesus Christ as my Savior.  I do imagine it would be with a lot less Joy.
  • My firstborn.  Life changed beyond measure when he entered my life over 24 years ago... and through the tough days and the joys, I would never want to imagine my life without him in it. {I have to add kind of an addendum to this because it seems most appropriate.  I am very thankful for my son's fiancee.  She's so sweet and kind... and she loves my son with all her heart.  I look forward to having her as my daughter and embracing all that she brings to my family!}
  • My middle child.  I started planning for the thought of him while still in the hospital with my first child.  I even had his name picked out before leaving to take baby #1 home!  And he has been the most loving and sweet child any mother could ask for... I love him dearly.
  • My baby girl.  Talk about perfect.  All I ever wanted was to be a mother... but to get the most beautiful little girl - JUST NO WORDS!  She's my heartbeat, my sunshine, my smile.  
  • My home.  I take it all for granted, but when people come to my home they always feel warm and welcome - and I'm thankful that I can share that with anyone in my life.
  • Miles.  He's a pain most days, his breath is unbelievably bad - but he's the sweetest and cutest labradoodle in the world.  Don't know what I'll do when he's no longer a part of my world!
  • My Mom.  Through thick or thin - my Mom has been by my side.  We are alike in many ways - but different in even more ways.  But I like to think that my strengths are things she helped strengthen in me.  Simply - I love her with all my heart.
  • Forgiveness.  I cannot imagine what life would be like if I could not be forgiven for the many wrongs I've done... but also if I couldn't forgive others for things they've done wrong against me.
  • Dreams.  So many of my dreams have come true - and even more of them have not.  But I can still have my dreams - and the hope that one day I'll see more of them materialized.  
  • Hope.  What in the world would life be about if there wasn't hope for a better day.  Even on the most perfect day I can have hope for another one.  
  • Health.  I have so many quirky health issues, but otherwise I am healthy!  And for that, I am so thankful!
  • Friendship.  I'm kind of a loner.  I do spend more time on my own than with others.  But I love my friends, and I'm always there for them if they need me.  The hardest thing I've ever had to do was make a decision to walk away from a friendship - and that's only happened a handful of times in my life.  But even then I know I'm doing it because it's the right thing for the other person as well as for myself. 
  • Boundaries.  Took me about 40 years to learn how to set them and respect them for what they are.  I am now all about boundaries: personal, business, etc.
  • The Sea.  I spend as much time as possible near the sea.  I feel closer to God when I am there... hearing the waves, watching them come closer in to the shore but stop at just the right place.  So peaceful seeing with my eyes a small glimpse of just how much power God has by watching the sea.  
  • Music.  It soothes me, invigorates me, motivates me... it makes me laugh, sing, cry, think.  
  • Talent.  God does give us each talent... and many times we want to pick what we want our talent to be.  But that's not how it works.  I am thankful for the talents God has given me... and I work to do the best that I can with them.  
  • Counseling.  I can't count how many times through my life I've needed someone to be there for me... to help me deal with a situation or a hurt in my life.  And whether it's been a friend - or even a certified counselor - I am thankful that people are there to help.  I've learned to never be afraid to ask for help when I need it.
  • Our country.  There are many things I DON'T like about the way things have changed in our country.  And there are directions we are headed that frighten me.  But overall, I do believe this is the greatest country.  We have freedoms that some places may never know... and I am so thankful for that.  
  • The special people in my life.  I cannot sing their praises enough.  My Grandmother would have to be my #1.  She held the key to my heart when I was growing up - and I think I'm most like her as a grown up.  I miss her presence in my life so much since she's been gone, but I do find peace knowing that I'll see her again one day.  But there are other special people in my life, and they each hold such a dear place.  I simply cannot imagine who or where I would be without them!!  
  • The internet.  It's amazing all of the changes in the world since the time when I was a child.  There were so many awesome things then that I do miss now, and with the age of the internet there have been a lot of really bad things.  The availability of so many dangerous things that can ruin lives, tear apart marriages, aid in addictions, etc.  But there are also many great things that come from it all.  The ability to stay in touch with people who are many, many miles away.... the ability to learn about things we might never know about otherwise.  Just to name a couple.  When my son was in Bahrain a few years ago with the US Navy, I was able to immediately have contact with him - almost daily - because of the internet.  And now, with him many states away, I can stay in touch, see pictures, read comments and posts from him.  How incredible?!  But it's like anything.  We have to NOT abuse it for the bad things it can also provide.  
  • Choices.  I have watched over this past year as several people I love dearly have made some very poor choices... and some others have made some awesome choices.  We all have choices to make each day, and I'm thankful that we have the free will to choose.  But also that we have consequences from the bad choices.  Hopefully next year will bring more GOOD choices than bad ones!
  • You.  It means the world to me that you want to read what I have to say.  You give me reason to write again... and desire to share more of myself.  Whether you are a friend of many years, a stranger outside of reading my blogs, a client (or potential client)... it doesn't matter.  I appreciate you so much - and hope you will continue on this journey with me for a long time to come!   .......and please feel free to comment once in a while! :)
  • My husband.  I mention him last because I am guarded about bringing him into my blogs.  But I am very thankful for him. 
That's 24... and today is the 23rd of November, so I've included an extra one for tomorrow.  

Thanks for going through this with me... and I would LOVE to hear back from you!!  That would be my #25 thing to be thankful for!! 

Have a wonderful day - and 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

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As a child we all loved bedtime stories... and as a parent or grandparent there is something so special about snuggling up with that special child and reading those stories to them over and over again.  Many of those stories have some very important lessons on life in them... and then there are some that we just love to read because they make us feel warm and cozy.  I miss the old stories that children don't seem to hear enough these days.  Jack and the Bean Stalk, Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, Snow White and Peter Pan.   But two of my very favorites were always Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood.  Being a blonde-head myself, I always thought I was the lead character in these stories, and that they must somehow be about me.  My Mom even made me a beautiful velvet red hooded cape when I was a child that I would wear ever so proudly.  

As I've grown up, though, some of these stories take on a different meaning.  Often we wish we could fall asleep for many, many years... and how awesome would it be to have a beanstalk to climb to escape the giants we face each day?  I've learned over and over that the slipper doesn't fit my foot when the prince comes along to try it on, and I only had 3 little "dwarfs" of my own to take care of, and they went and grew up on me!  Peter Pan was my middle son's favorite, and I think my poor Mom had to watch the vhs video everytime she was with him!  But oh, how I used to love Tinkerbell - yet as I grew up I also came to see what a sneaky little underhanded chick she really was, so that changed my opinion of her!  I read Little Red Riding Hood and think "What parent would seriously let their child walk to the end of their own driveway alone these days, much less to Grandma's house?" but I do appreciate the early warning that things are not always what they seem, and we need to be paying close attention to the wolves in disguise.  But I think my least favorite story now is Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  It's great as a child to be reminded that we aren't a "fit" for everything... but there is a perfect chair just for us.  But it's not so great to think someone has been eating my porridge... and even less great to wonder "who's been sleeping in my bed."

It's very seldom that I miss my childhood.  But very often I miss those special times with my own children when they were young.  On days like today, when it's cold and rainy outside, I miss snuggling with them in front of the TV watching movies that had meaning, hot chocolate, chicken noodle soup with grilled cheese sandwiches...those special things that made everyone feel safe and warm.  And I do miss the innocence of believing in the fairy tales...  of loving Goldilocks and the Three Bears, because after all, they had to be writing about me!   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's the Dash that Counts

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Yesterday was a bittersweet day.  It was the day that we came together to bid farewell to my Grandmother for the final time on this earth.  At 93 she had taken all of this life she could take and moved on to eternity early on Saturday morning.  And I have handled it like a champ.  I'm a very realistic person, as I believe most anyone who knows me very well would agree with.  As a child and a teenager (and probably even up through my 20's) I was probably much more of a dreamer, but life has changed some of that in me.  My Grandmother's death has been handled in my usual realistic approach, knowing that she is, afterall, much better off than she would be on this earth suffering.  But today I have felt a deep sadness.  Things with my Grandmother and myself were good... she knew I loved her, and I know she loved me.  So I am not harboring any regrets of last minute words that needed to be spoken.  Her life was long and she brought love and friendship to many other people on this earth, so there is no doubt that her presence will be missed very much.  Yet still, this sadness lingers on.

Yesterday at the funeral one of the pastors who spoke made a comment about the "dash" in between the years on a tombstone marking the time between birth and death.  That has been on my mind very much over the past day.  I look at the dash my Grandmother's life represents... of the many others she affected with her life, the love she gave, the smiles she brought to others, the kindness she bestowed.  But I have also reflected on my own life, and what the dash will say about how I've lived my life in between those two very important dates.  For many years I believe it might have been a lot of boring, almost wasted space... but thankfully I hope that my life now touches many other lives positively by the choices I make, in the things I do, from the kindness I give, through the work I produce.  And if I am successful at this "dash" then I will be a success in the end.  What more could anyone ask for?   

My Grandmother with my daughter... June 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Real Heroes

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When was the last time you stopped and thought about the hero's in your life?  Quickly - what name comes to your mind when you think "hero"?  I think for every little boy it is at some time a superhero: Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man... someone with supernatural powers who can save the world.  But as we grow up we are shocked and saddened to find out that there are no real superhero's.  Or are there?  I've been writing a lot lately about children, parents, hurt, disappointment... and I don't want to upset or depress anyone.  The simple truth: life is tough.  People make bad decisions.  And there are also the times that people take a wrong turn in their life and hurt lots of people.  What about when the hurt pulls away the mask to reveal that who was once a superhero is actually not one after all?  

This evening I was watching a sweet little superhero run around in his cape.  He has such an imagination - but ruining his fun at what should only be a carefree time in his life is the reality of a lot of hurt and disappointment.  More than ever, this little superhero needs a HERO.  So while he was running around as Batman, the caped crusader, he had an awesome co-crusader who is really his Poppy.  Poppy had on the Sponge Bob cape that ALL real hero's wear - and he did the moves and ran up and down the hallway filling the job quite impressively.  And me... well, I was the one blessed enough to see the real hero of the day.  While Batman was convinced that his superhero co-crusader was Robin, I know that this was a superhero who will NEVER disappoint this little boy.  And long before he was a superhero, he was also a hero to me.  I've known him all of my life, and he's always impressed me with his kindness, generosity and loving spirit.  But watching him with his grandchildren has brought my admiration to a new level.  

We think we know who the real hero's are... and often those we think of are truly heroic.  But let's not forget the ones who are heroic to the end.  The ones who are hero's even after it's no longer fun for anyone.  And if you are blessed enough to know one of these hero's I'm talking about, then let them know they touch your heart in a special way - and that you appreciate them just for who they are.  It's a rare thing indeed.

I love you, Poppy and Mimi.  You are two of the most special people in the world, and no one can imagine the hurt you are going through in all of this.  I am one of the blessed ones to see the hero's you are in how you have touched the lives of your dear grandchildren.  "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13... there are many ways to "lay down his life" for someone, and sacrificing your life as you know it to take care of someone else in their time of need definitely makes you the real hero's

To Get to Where I'm Going

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the calm

"No matter whose fault, God sends us through storms so we can land in a place we never would have otherwise." ~Beth Moore....

Oh, how many times I have cried out "Why am I having to go through this, God?!" and as time passed I was able to see that it was perfect.  Where I ended up in my life was JUST where I needed to be.  Now I do believe we often suffer in our lives because we make some terribly bad decisions... and sometimes those decisions just can't lead to something positive in our lives.  I also believe it's never too late to change the track we're on.  But those "bad decision" times are not what I'm talking about today.  I'm talking about the times in life when we're doing what we're supposed to be doing...we're being the faithful and true spouse, we're being a good parent, we're doing our job well, we're being an upstanding citizen and friend... and then suddenly the carpet is pulled out from under us.  THOSE are the times when we truly don't understand what's going on!  Afterall, we're doing what we're supposed to be things are supposed to run smoothly - RIGHT??  But sometimes that's just not the way it works out... and during those times it may be someone else's bad choices that are affecting our lives, or it may just be a change in course that we just don't understand.  But I'm telling you to hold on tight.  Seek God during those times and stay true to Him. {well, seriously seek God in all times!}  The changes might be scary, they might seem unfair, but when the storm calms down and everything falls into place you might find you are in a better place than before.  

I'm not a very flexible person.  I simply do not embrace change.  I like things just the way I like them.  I'm not exactly a person of habit - I just like my comfort zone.  But there have been more times than I could count that I have found my life in a total whirlwind... and honestly a lot of those times had nothing to do with bad decisions on my part.  As time has gone by (and maybe I've matured a bit) I've learned to just hold on...adapt to the changes.  Trust that God is in control and He is changing the course I'm on... and if HE is changing it, then it's got to be good for me.  

My advice for you is to always live your life truthfully...there really are no true secrets.  And when the storms come along, hold on tight.  Cry when you need to cry, laugh when you can find a way to laugh... but be patient and wait to see what is next in your life.  Don't hold on to the past that is changing because you may cheat yourself out of something totally awesome that you'd never have dared to dream for yourself!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Looking for the Words...

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There are many times in our lives that we just don't understand everything... we just don't have all of the answers.  That's hard enough for a grown-up to accept, but this evening I spent some time with two sweet children who have recently been abandoned by their mother.  There is no way to tell you how frustrating it is to see their pain and confusion, yet have no answers to give them to make them understand.  I'm a Mom myself to three grown children... my kids are all in their 20's now.  Soon I'll have a daughter-in-law, as my 24-yr-old son is engaged to be married.  I'm no stranger to the chaos of raising kids, nor have I forgotten the days of raising my children when they were younger.  I remember very well the times that I felt I would never get to "come first" again in anything.  My goodness, I can remember wondering if I would ever just get to go to the bathroom or take a shower without someone standing there needing something from me all the time.  But that time does pass, and when you look back you realize just how quickly it was gone.  Yet as tiring and depleting as those times can be, I never could have imagined a day without my children.  It was nice to have a break now and then, but I always felt like something was missing as long as they were not with me.  So how can a mom just up and leave her family?  What words do you use to explain this to a 4 and 8-yr-old?  And what are they learning about trust, commitment, love, security, etc?  

Tonight I heard a little boy of only 4 say "I don't love my mommy any more." And my heart broke for the pain that I could hear in his little voice.  I wanted to explain to both children that all mommy's are not like that... most mommy's would never dream of leaving their children.  Mommy's are supposed to have a heart that loves their kids forever and takes care of their kids no matter what else the world may do to hurt them, and most do... but there's just something wrong with this mommy.  What I do tell these children is that I will not hurt them.  I will be there for them as much as I can - and I will do whatever I can to offer them protection and love.  I remind these children that even though we don't have all of the answers, it is not their fault when grown people do bad things - and they don't have to make those same mistakes in their own lives.  Rather they should love with all of their heart and be strong enough to not walk away when things are not the way they want them in life.  
I do pray for this mom.  In my mind I cannot comprehend what any woman must be thinking to walk away from her children.  Life is complicated, and we don't always understand all the details - but there are no details that would make it okay to do what she's done.  And I pray for these children - that their little hearts and minds will be protected in some way from all that they have been exposed to in the past few months.  That they will grow up and be able to trust, and not be afraid to love.  

I don't usually write two blogs in one day... in fact, lately I haven't had much time to write at all.  But this has really been a tough week, searching for the right words to say to offer support and love that is needed by a family that is hurting so badly. 


Learning to Trust

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Sitting here in front of my computer I can look over to the side just a tiny bit (maybe an inch or two) and see the sun glistening brightly on the ocean.  Even when I'm concentrating on my work (whether I'm writing this blog, checking on my accounts or working on editing some photos) I can hear the waves crashing.  I can trust that the ocean is out there and it's doing what it's supposed to do.  And I'm always so happy and feel so serene when I'm near the ocean.  Maybe it has something to do with trust?  Does that sound kind of crazy to you?  

Trust is a huge part of our lives.  If you read my blogs then surely you have learned that it's a huge part of me, what I believe in and what I stand for.  I  need to have trust in my life... but it's even more important to me to live a life that is trustworthy.  And many people don't stop and think about how broken trust can totally change so much about your life and relationships.  Just stop and think for a few minutes about who you have in your life, and whether you feel peaceful about those relationships.  Do you trust them?  But more importantly, can they trust you?  Should they?  I have learned over and over in my years that I have no control over anyone else... whether they make good or bad decisions, whether they are honest or dishonest.  But I have a choice everyday about me.  When I speak I can speak truthfully.  If there's something I just don't want to say, then it's truly better for me to say "I really don't want to talk about that" than it is to not be honest about something.  

But even more than what we speak, trust also comes from what we see.  If someone says "I will be there for you always" but then every time you need them they have an excuse or you simply can't even get a response from them, then before long you'll know when you need someone, you can't trust that they will be someone you should turn to.  So we do need to always be careful about our words.  Even if they are spoken in kindness, if they are not true and sincere they can teach someone to distrust.  And it's very hard to turn that around after the lesson has been taught.

Often when it comes to the topic of trust I think about children.  So much about who we are as adults does go back to what we learned as children.  It doesn't mean that we can't overcome bad things we might experience in our childhoods, but a lot of times people are not willing to put in the time or work that is required.  We are creatures of habit and we like to just use the excuse "it's just the way I am."  Simply: it's painful to change!  But in raising our own children, in playing parts in the lives of our grandchildren, or playing some other important role in a child's life we need to always be aware that we are teaching them so many things with every word and action.  And the biggest lesson they are storing away is what is being taught to them about trust.  The hardest decisions are when we have to remove something from their lives because we know it is only teaching them something that will negatively affect them for many years to come.  But that is part of being trustworthy... showing them that they can trust you to take care of them.  

For me it calms me completely to hear (and see) the ocean... when possible I love to sleep at night with the window cracked so I can hear the waves and let them lull me to sleep.  Think about what makes you feel safe and peaceful like that... and what feelings it gives you to make you feel that way. 


Friday, October 21, 2011

Brings Tears to my Eyes....

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Constantly my blogs are something about relationships and the many complexities that affect them in some way or another (whether bad or good!) and today will be no different, I'm afraid.  So now's your chance to run, if you need to! 

What has prompted me to write this morning is the birth of a baby.  Some friends of ours had their first grandbaby.  Their oldest son and his wife delivered a beautiful baby boy.  Their celebration is huge!  But there is also some sadness in the midst of it all, because the grandparents are here in NC and the new baby and parents live in Hawaii.  It will be another week before they are able to travel out to visit their first grandchild - the firstborn of their oldest son.  

My own son is engaged to a very sweet girl.  We absolutely fell madly in love with her as soon as we met her.  As a woman, I know my desire to always stay within a safe distance to my own Mother... and I only live about 2 1/2 - 3 hours from her (which until I was 30 I never lived more than 30 minutes from her!)  But now that one of my kids is getting ready to get married, my heart aches thinking of how far he will likely always live from me.  Thinking that everyone else will meet my grandchildren first when they are born one day, and see them more than I'll ever be able hurts me more than I could ever express.  Honestly, it brings tears  to my eyes (and an occasional sob) just thinking about it!  I didn't think about this part when I had my children... when they were handed to me as newborns.  It never crossed my mind that one day they would grow up and not be right with me any longer.  

Once again, I think of Josh and Nicole who just had their new son.  And I think of how they are feeling.  And for them I can only feel elated.  I remember that moment of meeting my newborn baby whom I had waited so many months for (in a way it felt like years with the first one, because I had dreamed of having my first child since I was a child myself!)  And I pray that they soak up these feelings.  That they write them down and remember them for the rest of their lives.  On a bad day they can read the words and remember how awesome God is - that He gives us a love for our children that is so special we cannot even find words to describe it adequately.  I always think in some way it's a small inkling of God's love for us.  But for us to fully understand how much God loves us would be more powerful than our human minds and bodies could handle.  

It's a day to celebrate for a new baby, new parents, new grandparents, new aunts and uncles.  A new generation begins with the birth of this baby boy.  And I am here with tears in my eyes with the anticipation that one day it will be me feeling what my friend is feeling as the new grandmother... and hoping I'm strong enough to be who I'm supposed to be at that time.  

I hope you have a GREAT weekend!! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Military Man's Promise

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The following is something my future daughter-in-law sent to my son.  They are engaged to be married in October of 2012.  My son has been in the US Navy for 5+ years now, and is currently stationed 8-10 hours away from his fiancee, and 11-12 hours from his home here in NC.  There aren't words to express how much this Mom's heart aches from missing him -- but I raised him to be independent, to do his best, and to give back.  And I could not be prouder of the man he has grown up to be.  I served as a military wife for 4 years, and I can tell you there is a lot of sacrifice expected as a military spouse.  The words "I'm being deployed and will be gone for x-months" is NEVER easy to hear - but they come with the territory.  But I can also attest that there is no way to explain the extreme patriotism that I felt, and some of that I didn't even realize fully until we were away from the military.  As hard as it was for me to adjust to, it was even harder to adjust to being away from it.  Please read these words, and then I ask you to consider whether you could settle for this kind of promise.  But that is what is required of our soldiers.  And I beg you to find a new level of respect for what they do - and the sacrifice that is required of not only them, but of their families. 
A Military Man's Promise... I cannot promise you every night of my life. I cannot promise to be beside you for every difficult moment, every trial, and every hardship. In truth, I can promise you that I will not be with you for most. I will leave you at inconvenient times. Any special date to us may be tainted with the anniversary of the death of one of my friends. I will ask you to take over whatever life we have built together for months and years at a time. And will then crash back into that life that you have used your sweat, your tears and your heartache to keep together, and try to take it back as I knew it before. I will shut you out at times because it will be the best way for me to hold it together at that moment. I will lie to you. I will tell you I don't know things when I do. I will not always tell you where I am going, when I will be back, or who I am with. I may not call you for weeks and months and you will not be able to call me. You will ask questions that I won't answer. You will know answers to questions that you will hope you never need. I will share things with my brothers that you will never understand. They will know things about me that you never will. They will be a support to me in some things that you cannot be. I will miss birthdays. I will miss anniversaries. I may need time to process things that seem natural to everyone else. It will seem that someone - or something - will always take precedence over you. You may lose me long before you ever thought possible. I will uproot you and ask you to re-establish our family anywhere in the world, in any season, at any time -over and over again. Sand and mud will be tracked through your halls from the boots I am too tired to take off. I will leave you when you beg me not to. I will stand at attention while you cry beside me. I will not turn my head and I will walk away. I will knowingly break your heart. And I will do it again - and again. I cannot promise you all of me. I cannot promise you much of anything. But if you will have me, I can promise that as I march away from you, it is not without sharing your heartache. I promise you that every time I break your heart I will be breaking mine. Every time that I cannot answer you I will be protecting you. Whenever you want to call and you have no number to dial, I will be wanting to do the same. I will protect everything that we have created together with every fiber of my being while you do the same back at home. I will honor you in everything -every moment that we are apart and every moment that I am with you. I will fight harder and push further knowing that I do so for you. And I will carry you with me in everything, until my sandy boots once again sit just inside our door...A military relationship/marriage is one of the strongest and hardest I know!! and this about sums it up!

I am so proud, excited and honored to be doing their engagement photo session this next weekend, as they are traveling to NC just for me to do this for them!  So stay tuned for those beautiful pictures... and feel free to leave them a message as a comment at the end of this blog.  I'll make sure they get them!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Time to Let Go

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 "There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace."
~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

And there is a time that you have to let go.  That's a very hard statement for me.  Most anyone who has known me for any amount of time would attest that I am a very diligent person.  I do not give up easily on anyone.  In fact, I was usually the girl that got broken up with by my boyfriends even if I knew long beforehand that it was not a good relationship or had no future.  I always had hope that something could change - that I could make things different.  I never wanted to just give up on someone.  Needless to say, my heart has been broken many times in my 4+ decades of life!  But don't go feeling sorry for me, because I don't have regrets for my diligence.  I have learned many valuable lessons.  We all know hindsight is 20/20... and I can say looking back at some things in life that I held on a lot longer than I should have.  Whether it was to a job, a relationship, or even a pair of worn out shoes... I wanted to give each one more day to get better, stronger, improve, a chance to be different.  But I also have fewer regrets of wondering if I let go before there was a chance for something to get better.  This is a day of instant gratification, and people too easily walk away without putting any real effort into things.  They have a bad day at a job, and they quit or start looking for another job.  They have a disagreement with a friend, and the friendship ends.  Saddest of all, some people face those times of complacency that are to be expected in any long-term relationship (especially marriage), and they are out the door - either looking for another relationship before they even get out of the one they're in or just checking out altogether.  There is something to be said for sticking in there - fighting for something or someone. BUT then there is a time that you have to finally realize that it's time to let go.  And there are times that I do look back and see that I caused some extra damage (either to myself or those around me...including my children) because I was too persistent to hang on rather than let go of something that needed to be gone.

My Mom asked me one time when I was really being hurt by someone "What will it take for you to finally walk away?" and my response was, "When I know that it's the best choice to make all the way around, and that I will not have regrets on my side."  So what does that look like?  It's when I finally feel someone has crossed boundaries to a point that the damage is irreparable.  But an even quicker way for me to reach that point is for it to be adversely affecting someone else that I love.  Namely, my children.  (My blog before this one was about making a difference in someone's life... especially a child's life - and if you haven't read it, I'd love for you to go back and read it. )   Sometimes there should be no greater reason to actually let go of something (or someone) than the proof before you that it is damaging the life of a child to have that person around - and especially when it is your own child.  Yes - it will hurt to let go.  But it won't hurt as much, or as long, as having them around to continue to hurt you and to bring hurt on someone who deserves so much more.  

This morning I was in my car, and I was thinking about what I had written in this blog when Steven Curtis Chapman's song came on the radio.  The first verse and the chorus really struck me, almost as they did when the song first came out:

"She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone..."

I saw Steven Curtis Chapman perform this song just a few months after his little girl was killed in a tragic accident... and his heart was so clearly broken.  But he had learned before it was too late to let go of things he had to let go of and take care of what was precious.  That's a lesson I hope I've learned... and one I wish I could share with others so they don't find out too late. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making a Difference....

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"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs... Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails." ~1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This picture holds a very sweet story.  We were visiting Lynn and Roger so they could meet B on Saturday.  Roger picked up B, and was singing to her as he was slow dancing with her.  At first she had a rather puzzled look on her face, but quickly that changed to almost a look of enchantment.  He continued to sing and dance (something slow and very worthy of Sinatra) as she gazed adoringly at him.  When he finished singing and stopped dancing it was quiet... and then in the quietest little voice, B said "yay" and clapped ever so sweetly.  My heart melted, and in my mind I thought "I hope she always knows that she is a princess - and that she always insists on being treated as such!" 

Almost every young girl dreams of her "knight in shining armor" at some time growing up.  But every child is born with a need to feel loved, safe and special.  My life has not been perfect... there have been disappointments and a multitude of hurts along the way.  More importantly, though, there have been those people who have loved me - and made sure that I always felt that love.  That is who I want to be for others when God puts them into my life.  Raising my own children, who are now all in their 20's, it was always my desire to make sure that no matter what they did (or didn't do) that they were assured my love for them was unconditional.  When they made mistakes (sometimes big ones!) the first thing I would always remind them is that nothing they could ever do could make me love them less.  And even now that they are grown, I remind them often that I may get upset or angry or disappointed - but my love for them will never end.  

Growing up is a very hard thing to do.  In the most perfect of situations, it is tough.  But some kids don't get anything near a perfect situation to grow up in.  That stacks a lot against them early on.  Sadly, it's almost accepted by society for people (parents - adults) to make excuses for their own mistakes and blame them on their own parents, upbringing or anything that keeps them from having to take responsibility for their own choices and actions. That is something so hard to understand.  

My life often crosses those families where children are stuck in some awful situations.  Mom's leaving, Dad's leaving, SOMEONE not doing their job as a parent.  And the kids are hurt, without words to even know how to express what they are feeling.  Without knowing how to ask for it, they are starved for love, attention and assurance.  My hearts desire is that I would be whatever I could be to help someone else.  I know what it feels like to be hurt - to be disappointed - to be afraid to trust.  But I also know that is it possible to choose not to repeat the behavior that caused those feelings in me.  It's not an easy road - but it is possible.  

Isn't he the most adorable little guy?  He is crazy about Spider-Man, so we'll just refer to him as Spidey -- I think it's his biggest hero.  Except for his Poppi.... 

This little girl tore my heart out... she was crying and hurt.  Here T is getting a kiss from her Grammy.  

Life can be really tough, and there are things that go on in the grown-up world that should just never touch a child's life.  Too much is often brought into their lives at such young ages. Somewhere it is forgotten that children learn from what they see patterned before them - they learn trust, respect, honor, honestly, and so many other important lessons.  On the other hand, if they live with the opposite, that it what is instilled in them instead. When bad things go on in the grown-up world around them, the reality is that the work needs to be done to reassure them they are loved no matter what.  They need to be reminded that they are not responsible for the selfish decisions of someone who is supposed to put them first in life, even though they are having to pay the penalty for those choices.  Most of all, they need to know that they can be better than those bad decisions.  They don't have to grow up and use that hurt as excuse to repeat them in their own grown-up lives.  

Here's my little babygirl again... she's with Roger and Spidey.  Whenever music would play she would jump up and dance.  I love to see the happiness in her face - and know that she KNOWS she is loved so very much.

We all touch someone's life in some way.  Who is it for you?  If it is a child, are you giving them hope for a future that includes respect, honesty, unconditional love, safety & security?  And if you are thinking "you have no clue how much hurt I had in my own childhood" then what I would respond is this: then you should want to make sure you instill something different to a child than what left you hurt and possibly damaged in some way.  Choose to be better - and not to repeat what is destructive.  Make a difference in someone's life.  I do believe you will be rewarded for it.

I tell my kids all the time "Your life is always a testimony... you choose whether it is a good one or a bad one."  And that is how I try to live each day of my own life.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's a FREE Organic Bloom mini-frame!! PLUS a surprise for the winner!

Photography by DonnaKay: Organic Bloom...YOU can win a FREE ornament mini-frame?

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I posted this blog a few days ago - a giveaway that takes just a couple of minutes to enter with a great possibility of winning a FREE Organics Bloom mini-frame (holds a 3x3) -- and have very little response. So, I'm moving the date up to October 16 - that will be the date that a winner is chosen.

So ENTER!! I've only had a few enter so far - so chances of winning are looking great right now!!

I've sweetened the deal just a bit... but that part is a surprise! -- If you want to enter (AND THIS IS A GIVEAWAY THAT WOULD MAKE ANY FAN HAPPY -- CLIENTS, FRIENDS OR OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS) then click on the Title above, which is a link to the Giveaway blog with instructions and Enter today!

Thanks!! Have a GREAT day!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Those "faux pas" moments in life....

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... a little more about my life as a photographer...

Quickly - think of your most embarrassing moment.  What is the first thought that comes to your mind?  Please tell me that we all have those moments in our lives where we want to climb under the nearest chair or dig a hole to hide in, right?  I'm sure if my kids could share with you they would tell you things that would make you fall over with laughter.  No doubt about it, I'm a faux pas waiting to happen!  As a younger person (I don't say "child" because I'm sure I had a tough time with this in my 20's too) I would often feel like no one would ever forget my embarrassing moment, or that I would just die from the embarrassment....but as I've matured (let's face it, I'm passing the mid-40 mark very soon!) one of the best lessons I've learned is to just laugh at myself.  Truthfully I was probably an embarrassment to my parents long before I learned to be embarrassed for myself!  When I was very young my parents had company over for dinner one evening... the pastor and his wife.  Sometime before or after dinner (that part I don't remember) I took it upon myself to show them my skills as a frog and proceeded to stoop down and start leaping like a frog... but better, it came with sound effects.  Leap... ribbit....leap....ribbit... on and on.  Seriously... on and on.  I simply would not stop!  I can only imagine my parents wanted to stuff me in a hole somewhere!  But no problem... it was only the beginning of the embarrassing moments I would endure.  When I was around 14 or 15 my family was on vacation at Myrtle Beach.  We were staying in a 2-story rented beach house.  We had the upper level - and there was another family on the lower level.  There was a girl about my age in the lower level and she and I became friends right away (we even remained pen pals for a year or two after that)... but the part that sticks in my head the most was her uncle.  He was way too old for me, but boy, did I have a crush on him!  My friend and I would take numerous walks on the beach every day, and of course if her uncle came out I would suggest that we walk with him (lucky guy - you KNOW he really wanted to be at the beach with two 14/15-yr-olds tagging along everywhere!)  Well, this one particular afternoon we took a walk with him down to the pier and then out to the end of the pier.  We were walking and he was talking and I was hanging on his every word, staring into his eyes with my complete attention... and then BAM - I was laying straight across the top of a trash can!  Just as straight as a board laying across that trash can!  I can remember wishing that the earth would open and swallow me up - but oh, NO - he was there saying "are you ok... let me help you!" and my friend was laughing herself silly!  After that my "crush" came to an end because I felt like such an idiot around him.  Ugh... sadly that was only the beginning of the embarrassing situations I would come upon in life.   Life is full of so many of these situations.  Embarrassments, hurts, excitements, heart-breaks, broken dreams...but they are exactly that - moments.  They pass.  And life may be different after some of those moments...but most often we get to choose whether we will grow from the experience and become stronger, or whether we will let it tear us down.  It's an important lesson to learn that we really don't want a moment to define us... but it's also important to remember that a bad choice in a moment can have a consequence that can last a lifetime or change your life forever.  That's much worse than an embarrassing moment.  

Now that I'm into the mature-40's I really can't tell you that I have fewer embarrassing moments than I did when I was younger.  Sometimes they are just a bit more embarrassing.  Here's my last "share" and then I'd love to hear about some of your embarrassing moments!   

.....A few years ago we had to have some major work done in our house.  At that time two of my kids were still living at home.  I believe my daughter may have been a Senior in high school - so my middle son would have been in his first year of college.  Texting was still a newer thing for me, but it was a great way to stay in touch with the kids, so I was willing to learn anything if it kept me closer to them.  One night during all of this work going on in our house I was getting ready for bed and it was really late - so I texted my son (who was still up) and said "honey, you need to get to bed.  I love you!" (something thereabouts) and then I went to bed.  The next morning I had a text from the guy who was doing some work in my kitchen "I think this was meant for someone else" and then I saw that I had sent HIM that text message - NOT my son!!  What can I say??  I still think his wife doesn't care much for me - and I'm still too embarrassed to say "oh my goodness - I was NOT telling your husband I loved him!!"  

Ok -- so now YOU share with me!!  Come on.... I'm NOT the only one who has these faux pas "moments"!!