Sharing and enjoying my small-town life with my darling husband, family, friends,
faith, two adorable Ragdoll cats and one very sassy Yorkie!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day # 30 ("Hopes, Dreams, Plans for Next 365 Days")

Whoa, seems like a pretty heavy way to end a fun and fairly light-hearted 30-day blog challenge!  (By the way, in case you have NO IDEA what I am talking about ["Blog challenge??!  What blog challenge???!!!"]  please go HERE for the whole scoop!)

And speaking of this blog challenge, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it; so please feel free to leave a comment or contact me through my profile, at right.  I hope it has been as fun for you as it has been for me -- although I really do need to get back to my regularly scheduled life now!!!

But, back to the topic at hand.  Hopes, dreams, plans, eh?  Well, let's see how philosophic I am feeling.

HOPES?  Well, I continue to hope for all the best for my children... I wish them nothing but bright futures and happiness.   I hope for continued health and happiness for my mother, and the rest of my family.

DREAMS?  Honestly?! I am really only dreaming of a 5-stone diamond right-hand ring (but if you've read HERE, you already know this!)

PLANS for the next 365 days?  Hmmm...
1. Take up the carpet in our living room and refinish the lovely oak hardwood floor underneath.  (Unless I chintz out and just re-carpet!!!)
2. Take a winter vacation (or two!) with my boy.
3. Finish the quilt for my guest room and hopefully start another.
4. Lose a few pesky pounds that have crept up on me. (*grooooan!*)
5. Continue to enjoy my simple, happy, everyday life with my husband and our two kitties.

So...I guess that's about it right now for all my "dreams, plans and hopes".

OH WAIT!  Almost forgot -- world peace, of course!   ;o)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day # 29 ("A Person I Love")

(Me and my boy, in an earlier photo!)

This post was hard AND easy.

"Hard" because I love so many to chose?!  I love my two children, my mother, my sisters, my niece, my nephews, my brothers-in-law, my great nephews... and so many dear and wonderful friends who feel like family.

But really, once I really thought about it, it got pretty easy -- and one familiar, smiling face kept coming to my mind... that of my husband, Barry.

We've been together (well) over 30 years now.  We were high school sweethearts... got married (very!) young, had a baby right away and another 9 years later.  We worked hard to build a home and a life together.   We've had our ups and downs, it's true... and it hasn't all been easy.  But through it all, our mutual love and commitment to each other has been like a glue that holds us tight.

My husband is wonderful -- easy-going, hard-working, quiet, and FUNNY.  He can build or fix anything, and he is what I proudly refer to as a "Finisher".  If he starts a project, he finishes the project... and it is done well, done right and done fast.   (And yeah, baby, I *LOVE* THAT!)

He's also adorably handsome, and I truly am so thankful to have him be "mine".  I have honestly never known anyone else I would rather share my life with.

Here are some pictures of my boy... "through the years"...

This is us... I was 15, he was 16!
Married now!

When I reflect on our lives together, I think that the greatest gifts he has ever given me have been his unfailing loyalty, and unconditional love.  Really.  I have never had to doubt his love or commitment to me or our family.  He loves me no matter what, and I am 100% confident in this.  Bad hair day?  Bad mood day?  Up a few pounds?  Down a few pounds?  Sick as a dog?  Cranky as a crab?  No make-up?  No dinner?  No matter.  Really.  He calls me "Peanut" and "Lovie",  and he tells me every day that he loves me and that I'm "beautiful". 

There's a song by Martina McBride called, "My Baby Loves Me Just the Way that I Am"... and I always think of him when I hear it.  Every girl should be loved like this.

-- Martina McBride

Don't need no copy of Vogue magazine
Don't need to dress like no beauty queen
High heels or sneakers he don't give a damn
My baby loves me just the way that I am
My baby loves me just the way that I am

He never tells me I'm not good enough

Just gives me unconditional love
He loves me tender and he loves me mad
He loves me silly and he loves me sad

He thinks I'm pretty, he thinks I'm smart

He likes my nerve but he loves my heart
He's always sayin' he's my biggest fan
My baby loves me just the way that I am
My baby loves me just the way that I am

When there's dark clouds in my eyes

He just sits back and lets 'em roll on by
Come in like a lion, go out like a lamb
My baby loves me just the way that I am
My baby loves me just the way that I am

He thinks I'm pretty, he thinks I'm smart

He likes my nerve but he loves my heart
He's always sayin' he's my biggest fan
My baby loves me just the way that I am
My baby loves me just the way that I am

Hear it and watch the video here:

I love you back, baby.  Forever.  xoxoxo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day # 28 ("A Place I Love")

WHOA!  This was a HARD ONE!  I just didn't know how to answer it.

My husband, on the other hand, would have NO problem answering this question.  His favorite place on the planet is definitely Cancun, Mexico.  We have been there several times, and he LOVES it there.  In fact, I think if I LET HIM, it might be the only place we ever vacation!   But life is simpler for my husband  ;o)  as (admittedly) I tend to DWELL ON things, dissect, belabor and hash them over (and over and over...) 

So, no, for ME, the answer didn't come so quickly because there are simply SO MANY places that I *LOVE*!

For example, I love...
Thailand -- where we had the adventure of a lifetime... (You can read about it HERE)

Alaska -- vast, pristine and just so much FUN!

Hawaii -- such beauty, perfect weather, the sea, the volcano, the waterfalls...

Japan -- an entirely different world and culture.

The Caribbean islands -- bright skies, clear blue waters, so relaxing... always the perfect "getaway"...

Costa Rica was a wonderful adventure, too, and somewhere we'd definitely like to return.  (You can read about that HERE)

Plus we've had the opportunities to visit Belize... Roatan... Honduras... the Mexican Riviera... Cancun and Cozumel... Canada... and many of the states right here in our own beautiful country.  We've been very blessed to have been able to experience many different, incredible places, cultures and people.

So how to choose ONE "place I love"?  It almost seemed impossible.

Then I looked around... and realized... the answer is actually very simple: the place I love BEST in the world is the place we call HOME.

My home.  With my bed and my kitchen and my favorite quilts! Home -- where we start and end each day... where we laugh and play and tease and talk... Saturday night bonfires in the back yard and Sunday dinners in the dining room.  HOME is where my family and friends come, where my kitties are... where the simple miracle of everyday memories are made. 

The fact of the matter is this: no matter how excited we are to travel... we are always very happy and appreciative to come back *home* again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day # 27 ("A Child I Love")

As you may know, I don't have any grandbabies. I have several grand-kitties (whom I do adore!), but none of the human variety. In fact, do you think my dear daughter was trying to tell me something when she bought me the pillow, pictured above???!

BUT... there is one darling child on the planet who calls me "Grandma" and OH, I LOVE IT!  His name is Eric, and he is 9 years old.

Eric is the son of our dear ("almost-son"), Jerod.  We love spending time with BOTH of them (and Jerod's wife, Steph).  They are our "family", too.

Here is Eric (at 2 years old) with his daddy. Are they NOT two peas in a pod????!

And here are a few recent pictures. Isn't he ADORABLE???!

Eric loves motorcycles, trucks, soccer, trampoline jumping, and those crazy little "silly bandz"

And I am proud and honored that he loves me, too... he gave me this note recently (for no apparent reason whatsoever). 

Awwww, I love you, too, Squirt!!! xoxo

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day # 26 ("A Funny True Story")

Well, if you have been following this blog at all, you have probably noticed that my hair style(s) tend to be a little... um, tousled-looking.  At least that's what my hair stylist (bless her soul) nicely calls it.  Some people might call it "messy", or "windblown", or whatever... but all I know is that I have never been a big fan of sleek, smooth, perfectly tailored hair - on me, anyway.

So my father had been gone for several years, and when my mom was 68, she remarried a really great guy named Bob.  And Bob loved all of us, and our families, and the feeling truly was mutual.

Well, one day while we were all together shopping, Bob (who had a quirky sense of humor) said to me teasingly, "Did you forget to comb your hair this morning, Lynn?"

Well, my dear well-meaning mother (protective Mama Bear that she still is) didn't miss that remark and she immediately jumped to my defense, saying, "BOB!!!  I happen to know for A FACT that Lynn spends A LOT OF TIME trying to make her hair look like she just got out of bed!!!"

LOL!  Way to go, Mom!  ;o)

Mom and Bob:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day # 25 ("A Favorite Photo")

I have always loved this photo of my daughter, Kendra (but we have always called her "Bunny" or "Bun") with her "two boys" (her brother, Josh and her daddy).  It has always been preeeeetty easy for Little Miss Princess to wrap them BOTH around her little finger!

Josh is 9 years older than she is, so in a lot of ways it was almost like she had 2 daddies growing up.  Her brother could be very protective of her, and sometimes would even question OUR decisions as the parents.  As in, "Are you sure it's OK if she stays the night at so-and-so's house???  I don't know them that well!"  Or, "I dunno, I think 9 pm is a little late for her bedtime!"  As she got older, he always had an opinion on her friends, curfews, activities, etc.  And any poor boy that ever liked her had to run the gauntlet with BOTH her brother and her daddy!  It's a wonder she ever got married!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day # 24 (A Travel Story)

Traveling with 5 good friends, we vacationed a few years ago in Thailand.

Most of our vacation was spent in 4-star hotels and resorts, but several days were planned to be spent trekking ("backpack-on-your-back" style) in the mountains of northern Thailand, eating and sleeping with the native villagers.  It truly was a WONDERFUL, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience first hand how these remote, friendly, humble people live and work and play.

Buuuuuut, my friend Leah and I had never done anything like the this trekking before, and were a little nervous about "what to pack"?!  We knew we needed clothes for three days (for uncertain and potentially very changeable weather conditions), changes of shoes, as well as hats, sunscreens, insect repellants, first aid kits, cameras, the usual other "necessities" and toiletries, and a few small gifts and toys for our hosts and the village children.  Ever optimistic (hahaHA!) I also actually even packed a little make-up: a sample size mascara, 2 lip-glosses, and a few other very small products.  My thinking was, "Just because I am in a Thai jungle doesn't mean I can't at least make an attempt to look my best!"  (-- yes, yes, you can start laughing now!)

So, with (heavy, bulging) backpacks packed, we were on our way.  Then our guide asked us if we had packed towels.  As in bathing/swimming towels.  Big eyes and shaking heads all around, none of us had thought to bring towels.  "OK, then, " he said, "we'll have to stop at the market and buy them there."  

Well, have you ever seen a Thai market?  It's not a Target, that's for sure.  And the Thai version of a towel?  They are small... like the size of a small hand-towels (really!) and paper THIN -- and I don't know WHAT they are made of, but they felt like they would repel more water than they would absorb.  But whatever - the guide said we needed them, so we all got them.  It was a little chaotic at the market, but finally we were officially on our way.

In case you are wondering about this trek... it truly was an amazing experience.  One day we rode elephants, and one afternoon we floated down the river in bamboo rafts that we made ourselves that morning.  But I am also here to tell you that the trekking itself was no casual, leisurely, nature stroll --  it was an intense HIKE, up and down the mountains and across various uneven terrains, through creeks and streams, and all under the blazing Thai sun.  Even though I was in fairly good shape, it was grueling! 

The blasted backpack quickly became the BANE of my existence.  I. HATED. IT.  It was soooooo heavy.  Believe me, it wasn't long before I was digging through it to see what I could throw out to lighten my load.  (YES, the mascara, lip-glosses and make-up were the first to go!) 

Leah was struggling under the weight of her backpack, too, and we were both cursing them with every step.  (In their defenses, our husbands did carry our backpacks for us a fair amount of the time, but not ALL THE TIME!!!)   But finally we got through that first day of trekking, and arrived at our destination, excited and happy to be sharing this experience with such good friends.

Later, as we were getting settled into our night's accommodations (a Thai family's VERY rural village home), we sat down, rooting through our backpacks for our sleeping clothes.  Leah pulled out her new "towel", and then, perplexed, proceeded to pull out a second one.  "What's THIS???" she shrilled.  I looked over and said, "Oh...  that's my towel.  How did you get it?"  (Obviously in the chaos of the marketplace that morning, somehow my "towel" ended up in her backpack.)  Anyway, with nerves frayed from sheer exhaustion, my normally low-key, usually-quite-amiable friend went nearly ballistic.  "I HAVE YOUR TOWEL???" she shrieked, "YOU MEAN I HAVE BEEN CARRYING. YOUR. TOWEL. ALL. DAY????!!!!!"

Honestly, I had no idea until that moment that it hadn't been in my own backpack all day, and I had nothing to say in my feeble defense except a very sincere (albeit unaccepted!) apology.

Yes, I swear it's all true... a close and dear friendship for well over 10 years, and it all almost all came to a screeching halt that evening in northern Thailand over something the size (and weight!) of a WASH CLOTH!

But, just so you know, by the bright light of early morning, we were fine again, and we thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our vacation together.  In fact, we traveled together again last year to Costa Rica.  Another great vacation; and you can read about it HERE.

OH, before I close... here are a few more pictures from Thailand:

Leah and me, enjoying a snack from a street vendor.


THIS is a Thai market.  As you can see, nothing like Target!  ;o)

Another market, the famous Floating Market. Amazing!

Elephant riding!

Back on Terra Firma -- YAY!  

Rafting down the river...

And here are a few more (random) photos of our Thailand vacation.  And although it is ONE HECKUVA LONG plane ride (we just about had to knock my husband OUT!) -- it is soooo worth it.   The scenery is breathtaking, the people are friendly and beautiful, the architecture AMAZING, and the food -- well, the food is simply To. Die. For.

We definitely hope to go back again one day.