Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve 2013

(NewtonPendulum) 2013/2014
The last day of the year of our Lord 2013 has arrived!  Many good things have happened over the past year... the last few months (and days!) of the year have brought trials and tribulations... Am very hopeful that 2014 shall help return everyone to a good place, better health, more time with family and friends, everything positive that is wanted/needed!
Ocean waves washing away 2013 and leaving a new 2014 (NYE)

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a desktop calendar for 2014 of Downton Abbey!  Season Four of Downton starts on PBS here in CA in just a few short days - and I have yet to finish re-watching all of the first three seasons to catch up and get back into the wonderful world of Downton!  Shall have to get right on that...
Downton Abbey 2014 Desktop Calendar
Have a good (and safe) New Year's Eve and may tomorrow be the start of a wonderful New Year for all!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Flowers for a birthday

A gift of assorted goodies topped by adorable tiny purple flowers for another December birthday! Happy Birthday to a family member of mine!  (Also yes - I reused a Christmas gift bag.  New gifts that were wanted and appreciated though so yay!)

Oh, I have been wanting a good roast beef dip (on a good french roll of course) so I went to The Hat yesterday and picked up a late dinner for myself - yum!  Difficult to believe tomorrow is already New Year's Eve!  "Another summer's day has come and gone away; In even Paris and Rome, and I want to go home; Let me go home" (Michael Buble) ... Lots of holiday songs in my head, particularly "Silver Bells"!!  If I am not concentrating on something (or don't have background noise on) that has been my mind's "go to" song this entire month : )

Planning on staying in for New Year's Eve and instead of going out to the Rose Parade (although we have had GREAT weather this Christmas week - low to mid 70s!) I think I shall watch the last minute prep and the parade itself on television.  Also the ball drop in Time's Square (in case that was not a given). Looking forward to what everyone is up to and hoping to catch a few more people before this year comes to an end... also, of course, go to at least one more bookstore and make another trip to the library!

P.S. No news from my sister (so none of my nephew, over a month now) and also only have one day left until two of two weeks waiting for test results to return... They would not hold colposcopy results over New Year's - would they?  *sighs*  I need to learn patience and how to just relax/let it go

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Optimist (def.)

"OPTIMIST: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward
is not a disaster, it's more like a Cha-Cha"

"OPTIMIST: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a Cha-Cha" 

(Please send some prayers/positive vibes if you have any to spare ~ Thank You ... no colposcopy results still as well as nothing from my sister and nephew)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28th

Example of a Completed Christmas Day Advent Wreath
(purple.purple.pink.purple.white) ~ the single white
candle in the center is added on Christmas Eve and
lit at midnight/on Christmas Day to celebrate
the birth of Jesus
So today's image is an example of a completed Advent Wreath (lit on Christmas Day ~ the single white candle in the center is usually added on Christmas eve and is lit at midnight/on Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Jesus)

Today I am also remembering YESTERDAY, December 27th, 2013

One: We had dinner with some of my Dad's side of the family and it was lovely!! (Christmas Day we celebrate usually with a brunch, with my Mom's side of the family ~ it was also lovely!!)

Two: Dec. 27th my nephew (Baby K) turned three months old.  As prior posts have noted, on Christmas Eve my only sister decided suddenly (because yes, a plan to pick up her new family of three so they could celebrate for at least an hour before going out of town to spend time with the baby's father's side of the family)... ahem. Christmas Eve my sister changed plans and instead of time together for the first time since Thanksgiving, myself, our parents (baby K's grandparents AND godparents) along with everyone else on Baby K's mom's side of the family has not gotten to see or hear from any of them.  With the exception of the heated texts on Christmas Eve (because instead of the three of them, she wanted his whole family to come over and decided to say that at about 9pm -- then took back all visiting possibilities and stated that we would more or less be lucky to see him before, at, or after the new year).  STILL NO BABY K, NO SISTER, NO CONTACT. 

Hurt yet starting to be able to move past it -- with tiny steps at least :  (

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Pretty Tree
Trying to not let things get to me.

Waiting... to figure out how to let go of the way my sister lives her life (and therefore how she controls that we have not seen - even in photos - the first grandson/nephew for a third of his life. Technically tomorrow actually, he was born the 27th, not the 26th.  But really, no response on baby's FIRST CHRISTMAS!???)

Waiting... for test results to see if more procedures are to be done or if I am to sit and wait for a few more months then be tested again (and again and again)... At least I am honestly not worried at all about the results.  As far as I know I can only fall into two categories and I can deal with either one -- I just really am disliking this waiting stuff.

Waiting... to return to a positive, faith filled, hopeful person.  I try, yet I know I was at the very least a bit of a drag on Christmas Day this year (which I hated, but again, am waiting to be able to move past things I have no control over).

Waiting... so that I can be a great aunt (I know how to be, just not receiving the opportunity)

Waiting... to have dinner with some family from the other half of my family tree tomorrow night (Also hoping I can at least pretend to be a bit more cheerful than I was on Christmas Day -- I did try and smiled and talked but it just felt like a day of loss and I cannot get out of this funk yet).

Waiting... for a long-time friend (five years) to let me know that the move back to Chicago went alright and to be okay with knowing I cannot visit from CA -- at least not in the near future! Those five years sure did fly by fast...

Waiting... for the new year because hopefully I will have actually moved on and am no longer pretending as I have been the past week

Happy Boxing Day Everyone! (Day After Christmas)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

So yesterday THIS happened... Prayers/understanding/support/love please??

Want to wish you all a Merry Christmas...

First ever photo Christmas Card (how did we avoid it all these years??)
Bottom row of 3: Four generations; Family dog; Mom C with son Baby K

Most ADORABLE photo to come from my nephew (Baby K's) photos taken the day before Thanksgiving
Baby K's First Christmas (2013)

Love, Happiness, Family, Friends, Life, also a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

UPDATE AT 9:45pm -- no contact from my sister still. No visit, no call, no text, not even a Christmas photo... Today was an absolute LOSS day which just sucks.  After the relatives left I curled up in bed and cried myself to sleep.  I cannot seem to give up and trust in God that things will work.  I kept hoping and praying all day -- both to let it go, and to have them come by (or at least make contact!!!)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Disappointing/Hurtful Christmas Eve

Yesterday I was happy, excited, and had what I thought were realistic expectations. Today, a couple (or more) episodes of Downton Abbey with my mom and aunt.  My mom and I were both sorry that my aunt changed her mind about coming by but we understand she is busy.

The Disappointing/Hurtful Christmas Eve comes from -- wait for it -- my sister.  She got into a large and hurtful argument with my mom (who was simply reminding her of our offer to pick up my sister, her son, and the baby's father)... My sister said many unkind things and ended up declaring that no ride was needed -- none of them were coming for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, nor anytime in the near future.  We are apparently (IN HER MIND) not "worth" visiting since she decided (ON HER OWN) to only spend Thanksgiving with our side of the family (and not the baby's father's side of the family -- although she is living with them).

So the last time my sister and nephew came (aside from a few hours after a doctor visit the Monday after Thanksgiving) was on Thanksgiving Day.  They both stayed a few days then went back to the father's parents apartment.  Have not seen (in person nor in photos) either of them for nearly an entire month now. 

Plus, "to add insult to injury" as one might say, my sister also decided that instead of "allowing" us to drive her to work this Friday -- she had agreed we could watch the baby overnight for the first time ever (after saying she was "just joking" before when she sent a text saying none of us could watch the baby overnight ever because he had to stay where he could be taken care of -- !?!?!?!?!?!).... Anyway, my sister stated that since the baby's father's entire family could not join our immediate family brunch on Christmas Day that none of us are able to see nor the baby this holiday season.  The baby's father is supposed to re-enter rehab yet again on Dec. 30th so we shall see how long she will remain in the apartment with the baby, the baby's father's mother, and her two dogs.

In case you think I am blowing things out of proportion, being so hurt and upset about the new family of three not coming over for an hour or two on the baby's first Christmas -- they had planned (and will be going) to a Christmas Day afternoon/evening/overnight with the baby's father's side of the family (held at one of his cousins house).  We are blessed that God sent the most adorable little nephew/grandson -- yet I am so stuck on the fact that we are blocked from seeing him -- we love him and are absolutely more than capable of watching him!  My sister has a room here and the baby has his own space/clothing/books/etc which we provide for them...

Calling it a night. Going to help finish wrapping up some gifts and then try to get sleep.

Merry Christmas Eve -- may yours be MUCH better than mine! ::HUGS::

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Decorations Done!

The month of December has been so filled -- difficult to believe but the last time I shared photos of what the Christmas Decorations looked like this year was on the 3rd -- exactly twenty days ago! Now that I shared the link to that post (in case you wanted to see what was going on then). Today, Christmas Adam, I am sharing the last of the decorations -- mostly garlands!
Garland (from kitchen looking into dining room)
Garland (from dining room looking into kitchen)
Holiday mugs and two reindeer on top of the bar in the dining room
(Can you read the black and gold sign on the inside top shelf?
Garland (from dining room looking into living room)
Standing in living room looking at decorated garlands
 (living room to dining room to kitchen)

Last but certainly not least -- the completely decorated Christmas Tree!
Christmas Tree 2013 (in the corner of the family room)

Just wanted to add that the garlands do have lights on [at night] ~ Pretty!

I think that is it for Christmas 2013! (Unless gifts are ornaments that is!)

P.S. Guess what?? Apparently my aunt, my mom, and myself are going to have a Christmas Eve Marathon of Downton Abbey!! At least season one, hopefully season two as well (not likely, but we shall try) -- the Marathon will continue through the end of season three because SEASON FOUR OF DOWNTON ABBEY STARTS IN JANUARY 2014!! Huzzah!! ...Yep, got carried away.  GREAT show for anyone who has not seen it... What was I rambling on about?  Oh yes, that at the least the three of us shall continue cramming in the first three seasons before New Year's Day : )

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advent Week Four

Advent Week Four - December 2013
Wow ~ all four candles lit!  Just a few days left now... Christmas "Adam" (Dec. 23rd) ... Christmas Eve (Dec. 24th) ... then Christmas Day (Dec. 25th)! I think I have written this on every Advent post this year, but the past week seems to have flown by!

Yesterday was a bit of a conflicting day -- on one hand, I did VERY well until nearly five in the afternoon -- on the other hand the evening my body was really fighting and so today has really been a pj/bed/food/restroom/bed/bed/bed type of a day.  Nothing urgent on the agenda prior to Christmas Eve mass though, so today was an excellent day to rest and hopefully nothing negative will disturb tomorrow either... Oh!  I have been working (with paper and pencil) to get the details nailed into place for both sides of my family tree!  Just from both sets of my own grandparents through all of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; however it has been a project!

Had initially been trying to finish before Christmas, and I think perhaps I shall be able to have the paper and pencil version completed by then.  New plan is to find time and a computer program that will allow me to somehow shrink everything yet still make it easily read-able.  Currently I think I am up to four or five pages (for each side of my family tree) running length-wise on regular 8.5" by 11" lined paper.  Would very much like the printed version to have individual photos... Shall see how it works out!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and THANK YOU to everyone who has been keeping me in thoughts/prayers/good vibes -- no test results yet but this week I should get news of some sort.  Not the best timing, but it is better than waiting, right?

Shall try to get in the posts about my cousin R's wedding and my nephew K's baptism soon! (Also one about my day trip yesterday - lots of holiday cheer!)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Today I had a surprise holiday trip!

Yes, you read that correctly, I was taken on a surprise day trip to...
Disney's CA Adventure!
 DISNEY TOOK UP MOST OF TODAY!  YAY!  Full post later on, just one tree for now to tide you over:
Disneyland California Resort Lobby Tree

Took a hot shower, am in comfy pj's and just dropped by to say hi and goodnight!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Small Christmas Tree

2013 Small Christmas Tree
Look how cute!  After my procedure the other day, I was given the gift of a cute pre-lit four foot Christmas tree so I got two boxes of ornaments from biglots/pickandsave (ended up only using one box so far -- clear ornaments with white paint and white/clear-ish glitter) so the point of this insanely incorrect sentence is that I have a cute little tree in front of one of my windows that is all white and silver and cute!  I also got a lovely holiday card from my friend Amy -- THANK YOU AMY! -- that arrived at the perfect time to help lift my spirits : )  Am back in the holiday spirit, putting my worries/stresses in God's hands and returning to holiday posts tomorrow!  Lots of love and positive thoughts to all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blurry Me (Previous Christmas)

Blurry Me (Previous Christmas - two years ago?)

Three weeks today ... Missing my nephew and frustrated/hurt/mad/confused

Cramping stopped, still bleeding but only a little

Prayers/positive vibes if you can???

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One step at a time

"one step at a time"
"I will trust God even in the silence"
"Always smile back at little children.
To ignore them is to destroy their belief
that the world is good"

Hello -- just taking it easy so here are a few images with quotes that I like (and that I may or may not have posted onto this blog already!)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In all thy ways...

In all thy ways acknowledge him
and he shall direct thy paths"
"When I am afraid I put my trust in you"

Having a colposcopy done today -- trying (as always before anything medical nowadays) to remain in a good mindset and know that everything happens for a reason.  Even if I do not know what it is nor why I am involved.  Any extra prayers/positive thoughts will be greatly appreciated!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Colposcopy and missing my nephew


So tomorrow I have to get a colposcopy done (for those who have not had one it is along the lines of a regular PAP except a bit more invasive -- more physical samples, etc).  Have been trying to avoid thinking about it and... well, it's tomorrow so I did well for a while.

Still missing my nephew, Baby K.  Photo above is from his second time visiting (Oct 22nd??) Realized that aside from the few hours he was here on Dec. 2nd, diagnosed with a mild case of thrush and also trying to fight off the effects of his first round of shots... Thanksgiving Day was the last time I saw him or my sister.  Would be so nice to have a busy baby to distract me from facts like I cannot support myself, huge chance I cannot get pregnant ever (at least not in the next decade, which puts me close to 41 years -- because of my medical stuff and medications for it), also since I can't take care of myself that puts adoption and surrogacy very far out of reach... So when I say that I am never going to have a child of my own, it hurts.  Mainly because I never wanted to be anything other than a mother.  Seriously, when I was around four years old I decided I wanted to be a mom and since turning seven years old I would help with family and friends babies, moved "up" to mother's helper (parent was home but I was in charge of the child) then "up" again to full-time babysitter.  Also worked for Recreation and Parks for City of Los Angeles for over a decade -- although my favorite age group is 0 to four years.

Yep.  Absolutely rambling this past week.  Does help to share... I will post about my cousin R getting married (lots of photos!) and Baby K. getting baptized (a few photos).  Tomorrow I don't know, maybe just a photo of flowers and asking selfishly for some positive thoughts/prayers?  Also since I am reaching, an excellent colposcopy (meaning they do NOT find what they are re-looking for, it magically disappeared?) and that my sister WANTS to happily visit and Baby K comes along and wants to see his Tia.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Advent Week Three

Advent Week Three - December 2013

Just like that, another week flashes by.  We are now in the third week of Advent! Perhaps if I loved every month like I do December, (with holiday spirit, decorations, Christmas), every year would fly by...

I am very thankful for my family and friends...

Currently feeling a little too tired

Love, prayers, faith and hope

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sandy Hook, Missing Baby K, and Christmas Decorations

A year ago today I could not find the words to write anything down, so I found an image online and prayed for everyone who was hearing about Sandy Hook (including myself), however particularly for those who were so closely connected with the horror story that resonates with nearly everyone who heard about it.  A week later I posted this and since then have tried to focus on the positive things in life.  On a first anniversary though... prayers, another secret act of kindness, and again trying to focus on Christmas. Faith, love, hope, support, and many prayers go to all who need them - whether they are asked for or not.

Today I am missing my nephew, Baby K. (Which reminds me, I have not yet posted about his baptism! Perhaps this week).  How do I phrase this... Baby K's father and his family have, in my very biased opinion, a type of "hold" over my sister.  This saddens me not only because there are often long periods of time without communication, but at this moment in time I have not heard from her/about her/seen her for twelve days now. (As explained here I think I only got to see him then because he was sick and my sister needed to sleep -- am so thankful they came and I could help for at least half of a day)  Prior to my nephew being born I would usually be successful at different techniques that help me to let go and understand that it is her life.  Now however... I find myself hurt and resentful that my parents and I are not being included...  It is stressful to know that Baby K is loved and wanted yet being kept from me -- literally no communication and to not at least get a photo... I think what I really hate is that my sister pulls away, and that having the only baby (only grandchild -- PLUS my parents are his only godparents! more in the baptism post) ... I allow my sister to hurt me and hurt my feelings by treating me as though I did something wrong.  In this particular instance the "hold" (or "influence"?) that she is under is keeping her parents and her only sister from Baby K.  I know she loves us, and I know we are good influences for her and the baby.  (His father, on the other hand, keeps walking out of court-ordered rehab after he was released from jail, and is not always around to help my sister with their less-than-three-months-old baby boy which FRUSTRATES ME).  Photo below shows how long my hair was last month!  I just had about four inches trimmed off, am considering returning to a chin-length bob or at least getting a shoulder-length cut (not sure yet).
Tia J with Baby K trying on his first Halloween bib!
I need to end my rant because I am simply too hurt by various actions (and lack of actions) to continue.  I do not want to hurt anyone by saying things that I know or sharing too much.  I am thankful that my nephew is being loved, even if he is not in what I personally believe is a great environment, and I know there is a better option, but I am not his mother.  I also know that he is not being physically harmed.  I just love him and my sister so very much that I want to help/do the best I can... Being ignored and cut off just frustrates and hurts my soul... perhaps I should allow it to damage my relationship with my sister but I care too much.  Also I would never want to get in the way of one day being able to help my nephew. Even if I have to hurt and wait, eventually I know his Tia (his aunt) will be needed.  So I shall try to be a quiet doormat, and always remain a loving family member because I cannot change another's decision process (nor influences).

The first photo of Baby K, his mom, and myself (March 4, 2013)
C's first ever ultrasound! (Standing with my sister as she
holds her very first child's photo on March 4, 2013)
Today the tree has all of it's ornaments (including a CUTE gift of ceramic baby shoes with blue decoration that say "Baby's First Christmas" and "2013" while tied together with baby blue ribbon)... also garlands are up and decorated in the archway between the living room/dining room and between the dining room/kitchen.  If you were following me last year this sounds very familiar -- not to worry, same garland tradition for well over a decade!  Helps to spread Christmas cheer around the house and ornaments are not confined to the tree *smiles*
Barely visible writing says "Baby's First Christmas"!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pope Francis I, Our Lady of Guadalupe, a new death, remembering a death

So yesterday I (obviously!) posted a very, very, VERY long rant/ramblings/spewing thoughts -- it was something that I was a bit scared to actually hit the "publish" button because I realize that this can be read by anyone in the entire world at any time.  However it really is beneficial for me to just let everything out sometimes, and it was the right choice because I FINALLY slept for just over eight hours last night and have been rested and relaxed all day!

Alright, four topics in the title to cover: day before yesterday a close relative passed away, but she had been ill for what felt like a long time and she was ready to move on.  God gave her a bit of extra time and so more family were able to visit which was a blessing...

Yesterday, December 12th was a Feast Day for several people I know/knew -- it was also the official Catholic Feast Day for Our Lady of Guadalupe. There are many images, many websites, many different ways to find her if you search -- but you are here so I want to send you to two links, if you have the time. First, from the Vatican Radio Pope Francis sent a message to the Americas. (If you do a quick g.oo.gle search you can watch the video of the Holy Father speaking -- but this site has it translated into English and typed out so it is likely to be more convenient for most). Second, a new find for me (yes, I am apparently MUCH more lazy than I think) - from catholicculture.org they have daily readings, activities, etc and the link to the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is wonderful (also short and to the point in case you are not very faithful). The image below I have lovingly borrowed from them, so you are already familiar with an aspect of the page...
Three sentences taken from their page which summarize her story: "She appeared to an Indian convert named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe."

Time Magazine picked their person of the year and I am thrilled to share that it is Pope Francis I -- (you can read my post when he was chosen to become the new Pope if you would like)!  He has done so much for Catholics but also importantly he reminds me of Jesus, really reaching out to all people, everywhere.  He is a role model I can only aspire to reach a level of his authenticity.

Also, finally, today, December 13th... It has been eighteen years since we lost "Aba" and she too was blessed to join God and leave her earthly struggles behind.  I posted about losing my grandpa exactly eighteen years ago earlier this year... This time I remember the day, the exact hour, the exact minute when Aba took her last breath at home, surrounded by so many of us.

That is all for today -- between yesterday and today I have shared so much. If you did not read yesterday's post please try to get through some of it and leave me your opinion/views/similar stories/something.  I feel quite worn out today.  Mostly in a good way, but a bit wary that I blurted out so much.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Being pregnant and getting married

*If the title did not warn you, this ramble/rant/post is going to contain information regarding pregnancy and marriage so if either are on your list to currently avoid, or if your life journey makes either topic difficult for you -- PLEASE skip this and know I am not offended in any way, I respect whatever your blog decisions are and I do have other, less sensitive posts*

So.  Yes.  Where to start.  I think I have mentioned a couple of times that I had a rant coming, a rambling post, a couple of things I wanted to share with the hopes that writing out the words will keep them from sitting like a pot on the back burner of the stove that is part of my brain, continuously thinking even when I actively attempt to pursue another endevor.

To clarify the title: no, I am not pregnant, and no, I am not getting married. (Not dating even - although there are two guys who have been on my mind recently). However, there are multiple cousins on both sides of my family (on one side there are eight cousins, on the other side there are nine cousins) who have gotten married or who have a child between 0 and 4 years.  Also a few have bought their own homes.

Now this does not sound remarkable, and is quite normal in many, many aspects.  However two things happened in the last ten days.  One: I re-found the only existing photo that has every single cousin in it on my Dad's side of the family. (It was taken at his father, my grandfather's, funeral.  As the oldest I was three days past my twelfth birthday, and the youngest cousin was a mere 15 days old). Two: a cousin from my mom's side of the family (who has a three-year-old) confidently and casually posted on F.B. that she is seven weeks pregnant with her second child -- and she thinks it is a girl.

*breathe in, breath out, breathe in, breathe out*

I can only write about this here because many of you who drop by KNOW, as I think only the wife of one of my cousins (well, he knows obviously), that getting a positive pregnancy test does not always end in a happily ever after baby. One of my family members happened to wander in the room and asked what I was looking at, I told them about the pregnancy announcement.  Then, apparently, I made a mistake.

With the photo from the funeral still fresh in my mind (which I mentioned), I started going through ALL of my cousins and realized that on one side of the family (out of eight of us) there are only three who are not married and/or have a child.  Myself (30 years), a ten-year-old, and a four-year-old.  On the other side of the family (out of nine cousins) there are only s;kalsjkdf who are not married and/or have a child. Myself (30) and three others (and two of those three are in long-term relationships).

The family member who I told this to looked at me with a combination of looks/sounds in their voice but the ones that were most obvious were incredulity, pity, confusion, and disbelief.  "Is that REALLY what you see/think? About who is married and/or has a child?"

I almost cried.  No, I waited until I was settled for the night, then I did sit and cry, drank a mug of tea, then went to bed.

They did not mean to make me feel badly.  They simply believed that I was absolutely over-reacting.  Part of me wonders if I really am, but part of me knows that I am not over-reacting because the half of the family that I spend most of the time with is the side where all the cousins (aside from myself) have at least one child and/or are married -- or are 10 and 4.  Three great-grandchildren on that side of the family, so aside from me (30 years) the only other non-married non-children are literally ages 10, 4, 4, 3, and just under three months old.  So YES, I see the world differently

Also for those of you who I have not shared with -- I developed a health issue during college that has something like a 99.8 percent chance of sticking with me until I die.  I am very blessed and lucky in so many ways because I currently have it under control and take medications twice a day, every day, for the past nine and a half years and shall continue to take medication to keep it under control (hopefully) for the next few decades of my life.  That was not the case when it first developed, I think back most days and I believe I have three years of fuzzy/missing memories.  Except, of course, things like having electrodes glued to my scalp for overnight testing -- and therefore experiencing a lopsided turban of white gauze balancing precariously on my head... visits from family and friends that I only know happened because there was a box of See's Candy left for me or a card with a handwritten note...

Wow.  This sounds like a sad tale.  It is not really.  I am absolutely happy that my family/extended family has been so blessed.  I love that I am now not only a godmother (which is a huge blessing) but also an aunt (which is another huge blessing).  I am loved and cherished by two of the very best parents in the world, as well as having grandparents, other relatives, friends, family friends, church friends, etc who would pretty much do anything if I asked them for their help.

Sometimes though, when someone asks me if I really see the world a certain way, I guess I stop and wonder if somehow I do take things too far.  I know I think all the time, but I did not realize I would feel hurt, when asked, almost as though salt was being rubbed into an open wound that I did not know existed.

Yep.  LONG LONG LONG rant/ramblings.

For the record I do not obsessively go over things I have just typed out -- I really do try to live as full a life as I can every day and I love the holidays particularly because it provides me with more opportunities to hang out with family and friends who might otherwise not have enough time... the month of December, I have found, is the month that most people are willing to step out of their normal routine and spend a little extra time doing pointless nothings -- which are all the more important because of extra time spent together.  Somehow there is never enough time in life, no matter how short or how long that life is

Stop. Smile. Breathe. Life is Beautiful.
"Stop. Smile. Breathe. Life is Beautiful."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

5 Important Habits

Okay, today I really want to share with you an article I read by Forbes -- but then a fellow blogger (click here to read her blog: Sipping Lemonade) not only took the exact article, but ran with it by putting in her personal daily notes and sharing her post:

Sipping Lemonade "5 Important Habits For People Who Run Countries, Companies, and Carpools"

Would like to thank her for her post (and I should thank Forbes as well I suppose!) ... am going to give a sneak peak of my cousin R's wedding to C because I keep saying I will blog about it. Blog post is coming shortly, but to tide you over...

Two photos, from engagement shoot, then wedding day (by the quality you can tell they were professionally done and they look beautiful!  Am glad my cousin -- and her husband! -- shared them with us)!!
One of R and C's engagement photos!
One of R and C's Wedding Day Photos!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I know I am late posting today... Have been trying to get back to doing a post a day again, which is good for me... Unfortunately my mind has so many things going on and I cannot get it to turn off... I have a long rambling rant of a post (relates to pregnancy/marriage/casual FB posts) - as well as many photos from my one (unexpected and therefore extra special) trip to France a couple years back.

Since I cannot settle I am sharing a You.Tube clip of sisters (both in real life and on the show) from the tv show Nashville.  Their mom is a famous country singer (I LOVE country music and Christmas music!!!) and one night she lets her daughters do sound check.  The sisters sing (and play) the song "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers... Technically I think the phrase to use is "the sisters covered the song 'Ho Hey' by the Lumineers" -- anyway, here it is (hopefully -- if it does not show up perhaps you can at least see the link?)


P.S. Other favorite tv shows at the moment include BONES, Revenge, Covert Affairs, Scandal, and re-runs of Friends.  You know, just in case you had the urgent need to know what I am recording recently. Okay, going before THIS turns into more rambling! Happy December!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A kitchen remodel (Part II)

"Next post will have cabinet instillation day, new counters, new appliances, and lovely back splash/lights to finish off the remodeled kitchen!!"

Had to take a day in between posts to recognize Pearl Harbor... And then another post because it is already the second week in Advent, so halfway through the Christmas season (which will be over too soon!!)

Now to conclude with the remodel of my aunt and uncle's kitchen... Old was all torn out; walls, pot lights, tile floor all new... Onto cabinet day!
Standing facing new dining room (standing with back to rest of house
- to the right is unseen living room) View of both sides of new kitchen!
Standing in new dining room doorway looking into new tile floor kitchen
on Cabinet Installation Day (LEFT HALF OF NEW KITCHEN)
Standing in new dining room doorway looking into new tile floor kitchen
(RIGHT HALF OF NEW KITCHEN) and some of the left half too

Quick peek into the garage on cabinet installation day...
Shows that waiting in two lines are all new counter tops, a large fridge,
spacious double ovens, a dishwasher, a range cooktop plus hood!

Shortly after cabinet day the counters and all the appliances (except the fridge) went in...
Right side of the kitchen (standing facing new larger dining room entry)
with double sinks, dishwasher, and blinds all in place! -- lowered office counter too!
Left side of the kitchen (view from just inside living room entrance looking at
dining room (btwn fridge and dining room space now for a pantry since wall was moved)
View from living room looking at dining room; can see left half of kitchen
(not visible is space to the right of the fridge now for a pantry) and new bar!
New separate pantry created so new shelves installed

What kitchen remodel would be complete without a back-splash?  A gorgeous glass (assorted brown, blue, and cream) rectangle pattern was chosen for the left side of the kitchen - and it runs from the counter up to the ceiling

Final touches - all the lights are installed and working!
Final view from living room into ALL NEW KITCHEN (only items missing that are
in the kitchen now are the 2 bar seats and the coffee maker/grinder on the counter)
Left side of the kitchen - a bit too close up?
(Note the fridge is in - sticks out a tiny bit from ovens)
Taking a close look at the backsplash and stove hood
(technically two of the ceiling cabinets also)

With that, the kitchen remodel is now finished!  Hope everyone enjoyed the compressed kitchen remodel posts (MANY weeks in just two posts)!

P.S.  Two BEFORE PHOTOS... and THE after photo!

Standing in living room looking at old kitchen
Standing in the living room doorway looking at
old kitchen (prior to wall being opened in remodel)

Standing in the living room looking at new kitchen!