Death is for the living. Our loved ones have already moved on to their true state. With the recent deaths of two family members, I’ve been contemplating and reflecting on this final earthly step. Continue reading
This past week my mom’s mother passed away. No one else is allowed to die!! Two loved ones in a 2 1/2 week time is too much death.
The Saturday night before she passed, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, I began to remember how much time I spent with her and my grandfather in my early elementary ages. I went to her house after school almost every day, visited her several times for weeks at a time in other years, and lived with them for two months when I was 14. She also was my inspiration to be become an Esthetician. I remember being about 6 or 7, reaching up to gently touch her face, and asking her how she kept her skin so beautiful. She had the softest, most beautiful skin of anyone I’ve ever met – even on her deathbed! She told me that she had been taking care of her skin since she was a young girl, about 12 years old. She used Pond’s Cream religiously. Continue reading
How do you put into words how much a person means to you; how much they have touched your heart and life? Words don’t seem adequate enough when this special someone leaves a hole in your heart that only they could fill.
My dad, my father-in-law, took me into his heart and family when his son married me 24 years ago. I wish I knew then what I know now – this honorable, generous, loving, funny, sarcastic, stubborn, mostly right, practical joker would be my dad in more than name. He brightened our times together with his quiet, dry humor, which challenged my too-serious perspective. The joy and laughter that I so love in his son started with him, and continues today through his grandchildren, my children, which I get to enjoy every day.
My cousin was recently married and my family and I had the pleasure of helping them celebrate. It was a very sweet, lovely wedding filled with family I hadn’t seen in awhile, his family whom I have never met before, and a parcel of their friends. I’m truly happy for my cousin, since she has been waiting diligently for this man to be in her life. They seemed to complement each other, and have a lot going for them – I wish them well! Continue reading
I am now a Grandmother!! Wow!
My oldest daughter gave birth to her first child, our first grandbaby, in the first week of April. I was so blessed to be there with her as our sweet Scarlett joined us that week. How amazing it is to witness live birth, as that precious little life takes their first breath and seeks out their mother. I was awed by the experience, as it was not me giving birth and I could only watch and give verbal support to my daughter.
I now know how my husband must have felt those past four times I gave birth to our children! Amazed, humbled, scared, excited, proud, in love. 🙂
Isn’t it amazing how we humans have this amazing capacity to love, love deeply, and expand our love to include others, either in our immediate circle or outside of it? When we put aside our ego, love is able to shine, reaching into every corner of everyone’s heart whom we shine on.
Anyhow, I am so proud of my daughter’s spirit, wisdom, strength, and persistence as she stepped into this new chapter in her life – motherhood. She was amazingly strong in mind and body throughout her 24-hour labor, and I’m thrilled with how she has stepped up to the plate of responsibility – way more smoothly than I did! Her husband has also made us proud to call him son. He takes very good care of them both and it’s a joy to watch him with his daughter!
I am so excited to be this little one’s Glamma!
Did you watch Disney’s animated “Beauty & The Beast” 1991 film as a child, or perhaps as an adult with, or without, children? Were you swept away, as I was (and am every time I watch it!), into the magical romance of Belle and the Beast?
I didn’t get to watch it until after I married and had our first child, and even then she was around 2 or 3 years old. So roughly 1999 or 2000 was when I saw it for the first time. It has always touched me more than any other princess story that Disney has made to this date. Even more than Frozen or Moana. And I love me some Disney!
The story of redemption is so beautifully told in Beauty & the Beast. The ugly, selfish soul who cares naught for anyone but itself, has everything of value taken away, condemned to live in a miserable state without a choice in the matter. Along comes a light into this misery, a soul who looks beyond the exterior into the heart. Despite their own freedom taken away, this giving, loving soul reaches out to the lost one, slowly showing the way out of that hell hole. At the end, loving self sacrifice redeems all, bringing life back into what was dead. So beautiful how it tells the story of Jesus redeeming all mankind!
I was disappointed in a section of the Christian community when it condemned the movie as sinful, homosexual and unfit for any “right” thinking Christian. How very bullying of them, to be sure! I guess the “leaders” think that people can’t be discerning for themselves. That folks can’t hear from God themselves, and/or can’t be trusted to do what the leaders want them to do. It’s disappointing when people you know, like, and respect decide to not think for themselves, experience for themselves, or make decisions based on facts and personal experience, but instead decide to swallow wholesale what the crowd, led by those in power and “authority”, decide everyone else aught to do and think.
Don’t be like the mainstream! Think for yourself, experience for yourself and decide for yourself! Whatever subject it is, you won’t be disappointed because you have the light of love inside you as your guide.
And go see Disney’s live-action retelling of their original, “Beauty & the Beast”! It’s spectacular!
What a great year 2016 was for me and my family!
It started off with a bang when we had over 75 people attend our daughter’s engagement party at the first of the year. I didn’t know our home could hold that many people! We felt very honored that so many of our friends came to celebrate with us. The celebrations continued over the next couple of months leading up to their wedding in April.
This is one of my favorite times of the year because I love giving gifts and celebrating the freedom that Jesus brought to us all. Like most traditional Christian families teach, I was taught that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. But I also knew about Santa Claus, though not the history of the real person, Saint Nicholaus, which is supposedly what the legend of Santa Claus is built on. Every culture seems to have its “Santa Claus” though. I think it’s because we all need to slow down, think of others before ourselves, and extend the love of God that lives inside all of us. If, and when, we look inside ourselves, we feel the pull and tug of His eternal love longing to be given to each other. It doesn’t have to be gifts of money or things. In fact, when we give based on what we thoughtfully see someone needs or wants, that person feels truly loved. Sometimes it’s the gift of your time spent listening to the other person. Or noticing that someone can’t pay for an item in their grocery cart and buying it for them. Donating your time at a soup kitchen, or simply smiling at everyone you pass by. I try to remind myself that I don’t know what someone else’s day has held, and kindness could change the way it’s going. I hope your holiday season is filled with opportunities to spread kindness and love to all you come in contact with, and that you are surrounded with loving family and friends!
About a month or so ago I received a letter from my dad, unexpectedly. His opening paragraph had me chuckling – chuckling in amazement that, once again, he proves my point about his narcissism. Oh, on the surface of it, it seems harmless and as though he truly wants to restore a relationship with me and my family. But read closely. Can you spot the problems? (Please keep in mind that I’ve had no other communication with my parents since their last email, which addressed my 12 page letter to them. And this letter was hand written.)
“Chris and Alexa,
Wow! Can you believe it’s been over twenty years since you two were married. We’ve experienced a lot of life during that time and seen a lot of ups and downs. Stuff like raising kids, financial valleys (for us including shutting down two companies and bankruptcy), moving, building house, marriage of kids and grand babies, spiritual awakenings, and lots of emotions. Life doesn’t slow down and yet we’re always facing forward and choosing to Rejoice in The Lord through it all. Continue reading
Yep, that’s me, smoking a cigar, and, yes, I sometimes drink out of a pirate mug that we bought on one of our holidays in Savanah, GA. 🙂
Tonight has been a wonderful night for sitting on our back porch, relaxing and enjoying cigars with rum punch. It’s about 74 degrees here with a slight breeze, and the screens ensure the mosquitos can’t suck our blood. Occasionally, the cricket’s songs are punctuated by the neighbor’s horse, well, neighing. I would have called it whickering, but since it lives about a quarter mile from us, it is a bit louder than that. Nevertheless, it’s a pleasant compliment to the evening sounds.
This is one of the reasons my husband has worked so hard to provide us with this fabulous retreat we call home. Every time I pull up the long, winding driveway to my home I think, “Wow! I live here?!” We’ve lived here in the peaceful country for a little over four years now and I’ve loved every minute of it. The spaciousness of my home, the privacy away from prying eyes, the attention to details that were/are important to us – and I get to share it all with the people I love!
I don’t think I can ever thank my husband enough for all his hard work making our dream come true. He is a wonderful provider!
Smoking cigars and drinking together has long been one of our favorite pastimes, and I feel immensely blessed that we can share it with each other.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? I’d love to hear from you!