Thursday, February 28, 2013

Road trip!

We just returned from a trip to the sunny state of Florida and it certainly lived up to its name! We were visiting family and our first stop on the way was a night in Destin just in time to catch the sunset before eating one of our new favorite fishes~amberjack. The next morning we had time to walk the beach with our coffee before we drove 8 more hours to Siesta Key. The Sarasota area has long been a favorite destination and our daughter Megan was married there almost 3 years ago so it was special to relive the memories and visit those places that were a part of her wedding day.

We spent the next 3 days walking one of the top beaches in the world, dining on grouper, shrimp and key lime pie, fishing, golfing, and being amazed at the sand sculptures that appeared each day. The next leg of our journey took us further south to Naples to see my dad. More golf, more delicious meals, fresh grapefruit every morning, and, no complaining here~more 80 degree sunshine! 

You can shake the sand from your toes but it never leaves your soul.

Monday, February 25, 2013

then in the night...

The talk around town, on the local news channel and even school today is the hopes of some more snow for us this evening and through the night! All of my first graders are already planning out what to do on their snow day tomorrow: "build a snowman!", "build a fort with my neighbor" and "my dad said we are getting 4 feet!!" haha! I am hoping just as much as them that we will have a SNOW DAY tomorrow- this teacher needs a day off! :)

It makes me think of one of my favorite winter books growing up, Holly Keller's Geraldine's Big Snow. I LOVED this book! The little girl is anxiously awaiting the snow to start falling and keeps asking her mom, "tell me again what dad heard on TV." :) If you haven't read it, go check it out from the library and read it. 

Then in the night it came.
Softly and quietly.
Millions of snowflakes piled up 
on houses and trees.
They made soft mounds on the 
streets and in the park...and
beautiful crystals on the windows. 

Crossing my fingers that just like in the book...

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Happy Sunday to you!

I can't belive we are about to begin the last week of February before we turn the page on our calendar to March! We finally got our first S N O W this past week on Thursday morning. It was a beautiful snowfall, unfortunately, I had to watch it fall from my classroom window with all of my first graders (and myself) wanting to go outside and play in it! No Snow Day for us though, we were back at school the next day with bizarre weather- thunder and lightning and at times freezing rain coming down from the clouds- weird!

I did get some play time in the evening with Rosie who absolutely LOVES the snow- she just runs around in it while trying to eat as much as snow as possible (before getting sick from eating too much!)

beneath the snow there were some sure signs of a close Spring coming our way!

we have also been finishing up two custom wedding maps this past week- 
one wedding that will be in Upstate New York near Lake Placid in the winter 
the other wedding being by the warm ocean in Florida this Spring. 
Here are a couple of sneak peeks...

both look like they will be beautiful weddings!

Have a wonderful last week of February- I hope we get our last taste of winter before we switch gears to SPRING- all things pastels, blooms, gardening, Easter, open windows, and the list could go on!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweet hearts

Before leaving for St. Louis last week I made some valentine cookies to take with us for the kids (big & little). In addition to this kind of sweet heart treat, we are about to celebrate all the other hearts that are sweet in our lives. As I mentioned in the last post we were heading north to celebrate a special day on Saturday~what was my mom's birthday and also the book release of my sister's first book. We met that morning at Daily Bread with some of our mom's closest friends. What a treat it was!

They were a group of six women that met through a Bible study at their church. Initially there were more like 50 women, once mom was homebound she attempted to get whoever was willing to meet at her home. These 5 special women accepted this invitation to join mom for what became their Thursday Bible study group.  Twenty nine years later they continue their weekly gatherings!

Mom, Martha, Donna, Edna, June and Tina met every week that mom was able. Some days they found her in good spirits and health with more energy. Other weeks she might be weak, or not feeling well, or needing some uplifting words from these women. My sisters and I all knew what a special bond these women had and how much our mom looked forward to those Thursdays. Sadly,  just days before we met for breakfast Tina passed away. So the four remaining women were there sharing memories with us and bringing touching and funny stories (setting a fire in the dining room during an innocent tea party) that of course we love to hear. As Donna said, "we are really sisters".  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to your sweet hearts for saying yes to mom 29 years ago!

A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart.
~Heather Pryor

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Porcelain Angel

Saturday is a special day! First, it was my Mother's birthday. Second, it is the release day of my sister's first book, Porcelain Angel

Author Allison Redfern, or as we all call her, Ali, put all of her heart and soul into this book. Mom planted the seed of keeping a journal in Ali as a young child, it rooted and grew into a full blown tree! Or book in this case. Her book "chronicles a family's triumphs, tragedies and emotions resulting from living with MS" as told through our mother's and my sister's journals. "Ultimately, Porcelain Angel is a story of love, family, and unyielding hope." 

Ali compiled all of these journal entries and wrote this story in hopes of achieving a long held goal of writing and publishing a book. In talking with her I know it was an intense learning and healing process also. For the rest of our family it is a treasure of memories, good and bad, that will help us remember our mom, grandmother, sister and aunt and also help her future great grandchildren know her story a little better.

On this day we will be celebrating Ali's accomplishment with her in St. Louis ~ the sisters,  granddaughters and several of Mom's close friends. There will probably also be a celebration of a special birthday ~ perhaps an Irish Coffee to end the day ~ just what Mom would have wanted!

 Author (and past Brownie) Allison Redfern, baby sister Carolyn, myself and Mom

Mom in one of her favorite places

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Good Morning! 

It's been a little while since we have's a peek of what we have been up to -->

playing outside with this one- she loves when we get cold days

enjoying beautiful Oklahoma skies in the evenings (and the full moon!)

here's another one that's too pretty not to share

we turned the page of the calendar to FEBRUARY!


being inspired by all things sweet, hearts, pink and red!

decorating for the month of LOVE (and using my new 'maskingtape' app)

mom's kitchen mantel

via whipperberry

deciding on my valentine to make for my 1st graders

beginning to cook our way through the smitten kitchen cookbook


doodling & designing these sweet cards for Brides to Be!


doing some more decorating in our new house and wanting to attempt one of these gorgeous poufs by amy butler

washing our hands over and over with this soap to stay HEALTHY!!

via decor8

dreaming of spring blooms (Phil did say SPRING is near)

Hope you are enjoying the start of this new month- staying warm, healthy and being showered with LOVE!