Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throw-back Thursday Stories: Da Boyz

This is technically two photos, but they're related. Three of the boys in the photo are graduating from high school on Saturday and the other one (mine, third from the left), just finished his freshman year in college. Sniff!

These boys have never known a time when they didn't know each other. They were all born within nine months of each other and their parents have been friends since newlywed days. They have wrestled like little puppies on the floor, stolen each other's toys, spent countless nights at each others' houses, celebrated birthdays together, played endless games of basketball, football, baseball . . . you name it. They played on teams together in various sports. They have been raised in church together and have gone to camp together. Oh my goodness, I need to stop before I really have to find the box of Kleenex!

The top photo was taken when they were about 4 years old at a Mother's Day picnic. Our families spread out blankets and ate supper together while we listened to some great music at the fundraiser. The boys played a game of football over to the side, getting all sweaty and smelly like little boys do.

Years later, maybe 10 or so, one of the moms was able to recreate the poses one night when the boys were spending the night at her family's house. I love how the smiles of the two in the middle really haven't changed, except for having their permanent teeth and braces. I love how these boys grew up being buddies.

I've talked to two of the other moms this week and the general consensus is that we'll probably all be emotional puddles on Graduation Day. I feel it and I didn't give birth to the three who are in the Class of 2014! Congratulations of all of these boys who have become awesome young men!

(I'm linking up with The Mom Creative for her series called "Throwback Thursday Stories: The story behind the photos.")

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


My storm door on the back of the house was FINALLY installed today! YAY! I was really beginning to wonder if it was ever going to happen.

I guess I shouldn't bore my faithful readers (thanks, Mom) with the details (especially since some already know all about it), but basically, I bought a door at Lowe's at the end of March, anticipating that it would be installed a couple of weeks later. Unfortunately, I was given the wrong measurements, so I ordered the wrong size door, so the first attempt to install it ended in taking that door back and reordering the correct size.

When door #2 came in, the people who I had originally hired to install it, were slow in making time for me, so I decided to get the store's installers to do it. They were a little slow as well, but it's done. And I love it!

Old door

New door

Now to set up the deck furniture and start enjoying it this season . . . finally!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throw-back Thursday Stories: Mother and Daughter

Since last Sunday was Mother's Day and this week marked the 25th anniversary of my college graduation, I thought I'd write about this photo.

I really don't remember who took this photo, but it was taken in my college dorm room before I headed down to get in line for the graduation processional. My mom, dad, grandparents, aunt and uncle came to Nashville (my sister was attending Belmont at that time) for the big event. My grandparents, Maw-Maw and Granddaddy, were so excited to get to see Nashville in person (they had visited years before) and got to go see the Opryland Hotel while they were in town. That might have been a bigger highlight than seeing me graduate, or at least came in as a close second!

What I love about this photo is the love between my mom and I that was captured on film. I had spent four years 1000+ miles away from home, including summers, and I was getting ready to spend that summer working at a camp in West Tennessee. My mom and dad never held me back or tried to manipulate me in any way when I told them my plans for being away from home. I always knew that they were there for me and were my "home base," and I never doubted that they loved me. This photo demonstrates now my mom nurtured me and helped me when needed.

My mom gave me a framed print that reads, "Mothers hold their children's hands for a while, their hearts forever." I know this is true for my mother and me. I'm thankful that we are able to live near each other now and that I still know that my mom loves me and we are able to help each other when needed.

(I'm linking up with The Mom Creative for her series called "Throwback Thursday Stories: The story behind the photos.")

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

25 years! What???

This happened 25 years ago today!
It's hard for me to get my mind around the fact that it's been that long since I was in college! I guess I have to believe it, especially since I now have a college kid myself.

I loved my four years at Belmont COLLEGE. It grew and changed and became a university in the 25 years since I graduated, but it holds some of my favorite memories and I have cherished friendships that began on that campus.

Some people might wonder how a girl who grew up in New Jersey made it down to Tennessee to attend a little-known (at the time) school. I had spent a lot of time in the South on family vacations and had a desire to attend a Baptist school. I found Belmont while perusing a college directory (yes, a printed volume that was published annually--no internet back then) and it had a degree program I wanted to pursue (Broadcasting). Since it was one of the few Baptist schools that wasn't located in the "boonies," I decided to visit and applied. After being wait-listed at the only other school I applied to, I got the letter saying that I didn't get in (something about a quota from northern states), so Belmont became my obvious choice.

Looking back, I believe that God led me to Belmont and to Nashville. It was there that I met the man I married, which resulted in us having a son. My "pilgrimage" to Nashville also eventually brought my sister and parents here, and it has become our family's home.

Belmont will always have a special place in my heart and I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to get an education and earn a degree there!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day: Feeling Blessed

We had our family Mother's Day celebration yesterday and today I got to spend quality time with Daniel and Mom. I feel very blessed to have been born to a mother who prayed for me, wanted me and is a big part of my life still today. I also am thankful to have been given the gift of a son and to be able to experience the joy of motherhood.

I don't take either of those gifts lightly, since both my mother and my son are gifts from God to an undeserving me. I also know that there are many people for whom this day designated to celebrate mothers brings more sadness than joy. As I was thanking God for my mother and son and grandmothers today, I also spent time praying for many friends who have lost their mothers or children or who are not in a good relationship with them. My heart was also heavy for my new friend, Renee, who was spending her Mother's Day at the bedside of her newly graduated college son who is fighting cancer, and the family of a police officer who lost his life in the line of duty yesterday.

The thought that brings me hope when considering all of these situations is that God sees all of these things and people and is with us and for us. No matter what our circumstances this Mother's Day, God is for us!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Then and Now

I recently pulled out some pictures of my house and yard from the year we bought it and the year I had some landscaping done (2006). I wanted to see the difference between how it looked then and how it looks now. If you ever get impatient and wonder if small shrubs and bushes will grow, check these pictures out:

The day it was ours: August 29, 1997

After some initial DIY landscaping in the fall of 1997

After some professional landscaping in 2006

May 2014, after some new mulch
For the most part, I like how everything has matured/grown. Compare the bush under the window on the far right side (facing). And what has happened to the windows on the left side of the house? They're behind there somewhere (and some trimming/removal needs to happen at some point). I love my little house and yard . . . especially when someone else mows and takes care of the yard!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throw-back Thursday Stories: Week 3 - Sister Friends

Rhesa, Me and Leanne: Sister-Friends

There are so many things I could write about these friends who are like sisters to me. We met in college at Belmont (when it was a "college") when Rhesa and Leanne were freshmen and I was a sophomore. They were roommates and I think we met because their suitemates were friends of mine. Regardless of how we met, we formed a friendship in the dorm and over meals in the cafeteria that has spanned decades.

When this photo was taken in May 2004, I had just entered of one of the hardest times of my life. My marriage was broken and I was devastated and my sister-friends made their way to Nashville to check on me. They both lived in other states and it meant so much to me that they were able to come give me some sister-friend love when I needed it in a big way.

I'm thankful that God provided these life-long friends back in college and that we are still walking through life together, even though we don't live in the same city. We have many memories of fun times that we've had with all of our families and with our other "sister" Jeanette. We know that we're never far from each other in our thoughts and prayers.

(I'm linking up with The Mom Creative for her series called "Throwback Thursday Stories: The story behind the photos.")