Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm Still Here

I have NOT abandoned you all. I have been extremely preoccupied with 2 very sick *Littles* who have been in the hospital. One had Pneumonia (she came home Sat. night) and the other has Pneumonia, RSV & a kidney infection and is still in the hospital. I am so busy taking care of sick children that I haven't had a second to write on my blog.

I have plenty to say and will do so as soon as things settle down...Thanks to all of my dear blog friends. Please stay tuned and if you can, please send a prayer heavenward for little Stella who is not doing too well right at the moment.

I promise I'll be back!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cupcake Heaven

On Friday, I decided to bring Alakina home with me for several hours so that her mother could have some time to study (she's a single mother AND a full-time student!)

I bought a "mini" cupcake pan about a month ago and it has been one of the best things I have purchased. One of Ali's favorite things to do with me is to cook or bake so we decided to make cupcakes...and we made a bunch!
I usually make all my cakes/cupcakes from scratch but time was short and I figured a mix was the easiest option for the time allotted. We made two types, chocolate fudge and spice cake. She had never tasted spice cake before and she fell in love with it.

So we baked and iced and decorated to our hearts content. We made lots of minis and regular sized cupcakes and she made sure that they were all properly decorated.

She LOVED licking the beaters and the bowl...

Always a poser...

With our finished products!

What a fun day...I adore this little girl!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Girlfriend's; Invisible Bonds

As women, I think we can all relate to the importance of "girlfriends". I just want to say that I adore my husband and I can tell him anything...and I do, but there is something about a girlfriend that is precious and even important. We women need each other and all of you women know what I mean!

As a young girl, I was never really comfortable around girls and saw so much cattiness that I was kind of repulsed by the whole thought of sharing my deepest, darkest secrets with a friend, but I was also envious of other girls who did share everything. I saw betrayals at a very young age and not necessarily about me! I was often told deep secrets that were to be held in confidence between two OTHER girls that had, at times, devastating consequences.

So for many years, I held my friends at bay. I did have some close girlfriends in High School and even college, but learned very quickly that I had to be very careful what I told them. I gravitated to the boys thinking that I could rely on their trust...they felt...safer...but then I realized that I could never really confide in any of them as I did the girls. I am grateful for all of the friendships that I have had and I will forever value them. But there is still something special about having "girlfriends".

About 15 years ago, I went through a divorce. This was not a scene written in the script of my life and I was traumatized by the entire ordeal. Again, I felt much betrayal by several women whom I had grown to trust and women whom I really needed to stand by me during this trying time. I heard petty gossip about me that quite frankly belonged in a Soap Opera. It was hurtful, but most importantly, it was untrue and very unnecessary. I made the mistake of trusting certain people only to find their mouths were bigger than their ears!

OK, not to beleaguer the point, I think you get it.

Just last week, I reconnected with two ladies that I met 17 years ago. We were neighbors and at some point we drifted apart. Life tends to do that if we don't continue to nourish our relationships. Anyway, these two ladies never betrayed me. They were there when I went through my divorce and although they didn't always know what to say and maybe even didn't always agree with me, I never heard anything ugly from them, and I appreciate that. So we all reconnected on Facebook and have vaguely kept up with each others lives. I sensed that one of the ladies was going through an emotionally trying experience and the other is preparing to go on a mission with her hubs for 18 months to a foreign country, so I mentioned on FB that we should get together for lunch. The wheels were in motion and quickly plans were made. We decided that Jen would have us to her house and cook for us (she's a fellow "foodie"). Connie and I arrived at precisely the same moment, exchanged hugs and walked in together. It was WONDERFUL!! (I neglected to take pictures because we had so much fun and I spaced it!)

All of our lives have taken some interesting turns. We ate and chatted like no time had passed. The food was AMAZINGLY delicious (better than we could have had at any restaurant or cafe) and I am so thankful that we took time out of our busy lives to spend a few hours reminiscing about the good ole' days and learning about recent adventures. I hope we will do it again real soon.

Almost fifteen years ago, I met my female soul mate! We have been "BFF's" since the day we met. We understand each other, we laugh, cry, worry, and pray for each other. We have no secrets from each other because I KNOW that whatever I tell her, she will always hold dear. Rayemanette is my beautiful Hawaiian friend who embodies the very qualities that I so enviously wish to possess. She is ALWAYS there for me no matter where we both are in the entire world! She knows my heart, my fears, my joys, my pains, my hope, my dreams...everything! The Hawaiian philosophy is to live in the moment and just be happy...She does and she is!

We talk almost everyday. If we don't talk, we text or we leave "Hey Tell" messages (a free app for iPhones and Droids). If we do go for lengthy periods of time without talking or seeing each other, it's OK. She is always in my thoughts and I am always in hers. We are like two volumes of one book!

"What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?" ~George Eliot

I am so thankful for the amazing women who have come into my life. I have learned from each and every friendship and I have even grown from the betrayals and mistrusts that came my way. But to the women who have stood by me and who have loved me unconditionally, I owe you everything. You are precious and valuable and have helped shape me into the woman I am today.

So no matter where you may be with your friends, remember this:

"Of course you can go home again! You just look in your heart for your old best friend!" ~Helen Moss

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day Plea!!

It's that time of year once again...Valentine's Day. As this time of year approaches, I am always thinking of something unique, romantic and unconventional that I can either get or do for my hubs.

I have done goofy things in the past like covering the floor with Hershey's Kisses with a sign that says "I kiss the ground you walk on!" which led to a gift and card that I had laid out for him. We have taken amazing trips and cruises over the Valentine's weekend and even other traditional sentiments.

This year, I am at a loss! I'm stumped and haven't quite caught the spirit of the holiday...Nothing is in my head (except this miserable sinus infection...) SO, I am asking all of you for your best ideas. I've done the "Heart Attack" thing (where you leave a bunch of paper hearts with sweet personallized sentiments on each one) and I just want something sweet and simple.

So please leave me any of your ideas. I know that time is running out, and I do have a boring "Plan B". Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thoughts on Aging

I recently heard a quote made by Paulina Porizkova. She said, "Aging is a privilege, not a right."

This quote was stated on a show featuring aging Super Models (who all still looked FABULOUS, by the way...) and primarily they were speaking on how to defy the effects of aging on your skin. However, Paulina's quote resonated in my ears the rest of the day.

It's funny because I happened upon that program by accident just days after my 4 year old *Little* said, "Nana, you look old!"...needless to say, I was devastated! Granted it was a bad day, but she noticed that I was...A.G.I.N.G...

I have been watching my sweet daddy finalize the last few days, months maybe even year of his life. His time is definitely coming to an end and it saddens us all. The last time I saw my father face-to-face, we held hands and wept as we shared our immense love and appreciation for each other. There was nothing earth shattering said, just the sweet exchange of fond memories, tremendous gratitude (mostly on my part) and undying, eternal love. It was a precious moment that I will never, ever forget!

He is now 82 years old. He has lived a great life and although it has not been without its challenges and heartaches, it has been a life well-lived and a life that will be remembered by many. It has been a life of adventure and a life of wisdom. It has also been a life full of love and respect for others...It has been a life full of great successes and failures. But most importantly, it has been a life of great significance!

I think THAT is the deeper meaning behind Ms. Porizkova's comment, whether she meant it that way or not. Living IS a privilege. It is a great blessing to wake up every day with a clean slate to leave our mark upon.

As I do my best to moisturize, exercise and eat right, I cannot completely stop the physical effects of aging. I have a few extra aches and pains that I never before had. My hair is almost completely grey...very salt & pepper at the very least. My eyesight has diminished a bit but is easily correctable with "cheaters" and eventually Lasex. I don't have the stamina and energy that I once had and when I squat down it takes me a few moments longer to get up!

All of this is typical and pretty normal. In my heart of hearts I feel like I am still in my 30's. I am happy with who I am and I feel a bit wiser as a result of the experiences of my life. I share a deep and abiding love for life with my husband. I love the Lord and family means EVERYTHING to me...That is a PRIVILEGE!

There is no anti-wrinkle cream in the world that has more value than that...