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So life has thrown me quite a few curve balls lately.  My emotional, soft side wants to cry, lament and have a month long pity party.  My strong, calculating side is constantly figuring the odds and finding solutions for problems that haven't even come up yet.

I have a couple fool proof strategies that I follow (and have taught my kids to do):

1.  Sure, the road is not what I had anticipated right now.  What is the WORST case scenario?  THINK!  No, not that - I said the WORST CASE!  Yes, ok, now you know how to play this game.  Now you have permission to lose a couple nights' sleep as you figure out possible ways to deal with this worst case.

2.  Sure, the road is not what I had anticipated right now.  (See Step #1) - Think about the first solution - now TURN THE PAGE - "Can I live with the outcome after I implement this first solution?"

3.  Sure, the road is not what I had anticipated right now.  Repeat Step #2 with all possible solutions.

4.  Sure, the road is not what I had anticipated right now.   Pray.  Then pray some more.  Some people have unyielding faith, I am not so blessed.  I have to work at it.  So I pray..... and sometimes, my prayer is simply, "Lord, I can't wait to see how YOU do this!"

5. Sure, the road is not what I had anticipated right now.   Last Step: Gather some recipes that use lemons.  Rest assured, this is not the first time life has thrown you a basket full of citrus and you can only drink so much lemonade.



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Someone recently said to me, "You are so strong!"

At the time, I laughed it off.  What exactly is the definition of "strong"?  Able to lift massive weights?  Being unyielding to outside pressures?  The ability to carry things for a long distance?  

How do I define "strong"?
-The ability to live my life, day after day, no matter what obstacles are in my path.  To get up each morning and do what needs to be done to have a productive day (and sometimes, 'productive' means just remembering to breathe).

There is no perfect way to do this.  We are all just making it up as we go along.  Some of us are better actors than others.... and that gets misinterpreted as strong. 

So, if you see me walking and I smile when we meet - just hug me..... I need the endorphins so I can  appear strong to anyone who is looking.



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Our newest family member was born yesterday  - Happy Birthday, Riley!!  You are so lucky to have been born into this crazy family!!

Holding her yesterday just brought such a flood of emotions.  THIS is what life is all about.  Houses, cars, money - they don't mean a thing without the love of family.  As I looked at her gorgeous face, my brain did a quick flashback though my own life and all that has happened since I first gave birth nearly 40 (YIKES!) years ago.

"Motherhood" is my longest profession.  It has been a process with a crazy learning curve.  Every stage of my children's lives also included a growth spurt in my life.  I soon came to learn that no 2 children are alike - ever - at any time.    I am guessing that is why there is no "right way" to parent.  We all, at times, just fly by the seat of our pants and hope for the best - and we pray.... a lot!

I can't help but look back to where I was and where I am now - and my role as a mother today.  In the recent past, there were times when I have had to lean on my kids instead of being the "ROCK" I always thought I needed to be.  I am a far cry from the mom who could fix everything with a kiss (or a meatball).  But my children are also a long way from the kids they once were.  Thankfully, we all survived their teen years - because their adult years are way better to watch.

Being a grandparent is certainly a blessing..... and a gift for all the lectures, lessons, discipline, open school nights,  sports/scouting events...... It wasn't always easy, but it was worth the effort. 



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It's been a while since I've posted - for good reasons!

We left on my birthday (Jan 5) for our highly anticipated 10 day vacation to the Dominican Republic.  We were looking forward to laying in the sun, reading and relaxing - the things we do best!  We arrived that Saturday afternoon and had the most wonderful time.  We had a simple lunch, a wonderful dinner and danced under the stars to the live music.  We were in paradise!

The next day, after our room service breakfast, we ventured up to our private rooftop deck and pool.  My Prince started to enter the pool when his foot slipped on the steps - he took quite a tumble!  In order to spare all the gory details, I'll just cut to the chase.  He broke his left humerus.  We spent 2 days in the hospital, then arranged to come home as he needed surgery to repair it.

Shortly after his surgery, we were made aware that his Multiple Myeloma (which had been in remission) was back with a vengeance.   He is now receiving state of the art treatment (immunotherapy).  Asking my faithful readers for prayers,,,,

January had been an eventual month - One must remember that all events are not always reasons to celebrate...
No need to look back.... I am concentrating on the road ahead....
 
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I guess it is true when they say "the older you get, the faster the time goes".  I feel like we were just lounging by the pool - and now we are getting ready to spend Christmas week with our families.

I am so glad we have decided to make the season more than just the "obligatory exchange of gifts".  Neither of us 'wants' or 'needs' a thing.  We work everyday to have a happy life, without stress or drama.  We truly enjoy each other's company - and that's a HUGE plus since we are both confirmed home-bodies.  After a couple years, our lives have nicely entwined and we are genuinely content all the time.  THIS is our gift to each other.  

It has been a wonderful year: a vacation, an engagement, a wedding, and the announcement of a new grandchild in 2019.  It will be good to see ALL our kids AND grandkids within a 4 day span - a perfect way to close out a year filled with blessings.  

Merry Christmas.... from us.
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My prince and I spoke for a long time before we actually met.  One of the questions he asked me was, "Which way does your toilet paper face; over or under?"  I thought it was an odd question, as I had NEVER given this any thought, so I replied, "I have 3 bathrooms: one is over, one is under and one is a literal crap shoot".

Turn the clock ahead a couple years:  All 3 bathrooms in our home have the toilet paper coming over the TOP of the roll.  I was informed, quite a while ago, that this is the CORRECT way.  I laughed this off, once again - and thought to myself, if this is what makes him happy, so be it.  It was a tiny task that would bring him so much joy.

We spent this past weekend in a quaint hotel in Pennsylvania.  Shortly after checking into our room, my prince announced:  "The toilet paper was all wrong, but don't worry, I FIXED it"....

All I could do was smile and be reminded of those endless conversations leading up to our first date.  

He is special.... and he is all mine ...  I couldn't be happier.
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We are expecting a new granddaughter at the end of February.  Such excitement!!  My heart is so happy.

Letter to my new granddaughter,

"My precious angel, just anticipating your arrival has made my heart grow beyond what I ever thought was possible.  Your sister has given this family so much joy and she has paved the way for you - as she will do for the rest of your lives!  

Apparently, there is no "cap" on how much we can love.  When we first learned of your impending arrival, I remember feeling my heart beat just a little faster.  Simply hearing those words was enough to make me love you.

You will be blessed to have an amazing family who love each other so much.  I know all families love each other, but we are a special group.  We are loud and we are emotional.  We hug and kiss each other hello and good-bye even if we see each other everyday!  We will all teach you different things, because we are all good at something.  We make every gathering special - even if it is just a Wednesday night!  There are no boundaries in our family - we watch over each other and celebrate life.  We welcome everyone - all friends, and friends of friends easily become part of our family.

I love watching your mommy's middle expand as you grow.  I am feverishly working on a blanket for you (just as I did for your sister).  We are all counting down the weeks until you are here - then.... "Let the spoiling begin!!"

Love you to the moon and back,
Grandma 


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As you know, I jumped ship earlier this year and embarked on my own business.

I have a partner that I worked with for 18 years, but have never met in person.  Yes, I went into this venture with both eyes open.  I spoke to this person everyday, several times a day, for 18 years.  There was no questions that we would be perfect partners.

Two weeks ago, I took a trip to Texas.  I finally hugged the person that I had so much faith in.  He escorted me around our warehouse and offices.  It was the sweetest journey for me, as this was OURS!!  We have a common goal and superior work ethics.  We are a united front and are determined to succeed.  Sounds like a winning combination to me!

Someone was aligning all the stars for me.... happen-stances occurred at just the right time.  
I have taken many leaps of faith in my life..... but this leap was definitely facilitated by a higher power... So grateful to have "someone" watching over me.


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I've known her since she was in middle school.    I remember vividly how she and her family traveled so far  to be at  Mike's wake.... she said she "needed to be there" as she practically grew up as part of our family.  

She was recently widowed with 2 young children.  My heart broke for her.  I understood how much her life was going to change.  I tried, so hard, to say the words I thought she needed to hear..... words I needed to hear just a few short years ago.  She had become a member in a club that no one wants to join.

I now hear that she has someone in her life.  Someone who makes her happy.  I hear that she is smiling again.  I am told that I was the inspiration for her to go on.  She drew from my strength and knew that if I could find happiness again, she was going to give it a try.

I am so grateful to have been a part of this young lady's life - both when she was an impressionable child and later, when she was going through the worst days of her life.  

Moral of the story: Just be who you are.  Don't let others change you.  You can only be the best "YOU".   You may never know who will cross your path .... or what an impact you will make on them.   Maybe, just maybe, you will be lucky enough to hear how you made a difference in someone's life just by being who you are.


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So it was bound to happen - our first stumbling block.  Something that just sits in the middle of our roadway and we have to figure out a way to get to the other side.  There are over 75 years of marriage between us - we've got this, right?

Yes, we got it..... but it was eye opening.  

We realized that our world is not just what happens between us  - we know how to do THAT well!   We live a peaceful, mundane (read that: 'without drama'), loving life.  At this point in our lives, all we want is to be happy.... everyday.  We both know that we are equally responsible for that happiness and that is our only goal.

It doesn't matter what the stumbling block was.  What matters is we found a way around it.  We did not let it upset the life we have both worked so hard to achieve.  

Maintaining our relatively new relationship at this stage of our lives has been surprisingly easy.  Both of us being widowed after long marriages, we knew what it took to have a happy life together.  The important things were already there: shared morals and values, a desire to love and be loved, and the ability to talk about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. 

There are bound to be other hurdles along the way.  That's a part of life.   But we have already lived through the worst days of our lives before we even met.  

We can handle anything.  



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