Friday, December 27, 2013

... And the Holidays are over!

That's it ... as quickly as they came, they are over.  Okay, we haven't celebrated New Years Eve yet, but that's not really a holiday, it's just the start of a new year.  
Thanksgiving starts the holiday season for most people, and for us here in our home that was certainly the case.  A first Thanksgiving for our combined family.  The panic over what to cook and how much to have became reality,  simply because my mother taught me it was always best to have to much rather than to little. 
 Never let someone sit down at your table and go away from it hungry.
Our meal was "Gi-normous" with a delicious oil-less fried turkey, homemade dressing, mashed garlic potatoes, my moms mashed turnips & carrots, cheesy potato casserole and a green bean casserole.  The dessert table was loaded and as is typical of this type of meal we were all too stuffed to eat much.  We had guests from both sides, my sister Sandy, Pats mom Wilma and daughters Taylor and Karina as well as Wolfe and my daughter Morgan and her boyfriend Justin and a family friend Jordon.  It was a good day.
Black Friday came and went with only one person from our home setting foot in the stores.  Yes, I sent Morgan out to buy her Christmas gift from me, it was an electric piano with a price that couldn't be passed up on at "The Guitar Center".  It felt good not to be rushing around looking for gifts.
Christmas fast approached ...
and at that point suddenly the fear that I wouldn't have everything done hit.  Somehow though we found a few extra moments to go to the Boat Parade in Long Beach, it was a very nice evening.  

 In past years I have always had my gift buying done by the weekend of Thanksgiving.  No rushing about to find "the perfect gift" for everyone.  This year however, after a year full of changes, packing a 10 room house, moving across country and settling in with Patrick it seemed nothing was normal for myself and Morgan. 
 The calendar moved so quickly it made me dizzy and before we even knew what had happened Christmas Eve was here.  So ... we packed up the sleigh, oh wait no, sorry I got caught up in the season, we packed up the car and headed out to Rialto to spend Christmas Eve with Taylor and Karina's family.  It was a Peruvian Christmas with yummy food, lots of loud music and wonderful people to meet and enjoy.  We were home late and only had a few hours of sleep before we awoke to find that Santa had visited our home.  The tree was filled with gifts and everyone seemed to be happy with the presents they received
Dinner was served later in the day with a delicious Pineapple & Red Currant Glazed Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Maple Glazed Carrots and Asparagus.  Desserts included a variety of items such as Pecan Pie,  Minty Brownies, Lemon Coconut Bars, Snowball Cookies and homemade Fudge.
We were truly blessed this holiday season.
Patrick and I have now had our first winter holidays together.
We Survived!
We look forward to a happy, healthy 2014 with many more firsts to come.
Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How LUCKY am I ...

It isn't often I sit down and think about just "how lucky I am" in this life.  The holidays however always bring back memories of days gone by and that's when I start to truly reflect.  So often our days just whip by without our noticing the little things in our daily lives that mean so much, it's often those little things when we look back that truly were "the big things" after all.  

This Christmas I want to just say how lucky I have been to have had two amazing and loving parents in my life.  They were strict when they needed to be and yet I never went to bed thinking that they didn't love me.  I had everything I ever needed, maybe not everything I ever wanted, but we never went without.   

I have two wonderful sisters, both older than me and wonderfully caring.  They never let me get in to too much trouble, and yup they told on me occasionally, but they loved me and I can't imagine what my life would have been like without them.

I was surrounded by loving aunts and uncles and cousins galore.  We had so much joy when we were together and we continue to find joy in one another's company when we are able to get together even now though we are older.  When we cannot get together, we have memories to get us through.  Family is an amazing thing, never take it for granted.

I have friends whom I love dearly.  Some have been my friends since we've been very young, and though our lives have gone in different directions, we've moved to different states and haven't seen each other in years, I always know that their friendship is mine forever.  Some friends are people I have met online through scrapbooking websites.  I've met a few and some I may never meet, but they fill my life with joy when I receive a card in the mail, or a special message on Facebook.  These friends have gotten me through good days and bad. I have such respect for people who can trust and love me even when all they know about me is what I have chosen to share in public forums.  

I have reasonably good health and health care when I need it.

I live comfortably and I have a roof over my head. I have never had to worry about where I will sleep at night.

I live in a good country, where we have been granted many liberties. 

I have deep beliefs and strong opinions, they are mine and no one can take them away.  I am Free and able to come and go as I please.  

I have been married twice and learned something from each relationship I have had in my life.
I was blessed with an amazing daughter from my first marriage.  She is smart, beautiful and talented, I wouldn't trade her for the world, and my world would be nothing without her.  
My second marriage brought me love, laughter, a wonderful friend and companion and an amazing father figure for my daughter.  He passed away far to young and he will never be forgotten.

Thirty Three years after I left California, I was reconnected with an old "flame".  Patrick and I have since become a couple.  We live together and are growing in our relationship.  He is loving and fun to be with.  I am lucky to have him back in my life.

My girl ... she completes me. She makes me smile every single day.  She is my reason for being.  I know that God entrusted me with this beautiful soul for a reason.  She taught me to be a mom, she continues daily to bring joy to my life.  I am thankful for my Morgan Leigh.

Mushy ... maybe just a little bit, but life can get busy, and sometimes it's a good thing to stop and remember all that we have to be thankful for.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Testing ... Testing ... Here I Go Again!

Back in 2007 or 2008 I started a blog, I was heavily involved in scrapbooking and crafting so the majority of my posts consisted of my crafty endeavors.  Then in 2012 my life changed dramatically and suddenly my scrapping and crafting was no longer my focus.  Then in 2013 I made some major life changes, and before I knew it I had deleted my blog (wishing at times I hadn't deleted it because it was a diary of sorts, but what's done is done, there's no looking back).  I was no longer scrapping, my home was for sale, I was dealing with probate issues and trying to decide where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.  Long story short ... my daughter and I relocated to California.  I spent my early school years here with my family and it seemed like the right move to make.  My daughter has never lived anywhere but Connecticut, but she decided to give the move a try, so Morgan and I packed up the house on Thomas Avenue and at the end of September my boyfriend Patrick flew back east to make the drive out with us, six days later we were in sunny southern California.  We are still adjusting and hoping that all the changes will be positive ones.  So far, so good.  We miss Connecticut at times, we miss our many friends and family but we are excited by the new beginnings we face.