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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Funny Birthday Memories Of Greg

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My husband Greg turns 53 today.  An age that makes him proud.  He is living his dream the last 4 years – doing what he loves to do.  It just took him many years to find out what exactly that is.  Doing wedding and funeral services make him happy and fulfill his purpose – especially memorial services.  And I am happy that he is now free to do this full-time.

But what a time to have a birthday!!  5 days before Christmas – it’s tucked in the middle of other events and holiday activities.  He has never known a birthday without a Christmas tree, concerts, parties, dinners and other numerous things.  I’m sure that as a child, his parents made sure that Greg had presents separate from those that were under the tree.  But as he got older – it was so much easier to combine gifts.  And many in the family have done that over the years – even our own children.  He doesn’t mind – it makes sense to him.   As long as there is good food and something yummy for dessert (especially chocolate) he’s just fine.  Today he will get lunch AND dinner at restaurants and tomorrow and special dessert from out daughter Ashlee as she and her husband Drew come and have an early Christmas with us before we head to California to spend Christmas with our son, Shawn.   

When Greg came home late last night he was humming a “Happy Birthday” tune after working his “moonlighting” job.  It was the middle of the night and I had already been asleep.  And when I heard this I suddenly remembered, “that’s right!  Today is the DAY!”  This morning we were reminiscing over the many years of birthday celebrations.  There are two memories I have of this day – and I just HAD to share them with you.  Both of them are humorous.  What else?  Life with Greg is hilarious – we laugh EVERY day about very random things – each other and life in general.  So here goes.

My first fond memory is 25 years ago today.  I had just found out I was going to have Ashlee.  I was less than 2 months pregnant and felt icky.  I was in bed trying to fight the nausea.   We were living in New Castle, PA – in a 2 story rental.  The master bedroom was up the stairs and to the left.  I remember Greg walking downstairs and singing a sad little tune, “Happy Birthday to ME”  It was so funny that I laughed in spite of myself.  It helped to break up an otherwise very unpleasant day for both of us – and I’m sure we celebrated his birthday later when I wasn’t so sick.  We even flew to Seattle that year for Christmas!  Good times – being pregnant and sick everywhere we went that year.

My second fondest memory happened about 8 years ago.  We were having lunch with Greg’s parents.  A tradition that has lasted even until this year.  For some reason Greg’s mom (and probably me) needed to finish up some Christmas shopping.  Greg said there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY he was going to the mall.  He has a standing rule:  NO MALL IN DECEMBER.  Now you have to understand – Greg’s HATES the mall.  No, I mean he REALLY hates it.  Now just add the holiday shopping, traffic going in and out of the mall AND the parking – and you have what possibly could be what Greg loathes the most in life.  But for some reason his sweet mother talked him into going “just for a few minutes”.  She told him, “Greg – you won’t even have to get out of the car – you and dad can just drop us off”  She understands his hatred of all things “mall” or “shopping”  especially in December and so tried to appeal to him in that way.  Somehow – I don’t know how, we were taken to the mall that day.  We quickly did our errands and returned to the car.  All the time, Greg muttering to himself – “I can’t believe it’s MY birthday and we’re AT THE MALL!!”  We were leaving the parking lot and onto the main road when all of a sudden Greg’s mom said, “Oh no!”.  That could not be good.  We were like, “what happened?”  She said, “I left my credit card at the last store”.  Silence.  Greg said, “There’s NO WAY I’m going back in there, mom”  But there was no way around it – we had to go back and retrieve her lost credit card.  It was sad but also HILARIOUS!  I told Greg that he would find the humor in it some day.  But somehow when I brought it up again this morning – he still groans and sighs.  Good times!

Happy Birthday, Greg!  You deserve a wonderful day all to yourself – something that is not just tucked into Christmas.  I hope all your birthday memories are sweet (except maybe the two above) and that you will have MANY MORE in the years to come!

You are loved!  Here’s a special song just for you on your birthday – enjoy!

http://www.jibjab.com/view/ZhR-KktWRuqJLWHEEQGdJA?mt=1

 

My Birthday Word Cloud

Thanks to my good friends, John and Deanna Morauski – they gave me a lovely gift of 20 separate phrases that describe me.  Each phrase was wrapped in a little egg and presented in a basket for me to open one at a time.  It was so moving to read what my friends wrote about me and I have preserved that memory into a ‘word cloud’ to share with my readers.  Some of the words will not make sense to you – the word  ‘smell’ is actually  ‘She smells good’ just so you don’t get the wrong idea 🙂  So on this 15th day of my birthday month – here it is!
Enjoy and God Bless!

Day 11 and 12 Adventures At The Old Hen B&B!

Yesterday I celebrated a milestone birthday in style – starting with a surprise visit from my parents bringing with them gifts and food 🙂  Then Greg took me to Olive Garden for a wonderful late lunch.  We then proceeded to “The Old Hen B&B” located in North Bend, Washington – about 40 minutes from our home in Renton, Washington.

We even saw some Elk while driving in – and while the one closest to us did stand still and look curiously at us – I was too slow to get my camera out of my purse – so this is all I got. So disappointing.  Oh well.  They are quite tame out there.  John and Deanna are on quite a few acres and see lots of different wild life out there.

Our room was beautiful!  HUGE screen TV and soothing and elegant decorations in each room.  We chose the mid-size room – up the stairs and down the hall.  But by the time I thought of taking pictures of it – we had already messed it up – so here is the Master Suite and adjoining bathroom with claw foot soaking tub.

The bed was so comfortable – and the room very quiet!  Each room is equipped with a wonderful Keurig coffee maker – and Greg made me coffee while Deanna was making breakfast downstairs.  The breakfast was AMAZING.There were 2 other guests there with us – a sweet couple from the air force base stationed in Lewis/McChord.  We enjoyed visiting with them over breakfast.

Here are some additional pictures of the Inn.

You will be blessed by John and Deanna.  If you are traveling in the Northwest – or live close by and want a special treat – check out our dear friends at “The Old Hen B&B” you won’t be disappointed!!

 

God Bless

A Note From My Husband

On the occasion of my milestone birthday – I asked my wonderful husband and best friend to be a special ‘guest blogger’ today.  Hope you enjoy and will be encouraged as you read his note to me –  that even after almost 30 years together – he still is romantic and knows how to keep the love alive.

God Bless

To my lovely wife Cindy on her special 50th birthday;

Good morning my love!  I trust you had a wonderful sleep.  I was watching you this morning just before you opened your eyes and thinking about how thankful I was to have the love of such a beautiful woman in my life.  Funny how so many put an emphasis on youthful looks these days and fight frantically to somehow attempt “time travel” to spin the biological clock backwards.  I loved it when we saw the title of a new book recently, “fifty is the new fifty” – it garnered a laugh from both of us, but even without reading the book we understand the sentiment.  Being authentic to yourself and your life experiences, being comfortable in your own skin, is a large part of remaining beautiful; a glow that comes from within and radiates outward.

Cindy, you are beautiful, both inside and outside.  You not only are an extremely attractive woman physically (insert tiger growl here), but you are true and authentic to your core values, which is what makes you irresistible.  In this way you have become more gorgeous to me over time.  I love it how you are passionately interested in how others feel and think, and have an uncanny way of connecting to them, especially in their time of need.

This year we will celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary.  We have seen much of life and have weathered both good and challenging seasons together – more and more I see in you a beauty and strength that I both admire and envy; a depth that time has only served to reveal and prove.

There’s a section of 1 Peter chapter 3 that echo these very values that I love about you.  It describes a woman of uncompromising beauty, and where lasting attractiveness comes from;

3 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self,5 the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.6 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God7 used to make themselves beautiful.”

Cindy my love, this “milestone birthday” (at least that’s what we call the ones that end in a “0”) is simply another occasion that displays what those who really know you already have been celebrating; your authentic love for others, emotional balance, and spiritual centeredness.  This is what makes you attractive to others and to me.

And, you’re just plain hot looking!

Happy birthday my love!

Greg

Day 4

Massage in Tarifa, Spain taken on May, 6 2007 ...

Image via Wikipedia

It is Day 4 of my birthday month.  I have happily given myself a whole month for the experience of having yet another birthday.  And not just any birthday.

Last night my very romantic husband texted me and asked me for a late night rendezvous on his way home from work.  For COFFEE people – get your minds out of the gutter!!  I was still up, reading and returning emails – and I was like YES – let’s do it!  Forgetting that I’m not 25 anymore – and that it takes me more than a day to recover after being up WAY past my normal bedtime – but I was wide awake and I was anxious to shake it up a little.  I mean – if the younger people can do this – why can’t I?  What do they have that I don’t?  Our 19-year-old son does it ALL THE TIME and he seems to be no worse for wear.  What’s the DEAL?  The other night he came home after a late shift at guitar center and started cooking at 11:30pm!  Needless to say, it woke us up and it was most unpleasant – not to mention annoying to hear the banging around in the kitchen and then smelling the food as we’re trying to sleep.  I was much too tired to deal with it at the time – but when he finally emerged from his room the next day I said to him, “Shawn – do you have to come home at that hour and COOK?  Can’t you pick something up on the way home or something”?  And do you know what his response was to this?  “Why do you and Dad have to go to bed so early?”  Unbelievable.

Yes.  I am old.

So this morning I woke up with a screaming headache and quickly took some headache pills and put ice on my aching head.  Then made an appointment with my Chiropractor.  And would you believe – the adjustment didn’t help me?  Good grief – I dislike VERY MUCH getting older.  However we did manage to find a wonderful and supportive office chair for me so I can sit at my computer and write with excellent posture and hopefully eliminate neck and shoulder soreness.  As a piano player – I have dealt with tight muscles my whole life – but it is worse as I’ve gotten older for sure.

My sweet husband used to tell me brilliant things like this:  “Why don’t you just relax?”  So you can see that I’m surrounded by sympathetic men in my life.  Actually he’s learned that it is not just a matter of relaxing – or willing my tight muscles to relax – it’s my personality type – and where I carry my stress.  We all carry it somewhere.

The good news is that I also will be going to have a massage on Sunday afternoon with someone who was highly recommended to me – so that will be very nice!  The last massage I had was from a man who did Tye massage – and it was wonderful – but he is available only at the times that I teach.  I need one every week – just wish I could work it out financially.  🙂

But it IS my birthday month – so pretty much anything goes this month.

Have a wonderful evening and God Bless

For Deanna…

Friendship

Image via Wikipedia

Today is your day

another year older

another year wiser

From your teasing wit

to your graciousness

those who know you – love you for who you are

You love your family – and they love you – you are a true servant and giver to them and they are blessed

 

Your creative mind is always on to the next project

mixing up a myriad of endless treats

serving those who always feel welcome in your home

You are more than ‘owner’ and ‘host’ – you are a friend.

Life’s experiences have made you who you are today

and you believe there is a lesson in everything

if we can truly see the lesson

and grow

and learn

and change

 

Life has tossed you here and there

And still – you have landed on your feet

Ready for the next challenge

and the next experience

you lead – many follow

you are admired and loved

because you have lived it

and do more than just talk the talk

you really do walk the walk

and invite others to join you

as you ‘taste hope’ and believe the impossible

I am honored to call you my friend

Happy Birthday, Deanna

God Bless you my friend

 

People Watching

GotStyle - The Menswear Store

Image by davidcrow via Flickr

I have always been a ‘people watcher’.  If I go anywhere out of the house – I am most curious about what people are doing, acting like and saying – and nothing is more amusing to me then watching people at a crowded shopping mall or restaurant.   Especially Christmas time.  But because I can’t get my dear husband to step inside a mall at this time of year – if I go it is usually by myself or with my daughter.

The other day I got Greg really close –  K&G menswear not far from Southcenter mall.  They were having this ‘buy 1 get 2 free’ suit sale and EVERYONE was there.  It’s interesting to watch men shop for clothes – and painful to watch them look for a suit – especially if they are by themselves with no female unit along side.  Always quite amusing.

We finally found a couple of suits that would work for Greg (with some alteration) and he begrudgingly went to the men’s fitting room to try the pants on.  The tailor had a measuring tape around his neck and a clipboard in his hand – and there must have been 20 guys in the back by the fitting room – waiting their turn to stand up next to the mirror and have the tailor ‘fix’ and measure them.  So they would wait – with their new pants on and looking extremely uncomfortable standing there.  Like lost little rabbits – all in a line – very funny and GREAT people watching opportunity for me 🙂

How different women are when they shop.  We are much more private about it.  We would never (and I mean never) stand in a line of 20 other women waiting for a tailor to ‘nip and tuck’ us a little.  Nope – I can safely say that would NEVER happen.  Did I say never?  Women are very concerned about their shape, weight and how they appear in new clothes – and often won’t even venture out of the dressing room when trying something new on.  If it isn’t working – we would NEVER subject a room full of strangers to it.  Never.

So therefore I was highly amused at the ‘brave’ and ‘scared’ little rabbits all in a row – standing there because their girlfriend or wife made them.  Guilty as charged.

But Greg did get two new suits for his birthday/Christmas this year – and he didn’t need much alteration at all – and what a great deal we got!  Two suits for $150!  And they’re really nice too!

Here’s hoping you have a fun day of ‘people watching’ if you’re in to that and get much amusement from it.  Remember:  someone is watching you too – make it good 🙂

 

God Bless

My Son

Today my baby boy is 19.

I feel like I’ve lived a whole lifetime since he was born.  Greg was pastor of a very small church in Fortuna, CA at that time.  Shortly after – Northern California had an earthquake that did considerable damage to our little town and nearby ones.  The quake happened in the middle of the afternoon while I was nursing Shawn – and four-year old Ashlee was watching TV nearby.  Our family room was a pile of junk and clothes – getting ready for an upcoming garage sale to be held that next weekend.  It created a rocking sensation and things began to come out of the cupboards and the TV ‘walked’ out of the entertainment center and almost fell on Ashlee.  It was amazing and Greg RAN from his office next door to see if we were alright.  We were – just shaken up a bit.  But in the night the after shocks were just as bad – but infant Shawn – none the wiser – slept peacefully for the first time ALL NIGHT LONG.  The quakes just lulled him to sleep.

It’s crazy what things you remember from the past – sometimes it’s the most insignificant things – the little moments that pass by so quickly.  The early bonding we had – the time we had together while he was small – I am grateful for each and every day that I got to spend with him.  I was very lucky – I was a ‘stay at  home mom‘ for both of my children and I will never regret that.

Shawn was always an easy child with a quick wit and much natural talent.  He is everyone’s friend and has that certain ‘X-factor’ that is intangible – but still just a fact that is accepted and acknowledged by everyone who knows him.  A favorite with the grandparents and relatives – he just simply is a special person inside and out.

At 19 – he is still trying to find his way – and I am touched by his gentle spirit – the way he interacts with kids younger than himself and the way he ministers with his gifts – using them to bless others.

And yet – in many ways he is still a child – not yet ready to face the world.  He is one step closer – but still not ready.  He still has some lessons to learn – some pain to face and get through – some hard times to wrestle with and toughen him up – finding his way and finding out who he is and who God has designed him to be. We have done our best with him – and most of our lessons are through – he has absorbed all he can – and now the rest is up to him.  And like all parents of boys of this wild and adventurous age – we are anxious for him to make the right choices and hope and pray we have equipped him to do what he needs to do.  At this age – the parenting is mostly over for him.  And all we can do is pray – and wait.

Happy Birthday to my son who used to light candles for me – play soft music and run a hot bath for me – just because.

Happy Birthday to my son who was very wanted and planned for. I remember praying for you before you were born and asking God for another child – and I knew that child would be special – and you are.

Happy Birthday to my son – who is far from perfect – but who is perfect for me. You make my heart smile – and your humor brightens even the darkest of my days.  God gave you to me – to raise, watch over and pray for – He knew what He was doing – you are my gift – my love and my life. And He knew that I needed you. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without you in it.  Each day you make me proud and happy – just by being you – and along with you big sister – you are the best thing that ever happened to me.

I love you

P.S. It’s after midnight now – officially your birthday – I texted happy birthday to you – and just received  a text  back – ‘ I love you too, Mom – you’re the first to wish that to me, Mom – almost home  – wanna chat?’  Ahhh – not too grown up yet.

Yes – I do.

Birthday Girl

I remember 23 years ago today very well.  I had my first baby – a baby girl we named Ashlee Renee.

It’s funny how some events in our lives we never forget no matter how much time goes by – or things happen to us – good and bad – as a mom – I will never forget the day I delivered both of my babies.  And the first baby is very special.  I remember feeling very ill prepared for the task ahead.  I remember being very emotional.  And I know that was normal – and still today I feel the same when I think about those days.

My labor was not text-book at all.  I was admitted to the hospital because I was a favorite of my doctor – and I think he took pity on me not having any air conditioning in our home.  We lived in New Castle, PA – a VERY hot a muggy summer!  And since it was cool and comfortable in the hospital – and I was having some signs of labor – he let me check in.  At first I was happy – in no real pain and left to watch TV or play games with Greg – talk on the phone to relatives and just relax.  My sister thought it was really unfair that I had no pains and was dilated – but I was pretty happy about it ☺  My mother told her, “they will come”  and so they did – after they had to break my water.

5 hours of labor later – our baby girl was born – 7 lbs 10 oz.  And they put me in a room to try to get some sleep – she was born at 2:27am – and I did not sleep the rest of the night.  I had sent Greg home to get some rest – but then called him back first thing in the morning – and tired though he was – he actually came back!

That very day Greg locked his keys in the car – he’s never done that before or since – so I know how befuddled he was!  Being a first time parent was certainly taking its toil – and the excitement was more than he could handle!

We look back at those early days of parenthood and laugh at some of the silly, crazy things we did – and poor Ashlee was our experimental child – so I know we did many things wrong with her – I’m just so glad she didn’t hold it against us – and in spite of us – she turned out beautifully!

Blessings on my married daughter of 23 – may the next 23 be even more wonderful – filled with parenthood and many other precious memories!

Birthday Thoughts

Being “39” isn’t so bad after all – what’s a decade or two among friends?  I actually have liked being in my 40’s and being that this is the last year of this great decade – I am trying to enjoy every moment starting with a great birthday celebration yesterday.  I feel very blessed and rich indeed to have so many wonderful people in my life right now.  Laughter and sharing life together binds the spirit of friends and mine have been a godsend for me.  Some do not live here and we are still connected by this modern technology called “the internet” – and I am grateful for it – without it – it would be difficult to “do life” on a daily basis with them – and feel like they are right there with you.  I have a friend that has been going through a struggle with her health – she does not live around here any more and being connected has been a lifesaver for her – there are a few of us that have stayed very close with her while she was walking through this difficult journey.  I also have a friend and his wife from out of state – and staying connected with them has been such a godsend for them – as my friend just lost his mother the other day.  I have another friend from college days that I stay connected with – we are “blogging” buddies.  He has found himself on a journey that though circumstances are very different than mine – in some ways we are on a parellel journey of healing and trust with people and friendships in our life.  He and his wife are also not in the area – and the internet and our “blog sites” have been a source of encouragement and healing for both of us.

I also have a few close friends that DO live here and we get together as often as we can – but I’m afraid it is not as often as we would like because everyone in our “season” of life is so busy just trying to keep up – pay the bills and deal with the ordinary pressures and concerns of raising children and just live. Again the internet has been so valuable to have that “connected ” feeling – even when most of us are too busy to pick up the phone – nor do we want to with so many other things pressing.  I’m fortunate that everyone in my life understands this – is in the same place and we do the best we can – while still “doing” life together.

I had the priviledge of being with some of these special people in my life yesterday.  They make my life better – we encourage one another to be better – I feel blessed to be around them.

But the best thing that happened to me yesterday was a HUGE handmade card from my 18 year old son, Shawn.  I plan to buy a poster frame for this and hang it in my bedroom.  The card says it all and I have included it below.

Thank you to all of you who make my life more beautiful.  I am priviledged to know you and be a part of your life. ♥  God Bless

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