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Archive for the ‘daughters’ Category

Priceless “In The Moment” Moments

The city of Burbank, CA looking east from Univ...

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This month marks the 30th anniversary of the last time I was single and living at home.  I went right from my parent’s home at 20 years of age to another way of life – without ever have lived on my own.

And although it worked out for me – I also see great benefits to living on your own before being married.

Both of my children have had opportunities to live on their own after finishing high school.  And although this can be hard, financially – I believe the lessons learned while living on your own are very valuable.  Some things just can’t be taught while living at home.

With our daughter – she was so determined that she would make it – and it took two jobs for her to do so – she’s been very proud of herself that she was completely self sufficient by the time she was 20 years old.  She learned a lot of about room-mates and finances that she’s never forgotten – and when it came time for her to get married – she was already very disciplined with money and her work ethic.  She’s one of the hardest working young women I know.

Shawn, who will be 20 in October – has moved to California to pursue a music education and hopefully a career with his music training.  He lives with room-mates in Burbank and has struggled to maintain his rent with only a part-time job.  We are grateful he got a job, when so few are available.  And we’re also thankful that his loan money will cover his tuition AND his housing this fall.  But it’s still tough to make the rent and pay for things like food – until then.

Experiences like this are so valuable.  And he will look back on these times as “the good old days” before real bills, a wife and children to support.  All of this – priceless in the big scheme of things to come.

As I chatted on the phone with him last night – I reminded him that this too shall pass – and his present circumstance is what great songs and writings are made of  🙂  Maybe not while he’s struggling – but sometime after as he looks back…

Living “in the moment” – trying to be present – even during hard times of struggle. Being available in the mind.  On purpose and on task.  Learning to get by on very little – to be engaged and still positive about life.  This is what living “in the moment” is all about.

Are you alway “in the moment”?  Does your mind wander to “better times” either in the past – or somewhere in the future?  Can you be content and very present?  Now – today?  Especially when things are not ideal?  And you may be struggling?  Can you find the priceless of the here and now?  Knowing this moment will pass you by – and be no more?

Did you live on your own before you were married?  What did you do without during those years?  What’s your story?


God Bless

Letters From War

Not going to lie – I cried like a baby viewing this great song sung by Mark Schultz.  And Co-written with the great Cindy Morgan one of my all time favorite artists.
This is for all you military moms out there! May all your sons and daughters –

Be Safe.

God Bless

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!

Confessions Of A Post Garage Sale Queen

This last weekend my daughter and I had a garage sale at our home in the Pacific Northwest – where it is GORGEOUS and totally unpredictable, as far as the weather forecast goes.  Not that we were going to let that stop us – Oh NO – we were going to have our sale no matter what!  But the week leading into the sale I was starting to have serious second thoughts.  Although the weather for the ‘sale’ weekend was going to be low 80’s and nice – the week leading up to it was not just a little warm – it was record-breaking HOT!  There were a few days in a row that I simply couldn’t price or pull things for the sale any more – I would use up all my energy in the morning and then when it was really HOT I would be reduced to a mere shell of my former self.  I would get REALLY GRUMPY and say, “Why did I agree to do this again???”  Good grief.

Just a side-note, I have been trying to get rid of this ‘junk’ for years now – and would say to Greg every year that our community was having a yard sale – “you know…. we could have one too and clean out all that junk” and every year it was the same answer, “I hate garage sales”.  And so he still does.  It was only when our delightful daughter said to me, “I’ll have one with you” that we finally wore Greg down.  My confession:  I have wanted to clean out that garage for years – and finally I would have it cleaned out! Yay me!!!!  Shhhhh!  Don’t tell Greg.

The day finally came and we ‘unrolled’ our swollen garage with everything known to man – and all the things we had discarded over the seven years we have lived in this house.  The day was BEAUTIFUL and we had people swarming all over the place – even before we were completely set up.  Several very humorous things happened that day including some skinny guy wanting to buy my son-in-law’s rather LARGE shorts – and trying them on right there over his clothes – and then buying a pair of MY capris for himself to wear – it was extremely amusing and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that those were women’s pants – would you?  He seemed so thrilled to find them.  Hey – guys can wear capris too – just ask our friend Chuck!

Anyway – and so it went the whole day – the hotter and later in the day – the more humorous everything was.  I was especially amused at how people will ‘dicker’ over .50 cents – like it’s the principle of the thing at stake!  So funny.  I think the highlight for Ashlee was having someone pay her $5.00 in pennies, nickels and dimes for a brand new sushi set she was selling.  Good times.

Well as luck would have it – Greg had a wedding and had to leave before our first day was over – and Drew had a golf game – so Ashlee and I, hot and tired had to think of a way to carry/push/drag everything that we could fit back into the garage.  It was HILARIOUS – because we were trying to close up and they were still coming!!  Ashlee had to leave – and then I had to cover up the remaining items with a big tarp and just wait for Greg to come and help me arrange the garage so we could better fit the 3 large tables left in our driveway – back into the garage.  He came 3 hours later.  My Confession:  I really hate it when the men all LEAVE the cleanup and heavy lifting to us!!  Why do they always seem to go away just when you really need them? Oh I got over it – it was just exhausting by myself.

Needless to say – even though I sat in the shade and took money all day – and my lovely daughter ‘sunned’ herself beside me – guess who burned??  Me!!  I guess I was in the sun more than I thought.  And I seem to be the only one with bug bites ALL OVER my body.  It’s embarrassing to sit and scratch – but really – what can I do?  The bugs seem to LOVE me.  I can’t do anything about it – new ones show up on me everyday.  I look around me – no one else seems to be affected – WHAT’S THE DEAL?   I thought – maybe the sunscreen would help to keep them away from me – so the next day – even though it was a little cooler and overcast – I decided from the get go that I would smear myself up with sunscreen.   My Confession:  It DIDN’T help. Day two was not nearly as busy – people sleep in on Sunday and come later – so we had time to straighten and arrange this time – it was nice.  By the end of the day – we had people come and take a bunch of our stuff for free – we still had to box up the left overs and put tables away.  But we made a ‘decent’ profit – I guess.  What is ‘decent’ anyway?  My Confession:  It was way more trouble than it was worth – and unless you sell big-ticket items and the right people come by and buy them – you’re better off selling things on Craigslist and eBay. But it was an experience.  And fun to see and meet many different people – and our neighbors that live down the street that we don’t usually see.  And a former neighbor that we reconnected with.  Good times.  For this reason – everyone should have a garage sale – at least once in their lives – do it for the sheer joy of it.  Like me ☺

Frozen Moments in Time…

This last weekend my daughter got married.  There was so much to take in – and I didn’t want to miss ANYTHING.  Sometimes we get over stimulated and we are not able to really exist “in the moment”.

I have many “moments” in my life that will forever be imprinted there – like an old black and white photograph.  They stay with me – no matter how much time goes by – and each new day there is the possibility of yet another one of those – because sometimes life just “happens” and we are not aware of the impact when right there in the moment.

Some of my moments are:

– asking Jesus into my heart – looking out my window when I was four years old

– driving my parent’s car to high school for the first time after getting my license

– going to a bon fire in the woods with friends

– singing at “All State” choir

– one drama performance where I had to wait under covers onstage

– sitting at Juanita Beach after sunset with my boyfriend

– driving to Snoqualmie Falls in my boyfriend’s jeep

– saying “goodbye” to my boyfriend in the parking lot when going away for 3 weeks the summer of 1978

– high school graduation singing with my choir

– singing at the moon and taking a stroll with Greg – when I first met him

– knowing Greg was “the one”.

– walking down the aisle at my wedding and looking up at how beautiful           everything was

– Ashlee being born – they put her on my chest and she looked at us with her big eyes

– watching Ashlee walk for the first time

– Shawn being born – humming the Brahm’s Lullaby to him when everyone was gone

– watching Shawn walk for the first time

– singing at my Grandmother’s funeral

– pulling into the driveway of our home – before buying it

– crying with Ashlee in her bed after she had a rough breakup

– being at “The River” in Ellensburg with a special friend

– opening night of any theater production I’ve directed

– watching my best friend lose her husband to cancer – standing at the graveside

– hugging a good friend in my driveway last December – remembering the tears and light mist as we stood there

– going through a traumatic situation last winter – seeing first hand the power of prayer and of God in our lives

– watching my daughter try on her wedding dress for the first time

– seeing Ashlee on her wedding day – at the other end of the hall with her Dad – blowing her kisses

– watching Greg and Ashlee dance to “Unforgettable” at the reception

– seeing Ashlee and Drew “off” after the wedding – (see picture below)

What are your “frozen moments in time”?  I know you have many.  Enjoy them – they are what make your life unique.  I pray they are mostly joyful memories – filled with laughter and happy tears.

God Bless


Pictures from the Past…

So today has been a day of looking at pictures – Drew and Ashlee are putting together a slide-show to be shown at their wedding, September 5th – which is also our anniversary (28 years for us).  I have been a little nostalgic as I’ve looked back in time – seeing Drew as a baby and little boy – wishing I would have known him then – but so thankful he is in our lives today.  Looking at Ashlee and Shawn as little babies and children – looking even further back to when I was a Senior in High School – dating Greg and engaged to be married in 1981.   You will find some of these picture in “My Pictures” above.

It has been a great trip down memory lane today – and as we draw ever closer to the “main event” next month – my emotions are pretty raw – but it’s all good – the bitter sweet feeling that you get when remembering all the time invested in raising your kids – and seeing how young Greg and I were while raising them.

I hope you will take time today to reflect on your memories of the past – and remember the sweet moments of your life.

God Bless

Slipping Through My Fingers…


Today my little girl is 22.  I remember exactly where I was 22 years ago.  It’s funny how so many years can go by – but it can seem just like a few moments.  And it was a true “defining” moment for me.  Life was forever altered and changed because of that baby.  I ceased living just for myself that day – looking at life through the eyes of what it would mean for Ashlee.

I had many dreams for her – even some “baby blues” which is natural when you have a new baby.  I remember standing over her crib when she was new born and wondering how I was ever going to “live up” to all that was needed from me.  It was and still is – a sobering thought and a serious commitment to another human being.  Even waiting 6 years to have her – didn’t quite prepare me for the emotions of total helplessness and love that I felt.

She was and always has been – very independant of spirit and willful – from a wee baby into her teens.  I didn’t know how we were going to “handle” her at times.  But I always knew of her sweet sensitive and generous nature – and clung to that through the difficult years.  She and I would go “head to head” many times over the years – concerning “boys” or other areas of maturity – and Greg always believed that it was just a matter of time and all would be well.  He saw so much of himself in her and knew that when she just “grew up” it would be okay.  For me I could not identify in so many things – as I was always an “old soul” and always did what was expected of me.  That can be both good and bad as I have recently discovered.  Ashlee was free of any of that – she was and still is – very “black and white” what you see is what you get.  She doesn’t play games – she is straight forward and no nonsense – remarkable qualities and very useful as she enters adulthood.

I have many memories from our past 22 years of “investment” in this beautiful young woman – and many more still to come as she gets married in less than a month to a wonderful man.  Soon there will be another chapter of “memories” for us as a family – and someday Ashlee and I will share something else really special – her children.

Below is a scene from an amazing movie, “Mamma Mia” – it is a scene between Mother and Daughter and I can’t watch it without crying – because I see so much of myself and Ashlee in this.  I hope you will enjoy it.

God Bless

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