Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (13)

Last week was busy.  A few nights at church, errands to run, kids to run here and there and we were hosting Easter at our house.  Not too many people, but still preparations were needed.  My parents arrived Friday night.  Much of Saturday was spent at Sassy's all day volleyball tournament.  My sister and her two kiddos arrived around lunch time and along with my parents were able to cheer Sassy on a bit (even though her team did not play its best).  We dyed eggs, relaxed, laughed, ate and enjoyed each other's company.  So you see, last week was filled with Ordinary Miracles for me and I would guess you were witness to many ordinary miracles as well.






Now, glance back at your week and think about the ordinary things, people, places or happenings that took place in your life. The ordinary that is usually taken for granted. 

And, tell me what miracles occurred in your life!



Monday, April 14, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (12) ~ Spring Break

Do you ever go on vacation and find when you return home, you feel yourself needing a vacation from vacation?  
This year's spring break definitely didn't leave me feeling that way.  

Our entire vacation felt like an Ordinary Miracle.  From simply getting away, to wonderful family time, fun with friends, great food, the beauty that surrounded us everyday and everything in between, it was all ordinary and miraculous!

We planned and booked this trip last fall.  And as the seemingly endless winter grew on and on with it's cold temps and many snowfalls, our anticipation grew.  School was cancelled 6 times this winter due to temperatures.  Too dangerous to be outside.  This was our coldest winter since the winter of 1978/79, with an average temperature of 9.8ยบ F and about 62" of snow.  Can you understand why the warm sun and beaches of Florida were creating a bit of excitement?

We flew out on Hubby's 40th birthday and with a 2 hour flight delay, the kids were anxious to get their toes in the sand.



We finally arrived ~ met with the lovely property manager and relaxed into our week long vacation.

Of course we celebrated this guy:
We rented a 4000 sq. ft., 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom house with 2 other families ~ 6 adults and 6 kids.  The house (actually it was a townhouse, but you would never know you had neighbors) was beautiful.  It was located on Belleair Beach.  Besides being right on the beach, it also had a private heated pool and hot tub.  It was simply fabulous, inside and out.

** I have to add, I HIGHLY recommend this home ~ if you are interested in a lovely, relaxing vacation for your family, your spouse or even for a girls getaway, you can find the property and rental info on VRBO by clicking here



(view from the porch)

We really didn't have any plans or agendas.  

We did go to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa:

I  took in the fresh air and beautiful scenery on my almost daily beach runs.
We ate lots of good food, went to a winery, as well as a state park.  
But mostly we just hung out, swam, enjoyed our family and friends, the nature, animals and all of the beauty that surrounded us.








It was fabulous, lovely and a vacation I will treasure forever!


Now, glance back at your week and think about the ordinary things, people, places or happenings that took place in your life. The ordinary that is usually taken for granted. 

And, tell me what miracles occurred in your life!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (11)

Happy Monday!  Today, like every week,  I am doing a little reflecting, remembering some of the Ordinary Miracles I was able to witness last week.  There are many little miracles that happen in our daily lives ~ a sunny day, a quiet night, a random act of kindness either given or received.  I spotted a few and I hope you were able slow down and witness some Ordinary Miracles too!

It seems, this week was a week of Ordinary Miracles with Sassy.

After church on Sunday pedicures were on the agenda with her.  We were also joined by two of her friends and their mom's as well.  It was a fun, relaxing time.

Tuesday night.  Sassy, her friends (8 of them) and their Moms (umm, my friends) met up at the movie theatre to watch Divergent.  I haven't read the books...yet, but the movie was pretty good (have you seen it or read the books?  What did you think?)


Then, last Friday Sassy turned 13.  I  crepe papered the outside of her bedroom door for a fun surprise when she woke up.  I also had donuts waiting for her for breakfast.  After a full day of school she had a busy night with high school softball practice and volleyball practice.  We squeezed in some Sassy celebration time afterwards though with dinner, cupcakes and presents.  I was reminded how much she has changed my life these past 13 years.  What a blessing she is to our family and those around her. It was so much fun spending time with just her this past week.



And since we are talking about birthdays, how about 1 more....

Hubby's birthday was on Saturday.  
Everyday I spend time with him is an Ordinary Miracle. How empty my life would be without him in it! More details on how we celebrated later :)


Now, glance back at your week and think about the ordinary things, people, places or happenings that took place in your life. The ordinary that is usually taken for granted.

And, tell me what miracles occurred in your life!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Yikes, We have a teenager in the house!

We have a running joke that comes up in our house around this time of year.
All you have to say, is "Are you sure you didn't pee your pants?"

See, 13 years ago, in the middle of the night, I got out of bed to use the bathroom.  When I stood up there was definitely some fluid running down my leg.  Since I was 39 weeks pregnant, obvious to me, my water had broken.  I woke up hubby, explained what was going on and his reply, "Are you sure you didn't pee your pants."  He has yet to live that one down.



Here we are today, March 28, 13 years later.  That beautiful baby girl, who made me a mom for the first time is now a lovely young lady, a teenager.  One who is loving, thoughtful, smart, athletic, and considerate.  Don't get me wrong, her room is usually a disaster and we've had our share of differences (she's been stubborn since day one!), but isn't that all part of growing up... figuring out your priorities and finding your individual voice and forming your own opinions?


These 13 years have flown by (still not sure how I'm old enough to have a teenager....) and I look forward to this next chapter ~ the good, the bad and everything in between!




Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Kitchen House ~ Book Review

If you are looking for a book to read, and are not looking for a fluffy, light read, this is one I recommend.   "The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom.  Here is a copy of the review I gave it on Goodreads:


The Kitchen HouseThe Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was definitely moved by this tragic book and have found a hard time getting it out of my head. It is about a white Irish girl, Lavinia in the 1700's who, through circumstances begins living with the "servants/slaves" on the plantation of an American family. Lavinia comes to love her new family, even though her white skin sets them apart. Eventually, she is taken in by the "white" family. And, as she grows up, Lavinia is torn by love, family and loyalties. Though there are many tragedies, unspeakable happenings, and unbelievable actions, love and the importance of family shine through. The book is told through the points of view of Lavinia and of Belle, the "kitchen house" slave who (unbeknownst to the white family) is the master's illegitimate daughter. Although, this book is not a light read, I would definitely recommend it. It is one I will be reading again.


Have any of you read it?  What did you think?
What books do you recommend?  I'm always looking to add more to my reading list!

(scroll down to the bottom of the page to see other books I've read and review on Goodreads)

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (10)

Did you have a good week last week?  I hope so!  Today I am doing a little reflecting myself, and remembering some of the Ordinary Miracles I was able to witness.  So many little miracles happen in our lives each day ~ a sunny day, a smile from a stranger, or simply being able to  spend time with a loved one ~  I was able to stop and see some Ordinary Miracles and I hope you were too!

Hubby's parents came up for a visit.  Typically when they visit, we have a schedule to adhere to.  We are usually cheering one of the kids on at one of their sporting events.  However, this time was different.  No agenda.  We stayed up late playing cards, slept in, went bowling, shopping, out for dinner.  It was a nice, relaxing few days.  
(We did cosmic bowling and all I had was my phone ~ and the pic quality shows that)




Hubby was out of town last week, traveling for work.  Typically when he is home, I wake up early (4:45am) and head out the door to get a workout in at our health club.   However, since he was gone, I worked out later in the morning.  I was running on a treadmill that faces the indoor track.  On the track there was an older gentleman walking who I would guess to be in his mid to late 70's.  I've seen this man before, and his resemblance to my late grandfather is uncanny.  Every time I see him I can feel a smile spread across my face as I am transported back in time.  It's like I can feel that my grandfather is with me.  Definitely an Ordinary Miracle.

I hope as you look back at your week and continue on this week, you stop and think about the ordinary things, people, places or happenings that took place in your life.  The ordinary miracles that are usually taken for granted.  

Tell me what miracles occurred in your life!

(See Previous Ordinary Miracles Here)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (9)


Did you have a good weekend?  I do hope so!  Today I am reflecting on the last week and remembering some of the Ordinary Miracles I was able to witness.  So many little miracles happen in our lives each day ~ a sunrise, a smile from a stranger just when you need it, or simply being able to  spend time with a loved one ~  I was able to stop and see some Ordinary Miracles and I hope you were too!

We found out 1 week ago Sunday that our neighbor, who was also the father of one of Sassy's great friends passed away.  And while his death makes my heart hurt ~ there are so many Ordinary Miracles that take place when a loved one dies.  People come together to raise each other up.  He was honored at a beautiful funeral and we were reminded to love a little more, live fully everyday and to laugh ~ always find a reason to laugh.  We also remember the value of life, all life, and how short it is. Cherish these days ~ good and bad.  My prayers to this family (if you wouldn't mind, I'm sure they would appreciate any extra prayers from any of you).  

Spring is finally starting to show it's lovely face, but with all the snow we've had, and still do have (actually, it is snowing again today!) it can be a bit treacherous on the driveway and sidewalks with all of the thawing and overnight refreezing.  Unfortunately,  Sassy found this out first hand while she was walking to the bus stop on Monday morning.  She slipped and fell....HARD.  Gloves went flying, the wind was knocked out of her,  and she was left holding her head and trying to catch her breath.  We decided to go back into the house and assess her ~ she had a big gash on her chin ~ one that ended up requiring 5 stitches.  Boo!  How is this an Ordinary Miracle you ask?  First of all, I was with her.  I don't always walk with her, but decided to on this particular morning.  I can't imagine what she would have done had she been alone.  And, she didn't break anything, her teeth are all intact and since she just started wearing contacts 1 1/2 weeks ago, she didn't have her glasses on.  I am certain they would have been broken.  See, proof that not everything that happens is good, but it is possible to see the good!


Tuesday night we learned Action's baseball tryouts went well enough that he "made" a baseball team in the league he was shooting for.  Bring on summer, it's hot days and dusty fields!

And, like I said before, the slowly and sporadically getting warmer and we were able to get outside and enjoy ourselves a bit.  It was fun to watch Action help his sister on her bike.

And simply lovely to just be able to hang out on the deck.  I "caught" Smiley drawing and enjoying herself one afternoon while I was making lunch.



Anyway, I hope you'll look back at your week and think about the ordinary things, people, places or happenings that took place in your life.  The ordinary that is usually taken for granted.  Tell me what miracles occurred in your life!

(See Previous Ordinary Miracles Here)