Tag Archives: love

Red & Lulu Book Is Sure To Be A New Christmas Classic #Giveaway

I want to share a very special book with you, that I find just amazing. It is a children’s book, one that is sure to become a traditional favorite in our home. One of my favorite books as a child was one about the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and where it came from.

Over the years, I have shared books with similar tones with my children. This year, we were introduced to Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares. From the first time I opened and read the large, hardcover book with my kids,we were hooked.

For me, it had much to do with the bonded pair of cardinals, Red and Lulu. Cardinals are very special to me and if you have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember my post about the significance of them in The Cardinals’ Kiss.

Beyond the cardinals, we live in Upstate NY where many of the trees that have graced Rockefeller Center have come from. Put the two together and add the magic of the Christmas season, and you have a recipe for a new holiday classic. I know we will read this book many times this season.

Red and Lulu lived happily in the tree that was going to be cut down and transported to New York City. The problem was not that they were going to lose their beloved home, it was bigger than that!

The morning the tree was cut and loaded on the truck, Lulu was in the inner branches. Lulu was in trouble because Red was not with her at the time and now she was on her way to The Big Apple.

Red caught sight of what had happened and  flew as fast as he could to catch up to Lulu, but before long, he lost sight of the truck. Red did not give up, he flew all the way to NYC and eventually found Lulu and their tree. Reunited, they happily explored this big, bustling city and made many friends in beautiful Central Park.

Red and Lulu were so happy to be together again. They would sit in the branches of their tree and admire the lights and the people who came from all over the world to see the majestic evergreen.

When the season was over, Red and Lulu made a new home with their new friends in Central Park. One of the perks of their new location, was that every year they could return to Rockefeller Center and sit on the branches of a new Christmas tree. The whole season long, they could happily enjoy, the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps, during the most wonderful time of the year. This book shows there is no distance too far to keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in an ode to serendipity and belief that is destined to be a new Christmas classic.

This book pulls at my heartstrings in so many ways. That is why I have added it to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. 

Candlewick Press is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own hardcover copy of Red & Lulu! Thank you to Candlewick Press for the review book and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Red & Lulu Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Books, Christmas, Gift, Giveaway, Review

Can Frequent Gift Giving Lead to a Stronger Relationship With Your Partner?

This is a sponsored guest post. It may or may not represent the values or views of MommyRamblings.org

Gifts Strengthen The Relationship

Giving Gifts frequently in relationships can help to make the bond stronger. This is especially true when the couple is just starting out in the relationship. In fact, most people use gifts as a way to win the admiration of the person they are interested in. Gifts are bought more frequently at the beginning of a relationship, this slows as the relationship progresses, especially for guys who feel secure that they have won the girl they were eyeing. Truth be told, in established relationships, gift buying becomes less frequent or stops altogether. However, this should not be the case. Buying and giving gifts should continue as they help to increase the bond between the two to be even tighter.

Gifts Act As Security

Sometimes gifts work as security in the relationship. Different gifts are typically given at certain stages in relationships. These gifts signify the relationship is moving to the next level or getting more serious. Having said this, it is good to understand the significance of  certain types of gifts to avoid misunderstandings.

Gift Giving Should Be Mutual

Gift giving should be mutual. It is awkward to give a gift to someone who never gives you a gift in return. Look out for hints from your better half to know what type of gift they would like and surprise them with it. No matter the size of the gift, as long as it comes from the heart, it goes a long way to cementing the relationship in ways that can’t be explained. Giftstolast.co.uk has some great deals, check their website for creative, personalised gift ideas.

Gifts Come In  All Shapes & Sizes 

Gifts come in all types and shapes. Whatever your partner gets you, accept it and show them that you appreciate their efforts to make you happy. Take time to learn about your partner as this will help you know the type of gift to buy. Different people want different things. There are partners who want material things, those who want your affection and others who just want to spend time with you. If your significant other is the type that loves spending time with you, give it to the maximum as it worth more than anything. Taking an evening walk together, watching a movie or just sitting together may be your partner’s perfect gift, give it wholeheartedly and watch your relationship flourish.

Gifts Contribute To The Success Of A Relationship

Gifts are crucial when it comes to the development of a successful relationship. It feels good to have your partner do or get something nice for you, no matter if it was expensive or not; all gifts should be appreciated. However, it is also imperative to talk about gifts and the role they play in that relationship.

Gifts Affirm Love And Commitment

Gift giving gives the assurance that the relationship is alive and doing well. Gifts also act as constant reminders that the partners have each other’s back and that they can count on each other. Gifts prove that there is love between the couple. Gifts in relationships don’t have to be demanded, but should come naturally and are be mutual. However, if for some reason you cannot get your partner any gift, don’t feel bad, explain the situation to them and they should understand.

 


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Humor, Heart, Loss, Triumph, Friendship, Family, and Love Come Together on the Pages of “LEMONS”– #Giveaway

I am sure you are probably familiar with the saying; “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That is the something that 9-year old Lemonade Liberty Witt’s mama always told her. While Lem would like to do just that, it seems impossible that she could ever make lemonade out of moving to Willow Creek, California.

Willow Creek is a tiny town filled with tall pines instead of skyscrapers, and a Bigfoot lurking in the woods. Lem wanted to stay in San Francisco after her mama died with her friends, school and everything she loved. Instead, she was forced to go and live with the grandfather she never even met. 

Things seem pretty bad but then Lem meets 11-year-old Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives Inc., who is the sole Bigfoot investigator for their small town. After he invites Lem to be his assistant for the summer, the two set out on an epic adventure to capture the elusive creature on film.

In the end, Lem and Tobin’s big discovery ends up being more earth-shattering than they ever dreamed. Best of all, Lem learns that maybe she can make lemonade out of her new life after all. 

Humor, heart, loss, triumph, friendship, family, and love all come together to create the pages of LEMONS.

 About The Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is written by debut author Melissa Savage, a writer and a child and family therapist. This is a classic middle grade novel in the vein of Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, and Patricia Reilly Giff. Her desire to write purposeful, issue-driven books for young people, coupled with her interest in cryptozoology and the mystery of Bigfoot, inspired her to write LemonsSet during the summer of 1975 in California, this is one of those novels that you want to immediately read again after finishing. Savage wrote LEMONS partly to overcome her own grief after losing her son at the age of 9 months in 2012.

The Tobin character in the book is named after her own son because she wanted him to remain a part of this world. The character Tobin is what she imagined her son would grow up to be. Stoic and brave, as he was, but also scientific like his dad and as big a fan of Bigfoot and cryptozoology as his mommy! Melissa knows that losing someone you love is an extremely tough lemon, as Lem experiences in the story and she struggles with how to make lemonade again.  For Melissa sharing her son’s name and spirit with children all over the world is one of the ways she has learned to make her own lemonade. You can read an excerpt HERE.

When asked what she hopes readers take away with them after reading Lemons, Melissa answered, “Hope, first and foremost.” She wants them to know that there is hope and healing in the world, even after dealing with tough lemons, if you choose it and surround yourself with gratitude and people who love you. She also hopes that readers will take away a renewed acceptance of those who are different from them. Lastly, she adds, ” A newfound interest in cryptozoology!” You can learn more about Melissa HERE.

Great Summer Read

With summer coming this is a perfect read for kids, their parents, teachers and more! We are having a giveaway below where you can enter for your chance to win a copy of this middle-grade novel.

Giveaway:

Penguin Random House Publishing  is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own hardcover copy of Lemons! Thank you to Penguin Random House for the review Novel and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Hardcover Copy of Lemons Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Books, Family, Giveaway, kids, Life, Review

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Funeral

My last living uncle died last week. He was my Uncle Arthur, my father’s brother and we were very close. He was a big joker and his favorite thing to do when I was a kid was to pretend he was stretching my arm by pulling down on my wrist and pushing my shirt sleeve up. I was sort of transformed into a real life Stretch Armstrong doll.

My parents along with My Uncle Arthur and Aunt Ruth purchased second homes on the same lake in Upstate New York. Our houses were 2 houses apart and so needless to say, our families were very close. After my parents died, we grew even closer, especially when I had my fourth and fifth child who never had a chance to know their grandparents. My uncle and aunt happily took on the role of surrogate grandparents to them.

My uncle was 91 and a half, he lived a long, full life, but still it was sad to let him go. It was comforting when I learned from my cousin, that my uncle called my father’s name as if he were in the room, a few days before he passed. I imagine my dad was there to lead his younger brother home. We take great comfort that we have such loving angels watching over us.

My uncle’s wake was not a somber one. His son and two grandchildren printed out several, tiny heads of my uncle and placed them strategically on the photo boards lining the room. Then, my cousin encouraged everyone to find the “Little Arthur” heads. My uncle has forever said, he did not want anyone to be sad at his funeral. In fact, he said, he wanted a mechanical coffin that would open and raise him to a sitting position as his arm would swing out with a drink in his hand and his voice would invite everyone to toast to his life.

I should explain that humor and laughter are a big part of our Italian family. My uncle’s only son, claimed the photos were a way to put the fun in funerals just as his father would have wanted. When the Elks Club came to perform a tribute to honor my uncle’s lifetime of service, we actually joked that this was when the mechanical coffin would open. My uncle would have liked that we were laughing and joking, because he would not want us to be sad. As I said, he was always telling jokes. That is why I know what happened the next day, had to be orchestrated by my humorous uncle.

As we left the church the next day to head to the cemetery, my sister and I, who were driving together, asked how far the cemetery was. My one cousin said it was nearby, while another said it was not so close. Not really knowing which was the right answer, we hurried out of the bitter cold into the car and figured we would just follow along in the procession.

We were at least 5 or 6 cars behind the black hearse as we pulled out of the church parking lot. We had to get on to the highway, right after we did, a lane that was merging on caused a few cars to dart in front of us. As this happened, there was a bit of congestion on the road and we started to get nervous that we were going to get lost. I looked ahead and saw the hearse. “We are okay, the hearse is a few cars ahead of us.”, I said.

I did wonder how we got so close to the hearse and thought for a moment that maybe the other cars just went on ahead. We joked for a second about how bad it would be if we were behind the wrong hearse. I reassuringly stated, how unlikely it would be for the same black, Cadillac hearse, to be on the exact same stretch of road, at the exact same time. That seemed to make good sense, and we stayed where we were, following a Chevy Tahoe in the procession.

As we entered the Catholic cemetery, the cars came to a stop. The funeral director got out of the hearse and entered a building on the premises. We wondered why we were stopping, but after a few minutes, the funeral director emerged with someone else who drove ahead to lead the way to the correct plot.

As we started toward the gravesite, I turned to my sister and said,”How did we get so close to the hearse? Where are all the other cars that were in front of us? Where is our cousin Bruce and Aunt Ruth? They should be behind the hearse!”

She looked at me a bit puzzled. As we came to a stop behind the hearse, someone directed some of the cars to come right along side of our car and park. This meant we were completely blocked in. As the people started to get out of their cars, we did not recognize anyone. “Oh wait, isn’t that the lady that was sitting near us in the church?” My sister asked. Before I could answer, she said, “Oh no, that woman is much younger.”

What really shocked me is that no one was waiting for my cousin or aunt before going on to the gravesite and standing around the coffin. My sister and I were concerned,  I turned to look toward the last car. It looked like my cousin’s car, phew! “How did he end up all the way back there?” I asked. Then I turned and looked toward the coffin. The white flower spray looked like the one that had been on top of my uncle’s casket in the funeral home, but the casket itself…looked different! “Wasn’t Uncle Arthur’s coffin darker?” I asked my sister, hoping it was just the bright sun making it look so much lighter.

“Oh my gosh, you’re right! His coffin was much darker! That is not Uncle Arthur!”

We both looked frantically at each other and then pondered what we should do. We were completely blocked in. We could not say anything, that would be disrespectful. We quickly texted our oldest brother who is terrible at checking texts in a timely fashion.

When he did not answer, we called our other brother who answered his phone and asked where we were. We explained the situation, and he told us that my uncle’s service at the cemetery was already over and they were en-route to the restaurant. Then he asked if we had seen our aunt’s brother, because he was at the wrong funeral too. That made us feel a little better.

We started thinking about if the people around the casket were looking at us and wondering why we were still in the car talking and texting on our phones. Did they think we did not want to brave the cold, February wind or that we were too busy updating our Facebook statuses to join everyone else gathered around the grave? As we sat in disbelief wondering how this could happen, the graveside service ended, and the people started to walk toward their cars.

As the cars in front of us started to pull away, we could not help but laugh, because we knew that our uncle was pulling one of his best jokes on us from Heaven. We could hear him laughing and imagined he was telling everyone how his nieces, brother-in-law and later as we found out, our other 2 cousins, ended up at the wrong funeral.

Over the course of the next several hours at the restaurant, we laughed again and again at what had happened. It truly was straight out of a sitcom or movie script. I guess we know Uncle Arthur had the last laugh that day and that filled us with a great feeling.

As I write this, looking out on the lake I live on, the same lake my uncle’s and parents’ houses are on, I hear the Cardinals singing. I smile as I  know that Heaven is not so far away and angels are all around us. In our case, we have angels with a sense of humor along with great love. Love you Uncle Arthur, never lose your sense of humor!


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Filed under Humor, Life, Life Stages

Harry Connick Jr. Departs From His Comfort Zone In “That Would Be Me”

Harry Connick Jr. takes a true departure out of his comfort zone in his new album released today, That Would Be Me. For the first time in 25 years, he worked  in the studio with outside producers on this album which continues to stretch boundaries and embrace the plainspoken instincts that have guided him throughout his life.

 

When talking about the new album, Connick half-jokingly confided: “It’s the only time I’ve violently thrown myself out of my own comfort zone,’ enthusiastically agreeing to work in the studio with two ‘external’ producers.  The noted collaborators he’s chosen are acclaimed musical craftsman in their own right –  Producers Eg White (Sam Smith, Adele, Florence And The Machine), and Butch Walker (Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink, Weezer, Fall Out Boy). The result is a riveting album full of surprises and stirring musical conjurations, delivering great songs and new insights into a prolific artist who Butch Walker, himself, has called ‘an American musical treasure.’

TRACK LISTING:

1.       (I Like It When You) Smile
2.       (I Do) Like We Do
3.       Tryin’ To Matter
4.       Songwriter
5.       Do You Really Need Her
6.       You Don’t Need A Man
7.       You Have No Idea
8.       Where Prisoners Drown
9.       (I Think I) Love You A Little Bit
10.    Every Time I Fall In Love
11.    Right Where It Hurtsharry connick

I actually liked the second half of this album this best. I think it is because I am a sucker for love ballads.  So not hard not to believe that Every Time I Fall In LoveYou Have No Idea followed by Love You A Little Bit were my favorite tracks. Yes, this album was a departure from Harry’s usual style but not a derailment by any means. It is true reaching and stretching out of our comfort zone we can discover the best things await us there.

Are these the best things for Mr. Connick Jr. I highly doubt that he has reached his peak. He may say he is one year closer to dead in I Like It When You Smile but I think it is safe to say, “Harry there’s a lot of life in you yet and a lot of music in your soul!” 

You can find this album on iTunes and Amazon. Check out the official Harry Connick Jr. Website and Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

 

I participated in the That Would Be Me album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

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Stop Posting “FML” Statuses!!!

It's just a bad day not a bad lifeNothing gets under my skin more than “FML” statuses that people post.  In fact I hate them so much, that as I go through my Facebook Feed and just quickly read them, I have to stop and say a prayer that lets God know I was just reading that and didn’t say that myself about my life.

I know to most of you that probably sounds crazy or silly, but it’s the truth.  The biggest reason I despise it is that it’s often said about very trivial things.  You know like asking for no mayo on your burger and getting one with mayo.  Sometimes it could be something more, say your car skidding on ice even though you did not hit anyone else or receive any injuries. That should not have a “FML” status but a “Thank God” or “Life is Good” status.

There are so many people struggling just to live, those with life-threatening illnesses, who are in pain and still fighting with every ounce of strength left to make it another day.  They are not posting “FML” statuses, they know how precious” life is and they are thankful for every minute.  To post a status that you missed the bus or were late to work with “FML” is just crapping on your life. Maybe it was destiny that you missed that bus, perhaps getting on that bus would have led to something very bad for you.  I believe every thing happens for a reason so if you didn’t catch the bus, try to look at it in a different way. Value your life no matter how hard it may seem at times. Never think it’s not worth it, because you need to remember there are people all over, who would trade places with you in a heartbeat.  Parents who have to stand by helplessly while their child takes their last breath, moms who have to say goodbye to their families way before their time, dads who will never get to show their son how to shave.

Life is precious, life is fragile, life is fleeting, please don’t put such little value on yours.  Cherish your life instead.  I am not saying you can’t post about having a bad day or something bad happening.  Of course you can share that and get some encouragement and hugs from friends.  It’s just the “FML” that you need to lose.  In the words of Max Ehrmann, “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

 

Max Ehrmann-Life quote


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Filed under Life, Life Stages, Main Page Post, Mommy Ramblings, Ramblings & Rants

A Matter of Perspective: Still Embracing Dandelions!!!

I have never been obsessed with my lawn, dandelions don’t bother me. I would rather have them grow instead of coating my lawn with chemicals.  I really don’t see the need to go nuts over it, when you cut the lawn they’re gone and by the time they’re really blooming all over, it’s time to cut the lawn again. If we did not have dandelions my kids would never have “Wishy Flowers” to make a wish and blow on.

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I see posts on Facebook from people upset that the dandelions are growing on their lawn They talk about bringing out the “big guns” (pesticides), to get rid of them.  I cannot understand it when they would rather expose their kids and pets to the pesticides rather than let a few or maybe a lot, of pretty yellow weeds grow.

As I was pondering the thought, my little ones came out onto the lawn and scanning it they marveled, “Look at all the pretty yellow flowers!  Don’t step on them they are so nice.  How did we get so many?”

Today I was the recipient of a very special dandelion placed on my laptop while I was out of the room.  A very special flower from my seven-year old.

 

My preschooler brings me home dandelions in his backpack and by the time he gets home they are closed and dry, but he still asks me to put them in water.  I treasure the dandelion bouquets they bring me as this time is so precious and their vision so pure. Seeing these weeds as beautiful yellow flowers, something to share with their mother and something to preserve.  The innocence of these children makes me think of something I heard once, if dandelions were hard to grow everyone would want them.

A few years ago I wrote a post entitled Embracing the Dandelions and today I am still embracing the dandelions and embracing the love that brings me them and asks, “Aren’t they so pretty mommy?”  You know what? They sure are! They are more beautiful than roses because of the thought and love behind them.  It’s only a matter of perspective and this mom will forever be embracing the dandelions and the sweet memories.


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Gourmet Dinner & Movie Date Night Idea for Under $20!!! #KYDateNight #ad

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

My husband and I don’t  get the chance to go out by ourselves much.  With five kids, including two little ones, no family nearby and very busy schedules, date nights out of our home are not in the cards at this time.  However, just because we can’t get out for a “date” doesn’t mean we can’t stay in and still have a great date night.

Sure, you need to get a little creative, but where there’s a will there’s a way right?  If you’re in the same boat and want to do something special for you and your love, I hope this inspires you.  My husband and I had a land and sea dinner with balsamic marinated skirt steak and shrimp scampi, all the food was delivered fresh from Plated.com.  We also watched a great movie on Vudu.com which we turned into a real theater experience with popcorn and our favorite movie theater candy.

Do you think that sounds like it might be expensive?  What if I told you that it was included in a special package of K-Y Yours + Mine couples lubricants?  It was, and the K-Y Yours + Mine was under $15 at Walmart.  You can easily spend 6 times that going out to a gourmet dinner and a movie.  You would not even be able to buy 2 movie tickets for $15 in most theaters not to mention the price they charge for popcorn, candy and drinks!

Walmart has specially marked boxes of K-Y Yours + Mine that include gift codes to Plated.com and Vudu.com (a $40 value)!

 KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

We lucked out big time because Plated.com had a special when we went online to order our dinner and doubled the amount of dinners.  We then picked out a land and a sea option!  On Vudu.com you can browse form hundreds of movies that will stream instantly for you.

There are a lot of ways you can enhance the date night experience at home.  Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration where you can find some date night theme printables that will add a lot of fun.  Pop up some popcorn and instead of eating it out of the bag, put it in some fun popcorn containers, then head off to the big candy bins that are in Walmart and pick out some boxes of your favorites.  You can also whip up some special deserts to have after dinner too!

Put the kids to bed early and then have fun preparing dinner together. My husband and I like to cook and with Plated it was so easy to get to the fun part. Everything was sent fresh to us along with the recipes so there was no shopping or planning on our part. We had a lovely dinner of balsamic marinated skirt steak with creamy, corn polenta and shrimp scampi with cauliflower bruschetta.

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

After dinner we took our dessert, candy and popcorn into the family room.  We fired up the big screen and browsed the available movies on Vudu.com and picked our movie.

KY-Date-Night-#KYDateNight- #cbias-#ad

 After movie time, it’s time to move the party upstairs with K-Y Yours + Mine.  We had a date night that rocked all night long!

KY Date Night 3 - Copy

 KY Date Night Collage


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Cherish Life!!!

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I am sitting here on my porch swing, doing a little work and resting from just doing a photo shoot for some bathing suits, sunglasses and sunscreen we are reviewing.  My photo shoot went something like this, “Come on kids, the sun keeps going in and out and I am afraid it might rain.  Hurry, get these trunks on.  Luke, let me help you.  Oh my, how could these 4Ts be so big on you? They are never going to stay on.”

After trying safety pins and a multitude of other things it was just not going to work so we decided to just wing it and get this done in case it does rain.  Then the other part when we got down to the dock went something like this, “Okay, we have to make this quick, I still need to review the chainsaw.  Yes, you can put your feet in but you can’t go swimming.  Don’t throw the rocks, did you hear me?  Stop with the rocks, look over here, okay you can put your feet in and splash, don’t lean over that far! Okay take the sunglasses off, okay put them back on. Luke stop with the rocks!  Okay, I think I have enough, let’s go.  No, we have to go back to the house now, right now!”

So I am sitting here taking a stress break because frankly I have so much on my plate.  I mean I have articles to write for my editor, people to train,  customer service issues, plus all the reviews I need to finish and get up for this blog and of course being a mom and a wife and trying not to have a nervous breakdown and did I mention we are doing a dual birthday party for both little ones and we invited his entire pre-school and my other son’s kindergarten class.  No idea what we will do if the weather turns bad and due to what happened last year when I planned and planned for the party and had everything arranged and we had to change locations at the last-minute because it decided to rain, I am not really planning and that is now stressing me big time.

So back to the present, I am sitting here and on this very warm day, can still feel a cool breeze blowing in from the lake and my little guys are racing around and around the house on a race track (yes, we are the only people who probably have a race track that runs the entire perimeter of their house and garage.  So about every 1.5 minutes because it is pretty large my little guys pass in front of me.  and I smile and then I get sad.  I get sad because I think of all the petty things like I just mentioned above and more. How I could feel there is a lot on my plate when others have the weight of the world on their shoulders? How  could I worry about some rocks being thrown in the lake or a birthday party that should only be about kids having fun and in the end won’t notice if a certain decoration is up or if there was something missing. Then I feel guilt because I think of one of the women I work with who has a grandson fighting for his life and I think how much he would love to be riding around on a race track and I think of those friends that are dealing with kids with real challenges who may never walk or live independently and the struggles they have and well…it just makes all those little things feel incredibly small.

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So if you know anyone going through some tough stuff, let them know you are thinking of them, if you pray say a prayer for them, if you live close offer some help, maybe a meal, a shoulder, a friend.  Also try to look at what is worrying you and put it in perspective so more time can be spent just cherishing the moments as they come.  Not building everything up so it has to be some Pinterest worthy event but relishing even in the small, messy, loud, moments that define our lives.  We never know what the future holds so don’t take one thing for granted ever!!!

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Gardens Grow With Love!!!

I love when it is time to garden again.  I enjoy having a garden,  tending the garden, photographing the garden, and best of all harvesting the garden.  This is my second season using the two large raised beds my hubby built me last year.  We have had so much rain that it has been hard to get things started but we did get the soil turned over and most of the veggies planted.  I have a few more to put in and some patio tomatoes to plant since I accidentally bought too many tomato plants.  One can never have too many tomatoes so I bought some patio containers and will grow them there.

I also am growing my herbs in containers on the deck.  Last year I had my basil, parsley, peppermint, spearmint and oregano in the garden but this year I put it in pots.  I am still in the process of transplanting the perennial and spreading mint from the garden to the containers because of the rain thwarting my best efforts.  The local nursery did not have the zucchini and yellow squash plants in because of the rain, so I will have to try next weekend for them.  I did manage to plant a variety of tomatoes like big boys, beefsteak, early girls, cherry, yellow heirloom, and probably at least another variety I am forgetting.  I did not plant any hot peppers this year because I did last year and my husband who they were for did not eat them but ate the sweet peppers.  So now I have a great variety of sweet peppers like sweet cherry peppers, sweet banana peppers, and a variety of purple, green and red bell peppers.  I have purple and white eggplants, cucumbers, butternut squash, jack be littles, Howden pumpkins, blue lake green beans and sugar snap peas.

In the herb department I planted rosemary, cilantro, oregano, sweet mint, peppermint, spearmint, basil, thyme, dill, lavender, Italian parsley, and probably a couple of others that I am forgetting right now.

I am planting rhubarb for the first time this year, and we are starting a variety of grapes as well.   We would have everything planted if the rain would stop but we are doing what we can and we are not that behind.

Delicious grapes


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