Thursday, July 15, 2010


These last few days I have been thinking about how blessed I have been in my life to have wonderful women who have taught me to be a friend, wife and a mother.

My grandma Smith was a hard worker and she never complained. She was usually the first one up and had breakfast on before we had our eyes open. She loved taking care of her family. She was a wonderful hostess and somehow she knew what you needed before you even knew it yourself. I asked her once how she managed to fill everyone's glass with tea before we realized it was even empty and she said "She always listened for the ice". Oh to be so in tune with the needs of those I love.

My grandma Bishop was also a hard worker but her body wore out before it was time for her to go. She must have found it hard to be bedridden at a time in her life when her friends were taking trips and enjoying a time in their lives when they had less responsibility. She never let on if that was the case though. She was content with her situation and found a reason to smile everyday. Oh how I hope I will be able to accept the limitations of age with the same grace I saw in her.

My mom has taught me that being a mother is more about being there through the good and the bad than it is about carrying a child for nine months. She has loved me unconditionally since the very beginning when a skinny five year old child came to live with her. I hope my children will always know the security of my unconditional love.

Yesterday a woman that I had the privilege of calling MillieMom passed away and I've been thinking a lot about her and all the many things she was good at. I remember especially the day that I realized that I would be a lot smarter if I listened more closely to the advise she gave. She was committed to her husband and her family. She loved the sound of the family playing games together and taught me how to play cards and bunco. She was my google before we had computers and would answer my silly questions, even long distance. She never met a stranger and adopted those around her into her family. She was a wonderful mom, wife and grandma and has left behind a wonderful legacy in those who loved her. I am grateful for the place she had in my life and pray I will be able to remember and use all the life lessons she taught me.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Emptier Nest

We had a houseful a few nights ago and I loved it. There is nothing like the sound of teenagers laughing and just enjoying being together. It made me realize how much I miss having a full house. When Mike and I married we had six in the house and one across the street, and one across town. Now we have three in the house, one across the country, two married with families of their own one in Orlando going to school, and one who doesn't stay in one place too long! I know this is a natural progression and I really wouldn't want anything less for them, than for them to make their own lives and follow their dreams but I have to admit I miss having them all home at once.

I wonder if it will ever get easier? I think I am beginning to understand why my Grandma was so happy at Easter when all the kids made it home to the farm. It is comforting to have everyone together.

Is it too soon to recommend that we have family reunions?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Morning with Mom

I've decided if I have to do schoolwork I might as well do it somewhere that I like. We finally have a Panera on Fleming Island and I am really enjoying it. Mom decided to join me and work on some of her CEU stuff. Psychopathology and Bagels!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

21/365 Soup for you, and you

Driving home through the pouring rain and tornado warnings I thought about what to fix for dinner. It seemed like the perfect day for soup. As I walked in the door I smelled homemade chiken soup. My husband was reading my mind! Before he left for work, Mike put on a pot of soup and it was awesome. Everyone enjoyed it, even the furry family members!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20/365 My BFF

"Great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget."

She was my best friend in Junior high and we were inseparable. She was the sister I didn't have and she loved me in spite of my temper tantrums and my teenage self-centeredness. We haven't stayed in touch but I have thought of her often. We finally talked today and it felt like I had found a missing piece of myself. I can't wait to see her in person and really catch up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

19/365 The View in My Driveway

I never know what I am going to find when I get home. Today I just couldn't resist getting a picture. I have no idea what he was doing but he managed to get good and greasy and declares "it" is fixed.

Sleeping Beauty

I have always loved to watch my children when they are sleeping. It's the only time they are still enough to get a good look at them. My Katie Baby is growing up and it is happening way too fast. She is still a delight and very rarely acts like I am told most 16 year old girls do and I am grateful for that. I enjoy her company immensely. She is a thoughtful, caring and sensitive, young woman and I am blessed to be her mom.

Monday, January 18, 2010

18/365 My Handyman

We got a new fridge and it is much bigger than the old one. No Problem! My husband can fix anything and I am so grateful that he is able and willing even after a long day at work. You would think we would be downsizing but our family seems to be growing. I can't even imagine what it will be like when all the kids are married and have children. We are blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

17/365 Look what I can do!

Landen has a new trick. He is pulling himself up on everything. The only problem is he hasn't figured out how to sit back down.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

16/365 What am I doing in here?

Landen is crawling now, and can get where he wants to be fast. We pulled the old playpen/minicrib out of the attic so we can keep him safe when we have to leave the room. He did really well with it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

14/365 This is Florida?

My debit card has been getting a lot of use and it is not costing me anything. I guess up north they probably have something fancy for cleaning off the snow and ice but down here my debit card works just fine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13/365 Must be time to go home!

I have a love/hate relationship with computers. I love them when they work and I hate them when they don't. I have no idea how I accomplished this but maybe it was just time to call it a day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12/365 He has a girlfriend...

I am not really sure when it happened but he has grown up. Michael was 12 when Mike and I got married. A lot of people mistakenly thought he was younger than Katie because she was taller than him. That is not the case now as he is taller than me! He reminds me so much of his dad. Just like him he has had me twisted around his finger since day one. I realized today that sometime in the last five years he has become a young man. He has a girlfriend (Amalise) and it is fun to see a different side of him. I know this year will bring a lot of changes - graduation and boot camp to name a few. One thing that will never change is the way I feel about him.

Monday, January 11, 2010

11/365 Lonesome...

I began my Master's in Social Work one year ago. I was nervous and did not know what to expect. I had not even finished my Bachelors yet. Our program was long distance. Our professors drove from Tallahassee and taught us at UNF. Classes were Friday 6-9, Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-2. We met once a month for three months for each class. I loved my classmates. We came from different backgrounds, many different undergrad degrees, covered a wide range of ages and yet we all had a common goal and a desire to make the world a better place.

Our program is now online and I am feeling lost without my buddies.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10/365 The newest addition to my reading list.

Mike and I took a trip to one of my favorite places today, Barnes & Noble. I sometimes think I could live in a bookstore. especially now that they have cafes in them. I only needed one book for classes this semester which is nice but I don't think it will be a pleasure read.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

9/365 Daddy's Baby Girl

Daddy's baby girl is planning her wedding. We visited the Hilltop today to check out the wedding and reception areas and possible menu options. It's hard to imagine a spring wedding when the high today was 37 but we used our imaginations.

Friday, January 08, 2010

8/365 No cobwebs here!

It's been a long time since my fireplace has seen this much activity. This week starting a fire has been the first order of business when I get home everyday. It's not that the house is cold, or even that the fake fire logs put out that much heat. It's just the good feeling I get from having a fire going and sitting next to it with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. I have been known to turn the air conditioner on, or open the windows when it is chilly outside so I can have a fire in the fireplace. That has definitely not been necessary this week and for now I am really enjoying it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

7/365 City Lights

I have always loved the Jacksonville Skyline. When I was younger I would go downtown to Friendship Park and take pictures. Tonight on the way home as I was going south on 17 I noticed the lights and I had to go back to get pictures from the Ortega River Bridge. This spot is one of my favorites. I love the quaint little drawbridge and the magnificent view of the city.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

6/365 Tough Competition

She doesn't ask for much, doesn't take up too much room and she doesn't steal the covers.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The cutest Santa ever...

Landen Smith

5/365 The Magic Pot

I am really enjoying my crockpot. This morning I got up at 5:00 am and put supper on to cook. Tonight I got home at 6:00 pm and all I had to do was fix a plate! I am already wondering what I can put in the "magic pot" tomorrow.

Monday, January 04, 2010

4/365 I love cats...

Toby has discovered the pointer on my computer screen. I probably should be concerned by how entertained I am. Oh well, it does make for a good way to relax at the end of the day.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

3/365 Time to Organize

We took Christmas down today. Not my favorite thing to do. I am one of those people who still enjoys sitting in the dark with only the lights on the tree to illuminate the room. Mike and I took a trip to Walmart in the hopes of organizing our collections of snowmen and Santas. Combining two households made for a lot of Christmas decorations and we are still trying to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of six years later. All of the bins are now safely in the attic and I think we have made some progress.
I wish there were bins for all the other things in my life that I would like to organize...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2/365 It's a Date!

I can see now this is going to be harder than I thought. I was already thinking tonight as I curled up under the covers that I could always post tomorrow and date it for today but my husband wouldn't let me so here I am.

I don't know when it happened but I have become a real fan of wings. It could be due to the fact that I worked for three years in a sports bar or possibly the fact that I met my husband serving him wings but whatever the reason Mike and I are always looking for a good wing place. Since Players closed I have been hard pressed to find a place I like as much. Baxters in Middleburg are good but not exactly conveniently located for us. Tonight we made our way down to Green Cove Springs and checked out Dicks wings. We were not disappointed! Hot wings on a cold night were a hit. We will definitely have to make our way down there again.

The very best part about eating wings with Mike is that he likes the drums and I like the flats.

Friday, January 01, 2010

1/365 Traditions

We celebrated today with a very traditional New Years Day meal. Collard greens, black-eyed peas and rice, cornbread and a pork roast. For a little while my house smelled just like my grandmas did when I was a child. Traditions are important to me. They remind me of years past and connect me to wonderful memories of family and friends who are no longer here. I hope my children will be able to recall memories from their childhood as they carry on the traditions with their families and create memories for their children. The connections to our past are precious and help us to make sense of the present.