Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Celebration

See this cutie?? I have known T since she was in first grade.

Last night we sat at one of her favorite restaurants (ingrained in her by her mother and me eating there weekly for years because we had coins that gave the kids free meals) to celebrate the much awaited graduation day.

I love her like she was my own. Mostly because her mother and I were inseparable for years and she treated this girl better than a sister.
What's up with this picture??? Sometimes a bad picture tells the story so well that you have to keep it.
Then you see the rest of the story...

...and are thankful that you never had siblings. And that my Dear T is my graduation gift to you.


Friday, May 27, 2011

To Simpler Times

...when we only had one car.
...when walking to McDonald's with Caitlin to share a Happy Meal with the three dollars in change I found in the couch was the highlight of the day.
...when playing in the courtyard of our apartment chasing squirrels and watching birds was fun.
...when gas was cheap and I could throw Caitlin in the back of the car and drive for hours looking at the countryside or imagining what it would be like to own this house or that one.
I am not sure how it gets away from you...
...that love for simplicity.
...those carefree days.
...those chaos-free times.

Granted, I probably didn't like getting up at 5:30 in the morning to drive my husband to work just so I could have the car, but in the big scheme of things that was nothing.

As I look at my house, the house I dreamed of having, the house that now has water damage from years of a gutter that just wouldn't drain right, the house that needs new carpet and a paint job....I wonder
...Can you go back to living simply?
...Can you be happy living in a two bedroom townhouse?
...Can you go back to living a day's drive away from your mother?
...Can you be happy being a stay at home mom?

I don't know, but it is something that is looming overhead as moving day draws nearer.

When we move to Missouri, I am unsure what awaits.
...Will I find another job?
...Will I want another job?
...Will selling skin care be satisfying enough (emotionally/financially?)
...Will be able to get along with less?

I am seriously considering staying at/working from home in this next chapter of my life. I have two children who take a lot of time and attention, something I haven't been able to do as well as I would have liked to these past few years.
...Will I stay organized?
...Will I stay motivated?
...Will I like it as much as I think I will?

I hope so.

Friday, May 20, 2011


As I was waiting for the award ceremony at Caitlin's art show yesterday, I had a moment to people watch. I enjoyed seeing parents dote on their children and their work. I thought it was cute how my son glommed onto some unknown little girl who had a hand held video game, and she likewise took to him. But what caught my attention the most was how Caitlin was freely interacting with her peers, mostly girls. There were a few boys who would come around and try to get her attention and she was mostly (thankfully) oblivious to their attempts.

My favorite was this boy

who bears a striking resemblance to another teddy bear I know.

It was funny to watch him hover around Caitlin everywhere she turned. Usually he stood behind her while she chit chatted with her girlfriends.

But one time he became bolder and actually put himself into the middle of the conversation, but to no avail.
He and other boys are going to have to try harder. As far as I am concerned, however, they can just keep hovering....And Cait can just go on being oblivious Cait.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Best In Show

I love this girl! It doesn't take an outside jury to tell me she's the best, but it sure is nice to hear it every so often.
Today was the art show at her school where two junior high school art departments were represented. There was a wide variety of work there. I am impressed with what the art teachers at the two schools are able to accomplish with limited resources and schools cutting back on the fine arts. Without this art program, Caitlin would never have been able to try her hand at the so many different media.

Clay Mask (self portrait)

Glazed Pottery

Foil Collage

Hammered Pendant and Earrings

Charcoal Self Portrait - Best in Show!!!

The funny thing is she had homework and I suggested she ask her teacher if she could leave the show after 30 minutes. The teacher said it was important that she stay for the award ceremony and that she should dress up. When she was awarded 4th place for the glazed pottery, I thought she was done and put the camera away. Imagine my surprise when they said they had three more awards to give. As they said "Best in Show," I heard Cait.... You should have seen me scrambling for the camera. How exciting!

So proud of you Caitlin.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And The Rain Came Down...

...And Down...And Down.... (A total of 5 inches/12.7cm.)

And I made the silly mistake of having half a Coke with my dinner. (I haven't had caffeine in over a year.) I only slept from midnight to 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. until 5 a.m.

Let's see how I function today.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On This Mother's Day

Yesterday at a brunch with Octamom the topic was Proverbs 31. It was an oracle from King Lemuel's mother (actually possibly Bathsheba to her son King Solomon) describing the kind of woman he should be looking for. Different ladies at the brunch were identified as representing each characteristic from the scripture. It was very touching, and it got me thinking about important women in my life. Although my mother is very important to me, recently her sister - my Aunt Rose - passed away and I began to reflect on the impact her life had on me.

14She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.
She always had the best gifts. She always knew exactly what to give you. She loved to shop and find interesting things. That is how she and I spent a good portion of our time together. We were like great hunters searching for the perfect scarf or accessory to go with some other wonderful bargain.
16She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
After her husband passed away around 2007, she packed up her belongings and moved to Texas from NY. She bought a house, had it fixed up and developed a garden that can't be compared to any other. People who didn't even know her would stop by her corner cottage just to see her garden. She gladly shared her back yard full of roses and trees with them. When we were having her estate sale, many people came by to visit her son and me to share their condolences. Many of them said they met her because of her beautiful yard. When I bought my house I worked really hard to work on my yard like her, but that was one gene I didn't inherit.

19She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
Rose was a gracious hostess. She opened her home to people for dinners and when they came, regardless of their station in life, they were treated like kings and queens with perfectly appointed tables decorated for season or theme. She made the best homemade cakes and remembered which flavor was your favorite for your birthday. Everywhere you looked in her house you find some little something she had changed just for the upcoming holiday. She would make her own wreaths to hang on her door and even drew pictures on her windows to go with season.
22She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.... 25Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When I was a teenager, she and I spent summers together. Many times she and I would decorate denim jackets with bling, hats with flowers or t-shirts with paint. Some of the people from her church who came to visit our sale remembered her as a beautiful lady who was always dressed impeccably, perfectly accessorized every time they saw her. She was the epitome of grace and style. When I first began working, she ensured I was always put together. This is something that has stuck with me throughout the years.
Nanny, as my children called her, loved all things beautiful. She made the world around her lovely for everyone around her. As I look at the person I am becoming, I realize that there is a good portion of my aunt in me. I just wish we could have kept her around just a little longer. Meanwhile, she is probably busy in heaven making everyone comfortable at the dinner table.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

On Blogging

When I began blogging, oh, some 3+ years ago, I never knew the treasure trove I was discovering.

Since then, I have shared many elements of my life from Scrapblogging, ordeals with my interesting children, my word of the year, art journaling...the list goes on. Needless to say, this blog is certainly not a focused blog like my blog friends Marit, Sharmaine or Michelle who primarily share the artwork. Nor is it devoted only to sharing stories of my children like Eva Helen. Instead, I chose to let whatever is on my mind at the time make its way onto my pages, thus the title: So I Was Just Thinking.

The best thing about having this blog is the great people who have come into my life because of it...too many to list. However, one of those ladies is this one right here. I have had many opportunities to meet with her over the years. Today being the most recent.
Caitlin and I had a lovely pre-Mothers' Day brunch with a slew of ladies from her church. It was such a blessing to fellowship with so many different women. I was touched by their stories of dedication to rearing and guiding children. Whenever I leave this group of ladies, I feel so blessed and can't stand to leave to make that hour and a half drive back to my little world.

Tomorrow, I will share a my thoughts of what I walked away thinking about.
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