Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile

Another Sunday and a chance to think back on the simple joys of my week. With a grate"full" heart I say thank you.....This week they are really random !

1- "Bar Keepers Friend" I have always heard of this product but never tried it. It's a MUST!!! My sinks and faucets are sparkling.For a girl who loves to clean this is a lot of joy for $1.35 And its been around since 1882. Where has it been all my life??

2- Artichokes..I have loved them since I was pregnant with Travis. It was the ONLY food that I craved! And I have been hooked ever since. My Daddy used to say "you could starve to death eating them" but for me there is just nothing better. I had three this week!

3- I spoke with my nephew Austin on the phone. He is such a GREAT young man and I don't get to see him near enough. I loved hearing him say "I Love you auntie Karen" Going to make sure he saves me a dance at the wedding! And one of his great hugs too

4- I had a really vivid dream about my Mom. I have been missing her so much with all the wedding excitement. Just knowing how much she would love Ashlyn and being there with us that day. So she has been on my heart even more lately. I am thankful God let me hear her voice and see her sweet face in my dreams. And I am trusting she will get to experience the whole day from heaven! It is one that she prayed for since each of her grandchildren were born.

5- Another week without sugar! Now that's somethin...I went to Brighton and the lady handed me a big piece of cake with my purchase because they were celebrating birthdays. "Oh no, none for me thank you " actually came out of my mouth??? Can I get a Boo Yah!!!

6- I finished a good book and I just love the joy of picking my next one. I always have a stack of books in my office that I want to read so I have plenty to choose from. I love to crack open a new one and begin another wonderful story. I know book lovers can relate to this little joy.

It's all that's on my heart....

wedding love bride groom daughter son father mother excitement grandparents music beloved dance old new borrowed blue vows gifts promises beginnings friends family near far cake flowers dress tux groomsmen bridesmaids tears joy Jesus covenant ashlyn flowergirl guests kiss linens speech toasts celebration pride thankfulness nephews nieces uncles aunts husband wife prayer travis reunions witness candles brothers sisters adored marriage photos smiles rings bouquets i do's

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Tietta~

Today is my precious Sister in law Lindsay's birthday. And I just wanted to honor her in a small way with my blog. My life would not be complete without the amazing friendship and love of this sister of mine. She has been married to my brother Kenny for 25 years, and they are the perfect team. She is so nurturing and kind, and by far the most compassionate person I have ever known.Often when I call to tell her a story I can hear the tears start to flow before I even finish. If you feel something she feels it too, if you hurt she hurts too. And there is no one more fun to share your joy with because she rejoices right along with you.We are not allowed to sit with each other at the wedding because I am quite sure there has never been a time when we were together that we didn't choke up about something.She is such a tender heart...Only Lindsay would take a wild bird to the vet after blowing air into its lungs all the way there. And when the bird died she cried all day and felt terrible like she could have done more.She is one of a kind,& the truest friend you could ever have.We often tease her that she and Steve are really brother and sister.They are SO MUCH ALIKE it's scary. Nobody gets Steve like Lindsay and he feels the same way about her.So it only figures I would love them both so darn much. I found out when I called her to wish her a happy birthday that Steve had beat me to the punch and called her on his way to work.I didn't even remind him it was her birthday.He just knows like he would know my own.How blessed we all are to have her in our lives.Now everyone has faults and she has a BIG ONE.I probably shouldn't say it on her birthday but....She doesn't receive graciously at all! We have had literal fist fights over a restaurant check, and she plays really dirty! She will go to the "bathroom" and sneak and pay the bill. She cant be trusted at any time!! I once commented how good a lotion smelled and then found one in my car! One time I threw a glass of water at her outside Rosa's Cantina because she had slipped the lady her card and paid for our dinner.(I still contend she deserved it) You just cant out-give her on anything! And the few times I managed I had to be really sly and quick.I paid for her pedicure and felt so good about it. Only to find two days later,hidden in my bathroom a gift certificate for one for me. She is super stubborn in this way. But I am quite sure it's her only fault,and even her one fault is rooted in absolute kindness.About 15 years ago we met a lady named Tietta who shared my moms hospital room. She was this sweet, kind hearted,black lady who had us in stitches the whole time we were there. We just loved her name and it stuck. So we have been calling each other that ever since. So Happy Birthday to my Tietta!!! I couldn't love you more!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A New Beginning ~

Saturday we were invited to come and help fix up the new house where Travis and Ashlyn will be living after their wedding.And it is just darling!! I cried with gratefulness that they will be in such a sweet place in a great neighborhood.It was so fun to help clean, paint,and organize with them. And it was even cuter by the time we all left.Fresh paint and love does wonders! Steve was in his glory being needed by his boy. They hooked up lights, the washer & dryer, spackled, painted, and worked in the yard.We are so thankful to be included in the little moments with them. Even Chad and the roommates from Piedmont rode over and pitched in.It reminded me of when they were boys and their friends would leave the bikes on the lawn and come in to play.Chad is thrilled that they will be just a bike ride away,he is really going to miss his "best friend" sharing his room. We were tuckered out but it was a day we will ALWAYS remember! Steve and I smiled the whole way home!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile

Another Sunday to reflect on the blessings in my life. With a grateful heart I say "Thank you" Life is sweet and wonderful

1-The Olympics!We have loved watching this year and cheering on the USA.We have so many heroic athletes with such passion for life and their sport. More than once I have cried with pride.You all are amazing!

2-Cody and Jess are flying in for the wedding from Chicago.Cody has been home so much because he is Charlie and Jodies son.Charlie is our precious friend who passed away recently. We never suspected that he would be able to come to the wedding after so many trips home.But he loves Travis and doesn't want to miss it.I cried when Jodie told me they would all be there. We love you Rizzos!

3-I crossed off so much from my "to do" list.It was a productive week and that is always so joyful to me.Even little things like oil changes and dry cleaning make me feel happy to have accomplished.

4-Margaret from work loaned me a book that is super good. I find myself stealing a few minutes whenever I can to read for a bit. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read!!

5-Filling my hummingbird feeder every week because there are so many hungry birds in my yard. They are so entertaining and cute.

6-Steve answered his phone "Well hello my love" I just never get tired of him being sweet.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A big Thank You to a perfect stranger

I am so impressed by good customer service.And I am most thankful for the great people at Dillard's for saving me today.I had found a couple dresses last weekend(number 11 and 12 for those who have lost count)and I had my heart set on one of them! I bought it in a missy even though it was a little snug.It was so pretty and I knew for sure I could lose 10 more pounds in the 3 weeks before the wedding.But there is nothing worse than being nervous with a dress that may not fit quite right.So ever since I have been trying to find one in a 14 Wide(I am never going to forget that one Sandy) After literally a hundred phone calls trying to track it down I found one in Chicago at the headquarters of Alex Evenings. But one problem they wouldn't sell to me because I am not a store.What??? So how do I get this dress? Nordstrom was not able to order it because they only carry it in a missy size.They were so sorry but just couldn't do it without the order number in the system.So yesterday I almost gave up.I went to the tailor to pick up my other dress from being tailored perfectly,showed her my new kinda snug one and asked if she could let it out a little bit and make it work.She wasn't sure she could match the satin part perfectly and it might end up looking botched.OK then,I will wear the tailored one even though I don't like it near as much.I will just pretend I had not even seen this one.So I grabbed my dress and headed for the door.As I was leaving my tailor said "I don't blame you honey the other one would be just perfect for you" Well that was all I needed.I went home and called 40 other stores.I called New York, New Mexico,and Kentucky knowing there are women there who are "wides".I have eaten at a Cracker Barrel in Louisville and trust me most of those ladies are not petites and missy's.Lastly I called Dillard's in Tennessee. They are always so sweet and helpful.And what did I hear? Sure,no problem! We can get you the LAST DRESS IN THAT SIZE from the Chicago Warehouse.So it's on the way! Fed-exed next day air!!And if it ends up being too big just return it even though it is a special order! Wow I could have kissed sweet Kathy who helped me on the phone.I will always have a fondness for this store because they go out of their way to help.She even ended the call with "Ya'll have a nice weddin now" And to that I say "Well thank you sweetie,Ya'll made this one happy momma of the groom" So tonight I will toast Kathy with some peach tea and say "cheers to people bein sweet"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Caren and Kim !!

Today is a special day for two of my dear friends! As I was driving home from their birthday lunch I was thinking back on how many of these birthdays we have shared and how grateful I am for every single one. Mostly for having these amazing ladies in my life.We all met when our kids were in Kindergarten and have kept in close friendship ever since. We realized when the kids all graduated we missed seeing each other so we agreed to meet once a month for dinner and it has been a highlight of my month ever since.A time to catch up and find out what all the "kids" are doing.It is crazy to think we met at Back to School Nights & Little League games and here we are years later even better friends,the kids no longer home,and our talks are about weddings,menopause,and the heartfelt moments of life.Caren was the very first friend I ever met in Temecula. We met at the pool and became fast friends with boys the same age. We were both building our homes and we had so much to talk about.She is LITERALLY the nicest person you will ever meet.Even my kids will tell you that.In fact anyone in Temecula will tell you that.(now if Nancy Little lived here she would be BIG competition for that title) Caren watched the boys for me when they were small and Chad started going there twice a week when he was just four.He has great memories of being at her home playing with her kids, eating tuna sandwiches and always having so much fun!I feel like God knew I was going to need great friends here without my family near by and He hand picked the very best for me.Kim is so fun,with a heart of gold, has the greatest kids and always has the best stories to tell.We often tell her she needs to write a book! When she talks you swear she is making this stuff up but its all real and oh so funny. I am so thankful for the gift of your friendships and hope we are still lunching it up for years to come. Happy Birthday dear friends. I love you both!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

So excited I can hardly sleep!

We have all really been praying that the kids find a perfect place for their first home. Ashlyn sent out a note earlier this week asking for prayer because they had found a great house but they were a little worried because there was so much interest in it.But God is so good!!! They had an interview today with the owner of this much desired house and they left with the keys!!! They will live in a great little place by the beach in Point Loma. It even has a yard with lemon and orange trees. They both sounded so excited about every detail! Travis sent a letter to the owner with information about who they are and why they wanted the house so badly.He included references of people in the area who know them well.He has so much pride in being a good provider and finding the perfect place for his precious new bride. It is so great to see this side of him, and even more precious that they both got down on their knees in this new home and said a prayer of thanks! Ashlyn,thanks for calling us so soon with all the details and sharing your great news.We cant wait to see it! We continue to pray Gods richest blessings on you both as you start your new life together(in just 26 more days) How fun it will be to come home from your honeymoon to your sweet little home just the 2 of you...A Family!

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile

We got home so late from our fun weekend away that I almost forgot my Sunday six. But thankfully I missed blogging so much that I couldn't wait to jump back in.
With a grateful heart I say thank you. Life is ordinary and good!
1- A weekend getaway with the hubby. We had the BEST time and surprise I got two more dresses! Also bought a pair of spanx, spanx sheer hose,and picked out some cute new shoes.

2- I stuck to my diet faithfully so I hopefully wont have to rely so heavily on the above mentioned spanx : )

3- Steve has not asked me once how much money I have spent on a single thing. He is so supportive and sweet.At the end of the day he just wants me to be happy. How blessed am I to have a husband who feels that way about me.

4- A sleepover with my friend Jeanette. She was in California visiting and she came for dinner and a sleepover. We had the best time! She has known me since we were kids and walked to Ramona elementary school together.There is something so precious about being with someone who really knows who you are and where you came from. Thanks for the giggles Jets, And come back soon!!

5- My work hours changed and now I can "sleep in" until 5 am. I am loving that!

6- A 4 hour lunch with the girls Tuesday. We met at Oscars for salad and the next thing we knew it was almost 6 pm. We laughed so hard that my face hurt.You girls just wait until your baby boys get married. And you become the the false eyelash, nylon wearing, girdle strapped,crying mother of the groom.( little inside joke there) You girls are cheaper than therapy and if everyone had friends like you in their life the world would be so much sweeter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

27 Dresses...Ok only 9 but close enough...

This week Steve said my room looked like the movie "27 Dresses" I only have 9 but it looks like more because of all the poofy yellow sleeves,floppy matching hats and the big taffeta skirts.For so long I couldn't find one so now every time I find one that I "kinda" like I have to buy it.So they are stacking up! But I think I have narrowed it down to three...or four...OK five.I really need a designer to come and help me choose.I don't have ANY money left but I make a mean chocolate chip cookie if anyone knows someone who might be interested.It is probably those darn cookies that has caused me all this grief.Why did I ever have to find Paula Deen on TV, love her to pieces and want to make all her stupid recipes? But today I am off to the tailor to have him take in my #1 dress a little through the hips to make it look a little more tailored.And if it turns out great that will be the one!(probably)Then onto shoes...Oh good Lord.I am keeping my fingers crossed,and my feet on the treadmill.The only known cure to end this stress is a big bite of that wedding cake....A month from today and I am soooo excited! (My precious Ash I am totally kidding about the taffeta and puffy sleeves.But how do you feel about the floppy hat?

Mud, Bruises,& Sweat But Still A Shower Of Blessing

Most of my posts about wedding events have been frilly, pretty, and oh so lovely.The darling party dresses,fresh flowers,beautifully wrapped gifts with bows. Well this one will be NONE of those things...I know now why I am so excited to have a daughter. This has been the only life I have ever known. I had three brothers growing up and then had two boys of my own. Until Ashlyn I wasn't fully aware of the joy of frills.But boys are so different and the night Travis had his bachelor party there was not a frill in sight. But they had a BLAST!!!
Paint balling was a terrific choice.They were soaked with sweat,completely bruised and dehydrated,covered in mud,they slept on couches and the floor without sheets or a pillow (so no lavender linen spray was needed) But it was a huge success!! Travis was down right giddy about being with his boys. They ate all of the food, drank all the beer, and a great time was had by all. I am just thankful it was far enough in advance that a full recovery is possible? Steve dropped by and ended up staying a few hours because they all were so happy to see him. And even when I came with more food they were all so sweet and invited me to stay. This is the way a bachelor party should be, just good clean fun!!!(well not clean but you know what I mean) I have loved these boys for years and it was fun to see them all together again.So for Travis he had his own "shower of blessing" And I think it will be a memory to last a lifetime. Kudos to Chad the "best man" for being so sweet and making it all happen.One of my favorite memories of the night will be the text Travis sent me in the midst of his party that said "U R Awesome Mommy tnx" You are most welcome Travis, We are so proud of you !!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile

Another Sunday when I can stop and thank God for the little moments that brought me joy this week... With a grateful heart I say" Thank you"

1-A text from Chad Saturday night at 9pm that said "I love you Mom, Good night" How many boys of 22 would think of their moms like that. So precious...I will save it always

2- A fun mid week BBQ at the Berg's for Lindsay's 21st birthday. How cool that she invited us old folks to come and join the fun. We love you Lindsay! It was great to be with you and all your wonderful friends to celebrate.You have become an remarkable young lady.(It's no surprise because you have such an amazing family)
3- McDonald's Sugar Free Iced Vanilla Coffee's- I am completely addicted and had one almost every day this week. I will try to not list these every week as a thing of joy but I just LOVE them so much! A must try...

4- RSVP updates from Ashlyn..I get so excited to see who will be able to share such a special day with us.

5- Good news for my precious friend Janice. Everyone has really been praying for her and it looks like her diagnosis will be so much better than anticipated. Thank you Lord!!

6- My friend Anne who always gets me in trouble for laughing made me wet my pants in the Trader Joe's parking lot. I had text her for something and her reply was so darn funny I could not stop laughing. (although it was quite embarrassing because I was completely alone ) We are the same two who once had to leave a women's ministry meeting because we had the giggles so bad. We are big trouble when we are together or even if we drive up next to each other at a red light. More than once mayhem has ensued. But there is just nothing better than a good belly laugh.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Going Greek~

I have been such a busy girl today. Travis will be having his paintball bachelor party tomorrow and about 20 of his friends will need to be fed. Which is a joy to my heart for this "Greek Momma" Funny how you really do become your mother.I will never forget before Travis and his friend ran the LA marathon they spent the night with his YaYa and she literally used every pot and pan in her house to make those two boys food. And she was never happier!! I grew up with so many Greeks in my life and every occasion was all about the food.You could never make just a little, or even enough, you had to make plenty! So as Chad was telling me "Really Mom we will be fine with hamburgers and chips" my Greek heart was already making the grocery list. I spent the day making three trays of 5 layer dip,three batches of my killer potatoes,pasta salad,veggie trays,dill dip,snickerdoodles,baked beans,cut up all the stuff for the burgers, packed 20 lunches for paintballing, and then made the sausage and egg burritos for breakfast.Of course we will also serve muffins coffee and juice.I have baskets of candy bars to put out and lots of drinks, beer and water.It is a production like every gathering we have but I know my Mom would be proud of me making sure everyone has plenty to eat. Its just what we Greeks do....
My 3 favorite quotes below from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" were the ones about food because it rang so true to me.I can still hear my mom telling me to always keep a coffee cake in the freezer cause you might unexpectantly need something nice to serve. It was a busy fun day and just like my Mom and YaYa who cooked for those they loved, I found myself thinking I have never been happier!!
*Nice Greek girls are supposed to do three things in life: marry Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone... until the day we die.
*What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Oh, that's okay. I'll make lamb.
*Ian, are you hungry? Uh no, I already ate.... Okay, I make you something.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Let's find a cute dress!

Well I have dried my tears and somewhat recovered from the marathon shopping day with my friend Sandy. We shopped for 11 hours and I wanted to quit for at least 9 of those.I hate to shop!! So this day was a daunting thought from the start.But with your best friend in tow how bad could it be? I will tell you but it wont come close to painting the true picture.Sandy was a saint! And I feel a little bad that I text another friend and asked her to call me with a "fake emergency" so I could just call it a day.I usually cherish my time with her, but to find something cute for a Shrek body shape like mine is not for the faint of heart.I hate my arms,hate pastels,hate trying on clothes,hate having people see me in my leopard skin thong underwear (oh wait I wore granny panties that day,I usually never do so I completely forgot) And I was literally breaking out in a sweat from the stress of it all.
But I found one finally!!!! I text Ashlyn a picture to make sure the color wasn't too close to her moms only to find out that it WAS her Mom's! Leave it to me to find the exact same dress.But this team of shoppers would not give up that easily so after 6 more hours we found another one.!!!
It was a mere $850.00 for this "mother of the groom" dress and I thought perhaps the price tag would spoil the fun for the "father of the groom" So after the longest day of my life we left with some good ideas, stomachs sore from laughing,feet that had swollen to twice their size,one very bruised ego,but no dress. As I was driving home Sandy called to say not to panic she was going to come my way and we will go shopping again.Now that's friendship...So I am going to forgive her for shouting out to the lady at Nordstrom that we needed another dress in a 14 WIDE! She didn't know that the W was for women's versus misses.I guess it was a fair assumption....

I know how Ethel felt when everything looked so much cuter on Lucy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

When I get nervous....

When I get nervous I tend to really talk-talk-talk.I have always been that way. They say children's toys have no impact on how a child turns out.It's fine for boys to play with dolls etc.But I was raised with two things that impacted me greatly! A Chatty Cathy doll and the Candyland game. Maybe I grew up thinking it was cute to be chatty? I know I sure loved mine.I pulled that string all day long.And I have been chatty ever since! And that darn Candyland game made me love sweets.I truly think had I not played it I wouldn't dream of gum drops and cup-cakes.Then I realized this morning that with this new outlet I not only talk-talk-talk when I am nervous, now I blog-blog-blog! Are you all on blog overload?? It's as if I just need to vent out my thoughts so I don't burst! Four posts in 2 days? Maybe a little warning to stay away for a few days. And all this chatty will pass? I only hope they don't come out with a new "Bloggy Betty" doll. I don't want this next generation to be at risk like me. Well off to lunch and shopping with my friend Sandy. Pray for her! I will probably talk her ear off and plum wear her out.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Another Shower of Blessing!

Ashlyn was the guest of honor at a beautiful shower hosted by her precious friends. The day was filled with laughter,joy,games,wonderful gifts and lots of giggles and fun. She has the sweetest friends! Ashlyn is a "girlfriends" kind of girl and she treasures each and every friendship.Her friends will love & support her in this wonderful new phase of married life. And I know that's the very best gift of all!
It was a sweet day and I was so blessed to be there.
She truly deserves these showers of love.....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile

Another Sunday and I can easily think of 6 little things that brought me joy this week.So with a grateful heart I say "Thank you"...Life is ordinary,and good

1- Barnes and Noble...I love to just hang out and browse books.It makes me feel smart and really pretty hip.

2- Fresh flowers! Beautiful pink roses off the bush Krissy gave me 2 years ago in memory of my Mom.

3- I am down 6 pounds...Yipee !

4- Had a long talk with my old friend Renee~ All through high school I was Agnes Goober and she was Eunice Burns.We drove our moms nuts with our fake New York accents.We did it so much it was hard to talk normal again. She is a doll and it was fun to kibitz and catch up.

5- A "Krikac" sleepover Friday night...jammies,good conversations,"night John boys" before going to bed and coffee talk in the morning.This girl still LOVES a good slumber party!

6- Three calls from Travis just to "talk" So happy knowing he still needs his Momma

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy August

I have always LOVED a new month!! It may seem odd but to me it always feels like a brand new start. I get to flip the page on my calendars and see new images and empty blocks of time.I even like paying the bills at the first of the month and feeling like I start out fresh. August is going to be a fun one!! Cause now I can say "The wedding is next month" "My son is getting married next month" Oh man that just made my heart race.I have to get busy!! I am shopping with my best friend Sandy Monday for my dress.She is going to be perfect for the job,she is brutally honest and has a great eye.I have firmed up the rehearsal dinner arrangements and made the hotel reservations for our out of town guests. We have a shower tomorrow for Ashlyn and a Paintball bachelor party for Travis next Saturday. Just have to buy all the food for those boys which may require a line of credit.Wow those empty blocks of time are filling up fast.But I am feeling like a kid at Christmas.The excitement is almost unbearable! Hopefully the adrenaline will help my metabolism so I no longer gain weight in my sleep! But for now I am jumping on my treadmill and passing on the carbs... Happy August!!