Thursday, December 29, 2011




I have loved every minute of having the kids here this week. Travis and Ashlyn left yesterday and  Chad today
The house is clean and quiet and I miss the chaos and noise of my family so much!
It was such a joyous time! 
And to think that next year we will have a 10 month old baby with us!!
We can hardly wait and think she is just the cutest little momma ever!

This Christmas I was also reminded what a blessing it is to have the kind of family that doesn't allow someone to go through a tough time without getting right in the trenches with them. We will help carry the burden of one another as if it is our very own cross to bear. It's a personal story that I wont share, but it was such a sweet reminder what it is to be a part of a family that lifts each other up in prayer and cries right along side the one that is hurting!
We are so blessed and even in the midst of a storm this week, God showed His amazing faithfulness and grace
And that is the BEST gift of all.....

Monday, December 19, 2011

The comment that melted my heart....

On my previous post I asked what one gift you loved most from Santa...

And this was my brother Dave's response.....

"BEST present Santa brought me was my little sister"

That's my Dave! 

He loves me so much and it changes my life

And makes me cry...

Friday, December 16, 2011

What did Santa bring you?

A few years back I asked some friends what special gift they remembered most from Santa
I LOVED hearing about everyone's gifts. It brought  back the simple sweet days of pure joy waking up on Christmas morning knowing something fabulous awaited you.  I still love creating that feeling for my own kids even though they are grown

So I decided to ask again this year...What did Santa bring you?
Here are some responses,but I would love to add more. So email or comment me and I will add your memory to the list.
You can read the original post by clicking here.

One year, I was probably 7 or 8 I got a TV dog!  It was a big stuffed dog that you could lay your head on and watch TV!  Mair and I both got one, I think one was pink and one was blue.  I LOVED it!  I think with it came my love of TV!!  Cant believe I said that out loud!  I also one year, might have even been the same year, got a pair of gold la-may ankle boots.  They had a little ruffle at the ankle and a zipper!!!!  I wore those ragged!!
LOVED THEM.I thought I was soo beautiful and stylish!

I did love my Chatty Cathy and Kissy Baby but my favorite gift was my “shoe boots” That is what we called them.  They were black boots that were fur lined and when you got those that meant that you no longer had to wear the red plastic boots.  For “shoe boots” you took off your shoes to wear them and  got a shoe bag to carry your shoes to school in.  I was sick that Christmas and wore they all day, even to bed.  Maybe you have to be from Indiana to get it

Barbie was my favorite. She was a blond bubble cut-2nd generation. I also got her Corvette car & her Canape bed. I played with her & pulled her in the car up & down the street for several years. Each night she was put to sleep in her beautiful bed! I still have her in the original box which is displayed in our curio coffee table in the living room. She is wearing her "Stewardess uniform - American Airlines". The bed fell apart but, I still have the Car!!

Oh was my baby Thumbelina doll.  You pull the string away from her back and let it go and she would squirm and stretch like a little newborn baby. I sold her at a garage sale after a few years and have never been more sorry.  I have actually gone on line trying to find her

I would have to say my favorite gift of when I was little was my Barbie Kitchen set. It was just awesome! I had tons of Barbie's and all of her accessories, kitchen, fashion show, football stadium, cars, trucks, etc. We played for days with everything set up in my neighbors shed in her backyard that was empty except for all our Barbie stuff. Years ago my sister sold all my Barbie "stuff" to an antique dealer  and I bought an Emerald & Diamond ring with the money. So every time I wear it I think of my days of playing with Barbie for hours on end.

Kaysie~ '67 mustang I got when I was 15. It was an amazing morning...keys were wrapped in my stocking and the car was outside with a big red bow :)

Mine was my chatty Cathy. I was 4 years old. I wanted her soooooo bad. Apparently I loved to take all of my dolls with me in the bath tub, and even though my Mom said Chatty Cathy COULD NOT go in the tub, I took her anyway. She only talked to me for that one Christmas day. But I was soooo happy to get her!!

I loved my Chatty Cathy too! When she started wearing out, she would say, "Brush my haayy."

 When I was in the 7th grade, I got my 10 speed Schwinn - in the color of root beer brown - It was a total surprise and I was sooo happy!!!

Hoping you are enjoying every minute of this Christmas Season!
And remember....
You better be good for goodness sake!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Brown Paper Packages tied up with string....

These are a few of my favorite things.....
I love reading and writing "favorite things" posts and sharing some of the things that have brought me joy, and hearing about the things you love too!

Here are just a few of the things I am loving...
My new Nook! For a girl who resisted giving in to the idea of a reader I have fallen hard for this little thing! I pack it in my purse, and have read so much more because it is so easy and convenient . I can trade books with my book buddies and decide on a book to read and literally a minute later start on it-LOVE-LOVE-LOVE it!

Scentsy Candles
These give all the amazing scent of candles without the burn or worry. You simply turn it on and the whole house is filled with the best scent. I am fond of the pomegranate but they have lots of amazing scents! I buy the refills on eBay and get a great price. I have the unit that you plug into the wall and use it all the time!

Also at this time of year I love Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel lotion! I usually buy about 5 bottles to get me through the year. I love the smell and the guys on night crew always call me "cupcake" I told them its my natural scent and that all chubby girls smell like cake. But I really do get lots of compliments and love the scent!

Gel manicures!
I am hooked, my manis last about three weeks and the polish stays so nice and shiny. There is a place by me where they are only $22 which isn't much more than a regular manicure. I feel so much better when my nails are groomed. When I do my own, I love this color by Essie, called Marshmallow! So clean and fresh...

Trader Joes Candy Cane green tea!!
This stuff is ahhhmazing! I heard they run out quick so I bought 6 boxes and probably will go grab more today. Even Steve loves it. We have been having tea every night and it's perfect. Not too minty but oh so yummy.  Trust me and try some, You will love it !

So please share some of your favorite things too!
Leave me a comment so I can see what treasures you have found and what little things make your heart happy
Wishing you lots of holiday joy!
Call me for lunch, shopping or caroling! 
I have plenty of Christmas spirit to share

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome Christmas!

We had a great Thanksgiving!
I decided since I wasn't feeling 100% we would have an Italian feast. I made two white lasagnas {which my boys love!} and my sweet sis in law Lindsay made a wonderful salad and pasta with meatballs. I also made a big batch of my lentil soup which is always so hearty and good. We had desserts galore and lots of spirited, fun conversation which is what I love most! It was my aunt Mary's 84th birthday so we celebrated her too. She is still so young and such a kind hearted person. We were so busy having fun, I forgot to take many pictures....

We also attended a beautiful wedding on Saturday for one of my book club friends daughter. It was such a memorable and sweet wedding and Steve and I felt so honored to be a part of their day!
The book babes! Oh how I love these ladies!
And now we are so excited about Christmas!! 

We even needed a new little stocking! Next year  he will have his very only monogrammed one like ours! Wonder what name will be on it?
Wishing you a beautiful, peaceful Christmas season ! 
It really is the most wonderful time of the year~ 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Remaining Thankful~

This has become my mind set in spite of having days when I feel pretty defeated
This surgery has not been easy on me and I still find myself wishing I fought it harder. My actual hysterectomy I'm recovering from perfectly, but about two weeks ago I woke up and literally could not move my arms. I felt as though  over night I became a 90 year old lady with arthritis. So I began googling what the heck could be causing this joint pain which is even making my knees and hips ache. Long story is a imbalance of hormones. So my Dr suggested we try a lower patch and I felt about 25% better with the lower dose. So today I took the patch completely off!  Yes I am playing Dr, but I feel desperate to be better and would much rather deal with hot flashes and other junk and be able to dry my hair and walk normally. If anyone knows anything about this condition I would LOVE to hear your advice
And I would LOVE your prayers!  
But in spite of all the the bad we have had lots of good !!

The kids came home last weekend for a wedding for our very dear friends son! We have known Allen since the boys were little and it was such a blessing to be at their wedding with such a wonderful family.  The bride and groom were gorgeous!!

My moms group these women

The three of us with married kids 
Poppa loves his girl ! 

Then on Sunday the boys played golf and I took Ashlyn to get her nails done because she was having her first  
It was so much fun seeing all her precious girlfriends and watching baby Carter receive such lovely and heartfelt gifts! It was a wonderful day and she is just glowing ! {pics coming soon}

I know you all must be sick of hearing about my hubby! But truly the man is angel. He is a tireless nurse who NEVER complains that I had another day of getting nothing done! He makes me rest, does everything I could ask or think of, and makes me laugh all the time! Kidney stones,getting hit by a dog, and now this...
But he still smiles and thinks I am a great wife? Words will never be able to convey what his love and support have meant to me ! When we said for better or worse this man meant it and lives it out every single day!
I am giving thanks for every little blessing this past week
lunch with a friend
a sweet dr who listens
christmas gifts purchased and ready to be wrapped
phone calls from Sara
my cleaning lady martha who spiffed up my house this week and it looks fabulous!
knowing my family is coming for thanksgiving and that whatever  we serve is going to be eaten over tables filled with  love and conversation
my brother dave checking on me and praying for me over the phone {precious} 
having compassion for people in ways before not possible, because i now know what its like to have pain everyday 
christmas music
bubble baths 
plain greek yogurt with honey and walnuts for breakfast
calls from the boys for no reason
giggling with chloe, for some reason we crack ourselves up

This Thanksgiving week I hope you find lots of things to be thankful for!
And this remains the song of my heart today 
" I lift up my eyes to the heavens ...Because I know where my help comes from" 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Memory Lane~

While I've been recuperating we ordered a dumpster and Steve has been cleaning out the garage.  I have been sitting in a chair,soaking up the sun and keeping him company. We have come across so many old memories and precious keepsakes. I even found my ultrasound that I had when pregnant with Travis. I cant wait to show Ashlyn! And I found this darling pic of Steve and the boys. I remember this day so well , we were camping with friends and had a absolute BLAST!

Steve still has this same smile whenever the boys are around. He has always been such a GREAT dad!

And I can hardly wait to see him as a Papou 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Words will never be able to express my thanks

To the real band-aids of my life...My friends and family!!
I have the BEST Dr!  She prayed with Steve and I before surgery that God would guide her hands and give her wisdom. It was so precious and comforting . So I knew I had the best care available and that God had me firmly in His mighty grip!
But what I didn't know was that He was going to surround me with angels in the form of my friends and family.
What a comfort to wake up to the sweet smile of my hubby. And later in the day I needed my eye drops so bad but couldn't reach my bag and in walked my sweet sis in law Lindsay!   She went to my house, walked Brody and spent so much time with me at the hospital being such a quiet comfort.
I had visitors, calls, texts, emails and they all meant the world to me! 
My first day home my dear friend Casey brought over a Mexican feast that Steve and Chad ate for days! It was so nice not to think about dinner. And just when that ran out here came two more dinners! Anne made us Chicken and Dumplings and brought over a big  basket of pumpkin goodies and Kim made us the BEST white lasagna ! Caren brought over my orange jello that she makes for me whenever I am sick or sad and it was so good!  Jodie dropped off a beautiful plant before I even came home so right when I walked in I saw it! Debbie sent amazing flowers,  Donna made us cookies and gave us a yummy pumpkin candle. And Vicky gave me the cutest pumpkin socks to keep my toes warm and a pumpkin candle to keep my house warm. Trish stopped by with flowers and vacuumed for me before she left. Katie brought over a bag of pumpkin goodies  from William Sonoma {the brittle is to die for} and let me talk her ear off since I had been cooped up too long : ) 
And these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Seriously every single call, text , and email meant the world to me !!
Your love and concern was the best gift of all!  
I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to have such amazing friends and family in my life! 
Its been just over two weeks, the bandages and staples are out and I feel stronger every day!
But more than anything I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I hit the jackpot with my peeps! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I checked into crazy town!

This should have been the sign down the street from my hospital.
I literally felt like I checked into " One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest " I will never understand when you feel your absolute worst you are required to share a room with a complete stranger?  I could not get out of there fast enough and to be honest even lied about having a "movement" so they wouldn't keep me ! I am usually very compassionate and empathy is certainly one of my strong suits. But when you are in pain all bets are off!
Here are the highlights of my roommate!
She was at least 55 but spoke baby talk
She had 6 kids and the youngest was 15
She told me she was nocturnal and loved to stay up all night {how do you do this with kids?}
She was also hard of hearing? {more on that fib later}
She watched Pretty Woman volume 30 three times on her portable player and laughed every time??
She literally buzzed the nurse every 45 minutes for something
She wanted "pink" jello not orange, not lime, but PINK
Here I was schlepping my IV by myself because I didn't want to bother the nurses who work their butts off 
She watched Dora in the morning {also at volume 30}
She used the bathroom and not once came over to the sink to wash her hands?
And at least three times she was standing at the end of my bed in the middle of the night waking me up to tell me she was having a panic attack. Trish and Jamie came by and were laughing because she has always teased me that I have "talk to me" written across my head. They can confirm I am NOT exaggerating  
By 4am I started crying! I asked the nurse PLEASE cant you make her turn the TV off?
No they cant
She also lied about having insurance and she told me her  son makes millions running a medical marijuana dispensary  in San Diego
That is where the hard of hearing came in! When they came to ask her about her insurance after a 8 day stay, suddenly she could only read lips?
Dave wanted me to tape her with my cell phone so you could get an idea what loony looks like but I couldn't...
What happened to quiet hospitals and patients having to go to bed? If there is ever a "next" time I am going to pony up the extra thousands for my own room!
In this case it would have been a bargain !

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Tomorrow is my surgery 
Although I know I'm going to feel much better soon
I also know its going to be a while until I do 
And that makes me sad
I feel as far as  pain goes, I have had my share & I'm not looking forward to any more
But I am loaded up with books, movies to watch, and my sweet, precious Chad called me last week to say he was going to come home for a week to keep me company! That boy is so tender and thoughtful to his momma!
I am blessed...
They said it would be a three day hospital stay but I am hoping for two. I want to get the heck out of there and get home to my cozy house
But as always I am going to end my post on a high note! I think my uterus will weigh at least 10 pounds and the tumor another 20 so I am thinkin my tummy will be flat and skinny : )
At least I hope so, since I told everyone at work I was going in for a tummy tuck and a new rack? 
I have the funniest story of my Vietnamese nail girl so if we chat remind me to tell you ! It wouldn't translate to writing but it was hilarious!  And it would only happen to me
See, there is always something to smile about  & so much to be grateful for...
I think when I'm asleep I will be dreaming of that beautiful baby boy who will soon be here to snuggle with and all the many blessings of my life. Which includes You !
I would covet your prayers for me and will post soon to let you know how I am doing
Wishing you love and giggles!!     
                                           YaYa Karen~ 
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The sparklers were BLUE !!

It's going to be a bouncing baby BOY! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

The sweetest video from the kids!

Be forewarned...

I am an emotional wreck...

And  I don't cry pretty....

But how precious of our sweet kids to capture the biggest surprise on tape and then make a movie for us to always have !

This baby will ALWAYS know how thrilled we all were that it was coming to join our family ! 

SURPRISE! We're having a baby. from ashlyn carter on Vimeo.

We love Fall

October I love you so much already !
Cool nights, beautiful days with white puffy clouds. I decorated the house for Fall and already feel the excitement of the holidays begin to build . I adore the "ber" months !! 

We have been walking in the meadow and it's breathtaking !!

Happy Fall Ya'll

Monday, October 3, 2011

Girls have a lead, 20 to 18!

When we found out we had a grand baby on the way I began asking my family what they thought?
Boy or Girl 
And I have been keeping the poll results in my phone ever since.Now friends and co- workers have joined in the fun. I have decided to give a fun prize to the person who guesses the most accurately

And there is still time!

If you want to vote in the "Carter Baby" contest leave me a comment or email and I will add your name  to the list. Even if you live far away I promise to pack up your prize and mail it to you!
So come join the fun!

The poll results so far....


  • Sandy                    Feb 19      7-13
  • Travis                      Feb 23     8-5
  • Lindsay                   Mar 7     7-1
  • Ken                          Mar 1      7-3
  • Chad                       Feb 1       7-7
  • Mary                       Feb 25   6-0
  • Kim                           Mar 6    7-3
  • Jodi                         Feb 17   8-14
  • Caren                      Feb 29  7-11
  • Paul                          Feb 19  6-8
  • Jared                       Mar 3  7-5
  • Koby                        Feb 22 6-8
  • Emily                        Feb 25 8-8
  • Kimberly                 Mar 3  8-0
  • Nancy Little           Feb 24 7-11 
  • Grandma Sarah   Feb 24 8-13  
  • Alicia                       Feb 20  7-3 
  • Amy M                    Feb 21   7-2  
  • Grandpa D           Feb 29  8-2
  • Chris H                  Feb 22  10-2
  • Maria                      Mar 5    8-2
    • Poppa                    Mar 3   8-6
    • Dave                       Feb 19  6-7
    • Kory                       Feb 23  7-4
    • YaYa                        Feb 26  7-2
    • Ash                         Feb 25  8-2
    • Chloe                     Mar 2   7-7
    • Sara                       Feb 14  7-14
    • Vickie                     Mar  8  7-14
    • Tracy                     Feb 24  6-8
    • Trish                      Feb 24  7-12 
    • Kat                         Feb 27  7-6   
    • Ashley                  Feb 15   5-4
    • Lia                          Feb 27  6-5
    • Whitney                Feb 20  6-13
    • Tina                       Feb 13   7-1
    • Abby                    Feb 17   8-0
    • Jocelyn               Mar 5    7-7
    • Kathy                  Feb 25  7-9   
    • Krissy                  Mar 2  6-12
    • Joe                      Feb 25 7-3 
          Can you tell we are just a wee bit excited about this baby!!

          Saturday, September 24, 2011

          Boy or Girl?

          Two weeks from today we will know the answer! The kids are having a reveal party and we will all find out together. I'm so excited I can hardly stand the suspense ! My sweet daughter in law is really beginning to "pop" and you can finally tell she is expecting.Here is the latest pic of her darling little tummy.......

          I cant wait to see its little lips and toes, and snuggle with that sweet babe ! It seems lately it's all I ever think about. God is good and we are daily thanking Him for this new gift .
          There is simply nothing sweeter than a new baby straight from the lap of God... 

          It's going to be a wonderful February!!!

          Sunday, September 18, 2011

          Counting my blessings...

          Today is such a special day and it has been the sweetest week. So many lovely surprises and a new serendipity almost every day.
          Today is my 49th birthday and my 29th wedding anniversary. I woke up to this sweet message on my Facebook, and I couldn't help but smile because he really does LOVE ME! 
          "29 years ago I woke up nervous & excited about how my future was going to be and after all these years I truly see how blessed I've been to share most of my life with you!! My best friend, love of my life, and the best Mom ever! I love you, Happy Birthday too!!!!"
          I am so blessed to "love and be loved" for so long with this kind hearted  hubby of mine. We cant believe it's been that long?? But we look forward to another 29 years! 

          Some other fun blessings this week .....

          *Saturday we were able to spend the day with our boys! Fixing up Chads room, playing with the pups, and then dinner at Phil's  for yummy BBQ. We couldn't remember when it was just us 4 Carters and we sure missed Ashlyn who was in Montana creating wedding day magic for a lucky bride with "Carter and Cook" 

          *I got my first piece of mail { a fun birthday card from my dear friend Vickie} addressed to
          YaYa  !! 

          It was so fun and I am really beginning to love my new title! The day I told my dear friend Anne about the kids expecting, she literally arrived at my house 10 minutes later with this cute sign. She has had it for years and has been waiting until she could give it to me!
          Sooo cute and it's on my mantel so every time I see it I smile {and dream} 

          *My sweet friend Ashley made me the cutest gold box! She has read my blog and knows how many times I find those sweet dimes from my Momma in heaven. So she made me this darling box which says
          " Fill this up with dimes that gleam, for every one is a kiss from me"
          And she put two little dimes inside to start my collection. Of course I cried when I saw it ! What a thoughtful, sweet gift and I just love her for thinking of me in such a tender way. I never shared with my blog buddies when I found my last dime. We were in the airport  coming home from Alaska and I watched the video surprise Ashlyn made for her family telling them the news of the baby coming. Of course I teared up so I reached into my purse to get a tissue and there was a dime INSIDE the tissues! Not a penny, not a nickel, a dime!!

          I was so glad the kids were right there with me to witness it. So now as I get those sweet dimes I have a special place to keep them!  
          Thank you Ashley!! 
          I love it and I love you~ 

          *This was also the week of Travis award luncheon, so Carter and I attended and beamed through the whole thing with pride! We are so excited for him and who he has become. It was such a special honor and blessing. 

          Wow, we have cute kids!

          So even though the years are going way too fast, I am thankful for each and everyday I spend with those I love! If God never blessed me with another thing,  I have more joy than I could ever dream of and certainly more than I ever deserve!

          So as I count my blessings, I count each of you as well !
          You all have added so much love and joy to my life! 
          And all these blessings of mine, they out number the sands of the sea.....

          Saturday, September 10, 2011


          I have to say it was one of the highlights of the trip and probably one of my "top ten" life moments.
          Once you step off the first time  and conquer the fear it becomes such a feeling of freedom and pure fun! And of course being all together made it even more exciting. We missed Ashlyn so much but treated her to a massage and facial on the ship! We had to keep that precious grand baby of ours tucked safely away!
          We knew the zip line was going to be amazing and it did not disappoint. I can hardly wait to go back! We did 11 zips and one was so far that we couldn't even see the landing when we left the post. It was daunting just standing on the posts 100 feet up in the air. My sweet sis Sandy held onto that tree so tight we teased her she was going to have bark marks on her face.  

          Beautiful Waterfalls!
          Happy Happy Dad
          Our ride up the mountain in the "I mog"

          And silly Dave always keeps us laughing.....

          Wednesday, September 7, 2011

          Our Big Fat Greek Alaska Cruise~

          It was a BLAST!!
          Simply the best time we have ever had! It will be hard to describe the beauty and fun that was our life for those 8 days. But I am sure going to try!
          Most everyone who has seen the photos has commented that we were always smiling!
          And I have to agree....

          We love to be together and have fun!

           Next up.....

          The ahhhhmazing excursions!