We had a celebration for Yamelis last night for her birthday. Her best friend's family is visiting here from Venezuela and it was so neat meeting them and having them here. Rebecca (Yamelis' best friend) will be here at Christmas time again. The one photo I have of all of them includes her Rebecca's mom on the phone to her so, in effect, Rebecca is there, too. LOL We had a wonderful time. Happy Birthday Yamelis (who I believe is going backwards in her age, but who am I to tell .She came here at age 40 and now she's in her 30's. LOL Thirty-nine this year after spending almost six years here. I'll have to find her secret.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Bill packed the car today after we had coffee and sat on the porch for a bit soaking in this beautiful weather. I had mentioned a Peddler's Market and thought we would go there but we ended up at the beach. What a wonderful day full of memories of all our beach days as the children were growing up. We went to Pass-a-grill beach near the Don Cesar (pink hotel).
Just to put my feet in the sand and in the gulf was really wonderful. We ate lunch at the Hurricane restaurant on the beach. We spent a lot of time going down memory lane but also just enjoying the day and the beautiful weather. It's a shame that we have not been to the beach in probably, at least, ten years and we live right here. We vowed to change that. We both love it there.
We had lunch at the Hurricane and the photo (in case you can't tell by Bill's face) is of him singing to me in the Hurricane Restaurant. LOL Love that man!
I think the main reason we stopped going was the skin cancer fear. We did plenty of sun bathing before the warnings came out so strong about the fear of skin damage and even cancer. I am still very aware and afraid of that enough to keep me from being in the sun too long or without sun screen and a huge hat but maybe we could go more if we went at the right times of day. I had forgotten how good it feels to spent time there. How the ocean and the sand transports you to another world and how it takes you away from everything for awhile. There's something spiritual about the ocean, just as there is about the mountains to me..
We went to the YMCA Hawaiian Luau last night. It was nice seeing people all dressed in Hawaiian garb and we donned our lais as we arrived. The event began at 6 and ended at 11 pm. There was an auction, silent auction, Chinese auction. You could buy tickets to just about any and every thing. I thought the entrance fee was the donation but the whole thing was really set up for donations. I felt beaten up by the time I left. LOL I guess I'm a little weary of all the fund raisers in my life right now. We give to causes of our choice, especially children's causes, and I feel good about that, but I did not feel so good when I left the Luau. I'll be better prepared next time and know more what it's all about. It's always nice spending an evening out with Bill and we did enjoy that.
We also thought it was pretty neat that we already had Hawaiian type clothes for the Luau since we wore it to Jeni and Tom's party. :)
Friday, April 24, 2009
But then again, you probably will. Bill took me out to Kissimmee yesterday to the breeder's house where we got Lexi. We are getting another dog, tiny toy poodle, a phantom (markings like a Doberman with red and chocolate brown). It's a little boy. We put the down payment down so he's ours. He's only a week old, doesn't have his eyes open yet and we can't have him for 8 weeks. We will pick him up the end of June. I am going to try not to be too excited because 8 weeks is a long time. I want him here now. The neat thing is that he is Lexi's step brother. They have the same father who we saw again yesterday. It's neat seeing the parents and how they look. It's the mother who has the phantom markings. I'll have to think of a male dog name. I'm thinking Zach, Zeus, Levi, Captain, Bolo..and on and on.
The big decision came about because we took this dog, Gracie, who was supposed to be 9 years old. We only had her one day, took her to the vet the next morning and then took her to animal rescue. Turns out she was closer to 15, has so many medical problems that it was rather hopeless unless we spent thousands just to get another years life for her. I couldn't handle that roller coaster ride. It was really heartbreaking to take her back but animal rescue has the resources to get her the medical care and only put her to sleep if she doesn't have quality of life. She went to a foster home.
Perhaps having her for a day was a very good thing, because the sadness of giving her up again was enough to spur Bill into going along with getting another healthy puppy from the breeders of Lexi. Woo-hoo. I can't wait. I wonder if Lexi will love him and get along with him. Time will tell. I can visit him once a week until he's ready to come home. He is the smallest in the litter of three so that's why we chose him but he really has the cutest markings, also. He has white on his chest, along with the phantom markings. Sooooooooo cute.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday evening we had things cleaned up around here enough to have my brothers and their wives and our nephew, Mike over for dinner before Al and BB (brother and sil) had to go back to SC in the A.M. It was good to have that time together before the weekend was over. We had ribs, parmesan potatoes, roasted veggies, and wedding cake. Doesn't that sound surprisingly like our wedding party menu??? LOL It was a great dinner and then we had the much touted Wii bowling game to take on. We knew who the players were. Mike, my nephew, and BB, my sister in law. However, we all enjoyed our little beat down by taking elimination matches first. We were all quickly eliminated with only Mike and BB standing,
Someone somewhere will take you down though so watch out! LOL I know Becky won one on you but we didn't think to set it up tournament style so I think she needs to get back down here for a rematch. LOL BB, maybe you can get some practice in bowling with a shortened bowling lane. I do know that threw you. You are amazing because I know you haven't had your Wii for long. J Hugs to you all. I'm so glad you came down for Jeni & Tom's wedding party. They appreciated it so much.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The wedding party was incredible. Everything went smoothly, I can't write all I want to; it would be much too long (imagine that…me…wordy!!!)LOL. Seeing my daughter and her new husband come in the door was something I won't forget. We embraced and just had a good cry, tears of happiness. Her wedding in Antigua was wonderful, better than they had imagined, so meaningful, and two couples that are close friends were there with them. The setting was incredible. After a week's honeymoon, they came back to the celebration here so we, family and friends, could celebrate them and their union.
It was incredible. That's all I can say. I'm still on a cloud here. We connected with so many of Jeni and Tom's friends and it was all so loving and beautiful.
Bill and I could not have done it without Jojo Conley and Charlene Brunswick, who are great friends of Jeni and Tom and just plain sweethearts to us. They are the best party planners (and work cheap!LOL). Also, Jeni and Tom and the planners knew friends who did a lot of the work. The flower girls were incredible, every flower arrangement and OMG, the wreath on the door with a photo of Jeni and Tom was incredible. The cake artist was a friend and her Creative Cakes were a work of art. She made a sandcastle cake, along with two huge sheet cakes to feed everyone! I think it was not only the focal point but the most studied cake I've ever seen. It was amazing. Even the seashells were sugar and hand painted with deliciousness. J The DJ, Danny, was great and brought his own dance floor. The caterers were Southern Gourmet and they are from Fred's Market here. Incredible ribs, parmesan potatoes, roasted veggies, and every kind of appetizer...yummy! The bartenders were from Spunky Spirits and they had a specialty drink for Jeni and Tom called the Fliperoni. That a neat idea. J&T decided what would go into the drink. One interesting person who has a real niche in the entrepreneurial world was Michelle. She is a friend of the planners who has a one person business called "Not Quite Catering". She did everything from lighting all the candles to making sure the garbage bags were changed, helping clean up to making sure the guest were happy,had their leis, and had signed in on Jeni and Tom's photo matte. What a great worker and wonderful personality. The photographer, Michael, took incredible shots and I look forward to seeing the wedding party results. I already saw the beach photos and they were really great. He is an artist and it shows in his work. I don't have any of those photos yet, these are the ones we took at the party. Of course I will share more when the photographer gets them to us. :)
Tom's mom and Alan were here early with their usual great moods and personalities. Their help and support was just what we needed so we got ready while they took care of everything for us. It was nice just having them here to share this moment with. They are such wonderful parents and friends, as are Tom's whole family. I know that's not a usual thing so we are very fortunate I think. It's such a joy spending time with Kay and Alan, Tom's sister, Pam and her husband, Greg; their children Seth, Marc and Leah; Tom's brother Todd, his wife, Erika, and their twins Jake and Alex. I am so glad we are all here for Tom and Jeni, and Tom and Jeni are here for us.
I just love Jeni's friends and haven't seen some for years. What a joy that was to reconnect. I got to know many of them better through this process and just had so much fun with them all. They make me feel young. J
Jojo Conley and Charlene Brunswick were tireless right-hand women who did all the hiring and heavy lifting for this event and I just love these women. We had some great laughs and a priceless bonding experience. So much wonderful in this post, in that party, in these people who helped and were there. I would be speechless in view of having to express my thanks to everyone and the joy at having known or met them during Jeni and Tom's engagement, wedding, and wedding party. I am blessed.
Speaking of blessed, two moments I will always remember but not without some tears of joy. When Jeni walked in the door and I saw her and held her and we both cried from the sheer joy of life at this time. She went away Jeni Roney and came back a newly wed called Filipkowski and it fits her so well. She had on a beautiful white summer dress and I'll always remember that moment when I first spotted her and the look on her face. Then Tom, seeing him come in was eclipsed later when, after he had a mother/son dance with his mom, he asked me to dance. I couldn't stop crying. There wasn't a moment of sadness in it but I have to say that one thing I miss about my son is his future. I'll never see him marry, have the mother/son dance at his wedding, hold his children in my arms, love his new wife, etc. Not only was my life as I knew it wiped out, so was my future with my son. When Tom asked me to dance I felt I had that chance right then and that it was a dream come true for me. Tom, my son-in-law, practically had to hold me up as we danced what I will call the Mom in law and son in law dance. He is tall like Brian was and Tom practically had to hold me up because my knees were buckling from living this dream right at that moment. Dancing with my son. Tom leaned over and said, anytime you want to dance, you just ask me, we will dance. I could not stop crying. What a great guy to understand something so far fetched to anyone who hasn't lost a child. He is such an incredible, intuitive person and I'll always love this man who loves my daughter.
I wasn't sure I could do it because I had been emotional all week but I read my poem that I wrote for them to them at the wedding. That poem follows in case you haven't seen it on my poetry blog. What a great couple they make. They are both so caring and loving people whose love for each other shows in everything they do. May it always be so, may they be as happy as Bill and I have been for almost 40 years. My heart could not be more full right now.
First of all, here is one of Jeni and Tom's favorite songs and the inspiration for my poem. What love is
By Mary Jo Blige
And it feels like joy
And if feels like pain
And it feels like sunshine
Feels like rain
Beautiful, horrible, magical, terrible
Reason to laugh and smile, reason to cry yourself
To sleep at night, start a fight,
Makeup, breakup, wrong or right
Heaven for all it's worth can equally be held right here on
What Love Is
This is what love is:
A girl born in December
sharing DNA and stealing our hearts
with a burp, a smile, a kiss, and finally
the words we waited to hear, I love you.
This is what love is:
Watching her bloom and grow;
her quiet, shy ways; her beauty that began
inside and shone like a beacon wherever
she went, a heart bigger than her body,
caring for every person she met, making
friends that would last a lifetime, and making
us more proud each day.
This is what love is:
The fear of the teen years and letting her go
one small step at a time, even though
we wanted to hold on so tight. Driving,
dating, school dances, events and clubs,
slumber parties, pool parties, friends,
graduation, a job at Progressive, then she
was out on her own.
This is what love is:
Meeting the man of her dreams and watching
them together. Watching him love her in ways
we recognize; the way he looks at her, the way
he holds her hand, the way he thinks of her first.
A tall, handsome, hard-working man who also
honors us as her parents, allows us to get to know
and care about his family as they become
a cherished part of ours.
This is what love is:
Jeni and Tom going to an island, getting married
on a beach of white sand, promising to love
each other forever, and knowing what that means.
They know that there's sunshine, but also rain;
that things won't always be as perfect as they are today
but they know they can weather any storm and that
heaven can be - right here on earth.
April 18, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
We had such a nice evening with Michael Frank, our nephew, at Olive Garden last night. He turned 23 years old. We decided to celebrate that one more time. LOL He begins college in May and has a real good job, too, so life is good and busy for him.
When Bill got home from church he brought an Easter basket for me in with lots of goodies and thoughtful things like music from my fav, Dolly Parton, and also John Denver and someone else that slips my mind right now. He also got me a strawberry plant to grow and hopefully have strawberries to eat.
What a nice surprise and wonderful Easter. I got Bill am old photo of old cowboys like the Lone Ranger, Hop Along Cassidy, Roy Rodgers, Cisco Kid, Gene Autry, John Wayne, Randolph Scott and others. All the old heroes. The rest of the day we will prepare the grounds and the house for the party next Saturday. We have already planted so many daisies and will plant more today. Can’t have enough daisies for my daughter! LOL Today is the only full day Bill will be off before the party so he will do some pressure washing and things he wouldn’t have time for the rest of the week. It will be a busy but very good day as we complete all the little projects around here.
We got the best surprise this morning. Jeni and Tom called from Antigua. They found someone with an international connection and asked If they could call their parents. It was so good hearing their voices and now I feel much better and can get on with my life .I was feeling so melancholy about not being at the wedding and missing this most important day. I still think now that I made the right decision though; choosing to have the party with the money we would spend to go to the wedding. That way all their family and friends can celebrate with them. We are going to have such a great time, I know. So many people are excited about this party.
Happy Easter to all that read this. May the day be a glorious one for you.
Monday, April 6, 2009
This weekend we had a nice birthday celebration for my niece, Becky and her husband, Matt, who are here from South Carolina for a week in Kissimmee. Matt's mom and dad came, too. They are wonderful people and it was really nice getting to know them better. We really enjoyed our time with them. Nancy is a photographer and between all of them they helped me a little with my new camera and my phone and all the electronics that don't seem to do as advertised under my handling. Guess I will eventually have to read the instruction books but Nancy told me of one you can find in the book store for Nikon 90 like mine that is much more easily deciphered so I may try that. She takes beautiful photos with her Nikon that is not an SLR.
My brother Wayne and his wife, Yamelis; my brother Mike and his girlfriend, June and nephew, Michael came and we celebrated Michael's birthday, too. He is twenty-three and my niece, Marcy, turned 21. This is all very hard to accept! LOL
My daughter and her fiancé were supposed to be here but they are coming down to the wire with wedding, honeymoon things. They had their photo shoot on the beach on Sunday; put off until the last minute because they also have to pack and then work Monday and Tuesday before leaving on Wednesday to change their lives forever. J I am happy for them and I know their stress level must be way up there. My daughter will leave Miss Roney and return Mrs. Filipkowski. I won't see her until the party on the 18th. That will really be exciting.
Bill grilled hamburgers out and we had birthday cake and ice cream. I think Matt was the only one that braved the cool pool that day but we had several enjoying the Jacuzzi heated to a nice temperature of 99.
Kudos to Bill for a wonderful cook out when I know he was fighting a really bad cold. He's still feeling bad today but he sure enjoyed yesterday.
We played Wii in the wee hours of the night and that got to be pretty heated with Michael taking the championship so many times that everyone started to gang up on him to beat him. It was the first time some of them had played Wii Bowling but now I think there will be several new games purchased after this rousing night of bowling.
Happy Birthday to all of you, Matt, Becky, Mary, Marcy, & Michael and Mike and Yamelis! I had not realized that we had so many March and April birthdays. Yamelis, who is from Venezuela has a good idea. She celebrates her April 22 birthday all month long. I tried that for my 60th birthday and I have to say, that was REALLY a tiring month for me and I can imagine those that were reminded of my birthday all month long got pretty tired as well. LOL It's hard to celebrate a whole month but Yamelis says its tradition and she handles it well. LOL