Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another Year Over.........

A new one about to begin.

Reflecting and thinking and cherishing my life is what the past 24 hours have been filled with.

We headed out before daylight yesterday to drop S2 & D2B2 off at the airport for their return to Seattle and were back home not much past sunrise.

They were here for about 5 days & we packed a LOT of family time into that space.  This mama had a great fix of her kids and I am holding onto each & every moment in my heart until we are all back together again in May for a wedding!

I've spent some time this morning looking back over this past year ~~~


In a word - snow.

We had so much snow - and cold.  Several snow days gave me time to create and play.

There was also the chance to make and ass, I mean ride a donkey in a charity event at school in February.

April was a month of travel.

We headed out to Seattle to see and experience the life of S2 & D2B2.  We were not disappointed, until we had to board the plane home & leave them behind. It's always bittersweet.

The end of the month was my yearly senior class trip to Florida.  It was hot. It was very hot, but after the winter we lived through - none of us complained, but embraced it & loved every minute of it.

June finally started bringing on warmer temps & LtWD & I were finally able to make it to our favorite summer spot ~~ the dock.

Baseball games, summer park concerts, days at the dock and weddings.  Lots & lots of weddings in August.

The opportunity to meet 2 fellow bloggers in real life & spend some quality time together exploring a favorite west Michigan beach community.

S2 & D2B2 in town for one of the above weddings and family time.  They came back in September for a wedding planning weekend as well.

Back to school - for my 16th year!  Hard to believe I've been at school for this long, but I still enjoy what I do & the kids I work with.  God has continued to bless me in my work.  Oh, and getting my "back to school" pic on the local news brought me my 5 minutes of fame too.  

Crisp fall days, bringing a beautiful landscapes and opportunities and for some family shots.

Apple picking, a new grand niece, headbands & dinner out with the college freshman niece, football games with the marching band, tree lighting ceremonies in the city park, sickness - I've had my FILL of sickness this past year, and time for more family.

Yep - I'll say it's been a very good year.  The love, the laughter, the life that surrounds me makes my heart happy over & over & over.

As we say goodbye to yet another year, I look forward to the new that awaits us in 2015.  

I will continue with my "Feet First" meme, hoping you will join me on the 1st of every month on Instagram!  Take a shot or 2 or 3 or more of where you find your feet planted on that 1st day of every month and tag them #feetfirst2015 on Instagram.  You can find me @pattilin60, along with the faithful followers who joined me this past year in this journey.

I've also chosen my "one little word" for 2015 ~ "be".  To "be" in the moment, to "be" content, to "be" a better me.  I'm choosing to work harder in 2015 to just "be" in the moment, every single one of them, to find joy, peace, love and to learn from that moment.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well and I look forward to spending time with you right here, in My Happy Place.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Well, here we are.  

The last Monday of 2014.  

I'm sitting here with my coffee in hand and realize that this will be my last Monday Morning Coffee with you.  For the year, that is.

Yes, I'm also aware it's late in the morning for my posting - but you know what? I'm entitled.  

It has been a GREAT Christmas weekend - a full on, full blown, full house family kind of Christmas celebration.

This mama's heart is SO happy!

Dream Boy & I started our Christmas Eve at church with S&D1 & her mama. We then met up at our home for a quiet little supper of cheesy potato soup & sandwiches.  It was such a nice, intimate time with lots of love & laughter.  Too bad that D1's daddy was home with "the bug".  He was truly missed.

Christmas morning Dream Boy & I found ourselves having a quiet morning together, just as it was so many years ago.  We opened out stockings together & then DB made a wonderful breakfast.  

We left later that afternoon and headed to the airport in Detroit to pick up some precious cargo, one of my BEST Christmas presents!  S2 & D2B2 flew in Christmas night to spend a long weekend with us.  They go home tomorrow - I'm choosing not to think about that right now.

We arrived at the airport and were awaiting the text that they had landed.  As soon as it came across my phone, this mama boogied into that airport to meet them as they came to claim their luggage!  

Be still my beating heart.

They arrived early, we claimed their bags & headed home where S&D1 soon joined us.  We spent the night catching up, laughing & just enjoying our time together.  

Friday was OUR Christmas with the kids.  Dream Boy ended up having to work that morning, but when he came home - we had our Merry Little Christmas together.  

We had a wedding this weekend as well.  The oldest son of our dearest, long time friends, got married.  S1 was in the wedding & I was the photographer. The day was rainy & grey, but the love that filled that church & then the reception was brighter than the sun could have ever shown!

The wedding was a beautiful, full Catholic mass.  I've never had the opportunity to attend a full mass wedding, so this was quite an experience for me.  To say that I was a wee-bit nervous was an understatement.  But this is a fun filled family & those nerves were soon calmed.

The reception was a blast.  Being with my family, even though I was "working", made it even more fun!

But I tell you - the family shots from the groom's side will tell you how much fun it was....
Oh my gosh - my side's hurt & it was so hard to be serious & try & take good shots.  Seriously.  I haven't even started to look through the ceremony pictures.

But the evening ended with these...........the shot of S2&D2B2 is a little blurry, can you tell this mama was getting tired?
Oh my - but ya still have to LOVE those smiles!  On 2nd thought, maybe it wasn't me who was moving, but them?  I mean, after all, there was some major spirits consumed during this party.

The fun did NOT end on Saturday night though.  

We gathered on Sunday night with my 2 sisters and their families!  This is a tradition that filled my mom's heart with joy every year.  We have continued this tradition & I have every intention to keep it going until we are physically unable to.  

This year - we had the FULL family present.  No one was missing!  We even had our German "niece" this year.  My younger sister & family added an exchange student to our family this year & she is finding her way into all of our hearts. She fits right in with the rest of us.
To say that this mama is happy, is an understatement.

I have been so blessed in my life.  I have a family that I love to the moon & back and beyond.  I know that they all love me back, despite my crazy ways and the fact that I almost always have my camera on hand & force them to take these pictures.  Deep inside, I know that they love it too.  

As we head into a New Year - may you all enjoy your time with whoever you are spending it with.  May you make memories you will long treasure after the celebration of this season is gone.

Happy New Year my friends.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Coffee Time~~~

Between washing bedding, making a list & checking it twice, fighting with an exploding bagless vacuum cleaner AFTER I had already vacuumed, mopping floors, making beds..........I'm here with you for a few moments!

As the song says in my little video - "Mrs. Claus Ain't Got Nothing On Me!"

We're into the final countdown.  Three more sleeps until my babies are home & nestled all snug in their beds for Christmas.  Four more sleeps until we're ALL celebrating our Christmas together.

This mama's heart is happy.  

But in the mean time, here's a glimpse into our Christmas season so far...

I got this!

Enjoy your day - your week - your Christmas - your Chanuka (Tamar) - your family - your traditions - your life!

Merry Christmas my friends, raise your coffee cup & let's cheer in this blessed season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning!  I'm back!

Did you miss me?

Well, I must say I was down & out through Wednesday of last week.  I had a fever that wouldn't break & I did a lot of sleeping, drinking, and sleeping.  Pretty much in that order.

I went to the doctor on Monday and he told me that even if I had gotten the flu shot, it wouldn't have touched this strain anyways.  I just needed to let it run it's course.

So a 2 day school week for me.  Not so bad. I could handle that on a regular basis if the truth must be told.

By Saturday, thank goodness, I was back into full swing because D1 came over & we did this:
~~along with 8 other recipes.  We were in the kitchen for 7 hours baking & making sweet treats!  And my kitchen is already bare as we gave it all away!  Which was the purpose for our baking marathon in the 1st place.

D1 came over around 9:15 and we started right in.  I had everything out & ready to go.  Her mama came over around 10:30 and supervised us.  It was a great day!  I really enjoyed my time with D1 and her mama.  Just wish D2 lived closer so she could play with us as well.  Maybe someday!

Saturday night I was exhausted, but I had to finish up some Christmas cards for the Santa Pics I took the week prior & get them in the mail.

Sunday morning Dream Boy & I headed off to church, with a cookie tray in hand, of course.  We went out for breakfast afterwards and then headed home.  I took a brief catnap & then headed out with D1 for some creative corner time!

We took a glass fusion class together & made 2 ornaments each.  They will be fired & ready to pick up this next weekend.  

They look so rough & raw, but I was assured that they will look really cute once the glass is melted & fused.
D1 came home with me & S1 was at the house waiting for us.  Dream Boy had dinner ready & we all ate together.  

After dinner, D1 was trying to convince S1 to go grocery shopping with her so she wouldn't starve this week, and he was being a curmudgeon about it.  Finally Dream Boy stepped in & volunteered to go shopping with her.  So S1 headed home, I headed to my computer to finish up some editing & the Dream Boy headed off grocery shopping with D1.  

They've done this before - cracks me up.  But they have a good time together.

Only 10 more sleeps until S2 & D2B2 are home for Christmas!!!  I can hardly wait to see them.  We sent out S2's Christmas ornaments to him last week & today Dream Boy is sending a care package of goodies to them as well.  But it will be so good to have them home for almost a week!

I hope you are enjoying your holiday time and reflecting on the family fun & traditions you have or may be starting.

Have a happy Monday ~  I'll be back soon.

As always, thanks for having coffee with me this morning.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee -- Postponed

I'm a bit under the covers weather right now - nurse Libbi the Wonder Dog is sticking close to my side.

Be back soon - have a wonderful day.

And as always, thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Classroom Cut Ups

It's the day before a long holiday weekend break.

It's the class right after lunch and almost the end of the day.

The majority of the students are girls.

The teacher is moving around the room trying to settle down the girls when a stray student enters the room to deliver top secret information from another classroom.

As the stray leaves, she says to the teacher, "I love you!".

The teacher does not respond to her, so a classroom girl asks why I didn't say "I love you" back?

The teacher responds that she feels it is a term she does not throw around freely.  She doesn't express this sentiment unless she truly means it.  She explains that a lot of kids today throw it around, just as you would "hi", "bye", "see you soon", etc.

Because it is the day before a holiday weekend and the class is not getting on task, the question is then asked of the teacher, "how long before you told your husband you loved him?"

Now the door is wide open & the teacher decides to throw caution to the wind & enlighten her classroom full of girls of her true love story.  

She tells them how her hunny bunny did all the right things.  He presented her with a pearl ring to announce his intention of marrying her one day.  Then he followed up with a "hope chest" which further deepened his commitment to love & cherish her for ever.

Within months he presents her with a shiny diamond, asking her to marry him & be his forever bride.  Of course, she tells him YES!

The classroom is now filled with dreamy eyed girls oohing & ahing over the love story shared with them.

Except one.  

She calmly states that with her parents, it was her mom who presented her dad with the results of a recent pregnancy test that showed positive and that is how their proposal went!

The calm, dreamy state is now disrupted with rounds of raucous laughter!

The end.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

December 1.

The 1st of December.

My baby sister's birthday - happy, HAPPY birthday Robin! 

Which also means......

Where are your feet planted on this the 1st day of the last month of this year? Be sure to join up with me on Instagram @pattilin60 & tag your shot with #feetfirst2014.

Amazing - where in the heck did November go?

Seriously?  How did we get through almost full year again so stinking fast?

Welp ~ here we are, so let's move forward.

Let's have some coffee together.

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

Did you have lots of time with family & friends?  Did you make any new friends standing in line at the Black Friday madness?  Did you even go out in the madness?

Me? Nope. Nada. Nuh-uh. 

I waited until Saturday.  Then I went out with my D1.

But let's back it up - we had a wonderful feast at my big sister's home, complete with 2 turkey's and all the fixings which were completely demolished!  Oy vey - how much can 20 people eat?  A.lot.

Friday Dream Boy & I lounged around the house all day. Literally. We went no where but here. It was a splendid.  Absolutely splendid.

I putzed around in my creative corner and he putzed around in his. Mid afternoon we met up in the living room, where I busied my hands with some crocheting & he busied himself with studying the back of his eyelids.  

When I turned on a movie - he became much more alert and we proceeded to watch 2 movies back to back.  

We decided to join up with some friends downtown Kzoo that night and after a quick supper, we headed to the park for the annual lighting of the trees!  We were entertained by the youth choir from a local Baptist church.  

Whoa!  These kids ranged in age from 5 -18 and could they SING!  It brought such joy to my heart to hear them belting out THEIR joy!

Soon, the Mayor & our city commissioners came on stage to read, "The Night Before Christmas" and then Santa & Mrs. Claus made their appearance.  On their command, the park came to life with hundreds & hundreds of lights!  

When Dream Boy & I stopped to pose for the above pic, I was literally pulled into a giant bear hug!  It stopped me for a second until I realized it was one of my former high school students! 

It was SO great seeing her and getting such a giant hug!  Makes this mama's heart warm & fuzzy.

Dream Boy & I then headed over to our friend's house for leftover Thanksgiving desserts and coffee.  

Saturday was a very mild day in these parts, so it didn't take Dream Boy long to round up his posse & head out on his bike.  So, D1 & I had a spontaneous lunch date & went shopping for Christmas decorations & some creative supplies I needed.  

Saturday night we went out with S&D1 for Dream Boy's birthday.  His birthday was on Thanksgiving day, so we waited until Saturday night to celebrate together.  We went to a local brew pub & had a great time.

We went back to their house & had dessert.  D1 is quite the baker & had made a cheese cake from scratch!  Oh my.  So delish.

Dream Boy & S1 soon got bored and headed back into town to another local brew pub, while D1 & I snuggled in to watch White Christmas.  My favorite & a long standing tradition for me to watch every year.  But alas, I soon became tired & headed home.

Not to worry though - I finished watching the movie at home on Sunday afternoon while I did some Christmas decorating.

Sunday we went to church in the morning and celebrated the 1st Sunday of Advent.  After church we have a time of fellowship & coffee together with everyone.  I checked up on a friend who has been having some rough health issues lately & I had heard this past week was a tough one.

Can you say a little prayer for my friend, Rich?  God knows what he needs - I would just appreciate your prayers for he & his wife.  

While you're at it, will you also lift up D2B2 and her parents?  She & Son #1 were visiting her 'rents over the holiday weekend in Minnesota.  Her dad became very ill through the night on Saturday & ended up in the hospital on Sunday.  

S2 & D2B2 had to fly back home to Seattle, but I know all of them could use a prayer through the next few days as things are figured out by the doctor's.

Well, I'm back to school today.  It was a wonderful weekend & I'm struggling with going back to work.  Anyone else feeling the same way?  

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you have a wonderful day & an even greater week!

I'll be back soon - hope you will too!