Saturday, February 18, 2012


When I was a little girl I grew up with built in friends, I had sisters.  They were always there, always at the ready. One older, one younger, me in the middle and then when I was ten, a bonus sister.  An abundance of sisters!  And if that wasn't enough, my mom became friendly with a woman down the street and she had three girls of similar ages and two boy too.  Over the years, she and my mom became very good friends and in return her girls and our girls became very good friends too.  Bonus!  Then there were friends from school, clubs, girls scouts, the neighborhood, it was easy to make friends.  Lots of friends.

Every year though there were some who would remain, and some who would wain.  Wander away to a different camp, so to speak.  Something better, brighter, more attractive had caught their eye and they were gone.  Hurt feelings were bound to occur, but Mom was there to soothe the hurt, mend our wounded egos, remind us of what was most important in life and let us know that this too shall pass.  Soon we were on our way again, playful and happy with our new group of friends and the ones who remained, of course there were always the sisters.  The problem with the sisters was, they never went away!  If I'd bring a friend home to visit, one of my sisters was always there.  In the way.  Bothering us, getting in way.  You know what I mean, especially if you've had sibligs.  And we shared rooms.  Four girls, two bedroom-you do the math.  Not too difficult to figure out.  But then eventually the friend would go home, we'd get bored, and sisters would become friends again. 

As a young newlywed, away from my hometown and my sisters and mom, I didn't know many people and found it difficult to make friends.  I was going to school and soon became pregnant and with that pregnancy, very ill.  I stayed home and saw almost noone as it was a 'young' community and everyone was at work.  We weren't going to church, my husband worked lots of hours, so his friends became our friends, but I didn't have any friends of my own and no way to meet them.  But, soon enough we moved to a community that we thought would be good for raising children.  Lots of homes.  We built our home there and though we were one of the first houses on the block, I quickly began to make friends.  It was easy then, I had a child.  A great groundbreaker, and a house in the neighborhood-common ground.  A few years later our second child came along and pre-school continued as did an influx of people.  We joined a church and met a lot of people and became one with our community.  The friendships that I made I thought would be lifelong, but when a friend moved from my neighborhood, even if it was only across town, we seldom saw them again.  For a while we would try to keep it up, but eventually, it just became too difficult and though nothing was ever said, the calls just stopped.  While that wasn't true for all, it was for most.

Now that I am working full time and my children are grown and gone, I am not around my neighborhood much.  I don't see my neighbors much at all.  I find it difficult to make and cultivate new friendships.  I have friends at work, people with whom I connect with on a personel level quickly and easily.  But I don't know where they live or know their husbands and I wouldn't call them when I wasn't at work.  Nor they me.  Boundries I guess.  But the friendships that have sustained through the years, the ones that give me comfort and strength are the easy ones.  The friends that I can connect with who, after not have seen or spoken to them for a time, when we get together it's like no time has passed.  We can pick up where we left off.  We understand each other, and care.   Those are the friendships that are really meaningful to me.  When I pick up the phone and hear one of them on the line, I smile.  You know who you are.  The ones I turn to.

Then of course, there are my sisters!  They have always been there and always will be.  Something I can always count on.  My sisters are my best friends and my greatest allies!  When my children were growing up I used to tell them to love one another because in the end, everyone else might not really understand, might not be there.  But a sibling knows your story, knows your history and understands it was part of it.  No one else knows your parents the way they do or your family the way they do or loves you the way they do.  You will need each other, to lean on, to depend on, to help make decisions with, to laugh with and to cry with and to celebrate with.  So be kind to one another and love one another.
And to my great delight they seem to have taken that to heart as my two are pretty close as adults.  They have a wonderful relationship and one that I am so proud and happy to see.     

So here's to my friends, the ones that have been brought to me by chance and the ones that have been given to me by birth.  Thank you!  Your friendship means so much to me, more than I can ever say.  Thank you for the coffee hours, thank you for the happy hours, for the long phone conversations, for the bagels and coffee, for the play dates, the shoulder to cry on, for arranging 'sister-time', for pajama parties, quiet time, shopping trips, laughter and tears, sorrow and fears.  I love you all!

     Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
                                                            Proverbs 11:14

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wedding Crafts

As I mentioned in my last post, for anyone who was listening, I was working on some things for the wedding over the weekend.  There is so much to be done that sometimes I don't know where to begin but sometimes it is just best to get started, so that is what I did.  All along I have been trying to be organized and I have thought somewhere in the back of my somewhat twisted mind, that I have been keeping up with things but, that has just not been the case.  What I have been doing in all realilty is hunting and gathering.  And as we know, that is a mans' job!  Women are the doers', so it is well past time for me to begin doing!
First up, we wanted to go with something that had a little more meaning for the rings than a simple pillow.  At first, we had given thought to using my wedding dress to create a pillow from, but it still brought us to a pillow.  We wanted something a little more from the heart, something more spiritual, and what is more spiritual than the Bible.  My darling Bella is named after my husbands' mother who passed before Bella's birth and Mr. Wonderful is in possention of her Bible.  It seemed meant to be, so I tied a little white ribbon around that old, worn Bible and that is what the ring bearer will carry down the aisle.
Inside, Mr. Wonderful's Mom has written her name, and some other inscriptions, it is special to him and it will be special to Michelle. 
Next up, a frame that I recovered from a yard sale.  It was in a bin for $1.00 and it was gold and green, broken, scratched and a mess.  A little elbow grease, a wire brush, and some silver leaf, then a thank you letter typed up and inserted into the frame and this is the end result:

(You can click on the picture to see a larger view.)
I am pleased with the results.  I plan to put it on the table with the guest book.
Finally, I have been working on a family tree family tree for the bride and groom.  Wedding pictures of the families of both the bride and the groom's families to the grandparents.  I copied pictures of each couple and then put them in frames that I purchased at the dollar store and painted with gold and silver leaf.  I then added white ribbon, again purchased from the dollar store and they were ready to add to my tree.  The tree I found after Christmas deeply discounted at a Hallmark store.  I spray painted it first with a nickle colored spray paint and then with silver glitter spray paint to give it a little shine.  (It was brown and white.)  I added gems and will add more and white lights too.  Here is how it looks so far:
It is difficult to tell from the picture, but it is looking good!  It catches the light and shines, but not too much. 
I've also gotten ribbon tied to little bottles of bubbles for the end of the ceremony.  That has been a tedious job. 
I also need to do the escort cards, the seating charts, plaques for the bride and groom's chairs and the table numbers.  That might be it.  Until something else comes up.  Ha!
Please let me know if I'm forgetting anything!  I can use all the help I can get at this stage, my mind is all over the place. 
By the way, did you all know that today is Valentine's Day?  Hope you made it a nice one for you and your sweetheart!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A 'Pinteresting' Weekend

I made it home from Quantico safe and sound, just exhausted.  I continued to work a lot of hours the remainder of the week and had very little down time.  Whatever down time I did have, I spent passed out on the couch.  It was quite a week and I have a feeling that this one is shaping up to be another one much the same.  Between preparing for a security inspection and my facilities work in co-ordinating not one but two build outs of our current facility.  All of which are set to be completed by the end of March, with Michelle's wedding falling in the beginning of that month too as you may remember!  Yes, things just never seem to come at an opportune time.

Friday night Michelle was coming home from her trip to Michigan and her flight was due to arrive in at the airport at around 9 something, so she had asked if I would keep Bella and Aiden overnight.  'Course I said yes (hardship though it was! ha!).  Mr. Wonderful made dinner for all of us, Shawn too and after dinner, I did a little experiment that I had seen on Pinterest with the kids.  They made their own lava with water bottles, oil, water, food coloring and Alka Seltzer.  They really worked so well and the kids had so much fun!  They just loved it!

Bella adding her Alka Seltzer tablets, 1/4 tab at a time.

Aiden waiting for his colored bubbles to begin rising...

It works!

After we were done with that I asked them if they wanted to do another project, they jumped at the chance.  Aiden looked at Bella and gave her a high 5 and said that I was 'Awesome'.  It doesn't take much to make 7 year olds happy!  Next, it was crayons, glue and a canvas.  We just glued the crayons to an art canvas and then melted them with a blow dryer to create abstract art.  Again, simple but fun.  They loved creating their works of art.  Trying to figure out what the design would look like after the crayons had melted.  We had such a good time that the kids asked that we plan to do something like this each time they have a  sleepover.  Pinterest makes it easy and takes pressure off a tired grandma!
Here are their projects:

Bella and her crayon art.

Aiden and his masterpiece.

Saturday the big kids picked them up and then Aiden had a baskedball game and Bella had dance and they were off and running!  We saw Michelle for about 15 minutes, if that.  Oh well, I guess that is what it's like.
She and Shawn both work full time, and overtime, and have a home and they each have a child and are planning a wedding, I'm lucky for the 15 minutes, as that's more than I often get. 
This week she has a fitting schedule, so I'll go with her and at least I'll have time alone with her in the car.  (Until she falls asleep.)
We are down to four weeks and counting until the wedding.  I worked on quite a few things over the weekend.  I'll catch you all up another day on those projects, but for now-it's bedtime.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Four Walls, a TV and my Computer

I'm sitting here on a bed alone in a hotel room in Quantico, VA.  Just me and my computer and the noise from the television and the heater that is running and the cars that occasionally go by on the road outside the hotel.  It's been a very long day and I am tired, but it's still too early to go to bed so here I am blogging.
So, why am I in Quantico? Nothing exciting, really.  Work has brought ne down here.  I am working on a project and I started at 6:00 this morning and left the office at 5:00 this afternoon and got to the hotel (which is about 10 miles from the office) at 5:30.  Like I said, it's been a long day.  I'm  beat!  And I am meeting at the office at six AM tomorrow morning.  I'm hoping to get home, or at least back to my home office before the snow that we are expecting begins to fall. 
And my daughter is sitting in another hotel room in another town somewhere in Michigan.  She is there for the entire week though.  Also on business.  Bella is home without either of us tonight.  I feel terribly guilty.  I called home.  Grandaddy had her after school and Shawn was there to pick her up.  She was happy, and silly and barely knew I was gone.  Enjoy the menfolk.  Loving the attention I imagine.  'Bye, Bye-Buy, Bonds' she says.  Kills me, everytime I hear it come out of her mouth. 
In other news, I watched the Super Bowl on Sunday.  Me.  I know.  But there wasn't much else to do, and Mr. Wonderful was watching it and so I figured why not?  I wanted to be with him so I might as well try and get into it.  Actually enjoyed it a bit.  Cheered for the Giants, naturally.  My families team.  Even more shocking, I saw the end of the game!  It was funny though to talk to my sisters that day, my one sister spent the entire day cooking and preparing for kick-off.  Her son had invited several friends over and she was hosting a party for them all.  They covered the carpet with and furniture with Giants blankets to decorate-they have 9!!!  My other sister said that the day was just sooooo long and she couldn't wait for the game to start.  She was planning a Pizza Picnic with her kids on the floor in front of the TV, Mom and Dad had Mom's sister Eileen and her husband to share the game with and in true New Jersey fashion they had Pizza and muscles - it's all about the food isn't it!?  Then of course there's Laura, she's worse than me!  She went on a date with her husband.  Ha!  Nice for them, but as Giants fans go, they should be ashamed of themselves. 
That's about it for now.  I'm about all out of energy and out of words.  So until next time.... 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I really must tell you that work gets in the way of all of my free time.  I need much more timr to relax and work on what I like to do rather than on what I have to do.  But alas, work is a necessary evil.  So for the time being at least, it must be tolerated.  It is a good thing that I do enjoy my work for the most part or I would be really miserable.  I spend so much time there!  Lately, I have been so increadibly busy that I barely have time for much else, I don't get a break during the day and when I get home after workI collapse into a heap!  After one of my power naps I am up and onto working onto wedding stuff or something else that needs to get done.  I am jnst spent.
So, it was a very welcome surprise to find that this weekend I had nothing noteworthy on the agenda.  I had had a few things lined up early on, but fow one reason or another they didn't work out and I was not too disappointed.  Ha!  I think what I am really trying to say is that sometimes I just need to take a break.  Michelle and Shawn keep telling me that they are too busy to get this or that done and while I do understand that, I am busy too.  I am working a minimum of 45-50  hours each week and although I hesitate to say this, I am not as young as I used to be! It's hard doing everything that I do and keeping up the spirit and a good attitude all the time and not having a meltdown.  I'll be anxious when everything is all in place and I can relax and know that everything is done and just enjoy the celebration.  Then I'm gonna get drunk.
                                                                                                                         Just sayin'.....
Saturday I went out to the church to meet Michelle and Shawn because I was going to shoot some pictures of them for the wedding.  Bella had a dress rehearsal there for her dance competition and after that we were to take some pictures of the two of them.  Well, when it came time to take the pictures of them they had to go and do something and then had to do something else and well, it just wasn't convenient, so we didn't get any shots.  Instead I got some of shots of this little gem though:

This is her costume for one of her ballet numbers, it's so pretty! 

This dance calls for a lot of attitude-and Bella has that part down in spades!
She danced and danced and danced some more.  Then once it was done and she got in the car to go home, her mom said she was asleep in about 2 minutes.  Ha!  She may be seven but she is still only a little girl.
She did have a bit of a thrill on Friday though, her dress for the wedding came in and she was able to try it on.  True to form, she had an opinion on it!  She loved the 'bling' on the front-no surprise there, but was afraid that it was too long. (It is and we will be having it altered.)  Her concern was that if it was too long no one would be able to see her high heels.  Priorities.  She doesn't actually have high heels, or any shoes at this point but she knows that she is getting high heels-her Mom said so and she is planning ahead.  What's funny is that her idea of high heels is anything with a heels over about one half an inch, so the bar isn't set too high. 
And in other news, I've started an exercise program today. 
Just waiting for the sky to open and something to fall on my far, so good...

Anyway, as I was saying, I started exercising.  I had to go to the doctors on Friday as I've been sick-again and I hesitate to go because as we all know, even though it was my throat that was sore-they had to weigh me.  I'll never understand that!  Anyway, it would seem that since Christmas I have put on almost 5 pounds.  Now, I have to take into consideration that I was fully dressed in jeans, a sweater, boots, and a coat-something I would never normally wear when being weighed, but still.  Plus, now that I have my dress for the wedding, I want to look decent in it, not like the big brown M & M dressed for the halloween ball.
All of this is to say that if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm dead.  Or my arms have fallen off.  One or the other.  I'll let you know.