Thursday, September 21, 2017

My forever friend

Weddings are a preview of what heaven must be like.

How wonderful to have family and friends gathered in one place.

At our daughter's wedding, we were blessed to spend time with  loved ones we haven't seen in a long while.

One in particular I couldn't wait to see was my childhood friend, Alicia.

I was beyond excited when her reply came back stating she would be attending.
We have been friends since the 5th grade. Sleepovers happened frequently.  Mostly at her house.  We would stay up all night  talking about boys and laughing until our bellies hurt.  I have the fondest memories of those days.
They were the best of times and yet they were the worst.

You see, life sometimes isn't fair.  I will never forget the day when a boy on a bicycle peddled at breakneck speed up my driveway notifying me I need to get to Alicia  immediately.  "She needs you RIGHT NOW." That's all I remember him saying.

Oh the heartache that ensued.

I love our friendship with all my heart. She is one of my dearest friends. We always said we would be in each other's wedding. A promise kept.
We both married really great guys. She has four girls who are lovely beyond words, and
 I just married off my beautiful daughter and danced the night away with my son.

Alicia and I reminisced as much as we could. I made sure her and Joe were seated at my table at the wedding! We decided to try our hardest to meet at least once a month from now on. I can't wait to see her again.

I hope you have a friend like Alicia in your inner circle. A friend like this is rare. I know how blessed I am.  

Monday, September 18, 2017


News of the subway attack in the UK makes my heart ache. Thank goodness there were no deaths, but to be sure, many many have been injured.

Why? We can ask that question continually and never get answers.

I chose to go back in time and remember some moments of complete bliss.  It's a fairy tale land over there across the pond. If you've ever thought of travel to England-GO!

Need a push? Maybe a few of these photos will assist in your decision.
Wells Cathedral. Magnificent place. Warning: You will cry upon entering. Takes your breath away.
I'm speechless.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Like Royalty

Our wedding was the stuff of fairy tales.
The bride was stunning. The groom, dashing.

Everything was perfect. (Except for when the bride got a nosebleed! It stopped eventually. Whew! Something has to go wrong! At least it didn't get on her dress.)

The memories will last a lifetime. Even the water bottle speech from the wedding coordinator at the rehearsal in the church. Makes me laugh when I think of it!

The weather was spectacular. Planned just for us! I can't wait to see the photos.

I want to remember it all.  The father/daughter dance, my son dancing (yep, stories. wink wink) I wish we could do it all again this weekend! It all went by so fast.

Remember Princess Diana's wedding cake? The 5 ft. high, 255 pound, had to make two just in case? Yeah, that one. Well, ours was better! WAY better!

All because of her.

My dear friend Yvonne made it all. Her hubby John was instrumental in the engineering of it! I'm guessing he made sure a sign that read Wedding Cake On Board was visible in the back window of the car while they delivered it to the venue!

Yvonne's daughter Lisa helped too. Everyone raved about the cake. And I mean everyone.

The caterers, the wait staff, our guests, security at the venue...EVERYONE. The photographer said it was the best cake he has EVER had. Now there's a compliment. He does weddings all the time. A cake is a cake, but not this one.
The caterer told us "We want her to make them for us! That is the most stunning cake we've  ever seen. AND (emphasis on AND!) the cake inside is even better."

All we could say is, "WE KNOW!"

Look at it! It's the most amazing piece of art I've ever seen.

Thank you doesn't seem enough, Yvonne. It was everything Kayla dreamed it would be, and more. Way more.

(I'm off to eat a piece for breakfast!)


Monday, September 11, 2017

Wonderful news

With all the tragedies and natural disasters dominating the news these days, I wanted to be sure you all have heard some good news.

The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting!

Yep. The royal couple are having their third child. But, not without complications. The poor dear is once again dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum. I can't imagine. Most women, including me, have dealt with a bit of morning sickness. It lasts for a short time and then you feel pretty good moving forward.

I feel bad for her. She's not just any woman. She's the Duchess of Cambridge. I'm glad she is able to stay out of the public eye for now and just rest.

Congratulations to them.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Getting close

Forgive me for this short post.

Our daughter's wedding is mere hours away.

So much to do and enjoy.

I will post lots of photos soon.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Our version

There has been much media attention drawn to the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. I believe I've watched every program and bought every magazine and book written about her life.

My attention has been drawn back to that royal wedding of the century on 29 July, 1981. The Archbishop himself was quoted, "Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made."  

Well, this week we're creating our own fairy tale wedding with the nuptials of my daughter just days away.

No, there won't be 2500 invited guests. (Whew!) And its highly unlikely 750 million will tune in on TV! But, oh what a glorious day awaits.
Inside this white covering is my daughter's wedding dress.

Guaranteed, there is not 40 yards of ivory silk taffeta. Nor is there 100 yards of tulle or 10,000 individually applied pearls and sequins. It took a seamstress three months to hand sew those 10,000 pieces to the world famous dress. GULP!

Did you know there was also a back up version made,  just in case?   WOW!  
And then there was the cake.
A five-tier, 168 pound wedding cake covered in marzipan. I read there was a second cake made also. I suppose that would have been disastrous if somehow it was dropped. Yikes!

I have to say that our cake is going to be much more grand. I can't wait to see it. Our dear friend Yvonne is making it. It will be stunning. And the cake inside...well, lets just say I'm saving ALL my calories for at least a couple pieces that day. Yes. Every single bite will be worth it.

Our week of joy begins.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

No words

The news has been bleak for weeks. I have no words for those affected by the hurricane.

I came across this quote this week.  It fits.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face.

You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror; I can take the next thing that comes along.'

                                                                -Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, August 28, 2017


Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death. Along with the entire world, I will pause on that day and remember her life.
What if she would have survived?

Two very significant words. What if.

I'll be pondering the what ifs this week.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Still can't wrap my brain around why anyone would want to hurt another human being. It is beyond my comprehension.

I can't stop thinking about Spain. I ache for the families of those killed and for the many others who have been injured. It's all so senseless. There are no words.

I've had the privilege of traveling to Spain. I have dear friends who live there. It is a country filled with passion for people and culture and incredible scenery and music and food and and...I'll show you!
I loved the warm sun. I was in my glory.
BEST almonds you will EVER have. Guaranteed.
Shelter from the sun. I just loved walking around, soaking in the culture and saying hello to all these happy people. No, I didn't know the language, but smiles are really all you need.
I was fascinated with the flowers and the windows...I took pictures of everything!
Very popular restaurant. El Pimpi. The food... AMAZING! Eggplant was marvelous.
My dear friend Paula. It's just so great to know I have a friend in Spain and I can get on a plane and there she is! I'm telling you, people. There is a wonderful world out there. It's all just a plane ride away.

Don't let these horrific acts of violence paralyze you with fear. I'm preaching to myself here too.  I'm learning all of life is a risk. Most things are worth it!  Travel is one of them.  No one can ever take a memory from you. They last forever.

I love you Spain.  

Monday, August 21, 2017


Weddings take a lot of preparation. Sometimes a year or more in the making.

The wedding party is asked to be in one of the most important days in their friends' lives, and yet they don't even know the person they are walking down the aisle with.

We wanted to come up with a way to change that, so yesterday we hosted an Amazing Race.    

Can't say it completely mimicked the long running TV show, but it sure was a fun Wedding Style gathering.

They performed many tasks. A few included the use of a professional sky dive area close to our home. Freaked a few of the kids out thinking they were going to jump out of a plane! Psyche! No, they didn't have to do an aerial performance,  but just the thought of it was golden! Ha!

Another detour, they had to match the couples.
 Of course, I used quite a few from British history!
Recognize any?
Deep in thought!
So fun to make memories and learn a bit of history while doing it!


Thursday, August 17, 2017


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the
serenity to accept
the things I cannot
change, the courage to
change the things I can
and wisdom to know
the difference.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fun Surprises

Such a wonderful surprise to open a book or magazine and be able to say, "Oh wow,  I know exactly where this photo was taken-I've been there!"
That's exactly what happened when I opened this month's issue of the Victoria magazine.
The first three photos are from the magazine.

The next two are mine. I thought it was fun to look back at my Bath photos and see the similarities.
The above picture is obviously me! Couldn't wipe the smile off my face the whole holiday.  I was in England!

Victoria is celebrating the beloved author, Jane Austen, through the pages of this issue. This is the year of Jane. It has been 200 years since she passed away. The city of Bath is mentioned in all of Jane Austen's novels. A fact I had not thought of before.
In September,  Austen fans dressed in Regency attire, will arrive in droves to honor the queen of literature. I wish I was one of them.

My writer friend, Julie Klassen, will be among those adorned in style.  So will many of her reader fans. She's taking a group to England in less than a month. I do wish I was going, but a far more important processional demands my attendance.( My daughter's wedding.)
Speaking of Julie. Here she is with her very own Mr. Darcy in the magazine! How fun for her! Such a fun surprise to recognize her in such a popular magazine!

If you love Regency, she's your author!

This is the inside page. A view of the very famous Arlington Row cottages in the Cotswolds.
 And this is my photo. Pretty much the same picture, minus the stroller photobomb!

If you ever venture to England, the Cotswolds is a must see.  In the meantime, grab the latest Victoria. It will put you in my happy place the moment you open the first page.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Last Month

As the calendar flips to a new month, I've pondered July. There's much to be grateful for.

I spent lots of time writing out invitations for a most important date...our daughter's upcoming wedding. Less than a month away now.
Meet Barrett. My new nephew. He's a keeper. Life. It's a beautiful thing.
Spent July 4 out on the water with friends. Best fireworks we've seen in a long while. I cherish my friendships.
Spent a day with my cousin.  He's become quite the farmer. Fresh food. A gift.
I loved spending time with my writer friends at this retreat. It was simply divine to brainstorm with them and just be with them. They get my need to write.
I had the extreme privilege meeting  these two fabulous literary agents. I gleaned so much from them that evening. They are truly lovely. Maybe some day one of them will be my agent??? A girl can dream.  
Ear surgery. Dreaded, but much needed. My ear is feeling better day by day. I no longer will take for granted my sense of hearing.
A bridal shower for my daughter. It's getting real.
The cupcakes were my favorite. Preparing for a wedding has made me more aware of my husband. He's a gem. I got the better deal when we said "I do."  He's exactly the person I need.
Spent some time up north with my family. Memories flood my mind the moment I arrive.  I always visit my grandparents' grave.  It is so fascinating to me that because these two fell in love, there is all of us. It's a lovely thought.
 This is my cousin. He's a miracle. I got to listen to the ticking of his artificial valve. It saved his life. I'm so glad he's here!
And this is my aunt. My dad's sister. I feel connected to my dad whenever I am around my aunts and uncles. He's been gone now for over 18 years. Sucks, but again, so thankful for relatives.
On the last day of July, I did this. Tried on my dress for the wedding. Eeeeeek! Good thing. It's a little snug. I have one month to give myself a little wiggle room. Here's hoping!