Patiently Waiting For...

Crisp, cool mornings

Sweaters and fuzzy socks

Pumpkin Spice everything

Candles burning all day long

Pumpkins, cornstalks, and colorful mums

New crayons, pencils, and schoolbooks

Earlier evenings

Crockpot meals simmering in the kitchen

Comfy throws on the sofa

New seasons of old, favorite shows

Football on Sundays

Apple pie and pumpkin muffins

Green becoming red, yellow, orange and purple

Hot cocoa and a good book on a Saturday

Leaves swirling in a breeze

Smoke swirling from chimneys

Feeling all the cozy.

How about you, my friends??

Random Photo Friday And Try This Pie Recipe!

Happy Weekend, my friends! I hope you had a lovely week with your people. Our week was full of fun and felt like fall. Here is a quick peek!

This was my view on the way home from Mass last week.
Ask me how this happened.
I have no idea.
Yesterday, I was driving and he was in the back, buckled in a carseat, playing with Matchbox cars.
He's doing awesome though, and I am super proud of him.

Winners On A Wednesday!

That you all for the kind words in honor of my six years here in Blogland! I am thankful for each and every one of you, my friends. We did indeed choose two winners for the fancy schmancy giveaway, and here they are...

How I Make Time For Me

Last week I wrote this post about the importance of slowing down and making time for myself each day. How do I accomplish this in our chaotic fast-paced world where society dictates that busy is better? How do I nourish my own soul in order to be able to bring peace and calm to my home and family? Well, my schedule constantly changes and evolves depending on which season of life I am in, but I continue to make time each day for calm and peace and coffee. I began to create this special time when I was a young mother who decided one day to pour a cup of coffee and snuggle in a chair as her sweet little baby girl napped each afternoon.

Random Photo Friday And Happy 6th Birthday Little Blog! A Giveaway too! ( Closed.)

Can you believe we have been having afternoon coffee and evening tea together here for six years??? Me either! Thank you for sharing your lives, homes, holidays, recipes, joys and sorrows with me, my friends. This little space is a great source of comfort, joy, fun, and wisdom for me. And although the more popular platforms have replaced Blogging for many, I plan on remaining here in this slower paced, cozy setting for as long as you will have me. In celebration of this momentous event, I am having a little giveaway at the end of the post. Before that though, here is a peek at the past week here in our family home. Which for some reason, involved a great amount of food.

It's OK. In Fact You Really Should.

What now? You are probably wondering what I am advocating now. Well, it isn't anything earth-shattering, I promise. It is nothing new, or crazy, or trendy. In fact, it is just the opposite. I am talking about slowing down. And taking time for you. Life is busy for us all. Choosing to pause and step out of the chaos for a bit each day does not make one weak or lazy. In fact, I think it makes one stronger. I am a firm believer in the idea that in order to take care of others, we must first care for ourselves. This can mean different things to different people. For me, slowing down and taking time for me means...

What does it mean to you, my friends?
I'd love to know.

What I Wore Saturday Night

Saturday night means many things to many people. For me it means real clothes and makeup. Sometimes I get it together early enough to convince a less-than-willing family member to take a few awkward photos of me to document the occasion.

Hmmm. Little bright.

Random Photo Friday And Christmas In July 2018

Happy Weekend, my friends. I hope you are enjoying your summer days. Things are slowing down a bit here, and my thoughts are beginning to move toward the new school year. I am loving the slow pace of the summer days, yet cannot help feel anticipation and excitement about beginning lesson plans for my favorite third grader. Rhett will continue cyberschool which involves minimal involvement from me, with the exception of random checks and technology help. (Which I promptly refer to my assistant Peyton, of course. )

Almost One Word Wednesday. (Ok. Maybe Not.)

Just seven kids from two families, who live in different countries on different continents with an ocean between them, who met because two of them fell in love and are engaged to be married...

And who instantly became the best of friends while spending a week together laughing, talking, playing cards, watching movies, eating tacos and ice cream, playing with pups, and staying up late.

And who I hope are all together again very soon!

How Many Days Until...

I know, I know. Don't hate on me! I am enjoying these glorious days of summer as much as the next guy. Or girl. But this time of year always tugs on my heart just a bit. OK. A lot. A few cooler days sprinkled among those hot and humid ones make me realize that my beloved days of September, October, and November are now closer than farther away. And that makes this pumpkin~flavored~everything lover,  cozy sweater wearing, changing autumn leaves watcher VERY happy.

So. How many days until...


61 days~


40 days~


100 days!!!

In the meantime...I will continue to enjoy these lovely summer days filled with sun and fun and evenings full of cookouts and deck sitting.

(Thanks Pinterest for these awesome images.)

That Week Went Too Fast!

This morning we said goodbye to Nicolas' family after a wonderful, fun filled week together. We are so blessed they chose to stay with us here in our home during their visit to the United States. I can honestly tell you it was amazing. You know when you meet someone and there is literally no awkwardness?  No weird vibes or forced conversation? That was us. The very first night, Steve, Peter, Kirsten and I gathered together to visit, and right behind us, our seven children, ages eight to twenty four, sat at the game table playing cards and laughing together.

We had so much fun, and cannot wait until time brings our families together again. Until then, hugs and love and best wishes to our new forever friends.

In addition, Mocha celebrated a birthday this week.
Happy 3rd Birthday to my precious pup!

The Wedding Festivities Begin! The Engagement Party

On Sunday afternoon Steve and I, along with Nicolas' lovely parents Peter and Kirsten, hosted an engagement party for our firstborn children. We were so happy to welcome family and friends to meet and celebrate the beginning of this wonderful wedding season.

Like We Knew Each Other Forever

That is how it felt from the moment our families met in our driveway. It was one of life's moments...One of those special moments you know for certain you will remember forever. It is the feeling that although you have just met someone, you have really known them all along. All these and so much more, my friends. These are the feelings we had when we finally met Nicolas' beautiful, amazing, lovely family on Saturday afternoon. As I hugged the woman who raised the man my girl fell in love with, I knew I had made a forever friend. And as our families mingled, and shook hands and hugged and laughed, I knew we have always been meant to meet and to join our lives through our two oldest children.

Random Photo Friday

We are on the other side of The Fourth of July, my friends. That can mean only one thing. All the sunscreen, pool toys, and beach towels are quickly being replaced with notebooks, crayons, and pencils at your neighborhood big box stores. And to quote my best friend Marian, I reject that! As much as I love autumn and all things Back to School, I am in no way ready to leave these blissful summer days just yet.

Just what do some of those blissful summer days look like around here? Well, let's see...

We are loving this new beautiful place in which we we live.
The lake, the pool, the absolute beauty...
And in just a few days we will welcome Nicolas' family here to spend some time with us!
We are all so happy to be together in not only the same country, but in the same house!

Have a wonderful weekend with your people, my friends.
Thank you for visiting!!!

In The Morning And In The Evening

Routine. Something I cling to like a life preserver in the middle of a storm. I need it. My children need it. Years ago, when I was teaching sweet second graders, I began every morning by sharing our schedule for the day. Kids need structure, and thrive when they know what comes next.  I am the same way. I function best when I follow a routine. As I grow older, I am finding my routine less structured. But it is routine. And it works for me!

Every morning, after Steve and I have our coffee and tea, and as he gets ready for work, I tidy the kitchen, and throw a load of laundry in the washer. I make the bed, smooth the comforter, and arrange the pillows. Then I fold up any blankets and straighten the cushions on the sofa. During these beautiful summer months, I also head out to the deck and check the plants. I like to sweep the deck too, and arrange the furniture. Usually by this time, the kids are still asleep and Steve is headed off to work. I either exercise...less likely...or hop in the shower...more likely. Sometimes I even hop back into bed. True life here, my friends.

Every evening, after dinner, I help the kids with the kitchen. The kids do most of the cooking now, so I usually clean up the kitchen. They all head outside and go for a walk or play a game of Four Square together. I love that they have so much fun together. Standing at the sink, listening to the laughter coming in from the yard, I am reminded that I am blessed to be living the life I dreamed of. After the kitchen is clean, and every surface is wiped and gleaming, I sweep the floor, I turn out the lights and light the candle. Then I close the blinds and turn on some lamps. I tidy the sofa and fold any blankets, even though I know soon enough we will be using them while we gather together for our evening television time.

My life is simple, I know.
Simple. And happy. 
Thanks for visiting, my friends.
Have a cozy day!

The Fourth And The Seventh Of July 2018

Our first Fourth of July here has come and gone. I must say we enjoyed every single bit of our new celebration. We celebrated twice...first on The Fourth with an amazing lunch followed by a small town parade and fireworks, and again on the seventh with dinner and fireworks by the lake with family. Tradition is very important to me, as I believe it holds the key to lasting memories for our children. This year we began new traditions, ones I hope we continue for many years to come.

Really Random Photo Friday

So Friday is here. I think. I am slightly confused because of the holiday in the middle of the week, but the kids tell me it is Friday, so... it is time to throw up some random photos of the wild and crazy happenings around our cozy home. Minus The Fourth of July pics, because we will still be celebrating this weekend. : )

Look at us matching for our anniversary dinner!
Totally not planned, but I guess that's what happens after twenty seven years together! 
We had a great dinner and visit with our super good friends Heather and Dave.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July, my friends! We love celebrating this most special holiday, and this year is no different. We will eat hotdogs, watch a parade and fireworks today, then do it all again on Saturday! Here are a few photos of Independence Days past, because although time itself passes quickly, pictures allow it to stop forever.

When Your Daughter Moves Home From Denmark ...

With her fiancé and they are going to live with you for an entire year, this is how happy you are while you drive to the airport to pick them up!

Random Photo Friday

Hello, my friends and Happy June 29th, also referred to as Steve and my wedding anniversary! Yep, twenty seven years ago today two very young people promised to love, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of their lives. Twenty seven years, four children here on Earth, one little soul in Heaven, one cat, two dogs, one apartment, four houses and countless wonderful memories later, we are still as much in love as we were that scorching hot June day. : )

Now, a look back at the past week or so here in our little world...

The Very Best Taco Dip. Really.

Sunday afternoon we were honored to have our pastor and friend over for a visit. I was really excited to try out a new taco dip recipe I had found online. I knew I would have to adapt it because refried beans are just not a thing our house! I planned on browning some ground beef and adding some taco seasoning mix instead. Which would have been great, except I didn't have any taco seasoning mix.

What I Wore Saturday Night

Last Saturday night we went to a super fun surprise 60th birthday party for Steve's brother Mark. His wife and children planned and hosted it at their home, and it was perfect. And his brother was totally surprised! Anyway, because I was all dressed and sort of put together, I thought I would ask Steve to take a few pictures for a fashion post. If there is one thing I feel super comfortable about, it is posting about fashion. (Insert sarcastic look here.)

This outfit is so comfortable, and perfect for a warm summer evening outside.
And the sandals? The most comfy ever.

The blouse is very breathable and light, and the shorts have stretch!
But they don't get baggie.
If you know what I mean. : )

Blouse: Grand & Greene from T. J. Maxx
Size: Large 

Shorts: Nautica from T. J. Maxx
Size 12

Sandals: taos from The Walking Company

Bag: Dooney & Bourke

Sunglasses: Vogue from Sears

There you are.
A fashion post from a woman whose entire wardrobe is 75% loungewear and pajamas.

Thanks for hanging in there, my friends!