May 28, 2021

Just An Update On The Circus That Is Us!

 First up. This young man celebrated his birthday this week. Thank you for all the kind wishes! He read and appreciated them all. I was so proud of Madison for incorporating his beloved Denmark into the celebration she planned. And if I may, I am so very proud of this young man. Here he is at work with his favorite pup, Draper. Madison dropped in as a birthday surprise and brought ice cream! Nicolas is working at the dealership and has consistently strived to learn as many aspects of the business as he can. He is currently the manager of one of the franchises, and he is doing an exceptional job!

Speaking of working at the dealership, this little lady started her first job last week! I dropped her off, and Daddy met her at the door. I am so happy for her! She was super excited to go to work with Daddy. When I was about her age, I remember vividly starting work at the department store my parents owned! I wish I could say I was as excited as Flynn is!

These two newlyweds became homeowners last week! I am so very proud of and happy for them. They are two of the hardest-working young people I know. 

And these two young people. They are the cutest couple ever. Rhett is also working at the dealership, running the Business Development Center. He is unbelievably knowledgeable and hardworking! It is almost as if he were born into it! He loves his work, and I am so very proud. 

Madison continues to run her beautiful bridal store. She is still working with brides by appointment only and has found that to be much more enjoyable and productive. She enjoys giving each bride her undivided attention. She has also spent so much loving quality time with my Flynn lately to help with the transition of Peyton not being here quite so much.

Steve and I continue to adjust to life as parents of older and married children. It is very different but wonderful and blessed in its own way. I am so very thankful to God for sending us Flynn when he did. We are still parents of a young one! And for that, we are thankful! 

Oh! And I made pizza! I am usually good with meal planning, but I found myself with nothing on the schedule one night this week. I rummaged around and found three loaves of frozen bread dough, some blocks of cheddar and parmesan cheese, a small bag of fresh mozzarella balls, and a few cans of tomato sauce. Pizza it is! I thawed the bread dough on the counter all afternoon. Then I made some sauce by putting some Hunts Tomato Sauce in a pot, adding Italian seasoning, garlic powder, a bit of sugar, some grated parmesan, and a bay leaf. I let that simmer while I shredded the cheese. Then I assembled the pizzas and realized I might have a few pieces of pepperoni somewhere in the fridge! I baked them until we couldn't stand the delicious smell any longer, and then I set them out to cool. Steve was so eager to cut them, but I made him wait until I took them all out so I could take a picture! All for the blog, my friends!

Well, that wraps things up here. Have a wonderful, cozy, fun family weekend! Here in Pennsylvania, it is going to be chilly and rainy! As in 48 degrees chilly! We have a few plans, especially since we have one more birthday to celebrate! Peyton has her special day Monday, Memorial Day. 

Thanks for visiting, my friends.
I am always glad you do.

May 26, 2021

Randomness From My Camera Roll

-A picture of Vanilla Iced Coffee from Burger King to let my family know that it is way better than Dunkin and McDonalds-

-A picture of something I think I might try because if I don't take a screenshot, there is zero chance I will remember it-

-A picture of an episode of The Twilight Zone to send to Peyton to see if she can name the episode-

-Spoiler. She can. In about five seconds. If you are wondering, it is the one where these soulmates go to a clinic where you can trade in your body for a younger version with no aches or pains. Unfortunately, they only have enough money for one. Hmmmmm.-

-Screenshot of a book I may want to read. Again, I will never remember it if I don't take one-

-And lastly, a picture of me in Peyton's too-small- for- me sweater on the first boat ride of the season-

That's all for today, my friends!
Have a cozy Wednesday.

May 24, 2021

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good morning! After a hot weekend, we are waking to a cooler, cloudier day here in Pennsylvania. I am enjoying my second cup of coffee with Italian creamer inside today, with a favorite episode of The Twilight Zone playing in the background. Our weekend was filled to the brim with happiness! 

First up, we celebrated Rhett turning 19 with his favorite dinner...tacos...his favorite cake...Jello...and some of his favorite pastimes...riding on the boat and watching movies. Thank you for all the wishes. He read them all! Saturday afternoon, we had a very special visitor...

Yep! My mom was finally able to visit us here at home! It was beyond wonderful to have her here with us. She grew up with summers on a lake, so she loved sitting on the covered deck looking at the lake. We had pizza and ice cream and even played cards. And see that little pup there? He hasn't seen Mom in well over a year. But he ran right to her and never left her side! It was a perfect, happy day! 

Today, we celebrate another special day! My first son-in-law Nicolas is celebrating his birthday today! We will celebrate him with a special dinner, incorporating some Danish traditions that are so dear to his heart. Nicolas is an amazing young man. He is kind, fun, hardworking, sensitive, and caring. He is always up for any of the many family traditions his mother-in-law comes up with. He is an amazing friend to Rhett, Peyton, and Flynn, finding common interests with each. And most importantly, he is a wonderful husband to Madison. This young man who flew across the country to meet a young girl and her family has become part of that very family. And we are blessed.

How was your weekend, my friends?
What are your plans for today?
Have a cozy one, whatever you are doing.
And thanks for visiting!

May 20, 2021

Random And Rhett

First off, forgive me for the constant change around here. A few years ago, I decided to use a new blog design so I wouldn't have to change the background all the time. Turns out, I like changing the background all the time. Who knew? Summer has arrived here in Pennsylvania, seemingly bypassing spring, but we take what comes, right? Warm weather lends itself to impromptu ice cream runs where beautiful sunsets are seen, lighter summertime meals eaten out on the deck, and coffee dates with my people.

In other news, my one and only son turns NINETEEN today!!!! That precious little bundle of joy that brought a splash of blue into our house full of pink is nineteen. This young man is awesome. He is sensitive like his mom, outgoing like his dad, hilarious like his grandpa, and happy like his grandma. He is best friends with each of his sisters and always calls to let me know where he is and when he will be home. He loves movies and Taco Bell, his lovely girlfriend Kyrstin, fancy sneakers, and strawberry pie. 

Happy Birthday, Rhett.
Mommy loves you!

Have a cozy weekend, my friends!


May 19, 2021

Don't Be Too Easily Influenced

 When I was younger and wanted to know how to do something, I would seek qualified and knowledgeable people in that area. For example, as a teenager curious about the proper shade of foundation, I would visit the Clinique counter in the department store at my local mall. (These days, of course, I turn to my Madison for all things beauty-related.) If I needed to know how to properly cook chicken, I looked in a cookbook or called my mom. If I was curious about the most comfortable and affordable jeans, I either asked my close friends or went to the store to try them on. And as a young mother, when I had a question about child development or behavior, I looked in a book written by experts, called my doctor, or relied on the knowledge and experience of my mother and grandmother, women who had spent their lives successfully guiding young children to adulthood.

Where am I going with all of this? All over social media today, young women and mothers are bombarded with advice from Influencers, people who use their platform to persuade others to purchase the products and follow the ideas they promote. In many cases, this is fine. The problem arises when an influencer is not an expert or is not experienced in the field she is promoting. Too many people I see as I scroll through social media platforms are haphazardly promoting products and ideas they are not experts in or even experienced enough to influence others.

I see a mother with very young children telling me that I should make my child responsible for the household chores like scrubbing the toilets and mopping the floors in order to "raise capable kids." I should have my young child earn money to buy necessary items like sneakers to appreciate the value of money. I should make chore charts that my young children must complete before they are rewarded with screen time. My issue with this? First off, how does this particular mother know that these things will indeed raise capable kids when her oldest is only ten or eleven? What basis does she have for encouraging young mothers who watch her channel to have their little ones clean bathrooms and wash dishes when they can barely reach the sink? 

This same mother promotes an organizational system that she developed to run her household efficiently. She encourages mothers to purchase her planner and program, yet her entire online presence is unorganized and chaotic. Her shtick, if you will, is highlighting her crazy and hectic life. "Look at me! I am a mess! But oh, by the way, buy my planner and be organized! Make sure your kids are scrubbing toilets because that will teach them to be capable later in life!" No mention of the fact this allows her to spend all day filming, editing, and posting on social media. 

Other influencers will gladly show you their makeup application and skin routine, and of course, give you a "code" to shop the products they directly benefit from. Are the majority of these influencers certified to give this advice? No, most are not. They will tell you to buy makeup, hair products, clothing items, and kitchen appliances. All because they will make money from your purchase and your interaction with them. When the influencer asks a question like "What is your favorite memory with your kids" or "Tell me what television show you are watching because I really need a new one!" it most likely isn't because she wants to know. It is because platforms like Instagram feed on engagement. In other words, the social media influencer needs to prove that people are seeing and commenting, and liking her content to keep her relevant. 

Why do I care? Some say I should simply stop reading and stop watching. I can, and I do. But I am compelled to share my feelings here in my little space to remind younger women and mothers that they should not be easily influenced by so-called experts.  They should rely on their own instincts and the knowledge of those close to them for advice. Just because someone has a platform does mean she has the knowledge or experience to tell you how to dress, or run your home, or, more importantly, raise your children. When I see this mother encouraging others to have young children complete chore charts and scrub toilets and mop floors, I am reminded of one of my very favorite quotes from psychologist Jean Piaget, "Play is the work of childhood." Maybe these social media influencers should think about this, put their phones down a bit, and play with their children. They will be grown and scrubbing their own toilets in the blink of an eye.

Have a wonderful day, my friends!
Thanks for visiting.

May 17, 2021

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good morning! Pour a cup of coffee or tea and join me for a few minutes of cozy. Today I am drinking my favorite coffee with my favorite creamer from my favorite mug. Nothing fancy, I'm afraid. Quite mundane. Comfortable. Me. I am sitting in our family room, enjoying the sun streaming in through the windows that face the lake. Soon it will be warm enough to enjoy my morning coffee outside. Not quite yet. But soon.

Steve had my Jeep all serviced and cleaned for me! So we got dressed and took it for a ride. Real clothes. Washed hair. Powder, blush, and lip gloss. I am really on a roll!

Yesterday, my four amazing children celebrated me with a beautiful, delicious luncheon for Mother's Day. (Rescheduled from last week due to the evil cold.) My friends, it was so special. So perfect. So bittersweet. Perhaps those of you with older children will relate. You see, as a mom, we are the ones who plan, prepare, organize.  All those lunches and birthdays and holidays we celebrated served as models for our children. And as sad as we are when our little ones grow, we are rewarded when that love comes right back to us through the hearts and hands of our children. 

Madison, Nicolas, Peyton, Christopher, Rhett, Kyrstin, and Flynn planned and prepared this beautiful luncheon yesterday, and I was so happy. I was happy to see them work together, happy to see them laughing together, happy that they remembered all my favorite foods! I was happy. Yes, Mother's Day looks different now. Gone are the homemade cards and breakfast in bed, followed by soccer games and ice cream. Yet, I am not sad. Those beautiful memories are tucked inside my heart. Right where they belong. These moments are here. Right now. And perfect.

Have a wonderful day, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!