June 30, 2021


From this...

To this...In a blink of an eye.

In between?

A first apartment ~ Houses made into homes ~ Blessings of babies who have grown into amazing people ~ Kittens and Puppies ~ Birthdays and ordinary days ~ Joys and sorrows ~ Gray hairs and extra pounds ~ And through it all...Love.

Our children and their spouses hosted a surprise dinner for us and the joy I felt sitting there among the very children I prayed for beneath a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a young bride on that sweltering day thirty years ago filled my soul. 

Have a cozy Wednesday, my friends!
Thank you for visiting.

June 28, 2021

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! My coffee looks a bit different today. It is a hazelnut vanilla blend, and I am enjoying it outside the beautiful Bedford Springs Resort. Steve and I are on a quick little getaway until tomorrow. I am relaxing and reading. He is relaxing and walking. I cannot believe this weekend is the Fourth of July! We have no plans other than celebrating in our backyard with food and family. In the meantime, I am gathering pictures for scrapbooking and plan to get caught up on that after the Fourth. I am down to two children! I began the albums when Madison was born and go up until each child turns twenty. I enjoy doing it and am happy to have memories of special times in each child's life. It passes so quickly, doesn't it?!

Well, have a cozy Monday, my friends. 
Thanks for visiting.

June 25, 2021

Meal Of The Week And Other Random Things


Summer in Pennsylvania means a few weeks of these sweet things appearing at a little fruit and vegetable stand in the parking lot near the bowling alley. I serve them with pound cake. Madison makes a delicious Danish dessert called Rødgrød med fløde, which translates to red porridge with cream. I also throw some in my smoothie, but they are best eaten right as is, sweeter than candy.

Summer also means easier and lighter meals. This is one of my favorites. I made an easy slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe this week for dinner, and it was delicious. I used this recipe RIGHT HERE. I added a large can of Italian Style diced tomatoes because I had some, as well as some fresh basil leaves. I served it over angel hair pasta to make it lighter. And using fresh parmesan makes a world of difference! 

Leaving you with this precious picture. 
Because who doesn't love a pup in a basket of freshly washed and folded beach towels? Have a nice weekend, my friends! Thanks for visiting!

June 23, 2021

Currently, I Am

Reading this.
And it is amazing. It is so beautifully written and captivating as well.
I read long into the night with this one!

Eating this.
Baby romaine, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, Fontina cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and avocado with balsamic vinegar. So easy if I prep a few things beforehand. So delicious. And feels so fancy! 

Waking to this.
Today, I woke to this. What else is there to say?

Missing this.
I miss taking my babies for walks. I loved to push them, and talk with them, and show them things along the way. I still remember pushing Peyton and Rhett in a double stroller up and down our little road every day at 10:00. This is my last baby, Flynn. I still remember putting on her sweater and her hat. And how she brought Abby Cadabby with us every single day.

Have a cozy Wednesday, my friends.
Thanks for stopping!

June 21, 2021

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good morning! I had my coffee on the deck this morning and so enjoyed the quiet and calm. Unfortunately, we are supposed to get some strong afternoon thunderstorms and then some cooler weather tomorrow. So many people are dealing with severe weather conditions like extreme heat and devastating storms, and my prayers go out to them. 
I remember when I was young, and air conditioning was not yet common. During the sweltering days of summer, my mom would close all the drapes in the house to keep the sun and heat out. There was something so cozy about those summer days, when we were together inside, waiting for late afternoon to head back out and play kickball with the neighbor boys while my mom fixed dinner. Then, my dad would come home from work, pulling in the driveway in his truck, one arm out the window. We would run to him as he climbed out with his briefcase, and then we would all head in to eat, with promises to return for our evening game of Ghost in the Graveyard.

Those summers seemed to last forever, didn't they? Endless possibilities stretched before us—afternoons at the pool, games of Monopoly, melting ice cream cones and chasing fireflies. Of course, they are gone now, but something will come along and remind me of those carefree days every now and then. And I can return to them in my heart and once again be nine years old, running barefoot through the grass, waiting for my mom to call us in for dinner. 

Make a memory today, my friends.

June 18, 2021

An Easy Summer Dinner


Summer. The time for easy, delicious, and mostly nutritious meals, right? That is what we enjoyed last night. Madison and Nicolas joined Steve, me, and Flynn for dinner on the deck. Madison then prepared a plate for Rhett, who was working late. What did we have? Well, we had marinated flank steak and gourmet butter, grilled vegetables, red potatoes with fresh parsley, and corn on the cob. I also made a salad with baby romaine, garden tomatoes, fresh basil, Fontina cheese, and Balsamic vinegar. (Doesn't that sound so fancy?!? The reality is it was very simple, and I ate it in sweats and a t-shirt while my Mocha barked nearby! )

If you want to recreate this delicious summer meal yourself, here are some tips.

The recipe for the Flat Iron Steak with Gourmet Butter is found HERE.

I purchased the grilled vegetables at my local grocery store. They were in the fresh vegetable section labeled as a kabob kit. We simply grilled them with some olive oil and salt and pepper. No sticks needed!

The red potatoes are easy peasy microwavable right in the bag. I put them in a bowl, added a bit of butter, and clipped some fresh parsley to throw on top.

Madison brought some corn on the cob from the store. I always add a bit of sugar to my water when I boil it.

The salad is a staple this time of year. I use baby romaine from the store until I can find garden lettuce. And Fontina cheese is my new obsession!

I drink water during the day, but I do enjoy a glass of lemonade for dinner. Our favorite? Simply Lemonade. Raspberry!

Ok. Enough about my meal. I hope you all enjoy a lovely summer weekend. And to all those amazing fathers, godfathers, fathers who are waiting to be or wanting to be, Happy Father's Day. Enjoy! 

And Happy Father's Day to this guy. He is the fun one. The beach swimmer, kickball player, and concert-goer. He is also the driver's ed teacher, new clothes shopper, emergency room taker, and financial advisor. I am so glad he is my partner on this amazing journey of parenthood.

June 16, 2021

I Can, But I Can't


Things I can do:
  1. Cook a healthy, delicious meal for my family
  2. Care for, teach, love, and enjoy children
  3. Decorate my home in a cozy, comfy way
  4. Braid my daughters' hair
  5. Lose myself in books
  6. Describe every single episode of The Brady Bunch in detail
  7. Balance my checkbook to the penny
  8. Swim 
  9. Cook any type of pasta perfectly
  10. Fall asleep anytime, anyplace, no matter what
Things I cannot do:
  1. Keep any type of plant alive
  2. Sing, at all
  3. Assemble anything that requires more than two steps
  4. Pump gas
  5. Any math higher than Algebra 
  6. Sew, stitch, or thread a needle
  7. Parallel park
  8. Type, correctly
  9. Ride a horse
  10. Touch raw ground beef
Just in case you were wondering.
Have a cozy Wednesday, my friends.

June 14, 2021

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! It is a lovely summer morning here, and I decided to dig out my Shark Week mug for my morning coffee. Just a friendly reminder that one of my favorite weeks of the year involving all things sharks starts Sunday, July 11, on Discovery. My holiday-loving friend Leslie, who blogs HEREand I are already marking our planners!

Our lives have suddenly switched to summer mode around here. That means stops at our favorite local fruit and vegetable stand. While I am a huge advocate of meal planning, I find that I prefer to have whatever Steve brings home this time of year!  This past week we enjoyed fresh strawberries, asparagus, and a salad with ripe tomatoes. I added some marinated chicken and baby red potatoes. Steve also grills extra chicken for salads later in the week. We eat outside and remember to light the torches and candles to keep those bugs away!

I started going through some storage tubs in our basement yesterday. I have things sorted and stored that at one point seemed so special, I couldn't part with them. After almost thirty years of marriage and countless moves, I decided that I could part with some of them. I mean, they had been in storage tubs for years and years and years, right?? I saved some, sorted, and made boxes for each of the kids with the things I thought were special to each one, and I threw some away! And it feels good.

One special thing I did find was this photo of my parents. I absolutely love every single thing about it! They are so happy, so young, so much in love! I love my mom's skirt, my dad's watch that I recognize from my childhood, and the fact that Rhett looks exactly like him! 

Well, time to continue my day! I have already had my coffee, did a low-impact aerobics workout, yes...really, and showered! I plan to write letters to people I haven't seen in a long time, do laundry, steam some clothes, and cut up strawberries to have with poundcake during Bachelorette tonight. What are you up to today, my friends? Whatever it is, I hope it makes you happy!

June 11, 2021

Ordinary Days And Summer Thoughts


Well, hello there! Happy Friday! I saw this photo on my phone, and I thought about how all those years ago, which seem just like yesterday, I had a little girl with beautiful brown curls by my side every day. She wore sundresses with watermelon designs on them, and she loved to be outside. She had the cutest swimsuit that was navy blue with white polka dots on it that she would wear while running through our sprinkler, Silly Willy, a whale that spouted colored balls out the top. I wore a big white hair bow in her hair every day, and she loved milk in a sippy cup before bed. I loved every single moment of those days. I never thought about the days when that spunky little girl would be grown and married and living in a house of her own. I am glad I didn't. I am so glad I lived in those precious moments. And I am so glad I am living in these moments now! That little girl is a grown woman now, but she is still by my side. Our relationship is one of mother and daughter and supporter, friend, and confidant. I wouldn't have understood how wonderful it could be back then. I would want to keep her little forever. But then I would be missing out on the amazing woman she is today. And also on the sweetest Danish husband she found across the sea. She still wears bows and ribbons in her hair, though. 

These days are blissfully ordinary ones, with dinners on the deck and boat rides during sunset. They start with coffee on the deck, Steve and Rhett heading to work, Flynn and I watching tv, reading, fixing lunch, and playing games. The evenings are cozy with easy dinners outside followed by store-bought fruit tarts...Miss you, Peyton...and when the bugs get too bad, a few episodes of Twilight Zone inside before bed. There are singing lessons, calls with my mom and sister, naps, texts with friends, and daily household chores mixed in. Life isn't always perfect photos fit into squares, you know? It is ordinary. Messy. Mundane. Beautiful. If your life doesn't fit into little squares for others to see, it's ok. It's more than ok. It's perfect.

Have a nice weekend, my friends.
Not too much here. I am getting groceries, taking the dogs to the groomer, and enjoying a Sunday visit with my mom while taking her in some new summer clothes. She loves patriotic things!

June 9, 2021

This Or That? Summer Edition

Let's start with an easy one.
In the summer, do you prefer early mornings or late nights?

How about hot, sunny days or cozy, stormy summer afternoons?

Summer means grilling!
Would you rather a juicy burger or some tender grilled chicken?

Will you drink traditional fresh lemonade or fancy fruit-flavored lemonade?

Do you load up the car and head to the pool every day or hook up the outside things and let them go?

And finally, do you enjoy a dripping ice cream cone or a melty popsicle before you head in for the day?

Just curious.
Thanks to Pinterest for the images.
And my answers are down below!
Have a wonderful summer day however you choose to spend it!

1. I love summer mornings! I love waking up with the world.

2. Anyone that knows me knows I love love love a good summer storm!

3. Burger. Always. Plain too. Just a good burger on a fresh bun.

4. I like all lemonade, but raspberry is my fave.

5. My kids are older now, but we avoided the pool during the day. They loved the outside water things and lunch on plastic trays followed by showers and an afternoon movie.

6. Ice cream cones are summer to me. Coffee now. Chocolate when I was younger. With the Keebler cones that were pink, green, and brown.