May 31, 2024

Photos On The Last Day Of May And A Birthday!

Hello, and Happy Friday, my friends! Although summer doesn't officially begin for a few weeks, June 1 will always be summer to me. This week was short but long. Memorial Day seems like forever ago, but yet it's Friday already? That is one of those things I won't ever understand, so I don't even try. Like when you drive past a mountain filled with trees, and you stop to think, if there are that many trees right here, how many could there be in the whole world? And when you sit on the shore and see nothing but water stretching out before you and wonder how big the ocean really is and why the months now pass significantly faster than when you were a junior in high school sitting in Physics class on a Wednesday in January? Anyway, here are some recent pictures from my camera roll to finish off the month of May.

My firstborn and I at Nico's birthday party...

My bestie Heather and her husband Dave came to visit this week!

We visited a spa, went to a tea, and sat on the beach. And it was good.

Meanwhile, Nicolas and Flynn played mini golf, rode bumper boats, and went on a bird-watching hike. Or, as I like to say, enjoyed Eighth Grade Field Trip Day.

The beach is good for the soul.

And in "We are still celebrating birthdays" news...

Today is Peyton Rose's twenty-fourth birthday! My second little bundle of joy is celebrating her birthday today! If you ask me what I did last week, I wouldn't remember, but I remember these moments quite well!

Peyton is a blessing to each member of our family in a unique and special way. She has smiled since that first one; she finds joy in cooking, baking, and serving others; she loves animals, the outdoors, camping, and all things holiday! She also loves her new car.

But she loves sharing her life with her Christopher most of all!

Today marks the first birthday we aren't together, but we celebrated last weekend, and Steve was sure to put candles on her dinner plate! 

Happy Birthday, Peyton Rose!

And happy weekend to you, my friends. 


Billie Jo

May 29, 2024

May 27, 2024

A Birthday Surprise, Another Birthday, And Happy Memorial Day!


Happy Memorial Day! This is the same photo I shared on Friday. Sorry about that! We had a lovely, fun-filled weekend here. Madison's husband Nicolas turned thirty on Friday, and Madison surprised him with a most amazing gift! We all had a hand in the super-secret plan, but Madison was the one who made it happen.

His brother, Jakob, flew from Denmark to spend Nico's birthday weekend with him! Nicolas was surprised, shocked, happy, and speechless! I wish you all could have seen the joy and love between these two young men. It has been almost two years since they last saw each other. That was in Denmark. Jakob was last here five years ago when Madison and Nicolas got married. ( If you are a new reader, Nicolas is Danish. They met through YouTube and lived in Denmark for two years before settling here after they were married. ) Jakob is an amazing young man; we were all so happy spending time with him.

Madison planned a lovely birthday surprise birthday party for Nicolas at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. I love how she incorporates Nicolas' beloved Danish traditions into everything they celebrate. We have come to love them as much as we love him!

The rest of the weekend passed in a blur of activities for the young people and Steve and some quiet time with the puppies for me intertwined with a beautiful mass and delicious meals. Last night, we celebrated Peyton's birthday. She and Steve went to the local fish market and picked out some sea bass that Steve cooked for dinner. It was delicious. And since we were celebrating her birthday, my baker was off duty. We got ice cream instead!

Today will be a cozy, quiet one. And that is perfectly fine with me.

Have a wonderful day, my friends!

Billie Jo

May 24, 2024

Remember To Remember

Hello, my friends. I hope your week was cozy, productive, relaxing, and fun—or maybe all those things rolled into one. It was quick here, that is certain! We spent a couple of days at the ocean and are now back at the house, where three little pups got all fresh and clean for the long weekend!

My favorite time to be on the beach is early morning. I love the quiet, calm, peaceful feeling of knowing that for that short time, I witness something that has been since the beginning and will continue long after I am gone. But I also love that the beach is empty when I am there. And when the hot sun appears, and the crowds begin to gather, I will be cozy in my condo, enjoying it from afar. 

Finally, Happy Memorial Day to all my U.S. friends. I hope your celebrations, whether big or small, complete with grand parades or cozy cookouts, outside with neighbors and friends, or inside with movies and family, are just what you plan on and more. And as I like to tell my family, let's remember to remember why we celebrate this day in May each year. We think of those men and women who gave their very lives for our freedom. Each generation has continued to honor the ones before. While it is easy to get caught up in the fun of summer beginning and hamburgers with potato salad, we owe it to those who lost loved ones and those who gave their lives, like my great-uncle Sam, to pause and be thankful for their sacrifice.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
Thanks for visiting.
I am always happy you do.

Billie Jo

May 22, 2024

They Should Really Tell You

Good morning, my friends. Monday afternoon, we hopped into the car, drove across the bridge, and arrived at the beach for a few days of ocean air. And a birthday! Yes, my one and only son Rhett Stephen, who came by scheduled c-section on a sunny spring morning, turned twenty-two yesterday. All those well-meaning ladies in the grocery store were right, dang it! It does go way too quickly! 

Someone should really remind you of that. Amid all the happiness, flowers, balloons, fanfare, and joy that surround the birth of a baby, someone should sit us down and remind us that we have been gifted this blessing for a time. We will have but a few short weeks to hold, snuggle, and rock our new baby until those tiny limbs start poking out of the swaddle blankets you so carefully washed and stacked, thinking you had forever to use them.

We have but a short time to hold a little hand and push a little one on the swing before friends ride up the driveway, asking to come and play. Suddenly, we are walking past those very same stores we used to dream about shopping in for footie pajamas, sundresses, and matching Christmas clothes. We trade Carter's for American Eagle and the toy aisle for electronics. Summer nights change from waiting for the return of your little one from the neighbor's yard to waiting to hear the car door slam in the driveway a few minutes before curfew. And birthdays go from paper tablecloths with brightly wrapped gifts and cake with Grandma and Grandpa to causal dinners with gift cards and dessert. 

They really should tell you all that before you leave the hospital. Right after the instructions on installing a car seat or changing a diaper, someone important-looking with a clipboard should sit you down and tell you all these things. And then, after all that, they should tell you that this is precisely how it is supposed to be. And it is beautiful. All of it. The baby that we hold and love will grow and change. Exactly how a baby is supposed to do. Just like we did. And then, this important person should tell you that your relationship with your adult children will be amazingly wonderful! You will find a best friend in each of your children and begin an incredible new journey together. And you will always have someone to help you with your phone and figure out the streaming channels on the television. If someone had told me all that before I left the hospital with each new bundle of joy, I wouldn't be as surprised that my precious son is twenty-two already! Or then again, maybe I would. 

Happy birthday to my son Rhett! He is an old soul, full of compassion and concern for others. He is the funniest person I know and hardworking, too. He loves Taco Bell, being with his family, movies, video games, and his beautiful girlfriend, Kyrstin. It has been my privilege to be his mother all these years, and when I get that twinge of melancholy, I remind myself that the best is yet to come!

Have a beautiful Wednesday, my friends!

Billie Jo

May 20, 2024

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! I have had my coffee, said my prayers, and am ready to start the day! I am currently watching a vibrant red male cardinal at our feeder, and a little bit ago, he and his lady friend were there together. I am not ashamed to say that I recently learned that female cardinals are not red and are pretty distinguishable with pale brown coloring and a tint of red in places. Who knew?! Oh! Now, a large Blue Jay arrived and frightened the cardinal away. OK, enough with the birdfeeder commmentary.

Our weekend was cozy as we continued to wait for some late spring temperatures. The weather is what the weather is, and it pays no mind to what we wish it to be. So we adapt our plans and adjust. The flowers and herbs didn't get planted this weekend. The front porch did not get washed off. The beach visit didn't happen. Instead, we enjoyed a fresh seabass meal cooked and served by Steve. We attended a beautiful mass and enjoyed a good meal and an ice cream treat afterward. We did watch Grease together for the first time in forever. We also enjoyed a casual Sunday dinner of BLT sandwiches and salad. With an amazing chocolate dessert made and served by Nicolas and Flynn. Not bad, right?

My first and my last!

Look at me, making a delicious and healthy salad!

And then enjoying this brownie with ganache. It's all about balance, my friends. ; )

I forgot to mention Cosmo, and I had a Sunday afternoon nap.

And Peyton sent this beautiful picture of their sweet Jenny. Jenny is the kindest, most well-behaved, and most loved pup. Isn't she sweet?!

Today, Flynn and I will do some homeschooling, and then we plan on watching the third Planet of the Apes movie. Tomorrow, we are going to see the new one! Rhett introduced me to these movies when he was young, and I love them. They are not what I thought at all. They are much better!

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

Billie Jo

The recipe for the salad is HERE. a red, white, and black woodpecker is visiting the feeder! OK. I'm done.