Saturday, July 14, 2018

firecracker #4

I love Pioneer Woman. I love her blog. I love watching her cooking show with Little Leighton. (Even though her recipes aren't necessarily gluten-free, most can be easily adapted so our family can happily, and safely, enjoy them!). Most of all, I ADORE her "Home" line at Walmart. My favourite pattern to-date has been "Willow." I think it was first available last holiday season. It has varying shades of blue. It is YUMMY.

Somewhere along the way, I started collecting pitchers. Most are tiny. White or off-white. I have them sporadically placed around my house. Bathroom. Kitchen. Bedrooms. I love them on their own or as a vase!

Then, one day last spring, ELC randomly gifted me this beauty:


Y'all. Is this not adorable? It is a full-sized pitcher. It's from the "Willow Collection!" Look at that cute, little, glass knob on the top. I don't believe it's more than $20. Wouldn't this make the most precious gift? Housewarming, perhaps? Hostess gift at Thanksgiving? Some of the flowers on the pitcher look like pansies. Pansies are one of ELC's favourite flowers because they were her Nana's favourite. This is so special to me. I cherish it. I look at it everyday in my kitchen and simply SMILE.

I'm always on the hunt for sweet and unique gifts. I think this fits the bill!

(Leave it to ELC to technically find all of my "FIRECRACKERS," thus far. Thank you kindly, ELC! Teeheehee.)

Happy Saturday, Friends!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

firecrackers #3



So I have 64-year-old eyes. (Actually, closer to 65, when you think about it. A dear friend pointed out to me recently that on our first birthday, we’ve already lived a year! So when we celebrate any birthday, we’re technically a year older. I mean, that truly does make sense, Mackie…)


I grew up in a time of the world when plucking your eyebrows was fashionable. Like, I am talkin’ MAJOR PLUCKING. To the point where you almost had no eyebrows left. (Have you ever trimmed one of your trees or bushes? It was like that. You start. You have to even it out. In doing that, you go too far. Then you have trouble stopping and getting control of yourself! And you go even farther. It's a vicious cycle.)


Please let me advise You Younguns about over-plucking: Your eyebrows will probably NOT come back. It’s going to be hugely important that you not overdo. Your actions could be sadly permanent. You will regret it.


(Note: I have been using Lash Boost—by Rodan & Fields—for almost three years. However, NOT on my lashes—on my brows! To save what I have left. I honestly think it’s helped. At least it might have slowed down the loss.)


Anyway, I’ve been searching for products to make my brows look thicker. Better. All while looking as natural as possible. TLC bought this product for both of us recently:




(By the way: I was ruthless with TLC when she became a teen and wanted to pluck her brows. She always had more than I ever did. I ADORED every last little hair on her pretty face. Sorry. I realize this is weird. Trying to be honest. I’d beg, plead, and, possibly, threaten her (with taking something away or not getting her something) if she overplucked. She didn’t. Fortunately. However, she’s discovered in the past year or so that she likes to fill in her brows. It really is so the rage.)


This is one of three different methods I actually alternate. The first one I tried and still use is an Estee Lauder brow pencil and a Maybelline brow powder—together. The second method I’ve tried and use—and I got TLC one, too—is that Wunder Brow. I can honestly say I like all three methods!


I’m really working to get this Tattoo Studio on my brows as best as I can. The wand is like a mascara wand. And it comes with a little brush to use once you’ve put the “gel” on. I was trying to think of the word to type to describe how it feels once I’m finished. (Or as finished as I’m going to be.) And that word might be “crunchy.” Which, I admit, doesn’t sound fabulous. Honestly? I don’t mind it! Color/gel is supposed to last for a few days. I’ve found that once I wash my face at night (which I do with Dove soap) and then again in the morning, before I apply my makeup for the day, the “tattoo” gel is pretty much gone. Which is fine with me!


I believe I’m getting better at this method. My BIGGEST Critic—TLC—has said I’m doing pretty good with all three of my “please-give-me-some-brows” efforts. My Second Biggest Critic—Little Leighton—would, I promise you, promptly advise me if anything I did looked weird, funny or clownish. She’d not hesitate to be fast and blunt with her opinion. She does this. All. The. Time. Sigh.


If you’re oldish like moi—and you overplucked—and you can’t find any little eyebrow “wigs” on Amazon—OR you’re young and you still want lusher/plusher brows—this is certainly worth a try! Just go slow. Plan to practice a day or two at home before you head out into the world. Because…it’s at least permanent for the first day. When I kind of mess up? I’ve learned I have to be pretty fast with my q-tip to straighten it all out!

(Lash Paradise? I actually did this post forgetting that was in the picture. My Picture-Poster TLC texted me last night and asked me if I realized I hadn't mentioned the mascara. Oops. This is the third mascara we've bought between us in the past four months. It seems to be all over tv and magazines. TLC and I like it! Not sure at this point in our blog history that telling y'all that little news is tres earthshattering. We're pretty easy to please when it comes to mascara. Give us a pretty applicator and we're good to go. This can be a teensy bit clumpy. However, clumpy works for us. Seems to add to our volume, don'tchaknow.)


As you navigate your week—Wherever in this World you are—DO NOT OVERPLUCK. Trust me on this, ‘kay?


Hugs,
ELC


p.s.: Mackie has done microblading! She had to tell me what it was and then I sort of thought I’d heard or read about it. A few days after she shared her experience, I saw a beauty salon in our little hometown that has a woman doing it! I MIGHT try it. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m waiting to see if Mackie is going to convince me it’s worth the pain, time and money…stand by…
p.p.s.: Brooke Shields always had the BEST brows. (I seriously and honestly loved hers. Yet I still kept screwing mine up. WHY?)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

firecrackers #2

Hi, all!  Happy Saturday!

Let me just say, this holiday-in-the-middle-of-the-week thing has completely thrown me off. I have no clue what day it is. Little Leighton missed her swimming lesson this morning because I thought it was Friday. I am a hot mess.

However, I do have fun things to share with y'all today for my first FIRECRACKER!

We have made a couple of short trips this summer, and I've tried to pack light. In doing so, I've had to drastically pair down my face/makeup paraphernalia. (Also, I (and ELC) buy tiny bottles that are too cute and free up some space.) I wanted to share my essentials with y'all:


First up: this ADORABLE bag! I have to give credit where credit is due. ELC actually discovered this bag. I could have sworn she purchased it at a local boutique. Uh, no. It's from WALMART. Yes, Walmart. I was shocked. It actually has two zippered compartments. Each is lined and each has a tiny pocket inside. Y'all. It's amazing. It holds everything I've pictured and then some. It keeps everything nice and organized. I LIVE for organized. (The other side/compartment is actually a black polka dot/dalmation print. I die.) It's called "Primrose Hill." It would make you believe it's made in London. So you'd think it's super FANCY and chic. It's not. It's made in China. ELC checked. Perhaps it was designed in London? Let's go with that. If Made In China is good enough for The Pioneer Woman, it's good enough for us.

Cetaphil and Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer. (I prefer the one with Broad Spectrum Sunscreen in it after my two rounds of skin cancer.) I've used these two products for YEARS. I swear by them. My dermatologist right out of college recommended them to me. They are mild on my sensitive skin, keep oil and breakouts at bay, and are CHEAP. That's a win times three for moi!

We've mentioned our love for Thayer's Witch Hazel before. And it's worth mentioning again. Y'all. This is so refreshing and might win my "Most Coveted Product Award." I seriously could not live without it. ELC is the one who found it in this precious travel-size bottle. LOVE. (It can be found at Target or Sprouts.)

I narrowed down my favorite makeup items. Currently, it's this No. 7 Radiant Glow Concealer (Again, THANK YOU, ELC. You win my "Discovers the BEST Things Award."), Great Lash Mascara (a classic!), eyelash curler, COVERGIRL Eyebrow Powder, and a Sonia Kashuk Eyebrow Brush. Confession: I've only recently started filling in my brows. Why did I wait so long? Now, I cannot leave my house without it.

In addition to these products, I really can't live without the Neutrogena Makeup Wipes and Aquaphor. (I use it like chapstick. But it's also great on cuts, burns, etc.) Oh, and Working Hands. Sorry. I could only fit so many in my pic. LOL.

Ummm...I just realized something. Apparently the theme of my finds are actually things ELC has FOUND and graciously given/recommended to me. I guess the moral of this post is:

Your Mother is ALWAYS right.  (At least my Mama is!)

I know she'll be bummed I didn't include a lipstick. Sorry, again. I'm working on that. I cannot find one I love. If you have any recommendations, please share! Nothing too bright. Or sticky. Or too matte. Does that exist?

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend and, unlike me, know what day it is!

Ta-Ta for now!




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

july's firecrackers #1



It’s The Fourth of July! In North Central Texas. At our country casa. It’s hot. (Our air conditioner went out last night about 8:30. Wasn’t too horrid. Our service peeps got here by 9:15 this morning and fixed it. Uber grateful to them!) TLC, The Little Princesses and Her Hubby are partying at his family’s lakehouse. My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I will be here. All day. Fireworks have been BANNED by our County Judge. (Most of Texas is under a Burn Ban—due to the drought we’re currently suffering with/through…usually MSH and I would see Neighbor Country Folks’ setting of their fireworks this evening. Hopefully we don’t see any tonight. Which is kind of sad. For many reasons. We just do not need fires started. Period.)


It’s time to do our July Yummies and Yeehaws!!! (If you’re not familiar with said Yummies and Yeehaws, you can find them in our posts from 2011, 2012—maybe 2013? We stopped them at some point. Did a few more—off and on—over the next couple of years.) EXCEPT, I have permission from TLC to call them our “Fireworks!” Things we love. Enjoy. Have recently discovered. Things that make a bang with us!


Y’all know I no-can-do pictures. Yep. Quite pathetic. And TLC can’t post pictures for me today.


NO WORRIES! This Fireworks #1 doesn’t need a picture/pictures!


I’m a TV watcher. Duh. I’m 64. Yes. I should be reading. And I do! However, I enjoy getting cozy at/in my spot on our couch and watching GOOD STUFF for a few hours each evening/night. (I rarely turn on the television during daytime hours. Haven’t for years and years. But when it’s super hot or super cold? And MSH and I have all chores done or we’re pooped and need to rest? Or it’s a holiday? Or a Saturday or Sunday afternoon? I might start sittin’ on the couch around 3:00. Ish. Then I hope and pray I have something recorded we can enjoy together.


With our thousands of channels and the ridiculous amount of money we pay for our TV service, I’ve been struggling to find entertainment for the past several weeks.  Fortunately, I have America’s Got Talent! I adore that show. I cry every week. Every week. I wish it was on every night. Sigh. I have to be satisfied with what they give us.


Some of my current summer favourites are on HGTV. I watch a “beach home” show because (1) I think they’re interesting and (2) I get ideas for future “beach” vacations for our family!


Beachfront Bargain Hunt. HGTV. I can’t really share exactly when this show comes on. For the majority of my HGTV shows I record? I find a marathon of them and hit the orange button. Then, when I watch them, I zoom by the commercials! I see beaches from Texas to Alabama to Florida to South and North Carolina to Virginia to California to Oregon to many MANY on the East Coast. Love LOVE LOVE this show.


Lakefront Bargain Hunt. HGTV. Also can’t tell you exactly when these are on. Again, I find some and hit record! MSH and I have always enjoyed lakes. Not just beaches. In fact, if we could, we think we’d like to live on a lake! Probably won’t ever. Who knows?


Then there is…My Lottery Dream Home. HGTV. Y’all. This one is SO MUCH FUN. It’s hosted by David Bromstad. Y’all might remember he won the HGTV Design Star in 2006. He has a show called Color Splash and this one. I’ve only seen a couple of the Color Splash shows. I think he is ADORABLE. This Lottery show? IT IS FABULOUS. To me. He finds people that have won a significant lottery somewhere—like most have won at least a million dollars—find a new home! Or a home for a family member. It’s interesting to see him go around the country to meet and help these people. I’ve played The Texas Lottery since it began. Like maybe close to thirty years ago? I’ve played the same 6 numbers—twice a week—for all this time. MY ADVICE: Do not EVER think about playing the same numbers. Buy Quick Picks. You’d be like me and have to slap yourself silly if you forgot to play your numbers and you found out they came up! HORRORS. I win every now and then! Anywhere from $3 to $24. Once I won $80! Do I break even? Nope. I spend $4 a week. I figure I could spend that much on candy. Or cigarettes. Or wine. I don’t. This is one of my few vices. Teeheehee. Please don’t judge me. I’m certain I’m gonna hit a big one soon and I’ll be needing David to come help me find my new digs. (Picture me crossing my fingers…)


I was channel surfing a few nights ago—when I saw the movie Overboard was going to be shown! OVERBOARD. The original with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. I hadn’t seen it in YEARS. (We used to have the VHS tape of it!) Oh. My. Stars. It was AMAZING. I zoomed by the commercials and laughed out loud for almost two hours. The best thing about this TV version? They blurred out Goldie’s bohiney—at the beginning—where Kurt sees a birthmark he can use later to identify her as his wife. Then once one of the boys used the word “S_it.” Bleeped it out. Goldie’s useless husband used it later and they bleeped him. THEREFORE…I’m saving this TV version for Little Leighton and Baby Elle to watch the next time they come here! Baby Elle might not be too interested. I think Little Leighton will definitely think it is GREATNESS.


Last, there’s always The Hallmark Channel. (For some reason I don’t get the Hallmark Mystery Channel and I never can remember to call Directv to find out why. I need to do that today.)


I’ve been recording movies lately I don’t think I’ve seen. The BEST one of five I’ve watched lately? For Better or For Worse. Starring Lisa Whelchel. (She was Blair on Facts of Life for years! I like her.) It's CLEVER. Different. She’s owns a wedding planning business (Tootie from Facts of Life works for her—I think she is ADORABLE even now!). Lisa’s character has one grown son. Well, he’s like 22. A divorce attorney moves in right next door to her! Y’all. He is YUMMY. I don’t know who he is and I didn’t look him up yet—trust me. He is HANDSOME and a good actor. IMHO. He alone is worth the watch.


There you go! Our First Fireworks! (We’ll be doing these throughout the month of July, don't forget. Just these. No other kind o' posts.)

TLC—you is up next, Girlfriend! Get Firecracker/Firecrackers #2 ready soon.


Happy Birthday America!


Y’all have a wonderful rest-of-the-week—wherever in this country or world Y’all are!


smooch…


ELC

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

when it rains...


…it pours.

Well, not literal “rain.” We’re desperately needing that in North Central Texas. It’s not good. (As usual.) And nothing coming in the next several days. July and August? Probably will be their BRUTAL selves.

The pouring rain I’m talkin’ about?  Prospective buyers for our country casa! We went over eight weeks without one “looker.” We’ll have had four showings in eight days as of this coming Sunday!

One down (It happened last Thursday and we’re, supposedly, still at the “top” of their list!). Three to go/do by Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, TLC has been a “teacher” at her church’s Vacation Bible School this week. It began on Monday. The last day is tomorrow. It starts every morning at 9:00 and ends at noon.

She. Is. EXHAUSTED. With 25 kids in her class (There are two other “teachers” and three “assistants”—junior high-ish-aged precious young ladies.), she has sent me no less than ten text messages in three days that all say this (basically—this is the gist—I wouldn’t be able to quote exactly some of those texts don'tchaunderstand—teeheehee…):

HOW DO TEACHERS DO THEIR JOBS? Every day? For months and months? YEAR AFTER YEAR? HOW? GOD BLESS THEM ALL!

The Good News about TLC’s VBS experience? Little Leighton has been in her class and she has been…get ready…drumroll…this is HUGE:

“A Saint!”

According to Her Mama. Grammy ELC is so very proud. (Baby Elle? Who's been in the nursery for the teachers/assistants/helpers? Out of her routine of long naps and going to bed at precisely 6:45 every evening? Then sleeping for 11 hours? For a total of about 12 1/2 hours each day? She's been hangin' in there...God bless her. Hangin'. In.)

With the certainty that TLC will be incognito (or, more likely, incapacitated)—i.e. on her couch or in her bed—until at least next Monday—trying to recover from her twelve hours in four days of “teaching” kindergarten and first graders —and the fact that I’ll be unavailable until Monday, as I’ll be doing my job as “housekeeper," “garden waterer," etc. for our upcoming showings, I’m going to tell Y’all this a bit early:

HAPPY JULY!

Can Y’all even believe it will be the SEVENTH month of 2018 in less than three days? I simply cannot wrap that around my old brain.

Hope Y’all are excited about our Return of the Yummies and Yeehaws!

I’ve got ideas for some of My Favourite Things to share! (TLC: This is your WARNING. Get 'em together, Sister.)

Be kind. Be happy. BE HEALTHY. Be sweet. BE YOU! Have a Fabulous Rest-of-the-Week and Wonderful Weekend, Dearest Friends...

Hugs,

ELC

Monday, June 25, 2018

butter me up!

I love it. Butter. I sometimes crave it. I don’t eat a lot of it. Never truly have—even at my most heaviest weight. But achieving Weight Watchers' Lifetime Membership causes me to be as wise as possible when it comes to butter. I have about ½ of a tablespoon 2-3 times a week. (On Sara Lee 45 toast. It is DELISH for 45 calories per slice. One point per slice for Weight Watchers. That is AWESOME.)


I was thinking about butter as I spread it on said toast this morn. (Warning: Bigtime Confession Forthcoming: After I spread it, I lick our plastic green butter knife. It’s actually My Sweet Husband’s—aka MSH—butter knife. He doesn’t like me to use it. He bought me two more of my own. So I wouldn’t use his. Mostly he doesn’t like to see me lick it after I’ve spread butter on my toast. Or a biscuit. Or some cornbread. It matters not to him that I then pour some Dawn dishwashing liquid all over the knife and run it under very hot water. He thinks I just do that when he’s there—observing my upsetting behavior. Nope. I do it every time. EVERY. TIME. Pinky swear, MSH.)


Anyway, growing up I loved butter. Real butter. On toast. On the homemade dinner rolls my mother made. Then the most horrid thing happened: Margarine. Flavorless. Annoying. NOT-REAL Butter Margarine. At that point, my mother would let us have the real butter on Sundays. For special occasions—when she made her mouth-watering crescent dinner rolls. (Heck—who am I kidding? We loved, loved, LOVED the canned bisquits and rolls. Even if they weren't Pillsbury. Store brands were okay, too. They were delicious enough for me. They still are, if I were to be quite honest.)


Then there came the ASTROCIOUSLY hideous tasting margarine/faux butter that was very low in cholesterol and fat and whatever else is so fabulously fabulous in the real thing. MSH had me buy several different kinds of those awful tubs over the years. We stopped about 18 years ago. None of them were worth the price you paid for them—which was quite a bit more, I’m thinking, than even buying real butter! Most ended up in our trash can. Not even half empty.


Land O’ Lakes. I adore them. I need them. I treasure them. I seriously should send them an email once a month and thank them for existing. They are THE BEST.


As you begin your new week—wherever in this world Y’all are—have some real butter! It’s good for your soul. (Maybe not your heart—but most definitely for your soul. Simply keep it in moderation. Everything in moderation is the key, right? Yep. You're welcome. From Dr. ELC.)


Buttery Smooches and Hugs,


ELC

Friday, June 22, 2018

summer snaps...

TGIF, Friends!

Fri-YAY!

I wanted to share seven snapshots with y'all that summarize our summer, thus far.


Sea World!


San Antonio! More specifically: Lick Honest Ice Cream in San Antonio! They have lots of YUMMY gluten-free options!


Popsicles on the front porch! CHEERS.


Splashing and swimming. In our inflatable "mermaid" pool or our community pool. We have logged lots of time in the water.



Ranger-riding. FroYo eating. Barn-browsing. In the country. With ELC and My Sweet Dad. It's so good for our souls.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!

HAPPY SUMMER!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

oscars and oscarettes...


So yesterday morn, I had to go to town for groceries and to pick up some packages from the business we have everything shipped to. (Living out in the country—and being a half-mile from our gate—we don’t have a mailbox or any way to keep packages from being affected by the weather/elements or people who might like to pick them up and see what they are. Which wouldn't be neighborly. Winky Wink. Therefore—we have a box at our CUTE little Post Office that’s less than three miles from our casa. And we have everything else—that can’t be sent to a Post Office box—delivered to a shipping/independent post office business that’s about twenty miles from our casa. Not terribly convenient. But when we go out of town? We know everything is going to be safe and there when we return. And we love the owner and her staff. They ROCK. Plus they have lots of fun little gifts that are sometimes hard to resist.)

Hellmart was especially challenging. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I prefer to get there by 8:00 on Saturday mornings. It’s quiet. Easy to check out. Not a lot of people competing for a cashier. I wasn’t able to arrive until almost 10:00. Sheesh. The wait to check out was almost excruciating.

And then there are The Grouches of this World. (I refer to them as The Oscars and/or Oscarettes—re: Sesame Street Oscar. These people can be any age and often are too young to be so miserably rude. Or The Geezers and/or Geezerettes. If they appear to be 62 or older. Yes, that could be considered mean of me. Anti-Senior Citizen. Nope. I give them these titles with love. Trust me. Plus I'm 64. I feel like I'm being pretty fair.) You know them! They’re driving cars/trucks around you—everywhere you go. They’re blocking your need to get to the bread or Coke Zeroes or diapers in grocery aisles. Sometimes they're the employees of said grocery stores—the people that are stocking. You—needing to get where they are? They don't like it. One bit. They also work in doctor offices or at the gas station/convenience store. They’re possibly having a bad day. Or you’ve somehow—unknowingly—offended them.

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I talk about The Grouches every time we go anywhere together in our vehicle. Road rage is real and beyond frightening. People are driving ENTIRELY too fast. Yes, Man in the Black Truck: I realize you and your life and schedule are much more important than ours or the rest of the peeps in your way. Go ahead: Endanger MSH’s and my life. Endanger all of us. Why not?

I’ve said this before and I'll say it again: I will never ever EVER claim to be perfect. In any way. And at anything. Driving. Shopping. Existing. I’m not. I make my share of mistakes. More than my share, actually.When I do, I truly try not to even look angry at the people I’ve annoyed. Not just out of fear. Out of remorse. Out of respect. Out of the deepest regret.

When I’m in Hellmart or other stores? Restaurants? Anywhere? I do my utmost best to SMILE at everyone. Even the people who positively REFUSE to smile back at me. It’s okay. Maybe I’ll catch you in a better mood next time.

On this Sweet Sunday—and Wherever in this World Y’all are: PLEASE BE KIND. Patient. Polite. PATIENT. Wise. Smart. KIND. I truly believe you’ll be glad you made that choice. God and Jesus will be proud of you, too.

Hugs,

ELC

P.S.: Tomorrow TLC and The Little Princesses will be here! Yippee and Woo Hoo! TLC hasn’t been able to come for a visit for several months. MSH and I are super psyched! I’m cooking and baking and cleaning and getting everything ready. Because these visits are The Meaning of Life to MSH and me. Seriously critical to our mental health. It helps us try to avoid being Oscars and Oscarettes.

 

 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

lean on me...



This is my Nana. Emily Mary Leighton Byrne. She was 9 years old. Today she would have been 124! As Y’all know (if you’ve followed us for very long), she was extremely important to me. She was My Rock. My Idol. My Mentor.


Jesus Today. June 12th.


LET ME HELP YOU get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning and your lying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My Presence. You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to moan and grown, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as you need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength. Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings.


1 CORINTHIANS 10:10; LUKE 1:79


First, my Nana was a devout Christian. Episcopalian. (Church of England.) She loved and worshipped God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Every. Single. Day. Rarely missed church. Wanted her grandchildren to be good Christians, too.


Second, she helped me get through so many days of my life. From the time I was born until I got out of college. She encouraged me. She supported me. She gave me everything she could—her time. Her love. As much money as she could part with. (She didn’t consider herself “poor.” But I’ve known for a long time—since I was in college—that she really was. I often wish she’d never sent me the money she did. She’d mail me $5 when she had it. Two to three times each semester. I should have saved it and given it back to her. I fight that guilt. A lot. Yet I believe she’d be sad I’ve admitted this. Because she knew I needed help. She was proud to give it to me.)


She was a strong woman. Optimistic. Opinionated. Funny—even though she never really meant to be! (We called it the English in her.)


I miss her. I miss her steadfast faith and loyalty. I miss her unconditional love and support. I’ll cherish every memory I have of her.


On a sidenote: I’m named for her. TLC is named for her. My middle sister is named for her. Mary. Nana has six great-great-granddaughters she never knew. (No great-great-grandsons!) One of them is, of course, named for her: Little Leighton. But today, one of her great-great-granddaughters shares her birthday! (She’s 4.) And she should share it—because she’s so much like my sister (She is truly my sister’s Mini-Me!), My sister that is also named for Nana. It's very appropriate and special.


Happy Birthday, My Precious Emily Mary Leighton Byrne! Thank you, Dear God and Jesus—for giving her to me…THANK YOU.


ELC

Sunday, June 10, 2018

bountiful blessings...


From Jesus Lives, by Sarah Young:

 

THANKFULNESS

A THANKFUL ATTITUDE OPENS WINDOWS OF HEAVEN THROUGH WHICH SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS FALL FREELY. And all I require to rain those blessings on you is your gratitude! It seems such a simple choice; yet you stumble over it almost every day of your life. Let Me help you become more grateful so you an receive bountiful blessings through those openings into eternity.

As you go about your day, keep these things in mind: Throughout the Bible I repeatedly command thankfulness because it is vital to your well-being. It is also crucial for a healthy relationship with Me, since I am your Creator, your Savior, your King. When you thank Me, you acknowledge how much I have done for you. This attitude brings Joy both to you and to Me.

Giving thanks is similar to priming a pump with water so that it will produce more water. Since thankfulness is one of the spiritual blessings I bestow on you, it will increase along with the others when you “prime” Me with thanksgiving.

Remember that I am the God of all grace. When you fail in your endeavor to be thankful, simply ask Me for forgiveness. As you freely receive this priceless gift—thinking about what it cost Me—your gratitude will grow. Look up to Me and see spiritual blessings cascading down upon you through heaven’s wide-open windows.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
PSALM 100:4

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
COLOSSIANS 4:2

 

On this Sweet Sunday, I wish you love, peace, forgiveness and a heart full of praise and thanksgiving!

Have a Wonderful Week—wherever in this World Y’all are!

Hugs,

ELC

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

little moments...


For Mom’s Day, TLC gifted me with the BEST STUFF. (Pretty sure I’ve already given her credit for the fabulous presents I received from her and My Little Princesses.) I’ll say it again—My Daughter is an extraordinary gift giver. She’s got talent. Creativity. Humor. Originality. She works that iPhone of hers—and all of her favourite websites, Instagram Peeps, etc.—like the highest paid and most brilliant CEO on Earth.

One of my marvelous gifts was a devotional book called Everyday Holy, by Melanie Shankle. 100 Devotions. “Finding a BIG GOD in the LITTLE MOMENTS.”

Background:

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) is completely amazed—every morning of our life together—at all of the “books” I read when I first wake up. The Bible. Jesus Calling. Jesus Lives. Jesus Today. My three little “prayer” books I reference on this blog all the time. OFTEN. Now I’ve added this sweet, funny, special, IMPORTANT devotional book to my Bed Full O’ God and Jesus books! (Trust me, please...this doesn't mean I even come close to the Christian I wish I was or could be. Not. Even. Close.)

Melanie (Would I love to have coffee with her someday and just listen to her wisdom? Yes. Yes, I would.) was a pharmaceutical rep. Now she writes books and is a speaker. Has one daughter. You learn a lot more about her each day as you read the devotions. And they’re not long. I can read them in 3-4 minutes. The longest ones. Less time, naturally, for the shorter ones.

I positively adore this book! I’d recommend it to any woman of any age. Well, maybe from 22-25ish on up. (Heck—I think MSH and lots of men I know might joy it!) Tomorrow morning I’ll read her 11th devotional. I seriously want to sit down and read the entire book! It’s just that fascinating/inspirational to me. I’m forcing myself to make it last the full 100 days. I feel almost certain I’ll be starting it over as soon as I’m finished.

This all brings me to our announcement about July! (drum roll...)

I’ve convinced TLC we need to re-visit our Yummies and Yeehaws! She’s agreed we can each recommend four to five
things/websites/recipes/food products/movies/books etc. that we’ve been treasuring/needing/wantings/cravings
we've had for either a week or a month or two years or forever. So BE READY, Friends! (There’s a possibility there will be a mascara or two discussed at some point during the month. You knew there would be, right? Teeheehee and Winky Wink.)

Y’all stay cool and happy and kind and patient and loving and giving—wherever in this World Y’all are on this Wonderful Wednesday.

smooches and hugs,

ELC

Saturday, June 2, 2018

and...suddenly...


…it is June. (Picture me shaking my head in utter dismay and shock. I mean, seriously. June?)

May zoomed by at an even faster rate of speed than normal. (Normal now? For all of us—no matter what our age? Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. They all pass by at some kind o' ridiculously crazy warp speed.)

TLC’s May was full of end-of-school activities for Little Leighton.  Her own end-of-the-year Bible Study. New carpet. New fence. (And all that those last two things entail: Looking for bids. Comparing and considering the bids. Waiting, endlessly, for returned phone calls. Waiting for the contractors to be able schedule their work. Etc.)

She’s beginning June with lots of plans for The Little Princesses to stay busy, cool, happy and healthy! Swimming! Library trips! Visits with family and friends. They’ll also be going on a short little family vacay to San Antonio soon. (Sea World is calling Little Leighton’s name!!!) They’ve not been yet. This will be a BIG DEAL.

Baby Elle? Not a great traveler. (Biggest understatement of the year, actually.) Hopefully she’ll remember something nice about her first out-of-town vacation with her Mom, Dad and Big Sister! (If My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH—and I were going with them? I fear we’d be making a plan to meet them there. Winky. Wink. J/K, TLC. Or am I? Yikes. This traveling anxiety will pass as Baby Elle gets older. Surely. SURELY.)

Sadly, MSH and I saw not one prospective buyer the entire month of May. It’s discouraging. And, yet, as I say over and over, almost on an hourly basis:

Thy Will Be Done

The sale of our home and place? It’s all in God’s Hands. Nothing else we can do but keep everything clean. (The yard and pastures mowed and weed-eated. Flowers/gardens watered.) Then...wait. With as much faith and patience as possible.

All of us in Texas are preparing ourselves for a hot, HOT, SCORCHINGLY HELLACEOUS Summer. (You might ask: Can we, as Texans, truly prepare ourselves for the heat we’re about to experience? The answer is, honestly, NO. I don’t think we’re ever ready or prepared for how difficult it gets.)

Typically, we learned early on in our lives that July and August are our most difficult/hottest months. Sadly, June is starting off in a way that depresses us all. The weather peeps? Yeah, we pretty much don’t like any of them, at this point. Bless their negative and dark little hearts.

I hope each of Y’all has a Sweet Saturday and Sweeter Sunday!

Smooches and Big Hugs,

ELC

Monday, May 28, 2018

3...2...2...


Last Sunday afternoon, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I met TLC, Her Hubby, Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle (aka Belle) in Willow Park. TLC and Her Hubby were having new carpet installed first thing Monday morning. It’d take all day and would involve both of The Little Princesses' bedrooms and their playroom. They needed to be gone. Grammy and Pa-Pa to the rescue!

TLC had sent everything we needed for LL and Belle. Diapers. Clothes. Lovies. “Guys”—LL’s stuffed animals she travels with and "needs "at bedtime. (These "guys" change up some from trip to trip--but there are at least four that always come to our home...)

Belle has been sleeping in a “half-size” crib at our casa. We bought this crib when LL was about a year old. LL would never sleep in it. (She preferred TLC’s old bed and room.) Belle has slept in and done great in this crib since her first visit here. She was just a few months old. So for over two years. HOWEVER, she’s not getting smaller! She’s getting bigger and longer, etc. I wasn’t sure she’d be comfy in the crib this time. TLC and I decided I’d play it by ear. If it seemed like it wasn’t going to work—I’d try putting her in the bed Biscuit sleeps in. (Which would be an adjustment for Biscuit—as they’ve not ever slept together. Ever.)

That night, after baths, Biscuit went into our master bedroom to watch a Full House or Bunk’d episode on our TV. I tried putting Baby Elle to bed in our second “guest” room and her crib. She wasn’t having it. She was clearly anxious during the reading of her two nighttime story books. She wanted me to read both of them several times. It was quite pitiful and pathetic. She cried. She whimpered. She told me fifty times: “I miss My Mama.” I finally put her in the crib, told her we loved her and everything was "okay," and walked out. Feeling like a HUGE Grammy failure.

An hour later (We were already behind TLC’s normal “bedtime” schedule for both girls.), Belle gave it up and fell asleep. I wasn't worried she was not fitting in the crib. She simply hadn’t been here—without her Mama—in several weeks. Of course, she’s going through Phases and Stages. These growth development periods go on FOREVER, don't they? (Pretty sure MSH is currently in a Phase and/or Stage—at 74. Sigh.)

By the time LL and I went to her bed, she sniffled and whined for her Mom. And told me she was mad at her because she wouldn’t let LL bring “Bamboo”—her stuffed Beanie Panda. (Her Mama let her bring ten guys. Seems like that should have been an adequate number.) Finally, Biscuit gave in to exhaustion. I showered and fell into my bed—praying the next two days would be better in terms of naps and bedtimes.

They both got up way too early Monday morn—but they always do when they’re at our home. We stayed busy, having a good breakfast and lunch. When I put Belle down for her nap (naps for her usually last anywhere from an hour and 15 minutes to almost 2 hours!), she was less anxious. HOWEVER, for over an hour, on the camera monitor, she talked. She sang. She talked some more. Never going to sleep.  I was a big bundle of STRESS. 

As I texted TLC my troubles, she assured me Belle would simply have to go to bed early that night and it’d all be fine.

MSH and I decided I’d get her out of the crib and we’d leave for our trip to town (We were going to the Yogurt Shop and the pet store!) a bit earlier than planned. As I entered the bedroom, I immediately saw Belle’s two pacifiers on the floor by the crib. I knew she’d thrown them over. Then I smelled her second poop diaper of the day. There you go: The two reasons she’d never gone to sleep. God love her.

That night, after baths, getting Belle to bed was a piece o’ cake! She was beyond sleepy/tired/exhausted. So was Biscuit. They both were out cold almost the second they lay their little heads down. Both slept a few minutes later Tuesday morning and were in great moods upon arising—having caught up some on lost sleep.

We played and played Tuesday morning—inside and outside. I got Belle to take a good nap after lunch. We took them all the way home once she woke up. MSH and I wanted to see their new carpet. (Which was simply divine!)

On our way back home that evening, I got to thinking about Belle’s two pacifiers. (She calls them her BaBas. Has since she was about fourteen months old.) She started out with three. She's always had all three in her crib at naptime and bedtime. Sometimes they get lost in the crib. Sometimes they get tossed overboard. For the most part, she ends up with at least one by the time she wakes up.

Two months ago, one of them “disappeared.” TLC decided to do what she’d done with LL’s pacifiers when it was time for her start giving them up: She'd remove one. Then another. Then the last. LL was about three when the last was confiscated. But TLC had started the process when she was about 2 ½. Belle had to start a bit earlier than Biscuit. Chalk that up to The Trials and Tribulations of Being the Second Child.

Anyway, I was thinking about me and my Coke Zeroes and how Belle and I were going through the same “withdrawal.” I’ve been drinking three 16-ounce Coke Zeroes every day for several years. Well, I was drinking three until about two months ago. I made the decision to wean myself off two of them—get down to just one a day. MSH and TLC bug me constantly about how bad they are for me. I get it. They’re right. I’m also aware of how addicted I am to them—as I’ve tried in the past to give them up. It’s torture for me. Pure torture.

I’ve been doing pretty great having just two a day! I've replaced the third with a bottle of water  (I am horrid about drinking water. I confess this and am not proud of it.) and/or a Crystal Light lemonade. The thought of giving up my next CZ? I’m not ready. As I know Belle is not going to be when TLC loses the second pacifier. I literally want to cry for both of us. I want to convince TLC—and MSH—that it’s okay Belle has two pacifiers and that I’m drinking two Coke Zeroes a day. I want to beg them both for patience and kindness and MERCY. It won’t work. Dadgummit. It'll never work. They're both heartless when it comes to pacifier and Coke Zero addictions. Heartless.

Hence: The day TLC takes Baby Elle’s second pacifier? That’ll be the day I give up my second Coke Zero. In Belle's honor. To support her. To prove to myself and MSH and TLC and Little Leighton and Baby Elle that I can survive with only one Coke Zero a day.

I hope Belle and I have at least another month. PLEASE TLC—let us have another THREE MONTHS, okay? How about two??

(Now, here's the deal on that last Coke Zero: I cannot and will not promise I'll give my last one up when TLC takes Belle's last paci. We'll see. We'll just have to see.)

God Bless America on this 2018 Memorial Day. God bless all of those who have sacrificed so much for our country. For their families—for all families. For all citizens. We can never repay your service adequately.

God bless each of you today…and this week…and always…

ELC

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DONUT-You Know We Love Katz!

Happy Friday, Jr.!

I wanted to share another one of our favourite gluten-free brands:

Katz!

ELC and I have both mentioned these before, but they are SO WORTH mentioning (and linking!) again. Katz makes DELICIOUS donuts. (The Powdered Sugar are my personal fave. Little Leighton prefers the Sea Salt Caramel. Baby Elle has no preference. She loves them ALL. The Pumpkin? OMGah.) I find them in the freezer-section at my local Sprouts. Sprouts will run sales on these, and they fly off the shelves. It's best to stock up! I let them defrost a bit, and then zap them in the microwave for a few seconds.

Y'all. They will rock your world. Even if you don't eat gluten-free. I haven't had a Mrs. Baird's Powdered Sugar Donut in YEARS. But I swear I remember them leaving a very "processed" taste in your mouth after eating one. The Katz? Taste 100% HOMEMADE.

In grabbing the link to their website for this post, I noticed so many other products I want to gobble up now! I haven't tried ordering anything directly from their website before, but there's a first time for everything! It's summer, you know, and imperative to have plenty of snacks and treats on hand at all times. (If you've met Belle, you know what I mean.)

I hope y'all will try these. Please let us know what you think!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

when harry met meghan...

So I really had decided I probably wasn’t going to watch The Royal Wedding yesterday. Didn’t have a valid reason. I do love a fancy-schmancy wedding. (And I’ve been to a few in my long life.) I did set our DVR to record it—thinking I might change my mind.


As usual, I was awake at 4:30 a.m. (How that gets OLD...) What’s a girl to do when she knows she could be a part of Prince Harry marrying his American fiancĂ©?


I laid in my bed and watched as THE Guests walked to the church. The couple's families. Their friends. The celebrities. The Royals. I listened to the trivia the reporters shared about all of these people. The schedule of the upcoming day/events.


I stopped—to do my Bible reading and say my prayers. Decided I needed to get to crack-a-lackin’ on a quick trip to town for a pedicure and some errands. As my fairly quiet/maybe-boring-to-the-Queen day progressed, I wasn’t sure I’d ever really spend any more time watching what I’d recorded.


At about 1:30 p.m., however, I was through with most of my jobs/obligations and ready for a couch break. My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) was not needing our Great Room (largest) television. I asked if he’d mind if I took it over for possibly three hours. He didn’t care a smidge.


I fast-forwarded to the time the bride was leaving wherever that was she’d been, with her Mom, for her wedding. It was, honestly, captivating. Another world. Another life. Another event I’d never experience and/or quite understand. But CAPTIVATING.


(I’ll insert the fact I’ve shared several times in the past: My maternal grandmother, Nana, Mary Leighton Byrne, was born in Leeds, England. In 1894. When she was 6, her family moved to Texas! She did get to go “home” a few times in her life. My mother, her daughter, has been to England. As has one of my sisters and her daughter. I’ve never been and, sadly, probably will not ever have the opportunity to go. At this point in my life. I share my “heritage” with y’all as a way to explain my genetic interest in All Things British! Teeheehee.)


As the bride got out of her car, well, I confess: Here came the tears. Her dress! Her tiara and veil! The children! Oh, my, those children. So sweet and precious and charming. (And, of course, innocently clueless.) But BEYOND CUTE.


From the time Meghan entered the church? I was hopelessly hooked.


The reading by Princess Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, was beautiful. Touching.


The music was exquisite.


The Wedding Address by American Bishop Michael Curry? Inspiring. Marvelous. Almost chilling. I could not have been prouder to watch and listen to him talk about My God and Jesus Christ for almost 15 minutes. More tears. Yep. More tears.


Then there was the Kingdom Choir singing “Stand By Me.” INCREDIBLY amazing. (I’ve now listened to it on-line many more times and wish I could buy it on iTunes. They have a great opportunity here—to raise money for whatever they’d like! Hope they take it.)


As the wedding came to an end, I felt sincere JOY for this couple. I thought about the many, MANY weddings I’ve attended—including my stepsons’ and our daughter’s. I thought about the sweetness of each of them—whether they were inside a church—or outside—or at a wedding venue—and how each fit the couples’ characters/personalities. I thought about all of us—as we marry—and how we each believe in our hopes and dreams. How we plan and pray. Sometimes our marriages go they way we thought. Sometimes they don’t. It’s Life. Life in all it’s GLORY and all it’s PAIN. (Sorry. Just gettin' real.)


I didn’t watch all of the endless riding in the carriage or the cars The Royal Couple had to do. Honestly? The time I spent felt like an acceptable investment. Any more? Not so much. (Plus MSH and I had had dinner plans for several weeks, so I needed to get ready to leave our humble home in my Toyota Highlander. Our Rolls is in the shop, don'tchaknow. Winky. Wink.)


I wish Harry and Meghan a lifetime full of success, health and well-being. (Don’t think I need to mention wealth—pretty sure they have that covered. Wowzer.)


Wishing each of Y’all a Wonderful Week—wherever in this World Y’all are! Be safe. Wise. Grateful for the many blessings you have in your life—even if they don’t include jewels and castles and designer gowns and cars worth more than most of our homes. God’s Blessings are EVERYWHERE.


Smooches and Hugs,


ELC

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Favourite Bread!

Happy Friday Eve!

Today I wanted to tell y'all about one of our most favourite gluten-free companies:

Canyon Bakehouse!

Throughout our (almost) four-year-gluten-free-journey, we've tried A LOT of different breads. The majority of them have always been super small in size, super dry and crumbly, and super expensive.

Enter: Canyon Bakehouse!

I first bought a loaf of their bread at Target probably two-ish years ago. It was their "Mountain White." While the size of the loaf itself was still small, it was DELISH. Not dry. AT. ALL. It was literally "fluffy." I instantly became a loyal customer, trying their focaccia, bagels and even brownies! (OMG. I cannot buy them. My Sweet Girls don't stand of chance of getting even one if they're in my house. I will gobble them up.)

About a year ago, I stumbled upon their "Heritage" bread at my local Sprouts. Y'all. This bread is life-changing! It's a BIG loaf. Which is a BIG plus for me and My Hubby. It also tastes like an amazing, freshly baked loaf from a bakery! It's fancy. Now, it's not cheap, but gluten-free shopping never is. I watch for sales and coupons!

Two-ish months ago, ELC actually WON a month's supply of bread from them! I'm talking, like $100 worth of BREAD! They shipped it to my house! It was almost one of each of their products. The only one I was REALLY missing was their new "Hawaiian Bread." I can't find it in my area yet, but I hear it is equally YUMMY. It's a hot commodity, and I won't give up until I get my hands on it!

This bread stays fresh and freezes beautifully! Canyon Bakehouse isn't sponsoring this post. We just love them so much and wanted to spread the word about their fabulousness. They're based out of Colorado, and when we vacation there someday, I swear I'll make a trip to their factory just to HUG them.

TRY THEM. You won't regret it.

Have a wonderful weekend, Dear Friends!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

not his mother...



When I married My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH), I was 24 and he was 34. He was divorced with four sons—12 years down to almost 3. He also was unable to have any more children. If you know what I mean. I was truly okay with that. Being the oldest of four children and growing up in a dysfunctional family (Sometimes the truth is very hurtful to parents/families. But it’s still the truth.), I honestly did not want to have children/be a mother. Or at least I didn’t think I wanted to have a child. The thought actually frightened me. Immensely. So falling in love with MSH? Problem solved.


Then, as I lived my life as MSH’s wife and as a stepmother (I often joked with my stepsons, calling myself “StepMommie Dearest.” If you don’t know why, Google Mommie Dearest. I hope they'd say I was far, far from that Mean Mama. Sheesh.), watching him be the BEST Dad to his sons (despite all of the challenges his divorce caused him, them and me…long story…sigh…), I started to have a mysterious and frustrating desire for a child. Like an OVERWHELMING desire.


MSH felt bad for me. And would say—in the kindest of voices: “You knew I couldn’t have any more kids. You said that was okay!” I’d agree. And cry. I’d cry every time I saw a pregnant person. In person. Or on TV. Every. Time. For some strange reason, I’d see a lot of pregnant women. (You know—like when you’re pregnant? And everyone else on Earth is pregnant, too? But when you’re NOT pregnant—you rarely seeing pregnant peeps. Isn’t that bizarre?)


One afternoon, as he headed home from a meeting in Ft. Worth, he stopped at a home for unwed mothers. Talked to them about the possibility of us adopting a baby. He told me about it at dinner that night. He said he was sorry. They were extremely kind and sympathetic. Unfortunately, because he had four children, that wouldn’t be an option for us. MSH and I did understand this. We’d mentioned adoption a few times—but not in great detail. Of course, I got it. They needed to let couples who had no children adopt a baby. Not us. Not me.


Then I heard about the vasectomy reversal procedure. A very dear friend of mine was married to her second husband and he’d had one. In St. Louis. By the doctor who had pioneered the procedure. It had worked. Heartbreakingly, they were never able to have a child of their own.


MSH got on this doctor’s Waiting List. It was, at least, a year-long wait. Possibly two. In the meantime, another dear friend had a friend whose husband had had the surgery done in Dallas! It had been successful. MSH and I went to see him and…VOILA! TLC was born about eighteen months after MSH’s surgery.


TLC: My only biological child. His fifth and only daughter. The Baby. The Princess. The Joy of Our Lives!


On this Mothers’ Day, I thank our Lord God Almighty for My Sweet Husband. And for TLC—the smartest, funniest, silliest, sometimes most challenging-est and BEAUTIFUL daughter a Mom could ever, ever hope to have.


She’s given me two of the SWEETEST Little Angel Granddaughters on this Earth. She’s also gifted me, in her 34 years (really more like 35—counting my difficult pregnancy with and delivery of Ms. TLC), some good days. REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD days. STELLAR/EPIC GOOD days. Then , naturally, my share of HARD days. Sad days. JOYFUL days. Confusing days. Angry days. She’s worn me out. But then turned around and given me (or demanded of me?) more energy and spunk than I ever dreamed I could muster up—especially now that I’m in my 60s. (Yikes.)


She’s the BEST Mom. I’m amazed—daily—by her talents, creativity, dedication, and determination to be a good Mom. Wife. Daughter. Gluten-Free Chef. The best of all of those roles that she can be.


On a rough day for her? I do my best to encourage her. Give her some of my strength and hope. On my rough days? She does the same for me. Sometimes we each say things the other does NOT want to hear. Sometimes we have to take some “mini” breaks from each other. (Our wisdom can be too annoying for the other of us, I suppose. Winky. Wink.)


Always, ALWAYS…I love, adore, cherish, treasure, NEED My TLC.


Happy HAPPY Mothers’ Day to each of you, Friends Everywhere! Whether you’re a Mom to children. Or pets. Or siblings. Or, possibly, a parent or both parents or a stepparent. I say if you’re a woman, you’re a Mom to someone or some animal or some thing. Period. And you should be CELEBRATED!


Be safe! Be kind! Be THANKFUL.


Hugs and Big Smooches,


ELC


P.S.: When I married MSH, I had to literally teach/train him to be “thoughtful.” I did this by giving him gifts. Cards. Making big deals of holidays—especially his birthday. Christmas. He’s told me one thousand times in 41 years together that he didn’t learn how to be thoughtful and caring until he met me. The truth is this: From the moment I met him, I knew he was one of the kindest people I’d ever met in my life. Very soon I knew: He is MOST DEFINITELY THE Kindest Person I've ever known. Period. End of Story.


BUT—from my first Mothers’ Day as a Mom, he’d say: “Now, I don’t need to get you anything, right? Because you’re not MY Mom, right?” I’d say: “Right. You just make sure TLC remembers me. That’s all I need.”

EVERY Mothers’ Day I rise and say: “You better not have a card or gift for me. Because I’m not your Mom.” We laugh. Sometimes he has a card. Or two. Or three. Sometimes he has a gift. Sometimes TLC has ordered a gift from both of them. (Hey, TLC, let’s get real, okay? He pays for said gifts. Do I care? Nope. I’m proud I helped raise a SMART daughter. Teeheehee.) Today? There were no cards in my closet. But he TOLD me “Happy Mothers’ Day!” the minute I woke up! And I told him he’d bought me three lovely gifts. ((That I purchased for myself.) He smiled. He’s my on-going-daily-every-second-we’re-both-alive gift. PLUS he gave me TLC.

P.P.S.: TLC outdid herself this year with the MOST AWESOME gifts ever from her, Little Leighton and Baby Elle. She is amazing in the Gift-Giving Department. Wow.