2017 #3 book finished

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

So this was a binge reading book. I read the book in 2 days. It was hard to put down and sometimes I just wanted to finish it so it would be over. I have mixed feelings about it. I had nightmares the nights I read the book during the day.

I felt strongly about some of the characters -like Lucien, Herzog, Bette, Adele…and actually that is the main reason I had mixed feelings. I really don’t want to say too much if you haven’t read it.

It is hard to read WW11 books, this one is based in Paris, during German occupation. I have read a lot of these genre books but still cannot understand how humans can treat other humans the way they do. Unfortunately it still goes on today and it is so hard to understand and think about.

Would I recommend the book? Yes. It kept my attention, I guess my strong feeling about/against some of the people is to be expected…just sad that some of them were kind of pathetic. Ironically Herzog & Bette were probably my favorite and why I kept reading.

On to finishing some other books I have started.

 

Finished 2 books :)

This past weekend we were on a road trip-there were a few shorter books I had been waiting to read and the car/hotel seemed like a good place to knock them off.

The first one was We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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It is a short read, and worth every minute. Don’t think I would have defined myself as a feminist before but I would …for that matter we all should after reading this book.

“Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.”

“All of us, women and men, must do better.”

The second book was The Dash Diet for Beginners By Gina Crawford.

2017-trying to find reasonable and easy ways to improve my health and therefore my eating habits. It was good for a change to consider a way of eating that is do-able. It is one of the top rated ‘diets’ consistently at the top of the list for a few years. I started by looking for blood pressure eating advice, and this was originally the go-to but it has turned into an all around good plan for healthy eating. So I will try it. Half the book is recipes and there are a lot of other books out there, so if you are interested in one with more or less recipes you have a lot of choices. Hoping I can make this work and see some positive healthy results!

 

 

where did the time go…..

Happy 34th anniversary to us, Eric.

Why these pictures…they are not perfect. However, they are memorable moments for me. Here is why:  my dad, even though he wanted to sing the Hallelujah chorus as he walked me down the aisle is so focused on my mom…Eric’s love for his parents (still the same strong love today), the laughter as we entered the reception, me and my BFF (still to this day), my parent’s love, they set the bar high for marriage, my mother so grateful to be on the arm of her son, my brother & his family who have become over the years such a significant part of my life, the breaking of bread in rememberance of our Lord (whenever we break bread and drink wine we remember Him, and that is almost daily :)), the silly -potentially awkward moment with my dad shortly before he walked me down the aisle, and the so evident love my parents shared.

I looked through my pictures of this day and yes shed some tears. I looked at the pictures of all the people who shared the day with us. I have a picture of every one of them. I need to share those some day. So many of them are no longer here. But so many of them impacted my/Eric’s life in so many ways.

It was 34 years ago, January 8, 1983, on a very warm day for January in New York.

I remember waking up. I remember the florist delivering all the flowers to my house. I remember all my girl friends coming to get ready with me. I remember ‘secretly’ telling my BFF where my car was hidden and then putting my keys somewhere ‘safe’. Big mistake ! Fortunately the only mistake I made that day.

I remember the music at the wedding, yes all of it. When I hear it now I shed a tear. I remember sharing our vows, which we wrote and shared for the first time that day. I remember saying yes. I remember taking communion as if no one else was there. I remember going to his parents house and taking pictures with our families and close friends. I remember some of the reception.

I remember.

I love Eric. I still love Eric. I will love him till I have no breath left in me.

Life has not always been easy, but we have stood side by side. Through career changes, no money, small living spaces, many church experiences, lots of friends, raising 2 children, 2 children’s weddings, our grandchildrens births, my parents home-goings, lots of address changes..I could go on.

I cannot imagine a better person to have faced these years with. Still I wake up to crazy sticky note messages (I usually don’t deserve). Eric is the epitome  of Godly love. And so he is the reason some days I still believe.

So after all of this I have to share the hymn we sang together on our wedding day because really at the end of the day I know the shared faith we met because of is the same faith that has bound us together 34 years later.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

 

A picture isn’t always worth a 1000 words…

Recently I have been thinking how pictures I took years ago were not so ummm professional BUT they bring back the most vivid memories of special moments. The perfect staged photos sometimes lack the feeling and/or emotions of those candid shots…so I decided in 2017 I would take more of those candid shots.

That being said, about 2 weeks ago I started looking at B&B’s again (has always been a kind of dream to own/run one). I found the perfect one, small, on the water (270 degree water view), lovely owners quaters, in the OBX. Really, what? I contacted the realtor and got info, it all ‘looked’ so good, the pics and the feedback.

It is our anniversary tomorrow and I thought, perfect a weekend trip to the OBX, we could check out the B&B, and celebrate our 34 years together. We had set up and appointment for 9 on Saturday morning. After a lovely lunch in Duck we had some time and decide to do a drive-by of the B&B…so excited, anxious, nervous…it is right next to Kitty Hawk, so perfect for an aviation fanatic :)

And then we saw it :(

We knew this was no dream come true.

If you want to check out the pics and info we saw before we got here this is the link

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1293-Colington-Rd-Kill-Devil-Hills-NC-27948/86657727_zpid/

However this is what we saw…

way way way closer to the road then we expected…and a major road at that

much less property around the house

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…and the B&B was built with porches (with a water view) for every room, but unfortunately a very small stretch of water before the lovely view of the ‘homes’ on the other side.

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So, we cancelled the arrangement with the realtor for this morning and instead found ourselves some amazing Duck Donuts…wow, made to order. Crazy. Then went and bought a game and will hunker down and stay warm while the storm here in the OBX passes. So all is good.

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No regrets about checking it out and getting away. I would have always wondered if we missed out if we had not seen it. However pictures do not always tell the whole story.

 

 

Thoughts about time

This year is one of those milestones I was not looking forward to…trying to not dwell on it but to embrace time and live it fully now. One of the books I am reading (The Broken Way) has some great thoughts about time…still reading but want to share this small part,

“It takes courage to listen with our whole heart to the tick of God’s timing rather than march to the loud beat of our fears.”

“Time can’t dictate dreams or hijack hope or determine destination. It can’t force us into living anything but what we believe. No matter what the hands of the clock say, underneath us all are the everlasting arms, and time’s arms are too weak to rob any hope, steal any prayers, destroy any joy, or crush any purpose. TIme never heals wounds like God does.”

and for my picture for yesterday #2017realmoments

Had to capture this moment…for 3 years I have watched as both this sweet boy and his bigger brother sat in this chair and Bailey has attentively waited for even just a scrap to fall…the difference between the 2 boys has been that Connor loves to put food on his fork and feed it to Bailey.

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Things to work on…

Not a huge fan of resolutions but I like to reflect and consider what ‘healthy’ changes I could work on in the coming year. The word resolution just makes me feel like I am setting myself up for failures.  So anyway. In 2015 I went with a less is more theme…and realized at the start of 2016 I would keep it going….then 2017 came a few days ago and I have repeated and redefined some of the same ones.

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a little explanation for this year…

* less apologizing more accepting and loving myself (I say I am sorry way too much for everything, crying, being too sensitive, my faith, my mistakes…. they all make me who I am)

* less ladders more different paths (don’t want to see others as above or below me but we are all on our own path…this life is not a competition-whew, what a relief that is)

* less hurt more focus (I allow others to hurt my feelings and am always afraid to let them know, not sure I can change that but I can change focus on me and not allowing myself to be hurt by others choices-goes along with being ‘overly’ sensitive)

* less negativity more love for the Creator and his creation (less negative words about others, life…less allowing myself to watch, read, see things that add to the already negative atmosphere around me-) in the words of Bambi :) “If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all.”

* less being anxious and worrying and stressing and more trusting the Creator.

Another pic and update on books

 

#2017realmoments

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We have come a long way in the dog walking, so sweet. Ryan encouraged Bailey the whole way and was so careful to ‘not let him get hurt by cars.’ I want to remember these special moments together.

And now an update on present books I am reading:

#1.   Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

#2.  The Paris Architect by Charles Belfours

#3.   The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp

Just before the holidays I finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. The book was hard to both read and to put down. A challenge to read and consider how I can take this as a lesson about our society and my culture. I highly recommend it to be read.

New Years Stuff

Keeping this short…but making some changes.

Going to post a picture , candid, real moments picture, like this (papa reading to Ryan)

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going to try to do one a day. I realized after spending time today looking at old pictures that we miss out on the memories by only posting those perfect social media-type pictures. So i am going to try to capture moments that happen that are worth remembering many years from now….

I have been reading a lot and yet have not written about the books….lots of reasons. Will try to be better at that too.

Right now I am reading Broken Ways by Ann Voskamp. In between tears I am loving it. I have 2 other books I am also reading and will catch you up on that with tomorrow picture.

For those of you who read this thanks for bearing with me.

 

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Tomorrow we will head to California. I have been thinking about this thanksgiving and being with family and making new friends. I have been thinking about what it is I am truly thankful for and then I thought oh my, it would be endless.

I decided to reflect on this past year….these are in no order, just thoughts passing through my crowded mind :)

~ my healthy big toe :) In February I had the joint in my big toe fused, and was not allowed to walk on it for 6 weeks. I am thankful my toe no longer hurts at all and I can do everything I did before (I wasn’t running any marathons before anyway).

~ Eric, my husband, who almost every morning leaves me loving notes, who puts up with my ridiculous fears, who encourages me to be me, who protects me from myself, who takes my side when sometimes he would have every right to not to, who loves my friends, who provides for me in abundance, who loves my cooking (no matter what it is), who is an amazing vessel of God loving me and a continual example and challenge to how we should live that in our lives.

~ God’s grace, yes in 2016. It has been a challenging year. Separating church, people, other’s beliefs, and yet in the end holding on to what I believe. Thankful for the people who have challenged and supported me through many conversations.

~ 2 little boys who remind me that life goes on. I cherish the moments I have with them. Being able to see them smile at me, tell me they love me….their joy at simple things. Grandchildren are an amazing part of life.

~ 2 brothers and their wives (who are more like sister friends then sister-in-laws). I love them all in unique ways. They all hold a place in my life and heart that no one else can fill. None of us are perfect (whew), but I have found that may be the reason I love them because neither am I and yet they still love me. Traveling with them, sharing a meal (breaking bread), laughing, crying, experiencing this journey called life with each of them has been such a gift in 2016.

~ my children & their spouses. Hard to share all the ways I am grateful, here are a few: inspire us to live life out of the box, be more adventurous, prioritize, value time together, even when the journey hits obstacles power through, listen, hear, be kind, show grace, love and then love more

~ my group of ladies I share life with. We started 3 years ago, 2 moved, some got engaged, married…life has brought all of us challenges and joys and I cannot imagine not doing life with them. If I need something I know that any of them would have my back. We challenge each other, we feed each other, we celebrate each other, in other words we love each other.  This past week we celebrated our first friendsgiving together. As I looked around the room I felt such joy and peace thinking about the love I have for each of them. It also happened to be Eric’s birthday (so I invited them to bring their significant others ). One of them initiated a ‘birthday game’ where they shared memories or thoughts about Eric. I was overwhelmed (this was not his birthday party :) ). It was so special as they shared some sometimes funny and mostly serious things about him, so in that moment I realized these are not just ‘my’ group but our extended family. What an incredible gift they are to us.

~ that being said I have these 2 BFF’s who have been in my life for a very long time. Recently I was able to enjoy a Saturday morning hike with both of them at the same time. I am so incredibly undeserving to have 2 people who I can count on loving me and caring for me endlessly . Whether with texts, phone calls, lunches, weekend visits… There would be a tremendous void in my life if it were not for them.

~ trips….we were so fortunate to be able to travel to Greece this year. Their are so many reasons this trip was incredible…to name a few, the people we traveled with, seeing the places Paul was, the food (of course), Aleeki (our Greek guide), the hospitality of the Greek people….

there are lots more things….and after I push the publish button I will think…oh that…but these are here for now…I can edit later!

  • I knew I would forget someone~ Frank, we live in a unique neighborhood, lots of hotels, restaurants….etc. Well our building is attached to a hotel. Every day I walk, as much as I can. I would walk past the loading dock of the hotel next door and the security guard and I would exchange smiles and sometimes a hello. I try to smile at everyone I pass, so this was no big deal. Anyway, after a while of doing this, one day about 3 months ago, he came out of his ‘space’ and said, “I think it is time I know your name.” He told me his, I told him mine. Since then I try everyday to walk by and check on him, to touch base. Just before I left for Greece I told him I would be gone for a few weeks. He told me about his trip to Greece and then said he would miss seeing me because my smile makes his day. Something that takes so little effort, that seems so simple, makes his day. Reminded me of the day in Frost Hall (as a freshmen in college), I was walking up the stairs to my 8:00 class on a Monday morning, I must have been smiling, because a professor (who didn’t know me) thanked me for smiling so early on a Monday morning.  Smiles. Maybe it is not about me when I give them freely but it becomes about me when someone recognizes them and encourages me to keep on. Such a simple thing…

Getting ready

A few days ago was another birthday…sort of just another birthday. I am starting my 60th decade…so technically I was 59. I did a lot of reflecting. Thinking about my own mom when she was my age. WIshing I could have just a few minutes to tell her I understood her better now then maybe I did when she was my age. Life is like that. So I am trying to learn to say what I feel now to people…

So as I thought about my mom, I remembered one of my mom & dads last big trips was to Greece, to study Paul’s journeys. And ironically on Thursday Eric & I are leaving to do that same trip. I am getting ready. Both physically, emotionally, and spiritually to walk places that thousands of years ago Paul walked.

I am trying to decide what books to read/bring. The flights are long and so not counting on my kindle to last so going to bring 1 or 2 hold in my hand books. This afternoon I am going to visit a independent bookstore and find something to bring…have some ideas based on what friends are reading. Will up date when I decide :)

As I took my walk this morning this hymn came to mind but this rendition of it is so good. “In you I rest…In you I find my hope….be still my soul.” Looking for lots of places of stillness in the days ahead.