Sunday, April 14, 2013


Life has been a bit of a whirlwind since I lasted posted. I'm hoping to get back on track SOON but until then I will leave you with the highlights of what's been going on around here.

Hello, April...Goodbye, March
Hello, Spring Break...Goodbye, Spring Break
Hello, Tooth Infection...Goodbye, Tooth
Hello, Broken Dryer...Goodbye, Broken Dryer (Thank God you are fixed!)
Hello, Beautiful Weather, Goodbye Beautiful Weather (Please come back!)
Hello, New Job...Goodbye, Lazy Mornings

Hello pretty flowers...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tell It Tuesday

On Sunday afternoon we celebrated a Palm Sunday/Early Easter dinner with Ben's family while his aunt was still in town visiting from Florida. Delicious food was consumed, laughter was heard around the dinner table and a good time was had by all.

I didn't get a chance to post a Monday "FunDay" post yesterday. Somehow the day got away from me with bill paying, errands and other not so fun grown-up tasks. But the day ended on a fun note. Since Aunt Barb was headed back to Florida today (wish I had climbed in her luggage) we had one last 3D movie night here at our place. We watched Tangled. Although Emily has the regular dvd which we have watched - probably literally -100 times, seeing it in 3D made it like a whole new movie to me. Of course no movie night would be complete without some of Chef Ben's popcorn.

Today Ben and I attended a memorial service for a sweet lady who spent an amazing 92 years living out her faith and loving on those around her. It was awesome to see that little community church so full of people whose lives she had touched. I think it's safe to say everyone who encountered her came away a better person as a result. I did not know her nearly as well as I wish I had, but any time I was in her presence I just sensed her joy and her love of her Lord and those around her. I also know how deeply she touched and affected my husband and his family. While it's sad to have lost such a great lady here on earth, she has left behind quite a legacy and we rejoice with her as she has received the ultimate reward she has been working towards all these years. There's no doubt she has heard those sweet words, "well done, my good and faithful servant." What an example of a life well lived. Until we meet again, "Gram".

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: REMEMBER

My dearest Emily Claire:

I remember it all...
The day I found out that I was going to be a mom;
The news that I was going to be the mother of a daughter;
The long, hard hours bringing you into the world and how you instantly changed mine for the better;
Breathing you in as I snuggled you close: your sweet scent, your soft skin, your little piggies;
Your firsts: first tooth, first steps, first birthday, first day of school...

I remember...

When I really began to realize how you are blossoming into a young lady before my eyes and how soon it all becomes memories...precious memories that I will forever cherish.

Please remember...
You have been the greatest gift in my life;
You will always be my "baby girl";
I am so proud of who you've been, who you are and who you are becoming;
No matter where life takes you, there's always a road home and your dad and I will be right here waiting to welcome you.

And most of all...remember...we love you! 

Linking up with

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fun-Day: Decor Edition

Monday morning started out with a shopping list and hopes of getting the errands done ahead of the impending snow storm. Not very exciting but it needed to get done.

Bringing my mother and heading to my favorite store was sure to increase the fun factor...or was it? Yes, she made it better. But I was starting to have my doubts on the rest. I'm not sure if they were re-arranging, re-stocking, or what but I just felt like the store was a bit disorganized and not up to par today. Perhaps it was me that was off...I don't know.

Anyway, I was not enjoying myself but mornings aren't good without k-cups, cats are NOT happy without their cat food and certain 12-year-old girls like to have something to pack for lunch. So I was making the best of it.

Trying to add a little cheer, since, you can't tell from the weather, it is almost Easter, I decided to pick up a little treat for myself.
A bit expensive, but oh so tasty, and not as bad for me as a bag of chocolates!

Then it was time to get back on task and back to my list. That is until I rounded the end of an aisle and spotted these lovelies:

How much FUN are they? I was falling in decor love. Best part: they were 50% off! Let's just say that there might be a cute little addition to a wall near me soon!

I'll sit back and admire it while eating my jelly beans. Who wants to guess which art I chose while I guess what flavors I'm having?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Coffee Chat

If we were chatting over coffee I'd be sipping from this crazy and cute camera lens mug that showed up in the Saturday afternoon mail delivery...
24-105mm Travel Coffee Mug / Cup / Thermos with Drinking Lid & Quality Stainless Steel Interior

I'd tell you all about the happenings of the last few days.

Saturday evening Ben and I conjured up a spur of the moment date night while Emily was staying over at a friend's house. We decided last minute to go to dinner but just weren't feeling "the usual". After a few minutes of brainstorming we decided upon Thali of India in Corning's Gaffer District. The food was great and it was fun to try something different for a change. (I highly recommend the Tandoori Chicken and a cup of Indian Masala Tea.)

As we were pulling up in front of the restaurant we noticed a vintage/antique shop so we decided to pop in before dinner. If you've ever watched the show American Pickers, that's all I could think of as I browsed. Some of the "vintage" items were things we had in our home when I was growing up. Way to make a girl feel OLD!

After dinner we headed for Barnes and Noble for some browsing in the bargain section. I also found myself flipping through home and decor magazines and doing a little dreaming.

Sunday was a bit of a rest day as a result of the time change. Losing an hour does me in!

Yesterday found me bargain hunting at Kohl's with my mama and today was breakfast with the parents, errands in the pouring rain and an appointment for Em to get her custom ear plugs. Gotta protect those ears and ear tubes come swim season. What better way to do it than in style with some purple and yellow swirl plugs?

And, I'm wrapping up my day heading off to order this...

A Jane Austen Devotional (Devotional Classics Series)

and pre-order this beauty written by an old MOPS friends, Faith.

Who Are All These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom?: Embracing the Joyful Mess of Motherhood

I'm pretty sure I'll be stalking the postal carrier in the days to come!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday: HOME

"If only I could quit seeing it as the fixer-upper house that'll never be enough and instead work on my fixer-upper attitude to see it as the home that it is: overflowing with love," were the powerful words I wrote in this post several months ago.

Although I have been working hard at clearing clutter and doing some little projects (including a new living room paint color), I doubt this old house will ever be worthy of a magazine cover or the HGTV channel. Our furnishings are a mis-matched collection of hand-me downs and bargain finds we carted home with a little DIY thrown into the mix. There was no fancy advertisements, outrageous price tags or delivery in three days or less! In fact, most came with a note stating, "some assembly required." But they're ours. They tell a story: our story. The story of how we are making this house our home.

And one thing is certain. At the end of the day when I sink into the worn-down cushions of my secondhand couch, I am home. Surrounded by the people, the pets, the memories and the moments yet to come...I am home.

I just love this sign that I have hanging in our living room. What a great reminder.
Linking up with Lisa Jo for Five Minute Friday
The Rules
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Virtual Coffee

If we were talking over coffee today, I'd be having my Folger's Caramel coffee in my "Joy" mug that came as part of a set my mother-in-law gifted me on my birthday a couple years ago and telling you all about:

My fabulous Saturday that I posted about;

My lazy Sunday at home in my yoga pants;

My dear husband who rarely texts me, but sent me this message just moments after I was contemplating what to conjure up for dinner and not getting far in the idea department

and just one hour later came through the door from work with fresh, hot pizza from one of our favorite Italian restaurants;

The conversation I had when I picked my girl up at school yesterday and told her that "Poppy" (my dad) was in the hospital again and her response was, "but I know he's going to be okay" and how tear drops formed in my eyes when she continued, "I'm getting used to this. I should NOT be getting used to this."  She's right. She shouldn't be. None of us should;

How I had a Monday Funday post all typed up with pictures and as I went to hit publish it vanished last night, so I shut the laptop and went to bed;

How my dad's face lit up when I took my girl for a visit this afternoon...

Perhaps grand-daughters are the best medicine!

*Linking up for Virtual Coffee with

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Antiques in the Afternoon

It's no secret. I love chocolate. I love coffee. So it should come as absolutely no surprise that a cafe mocha ranks high on my list of favorite things.

Saturday afternoon, I had the privilege of sipping a steamy cafe mocha while conversing with my husband and some friends around a little fireside table at a cozy cafe. It was the first time any of us had been there, but if I have anything to do about it, it will most definitely NOT be the last.

From the moment I started up the steps of the old brick building (circa 1854) I had a feeling I was going to love this little cafe within. It didn't disappoint. If I lived just a few miles closer I am fairly certain I'd be a "regular" there.

Photo courtesy of

The delicious caffeinated beverage and treats, the friendship, the "homey" atmosphere, the cheerful owner...the entire experience just warmed my heart on that cold winter afternoon. As we exited the cafe, small snowflakes sprinkled about as the sound of rushing water drew my attention to the nearby Chequaga Falls.

We left the cafe and began the trek home. Just blocks from our house, my husband veered off and parked in Historic Hanover Square and announced we were headed to the antique shop because he hadn't been there in a while. I've never been much of an antique fan. Most items fall at one extreme end of the spectrum or the other, in my opinion. Either I deem them stinky, old junk or I fall in love only to find that the piece is COMPLETELY out of our league as far as budget or household space is concerned and it's just depressing.

But yesterday I was enjoying a little free time in the company of my hubby and decided to go along with his plan. So I hopped out of the car and we crossed the street.

We entered the shop and I was still in "smile and play along" mode. But then I spotted it. I fell in love...

Storage Trunk Lid with Vintage Letterhead, Postage, etc.
I inquired about the price only to find that it could indeed be mine if I desired. I spent the rest of our time there in the shop determined that I wasn't leaving without it.

And I didn't.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday: ORDINARY

At time life can seem so mundane. The clock ticks. The tasks become routine. The days meld together. It all seems so ORDINARY.

Don't get me wrong. Ordinary can actually be a safe, comfy place at times. But what if I added a little EXTRA here and there? EXTRA + ORDINARY = EXTRAORDINARY!

There folks, is your English and spelling lesson for the day. You're welcome!

Seriously, what if I gave a little more? What if I put my heart into all those little tasks or took the time to notice the blessings sprinkled throughout instead of just mindless racing through my day or going in circles like a hamster on its wheel running, running, running and getting no where?

All too often I take the ordinary for granted. I get so wrapped up in telling myself that there has to be more. What if instead of just living, I started LIVING? Perhaps ordinary would become extraordinary and I'd realize it isn't so bad.

 Linking up with Lisa Jo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tell All Tuesday: Alphabetically Me

I've seen this around on some other blogs and thought it'd be fun in case there are any inquiring minds out there.

A. Age: 37
B. Bed size: Queen (Seriously wish we had room for a King)
C. Chore that you hate: Dishes
D. Dogs: One beloved hound
E. Essential start to your day: Coffee
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or Silver: Yes, Please!
H. Height: 4 ft 11.75 in
 I. Instruments you play: (Played) Piano, Flute, Oboe
J. Job title: Mom
K. Kids: One precious daughter
L. Live: My hometown in Upstate NY
M. Mother’s name: JoEllen
N. Nicknames: Gabby, Gabs, Mom
O. Overnight hospital stays: Only to bring my gorgeous girl into the world
P. Pet peeves: Do I have to pick just one?
Q. Quote from a movie:
R. Right or left handed: Right handed
S. Siblings: One awesome big sister
T. Time you wake up: 7ish?
U. Underwear: Comfy cotton
V. Vegetable you hate: Beets
W. What makes you run late: The snooze button
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth, back, foot...?
Y. Yummy food that you make: Homemade mac & cheese
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffes...just LOVE 'em!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I may be showing my age a little with that title. Yes. I listened to Cyndi Lauper growing up in the... ahem...1980s.

Anyway, today is Monday aka "Fun"day here. I had planned to share some great craft or game or some delicious cook together as a family recipe but came up a bit short in the inspiration department. At 3pm, as I headed out the door back to another store for something I had forgotten earlier in the day, my internal voice started up. "The end of the day and you've got nothing, again."

Thankfully, twelve-year-olds and Taylor Swift tunes are quite successful at winning my attention and blaring over top of those voices that try to tell me I'm not good enough and will never be.

Though I was singing along with the cd player and my girl as we drove towards Target (one of if not THE favorite store of mine) I was a bit cranky. I had already been to several stores including the grocery but somehow the coffee slipped my mind (shopping list, anyone?) and we all know what it's like when Mama doesn't get her coffee in the morning. So, back to Target for Round Two! This time with my helper. As I pulled into the lot, I gave her the lecture that we were getting the k-cups I like and right back out of there. The bank account and my patience were already spent and we just needed to get done and back home.

But, I guess there is something to be said for being with one of your favorite people in one of your favorite places that changes everything. Suddenly, it was as if my impatience, worries, bad attitude had all gotten trapped on the outside of that automatic door.

As we wandered the aisles of that store, we giggled, we tried on hats and sunglasses, we picked out crazy nail polish colors for her that I wouldn't dream of wearing, we reminisced over the baby clothing section, and I even kept my cool as she perused the shelves of the dreaded toy section.

In that moment (hour and a half, really) it was just her and I. No bank balances, no dog hair to vacuum off the carpet, no frustrations, no homework, no ticking of the was just me and my girl and we were having FUN!

P.S. I remembered the coffee, as well! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Life Lately


I knew it'd be a BIG challenge to not have any words. Just have to clarify that the medical photos are from a simple day surgery ear procedure (she's FINE) and her new furry baby's name is "Fiona".

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Weekly Line-Up

As I work out the details of the direction I want to go with this little space, I've decided to create a "schedule" with themes, prompts, link-ups and more. So, for the time being, here's what you can expect:

Monday "FunDay": Crafts, DIY, trips, recipes, games, shopping finds...ANYTHING FUN!

Tell All Tuesday: News and Life

Wordless Wednesday: Photo(s) Only - This will be a great challenge for to get back behind my lens and to be still and let the picture do the talking.

Thursday: TBD

Friday: Fabulous Favorites (What I'm loving lately) and/or Linking up with Lisa Jo for Five Minute Friday (Five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited, flowing thoughts on her weekly prompt.)

Another Shot

I don't know how many times I have "started over" here after an absence. When things are good, I get too busy enjoying them to take the time to write. When disappointment rears its ugly head, I fear my words would be a downer and would serve no purpose other than to help wallow in my moment of self-pity. In the in between times, I often feel I have nothing of any "importance" to say.

The time away grows and I feel first off like a failure and secondly that it's too overwhelming to try and catch up with all that has happened. Up until this point, my purpose, vision and the overall "snapshot" of this little space has been blurry. So, I've stepped back, am changing my perspective and am ready to "take another shot." Who knows what might develop!