Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014----I'm Going to Make Me Awesome!

It's hard to believe that 2013 is almost over.  A lot of really good things happened in 2013.  Some not so good things happened in 2013 too. 

All in all, I am ready for a new year and a new start.  I am coming off a foot injury that has sidelined my exercise efforts for far too long now.  Tomorrow, January 1, 2014 is the day that I can try the treadmill again and see what happens.  I can try any exercise I want and see what happens. 

What I am hoping happens is that my foot feels awesome and I can just keep on going.  I turn 60 (gasp) in 2014 and my goal is to look better on December 11, 2014 than I have in a long time.  It is going to take hard work, but I am up for the challenge.  I have some really good people in my corner.  I'm going back to Loving Fitness on Monday.  They are amazing and I love it there.  Total support.

I've been finding lots of inspiration on Facebook lately.  I saw this one this morning and I love it.  That Pablo Picasso was a pretty smart guy.  These will be my seven rules to follow for sure.

1) Count your blessings first
2) Whatever you did last year, Do it better
3) Go step by step, One day at a time.
4) Create/make your own opportunities.
5) Believe in your abilities at all times,
6) Quitting is not an option. Keep Going.
7) Finish what you started
Pablo Picasso

The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans continues to be a constant source of information and inspiration.  They are starting a new challenge tomorrow that I am joining and they have the amazing Shamrock Shuffle 5k in March that I will be training for.  Anyone care to join me?
I believe this more than ever.  I didn't gain the weight overnight and won't lose it overnight either.  It's going to take time and hard work, but I'm not afraid of either.  I can do this.
This is what I will be waiting for!
This is my day!
I firmly believe that I can and will do this.  I had a pretty good start on it before my injury.  Just watch me, my friends.  Come this time next year, I am going to be awesome.
Totally awesome, I say!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Be thankful that you have choices and use them wisely.  Don't blame other people or other situations.  Take responsibility and make good choices.  It is that simple!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Old School Blogging / November

This old school comes from May of 2008.  A fun little question and answer meme to get to know each other better.  Here we go.

1.  Where is your cell phone? 
It's on the kitchen counter.
2.  Your significant other?  
My husband is the best guy around.  We have been together for 42 years (married for 40) and I couldn't love him more if I tried.  He's my everything!
3.  Your hair?  
My hair is in desperate need of color!
4.  Your mother? 
My mother is one of the most special, loving, caring, strong and giving people I have ever known.  I am truly blessed that God chose her for me.  Would you ever think she was 87?
5.  Your father?
My father was taken from us far too soon.  He was only 54 when he died.  I was only 22.  We all missed so much with him not being here.  He was one of the best men I ever knew.  He was strong, funny, giving, loving and delightful.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him.  I love him so much.
6.  Favorite thing? 
Hands down, my family.  They are the lights of my life and I wouldn't be complete without them.  They are followed closely by my camera which I harass them with on a daily basis.
7.  Last nights dream? 
That is a good question.  I don't t remember.
8.  Your favorite drink? 
Iced tea with lemon or Bacardi and diet with lime depending on the time of day.
9.  Your dream/goal? 
I would love to take the whole family, all 14 of us to Disney World for a wonderful adventure.
10.  The room you are in? 
The computer room
11.  Your fear? 
Deep water!
12.  Where do you want to be in six years? 
Exactly where I am right now.  I can't imagine being anywhere my family isn't.  
13.  Where were you last night? 
I was at my daughters house visiting our newest granddaughter.  She is two weeks old and absolutely adorable and perfect.
14.  What are you not? 
Thin, but I am working on it.  I am a work in progress.
15.  Muffins? 
Once in awhile.  Not a favorite of mine.
16.  One of your wish list items? 
I would love new clothes and shoes.  I'm tired of my stuff I have now.  I need a makeover!
17.  Where you grew up?
Chesterton, Indiana   Small Town USA and I loved it.  I still live there 58 years later. 
18.  Last thing you did?
Switched the laundry and put clean sheets on the bed.
19.  What are you wearing?
Comfy pants and a t shirt.
20.  Your tv? 
Not on!
21.  Your pets?
We had the best golden retriever ever.  When we had to have him put to sleep, it was almost like losing a child.  We just haven't been able to get a new dog since then.  I think about it now and then though lately.
22.  Your computer? 
A new Dell desktop that I love!
23.  Your life? 
It's just about as perfect as it could be.  I have a wonderful husband who is still the love of my life after all these years.  We have four wonderful daughters who have all found the loves of their lives.  They all live in the same area as we do.  The furthest one away is eight miles or so.  We have four absolutely awesome and amazing grandkids.  I have a job I love.  I could go on and on.  I am very happy with my life!
24.  Your mood?
Determined!  I have a to do list for the weekend and I will get it done.
25.  Missing someone?
My step dad.  He died a little over a month ago and I miss him so much.  You can read about him here, if you'd like.  He was my "other" dad for 32 years.  He was a good man.

26.  Your car?
A Buick Lucerne. 
27.  Something you are not wearing? 
Make up
28.  Favorite store?
29.  Your summer?
I love my summers.  I work at a school and therefore get my summers off.  It's the best job ever.
30.  Like someone?
I like lots of people.
31.  Your favorite color?
32.  When was the last time you laughed?
About an hour ago.
33.  Last time you cried?
Two weeks ago today when our granddaughter was born.
34.  What's one thing on your to do list?
To get caught up on the laundry and get it all put away.

Okay, now it's your turn to go old school.  Copy the questions into a post and use pictures, if you'd like.  Have fun and be sure to link up here and here

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Hunger Games / Catching Fire Giveaway

The much anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is coming to theatres and Imax on November 22.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark.  Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts.  Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capital is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.
Watch the exclusive final trailer below!
There is also the exclusive teaser trailer for your enjoyment too!

To celebrate the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I have one Catching Fire prize pack for you to win, which includes

- One (1) movie poster
- One (1) official movie T-shirt with Mockingjay logo
- Two (2) wristbands 
- One (1) iPhone cleaner
- One (1) iPhone dot

Entry is simple....tell me which character you like better, Katniss or Peeta?  Leave your entry in the comments and be sure to leave an email address that I can contact you at if you win.

The contest will be open until November 18.  The winner will be contacted on November 19.   Good luck everyone! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Do You Really Believe?

I have a Twitter account that I very rarely use.  I use it to link my picture blog each morning and that's about it.  Once in a blue moon, I actually talk to someone.  But, the other night I was bored and got on to look around.  I was taken by something that Oprah had tweeted.  Yeah, I follow Oprah.  Anyway, she said..........
What do you really BELIEVE?
Now, if that isn't food for thought, I don't know what is.  I've been thinking about it ever since and here is what I've come up with.
  This is what I really believe.  
1.  The only person you can change is yourself. 
2.  People will disappoint you.  Sometimes when you really need them the most.
3.  I am lucky enough to have a handful of people who will always be there for me.
4.  Being a wife, mom and grammy are the three most important things in my life.  Without my husband, daughters and grandkids, my life would be meaningless.
5.  Life is short.  Don't waste it. 
6.  God loves me.
7.  Nothing was ever achieved by wishing.  You have to put in the work to make things happen.
8.  What you think of yourself is so much more important than what anyone else thinks of you.
9.  Find a cause you believe in and fight for it.
10. You have to love yourself.  If you don't, how can you expect anyone else to?

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Vickie's Chickies Time!!

This is my best friend Vickie, two of our daughters and myself.  Vickie is the head chick in Vickie's Chickies.   
I am walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 20.  Doing this walk is very near and dear to my heart. Vickie is fighting cancer for the second time in nine years and it is just not fair.  
Vickie does this with the utmost grace, dignity and inspiration of anyone I know.  If you didn't know she was sick, you would never guess it. She works a full time job as a first grade teacher.  She is the caregiver to her father and mother-in-law.  She is the first person to help anyone that needs it.  She is my own personal Energizer Bunny.  You never ever hear her ask "why me?"

Vickie is a piece of my heart and I love her so much.  I do this walk every year for her.  If you could find it in your heart to donate to our team and help us meet our goal, I would be forever grateful. No amount is too small or too big.  Please click on the link to donate. Thank you so much!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Old School Blogging - 5 Favorite Blogs

The Old School Blogging assignment this month is to name five of your favorite blogs that you read.  I can do that.  Easy peasy!

1.  Mom Generations

Sharon Couto, along with her daughters Audrey and Jane write Mom Generations.  They give the perspectives of different generations.  Sharon is the mom and grandma.  She finds joy in absolutely everything and to read her is to love her.  I am lucky enough to have met her in real life after meeting through the blogging world.  She is now a very dear friend.  Audrey is the oldest daughter, fashionista and mother of five.  What this girl can accomplish in a day is unbelievable.  Jane is the youngest daughter, newlywed (she was married a year ago in July) and expecting her first child.  Jane is also the mommy of three of the cutest dogs you'll ever meet.  They all write about family, fitness and fashion.  Check out Mom Generations.  You will love these ladies.

2.  The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

I am a little partial to this website because I am a contributing writer, but that doesn't make it any less a great blog.  If you are looking for support in your health, fitness and weight loss journey, Shrinking Jeans is the website for you.  We cover all things fitness with weight loss challenges, monthly exercise calendars, running support, nutrition advice, weekly menu planning and a multitude of other things.  Stop by and check us out.  You'll be glad you did.

3.  Just a Beachkat  

Just a Beachkat is a blog that I found very early in my blogging life.  Kat lives on the ocean in Florida and loves every minute there.  She is a loving wife, mom, friend and "goose".  Goose is her very special grandma name.  Kat loves to travel, but her favorite place to be is right in her own backyard which just happens to be the ocean.  Stop by and meet her.

4.  Musings of the Sixties

You might think by the title that this blog is about the 1960's, but you would be wrong.  The musings are by my friend Mary about her life in her 60's.  Musings of the Sixties is mainly about Mary and her large family.   Mary is the wife, mom, grandma and great grandma of this big and loving brood.  One of my favorite features is the birthday interviews she does with each member of her family.  She is also a great photographer.  Mary and I actually met in real life through her daughter.  Although we only live 15 minutes away from each other, we never see each other enough.   You will love this blog.  Stop by and check it out.

5.  Mimi's Toes
Mimi's Toes is about my friend, Rhonda.  She is a mom and grandma and the first thing you will notice when you read her blog is that she loves her family.  Rhonda is the mom of two and the mimi to six.  Rhonda suffered a tough blow this past year when her only daughter and four of her grand kids moved across the country to Oregon.  After living one town apart for so long, this was hard on all of them.  Like Mary, we live 15 minutes away from each other and rarely see each other.  We three really need to remedy this and spend some time together.  Go visit Rhonda.  I know you will love her like I do.

So, there you have it.  Five of my favorite blogs.  Go check them out.  I bet you love them too!         

Saturday, October 5, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes (My Babes)

Looking back on the last few weeks, I can now see that my grandkids had some funny and sweet things to say about everything that was going on around them.  I wanted to put them to words before I could forget any of them.

Sarah and Nick let the kids take their own lead as to how they wanted to handle the wake and funeral.  Natalie went right up to the casket with Dick and I.  Lizzy and Jack hung back for awhile, but went up later.  These are just some of the things they had to say.


The night of the day Eddie died, Sarah was going to put the kids to bed.  She found Natalie and Lizzy kneeling on Natalie's bed looking out the window with the shade over their backs.  She decided to put Jack to bed first.  When she came back, Lizzy was in her bed asleep and Natalie was in her bed awake.  Natalie told Sarah that her and Lizzy saw Grandpa Eddie in the stars with Kodi (Katie and Mark's dog who died last year) and Grandpa looked happy.

As we waited in line to go up to the casket the first time at the wake, Natalie kept peeking her head around to see Grandpa Eddie.  She could see his face.  As we waited, she asked what we should do when we got up there.  I told her we could stand or we could kneel down and say a prayer.  She said she would like to say a prayer.  We knelt down and Natalie smiled.  She said Grandpa looked happy, just like when she saw him in the stars with Kodi and then she laughed.  Grandpa had a puzzle with him in the casket.  If you knew Eddie, you know that up until a few weeks before he died, he always had a jigsaw puzzle he was working on. 


It took Lizzy a few hours before she was curious enough to venture up to the casket.  When she did, she had some questions. 

1.  Where are Grandpa Eddie's legs?
2.  Are they going to put his pajamas on him?
3.  Last, but not least, she saved her best question for the day of the funeral.  We were all in our cars leaving the cemetery heading for the luncheon.  Lizzy asked her mom, "So, when are we going to meet Grandma Lou's new husband?"


I never personally saw Jack up at the casket at all until he walked up with Dick and I as we stopped one last time at the casket on the way out to the funeral.  I asked Jack if he wanted to tell Grandpa Eddie good bye.  His response, "Ahhhh, no thanks!"

Jack sat with Dick and I at church.  He was a complete and total angel.  I've never seen him so well behaved at church.  It was almost as if he knew that this was the day to be on his best behavior.  The priest came out with the incense and there were bells tied to the chains.  They sounded like sleigh bells to me.  I asked Jack if he heard bells.  He said yes.  I told him they sounded like Santa's bells.  Jack looked me straight in the eye and said "Grammy, it's not even snowing out!"


My baby had some of the best advice ever for me after the funeral and we were at home that night. 
"Mom, don't dwell on who didn't come that you thought would or who disappointed you.  Think about all the people who supported you and all the people who surprised you."  That is exactly what I have done.  She is such a smart girl.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Saying Good Bye

Just write.  I don't even know where to begin.  I think it might be with you reading a post from June of 2012, if you don't mind.  It will give you some background for this post.
This is Eddie and he died on September 25, 2013.  This post is about saying good bye to the man that became my second dad.
In June of 2012, Eddie suffered two strokes and a heart attack in 36 hours,  just 11 days shy of his 90th birthday.  We had just sent out the invitations for a big party to celebrate.  The party had to be cancelled.  Eddie wasn't up to a party.  He had a long road of rehab ahead of him.  But, rehab he did and in August he came home.  He walked with a walker, but he was good.  

Over the next year, Eddie went about his days as best he could.  He couldn't get down basement to his beloved work shop or outside to work in his yard.  Just the week before his strokes, he had laid a brick sidewalk in the backyard.  Now, he spent the better part of his days reading, doing jigsaw puzzles and watching television. 

This past summer, kind of like an old clock, Eddie began to wind down.  He was beginning to get weaker and he wasn't happy about it.  Just getting to the kitchen for a meal became an effort.   He told me so many times that nobody should have to live like that.  He asked on more than one occasion, why he couldn't just go to sleep and not wake up?  It broke my heart to hear him say that, but I understood too.  He was worried about the toll his health was taking on my mom who was 87.  She was his primary caregiver 24/7.  We kids helped as much as we could, but mom was always there for him.  She loved Eddie with all her heart and she wouldn't have been anywhere else. 

On September 25 at 1:30 p.m., Eddie got his wish.  Surrounded by his family with so much love, Eddie went to sleep and didn't wake up.  He very peacefully went to heaven.  I was right there by his side, just like I was with my dad.  It was the second hardest thing I ever had to do, but I wouldn't have been anywhere else.  I was proud to be by Eddie's side, telling him it was okay to go.  We told him we would take care of mom and she would be fine.  We told him that in heaven, all the jigsaw puzzles had all their pieces and if he was really lucky, they even had a great White Sox team. 

Yesterday was Eddie's funeral and just like the priest said, we are left with the task of trying to put the puzzle pieces back together.  I'm afraid I'm not going find that missing puzzle piece in my heart.  Eddie has left a big  hole there.  I was 22 when my dad died.  Mom and Eddie would have been married 32 years next month.  Eddie was in my life ten years longer than my own dad.  Eddie never tried to take my dad's place.  He knew that those were very special shoes that nobody could fill, that place in my heart was reserved only for my dad.  

Eddie made his very own special place in my heart and the hearts of our whole family.  When Eddie joined our family, there were twelve of us.  Now, we are waiting for #36 to make her arrival.  He was with us for every birth and wedding.  Every baptism and graduation.  Every birthday and Christmas.  Everything that happened, Eddie was there to cheer for us or cry with us.  He was there for everything with kind words and a smile.

Thank you Eddie for finding your way into our lives.  Thank you for taking such wonderful care of mom and loving her so much.  I promise we will take good care of her.  Thank you for being my kids grandpa and my grandkids great grandpa.  They are going to miss you so much.  

Good bye, Eddie.  I miss you and love you so much.  Thank you for being my other dad.  When you see dad up there, would you tell him I miss him and love him so very much.  I know he's going to find you and thank you for being so wonderful to us all.

Just Write   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Little Mermaid Blue Ray / DVD Giveaway

With the help of random.org, our lucky winner is #1, Diane Lesjak.  I will be sending you an email this morning to get all your mailing info.  Congratulations Diane and thank you to everyone who entered.

It seems like a very long time ago, yet it seems like yesterday that I was taking my four girls to see The Little Mermaid for the first time.  The girls were excited to go because they loved all the Disney princess movies.  I was excited to go because I had heard that Ariel was a different kind of princess and she was. 
Here is what they have to say in the Disney press release.....
Ariel is a free spirited mermaid, who is off on the adventure of a lifetime with her best friend, the adorable Flounder, and the reggae singing Caribbean crab Sebastian at her side. But it will take all of her courage and determination to make her dreams come true and save her father’s beloved kingdom from the sneaky sea witch Ursula.
I was excited to be offered the chance to watch this wonderful movie again with my grandkids.  They loved it as much as their mom and aunts did.  I was also excited to be able to offer one of my readers the opportunity to win their own copy of  THE LITTLE MERMAID Diamond Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack with Digital Copy.
To be entered into this great giveaway, all you have to do is tell me who your favorite Disney princess is and why.  Leave your entry in the comments with an email that you can be reached at if you win.  Entries will be accepted until September 27 with the winner being picked by random.org on September 28.
Good luck everyone!
 I received a copy of the movie in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.
The giveaway is open only to U.S. and Canada residents, ages 18+.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's All About Love!

Our wedding
September 8, 1973
Our vow renewal
August 17, 12013
Not so very different.
After 40 years, I still love him more than anything else. 
There is nobody else I would have rather spent the last 40 years with.  We have built quite a story and the adventures continue.
I love you always and forever, Dick!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Renewed With Love!

On September 8, Dick and I will be married for 40 years.  One night, I suggested that it might be nice to renew our vows for our anniversary.  He agreed!  I told the kids and they thought it was a great idea.  Now, to find a time when we could all do it.  September 8 is on a Sunday, so I thought maybe then.  Nope, Abby and Myles will be in New York.  After ruling out two other weekends, August 17 was the winner.  Unfortunately, that only gave us three days to plan.  It was just to be the 13 of us and our daughters took over the planning of the whole event.  Have I ever mentioned that we have a amazing children?   Yeah, I thought I had.
Because it is late and I have to be at school tomorrow and the pictures aren't wanting to space the way I want them to, you can just look at some of the pictures from our amazing day.  From the beautiful renewal ceremony with our very favorite priest in our own backyard, to the evening games of wiffle ball and pole barn volleyball.  Can you even believe that there was a gorgeous moon to end a most perfect and love filled day? 

I want to say thank you to my daughters and their mates.  They made this day so special in so many ways.  We are truly blessed to have them in our lives.  Dick and I have accomplished so much in all our years together, but they are definitely our best work!