Friday, December 30, 2011
Today, he was diagnosed with leukemia. My nephew is in his 30s. Married. And the father of 5 boys. An amazing family! He's such a family man. He had just inherited part of his family's Ranch. And was planning on some amazing things for it. To provide his boys, with a good and solid future. That's the kind of man he is. Always thinking of others.
Unfortunately, life had a different plan. My nephew had been losing weight. And not feeling well. He attributed it, to his stress. He has been out of work for about a year. Unfortunately, that wasn't the reason. He is sick. And this is so serious!
I just ask that you keep him, and his amazing family, in your thoughts and prayers. It's going to be a long road. And I just can't imagine, what his family is facing. The youngest of the boys, are twins. 4 years old! they have no clue what is going on.
God is so amazing. And we're placing all of our trust and prayers, in his hands. But one, can never have too many prayers. My Dad is a great example of that! Please pray. Our family needs it so desperately, right now. ♥
Monday, December 26, 2011
Although, My Guy and I had already decided to spend the holiday alone, I knew I had to be with family. My Mom and I talked about it. And we decided on Christmas Eve. For a lot of reasons. One being the weather. And my Dad not really being able to go out. It's been snowing. And so cold! We didn't want to risk, him getting hurt.
I started calling up family. And my Mom and I, got to cooking. I baked for days. Tamales, rellenos, and empanaditas were made. I wrapped presents every single night, for 2 weeks! All that hard work, really paid off. And I've never been happier!
The holidays are such a special time. A time for all of us, to enjoy family and friends. To teach family traditions. And make new memories. Just like Thanksgiving, my parents' house was so full of people. And love! Not everyone made it. That's unfortunate. But a reality in our family.
My older brother came for about 5 minutes, as everyone was leaving. Late in the evening. My second youngest brother, and his family didn't make it. They didn't tell us, until that night, that they didn't have a ride. He lives about 30 minutes out of town. None of my sisters came. And well, we never expected my youngest brother. One of my nieces also had plans. And my younger nieces and their mom, don't celebrate until January. I don't know...
But we had tons of people over. I spent lots of time with the kiddos. Watching a silly Christmas movie, opening presents, and playing games. Of course, we sat and talked. And you know what, those little ones are so special. Carry so much in their little hearts. And make their auntie's heart just break!
There was lots of chatting. And laughing. Making new memories. Remembering our past. And Thanking God for our Daddy. Prayers were said. The real Christmas story was told. We placed baby Jesus in his bed. And Thanked God for our loved ones.
It's been years, since my parents hosted the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas...in the same year. We did it a lot, when I was really young. But the family grew apart. This year, was just a glimpse, of those special days. Of a time, when life felt so special.
I have to say this, it was a lot of hard work. To prepare everything. But, it was so well worth it! At the end of the night, both of my parents thanked me. And I was taken aback. Me? Why? All I did, was help them.
The last year, endless health issues, and tough times...really have made me think. Life is worth so much more! Time to set aside our issues. Time to love with everything we have. Time to get back, to what is important. I wouldn't trade these memories, for anything in the world. It was such an amazing holiday! ♥
Sunday, December 25, 2011
I just wanted to take a few minutes, to wish you all a Merry Christmas! What a magical day this is. I've always been a HUGE fan of Christmas. Not because of the presents. But because of the time, that I get to spend with my family and friends. I'm wishing you all an amazing, and blessed day! May you spend it with everyone that you love. Merry Christmas! ♥
Saturday, December 24, 2011
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit
and spoke this prophecy:
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
for he has visited his people,
he has set them free,
and he has established for us a saving power
in the House of his servant David,
just as he proclaimed,
by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times,
that he would save us from our enemies
and from the hands of all those who hate us,
and show faithful love to our ancestors,
and so keep in mind his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,
that he would grant us, free from fear,
to be delivered from the hands of our enemies,
to serve him in holiness and uprightness in his presence,
all our days.
And you, little child,
you shall be called Prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare a way for him,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the faithful love of our God
in which the rising Sun has come from on high to visit us,
to give light to those who live in darkness
and the shadow dark as death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
May you all be blessed, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! I hope that you are all able to enjoy your family and friends. On these very special days. Sing from the mountaintops. Love with everything you have. And make the most beautiful memories, to last a lifetime. ♥
Friday, December 23, 2011
I didn't realize, that a year ago, my entire life would change. One year ago, my Dad got sick. My Mom called me that morning, and I rushed home. That 3 hour drive, seemed to take forever! Thank God, I had this guy with me.
I immediately knew, something was wrong. This wasn't the "usual" situation. And by that night, we were at the hospital. Unsure of what our future held. My Dad looked horrible. We became the priority case. And immediately, we were in ICU. We spent the next week or so, by my Daddy's bedside. Watching him. Praying for him. Taking care of him.
Christmas came and went. New Year's quickly followed. And soon we were home. My Dad was weak. But alive. And home. It took us days, to unwrap the few gifts that we had bought. Our family is totally a "Shopping Procrastination Family." My Mom and I quickly shopped the sales. Bought gifts for the kids. Bought food and essentials. And spent the next few weeks, hosting family. And taking care of my Daddy.
Over the last year, we've all adjusted. My Dad gets so frustrated with himself. With the fact that he can't do the things he used to do. My Mom and I, have become experts in Health Care. We now see our family doctor once a month. Take semi-monthly trips to the pharmacy. All of that stuff.
My Mom has adjusted the most. Other than my Dad. She had to learn lots of things. How to check my Dad's blood. How to give him a shot. My Dad had to learn how to eat differently. There were lot of changes to their daily life.
Nowadays, my Dad drives less. He naps more. His energy is maybe 1/2 of what it was a year ago. His balance is off, most days. There are more pills. Lots more insurance. And calls to companies. Lots of patients. Lots of time to get places.
There are also those weeks, when my Dad is just out of it. When he doesn't feel right. And just wants to sleep. When he is feeling horrible. When we need to really watch over him, and nurse him. When he feels depressed, and moody. The times when I try to be there. When I pray the most.
A year ago, my Dad would drop us off at the Mall. Walk around a few times, before sitting down, to wait for my Mom and I, to finish shopping. These days, he has a Handicap Parking Sticker. One of us has to walk him in. And find him a place to sit. On a good day, I can convince him, to walk around a store, once. Before he gets completely exhausted!
There have been falls. There have been prescription changes. New treatments. And lots and lots of patients! But things are looking up. My Dad's numbers are improving. At a much more rapid pace, than one would expect. Soon, he'll be off his shots. And his medication lowered.
But there have definitely been changes. I spend more time, with my parents. More time helping them. More time taking care of everyone. I don't mind. I'm glad to be able to do it. I also have this guy, who makes it all possible!
A year ago, I was pleading with God. Asking for one more year. I needed one more year. It wasn't his time yet. I vowed to take care of my Daddy. To do whatever needed to be done. I begged God. Every night, when everyone would leave, and my Mom would sleep, I'd sit there. Praying for my Daddy. Holding his hand. Encouraging him to fight.
The last year has been tough. My parents own a business. One that doesn't take a break. Ever! One that put more and more responsibilities, on my shoulders. I was more than ready to help out. I've learned much more about the business. Learned, done work, and honestly...just tried to keep up. My Dad was used to getting up and starting his work day at 3AM. These days, he naps from 6AM-8AM. Then again from 10AM-1PM.
But most of all, I've tried to bring my family together. Tried to remind my brothers, we need to be there for our Dad. I wish that I could find my sisters. And encourage them to come back. We need to pull together. Our Dad is not a young guy. He's nearly 80. And he needs us. Honestly, we're lucky to have him. And we should all appreciate, this second chance. We got our Dad back. To love. And make memories with. Thank you God. The last year has meant so much to me! ♥
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Last year, I made a bunch of these Neckwarmers. For all of my good friends. Everyone got their favorite colors. Everyone loved theirs. And I kept saying, I'm going to make me one too! Guess what? It never happened. A year later, I'm still without a neckwarmer. So I decided, today is the day. I'm going to make me one. While watching some fabulous Christmas movie! What are you doing today? ♥
Sunday, December 18, 2011
We are taking this as s good sign. And we're heading out, to explore a nearby, tiny mountain town. The town, where my good friend Manders, grew up. I'm pretty darn excited! They have some cute shops there. I just might have to get me something. :O)
Well, last night, after wrapping lots of presents, I decided to relax. And then, I was browsing some crochet websites. When I stumbled on this cute cowl. On Bernat's website. The "Really Big."
I happened to have some gorgeous yarn. And while My Guy and I talked in front of the fire, I whipped this up. I can't find my camera, so you'll have to look at Bernat's picture. Honestly, this is such a warm cowl! Perfect for a snowy adventure.
So how is everyone doing out there? Done with your shopping? How about your crafting? Are these some relaxing days for you. Or is it turning into some crazy chaos? Well, I hope you get a few minutes to just relax. Happy Sunday! ♥
Saturday, December 17, 2011
One of my favorite things about the holidays, is baking. I just love it! And I LOVE to try new recipes. Yum! That's probably why I'm so excited about this week's Gooseberry Patch Free Recipe of the Week. A yummy shortbread cookie! By the way, this cookbook is AMAZING!
Maple Syrup Shortbread
1/2 c. plus 1 T. butter, softened and divided
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Blend 1/2 cup butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour a little at a time, mixing continually; blend well. Pat mixture into a lightly greased 8"x8" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees until light golden, about 25 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Stir together brown sugar, syrup and remaining butter. Add egg and vanilla; mix until smooth. Pour evenly over baked shortbread; sprinkle with walnuts. Return to oven; bake at 350 degrees until topping sets, about 20 minutes. Let cool; cut into 1-1/2"x1-1/2" squares. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 1-1/2 dozen.
Yum! I've baked 2 batches of these already. And they are so delish! I'm also making a few of the other recipes in this cookbook. Do you have any favorite cookie recipes that I should know about? I'd love to try some of your favorite recipes. ♥
Friday, December 16, 2011
I was trying to decide, what to buy her for her birthday. As I can't find her beloved "Snowy White" anywhere! I picked up some fun toys. A little kitchen, with some food, and accessories. But I also wanted something more personal. That's when I found this pattern.
A sweet bear hat! I immediately got to work. And as I hear it, from Anna Marie, she is in LOVE with her hat! My friends headed to their families' Ranch over Thanksgiving. And Emma wore her hat the entire time! And during our recent snowstorm, my sweet Goddaughter, had her hat on. You should see the cute pictures that Anna Marie sent me. They just make me smile! ♥
Thursday, December 15, 2011
On to books. One of my cousins, recently recommended "The Shack." She said it's an amazing book! A book that touches on religion. A man suffers a great loss. Then goes on to spend a few days with God. But not the way we'd expect. No, God, the entire trinity, comes in the form of people. It got me interested. Because my cousin, was really into this book. I'm on the search for it. And headed to a bookstore today. I hope I find it! Have you read it? Or do you have a book, that I need to read? ♥
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
And with all my new goddaughters, these are a must. Oh ya! I downloaded the pattern. And already, I have 6 pairs made! Now to come up with my own hat. Since there's isn't one already. If you want the pattern, visit Bernat. And download this cute pattern! ♥
Monday, December 12, 2011
Yes, I was one of those crafters, that didn't know Mark Montano had written a craft book. Where have I been? Then I stumbled on it at Barnes and Noble. About had a heart attack. And bought 4!!! Good Christmas gifts. :O)
Did you know that there is a second? Yes, I bought that one too. Then I realized, they'd make great giveaway prizes!!! So I went back, and bought another set. Let me tell you, there are some great ideas in these books!
OK, here are all the details. I will ship internationally. The winner will receive both books. And a few surprises. The giveaway is open from December 12th 12PM-December 16th 3PM MST. And all you have to do is, leave a message with a link to your favorite craft blog. That's it! Don't forget your e-mail address, if it's not on your profile. Good Luck everyone! And you might want to come back after New Year's. Let's just say, I'm getting ready for another giveaway! ♥
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Monday turned into one of those days. When everything stays closed. Hardly anyone takes to the roads. My Guy and I decide to stay in bed, order some breakfast, and watch a stack of movies. It was a fun day. When nothing got done. Except a lot of cuddling!
I was pretty sure, that life would return to normal, on Tuesday. There were still lots of delays. Almost every road, leading out of town, was closed. My parents were back to work. We were scheduled to look at homes. This whole staying in a hotel, every time we come to my hometown, is getting a little old. I miss cooking. My Guy misses his own space.
We ended up getting almost nothing done, Tuesday or Wednesday. The main highway, to my home, was closed. Little by little, it was opening up. But in the southern part of my home state, they're just not prepared for big storms. So the roads were at the mercy of "Mother Nature." I figured, things would be "A OK" by today...
I was supposed to meet a friend today. And it just didn't happen. The roads were open for the first 80 miles. And the last 50. But everything in between, was closed. Boo! And my cellphone coverage, is almost non-existent. What is up with that?
After talking to My Guy, we decided not to chance it. We didn't want to get stuck in some small town, with no hotel room. Or stuck on the side of the highway. Or get in an accident. And all I could think about, was that dear couple, who got stuck in the snow, last weekend. Ultimately, it was a tragic story. One that we didn't want to repeat.
Although, I LOVE the snow. It really has put a damper on my plans. Our Realtor wouldn't venture out, until today. I didn't get to meet with my friend. Heck, I still haven't talked to her! We haven't made it to the cabin yet. But on the bright side, we got a lot of Christmas shopping done! Some decorations made. And I've spent lots of time, cuddling with my Love! ♥
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I don't know what happened. Maybe I lost the pattern. Or life got busy. But it didn't get made. I used the yarn on other projects. And well, I forgot all about it! Until today. When I was going to crochet something else. I pulled out the pattern book, and this pattern fell out. :O)
I dug around, and found some yarn. Guess what I'll be up to today? Yup, making this neckwarmer. Maybe a camouflage one needs to be made too! You know, for our upcoming hunting trip. ♥
Monday, December 5, 2011
"Love is patient. Love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag. And is not arrogant."
People ask me all the time, why would My Guy and I keep our relationship out of the public eye. Why doesn't my family know? Why would I be OK, being in the background, when we are in public? Why am I OK, with him paying someone else, to publicly take the heat? Why am I OK with all of this?
To begin with. It didn't start this way. We had a long distance relationship. My close friends knew about My Guy. My best friend met him. Loved him. Fell in love with his best friend. My Mom knew I was dating someone. And after 6 months or so, they had a long conversation on the phone. Later, she would meet him. While my Dad was in the hospital.
But this entire time, I've also been battling the Big C. Dealing with all that it is. Trying to stay on top of it. My Guy, has never once failed me. Or been upset with my situation. He's right by my side. Takes care of me. Holds me when I'm at my weakest. Takes me to doctor's appointments. Changes his schedule, to fly with me. So I can meet with specialists.
And that's exactly, what My Guy has always been all about. My biggest cheerleader. We both have very public jobs. Jobs that put us out there. Places that we're not always comfortable with. But we've signed up for our jobs. So we take all that comes with it.
That doesn't mean that we have a magic wand, that makes everything perfect. But we've both learned from our past relationships. Learned what works for us as an individual. What we both want in our lives.
From the beginning, we've had those ridiculously serious conversations. I've been blunt with my health. Never holding back. Never holding back, what I wanted, or expected from a relationship. My Guy, also laid it all out on the table for me. And we just have this understanding.
I moved East. So that we had a chance. So that we could figure all this out. And now, we're like a married couple. In many ways. Mondays are our Sundays. We spend most of the day in bed. Sleeping. Recovering from the other 6 days of the week. I cook every meal that I can. I clean. He works Tuesdays. And usually Thursdays-Sundays. We have those disagreements about clothes all over the floor. Where we're going to be, for various holidays. How and when, we're going to travel. Things like that.
But guess what else? My Guy supports me going to college. Getting these ridiculous degrees. Working crazy hours. He understands that I want to pay for my education. And at times, that's not easy. So I work. In music. A very demanding schedule. Many times, we spend many hours flying, from state to state, to be supportive of one another.
He sits in the audience. Watching me. Cheering me on. Being my biggest supporter. I still sit on Sundays, cheering him on. Making sure that he has everything that he needs, to be successful at his career. We're always there for each other. Especially on the bad days. Like when he walks in, and tells me, "I'm done. It's time to walk away. This job is too much." I get him to calm down. Realize it was a bad day. Things are going to get better. Work isn't always going to be like this.
Not everything is perfect. We don't have anyone to look at. To use as a guide, for our lives. Because our situation is different. He has a very public job. Makes money, from fans. And "Meet and Greet," type of situations. He has asked me many times, do I want to be more public? Do I want to go to these events? Not wear his company's shirts. You know, be at his side. Do I want to stand at his side, in public, every weekend?
I want to scream "YES," from the rooftops. Like I know he wants to do. But with my health, I just don't think it could be a possibility. Not right now. It feels unfair. Tough. I feel like, I'm a bad girlfriend. I should be stronger. I should be able to handle this. But when I first got sick, I was in another relationship. One that found people following me. To write about me. About my situation. To add these stories to "rag mags," and blogs.
This time around, I'm more cautious. Few people, really know who this guy is. His friends know about us. His family knows. A good group of my friends know. My Mom knows. But we're careful. My Guy is someone that wants to make sure, I'm safe. And taken care of. That I'm OK. This isn't his first rodeo. He's been through this before. And realizes how hurtful and nasty the public can be.
So we've talked about this. We have a plan in place. People don't realize, but we've almost been in this relationship for 4 years. 4 YEARS!!! We're happy. We live as "normal" a life as possible. We still eat dinner together. We travel together. We sit and watch silly movies. Weekly, we try to have dinner with his family. For a few months, his nieces lived with us. We're dedicated to each other. 100% That's all that matters!
But this past week, I knew he needed someone at his side. His PR team had been putting the pressure on him. We talked about this. Almost 18 months ago, a similar situation had come up. Then, we paid an employee of his, to stand by his side. That's it. Stand there. Don't say anything. Just be there. At the same time, it helped to calm the waters for us. I found that people stopped looking at me, every single time I ventured out. My life got simpler. When they thought he was with her...
Late November rolled around. And we knew something had to be done. A meeting was called. His close family came, his team, and boss. The decision was made. Call that same employee. All week, they've been seen publicly. All week, I've been there. In the background. Not having to deal with nonsense. Being able to enjoy myself. My Guy has been able to relax a little. Enjoy everything that has come, from all his hard work.
All week, at night, we went to many private parties and functions. Where I was able to be at his side. He came to see me, and the band perform. We could walk out, hand in hand, not having to look over our shoulders. It was amazing! The exact reason, why we keep "us" secret.
But Friday, people got crazy. This guy showed up for an event. Moments later, things were blowing up. People had lots of stuff to say. Nothing too nice. About his companion. About his decisions. Immediately, he was sending me texts. "We were right." "Glad we decided not to tell." "I'm glad you don't have to deal with all this s*&t!"
And there you go, the real reason why we keep "us," from everyone else. His company has received so much inquiry, about that poor girl. So many people are mad. Upset. And that person, well, people won't leave her alone.
Yes, I'm glad we decided not to share "us." I couldn't handle it. Not right now. Not with my health. Not with my Dad's health. I know how these people work. And right now, it's honestly too much to handle.
Like I said, I know we picked our careers. But we didn't necessarily pick everything else, that has come with them. We'd like to keep our "privates lives," well...private. That shouldn't be too much to ask for.
After the event, and my show, on Friday night...My Guy took me in his arms. Whispered in my ear, "I'm glad your in my life. Dang it, I wish that I could show you off to the world. I've never been happier. Never in my life. Never been prouder of anyone. Whatever it takes, I'm going to keep you safe. I love ya Doll Face." My Love, I LOVE you too! I'm not going anywhere. Regardless of what happens, I'll always stand by my man. ♥
"Behold I will close their wounds and give them health, and I will cure them: and I will reveal to them, the prayer of peace and truth."
Please say an extra prayer, for my best friend. She is having surgery today. Hills has had a tough 2 years. And needs all the love, prayers, and support we can send her way. My Guy and I were supposed to be there today. But are currently snowed in. Hills we love you! Can't wait to see you soon. Remember, we're always with you and Baby C! ♥
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Last night, I even baked a few dozen cupcakes. Made lots of candy! And sampled some of my Mom's cookies. Yum! I wish I had one, right now. Homemade chocolate chip cookies. My favorite!
I haven't been feeling too great lately. We've been traveling a lot. And I'm trying to finish up my semester. But I wanted to add to our stock. And I made a bunch of scarves, hats, and cowls. I even got busy on some amigurumis. But look at these cute snowmen, that I just had to make!
Yes, I made a few sets of snowmen. And they are adorable! This pattern is super easy! I've even sold a few sets already. Secretly, I want to make me a bunch of them! For me, to decorate a bookshelf, in our house.
I'm so excited about today's Craft Fair! We always have a great time. Honestly, we sell to support the church. If we make money, it's always a bonus. My Mom and I usually leave with a few hundred dollars each. But in all honesty, it's about community. Spending time, with people that we know. Making our community a stronger place! ♥
Friday, December 2, 2011
But I also send lots and lots of letters and cards. Filled with notes of love. And little treasures. Like stickers, pictures, and books. These are the most meaningful. I hear, that my Goddaughters wait for their "mail" to arrive. Knowing the little schedule, that we've got going on! :)
I usually get a call back. With a very excited little girl, on the other end. Which makes me smile. I want my Goddaughters to know, that I LOVE them. And that I'm ALWAYS thinking of them. Because, they each have a piece of my heart.
And then, I'm blessed. With little things that they send me too! A picture of them. A piece of "school art." And sometimes a beautifully colored picture. Yes, I hang them on our fridge. Or in my office. Because these things, mean the WORLD to me!
I think about this a lot. Because my Goddaughters, really do mean so much to me! I LOVE them with my whole heart! And I just think, that it's special to have this contact with them. But above that, I think they really enjoy the mail too! What kid, doesn't like to get mail? With their name on it!
I'm sure that Hallmark, and the USPS just LOVE this! They make bank off of me. But honestly, it's a small price to pay. When I stood up there, taking the vows, to be their Godmother, I was making promises to each of them. And to God. I don't take that lightly. And I hope that they know it. And that their parents know it. And especially, that God knows.
I know that my Goddaughters enjoy their cards. But for me, I enjoy them much more! It makes me feel amazing, to sit there, and write out a special card. To make it colorful and fun. To add something special inside. Just to let my favorite little girls know, that I love them. It means so much, when I get a scribbly picture back. That I know, they took the time to color. Just for me. Yes, those little cards, sent both ways, mean the world! ♥
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Yes, we started out as 2 nutrition students. And interns. Trying to survive college. Quickly, we became friends. Even after Paul and Emmers moved to Florida, we stayed close. We'd make sure to chat online, at least once a week. We'd call when we could. And always met, when they came back to town.
So when I found out that Emmers was having a baby, I was over the moon! And I immediately start making some special things, for the sweet baby. When I was asked to be her Godmother, I cried. Really, I did! Then when we found out, that this sweet baby was a girl, we were all so excited.
Emmers is someone who loves tradition. A time past. Handmade. History. And vintage. When I saw this pattern, I immediately knew, I needed to make a bunch of these booties!
Baby Matilda, has so many booties. But Emmers tells me, these are her favorites. Especially with the chilly weather that we are having. These booties actually remind me, of some that my Grandma made me. I just adore this style. So simple. Yet, so precious! ♥
Dear Baby Jellybean,
Happy 1st Birthday! I can't believe, that it's already been a year, since you were born. What a magical day that was. You surprised us all. Waiting until you were ready. Not caring, that the rest of us, were anxious about your arrival.
But it was an amazing day! The day that you were born. You blessed so many lives. Especially your Mommy and Daddy's. Of course, your Nono and I, are so excited too! Every time that I see you, I'm greeted with the biggest smile! And it just melts my heart.
I never realized, just how much, one little girl could change my life. Forever! How much love, you can give, to everyone around you. How much joy you share, with everyone you meet. It makes life, feel so magical!
My life is definitely more "colorful" because of you. And I just don't mean by your fun room, and your "style." But because your spirit is s bright! I feel that God made you so very special, to make the world, a better place. We're all so lucky, to be a part of your world!
It's just the beginning. Today marks your first year. We have a complete lifetime, to spend together. And I thank God, and your parents for that. I pray that your birthday is so special! That God blesses you in the coming year. And that he guides you, as you grow. Happy Birthday sweet girl!
Monday, November 28, 2011
But I haven't given up hope. I've been searching. Because there is just something about the color. Then, last night, I was doing some online shopping. And I found this dress at Old Navy! Only available online.
I wanted to cry, when I realized my beloved dress was sold out. At least in the color I wanted. I went on with my Christmas shopping. Then, I decided to check once more. That's when I found it in blue! In my size. I put it in my cart, and immediately checked out. Let's just say, I'll be stalking the delivery guy, until next week. ♥
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Always In My Heart
It pains me to see you leave,
But I never forget what I've learned through the years we've gone through.
It hurts me to know,
After awhile you'll confide in someone else, not me.
I'll always be there for you,
Even after the end is heaven comes.
I'll always stay true to our bond as one and won’t ever let go.
You are my sister,
And my very best friend of all time,
It's so true.
We'll be that way even after the end has come for us.
You are a part of me,
And never will you ever leave my heart.
All the times we've shared,
Even when we didn't really care at all.
Don't let anyone take my place,
They'll never face or change our times together.
They have built up through the years.
I'll never let us part,
Because you'll always have a special place in my heart.
~Tiffany Van Epps
I miss my sisters. I've never been close to my older sister. We've spoken very few words to one another. But my other 2 sisters, for years and years, we were close. Especially my middle sister and I.
I haven't seen my middle sister in 10 1/2 years. I miss her terribly! We went from seeing each other at least once a day, to not at all. Family problems came between us. And my youngest sister, it's been years. I don't know what happened there.
But I have this hole in my heart. I miss my sisters. I want them in my life. I want to share my life with them. I want to just sit and talk. To share a meal. To catch up. To hug them. And tell them both, just how much, they mean to me. I miss my sisters, with all of my heart! I'll NEVER stop loving them. Not ever! ♥
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
This is one my new favorite patterns! And I just love how it worked up. My only regret is, I forgot to get a picture of the blanket I made. This is such a fun pattern. And one that I'd definitely suggest. ♥
Monday, November 21, 2011
Linda called to tell me, they that they took Gabi's pictures today. And she laid on her new blankie. That makes me so happy! I just LOVE making things for my Goddaughters. Knowing that they love and enjoy them. So much! It makes my heart swell with love. I'm very blessed, to have these sweet girls, in my life! ♥
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I'm also thinking, this could be a GREAT treasure to add, to my Mom and I's stash. Because we're going to be selling, at our Church's Christmas Craft Fair. In 2 weeks! I guess I should get started then. :O) But honestly, I'm LOVING this scarf! ♥
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
After seeing this cute dress, that Amelia had dressed Esmeralda in, I knew that I had to make her a cute sweater set. Yes, this one! In a pretty, soft, and white yarn. Beautiful!
Before I left, I got to see Esmeralda, all dressed up. She looked like a little angel. I just wish, that I could spend more time with her. I didn't get enough baby cuddling, cooing, and love. Nope! This Nana, is going to have to go home, to visit this sweet angel. I already miss her. And it's only been hours since I last seen my sweet Esmeralda. ♥
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Like this red coat. Which I'm in LOVE with! Hello! It's is just so ladylike. Classic. And gorgeous. The red color, is so rich and gorgeous! I'm going to be on the hunt for something similar. ♥
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Doesn't it look yummy? Well, it was! And there was a ton of food. Maybe we should have skipped the appetizer and dessert. But it was so good! Everything was cooked perfectly. I even got this guy to try it out. He's already asking me to try and make it at home. I hope that Applebee's keeps this on the menu! ♥
Friday, November 4, 2011
I was talking to My Guy the other day. And I was telling him how I wanted to do something. For the families. I know that I wear red every single Friday. But I wanted to show my love, support, and patriotism. Then it hit me. I could make some scarves. For the spouses, that are waiting at home.
I wanted to make something. Something that felt personal. And made with love. So I started my hunt. And I found this pattern. By Bernat. Appropriately named, Red Friday Scarf. I'm on a mission, to make as many as possible. If you'd like to help, send me an e-mail, or leave me a comment.
Why is this cause so close to my heart? Like I said, I come from a military family. 2 of my brothers were in the military, I have 2 cousins now serving, my grandpa served, and many, many of my uncles were in the military. Our family has watched our loved ones go off to war. We've unfortunately lost some loved ones. And also celebrated others, after they retired from the military. Not to mention friends of mine. I still don't know how Jelly did it all those years. Or how Cassie still does it.
But I'm very proud of my country. Of our military. And if this little gesture, can help even one person, it is well worth it! Like I said, if you are interested in helping, let me know. I think we can make a big difference. My entire life, I've lived near Military Bases. And I know that these people, sacrifice so much for us. Every single day of the year! It's time to give something back! ♥
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I am sorta bummed though. I can't find the source. No, I don't need a tutorial for this cute craft. Nope! But I was hoping to stumble on some amazing blog. Ugh! Well, at least I have a new idea. And I'm going to get started. I need to go find me some branches. Happy Wednesday! ♥
Friday, October 14, 2011
But we're all so excited! Her mom and I, are super close. And first cousins. I've literally, watched my cousin grow up. I can still see her as a 2 year old. Playing on the swings. Now she's in her twenties! Have I mentioned, she's one of my favorite cousins! So I've been trying to find some cute crochet patterns. So I want to make her a bunch of stuff!
That's when I found this pattern. Aren't these booties adorable? I want to make them in a few colors. I also need to find a cute bonnet pattern. This is just the beginning. I can't wait to see, what I come up with. I'm so excited to meet this little girl! ♥
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The perfect monsters, for my little buddies. Now, what colors do I make? This is going to be fun. Very different from what I'm used to making. But tons of fun! ♥
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Recently, I was watching Italy in America. And there were 2 dishes that grabbed my attention. The first being her Stuffed Tomatoes. Yum!
"Italians will stuff anything, but when it comes to a nice summer tomato this is the recipe. It is good just out of the oven and delicious at room temperature. Wonderful as an appetizer, vegetable and also a main course, this dish is, popular at Italian family gatherings and festivities and it looks great on the buffet table."
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
¾ cup arborio rice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 firm-ripe medium tomatoes
¾ cup fresh mozzarella, cut in small cubes
2 ounce piece ham, cut in small cubes
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Grana Padano , or Parmigiano-Reggiano
10 large basil leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon dry oregano
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small pot, bring to boil 2 cups water with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the bay leaves. Stir in the rice and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until rice is al dente and liquid is almost all gone, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a bowl to cool.
2. Slice the tops off the tomatoes, reserving the tops. Scoop out the inner flesh of the tomatoes with a spoon, leaving a thick shell. As you work, put the flesh in a strainer set over a bowl to collect the juices. Once all of the tomatoes are scooped out, season the insides of the tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
3. Chop the tomato flesh and put in the bowl with the rice. To the bowl, add the mozzarella, ham, 1/2 cup of the grated cheese, the basil, the oregano and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss to combine.
4. Pour reserved tomato juices in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Evenly divide stuffing in tomatoes. Arrange cut-off tomato tops in the baking dish and place a stuffed tomato on each top. Depending on the size of your tomatoes, you may have a little leftover stuffing. If so, roll it into “meatballs” and place in the spaces in the baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle tops with remaining grated cheese. Bake until tomatoes are soft and juicy and stuffing is browned on top, about 20 to 25 minutes.
The second being these delicious crab cakes. Yum! One of my favorites. But these are absolutely AMAZING!
"These are the crab cakes from the Faidley Seafood counter in Baltimore, the best I have ever had. Under the crisp outer layer of the crab cakes, big chunks of succulent sweet crabmeat were barely held together by condiments and what I later found out were crisp crushed saltine crackers. I managed to work out this fairly close recipe, since Faidley’s would not part with the original one. Rémoulade is a condiment that kept resurfacing on my research trip all over America. It appeared in Baltimore with the crab cakes, in New Orleans with fried artichokes, as a topping for po’ boy sandwiches, and some rendition of it has even turned up as a topping for today’s Big Mac. The closest Italian traditional condiment to the rémoulade is the aglio e olio (aioli—the emulsified rendition of olive oil and garlic which is used on the Ligurian and French coast). The French- sounding name implies some French heritage, but, then, the French played a big role in the founding of America, in particular in the Louisiana Territory."
For the Remoulade
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup chopped dill pickle
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
For the Crab Cakes
1.5 sleeves saltine crackers, enough to make 2 cups when crushed
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
vegetable oil, for frying
For the Rémoulade: Whisk together all the ingredients, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The recipe for rémoulade makes extra; it can be used for a variety of dishes, or you could halve that part of the recipe.
For the Crab Cakes: Crush the saltines with a rolling pin (while keeping them in their plastic sleeves). Empty the crumbs through a sieve into a bowl below, shaking to separate the larger crumbs from the fine crumbs. You will need about 1 to 1 1⁄4 cups fine crumbs for dredging the crab cakes. Put the larger crumbs in a large bowl, and add the crab, mayonnaise, mustard, and Old Bay. Mix gently until you can press the mixture together to form balls. Form into eight balls, and place on a parchment- lined baking sheet. (If you have time, refrigerate for 1⁄2 hour to let them set up a bit.)
Heat 1⁄2 inch vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the crab cakes in the fine crumbs, and when oil is hot enough, drop the cakes gently into the skillet. Cook, turning on all sides without squishing or flattening, until the cakes are golden, about 6 to 8 minutes in all. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot with the rémoulade.
I want this cookbook, like nobody's business! There are so many great recipes in it. Oh, maybe if I'm really good, this guy, will buy me the collection of Lidia's cookbooks! :)
We had a delicious meal, the other night. Stuffed tomatoes, crab cakes, and a fresh salad. It was so yummy! And who said that these recipes serve 8? The 2 of us, polished them off, with no problems at all! You definitely need to try them out. ♥
Saturday, October 1, 2011
It got me thinking though, I need some more scarves. OK, maybe I don't NEED more scarves. But I'd LOVE to have a few more. If you hadn't figured it out by now, scarves are my absolute favorite! I have a nice collection going on.
But I wanted something homemade. Does it shock you, that I don't make myself anything. Seriously! I rarely sit down, and crochet myself something. So I went on a hunt. For some crochet patterns. That's when I came across this beauty...
Yes, the "Last Minute Scarf," is now on the top of my list. I just need to buy some Bernat Mosaic yarn. Don't you just love the colors? Heck, I have about 4 other projects, that this yarn would be perfect for!
This is such a great pattern. Perfect for Fall! And something new, to jazz up my Fall outfits. Oh, I can't wait. My perfect night would involve some chocolate, a good movie, and a little crochet time! ♥
Monday, September 12, 2011
Skype became our best friend. E-mail, IMs, and phone calls were a must! He'd hide little notes, so I could find them, when we weren't together. I'd steal a shirt of his. We were actually quite funny! So when I saw this pillow, it just made me think of this time. And my Love!
These days, we live and travel together. But recently, we've been apart. More and more. As I try and help my Mom take care of my Dad. And My Guy has to work. We still make it a point, to only be away from one another, for just a day or two. But those are some lonely times.
I'm positive that these pillows would be a nice addition for us. A comfort of sorts. With our home states on them. Just a little something to remind us, of each other. When we are apart. Funny how, My Guy, was searching the internet, for these pillow cases. And we can't find them anywhere!
I guess, that means, I need to get busy. And I'm not that great at embroidery. So this could get interesting. Have you seen these anywhere? I really want to buy a few. I even searched Etsy. With absolutely no luck! And I'm pretty positive, that they have to come from a handmade shop. Please help! ♥
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I don't know what it is. I just adore this scarf! Is it crazy that I've made 3, in the last day? I'm trying to get started on my Christmas gifts. And honestly, this is so relaxing to make. Although, to be honest, I've never made the hat. I should try one. ♥
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Baby girl is due in November. Which means, the Baby Shower is nearing. Yes, I'm throwing the shower! And I need a few ideas.
Gabi just adores the Aqua and Red color combo! And that's the "theme" of baby girl's nursery. I also thought it would be fun, to throw a Baby Shower, in the same color palette. But I need some ideas. And quick!
So far I have 1 picture for inspiration. And of course, my primos' house. :) Do you have any ideas? For decorations, food, games, more themes, or ideas. I'd LOVE to hear them all!
I'm thinking something a little retro. Definitely involving cupcakes. And lots of fun. I'd LOVE to hear any ideas that you have. Actually, I'd really appreciate any help. You can also e-mail me your ideas at, SweetNightingaleSing (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks for all your help. I'm off to try, and bake me, some of these cupcakes! ♥
Monday, August 22, 2011
Yes, the wee one, is having a birthday soon. And this just might be on my project list. ;) Cause every girl, no matter how big or small, should have a "Red Riding Hood Cape." You know what I mean? And the wolf, well, I just might have to figure out one, for her little brother. :) By the way, it's a pretty easy pattern too! ♥
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Our family, is having a Family Reunion today. And I'm being optimistic. You know, praying for the best. Not thinking about the worst. The tough part, about being from such a large family is...definitely all the drama. But you learn how to deal with it. And hope that it works itself out.
Today, I'm looking forward to some fun. Catching up with lots of people, that I haven't seen in FOREVER! And honestly, just enjoying the day. I don't get to come home often, and I rarely ever see my family. Other than my parents. So I honestly look forward to days like this. You know what I mean?
I also don't want to miss out on some of my family. The elders who are struggling. And I'm sure, have limited time with us. I look forward to chatting with them. Letting them know how special they are. And just how much, they mean to me. More than anything, I look forward to a good time with my familia! Happy Sunday! ♥
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Our family is having a Family Reunion tomorrow. So in my "down time" this week, I've been working on some projects. The perfect gifts, for some of the elder members of the family. And a few good recipes. Since we were all asked, to bring our favorite dishes. And well, I'm a dessert gal. So I've been trying out some new and yummy desserts. This one in particular, just fit the bill. On so many sides! Thank goodness for Gooseberry Patch and their free Recipe of the Week!
Peaches & Cream Cheesecake
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 t. baking powder
3.4-oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
3 T. butter
15-oz. can sliced peaches, juice reserved
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. plus 1 T. sugar, divided
1 t. cinnamon
Blend together flour, salt, milk, egg, baking powder, pudding mix and butter; beat for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased 9" round pan; arrange peaches on top. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of reserved juice and 1/2 cup sugar; beat for 2 minutes. Spoon over peaches. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Serves
Yes, I made 4 of these, on Thursday. Because my friends all go to mass on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Afterward, we head to someone's house, and have dinner. These beauties were gone in minutes! They were that good. And now, I'm getting ready to make 6 for tomorrow. Happy Saturday! ♥
Friday, August 19, 2011
I thoroughly think Thalia is a beautiful woman inside and out. Thalia has a "Heart of Gold." She gives us Latinas, someone to look up to. A woman who has stayed true to herself. Hasn't let the celebrity get to her head.
For years, I've followed Thalia. I watched her so many years ago, in Maria la del Barrio. I've listened to her music, for as long as I can remember. And when she came out with a clothing line, ya, I bought a few pieces. Her jewelry was really fun too!
I enjoy the fact that Thalia is just a natural person. She is who she is. If you've ever met her, you know what I mean. I've been extremely lucky. To sit down and get to talk to her. And she is just a very genuine soul.
I like that she's not afraid to get "Glamorous" for work. That she brings her Latina side out. And has fun with it. But she doesn't feel the need, to show all her goods. Like so many other celebrities.
Most of all, I like that Thalia is relatable. You feel like you might actually get to buy the shirt she wears. Because you generally like it. And she inspires so many mujueres. I LOVE hearing little girls talking about her. How they like that she wears t-shirts and jeans. I personally like that she is a more casual, easy going soul. Very much like our cultura. Yes, in a lot of ways, Thalia inspires me. Inspires me to take care of myself, do for others, and to be a happy person. That's what real role models should do. ♥
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I just like the versatility of this plant. The colors. Oh, the splash of color. From bright red, to white, to lavender. The colors just make me smile! So, 2 years ago, I bought some. And carefully planted them in my yard. Hoping, one day to have a large tree in the front. And some smaller bushes around the yard.
Unfortunately, that insane winter freeze came. And I was saddened. Because I lost so many of my prized plants. The Crepe Myrtle being one of them. I hoped, that they'd come back. But they didn't. This morning, I went out and bought a large plant. When I got home, there were 5 in there! And I got to town planting. I'm crossing my fingers. I hope these beautiful plants take. They'd really add something to my garden. ♥
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Then my sidekick, "Tio Berto, aka Nono" and I had a full day. We managed to sleepily have breakfast, and made sure that the new parents got breakfast too. Then we parted ways. Each of us going home for a few zzz's.
But we had promised Miss Maribel a fun day. And that was what we were going to give her. Our little princess, all decked out in a tutu, was ready to go. I picked her up, and headed back to her Nono's house.
We set our plans for the day, and set out. First stop, was to introduce her to Esmeralda. They were in love with each other, instantly! Maribel came with a ton of gifts. And we all enjoyed the excitement. My 2 Goddaughters were wearing their little tutus. Looking every bit the princesses that they are!
After making sure that Familia A had snacks, lunch, and everything they needed, we headed to a nearby nursery. We had promised Maribel her very own Flower Garden. 3 hours later, her garden was complete. With lots of fun touches, many beautiful flowers, and one happy little girl. Total success!
As she napped, I made a few phone calls. Albert was getting some work done. And we were thinking about snacks. Yes, the Godparents are worse than the kids. When Maribel woke up, we were all surfing the net, and thinking about eating. We quickly found this picture...
Yes, it was the perfect inspiration! We sat and made our own rainbow. And enjoyed eating it too! The perfect day. My "Pot of Gold" was definitely at the end of the rainbow. My beautiful Goddaughter. Yes, it was just the day I needed. Spent with 2 of the most beautiful little angels. My life is truly blessed! ♥