Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Tribute to Our Mom

Our Mom shaped us into who we are today, so I didn't think it was fitting to have a blog written by my sisters and I without including this tribute we wrote and read at her memorial service in June. 


1 Corinthians 13:13 says: And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. I've heard this scripture many times before, and it's such a simple line, but it has never had more meaning to me than now. Faith and hope have certainly helped carry us through these last few weeks...but The greatest of these is love.. and when I think about my mom, all I see is love.
When I look back at our time together I don't see those silly disagreements and all those things you think are a big deal at the time. None of those things matters now. Now all that matters is love, and she was so loved and she loved her girls so much. There was never a time she wasn't there for her girls, little like when we had a nightmare and she would hold us and sing to us until we feel asleep. And as we got older how she would always stop in the middle of what she was doing when we said we need to talk or even when we didn't say it and she just knew and would say "Lets have some tea" and we would sit and talk as long as we needed and everything always felt lighter after talking with her.
If I ask you to think of our mom right now, I bet one of the first things that comes to mind is her cooking. One of her favorite ways to spread love was through food. And she was a natural. She was always coming up with new dishes and when we would rave about how good a dish was she would say “well enjoy it, because you’ll never have it again!” because mom didn’t follow recipes, she cooked from her heart.
We will never forget when we were kids,and our parents would come home late from a dinner out, mom always made sure to bring home leftovers for us. I would hear the front door open and I would sit up in my bed and wait for my mom to walk into my room with a box of leftovers and a fork. And she would sit on the edge of my bed and watch me with a smile on her face as I devoured the leftovers. Mom loved bringing food home for us, or “feeding her birdies” as she would call it. As much as she loved food, she loved sharing it with everyone more.
Every beautiful sunny summer morning we will think of her. When we walk on the beach collecting seashells, we will think of her. The spring time will be full of her spirit. We will see the beauty in the little things in life, as she taught us, and smile, knowing she will always be there to enjoy it with us.
We will cherish these memories of Mom forever. But the greatest impact she will leave on this earth, is how she touched and changed so many lives, by simply being herself. She truly lived an extraordinary, ordinary life. She showed us that just by being true to yourself, you can leave a huge impact on this world. She had such a quiet strength and faith about her. From when she was first diagnosed, until the end, so was so courageous and her faith and trust in God was beyond amazing.
I remember being a little scared to talk to her the first time after she was diagnosed with cancer. Afraid that for the first time in my life, I’d have to be the strong one to carry her through. But not our Mom. When I called, she goes, “Hey Babe!” just as she always did, as if nothing had changed. Because, at the core of Mom’s faith, nothing had
She went on to tell me, so genuinely excited, about a new recipe she had just made, and how they had gone out for some great smoothies and a beautiful walk in the park that day. She was just raving about how wonderful Dad had been, catering to her every need and never leaving her side, to the point where she joked, laughing, “man! I can’t get a minute to myself!” But clearly she was loving every minute of it. She sounded so happy and so positive, and I knew she wasn’t just putting on an act to make me feel better. She told me she felt so blessed, because she felt so strongly that God was going to use this for the greater good. And we know she was right…..as usual.
Her story has already touched so many lives and encouraged so many. It was her strength through all of this that has kept us strong, she not only had more than enough strength for herself, but enough for her whole family, and all of you as well.

One of the last things she said to me, and I think it’s a message for all of us, she said, “It’s going to be okay.” And I knew she meant it. Those words will continue to carry me through and I pray they will for you all as well.

We could tell you stories all day long about how wonderful she was, but what we will carry with us the most is that she REALLY knew how love, selfless, genuine love. It was just who she was. We can't think of one negative quality she had. She was perfect. She was the perfect mother, and we couldn't be more proud to be her daughters.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Perfect Start...

I had to take a moment to share with you my most wonderful morning. It's the kind of morning that is so beautiful and the weather is so incredibly perfect, that you could just cry! There is a light, cool fall breeze blowing, the sun is shining crisp in the sky, and even the hummingbirds and butterflies in my yard seem a little extra happy today. I was so enjoying the butterflies joyful floating around my flowers that I couldn't help but get up and join them. I snapped a few quick shots that I thought you might enjoy as much as I did.

Can you spot the butterflies??

A morning like this leaves me feeling like all is right with the world.

Take a Deep Breath and Relax

Don't Ever Doubt Yourself

You have so much to offer,
so much to give, and so much
you deserve to receive in return. 
Don't ever doubt that.

Know yourself and all of your fine qualities.
Rejoice in all your marvelous strengths
of mind and body.
Be glad for the virtues that are yours,
and pat yourself on the back for all 
your many admirable achievements.

Keep positive. 
Concentrate on that which 
makes you happy,
and build yourself up.
Stay nimble of heart, 
happy of thought, 
healthy of mind, and 
well in being

- Janet A. Sullivan

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's here! It's here!

It’s time for fall! YESSSS!!!! I wait all year for the fall season. I feel like I really come alive this time of year! I cannot express to you enough how much I love absolutely everything about the fall, and I’m sure there will be plenty of posts on the way attempting to do just that…

My first fall candle of the season! I woke up so excited about fall this morning that I ran out special just to buy this candle because I could not wait to have my house filled with the scent of autumn!

Can’t you almost smell the cinnamon apple-y goodness?? This is a great scent I found at Pier One called Golden Apple Orchard.

But now, I thought I would take a minute to tell you about my moment of pure contentment.

There are few things I love more in this world then my afternoon tea/coffee break. When I’m having my afternoon break I like to take time to be quiet with myself. I turn the TV off and either look through a magazine, write in my journal, or do nothing at all besides sit outside and enjoy nature around me.

A lot of the time what I write on here are things I started to write about in my journal.
Things I think would be nice to share with my sisters. For example I think it would be nice to share with you some mindless pleasantries. Like how much I am enjoying sitting in the silence with yummy coffee, watching the flame of the candle beside me dance around in its little can. And through the windows I see big white fluffy clouds in the sky and the trees blowing wildly in the wind stirred up by all the recent storms in the area (...big deep sigh...)

I've learned that the most important thing I can do in my day is allow myself to have this little afternoon break. I make it almost mandatory. It helps to calm my mind and re-center. Otherwise I just keep spinning and spinning because there is always so much to do in any given day. Watching the wind blow through the trees is quite meditative. It reminds me of the important things in life, the little things, and getting myself all worked up and stressed out isn’t worth it. 

No matter what I have going on in my life, after my little afternoon breaks I always feel better. I feel lighter and calmer of mind. Most of the time I actually just keep my mind relatively blank. Which feel sooooo good. Kinda feels like I’m giving my brain a nice big stretch. I keep my thoughts away from anything negative or stressful, and if my mind does care to think about something, I make sure it’s light and happy. 

But right now, all I want to do is watch the wind blow...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heaven in a cup

Okay, so lately my new obsession is iced coffee. like REAL iced coffee. The kind that is cold brewed. It really is the best way to make coffee. When you cold brew coffee you can really taste all the delicious rich, bold flavors of the coffee and prevents the bitterness you get when brewing coffee hot. Here is my recipe for the perfect cup of iced coffee..

3 cups ground coffee. The darkest and boldest roast you can find.

9 cups cold water.

Add ground coffee to a large airtight container. Pour water over coffee grounds. Secure lid onto container and let coffee sit at room temperature 12 hours or overnight. When time is up strain coffee using a french press or through coffee filters. And Voila! You have the most delicious iced coffee! Coffee will stay good in your frig for about a week. When ready to drink serve over a large glass of ice. I like to us a flavored creamer with mine. 

Sooooo yummy! You gals will want to take a coffee break every day!

Mmmmm... nom nom nom

So sit back and relax with this tasty treat and make it a great day!