Metro Diner

Jacksonville has a charming little diner 
that is famous for 
waffles and fried chicken.

We were waiting for a table when Dani jumped up 
to imitate the painting on the wall.

If you are every in Jacksonville,
 make sure you stop at The Metro.
If the weather permits, sit out on the patio.
Totally worth it!


Ready For 2015

The year is almost history and good riddance to it!
It wasn't a bad year.
It wasn't a good year.
Although, December was suck-o!
To make a long month short to your ears...
My mom broke 2 bones in her back 
and is bed ridden for who knows how long.
Marks dad fell and broke his hip.
If I wasn't sure before, I am now...
the medical world will kill you. 
He is still in the hospital.
My brother got double pneumonia and was hospitalized.
My other brother totaled his vehicle
 when someone pulled out in front of him. 
He hurt his shoulder and ribs.

There is more but those are the main ones. 
It was crazy.

On a positive note,
I treasured every moment I could find with the family.

We got a hotel near the hospital.
We shopped.
We went on a train and saw beautiful lights 
through the Okeefenoke Swamp.
We played.
Made gingerbread houses.
Cleaned.
Wrapped.
Laughed.
Cried.

Christmas through the eyes of children is such a joy.
Now that I am back in Kansas,
I wish I could have a do-over.

This picture was right after we got off the train ride 
through the swamp.
Yes, there were lots of alligators and snakes
 but all you could see was the pretty lights.
(thank goodness)

This picture is Kristen and myself.
We were very close to the "nutsoid" stage at this point.
Laughter is my "go-to" emotion.

Ya know, life is sometimes difficult.

I am thankful that I have an amazing family 
to walk through it with me.

I am thankful that I have the Lord 
and can cast my burdens on Him.
It's comforting to know that He cares for me.

Have I been begging for a working fireplace 
since we moved into this rental house? 
Yes!
Did my landlord show up yesterday and install one?
Yes!

Now I gotta figure out what to do with the mantel.
I always forget how I had it before the holidays.

Any suggestions?
The antlers have to go where they are 
because thats where the nail is.
Gotta work with what you have.
Maybe some greenery?

Happy New Year To You!


Beyond Blessed

Jacksonville has the most beautiful river.
The hospital where we've been living for the last week 
is right on the river.



Elijah was just outside the hospital. 
I guess if you have to be in a hospital,
pick one with a view.

If I have to be anywhere,
I choose to be with this kiddo.
It's no secret that I adore him.
He is close to perfect.

When I count my blessings,
he is right at the top of my list.

Don't I sound like a typical MiMi?
I am so blessed.


Precious Moments


His Ways Are Not Our Ways

Here's the plan...
1. Fly to Florida.
2. Swing by and pick up Mom.
3. Head to the Town Center to shop, shop, shop.

Sounded like the perfect plan, right?

Here's the reality...
1. Fly to Florida.
2. Mom hurt her back and got admitted to hospital.
3. Marks dad fell and broke his hip.


Now you see why I haven't posted anything in forever!
Who wants to hear sad news?
Not me!

They are both on the upswing 
so I am going to switch gears 
and focus on the positive.

Mark & I got a hotel and are planning 
on a wonderful weekend 
with shopping and just having fun.

Josh & Kristen fly in tomorrow! Woohoo!

I did get to get my hair done. 
I took Abi with me. 
She got a trim. 
 She is watching Frozen 
because she wants Kayla 
to give her a "Anna" braids.



She wanted the color too. 
Maybe next time.


It's the weekend!
Hope yours is great!

Beautiful Brussel Sprouts

While meandering through the aisles of Hen House,
I happened along these.
I was stopped in my tracks.

What!?
You mean brussels sprouts don't come in a bag?

I plan to research this phenomenon. 


Aren't they beautiful!?
God is so creative.


He Prayed For Snow

I'm having one of those days.
I just can't seem to get my tail into gear.
So, the way I see it...
get on the computer.

My sweet SIL is coming tomorrow to hang with me.
I should probably go clean a bathroom
but I'm really too excited.

Either that or my bones are too cold.
It's freezing here. 
Highs in the 20's.
Brrr.

Do I sound random and frustrated? 
Well I am and ya know why?
I can't shop for Christmas.
I will be in Florida for Christmas.
I tried shopping online and having the presents shipped 
but I'm not good at online shopping.
I want to see it and touch it and not pay for shipping.

Maybe I need to go make a list.
That's a good idea.
Thanks. 

Any hoo,
Daniel & Danielle took the family to North Carolina for Thanksgiving this year.

Other than a few plumbing issues with the cabin,
they had a wonderful time and made some great memories.




This is the kids first time to see snow.
When they woke up to find the ground covered,
Elijah said, "I asked God to make it snow."
It continued to snow all day.

I love when God answers the prayer of a 6 year old.

And then there's Abigail.


She makes me happy.

Have a great day!

"I think you are really beautiful 
and I feel really warm when I'm around you 
and my tongue swells up."
** Buddy the Elf **

Pretty Little Princess


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I believe the food was the best I have ever had.

The best part was that our sweet
Kristen came to town.

We cooked, shopped, played games, decorated 
and purely enjoyed every moment.

I have always called her my Pretty Little Princess.
When Kristen was little,
she had the Pretty Little Princess game.
She loved playing it and I might add
that so did her brothers.

Dropping her off at the airport 
would have been too much to take if 
I didn't know that we would be together
 for Christmas in a month.

Can you believe it's December?!!


I hope your day is perfectly amazing.
XOXOX




Sweet Life

Happy Monday everyone!
I recently dropped my camera bag.
My main lens that I always use broke.

Mark & I had no success as we spent hours 
this weekend trying to find a place to fix it.
Finally, as we were turning home,
we saw a pawn shop 
and decided to go ask them if they had any advice.
They actually had a lens that fit my camera.
I have never been in a pawn shop before 
but they have some bargains.
I'm happy that I once again can use my camera.
We then came home and Mark tinkered with my original and he popped it back into place.
Now I have an extra.
All that to say...
if you need a lens,
it may be beneficial to check out your local pawn shop.

Imagine how my heart leaped when the mailman 
handed me a big package this weekend.
Kim sent me a surprise for no reason at all! 
She is the sweetest friend!

 This ornament quickly found a home on my tree.
 Thank you my sweet friend.

Another highlight of my weekend...
Saturday morning,
Danielle texted me this picture.


Eli and Kacey woke up before Mommy & Daddy.
They fixed their own breakfast and were doing their devotions.
That just warms my soul.

She also shared a few from this weeks horse show. 

This one of Abigail watching the Gators.
She is 3!


I love the time they spend at the horse shows.
The kids have so much fun playing.



It's easy to see who is the leader in this group. 
Oh how I adore these girls.

I hope your day is wonderful. 
I am on a mission to buy "the turkey."








Thankful


I have an endless list of all the blessings in my life.

Every now and then,
I actually sit down and start a list of all that I'm thankful for.

I especially enjoy this week every year
because Mark and I celebrate our wedding anniversary.

What were we thinking getting married on Thanksgiving weekend?
We squeezed it in while on break from college.
It sounded like a good idea at the time.

This year makes 32 years.

I thought it would be fun to do a video with him to share a little about our relationship.

Following the video,
Mark and I went back to make sure we didn't want to change anything
and I realized, 
as we were cracking up with each other that it is 
probably only interesting to ourselves so feel free to skip it.






A few things I learned from the video...

1. My A.D.D. has much difficulty in focussing.  

2. I desperately need a visit to Kayla for a haircut.

3.  It is true that video adds at least 20 pounds to you. 

4. We are so in love with each other.

I'm looking forward to this week.
Kristen is coming and I can't wait!

I hope you have a wonderful week.


Home Again, Home Again

Jiggety jog, it's good to be home.
I was away from my memory foam mattress 
for way too long.
Three weeks to be exact.

I am still in recovery mode
but I'm doing better.

I returned to find temperatures in the teens.
Brrr!!

I missed the "peak" of the leaves but it is still stunning.
This tree is in my front yard.


 The leaves have just begun to fall.

Where did this year go?
I barely remember the summer.

Some sad news in Wendy's World...
I have entered the beautiful stage of life where I need more than my drugstore reading glasses.
I visited the eye doctor a few weeks ago 
and ordered a pair of glasses.

I was anxious to get them and see if they made a difference.

I am embarrassed to admit that my house is filthy.
I've been living in a fools paradise.

I had no idea.

I spent all day yesterday cleaning my counters 
and dusting everything.
The corners of my floors were awful.

I now understand why senior adults houses are sometimes yucky.
They can't see them!

Maybe impaired vision is God's gift to the elderly?
Just wondering.

Oh well,
I plan to keep these things on my face to adjust to them.
Mark has been wearing glasses since he was a young boy so I will be thankful for all the years I didn't need them.


Two weeks until Thanksgiving!
It's going to be here before you know it.



I have so much to be thankful for.






Random

This is where I grew up.
Palm Springs North in Miami.
I tried to figure out how to add an arrow to show you my exact house but was unsuccessful.
It was a small world.


Just a mile square.
I loved my childhood.
So simple and safe.

The house rule was to be home by dark.
Summers were spent walking these streets.
We found coke bottles to get some change 
to get ourselves an Icee or candy from Paks.

I knew someone on almost every block.
Life seemed so simple.
I guess that's childhood.

We had the Everglades surrounding
most of our community.
We ran through them Glades and never worried
about snakes and alligators and whatever else lurked nearby.
God protected us.

I know this is random but,
I ran across a cute website named Awkward Family Photos.
If you need a smile,
you may want to check it out.
This one just makes me happy.


Go Gramps!

Two Peas In A Pod


It's Tradition

I realize that we just had Halloween and Thanksgiving 
is weeks away.
I see all the "hate comments" that people post on Facebook 
for the shops and commercials that are 
throwing Christmas down our throats.
Every time people make negative posts about it, 
I want to reply that I'm one of "those" people 
who love shopping on Thanksgiving night. 
Why can't people just love me for who I am!!

I guess Facebook is a tool for everyone to air out their opinions.
Yada, yada.

All that to say that I have already decorated 
Mom's house for Christmas. 
I do it every year for her birthday present.
Since her birthday is at the beginning of November, 
that is exactly what she gets.
She loves Christmas.
It's genetic because it's my favorite time of the year too.

I always begin with the tree and everything 
seems to fall in line from there.
 I am trying to talk Mom into some 
red and white curtains 
that we saw to pull it all together.

This year, Santa chose this spot next to the tree as his home.
Who's to argue with the big guy.



This is the corner of the living room where the fireplace 
used to dwell. 
I always love to see how it will develop. 
I think we have 5 or 6 trees with lights.
Mom got this caroler set from JC Penneys a few years ago.
The corner turned out to be a winter-wonderland.
For a Floridian, it helps get into the spirit to have some snow, even if it is 85 degrees out the front door.

Here is the chandelier in the dining room.
I start with some green garland and just keep adding 
whatever I think will look right.
 Here is the top of her china cabinet.

I continued with the same ribbon and twigs and poinsettias 
that were used in the other decor.

That's all the pictures that I took.
We do wait until after Thanksgiving to do the outside.:)
We have some respect for ourselves. Ha

I have gotten lazy with carrying my camera when I fly.
I always regret it but the iPhone is so easy.

I will put it on my NY resolutions to be better at it.
Wait!
I don't do resolutions.
I will try and be better.

On a more personal note,
Kristen started her new job yesterday.
I am enjoying finding things to do in San Antonio
while I wait for Mark to show up 
this weekend.


The internet doesn't get installed until tomorrow.
So...
On the corner of her apartment building is a Starbucks.
Thank goodness!
I love being able to catch up with all the blogs I follow.
It's interesting how you care for these people 
who don't know you exist.
Seriously,
I would attend their children's weddings if I got an invite.
You really grow to know and care for them.
I can see my son
holding a big "L" on his forehead right now.
Ha

Anyways,
Happy Fall
or 
Merry Christmas

Whatever!



The Move

Kristen has made the move.
She is now living in San Antonio, Texas.
I don't think any of us really believe it yet.

From Florida to Texas,
do you know what city we travelled through?
I can give you a clue.


Do you know what that is?

Its a beignet from The Café du Monde in New Orleans.

It was slightly off our route but we knew it was necessary.
It's been on my list of things to do for a few years now.
Totally worth the lost hour.

She & I drove out here last week to find her an apartment.
She wanted to try something out of her "norm" so she chose an amazing apartment smack dab 
in the middle of downtown 
San Antonio.

I had never been here but I love it.
It seems like Italy to me.
I've never been there either.
There is a river winding through the town like puzzle pieces.
Just about every road has gorgeous tiled stairs 
running down to the river.
Found along the river are charming shops and restaurants.
Live music, dancing and movies on the walls add to the fun.
Ducks, gondolas with singing tour guides add to the nostalgia.

She chose an apartment above The Majestic.
We are having fun decorating, furnishing and making plans.


 This little sidewalk café is just across from her apartment.

Starbucks is a few doors down.
Shopping is everywhere.

We got up Sunday morning and walked to 
The First Baptist Church of San Antonio.
The church is 150 years old and the structure is beautiful.

It is .6 miles from her apartment.
I was not hopeful with all the searching it took us to find a church home in Kansas.
Never underestimate God!
We both loved it.
The church is on the large side but several people found us 
and invited her to a class.
I tagged along and we both loved it.
The teachers even exchanged phone numbers with me 
in case I ever need them.
I don't foresee that ever happening but what if Kristen doesn't answer her phone late one night?
My mind wanders and then it turns into worry.
I feel better having someones number.
That was a huge blessing to this mothers heart.

Mark doesn't arrive with the Penske truck until this weekend.
We are so excited to get the rest of her belongings and make it her comfy little home.

This is the 3rd year in a row that a move has taken place 
in my family.
I moved the last two Fall's and now it's Kristen's turn.
Can't wait to see who moves next Fall.

I will share more updates on this new exciting chapter 
in Kristen's life.

Happy Birthday Mom


Today is The Day!
My most wonderful mother is what today is all about.
Happy Birthday beautiful Mom!
Oh how I love you.

 Here's a sweet shot with Mom & Kristen. 

We celebrated at The Outback CrabShack in Florida last week.
It was one of those not over planned parties 
that turned out perfect.

I should have taken more pictures but it was relaxing 
and the food was over-the-top.




If your thing is crab legs, shrimp, fish, clams, oysters, conch, 
etc, then you may need to take a road trip.
It is so worth it.
When I googled the menu to write this blog,
I found that we also received fried gator.
I'm baffled!
Oh well, it was all yummy. 
Wonder if I ate any. 
Oh if you could see my face right now. 

I hope you are having a perfect day.
I love you!