Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

We've all heard the saying...
"anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad"
Then I'm the winner here...
because my dad is special...
a very special dad.

And today is his birthday.  
81 years...
81 years that he has graced the earth,
and the lives of everyone who are blessed enough to know him.

He is one of those people who listens more than he talks...
really listens.
And people have always loved that about him.
Because most of us can't wait to have our say...
but not my dad...
and do you know what that does?
It makes you really pay attention when he quietly speaks...
because he has listened and has something to say...
something worth listening to.

He spent his birthday golfing, going to dinner with my mom and
going for a bike ride.
He plays shuffleboard...
and he's really good! (4th place this week in his tournament)
 He's a handyman...
can fix anything.
He can repair and even make golf clubs...
 He should have been an inventor with all of the things he has created.
He has a green thumb that would put most people to shame...
and was "green" before anyone knew what it was...
collecting his own rainwater to water his flowers, fertilizing with coffee grounds...
 He can put together ANY puzzle...
more than I can say! 

He woke early to work and provide for us...
I feel like he was up by 3 or 4 a.m but I'm not sure.
Then he came home to drive this ungrateful girl to piano lessons.
He even took us camping every year.
And did I mention what a wonderful Grandpa he is? 

It’s not the norm anymore
to have a dad who’s there,
REALLY there.

But I had that.

My dad was the provider for his family,
came home every night,
and his predictability
gave us a sense of stability and security.
I could always depend on him
to be responsible, trustworthy,
and a great role model.

I learned a lot of good things
from watching him.
Like how to listen...and then speak.
(when I remember to do it this way) 
to raise my children in a loving home,
to know God.

My dad is one of those dads other people wish they had...but he's mine:)
Happy Birthday Dad...
I love you! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shabby Chicks...How did I come up with that?

Wish I knew!
Hahaha...this is where the flaky, ADD part of me is VERY apparent!
Cheryl at Zany-Mayd is having a vintage goodie giveaway and she wants to know,
 so I'll try to explain the unexplainable:)

Okay...Shabby Chicks...
there are 3 chicks in this house...
my 2 girls and me.
We LOVE everything shabby and chic...
which is where shabby chicks got it's name.
Simple, right?
I get bored...easily!
I know what they say...never ever change your blog name.
You'll lose friends and followers...
people won't know how to find you.
I've kept the address BUT...
I've changed the name...more than once!

And if I had my way, I'd change it again...and AGAIN!
Change is good, right?

SO we started with Shabby Chicks.
Then I changed it to the
Shabby Tiara.
I don't know how the heck I came up with that, except we kept the shabbiness and added something I love...crowns.
But "Shabby Crowns" didn't sound good so I named it Shabby Tiara.
 That lasted about a year...or so.
Then, after I was diagnosed with MS I changed it to "Fairytales and Grace".
Fairytales~because I have stuff on my blog about fairytales...quotes, photos...
and I always told my girls that while fairytales like those in books may not exist, 
their own real life fairytales COULD come true. 
Don't argue with me on this one, PLEASE:)
Grace~because if it weren't for the Grace of God, 
we'd all be in trouble, to put it simply.
 And without His Grace, 
I would never be able to deal with the MS thing.
But you have to know, I was on steroids when I made this change
so I didn't totally think it through.
Same with my other blog's name
"Confessions of a Cool Mom" (tongue in cheek here:)
 I mean, I started writing two books at that time too...
ask me how far I got with THOSE! lol

Then there was the time I wanted it to be something with Mermaids in the title.
 My old email was named Pink Mermaids...named BY my girls and also FOR my girls.
 But then I found out about the MS and went in another direction.

I also once changed it to Sugar Beach Cottage.
I have NO IDEA why or where it came from...
but it sounded like a place I would like to visit someday.
(See...told you I was FLAKY:) 

And now we're back at Shabby Chicks...for the moment.
Notice I didn't make an announcement of this
or ask you to change my name back to this on your blog...
because I'm dying to change it yet again.
As I said, I keep the address the same so I guess I can be found
if anyone wants to badly enough:)
And Jan. 1st IS right around the corner...
new year, new blog name?
Maybe not for most people BUT...
stay tuned!
And check out the other stories at Cheryl's place. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thoughtful Gifts, Thoughtful Christmas...

..and none of it came from the mall!
Here it is, the day after Christmas...
are we still merry & bright?
I wouldn't say we're merry & bright...
more like lazy and stuffed!
But merry all the same:)
Since I was so out of touch this Holiday season,
I thought I would share a few of my favorites...
from decorations to treats...
and a few THOUGHTFUL gifts.
let's go...
First of all, my white tree simply glows in the house.
 I encourage anyone thinking of a change to go for it.
I can't imagine ever getting tired of this beauty:)
P.S...I took a photo with the lights off and one with them on.  
For some reason, the lights make it look pink in photos.

Another favorite is my jeweled crown tree topper. a family treasure!

Christmas packages have been delivered to the neighbors...
filled with these yummy treats...
 ...chocolate covered oreos with sprinkles!

The CHEAPEST and possibly the CUTEST decoration at our house might be these 4 CUTE GUYS...

  Now for the special gifts and special moments...

Sitting around the table reminiscing...
 Spending time with grandparents...

  sisters Christmas sleepover...
 tuckered puppies...

Special gifts...
The Shabby Chicks blog made into a book for my Mom...

Gifts from my husband and girls...

 From Taylor...
a red double decker bus ornament from London, and a beautiful heart bracelet
that reads "Think of me when you wear this".  
I will!
From Jordie, a custom made necklace she had made from a seller on etsy (cool, huh?) that reads "I love you to the moon & back" and a custom made iphone case with photos from Europe.
Both girls spoiled me with other goodies too...generous girls AND thoughtful!
From Phil...
he took all of my video cassettes from when my girls were little,
that I never had transferred to a video...
and had them put on Dvd's.
You can't read the label but this disc has clips from:
Taylor's ballet recital, Taylor swimming, Hula Party, At the beach, July 4th bike parade, Jordan's first day of Kindergarten, Christmas, dancing poolside and a new white puppy.
I'll be like Chevy Chase in Christmas vacation, watching, smiling and sobbing:)
 From me to Phil...
photo books from our European adventure...

 a special family time that we will never forget.
As my mom said, we "wouldn't sell them for a million bucks"!:)
I am so proud of my girls.
They are so thoughtful and creative with their gift giving.
They embraced the best of the Holidays all while keeping the true reason in their hearts.

My husband, who will never be accused of being a Christmas Elf,
warmed up and actually spread a bit of Christmas joy...thank you!
It was such a blessing to spend the Holidays with my parents.
Having lived so far away from all family for their whole lives, 
these are truly "special times" for my girls, spent with Grandma and Grandpa!

Hope your Christmas time was warm and wonderful,
full of love, laughter and special memories!

While my tree and Nutcracker buddies will hang around awhile, 
after this post I am starting to think about the New Year.
One thing I am thinking about is my blog...
what it should be, what I want out of it, how to be a better blog friend.
Thank you to all of the wonderful people who spent any time whatsoever at my place!
I hope you enjoy the rest of 2010 and are looking forward to 2011!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So This is Christmas...

"...And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear"
from Happy Christmas by John Lennon
my favorite time of the year.
Now if only I could step back in time to a little village like this one... new favorite Christmas decoration...
I might keep it up all year!

But this Christmas...
maybe a bit different.

Oh, I still love it...
and always will.
The lights, decorations,

excited children, gift wrapping, baking
people digging into their pocket to drop change in the little red bucket,
Christmas movies,
the Nutcracker...ESPECIALLY the Nutcracker:)
churches all decorated with lights, poinsettias...
and mangers.
The Christmas message...
But I'm just a bit melancholy...
It seems so many friends are hurting right now,
and that makes me sad.
To them I say,
if I could make it all better, I would.
All we can do is pray...
and know that there IS hope...
and be there the best we can...
with a smile and a hug,
because those come easy and are free.
So please remember the people in your path whose lives
are crumbling and a tiny bit hopeless.
Maybe they need just a little bit more merry and grace right now.
It doesn't mean we can't laugh and be full of cheer...
 It is a time to be HAPPY...
to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Along the way, enjoy these special days that come once a year...
with a laugh, a smile, a hug, a kind word...
 and a few cookies thrown in for good measure.
Don't worry if your baking doesn't quite turn out like this...
It isn't the "perfect" time of the year...
It's the most "WONDERFUL" time of the year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowflakes in Florida...

...and a Snow Queen too!

 Tonight's Nutcracker was AMAZING...and my Snow Queen Taylor was perfect!!! This is a pic of her in her costume, before it was embellished (love that bling) and as she would tell you, her "real crown" is bigger;) Guess I'll have to show you more pics from tonight's show when I get them, right?
Yes, I'm a proud Mum!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Spirit...Do You Have It?

Mine is in a little short supply this year.
Wish it wasn't so...but it is.
Good thing I have a few weeks left.

Which is why I'm so grateful for my very own Christmas girl.
No, not Taylor, my dancing Snow Queen, although she has plenty Christmas spirit too.

I'm talking about my 13 year old Jordie.
Thank goodness for my Christmas Girl!
I thought I should mention this because Miss Taylor has some BIG days ahead and will be the center of attention.

And who is her greatest fan? (after her Mum, of course;)
Yep...little sis, Jordan:)

She does not take ballet yet she cheers Taylor on every step of the way.
She spends countless hours with me waiting on Taylor at class...
And these long days with rehearsals...I would be lost without her!

She loves playing tennis and hanging out with her friends whenever she can, but she is also ready and willing to keep me company.
We know the coziest Starbucks in town, the best sales and the best places to eat. (Cheesecake Factory Tex Mex Rolls...YUM!!!)

While I may not be as festive as usual, she loves it all...lights, decorations, Christmas shopping, carols...everything. She wears her pink Santa hat proudly and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas!

Peace, love and goodwill to all...that's my girl! This may be Taylor's weekend and she does deserve it after all of her hard work, but I love that you wouldn't have it any other way. YOU deserve to be surrounded with peace, love and goodwill too.

Thanks Girlfriend...and I'll work on my own Christmas spirit!

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