family · Intentional Living

It all started with a kiss…

It was innocent enough.  My husband leaned over to kiss me goodbye as he headed out to work in the early morning.  I was editing my latest blog and trying to get it posted. So, rather than just focusing of the kiss, he also asked me to reach for his Ipad so he could pack it for our weekly trip to the lake.

The chain of events that happened next were unfortunate and frustrating.

As I leaned over and pulled up on the Ipad, the cord tipped my coffee cup which was sitting on the end table.  Got the kiss, got the Ipad and I got coffee on my laptop keyboard.

In what seemed like slow motion, I tipped my computer upside down and wiped off the little bit of coffee residue on my keypad.  It was just a little bit after all.  But of course, my computer shut down.  When I tried to turn it on, the light flickered and a hopeful sign that all was ok, “attempting recovery”….and then nothing.  A sinking feeling in my stomach.  When was the last time I did a back up to the external drive anyway?   I tried again, nothing.

I quickly made an appointment for that morning to bring my laptop to the Best Buy Geek Squad to see what they would say.  Of course they couldn’t do much there but give me a worst case scenario…”you may have to buy a new computer and we can transfer all your information over….if we can”.  I had to bite my tongue and hold back tears until I got back to the car, where I lost it.  I worked so hard to buy this computer less than nine months ago.  What if my information was gone?

So I did what anyone would do, I Googled it.

Google provided me with some bit of hope.  I took the solicited advise and sprayed air into my keyboard.  Still nothing.   So I took the next bit of advise, put my laptop away and just waited.

The waiting allowed me time to process what had happened instead of reacting to what happened.  It allowed me time to come to terms with the worst case scenario of buying a new laptop and…gulp…if I lost some of my data.   It allowed me to resolve to make another appointment with the Geek Squad on the weekend to do just that. I had come to terms with it all.

Then a funny thing happened.

My husband and I were relaxing on the newly cleaned dock at our lake house, sipping a glass of wine and recapping all the work we had done this spring to get it ready for the summer season. I was feeling pretty content, and then it creeped back into my mind…. If only the coffee hadn’t spilled on my computer.   Maybe it was the wine talking but I was feeling hopeful and said out loud, “wouldn’t it be nice if my computer would turn on and work?”

When we headed back to the house to watch Friday night Dateline, my husband grabbed my laptop and turned it on.  From across the room I saw a light, a light that did not go off.  Hope.  Hope that turned to joy and optimism.  I kept the appointment with the Geek Squad just to be safe, but as I am writing this on my laptop, I would say….all is ok.

I always learn little lessons from these unfortunate events.  How could you not?  You would think the obvious lesson was to not drink coffee and work on your laptop. Actually, though this is great advise, I wasn’t even close to the coffee, it was just a freak accident resulting from a chain of events.  The lesson is more to not do more than one thing at a time.

I should have just focused on that kiss.

And maybe do a backup more frequently.

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family

Mothers and Gifts

I caught a glimpse of a Facebook live post asking for viewers to share what you think you got from your mom in terms of a talent or gift.   It got me thinking about my own mom of course, especially with Mother’s Day tomorrow.  My mom has been gone now for some time, over ten years, after a long and slow decline from early onset Alzheimer’s.

When I was younger (teen years and then early married life), I always thought I had time to work on fostering and building a stronger relationship with her.  Once we had kids, which was in my early to mid 20’s, I thought we could definitely connect over that.  The grandkids, were so important to them but being in the military made it hard to connect often.

However, we made an effort to see each other at least once a year.   We didn’t have facetime, Facebook, or really even a computer back then so we really relied on letters, photos sent through the mail, video tapes recapping six months of events and milestones and phone calls with only the imagination and memories to recall faces.

Even though it’s been a while since mom has been here (over twenty years if you count the years we couldn’t be with her as she declined and lost recollection of faces), I think of her often, if not daily.   You know the old saying that you become your mother when you get older?   Well, I am starting to “see” more of her in me.  I hear her voice in mine, I see her face in some of my pictures of myself, and my hands callused and poked by pins. I definitely feel and think of her when I’m sewing.

My mom used to work at an Arctic Cat factory when we were younger sewing snowmobile suits and jackets.Mom in her Artic Cat sweater I remember taking a tour of her factory when I was younger, seeing all the industrial machines and being pretty impressed.   I’m not sure she really enjoyed it, but it was a job.  Later she would become a CNA at a local nursing home, the same one she would later live in and be cared for by her peers.  While at Arctic Cat,  she would often bring home bags of scraps for us to pull threads out of to get the batting in between the slippery layers to use for quilts and other projects.  We were great recyclers even back then….actually I think that is something that was engrained in me not only from my mom but my grandmother who reused the cardboard concentrated orange juice containers to freeze strawberries from her massive strawberry garden.  Nothing was wasted and everything was reused…even tinfoil.

Sewing at Arctic Cat was a job but sewing at home was not only out of necessity with six girls to clothe, but a talent and outlet for my mom’s creativity.  One that I believe I inherited from her.  img_2807Besides teaching me the sewing basics on her old manual Singer machine  starting with Barbie clothes and eventually graduating to my clothes and even quilts, my mom taught me patience (or at least tried to) especially when I would have to rip out a seam.  She taught me how to lay out patterns to use the least amount of fabric possible. She taught me creativity through her many “homemade” home projects using recycled elements anywhere from the plastic rings that held a six-pack together to empty thread spools (large cone ones I am assuming from Arctic Cat) and a can of spray paint.

So instead of focusing on regrets and how this disease stole our time and what could have been, I want to honor what I actually got from my mom.   I will be forever grateful for the gifts she gave me that I have been able to nurture and build my business.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think how lucky I am to be able to do what I love, working with fabric, helping people with their vision, and continuing the ever important repurposing and reusing which, I believe,  will become even more important.

I wish I could have one more day with my mom to catch up. I think she would be proud not only of me and my family but she would get such a kick out of her great-grandkids. Mom  playing accordian  with Megan and ScottI’m pretty sure she would pull out her accordion and play “Roll Out the Barrel”.

I saw this video and poem by Maggie Mobley dedicated to mothers on the Today Show this week and thought I would share it with you all. I dare you not to be moved.

Her Hands, Mother Poem

Happy Mother’s Day to all mom’s, mom’s-to-be, grandmas (mimi’s, grammys, nannas etc), great-grandmas, step-moms, Godmothers etc.

Denise

 

family · Food · Intentional Living

Traditions

With an early Thanksgiving we gained an extra week to get ready for Christmas.  I don’t know about you but I feel a little calmer and more prepared for Christmas than in years prior.  As I start to plan for our family get together I find myself reflecting a bit more on our family traditions and also reevaluating them.  Are they necessary or important? If I didn’t do something would anyone even miss it? Would I?

I started by asking my husband about his Christmas traditions growing up in rural Minnesota in a big family of ten.  

 The ones that stood out in his mind, were the opening of gifts on Christmas Eve, a big breakfast at their house after Midnight Mass with friends and family and the town priest often attending. His mom always made a duck and ham.

They would get homemade flannel pajamas from his grandma when he was younger, and of course a “taste” of Mogen David wine for all the kids.  They felt pretty special.

My traditions also centered around family gatherings.  We would go to bed early on Christmas Eve and then wake up to get ready to go to Midnight Mass.

We always opened gifts in the morning and then would pile in the car, all eight of us, and drive to my grandparents house about an hour away to spend the day with my aunts, uncles and lots of cousins.   We would have a big turkey “dinner” around noon complete with apple and pumpkin pie.   After my sisters and I did the mounds of dishes by hand, my grandpa would usually set up his reel-to-reel to show home movies. 

Grandma would pass out little glasses of ice cold apple cider and homemade caramel popcorn.  After, the kids would either play games, go outside to play in the snow or sit around and chat with each other. We then had the great Minnesota  potluck hamburger hot dish “supper” with potato chips, beans, homemade buns, ham, Jell-O and pickles.

I then asked my kids what traditions were important to them.  I was curious if my value on traditions had translated to them.  I found it pretty interesting.  Some things that I thought were definite musts weren’t even mentioned. Those that made the list were spritz cookies, chocolate covered cherries, going to a movie on Christmas day, new pajamas on Christmas Eve and handing out gifts with the Santa hat.  Why is it we do traditions anyway?

Traditions bring a sense of comfort and connection to the past.  For me it is a way to pay homage in a way to my upbringing in a large family where the value wasn’t on gift giving but rather on family and spending time together.  It was/is a way to remember my mom and dad.  We only had one TV with three channels, board games, cards and the great outdoors with lots of snow. 1966 normal year of snow in MinnesotaThere was no internet, no cell phones, no computers or distractions.   Simpler times.  The traditions were often developed and evolved over the things we did to pass the time and out of necessity.  They stuck and became tradition as a way to celebrate our heritage, our faith, our family. 

Traditions help us to “go back” and regroup or recharge.  They are an already planned event or food where  you don’t have to think about what to do, it is just something you do.  It helps us to pause and try to put the brakes on our hurried lives.

They evoke emotions.   Ask “Alexa” to put on Celine Dion’s “These are Special Times” or the Carpenter’s Christmas CD and I am instantly in the holiday mood and ready to bake or decorate.  Traditions can be songs we listen to, movies we watch, games we play, places we visit, or things we do.  My annual Christmas letter and photo has become a tradition I personally love, though some would argue against them.  It has taken different formats over the years as we moved into the computer and digital age (yes, I used to handwrite them back in the dark ages) but I find it a wonderful way to document the year that was, the good and the bad.   A journal of sorts.  This year I want to put them all in a book with our annual Christmas photos.

Is it a lot of work?  Sometimes.  Is it worth it?  That depends.  Does it bring you joy?  Does it bring others joy? If the answer to these is no, than probably not.   I think it is important to re-evaluate from time to time the traditions you have because they sometimes just aren’t practical at some point. Of course times are different.  When we were younger all of our families were close geographically.  Now we live in three states, thankfully on the same coast and still within a short days drive. But once the kids get married, have the in-laws to consider and then grandkids come along, things can get complicated.

The traditions that were once near and dear to our heart become obsolete and impossible to hold on to…just a memory.  One tradition we incorporated for several years as our kids became teenagers and young adults was to go to a movie on Christmas Day.

Though we would still love to do this, with four very young grandkids, it would be a bit challenging.  Kids grow, families grow and change and grandkids come along all giving the opportunity for a tradition adjustment.

This year will be our first Christmas Eve alone in 33 years.  I’m not sure I want to make a tradition out of that so for now I think I will do what makes me happy but in moderation.   I will make the spritz cookies for my daughters, caramel rolls (ode to mom), Italian food for our family gathering,  maybe show some of my home movies I recently converted to DVD’s or at least as much as the kids will tolerate (ode to grandpa).

I will have apple cider and caramel popcorn on hand (ode to grandma), play the game TROUBLE with my granddaughter (a game I played endlessly when younger).  Someone will wear the Santa hat to pass out the gifts.

We will still open one gift at a time to anticipate and appreciate. Traditions come and go and evolve, is what I have decided, but the important thing is that family is together to celebrate, no matter what the day. It is then that we repeat favorite foods and activities that in time will become new traditions for a new generation.

                                                             Merry Christmas!  signature.jpg

family · Slipcovers

Grown-up Rocker

Your baby is all grown up or at least out of the cuddling and rocking phase.   You’ve had  the sweet pink (or blue) upholstered swivel rocker that gently glided your little one to sleep for a few years.  It screams baby’s room but maybe it is now whispering “guest room”.IMG_3197

This rocker is a solid, well-built piece of furniture with probably a lot of sweet memories attached to it.  Wouldn’t it be nice to save that piece of furniture to keep and pass down for someone you love someday? By repurposing it to another room and with a new slipcover you can completely reinvent the rocker into a functional yet comfortable side chair for a guest room.  Jen moved her pink chair to a basement guest room with modern gray and navy theme.

We chose a denim-like 100% cotton geometric printed fabric from Hobby Lobby in the Property Brother’s line and outlined it in a gray linen piping.  I prewashed it to remove any shrink, just in case it ever needed to be washed.

A while back I recovered another glider similar to this for my daughter in a white bull denim cotton to put in the nursery for their newest arrival.  Here it is in the new room, new house, with my new granddaughter, Charlotte Anne.   Happy gliding!img_6065

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family · Intentional Living

Living Intentionally

It’s that time of year where I become very nostalgic and introspective. 

As much as I am sad that time seems to be flying by and the holidays go by just as quick, I always get a little giddy and anxious for the beginning of a new year.   For me it is a time of reflection and renewal.

2018 first sunrise
First Sunrise of 2018 and promise of a fresh start to each day!

A time to pause and take count and regroup.  A count of my blessing and accomplishments from the past year (count of the pounds I didn’t loose from my last resolution).   It’s a time to wipe the slate clean and start over with new goals and ambitions.   I have another 365 days to “get it right”.  A whole year to accomplish my long list of projects to start or complete, to be a better person, to get healthy, to live intentionally. 

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Allow time to rest and recharge

What exactly is intentional living?  It is knowing why you do what you do or don’t do what you don’t do.  It’s about taking the time to evaluate what you are doing, taking advise and example from others and take from it what works for you so you can make an informed decisions.  It’s about doing things that are important to me no matter how difficult it may be and intentionally not doing things that serve no greater purpose.

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My husband and I have a tradition on New Years Day to get together and reflect on five areas of our life:  Relationships (couple, family, friends), finances, personal growth and faith, health and projects.  My list is long as usual, but I am refreshed and energized by the possibilities the new year has to offer; our first trip to Hawaii, my youngest graduation from college, the arrival of our 3rd grandchild, a mini Minnesota family reunion in July and all the wonderful unknowns that have yet to unfold.  I love planning for the things that I know are coming but am equally excited to look back on December 31st to see what surprises this new year would have brought.IMG_0008 light

 Wishing you a beautiful new year filled with promise, excitement and wonder.  Happy New Year from my family to yours!

Denise

 

Crafty Things · Decorating · family · Organization · Slipcovers

A Thankful Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to Me!

When I finally took the leap and “hung my shingle” a little over a year ago, I had no idea where this business would take me, but I felt strongly about doing something that used my skills that was also a creative outlet, allowed me the flexibility to work around my husband’s schedule, our lake trips,  family commitments and grammy time. This endeavor has been that and so much more.  As a bit of reflection, here is a recap of all the projects completed since I started just over a year (whew….I’ve been busy).

“Fresh Look” features a drop cloth slipcover for my dining room table benches.  With the move, they split up, one going to the foot of a bed and one in a mudroom.  After a year of reconciling, they are back together at the same table but in my basement (I move things around a lot).

“The Chair with a Purpose” was another drop cloth slipcover to prepare a comfortable chair to welcome my new grandson, Ben.  He is now 18 months old!  This slipcover washes up beautifully and with two little ones, that’s a necessity.

“New Look for a New Home”  took a chair that was perfect for one home but didn’t fit into the color scheme of our new lake house.  It is my absolute favorite chair in which I sip my first cup of coffee in the morning or can curl up on the later to take a nap.  It ‘s not unusual to see evidence of wine or ice cream indulgences, but it is easily  washed away.

 “Red & Blue” featured my two side chairs that got a new look for their new home and my red side window panels.  They since have moved from the upstairs kitchen to the basement.  We sold the pool table and now have a wonderful big space to play Mexican Train, cards, and other games.  This year I plan to have a big family dinner at the table in the basement in front of the fireplace which is getting a makeover (look for blog on this in 2018).

“Inspiration” & “Room Transformation”  took two pieces of furniture in two different colors and with the help of slipcovers blended them together so they could conform to their new home in a new color scheme.  This room is in the process of another transformation which should be done next year.

“Cottage Chair Facelift” turned a classic wingback into a casual and versatile side chair and used a large piece of drop cloth my client already had.  I just love being able to repurpose things!

“Coral Cuteness” highlights twin chairs that were in desperate need of an update in a fun color. The fabric was old and fraying but nothing a slipcover couldn’t hide. You wouldn’t believe they are the same chair.

“Unusual Useful Upscale” isn’t your usual slipcover.  This cool old mail cart can be used for laundry or  on a dock.  Wouldn’t it be cute to see it filled with  colorful Christmas presents?

My Home Projects are featured throughout the year focusing on the projects I completed in moving into our new lake home.  January Home Projects featured drop cloth curtains in a sunny guest bedroom, a pool table cover repurposing inexpensive red and black checked tablecloth, a nautical cover for a parson chair, and a nautical inspired bed skirt.  February Home Projects found me making a teepee for granddaughter to play in, a pillow bed, simple café curtains for our master bedroom,  and window toppers for our master bedroom.  March Home Projects included a couple of Disney dresses for Addy, a cow print faux fur rocker cushion, and a couple of pillows.  Bathroom Rejuvenation  showcases a small update on my basement master bathroom featuring a black vinyl cushion covered in a cozy slipcover.

 

“A Sunny Little Chair” was a fun and springy slipper chair that brought the sun and warmth right when it was needed the most in the middle of winter and features a flirty skirt and cute back button closure.

“Shades of Gray” turned a Florida set with light green fern fabric into a Virginia family set that can withstand kids and dogs in a trendy and versatile gray with blue accents.

“From Drab to Fab” was just that!  All I can say is wow. These two Arhaus chairs now say “look at me!”

Cushions by numbers.   I made 22 cushions in a teal Sunbrella for Mary,  2 bright green swing cushions for Pam’s lake porch,  16 cushions for a poolside seating area, 13 cushions for Jessica who brought me her cushions from Pennsylvania, 4 cushion sets for a cute iron patio set, and not to mention 16 cushions and pillows for my lake house.  All in all I made  77 cushions this year. 

“Ben’s Big Boy Chair” was my attempt at slipcovering a personalized Pottery Barn chair for Ben’s first birthday.  He still loves it and it still looks great.

“Graduation”  took a comfortable but worn chair and ottoman and totally brightened it up with a creamy colored bull denim blend.  It washed up beautiful and was ready in a few days just in time for my client’s daughter high school graduation party.

“White after Labor Day” allowed my client to turn two random pieces into a she-shed beauty complete with all the fluff and frills using a white Bull Denim.

“Tickled Pink”  took two twin chairs that had been loved and half painted and gave them new life.  The little bit of pink was just enough to give the chairs some personality and is a perfect accent color for this trendy client.

“Wings and the Test of Time” showcases a dual-fabric slipcover for a treasured wingback. Looking forward to trying out some other ideas such as chenille or an old quilt.

“Bonus Chair in Boucle” features two club chairsIMG_4415 I got for a steal to put in my new workspace at the lake house.  It should be done by the holidays! I can’t wait to get my hands of the space to decorate. Club chairs are easy to slipcover and so I see seasonal slips in the future….this time something a little more wild. I see a future blog early 2018.

“California Chair in Coral”  was my most recent project.  I can’t say how much I love the difference this slipcover made.  It made a California inspired chair into a Virginia sunny basement chair.

Thank you for allowing me to work on your pieces and welcoming me into your world through my blog.  I hope that I have either inspired you to try something new, go after your passion, and maybe look at an old loved piece through different lense before giving up on it.  Let me know how I can help. I am taking projects for next year!  What will we create in 2-0-1-8?

With a grateful heart, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Creative Things · family · Sewing · Slipcovers

Ben’s Big Boy Chair

When you think of slipcovers, you typically think of a wingback, club chair, parson chair, side chair, benches, the list goes on.   But let’s think outside the box for just a moment.

My grandson was about to turn one and I received an idea for a birthday gift for him. 

Original Chair: Before
Before: pink girls chair

His sister, Addy, had a Pottery Barn chair with her name appliqued on the back of it and my daughter thought it would nice for him to have his own chair.  But those chairs are expensive new, so I thought, what if I found a used one and redid it? It would be more personal to me, a challenge for something new to try, and the thought of making something handmade for him was appealing.  I found one for $25 on a local yard sale facebook page.   It was pink and had the name “Aberly” appliqued on the back but it had good bones (hee hee, foam inside). 

And so I began the deconstruction and transformation from a little girl’s pink  “Aberly” chair to a blue denim boy’s “Ben” chair with bright green trim.  I cut out the letters for his name out of fabric with little trucks and appliqued it to the inside back of the chair.

I trimmed the chair in a bright green piping, incorporated a back storage pocket and a coordinating handle for easy carrying.  A zipper on three sides of the bottom on the chair reveals the foam blocks tucked into their designated spaces and kept in place  by Velcro panels. The fabric was prewashed and would be easy to remove and put back together.

This was such a fun project to deconstruct and figure out and it gave me such joy to be able to give him something especially made for him. 

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Decorating · family · Sewing · Slipcovers

Graduation

Terre  was on a mission to pull together her living room for her daughter’s high school graduation and the faded striped chair and fraying ottoman either had to go or get a redo. The Pennsylvania House chair was in good shape except for the faded fabric and dated red stripe that didn’t go with her new neutral and relaxed room. 

The ottoman on the other hand was questionable.  She wasn’t sure it was salvageable and neither was I.  The top fabric had worn so thin that it had frayed.  With my newly acquired samples from Big Duck in hand, we found the perfect shade of fabric. fabric swatches Unfortunately, they wouldn’t have the yardage she needed until after the graduation so she picked a second choice, a Bull Denim Cotton Poly Blend in Sand.  It washed up beautifully with very little wrinkles.   Although it was preshrunk, I was advised by the fabric company to wash it again as there still might be up to 3% shrinkage left. I didn’t want to take any chances as she definitely wanted to be able to wash the slipcovers.   

With just four days until the festivities there wasn’t any time to waste.  I went to work first on the chair. Following the lines of the chair, the fabric covered the red perfectly and felt so soft to the touch.  We kept it simple with cording on the bottom to show off the wood legs.  It would be a great chair to snuggle up on, put your feet up on the ottoman and read a book….or take a nap.

The ottoman took a bit of research and thinking.  I mended what I could, pressed on a fusible interfacing and finally made a muslin wrap to pull the ottoman all together, hiding the top fix and giving it a clean start before making the slipcover.

  Once I took the time to fix the ottoman, the construction of the cover was pretty straight forward.  Again, we kept it simple with a corded bottom to match the chair.  The cover fits like a glove and the new ensemble really brightens up that corner of the room, pulling it all together.  And the best thing is, it’s washable!  I’d say this chair and ottoman graduated with honors.

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Decorating · family

Memorial Day

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer with many of us having an “extra day off” from work.  You may have celebrated by grilling and hitting the beach or lake as I did with extended family this weekend at the lake.

Or you may have had a quiet rainy weekend watching movies, reading, or catching up on projects.  But I couldn’t let this day go by without acknowledging the service of all the military on this Memorial Day especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.   Being the wife of a Marine for over 22 years (now retired) and having many friends and family who have also served, I’ve experienced first-hand the sacrifice and challenges both the service members and family members go every day.  We can’t say thank them enough.

And since it is Memorial Day, I thought I would bring attention to a national memorial you might IMG_0380not be aware of and that is practically in my back yard.  Just a short drive from Smith Mountain Lake and located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bedford, VA is the incredibly poignant National D-Day Memorial.  Why Bedford and not Washington DC?  Because Bedford suffered the greatest loss per capita during the D-Day invasion and was chosen to symbolize the loss all communities, large and small, realized on that day.  Located on 88 acres, you can  walk the grounds on your own but I highly recommend go on a guided tour to capture the true magnitude of the events on that day.  It’s hard to describe the beauty and symbolism of the many pieces to this memorial, you just have to see it and do the tour.   If you are ever in the area….make the time. You won’t be disappointed.

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                                                               Happy Memorial Day!

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family

April Showers and Trey

Living up to its name, April was a very rainy month…actually torrential!  We did a lot of spring yard work and a few house projects but nothing that can’t wait until next month to talk about. Instead I want to talk about Trey.TE

Trey is my fifteen year old nephew.  Trey will always be my fifteen year old nephew as he lost his battle with leukemia after a valiant eleven month fight.  In witnessing his incredible determination and positive attitude, and the unwavering love and support of his family and  friends, you can’t help but look at life a little differently.  Following are some themes that resonated with me and I think worth mentioning.

Family     Don’t pass an opportunity to spend time with family or to tell and show them how you feel.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Reach out to someone who may need a hug or even a smile.  Call and actually talk to family members or write a letter instead of a text.   Be the spark that starts the fire when it comes to love and good instead of negativity and fights.IMG_1224

Time    Is there something you’ve been wanting to do?  Why wait?  I’ve learned that no one is immune to sickness and loss.  It can happen to anyone at anytime.  No one is promised tomorrow or next year so if there is something you feel compelled to do….why not do it or make plans to.  Live your life fearlessly and with purpose. Start a “Wish List” or “Life List” of things you have always wanted to do and see….and start doing them.

Forgiveness     Let go of what happened in the past and don’t let it affect/infect your future.   So much time and energy is wasted on holding onto grudges that keeps you stuck in the past.  Learn from it and then let it go, forgive and move on.  A weight will be lifted for you and allow you to live your life more fully and purposefully.

Faith       The older I get the more I appreciate my faith and lean on it to get me through these seemingly senseless losses.  My faith gives me the hope of seeing my loved ones again in heaven and I am comforted by the fact that they are happy and watching over us.

Get Involved     When we attended the Rainbow of Heroes Walk for bone marrow transplant the day after Trey’s funeral, it was never more evident how important marrow or organ donations are.   To see the amount of people who are touched by this selfless act and how much they depend on it for survival and hope is amazing.  If you can…help.   http://join.bethematch.org/swab

As for me, I will try to live my life with purpose and will always keep Trey as my guiding beacon to keep me on track.

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