Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review:: Oct, Nov , Dec

This had been a year filled with ups and downs,finding lifelong friends, and leaving some others, prioritizing our time, reevaluating what is important and what should be swept out the door. It has been an emotional house cleaning for both E and I this this year for a variety of reasons. We have gained two of the most amazing young men into our lives and we have lost the last of our parents each. Life goes on...but in our terms. We have only the time left that God has granted us and we want to live that time to the max and to spend as much of it as we can with our boys, our family, us!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Year in Review: AUG and SEPT

First of all, have a safe and happy New Year's Eve. We are meeting friends for cocktails and appetizers late afternoon and then will come home to one of E's delectable suppers. And the temps here are amazing...this is how Florida is suppose to be in the Winter...balmy 70s. Jo and Bill safe journey from St. Louis to your winter home here and can't wait to see you both.

August was a fairly uneventful month for us. We met friends for dinner a couple of times and went with Justin, Suzie and Buddy to see the magnificent sails that were in the harbor. If you have not seen the tall sails, they are a wonder and the crew is not half bad

September was pretty much taken up getting ready for our trip with Jo and Bill and the slightly more than two weeks we were either in Barcelona or on the cruise. We celebrated E's 65th. birthday in Turkey and I loved seeing him in a tux for the first time. By the time we got home, it seemed our grand babies had grown by inches.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year in Review: JULY

July was a busy busy month for us

We celebrated the 4th. of July here at home with Chris, Kristen and the boys. Rob and his housemate had us all over for a cook out soon after.
We spent two lovely weeks at the beach at our time share and enjoyed the company of our St. Louis friends as always. Those of us pictured taught together for years and we only get to see these wonderful people once or twice a year. I no sooner got home from the beach, than E was dropping me off at the airport bound for Pam'. The girls showed me a fun time in Milwaukee before we left the next day for Chicago and CHA (craft and hobby association convention). The group of women are the owner and members of the design team that were able to get to Chicago to attend. Love these fun, warm, multi talented women! As I left Pam's to head home, I learned my father had passed away from cancer. I headed to St. Louis as soon as I was able. While a sad occasion, my father lived a long life and will be remembered by all 5 of his children.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year in Review: JUNE, the most glorious month of the year!

As if June was not already a celebratory month for us, our 15th. anniversary on June 1, the kids on June 6th. and my 63rd. birthday on the 9th., but Kristen and Chris gave me a belated birthday present (ok, two of them) on June 10th. And Jo came to town so we could finalize our side trips for the cruise. While she was here, Janet and her granddaughter, the lovely Miss Cynthia, met Jo and I at the Pier in St. Pete where we lunched at the Columbia, one of my favorite restaurants. E and I fell in love with Tarpon Springs Sunday Market and would bike into Tulah's on the Trail for breakfast first. And then there was the hotter than Hades, Parrot Days in Old Palm Harbor where we met up with Becky D and Bob. We found a lovely spot beneath a fan and under the oaks where we could listen to the singer without wilting.

But most of our June was spent just looking at the wonder that was Landon and Colvin.

Year in Review: MAY

First, how could I have forgotten St. Pat's in Dunedin which of course was not in May.

May was jam packed for us with Mother's Day, the baby shower Kristen's co workers threw for her and one that two of her good friends threw. There was dinner club at Susie and Justin's , Book Club, drinks and dinner with Becky and Bob and other friends at Dimitiri's on the Water down on the Sponge Docks, a lovely Chari-tea with Becky D. to raise funds for her beloved day care center, the Project 365 Girls' Weekend here at our house and the road trip with the Crew to She Scraps in the Villages. a

E and I re instituted our morning bike rides and started to get very excited about our cruise with Bill and Jo.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

APRIL showers bring May flowers

April brought new opportunities and visits from good friends and sadly, the passing of E's beloved Mother. With the encouragement of Becky D., I entered my first 5K...not a run but a walk and she and I had the best time together and her friends are a delight! I tucked my shirt into my jeans for the first time in eons (down a total of 30 lbs , thank you WWJ), my friend from Vermont, Gail, came into town and I inducted her into the Mad Hatters Society!
And then Pam came for a lovely visit and we went to stay with Janet on Anna we are on the beach.

And Little Mama to be has entered her 7th. month.

Add in Book Club, crops with the Crew, dinner out with friends and cocktails at Miss Vickies and you have April in a nutshell

Year in Review: MARCH

March was filled with lots of activities with gal pals, dinner club, book club and more. E and I made it to the Fine Arts Festival just before the rains came. Becky and Ginni were to come for a cropping weekend at my house, but poor Ginni got sick. Becky and I carried on valiantly without her but she was missed. Janet came into town for a visit and she and I met up with Jackie to crop and then out to lunch at what has become The Crew's favorite fair weather place to eat lunch, Jack Willie's Tiki bar and grill in Oldsmar. Our pal, Cathy, met Diane, Jackie, Jean and I there one day for lunch too. March was my sister and my son in law, Chris' birthday along with our dear friend, Kim S.

Monday, December 27, 2010

FEB (hearts and flowers and Mardi Gras) 2010

Feb was a wonderful month. Not only did we have Chuck and Linda come for a lovely visit (and we loved Cedar Key), but Valentines with my honey, Stamp fest with Janet and (flat) Clare, Jackie, Jean and a bunch of my gal pals from the lss, but we also had Mardi Gras in Dunedin with Susie and Justin, Bob and Becky and meeting up with Rob and his gal pals as well. I did volunteer work with Kristen at her school: gotta love those little second graders. Book Club was at our house, and met Janet and her daughter, Becca Who, at Whims for a class with our pal, Debbie. Had lunch with the gals I scrap with a couple of times. Jackie has introduced me to a couple of fine dining experiences. Marathon Grill on Nebraska is a delight. And so much more.

2010: That was the year that was JANUARY

E and I both keep a monthly calendar that we select the preceding December. This last year, my calendar was of the Greek Isles and E's had pictures of the Med. On his, he records our doctor apt.s, dentist,birthdays etc. and on mine I record crops and due dates on assignments and such things as Book Club and Dinner Club. This year both of our calendars were filled with a lot of everything.

It has been such a great year for the two of us and for our family that, while we had our share of ups and downs, such as the death of E's mom and of my dad, my sister's battle with lung cancer and some disappointments that are usual in life along with a couple of personal health scares, we had exceptionally more positive things happen to us than negative and that is what we choose to focus on in our lives.

January started off with a bang. Jo and Bill, our St. Louis pals, were in town and during the coarse of their visit, we all decided to cruise the Med sometime in the fall of 2010. E and I had been saving for about 7 mo. for a way to celebrate our anniversary and E's 65th. birthday and this cruise, thanks to Jo and all her wonderful planning, was perfect.

Jo and I did a lot of touristy things while she was in town for the month. One of the first got our picture in the St. Pete Times when we were in a picture of the Greek Orthodox blessing of the fleet here on the Sponge Docks. She and I, Bill and E all went to the Epiphany Celebration at Spring Bayou too and then out to lunch. I love seeing our town through someone else's eyes.

While Jo was in town, I wanted to introduce her to my friend, Janet, who spends part of the year at her lovely home with her husband Bob, on Anna Maria Island. Jo and I drove to Anna Maria for the day, visited and, just as I thought, my two good friends had such fun with each other.

Kristen showed us some of the very early shots of our grandsons and I took the opportunity to scrap them: happy early Valentines Day to us.

There was Book Club and a get together at Gloria's and the Child Rescue crop with Diane, Jean, Jackie and Nat! What fun we had.

And Ginni came south to Tarpon and she, Becky and I cropped the weekend away with a visit from Dee at Ruban Posh Scraps.

and very soon, Jo and Bill will be back for two months this winter, Clare, Pam, Janet and I have a madcap adventure planned and each day this past year has been a blessing.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Part II

We had such fun last night watching the kids (all 5 of them) open their gifts. I think everyone got things they really wanted. As I said, in the case of the twins it was all the paper they could stuff into their mouths when we were not

E and I tucked ourselves in after eleven last night and, of course, were up bright and early this morning. We have always had the kids over the next day for either breakfast, a large lunch or both but Kristen has asked that Christmas morning be at her house so the boys can have Santa come to their be it and perfect for us. But, as I told E, I think next year, we will save the stockings for Christmas morning at Kristens instead of emptying them on Christmas Eve like we did this year.

Poor Chris had to work today and none of us wanted Kristen and the boys to not have their Christmas morning as she wanted. We all converged on Kristen's home around ten and her brunch was lovely. Her dear friend and fellow teacher, Mininah, came over and the boys love their Auntie!

The boys were hugging on their toys that Santa brought to our house for them and wearing their Christmas duds! We played and chatted til both boys went down for their afternoon nap, then Rob went to meet up with some friends and E and I headed home.

It was such a beautiful day here (close to 70)so E suggested we walk to the Sponge Docks. We found the new place was open and had a lovely drink on the top deck of the Veranda. This is the old Louis Pappas place on the corner of Alt. 19 and Dodacanese for those of you locals who read my blog. The view is incredible! The drink prices were quite reasonable and the menu extensive. If we had been more suitably dressed and more hungry, we might have had an early dinner there. But E had surf and turf planned for the two of this evening. I do love this man.

Tomorrow we are setting out early on a quest: we need new bedroom linens and EVERY PLACE is having a sale so off we shall go.

I was a bit sad today thinking about how E and I wait and plan and spend days dressing our house for the holidays. How we play holiday music non stop from Thanksgiving on and how we love to look at the lights of the tree and our window dressings. Then, suddenly before we know it, it is over. The Christmas music no longer plays non stop on the radio and the holiday decorations come down. Then I remembered, this year, Christmas will be lasting longer and longer. Our dear Clare asked if we would still have the house decorated for her visit and, the answer was, of course. So, if into the middle of January, you see a few twinkling Christmas will be us! And a few of us are having a Captiva Christmas this year in January as well. After all, isn't Christmas more the spirit than the time of the year?

And wouldn't it be grand if we could all take those twinkling lights, the Happy Holidays spirit, the 'after you', the wishing everyone the best attitude and keep it all year long?