Looking back…. looking forward

As I was contemplating what I wanted to write for my blog post today, I was feeling very reflective.
It’s hard to believe that I have been sharing a post every day for the past year and three quarters. 
Today is Post #692 of me rambling on about “cherishing the moments” at “life in between.”  
Since there are A few more of you that visit here today than did on May 18, 2014, I thought I would share my first post again.
I was thinking about what drives me to post every day.  I’d like to think it is simply what I want to say… what I want to share…  
but if I am being really honest…. I have to admit I care about what you want to hear, see, read.   We’ve kind of become friends along the way. 
As I was reading through my first post, I reminisced…..
Jackie, my sweet “almost” daughter, who really encouraged me to start this blog will be having a baby very soon.  We are looking forward to welcoming Baby Ben into our McHendy family.
I still love to bake and cook (though I have never tried french macaroons again).   I have shared many recipes along the way, and it has been fun to hear from many of you that have tried the recipes and enjoyed.

Sharing my home is still one of my greatest joys.   After all, it is the thing I love best about my home – the people I share it with.

My “crafting” phase of late has evolved into watercolor painting (remember my very first ever watercolor – April 4, 2015?!).  So many of you have been so encouraging and supportive.

I am having so much fun with my daughter-in-law, Colleen, as we create our new McKinneyx2Design business, and I am so grateful to so many of you who have supported us through purchases and by helping spread the word.

I miss my little Mikey as I remember him through these photos.  What a joy he was.  He really taught us the love of a pet.  If it weren’t for Mikey, we wouldn’t have Charlie, and we would have missed out on so much joy and love.

So here’s the first post (again), and if you wouldn’t mind indulging me……. would you share with me what your favorite posts are?  Is it the recipes?  Is it the photography?  Is it the “art” (watercolor, cards), is it the poetry or writing, family stories, crafts?   Should I narrow it to just one of them?  Or should I continue this crazy, scattered, who knows what you are going to see tomorrow “lifestyle” blog?


the first post – so how do I begin?

So I have a good idea what I want to write about… for the most part. My BFF’s oldest daughter told me I should start a “lifestyle” blog.  I guess she thinks my life is interesting….  or at least enough that one or two people might want to read about things I do….  (Hopefully I’ll have at least one subscriber – Jacyln Rae – hint hint!)

Or maybe she just thinks I would enjoy doing it, and that is enough.

Hmmm…. I think I like that…

You know…. that’s one of the perks of growing – err – older and wiser – you get to the point where you realize you can do things just because you want to. Yes – there are those things most of us HAVE to do – like paying bills, doing laundry, working – you get the gist – but what do you like to do in between all that?

That’s the real “living” part.

“Life in between” can mean so many things…

The main reason I titled this blog with it is because I want to share the things I choose to do in between the things I “have” to do.

It can also be a stage of life that is in between stages – and aren’t they all?!

Right now – I’m kind of in between the mom stage and the empty nester and grandma stage. And Oh I Can’t Wait to be a Grandma!  (No hint hint Jake and Colleen – whenever you are ready…  well – maybe a little hint hint)

I think I was born to “mother.”  And oh poor everyone around me that I “mother” – sorry! It’s just in my DNA – I want to nurture, I want to comfort, I want to make happy. Could be worst things -right?!  (clear throat)  But don’t ask my boys…

So anyway – the things I love to do “in between” the things I have to do – that’s what I want to share with you here.

French Macarons

I love to bake.  I love how it makes the house smell.  I love how it makes people feel when they bite into a buttery, chocolately, caramely yummy thing.  I love surprising someone with a special treat of something they love.  Here is a picture of my first attempt at French Macarons.  I was so excited these testy little buggers turned out.  Not sure I’ll ever make them again – so much work – so temperamental – and what if they don’t turn out the next time?  Was it beginner’s luck?  I’ll just believe I’ve MASTERED them….  and leave it at that….

I also love to decorate – my home that is.  And it’s not all about it being House and Garden perfect for those of you that know me and are thinking  “Jodi – you are NOT an interior decorator!”

My ultimate goal (in decorating) is to create a place that is warm and welcoming.  A place where someone can just drop by (no formal invitations needed around here) and feel comfortable and welcomed and loved.  No shoes off in my house.  So what if the carpet has stains…  Those stains represent someone who I shared my home with or that spilled a drink or our dog who came in after a rainy spring day – so what…  I grew up in a house that was House and Garden perfect… that meant NO SHOES inside…  it meant that you could see sweeper marks in the carpet from the daily vacuum…. it meant that you could literally eat off the garage floor if you were so inclined because it was so clean….  and that’s all good…  Mom was an awesome “cleaner”…  but it’s not me.  I want comfort, warmth, welcoming.  I want my house to feel like your favorite worn slippers or most comfortable fleece hoodie or your “go to” black yoga pants.  That’s what trips my trigger.

Here’s a little peek at our home – and that’s my little buddy “Mikey” who is never far from my side.  After this LONG COLD winter, it was so nice to see the daffodils and grass recently.

signs of spring

And I also love to craft.  It’s been various things through the years…  I’ve tried knitting and crocheting and cross-stitching, tole painting, slate painting, wood crafts, and ceramics.  My most recent crafting obsession is papercrafting – stamping, coloring, cutting, punching, pasting, tying – anything with paper and ink.  I guess it feels comforting being that I (and so many of us) spend so much time on the computer.  It feels extra special to create and send a special handmade something to someone and hope they realize the time and love you put into it – just for them. Here’s a card I made for a very special cousin and friend – Oh Rob! (I’m sure you’ll hear more about him in coming posts). Oh how I love that guy – and his amazingly talented and loving wife and superhero to me, Joyce.  Rob’s “One Little Word” this year is “reflection,” so I wanted to create a birthday card acknowledging and celebrating “reflection.”

rob reflection birthday card 2014

And then – I love to photograph it all.  Dear hubby got me my first good camera for Christmas this year – and I think he might regret it….  I know my boys do…. but I just love taking photographs of crazy, silly, normal, everyday things.   Not a trained professional by any means – not even a class – haven’t even read the whole manual (sorry Patty – I will get there!) – just have fun with it and love seeing what it captures.  My BFF, Jill, honored me with the privilege of capturing  her daughter, Jackie’s bridal shower recently – oh what fun that was – and even allowed me to do a “photo shoot” with her in-laws (I think George and Alice are going to be more famous than all of us) for a work campaign.

Recently, while Marty (that’s the dear hubby’s name) was cutting grass, I was doing very important things like taking pictures of dandelions and bees on them….  and HE snapped this little gem with his phone while on the tractor…. Not flattering – but yep – that about sums it up.  The silly things I do in my life in between…..


So we’ll see how this goes….  I now have my first post under my belt.

And now I have #692 under my belt….

Cheers & Hugs,

110 thoughts on “Looking back…. looking forward

  1. Jodi, Jodi, I agree with crijuicebox. I Love everything in your blog. I love the mish mash of things that you do. I love waking up in the morning and seeing your post and being excited over what you are talking about today. Life Inbetween isn’t just about one single thing, it’s about a lot of different things. And you share all those things with us. Please don’t change it to only one thing. Otherwise it might become boring.

    Your biggest fan and avid reader.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. ❤ ❤ ❤
    You're perfect just the way you are (oh , isn't that a song ?) 🙂 Jodi , we do love to be surprised with your beautiful photos of what surrounds you , your water colours and the cards you lovingly make for your friends , the yummy and comforting goodies coming out of your kitchen , the walks and "conversations" with Charlie , your outings and reunions with friends and family , your decorating touches …
    so , everything that you feel like sharing is a gift everyday 🙂 keep doing what you like and gives you joy and don't feel that you have to do like the others , because you've grown (and grown you did 😉 )
    Turtle Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love reading your columns. I even tried some of your recipes, they are delicious. I am going to be making the Biscoff Banana Bread. But first I had to find the Biscoff spread. Man, that spread is fantastic! Thanks for spreading the joy.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You really get down and into your photography! Your blog is very much about lifestyle – you cover so many things so wonderfully. The reflection card you made is spectacular. Yes, please keep sharing. Love it all! One of my favs was when you made the mints. I like when you combine family events and recipes or food and talk about it, as well as your cards and crafts.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Since I wasn’t following your blog from the beginning, I really enjoyed finding out a bit more about you and why/how you started your blog! I would never have known you weren’t trained as a photographer…you are *that* good! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You light up my life with your blogs! I am a great grandmother of 5. I am loving each day I share with my sweetie of almost 60 years and my family near and far. Truly,God is good.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Love all your posts just some a little better than others. Some of your poignant writings, pictures oh so insightful to me aka flowers, water, and oh how you have caught people in candid shots that seems to “catch the moment in time”—joy, sorrow, contemplation–all elements of life some of which I especially treasure. Such a keen eye my buddy for people, places, things, and words Italian hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t remember how I came across your blog but I enjoy it so much so don’t change a single thing. I am dabbling in watercolor for the first time & sure enjoy how brave you are, you just dig in & create something gorgeous. I’m still hiding behind stamps! But that’s ok. Your yard is beautiful so someone spends a good deal of time out there. Here in Minnesota it’s still very much winter but spring will come. Just had snow this am but it’s melting fast. Going to spend some time this afternoon making thank you cards after a wonderful birthday party last Saturday! Kids, grands & great grands!❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Nan – how kind of you to take the time to write and share! Keep splashing those watercolors – do it every day if you can – I’ve been told you have to do 100 paintings before you like one! The journey is fun. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! How fortunate are you to have had all those loved ones with you! THANK YOU!


  9. I look forward to California mornings with fresh coffee brewing and a slice of homemade toast shared with my wonderful husband as he retrieves the newspaper and we retreat back to bed to read, sip and munch. But after the paper my ritual includes either making some new cards, handstictching part of a quilt project or opening my iPad to your blog.
    I love your poetry and water colors, I enjoy your recipes and Charlie stories, but I especially cherish your stories, whatever the subject. Your blog is “real” and a glimpse into the life of a fellow crafter, baker, artist, grandma, mother and online friend. Congratulations on #692!
    I look forward to your “life in between”.
    Grandma Lolo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow Lolo! What a Privilege to be a part of your lovely day! I am humbled and honored. THANK YOU for making my day! Oh how I could go for a piece of homemade toast and coffee in bed! How divine! 🙂


  10. Hi Jodi, I really admire you, your persistence, posting everyday is so hard for me, I’m doing it now in February, but I’m counting the days for this challenge finish, and I stop with the everyday post. Your blog is great, I’m glad you always have some nice things to share.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dear Jodi,
    Your blog is wonderful just the way it is. I look forward to reading it each day with excitement and wonder what the subject will be… will it be a great recipe…Charlie talking about one of his adventures….or just “Life In Between”. Some days your blog strikes a nerve and tears row down my cheek… and there are other days with great pictures, recipes, and art work. I love the variety.
    Thank you for your time and talent.
    regards, Lin

    Liked by 2 people

  12. It is fun to look back Jodi. I too love all the friendships made through this process. When I started out it was to help me generate ideas for the kids art class I was teaching. But, now I Blog to stay in touch with all my friends.
    I enjoy reading your blog everyday, I say stay with your crazy, scattered posts! They are always a highlight of my morning. 💕☕️

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I look forward to reading your posts each day! I like how you share on a variety of topics. Of course, I always enjoy seeing your watercolors! 😄🎨👍 Now that we have become friends, it really doesn’t matter to me what you blog about as long as you are sharing what is on your heart. That is what makes your blog so special to me – YOU! 💙😍💜 xo

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I loved reading your beginning post! And your blog is so wonderful because it has so much in it! Please don’t drop anything – I think you’re doing a fantastic job with this blog and have enjoyed every post I’ve ever read!! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I remember finding your blog and seeing your family in Thanksgiving shirts. I quietly thought to myself, I wish I could be part of something so fun, then I looked at my four kids and realized, I am.
    When I bake something new my daughter will say, “thanks Jodi”. When I bring out my water color paints, it brings my kids to the table for some amazing laughter, the best $20 ever spent.
    Motherhood is the best part of my life. I just wish I had a friend near me that felt the same way, that is why I stop by your blog every day, you are my missing friend. It also let’s me enjoy your other friends, you have some really fun friends.
    Have you ever thought about making a “bucket list” for Charlie?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Myra – what a lovely, lovely comment, and I am so happy that through reading my blog, you have realized the beauty and love and wonderful family YOU have right in front of you! How so very cute that your daughters say “thanks Jodi!” Wow – what an honor! 🙂 I am humbled and feel so very blessed by your comment. I am so happy to be your “missing friend.” Motherhood IS the best part of life! Cherish every single moment. and PS Charlie has a few thoughts to share tomorrow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wonderful 1st and 692nd post Jodi. I am glad I was able to read the first post – I learned a great deal about you. I for one enjoy your photos – they are wonderful and honestly to me, they look like a professional took them – that’s you! Thanks Jodi, wonderful post today! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I love your blog just the way it is. I enjoy opening up your message each day wondering what you are going to say. Change is good, but only if it makes you happy. I love all your interests, especially being a dog lover. When you let Charlie leave a message, it reminds me of my sweet dog , Woody. He used to write notes to our vet. Thank you for sharing your life in between. It makes my day and ALWAYS makes me smile.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I’m glad you started your blog when you did Jodi. I enjoy it a lot. I think your blog is unique from many blogs I follow, because of unique content on cards/painting, your delicious recipes, Charly’s posts, Your wonderful poetry and pictures, and your sharing of your family. Keep up the good work. You had something to say and you wrote it, you shared it. That’s a big deal 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I was initially drawn to your blog because of your card posts, but as I continued to receive your posts in my email I became aware of your awesome talent as someone I’d like to know better. I feel all your posts share more of the person you are and to take away anything would leave an emptiness to you through your words, creativity, recipes, and pictures. Thank you for sharing. I am inspired by your posts.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh Karen – I am so humbled by your kind comment. Thank you for taking the time to write and share with me. I am truly overwhelmed by the kindness. It is such a privilege to share. Thank you for inviting me into your email box each day 🙂


  20. ❤️❤️❤️ You are brightening up my every days Jodi !!.. I just started on board, and SO GLAD, ,I Did!!.. Your friendly Posts, filled with so much creativity – and thought put a smile in my heart !!..!..( A YES, YES, to All you are sharing!) … Greetings from Canadian friend – Joanne 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Jodi, thanks for sharing your first post again! I wasn’t following you then, so I hadn’t gotten a chance to read it. I just love your blog….and now I understand the name….because it is always such a positive place, so focused on what is good and creative in life, and that encourages me, even when I am feeling down. I’m so sorry about Mikey, but glad that you found Charlie. Life does move on, even when we aren’t quite ready. But I am so glad that I have found your blog! Thanks for all you do, for all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. So much comments!!! I have to scroll scroll scroll 😀 I love it! I don’t know if I get the whole idea of the post, but what’s that “Should I narrow it to just one of them?”. NO! You have to be you! You are super – duper – uber fantastic!!!!!! I want to see all your: photo, crafting, cooking and all the other stuff on your blog. This blog is awesom! And such an inspiration for me! Lately I’m more on latvian blog laukumeitene.lv but i hope to manage ilznelle.com again! Love your writing, love your photos! LOVE you JODI! Hugs from LATVIA!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Dear Jodi, ….104 comments later…… see how much people love you just the way you are!!!!
    while I confess ‘art and painting’ were the initial drawcards to your website last June, it is your JOY and Enthusiasm for Life that keeps me enchanted.
    Perhaps I do like the art, photos, and Charlie (alot)!! But your other stories I find quite entertaining as well. the recipes… well, I just have to close my eyes to those 😦
    Please, do not change what you are doing!! love you the way you are, Debi

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I’m so glad you decided to repost your first blog. It sort of ties everything together for me and gives me a better understanding of why you began and what your thought process was.
    Personally, I like the fact that your blog is so diversified. It’s like opening a different gift everyday but not knowing what your going to get.
    I’m glad I found your blog and hope you continue to do this at least until your book comes out..:)

    Liked by 1 person

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