A Hymn of Grateful Praise

For the beauty of the earth... For the Glory of the Skies

For the beauty of the earth… For the Glory of the Skies

A Hymn of Grateful Praise.

For the beauty of the earth…
For the glory of the skies.

For the beauty of each hour…
Of the day and of the night.

For the joy of human love…
A hymn of grateful praise.

Sometimes there are just no better words
than those of classic hymns.

On this Thanksgiving Day,
I am grateful for all of this and more.

Cheers & Hugs,


Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad’s birthday.

I am so glad to have him in my life to celebrate.

This is one of the very few pictures I have from my early childhood.

As a child of divorce, many photos of my early life were destroyed along with the marriage that ended.  I suppose in an effort to erase the “mistake.”

But I am so grateful for this photo shared with me by my sweet aunt of a birthday celebration that was shared by my brother and cousin.

Sadly, half of the people in the photo are no longer with us…
Cancer, aging, murder, suicide… Many of us can relate to similar losses.

But I have my Dad in my life, and today is his birthday.
And I am choosing to cherish these moments!

By the way – can you tell which two we are?
I think we look so much alike!

Happy Birthday Dad!
From your only daughter.
Your first-born child.

You were my first great love.
You are the man I am still discovering.
The Daddy I am still allowing myself to remember.

Thank you for being back in my life.
Thank you for healing the wounds.

Thank you for ending the nightmares.
Thank you for fulfilling the dreams.

I love you.

Cheers & Hugs,




sunrise gfcoib15

I am thankful for…
nights that turned into mornings,
friends that turned into family,
and dreams that turned into reality.*

As I spend time this week with some bestie friends that have become like family…
and got to experience this sunrise yesterday morning on the beach…
I thought it apropos to share this quote I found that resonates so deeply with me.

Wishing all of this and more for you as well.

Cheers & Hugs,

*source:  http://bearandlionmama.com/2014/01/a-new-year.html

What I love most…

Growing up – I lived in many different homes – for various reasons…

Parents divorced – Live with Grandma – Mom remarried – Bigger house – Smaller house…..

For as many reasons as moves, I never really had the opportunity to grow “attached” to a house.

home share jill

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking those that had the good fortune of growing up in the same house with the same family their entire life.

In fact, I feel a bit of envy!  But my life circumstances didn’t provide this, so for that reason I have never grown “attached” to bricks and mortar.

What I do love about my “home” is who I share it with.

It could be a hut, a tent, an igloo, a teepee, a boat, a trailer, a shack, a mansion.  It really doesn’t matter.

As long as I get to share it with the people I love….

My family…

My friends that are like family…

That is what makes a “house” a “home.”

As we approach Thanksgiving, and I look forward to sharing my home with some of the people I love best, it reminds me of one of the best gifts I’ve ever received from my bestie Jill.  Jill hand-painted the sign above in red knowing me so well that she just knew when she saw this saying it was me to a tee.

I love it!!!!

In fact…..  I love it so much, Jill had not realized I had recently purchased a similar plaque with the exact same saying just a month prior, as you can see below.  🙂

home share

So how lucky am I?!?  I have two signs that express my deepest feelings of home hanging in my home.

Feeling so blessed…  Feeling so loved… Feeling so thankful…

On this day before Thanksgiving, I wish for you a home shared with the people you love – whether they be family or friends that are “chosen” family.  We really all are one family – right?

Cheers & Thankful Hugs,


Blessings Jar – Thankful for one of the Best Gifts Ever


So it’s the Day After #GFC2014 Weekend, and I’m still feeling so thankful and so blessed!  Relaxing with Marty on this Sunday evening, and a teensy glass of red wine :).

For some reason, I was reminded of one of the best (birthday) gifts I’ve ever received.   And it made me realize what a great Wedding Gift this could be during wedding season, so I wanted to share.


My BFF, Jill, gave me this gift on my birthday a year ago, which just so happens to fall on New Year’s Eve, so coincides beautifully with New Year’s resolutions and new habits to create for the new year.

You see, “best gifts ever” don’t have to be expensive or elaborate.  The best gifts ever are from the heart and those that create memories for a lifetime.

My gift was a jar filled with blank colored  index card sized pieces of paper.  In explaining the gift, Jill encouraged me to write down blessings throughout the year and things I am thankful for.  She said we could then reopen it the following year, and revel in the wonderful experiences of the past year.

I still have the jar, and I review the notes occasionally.  Sometimes when I’m feeling blessed and happy, and sometimes when I need a lift.

In my happiness and afterglow of the blessings of this past weekend, I decided to revisit the jar and read some of the blessings from 2013.  It doesn’t need to be New Year’s or Christmas or a Birthday or Thanksgiving to be thankful.

Let me share just a small sampling of some of the little notes I scribbled throughout the year.  Some of them are BIG – like my oldest son, Jake’s wedding, my youngest son, Nick, getting a new job….    Some are very small – like planting tomatoes or a phone call from a friend.  But ALL of them bring a smile to my face and heart, bring me joy, and make me realize how fortunate, thankful, and blessed I am.


January 1, 2013:  “Celebrated the first moments of 2013 with some of the people I am closest to – Marty, Jill, and Todd. This was our FIRST year when all the kids did their own thing – be we savored the moments, the friendship, the blessings, AND we texted with the kids!”


January 7, 2013:  “Received a beautiful card from Joyce and Rob thanking and celebrating our recent reunion.  A reminder to consider perception becomes reality until clarified, and can result in boundless blessings.”


May 4, 2013:  “Jake ran and finished the Pittsburgh Marathon!  26.2 miles in 4 hours, 53 minutes.  Such a amazing accomplishment!  So proud!  Jill and Todd were there with us to cheer him on!”


May 8, 2013:  “Pam called today.  Had such a nice talk.  Good friends are such a blessing.”


May 13, 2013:  “Nick got a new job.  Starts 6/10/13.  So proud and so happy for him.  I know he will be a great SUCCESS!”


May 25, 2013:  Planted tomatoes.  Can’t wait to watch them grow and enjoy the bounty!”


May 28, 2013:  Girl’s Day Out with Janet – manicures and pedicures and bridal shower shopping!


June 1, 2013:  Today was Colleen’s Bridal Shower!  It was a great day to celebrate a very special young lady we love!”

June 1, 2013:  Jake brought flowers to the shower for Colleen, Teri, and me.  So proud of him and love him dearly!”


June 13, 2013:  “Marty got a ride in the autonomous car!”


July 12, 2013:  “So thankful for best friends ever helping with Jake and Colleen’s Wedding Rehearsal Dinner – Janet, Jill, Dawn, Tracy, even Todd and ” Baby” Jake – LOVE them all!”


July 13, 2013:  “WEDDING DAY for Jake and Colleen!  AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL DAY!”


August 15, 2013:  “Matt and Judy came to visit and stay for the weekend.  GREAT time catching up and reminiscing.  Love them!”


September 1, 2013:  “First invitation to dinner at Jake and Colleen’s.  So good to be with them in their new home.”


September 17, 2013:  “Card-making class with Colleen.”


October 12, 2013:  Wonderful GFC Weekend with Pam, Jill, Janet and Joan!”


November 16, 2013:  “Marty’s 55th Birthday!  Fun time with family and Hendy’s – lots of love!”


November 22, 2013:  “Jackie and Matt ENGAGED!  YAY!!!”


November 28, 2013:  “WONDERFUL Thanksgiving – Johnny came to visit – SURPRISE! with Nancy – and it was GREAT to hug him!  Then a lovely dinner with Dad and Carole.”


November 29, 2013:  “So Thankful for my Marty.  His heart and mind are my ROCK!”


December 22, 2013:  “Christmas with the Hendy’s at Jake and Colleen’s House!”


December 31, 2013:  “My birthday lunch with my Dad.”


You see – there are so many things to be thankful for!  BIG and small!

Wouldn’t a Blessings Jar or a Thankful Jar be a great wedding or birthday gift to give a friend or loved one?  Hardly any money, but it will create a lifetime of memories.

Appreciate the moments at Life in Between…

Cheers & Hugs,