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Can you believe 2015 has been and gone.

DSC_5627Like many people at this time of year I am not only reflective but also hopeful for a simple new year with lots of love and happiness around me.  As we enter 2016 I am thinking about how to improve my life, my list is as always, be more organized, spend lots more time with my family and friends and learn to move on, I always linger in the past wishing for simpler days, when really I should, look to simplifying my days going forward.

2015 bought many good memories along with some not so good ones, fortunately last year the good out weighed the bad, so I consider myself very lucky.  The year started with struggles in life in general, but there was hope that things might improve,  I am a firm believer in what hurts us only makes us stronger, and this is so true in my life, as I get older I definitely learn by the mistakes of the past.

The beginning of last year was brutally cold, our sad propane heating struggles to heat our house at the best of times, but last winter it failed miserably, but looking at the positives, meant it gave me determination to resolve the situation with a beautiful wood burning stove that heats our house perfectly now.IMG_0639

March bought about two special Birthdays and a new job in our house, my little Tate had his first Birthday  and two days later Paul turned 50 with a bang, a few days after that and after 29 years in his previous job, he very bravely started his new job, which so far seems to working out.IMG_0962

Our Easter tradition seemed to have started with our second Easter Saturday at the shore in April, it was very windy and chilly but it didn’t stop my Florrie from getting on the sand with her Dad.  May is always a busy month in our house with two Birthdays, an anniversary and of course American Mothers Day, but last year we added to our busy month with two graduations resulting in new degrees and then eventually two new jobs later in the year.  Florrie had her fourth Birthday, it seems hard to believe that this year she will be five, has it really been five years since that little ray of sunshine entered our lives.IMG_0751

Mabel graduated from Middle school at the end of June and we enjoyed a beautiful summer before she became a High School student, although I considered not letting her go, she is growing up so fast.  Summer flew by in a blink of an eye, but this year we managed to get away for a week to Cape Cod, a much needed break for Paul and myself.  We finally managed a trip into New York City to meet up with an old friend and his son,and we finally walked along the High Line, a trip we had been planning for a couple of years. August was filled with High School Soccer, heat week training, early morning practices and the start of the freshman and JV games for us, busy, busy, busy.IMG_1189

I have mixed feelings about Fall, on the one hand I love all things pumpkin, the beautiful Fall colors, warm soups and casseroles and apple cider donuts, but on the other hand, Fall means that we will be entering my least favorite season, Winter very soon, this year we have been very lucky though the weather has been mild and beautiful on many days leading up to Christmas, we even managed a day at the beach in December then sat outside a small coffee shop sipping coffee into the evening.  Fall brings along the pumpkin patches, corn mazes and lots of fun for Florrie and Tate, I love this season for all of those reasons and this year has been no different for me.DSC_3034

I consider myself a vey lucky ex-pat, I get to spend almost 3 months at a time with my parents, I love the time I spend with my Mum, but when she leaves it is the hardest part of living here.  Just before Thanksgiving, both of my parents arrived to spend a lot of this winter with us, Christmas day was in my opinion one of the best we have had for a few years, the day was so mild, my Mum and I drove to Starbucks for a quiet while after a very busy few weeks, we drove home to have a champagne brunch, opened presents, cooked and ate more food, my children all played board games, we then played Yankee Swap and then some more board games… just perfect.IMG_1431

We are very lucky to have some very kind friends both here in New Jersey and far away, this year we got to celebrate New Year in style with our very kind friends who live a 45 minute drive away from us… we love their family and their friends, it was so much fun to see them… thank you, you know who you are.

Life has its ups and downs for all of us and of course the past year was no different for us as a family, one of my children was diagnosed with an illness that can only be managed, and although as a mother I struggled and still do with the thought that I can not change this, I am learning to deal with it day by day and I think he is learning everyday too.  This year also saw the loss of a friendship for me over something so silly, if anyone knows me well they will know I do not give up on any of my friendships easily and this one was no different, but unfortunately she did not feel the same so I have had to move on, it makes me sad that this friendship came to an end, I miss her and her family a lot, but I have had to learn you really should not stay up until 5am drinking with friends, because some things that are said can never be taken back, even 2 years later.

I have no resolutions this year, I find I never stick to them so I just have hopes and goals… my one hope is that we all stay healthy and then the rest will hopefully fall into place… Happy 2016 to everyone, lets hope it is a good year filled with lots of laughter for all of us.

 

 

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A true diary of photos…

My daughter often tells me I shouldn’t post more than one photo a day on Instagram… But I always tell her I don’t care what I should or shouldn’t do… Oh to be 12 again, and to worry what my friends might think… From the very first day I discovered Instagram it became a diary of photos for me, back then, oh all of 2 years ago, Instagram wasn’t a Facebook for teens and it wasn’t about advertising your business, it was truly about your photos… And that is how I see it…

After being woken up at 4.30am this morning, I sat looking back at photos on Instagram, my children, places, things that would have been forgotten are there for me to remember, sometimes fondly, sometimes with horror, but most of all just there to be savored again and again… Sometimes people are quick to criticize the social media, the fact that as bloggers we put our lives out there, but I think for me it is like an ongoing diary of events, people and places that I would have misplaced over time, lost into the forgetful memory that I have!

I may not be 12 anymore and look at Instagram as my everything social media, but I have always loved it from the first time I discovered the app, I didn’t know many people on there and it was all new and different… To all of my family and friends who are now on Instagram… Please, please, please keep the photos coming… I totally love seeing each and every one of them and do not worry, I think we as adults are allowed to post more than one photo one day if we want to!

So please forgive me for all of my ramblings and if you follow me on Instagram all the endless photos I continue to post… For me this is my life and I get to look back from time to time and think ‘oh yes I remember that day well…’ I also love to share these memories, and share in other people’s memories too, for me this is one of the best parts of social media as we know it… No more photos put away in dusty old closets that no one will ever see… Just lots of memories out there for family and friends to enjoy!

Happy Instagramming!

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Friends…

It’s been quite a while since I watched the series Friends, on a trip to our l library I picked up a few box sets of friends for Mabel to watch,I told her she would love this show, it was such a big favorite in our house for many years… Of course I was totally right, she loved, loved, loved it, from start to finish she was hooked. Of course this in turn made me want to dive back into this beloved tv show and yes, I was totally hooked too all over again… This time I saw the whole thing with new eyes, older, wiser eyes, one of the things that totally struck me was the girls clothes, totally and completely addicted to what they were wearing, and now 10, 12, 13 years later the fashions are coming right back… It has inspired me to dig deep into my closet and drawers and pull out my beloved clothes and jewelry hidden away (now this I why I stash away my things and do not recycle them, one day they will be right back in fashion again).