Browsing Tag


Family, Photos, Travel

Life, Lessons, & Love

Let's see, where shall I begin?

I have been living life instead of blogging, and I have really missed it.  I have thought about blogging while I'll be going and doing, but haven't sat down to actually write. 

Hopefully I will get back in the groove.  I've been reading a lot of new books to review, trying new recipes, will be planting a garden soon, traveling, etc.  So, I do have material to write about.  I even have some photos. Imagine that.

Speaking of travel, I recently went to Hawaii. 

It was beautiful!! Rainy, but still beautiful!

One day the sun came out while we were in our room, and as we all noticed the spectacular view I know I heard all of us inhale as it took our breathe away.

This photo doesn't do it justice, but this is the view from our room.  I should say that this photo has not been edited at all.  I resized it, and here it is. 

I learned a valuable lesson while in Hawaii.  Don't go to Hawaii during the rainy season, and expect to lay on the beach. We were able to walk on the beach though, and that was nice.

Something else I learned was that fruit and vegetables taste so much better in Hawaii.  I am not kidding.  Oh, and french fries with truffle oil are delicious!  If you ever get the chance to eat at the Truffle Fries at the Yard House take it!

I absolutely positively love these two ladies. 

This is my seester, Jenn and my Granny. 

I will tell you more about our trip next week, but I wanted to profess my love for them both here today.  They already know how much I love them, but I wanted you to know too.  Plus, I like this photo of them.

My seester and I haven't spent a whole lot of time together, so this trip was super special for me.  We shared clothes (a first), make-up, she painted my toes (another first), laughs, looks, etc.  We will never forget this trip that Granny was kind enough to take us on.  Hopefully it won't be the last trip we all take together.

Be sure to come back tomorrow.  I am having a giveaway that you won't want to miss. 

(Hint: PW)


A Valentine’s Day to Remember

Tuesday was Valentine's Day, and I am sure each and every one of you acknowledged it in some form or fashion.  I love Valentine's Day, but I don't know why.  I guess because it is a day where we can profess our love to the special people in our lives.  This year I have changed my mind about Valentine's Day. 

Let me explain.

We attended a funeral on Tuesday.  Yep, a funeral on Valentine's Day.  As I stood there listening to the scripture reading, I watched the deceased's nephew tell us how he knew his uncle is now in Heaven.  It was the best scripture reading I think I've ever heard at a funeral.  Next came the eulogy, and it was the longest eulogy in the history of eulogys.  Don't get me wrong it was a great eulogy, but I was standing.  Standing in heels, mind you.  It was nice to hear things about our friend that we never knew.  Funny stories, accomplishments, and orneryness.  I think everyone learned something new about him the day he was laid to rest. 

During the scripture reading, I remembered the videos that my sister sent McD and I that morning.  The videos were of our nephews wishing us a Happy Valentine's Day.  As I watched this grown man's bottom lip start to quiver just the slightest bit, something hit me.   At one time, his uncle was probably one of his Valentines.  When we were kids everyone was our Valentine.  We didn't just give one Valentine, we bought packages of 20 or 40.  We gave them to our aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. 

Let me tell you, it is hard to watch someone you care about stand in front of a congregation reading scripture and talking about his uncle.  It is really hard to watch as his lip quivers.  Thank goodness my feet were hurting.  I would have lost it right then and there if I didn't have something else to focus on, because all of these thoughts swirling around in my head were not helping.

I watched the children, step-children, grand-children, nieces, nephews, brother, and wife sit there and mourn the loss of their Valentine. 

Funerals always seem to make me want to hold my loved ones closer, see them more often, and let them know that I love them, and this funeral was no different.  The fact that it was on Valentine's Day did change the way I will look at that particular day. 

I will continue to send Valentine's to the kids, don't get me wrong, that part won't change. 

I'm getting ready to call McD out here, sorry McD. 

This V-Day McD forgot all about it.  Romantic, huh?  At first I was a little upset.  I mean, a couple of days before V-Day he was telling me about what the guys at the office were doing for their wives and kids.  I just assumed (yes, I know I know) that he was planning something too.  Nope, he forgot.  That's okay, really.  I was disappointed at first, I won't lie.  But after thinking about it I decided that we don't need no stinkin' Valentine's Day!  We celebrate our love every day.  I don't need to get a Hallmark card from him to know that I love him.  He may not be the most romantic guy I know, but sometimes he does things that are kind of romantic in his own way.

Just the other day it was snowing huge, beautiful snowflakes.  Huge, I tell ya!  He opened the door after feeding the cows, and told me to get some shoes on and come outside.  By this time, it was dark and cold.  I put my jacket and shoes on and joined him out in the middle of the yard.  He through his head back, and told me to do the same.  He wanted me to experience the same thrill that he got from seeing just how cool it looked seeing the snow coming straight down on us.  It might not be romantic to you, but it was to me. 

Then he opened his mouth and started catching the snowflakes on his tongue, and that wasn't terribly romantic, but it was fun!!

So, I said all of that to remind you to make every single day Valentine's Day.  We don't know when we will lose our Valentine. 

Animals, Family, Photos

The Baby Elephant & A Cutie Patootie

The other day I got some pretty bad news, but I decided to surround myself with some of my closest family.  I felt like I needed to see them, so they could see that I am really doing okay.  I have breast cancer; I'm not dying.

I was visiting with my sister last Saturday morning and we decided to meet at the OKC Zoo that afternoon.  Usually I am a big planner, but not that day.

We went to see the new baby elephant.  That was our goal.  Little did we know that we would have to stand in line for 30 minutes to see the little thang.  :)  We arrived at the zoo at 3 pm not knowing that the zoo closed at 5 pm.  Oops.  Then we had to kill 30 minutes standing in line, but it was SO worth it.  So worth it!

Look at that little cutie.  She did not move very far from her momma. 

The whole time we are watching her Lawrence, my nephew, was yelling at her.  "Watch the daddy poop!  Watch out for the daddy poop!"  We tend to turn heads anywhere we go.

You see these two?

These two are inseparable when we all get together. Lawrence doesn't want me, his momma, or sometimes even his daddy.  He wants his uncle.  His Stinkin' Ol' Uncle.  Just between you and me, I don't blame him.

Wanna see what they are looking at?  It was just the absolute cutest thing.  (FYI, I say that about almost every animal at the zoo. Almost.)

Isn't it adorable?  There were several of them swimming around with their momma, but I gravitated toward this one.

As we walked away, this is what I saw. 

I'm not sure why I like taking photos like this, but I love it.  They are both so happy, and having such a good time.

I'm not sure what is being said, but apparently someone is in trouble.

Still have no idea what was said, but we got a giggle out of it.

This guy refused to look at me.  No matter how many times I said hello, he just ignored me. 

Some of my favorite moments at the zoo were the moments that my nephew saw something awesome.  Every animal at a zoo is awesome to a child.  Oh, who am I kidding, I am in awe too.

We didn't tell him that was his long lost Great Uncle.  Maybe we will tell him on the next trip. 🙂

As soon as we climbed down the hill, we noticed a little sign. 

Oops. But everyone else was doing it! :/

This was the handsome little guy we hung out with that day.

I love you, Lawrence!!

On our way to get cotton candy, lemonade, and snocones we ran across this guy.  I think it is a Komodo Dragon.



We had a lot of fun! 

It was so good to get out, laugh, hug on my other handsome nephew G, and take a break from life. 

All the bad stuff disappears while you are at the zoo.



Love, Laughter & Wigs?

This past weekend was so much fun.  I can honestly say that I don't think I've laughed that much in a long time. 

Here's a short recap with some photos. 

My best friend, Stefanie, agreed to go with me to see my 79 year-old Granny in a play.  We did this a few years ago as well, but I will touch on that a little later.

When we got to town,  we drove straight to my uncle's store.  He has a nutrition store, and my dad just happened to be hanging out with him there.  They are unofficial members of the Geek Squad.  They both love working on computers, but other than that there isn't anything geeky about them.

After closing the store, we all went to lunch.  Since we were all in town, we were all in separate vehicles.  We resembled a small funeral procession as we drove to the restaurant.  We were seated, girls on one side of the long table and the boys on the other, then the questions began.

Granny said, "Julie, what are you girls having?"

Me:  "I don't know.  Unc, what are you having."

Unc, that is what I call my uncle:  "Shortbread toast and grape jelly."

As you can imagine that started a whole other conversation.  And yes, that is all he ate.

Oh, and we ordered fried pickles for an appetizer.  Yum! That is all I can say about that.

The girls were talking away when all of a sudden El Paso by Marty Robbins starts blaring from our table.  Blaring, not playing, blaring.  Our whole table erupted in laughter.  Needless to say, we were quite the spectacle in that restaurant.  We were the only ones that seemed to be having fun.

I always have fun with my family.

My grandparents and uncle had to attend a funeral that afternoon, so the rest of us went out to the old family farm.  This is where my grandad grew up.  No one has lived there for years, but as soon as we drove in the drive the memories started flooding back. 

This was my great-grandparent's home.  They have been gone for years, but the farm is still in the family.  Thank goodness!

I was a little girl when those shingles were put on that house.  This is the very first roof I'd ever stood on, and I remember it being steeper.

I'm not sure if you can make out the cast iron bathtub on the front porch or not, but that is where we staged our very own C i a l a s photo. 

My mom posing for me. 

We told my dad he could get in there too, but he said that he would have to take his shirt off.  We told him he could keep his clothes on, and continued our stroll down memory lane.

This is the barn.  Even my mom said she remembered it being bigger. 

It had been 20+ years since I had been out to the farm, and it seemed like so much had changed.  But then again, so much had remained the same.

My dad's first car was still there.

I don't remember what year it is, but it is a Corvair.  My dad used to go pick my mom up for dates in this car.  It would back fire all the way down the road.  Mom used to tell us that they always knew when he was coming because of it.

Then my great uncle showed up.  We had quite the little reunion.  I will tell you how our photographer, Stef, caught all the smiles another time.   Thank you for taking this photo, Stef.  It is one of my favorites.

We headed back to my grandparent's house because it was about time for everyone to go their separate ways.  The others were back from the funeral, and my grandad needed to get to the Jamboree.  Dad and mom needed to get on the road, granny needed to get ready to perform, and we had to get ready to see the play.

But before everyone said their goodbyes I found something my granny had left on my bed.  All of her wigs.  So, we played a little.  Here's one of my favorites.

Mom picked the white wig to see what she would look like when she becomes a little old lady, and we gave dad the one that was closest to his natural hair thirty years ago.

They hit the road, granny left for the playhouse, and we were off.

The play was great!  Granny is, and always will be, a star.

Oh, and welcome to the family Stef!  You fit right in!!



Another Man

I will be spending time with another man today.  I will be staying at his house.  Dining with him.  Hugging on him and kissing him too.

It's my Grandad!!!

Good grief you guys! What do you think I am?


A Very Special Lady


This is Granny.

This is who I will be spending the next two days with.  We have no idea what we are going to do, but I know that whatever we do we will have fun. 

We are going to try to refrain from working, that much I know for sure.  :)  We may cook, or we may eat out.  We will eat ice cream, and it will probably be late at night when we do. 

We might even work on Granny's blog.  I will be doing a Sunday Shout Out when she gets it up and running.  I am anxious to see what she will write.

Oh, I bet we play cards.  We love to play cards, and we are both very competitive.  :)  It makes for some interesting card games.  :) 

Hopefully I will come back with some really good stories. 


My Sister Rocks!

Okay, I am not a "real" photographer.  I've never claimed to be.  But, with that said, I think these turned out okay.  🙂

The weekend after Thanksgiving my sister and her family came to stay with us so I could take their family photos for Christmas cards.  I was honored to be asked because I know how my nephew, and brother-in-law just love having their photos taken. 

Here are a few of the shots.


This is one of my favorites.  I could pick it apart, but my sister looks beautiful (as always) here. 

Let me formally introduce you to my sister and her family.  From left to right: Garrett, Sweet Momma, Trooper, & Lawrence


Lawrence loves the horses.  He even rode Hickory while they were here.  McD just failed to tell anyone he was taking him out to ride the horse, so we only have one photo of him on a horse.  As soon as he saw his Aunt Julie driving the gator he wanted to ride the "tractor" with Aunt Julie.  :) 


Men love machinery!  Even little men.  🙂


This just happens to be one of the smiles that melt my heart.  (And he knows it!) 


And this is our little cowboy.  He wants to be a cowboy, and we can make that happen.  (I love the peanut butter & jelly all over his face here.)

So, now you have been introduced to my sister and her family.  Now you have faces to go with the names.  More sister stories to come.  🙂

We love you guys! See you soon!