Category Archives: Life

Focusing on the Good Things

The phrase “When life hands you lemons…” is not always easy to accomplish. When backed into a situation you cannot change it can be difficult not to try and fight back; to defend oneself and one’s character. Sometimes it can backfire. Other times, it can get your point across and turn the situation around.

But sometimes, as difficult as it might be, you have to let go. Let go and move on. Things do not always end the way you expect them to, but focusing on the positive people in your life, the good you have accomplished over time spent and hours worked, can make those deflating moments drift away and not matter.

Of course, there are always lessons to be learned from these seemingly defeating situations. So you take those along with the good memories and move on.

Now is time for family involvement, projects long left to sit on shelves and quality time spent together. I am so happy to be living the life God graciously gave me. I am blessed by all the people in my life and am at peace with my journey so far.

Ariella’s First Day of Kindergarten

My baby: Day 1:





I thought I had all the time in the world. I knew today was coming, everything was ready. There was no crying or fussing at the end of the driveway this morning to catch the bus, a very nice surprise. And just like that, she was gone!




I am amazed that I only have one at home again. It is too quiet, but relaxing in ways I never imagined. I could not be more proud of her and am so blessed to be on this journey with her! Good Luck, Ariella!!

Madly In Love

I have fallen madly in love – again – with my Husband. I’m not sure when it happened exactly, and I’m definitely not saying that I had fallen out of love at any point, but I think somewhere in amidst the typical day to day “stuff” you do start to take for granted what you have been blessed with.

Maybe it has something to do with the two wonderful Weddings we have attended together over the past two months. Seeing each couple so much in love, hearing those Sacred vows spoken so passionately, witnessing two people bound together in mutual joy and harmony, all of these things I remember so clearly from our own Wedding Day. Maybe it was the food and drink we had, or the good friends we were able to spend time with. Perhaps the new job Derek has taken, which could possibly move us away from friends and family that has brought our partnership as Husband and Wife more clearly into focus for me. I know for sure it happened when I saw him holding our tiny, newborn girls in his arms and every time I see him playing with them, teaching them, loving them I swoon a bit to myself.

It really doesn’t matter. I have now realized, after 9 amazing years together, how deeply in love I am with this man. How permanent a place he has in my heart, and how without him I would be lost. How wrong I was to think on our Wedding day that I could never love him more that that. Each day he teaches me something new. He holds nothing back and always guides me to the right path. We have genuine fun together as a couple and as parents. I thank God for him every day.

Just thought you should know. 🙂

My 365 Project

I received a new camera for Christmas. While it is not fancy in any means like Derek’s is – no lenses, built in flash, fits in the palm of your hand – it is very nice and actually takes pretty good pictures. So I wanted to challenge myself to use it, learn about it and actually understand how to take better pictures with it. Therefore, my 365 project. I figure if I do actually use the camera every day to take at least a few pictures, I’m bound to learn something about the camera and how it works! And have a pretty nice photo diary of the year when I’m done!


Saying Goodbye

2011. What a year. It gave us our beautiful daughter Cambree. But it also made us say goodbye to too many good people, many before their time.

Anne Waligur

My Aunt Anne had a stroke in June of 2010. After that it was up and down, a true emotional roller coaster for everyone in the family, until her passing on July 12, 2011. At almost 82 years old I can’t say she “went before her time”, but when it is a close family member you always wish for more time. She was a loving soul, adopting her younger sister Linda’s son as her own after she passed. A Girl Scout leader, she was always singing camp songs and giving out good advice, much of which I still remember and try to teach my own girls. She sang in her church choir, was a docent at the Botanical Gardens and had many beloved friends. Her gift to me upon her death was the ruby ring her father gave to her for her 16th Birthday. She wore it every day of her life and I remember seeing it on her. She was my Aunt and I loved her very much. She will be missed this Holiday season.

Ryan Jones

Unfortunately, I did not know Ryan that well. He went to college with Derek and I met him a few times, usually at the yearly picnic – “Ocho”. He had health problems that ultimately landed him in a coma, which he was fighting, until his untimely passing this October. He was the fiddler for the Country group ‘Lo Cash Cowboys’. The one time spent with him at Ocho that I do remember was him playing acoustic guitar and everyone singing ‘Moxy Fruvous’ songs with him, laughing and having a great time. I honestly don’t even know if he knew my name, but he friended me on Facebook, probably because I am Derek’s wife. When someone so young, with his entire life ahead of him passes it really makes you stop and reevaluate your own time here on Earth. My thoughts and prayers are still with his family and friends, he was lost all too soon.

Ed McGrath

Ed’s passing is still very fresh, he has only been gone two weeks today. He was a member of our choir at church. Sang Bass with Derek and my Dad. We were not close friends, but he was so kind, thoughtful and fun to be around. It gets personal, even if you are not “close” with a person, when you sing together. There is something about being in a choir (as I am sure it is with any musical group) that pulls people closer together. You are using a part of yourself that is very personal. When you work so hard on making this music together with your voice, it binds you to those other people. It is a shared experience that is unmatched. Therefore, when one voice is missing, after working so hard on a piece, it is felt very deeply. At the Funeral four our friend Ed, I did not cry. I was very sad, but he was not supposed to be singing that day, with us. I cried a lot the day before, on Sunday, when he SHOULD have been there, signing the songs he had worked so hard to make beautiful with us. On that day, and this weekend as well, his voice was missing and it SHOULD have been there with us. I am constantly praying for his family, that God may give them peace during this time.

All in all, I am really hoping that 2012 will not have as many goodbye’s in it. But I guess these are my three for now. Rest In Eternal Peace, all of you. You are missed in many ways.