Friday, December 24, 2010

Jesus is the reason for the season.

Jesus is the reason for the season.
Jesus is the reason for the season. by April May June εїз on

And what a beautiful season it is! Wishing you all a very merry Christmas surrounded by the ones you love. ♥ xoxoxo

Sunday, November 14, 2010

&hearts this quote!

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." --- Ayn Rand

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cliffs of Moher ~

Cliffs of Moher ; I think such a place could really change the minds of people who thinks this earth of ours was created by accident. Because, seriously who (or what) else could create something so breathtakingly beautiful other than God, Himself? Surely, everyone can see His work.

The #1 item on my bucket list is to see those cliffs in person. After I get the breath or two that was taken from me (and most likely, dry my eyes!) upon seeing my own two feet standing on the ground of this place I've dreamt of standing on for so long, I'll sit down and write a message. I'll roll it up, put into a bottle, and close it tightly. Then, I'll throw it off the side of the cliffs and watch it land in the Atlantic and begin it's journey floating to who knows where and for who knows how long. Until, someone finds it washed up on a shoreline somewhere. One thing I know for sure, I already know what the message will read: "Dreams do come true. This is proof. Just believe."


Friday, November 5, 2010

[A] survey *

Rules: It's harder than it looks! Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real, nothing made up!

1) what is your name: April
2) a four letter word: Able
3) a boy's name: Aidan
4) a girl's name: Aubrey
5) an occupation: Astronaut
6) a color: Apricot
7) something you'll wear: Ascot
8) something you'll do: Always smile. ;D
9) a food: Albacore tuna
10) something you'll find in the bathroom: Astringent
11) a place: Australia
12) a reason for being late: Ambushed by anteaters.
13) something you'd shout: "Ayo!"
14) a movie title: Alice in Wonderland
15) something you drink: Apple Juice
16) Singer or group: Aaron Neville
17) an animal: Alligator
18) a street name: Azelie Street
19) a type of car: Aston Martin
20) the title of a song: Air on a G String

Thursday, November 4, 2010

To know you is to love you.

There are so many things that makes me think of you. Mom, certain songs, the sun setting, your wedding ring on my left ring finger, that floral-scented powder you loved wearing. (That I wear now.) There's even been a few occasions where, while shopping, we'll see ladies who'd be around your age who remind us of you. I will never forget during one of those times, one of the ladies turned around and faced me, looked me in the eye, and smiled so peacefully. I was, literally, stunned. Not stunned by the gesture of her smiling. But, by the look in her eyes. It was so familiar. It was like she had your eyes. As quickly as she turned and smiled at me, she turned back and walked away to finish her shopping.

A few minutes later, Dad was in one section of the store and I was standing behind him. For reasons that I cannot explain (still today, years later) the back of his shirt was pulled up like someone was tugging on it to get his attention. When he felt it, he turned to me thinking I had been the one tugging his shirt. I told him I didn't do it. But, that I SAW the hem of his shirt going up like someone was tugging at it. We were both really bewildered. We both wondered if there was a connection with that happening and seeing that sweet lady who reminded us both of you. Maybe you were trying to get our attention? Reminding us that you're still with us.

I've smelled roses where there's no flowers around. Which is unusual. What's even more unusual is that I can't even smell the scent of roses if there was a bouquet of them right in front of me. I have no idea why. I just have never been able to smell that scent. St. Theresa was your favorite saint, your namesake. And she is, often, referred to as "The little rose."

When I first saw this commercial, I instantly thought of you. The last part of it with the little girl asking her grandmother if they could go get ice cream and her grandmother quickly saying yes, while walking away, reminds me of you and I when I was that age so much. You gave me the world and so much more. And you still are.

To know you is to love you --- and I do. So much.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tumblr ~

I heart & reblog stuff.

Monday, October 18, 2010

; Etsy . com ---

I'm currently in the process of getting my Etsy account up and running. I hope to have my shop opened, officially, in the next 2 weeks or so. I'm excited!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

[♥] Dedicated to my MawMaw.

. . . Wishing you the happiest of birthdays tomorrow. I love and miss you so much. I hope I'm making you proud.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

... And they'll live happily ever after ~

Well, the day my family excitedly anticipated and helped plan for has come and now gone. And it was a day we'll never forget! All the months of planning went into this one day and it was wonderful. Everything about it was beautiful. All of us, girls, got ready together and rode in a limo to the church. As we rode along, I told Jessie it felt like it was all a dream. We got to the church and our grandparents saw Jessie in her beautiful dress for the first time. And I can, honestly, say I could not have been happier. For the past year, I prayed that our grandparents would be well enough for the wedding and there they were.

About a half hour later, we were lining up to walk down the aisle. Jessie and Uncle Polie were in the cry room together waiting for their turn to walk down the aisle and once the bridesmaids and groomsmen made their way down the aisle -- I was the last one, to walk down the aisle, left in the lobby. Soon, it was my turn, the ushers opened the double doors and off I went. I vaguely remember hearing the music playing. All I remember is looking on both sides of the aisles and seeing everyone who came to see Jessie and Greg get married and smiling. When I got to my spot and the music changed over the Canon Pachebel, that's when the tears started coming. It really felt like a dream watching Jessie walk down the aisle. The ceremony was soo beautiful. We got to face everyone sitting in the pews while Jessie and Greg said their vows. It was so special to be able to watch everyone's reactions to watching the bride and groom.

After the ceremony and a few pictures taken, we all went to the hall. And had an absolute blast! We took more pictures, including the famous CAKE pictures! After that, we watched Jessie and Greg dance their first dance, then watched as Jessie danced with Uncle Polie and Greg dance with his mom. It was very sweet. Then, the bridal party all danced. After all the first dances were done, the best man and I made our toasts. Then, Jessie and Greg cut their cake. And the dancing began! We, literally, danced from 3 until midnight. I think it was the longest reception EVER, yet it went by in a blink of an eye. It really didn't feel like we were there all night. I have never had so much fun at a wedding reception before.

The food, the cake, the decorations --- everything was perfect. Everyone commented on how lovely everything looked. I really wish we could relive that day/night. It was so special. To top it all off, we finally learned the day of when MawMaw and PawPaw got married. Wouldn't you know, it was June 12th? So, as Jessie and Greg got married; MawMaw and PawPaw celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary. What a beautiful thing!

My PawPaw and Ms. Vergie also came to the wedding. PawPaw danced quite alot! When, they left - I told them thank you for coming and Mom walked them out. I saw her walking back into the hall, after they left, in tears. I went up to her and asked what was wrong. She said that nothing was wrong, but that PawPaw just told her something that instantly brought her to tears. She said that he told her my MawMaw passed away 10 years too early. That she would've been so proud of me that day. So, of course, that made me cry, too!! It really meant alot. Jessie saw me crying and ran up to me and I told her what we were talking about. She hugged me, then told me it was time to dance some more. haha!

It was so great being all together. Greg's family and our family just joined together so quickly. You could really feel that we all became one family that day. Now, we're ready for another get together!

Standing beside Jessie on one of the biggest days of her life will, always, be one of my most proudest moments. It was such a huge honor. Leading up to the wedding, I knew being her maid of honor would be a huge privilege. But, when the day of the wedding came, it was more special than I could have ever imagined. It's a day I will never forget!

June 12th was a great way to begin the future. And by judging on how great that day was, the future is going to be so bright!!! ♥

Thursday, June 10, 2010

we're all in this together~

Tonight, we had the rehearsal supper. Rehearsal went really well. The church is beautiful. Mom got the 2 readings she will be doing. And the words are so pretty!!! She's going to do a great job! :) One thing that I really love is how the priest said he likes to stand with his back facing the pews and have the bride, groom, and the bridal party facing everyone seated while the vows are being said, instead of the opposite way. I thought that was SOOOO neat!!! He practiced with Jessie and Greg, while we were up there. (I stand at the top with them. I felt tall. haha!) And it was great to look at our parents watching us.

I can't wait to watch MawMaw and PawPaw watch their little girl get married. I am so thankful that they will be there. PawPaw has alot of health problems and MawMaw has had her share of issues in the past year. But, I prayed that they would be well for the wedding since Jessie and Greg got engaged 16 months ago. Thank you, God!!! My PawPaw will be there, too. :) He's very excited! And I know that if my MawMaw could, she'd be there, too. She loved Jessie. And I know she's so excited that she's getting married. Actually, I'm pretty sure she'll be with me helping me walk down the aisle. Someone has to make sure I don't trip. haha!

The two ladies who will be helping us the day of the wedding asked me how I was related to Jessie. And Uncle Polie said we were cousins, but more like sisters. "They're joined at the hip," he said. "She's my niece, but like a daughter, too." That was so precious. :) The ladies thought it was so nice to see cousins that close.

After rehearsal, we went to Greg's parents' house for supper. The spaghetti was great!! We visited for awhile, then headed for home. Tomorrow, we get up early to go and decorate the hall. I'm excited about that!! I can't wait to see how everything looks all set up. It's going to be wonderful!! And then, Saturday is the BIG day!!!

So, the next time I post, I'll have TONS of pictures to upload and a new cousin --- another guy to add to the bunch! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The day is nearly here!!

We are just 3 days away from the wedding! The day we've been planning for for 16 months is just around the corner. It's almost surreal. Everyone is so excited! We have rehearsal supper on Thursday night, we'll be gathering at the hall to decorate on Friday, and then Saturday is the wedding. I can't wait to see Jessie walking down the aisle. I can't wait to walk down the aisle as her maid of honor. I can't wait to see all of the family together celebrating. I just can't wait for it all!! :D

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's all for you. ~

Paul's Jewelers in the Oil Center did an amazing job on MawMaw's rings. When Dad and I got there and saw them, all I could say was "Wow!" They are so beautiful. They sparkle! The man helping us smiled and said, "That's the reaction we hope for." They were all so nice there!

I can't wait to give Mom the one on the right on Sunday. I'm wearing the left one right now. And I cannot say how much joy I feel in my heart when I look down at my hand and see the ring. To think that PawPaw gave MawMaw this ring on their wedding day, 62 years ago, means so much! I hope MawMaw will feel as honored, that we'll be wearing her rings, as we will be feeling wearing them. ♥

Must I?

I can't always be waiting,
... waiting on you.
I can't always be playing,
... playing your fool. ♪


I think it's time I start expressing to people how I feel if/when they've hurt my feelings. I've made it very easy for people to break their promises to me. And even easier for them to have no disregard about doing it. Why? Because, I'm "easy going." I don't get mad. "It's ok!!! :o)" is my line -- always said with a smile, of course.

Newsflash: I'm not a puppet. So, don't treat me like one. Please.

/First ever rant entry.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jessie's bridal shower~

... was fantastic!!! I'm so happy with how everything turned out. We were worried about the chance of rain, during the party, the night before. But, praise God -- He held the rain off until long after the party was over!! We had lots of good food, played games and laughed, and Jessie got lots of great gifts! :o)

It was a great chance for both families (the girls, anyway) to get together. I feel like we're one big family already. Everyone is so excited about the wedding. Aunt Cindy asked me if I was asked, again, to be someone's maid of honor and be in charge of planning another bridal shower -- would I? I quickly said yes and she said I didn't even hesitate in answering. I really would. But, I know that I will never have the chance to be the maid of honor for someone as close to me as Jessie ... (unless Mom and Dad would ever renew their vows. Then, I'd be Mom's maid of honor! =p)

Yes, I have close school friends whom I know very well. But, who can honestly say they've known and been close to someone for their ENTIRE lives? From the very beginning? Siblings can. But, not even all siblings stay as close as Jessie and I have. I feel very blessed to have been able to plan yesterday for her. It was worth every minute of work. :o) I'm very grateful to Mom and Dad. They have helped throughout the whole shower planning process every step of the way. And I'm very grateful to everyone who came yesterday. They all played a part in making the afternoon very special.

All in all, it was a great day! Everyone left with smiles on their faces. I mean, what better reaction from your party guests could you ask for? :o) Will post pictures soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

1 more day!~

We're, now, just a day away from the shower!!! FINALLY!!! I've been looking forward to this day for months and months. I've accomplished everything I wanted. I'm so excited with how everything has turned out. I would not have been able to get all of this done without the gigantic help of Mom! ♥ She is the most creative person I know! The planning process has been so much fun.

As much fun as it has been planning all of this, I can't wait for Jessie to get here and see everything. Sooo excited!! YAYAY!!! :o)

Monday, April 12, 2010

♪♥ I will not take my love away.

I will not take my love away,
when phrases cease and seasons change.
The whole world turns the other way.
I will not take my love away.

I will not leave you all alone.
When striving leads you far from home
and there's no yield for what you've sown.
I will not leave you all alone.

I will give you what you need
in plenty or in poverty.
Forever, always, look to me.
I will give you what you need.

I will not take my love away.

~ * ~

Heard this song on tv last night. It reminds me of the love I have for the people in my life, the love I'm given in return and, most of all, the never-ending love of God. ♥

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy 12th birthday, Aaron! ♥

Seems like it wasn't that long ago when Aaron and Austin were this small. Now, they're both nearly teenagers. ahh!! Growing up, Nanny would always tell me she wished that I would stop getting older. Now, I know what she means. I can't believe I have a Godchild who's 12! :o)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thank the heavens!

Whoever said "You don't know what you have until it's gone." sure made alot of sense! Last Monday, our fridge went out. And we just got a new one delivered today. So, the past 4 or 5 days, we've been storing our food in a little icebox in Dad's shop. It belonged to my great uncle and now Dad has it. Thank goodness we had that at least!! (Thank you, NaNonk! ♥) I must say, I never gave our fridge much recognition. Sure, I never insulted the thing, like Dad has!! (He always said it wasn't big enough, etc etc blah blah.) But, I never gave it much thought when I could just walk in the kitchen, open the fridge door, grab what I wanted, and walk away with a perfectly cold drink or food in hand.

But, when I woke up this morning, after a week, of having to go outside to get something to eat or drink, (which isn't a big deal, but you know...) and saw a brand new sparkling fridge in the kitchen; I wanted to hug it! (Which I did. HAH!) We live in a world where everything is at our fingertips. Everything is so accessible. Running water, a flick of a switch turns on lights and ceiling fans, buttons turn on every electronic gadget we own, fridges keep all of our foods and drinks cold, ac/heating. But, when something goes a little wrong with one of our many gadgets -- the world, seems to go, topsy turvy! But, when things go a little haywire; that's when you learn to appreciate how easy life is nowadays. We live in such interesting times!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

She listens like spring and she talks like June.

Tonight, I stayed up to listen to the sounds of the first spring thunderstorm. There's such peace in the sounds of falling rain and rumbling thunder.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Farmville fun on April Fool's day!

Mom doesn't keep up with her farm on farmville, but it didn't take her long to learn how to toilet paper my barn! haha~ =p

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mother's day gift~

Today, I began working on what I want to get Mom for mother's day this year. After MawMaw passed away, Mom was given her wedding ring. The engagement ring and the wedding band are molded together. I've been wanting to go to a jewelry store to see if they could separate them and resize them. Year after year, it was always just a "that'd make a nice gift!" idea. But, I'm tired of just talking about it! So, today I called Paul's Jewelry and asked if it could even be done. I explained that it was my grandmother's rings and that they are over 60 years old. I said I'd like to give the engagement ring (which has small diamonds across the top and a larger diamond on top of that) to Mom and I'd like to size the wedding ring (which has the diamonds across the top like the engagement ring, but no larger diamond) to fit me. The man was very, very nice. He kept saying that it was such a great idea. And that it could, infact, be done. I mentioned that I'd like to give it to her for mother's day, so I wondered how long the whole process would take. And he said just about a week! I was very surprised. I've had rings resized at Hallmark a few times and it took weeks!

I made a list of jewelry stores to call and get information. But, Paul's Jewelry was the first on the list. And I was very impressed at how nice the man was. So, I didn't call any other stores. I want to get it done there. I'll probably go the week after Easter, so they can look at it and get an estimate. I don't really care how much it costs, but I doubt it'll be a really insane amount. I have money saved, so I'm not worried. I think this year is the perfect year to give the ring to Mom. She's always so supportive and helpful. And this year is no different. She has gone above and beyond with helping me get ready for Jessie's shower and with other details of the wedding. So, I want to get her something extra, extra special! I can't wait to see her face when she opens the box. I'm excited to have a part of MawMaw's ring, too. And I know, MawMaw would be happy that we're going to be wearing her rings, as well! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

; * From the beginning.

Just know that these things will never change for us at all. ~

I was scanning a few pictures awhile ago and came across this one. This picture means alot to me. It shows how far I've come after all the surgeries. And most importantly, it shows the very start of a lifelong friendship Jessie and I have. 22 years later, we're just a few months away from her wedding day. I can't help but reflect on all the moments we've shared from when this picture was taken to now. I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for us in the next 22 years.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sneak peek # 2 ;

Here are two pictures of items Mom and I made using the cri-cut machine. They are apart of a game we'll be playing at the shower. Can you guess what they will be used for, Jessie? =p

Jessie's bridal shower invitations: COMPLETE!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

; All dressed up!

I went to school today to help out with the Jog-A-Thon this morning. And then this afternoon, Mom and I went to Aunt Jo and Uncle Polie's house to meet the lady who is fixing our dresses. While waiting for her, Jessie showed Mom and I some of the projects she's been working on. She's been really busy! I also got to see the jewelry that she made for us. It's all so pretty! After all that, I gave her an invitation to her shower. (haha!) Her and Aunt Jo really liked them. I'm so glad! :) Once, they're all complete; I'm going to post a picture on here of all of them.

Once the lady arrived with Jessie's newly altered dress, we got to see her try it on. She looked SOOO beautiful! The dress is just perfect on her. I was fortunate enough to be there both times she went try on dresses at David's Bridal. All the dresses she tried on were very pretty, But, when she tried on the one she eventually bought it was just perfect! It was the type of dress I had envisioned her wearing on her wedding day. It's fit for a princess! After she practiced walking around in it with her shoes for a little bit, it was my turn! The lady pinned up my dress in a matter of minutes! I was thrilled at the results. She made the dress look even prettier. I'm reaalllyyy excited. I can't wait to get it back!

It seems like March dragged on for ages! Finally, we're about to enter the last week of the month. Mom only has a 4 day work week this coming week. I go back to school on Wednesday and Thursday to help with Jog-A-Thon again. And then Mom is off for a week for Easter!!

Last Easter was a bit depressing, because it was just a week or so after my Uncle Ed passed away. So, I'm really looking forward to a happier one this year. Aunt Bridgette and the family are supposed to be coming in on Good Friday. We'll finally get to meet Kaiden!! And the next day is bridal pictures with Jessie! I'm looking forward to that, too. I think it'll be a fun day.

The following Sunday after Easter is Aaron's 12th birthday. (It's weird to think I have a Godson that old!!) Then, the following weekend is the shower!! Yayyyyy!!! Lots of fun stuff to look forward to. :) What a difference a year makes.

Will write more later! ♥

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bridal shower planning *

We're about 3 months until Jessie and Greg's wedding! It's hard to believe. Time has gone by so quickly, but it's still strange to think we're at the point where the planning stage is nearing the final stretch! I think we've been in this planning stage for so long, that it's a shock that we're almost finished! Since, we are this close to the wedding -- I have begun planning for Jessie's bridal shower! I'm having a blast. I've been keeping in touch with the other girls in the wedding and they're as excited as I am. They have been great! My very talented mom has helped me come up with ideas on how we should create the invitations. They are all handmade (including the envelopes) and they're sooo cute. (If I do say so myself! =p) I just finished putting them all together. And will begin working on the envelopes tonight. I plan to mail them out the last week of this month. I, most likely, will NOT be able to wait that long to show Jessie the invitations. I think I'll mail hers this week. =p

I have pretty much everything bought for the shower: plates, forks, cups, napkins, decorations. The menu has been divided up and taken care of. Games are planned. I just have a few more tiny details to take care of. I'm really excited that all of this will be a surprise for Jessie. I'm sure it's driving her crazy not knowing much about what's going on! (Fine time for me to learn how to keep quiet, right Jessie??? ;D) I want this to be special for her, so I have to keep quiet for just a few more weeks! I can do it!~ I can't wait to see her reaction when she sees everything set up the day of the shower. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Family. ♥

Yesterday, my family gathered together for yet another funeral. We said goodbye to my grandma's last surviving sibling. My grandma is one of seven children. And now, she's the only one left. She lost a sister in December, a brother in January, and now - her last sister this month. It's so sad. It hurts to see my family, especially my grandma go through this. But, I know she will be ok. She's got a family to love and support her and a very strong faith in God. She also has six angels (plus, her mom and dad) watching over her.

I thank God for my family. I know I have been blessed with such great people in my life. We stick together in good times and in bad. We've had our share of bad times the last few months, but I know we'll have our share of good times very soon. The next time, our whole family is all together will definitely be a joyous time -- Jessie's wedding. :)

Rejoice in heaven;
Aunt Tee,
& Aunt Rene! ♥ ... We love y'all!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Who dat!?

GEAUX SAINTS! caught the Wave...ø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤WHODATº°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„SAINTSº¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤WHODATº°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„SAINTSº¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤WHODATº°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„SAINTSº¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤WHODATº°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„SAINTSº¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø

... Yesterday,
the Saints became super bowl champions for the first time!
... Yesterday,
I turned 28.
... Yesterday,
will be a day to remember! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Honest Scrap Award Survey ;

Susan gave me the "Honest Scrap Award". Thank you!
(I'm sorry it took me so long to fill this out!)

These are the rules to follow when in receipt of this award:
Tell 10 honest things about myself.
Pick 10 honest bloggers to pass it on to.
Tell who gave me the award in the first place.

Here we go...

1.) My nearly 12 year old Godson is also my cousin (twice over.) Our dads are brothers and they married two sisters - our moms! :) I've once did a little research on "double cousins" and I've found out, that cousins twice related are more genetically related than half siblings. Pretty interesting!

2.) The elementary school I used to go to has a special place in my heart. I love going back there to volunteer my time. It's like a second home to me. I just love the people there!

3.) In a little over 4 months, I'm going to be my cousin's (Her blog is linked below.) maid of honor when she gets married. Helping her with wedding details is a blast! :)

4.) I'm an only child, but I've always considered my cousins as siblings. They're amazing!

5.) I've dreamed of going to Ireland since I was about 8 years old. I hope to get there in a few years.

6.) I love to write. I'm in the process of trying to get a few stories published.

7.) I've been talking to a group of people online for over 10 years now. They are a great group of people. What's really neat is that they come from all over the world: Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand! We'd love to all meet in Disney World one day.

8.) I love to travel, but I couldn't imagine living anywhere else, but south Louisiana.

9.) My mom and I are huge Disney fanatics! We're currently planning our next trip there within the next 2 years.

10.) I tend to talk alot in my sleep, so I'm told!

I don't have 10 people on my blog friend list, so I'm picking one.
I pass this award to my favorite cousin, Jessie! :)

Who's going to the Super Bowl?

The Saints are! WHO DAT?!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just know that these things will never change for us at all.

Today, my dad's side of the family gathered for the 2nd time in less than a month to bury a family member. My MawMaw lost one of her sisters right before Christmas and this week, she lost her brother. We all know they are together with their other brothers and sisters and parents in heaven now, but it hurts to say goodbye. Both of them gave of themselves so much. They loved us all and made us all feel special and unique. They loved unconditionally. Seeing my MawMaw and my last surviving great aunt cry over their losses hurts deeply. Right before the service started today, my MawMaw went say goodbye to my great uncle one last time and told him to say hello to everyone in heaven and told him that they'd all be together soon. What a comforting thought, yet so heartbreaking to hear.

I got up and read during the service. The moment I got up there and began reading, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. I picked out the readings myself with the help of one of my dad's cousins. As we were going through scriptures deciding what I'd read, I knew exactly which one I wanted to read for the first reading. The first scripture I read was from the book of Ecclesiastes. It talked about how there is a time for everything: "A time to laugh, a time to cry. I time to mourn, a time to dance." It just seemed so fitting. It describes life, itself. The second scripture I read was taken from the book of Thessalonians. It talked about how Jesus saved us and that when we die, we will all go to heaven and be together once more. It was a reading filled with hope. And when I read it, I felt it so strongly.

In between my readings, the soloist sang a short song, but I was able to remain standing at the podium. Standing up there, looking at my family - I felt so blessed. I have been blessed with an amazing family. A family who is always loving and supportive. I also felt a little sadness at the fact that the dynamics of ours is starting to change. The elders are getting older and starting to pass on. As much as I wish they would live forever, my grandparents won't actually be around forever. But, we have now and now is to be treasured. Then, I looked at the other side of the room and saw my cousins -the ones closer to my age who I've grown up with and the younger ones. The youngest ones, Aaron & Austin (my Godson and cousin) were both grinning from ear to ear at me and I couldn't help but smile. Once I was finished reading and sat back down, they both said I did a good job. As did the rest of the family. That made me feel really good!

Days like this makes you appreciate what you have. I treasure the moments I have with my family. And I trust in the fact that whatever life brings us, like the title of this entry says: things will never change for us at all. We will always be there for one another.

Enjoy heaven, Aunt Tee and NaNonk. Thank you for loving us. We love y'all!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

; these last 10 years *

According to a dictionary: a decade is a set, a series, or group. But, it's so much more, isn't it? It's time, passing. How do you define it? Moments; small ones and big ones, all connected. Some defining, some passing quietly. But, they all matter. So many pieces that create a puzzle, a puzzle you are unable to see, until a certain amount of time passes and you look back. Being an eternal optimist, I would hope everyone looks back at those times and smiles at the puzzle laid out before them. All those pieces that create a larger picture. Pieces of love, joy, laughter, growth, fond memories. And some are not so positive. Life hands you those not so good pieces, sometimes. It's inevitable. How you handle those pieces is up to you. But, every piece - good or bad, shapes you.

A decade. A lot can happen in 10 years. A 17 year old girl can finish school, start working, grow, dream, become someone people can rely on. All those frightening days of hospital stays and surgeries just a distant memory now. A 2 year old can go from being dependent on his parents and the people around him for everything into a nearly 12 year old boy who has his own opinions and ideas, loves sports, and craves adventure every day.

10 years ago, I was that 17 year old. Aaron (my MawMaw's youngest grandchild, my Godson) was a 2 year old enjoying his freedom of being able to walk and run on his own. Learning new words every day. Jessie (my cousin) and I were excitedly anticipating the new millennium. A big party, complete with a balloon drop filled with confetti, was planned. I felt like the future was just around the corner. The party went on just like we planned. It was the beginning of an exciting new year. Little did I know... 4 days later, one of those defining pieces of the puzzle would leave us heartbroken.

We all stood around my MawMaw's bed and held her hands, as we let her go. Never had I experienced something like that until then. We stood beside her as she was sick for years and we stood beside her that morning, as she made her way to heaven. The day of her funeral, as we were beginning to leave the graveyard.. I stood a bit off to the side on an incline and watched my family and close friends all start to slowly make their ways to their cars. For some reason, I thought (... and the thought is as vivid, now, 10 years later.. as it was then) of the future. 10 years from that day, to be exact. What would things be like? What would we be like? I can remember shuddering, not wanting to imagine 10 years without my MawMaw, being physically, in our lives. How would we go on happily?

Time continued to go on, as time does. We grew, we learned, we kept going. We've reached that 10 year mark. We're ok. I still miss her throughout the year, especially at this time. But, we're moving on. Today, I looked back at the puzzle that is the past 10 years. I saw joy, tears, hope.. all connected. And now, a new puzzle begins. I see this year as a milestone. Sure, I'll still miss her through the years. Some days will be harder than others. But, we've made it through the first decade. This year has so much in store. So many good things that are going to happen, so many good things that will happen that we don't know about yet.

Here's to a new puzzle... Below is one of those songs that struck me as words my MawMaw would say to me. It's a little reminder that she is, indeed, here and always will be. :)

Music Playlist at