Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life is good

My friends at work know how much I love to shop, so they gave me a Amazon.com gift certificate for my birthday.

I bought this fabulous tire cover that says it all - because Life is good, when you have fabulous friends!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Knowing when to say "when"...

One of my co-workers resigned this week. She has looked distressed for the past several months and we have all worried about her. I guess she finally reached her limit. I really think in this fast paced world, it is important to know when to call time out. Most of us try to do everything, please everyone, and we are afraid not to take on another project because we think, what if I turn this down and I don't get another chance. It can be a scary risk, but sometimes it is the most healthy option.

My doctors are encouraging me to focus more on myself. I need to be living a very healthy life of exercise, good food and rest. All these things are very important to stay healthy and prevent recurrence. My goal is to focus on how I spend my time and energy. I need to choose the things that bring me the most satisfaction and joy. I am going to find creative outlets and I am going to start journaling again. I think it helps to see in black and white how I am spending my time.

I think about when I was a child and my mom would pour me a glass of milk. I can still hear her voice "Laura, say when" (meaning, tell me when you have enough). I think this is a lesson mothers teach us from the beginning, but maybe somehow we forget it in the midst of the rat race and need reminding.

I work for a realtively young company and it is not unusual to work long hours at work, and then log back on and work some more before going to bed. I've been trying hard to set limits and turn off my blackberry after work hours, but the pressure is there to stay connected. I hope if the time comes for me to say "when" that I will have the courage to put myself first and make that change.



Friday, August 20, 2010

Book, Movie or Magazine Club

I was recently discussing book clubs with my girlfriends. We were talking about different ones we had been in, or were still a part of.

After some discussion, we decided we are either going to start a movie club, or a People magazine club (Lori's idea). We can watch the film or read the magazine, and then get together for dinner and a lively discussion. Everyone agreed this is a great idea!


Eat Pray Love

I went with a few girlfriends to see the movie "Eat Pray Love". I had read the book by Elizabeth Gilbert several years ago and enjoyed it. The movie is not a romantic comedy and not a thriller. It is a bit slow at times, but I enjoyed it. It reminds us how important it is to love ourselves and choose people in our lives who compliment us, not consume us. It also reminds us when we feel out of balance to work to get that back by asking ourselves what we really want, and then to go pursue that.

I saw an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author, she talked about people telling her of their attempts to re-create her journey in order to find themselves. Her response to them was- "The point isn't that you do what I did, the point is that this book will encourage you to ask yourself these same questions that I asked myself: what am i here for? what do I want to do with my one wild and wonderful life? If you could do anything, what would you do?"

My favorite quote of the day...

"She turned to me & whispered, don't you just love it when you get so excited you forget to breathe? & the thought of her smiling eyes still makes me laugh." ~ Story People


I love that feeling!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Strengths

My team at work recently did a pilot for a strength finder program. We answered questions quickly about our thoughts and reactions to work and home life issues and activities. The point is to answer quickly from your gut, to get the most honest response. Then we all got together as a group to discuss the results and see if we were all being utilized to our full potential.
These were identified as my top 5 strengths:
  • Strategic
  • Responsibility
  • Positivity
  • Maximizer
  • Connectedness
The exercise came with a insight guide which describes what makes me stand out from other people with the same theme in their top five.
I'll admit I was a little nervous going in to the meeting, nothing like discussing your strengths and opportunities for improvement with the vice president of the company. It went fine and was pretty interesting hearing the make up of our team. We seem to be a well rounded group, according to this exercise.

The Big C

Showtime has a new series called "The Big C" about a lady who is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She makes a decision to live every moment of her life on her terms, and she doesn't tell her family what is going on. They think she has just kind of lost her mind. I've only seen the first episode, but I'm already hooked. When you are told you have cancer, it changes you. It makes you feel off-balance and sometimes a little kooky. I can totally relate to some of Cathy's feelings. Choosing or not choosing treatment is a very personal decision and should be supported. I am looking forward to seeing how they play this story out. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3ahIJ98ppw
http://www.sho.com/site/video/brightcove/series/title.do?bcpid=69609888001&bclid=309216242001&bctid=326144684001

On a bit of a related note, one of Bryan's friends wife is battling stage 3c melanoma. She has a blog I am following. I can tell you that she is handling her battle with courage, grace and humor and I admire her spirit. She is flying back and forth to MD Anderson for biochemo and is half way through with her treatments. Please stop and say a prayer for Amy today!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Great birthday gifts

Bryan bought me tickets to see John Mellencamp at the Ryman, and also a new camera. I have a reputation for taking blurry photos, so everyone better watch out - because this camera takes pretty clear photos and it's small enough to take everywhere with me. I plan to enjoy and document my life!

My birthday

I am now officially 45 years old! I used to kind of dread getting older, but then two years ago I heard those words "you have cancer" and now, well...getting old isn't so bad anymore.

I plan to celebrate each and every birthday I am given from now on!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A really good quote

There comes a time in life when you walk away from all the pointless drama and people who create it, and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus on the good. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

I am very blessed to have great friends to laugh with!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Savannah, GA

We detoured a bit and stopped by Bonaventure Cemetery http://www.pbase.com/savannahga/bona and downtown Savannah on our way home. Bonaventure is such an interesting place to visit, we looked at all the beautiful monuments and dates. The oldest date we saw was from the 1700s, but we really didn't have time to walk through all the gardens, that would take hours.



I've read about making sure you live ~ between your dash. Meaning to fully live between your birth date and death date on your tombstone. Some of the people at Bonaventure lived long lives that I hope were very full and hopefully happy. Others were infants or children and we could only imagine what could have taken them so young. There was a marathon runner who died at 55, her family chose to put up a bronze statue of her running. Such a nice tribute.

We then headed to the waterfront downtown and had lunch at Spankys http://www.spankys.tv/info_pages.php?pages_id=3. They had fabulous burgers and chicken and it was a nice stop, before the long trek home.




We made it home by 10pm. It was a fabulous vacation week, but I was pretty happy to sleep in my own bed again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

South Beach

On Friday night we drove over to the South Beach area of Sea Pines. It has several restaurants to choose from. We originally were headed to the Salty Dog Cafe, but there was a long wait. We ended up at the Land's End Tavern http://www.saltydog.com/stores/letavern/ which was very kid friendly and delicious. All these restaurants seem to share the same menu items. The food was delicious and it had a pirate theme which was fun as well.

There was live music on the deck between the two restaurants and we enjoyed listening for a while after dinner. Chassi, Anna and Emri danced quite a bit, and the rest of us joined in at times. Fun ending to our Sea Pines Adventure!


Tennis and gators




We had courts right beside our condo, so we tried our luck at tennis and badminton one night. I'm not sure we are ready for the circuit just yet, but it sure was fun.






We also had two baby alligators and lots of turtles in the pond in our subidivison. They must get fed often, because whenever you would go near the shore they would swim right up to the bank as if they were begging for food. Evidently most of the larger gators are on the golf courses ~ we avoided those.

Cooking at the Condo

We always have fun taking turns cooking on vacation. We grilled steak, shrimp and chicken one night. Another night was pasta and pizza night. We always make sure to have fun desserts on vacation. Josh's family made homemade sundaes one night. I think they enjoyed squirting the whipped cream as much as they enjoyed the sundaes. One morning we made homemade donuts and the girls took turns rolling them in powered sugar, cinnamon sugar and chocolate. Yummy!

Not a low calorie vacation, so it was good we stayed so active the whole time. Erin and Jenni rented bikes and Bryan and Josh brought their bikes along. Chassi and I borrowed the girls bikes for a ride one day. The little girls need a little more practice before cycling all over the island.

Harbor Town


Our condo in Sea Pines was in the Harbor Town section. We could walk just down the street and come to their nice playground area, as well as the docks with all the big boats. One night while standing on the pier waiting for our table at the Crazy Crab we counted 6 dolphins!

We only dined out 3 or 4 times during our trip. Other nights we enjoyed taking turns grilling and cooking at the condo. The Crazy Crab was one of our favorite night out experiences. They have bottomless hushpuppies and Josh ate at least one full basket by himself, as well as a big surf and turf dinner. I'm not sure where he puts all that food, but he has always been able to run it off somehow.

Beach Days


South Carolina doesn't have the white sand beaches like Florida, but they are nice and well kept. Our family is so pale, we always kid that we like the white sand beaches, because we can usually obtain enough color to get darker than the sand. I'm not sure this is the case at Hilton Head, but we had fun just the same.


One morning Anna, Morgan and I got up early to go collect seashells on the beach. Instead they found dozens of starfish - they were so excited and had to bring several smelly ones home. Let's hope they dry out soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sea Pines Resort

At 5am Sunday morning, we loaded up and headed to South Carolina to Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island. It was a 10 hour drive, thank goodness for portable DVD's that kept Emri happy.


We rented a 4 bedroom, 4 bath condo so we would all have plenty of room to move about. Jenni's friend Erin came with us and they were very good at keeping the little girls entertained. The pool was right behind our patio and everyone swam several times a day, either at the beach or pool.

Wedding and Reception details...

My friend Mickey and I met early on the wedding day and assembled Lisa's bridal bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquets. Thank goodness for youtube videos that showed us how to assemble. We finished 30 minutes before photos - whew!

Joyce coordinated and ran the reception, assisted by Elizabeth, Rosalee, Isabel, Mickey, Lori, Angie, Sandy, Catherine and Kathy. They did an awesome job!

Lisa and Chadd wanted a very Nashville theme with BBQ, chips, veggies/hummus, fruit, cakes, coffee punch and fruit-tea punch. We of course had to have some Chester County BBQ sauce, as well as some local flavors. She and Chadd have a ongoing debate on which is real bbq - pork or beef (he went to grad school in Texas) and so both had to be served. http://gallery.me.com/timkreth#100123/LisaChadd-Large&bgcolor=black

Thank you fabulous family and friends ~ we could not have done this without all of you!

Congratulations Lisa and Chadd!





Lisa was a beautiful bride and our Uncle William did the ceremony for her and Chadd. He said very sweet things about our mother and grandparents. I know Mom was watching from above and sending hugs and kisses to Lisa on her special day.

video

Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner

Chadd's family hosted a great evening for the wedding party, family and friends on Friday night at Bucca di Peppo. The food just kept coming, and if anyone left the restaurant hungry -it was all their fault. We had salads, breads, several pastas, chicken parmesan, ravioli and multiple decadent desserts.

Larry and Chelsea put together a great slide show with photos of Lisa and Chadd as they grew up. They showed this after dinner and then, Chadd's father and a couple of his groomsmen made great speeches about what a wonderful son and friend Chadd has always been. Dad, Jana and Linda all talked about Lisa and what a fabulous person she is too. I knew if I stood up and tried to talk about Lisa I would cry, so I let them do the talking that night.

So now it's my turn, and here is what I would like to say about my baby sister Lisa:
Lisa was born when Linda and I were 10 and 11 years old. I'll admit I was a little nervous about being replaced as Dad's littlest angel. Then Lisa came into this world, we all quickly fell in love with her and I didn't mind at all taking the middle daughter place.

Linda and I had a great time with our baby sister, we dressed her up, made her playhouses out of appliance boxes, took her on our dates, kept her up too late watching teenage shows, fed her lots of popcorn and somehow she survived us, and all our friends. She only has a few scars from her childhood, but that really isn't MY fault. I said "go get Linda, but don't run!"

As Lisa grew up, she quickly became a favorite aunt who loves to take her nieces and nephews on all kinds of adventures. Lisa ~I love the lolli-Pope, but I haven't forgiven you for helping Josh get the smelly escape artist sugar-glider. Someday I'll be purchasing your child a hermit-crab.

Lisa has grown into a beautiful woman and I so proud to be her big sister. I see so much of Mom and our grandmothers in her every day. She has Elva's quiet spirit, Mattie's kind heart and Reba's fabulous smile and creativity. I am so glad that she and Chadd have found each other and I can't wait to watch their love story unfold. I love you Lisa!



Bridesmaid brunch at the Pfunky Griddle


More wedding festivities...

Friday morning, Brenda, Beth and Jane hosted a bridesmaid brunch at the Pfunky Griddle in honor of Lisa. Everyone had a great time making their own pancakes and getting to know Chelsea, Caroline and Sue (Chadd's family). They quickly fit right in with our family.

Jewel, Stefini, Harriet, Belle, Anna Grace and Megan were there as well as Sherry, Linda, Jenni, Chassi and the girls. Lisa was so happy to be surrounded by loud, loving family members.

Thank you Beth, Brenda and Jane for making Lisa's wedding weekend so special!