More Vacation Photos

…because I know you love them. And I don’t know what more to say about our trip other than thank you so much to the friends and family who made time to visit with us while we were in town. I can’t tell you much Pittsburgh is one home and SC is another. You really miss the people who became your family while your blood was hundreds of miles away. Being able to have those moments back, if only for a week, meant the world. We can’t wait to get a chance to come “home” again soon. xoxo

(Note…any pics of us with others can be found on my FB page if you’re interested…)

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Circle of Life

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On Memorial Day, we went to a family cookout. In case we soon forget, it was ONE.HOT.DAY. 94 degrees in the shade and a small breeze.

My mom’s side of our family is pretty extended, my grandparents had 7 children (plus their spouses) who all have 2 or more kids (plus some stepkids), half of which are married and have kids (I think E is great grandkid #19?). I remember back in the day, even a few years ago, when almost all of us living in PA would get together for family functions. We wouldn’t think twice about stuffing 50 of us in a tiny living room just to be together. I was so jealous of these times when I lived in SC, so i really miss my cousins who can’t always join us due to distance. 

But recently, things have changed a bit.  I am one of the lucky ones who has a spirit of forgiveness (it goes both ways) and loves to be around my family as much as I can, so I put opinions and comments aside, keep my irritating behaviors to a minimum, and always enjoy moments spent with family. That might be cleaning a car, eating fresh popped popcorn at sunset, enjoying a shopping trip, or just being together. I try to manage time with family because it’s what feels good and right for me.

Also on Monday, we went to the viewing for a cousin’s father. The Circle of Life has been on my mind lately, and those moments really touched me. I don’t want to be making amends at someone’s funeral, I want to live in the moment and enjoy it! Like the unspecting fly the spider caught on Monday, we too never know how much time we have. That’s why I want to spend quality time with people I care about and those that care back.

I know I have talked about this before, but being a “Blue” personality, I have intense emotions and desire harmony. For me, that’s letting my kids now what love is and putting them in safe, loving environments. Luckily, I have a family that loves to love. We may not see each other all the time, but we do our best. This weekend we will be lucky enough to see people from both sides of my parents’ family, and that makes me happy. We are also excitedly counting down the days ’til we see our sc family.

Family is everything to us, and if you are part of our family, thank you for being there. The circle of life can happen at any moment, and I hope that when it happens to me, 99% of you have beautiful memories of me.

Sending love, hugs, and blessings to those who have recently lost someone they love, especially our cousins. ❤

A Happy (Birth)Day

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This morning I woke up praising God for yet another year my family has been blessed to have my cousin Aaron! I’m a believer in miracles, and today am reminded that they exist. In May, we will celebrate another year (big) Ari is CANCER FREE!!! Happy Birthday to one of the funniest, kindest, strongest men I know, my (favorite) cousin Aaron!

(Here he is two years ago meeting lil miss A who I named in his honor. I had to share a fabulous oldie of her today.) 😉