The Lost Has Been Found!!! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽ‰

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.

Gilbert K. Chesterton
After living for 10 DAYS without her suitcase, Mara is all smiles to finally have it in hand!

Friday was a red letter day in our happy household! Mara’s bag had been lost since she arrived on the 17th, but finally on the 27th, a full 10 days later, she has her bag which will take her through the school year ๐Ÿ˜Š She was definitely enjoying the moment she first saw her bag! Life is sweet! โค

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.

Richard Bach
Posted in Celebrate, happiness, patience, persevere, thankfulness | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

A Memorable Day!

A new watercolor in honor of my Birthday Twin and me! ! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰

Today is a day to remember for many reasons. It is my birthday, the big 53 this year.ย  It is also the birthday of my new suitor from Match.com. While enjoying a yummy lunch with him on our first date at Olive Garden, we talked about birthdays and discovered we share one. How sweet is that?!? He is a wee bit younger than me,, but not so much that it raises eyebrows. ๐Ÿ˜„ It is also the birthday of my sweet niece.ย  So many reasons to celebrate! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.

J. B. Priestly
Marta and Mara, two beautiful Cobblers! โค

It is also the first day of school for Marta and Mara, my beautiful, brave exchange students. They are so nervous, but I am here for them and am praying for a wonderful first day for them bothโค  I know they have what it takes to make this an amazing senior year in America!!๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธโค๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Posted in adventure, anticipating good, Carpe Diem, Celebrate, Dating, starting out, watercolor practice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

The gang’s all here! Now the fun begins!! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

Our little family is complete. Photo credit to Nathan who joined us in welcoming Marta! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ“ท๐Ÿ˜Š

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

Anais Nin

We were so excited to be able to welcome Marta tonight! She had a SUPER long day, so is resting up tonight before our adventures begin tomorrow! We are going to see our famous faces at Mount Rushmore! Then, I believe it will be an early night for everyone. I think Mara is getting closer to adjusting to the time difference, but if her luggage would ever arrive, she would be much happier! Last we heard it MIGHT have made it to Brussels. ๐Ÿ™„ Her parents and I are trying from both sides of the ocean to figure out just what we need to do. We are hopeful that she will have it soon!

Luckily Marta’s luggage made the trip with her, so one less challenge to face. Registering for classes happens Monday and she starts school on Tuesday! Mara is a step ahead and is registered already and has visited many of her classrooms. We are hopeful that we will be able to walk Marta around Monday after she get her schedule set. Right now I know that it is all new and scary for them, but I’ll bet in a month’s time, they will wonder why they were ever nervous!

Mara and Martaโค Hopefully the beginning of a long lasting friendship โค๐Ÿ˜Šโค

I am excited to have the opportunity to share our beautiful city and state with the girls and to see them blossom as they adjust to their new home and develop confidence and self assurance! It’s going to be a GREAT year!

Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.

Herodotus
Posted in adventure, anticipating good, Carpe Diem, Celebrate, friendship | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Happy 2nd Heavenly Birthday, Mom

The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

Russell M. Nelson

Mom always loved birthdays. I’m sure our celebrations here are only a shadow of what she can experience in Heaven. Thinking of you today, Mom, and wishing you the most wonderful celebration ๐Ÿฅณโค๐Ÿฅณ

โค Love, Beth

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Rabindranath Tagore
Posted in angels, Just Me, love, relationships | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The adventure begins…

Life is either a great adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

Next week at this time both my host daughters will have arrived! What an exciting time!!

Kudos to these two brave girls with a grand sense of adventure, willing to leave their families for the entire school year . They are curious about a different culture and willing to step out of their comfort zones to experience that.

The wonderful thing about them taking that leap of faith and daring to take a chance and to have that adventure is that not only will they get to share our culture, but they will share theirs as well. I think it is a great benefit to their fellow classmates to learn about what is similar and what is different between their home countries and our own.

One of the best things about hosting is to watch the kids blossom and adapt to new situations. I expect that my host daughters will be quite overwhelmed initially, but I will help however I can and I am certain that in no time they will discover confidence with the language, their classes and newly formed friendships. They will carry this confidence with them in future endeavors and will make memories that they will always treasure.

Adventure is worthwhile.

Aesop

We already have our own adventures planned for their year here. I have so much to look forward to with these twoโค The only thing I don’t look forward to is having to say goodbye at the end of the school year.

Posted in adventure, Celebrate, independence, Learning, living life to the fullest | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Nothing lasts forever. Enjoy it while you can!

This sweet little angel reminds us to listen to Cesare Pavese and make the most of every moment! โค

Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.

Horace

Yesterday, to my dismay I discovered that my lovely hot poker plants that had just started blooming were a bit too tempting for the deer that visit my yard to leave alone. I’m so glad I got a photo before they met their demise. While I lost the hot poker plants, I am thankful that the large lily opened up. As with life, there are endings but also new beginnings. I will enjoy and appreciate my lily while I have it. โค

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Buddha

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Imagine….

Back to the positive!! Can’t stay mired down too long. I have a fondness for pigs, so made this little guy. He is a cutie and since he has wings, I’m guessing he has a delightful imagination! Here are some great quotes I found about imagination! :

Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; And then do it.

Duane Michals

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

Albert Einstein
Posted in accomplishment, Carpe Diem, Imagination | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Would I Like a Spotless Mind? I think so.

This post is filled with some raw emotions and not so positive pondering. If you would like the happier, more positive posts, I surely understand. Feel free to stop now and find a more optimistic one! ๐Ÿ˜ Sometimes I just need to get these thoughts out so I can move on.

A one minute doodle of me with and without my ex in my head

If you are still with me, here we go!

Many years ago I saw the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. It is a strange show, but thinking of it started my imagination running wild. Given the chance, would I opt to forget my entire relationship with my most recent ex-husband as Kate Winslet’s character Clementine chooses to do with former boyfriend, Joel? Would I like to have every memory of him erased from my mind?

Honestly, I think I would. I would miss out on the memory of meeting some of his wonderful relatives, but I wouldn’t remember so wouldn’t be sad. Honestly, even though I grew to love them as family, I will most likely never see any of them again. ๐Ÿ˜• We had no children together, so no drastic alterations to the space/time continuum would occur. I would have 12 years of my life back and could have happy memories of times spent with my kids, family and friends. Memories of amazing trips and holidays would be altered to eliminate him.

โ€œWhat a loss to spend so much time with someone, only to find out that sheโ€™s a stranger.โ€

Joel Barish
(as played by Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

I understand Joel’s anguish in the quote above. I feel like all the years with my ex were a waste. I never truly knew him. He never got close to any of my kids, so no worry about any of them needing to have mind wipes done. They have forgotten him already and continue to encourage me to do the same. Thinking back, the only thing I gained from that relationship was meeting his family and friends. He once told me he thought I loved his mom more than I did him. That was probably true. He and I used to joke about a vacation when he yelled at me during a kayaking excursion. How funny is that? ๐Ÿ™„ Did I ignore a few red flags๐Ÿšฉ๐Ÿšฉ๐Ÿšฉ? Definitely. In my defense, I took my vows seriously and meant for the relationship to be forever.

Reading through my old journals, I see SO many moments when I should have slowed things down or stopped them. Perhaps many of those were divine interventions designed to make me think twice, but I was so “in love”, reason and logic went out the window. He was from too far away and was controlling from the beginning of our relationship. Two different trips to meet him required me to stay inside a hotel room all day, even multiple days while he was in a conference. A trip to Disney, our first together, saw him riding one of the rides solo rather than waiting for me to get in line with him after I stood in line to get FastPasses for the two of us. I was an afterthought from the beginning.

He was handsome and he had a wonderful way with words. I was flattered by the attention, and if I had to get up at 5:00 am because that is what worked for his schedule, I was happy to do it. Honestly, the first time we met in person, I was underwhelmed, but with as much time as I had invested by then, I convinced myself that this was it. He was my person.

He has already moved on and I want to be able to do the same. Getting a friend request last week from his old “friend” with the pages full of photos of the two of them together and a specific post that referenced the “many times” she has visited the small town he now lives in was hurtful and cruel. I would love it if I could just brush that away without a thought rather than letting it hurt me. If I would have been offered a time machine that day with the opportunity to visit the past and to never interact with him, I would have jumped at the chance.

You take your power back by letting people go.

Emma Xu

The mind wiping might be the best solution, though. If I had a time machine, I could go back and end it at the very beginning, but it might change the good things that happened in those years. By taking out only the memories of him, I would still retain memories of all the special times with my kids and family and friends. I would still have memories of the wonderful places I’ve been, just not with the added anguish of having experienced them with someone who no longer loves me and possibly never did.

If all the memories of him were gone, so too would be the anxiety of often feeling not good enough, of being too messy, not smart enough, too angry, too relaxed, too much of a planner, someone who shares too much. I definitely have my share of flaws and I realize this and can’t wipe them away even with a mind sweep. With all memories of him erased, I could, however, get over the feeling that I had to hide or quash any flaws in order to keep things “good” between us. Also gone would be the sometimes thoughtless, cruel comments and threats that replay in my mind when it is silent.

He threatened to take half of everything I owned, including my new/old house, my savings and my partial ownership in our family business if I didn’t sign over the entire house he is living in. He contributed nothing to any of this in the years we were together. Our finances were separate. I alone made the significant down payment on the house he is in. I knew then that if he ever had cared for me, he certainly didn’t anymore. I did as he asked, as I generally did. I’ve been told that with a good lawyer, I would have prevailed, but a long drawn out court battle was not worth it to me. He still has the house and all the equity including the down payment that took my entire savings up to the point we purchased it in 2018. To his credit, he did tell me after the divorce was final that he wouldn’t have followed through with that threat. Another “memorable” moment with him toward the end was when he said, ” I don’t understand why it is taking so long for you to get over your Mom [her death less than 6 months earlier]. It’s not like you were that close.” Unbelievable, right?!

I kept from telling anyone about some of the things I have been through because I didn’t want people to think less of him despite what has transpired. There comes a time, though when enough is enough. I was content to let things be until the new relationship was thrust at me along with the little caveat that this has been going on for quite some time since she has visited “many times.” That was enough to finally push me to block his e-mail in addition to previously blocking him from texting, calling and social media. I also removed him as a follower on my blog as well as his “friend” who subscribed via e-mail. As Ominek says below, when I’m done, I’m done. I certainly don’t need that in my life. This post is me saying I’m done! There will be no “friendship” or any contact of any kind from here on out. I am hopeful that he and his “friend” will leave me alone and will build their own life together and leave me out of it.

I’m guilty of giving people more chances than they deserve but when I’m done, I’m done.โ€

Turcois Ominek

So, if I had the opportunity to erase him from my mind completely, I would definitely sign up. Until then, all I can do is to try my best not to let him take up space in my head. I hope to someday be able to move on as well. Somewhere out there, there may be a person who I want to reside in my head and in my heart for today, tomorrow and forever.

If you made it to the end, thank you for hanging in there! Sometimes just for my own peace of mind, I need to expel the inner “yuckiness”. I promise to get back up on the positive path!

Thank you to all of my wonderful visitors and followers (aka blogging friends) who make it so much easier to find the good in life and in other people โค

Posted in independence, Let it go, Love Yourself, moving on, persevere, relationships | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Have No Fear

Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.

Charles Stanley
A new poppy opened up!

Today has me thinking about how fleeting life is and how I need to make the very most of it. I have decided to do what brings me joy and to take whatever opportunities come my way. I am very excited about the arrival of my two exchange students. I know that the time with them will pass all too quickly. I want them both to have amazing adventures while they are here. We will enjoy every day to the hilt as Audrey Hepburn suggests. โค

Mom’s roses are blooming beautifully โค

Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.

Audrey Hepburn
My latest watercolor creation

The most beautiful things are not associated with money; they are memories and moments. If you don’t celebrate those, they can pass you by.

Alek Wek

Posted in Embrace Life, fighting fears, Worry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Be Good and Kind โค

Be good and kind. โค

Kindness and goodness is something that needs to be internalized, not just professed.

We all need strong people to stand by us and help us through life. These people are shining examples of strength and can expose those who profess to be leaders and examples to follow while in fact they are cruel to those who they feel are beneath them or cannot help them in any way.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

It does no good to say we wish someone peace and happiness and then secretly treat them in a cruel manner. That is hypocritical. If we wish to do as Jesus asks, we must be strong, and treat others with kindness and gentleness, the way we wish to be treated. When we encounter the opposite, we need to remove ourselves from those people.

May we all strive to be strong, kind people.

The great mind knows the power of gentleness.

Robert Browning
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Alone is not the worst thing to be

One of my little drawing/zentangles. I enjoy drawing and then finding a quote that speaks to me at that moment.

I think this quote from Robin Williams is so accurate. I truly used to think that being alone was the worst thing that could happen to me. I’m an introvert, so huge crowds drain me, but I do crave connections. I still would love to be able to have someone with me, someone to be able to say, Welcome Home, honey and a for-sure movie or dinner date. I still miss snuggling and look forward to the day when I have someone to kiss and to hold hands with.

Even now, I hear the voice in my head from the one who made me feel more alone when I was married than I have since. That voice tells me I don’t deserve someone. I’m not good enough. I have too many flaws. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I am one that gives chance after chance and tries to always see the good in people. I am definitely guilty of trying to “fix” situations that are not fixable and to make excuses for inexcusable behavior.

One of the great exercises that my therapist gave me is to pretend that I am talking to a friend who is in the exact same situation. What advice would I give her? Hypothetically, If my friend were to call me and ask me if she should stay in contact with a person who broke her heart, I would say an emphatic NO, not just NO, but HELL NO! And, while it is hard to shut and lock that door, it is very necessary for peace of mind and mental health.

Despite what has happened, I still feel like there will be a special someone for me. When the time is right, he will “come out of nowhere and into my life” as Michael Bublรฉ so eloquently sings. Any fans of the movie “Practical Magic” will remember when Sandra Bullock’s character, Sally, came up with a spell to call true love to her. She created someone so good he couldn’t possibly exist. While that didn’t ultimately end up the best for her, I don’t wish to call an “impossible” person to me. I was thinking of it and I did write down last night the attributes that my special someone will have. Here is my “perfect person”:

  • Handsome (just enough for me…not drop dead gorgeous….but sometimes love makes the ordinary extraordinary)
  • Kind
  • Faithful
  • Loving and affectionate
  • Encourages me to be a better person, but accepts when I don’t quite make it
  • Can (playfully) tease me
  • Accepts my faith
  • Gets along with my kids (as I will with his kids if he has them)
  • Loves (or at least tolerates ๐Ÿ˜‰ )my puppy Romeo

In the meantime, while I’m waiting for the time to be right, I’ll be single, happy and hopeful ๐Ÿ™‚ I found a little sign that I have on my desk right now. It says, “I’m not single. I have a dog”. Works for me!

I’m not single. I have Romeo!
Posted in feelings, happiness, love, Love Yourself, patience, relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Love Me, Love My Music (or at least my LOVE of music)

If you want to get to know me better, the music I love says a lot โค

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. That may or may not be true. I’m not sure what the way to every woman’s heart is, but for me, talk to me about music! In the last few days, I have had fun going back in time and reminiscing about my favorite high school jams as well as songs that have and always will hold a special place in my heart.

If you appreciate “Affirmation” by Savage Garden, you are my kind of person!! https://open.spotify.com/track/6lWY4ji9T0tpFU2xbnRC1p?si=7a05185d03914b81

I remember back in high school when I was lucky enough to have a cassette player in my Pinto (hey, don’t judge me….it was a cool car at the time). I literally wore out the cassette for the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. I also had tapes on which I recorded songs from the radio. Sure there might have been a bit of background noise, but to be able to listen to my favorite songs while on the go was SO worth dealing with the minor annoyance of a parent or sibling’s voice in the background!

Once iPods came out, I was in heaven! Being able to have a digital playlist of music was AMAZING! Still, dealing with iTunes was challenging at best. Finding Spotify was a complete game changer for me. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t listen to one of my playlists on the Spotify app. With Alexa (yes, I’m a total tech geek), it is even simpler. “Alexa, play Current Favorites on Spotify.” is a common command from me.

Even nicer is the option to listen to a specific song even when it isn’t in my playlist. Last night, I was travelling down memory lane and asked Alexa to play “Magic” and “Just What I Needed” by the Cars, and then “Jessie’s Girl” and “Human Touch” by Rick Springfield. While chatting with another awesome 80s fan recently, I found myself saying, “Oh yeah! And what about…?” We dredged up a few great ones which I then added to my “Current Favorites”. I love that it is easy to edit it, so if I have had enough of a song, it can be easily removed from my playlist and replaced by the latest new (or old) tune to be stuck in my head!

Anyone else have music always playing in the background? What is on YOUR current favorites list? I’m always happy to find (or re-find) great tunes!

Posted in happiness, love, Music | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments