Sunday, July 24, 2011

Come on Over!

I've started a new blog....come on over! I've been missing you!

Lots of stuff has been happening...did you know?

Come, let's talk....I really do want to know about your day!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Tradition was instilled in my family from my earliest memories

And, although the traditions are in my heart throughout the year, they are "visible" during Christmas. Perhaps, this is one reason I love Christmas so much.

My great grandmother, Granny, was famous for cooking. Her pecan pies were amazing! This year at our family Christmas Eve gathering, as I walked into the kitchen, I saw a beautiful pecan cake. It was from the recipe Granny shared with us years ago...this year it was made by my Mom. And at the sight of that cake, we all began to talk about Granny...her funnies, her talents, her gifts...and now those stories are being shared with her adult great-great grandchildren. (And they giggled...)

My Grandma and Grandpa were always the hosts for Christmas day, as long as their health permitted. The minute your crossed through the front door, the sage from the dressing would hit the pit of your stomach...and you couldn't wait for a taste. And we loved seeing the decorations Grandma brought out every year. She had a lawyers library case that housed them all. They were on display, and we would sit and look through that glass for hours. My favorite? A very, very, very old Rudolph.

This year, the first thing I saw when I walked into Mom's house was one of Grandma's Santa & reindeer...and the memories flooded. And, so we sat and told the kids about Grandma's collections. (And yes, on some, they giggled, we did, too...)

And now, my Mom and Dad (Nanny & Papaw) are the Christmas (always on Eve) hosts for all of us.

And now there are quite a few of us...

And in my childhood, after the presents and incredible meal - we all played football in the backyard for hours. This year, the kids played memory making Wii - Dance - memories built. And Nanny's encouragement and giggles just made it all the more special.

Nanny surprised all the kids and grandkids with a book of memories - photos and stories of early generations, and current generations. The kids couldn't put it down - they asked questions, they wanted to know more about the faces, in some cases they were seeing for the first time. And, yes, tradition was revealed and strengthened once again.

And tradition on John's side of the family runs just as deep. I love to hear the stories he and Rich share...and this year has been a year of "learning"...

It was our first Christmas without our precious Mummy (John's mother).

And yes, we each had our moments of feeling extreme loss...and we told each other. I won't share here, but I will tell you I think she would be proud of each of us. Each of our "moments" painted a beautiful picture of how important she was to all of us, in so many ways. She made it clear to each of us, in both spoken and unspoken words, of what our family roles were to be in the future - and again - I think she would be so proud.

And, yes, Mummy was filled with tradition. As Papa moved into a bright new residence, we began to touch each little thing in their home. John, Rich, Lori and myself were faced with a difficult, yet a beautiful blessing - as we learned, told new stories, heard old stories...I now know what a gift - it was a precious journey.

And so, with each piece John and I requested to share with our family - it had nothing to do with value - it had everything to do with those traditions that surrounded the gifts. Thank you Papa...

And we hope to have many, many years to be able to share and tell the stories to our children and grandchildren.

There are other treasures that we will share in the future, but this year...

We ate our family Christmas dinner on the dining table that Mummy and Papa had hosted many family and holiday dinners. We also at on the beautiful china that was their wedding china. John's prayer recalled those that we missed...

I used the beautiful olive wood artpiece Mummy and Papa had treasured from their trip to the Holy Land as a centerpiece - and I'm happy I did. There was not a more perfect place to feature this spectacular, special gift...

And one of my favorite treasures is her cookie our first Christmas as Lolli & "spoke" of us as grandparents - (and yes, we intend to have it filled each time the grandkids walk in)

It has been very fun to hear John tell the stories about the smaller pieces we made sure to share with all our Christmas guests...

And I took care to display this tiny collection of his memories right at the front door. I know it sounds mushy...but it was an honor to share these treasures and stories. Many times I thought how proud Mummy would be - John telling everyone how each little piece had been special throughout his life.

It was a Christmas filled with tradition, and we are building new traditions!

Sometimes you simply can't know that what may seem like an inconvenient, silly tradition at the time - may become your greatest treasure.

The only thing that could make ours any better, is if we still had "them" here to help to tell the story. I'm so thankful to have a husband who listened...and will tell the story. I'm so proud that Rich & Lori are just as determined to honor tradition (thank you for such a beautiful Christmas dinner & sharing your "gifts").

Thank you Mummy, Granny, Grandpa and all the others before...I listened.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And the stockings were hung...

Twas the days before Christmas
And all through the house, Lolli and Pops were...

Ok...enough, enough...

I took tons of photos throughout the Christmas season (know you are shocked ;p), I thought I might share our home with you first...

First, there is a friend that must receive the credit for creating these family heirlooms for us.

Tanya and I "made a deal"...and I am so blessed to have these stockings as a result.

There is a long history of what felt and sequin stockings mean to the Spies family. Justin & Nicole's Mom had made them when they were very young.

Somewhere in the "moves", Justin's had been lost, as I learned the first year we decorated the tree together. There are many reasons this loss broke my heart -

So, the next year, I made this for him:

And as our family grew quickly with the additions of Casey and John, I purchased the kits with excitement...a slow start...a slower completion (like never)!

Then I purchased Mackenzie's kit, then John and myself (and next year we will need one for little Natalie or Will yeah!)...I'm really great at the purchasing! Oh, and the embroidering of their names!

My sweet friend Tanya and I exchanged our talents...and I feel so blessed that her talent produced these:

Take a closer look at her beautiful work...

The stocking that belongs to Pops:





I'll share some other touches of Christmas spirit around our home later...

I really wanted this post to feature the precious stockings, and to give me the chance to let Tanya know how much her love and talent shines through them. will be thought of and remembered each time we decorate for Christmas for many years to come. You have not a clue what a special gift you have blessed my family with. Thanks and love...God gave me more than a friend in you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Big Ol' Family know my family is large in numbers...but when you get my SIL's family, too...we are REALLY large in numbers.

At Morgan and Allen's wedding a few weeks ago, we actually captured groups shots, shots of my parents (never happens)...and even my Dad on his own (really never happens). And a photo of my Uncle and Mom together...really, really, really never happens, don't think it has ever happened.

I've thrown a few in the mix...of all of us...because we truly all are family...

Times like these are incredibly special to me...I so love these people...thanks for stopping by.


OK...I am human, and I am careful here not to sound boastful.

I am proud that this old girly has figured it out!

If you've missed me, I've been very busy launching a new business. If you haven't missed me - well, that makes me sad - because I have REALLY missed you.

I've been watching you blog from afar, just haven't had time to "play" and participate lately.

Now...what am I proud of?

I have created a button for Dimples and Dreams! Quite an accomplishment for a "girl" of my age ;p

If you copy and paste, my button can be included as one of your favorites (and I would so appreciate it)! Look just to the right...see the box, copy and paste...and we can go with you ;p (and thanks Jenna for the encouragement)

What started off as primarily my hand painted art business, has quickly changed to the development of a children's & family photography storytelling form of art.

Please, go take a's been such a blessing to get to see these little faces and big hearts through the lens.

Hey...if this doesn't work - let me know! I may not have so much be to proud of after all ;p

Love you...miss(ed) you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Worry"... What A Waste Of Time

Just last week I spent some time "conversing" online with a sweet friend.

Respecting her privacy, I will just share that she had a prayer request for her unborn child. And I will also share that it was (and is) my privilege to continue to pray for their family.

We both shared we knew He is in control, but both were candid in saying that as a parent, grandparent, aunt...anyone who has ever loved a child with all their heart - deep down we always "worry".

What I didn't share with her, is that I too have recently been consumed with worry.

"Worry"...what a waste of time!

Why do I let it always get the best of me?

We have known for a few weeks that our precious little granddaughter was going to be fitted with a Doc Band.

It's one of those things that until you find out someone you care about is going to have one...and the reasons that surround why they may be fitted with just never "know".

Now, there are many reasons that children are fitted with Doc Bands. And I will share, gladly, Lil Miss M is only expected to wear hers for six weeks.

And, I will also gladly say that her condition has the ability to corrected. Can I get a big woo hoo!

So, after I got over the "worry" of the "what ifs"...then I moved on to "worry" about how she would feel.

Justin & Casey sent us a picture via phone as she got it on.

OK...I had prepared myself that she would be screaming, flailing to get it off, writhing with pain as it would surely be too conforming to be comfortable...and how would she ever sleep?!?! OK...I got pretty neurotic...I sort of made myself sick with "worry".

So as I forced myself to "accept" the message and look at the photo...there she was, no grimace, she was just there looking into the camera. Yes, she was a little fussy for a day or two...but - so far - that's pretty much it.

I couldn't wait to get there, to see her, for the visual assurance that she truly wasn't in any sort of pain.

And just look, she is - as always...

And certainly she did not appear to be any discomfort, actually she was looking fairly proud of her new fashion accessory (it weighs 6 oz. feels like hard foam, and she sleeps fine)...

And I can't tell you how Lolli's heart moved right back into it's place when we saw her flash one of these....

I'm sure there will be another "worry"...legitimate or not...and when I "worry" myself into another corner, I will once again look for:

"...Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:1-7

If you "worry" should go spend some time there ;p

(and before I forget it...thank you Doc Band)

Monday, July 19, 2010

God Bless The Broken Road

OK...if you were with me in the winter - we had a very heavy, very unusual snowfall (sounds pretty marvelous right now with temps over 100*)...

As a result...our arbor collapsed -

If you remember, I wrote that something good would come...and we began to plan, save and dream up our "something".

The rock patio remained, but without protection from the sun or other elements, we have rarely used it.

So, here is what we did with the rock...

And now this little path...leads to our once broken...

And we're ready to celebrate the birthday boy on Saturday!

(There's more inside those barn doors...I'll save that for later ;p)

Life is full of obstacles...hurdles are ok, but don't let them stop you. I truly am grateful for the snow that became too heavy for our sweet arbor to hold. No, not because I got a new patio...I can't possibly share all the details - but this entire experience has been so "healthy" for us.

We have been partners throughout the process, and certainly faced obstacles ;p (most of them self-created) the end...we received more than a covered deck.

And for that, I am most grateful (thank you John).

Maya Angelou has a quote..."Be present in all things and thankful for all things." I say...well said.