Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 30: Today I am thankful . . .

that the Christmas season is upon us, as tomorrow brings on December. I hope that while November will be behind us, we will all continue to remember daily what we are thankful for and never forget to let those we love and care about know how we feel. Don't ever make them wonder or guess . . . let then have no doubts! TELL THEM!

As I stated when I started this month of concentrating on what I am thankful for, I am hoping that I will be better able to focus on those things I'm thankful for on a daily basis now. While I won't be blogging about it daily, or posting on Facebook about it daily, I hope I am at least able to live it daily! I also hope that you have all been able to make a change, too!

God Bless Us Everyone,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29: Today I am thankful for...

the people who CHOOSE to be in my life. Following the thought of a quote I shared earlier on Facebook . . . it's truly something to be thankful for, I believe. Those who come into our life and for whatever reason don't stay, apparently weren't meant to remain. However, those who stay, make the choice to do so, and I make the choice to be thankful for you all! I love you!

. . . and I just realized I never posted Day 28 on here yesterday, so here it is!

Day 28: Today I am thankful for books and the ability they have to completely transport you to another place. Regardless of what is going on in my life, I can completely get lost in a good book and forget about anything else. Sometimes, that's just what I need to do!

Blessings to you all,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 27: Thankful today for . . .

God and all that He has done for me. I am thankful that He is ALWAYS there for me! Even when I feel like I'm all alone, I know deep down that isn't the case. What a true blessing that is!

It's funny how sometimes we want to be able to count on those who mean the most to us in our life, but they don't always come through. Everyone has a time that they need to reach out to someone and that someone might not be there. Maybe he/she has something going on in his/her own life that keeps them from being there when you need or want them to . . . maybe that person doesn't know how to be who you need him/her to be . . . maybe the one you thought you could count on just doesn't have time right now. Fortunately for all of us, God is ALWAYS available and willing to listen if we'll only open up the lines of communication!

I've always known a few things, well, at least for as long as I can remember, that pertain to this way of thinking:

1. Everything happens for a reason.
2. God will never give you more than you and He together can handle.
3. Give your problems to God - He's going to be up all night anyway.

So, when I feel like I don't have anyone else to turn to, I know I can ALWAYS count on Him to be there! What I'm working on now is turning to him at ALL times - not only when I feel like there's nowhere else to go. I've tried to focus on daily conversations, even if they are short, and turning to God when I'm happy and want to share that, too. Like all of us, I'm sure He wants to hear the good things that are happening to us, too. So, this is where I challenge you all to turn to Him, not only in bad or sad times, but also in happy and good times. It's something I'm trying to improve upon - I hope you will, too!

God Bless You, Everyone,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness . . .

So, I've been out of town camping with my "other family" for Thanksgiving and my posts have only made it to Facebook. It's time to get caught up on here!

Day 23: Today I'm thankful for short road trips! Headed to San Angelo to see Becky, Lonnie, Hannah and Mary. Going to spend Thanksgiving with them and some of their friends camping out at Lake Nasworthy. I can't wait!

Day 24: Today I'm thankful for the Benes family . . . my "adopted" family for over 16 years now! Love you guys! ♥ I'm so happy that you all have made me a part of your family and that we are so close now. We just need to be better about taking advantage of the fact that we're so close now! : -)

Day 25: Today I am thankful for a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! It really is the simple things in life when you spend time with loved ones! Yes, I'll say it again . . . I am very, very blessed!

I truly had a fantastic time with everyone camping and was happy to meet several new friends and look forward to seeing everyone again soon, I hope! It was definitely the best Thanksgiving I've had in several years! Thank you all! 

Now for today . . .
Day 26: Today I am thankful for lazy days! After a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, but not much sleep while camping,  I've just been enjoying having nothing to do today. Watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. I just LOVE this time of year!

Blessings to you all,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22: Today I'm thankful for...

my wonderful "customers" who have become some great friends! While our relationships might have started out because of my business, I am so very glad that you are now friends! You really do mean a lot to me and have added so much to my life!

Today a very dear friend called to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving, who I originally met because of Close To My Heart. She has become such an inspirational part of my life and has helped me through some challenging times and helped me to see some things that I hadn't seen before, both personally and professionally! She is truly a blessing in my life!

I'm traveling the next two days to spend Thanksgiving with my "family" in San Angelo, so I'm not sure if my blog will get updated, but my daily "thankful" posts will be on FB, so you can check them out there if you want!

Just in case, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope you are spending it with loved ones, if possible, and if not - know that you are thought of and loved!

Blessings to you all,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 21: Today I'm thankful for...

the internet and online episodes of all my shows that I watch so I can get caught up! I'm sooooo far behind on some of them that I had to start deleting from the DVR, so it's a good thing they are almost all online now! : -)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20: Today I'm thankful for...

Rudy's BBQ! It's the BEST - and being able to Share it with Courtney and Ashley today was AWESOME! I think it was a hit with them, too. Next visit we'll actually go there instead of a picnic in the park! :-) Though...I'm actually a fan of picnics in the park, so that was enjoyable, too! Yes, I'm thankful for a lot today! I've really had one of the best weekends I've had in a really long time. Thank you, God!

Friday was an all around INCREDIBLE day/night and then yesterday was tons of fun at the wine tasting event. Last night was just another relaxing evening at home clearing some shows off the DVR for the first time in over a month - I actually watched some instead of just deleting! Then today after church I went and got Rudy's so Courtney and Ashley could have some real BBQ before heading back to Jersey.Yes, all in all, I'd say it's been a pretty amazing weekend. Again, I must say, I am a very blessed woman, indeed!

Have a GREAT week, everyone!

God Bless You All,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankfulness for Day 18 and 19...

I just realized I never made it to the blog yesterday, only Facebook for my daily thankfulness post. So, here are both yesterday and today . . .

18 Nov: I'm thankful for One Life to Live. I can't believe today is the last day they'll be filming at the studio on 66th in NYC! I wish the entire cast, crew, production team, etc. all the best and pray that 2 . 0 continues as planned. So many of you have become a huge part of my life, and I consider you friends, and you have brought some great friends into my life . . . one of whom I'm picking up at the airport in a few hours! YAY!!! Here's to the great memories! ♥

19 Nov: Today I'm thankful for any time spent with friends and loved ones. It's amazing how it can recharge you and have you ready to face the world again! It doesn't even have to be doing anything spectacular and exciting...just talking and sharing a glass of wine or spending quality time together at home. Sometimes, the simple things in life truly are the best things in life! I wouldn't trade them for the world! ♥ I really am blessed!

The last couple of days have really made me think about the things that really matter to me . . . it's not "things" at all . . . rather the people that I am fortunate enough to have in my life, as they are who make me who I am. I don't know what I'd do without them! I pray every day that I'll never have to find out and I thank God, too, for bringing them into my life. Some of them came to me through One Life to Live, and while many people may not get that, or may think it's ridiculous or insane . . . some of the best friends I have now I met through my adventures because of the Soaps!

Some of these special and amazing people have been a part of me for all of my life, those who are family. And some for nearly all of my life, the friends I have from back home growing up. However, lucky for me, the Army brought me some pretty incredible people into my life, as well. Some I've know for all 20+ years, and some I've only known since my arrival in San Antonio. Regardless of how long I've known them, they each have a special place in my heart . . . OK - some more special than others, ; -) lol, but still, all are very dear to me. The bottom line is, there is no magical number on the amount of time it takes for someone to take root in your heart or come to mean the world to you, but the blessings that I have received through the years are countless. They continue to come, as God is always there and always providing for me and He has certainly done so abundantly in recent times, as well! I truly am a very blessed individual!

Blessings to you ALL,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17: Commercial travel...

is what I am thankful for today! Tomorrow I'll be picking up a friend at the airport that I haven't seen in a few years. Without airplanes, she wouldn't be coming to San Antonio. Can't wait to see you Crash!!! It's going to be a fun weekend! : -)

The ease and speed with which we can get from one place to another to see friends and family is something that we often take for granted, but I am sooooo thankful that there are planes, trains, buses, etc. to help us with the trip! Having recently driven 3800 miles in a two week period, I am even more appreciative of the opportunity for someone else taking care of that transportation for me! Now, if only it were cheaper! lol

Blessings everyone,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 16: Today I am thankful for...

 the ability to work for myself, out of my home, and interact with and meet a lot of wonderful women in the process! The relationships that I am building are priceless! Thank you Close To My Heart! ♥
I am truly blessed to be able to do what I do as an Independent Consultant for this AMAZING company and set my own hours so that it is convenient for me. I enjoy being able to travel to see family and friends when I want to and to take a day off when I need to do that, as well. Being able to teach others how to preserve their photos and wonderful memories that go along with them is something I am very passionate about, as I love looking at the old photos of my family and wish I knew more about the people in the pictures. I want to make sure that generations to come in my family know more than I do. It serves as both a stress reliever and an escape for me, and I am so thankful to have scrapbooking in my life!
Blessings to you all,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today I am thankful for...

the rain! I know we need it and I love thunderstorms! Great weather to curl up with a blanket and a good book! : -)

That's one of the best ways to spend a morning like we had today in San Antonio. We had a couple of hours of steady rain with some thunder thrown in there . . . perfect weather for just laying around and watching it come down while engrossed in a great book! Sometimes, it really is the simple things in life!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 14: Today I am thankful for patience.

Though I'm really not very good at it, when I can dig deep and find some, it tends to pay off. If I could only realize it more often. :-)

Instead, I seem to most often want things in my time frame...which is usually right now. That doesn't always work out so well and leads to some pretty frustrated situations. I should know better, as God always has a plan, and works things out when the time is right, but I just don't seem to want to wait for His timing sometimes! lol

Have a blessed day everyone!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Today I am thankful for technology...

and the opportunities it provides to keep in touch with loved ones, both near and far! The ability to talk, text and "chat" with those who aren't sitting right next to you is something that we often take for granted, but without the advances in technology to do so, we would be lost . . . or at least I know I would! So, I guess I'm also thankful for the brilliant minds behind all of the advances!

While I will ALWAYS prefer face-to-face communication, I know that isn't always possible. My next choice would be talking to someone, as hearing a voice on the other end of a phone is the next best thing . . . unless you consider the possibility of seeing AND hearing them with the advances of technology and the options we now have available on the Internet. So, again, thanks to technology, I guess there's a better option than just hearing a voice! : -) Then, I guess if I can't have either of those, texting or "chatting" with a loved one via Facebook or one of the many messaging programs available is better than the now "old school" option of simple email or the "ancient" choice snail mail.

However, there is something to be said for receiving something in the mail...a REAL LETTER, or a card, especially if handmade, that shows someone really took the time to do something for you - only you - because they wanted you to know that you are thought of and loved. What a special gift that is to receive! I still have many letters and cards that I have received from loved ones throughout my years in the Army on special occasions or just to let me know they were thinking of me. I often pull them out and read through them just because I can! There's nothing like the gift of words to show someone how you feel and how much he or she is loved! So, whether you do it the old fashioned way or through the use of advancements in technology, take some time TODAY to let those you love know it! Don't wait - you never know what tomorrow could bring!

God's Blessings to you all,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 12: Today I'm thankful for...

the unconditional love of pets! Sasha is such a blessing in my life - don't know what I would do without her! :-)

Some days she is what keeps me going. She never used to be a "cuddle kitty," but she can always tell when I'm down or not feeling well and when that's the case, she's never very far away! After I return from traveling, she seems to avoid me for the first few hours, but then is never very far away for a few days after that. It's funny because since my return from this last trip home, she has been cuddling non-stop and is always right next to me. It's been an extra special blessing - one that is much appreciated right now! I love my Sasha kitty!

Blessings to you all,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11: On 11:11:11 I'm thankful for my FREEDOM,

brought to me courtesy of the Veterans who have come before me,  those who I have had the honor to serve with and those who continue to fight today for the Red, White and Blue!
God Bless You All! God Bless America!
Long may you wave, Old Glory, long may you wave!
Happy Veteran's Day everyone!


It's the Soldier, not the reporter
who has given us freedom of the press.

It's the Soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It's the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It's the Soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It's the Soldier who salutes The Flag, serves under The Flag and
whose coffin is draped by The Flag,
who gives the protester the right to burn The Flag. 

~~ Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army
Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005.
All rights reserved.
(OK - I found the poem attributed to both Father O'Brien and Charles M. Province with claims that it is erroneously attributed to the other. I don't know which is correct, though I've usually seen it as Father O'Brien, but regardless, it has always been one of my favorites.)
While technically Soldiers do not "give" us those freedoms, they do guarantee them, so please take the time today to remember that and be sure to say, "Thank you" the next time you see one!
God Bless America's Veterans, today and ALWAYS,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10th Day of Thankfulness...

Today I am thankful for all Service Members who have chosen to serve their country.

God Bless America,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9: Today I'm thankful for...

the WONDERFUL civilians and contractors that I've had the pleasure of working with through the years. They're often forgotten at times like this, but they, too, work very hard to defend our country and her way of life!

I have been truly blessed to have enjoyed working with and learning from some of the most incredible people in the world, who didn't wear a uniform during the time I worked with them. The brilliant group of civilians and contractors that I have come to know over the years have also all helped to make me the leader I became. Many of them had prior military experience, but many did not and I think that balance was a benefit to us. It's always great to gain insight and perspective from different people with different backgrounds and experiences. I've been very lucky to have gained a lot of that from many incredible people along the way and am please to call many of them "friend" today!

So, to you all, I say "Thank You" for your service to our country and for helping to train and mentor our service members. You are some of the best experts they can turn to and I hope they realize the opportunity they have!

God Bless You All,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8th day of Thankfulness...

Today I'm thankful for the OUTSTANDING leaders I've been fortunate enough to serve with through the years. I've been blessed with SOME incredible 1SGs, so today is for you all.

As with anything, we always have good examples and bad examples that are set for us, but thankfully, I can honestly say I've had some pretty amazing examples to follow and mold myself after when it comes to 1SGs since I joined the Army over 20 years ago. Those individuals are a large part of the Soldier I was in the end.

I think all the way back to 1SG Capers in AIT, who I have been lucky enough to see throughout the years at GAFB, as he's still in San Angelo. (I hope he still is so I can see him when I go up later this month.) He always set the example of the kind of Soldier we should be and that leaves an impression on a young Soldier - at least it certainly did on this one! Through the years he was always so kind and supportive anytime I would see him. Thanks, Top!

The next point in my career where the 1SG had such an impact, it wasn't even my 1SG that did it, it was one of the 1SGs from another company in the battalion, which you will see is a theme in this post . . . 1SG Best was a huge help to me during what was probably the most difficult and challenging time for me in my career. When I wasn't getting the guidance and support I needed from my 1SG, she was able to provide that and enable me to "Soldier on" through some very tough times. Thanks, Top! Then, 1SG Fleming, who was not only my best friend, but became my 1SG was able to help me put those times behind me and work my way back to being the Soldier I was before. Thanks, Top! Yes, we all have our difficult times, but fortunately, there are those out there who are willing to help because they care, and are AMAZING at what they do!

Finally, I reflect on the next chapter, after those days of challenge and then putting things back together . . . it was 1SG Jesson who was the one who always seemed to know what I needed, often better than I did. His mentorship and guidance were the support that I needed to be able to take care of my Soldiers in the best way I knew how. Thanks, Top! While we weren't a team for long, 1SG Santiago was the perfect one to step into that role. I wasn't so sure in the beginning . . .  lol  . . . but once I gave him a chance, he proved to be one of the best 1SG I've ever had and certainly made it an even bigger challenge for anyone who followed! If only he could have stuck around a few more months to have been here for my retirement . . . without having to risk missing movement! lol Thanks, Top!

This all brings me to the final 1SG who impacted my career in the end . . . and the other individual who, though he was never, "my" 1SG, is someone who I would have been honored to have called "my 1SG" and is one of the 1SGs for another company in the battalion I spent my last two years in. 1SG Sanders is someone who looks out for all Soldiers, regardless of whether they are in his company or not, and I am very thankful that he does. Not only have I been the lucky recipient of his guidance and mentorship because of that, but so have countless other Soldiers who, without him, would feel lost and without what Soldiers need most...someone who cares and will provide them direction and guidance. Thanks, Top!

So, with that, I will simply say "Thank You" to all of you who have helped me to finish my career with the honor and pride that I did, for it was your example, guidance, mentorship, training and correction that made it all possible!

There are several others who helped along the way, but this post would never end, so I just wanted to touch on those who really were in those key positions at the most formative and trying times . . . but without you all, I would not have accomplished so much, so again, I simply say, "THANK YOU!"

God Bless You All,
God Bless America,

Monday, November 7, 2011

Today I am thankful for golf.

Yes, you read that right. :-) I just had a very enjoyable morning with a former Soldier and I look forward to the next time. I am so blessed to be able to call so many of my previous Soldiers friends. This morning I was able to spend time with one of them on the golf course.

I really am honored to know that they still value my opinion about things and care what I think enough to want my advice. There really are some FANTASTIC Soldiers and junior NCOs in this Army. I sure wish we had more leaders around here like you! Those that take care of Soldiers and give them what they need - guidance and MENTORSHIP!!! I find it sad when junior NCOs have to do the job of some Seniors. There are a few around here that are doing just that and it makes me sad in a sense, but very proud, too, as I know they are doing a SUPER job of it! I can't wait until they become Seniors...then I know their junior Soldiers will be properly mentored and trained, as those juniors will be the focus instead of ME, ME, ME and what do I have to do to get promoted!

OK - so a bit of a venting session in my thankful blog today, but it's a part of what I'm thankful's not really about golf at all...that's just the means to an end. I guess what I'm truly thankful for today is that I have so many AMAZING Soldiers that I have had the HONOR of working with over the years that I can now call friends. I am happy that many of them are right here in San Antonio. I find it very fitting that this happened today, the Monday before Veteran's Day, so I think I'll take this week to focus on the things I'm thankful for that are in keeping with this theme.

So, I'll close with this...for all of MY Soldiers (as you know you ALWAYS will be!) that I have had the pleasure of serving through the years, I THANK YOU for your service to this great nation and her people and for your loyalty and support throughout the years and for the FRIENDSHIP that we are now able to build upon!

God Bless YOU ALL!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6 of Thankfulness...

Today I am thankful for the opportunity to live in a country where I am free to worship in whatever church I choose. Today that was Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, where I witnessed a wonderful service! I look forward to next week! Yes, God is good! Bless you all!

Their children's choir performed two songs to start the service and it was such an adorable blessing! They were just too stinkin' cute! It was really a great feeling to be in the congregation and I truly do look forward to being there again next week. It's funny how when you just "Let Go and Let God," life seems to fall into place sometimes. It doesn't mean you won't still be faced with challenges and things won't be difficult from time to time. It doesn't mean you won't sometimes want to give up or feel overwhelmed with some of the things you are faced with, but if you'll just make the choice to let Him help you through, it really does get easier. You can't make changes on your own, but with Him all things truly are possible! Change doesn't happen over night, but day by day you will see progress.

Have a great week, everyone!

God Bless You All,
God Bless America!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today I am thankful for...

the simple, yet astounding, beauty of a sunrise. Especially one over the huge open plains of Texas! Yes, God definitely did bless Texas!

As I drove to the Big Red Barn in Seguin this morning for this crop and watched the sun begin to rise, I knew it was going to be a beautiful sight! Sunrises and sunsets are two of my favorite things to witness, as you may have noticed if you have scrolled to the bottom of this blog before and seen the photos that are on the right side of the page. This morning was sure no disappointment! After I arrived, I sat in the parking lot waiting for others to arrive and just watched as the sun continued to come up and the colors were absolutely incredible! It just reminds me of how God touches our lives in so many ways and shows us the beauty he creates on a daily basis!

Blessings to you all,

Friday, November 4, 2011

4th Day of Thankfulness...

Today I'm thankful for my health! As I did my workout this morning I realized that I'm so grateful to be able to do what I can. I am blessed to continue being active after a whole lot of years of abusing my body on an almost daily basis. The Army life certainly took it's toll, but I am fortunate and so very happy that I can still do most of what I want to . . . and one of these days I'll be back on the volleyball court . . . (so expect that call Chuck! ;-)) . . . and maybe even play a game or two of basketball, which was my first true love, I think! lol That would be so awesome! Well, I realized at almost 2 hrs. into working out, I had way too much to accomplish today and it was time to move on. So, again, thank you God, for blessing me as you have!

Then, this afternoon after a much needed conversation with a very dear friend of mine about business and my spiritual path and how the two need to come together, I decided it was time for a break and headed to a movie. Now, it's back to work prepping for a crop I have all day tomorrow. Have a great night everyone!

Blessings to y'all,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness...

So, a friend reminded me the other day about the 30 Days of Thankfulness for November, so I started on the 2nd on Facebook . . . however, since I'm taking a break from Facebook right now (with the exception of sending my thankful post from my phone . . . if it's working! lol) in order to focus on my business and blogging, I decided to incorporate it into my personal blog. Now I have to get you all caught up . . . so, 1 - I'm thankful for God! 2 - I'm thankful for my family and their unconditional love and support!

That brings us to today . . . 3 - I'm thankful for my AMAZING friends, without whom I would be completely lost sometimes! (I love you all!)

In only the first three days of the month, already I'm almost ashamed that I don't concentrate on the things I'm thankful for more often. We often get so caught up in the daily rush of life and think that everything we're doing is oh so very important, at least I know I have a tendency to do that sometimes. When November rolls around and we have a day that is set aside to focus on what matters most and we are truly thankful for in our lives, it finally makes us stop and put some real thought into it . . . or at least it should. So, a couple of years ago when I first heard about people doing 30 Days of Thankfulness, I decided that I should do it, too, and hoped it would help me to be better about doing it in my everyday life. Sadly, I must admit that I don't think I have been very good about making a long term change. Maybe this can finally be the year . . .


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back in San Antonio...

Well, I'm settled back into San Antonio from my crazy, whirlwind trip home! After putting 3,857.2 miles on my car from the time I pulled out of my driveway on 14 Oct to the time I pulled back into it on the 27th, I was more than ready to stop driving for a while!!! Like possible for the next year! lol However, it was well worth it...I had a great time with family and friends, and even a great CTMH Regional Celebration event in Livonia, MI thrown in the middle! It's always good to attend a corporate event because it gets me all fired up and ready to jump into business stuff and get things going! Which is great considering I have another cruise to earn...this one in the Southern Caribbean in Feb 2013 that leaves fro Puerto Rico, which is somewhere I've wanted to go for 18 years now. So, if any of you have ever wanted to learn more about Close to my Heart and what I do, I'd LOVE to tell you! -OR- if you are a scrapbooker or stamper...or...if you just know someone who is...or you just want to help me out, just drop me a line and let me know! lol

Anyway, I'll be heading back home for a few days at Christmas, of course, to spend a bit of time with the family and bring Baylee back for her annual Christmas adventure with Aunt Jenny! I have really gotten used to this for the past 2 years and hope it's something she'll want to continue even when she's a teenager and it's not such a cool thing to do! She is the light of my life and I adore her more than anything in the world! I look forward to our time together all year long and hate putting her on that plane home!

I hope you are all enjoying your fall...I know we don't really get to see much for fall here in San Antonio, but lucky for me this year, my trip home brought me some BEAUTIFUL I'll close with some of the photos I took...that will soon be finding their way into my scrapbook pages!!! :-)

The view from Daddy's deck.

Daddy's yard.

Baylee and me playing in the leaves in Daddy's yard.

Another shot of Baylee and me playing in the leaves in Daddy's yard.

The view from the deck at the front door of Daddy's house.

A beautiful sunrise! One of my favorite things in the world!

The GORGEOUS view from my friend, Cory's house!

God Bless you all,
God Bless America,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Time with friends and family...

So, I've been home for not quite a week now and it's flown...from the moment I arrived I hit the ground running. I got here just in time to get out of my car and into Daddy's truck so we could go see my darling niece, Baylee, play the violin at her concert. It was soooo incredible! I was blown away by the talent of those 6-7-8th graders! I couldn't believe how amazing they sounded! I was such a proud aunt sitting there watching her play! I am sooooo glad II got home in time to go to her concert! Then she stayed with me at dad's for the night.

One of my BFF's from high school, Stacy, and her daughter, Rebecca, came by the house when we got home so the girls could play and Stacy and I could chat for a bit. We sat outside by the fire that dad made for us and made smores! ahhhhh - my favorite! That's about the only thing cold weather is good for!!! lol It was great to catch up with Stacy and watch Becca and Baylee playing. They met the first time when Baylee was about 5 or 6 and Becca was about 2 or 3, I think. They were fast friends and we have tried to get them together each time I've been home since then. It's always fun to watch them together - it's howIi imagine Stacy and I would have been if we'd known each other when we were that young!

Then we all met again for breakfast on sunday morning after I went to church with Aunt Fay. I always try to attend services at my home church when I'm here. I always feel welcome and it's great to see so many familiar faces and I absolutely love the pastor we have right now. Then after breakfast, Baylee and I headed to the hospital to see Gram for a while. She seems to be doing ok and after visiting with her for quite a while, we left so she could get some rest. Then Baylee and I went back to dad's and did the same.

I soooo wasn't ready to take her home! This trip is probably the one I'll get to spend the least amount of time with her of all my trips home since she's been in school and I'm going to detroit for business. She's actually off tomorrorw and friday, but i'll be gone...figures! Now I've been hanging out with mom and pops for a couple of days, which has been nice because I usually don't do that much when I come home.

Tomorrow it's off to Close to my Heart's Regional Celebration in Michigan! I can't wait to see what they have in store for us. Should be a good time for sure!

God Bless you all,
God Bless America,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another month has come and gone...

and I've not been very good about updates once again. So, not sure what it's really going to take for me to get this figured out, but maybe one day I'll get it right!  : - )

Basically, I've just been continuing to work on getting things organized and going again with my Close to My Heart business. I've had a workshop and will have my second one tomorrow night...I've done my first crop at the house...I've had an Open House and am planning another one for the 8th of Oct and will also be having my second FREE Crop that night, as well. Then a great fundraiser crop that I'll be doing with a friend of mine on the 5th of November and on to a Christmas Card Workshop and a Vendor Fair in addition to my regular workshop and Crop nights later in the month. So, lots of great things going on in the business area that are definitely keeping me on my feet and busy, but that's always a good thing!

I also attended the Volunteer Appreciation Night at the Majestic Theatre last week! What a wonderful night that was. The theme was the 50's, so thanks to my wonderful and talented friend, Pauline, she pointed me in the right direction for where to find a cute little poodle to create my costume for the evening! So, the procrastinator in me kicked into full swing that morning so I could get my outfit done by that evening! With Pauline's suggestion and a few stops, about $15 later I had the perfect outfit together for the party! (Gotta love Good Will!) The finishing touches were done with Close to My Heart ribbon and flowers and sparkles! The perfect way to top it off!

I really had a great time at the party and met one of the other Volunteers as I entered, so we hung out together until she left and then I waited until the band finished playing and headed back home! It was a great evening put on by the Majestic Staff and I am really looking forward to the season kicking off and spending time volunteering down at the beautiful theatre! Mary Poppins starts in just over a week and I can't wait! I get to go watch it on Sun afternoon, the 2nd of Oct, and then will be working it on Tues evening! I'm sure it will be tons of fun and a great way to start of the season! If I see any of you there, be sure to say hello!

I'm also planning to head home for a while in Oct., so I'm hoping to get to see some of you that I didn't get to see when I was there in July. Maybe we can try to plan a girls night out one night and get everyone together one night. Maybe I can enlist Stacy, Alan and or Cory to help with the planning of said fun! ;-) I'll work on it and see what we can come up with! In the mean time, let me know if anyone ever plans to head to San Antonio! (Tammy, I haven't forgotten. We need to talk soon! Give me a call!)

Anyway, I hope this finds you all well and settling into the routine of kids back in school and life settling back into the fall routine. Love and hugs to you all!

God Bless you all,
God Bless the USA,

Monday, August 29, 2011

I's been a while once again...

Hello everyone! I just realized that I've not been very good about my promise to be better at keeping this updated since I've retired. I guess I never should have made that promise, so I guess at this point I'll just say that I'll do my best to be better! : -)

I've been doing some traveling and trying to get my business back up and running as you may know from Facebook or other postings or ways of following my comings and goings. I spent 5 days in NYC with lots of girlfriends enjoying one last, maybe, long weekend of One Life to Live events and spending time with the actors who have become "friends" over the past few years. It seems strange to think they will no longer be coming into my home via my TV after January. They've all become such a huge part of my life over the years that it's hard to imagine a day without the greatest couple in OLTL history...of course I mean Dorian and Vicki! lol :-) I can't dream of not seeing my Sean guarding the Manning clan or the Buchanans running around controlling everything! I guess I will finally have to get a life of my own - say it isn't so! Oh my ... : -)

What I will miss the most, however, are all of the wonderful women who have become friends, and more like family, over the past 15 years that I have been attending the different events. We decided this year that even if there are no longer going to be "Soap Events" there is no reason we can't continue to do our annual get-togethers, so I sure hope that really continues to happen. I can't imagine not seeing the actors who have become such a part of my life, but I can't stand the thought of not getting to see the ladies who have become some of the best friends in the world to me over the past 15 years! So, ladies - plan for it now - we MUST continue getting together, with or without the soaps!

I've also been really working to get my business going again now that I am retired and finally have time to dedicate to it. As some of you knew before (but now all of you know), I am an Independent Consultant for Close to my Heart, an AMAZING company that makes fabulous scrapbooking and stamping products. At convention this year they revealed our new mission statement:

"We show you how to celebrate relationships through discovering your creativity,
to preserve and share the moments that matter most."

It really made me think and I realized that there are so many things about that statement that I need to take to heart and really get back to myself. So, I'm going to do my best to do just that and hopefully it will help me to build my business, and myself, along the way. I'd love to have those of you who follow me here, also follow along on my business blog at and see how it's going!

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Attention Scrapbookers and Stampers...

Be sure to go check my other blog, as I'm having an Open House this weekend for the new Idea Book and all of the new Close to My Heart Products!

The information is posted on my ABCHearts blog!

Check it out!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Check out my Close to My Heart Blog...ABCHearts

I have posted lots of stuff from convention about retiring products and new stuff and will be adding more, so if you're interested, please check it out. Be sure to follow me on both so you continue to get the updates, as I'm really going to work at being better about keeping them both up to date!

Thanks and have a Great Day!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone?

So, life seems to have taken over for the last year plus! Now that life after the Army is nearly a reality, hopefully I will be a little better about keeping things updated. As for what has been going on for the past 15 months or so...

I was finishing up life as I've known it for the past 20 years. The Army has been just that for life. It was my job, my career, my family, my was everything to me. It has been a great ride and I have some wonderful memories that I will treasure for a lifetime! I have some amazing friendships that I will carry with me into my next chapter and hope to continue to strengthen for many more years to come. While I am closing the door on that life and ending that chapter, it will always be a part of me and who I am, as will all of the people who helped me through those times.

May 26th was a very difficult day for me, as that was the day of my Retirement Ceremony. I was blessed to have many people from throughout my career able to be here in San Antonio to share that special day with me. From former 1SGs to former Soldiers who were students when I instructed or trainees when I was a Drill Sergeant, former Soldiers who worked for or with me and many peers from throughout my career. I was honored to have one of the best friends anyone could have and one of the best Soldiers the Army has ever known as my Guest Speaker to make the day even more special. Last but not least, I was blessed, honored, and very proud to have nearly all of my family here to celebrate the day with me, as well.

I have tons of photos of the occasion up on my Facebook page, so feel free to go and check them out. It truly was a wonderful day and I am really glad that someone convinced me to do it, since I originally didn't want to have a ceremony. Thank you Dennis for everything, most of all for your service to this great country...and secondly for your friendship!!!

Now I am trying to figure out what I really want to be when I grow up. My dream job would be working in the Education and Training Department at Sea World...I mean doing what I love at my happy place - does it get any better than that?!?! :-) LOL I am currently working to get my Close to My Heart business going again, as well. So, for any of you who are interested in Scrapbooking and Stamping and preserving your memories and sharing them with loved ones or exploring your creativity, let me know and I'd love to help you with that!

I'm also trying to reconnect with "Jenny-May", as "Sergeant Olson" is who I've been for 18 years now and that's going to take some adjustments and getting used to, I think. I'm ready, though, for the next chapter and what life has in store and where God leads me next. I hope you'll all come along for the ride! Let the journey begin!

God Bless America! God Bless the US Army! God Bless you all!