We’re home again after spending a great week with great friends in a lake house in the Adirondack mountains. It was a fabulous week. For the past three years our vacation was spent in a beach house at the Outer Banks, North Carolina. While the beach house was really nice it was a big difference to be at a lake house. There were so many activities to do at the lake house. We rented a boat 3 out of the 7 days, went horseback riding, sunned ourselves on a couple of lake beaches, shopped at the outlets (of course), walked around town, and lest I forget swam in the clearest, cleanest lake water ever.

I’m a total beach gal. I love hearing the surf hit the sand, love swimming or getting tossed about in the ocean and just enjoy the sun and sand. But this week this beach gal loved being at the lake! The mountain air was so clean, there was little to no humidity and because we were a few hours upstate the temperature was cooler during the day. Not hot and sticky at all. The house we rented was awesome and even had the ultimate game room complete with pool table, ping pong and foos ball located on top of the massive 2 car garage.

I know I wouldn’t want to live up there though. Their winter season can be much harsher than ours. I’m already not a fan of winter, I loathe being cold. Plus deep down as much as I say I’m a beach gal I adore where I live which is not exactly the suburbs and not exactly the city. Manhattan is just a ferry or bus ride away and I love that closeness. Plus I love that in the area where I live. Here, you don’t necessarily need a car. Just around the corner is a deli, two Italian specialty stores, a cobbler, 2 dry cleaners and at least 3 nail salons. Oh I almost forgot the incredible bakeries and restaurants all within walking distance. The neighbors are wonderful and friendly. And… I live a 15 minute car ride from my job.

Yesterday after arriving home the girls and I got pedicures, then ate dinner, then Alyssa and I ran down to TJ Maxx 10 minutes down the main road from our house. I loved it. And today I get to pick up Thomas and go shopping again, lol! It’s so true; there’s no place like home!

The Palm reader and Me

Last night Tommy and the girls and I along with the other couple we’re vacationing with went to the village of Lake George which is in the area of where we are vacationing. The village is nice, it’s very clean and full of mostly souvenir shops, restaurants and ice cream shops much like any vacation destination. There was also a palm reader…

Back track; I saw the store front for the palm reader a day or two earlier when the girls and I were in the village.  I was so, so very curious but Alyssa and Lelly talked me out of seeing her.  Last night, I didn’t let them talk me out of it. I know as a Christian I’m not supposed to pay any attention to those who proclaim to know the future or can do “readings,” that they are not from God. But I have to admit my curiosity got the best of me and in I went.

I sat down and showed her my right palm. She said I was a very honest hard working woman and that I would live a long life. Ok; could apply to just about anyone.  She then said I am a person who helps others I’m always helping others and that I would do well in a supervised position or a supervisor position. She then asked me what I do for a living, I replied that I am a nurse, she nodded. Interesting.

She said I was destined to be a mother of 2 and asked me if I had any children I laughed a bit and said yes I have 4…She then asked if 2 were not with me or were taken or lost, I replied yes (I had 2 miscarriages before Samantha). Again, interesting. She said I’m the person people go to when they need someone they can depend on. She also said I was meant to be with Tommy and that I would have a really nice retirement. That part really struck me because Tommy often thinks about and talks of our retirement. And when I started my job with the board of Ed, Tommy was the one I called when I signed up for my tax deferred annuity and pension. So yes, retirement is talked about fairly often between Tommy and I.

I don’t know if I believe in people who do readings like the one I went to last night. There are many who live their lives according to what their “advisor” tells them to do. I was not told to do anything or that something bad would happen if I didn’t listen to her. It was interesting that she hit the nail on the head a couple of times. I didn’t feel unsafe or that I was in the presence of evil. But I guess the devil wouldn’t want me to feel unsafe if that is where this woman was from. I did pray last night for forgiveness. For my participation in something that according to the Bible is not from God.

Going to see this woman told me I must have even more faith. That God is indeed in control of my life and I must continue to submit to His will.


Vacation and the Girls

Vacationing with our girls has been so much fun. Lelly and Alyssa get along really well and at times Samantha will be able to keep up with them. You gotta be quick around Alyssa and Lelly, they each have a great sense of humor, with Lelly being a little faster with the comebacks. Being around Lelly you can’t help but want to laugh. She’s been like this since she was a baby. Always smiling. She was my smallest baby weighing in @ 7.5lbs. So we called her “The bird” which morphed into Lelly Bird when Thomas couldn’t pronounce Daniella; it came out Dalella and then Lelly.

We asked Thomas if he wanted to come with us this year. In fact Tommy invited  him three times and each time Thomas declined the invitation. He called me Sunday while we were at one of the lake beaches crying and telling me he wanted us to come pick him up. Oh my gosh he broke my heart. I quickly calmed him down and told him I couldn’t come get him. I also told him when we would be home and when I could come pick him up and then we would go shopping for a raincoat for him. Thomas was ok when he finally realized that we were in fact coming back. I wonder if he was afraid that we weren’t coming home at all? So now Thomas is calling me every evening confirming our arrival home date and that I am in fact picking him up the next day to go shopping. The thing is; Thomas wants to go home at a moments notice. When he comes over for dinner he’s ready to go home immediately after he’s finished eating. We were very worried that if he did say he would come with us, would he want to go home after a day or two? Plus Thomas does not like the water. I feel like we can’t win either way.

So we concentrate on having a good time with the girls while we can. There will be a day when both Lelly and Alyssa will either be working or too busy with friends or a boyfriend to want or be able to come away with us. We’ll still have Samantha with us for years to come though and that’s a good thing.





At the Lake!

Our vacation this year is renting a lake house about a half hour from Lake George in upstate New York. The house itself is beautiful, plenty of bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms. It wasnt an easy search to find a house this big near the lake. The past 3 years we’ve rented in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. There the houses are built for multiple families to rent and most are huge. Renting a lake house that is meant for more than one family wasn’t that easy. Some houses had plenty of bedrooms yet one bathroom…no.

The only complaint I do have about this house is that it was listed and pictured as if it were on the lake. It’s not we are across the street from the lake, which is fine but we felt mislead when we arrived. Now that we’ve been here and see how easily accessible everything (except the local Walmart) is, the location really doesn’t matter as much. Yesterday we easily found the marina that serves this lake and rented a boat for a couple of hours. It was so much fun! We has this giant tube tethered to the back of the boat and just about everyone had a turn being pulled. Then we stopped in the middle of the lake and swam while the husbands fished off the other side. After swimming in the ocean for so many summers it was a nice change to swim in a lake, no crashing waves for better or worse and no undertow. Not to mention no jellyfish.

After we returned the boat we went ti the “beach” area of the lake. It was nice, very clean and looked like a little beach except there weren’t any waves. We set up our stuff and Samantha went right in the water. She loves the water! There was a floating deck to jump off of our where the water was about 6 feet deep. She loved that. Today we’re going to the beach at Lake George, that should be really nice as well.

Today I’m up early don’t ask. I can’t seem to sleep in lately. I guess I am “sleeping in” as my work wake up time is 5:30, and I’m up now at 6:30-7:00. It’s nice in a way to be up a bit earlier than everyone else. I make coffee and just take in the quiet. Same as I do at home when I’m up earlier than everyone else.

Lelly and I are trying to stay compliant to our Max challenge nutrition plan. It’s been a bit challenging because let’s face it we are on vacation. I do miss my protein powder fruit smoothies though. I didn’t bring the protein powder and we didn’t buy almond milk so I’m SOL on both sides there. I’ll live.





With my girls!

Alyssa has an appointment in Manhattan this afternoon so Lelly and I decided to tag along with her and made a day of it…well half day. We’re PT’ing (public transportation) it all the way. Getting there is half the fun.

It’s been months since I’ve been in Manhattan. I do miss it and I wonder what life would’ve been like if I wasn’t offered my job here in the borough where I live but instead commuting to Manhattan every day like it was originally planned. I can’t imagine how my first year would have went with completely different people in my work life. I’ve posted before about how much I really like my co workers. Not only the co workers that are nurses but I also am fortunate to work with outstanding teachers, therapists and paraprofessionals. I could go on… but I’ve said it all before.

We’re going to 14th St Union Square, or within a block there of. I love Union Square. There are so many stores and people and places to go.  The ferry is always an interesting place to people watch. Heck, my girls are interesting to watch all by themselves. Alyssa and Lelly really are best friends. Yes, they fight on occasion but rarely does it last very long nor do they hold grudges. And they each have their own style both in makeup and what they wear.

My relationships with Alyssa and Lelly are the same yet different because they are two different people with differing personalities and opinions of things.  I offer each my confidence and they both will confide in me things that are specific to that person. And usually what is confided are two completely different subjects. It’s funny.  I’d say Alyssa is more conservative than Lelly but I don’t think Lelly is a liberal. I’m cool with that. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

We walked all over 5th Avenue, went looking in Anthropology (so expensive!), bought shoes @ Nordstrom rack and managed to even find a thrift store; a Goodwill where I scored 2 pair of Citizens of Humanity denim, yes!  It was a shoppers sky!



Reminders of my Dad

I was at work when one of the paraprofessionals was asked to do something and he answered, “No…Sorry, Im not authorized to do such and such…”. I stopped in my tracks and laughed whole heartedly. That’s exactly what my Dad would say when asked to do something he didn’t want to do.

Its funny how such seemingly little things can throw you back to your memories. It’s unexpected and sometimes like this time; fun. I miss my dad so much. I miss his sense of humor, the remarks he used to make with that perfect timing that he had. I miss kissing him on his bald forehead when I said goodbye. Daddy used to tell us when we were small that his hair fell out because he stayed outside in the rain. Then the story changed to “I had a full head of hair until I had kids”. It took me a few years to appreciate that one.

I miss that I can’t tell my dad that I’m going back to school for my bachelors degree. I know he would’ve been proud. I miss telling him all about my thrift store finds. He would get the biggest kick out of that and tell me about how his mother would thrift shop when he was younger. I miss him declaring the weather to be “a shoppers sky!” when my mom and I went out shopping. I still say that particularly when I score big at the thrift.

On September 4 it will be 5 months since my dad passed. In some ways it feels like he’s been gone so much longer and then again it can feel like just yesterday he was with us. There have been so many instances  where I think, “ Oh I’ll have to  call Daddy when I get home and tell him this or that” only to sharply remember that he’s not with us anymore.

I’ve found the most comfort in these words by Billy Graham, “our last breath on earth is our first breath in heaven.” It makes my father’s transition to heaven seemless and peaceful. I know he’s with Jesus in His kingdom and daddy’s cancer is gone. He’s been healed forever.


Being in the world…

There are some days it concerns me that I am becoming of this world and not just in this world. Meaning that “Christians are physically placed “in” this world but do not partake of the sinful values of the world.” Romans 12:1-2 says it perfectly, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

”Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” Tough one. It’s so easy to fall into the pattern or temptations of this world. I find this is what I struggle with. Especially when it comes to my love of all things handbag. There are so many temptations to guard yourself against whether you’re a Christian or not. The world often says “oh it’s fine, you’re not hurting anyone, go ahead you deserve it…” when it comes to many temptations. It’s up to us to pray for discernment and guidance from God to not stumble and become of the world.

I understand being transformed by the renewing of one’s mind. I have much different thoughts and opinions today than I’ve had 10 years ago since I’ve been saved. My stance on certain “sensitive” debatable subjects has changed from a very liberal one to now a conservative point of view. I can only attribute that change to The Lord’s work in my life. There are many issues that I took a strong, definitive view on that I now sit in the fence about. Things aren’t as black and white as they used to be.

“Then you are able to test and approve what God’s will is…” I believe I know partly what God’s will is for me. Right now it’s working as a nurse at the special needs school I’ve been placed at. It’s being a person for others in my life to lean on. I believe so strongly in the will of God; that there’s nothing we can do to stop it. We can delay His will by not being obedient, but we cannot stop what God wants to accomplish. During this past year of working for the Board of Education, I’ve regretted not searching for employment here sooner. I have to remind myself that it wasn’t God’s will for me to have worked here sooner. I was meant to be here at His perfect timing. I wish we could know when His perfect timing is coming up.




A Weekend Away

This weekend our youngest, Samantha is with our church youth group at a retreat for middle schoolers. She left here Friday midday and will return Monday afternoon. I miss her! This is the first and longest time we’ve been away from only  her without her staying with my mom.

I’m also very excited for her. The theme of the retreat is “Following Jesus”. I can’t think of a better theme for this age group, or any age group for that matter. I prayed today for Samantha to let the Holy Spirit lead her and for her heart to be open to Him. As a Mom that is a Christian of course I want my children to follow Jesus, but it has to be what they want for themselves more than what I want for them.

Samantha recently celebrated her 12th birthday. Every year that passes I almost can’t believe the time has passed for her to celebrate yet another birthday. I feel that way with all my children. Each doesn’t “feel” like they should be the ages that they are since time seems to pass so quickly when it comes to children growing up. What’s the saying? “The days are long but the years are short.” Exactly.

So today we’ll welcome home Samantha after being away for such a long weekend.  And I hope and pray she had a wonderful, moving, almost supernatural experience with our Lord God.



A Lelly and Me Day

We planned all week to go to the beach today. The weather had other plans. It was pouring when I woke up this morning, like the sky opened up pouring. It kept up while I took a shower then I decided to go food shopping;  might as well since it was raining so bad. Alyssa decided to come with me. As we left ShopRite the rain stopped!  No way…I put the groceries away and then we saw peeks of blue sky coming through the clouds!  It was around noon and I told Lelly, “I’m I if you’re in!” She was in!

We left the house wearing sunglasses. However on the way we drove in and out of dark clouds. Not rain thank God. Finally we made it to the Jersey shore. I love to go to Ocean Grove beach. It’s this quaint, quiet Christian town. Perfect if you ask me. The parking lot next to the beach was almost empty, we couldn’t believe it. It was partly cloudy but the sun was breaking through perfectly. We sunscreened and got busy doing nothing but soaking up the sun. It was really nice being there with Daniella, we didn’t have to talk a lot. Lelly had brought earbuds so she was busy listening to music while I read a book I started to read back in April. The water was very rough due to the storm that had just passed. We didn’t go in past our thighs. It was great to watch the waves and listen to the water pound the shore when we were taking the sun.

I love the beach, it is absolutely my happy place. I love everything about it, the sun the sand, the water. It’s never dull when you’re in the ocean. There’s always another wave coming in. When I go with Samantha she is in the water literally the whole time. She only comes out to get something to eat and for me to reapply sunscreen.

Lelly also loves the beach. It was so nice to be there with her. We had a great time together. Now that everyone is older and either working or out with friends or boyfriends it’s nice to have one on one time. Lelly and I go to the same gym but rarely are able to go together due to our differing schedules.

Today was a great day.