Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Moments in Our Life

Even everyday moments add up to the fabric of your life.  It truly is a tapestry of color and texture. I love that visual.

The part of my tapestry of life right now is very richly colored and simple. Although there is one main thread missing (D) the rest is beautiful.

Sometimes I stop and remind myself the life I have right now is not my normal life and it won’t last forever. It's like a perfectly beautiful movie without the conflict of a plot.

D is off in the Middle East building a business and I have the luxury of living in an adorable condo overlooking a wonderful marina filled with large, gorgeous boats while I wait for the arrival of the first baby born to my youngest child, my own baby.
Thoughts of my previous life come up every so often. I think of the magazine in Virginia often but I would dread to have to go back to running it. If I were still the owner, being here would not be possible. I wouldn't miss what I am doing right now for anything. I am having some of the best times of my life.

Would it be better if D was here? MOST DEFINITELY, but it would also be different. Right now it is mother and daughter getting ready for a baby. I have never done this before and I kind of like it.  :-)

I loved my work. It was a wonderful 24 years and, at most times, a whole lot of fun.  However, it was also very hard with extremely long hours and stress that ranked right up there with childbirth.

There is not a of lot of stress in my life right now. This morning I went for a long bike ride around the surrounding neighborhood madeup of well-manicured homes.  Afterwards I went swimming in the condo pool listening to my favorite music on my swim MP3. Talk about luxury. . . I am a very lucky woman.
The pool is even heated to just the right temperature for swimming laps.
After my swim I walked down to the marina to get a close up look at some manatees swimming there.  I thought there were 4 or 5 but when I got closer there were at least 9. One of them came right up to me at the dock and posed for a picture.
Take note of the toe of my running shoe in the bottom of the photo. I stuck it out on the dock so you can have a persective of the size and location of the mantee. I know they are tame, but it made me uncomforable being this close to such a large animal. He was probably about 6 feet long.
Walking away from my close encounter, the thought came to me that I was an amazingly lucky woman and life is really good. What a beautiful morning and  how fortunate I am to be able to experience it.

I know life won’t always be so good and certainly there will be times when I am not nearly as happy as I am right now, but I did stop and savor the moment. Maybe I can remember this feeling to get me through the hard times. All I have to do is figure out how to remember to remind myself. . . .

Cheers to the tapestry of life!

A few nights ago BHB and I finished sewing a blanket she started for the baby.  We talked about D’s mom, the world’s greatest mother-in-law to me. She was a very talented seamstress and would be proud of our work if she were still here.  We miss her sometimes but it was a warm thought to know she would be proud at this moment.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Instant Coffee and Jellyfish

The coffee pot that D ordered has not arrived and I am still drinking instant coffee.

If you know me, you will realize the importance of this statement.

I love coffee.  D and I loved our coffee pot that we had for over 10 years.  However, right before we sold our dream condo in Clearwater and purchased our new condo in Vero Beach, our beloved “grind fresh and perk hot” Compresso coffee pot stopped working.

I never dreamed it would be difficult to replace the pot, but it has been very difficult.  Over 2 weeks ago D ordered a new one online as none of the stores in Vero Beach carried the model we wanted.  It was on back order and still has not shipped.

Such is life.  I guess you can call this a “first world” problem.  I am making do with instant coffee much like we did during our travels in Greece and Turkey last year.  All of the hotels where we stayed provided instant coffee in our rooms -- no drip or fresh coffee. 

This morning I was up early. Since I had no coffee I decided to ride my bike to the beach to watch the sun rise.  This new condo faces a marina to the west and has beautiful sunsets, but to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean I need to ride my bike about 4 blocks to the beach.  Again, this is a “first world” problem for me. Actually, it is a very enjoyable short ride.
Waves were pounding the sand.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the bike belongs to BHB.  I borrowed it to try out and see if I enjoyed riding at the beach.  Definitely have a shopping trip to the bike store in my future.

The clouds were thick so the sunrise was not as spectacular as it could have been. None-the-less, it was beautiful and reminded me of the sunrises we experienced when we stayed a week on the beach in Melbourne celebrating BHB’s graduation from college.

The waves were pounding the beach and some Portuguese man o’war jellyfish had washed ashore.  Researching these I found out the Portuguese man o' war is not a common jellyfish but a siphonophore, which is not actually a single multicellular organism, but a colony of specialized minute individuals called zooids.

Three together in the seaweed.

This was a catch up day for me.  Yesterday I accomplished a huge list of items. Today left me hanging and not really motivated to do much. 

Today is only my second day alone.  Friday my granddaughter left for Oklahoma to return to college. Saturday BHB and I finished her shopping for the baby (and cleaned out some closets – great fun!) so that Sunday was my first day with no agenda. 

Second day – and I am bored.  Don’t tell D.  He predicted this.

And, to top it off, I just received the news that our best friend’s father passed away today.

Some days are better than others.  I think I will drive into town and buy a good coffee to chase away my tears.


One of the boats leaving the marina by our condo.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Big Baby Shower

Happy New Year.

Hopefully 2015 is off to a great start for you.  It certainly is for me.

Yesterday was the BIG BABY SHOWER for BHB. Her baby (little LWB – our grandson) is due 2 weeks from tomorrow.  Time does fly!

I missed making a photo of the hotel signs for our parties during BHB's wedding so I was determined to get a shot of this sign in the hotel lobby.
The shower was fantastic. MM (BHB's boss) and I co-hosted it together. D and I are still trying to talk BHB out of going back to work after the baby arrives, but she is determined to return to work for MM. If she works, I can’t imagine a better place or a better boss than MM.  She is a great boss and almost as family friendly as I was at the magazine. MM is also the nicest lawyer I have ever met.

Is BHB really almost 9 months pregnant?
The venue (Cobalt Restaurant at Vero Beach Hotel) was lovely, the decorations adorable, the food yummy, the company fantastic, and the gifts over the top.

The view from the room where we held the shower was fantastic.
The food was great.  We also had custom made fruit smoothies.  Everything was fantastic.
We used toys as table decorations.  The pearls are a reminder of BHB's wedding. They came from our New Year's celebration in Kiawah Island just a few days ago.
The cake was blue, OF COURSE!
My oldest daughter AJ drove in from Jacksonville the night before to enjoy the fun and give me an extra hand at the shower.  We stayed up way too late the night before playing chicken foot dominoes, my moms favorite holiday "around the table" game.
AJ and I had fun getting ready for the big shower. It was great she could drive down.
My granddaughter ML and her best friend JB were both here as well. ML spends time at Christmas with us every year.  This year she is a freshman in college studying engineering (of course) at the University of Oklahoma.  ML is coming to the Middle East for Spring Break in March. We can’t wait.
ML and JB were very sweet to help with the decorations. They were very creative. However, I think they would have been much happier out on the  beach with the other college kids on winter break.
ML and JB took over helping me to decorate.  They did a terrific (very creative) job and the room transformed into an elegant party.  The wall facing the ocean was all glass so we had the waves on one side and a wall full of gifts on the other side.  It was really very nice.
Our guests enjoying BHB opening her gifts.
My very good friend ES gave Brittany a wonderful "under the sea" night light and a sea puzzle.  The puzzle received one of the best “oooo’s” of the event.

Even the paper on the night light was cute. 
BHB’s boss, MM gave her a terrific travel play yard that she can use when she goes back to work and takes the little baby with her.
A good friend of mine in Bahrain, DW knitted the baby a special blanket.  Everyone passed it around so they could touch it.  It is amazingly soft.  Really amazing. And, of course, blue!

The younger "ladies" at the shower helped out with the gifts.
Just as the party was getting started, D sent me a text saying he had landed in Kuwait City and was almost home back to Manama, Bahrain.  I put him on a plane the day before and he was heading back to work after a great Christmas and New Year’s holiday. 
We took this quick shot of ourselves just before we played the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.
Although he would have loved to attend the shower, work in the ME is important and keeping the momentum running high is his priority. I will be staying in Florida at our new condo waiting for the little baby to arrive.
The party was over and the guests all gone.  But the big arrival of the baby is still to come.
BHB's car was stuffed with goodies.
It looked like all the gifts might not fit in the car, but with help from the hotel staff and friends, we were able to get it in.
Now the countdown begins.  Only 14 more days (maybe) before the newest member of our family arrives! I can not wait. I love being a grandmother and BHB is a great mom.