Monthly Archives: March 2016

Shifting Sands and Mingled Feelings ……

…… best describes my life right now.

The wedding was amazing. It was beautiful and perfect. It was exactly what Daughter #3 wanted and what she planned. No kidding, it went off without a single hitch.
Well …… if you don’t count the fact that we thought Kleinfeld’s didn’t deliver the veil. But that was only for a brief moment in time (about 2 hours) and we found it so …… whew!

But other than that …… it was wonderful.
And painful.
Which brings us to mingled feelings.

I was so thrilled for Daughter #3. And Son #4.

And I loved every moment of being there with all of my children.
And Little Man.

And my family and friends.
Plus the weather was A.Maze.Ing!

(Please note that I included the silent e, so that you would know the word was pronounced “maze” and not “maz”, but I know that it’s not there in the actual word “amazing”. That’s for all of you grammar nazis. Of which I am one.)

Anyway, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for a wedding, let alone for an outdoor wedding.

I even managed to find a dress at the last minute that I actually liked. And I found a woman who could hem it at the ultra last minute. And she only charged me $10.
So there was that.

I felt really good the day of the wedding. I did’t feel emotional, I felt happy and excited.
And very blessed.
The wedding was at 5:00 and as two of my three sons walked me down the aisle, I still felt happy.
And then the pastor began the service.
Thankfully, before he got too far into it, I had a part to play, as did the mother of the groom.
We each got up in front and read a verse our children had chosen to be included in their wedding.

My verse was Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon) 8:7.
Which just so happens to be the verse from Jim’s and my wedding.
And which also just so happens to be engraved on my left wrist.


“Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”

I think Daughter #3 doubted that I’d make it through the reading without breaking down.
I told her that I’d be fine.
And I was.

I didn’t even trip walking from or back to my seat.
Props for me.

I was still doing well.
And then the age old wedding theme was introduced.
You know, that whole, “till death do us part” thing.
Not exactly those words, but you know what I mean.

The pastor joked about the two of them, being old one day and sitting in rockers on their front porch, remembering their wedding.
And I lost it.
Because …… well, because.
It would be wonderful if we all got to become old and sit on the porch with our most-loved person.
But there you go.

Fortunately Son #2 was sitting next to me and he either had his arm around me securely, or he held my hand tightly for the entire ceremony.
Especially during the vows.
Where again that “till death” subject popped up.
I love my sons.
And I love how they want to protect me.
Even when they can’t.


So my feelings of happiness mingled with my tears.
Tears of grief for Jim’s huge absence.
Tears of fear that Daughter #3 may one day feel what I’ve felt.
Tears of desperation as I prayed over and over, “Please let him live a very, very long time.”

My heart was full and yet breaking at the same time.
Happiness and grief.
Love and loss.
Joy and fear.

But all of the happiness, love and joy lasted longer than the feelings of grief, loss and fear.
As soon as they were pronounced husband and wife and turned to show us the joy on their faces, I felt nothing but love and joy for them.



The rest of the night was a blast.

The food was fabulous, the dancing was fun and everyone celebrated love.
Which was the whole reason we were there.

God’s love for us.
Jim’s love for me.
My love for him.
That’s what began all of this.
Pure and simple.
And wonderful.
Forever and ever.


Love not only brought about mingled feelings, but it’s brought about shifting sands.

I’ve been house hunting in Waco for a couple of months now.
I want to be closer to my children.
Five out of six (or rather …… six out of seven) live much closer to Waco than to Houston.
And then there’s Little Man.
And the future foster children of Daughter #2.
I want to live closer to him …… to them.
I want to be able to help Daughter #2 as she moves further into motherhood.

So I was thrilled last week to walk into the house of my dreams.
A house 15 minutes from her and Little Man.
A house I wasn’t even looking for, or so I thought.
It was completely different from everything else I had seen.
In fact, it wasn’t even on the market.
And now it’s mine.
Or it will be …… in about 30 days.

My Houston house is on the market.
I will miss it, to be sure.
But not enough to stay.

I will miss the community I’ve lived in for almost 25 years, without a doubt.
But not enough to keep me here.
I will love this place and the friends we made here …… for the rest of my life.
I will treasure most of the memories from here in my heart forever.
And I’ll come back to visit.
After all, it’s only a three hour drive.
Which hopefully will never be anything like a certain infamous “three hour cruise”.
I mean, we do have cell phones now.
Real ones …… not made of coconuts.

So yeah.
It’s been an eventful month or so.
Mingled feelings.
Shifting sands.
Wonderful memories.
Hope for a fun future.
With plans for more wonderful memories.
And love.
Lots and lots of love.

And blessings beyond measure.




P.S. I’m keeping my apartment in NY.
I’m not crazy you know.
Waco will definitely need to be balanced out by NY.
Or I will go crazy.


P.P.S.  All of the fabulous wedding pictures posted from this wedding were taken by Angela King in Austin.  I cannot recommend her highly enough.  You’ll find her web site here.

“The Best Laid Plans ……

of mice and men often go awry.”

I have no idea why that quote talks about the plans of mice.  I mean, really??  Who knows what the plans of mice are?
And technically, I’m not a man, but boy, did my plans go awry yesterday.

It was the day I was closing on our lake house.
The place that Jim loved the most.
The place where we spent his final days, though we had no idea they were to be his last.
The place where the kids and I spread the last of his ashes.
The place I thought we’d keep forever.
The place where I thought our children would come to share holidays with their children.

The place that became none of that after he died.

I knew that this closing could be a mine field of emotions, but I planned to be very stoic. I planned to get through this day without any emotions.
Without any tears.

But the best laid plans ……

Our original closing date was to be on March 17th.
Next week.
But last week the buyers informed me that they wanted to close a week early, on the 11th.
They suddenly had plans to go out of the country on March 14th, and wouldn’t be back until the 21st.
So they wanted to move the closing up and they wanted to do a walk through early that afternoon and told us to make sure that NOTHING was left behind …… in the house or on the property.
They thought that I would be thrilled with this plan.
They thought they were doing me a favor.
And boy, were they wrong.

My parents have been living in the lake house.
They had arranged a moving company to load up all of their stuff …… on the 11th.
There was no way in hell that the house would be ready for the buyers’ walk through.
So I told them no.
We couldn’t move the closing up an entire week, just to fit their travel arrangements.
And I told them that I was angry that they decided to move things up, and expected us to have the house empty a week early.
I told them that their plans did not fit with our schedule.
And that I was also irritated that they now wouldn’t be closing on the house on the day that they gave me, but instead we’d have to do it over a week later.

They apologized for causing me any stress and said that they would like to close on the 11th, but would totally understand that the house wouldn’t be empty for their walk through. They said that they understood that we’d still be knee-deep in moving out.

They lied.

I drove to the lake yesterday to close on the house.
My parents were still packing and the movers had come and gone.
The movers also miscalculated the size of the truck they would need.
So they couldn’t pack everything into the truck that they brought.
Which meant that my parents had to rent a U-Haul and pack much of the things on their own.

I went to the closing, knowing that the house wasn’t empty, but also knowing that they buyers had said that would be ok.
I signed all of the papers.
I did everything I was supposed to do.
Then I went to the house and took a few last pictures.



My agent and I were getting ready to head back home when the buyers’ agent called her.

And told her that the closing was off.
They buyers had done the walk through and were pissed off that the house wasn’t empty.
They didn’t want to close now.
Unless I agreed to sign a lease back to them for one day, guaranteeing them that the house would be empty after that one day.

That phone call changed all of my plans.
Suddenly, the selling of this house felt painful.
Much more painful than it had to be.
And the tears started to flow.

This was not the plan.
We were supposed to keep this house for many, many years.
I was not supposed to have to sell it on my own.
And I was not supposed to have to deal with a couple of asses on my own.
But there you go.

So we drove back to the title company to make the closing happen.
And this couple …… this couple who professed to be kind and understanding and supportive a week earlier (as well as to my mom during the walk through) …… were anything but.
They demanded that I put up a deposit of $5,000 in case the property wasn’t emptied to their liking.
This was what it would take to make them feel “comfortable” enough to do the deal.
My agent said that we wouldn’t agree to that high of a deposit. And their agent said that maybe if I talked to them and assured them that the house would be emptied, they’d feel more comfortable.
By this time I couldn’t stop the tears.
I didn’t want to talk to these people.
I just wanted to go home.
But I went in to face them and to try to assure them that they had nothing to worry about.
I also tried to tell them why this was so emotional for me.

They couldn’t have cared less.
The wife had a stupid grin plastered on her face the entire time I spoke to them.
I wanted to slap her.
They didn’t care that this was emotional for me.
That this was a home my husband loved and that I wished we’d never had to sell.
They were not the “Christians” that they purported to be.
They were heartless and very, very cold.

They said that they thought they were doing ME a favor by closing a week early.
They said that most sellers would be thrilled with an earlier closing date.
That most sellers would say, “Thank God!!” that the closing date was moved up.
They seemed to think that I owed them.

They wanted the house emptied, and they wanted it emptied yesterday.And they demanded that I give them the $5,000 deposit. Or they would walk.

I wanted to be the one that walked.
I wanted to tell them what they could do with their demands …… and their plans to buy my house.
But in the end, that didn’t make sense.
And so I signed their stupid lease agreement.
All the while blaming Jim for putting me in this situation.
Even though that didn’t make sense.
It is what it is.

I hate that couple.

I wanted to like them and wish them well with their four children in our home.
I wanted this to go so much differently than it did.
I didn’t plan to cry.

But there you go.
The best laid plans ……

I spent most of the day today working at that house, helping my parents pack up the rest of their stuff.
I worked my butt off cleaning out everything, in a couple of sheds, the garage and the house.
I am beyond tired.
And sore.

But it is done.
We’ll see if they give my back my $5,000.
I don’t have high hopes.
And I won’t know for a month.

I planned for this to go differently.
This house was the last thing I had that Jim and I shared.
It was the last thing I had of my “before” life.
It could have gone so much better.
That’s what I planned, anyway.

The best laid plans ……

Sometimes really suck.

Wedding and “Fixer Upper”……

…… news.

Well, not so much wedding news.
I’ll write a post about it …… as soon as I spend some time thinking about it and what I want to say.

For now I’ll just say this …… it was beyond beautiful.
And Daughter #3 was breathtaking.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures before I end the post.

In other news …… Daughter #2 will be on the HGTV show, “Fixer Upper”, next Tuesday, March 15th. I think that it airs at 8:00 Central, 9:00 Eastern, but you might want to double check your area to make sure.
We are beyond excited!
Here’s a link to what HGTV has to say about it:

So there you go.
It’s really too much excitement for one blog post.

So I’ll have to write another soon.

Until then …… here are some pictures from the wedding.


Little Man and I were in the room with her.  He decided to pick up her train and then started following her around the room.  Thankfully, I managed to get a few (like 10!) pictures.  TANW for how this makes me heart feel.

These next two pictures were taken by her wonderful and amazing photographer, Angela King (  As you can see … she’s a very talented photographer.


I like to think that this represents Jim, shining down on them.  ❤


Waco and Weddings and Little Man ……

…… oh, my!

I’ve been in Waco for a week now and have been having a blast with Little Man. Last week Daughter #2 went to a conference for a couple of days so he and I had lots of together time.
Especially in the middle of the night.
Oh my.

Little Man has been teething …… to the max.
He’s had several teeth come in in just a week.
It would seem that they all break through in the wee hours of the morning.
But hopefully, we’re past the worst part.
At least for now.

He’s slept through the night the past couple of nights.
Thank you, God.
I’m finding out that grandparents are way too old to get up multiple times during the night and still be able to function the next day.
Which means that both Little Man and I were glad to see Daughter #2 when she returned.

This is his favorite spot in the kitchen.
Well, other than his high chair.

I brought this bear with me on this trip.  It was Daughter #2’s bear when she was a baby.  One of my sorority sisters made it for her.
He totally loves it.


The weather has been so nice that we’ve spent time outside, playing with a water table.  
His curls are delicious, are they not?  🙂

This past weekend we took him to the Farmer’s Market and to the Waco zoo. The weather was wonderful for both and we all had a great time.
He enjoyed his first “train” ride at the market (if you don’t count the NY subway).
They’re in the yellow train car.


Little Man LOVES the aquarium part of the zoo.

I was struck by the flexibility of this giraffe.

Then she decided to go lie down ……

…… to eat.
Gotta love a woman with a goal.

Then there was this.

A rhino who’s horn has grown out straight and is so long that it appears she can’t lift her head.
Word is that she’s so irritable that the zoo keepers can’t get near her to trim her horn down.

Which probably describes me perfectly at the age of 80.

This orangutan was just sitting at the fence when we walked up …… and then he evidently decided that it was time to show off.
And so he did.  He traversed down the fence like this.  I got it on video.

All in all, we had a great day at the zoo.

I’ve been doing some house hunting here.  I’ve found two houses that I like a lot.  But I want to at least get an offer on my current home before I put one on another one.                  
I know.  Call me crazy.

Gracie Lou has been having a blast hanging out with my friend N and her hubby and dog.  I think she’s really going to miss having a built in playmate when I bring her home.  N has been sweet enough to send me daily pics.

Oh my word, I miss this face.

Daughter #1 flew into Austin today.  She and Daughter #3 will be driving to Waco tomorrow to attend the Bachelorette party tomorrow night.  Little Man and I will be hanging out together while the ladies go out and have fun and debauchery.
In reality, there will be much more fun than debauchery.

On Friday we’ll all head to Austin to start the wedding festivities.

That’s all for now.  I doubt that I’ll have much time to write again until after the wedding.  I appreciate all of the comments, love, good thoughts and prayers that you’re all sending.  Please keep them coming.

Saturday is going to be an awesome day.