Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nicole and Brent are Pregnant!

Our family is so blessed! Nicole is pregnant with her second child! Taylor will be 3 when the new little one is born in early August. I am SO excited!!

When Nicole was growing up, she spent many weekends with me (both nieces and both nephews did so frequently - I loved those visits!) Here is a photo of her trying on my veil.

And 4 years ago she and Brent were married.

Two and a half years ago, Robert Taylor joined our family!

And here he is today - precious!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Past

Mother and Daddy - happy times!

An early Christmas card.

Can you find Charles Brannon Smith, IV (Chase) snuggled beneath the Christmas tree? This photo was Mother's idea.

I was an Angel in a school Christmas play - Mother made my outfit and I loved it!

Chase, Kyle, Jay, Lauryn and Brandi - another photo op staged by my Mother.

We LOVED these cowboy outfits! Charlie was 2, I was 4.

Money was tight so we made all our Christmas ornaments this year - 1970?

"Jolly Old St. Nicholas - lean your ear this way . . ." (Charlie and me)

The Beach House adorned for the holidays.

Charlie and me again - old enough to know better!

Mother and Daddy LOVED to dance!

Bobby's First Christmas - Charlie got a train!

Mother, me, Teresa and Brandi - I made her dress to match ours.

Thank you for indulging me while traveling down Christmas Memory Lane!!

Christmas at our House

I took the first photo of "our" house several years ago when we had one of our very, very rare December snows - or maybe it was in January and the Christmas decorations were still up - I know it didn't snow on Christmas because in all of my 61 years, I have never had a White Christmas!
The other photos are from last year. "Our" house is actually Daddy's house and the decor was all created by my mom years ago. My aunt Sue now does all of the holiday decorating and does a beautiful job of keeping Mother's spirit alive. The stockings on the mantel - one for each of us - were all handmade by myself and my sister-in-law, Teresa.

Here is a photo of us as we hung the stockings when there were only about 9 of us - that was over 30 years ago!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter of Life

I received this in an email from a friend today and thought I'd share it on my blog:

And it's winter before we know it....
You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all...
And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is..the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go? I remember well.. Seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like... But, here it friends are retired and really getting gray...they move slower and I see an older person now. Lots are in better shape than me... But, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant... But, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be. Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will...I just fall asleep where I sit! And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over...its over....Yes , I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done ....things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.....So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!!Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your, live for good today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember....and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!"Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Finding Joy

A nice little slide show with great photos and quotes - enjoy it!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Art I Have Done Through the Years

I love this time of the year!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here at the beach - all of the family was here together except for Robby and his family - we missed them. As usual, we all contributed to make it a wonderful, happy, memorable day! The nephews moved furniture and brought in tables and chairs so that all 16 of us could sit at the "same" table. Daddy smoked a turkey and a ham and they were delicious! The girls each made a dish or two to complete the delicious meal. The evening was topped off with a very generous monetary gift for each of us from Daddy, a tradition he and Mother started many years ago. And then I coaxed Bobby into playing his guitar while we all sang along to some favorite songs. I didn't get any photos, but I did take some videos that we'll enjoy for years to come! Above is an earlier photo of Bobby playing - so much fun!

Mother's Recipe Box

A few weeks ago I opened my mom's recipe box for the first time since her death 2 1/2 years ago. Oh my, I was not prepared for all the memories and emotions that floated out of that box! Seeing her splotched and well-worn favorite recipes, some written in her own scrawling penmanship, some typed carefully yet splattered from many uses, some torn from magazines and newspapers - all of them took me back to the many wonderful meals and goodies that she lovingly prepared for her family. It took me back to the fun times we had in the kitchen together, making our favorite holiday treats. It reminded me of being a little girl and watching and learning and helping as she taught me with patient love how to cook. I remembered the many times that my mom, her mom and I would spend in the kitchen together making jellies and jams and Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts! It made me happy and grateful that I was raised with so much love, in the kitchen, in our hearts, in our lives.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Voted

"Freedom is an option, not a given. Exercise your options."

Daddy and I are both registered voters here in Florida so we opted to exercise our early voting rights today. We were surprised that there were no long lines.
Today's weather is absolutely gorgeous! We ate at a new Chinese restaurant for lunch and will enjoy margaritas out on the deck later and then watch the Bama game tonight - life is good!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween Envelope Updated

Karen and Kathy each worked on the front and back of my Halloween envie - I'll continue to update.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fun at the Beach

Four of the seven Littles came to the beach this weekend - what fun!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fun Envelope Art Again

A group of us are doing mail art again - the current theme is Halloween! Such fun! The photos below are the front and back of my own envelope - I had fun painting each side with Lumiere paints and adding stitching (on the mummy's eyes), cheesecloth, an autumn leaf and some images. I will post photos when it returns back home. Next we are doing a Christmas envie - I can't wait!

My Birthday

October 3 was my 61st birthday - how the heck did this happen so soon!?! And why are the days and weeks and months flying by faster and faster the older I get?? Well, anyway - I had a very nice quiet birthday alone. I received loving phone calls, emails, ecards, cards and messages from my wonderful family and friends. I read and relaxed and I spent some time on the beach and took a few photos - the weather is gorgeous and I LOVE this time of the year!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm Old!

You Belong in 1951

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

At the Beach, finally!!

This is one of my very favorite photos - it's my great-nephew, Jay, taken by my nephew, Brent, in July 2004.

I can't believe I was away for over 7 months! It's so wonderful to be back! These photos are from last year but I will add some current ones soon.