Friday, August 30, 2019

Fashion Friday - Good Bye Summer (I just wish the heat were leaving!)

Well, today I decided I would celebrate the last of my "official" wearing of the white pants with a pop of color to end their season.  Why, of course, I don't wear white (except creamy winter white) after Labor Day!

And because we know truly is is all about the shoes, I pulled out a pair of my favorites:

So, there you have it...Fashion Friday and it is time to retire the white pants!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

BUSY...the word that will no longer be used...A Rant

Busy, is a word I have come to despise...whether someone else uses it or I use it.  I  realize we have culturally morphed this word from what was once a word people used to describe an activity that was unavoidable (i.e. work, an event, etc.) to a word that we use to avoid doing things we don't want to do.  Yes, there are times when we are legitimately "busy," but there are a heck of a lot of times when we use it as an excuse to avoid doing things we don't want to do.  Ultimately, I have learned that people find time to do the things and see the people who are truly important to matter how "busy" they are.

So, I guess I have grown weary of hearing it as an excuse for bad or rude behavior. "I am so sorry I didn't call you back, I have been so BUSY!"  "Oh, I miss you and we really need to catch up, I have just been so BUSY."  "We will get together when things aren't so BUSY."  Yes, I am guilty of using these same excuses and honestly when I think about the big picture they were/are just excuses.  It made my lack of availability or interest sound valid.  As a culture we like to think busy makes us sound important and productive but as the saying goes, chaos does not equal productivity.

Also, it comes down to what is important to you and waving away a friend or family member because you are "busy" is just bogus.  We all know how to make time for those who we really want to spend time with.  It is all about choices.  Sadly, I think our world is continuing to isolate socially and the word busy has helped it along.

Now, I know that some people feel overwhelmed and so "busy" that they have no time for anyone or anything but what makes your "busy" more significant than my "busy?"  When a friend says to me, "Oh I have been so busy that I couldn't get back to you,"... barring a true emergency or an unique season of life, I have finally come to the conclusion I don't want/need to work that hard.   See, I am a single Mom, who works a demanding full time job, is involved in Bible Studies at my church, and several community organizations, not to mention keeping a household running...but I will still make time.  But, I am learning to protect my time so I have the time to make.  I am also learning that those who are always too "busy" aren't finding a place on my calendar...not because I am too busy but because time is precious and I don't want to chase people down to spend time with them.

When asked,  "How was your day?" I no longer say, "Busy."  I say full.  Yes, this is some what of a rant but I think we all need to determine are we really busy or are we just choosing to invest our time elsewhere and are we choosing wisely?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Fashion Friday, because we all have days like this...

I always  want to be positive and find the best in situations and today was no exception...but there is quite a bit of transparency here too!  Although, life can look pretty in blog land there are those days when we all get to have a gown that buttons up the back  kind of day and today was mine!. I want to be clear that I am real and not everything is pretty.   See, every day I don't get all "fixed up" and sometimes life decides what you wear and whether (or NOT) it is flattering or in your color!
As you can see I "chose" a lovely loose, flowing, and airy (because there are literally no buttons in the back just a couple of ties) dress that worked for a hot August Friday.  It even came with a faux designer print! What designer?  Your guess is a good as mine; maybe Dr. Feel-Good's Designer Duds?  I complimented my ensemble with a personalized bracelet that was made just for me and "monogrammed, "of course!  But best of all was the lovely shoulder bag that I used to bring the whole outfit together.  It was personalized as well, and it really does finish the look off, doesn't it?  Oh, and if you are wondering... I think this Fashion Friday post is a testament to the versatility of a good, basic pair of platinum Jack Rogers as they go from beach to dinner and everywhere in between without missing a beat!

See, transparent, not so pretty but positive!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

As Summer wanes - a recap.

I have alluded to the fact that this has been a bit of a crazy, unusual summer for me, but it really wasn't so much for me but my youngest son.  I have been waiting for his world to slow down a bit before I posted about all his adventures over the last couple of months.  This summer, the "last" summer before he graduates from high school, has been truly a summer of extraordinary experiences for him.  We knew going into the summer that there were a couple of fun things on the horizon but never, in our wildest dreams, did we see the special things that God would place in front of him.

First: Deep See Fishing with Gump
Almost as soon as school was dismissed for the Summer my parents came and my Dad and Mom really wanted to do something special for my son. They planned a day of deep-sea fishing.  Although we found out - too late - that my Dad apparently does not have his sea legs, I am so glad my son got this special memory with his Gump.

Second:  Palmetto Boys State:
My son, my super amazing youngest son, was a delegate to the American Legion's Palmetto Boys State Encampment.  It was quite an honor to represent his school among 1200 of the best and brightest South Carolina has to offer.  To say it was a week that changed his life would be an understatement.  It sounds cliche' but he learned so much and grew so much in 7 days I was amazed.  It was like watching God mold the clay as one might say.  Unlike some parents, I will brag that my son stayed in touch with me and kept me up to date as the week progressed and culminated with him being elected the 2019 Palmetto Boys State Lieutenant Governor (from 1200 other amazing young men!) and being inaugurated on the steps of the South Carolina State House Steps along with the current South Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Pamela Evette and South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster.  If a race down Main Street in Columbia by almost 2000 (including Palmetto Girls State) outstanding young people and American Legion Staff and then being escorted down the Statehouse steps by the current Lieutenant Governor wasn't enough, my baby boy also was allowed to address the crowd of over 2000 people in attendance.  The icing on the cake came when he was selected as one of two delegates from our great State to represent South Carolina at the 2019 American Legion Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. for 8 days. Out of 20,000 young men across our nation, he was one of 100 to be given this honor. Yes...I was/am a proud....VERY PROUD...Mama.

Picking my boy up and ready to have him home, at least for a few days!
Third: Puerto Rico
I think somewhere my sweet boy hit the summertime vacation jackpot when an out-of-the-blue invitation came for him to join a friend and his family in Puerto Rico. He had a wonderful vacation and a great deal of fun with his friend and his family.    I am so glad he got to experience and see new things and was able to see the beauty of Puerto Rico but also that there is great poverty and sadness as well. He text me at one point as he was seeing the differences within the culture, "the poverty here is insane."  Although he has been on mission trips and worked with Life Changers in areas that needed help this opened him up a little bit differently.  He was taken aback and it led us to some great discussions and thoughts on poverty here and in other areas of the world.  I am glad that even on holiday his heart was pricked and God was working.  I am so thankful to his friend's family for including him.

Fourth: Mission Trip with our Church to Chattanooga, TN
Yes, all these events were basically back to back. He was home packing just to turn around and head back out.  He also went on a much anticipated mission trip with our church to Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It was a week that really again had my young man looking at his heart and realizing life isn't fair for so many people.  He spent time working in a downtown soup kitchen, working in a warehouse and also spending lots of time in fellowship and studying with his youth group.  When he called during this time I could feel him struggling and God working.  It was a good week.  The only downside is he had to fly home a day early because he had to fly back out the next morning for Boy's Nation in Washington, D.C.!!!  Yes, this summer has needed a calendar all to itself!
Yes, that is my boy in the dumpster...don't say he isn't willing to get down and dirty to get a job done!

Fifth: 2019 American Legion Boy's Nation
I am not sure what I can truly say to explain this experience.  Of course, I wasn't there and have only heard lots and lots of amazing stories, but my son had a truly life altering week.  He learned, stretched and competed with the best of the best led by the best of the best.  Being one of 100 chosen from 20,000 young men across the Nation made for quite the young think tank.  I am proud of the hard work my son had to put in to attend and participate in Boy's Nation.  He had to draft, submit and defend a bill as an American Legion Senator and he was challenged by young men from all over this great Nation and opened his mind and heart to others like him and some very different.  To truly learn more about Boys Nation, check out this article about my young man that appeared on the front page of our local paper: Local Teen Headed to Washington, D. C..

So, yes, this has been the post to end all posts....more like a novella.  There have been a lot of exciting things going on around here and I have not be more humbled than by the proclamation that I received last week that my son proposed to the American Legion 2019 Boys Nation Legislature:

These few words might not see like they would mean a lot, but, as a single Mom who literally has to make every decision and deal with every detail they mean everything. It is just the two of us and a lot of the time I don't feel like I am getting it right, but either way I know I am blessed to have the opportunity to try.  I am so proud of my young man and all the work he has done and as he begins his Senior Year of High School....I can't wait to see what God has in store.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 (NIV)

Friday, August 9, 2019

Fashion Friday - My favorite color!

Oops, I broke my streak last week!  It was an outfit repeat so I guess that happens.  This week to put an exclamation point on the end of the week I pulled out a simple dress in my favorite color that I just happen to have earrings from Pretty N Bliss in Florence, SC that coordinate perfectly!  I found this dress early in the summer at the Hair Shack and Clothing Boutique in Dillon, SC.  I love finding out of the way little boutiques with something that not everyone will have.  It was paired with my go-to nude pumps and  I also wore a ring passed down to me from my Mother for a splash of the ocean on my hand.   This is truly my favorite color.  I am drawn to it in my decor and my clothing and pretty much anything else.  I reminds me of the blue that can only be found in warm Caribbean waters...which my soul wouldn't mind seeing again soon.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Things We Surrender: A Lowcountry Novel by Heidi Hostetter - My Thoughts

I just finished up Things We Surrender: A Lowcountry Novel by Heidi Hostetter and I have to admit the cover of the book drew me in.  I was hot off Karen White's Tradd Street series when I saw this and I was still in a Charleston mood.  When am I not in a Charleston mood? 

I have read one prior book of Ms. Hostetter, The Inheritance, so her move to Charleston  interested me.  Honestly, I have a hard time not loving a book set where my heart loves, in the South Carolina Low Country. Things we Surrender follows a family of strong females (family by blood and friendship) as they rediscover their bonds and begin to heal from a lifetime of hurt and misunderstandings. It was a good start but I will be looking for a sequel as the author does leave a wide door at the end for an adventure for some Southern Belle's in Rome!

For a quick fun, read this is definitely worth picking up.