Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Remembering My Beautiful Best Friend - Doris Jane Fowle

Doris and I at my baby shower in Orlando, circa 2008.

Today, I celebrated the life of one of my best friends Doris. She was 90 years old, almost 91 early next month. She was the mother of three, grandmother to ten and great grandmother to four.

We met in the late 80's through The Salvation Army Orlando Corps through the Best Friend program, a mentoring program for teenagers to be paired with an elder of the church. The list had several people on it and I remember initially asking if Sam (her husband) could be best friends. Of course, at the time they were trying to pair women with girls and men with boys vs. the other way around. Well, it was meant to be because for the next 25 plus years, Doris and I became best of friends. And earlier at her funeral service, I shared that she was not only my Corps Cadet Best Friend (because of the program) but one of the best friends I've ever had.

I'm so glad I was able to attend her Celebration of Life this morning with friends and Doris' family. A friend's tribute was given by Thelma Birmingham and her son, Ken, gave a tribute to his mother. Beautiful words for a beautiful person.

On the back of the program was a poem written by Vickie Couture. Doris was a poet herself so it made my heart smile to read a poem dedicated for her.

My Tribute

I have known her for as long as I have lived, 
To all she met, she did give and give, 
She was our Sunday School teacher, 
You know, a children's preacher, 
Who showered us with love, 
Offering guidance from above, 
Pretty to look at, and oh how she smiled, 
Patient and caring all the while. 
Her time on earth is done, from here she did depart, 
But forever she will live, in each and every heart. 
For Heaven's gates would wait no more, 
On earth, her memory, we shall adore. 


I was honored to present the Benediction for the service. All morning my head was filled with memories where Doris showed her kindness and her sense of humor. She was one of a kind and so special for many reasons.

I prayed...
Dear Heavenly Father - 
Today we come to you in gratitude and love for the gift of life, for the gift of friendship and the gift of unconditional love through Doris Fowle. We thank you for the time - whether big or small - that we all had with Doris. She did great things for your Kingdom, and will be missed by her family and friends. She lived an amazing life as your child, your servant, as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother and a beautiful person. She lived and did so much for others. (She did so much for me and for my family.) Thank you God for showing us your love through Doris. We will always remember her, and we are eternally grateful for her life. In your name we pray...
Amen. 

Thank you Doris for your friendship and your love. The world is a better place because of you.

Best friends always,


Friday, December 04, 2015

December 4 :::: RED


Day #4 - RED

Today's December Reflection is RED. Even though red is not my favorite color, it's one of my favorite colors to wear as an accent, especially as shoes. I love red shoes. Recently, I found these very comfortable red flats that can be worn to work or around town for errands. They are not only comfortable, they make me happy when skies are grey.

The woman with two red shoes,

Thursday, December 03, 2015

December 3 ::: Best Day of 2015


Day #3 - Best Day of 2015 
During the summer, the family, including my baby girls' bestie Bells, headed down to Key West for a visit with good friends, the ocean and Florida sunshine. My favorite and best day of this year was watching Mr. Wonderful, baby girl and Bells snorkel together in the Atlantic Ocean. The sun was shining and the water was a beautiful crystal blue. It was as if the trip was just for us even though we shared the boat with about 40 other people. These are the moments that I'm happy to collect versus anything I could ever buy in a store.

Your moment collector,

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

December 2 :: Hot Drink


#2 :: HOT DRINK - December Reflections continue. Yay!

Today is a Holiday Spice Flat White from Starbucks. It's hot and festive and not too heavy first thing in the morning. If you don't know already, I love coffee. It is my friend. It has been there for me for many years and helps me through the good and the bad.

Keep on brewing,

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

December 1: SPARKLE

It's December! Yes...Hello there.

Let's reflect together on the last 11 months of 2015 and celebrate the next 31 days of the year by participating in Susannah Conway's December Reflections on Instagram, Flickr and many blogs including this one.


#1 - SPARKLE
Been married to Mr. Wonderful for 11 years now and every day I'm reminded of this beautiful sparkle that he placed and we had blessed together during our wedding ceremony and first steps of husband and wife.

Grateful for what the sparkle represents and for the life we continue to build together.

With extra sparkle today,

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Remembering Erin...One Year Later

Today is the one year anniversary of my sister-in-law Erin's death. I still have mixed emotions about it all...even a year later. Despite my feelings, I wanted to share the below message from her sweet husband, my brother-in-law Stephen, who has continued to show how true love exists and continues forever. 


This is for all of you. Please reach out to someone today that might be needing a word of support, a shoulder to lean on, or just simply a reminder that they are not alone. Sometimes even seeing someone far off in the distance can bring them back from the cliff. That would make Erin very happy, and with the 1-year anniversary of her death, a great remembrance for her. On behalf of our family and friends, I thank all of you for the kind words and support over the last year. You know who you are. For those of you who knew Erin, know she's at peace. And if you didn't know Erin, well that's your loss. The rest of us are smiling at the one-of-a-kind woman that was my best friend of 14 years, my wife of 12 years, and a source of every emotion under the sun.

Thank you Stephen for the photos and for the beautiful words in Erin's memory. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Joy Of Best Friends

My best friend Joy and I in Hilton Head last year celebrating her graduation. 
Best friends CJ & Bells enjoying Spring Break together. 
Today I'm grateful for the power of friendship. It keeps you moving forward. It hugs you when you can't hold it together on your own any longer. It celebrates you and helps you where needed. 

Thank you for best friends and for friendship. 



Friday, June 26, 2015

My ABC's

There's this little game going right now on Facebook where you "confess" your ABC's...So I'll play and confess my ABC's:
A- Age: Still in my 30's!
B- Biggest Fear: Jellyfish
C- Current Time: 7:19 a.m.
D- Drink you last had: coffee frappucino

E- Easiest Person To Talk to: Joy
F- Favorite Song: Kids by MGMT

G- Grossest Memory: Walking into an empty house and seeing human poo in the middle of the carpet
H- Hometown: Orlando (pretty much grew up there)

I- In love with: Anything that helps my spirit learn and grow. My family and avocados.
J- Jealous Of: People who can relax in Pigeon pose during yoga (even though Nicole says no one is relaxing)

K- Killed Someone? Only with my eyes.  No. Seriously...
L- Longest Relationship: Mr. Wonderful and I...15 years later.

M- Middle Name: V.
N- Number of Siblings: Favorite brother and Mr. Wonderful's brother and sister. Also, I count my cousins as sisters - Lanie, Tanya, Shells, Sam and Barbie. :)

O- One Wish: To love and help one another.
P- Person who you last called: Mr. WonderfulQ- Question you're always asked: When do you sleep?
R- Reason to smile: Because I'm alive.

S- Song you last sang: I don't remember the name.
T- Time you woke up: 6 a.m.

U- Underwear Color: black
V- Vacation Destination: Ireland and the Maldives

W- Worst Habit: nailbiter
X- Xrays you've had: my hand
Y- Your favorite food: Hot, spicy and lots of flavor
Z- Zodiac Sign: Pisces

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Yoga Birthday Party - Baby Girl is 7!

To celebrate the baby girl, she planned a Yoga Birthday Party at Sweetwater Yoga & Fitness. About 20 kids between the ages of 3 and 9 were there. We decorated the entire studio with banners and puffies (pom poms). I did a post it creation on the mirror in Studio A and set up the craft/eating area in Studio B. Thankful for friends and family for helping set up - Shannon, Tori, Ted and Chaun.


The cake was inspired by the invitation. 4Rivers Sweet Shop did a fantastic job AGAIN on creating a beautiful and very tasty cake for the party. It was a hit!


Sarah AKA Big Guns who regularly does Kids Yoga at Sweetwater taught a high energy, fun 60-minute class with Baby Girl as her little assistant.


There was stretching, bending and lots of smiles throughout the yoga class. I thought I heard some laughing too.


Such a great group of kids from Baby Girls' school, soccer team and close friends who celebrated her during yoga class the day after her birthday.


Sarah and Baby Girl kicking it up together. Love this picture!


More stretching by partnering up with her friend from school. Such a fun day!






After Yoga class, the kids enjoyed some snacks - popcorn chicken, turkey/ham sandwiches, fruit, veggies and chips. Once they were finished eating, they decorated water bottles with Sharpie markers and added candy that was dropped on each table to them.

We brought the cake in to the same studio to sing and eat it all. In addition to the main cake, I had red velvet and chocolate cake balls which have been well received by people who want just a little sweet.

Once the cake was served and it went fast, Mr. Wonderful gathered everyone in Studio A for a very safe and loving game of DODGE BALL...It was the Birthday Girl's request so all went well until the kids were the ones throwing the balls. Something happened...I didn't see it but once Baby Girl was upset, it was a good time to end the game and move to something else.

Now normally we do not open presents at her parties...There's usually not enough time but this time, it seemed like it worked with the way the party was going and it would make her feel better after the crazy dodgeball game. All of her friends and family were very generous and so thoughtful. She received cards, toys, books, games and lots of cute girl stuff.

We closed out the party after presents. Everyone was having so much fun visiting, that no one seemed to want to leave. Once they did head out, I handed every child a mandala design kit.

Thanks to my in-laws (Baby Girls' Papou and YiaYia), Tori, my brother Theo, Chaun and Shannon, the break down and load out of the party went by very quickly and easy. We were back home in enough time to change clothes and get to Universal Studios that night.

Celebrating in love,

Saturday, April 11, 2015

APRIL LOVE: An Inspiring Person

Day 11: I am inspired by a lot of people on a daily basis. Some I know, some I don't. It would be tough to pick just one since many provide bits and pieces of inspiration for me that make up a whole. So I choose to be inspired by my surroundings that include lots of people who are doing the best they can every day. They are following their dreams. Reaching their goals. Looking for happiness. Finding happiness. Believing in others. Believing in themselves. Realizing they can do it. Understanding and working through pain. Healing. Knowing nothing. Knowing everything. Being honest. Showing up. 

That's who inspires me...All of you who move in the world in your own way and contribute in your own style. As a result, you make big and small differences every day for me and for everyone around you.

Inspired by you,