25
Aug
17

Monaco

Monaco is gorgeous. We only spent a few hours in Monaco but it was enough time to have the best caprese salad ever.

We saw the castle, Grace Kelly’s grave- the church is stunning and just enjoyed walking around.

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23
Aug
17

Italy

After Switzerland we headed to Italy. I loved everything about it especially the gelato. Since it was a safe and clean food I ate plenty. Of course all the other food was fantastic. I was so pleased to be eating out so well without issue. I was in heaven.

Going back to northern Italy is on my list. It was all I imagined it would be and more. I’d love more time there and J wants to take me to Tuscany.

I indulged in delicious wine and anti pasta platters. Taylor devoured true Italian pizza and fabulous pastas. We spent a day exploring the Cinque Terre. It is a place a I could live. The small quaint villages that make up the Cinque Terre are absolutely adorable. We spent time on the on the beach and wading in the Mediterranean. Y’all it’s so cold so I only went out so far. My belly was not going to get touched by the ice bath. But it was nice to get hot laying out and then be able to get wet and stay cool for 30 minutes.

I found a little place for J and I to go back to as well as a restaurant. It’s just perfect for us. ❤️

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23
Aug
17

Traveling- it is my favorite activity

img_4587“We don’t travel for traveling but to have traveled. It’s the journey that counts. It’s meeting other people that makes traveling worth while.”

Growing up we moved several times, 8 I believe, before I graduated high school. I remember being jealous of people who lived in one place and had a large number of life long friends. I wanted that for myself. But I did enjoy moving and the opportunity to be a better me and no one knowing my faults while I improved myself.

J and I moved across country 6 months after getting married and we started traveling a lot. Whether it was to different states or countries. I love all the new adventures. Once we started traveling to other countries that’s all I wanted to do. I constantly crave traveling. The farther from home we go the better. Before a trip I’m super excited, I feel at home on the trips and I grieve some when returning home. Maybe it was all the moving as a kid, maybe it’s the high of the experience and love of learning about other places, or maybe it’s just because I have wanderers heart who is grown to love change. We’ve been in the same house for 11 years and that’s the longest I’ve ever been in one place. I day dream about moving from time to time.

June 11 Taylor and I took off for an 11 day adventure to Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, France and Spain. We had the best time. We walked a lot! Over 5 miles a day. We saw and did some incredible things. We started off in Zurich and Lucerne. We went to the top of the Swiss Alps, had incredible chocolate, saw the gorgeous countryside of Switzerland and stayed in some of the most quaint little, family run hotels.

We were in Zurich on a Monday and although the town was busy and people were moving about to work the city was oddly a very quiet place. It’s as if it had no background or white noise. It was fabulous. I loved the smell of chocolate that was in the air. It was a great start for our journey.

23
Aug
17

Summer Crazy Summer

Our summer started off in May, sort of. We had a quick trip for a beautiful wedding…. but when it’s in Florida you say your summer starts in May.

Then we had Mercie’s 9th birthday and dog hospital episode and and before we knew it Taylor and I were off to Europe. It was marvelous and I promise to post about all that soon. I’ve delayed because it was such a good trip and I just wanted J and the kids to move to Europe and we all stay I haven’t come to grips with the fact that didn’t happen. 😆

We also have so many pictures I haven’t decided if I post all of them or if I make the tough call on which ones to highlight.

However when we returned other things rolled down hill and made our summer interesting and frustrating at the same time.

From expensive dog meds, to appliances breaking and repairs, ER visits and ambulance rides and money having to be spent in places we didn’t want to spend it….

We did however, get lots of great family time when my siblings and their families along with my parents came out for a week. Plus, Taylor’s 16 th birthday celebrations and lake time. Then there were the fun and weird feeling college trips with Taylor. We have a few more to do and although I don’t feel a kiddo of mine should be this close to college I do enjoy the time with her and we’ve had fun.

Next week the kids start school and it’s new chapters for all of them with Taylor taking college classes along with high school courses, Hannah is high school, Josh in middle school and Mercie the only one in elementary.

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11
May
17

Are we ever ready?

I feel stuck. I don’t want to move. Maybe if I stay right here time will stand silly a little while longer. I am not ready to be a witness to life’s big changes. Can we go back to sill shopping days and pushing the big kids around in store buggies, and blind soap smelling and late night games?

New beginnings are beautiful and I am excited but I am also sad about the ending of this phase in life.

Goodness me, if I am so emotional now how am I going to deal with my own children’s big and exciting life events.  We are far from the stages of the kids walking, talking, and learning to do things on their own. We are staring at the stages of moving out, being on their own and finding their own life and creating that while we sit on the sidelines.

I knew these things would be hard… I knew I would miss many things… I am not ready, but is anyone ever ready?  It all goes by so quickly….

01
May
17

Sometimes words are not needed.

Next week we head east and I couldn’t be more excited.

I am very much looking forward to a change of pace, scenery and seeing some of our favorite people.

Mercie is hoping to get lots of Jackson time… he’s getting married. I think she might be a little heart broken. She keeps asking where she gets to stand at the weeding as the flower girl… she believes the only option is by Jackson.

Twenty years, I’ve known this family. They were the ones J sought their opinion of me on when we were dating. I played and attended preschool and kindergarten events with them. All of them were in our wedding. They helped me un pack my house, hang up pictures, the boys played with my girls, made purses for them, snuggled my babies and we’ve had many shopping adventures in costumes and dinned with alias’s. The list goes on for the silly and fun things we have done together.

There have been crazy kitchen creations, late night games, vacations, surprise visits, many birthday and New Year’s celebrations, a lot of reality TV and soap opera commentating, over the top parties to celebrate each other… the 20 + years of friendship, family-ship, between our families has been like any other family… a roller coaster but at the end of the day we care for each other and what’s going on and we always show up for the other when needed.

We’ve sat in silence with one another during some of life’s biggest moments. We don’t typically discuss them before during or after. We all know there is so much emotion and we all don’t enjoy the ugly cries. We are just there. I can recall, promotion ceremonies, graduations, disastrous events and all that is said is ‘I am here, are you ok?’ We accept the one word answers. I believe we hear what is not said. You cannot under estimate the power of the person who passes you a tissue before you know you need it.

Despite the times where emotions ran the show between any of our family members and things that were said that should not have been said to the things not said that should have been said and the early morning, last minute changed departures we still are the person’s person in the most precious, exciting, and scary times we face in life. You just can’t find that anywhere and it just doesn’t happen overnight.

It is life changing times like the upcoming wedding that I feel we say the most when we speak the least. There is so much emotion wrapped up into this trip I truly don’t have words. But we will all be together, we will smile and dance and raise a toast or 2 and the hugs will be long and tight and they will say all that needs to be said and more. Call us wimps or crazy for not uttering words but not all of us need to verbally say what needs to be said for the other to hear our heart.

I cannot wait for next week but there is a little sadness to it… kids grow up and create their own lives, move on and get married… it just makes all of us getting together that much harder and maybe less often and I am not sure if I am OK with that.

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28
Apr
17

The only limited resource is time.

There are days’ things just creep up on you and you were not expecting it. Ya know, when the tears start and you just can’t seem to stop it… where you must force yourself to think about the plain and boring and mundane things, really hard just to keep it together…

Today is that for me. I did my usual dropping off Josh and Mercie to school. I let them out by the back gate of the school. They both have always taken off running to the back door. They race each other but they always run where I am on the street to look over smile and wave. They smile with their big gorgeous face smiles and off they go. But today I saw Joshua and it felt like it was like a last goodbye. There is this feeling of the end of elementary that I haven’t felt before. It is ending for him this year but when I see him race his sister to the door of the school and smile a big smile and wave at me I just can’t hold in the sadness for the ending. For six years, I have been blessed with the best ‘goodbye, see you after school’ greetings and love from him.

When Mercie is in the same school with him again things will be so different.

He is my only boy, I don’t know what is it store for our relationship in the teen years.

So, then there is looking at Taylor…. y ’all she is grown in so many ways. Our days are numbered. She is so tall and so pretty. She has blown us away with how amazing she does at school and how well she balances that with church, babysitting, and golf and being such a good helper at home with so many things. She’s making her colleges to visit list. I am starting to feel sick and excited all at the same time.

Oh, and if you could see all the things Hannah creates you might cry too. I tell her all the time I want to show the world all of it… she laughs and says most are doodles. You’d laugh at that if you saw her doodles. They are not cute little flowers and squiggly lines. They are just art, with depth and scale and emotion and perfection. Her talent is so special and beyond her years.

 

Mercy me, Miss Mercie she thinks she’s grown and that kills me because she not. She just wants to be doing what her older sisters are doing and hanging with them. She looks at me funny when I ask for cuddles and things we used to do are becoming boring for her. I know I’m probably trying to hang on all too much for too long but it just goes by so fast and I miss all that was.

Who would’ve thought my brother finishing grad school would bring me to tears to? But it did. I am so proud of him and excited it is over for him. It’s such a big deal!

This is not good to be so emotional 2 weeks before Jackson’s wedding. He was a little man of just 3 years old in my wedding. How can it be that he is off to start his own life and family so fast? It just may be the quietest time we have with all the Tharpe’s… I know if Emily and I talk we just might end up in ugly cries for days.

Despite my emotional roller coaster these things are wonderful and they do make me excited. But sadness comes along with it, it’s almost like you cannot have one without the other. I say it all the time and it is the truest statement y’all….

 

The days and weeks are long but the years are so short.

 

So savor the moments, hang on to the memories, laugh and cry and be in the pictures. Do fun things and be silly. Make sure you fill their minds with a multitude of memories that are fun, honest, playful and loving. It will be the best thing for them to take with them wherever they go and the best thing for you to have when they go. Hug them, kiss them, and go seize the day.

 




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