Thanksgiving Part Two

As a child of divorce, I am used to multiple Thanksgivings. That is, and was, a way of life. A way of the holidays. You had Thanksgiving dinner with Mom at Papa’s house and then you had it with Dad at Granny’s, either later that day, or another day of the weekend.

When my sister became a grown up, we made trips with her and her husband to my Grandma’s house on her dad’s side of the family (which was not my dad but still family to me) to Colorado. She would drive her three younger siblings (me and my brothers) all the way from Oklahoma through Kansas blizzards to get to Thanksgiving at Grandma’s every year. My sister must have really loved Thanksgiving to go through ALL that. We were three extremely obnoxious and bratty kids (okay, it was mainly me), point is….she loooves Thanksgiving.

This year after our Thanksgiving with Sue – who is OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AND HOME.

I’ll wait while you do the happy chicken dance, then you can finish this post – CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

Okay, we headed from Dallas to Houston for Thanksgiving part two at my sister’s house with her new blended family (she got married in June).

This was only the second time we took a long road trip with the girls (I swore I’d never do it again). We came prepared; car Bingo and iPhones. Come to find out we didn’t need the car bingo. The teen slept most of the way. Molly had iPhone #1 (dad’s) and Bridget had iPhone #2 (dad’s old iPhone). Sydney had hers (when awake) and I had mine (with newly bought Family Feud app) and we were all happy happy happy.

The trip went GREAT! Seriously, we were there before I knew it – five hours later (if only the trip back went so well – 5 1/2 hours – but never mind that).

My big sister’s house smelled like Thanksgivings past. She used the seasonings my step dad always used filling my nostrils with nostalgia. It was wonderful and precious and so, so, so, so GOOD. She made my favorite chocolate pie and I was in heaven.

My sister’s family

My big sis (by 9 years) – Deedy. She is smiling and cooking, often wears an apron and spoils my little step-daughters to death (said she was practicing for when she had granddaughters). Excellent job sister!

Man in most of the pictures next to her – Roger. He is my sister’s new husband. He has two daughters Leighann and Chelsea.

Oldest daughter of Roger – Chelsea. She is a special needs child, and doesn’t vocally speak, but she signs to communicate. She is VERY smart (and funny), plays guitar, and loves to model for the camera. I adore all her pictures. And? I even learned a few signs.

Youngest daughter of Roger – Leighann. She plays the piano and loves her big sister. That is pretty incredible for a thirteen-year old. She could be a sister to Molly and Bridget with her coloring.

Oldest daughter of Deedy – Eryn. She is the gorgeous dark haired girl in a few of the pictures. She lives with her husband Luke (in the ball cap). She is the oldest grandchild on our side of the family. She is in school to be a Physical Therapist. We are so proud of her.

Oldest son of Deedy – Gabe in college and lives on his own. Not pictured, but his girlfriend Britanny was there for dinner and she is a sweetheart.

The next morning we went to the beach in Galveston. The girls were supposed to barely get their feet wet. Well…..oops. Molly is like an ocean goddess. She turns into this matrix dancing queen splashing in the surf. It’s amazing, but a little messy. Luckily, we had a change of pants.

After picking up shells, running through the waves, and being thoroughly sandified and oceanified. We went to ride the Galveston ferry. Which? Is a State Highway; in other words – free.

It was a gorgeous sunny day. Perfect weather. We couldn’t have asked for anything more, except extra time. We had to head back less than 24 hours after our arrival. Life. It happens. But Thanksgiving part two was definitely worth the trip (even with the ride home and I’m not going there).

My favorite picture out of the 341 (possessed by Nikon- I know) – this one.

Seagulls eat Thanksgiving lunch.

Too bad the kids had eaten half the bag already.

We want more Cheetos!

Live, Love, Laugh – Our First Dance

Dance as though no one is watching. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing as though no one is listening. Live like it’s heaven on earth.”

There were times when I felt my head would explode from the monstrous planning of all the little details in the wedding and at the reception. A good chunk of it during the weeks prior when my future mom-in-law got admitted to ICU. The stress, the worry, and the hurt; a huge ball of strain. It zapped our joy. Brought us to our knees. And frankly, I had no idea if our wedding day could be joyful through the hardships we were facing.

Every detail fraught with blood, sweat, and tears. Even as much as we loved each other, and were happy to be joining in marriage. I had concerns of being happy on our ten-ten-ten day. I had concerns of even having a wedding at all. I didn’t know if we could pull it off, and if we did, I didn’t know what it would be like. Everything tainted by the stress. Emotions raw.

Part of me didn’t want to finish on my own without Jason’s mom. Didn’t want to face the family married knowing she wouldn’t be there; couldn’t be there. I wondered if the details were even worth fulfilling. If they had value. If the cost was worthy. The time. The effort. The heartache.

But when I think back to the memories of that precious day, those details, and the glimpses of them in frozen seconds. I know. I know. Each and every one was truly worth all the planning.

The words ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ were hung on the wall by the cake table for the reception. I found them at Hobby Lobby the weekend before the wedding. Just a few words, but what a difference they made. It truly represented our union and how we live our lives. It is a reminder that through the good times and the bad, to keep loving, keep laughing, and never stop living. It reminds me of my blog which is so completely us and our family.

We didn’t have a first dance choreographed like we had hoped. That detail didn’t pan out, but it didn’t seem to matter. It worked out beautifully just dancing and singing without thought or pre-step.

Yes, we sang *like no one was listening. We danced *like no one was watching. And we braved loved again *like we’d never been hurt. It took a lot more work to do that than any of the wedding planning.

The song, Smile by Uncle Kracker played for our first dance, because I knew our day was not a sad day. It was a day to remember. A day to rejoice. A day to forget our past mistakes. To give our future to God and leave our fears and worries at the cross. It was a day to smile and bring our love to others. Especially the families brought together in marriage.

The day to..


    What a blessing those little details turned out to be.

    More to come….

    *Photos by step-brother Kevin*

Thank you YouTube – Car Dancing Part Two

I hope you can view this. I can view it but am not sure how public it is. I originally made it private when the song continually got blanked out but now they have added the song tag. I linked my blog to youtube so hopefully that will work.

This is the full length version of our car dancing video clip featured on The Levity Project. The International video is listed in the below post or click here to watch it on YouTube.

If this shows as a private video – Please click


It will open a new window.

Disclaimers This video was filmed safely in the parking lot of UTA. No subjects were at risk. No traffic violations (that we know of). No danger of any kind unless you count when Sydney was driving. HA HA. Although we did in fact car dance ALL DAY at stop lights, shopping mall parking lots, and highways in honor of International car dancing day. Our actually filming was a reenactment.

If all else fails go to Youtube-angeliasims and become a subscriber. It should show up there. IF NOT, search angeliasims, then click on the blue highlight of my name. It should take you to a channel that plays it. Hey, I don’t know how it all works. Trust me it’s there. It’s worth it! At 3:46 in the video time when you see a little three year old doing the ROBOT. Oh yeah! ROFL!

I truly believe this will bring us great joy and laughter for YEARS to come. And who knows? Maybe we can do a video every year just to check our skills.

The Fine Art of Car Dancing

I’ve been car dancing for as long as I can remember. Maybe I got a little more free with my moves when tinted windows became popular. I guess I thought I was semi-hidden until someone I knew saw me and never let me live it down. Eventually, I just didn’t care anymore. I busted my moves, cut my rug, and mashed those potatoes – in the car, in the grocery aisles, on the sidewalks. If the mood struck, I was DANCING.

Of course the fine art of car dancing is no fun alone, so I taught Sydney. And we didn’t just dance there but everywhere. It wasn’t too long ago we were getting down in the doorway of Pappasitos, waiting for Jason to pull the car around. Laughter bubbled over and who knows? Maybe it infected the restaurant patrons and staff. I’m sure it made a good show, or laugh. Or to them we might be The Crazies, as in the movie we recently watched.

Here is the thing, I have two little girls that are going to be my step daughters. The tradition has to be passed. We are a family of car dancers. They will teach their children, and those children theirs. I started training them last summer in the parking lot of Tom Thumb.

Let me tell ya, it didn’t take long. These kids are naturals. Imagine my delight when Lance from Jungle of Life emailed me about a special project to participate in – an International day of car dancing – brought to you by Katie from The Levity Project. If any of you were around for our mall Laugh fest it’s the same Katie, and the same Levity Project.

Our assignment – to jig it up car dancing all day and video 15-30 seconds of it. A-ha! Our mad skills would be recognized. Our greatness recorded. It was like making it to the Olympics after training all summer. Go team car dancing USA. I have to tell you, it was crazy cool. Contenders for a medal? I’ll let you decide.

I have a full length video of our car dancing day that is just not ready for release (unless you want a DVD mailed). What is ready is the official -GLOBAL- video just released today that includes our segment (3:14) that we sent in.

Great job done by ALL participants from all over the WORLD. I was stunned by the movement of this passion and where it ended up. Lance always includes a note that we are ALL CONNECTED, especially when we do a project of this kind. His post is here. Katie’s post is here.

Funny thing is, one of my GOOD friends is in this video from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I was so surprised and happy to see her grooving away. I met her a few years ago in person with a group of online ladies in Ohio. We all met on a thirty-something Ediets message board together. Who she knows from the Levity Project? I have no idea. But TRULY, it is a small world and we are ALL connected.

What an honor to be part of this event. I can’t even describe how proud it makes me to know such a life giving group of individuals seeking out ways to touch others with love and laughter.

Get ready to smile, laugh, and don’t forget – DANCE. Please share this video with everyone you know to brighten their day.

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