The Moonflower’s Final Bloom of the Season

My mom gave me a small moonflower when I first starting gardening. I planted it – super afraid it would DIE.

But it didn’t.

Then, I moved and they moved with me. Another small plant was lovingly planted in hopes of continuing the moonflower legacy my mom had started.

And they did. Big bright white blooms on a warm summer night.

They smell of summer fun and lightning bugs.

When the moon is full, they reflect the moonlight from their upward stance.

They remind me of tradition, and majesty.

Their glorious blooms only last one night. Then, they point straight down and go to sleep forever.

When I moved the second time, my moonflowers did not go with me.

So many things, I left behind in that move.

Things that still tug my heart to this day, but I had to accept they were just “things”. I could live without them, because I had to. And so it was with my moonflowers.

A few months after I met Jason, I decided to plant his garden beds. His home offered beautiful stone trimmed beds that just begged for life and color.

I went to Calloway’s to shop. I pushed my cart through the aisles, glancing at each table for what I wanted, and that’s when I spotted it. It stood by itself on a large table. The leaf size, shape, and color were burned into my memory. I knew exactly what it was, even though it bore no name, or tag. It was just a stem and some leaves in a little quarter gallon pot.

Of course, I bought it. I knew it was meant for me.

I planted it. It grew. It bloomed. It was my moonflower – exactly like the ones from my past.

Since the year I put it in the ground, it has returned in the form of its offspring. The first year, they grew in the flower bed (good job!). But the next year (this one), they were a little more unruly.

I had about five plants come up in the YARD, not one in the flower bed.

Only one survived the mower long enough to be staked off as sacred and produce blooms.

I let it grow as big as it wanted. In the grass, and on a slope.

My one beautiful wild child bloomed all summer. I watched it from the dining room bay window. Proud, and perplexed at where it chose to live. This year it had more blooms than ever before.

She bloomed her last of the season two weeks ago. I grabbed my tripod, and my camera as soon as it was light outside. I set-up and captured these before the blooms closed for good.

I love the moon and I love flowers. Together, they are a magical blend of luminous luster. In a way, they are paired as partners in delicate harmony.

“The moon, like a flower
In heaven’s high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.”

William Blake quotes (English visionary Mystic, Poet, Painter and Engraver. 1757-1827)

Celebrating Life

I’ve started this post so many times in my head, but it never got anywhere. Between prescription runs, child drop-offs, working, and party planning – not to mention being emotionally and physically exhausted – I haven’t had much time.

But we did celebrate life. We celebrated my daughter’s 17th birthday. She made it. Despite the toocloseforcomfort call, I got to see her smiling face at 17. I swore THIS year, I would not cry on her birthday.

Because last year?…… Sixteen? WAS SO HARD. I cried a contact right out of my eye in the Hallmark store trying to find a card (Dang you! Hallmark!).

I just knew seventeen would be easier than sixteen, and the age itself is, just not the events leading up to it.

We were in such a shock state this past week. Everything was autopilot and scary. There were many emotional battles I faced – from being angry at the driver of the truck that hurt my family – to cringing at my husband’s cries of pain and worrying about my daughter’s hand. Worrying when she drove, and especially worrying when we were all in the car together.

I hadn’t planned or thought of her birthday at all. But at the last-minute, I took Friday off to get a pedicure with her after-school and do a little surprise birthday planning which included picking up her sisters from school and having them overnight.

What a surprise it was when she got home. And yes, she laughed. We laughed (at silly, fun decorations). Because life is sooo precious and laughter is sooo healing.

Justin Bieber Rockin' Party

Party decorations for Sydney’s 17th (yes, she does LOVE Justin Bieber).

My 17yr old daughter

Seventeen years young and absolutely gorgeous!

Justin Bieber Birthday Party

Two of our very VIP guests. My beautiful step-daughters.

Partyin'

Molly gets into the decorations and has a ball being a mini-teen (just like her idol sister). Note- outfit in above pic complete with phone in hand.

Little Sis Smiley at the party

Bridget, the youngest step-daughter, always gives me a smile no matter what she does. The smile lollipops are for Justin Bieber’s song, You smile, I smile which also played at our wedding.

Cold Stone Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Sydney’s favorite cake…..Cold Stone Chocolate Chip Cookie dough…….HEAVENLY!

Sydney saving her breath

Another year, I will never forget.

Sydney shows her Birthday card

Birthday card by Molly. Complete with her favorite animal the Cheetah. Isn’t that the cutest thing??

Sydney and her boyfriend Brandon

This is Sydney’s sweet boyfriend Brandon. He did the best job wrapping a gift for her and picking out cute stuff. I was very impressed!

Sydney 17 with her step-sisters
All the girls on Sydney’s birthday.

It meant the world to me to have them all together for Syd’s birthday (I really can’t thank their mom enough to give them up on her weekend). I kept counting them, looking at them, and hugging them. We had this wonderful night to celebrate life and give thanks for our family…. truly amazing memories.

Our lives may never be the same, but we are all here and we celebrated that.

Today, Mother’s day, was also incredibly special; being mom to Sydney and getting to spend the day with her. It was also my first year as step-mom, and although I didn’t get to see the little girls, I have them in my heart, along with every precious moment we have shared.

My heart is so very, very full.

Celebrating every second.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

H-A-P-P-Y Spells Weekend

It started with my new-found passion – photography – on Saturday morning. I was lucky enough to have the joy of a one-year old DOLL as my latest participant. The best part was the hugs I got to steal. Then, showing him how to car dance while we drove behind his mom to the park. He got a kick out of that. There is nothing as enchanting as a child’s belly laugh. It’s really hard to capture a roving toddler (almost like puppies), they move and turn so quickly. I really felt I wasn’t getting any good shots, but when I got them on the computer, I was surprised. His blue his eyes turned out stunning and I ended up with about forty favorites. Here a are a few.




My second venture was to the mall – on tax-free weekend (ahhh!). I wanted to take advantage and buy the girls their flower girl dresses. Yes, they actually got to take them home. Not to mention we got the hair wreaths, hose, and shoes to match. *Today I found matching flower girl baskets for $5 a piece at Party City – squee.*

Then since the day wasn’t over……Jason took us car shopping. Yes! I know, the dreaded car shopping. Except it wasn’t that dreadful for me. I knew what I wanted. I had to get a car since Sydney will be taking my car as soon as she gets her license. She is ready. She is driving unbelievably well and can parallel park like a champ. However, our quest to the DPS didn’t pan out. Too many last-minute rushes to get their license before school and not enough DPS officers available to give road driving tests (required in Texas now). I was in TEARS. We worked soooo hard the last few weeks. Driving and parallel parking EVERY SINGLE DAY. It just killed me that she didn’t even get a chance. But, we will get try again Wednesday! In the meantime we went car shopping for me to cheer me up. Yay!


I had it narrowed down to these two. A black Toyota Prius. A gray Toyota Venza. The whole famdamily test drove these babies. We had to make sure we all fit. We did. Yes, even in the Toyota cracker car Prius. It’s actually pretty big and has a very cool dashboard. The girls LOVED car shopping. They especially loved the Scion in the showroom. It became their personal play car. They only got out of it to test drive with us. Seriously, I asked if they’d throw this sucker in with our car deal for the backyard. Heh! 🙂

After, much indecision on my part, because honestly? My practical side wanted to go with the Prius. Fifty miles to the gallon is a lot of trips home to see mom with very little cost. Gas will rise again to four dollars or more. Do I plan for the future? It’s the number one selling car that Toyota has. Obviously some people are planning. The Venza was luxury. The Venza was smooth and sleek and lush. It fit the family better, roomier; length and width. It wasn’t just good for me, but would be a good car for long family road trips as well. The cost was the same and it was more car for the money, but less savings for gas. Although, it does get very good gas mileage.

I chose…..

The Toyota Venza and it felt good to make a decision for the family. It had FIVE MILES on it when we test drove it. Bigger than what I am used to do, but I love it! Jason financed for me, I’ll make the payments. It bothers me not at all that my name isn’t on it. In fact, I am very proud of myself for being dependent on him. The old me would have tore myself to pieces for NOT taking care of myself, by myself. It takes a lot to let go of that need (fear). Letting someone else take care of me? Well – it feels pretty darn good.

Now, for all you techy geeks like me. Check this out.

A USB plug-in for your iPhone/iPod down in the console.

It then comes up to stand that holds your phone upright.

You close the middle and it’s all hidden. Coolest thing ever. It plays all your music and has blue tooth (call by voice command) in the car. Completely hands-free, you just talk over the speakers of the car. It is VERY swift. I am still trying to figure it all out.

I drove all over the place since I got it. I put 100 miles on the car in ONE day. HA.

Finally, for all you puppy fans. I walked into the living room to see this. My black lab Salem (almost 9yrs old) being used as stool. Of course, I grabbed my camera. What a trooper she is. She wasn’t around little kids most of her doggy life and she takes it in stride. Labs are the best. Love her face on the last shot (ha).



Sunday photo shoot with my Shih-Tzu. I got Brownie a new bow at the same dress shop where I got the girls dresses. Isn’t she stinkin’ CUTE??




Four months old. At least seven pounds already. She is the fattest, fluffiest, most cuddliest pup. I just adore her.

So there you have it, a BIG weekend. A NEW CAR! Enchantment and cuddly fun. What a perfect way to kick off my 39th birthday today.

H-A-P-P-Y that spells any weekend, but especially this one.