April 29, 2013

Goodbye my Poppy

I have been extremely MIA this month and I have definitely missed blogging and getting to read my favorite blogs. I might be absent for awhile more. For those who know, thank you for your prayers, emails and kindness. 

My grandfather passed away this Saturday and it has been a terrible ordeal. He suffered great pain his last 5 months of life and went to see Jesus at 8:30am April 27. We had been waiting on the call and when it did, I could hardly breathe. Even when death is expected, it doesn't make the blow any easier. I was with my Dad when the hospice nurse Mattie called. Dad and I had gotten up early to go work on the farm. My Dad's Saturday ritual for years has been to go cut grass, attend his blueberry trees, satsuma trees and vegetables. We had stopped at Hardees for breakfast, gotten trash bags, gas and gone to the St. Elmo seed store. We were driving along, finally on the way to the farm when I hear a melody coming from Daddy's pocket. My heart stopped. Only one place would be calling at 8:45 on a Saturday morning. 

I am thankful my Dad wasn't alone when he got the news about his Father. I am glad I went with him to say goodbye to his parent for the last time. As I looked at the shell of a man that was my grandfather, with tears rolling down my face, I thanked the Lord for his life and for loaning him to us. 

I already miss him like crazy and don't feel like it is real. I honestly never imagined he would be gone. He was such a strong and tough man. I ache for my Dad, my grandfathers oldest son, for my uncle, for all those people who knew my Poppy. I ache that I have no grandparents left and that I don't get to talk to him anymore, call him on the phone or just stop by his house to give him a hug. 

My Poppy with Stephen and I at our wedding, March 2012. 

I miss my granddad, but know I will see him again. Even though I ache and have moments where I completely fall apart, I can't and won't  forget the generosity God gave me to be this mans granddaughter. I thank the Lord Almighty for His abundant grace everyday. 

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21

Thanksgiving 2011, Poppy and his oldest great grandson. 

Thanksgiving 2011, Poppy with Austen, his second oldest great grandson. 

My precious Poppy. Christmas 2012. 

I thought I would share the obituary my Father wrote for his Dad. He did so much for the world and his family...I will miss him everyday. 

In Memory of

Curtis Andrew Smith MD

October 11, 1925 - April 27, 2013

Curtis Andrew Smith, M.D., a native of Seattle, Washington, and a resident of Mobile since 1955, died on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at a local health care facility at the age of 87. Curtis was born on October 11, 1925, the only child of James Leonard Smith, an engineer with the Continental Can Company, and Esther Lovgren Smith. 

The first seven years of Curtis' life were spent in Seattle, following which a job transfer moved the family to Syracuse, New York. A bright and energetic boy, Curtis skipped two grades during his elementary school years and graduated from high school at age of 15. Following graduation and still not yet 16, Curtis enrolled at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, in September, 1941. With the occurrence a few months later of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the beginning of America's involvement in World War II, most of the male students at Oberlin were quickly called to military service, leaving only Curtis and a few other underage students in school. Curtis already knew that he wanted to be a doctor, and so he attended college year round to hasten that process. 

By age 18, having completed about two and one half years of college, Curtis applied to and was accepted at the University of Chicago Medical School with an entry date of August, 1944. Before starting medical school, Curtis was called into military service with the United States Army in the Spring of 1944 and went through basic training at Camp Grant in central Illinois. Curtis completed basic training and was discharged the Thursday before the medical school term was to begin on the following Tuesday. He then hitchhiked to his parents' new residence on the outskirts of Chicago, caught a train into the city and then to the medical school campus, enrolled himself, found an apartment, and moved things from his parents' house to the apartment, all in time to begin school. Such resolve would be remarkable for any person, much less for an 18 year old, but that generation was up to any task.

 During his medical school years, Curtis asked for permission to play baseball for the University of Chicago, and surprisingly that permission was granted. Curtis was a pitcher and enjoyed such success that the Chicago White Sox offered him a minor league contract. Medicine came first, however, so Curtis declined the opportunity. Following graduation from medical school in 1948 at the age of 22, Curtis continued at the University of Chicago Medical School first as an intern and then as a resident in surgery. When the Korean War began in December, 1950, Curtis enlisted in the United Sates Air Force with an entry date of July 1, 1951. Before that date, Curtis married his sweetheart, Sonja, in February, 1951, a marriage that was to last 55 years. Fortune and the Air Force smiled upon Curtis, for he was assigned to Brookley Air Force base in Mobile. Both Curtis and Sonja fell in love with Mobile, returning permanently in 1955 after his discharge from military service and completion of his surgical training at the University of Chicago. Curtis actively practiced surgery in Mobile from 1955 to 1990. At that time, Curtis discontinued his surgery practice but continued in family practice medicine for fourteen more years, finally retiring at age 79. Curtis gave back to his community beyond his medical practice. He was active in the Civitan and was Mobile Civitan of the Year in 1963. Curtis' love of baseball caused him to be active in youth baseball and was president of a local youth baseball league. Golf, hunting, and fishing were Curtis' principal outdoor activities, and he enjoyed them until shortly before his death. Curtis and Sonja also found time to take several rigorous foreign trips, hiking around Mt. Blanc in the Alps and the Mt. Everest region of the Himalayas and a safari in Africa. 

Curtis was predeceased by his parents and by his wife Sonja, and by a granddaughter, Amy Smith. He is survived by his sons Andrew Lovgren (Kaye) Smith and Bryan Leonard (Linda) Smith, M.D., eight grandchildren, Kami Smith (Carter) Ralph, Justin Curtis (Kelli) Smith, Nathan Andrew Smith, Clara Smith (Stephen) Schoen, Jonathan Andrew Smith, Alexander Winston Smith, Max Joseph Smith, and Madeline Rose Smith, and five great-grandchildren, Andrew Carter Ralph, Austen Charles Ralph, Thomas Bennet Ralph, Katherine Anne Smith, and Sarah Elizabeth Smith. Curtis was a compassionate, caring, and skilled doctor. He was held in high esteem by his patients and their families, his fellow physicians, nurses, and hospital personnel. The lives of many people were wonderfully touched by him. Curtis' family was also blessed by his loving guidance, patience, and caring approach. His impact in the world continues through them.

 A memorial service to honor and remember Curtis and his life will be held on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church, his church home since 1955. Visitation in the church parlor will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., followed immediately after by the memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dauphin Way United Methodist Church Foundation Capital Improvement Fund.

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April 24, 2013

Tired eyes? Make simple changes to help....

I was driving home one day when I realized for the first time in a VERY long time, my eyes weren't worn out. Strange to think about, but I blinked a couple of times, realizing my eyes weren't straining or dried out. 

I have worn contacts and glasses since the ripe old age of 7. I am basically blind as a bat. I could slap my face with my own hand and not even see it. I can't see worth anything. I feel I must apologize to my future children - you most likely will get my awful eyesight. Bummer. I blame your grandparents. Ha.

But these things - contacts and glasses - are supposed to help my eyes be less tired, right? 
Well, to a certain point, yes. 
I was having issues for sometime with eye strain - but then, no more.

Where did this change come from? 
 Then it hit me - I haven't been starring at a computer screen for 9+ hours a day anymore. I used to work in a dim lit office, with no natural light and looking all day at 2 monitors. 

I'm no eye doctor, but all the new changes in my life have helped my eyes tremendously!
I spend a lot more time outside. I noticed I blink more outside than when I looked at a computer screen. This allows my tear duct glands to refresh my eye balls and not drying out like they used to.

Natural light makes me squint less and focus more easily than the harsh overhead lights that were in my office. 

My eyes blur less because I am changing up my scenery - I look at a lot of different things now than just 5 spreadsheets before. 

If you are having any issues with tired or dry eyes, my suggestion would be to get up from your desk and walk outside for a couple of minutes - get your blinks going.

Look away from your monitor and blink several times getting your eye "juice" flowing. 

Also, take some eye drops if you cant get away - this stuff really helps.

Take care of your eyes, y'all. We only have two. :)

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April 22, 2013

Devil Tongs {Review and Giveaway}

I love cooking. Like, a lot.

I have been cooking more and more since being married and have been in need of some great kitchen tools to help me out.

I was very excited when I found the Joie Shop and their adorable gadgets. They have everything from Monster Sundae Bowls and Lil' Kitch Whisks to Devil tongs and Piggy Wiggy Timers. I had been looking for cute and cheerful gadgets to brighten up my kitchen but also ones that could hold up for a long time that were affordable.

I was thrilled when I received the Novelty Devil Tongs and the Mini Grater!

The 9 inch tongs are adorable and very sturdy. I use them at least one meal, usually two meals a day. No joke. They are heat resistant and made of stainless steal. They are also BPA free! How great is that?!

To open, just push the button on top to unlock and push again to lock. 

The Mini Cheese Grater is ideal for cheese, garlic, veggies and other small items. You can get this item for free when you order $40 or more of products.

I use this just as much as the tongs and its dishwasher safe!

The Joie Shop was kind enough to giveaway a free pair of Devil Tongs and Grater to you! Fill out the information below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received this product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was provided.

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April 18, 2013

I'm addicted to Movies (but only the good ones)

I am completely addicted to movies. I love them. LOVE THEM. Especially since I have been bed ridden because of my bacterial infection.

 But here is the catch - I love to watch the same movies over and over again. Yea, I don't mind new movies, but I really like ones I have seen and watch at least a couple dozen times over the years. 

My husband thinks my habit hilarious. I have trouble remembering some newer movies we watch and don't really care to see them again BUT I will be happy to sit an watch Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow for the 90th time. Maybe I do not like new ones because of the dialogue, the actors, the smell of the theatre?

I guess once I find something I really like, why try something new, eh? I feel like a little child who loves repetition. Read them the same book 3 times in a row and they are excited and happy with that story as the first time you read it to them.  

I came to discover my brother in law is exact opposite. Once he has seen a movie, he doesn't care to see it again. We had a conversation not long ago about the last time he saw E.T. which was in the movie theatre when it came out! Want to see it again Jeremy? Why, he has already seen it! :)

I do watch new movies and try out different genre's, but I always go back to a good ole classic. I think I might be the odd duck when it comes to movies. I really want to love the new movie with Matt Damon, but I just cant. Whoa is me. 

Such is life. If you ever want to discuss an old classic, like When Harry Met Sally, Beauty and the Beast, or anything good pre-2005, hit me up:)

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April 17, 2013

April Birchbox

I have to admit, I was eager for my April Birchbox. I have been in desperate need of something fun in the mail to cheer me up. 

This month did not disappoint! 

This month's theme was tiny tweaks, big results! There was a card that came along about tiny tweaks - weekly face masks, night eye cream, 5 minutes in the sunshine - all can make a difference in how you look and feel. Sounds good to me!

The first item was the Atelier Orange Sanguine Cologne. It has a fresh tropical scent with blood orange, jasmine and geranium. I think this is my favorite scent that I have been sent yet from Birchbox. 

The next item was the Mirenesse glossy kiss lipstick. Its a thicker lip pencil that can be used on both lips and cheek. I love the color and can't wait to wear it out!

There was the Ojon total hair therapy that combats dullness and frizz - two things I need a lot of help with for my hair! 

I am blessed with fair and youthful skin so anti-aging cream typically doesn't do much for me, but I did like the Supergoop! anit-aging eye cream. It protects against the sun with its oat peptide complex to help firm the skin. 

The Last items were the Kusmi Tea Paris wellness essentials. I love tea so any kind makes me a happy girl. I  tried the Detox one this morning and LOVED its flavor. I will definitely be ordering some more of this stuff!

There was also a special bonus included this month for a subscription to Women's Health for $9.99. 

Happy Wednesday:)

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April 16, 2013

Returning to life

Returning to normal life since Maui has been a bit tough. It's always hard to come back after a relaxing vacation. Although my normal job is babysitting, so playing outside all day isn't too tough.

With all the stuff going on with my grandfather, I haven't been sleeping too well and staying up late every night is now the norm.

I am in a constant state of prayer and my mind never seems to shut off.

Ever have that? When you are so desperate for piece or moment of absolute silence/peace. I worry about Poppy, I worry for my parents and the stress and sadness they are enduring.

I woke up Sunday morning with a terrible sore throat, high fever, chills, aches and exhaustion. I went to the doctor, got both arms poked and drawn blood (my worst nightmare ever) had a shot and received 2 prescriptions. Lets just say these last two days have been a basket of roses.

Then, something horrible happens yesterday. Two Bombs explode during the Boston Marathon, injuring and killing. What horror and sadness. There are no words that can describe my thoughts on this terrible matter. 

Then, when I think I can't handle it all, The Lord so sweetly reminds me of himself. He does so in the loving embrace from my husband, in the laughter of my nephews playing, in His precious Word, and in the remembrance of His sons death on the cross. He gives my parents a break even if just during a lunch together or weeding on the farm.

I wish everything was perfect all the time but then life would be heaven and we are so clearly not there in this world. We are in a season of pain and sorrow, but joy will come. He hasn't abandoned us. He is clearly with us always.  The Lord is always teaching me something and I give praise in the midst of it.

April 9, 2013

Short break

Hi all my dear blog friends. Over the past couple of months, my grandfathers health has been declining. Last week, he suffered a Stroke that caused him to be unresponsive for a couple of days. At that time, hospice was called and he was given hours or days to live.

I took a quick trip down to my parents to see him. His mind is there, but the rest of him isn't functioning. He was able to crack a smile when I told him it was me, he squeezed my hand tight and smiled some when I told him stories of when I was little and remembering times at his and my grandmothers house. Seeing him meant the world to me and I am thankful for those minutes I got to be with him. Each day with him is a miracle and I will always cherish my time with him.

My grandfather is my only living grandparent left and I am blessed to say that I knew 3 of my grandparents. I was blessed 19 years with my MawMaw, 20 years with my Oma, and am currently at 26 years with my Poppy. My moms dad died of cancer when she was 7 years old.

I feel extremely lucky to have had these ladies and man in my life.

This week, I honor my grandfather and thank The Lord everyday for him. I pray his suffering is short, and that when it is time for him to depart this world, The Lord will call him to himself.

I am going to take the next couple of days off from blogging to spend the time I normally devote to it in prayer.

I pray that his life's testimony will bless others and that he exuded Christ's love.

I love you all and am praying for you as we'll.

April 5, 2013

That Friday Blog Hop {Co-Host}

Welcome to That Friday Blog Hop.
With your hosts: Rebecca @ Let Them Eat Cake | Chrissy @ A Lil' Dash Of Diva |
Tiffany @ Life Of A Lost Muse
Hop around, have fun, and find lots of fun blogs to enjoy!

So here is what we ask from all of you lovely people.
  1. Follow the three hosts
  2. Follow the week's special co-host
  3. Grab the button, share it everywhere to spread the word
Let Them Eat Cake

Our co-host this week is Clara from Walking in the Light Stop by her blog and show her some love! You can find her blog by clicking on her button below. Don't forget to leave a comment there as well. We all love comment love!

So link up all your social networks and have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Week 5 of Revolt

Last week, Stephen and I were on vacation so needless to say, we didn't follow our diet AT ALL. We also didn't exercise. Well, we did exercise some by paddle boarding and hiking, but not enough to make up for all the junk we ate. I have to admit, I had some tummy issues with all the rich food and carbs. My, er, potty breaks were more frequent and unpleasant. (sorry, too much TMI?)

This week though we have jumped back on the wagon. We have had a few slip ups (Chinese for my sisters birthday) but were trying our best to keep up with the meals plans from Revolt and the exercises. I am also trying to get back to speed on drinking water. I love water but after drinking pina coladas all last week, water is a bit of a let down. 

I'm somewhat sore getting back into the workouts too. All the squats have taken their toll on me this week, but it does feel good to get back to it. I like doing physical activity, and the 20 minute workouts are challenging and fast - two things I like in my exercise regimen. 

Last week I mentioned I'm not going to weight myself and you can see why here. I have no idea how much I gained from our vacation, and I feel relieved not knowing. Weighting myself made me so upset that I just decided its better not to know. Its just a number anyway, right? My goal: If I stay below a size 6 (right now I'm a true 4), then I am happy. I want to continue to gain muscle and lose the fat in my tush, hips, thighs (where I carry the majority of excess weight) I will be a happy camper.

I just realized too that I haven't taken any pictures of my body's changes (if any) from these past 5 weeks except right before I began. Maybe at the end of the 12 weeks I will take a picture and see the difference. I praying for some type of positive change!

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April 3, 2013

Our anniversary trip to Maui

Happy Wednesday Ya'll!

This March 10 was our one year anniversary and we were so blessed to be gifted a trip to Maui from my hubby's family. We had the most incredible time and I recommend going if you ever get the chance. I loved every minute of our trip. I loved spending uninterrupted time with my husband, enjoying God's creation and seeing these beautiful Pacific islands. 

We flew out last Saturday and spend 24+ hours traveling to finally arrive at our hotel at midnight Hawaiian time (5:00 am my time). not the easiest traveling, but so worth the distance.  

Our hotel was right off Ka'anapali Beach and we could see two other Hawaiian islands ( Lana'i and Moloka'i) from our room.

Our first full  day, we chilled out at the hotel pool. It was a little cloudy but I still got some sun. We planned out our week, drank pina coladas and ran to the grocery store. We decided to go grocery shopping to save some money. Eating out once a day on the island is crazy expensive, so we didn't want to do it three times a day. Our hotel room had a frig, dishwasher, microwave and dishes so it worked out perfectly. 

Our hotel was stunning.

We drove to to a lavender farm and a winery on the island. 

Our hotel also had some awesome waterfalls in the middle of it. 

I had to take a photo of our feet in the Pacific Ocean. I had touched it once before in San Diego, but this was our first Pacific ocean time together. Cheesy I know, but I love this photo. 

I think we each drank at least one pina colada a day (which if you know us that's A LOT)

Our beach in Ka'anapali. 

Day two we set out for the volcano, lavender farm and the Maui Winery. 

The picture below is the mountain top view from the lavender farm. We did a scavenger hunt while there. If we went to all the spots on our map and got a stamp for visiting them we would get a prize. The prize was  lavender sugar cookies and Oh man were they incredible. We also had lavender tea and coffee and a lavender scone which was so delicious we went back for more. 

 We then stopped by the Maui Winery and tasted pineapple wines.We walked across the street to eat an elk burger (yes, elk, who knew they were on Maui) and it was so good. I'm wondering if they tricked us, but its famous for its elk, so who knows.  

We tried to go up to the Haleakala volcano, but it was rainy and very cloudy so half way up the mountain we turned around. Oh well, guess we will have to go back one day then to see it. 

More of Maui's beautiful mountains. 

The third day we decided to drive the road to Hana. The first part of the trip was incredible. We stopped along the roadside where all the local surfers go. 

Then we came upon Twin Falls. It was about a mile hike along a beautiful path with palm trees, sugar cane and other Hawaiian plants. 

We then got a smoothie from a little cart on the side of the road. I wasn't adventurous enough to try a coconut. 

Bright and early the next morning, we flew to Honolulu for a day and visited Pearl Harbor, the USS Missouri and Wikiki beach.  Okay yall, I HIGHLY recommend visiting Pearl Harbor. My heart melted and I felt such a sense of pride for our nation when visiting. 

We used Hawaiian Discover Tours (LOVED) who took us everywhere.
We first went on the USS Bowfin Submarine (the same submarine used on LOST) and walked around to the museums for Pearl Harbor. 

We took a ferry over to the Arizona. I don't know if I can accurately describe my experience, but it was surreal. To know what happened to those men boys, their bodies still lying with their ship. There are 12 men still alive today, who, when they pass away have the option to be buried with their ship. 

The oil from the ship still leaks. The water smelled strongly of oil and you could see it bubbling up. 
Can you see it in the water? 

The names of those who died December 7, 1941 in Pearl Harbor. Most of these men kids were only 16 or 17 years old. They died not even knowing who or what was attacking them. 

After we left the Arizona and the USS Missouri, we toured around Oahu. 
We ended up in Wikiki before heading back to the airport. Sadly, we didn't get to hang out long, but I did manage to run and take a couple of pictures of the famous beach. 

Look at the blue in the water!

Thursday we had paddle surfing lessons scheduled. I did okay for the most part until the waves got a little choppy and I got motion sick. Stephen did well, except his balance wasn't great so he fell off his board a good bit. 

Then we ended the day with a wonderful luau. 

A view from our hotel of Lana'i. 

We drove the awful Road to Hana. I don't recommend it, but we did see some incredible views. 

Friday we relaxed, had a good meal out and got ready to leave our beautiful anniversary trip. 

We took 2 days to travel back to Alabama. I got to see my cousin who lives in Los Angeles and got back this Sunday night. It was a wonderful trip and I am so thankful to have spent this time with my husband. 

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