Tag Archives: Family

May 26, (year confidential)

Today… on this day… during an undisclosed year… my best friend in the whole wide world was born!

She’s the first person I run to (or skype to, I should re-phrase) when I need ANYTHING: love, comfort, advise, stress release, family news, encouragement, and to just plain talk.

She’s MY MOM!

She wasn’t always my best friend, in fact, we’ve had our ups and down (enter teenage years); but when I finally grew up and realized what a jewel I had in my midst it all changed.  Now we love spending time together (when I’m home on furlough) doing mother-daughter things and also friend-friend things.

This past home visit my mom lost her mom.  Though it was extremely difficult for all of us, and I was also losing my grandma, I think the hardest part of it for me was seeing my mom lose her mom.  She is the only girl with 4 brothers, and I know she had a very close relationship with her mom, just like I have with her.  My mom and my grandma share so many amazing qualities, but most importantly they are STRONG WOMEN OF GOD and they love they families with the same love that God loves us: UNCONDITIONALLY.

One day I pray and hope that I will be a mom too, and when that day comes I want to be a mom just like mine. I want to instill in my children all the morals and values that she imparted in us.  I want to make her proud to be not only my mom, but my best friend.

I LOVE YOU MOM!!! Though I’m not there to see you blow out your (undisclosed number) of candles, you know that I’m sending you a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY hug your way….

our favorite pastime when I was a child 🙂

Christmas w/my mom and sisters

Show my mom some birthday love today….. 🙂

Our Generation

I was skyping the other day with my childhood friend, Jodi, who just had her first baby… which led us to the topic of raising children… which led us to reminiscing about our childhood.

We both agree that we were soooo lucky to have been born when we were, still the “simpler” times, but leading into the “technology” era. Kids today have NOOOO idea what it was like without cell phones, email, SMS-ing, X-Box.. etc.  And while all those things have made our lives a bit easier (and lazier) we couldn’t resist wishing that our children could experience childhood as we did:

  • When EVERY kid either walked to school or rode a bus… no parents driving them to and from school.
  • Running home after school to ride bikes with your friends around the neighborhood and play kickball in the yard, until you knew it was time to come home for dinner.
  • Rollerskating in the garage, pretending to be at a roller rink, with music booming from a boombox the size of a tire.
  • Spending your Friday night at the actual Roller Rink.
  • Making tents in the backyard out of blankets draped over the clothesline.
  • SPUD. (if you don’t know that game, you definitely didn’t grow up in my generation)
  • Spending 2 hours of your night out, driving around looking for your friends, because there was no way to contact them once your left the house. (but having a blast while you did it!)
While I could go on and on with my memories, the point is that even though we are only one generation away, we are truly WORLDS away… and while technology is a great thing, and I LOVE it, I also long for the simpler days of the past as well… when we got all our exercise from just living and being kids! 
Here I am feeding the ducks in the park with my dad (who will just LOVE that I posted this pic!), my grandma, and my aunt. (Or are we being attacked by them?!?)
Any special childhood memories of the simple times??? 

In Remembrance….

While I was home on furlough, my family experienced the loss of my grandma.  I can honestly say this was the first time I’ve ever walked through the loss of a family member, and I’m still trying to deal with the emotions accompanying this loss.

While I was sitting at the funeral service with my family, certain things kept popping into my mind…

  • how my grandma always called me “Mer-ee-nie” instead of Maureen. (I don’t think I ever heard her call me anything else)
  • all the emails she would send me when I lived in Brasil and Africa…. besides my mom, I don’t think anyone wrote me more.
  • the spiritual influence and encouragement she displayed.
  • she ALWAYS encouraged me to write!  She would tell me time and time again how proud of me she was and that one day she would be reading a book that I wrote.
  • her unconditional love for her family!

I really wanted to go up and share all these things, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through them… so I sat and listened to what others had to say… and they said it all! My grandma’s legacy was built on the love and belief she had in Christ and everyone sitting in that room knew it!

My grandma was the spiritual leader of her family, intercessor beyond a doubt, and a faith warrior! She was an encourager, a stander-on the Word and a worshipper!  She was a faithful wife, mother, grandmother, and most importantly of all, a servant of the Most High!

I love my grandma so much, and she is already greatly missed here on earth… but one thing is CERTAIN:  Now she is singing and worshipping in heaven, and I’m pretty sure she’s finally walking along-side the most beautiful creatures in her eyes…. her beloved giraffes!

My grandma and grandpa at their 40th wedding anniversary...

Saying Goodbye gets harder every time!

Tomorrow’s the day!  I am leaving the comfort of my family and friends in the US and return to the craziness of Israel….

I’ve been on furlough for the past month: spending time with my family, visiting friends and loved ones, sharing about my work in Israel, and mourning the loss of my grandma.  From Atlanta ✈ Kalamazoo ✈ Dallas ✈ Detroit ✈ Minnesota ✈ Wisconsin Dells ✈ New York… its been a whirlwind of traveling and emotions!

Usually after an entire month of being Stateside, I’m MORE THAN READY to return, but I’m just not there yet.  Maybe its emotions of losing my grandma and having to say goodbye to my family again that’s tugging at my ❤, so I’ll have to hang on to the memories from this trip even tighter…

Here are a few from my wonderful time at home:

Caribou Coffee ❤

Star Wars Monopoly with my mom and nephew

Mom and sisters

My nephew.... the big time skiier

The earmuff brigade

Cross-country skiing with my dad

My sister and I with our grandpa

The whole family at my grandma's funeral

Thankful, Week 4: Thanksgiving

That’s right, I’m thankful for Thanksgiving!  Being an American while living in other countries and cultures can quite often lead to loosing some of your own culture and traditions and adopting others.  I’ve actually done this a lot in the various places I’ve lived, but the one thing that does not change or alter one bit is Thanksgiving!

No matter where you are in the world, or who you are with, on Thanksgiving there is probably a 99.9% chance that you are thinking/dreaming/longing for Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, Yams, and that oh-so-coveted PUMPKIN PIE!

It’s the one day of the year that all Americans come together, near and far, and celebrate our Thankfulness via a huge FEAST. Everything about Thanksgiving day makes me happy (and run to put on some sweat-pants), and if you’re like me and from Michigan, then there’s the bonus delight of watching our beloved Lions loose yet again 🙂

Ode to Thanksgiving…. the only holiday that makes me remember I am actually an American (which I tend to overlook 364 days of the year), and reminds me that I have SO MUCH in life to be truly thankful for!

NOW GO STUFF YOURSELF SILLY…. and remember not to wear jeans to the dinner table!


Thankful, Week 1: My Family

I’ve noticed many people are taking this month to blog about what they are thankful for, each day.  I could easily fill up 30 days of being thankful, but realistically, I don’t have time to blog throughout this whole month without missing days, so I decided to do it weekly.

Each week I will choose something I am extremely thankful for, starting with Week 1:


There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not thinking about them and missing them even more!  My family means EVERYTHING to me, even if I only see them once every 1 or 2 years.  They are my best friends, my most loyal supporters, my confidants….. my family!

I am beyond thankful that throughout the years, during the good and bad times, the fights, the tears, the joys, the sorrows, all the family games and holidays…. no matter what happens they will ALWAYS be my family, and I love them!

I am thankful for our skype times, our facebook chats, and the emails of love and support.  This week I am THANKFUL for them: My Family!

What are you thankful for today?

Our Tasha

This past weekend my family experienced a tremendous loss, our family dog of 12 years, Tasha, passed away.  For those of you who know my family, you know how amazing she was!  We got her as a family Christmas present back in 1998.  She was a tiny little thing as precious as could be.  A few days ago my mom and I were crying together over skype, remembering that time when we would have to shovel a path in the backyard from all the snow, she was just so tiny.

As any family with a dog knows, your dog is a part of that family.  She’s there throughout all the trials and tribulations, waiting at the door or end of the driveway when you pull up, always so happy to see you.  Tasha would always wag her little tail every time anyone would pet her… she LOVED everyone!

Each year, my nephew would make sure Tasha always got a present at Christmas, some flavored bone or doggie biscuits. As I was saying to my mom, I just can’t imagine coming home without her there!

Since most of my life has been living overseas and away from my family, I wasn’t there for the day to day living like the rest of my family, especially my mom and dad; BUT, it never mattered to Tasha, cuz the minute I arrived home there she was so happy to see me… like I was never gone at all.  It was always one of the first things I did when I came home, make sure to see Tasha and give her a huge hug and pet her.  She would get so excited and start sneezing each time.

Even though she was old, and we were expecting it to happen at any time, you never quite realize how it will affect you when the moment comes.  I know there have already been many tears shed over the weekend, and I’m sure the moment I return home for a visit they will flow again.  It just wont be the same hearing my dad jump on his riding lawn mower, without Tasha barking and trying to herd him…. or when we are trying to play tennis and she is barking every time we hit the ball over the net…. or taking her on walks around the pasture and seeing her slow down on the way home because she’s not ready to return.  Her presence will be missed everywhere, and it will take time for it to really sink in.

If anyone has seen Marley and Me, then you have an idea how we are feeling at this moment.  My nephew literally grew up only knowing life with Tasha.  It’s incredible how much joy and happiness a dog can bring into your life….especially one who has been there for 12 years!  My heart is already feeling a hole in it from where Tash’s paw held her place.

I really hope its true…. Do all dogs go to heaven???

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