Tag Archives: Friends

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….. 🙂


Fitting in

Fitting in.

Most people relate “fitting in” to the teen-age or middle-school-age years when finding your crowd can come with many challenges. Being a former middle-school teacher, I’ve seen my fare share of kids trying to change and be someone they’re not in order to fit in with a group they want to be in. Not a fun time!

Fortunately, I never really struggled with the “fitting in” issue in school (not that I didn’t have other issues) but that wasn’t one of them.

Unfortunately, I struggle with it more now, as an adult.

It’s not for a lack of friends, cuz to be honest I have some GREAT ones! It’s also not for a lack of wanting to be in a group that I’m not in either…. the truth is: many times I just have a difficult time relating to others.

Living around the world in various cultures is a tremendous calling, but it’s also changed me beyond words.  Each new place has impacted me in new ways and changed my outlook and actions toward life, as well as changing me on the inside.  I’ve taken treasures from each culture, which translates into me becoming a “melting pot” of sorts.

While all this is wonderful and great, here’s the problem… I never 100% fit in.

When I go home to The States, I find it difficult to relate to others, as the “American” in me has dwindled down to less and less over the years.  Sure, I still love my country and the Detroit Red Wings (had to get that one in, Joseph) but there’s only so far you can go with these topics.

I could give examples from each place: Brazil, Africa, Israel… but it boils down to this… I rarely feel like I really fit in anywhere, and sometimes it’s a lonely, difficult cross to bare.

Although there probably aren’t too many people here on earth who truly understand me, I KNOW there is someone up there who does! And Someday…. well, it’s one place I know I’ll fit in 🙂


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!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


Being Dream-Haunted by Facebook

Let me first make a blanket statement: I really do love facebook.  I love that it is such an easy way to keep in touch with all my faraway friends.  I love how I can see friends’ pictures’ that I would never see otherwise.  I love that I am back in touch with friends I haven’t talked to in ages.  And, I love that pretty much my entire graduating class from high school is on facebook. I’m amazed when I find out where they’ve been in life or what they’ve been through.  It’s been fun catching up.

So with all this reuniting of long-lost friendships comes a crazy phenomenon that I would never have imagined: I”m being dream-haunted.

I am not kidding you when I say that for the past few weeks or so, I have had dreams every night about people from my past.  Don’t get me wrong…I adore my friends from high school, but dreaming about them every night is just a bit weird.  I feel like I’ve been thrown back into the past as if no time has elapsed at all.  Its been 17 years since I graduated high school, yet when I go into that REM stage, its like were just hanging out yesterday.

I’m sure Freud would have something to say about my crazy dreams of late, but I think its just an overload in my brain of my past colliding with my present… the person I was and the person I’ve become… the gelling together of two completely different stages of my life.

Louco!

Anyone else out there being dream-haunted or am I the only one infected???


In Memory of Katherine

There are few people that become a part of your life and remain there until the end. Those special few that know each and every secret you possess….those special few that you can call on no matter what, and they will answer…those special few that love you unconditionally, regardless of what you’ve done or will do.

For me, Katherine was one of those special ones.

We met while I was living in Brazil, I cannot even remember which year, and instantaneously we became the best of friends.  We’ve been through so much together since then…boyfriend breakups, heartaches, traveling, weddings (one of them being hers), road trips, laughter, joy, and all the other things that accompanies friendships.

Every time I came home to the States on furlough, Katherine was one of the first people I would call.  Just hearing her voice on the phone and her crazy, contagious laugh would brighten my day.  She was one of the first who would always send me notes, cards, and packages in the mail. She always told me how much she loved me and was proud of me.  She encouraged me with scriptures all the time. I loved her more than words can express.

Katherine passed away from breast and bone cancer this past week, only 29 years old, and 5 months pregnant. It was a sudden and tragic situation, one that left many of us who loved her shocked.  She left behind an amazing husband and one-year old boy, both of whom she loved with all her heart!

Even though I know, without a shadow of a doubt, my dear Katherine is in heaven today, enjoying our Abba Father, thoughts of her still cause the tears to flow down my cheeks.  So, in memory of one of the best friends I have ever had the pleasure of enriching my life, here are some of those memories that I will cherish until we meet again….

The last two pictures are with her husband, Jared and little Nathan Charles Bowman.  Please keep them in your prayers, as they will miss their wife and mommy sooooo much!!!

Katherine: you were a wonderful woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, photographer… and to me, most of all you were the bestest of friends!


(One Day After) Thanksgiving Day Bliss

What began as a Freak-Out Thanksgiving, ended up a Fantastic one!  While there were a couple moments of doubt, skepticism and “There’s a bubble!” the moments of eating delicious turkey, stuffing (from scratch) mashed taters, sweet potatoes, cranberries (we actually had some, and fresh ones at that), and both pumpkin pie and apple crisp for desert erased all else.

I honestly think that getting the turkey fresh from the market is the key, cuz it was the best turkey I’ve ever had!!! (and I’m not just saying that because I cooked it).

Turns out that Becca makes the most amazing, incredible, mouth savoring Apple Crisp IN THE WORLD! We taught our friends from Finland/Holland/Israel all about Thanksgiving Day Traditions (including American Football, Chia Pets, and Aluminum Trees w/rotating light discs….don’t ask!) We played a bit of Texas Hold-Um using 10 Cent Shekels, and all in all, it was a wonderful day!  You wanted to see some pics, so here you go….

The infamous “tweezing” of the quills and feathers left on the turkey (I finally got smart and starting using my tweezer instead of killing my fingers):


Our guy Before and After:

(To see the entire Thanksgiving collection, click here)

Hope Everyone had as wonderful a day as I did!!! Now….on to Christmas/Chanukah!


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