Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A visit with Eleanor and her kids!

We were lucky to have our dear friend, Eleanor and her cute kids come visit us for the weekend!
We had such a good time catching up with Eleanor and getting to know her children, Jordan, Max and Sierra.  
We missed Connor, who was on a 40-miler hike with the Boy Scouts and wasn't able to come.
Eleanor is one of the most amazing, strong, courageous and beautiful mother and friend that I know. 
It was exactly one year ago that her husband, Matt, died unexpectedly and left her with 4 young children.
I am in awe as I have watched her bravely accept and embrace her new life without her sweetheart by her side.
 With grace and strength beyond measure, she is an inspiration to all that she comes in contact with 
and I am forever grateful for the way in which she has blessed my life.
I encourage you to read more about my dear friend, Eleanor,
 by clicking on this link
I would also encourage you to read a talk that she gave, just 7 weeks after Matt's death.
Click on this link: Eleanor's Talk 
to learn how she was able to overcome and deal with the death of her husband and adversity in her life.
She is truly amazing and I love her for so very many reasons 
but mostly because I see so much good in her and her sweet kids!
Just look at those smiles!  Precious!
It was a gorgeous weekend so we took the kids out to the lake and had a great time tubing and swimming!
Taking a turn on the tube!
Max, holding up the flag.
Jordan, taking a turn all by himself on the tube.
We sure do love this family and hope that they can come visit again and spend more time with us!
Thank you, Eleanor, for being the beautiful person that you are
and for encouraging me to become a better person through the way you are living your life!
Your children are so very blessed to have a mother like you!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dr. Holt's Work BBQ and Swim party

Mark has the best staff ever!  Seriously, they are awesome!
They are friendly and loyal and take pride in their work and great care of every customer.
We feel very lucky that many of the gals have been with us for 10-15 years.
Ann has been with us since Mark bought the practice from Dr. Carr over 23 years ago.
They are really awesome and make Mark's job a lot easier and everything at Holt Orthodontics work smoother!
We invited the entire staff and their families over for a swim/BBQ in our backyard
to let them know how much we appreciate all that they do.
It was a beautiful evening, perfect pool time weather.
And it was wonderful to relax and visit and socialize outside of the office.
I think everyone had a good time, especially the kids!

Mark, doing what he does best, making kids smile,
 handed out prizes to the all the kids at the end of the evening.
I guess you could say that our backyard was "Home of the Winning Smiles!"

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Birthday Wish!

As I get older and older, I feel more and more grateful for a sweet husband,
 adorable children and amazing friends, who make me feel extra special on my birthday!
Every year, when it's time to blow out the candles and "Make a wish!"...
I never can really think of anything to wish for. 
 I know that sounds odd but when put on the spot, I never can think of anything. Ever!
I think that it has always been difficult for me to think of a wish
 because I have always been a pretty content person.
By that I mean that I've always felt that I had everything that I wanted or needed
and I feel guilty wanting or asking for anything more,
 especially on a day that I am already getting showered with so much love and attention,
how could I possibly think of something more to ask for?!
But this year was different.  I did indeed have something that I wanted and needed, 
something to wish for when it was time to blow out my birthday candles!
You see, my oldest brother, Eric, has been recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer.
The doctors determined that he would need a bone marrow transplant in order to save his life. 
Fortunately, I have seven siblings in my family
so we felt confident that one or two of us would be a match to be a donor.
One by one, the results came back negative.  Not one of my other 6 other siblings were a match!
I was the last one to get my results back so it was all up to me 
to be the bone marrow match that my brother so desperately needed.
I decided right then that I had something to wish for this year when I blew out my birthday candles.
My dear friend, Karen Wilkes hosted a birthday luncheon and bought me a delicious cake
 from our favorite Divine Desserts in Loomis.
Right when Karen was about to take this photo, she asked me to "Make a wish!"
 And then she added, "Now don't blow spit all over the cake!"
Which made me laugh, as you can see!
And it made me nervous, so I have to confess, that it took me two tries to blow out my birthday candle!
And I worried for a minute that my wish may not come true!
But Karen was so nice and said that it was her fault that I couldn't blow out the candle the first time
so she gave me a second try!  Thank you, Karen!
That night, when my brother called me to wish me a Happy Birthday,
I told him that I when I blew out my candle on my cake I wished that I would be a match!
And since this was such an important wish, I felt that this one had to come true!
Eric was touched and thanked me for using my wish for him.
Four days later, I got a call from the Bone Marrow Transplant coordinator, 
who told me that I was "a perfect match" to be a bone marrow donor for my brother!
I couldn't believe it!  And I couldn't be happier!!
Thanks Karen, for the fun luncheon and all the gals who came to celebrate that day!
Thanks to all the other calls, texts, cards and thoughtful gifts from friends, sweet kids and cute husband!
But mostly, I'm so thankful that my birthday wish came true!
I think everyone would agree that it was the best birthday gift ever!