word with the wise wednesday: my youngest brother

1. What important life lessons have you learned so far?
Always be nice to people-- no matter what.  What goes around really does come around and you never know who you will need or what will happen on down the road.  So be nice and do not retaliate.  

2. How is the world today different or similar to what it was like when you were a child?
The main thing I've noticed is TV programs.  When I was younger, cartoons were just for kids, but now half of the cartoons are for adults.  I've also noticed an increase in violence and profanity.  

3. What has been your hardest lesson to date?
Money management.  I've had to train myself to save more and spend less... not to go out and buy something just because I want it.  

4.  What is the one thing you want people to remember about you?
That I was always willing to help others.  

And help others he did.  If you haven't already, you can read my previous post to see my dedication to Josh aka Joscwar.  The spelling of his nickname has always been hilarious to me.  My other brother, Greg came up with the spelling.  Originally, I wanted to spell it Joswar, but Greg insisted on adding the letter C then clarified that "the C is silent."  This still makes me laugh to this day!!!  I interviewed both of my brothers for Word with the Wise Wednesday right around the same time yet it never felt right to publish Josh's ...until now.  Josh died at age 24 but he really was a wise, old soul.  I love him.  I miss him and yet I can still feel his presence in a very deep and spiritual sense.  Right now I'm in my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, where there is an abundance of love and support from family and friends.  For that, I am truly grateful.  I am learning to flow like water with the current of life.  I will keep choosing to move forward with a smile on my face and faith in my heart.  I hope you are blessed by the wisdom of Joscwar

Be sweet!

in memory of joscwar

me, Joscwar and Gregor 
Today my youngest brother died.  

He was the most kind-hearted, content and genuinely accepting person I know.  I'm not just saying that because he's dead either.  You know how people tend to wax nostalgic and say all manner of un-truth after a person is dead?  Well, that ain't the case here.  Just keepin' it real even in the midst of grief!  

Joshua was 24 years old.  Still a baby in my mind.  You see this post is titled "in memory of joscwar" because we (me and my siblings) always had nicknames for each other.  Each of us had several nicknames and for some reason, Joscwar (pronounced "joe-swar") is what stuck for Josh.  I referred to him as Joscwar when he answered the phone during our talk last week.  He was doing so well.  Working a great job downtown, living on his own, paying his bills, saving money, driving (which was a huge deal because he had seizures throughout his life) and maturing.  When we talked last week, I was so happy for him.  So proud of him.  I remember asking him about his apartment and whether or not he was happy with the area he chose.  He told me that it was a great choice and elaborated on safety features, mature neighbors and little to no foolywank.  Joscwar told me that he was glad he chose this location verses another more popular area for people his age.  I told him that he was so wise for his age.  He was an old soul.  As a toddler he wore suits (by choice!), carried his bible and talked to everyone we came across.  I ain't jokin!  Back in the day when young men bagged your groceries and took them out to your car, he'd talk their ear off!  He was the best listener, slow to speak and always encouraging and uplifting others.  He loved to make us laugh.  And didn't mind looking silly in the process.  He valued family, friends and peace.  

My other brother Darryl (remember that from Newhart?) nicknamed Gregor found Josh today.  Did I mention that today is Gregor's birthday?  Yeah... file that under things that break my heart.  But then I remember that brokenness and hope live in the same room... because they hold hands.  I wrote that post back in October when I found out that I was no longer pregnant.  The same shock that I felt then, I feel today; however, the shock and pain about the miscarriage (I dislike that word but can think of no other synonym!) hurts less today.  So I know this pain won't last forever.  I know Josh is happy, safe and complete in a way that defies description.  I know I will see him again one day.  The fact that he was secure in his faith and had a strong relationship with the Lord gives me much peace.  The passage of scripture I cling to in the face of death is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  It is my reminder that there is hope.  Always.    

a note about stereotypes

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They're both convicted felons, actually.

But above all, they are people with hopes, dreams, hurts, pain, joys and fears...
Just like you and me.  

So my note about stereotypes is this:  
Let's stop using them.  

ze winner

According to the True Random Number Generator, Ginger (comment #8) is the winner! WOOHOO!!!!!  Aren't giveaways so fun?!?!?!  YAY Ginger!!!! Thank you all for entering and many thanks to our sweet sponsor, Harley and Maudes!  

 ginger said...

Happy Birthday! When my kids were little, my oldest asked why Jesus didn't get a birthday cake -- so we made him one and sang Happy Birthday. It was a tradition that continued every year. The memory of that and my daughter's birthday, which is Dec 21, will always be tied closely together.

It so warmed my heart to read all of your comments.  I have a few new songs to check out too!  Thank you again for your participation.  Luvuall!!! ;)

still laughing

I am still laughing from yesterday... and singing "babaaaaaayyyyyy" like Rudy from the Cosby Show clip.  I want to share another funny video (that I forgot to post yesterday).  It is NOT what you think it is!  I laugh EVERY SINGLE TIME I WATCH THIS and I dance just like the curly-haired girl in the purple dress.  I hope it makes you howl with laughter like I do: 

"Laughter is an instant vacation." 
-Milton Berle

Have you entered the Harley and Maudes jewelry giveaway yet? 
The contest runs through midnight tonight.  

If you haven't entered, click here or scroll down two more posts! 

Have a wonderful day!

laughter does the heart good

Here are a few things that make me laugh:

This picture

The smoking shoes (one day soon I will blog about this story involving me and my brother.) It is one of my all time favorite stories.  

Brak singing "I'm driving down Highway 40 in my big ol' pick up truck"

Fleeing through the mountains of Kathmandu in a taxi... being tossed from one side of the backseat to the other with my good friend, Jenna, while The Vengaboys' song "We Like to Party" is blasting full throttle.  We giggled as we slid back and forth and shook our booties the entire ride.  

The Diarrhea Dog Poop Slip & Slide ... yet another story begging to be told

"Come in off the ledge and get cha crystal..." #hilariousconversationswithholly

This commercial  by Flea Market Montgomery

This phrase: "random dog whistle siren sounds" from this post just cracks me up

"who gone hit dem notes?"  #musicianshenanigans

3 year old explains the plot of Star Wars Episode IV

This Volkswagen commercial

This clip from the Cosby show .... "babaaaaaaaaaaaay"

I hope you are laughing!!!  
I'm super silly so it doesn't take much to make me laugh :)
What makes you laugh???

Laughter... it works like better than medicine.

p.s. If you haven't entered the giveaway yet, click here or scroll down to the next post! :)

giveaway day!

Howdy folks!  Today is the day for my FIRST giveaway!  SO exciting!!! 

This giveaway is courtesy of Harley & Maudes.  Do you know who they are?  They make and design "GLAM & SouLFuL JuNk JeWeLRy."  I have a few friends who rock their jewelry and when I finally went to a Harley & Maudes party earlier this month, I like'ta lost my mind up in there.  SO many adorable, unique pieces of jewelry.  Thousands of options for custom pieces.  Every design is one of a kind.  Click here to see online pics of Harley & Maudes fab jewelry!

Harley & Maudes is owned and operated by the sweetest chicas, Lisa and Kem.  If you live in my neck of the woods, you can check out their Facebook events page  for the next jewelry party.  If you're not in my neck of the woods, they will make and ship your trinket to ya!  See their online pics for inspiration and ideas.  Now, let's talk about today's giveaway, shall we?

It's a purty-ful (country for pretty) necklace:
One side reads "live your life" 

the other side reads "above the fray."

All the charms are removable so 

you have the option of rocking this jewelry 

several different ways!

Isn't that ingeniously awesome and adorable jewelry?!?!  

This necklace could give an already fab outfit that extra pop...
It could be a Christmas gift or birthday present for someone you love.  
What you do with it, my love, is entirely up to you...

To enter the giveaway, answer the following question in the comments section below this blog post: My favorite holiday song is _______.  (If you don't have a favorite holiday song, just enter your favorite song.  If you don't have a favorite song, well... you can type your favorite color...bless your  heart.)

Contest runs through Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at midnight (CST).  
Winner will be selected by true random sequence number generator (what a long name!) @random.org.  Winner will be announced sometime Thursday, November 10, 2011.  

Isn't this so exciting?!?!?!?!?!  

gems from andy rooney

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done."

"I didn't get old on purpose. It just happened. If you're lucky, it could happen to you."

"It would be a better world if everyone in it knew all the truth about everything."

"Most of us end up with five or six people who remember us.  Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives."

"Death is a distant rumor to the young." 

"If you wonder what anyone thinks of you, consider what you think of them."

"Being broke is a terrible feeling but it’s probably an experience everyone ought to have once in a lifetime."

"One question in my mind, which I hardly dare mention in public, is whether patriotism has, overall, been a force for good or evil in the world. Patriotism is rampant in war and there are some good things about it. Just as self-respect and pride bring out the best in an individual, pride in family, pride in teammates, pride in hometown bring out the best in groups of people. War brings out the kind of pride in country that encourages its citizens in the direction of excellence and it encourages them to be ready to die for it. At no time do people work so well together to achieve the same goal as they do in wartime. Maybe that's enough to make patriotism eligible to be considered a virtue. If only I could get out of my mind the most patriotic people who ever lived, the Nazi Germans."

"It's paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn't appeal to anyone."

"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

Andy Rooney reminds me of the times when news reports provided facts and nothing else.  A time when common sense was valued and respected by most, if not all.  

That desk, those books and all that paper... 
This is how I will forever remember him:

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Andy Rooney 
Your wisdom and wit will be missed.  

word with the wise wednesday: uncle john

1. What important life lessons have you learned so far?
The importance of having a spouse who understands you, communicates with you, encourages you, supports you and helps you avoid making major mistakes.  A life partner who totally supports you is a beautiful thing.  

2. How is the world today different or similar to what it was like when you were a child?
What worked 30 years ago-- honesty, truth, raising your kids right-- still works today.  Faith, family unity, character, home training, hard work and sacrifice... those things are still just as solid as they were when I was a child because those values don't fade.  The things that were really good then are still really good now.  Same with the bad.  Keeping up with the latest fashion and any other time/money wasting activities is BS, and BS is BS... yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever.  

3. What has been your hardest lesson to date?
Refusing to follow the crowd.  When everybody is running here, you better go look the other way. Trust nothing more than the word of God.  Read it (the Bible).  Understand it.  Believe it.  Man will make things up and change his mind often (at work, at home and even at church); however, the word of God will stand forever.  Everything I have learned from it (ie. refusing to follow the crowd) has taken me to the next level and it will do the same for you-- if you live it.  

4.  What is the one thing you want people to remember about you?
That I sincerely cared about other people and showed them that I cared.  

You know how everybody has that special someone who is fun to be around, makes you laugh, knows how to have a good time, teaches you something in the process and actually lives what he teaches?  Yeah, that is my Uncle John.  He is one of my all-time favorite top 5 people to be around and it has been this way for as long as I can remember.  I always looked forward to his visits as a young girl.  He would take me and my cousins off on some grand adventure and encourage us to think huge thoughts and dream big dreams.  He is STILL this way and I love love love it.  Uncle John is also one of the smartest people I know.  He gives excellent advice and he lives out the advice he gives, which is rare and remarkable in my book.  He used to make me and my cousins laugh hysterically by pretending to be "The Old Man" during his visits.  The Old Man would tell great stories, say the most ridiculous things and chase us "whippersnappers" as we taunted him.  It was good old-fashioned fun times.  When my Dad was unable to walk me down the aisle (one day I'll blog about that... maybe), my Uncle John did.  And it felt right because he has always been my idea of the perfect Dad.  You're probably not supposed to say you have a favorite uncle, but I don't give a rats!  Uncle John is my favorite and he is the best uncle anyone could have in the whole wide world!  I hope something he said speaks life and encouragement to you today.  

Hugs & Love!!!

november = 30 days of thanks

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Day 1: My God, My Husband, My Family and Friends
Day 2: Dakota Bread!!!
Day 3: the fact that seasons change (in life and the weather)
Day 4: a cozy place to live and rest my head
Day 5: experiencing an earthquake (early this am!) and living to tell about it
Day 6: Oscar Mayer center cut/thick cut bacon 
Day 7: rainy days
Day 8: grace, God's unmerited favor
Day 9: laughter
Day 10: yoga
Day 11: good times on Notch and Chandler Lane in Branson, MO
Day 12: the opportunity to work and collaborate with brilliant people 
Day 13: health
Day 14: affordable, accessible over the counter meds
Day 15: The Cosby Show
Day 16: red and yellow leaves
Day 17: cowboy boots
Day 18: my new phone :)
Day 19: Italian food 
Day 20: it's cold enough to light the fireplace
Day 21: music
Day 22: prayers, love and support
Day 23: stargazing in the country
Day 24: twenty four years with my youngest brother Josh
Day 25: mani/pedi with Reet :)
Day 26: My Granny, My Mom and My brother Greg, three of the strongest peeps I know
Day 27: Mariah Carey's first Christmas CD
Day 28: Dunkin Donuts Munchkins (chocolate and blueberry only LOL!)
Day 29: Karen (hair stylist extraordinaire) and my sister in law, Brooke
Day 30: the reality that this life can only make me stronger

For what are you grateful?
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