Tag Archives for " memories "

February 19, 2014




This post is dedicated to the lady that taught me to hug everyone. I mean really hug them. This isn’t  the quick hug that you repel your body quickly back after making contact with another person but the kind of full body, look you in the eye, and touch your heart kind of hug. She taught me everyone needs, deserves, and will benefit from a hug. I have carried your message Anne Danaugh from the halls of Alpha Xi Delta to the classrooms that I lead all the way through to the three children that have also benefit from your mission to hug everyone. Like you said, in your southern draw I simply do not do handshakes I only do hugs.

I will admit Mom “hugs” D that I did on occasion she your hand hit below the belt. Your response was always funny. You would claim who is going to call an old lady out when she touches the bottom of a good looking guy? Not only did no guy dare to call you out but you have the hottest dates at every one of our date functions. I am reminded of your words. They have always rung in my ears. It was your advice that guided me through those challenging college years. Those years full of excitement and freedom coupled with the responsibility of managing your own life. I would come into your apartment since the door was always open. I would sit down and prepare for a story. It was always my place of home when I didn’t want to admit that I wanted to go home. You would say, “Merk” it is the way it is for a reason. You would tell me about your life adventures and remind me that world was a tough place but that I  always had a home.


You taught me to hug the world and aim for the sky. You encourage my somewhat aggressive go get them attitude by saying the world needs people that know what they want. You advised me on love and relationships and even rated my dates. I am proud to report my husband was on the approved list. I believe you taught me to be a lady through your example where a girl had once stood. You made time for myself and my friends. You followed us on a cruise so we could go.

You have taught us all how to lead with our heart. You have given us the gift of your presence in our lives. You have been a person who we think of often because of your kindness, sense of humor, and really your zest for life. You are the mom some of us needed while we were away from our own. You are certainly the person who we think of with fond memories. I can’t thank you enough for teaching me to hug and to squeeze tight. I can say people are shocked when I hug them but they will get over it and hopefully they will also learn to hug. I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you today as I often do. I wanted you to know the nights and days that you spent with us were part of my history and what you taught me has been part of my today and will be part of my tomorrow.

XI Love,


December 17, 2013

I Love You Because


    I Love you Because

In our fast paced world we often forget to let the people we love know how much they mean. We remember when someone is sick or has a special event. The rest of the days pass without much mention of love. We think they already “know” how we feel. They must we put in hours of hard work. We rearrange our schedules. We haven’t really slept in years because we are thinking about or taking care of those that we love. We are forgetting one important step and necessity in our ability to take care of others. We are forgetting to tell them why we love them.

We are forgetting to say more than I Love You. What does that really mean? Is it tangible? What is it about them that you love? In our home the little I love you because game started with a simple question. Why? Why do you love me? It stopped me in my tracks. All these years I thought they knew. I cuddle every morning and kiss them so often I have to wear stay put lipstick or they would look bruised. I make their breakfast, shower them, dress them, sing to them, smile at them, and tell them that I love them. I did however leave out the why. I no longer do that. I tell my children the “because”. I love you because you use your kind heart. I love you because you help others. I love you because you always giggle when you tell a joke. I love you because your hugs are amazing. I love you because you are a good son or daughter. I love you because you try your best and do not give up. I love you because you make choices that help you to grow and learn about others. I love you because you smile at everyone. I love you because you always ask the strangers I talk to their name. I love you because you are always laughing and singing. I love you because you are the children I hoped for and you are more incredible than I could have ever imagined. I love you because you are you.

I thought my I love you because worked so well with my children that I applied what I learned to my relationship with my husband. I try every couple of days to text my husband something nice. I am trying to be purposeful in my declarations. I am trying to give more feedback because I love them for a million reasons and I have my lifetime to tell them all about it.

This is one of the greatest lesson I learned last year what was yours?

January 21, 2013

Karla’s Korner: The Diary of our Lives

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Once in a while I sit down with an idea in my head and writing my weekly post is quick and easy. However, most of the time I sit down in my makeshift office (my grandmother’s dining table) and stare out the window until inspiration hits me. Quite often I listen to music, country of course, and wait; sometimes it takes a while. Certain that I would be staring out the window for quite a while today; I decided to get a few chores out of the way before I planted myself in solitude. I grabbed my apron and headed to the kitchen to make a batch of egg noodle dough. The quiet of my house was deafening (oh how I miss my little kids under foot) so I flipped on the radio hoping to break the silence. And then it hit me with great force; very seldom does my inspiration tip toe in quietly.Continue reading

A Turkey is a Funny Bird: Turkey Bread

When I think about the holidays. I always think of my children. I remember the memories we have made and the great times we have had. I think about their interests and how to get them involved in the celebration. It seems that every year it becomes increasingly more difficult because they want to do more project on their own. This year I asked what they would like to do and they said, “make a turkey.” I said, “Make the Turkey.” The actually meant to make a Turkey out of bread. I really wasn’t sure this was possible or a good idea for a 2 and 4 year old but I was willing to let them take the lead and since the Great Value dough products are so reasonable I decided to let them dictate what we were going to create.

Great Value Expedition

I decided that I would let Great Value do all the heavy lifting. I marched into Walmart with my Turkey creators and we grabbed a roll of pizza dough and a crescent roll package. You can find Great Value frozen dough products through Walmart and Publix,

The Great Value Trial

I have to say we had different ideas on what we were going to do. This was my idea. We would cut out turkeys and cook them.

turkey cookie cutter

This is what the children had in mind.Continue reading

November 8, 2012

Memories in pictures

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

I have been taking a photography class and it really taught me a lot about pictures and capturing the moment over the perfect picture. I began to think about it isn’t life like that as well. Should we spend a lot of time putting together the perfect event and stressing about all the details or should we try our best learn to love the results. I was pleasantly surprised by a picture that was a mistake. I set up my camera and I was sure we were in the frame. I had us seat “in position”. I checked the light. I moved everything out of the background.I convinced everyone to stay still and smile. Then snap we took the picture. It isn’t what I envisioned but I love it. The kids didn’t listen to my instructions to sit still or look perfect and as a result I got a picture that is real. I now stop and think before I expected or decide to create perfection. It is the imperfections that make us unique and special.

image of mom and family




October 25, 2012



This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.


Fall is upon us and there are sports, school, and a variety of other activities that can absorb your time. Don’t forget to take advantage of beautiful weather and memory making traditions during this season! Whether your children enjoy scary escapades, or more traditional hayrides and pumpkin picking-be sure to take the time to do one of these things. My kids absolutely love picking out pumpkins and even though they can be pricey to buy, we let each member of the family pick their own. Then each person chooses how to decorate it or carve it. This year my boys have chosen to paint their pumpkins and my husband and I will carve ours. As you can see below, the boys did an awesome job with their art. I’ll be sure to post our jack-o-lanterns on my facebook page when they are done this weekend!

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