Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Grandpa

For several months my Grandpa was suffering from a severe pain in his leg that we found out was cancer. After lots of appointments with different doctors/Oncologists, they discovered the cancer was all over his body. Several weeks ago we were told he only had a few weeks to live.
He passed away on Friday at 3:16pm at the most wonderful Hospice center. He was surrounded by those who loved him.
The funeral was on Sunday. By the grace of God I was able to stand up and say some things about my Grandpa. It was so hard because he was one of my best friends and I didn't know if I'd be able to do it. But I did.
I wanted to share here what I said because it's so different for me when I tell someone I lost him and they say, "Oh yeah, I understand, I've been there, too." I realize they're being nice and understandable and everything, but they don't really understand the relationship I had with him, so I wanted to let people know.

"For someone to lose their grandfather is a terribly sad thing.
You tell people that you’re losing him or have lost him and they say they understand because they went through it as well.
Maybe, but that’s not the case with me.
My grandpa was not just my grandfather; he was my best friend. I haven’t lost a man who was just my grandfather; I lost a man who was my best friend, my buddy, my boyfriend, my confidant, AND my grandpa. I don’t think one finds the combination in a grandfather that often. But, that was our relationship. We weren’t just grandfather and granddaughter, we were cohorts, buddies, best friends. We both love joking and being funny. When he would tell me I was pretty, I would tell him how pretty he is and he would get this innocent look on his face and just say, “Oh, you’re just saying that ‘cause it’s true.” I was his special chef, anything he wanted that Memaw was unable to make, I would make. His favorites were my pumpkin cheesecake and banana pudding. Those were always his requests when I asked him what he wanted. I do believe, when it comes to those two things, he was my biggest fan. It won’t be as fun anymore to make them because he won’t get to enjoy them, but the rest of my family will, and he’ll be too busy praising God with my other loved ones that I’ve lost to think about food. How I look forward to seeing him walk again!
It was always my dream for him to be at my wedding and I once told him that he needed to stay here so he could be the first one to hold my baby, but, obviously, God had other plans. All of that would have been a special thing to me, but, what’s even more special to me is that he is walking along in Heaven now and he is no more pain. My greatest comfort is knowing that he is with my Jesus and I will see him again one day. Though, I have to admit I’m a bit jealous of my other loved ones in Heaven that will see him walk again before I do….but, it’s something to look forward to.
Seeing him at hospice was so painful for all of us. There were times when my family and I would be talking about something (usually something goofy, because that’s just the way we are) and I would often say something to him to include him in the conversation, particularly that our jokes are not as funny as his and we need his expertise; he was asleep the whole time, but I like to think he heard us anyway.
Those are sad things to remember, but I have so many good memories with him that I will cherish forever. It will be sad to not have him at my wedding or the birth of my first child, but I also, secretly, feel blessed that I had him all to myself for 26 years.
He is my hero and I will miss him more than one could possibly imagine, because, he wasn't just a grandfather to me, he was so much more."

That was my Grandpa. He was such an incredible man and I miss him dearly and can't wait to see him again one day!

Grace be with you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Album Review: Jonathan Estabrooks "These Miles"

Back in October I decided I need more classical/classy/opera music in my life. I didn't really know too many artists in that genre so I was kinda stuck. However, it happened the day after I thought about this that I got an email from Twitter that said, "Jonathan Estabrooks is now following you on Twitter!" I was like, "Hmm, who is this guy?" So I went to his profile and thought, "Hey, he seems pretty cool. I wonder what his music sounds like." Then I went to iTunes. I listened to one clip of the first track and was hooked and knew I didn't need to listen to the others before buying it. Needless to say, he got a quick follow back, and an immediate fan. His voice was exactly what I was looking for. It's smooth, deep, powerful, perfect. In fact, if I could fall in love with a voice, it would be his....but that would be weird for both him and myself.

Track listings are:
1. "Play Me"
2. "Kathy's Song"
3. "Time After Time"
4. "Le Cose Che Tu Sei"
5. "Calling You"
6. "She"
7. "Por Una Cabeza" (featuring Jonathan Antoine) - This is one of my very favorite songs; many times have I put it on repeat and listened to it over and over and over again because I love it that much!
8. "Always On My Mind"
9. "Away From The Roll of The Sea"
10. "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home"
11. "All The Things You Are/Hymne a L'amour"
12. "Fly Away" (Bonus Track)

So the first time I heard that little clip of "Play Me" on iTunes I fell in love (umm, not with him) and even though I listened to it only once, it would still get stuck in my head and I couldn't wait to buy the whole album! I was definitely not disappointed.
His album has opera, pop, jazz, big-band sound, all that good stuff.
The song "Fly Away" was written by him. The lyrics and music (kinda pop-ish) are fantastic. His voice is totally what makes the song so wonderful.
I've only heard the original version of "Time After Time" once and, well, I can't say that I cared for it, but Jonathan was able to make it sound classy with that voice of his, and I love it!
"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" has that big-band feel to it and though one may think a man with an operatic voice couldn't pull it off, he did and I think it's amazing.
"Por Una Cabeza" with the amazing opera singer Jonathan Antoine. Wow. Where do I start? I so enjoy this song! Their powerful, operatic voices go together wonderfully! And because of this song I am now a huge fan of Jonathan Antoine as well and have his album (which is also fantastic and I highly recommend it).
"Kathy's Song," "Always On My Mind," and "Away From The Roll of The Sea" are all soft songs. I love when he sings soft songs....and that deep baritone voice of, so lovely and smooth.
"Calling You" kind of has a jazzy feel to it. I don't like jazz, but once again Jonathan is able to take some genre of music or song I don't care for and turn it into something I very much enjoy, and I really enjoy this song.
"Le Cose Che Tu Sei," "She," and "All The Things You Are" are lovely, romantic songs. Even the way he sings them sounds romantic; soft and powerful.

I realize my review may sound a bit over the top or too fantastic, but I'm simply giving you my honest opinion of how I feel about his album.

In short: "These Miles" is a beautiful arrangement of classy, opera, pop, jazzy, big-band music and his voice is simply phenomenal.
I give the album and his voice 100/10....if that's even possible.
He also has a Christmas single of "O Holy Night," which is also beautiful and should be added to any Christmas music collection.
You need "These Miles" in your music collection. You just do.

Buy his album here.
Visit his website here.
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Check him out on ReverbNation.
And here's his YouTube channel.

Grace be with you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The title of this post really has nothing whatsoever to do with what I'm going to write, I just wanted to call it that.
So, for some time now Mommy and I have been making soaps together completely from scratch (lye, oils, and all that good stuff) and really enjoy it. We've made some really pretty ones lately and are looking forward to taking pictures of them to list in our Etsy shop that we hope to start soon and hopefully sell some. They're really pretty and smell really good as well, I'll post the link whenever it's up and running.
Right now I have my own Etsy shop where I sell my handmade earrings. Mommy just got that up and running for me last night and there are some Christmas earrings there, too, so please check it out. A part of the proceeds I hope to make from my earrings I'm going to donate to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as it has forever been my dream to somehow donate to them and it has always been so dear to my heart and I just hurt so much for those children. And whenever our soap store is running we're going to make a specific kind of soap so that each bar of that which is sold we will donate the full amount to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society as that is something that is very dear to our hearts as well.
Our goal is to eventually make some other things to sell, like lip balms, candles, and whatever else we can think of, so we'll see how that goes.
It's so fun to do things with my mommy and we always have such fun together no matter what we're doing. And it's so great that we can make our soaps together and everything and I wouldn't have it any other way. She's my best friend and there's no one on earth I would rather spend time with than her.

In other news, we got some snow last night! Unfortunately, it's mostly melted now and later on in the week, the temperatures are supposed to be back up in the 50's and 60's, which isn't cool for me because I prefer the cold weather and was so happy about the snow. Oh well, hopefully we'll get a lot more later on this Autumn/Winter. A white Christmas would be quite welcome as well, we'll see.

Grace be with you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I've Started Another Blog!

So my favorite grocery store in the whole world is Kroger. Mommy and I go there almost everyday and I go in with my grocery list (and the beautiful grocery bags she made!) while she waits in the car. So many times I surprise her by how little I spend and so she suggested that I start a blog about my love of Kroger, so I did.

I'll try to update as much as possible.
Now if only I could think of more things to write on here...

Grace be with you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Long Overdue

Back in early June, my best friend and her husband drove here from PA to visit the Creation Museum and to see me. I've been meaning to post pictures, but obviously never got around to it....until now.

Brittany and me standing with Moses!!

The cute couple: Jim & Brittany.

Brittany and me again. Our white tops weren't planned, ha.


We had an awesome time. The day they came down here, Mommy & I took them out for dinner, which was a blast. Then the next day, the three of us went to the Creation Museum and caused some trouble (not really) and they took me out for lunch and brought me home and stayed for a few minutes. Then they left the next day. It was an awesome time. She and I have been friends for years but never met face-to-face until then, it was great and she rocks...and she's preggers and will be a great mother. I love them.
It's such a blessing that I was able to meet two of my best friends within 9 months when we had never met in person before. Such a blessing and I thank God for them and for the time that He blessed us with.

Grace be with you.