Archive of ‘Family’ category

Thankful

Gratitude-saying1

When you ask someone what they are thankful for, you normally get the response of family, friends, and God in different orders. If he/she has been through a serious illness then the person will add ….and my health.

I am very thankful for all of those things, but there are three things that make me smile every day!Coffee

  1. Coffee

I love coffee. I look forward to my coffee every morning. I am not a nice person until I have at least one cup. Yes, there are different levels of coffee. The smallest finest ground fresh coffee is the best to me.

group-messaging

  1. Technology

I am able to be an integral part of my daughter’s lives because of the amazing generation changing cell phone. They are my lighthouse in the sea of life.

We have a text group recently named by Kelley- *My People*, and we talk about whatever good or bad is happening to us.  With Kelley in Jackson and working horrendous hours in residency and Jade being a full time working mom with a part-time job and talking college courses, the hours in the day are stretched really thin for them, but this allows us all to stay connected.

44c6f8fc36d773762190fceb6453d57e

  1. Positive People

I love talking to positive upbeat people who have been through unbelievable hurtful bad things in their lives, but they dig deep within their soul, and they find a reason to smile every day. They do not belittle other people to avoid dealing with their own pain.   We are all in this together and not a one of us will escape alive, and karma is always a bitch, so find one thing every day to be grateful for having because in the blink of an eye, it may be gone.

i-love-positive-people-quote-1

 

 

Elizabeth Gilbert said it best today(11-26-15) in her blog post:

“I learned my gratitude by having practiced its opposite (ingratitude) for so many sad years. And after years of nothing ever being quite good enough, life finally taught me this — that without gratitude, nothing is EVER gonna be quite good enough. No place will ever be the right place, nothing will ever happen the right time, no reward is ever enough, all the people around you are always the wrong people, the room is always too hot or too cold, somebody else is always having a better time than you, somebody else always has a better car than you, or a better job, or a better marriage, or better hair, or a better destiny in general…and life is basically THE SUCK. I know this from painful experience, and it’s terrible.”

I am going to strive to practice gratitude and be thankful every day! If you make only one New Year’s resolution, choose this one.a280493fd1ffbb281a30062c9f8d6bb9

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Mama Gat

Mama Gat 019

Mama Gat was born in 1924 and given the name of Maxie Mavaline George. She was known by some as just Susie.  She was one of eleven children born in the harsh year of 1924. She married at the age of fourteen to Milford Gatlin, and she had three children: my dad-James (Jim), Robert, and Sue. Papa was a veteran of World War II, and she learned at a young age to be a strong independent woman.

She was such an amazing hard working woman that I do not know where to start.  She would work at the factory all day then come home and pick vegetables from her garden and prepare them to be canned or put in the freezer. The vegetable soup and the green beans were my favorites.  For many years we went to her house for Sunday dinner. I appreciate that so much more now than I did then. She would work all week and then all day Saturday doing something like going to the sales or Ripley or Wren or making flowers to have extra money, and I think she did enjoy her Saturday work because she was doing something she wanted to do, and then she would be in the kitchen from early Sunday morning until lunch. We would eat, help her clean the kitchen a little, and then visit for a short time and go home.  Never thinking that she really did not get to visit with us very much, but she did love to see the smile on our faces when we took that first bite of those fried apple pies, chocolate pie, or that homemade chocolate pudding.

Mama Gat 007    She would come to Daddy’s to spend the weekend or go to my sister’s house for a visit, and she would bring her own pots and pans because they cooked exactly like she wanted them to cook the food. It would take a little while to unload the van.Mama Gat 002

I see her in every part of my house from the beautiful quilts she made each of the Gatlin clan to the beautiful round end table she gave me.  Mama Gat 009 I also now have some of her other furniture. When she came to my house and I did not have the right sweet tea glasses then that is what I got for Christmas that year. Mama paid attention when she visited, and she knew exactly what I needed. She always wrapped our presents, and I think that is where Sue gets her love of beautifully wrapping each present.Mama Gat 010Mama Gat 012

She would babysit for me when the girls were small, and I needed to go somewhere through the week. She would let them “fix” her hair even if she had just left the beauty shop. She loved to travel and go, and we enjoyed seeing her able to relax and enjoy herself.  Mama was very independent, and sometimes we would lose her. Sue would start calling the family and her friends and eventually Sue would track her down. She was always there to listen when I needed to talk. She did not say much but when she did, you needed to listen. She called me Liz in honor of Elizabeth Taylor after my second divorce.  I tried to reassure that I would never catch up with Elizabeth Taylor.

I see some part of her in many of the family members: her nose, eyes, her work ethic which she instilled in each of her children and they passed it on to their children and then we passed it on to ours, her crafty side, her my way is best- so there is no point in arguing, and her love of family and friends.

She loved the Rebels, and she loved watching them play whether in person or on TV. She attended games until she was not longer able to navigate the stairs.  Mama watched football and basketball and any sport she could find to watch.

We all miss her, but she is with us in our hearts and our memories.

 

Mama Gat 021

“When someone is in your heart, they’re never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times.”  Mitch AlbomFor One More Day

 

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”  Mitch Albom

 

“What you have done to this point cannot be undone. What you do next… It is still unwritten.”  Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

 

Breast Cancer Awareness, football, beach

fall
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, football, beach,and a month of reflection for me.
As a breast cancer warrior and the reason I use warrior instead of survivor is because the game is never over and if you are not a survivor, what did you do wrong not to survive? You did nothing wrong.   Even after you deal with the chemo, the radiation and hear a few good reports from the doctor, you are still fighting for normalcy. It may be the mental fight or it may be a physical fight.
You are reminded each day when you bathe that your body has fought a battle and so far your armor was enough, but you know there are no guarantees in this life. We cannot predict tomorrow, but I think most people can block that out.
I say all of that to say… Enjoy every day and get your mammogram if you are female. Do a self-exam. Do not take no for an answer! Be that woman who demands a biopsy if you have the slightest premonition that something is not right in your body.  If you are a male, do not dismiss any type of unusual lump or difference in your skin, go to the doctor immediately.  Breast cancer is not gender specific and neither is the love of football.cupcakes for breast cancer awareness month

Kaden's first Ole Miss game.

Kaden’s first Ole Miss game.

Pops makes the tailgate!

Pops makes the tailgate!

I love football! Football home games are fun! Great food, fellowship, laughter, my famous punch, and games to watch on tv as we enjoy the fellowship.  This is a time when the family comes together, and we are not rushed. We have time to eat, laugh, and discuss what is going on in our lives.
My calendar works around the Ole Miss home games, and the away game weekends means an opportunity to get out of town which leads me to the fall Florida getaway.

Perdido Key 004Perdido Key/Pensacola Florida

Perdido Key is a great close vacation get away place. In six hours with bathroom stops, you can be looking at the beach. It is not as commercialized as some of the other areas.  The weather was perfect, and the laid back atmosphere was really nice. September and October are my favorite months to go to Florida. The weather is just right, and there are no crowded beaches or restaurants.
If you decide to visit, check out these places:
Fisherman’s Corner
Big Fish
Florabama
Perdido Sports Bar
Hub Stacy (my local favorite)
CobaltPerdido Key 040

The internet will suck time up like a vacuum!
I spend entirely too much time researching random topics and also topics that interests me. It usually starts with one website then it links to another and here I go. I look up and three hours have passed and then I get the question of what did you do today?  When I cannot spout off the mark off on my too do list, I start to hyperventilate a little bit because we type A’s are always supposed to be accomplishing something or at least that is how our brain is wired!
Sometimes you find a jewel, and I think I found one this morning. I googled “affordable two week vacations” because I have a slight break in action in December.

This led me to Nomadic Matt.
http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/8-great-alternative-budget-vacation-ideas/

Then I clicked on Grassroots.
Grassroots Volunteering
http://grassrootsvolunteering.org/

http://grassrootsvolunteering.org/volunteer_opportunities

http://hands.org/projects/south-carolina-flood-response/

I like the history of this organization, and I think it is legit. It is a way to volunteer within your country if that is what you long to do.
Check it out when you have time. I do not give back enough, and I know that as I sit here in my comfortable chair drinking my absolutely amazing CUPS coffee from the Jackson store called Costa Rica Tarrazu’ with fast wifi, power, all the food I want in my warm house with a closet (ok… it is a room made into a closet full of clothes and shoes and purses). I have been blessed beyond measure, but I hoard my gifts of communication and organization that someone could use. I am writing this because when you see the written word on paper, it seems to be more credible. These are words for me to read to remember what an absolutely wonderful life I have had and hope to continue having and that I need to give back more!struggle

This weekend the sights, taste, sounds, cheers of football fans and the smell of pralines are calling my name. I will share with you later.

Happy last days of October!IMG_3420

Rebel Football Love

hotty toddy

LyceumOle MissSEC Football Team love is hard to describe. It is a feeling, an emotion that is hard to explain if you are not a southerner with a team.  Football in the south is an institution that is cherished and loved by many people. I have no comprehension or tolerance for people that changes teams according to the team’s record or their affiliation with people.  I was an Ole Miss Rebel  fan in ’94 and 2004 when we were 4-7, and I will always be a fan.

For my family and most of the Ole Miss family, football means tailgating at all home games.  We started out tailgating in the circle around thirty-five years ago when it was just us and a few other people. We had a card table, a few chairs and KFC. When my girls were old enough to sit through a ballgame, they climbed the magnolia tree and played in the Circle before the game and then they were introduced to Ole Miss Football.

2013 706

I have no comprehension or tolerance for people that changes teams according to the team’s record or their affiliation with certain people.  I was a fan in ’94 and 2004 when we were 4-7, and I am a fan in 2014; I will always be a fan.Eli

Football tailgating preparation begins at least a week in advance. Deciding departure time on game day and coordinating food selection and arrival times of all parties is like coordinating a party or social event. Our location has changed due to the new parking restraints, but we have settled in at our new location. It is very convenient for Daddy and Jane, Donna and John, and Peg and Ralph to be able to back the vehicles up and unload.

We pick our crew up from wherever they can park and bring them to the tailgate.

We pick our crew up from wherever they can park and bring them to the tailgate.

12-14-14 010

We have an intricate tailgating plan.  Daddy and Jane bring the tents, grill, chairs, food and lots of other stuff. Whoever gets there at the same time Daddy does helps with the tent. Tyler will ride down and coordinate when possible.

The Hills bring the tv and the satellite dish, the heater, food, the sides of the tents and lots of other stuff. I bring two dishes and my Cranberry Dicey Gold which is a very good mixture guaranteed to enhance your pre-game experience.  (Thank you, Michael Murphy and the Jake Owen Gold Tour for giving me the opportunity to concoct this drink.) My bring list decreased when I had to start parking at the Wesley House.   All of the other parties involved bring food and whatever else they want to bring.  It is like a family reunion every home game.  We look forward to the fellowship, laughter, and stories.2013 008

 

One interesting man who loves Ole Miss Football and was featured in a video is Mr. Glenn.  He tailgates with us for the home games, and he dislikes LSU like no one I have ever met. (It is true that many Rebels had rather beat LSU than anyone else on the schedule.)   You can count on him to bring fried chicken every week, and he will surprise you. He had champagne and cigars for us after our last home game.   He also danced after the Alabama win, but I cannot find the video on ESPN.10-28-14 camera 0192013 855

I miss this group of people after the last home game, but God willing, we will all be back next fall to spend time together and say, “Hotty Toddy”.hotty toddy

All fall  trips are scheduled for me around the Ole Miss Football off weekends and away weekends. The departure and arrival of trips planned for the fall must accommodate all game times of parties involved in the trip.  While traveling with a State fan (Lori) or a Bama fan (Michelle), game times must be taken in to account of all teams and a place chosen in said town to watch all games. You must watch and cheer your team on to victory if at all possible. I do feel that Bo could hear me this season say which receiver was open and the linebackers could hear me yell- “Stop him.”  Running toward the tv for away games also helps everyone on the team run a little faster.  We understand the importance of supporting our team even if it is just viewing the game at home.

Weddings should not be scheduled in the fall. I do not understand anyone who gets married during football season. Jordan and I watched one game on our phones with the volume down waiting on the bridal march.

Enjoy your bowl game and remember that many teams are at home wishing they were playing in a bowl game, so cheer for your team and be thankful for their hard work that made a bowl game possible for your team.Vince quote # 1Laquon

 

Of Parties, Prose and Football
 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/travel/faulkner-and-football-in-oxford-miss.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Katy Perry gave the Ole Miss mascot the best hug of his life.    http://usat.ly/1rbMkfe

Gigi’s Corner

Gigi’s Corner  at this very moment is a happy place to be!

10-13-14 048

Stop with the flash, Mom!

What can you say about a new life being added to your life? Your life is forever changed in a good way. What is the negative to someone else to love? There is not a negative.

Kaden’s entry in to the world gave my family a new appreciation of the precious gift of life and how it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Do you ever feel like you have led a charmed life? I do and I say this after experiencing some low points: two divorces, breast cancer and other family trials. When it comes to my children, I have led a charmed life. I know that and I am so very thankful. Why has my life been so wonderful? My children are happy and healthy.

When Kaden was in NICU, this was an in your face moment of my charmed life. When your children are in pain, you are in pain and feeling helpless is a scary feeling. You have a problem, let me think about it. I will work on a solution, inform you of that possible solution, and mark that off of my to-do list. Yes, this is how my mind works. No, I cannot change it only tone it down and try to keep it under control. I could not fix this: I transgressed back to my silent mode and my old normal coping method of just keep moving and make sure everyone has clean clothes and food.
I could not fix the pain and bewilderment that my family was feeling especially Austin, Jade and Aunt Kell. This was a time when Mom could not make everything better.
We were the lucky ones. Kaden experienced a setback, but his prognosis was always good. We just had to be patient and give his little body time to rebound. What about the parents who do not have this prognosis? How do they deal? I was reminded of my friend Deanna who had premature triplets that spent so much time in NICU. Their prognosis was good also, but the time factor had to be so hard, and the setbacks so hard to cope with on a daily basis. I have a new appreciation of her inner strength and love for her children.

There is a lesson in everything that happens in our lives.
What was our lesson from this? Patience and the understanding that just because things do not happen as you thought they would does not meant that the final results will not be spectacular. Comfort from family, friends and prayer will get you through tough times. Many people love you if you will just let them in to show it.
I think this boy is going to keep us all on our toes.

10-13-14 045

Kaden: Every day Gigi and Aunt Kell get pictures of me. Really, folks, are you not tired of seeing pics of me yet?
Gigi and Aunt Kell: No, nor will we ever be!

Cheers and Hotty Toddy!

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookCheck Our Feed