Category Archives: Memories

April 2017 Photo Challenge – Color

One of my fave things about Spring is that the trees and flowers are in bloom.

My apologies to the pollen allergy sufferers, but I just love it!

Here are my five pics for this month:

1. Sunset at Cedar Beach

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

I absolutely LOVE this beach! The sunsets from this point are incredible. The pics don’t do it justice!

2. Dusk at Cedar Beach

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

Juuuust as the sun is setting on one side of the beach, this incredible color pops up on the other side. Yes, it’s just as peaceful as it looks :)

3. This Jungle Theme Background Behind Mini

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

This was at our district author event where Mini was chosen to read her tribute poem about Carrie Fisher (which we are going to publish here soon!). I had to crop it because there were other kids int he photo and the background was falling in one spot. It is filtered to show off Mini’s shirt ;)

4. Treats from the Dessert Truck in Some Festive Easter Wrapping

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

YES, we have a dessert truck nearby! Okay, it’s not like right around the corner, but it’s within a short driving distance. We always stop when we’re in that area. Those are Mini’s fave from the truck, their Rainbow Cookies.

5. Dyed Eggs

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

This was the first year I was able to convince my husband that coloring eggs is fun and we should totally be doing this. I taught Mini how to dip-dye the eggs and even how to get two different colors on it. She goes and does a tri-color egg. GO MINI!!

I only have one bonus pic for this one..

At a recent birthday party, Mini was able to take her first solo go-kart ride. She. LOVED. IT! Being the only girl, of course (much to her chagrin) they stuck her in the pink car. She isn’t a fan of pink, but she just shrugged and hopped in. Look at that smile!

April 2017 Photo Challenge - Color: Tina B's World

I’m off to see what everyone else did for this month.

To check out the links for this month’s challenge, click HERE.

To link up to the next month, hop on over and join the challenge’s FB page HERE.

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

I have to say I enjoyed this one. The holidays come with their emotional baggage, but are usually a good time. Well, onto the pics!

Tis The Season… for hot soup! Our loaded potato soup, specifically. We start with a potato soup base and add cheddar, bacon bits and grilled chicken chunks. So. Insanely. Good. Also featured? My FAVE iced tea.. Strawberry Half & Half. YUM!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for boots! We purchased Mini her boots for winter and guess what? They are a WOMEN’S SIZE 8!!! Yup, we are in adult sizes now. Shoe shopping just got a bit more expensive!

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Tis The Season… for fancy neckware and Christmas-card-worthy pics! The boys are wearing some ties we found at Five Below and the girls are all sporting some scarves we found at AC Moore. Yes, we pretty much deserve a medal for being able to get the dogs to look at us. The secret is to hold a treat right in front of the camera for the dogs to stare at and tell your (wo)mancub to look at the camera and don’t blink! HAHA!

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Tis The Season… to paint ornaments! Mini was a bit bored one day so we dug these out of our craft closet, found some paint and VOILA!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for cozy sweaters! Cheyenne just recently turned 11 and we bought her a sweater for her birthday. She has a lot less hair than the other Pugs, so she gets chilly in the winter time. This is our solution :)

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

 Ok, so there are my five. I have three bonus pics for this challenge.

Tis The Season… for jingle bells! This is Biggie, one of our foster cats. We put the collar on him as a joke. He loved it so much that when I tried to take it off him, he hissed and took a swipe at me until I put it back on. Ok then, kitty. Sorry this pic is a bit blurry. I couldn’t stop laughing as I was taking it!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for cuddling with loved ones, resting up for holiday festivities!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

Tis The Season… for sales on Build-A-Bear bears and it’s always the season for Star Trek anything! Meet our newest addition, Live Long and ProspBear!

December 2016 Photo Challenge: Tis The Season

I love doing these photo challenges. If you’d like to link up, check out the challenge HERE.

Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

August 2016 Photo Challenge: Black & White

August was a very interesting month for us..

Some things happened, good and bad, but for this, we are concentrating on the good :)

I tried to photo as much of it as I could, so here goes:

Mini had her softball awards dinner. She will tell you all about it in one of her “Mini Monday” posts (coming next Monday), but for now, here she is with her team ball…

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

 7-Eleven decided to add another “Bring Your Own Cup Day” to their calendar… Mini and her father couldn’t have been more thrilled about it! Yes, that is a Slurpee hat she is wearing :)

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

In the beginning of the month, our canine brood looked like this:

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

By the end of the month, it looked like this:

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's WorldYup. We got two more Pugs. Are we crazy? Maybe, but we’re definitely full of love.

We got Mini’s pics done for her birthday (which was in June, because we are SO on the ball with these things!) and she looked amazing! So grown up :)

August 2016 Photo Challenge: B&W - Tina B's World

Okey doke, now for the bonus pic:

My incredibly lazy, but insanely cute office staff, doing what they do best!

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Can’t wait to see everyone else’s entries! Link up with us HERE.

Three Questions Thursday 8.18.16

Three Questions Thursday 8.18.16 - Tina B's World

Here is a little looksie at three random questions I was asked in the past week and my responses to them…

I really should keep better track of questions asked so I don’t have to go back into all my social media and texts from now on!

1. Do you keep a journal or diary?

Three Questions Thursday 8.18.16 - Tina B's World

I used to. Many times over the course of my life, I kept a journal. I’d write things down. Random thoughts. Sometimes a good writing exercise would pop into my head and I would write it down. Other times, I wrote out things I was angry at.

As a kid, my parents read my journal. As an adult, my roommates did. When I moved in with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, I couldn’t trust him not to read it after all the other time I had been burned. My blogs are the closest thing to a journal I keep now.

2. What age do you consider “old”?

Three Questions Thursday 8.18.16 - Tina B's World

I think “old” is a state of mind and it also varies from person to person.

When I was younger, I thought people who were in their 60s were old. Now that my parents are all in their 60s, it doesn’t seem so old anymore. Nanny passed right after she turned 93. Yes, i agree that is old… but Nan never really seemed “old” to me until she was near the end.

I’ve met people in their 70s and 80s that I think are old. It’s true what they say “You’re only as old as you feel”.

3. What made you smile in the past week?

Three Questions Thursday 8.18.16 - Tina B's World

Mini’s softball awards were last week. She won the Sportsmanship trophy. She was shocked and confused when she won. Throughout the season, Mini has been helping the younger girls on her team.

She gave one a lesson in hitting.

She high-fived girls who made good plays, even if they weren’t on her “team” when they played (she was in an instructional league with one big team and they’d be split in half to play an actual game).

She cheered for everyone.

After I explained this all to her, she just said “Oh. Are you sure I deserve it? Other people cheered too.” THAT is why she won it. Her humbleness is one of her best traits.

Well, that’s mine.

Have YOU been asked any interesting Q’s lately?

A Necklace With a Message and a Memory

This “getting older” thing sucks!

I feel like every time I turn around, I’m saying good-bye to another older family member. This time it was “Uncle Joe”. One of my favorite things about him was how much he loved his wife. Sure, they bickered like old married couples do, but if you heard the way he talked about her.. there aren’t many words to describe it.

Heart-warming, maybe?

When we were generally discussing cheating, he said he’d never do anything so stupid. “I know what I got”, he drawled in that old Brooklyn accent of his. It was refreshing to hear someone speak of their spouse like that. I almost wish it had been someone closer to my age.

As I was thinking about it all while brushing my hair, a realization hit me: if this had been a year ago, it was Nanny who would have called me. She would have chatted with me about any plans being made and we’d chit-chat about life.

I shed tears for both Nanny (yet again!) and for Uncle Joe, who I will miss dearly.

A few weeks prior, I had ordered one of those “signature” necklaces from an Etsy shop. I was a bit skeptical that they could perfectly recreate a signature, but thought “what the hey?” and gave it a shot.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but what I got exceeded all my expectations!

With shipping times, I wasn’t expecting the necklace for another few days. The universe (and Nanny, I’m guessing) decided I needed the necklace that day.

This is what I sent the shop:

nanny signature

This is what I received back:

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I’m in awe.

I sent a pic to a few family members and even they couldn’t believe it. It was an exact replica of Nanny’s signature, complete with line at the bottom. It was so beautiful, it moved me to tears.

There it was, in my hands: “Love Always, Nanny”.

It is just gorgeous, breath-taking, amazing, all of that and more. Thank you for your amazing work, CaitlynMinimalist. Words can not express how grateful I am to have this gorgeous piece with me now.

PLEASE check out the CaitlynMinimalist shop on Etsy!

**No, I was not paid for this post, nor did I receive anything for free. I just worked it into another post I was working on.

Worst. Summer. Ever.

I wish I was kidding. I really do.

Summer vacation is supposed to be for fun. Summer camps, sports, outings, day trips, vacations.. All of those things are synonymous with “summer”.

Not our summer. Not this year.

It’s so hard to type through tears, but here goes..

Mini’s birthday was in June. Her and I were so excited to do post after post about all the fun we had for her Star Wars party. Really, it was a blast!

I have mentioned my grandmother, aka “Nanny”, in previous posts and how much I love hanging out with her. By the time school ended within two weeks of Mini’s birthday, Nanny was not doing well.

My beloved Nanny turned 93 on July 2nd. She stayed in her bedroom her whole party. She said she was too tired to come out.

By the following day, my aunt had expressed how nervous she was leaving Nan alone, so we were all taking turns watching her so she wasn’t alone all day. Since I’m home during the day, I took the morning shift while my aunt ran her errands. Mini was such a trooper, coming with me every day and behaved amazingly. She would come in when Nanny asked for her and made an emergency call when I needed her to do that too. I was amazed at how grown-up she acted during that time.

Nan was pickier than normal, asking for 3 or 4 different things to drink then asking why there were so many cups and telling me to clean up. She started seeing family and friends that had passed before her. One day, she talked to my grandfather (who passed 40+ years ago) right over my shoulder.

About two weeks after her birthday, I stayed to visit longer than normal. I don’t know why. I talked to Nan before she dozed off. I squeezed her hand and told her I loved her. She said “I love you too”. I stopped in my tracks and wiped away tears as I walked out.

She never says that.

Usually, she responds “me too” or “same here” or “ditto”.

I was talking to my aunt at the table when my father and stepmom walked in. Since we were letting Nan sleep, we sat around the table talking. I had had a rough morning with Nan the day before so I was telling them about it. Eventually, my stepmom said they had somewhere to be. My aunt said she would wake Nan up so we could all visit before we left.

Nan sat up and was looking off into the distance. “My family”, she said. “My family is having dinner and they’re waiting for me.” She pauses and then says, “I feel like I should be with them.”

My father and I look at each other. “What family?” he asks.

“Not you”, Nan gestures to the two of us. “The REST of my family.”

My heart starts to pound. I get my aunt and tell her what Nan said. My father and stepmom leave. My sister comes in. My aunt and I tell her what was said.

My husband texts me that he’s on his way through and asks if we want to grab dinner. We pick up some sandwiches and I tell him what Nan said. My heart is still thumping and I’m on the verge of tears. I’m choked up, but make it home. I wolf down my sandwich and my phone rings.

My heart drops when I see it’s my sister. Since we don’t talk, I knew something was wrong.

“Nanny’s..” she could barely speak. “She’s hemorrhaging. You need to come back here.”

I tell Mini to pack up her sandwich and I throw my food into my purse. I make two phone calls and I’m out the door. I just tell people to pray for a miracle this time.

As I enter Nanny’s room, she is green. Flanked by my sister and aunt, she looks at me when my aunt says “Tina’s here.”

I hold Nanny’s arm as she whispers what sounds like “I’m going” and she looks off into the distance and says what sounds like “I’m coming”. She is struggling, fighting.

“Go. It’s okay, Mom.” my aunt says. My sister echoes.

“Go, Nan. We’ll all be okay.” I said, trying to keep my voice from breaking. “Grandpa’s waiting for you. Your family is waiting for dinner.”

A few more breaths and she’s gone. She moves twice, still fighting. Then..

She’s gone.

The floodgates open and I can’t stop the tears. Neither can anyone else. The family starts pouring in. Looking at her now-peaceful face, it’s still hard to believe. It was like a punch to the gut.

The next few days were a blur. I broke down often. The memorial was set for August 1st. My aunt started going through Nan’s room, letting us all take what we wanted.

The day of the memorial came and I decided I wanted to speak, so I told my aunt. I had all these amazing, fun, hilarious stories I wanted to tell. Well, I blubbered through one story and started babbling so I sat down. I felt like an idiot, but everyone was so nice about it.

A few days ago, I stopped by my aunt’s on the way to Mini’s last softball game. Nan’s room was almost empty. It felt so final. I started crying again.

The loss of nanny was huge. It’s a ripple effect. She was such a huge part of my life. She was the only one who called me to sing “Happy Birthday”. She was my lunch buddy when I wanted to get out of the house. Taking her to doctor appointments broke up the monotony of my days. She was always available to talk to.

If you had asked any of us a year ago, we would have confidently told you Nanny would live to 100. Easily. It was never a question. Things just progressed so fast. So very fast.

it hurts losing her. It hurts more than anything I’ve ever felt. It’s still very hard to believe.

Fifteen Years Like A Day

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but time also flies when you’re miserable or sad. Even the days you’ve spent at the DMV are few when it comes to your whole life.

Fifteen years ago, I said good-bye to my Mother. It feels just like it was yesterday. At times, it hurts that much too.

At the ripe old age of 47, she succumbed to her body’s deterioration due to Multiple Sclerosis (pneumonia is what finished her). It was a tense few months leading up to it. We had a feeling something was going to happen but none of us expected it so soon. We had seen her get very sick before, but she always managed to somewhat get back to what she was before.

I admire everything about my Mother. She kept her sense of humor even as her body fought her. She couldn’t lift her arms nor move her legs, but didn’t hesitate to chime in  a “Throw it to me. I’ll catch it.” as my brother tossed me a can of soda once on a visit.

She taught me that no matter what life throws at you, happiness is your choice. My childhood wasn’t easy. My adulthood hasn’t been much better. Through it all, I have looked for things that make me happy, whether it be a song or a poem or a tv show. Finding happiness no matter what your circumstance is what life is all about.

If my Mother could find a way to smile, so can I.

I miss her so much.

Christmas Pics 2014

It is VERY hard to get 4 dogs and a child to sit still! Even harder? Having them all look in the same direction at the same time!

I have over 100 Christmas pics in my phone to prove this. We did some pretty amazing cards with Shutterfly, but the time and effort it took beforehand was exhausting. If I am going to send out a card, it is going to be as perfect as I can get it.

What does that mean?

It means…

Mini is facing us and smiling (NOPE to 3 pics).

Mini is not slouching or pulling weirdly at her shirt (NOPE to 8 pics).

Our Pug Grumble and our Hound are also looking at us (NOPE to about 25 pics).

Previously mentioned Grumble and Hound are not hopping off the couch (NOPE to 5 pics).

All bows on the dogs are to be on them, not flying off to the side (NOPE to about 40 pics).

Getting the lighting right so there were no shadows on any faces (NOPE to 6 pics).

Did we have a ton of blooper photos? YUP!

Was it fun? Ehhhh… Ummm wellll.. okay yes. it was frustrating and fun at the same time.

Was it hard eventually weeding out the good photos? Nope. There weren’t many.

Got all that? Well then, here ya go… A few bloopers and few goodies. Enjoy! Oh and excuse the mess behind the couch.. All the stuff had to go somewhere! LOL

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From L to R: Jack, Jordan, Mini, Cheyenne, Eli-Princess

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20141211_181840After taking a TON of pics, the dogs look a bit naked without their bows, huh? Just something I noticed :)

Just curious.. After looking, do you have a fave? Truth be told, I LOVE the one where they’re all sleeping! They look like little angels :)

A Favorite Holiday Memory

I decided to link up with BlogHer’s November 2014 NaBloPoMo writing prompts. I have been looking for a good blog challenge and this is it! I already missed the post for November 3rd and it is after midnight on the 5th (meaning I technically missed the 4th), but I wanted to do the November 4th post anyway..

A favorite holiday memory.

My favorite holiday memory is bittersweet. It was the last Christmas I spent with my Mother. For those of you who don’t know, my Mother passed away in February 2000 from complications with Multiple Sclerosis. Just before her last Christmas, my brother had taken me to visit her in the nursing home. She was awake and alert. My brother wandered off in search of the soda and snack machines, giving me a good chunk of time to have my Mother all to myself.

I told her I was doing the school musical. She smiled. There was a song she used to sing to me when I was younger and I sang it for her. She smiled and let me wipe the few tears that spilled down her face. We talked about life. I told her I wasn’t mad at her for giving us up for adoption and I finally understood why.

-In fact, the older I get and the older Mini gets, the more I respect her for doing what needed to be done. I can’t imagine any circumstance where I’d have to give Mini up. I have no idea what I’d do if I couldn’t see her every day.-

That day, I told my Mother everything I had ever wanted to. I asked questions. Some answers were sarcastic (apparently it’s genetic!) and some were serious. It was a connection I had so desperately needed while growing up in another home, away from her. I never told my brother what happened when he was out snack hunting. I really owe him my gratitude.