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Hello Gratitude … Hello to a Grateful Week!

Hello Gratitude.
I have realized it has been a while since I have written
one of my favorite kind of posts.

It is so easy for me  to get up every day
focus on my to do list
lose sight of what I want my bigger picture to be.

Living a joy filled life 
full of gratitude and love.

So this week I am back at taking time for intentional gratitude
I have much to be grateful for!

Like our new family photos!
When Hunter turned 19 last month
I realized while looking for an Instagram picture to post
how long it had been since we had a family photo done!
So I was on a mission to get one 
when  we were visiting Catalina once again.

I am so happy with how they turned out 
what a successful group effort it was to get them!

I know I have written frequently here
about missing the days past when my kids were little
the flip side is how really fabulous it is to spend time with them 
as adults with their significant others!
I really relish spending time with them all
they are truly some of my very favorite people!
It is a joyful thing to see our family get bigger!

This was one of my other favorite captures of the day.
Such a wonderful memory of Hunter's birthday!

This week I am very grateful
to make the time to take back my yards
in preparation for our annual
Father's Day barbecue!
This year we will once again be adding 
beer tasting to the mix!

I have mentioned how here in SoCal
we have our May Gray and June Gloom
but now that the sun is back
I am absolutely enamored with our summer light!
Nothing like missing something 
to have great appreciation for it's return!

I am enjoying our new tree
as much for it's shadows
as the tree itself.

The morning summer light comes in so clear
 highlights simple kitchen vignettes like magic!

I have found the perfect backyard spot to take in the setting sun.
The light streams in with a gentle diffusion with the breezy palms.
I sit and just focus on such memorable moments of beauty
press them deep into my heart.

I was also so honored and grateful to be featured on 
Soft Surroundings Instagram feed!
Their Martinique Caftan is definitely one of my favorite summer staples!

The big news here this week is that 
Elliot graduated with his Masters in Structural Engineering!
Ironically both he and Ellis will start brand new career jobs
next Monday!
There is much to celebrate this week!!

Elliot graduating Sunday had me missing my alma mater
so we drove up to visit UCLA
 get a new  alumni license placeholder.
Walking across the campus
I had never seen it look more beautiful.
I wondered how I hadn't seen and appreciated it's full beauty while I was there.

But then I realized I  was looking at the campus now as a secure adult
who ended up making the life for myself that I had hoped I would.
I began to remember
just how hard I fought to graduate.
It took me several attempts to finish.

First I transferred in from another university
with the condition that all of my grades that quarter were good.
It was two months into the first quarter at UCLA
that I was notified by mail that
my acceptance was rescinded because of a low math grade at my last university.
I was so mortified and embarrassed
I pretended to go to class for an entire quarter
before I had the nerve to be honest and make a new plan to make up the class in the summer.

I was back in.
I was living at home and commuting.
I left ay 3:30 in the morning to avoid hours of traffic.
I had all of my classes on Tuesday and Thursday
so I could work full time every other day of the week.
I ended up with bulimia so bad
I once again had to take time off.

But I got  that under control and went back
By now I had met Jeff.

A couple of months into our meeting
my sister Tracy who was 23 with down syndrome and a heart defect
was scheduled for corrective surgery 
at the very best hospital in the country.
Ironically that hospital was UCLA.
Long tragic story short
my sister ended up dying at UCLA.
I once again took time off.

But I once again went back.
And this time with the support of Jeff
I finished.
I graduated UCLA.

So when I see my diploma or license plate holder
I see something more than an education from a top university.
For me
I see and know
even if we are fragile
we can be strong.

It doesn't matter how many times you fall
what really matters is 
how many times you get back up.

I see also
the gift of perspective.
I haven't told my UCLA story
in it's entirety to too many people until recently
because I used to be mortified by how hard it was for me.
Now as I reflect on my own life story
I see and know the story
with kinder eyes.
If I could I would reach back and tell that young woman
It will be OK.
You will be OK.

From your fragility your will find strength.
You may always at times feel fragile
learning how to deal with that part of your soul
will bring you strength.

For that  I  will always be grateful.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


  1. Thanks for sharing your story. It's so easy for people to read a blog or look at pictures and think how wonderful someone's life is without realising all the dramas that have gone in years before. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me I am "lucky" because of how my life has turned out I would be extremely wealthy. However, the truth is like your life, my early life was filled with massive potholes on the road to success. I did not finish my degree until I was 39 and I would say it is one of the best thing I ever did.

  2. Vicky thank you for visiting and sharing your story. It is easy make assumptions about others … blog or not. I over the years raising children … had even begun to forget how hard I worked to get to where I was, I think I was afraid to even acknowledge past personal hard times … in the fear it would hamper my parenting. Now I realize sharing my story with even my children … shows success doesn't necessarily come in a linear path … but there is so much one can learn on the way.

    Thank you for your heartfelt comment my dear. And big kudos to you for … overcoming life's potholes …to a life that has turned out well! xo

  3. We are all fragile and in need of acceptance. Most of us have been through many hardships and sufferings but we fear rejection so we do not share them. This is why compassion is always needed. To be gentle with one another. Congrats on persevering to get your degree! How meaningful it truly is.

  4. Dear Tamera, I am so sorry for all you have been through; however also so in awe of the courage you have and your gratitude for the beautiful life you have. We all have stories, sometimes MANY stories of the difficulties of our lives, you are an inspiration to deal with these times with grace and love.

    The Arts by Karena
    Closer by Michael Clinton