Tuesday, March 30, 2010


"Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world."
-   Virgil A. Kraft

Be encouraged today, friends.
For the season of rebirth and renewal is upon us.
Pray a prayer of thanks to our Sweet Lord, 
that He provides us with the splendor of Spring.
Be warmed by the sun.
Let the breezes of April's approach soak into your soul.
Rejoice in the beauty around you.
And know that what you see is the extraordinary love of God. 

(I'm sharing this as part of Mom's 30-Minute Blog Challenge over at Steady Mom)

Happy Spring and Many Blessings,


Monday, March 29, 2010

A Bowl Full of Random...

(painting by jackson pollack)

Things have been crazy this last week.  So busy I haven't had time to blog.
But I'm hoping to get  back on track here soon.
In the mean time, let me give you the rundown of what's been going on in my life and my noggin'...

Birthday style!!  

In honor of my recent celebration of 31 years on this earth, I give you just as many random tid bits...

1) We're looking at cars.  Vans, specifically.  And it isn't a fun process.
2) Emma has taken to the terrible two's prior to turning the trying age.  Say that five times fast.
3) I ate sushi for my birthday and it was heavenly.
4) I'm late on accepting and nominating awards...my apologies to Bri and Mandy, but thank you both!!
5) I'm up to my ears in sewing aprons.
6) I'm also sewing Emma's Easter dress.
7) I have failed miserably at not consuming soda during Lent.
8) I praise Jesus that my salvation does not lie within the walls of a Dr. Pepper can.
9) On a more serious note, Palm Sunday was a thought provoking day...in church I read the part of a doubting criminal that hung beside of Jesus.  My specific line, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us all!" I found that part fitting seeing that I often doubt Him in my own life.
10) Many people are in my prayers right now.
11) I get to see my momma in four days and I couldn't be happier because of it.
12) I pat the baby in my sis-n-law's tummy yesterday and it took me back to when I pat my own pregnant belly.  I'm getting the fever it seems...
13) Speaking of fever, I'm reading "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and I've never felt more enlightened about womanhood then I feel now.
14) I don't say, "I'm proud of you" enough...to my husband, to my daughter, to my friends.
15) I constantly think about writing a book.
16) God constantly tells me to write a book, too.
17) I haven't listened yet.
18) Jon and I enjoyed a date night on Saturday and my favorite part was holding his hand.
19) I dropped Emma off at the sitter's this morning and she cried and cried (which is unusual).  I wanted to quit my job and hold her forever.
20) I cried most of the service on Sunday...Jesus has a way of doing that to me.  Thank you for loving me, Lord.
21) My best friend is coming next week and I get to meet her new little boy.  I already love him so much and I have yet to lay eyes on him.
22) I wish I had an eye for style...both for myself and my home.
23) I'm meeting The Pioneer Woman on May 7th.  If I could do a cartwheel, I'd do 50.
24) Emma calls the witches on Princess movies bad ladies.
25) Apparently the woman in front of us at Wal-Mart resembled a witch because Emma repeatedly yelled out, "Bad Lady, Bad Lady, Bad Lady!!"
26) I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide.
27) I don't like skinny jeans.
28) Having said that, last week I wore maternity pants and a maternity tank top on two separate occasions.
29) I'm not pregnant.
30) I repeat...I don't like skinny jeans.
31) My heart is blessed by those that have read this list in it's entirety!

Love ya'll!

Marketing Monday...

So, it's been several days since I've blogged and I have so much to catch up on (which I will), but first let's all join in on a little free marketing fun!

Marketing Monday is currently going on over at Trendy Treehouse!

MckLinky Blog Hop

It's a pretty cool blog hop for those of you with shop/ businesses out there!  Check it out!


Monday, March 22, 2010


I was sitting outside the other day looking up at the trees in my back yard.  They are tall trees, with trunks no wider say 32 inches around (give or take) and they are starting to bud so leaves are on their way.  It was windy and these trees were just a swaying.  Back and forth, back and forth.  I was wondering if they would break under the pressure of the wind.  No doubt that happens sometimes.

They didn't break though.  In fact, they (the trees) looked content to let the breeze rock them to and fro.

It got me thinking about the shear brilliance that it took in making those trees.  Roots so strong, that even the skinniest of trees can withstand some pretty heavy duty winds.  A foundation so secure, that despite their heights, every little creature that calls that tree home, is safe and sound amongst it's branches.

God did that...


that's something.

That same day, I started reading the book of Esther in the Old Testament of the Bible.  And I was reminded what confidence comes in knowing our God has a purpose for us and that He wants the best for us.  I was reassured that despite the strong winds that will come, the storms even, we may find strength in our Lord as He is our safe haven.  

Sometimes things don't always appear as they should.
To our feeble human eyes.

But Jesus sees something different.

So I encourage you to see things not as you normally would.  Look a little deeper.  And know that it's not what you see that counts, but what God has already written into your days instead.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
       and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him,
       and he will make your paths straight.
~Proverbs 3:5-6

Prayer to the Holy Spirit
 Breath in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart,
O Holy Spirit,
that I only love what is holy.

Strengthen me,
O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then,
O Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.

~ Augustine of Hippo


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sew What! Skirts

I got this book from the library not too long ago and it  is the most fun!  Chock full of skirts, it walks you through drafting patterns and sewing up your own lovely creations!

Now, I have to note, I'm not a skirt girl.  If I were to label myself anything it would be a jean girl, but most days you'll find me lounging around the house in yoga pants.

But as Spring approaches, it turns my thoughts to colorful, feminine, twirly skirts.  It reminds me of when I was a little girl and every Easter I got a beautiful new Easter dress.  And if memory serves me well, I remember being so proud of those dresses/skirts, twirling and courtesying here, there and everywhere.  Like a little princess.

All of the ideas in this book were cute, though there were a couple that we too short for my liking.  But one in particular really caught my eye.  It was beautiful and I just might try whipping up my own.



Oh, can't you just see yourself leaping through a meadow in this skirt?  Barefoot, with the wind in your hair?
I can just invision!

Or gently lifting it off the ground to gracefully climb into your suiter's carriage?

Top it with an eyelet peasant blouse and a big straw hat...

So romantic!

Maybe I'll have a new pretty for this Easter as well, huh?

What sewing endeavors are going on over at your house??  Please share!!

(I'm sharing this as part of Works For Me Wednesdays over at We Are That Family!  Check it out!)

Blessings Friends,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Faith (and A Thank You)

I have to once again express my deep gratitude for the conversation that stemmed last week from my simple question about Family Planning.

Your comments and insight were beyond what I had hoped for and I so loved reading each and every one of your perspectives.  They were profound, enlightening, encouraging, and honest.  I really never expected to get such a wide range of thoughts on the topic, but it was so nice to have people from all different views contributing.  

Thank you.

One question that was posed to me throughout the conversation was, "Why did I ask...what prompted my inquiry?"

And at first it was simply because I had read an article about family trees and the complexity and richness of large families.  I am the only biological product from my mother and father.  Though my family now includes a step-mother and sister, my bloodline (with my generation as the starting point, is not that diverse).  In light of that, I looked at my husbands family, one in which he is number eight of nine children.  

The differences that naturally occur when comparing a semi-only child to a nine child family are remarkable and it really got my wheels turning in terms of what I wanted all that to look like for my girl when she was old enough to understand and appreciate family size.

The more I thought about it, the more I was taken back to my own desire of always wanting four kids.  From an early age, I have wanted that "medium" size family of my own.

Having said that, now that I have been through pregnancy, labor and now am in the process of motherhood, my mind often wanders to whether I am cut out to handle more that one or two kids.

Don't get me wrong, I love my girl more than words can even express, and I don't consider myself alone when I say being a momma is hard.  I just wonder if I (as in my personality and make-up) am made to mother multiple children.  Did God make me that way?  It's something I struggle with.  I go back and forth with wanting to adhere to God's will when the time comes for more and then getting caught up in the "what ifs" of life and whether we could handle more children.

This was the deeper reason for the original question and I think one comment from Brooke really summed it up...

Not so much should we or shouldn't we do this or that, but instead, "Do we trust God?"

Do I trust God?

I say this in the midst of dear friends of mine embarking on having more babies, adding second, third and maybe even fourth little blessings to their families and they do it in faith.  Regardless of circumstances.  And I also say this as a woman who is neither trying to prevent getting pregnant, nor actively trying.

Where is my faith?

It's terrifying to me.  More children.  Pregnancy.  Wanting more, but feeling incompetent at parenting one.  What large family dynamics look like.  My daughter being an only child.  How my husband feels about all this.  Getting older.  Round and round my brain goes, where it stops nobody knows....

This is why I genuinely wanted to know what the real, tangible thoughts and feelings were out there about this subject.

But most of all, I posed this question, because I want to be that person.  I want to be that mom who steps out in faith and truly, from the depths of my soul, trusts God to do what he may with my womb, no matter what that looks like for me.  It's just so hard to do and my humanness gets in the way .  Particularly when my mind can reason the pros and cons for both sides of the spectrum.  So your comments haven't necessary solved the inner debate going on inside of me, but they have given clarity to lots of other questions I had deep down inside.  And I so appreciate that.

To all of you that chimed in, know that I am praying over this.  And I do know that God will give me peace about what my family is supposed to look like.

And I also hope to chat again soon...who knows what I'll be asking next time!

Blessings friends,


Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Follow!!

It's Friday everyone and that means Friday Follow!!

My name is Kelli and this is my home...SustainingCreativity.  
If you're stopping by from over at Trendy Treehouse, WELCOME!!  I'm so glad to have you!

While you're here, pull up a seat, grab your drink of choice and visit for a while.

And remember, you follow me and I'll follow you!!

Here's some reading material while you're here=)...

Thanks stopping in!!

And if you would like to join in on today's blog hop, head on over to Trendy Treehouse and link up!



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Ten Things...

So, this is going to be a wordless version of Ten Things I Love.  Sorry ya'll, I have no words today.  I'm in the process of trying to retrieve lost photos (Emma's entire first two years of life) on my stupid piece of crap computer, so my brain is fried.  But despite the severity of this situation, sitting down and posting about what I do love will do me some good.  I'm just going to post pics...no discriptions today.

But before I do...

Thank you all so much to those who contributed to yesterday's conversation on Family Planning.  I have so enjoyed your comments...and actually, I look forward to more.  Go here if you want to chime in!

Also, don't forget to enter my Apron Giveaway hosted by The Sweetest Petunia.  Only a few more days left before the contest ends!

Ok...Things I Love...

1) Sushi

2) Dr. Pepper Chapstick

3) My Reef Sandals

4) That I'm part Irish

5) Family Trees

6) The smell of old furniture

7) The Grandin Theater in Roanoke, VA

8) Little Old Men

9) Shaking my Groove Thang...

10) Anything tie-dyed or peace sign related (or both)

I know...kind of random.
But me.

(I'm sharing this as part of Things I Love Thursday over at the Diaper Diaries. Check it out!)

Blessings ya'll!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Going out on a Limb here....

(NOTE: Since posing this question, several of you have offered so many great perspectives.  I admire and respect them all.  The more I read, the more I feel there may in fact be a middle ground, or rather, the possibility of what we are called to do individually.  I'm loving that the resounding theme points towards God's Will being evident regardless.  Let's keep it up ya'll!  Thanks for the conversation!!)

I scared you with that picture didn't I!?!  HA!  Let me start by saying, I'm not pregnant.

So today I'm not doing a post.
Not a well thought out and constructed post that is.
Because instead, I have a question.
And I want all of your feedback on it.

Before I ask it, know that I'm not trying to spark debate.  I honestly don't know where I stand on the topic.  That's why I'm asking for some dialogue.

Here it goes...

On the topic of birth control...what do you feel is the right way to go about family planning?

I know plenty of people that would allow God to plan their families (like the Duggars). 
And then there are those that are currently on birth control in order to prevent pregnancy.
Is there an in between?

I'm genuinely interested in your responses and I look forward to the conversation.
(but keep it nice, please)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who Am I?

We've been talking a lot in church lately about our identity.
My husband and I talked about it this morning.
Where we find our identity.  What roles play in determining our identity?  What we see as defining our identity?
My Lenten devotional readings have also touched on identity in the last few days.
So, like with every trend or repeated message in my life, right now I feel Jesus is trying to tell me something.

About my identity.

Mark 14: 50-52~  "And they all left him and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked."

This passage is referring to what happened after Jesus was "taken into custody" before He was lead to the cross.  It tells of how even his closest followers left His side when push came to shove.  And it speaks of a boy, who had nothing but a linen cloth to cover himself with, ran away leaving his only possession in fear he might be judged right alongside of Christ.  He would rather be naked then to be associated with Jesus because he knew he would then be at the mercy of the Sanhedrin as well.  Guilty by association sort of thing.

Boy, does this speak to me...along with everything else that's been thrown my way as of late.

And honestly, what I'm hearing is...

I am that boy.

That's a hard thing to say.  But it's true.  When the going gets tough, I get going...and all too often in the wrong direction.  Away from Jesus.  And I do it in spite of myself...I know if I would TURN to Jesus and let Him work me out, all would be fine in His time.  But instead, I'd rather run around like a flailing naked idiot thinking I can figure it all out on my own.  So dumb.

When I'm pushed to be a testament, I don't testify.  I keep my mouth closed.
When my girl's little eyes and ears are learning Jesus through me, I don't let Him shine in my life.
When my love for my husband and for God could be expressed gently and submissively (oooh, I know, bad word) instead I get attitude.
When things don't go my way, instead of going to Jesus in prayer for a change of heart, I go to pout.
When Jesus is lead away to his death, that He died for me, I turn my head...and run.

Because it's just too hard to be seen with Him.
It's too hard to BE love.

That's who I am.  That's the real, human, dirty flesh that I am.

If I were honest with myself, I would say that my identity in all fouled up.  That I don't know who I am apart from my sin.  And who even cares what my identity looks like, because it's ugly and raw and mean?
But that's the beauty of Jesus.  And His love.  And His pain on the way to the cross.  His death.  Then His resurrection.

He lived and died so we could be made anew, though Him.  So that we would have meaning and hope in the dark shadows of  our hurt and sin.  So that we could have life.  Jesus sees our potential.  He sees the real state of our hearts.  And despite everything...

He sees our identity in Himself.

Our identity is in Jesus.

Oh, Glory be...how extraordinary is that!?!

We have a God that, right here and right now, in the midst of our human fallibility, says we are something!  We are forces to be reckoned with because He has fought the good fight for us...AND WON!
He thinks we are beautiful and worthy of all good and glorious things.  
He thinks we are worthy of Him!

Even though we still have tendencies to be "that boy"...

Absolutely amazing I say.

So I encourage you...just as Jesus has encouraged me...to ask yourselves...

Who are you?
Who are you to your spouse?
To your children?
To your neighbors?
Who are you to Jesus?

I think your answers will surprise you and even more so, I think God will surprise you.


Monday, March 8, 2010

LimaBean Designs Review & an Apron Giveaway!

Here you go folks!!  As promised, today is the day you can enter to win this little beauty!

Jacky over at The Sweetest Petunia is featuring my etsy shop today and was kind enough to do a review of my aprons as well as host this giveaway over at her place! 
Thanks Jacky!!
Just head on over to The Sweetest Petunia to read up on how to enter to win!!
She has a super cute blog, too so make sure you stick around and visit with her for a bit! 
Good luck, ya'll!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bloostained CD Winner!!

Given the number of entries (including additional entries) the lucky number chosen was #9 as picked via Random.org.

That would make Carley our winner!!  Congrats and enjoy your new CD, Carley!!  I'm sure you'll love it!

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1

Max: 14

Result: 9

Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thanks to everyone who participated in this contest as well!!  Christie and I both have loved the positive response that her music has gotten! 

That's why we don't want to leave you empty handed....

Didn't win?

Click here to download the full album for free!!  All you have to do is enter your Email address and your zip code.  You'll be able to save the album (in mp3 format) straight to your computer.  You will, however, be asked to leave a "tip" in Christie's Tip Jar.  I highly encourage you to do so seeing as this project took a lot of prayer, dedictation and hard work.  God has blessed her abundantly in the way of song and this is just a small way we can show how much we appreciate her words.

Thanks again everyone!!

Many blessings!

!!Be sure to check in Monday to see how you can snag yourself a super rad apron for your kitchen attire!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway

Hey there!  If you're here from Friday Follow, then welcome!  Glad to have you!!
I'm Kelli and I'm the girl behind this little ol' blog.  You can read about me by clicking the "About Me" tab.
And while you're here, take off your coat and stay a while. 
I mean, check out these great posts, too!

And if you'd like to get in on the Following Fun, head on over to Trendy Treehouse and link up!
Follow me and I'll Follow you!

Now on to other important business!!

I've been a busy little bee lately sewing up new aprons for my shop.  In fact, I'm so excited about my Spring line, I've not only dropped my prices, but I'm giving an apron away too.

You like??
Well, you can win it.  Just check back here on Monday morning and I'll tell you how.

In the meantime, do these two things...

1) Check out my etsy shop for drastically reduced clearance and some new aprons as well.  And trust me, I've got more where that came from!

2) Sign up for my current giveaway here, for a chance to win the Blood Stained CD.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blood Stained & a Giveaway

Christie Russell
Wife to her equally as talented Youth Minister Husband (who sings on the album with her), Homeschooling Mother of three, Birthing Doula, Confidant and friend to many, and yes....
Singer/ Songwriter.

Is there anything this woman doesn't do??  I've often wondered myself.  To me, not only is she my best friend, she also super human!

Christie just released her debut album, Blood Stained, last month and I am honored to give you a glimpse into her writing process, her inspiration, her hopes and dreams for this project...


to give away a copy of her CD to one lucky winner!! (more on that in a minute)

Here's the song Cling from the album.  It's absolutely beautiful and one of my favorites.  Click play to listen.


I had the pleasure of talking with Christie about all this and here's what she had to say about it...

Q. Tell me a little about the writing process.
A. Sporadic, I leave notebooks around the house, especially in the bathroon.  Being a mother of three, sometimes the shower is the only place where I can have a complete thought!  REALLY, what usually happens is God will open a Scripture passage or give me a tune, words or a quote and then He works out the rest.  I have dreamed about songs before, too...that is pretty cool! 

Q. What was some of your inspiration?
A. People are the most inspirational to me.  Life is so hard and the strength, courage and faith of those who face the most difficult situations in life inspire me and bring honor to God...not to say that the great moments in life are not inspiring, it just seems that for me as a writer I see God's movement clearer in the difficult times.  Life makes us holy!!

Q. Cling (though they are all good) has become my personal favorite.  Tell me about this song.
A. Well, Cling was a labor of love.  God gave me the tune months before the words ever came.  I searched Scripture passages, journals, quotes, etc. to "find the words", but nothing fit.  And one day while recording the tune, the words finally came.  This song is one of the most personal (to me) songs on the album.  It is a journey through my life over the past few years, as I dealt with my god, mother being ill, and then passing...having two babies in the process, life as a minister's wife and wife in general!!  My knee jerk reaction to a stressful situation is to "do" something about it.  However, when I read and meditated on Psalms time and time again God tells us to wait, cling and be still.  The verse that inspires the song is Psalm 63.8, "My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me."  So as life happens, I am often times overwhelmed by the grief of others as well as with my own, my days run together as I have a "storm" of potty trips, clothes to wash, lessons to teach, and there are some times when I just want to lay it all out before God with the "WHY?" question.  And over the years while I stuggle to stay about water, God ALWAYS brings me back to Him and His love for me.  Whether I like it or not!  But the most fabulous aspect of God for me right now is that HE IS BIG ENOUGH to handle WHATEVER I have.  I don't need to hide my feelings, my lack of wisdom; with God, He already knows and still He loves me and will work for my good and His glory every single time!

Q. What are your hopes for this album?
A. I hope that after listening to the album, people would begin to see the song of hope and love that God is writing in their lives.  I pray that those who don't know Jesus at all will get a small glimpse of His love for them and how He cares for them even when they don't realize it.  He came while we were still sinners to die on the cross for us.
Another hope I have for the album is to help people open up to each other.  To talk with other brothers and sisters about Christ and life.  I don't think they everyone on the planet needs to know every detail of our lives, however, Christ has given us the church to support, uphold and correct us.  Often times we run in fear of what others will think if we don't have the "right church answer" to the situation we are struggling with.  In reality we NEED each other because that is often times how God works.
Stay with me here...
Harry Potter is one of my favorite book series and movies and in one movie Harry's friend Luna Lovegood explains to Harry that the dark lord WANTS Harry to feel alone, because then he will be powerless. There is no greater power to defeat sin than love and we know we have the love of God but He provides the body to up hold us in love for our protection and our sanctification process... being made holy as he is holy! I know that is a weird example but it was a quote that open up community to me in a new way.

Q. What has God taught you through this process?
A. He sees the whole picture and is ALWAYS working. This album reflects homelessness, stubbornness, adultery, and death, these are realities in human life that it can be overwhelming to not be able to "fix" the problems of the world. Ryan tossed me a puzzle piece on night; when I was struggling with some things... he said "what is this?" I replied... "a puzzle piece that I couldn't get the vacuum to suck up!" ... "no" he said, "it is what we get to see... God has already finished the puzzle... but this is what we get to see. Trust Him and Obey Him." That has rocked my world and had a huge impact, whether intentional or not, on the record.

Q. Are there any plans for more songs?
A. YES! I have a notebook of songs and tunes buzzing in my brain at this moment...

Q. What advice do you give to other artists/ writers?
A. Just do it! (rarely is that an appropriate response but it is here)... I have struggled with my biblical knowledge and feeling useless in God's kingdom because I was trying very hard to fit a mold God never intended for me. One day while having a migraine God reminded me of Joseph and David... a dreamer and a singer/songwriter and both the baby of their families (as am I). He spoke clearly to me... "Dream, Sing and Trust Me". It is most important to submit your art (whatever that might be) to God and let Him refine you and WRITE everything down, because you WILL forget it!

And just to be fun, I asked her this!

Q. Who's your bestest friend in the whole world and why do you love her so...
A. My best friend is Kelli Helms Mayhorn.... when I look back over my life before Christ there are few things I am proud or thankful for... she is one of just a handful of things I praise God for during that time in my life. Through the pain of breaking friendships God brought us together on the front steps of our college. Years of struggle followed on both our parts but God knew... I need her like I need air to breathe. She is much more than a best friend because she tells me when I am wrong and not just to be right but to bring my thoughts back to God. There is nothing that I can't tell her... and there is no journey in my life that I don't want to share with her. We are honest with each other in a way that I can not be with anyone else... we understand each other... and get excited about what God is doing in our lives... Kelli keeps me sane... I am thoughtless more times than not and she grounds me... There is no pressure to "perform" best friend duties... she will write our story one day...while I sing! and when we are old and living together with our rocking chairs, we are going to tell and retell all the wonderful stories of our life.

Spoken so eloquently, there is nothing I can add other than I feel the exact same about her.

There you have it folks!!  There's her heart and soul!!  And we can expect more songs in the future!!  I think that is a beautiful thing!

Christie is available to do small group shows around and in VA/NC.  If you'd be interested in having her perform for your group or chuch, please contact me for more info or email her at:

Now on to the giveaway!!

If you'd like to enter to win a copy of Christie's CD all you have to do is leave a comment.  Please leave an email address so I can contact the winner at the appropriate time.

Additional entries ~ please leave a comment for each.
1. Let me know you follow SustainingCreativity~ 1 entry
2. Tweet this giveaway linking back to this page (leave your twitter name too)~ 1 entry
3. Facebook this giveaway linking back to this page~ 1 entry
4. Blog about this giveway linking back to this page~ 2 entries

Contest is open until Saturday (March 6th) at Noon (EST).  I will randomly choose and annouce the winner that evening.

Good luck everyone!!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


This week marks the 17th year that my PaPa has been gone.  Last month my Nannie had been gone four.
I'm missing them terribly for some reason.
I look back at the little snapshots of my life with them (which was too short of a time) and I'm filled to the brim with love and joy and happiness.  Oh how I wish they were with me still.

I remember Papa's smell after he had been at the DryCleaners (where he worked) all day.  Better yet, I remember his Brut aftershave.

Memories of Nannie working in the kitchen, whizzing here and whizzing there bustle around in my head.  I can't even keep up with her in my mind.

Like a photograph, I stare into the past savoring something as simple as my Papa's feet propped up on a big tacky blue velvet pillow resting on the coffee table.  I cried when my mom got rid of those pillows.

Nannie's calling, "Kelly (papa)...Little Kelli (& me), come on...dinner's ready!"

Papa jumps up and dances a jig all the way to the kitchen with me in tow.

I read and reread a letter written to me by Nannie while I was in college...before she lost her ability to write.

And emblazoned in my heart is the strength and tenderness that embodied my Papa.

I would give anything to hug my Nannie again.

My world would be complete if I could hold Papa's hand again.

At times like this, the only thing that brings me peace is knowing they are together...with Jesus.  And I will indeed see them again.

Until then I grasp tight onto the meaning they brought to my existence and pray that they are looking down on me with that same love, joy and happiness that they bestowed unto me.

If they are...

Thank you and I love you both so much.

(I'm sharing this as part of Mom's 30-Minute Blog Challenge over at SteadyMom)

Please make sure you tune in tomorrow for a very special interview and giveaway!
Here's a sneak peak...