Morgan and Logan’s 4 Year Anniversary

We had our 32nd anniversary yesterday and my daughter just had her fourth today. Well, it only took me four years to add more pictures to my website that I promised readers waaayyy back when. Better late than never!🤷🏻‍♀️

To see the original wedding video and read more about the details of the wedding day and venue in Georgia, go to our previous post here:

https://thentherestwo.com/2016/07/03/fall-farm-wedding-georgia/

*All photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com

To contact Haley: https://www.haleydawnphotography.com

Thanks for visiting!

I’m a New Grandma!

Hey guys, I’m a new grandma! (Yep, I’m getting THAT old!😁) This is my first grandchild ever!

We quickly packed our bags and took a trip down to Georgia because the baby was coming sooner than expected. She wasn’t expected till around the 21st so we were pretty surprised. But after a visit to the doctor, and some blood pressure concerns, they decided to admit my daughter-in-law that night. She was induced the next day. We were concerned at first but everything ended up going fairly well…

Well, it was hard on mommy and she pretty much delivered naturally. Poor thing. She’s awesome!

So, the baby was born July 10th and four days later they all came home. At first the baby was a little jaundice, so they had to check all her numbers each day. And she slept under a little UV blanket a few times.

Now they’re just trying to get the baby to sleep which is so difficult!😴 My son didn’t sleep but six hours till he was 10 months old.

He never took a pacifier, nor a bottle, and he cried a lot! It’s a miracle I chose to even have a second child after that.

Dead. 💀

Dead, I tell ya. I was a walking zombie for 10 months! 🧟‍♀️

So please indulge me while I share cute photos of my new, grandbaby, girl

Chloe Summer. 🌞🤗

New aunt right there! You’d think it was HER baby she was so excited!

Just doing a little tanning ha.

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Easter is My Favorite Holiday

If anyone knows me well, they know I love Easter!

No I mean I really LOVE Easter!💗

I was thinking about this the other day as we had a few sunny days and all this spring decor had me thinking about Easter and why I liked it so much. 🐥🐇


Well for one,  I grew up in southern California where it was always WARM and SUNNY, 😎 so Easter had us buying new, spring clothes with all the beautiful colors.

My mom sewed almost all my clothes and Easter was extra special as we browsed through huge pattern books and admired all the pretty pastel fabrics.

Then, what followed was looking for the accessories: white shoes, purse and little white gloves, with lace.

I loved my little, white gloves so much that I wouldn’t take them off when eating chocolate in Sunday school. 😂

And occasionally I had a “bonnet” or kerchief.

We had so much fun coloring Easter eggs.

And then there were the HUGE, SEE’S Chocolate Easter eggs beautifully decorated with pastel flowers. They were almost the size of an ostrich egg and usually filled with a rich creamy filling. That  big ol’ egg would be rationed to last me 2 weeks HA.

Oh, I just loved waking up to big, stuffed Easter baskets, putting on my Easter best, going to church with the family, singing all the special music, smelling the flowers in the air, then enjoying a big Easter spread.

Just lots of really warm memories.


Now, compare that to my first Easter in Indiana.

I was so bummed when I realized my pretty, new sun dress was going to be covered by a winter coat, and it was way too cold ❄️ to even want to take it off for any pictures.😒

Year after year.

Why did we even bother getting new clothes for Easter?🤷🏻‍♀️

Yep, Easter in the midwest has pretty much always been cold, rainy or overcast. Sometimes it even snows! Just makes you feel all cheery inside when looking forward to spring. (Insert sarcasm) 😒

Then, I grew up and my own kids came along.

SAME STORY.

I’d try to dress them in cute, little outfits but worried their little legs would freeze off, so I added tights, a sweater,

a parka. 😞

And we still tried to provide an Easter egg hunt…most were INDOORS.

But I mean, who wants to hunt Easter eggs INDOORS? 👎🏼

And guess who else likes little, white gloves?👇🏻

He just had to have a suit.

So, my thoughts going way back to sunny California have always brought fond memories. ☀️

As I reflect, I can say one constant has remained.

That Easter really has NOTHING to do with any of this.

Not weather, not new clothes, or a big yummy meal, not even another “holiday”…

That it’s all really only been about Jesus.

Easter always caused me to reflect on what Christ has done for me, personally.

Rereading the resurrection story and the hours Christ submitted to his father’s will just grips my heart every time. I try to slow down taking in each detail of what really took place.

The torture, the betrayal, the extreme love and sacrifice for all mankind.

Every year of my life, even as a kid, I tried to imagine the scene, and it always moved me to tears.

No matter how I try to contain myself, the tears always flow.

Because I know no one could ever love me that much, nor willingly sacrifice their life for me.

And so it’s not the new clothes, the candy, the sunshine…not even being with family.

It’s about pure love. Unimaginable tenderness for ALL mankind.

You never have to earn this love nor question his love for you.

Bottom line…

He came as a baby

to die as a young man.

For you and for me. ❤️

He created us and He wants to see us again with Him someday.


Hope you have a very blessed Easter!

What are your traditions on Easter Sunday? Please tell me in the comments.

Twenty Creative Ways to Leave Love Notes

Twenty creative ways to leave love notes for people.

When my husband and I started dating, we enjoyed leaving love notes for each other in creative and clever ways. ❤️ Later on, I tried to do the same with my two kids. And, I sure got a kick out of seeing them doing the same for us, each other, and now with their spouses.

But, you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to surprise someone with a love note. We have left notes for all sorts of reasons…a job promotion, a Geography Bee winning, a note of encouragement or note noticing your kid helped another person…the skies the limit!

Here, I snuck out after the snow stopped to leave love notes for my hubby to find before he left for work the following day. 🙂 ⛄️

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OK, so here’s the list of things we actually did throughout the years, or ideas I came up with.

(More pictures at the end of the post. 🤗)

THE KEY IS… USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!



❤️Twenty Creative Ways to Leave Love Notes❤️

• Hide notes in lunch boxes, books, backpacks or under and behind items for someone to find when they clean the house.

• Sneak out at night and write a sweet message on their car with shoe polish paint.

• Leave a note under their favorite coffee cup or hygiene item they use every morning.

• Use dry erase marker to write a love note, positive thought or verse on their bathroom mirror.

• Print out a sign and tape it to a wall where they’ll see it when they open their door or behind a door they will close. (i.e. bathroom door)

• Find your kids’ homework agenda and leave a congratulatory, encouraging, or fun message on a particular day. (i.e. a tryout days, their first week of school, a birthday, a milestone.) 🗒

• Kiss the back of a card’s envelope with lipstick on and print S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss) 💋

• Leave a note on the rear view mirror or in their car seat.

• Write a note on the toilet paper using a Sharpie. 😉HA

• Slide a creatively designed note under their door at night, so they see it first thing in the morning.

• Use dry erase marker or permanent Sharpie to write on a coffee mug or favorite glass.

• Make a unique plate to be used for special occasions ONLY. (i.e. “You’re So Smart”, “You Did IT!” “Congratulations!” “We’re Proud of You!”) 👍🏼

• Tuck a note in a pant pocket, coat pocket or glove.

• Leave a note inside their glasses case. 👓

• Leave a note on top of a stack of  clothes you’ve folded.

• Leave a card or note under the car windshield wipers while they’re at work.

• Leave a note taped to their computer, the remote or TV. 📺

• Tape a note to their favorite food item that they use every day. (i.e. creamer, cereal or coffee can.)

• Place a note under their pillow or pinned to a favorite blanket. 🛌

• Tape a note to their car keys.

• Leave a note in their suitcase as they leave for camp or a business trip.

• Lastly, of course, you can always just send an e-mail or text. 😉 💌

JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT❣️

Tell us in the comments below what you have done before. 👇🏽


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Don’t Be Demanding During the Holidays

As the holidays roll around, I often talk with people and hear about how stressed they are trying to please their family members at this time. It makes me reflect on family dynamics and why people act the way they do, or get so bent out of shape at this time of year. I just heard a lady (while at the hair salon) speaking about how she works SO hard, is super busy, then has to cook a huge meal while off work…yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT this year she was choosing to stay home, just her and hubby, and she thought it sounded glorious. Why is the holiday season SO stressful for us…women, especially?

I believe it’s because some family members have preconceived expectations about how things should go. I hear friends say that their family members don’t understand their hectic life or work schedule, that they always are the one to cook and never get help, they mention they don’t get much time with one side of the family over another, or they ate 3 huge meals in one day just to please everyone. Geeze!

Why can’t people talk with each other and just be honest explaining their reality like grown ups should be able to?

As I grow older, I reflect on these situations and have created a series of posters entitled, “The older I get…” All are observations I’ve had while talking to people or while encountering certain social situations.

So, my own kids are now married. And I refuse to be that parent that pressures them (silent or not) into feeling they have to meet my needs or be somewhere that causes them undue stress. I don’t want to apply that kind of pressure to anyone! I haven’t liked it myself, in the past, and I don’t want it for them. No holiday, or get together is worth that feeling of guilt, or the added stress of trying to please everyone. You can end up resenting family holidays. I mean, even if it doesn’t seem fair at times, I refuse to put that pressure on my family because I’ve seen what that kind of hurt can do to relationships. It causes problems or misunderstanding for years! And I don’t want that! I want my family to visit me because they love me and want to be around me. I don’t want anyone feeling stressed over trying to make an engagement because they fear my disapproval. That’s not love, nor dying to one’s rights, nor is it even enjoyable when they do show up because it’s begrudgingly. Am I right?

I have seen so many family splits over such stupid nonsense.

I know of occasions when my own mother felt she didn’t have an adequate home (not completed due to constant remodeling nor enough beds for everyone), and she would ask if I could house family coming in from out of state. That really never bothered me because I liked hosting them and just being together all in one place was fun to me, and it brought joy to my parents. However, I always felt bad mom worried about many a holiday season. She wanted things to be just perfect, nice and cozy, creating good memories for grandkids she wasn’t able to visit with all that often, and I understood that. But, to be able to just do what you can, and be okay with that, and everyone giving grace to each other and just being thankful to be together…that would be more enjoyable. That’s what truly mattered, still does.

So, you can’t make it one year, or you’re cramped and everyone sleeps on the floor, or you’re not a good cook, so you get takeout, or you can only buy a few gifts…no biggie. It’s really not important and it’s sad people don’t realize that sooner. We really need to let go of OUR wants, OUR expectations, OUR needs, and try to put ourselves in the OTHER person’s shoes.

Not everyone has the same upbringing, not everyone celebrated Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas the way you did. Not everyone understands your traditions, norms, or your family’s customs. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. We all are unique. We were all raised differently. And that’s okay, too! There is no perfect way to do things. Why do we think everyone should be like us, do like us, sound like us, think like us, celebrate like us or just conform to our ways? The way “we’ve always done it!!”

Life is a mix. A mix of people…ideas, wants, and needs. We all need to just chill and learn to enjoy one another because time is shorter than we even realize, even at this moment.

I’ve seen many a family go through extreme crisis, and I bet they would tell you that just being with their special loved one, doing nothing extraordinary, or having any great plans would be just fine. Letting go of any differences. In fact, I would bet they would be happy to just let go of everything and just be.

Be present.

Because, being there in the moment with their loved one, would be gift enough. ❤️

Saddened by the Disrespect Shown to Another Young Soldier (Repost 5/26/17)

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After recently visiting my Uncle’s grave, I was upset to hear, once again, about another young man who lost his precious life.

Another son had died.

In a foreign, far away place.

He fell as a soldier wearing the United States uniform, and now, his parents were bringing him home.

And the reactions of the plane’s passengers made me sick.

VERY SICK and VERY ANGRY!

The article describing the incident here.  

I wanted to cry. I felt horrified to think other human beings could be so calloused. Americans, at that!

I couldn’t even fathom this lack of respect, nor comprehend such a show of self-centeredness or whatever they thought they were trying to achieve.

What causes a person/people to treat a grieving family with such disdain?

What has happened to our America?

I tried to place myself in that family’s shoes; that frozen moment in time they will NEVER forget…

My heart was heavy for them.

But how can my heart be SO different from those that were on that plane?


My family is also familiar with this pain. They could tell you of profound grief.

We, too, lost a young soldier in Vietnam many years ago.

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He was escorted home, finally.

It just happened to be decades after being listed as Missing in Action. (MIA)


It was the 60s and the Vietnam War was raging. My Uncle Terry had volunteered just as his two older brothers had.

Marine family of uncles, dad, and brother

He was part of a helicopter crew, rescuing the wounded when his helicopter was shot down.

Some of the men were thrown from the fiery crash, but Terry was never found.

We always wondered what the full story was.

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Then, in 1993, some Vietnamese farmers came forth with items from a crash. And the story began to unfold.

Forensics were then confirmed in Honolulu, and my brother–then a young Marine himself– escorted Terry’s remains home.

Terry could’ve been buried at Arlington. However,  the family thought it best to teach a community (and the younger generations) a valuable lesson.

A lesson we feared was being lost, not really taught in schools much anymore.

Not just one lesson, but many:

That war was cruel.

Kids were still dying to this day.

That we should be there to support families, help where needed, and invite a military family over for the holidays.

(You know, just be a good human.)

That this could have been anyone’s son or daughter.

And there were other countries losing their people, DAILY, due to lack of freedom with many picking up rifles to enter war as children.

Most importantly,

that freedom had a price. Always has, always will.

A HUGE price.


So, on that hot and humid July 4th, Terry’s high school gym was packed out.

He was remembered for his talented football skills, and his kind, gentle ways.

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His ultimate sacrifice recognized.

Our family, once again, was left with distant memories.  Terry’s parents (my grandparents) had wounds reopened all over again.

Terry4

People lined the streets, kids waved flags, and many a biker rode in from the surrounding states to finally return their MIA bracelets.

It was a memorable sight to see them piled high, on the floor, near my grandparents’ feet. It had to be so hard for them.

The news crews were there to capture it all.

The flag-draped coffin.

The thunderous flyover that moved you to your core.

The caisson; a solemn reminder as it passed through town to the beat of a sole drum.

COMPLETE RESPECT was shown that day.

Tragically, for this other family on the plane…

that didn’t happen.

There wasn’t much, if any, shown.


My Uncle Terry didn’t get to finish college.

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And I sometimes wonder what his life might have looked like.

What would’ve been his hobby to tinker with?

Who would he have married? How many kids would he have?

He wasn’t able to marry, have kids or enjoy a weekend with family.

(Just to have another day to show his own thankfulness.)

No, he CHOSE to leave a comfortable life to help in a far away land.

He wanted to show his loyalty.

He wanted to make sure we were ALL afforded continued freedom.

Simply put…HIS MOTIVES were PURE.

USMC, Marine soldier's gravestone


If I had been on that plane, I can tell you…

I could NOT have sat there silently!

I KNOW, that I would’ve stood to speak for that family.

I KNOW, I would’ve cried with that family.

I KNOW, I would’ve tried to apologize to that family.

AND, I would’ve thanked them and made it clear that this is not the totality of America that my Uncle, nor their son, gave their lives for!!


Find a military family to reach out to.

Reach out to a grieving widow, a cop, a neighbor…the lonely and under appreciated in your community.

Compliment your local worker.

Invite someone over for the holidays.

Say a prayer for others.

Just show some kindness, some thankfulness.

Bridge the gap(s).

Teach your kids.

Show some honor and respect.

I know my Uncle Terry would have,

if he could.


* For Terry’s documented military story two accounts are listed below:

http://www.vhpa.org/KIA/incident/68081999KIA.HTM

❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸

http://www.hmm-262combatvets.org/hoffmann_memorial.htm


Link to:The United States Marine Corps

Written in honor of Terry who would have turned 72 Feb. 4th.💗

Show some thankfulness this Thanksgivingposter.

Zion National Park, Utah

We just got back from our 30th, anniversary trip out west.

I was determined to help my husband check off some of his bucket list,✔️ all while revisiting childhood memories.

I was born and raised in California till age 11, and dad would always pack us up in the Jeep, camping as we headed east. I say “camped”, but we really roughed it.

We never stayed in a campground. ⛺️

So, I had remembered Zion as being one of my favorite, places ever.

And once again, she did not disappoint!😍

I’ve been experiencing severe back, leg and shoulder pain for almost two years now, and we almost canceled our trip.

But after some recent deaths in the family, that were SO sudden, we talked of how there is no guarantee in life, and every day is precious…and you have to grab every moment when you can.

Make the memories where you can. ❤️

I re-thought it, and just decided to try and medicate myself and try some of the “easier” trails.

This is a picture from one of them.

Just like a postcard, I tell ya.

Absolutely beautiful!!!

I wouldn’t say the trails were so “easy” and boy did I pay for it once I tried to sleep, but I’m still glad we now have these memories together.

PS I will try to post more pictures of our trip when I finally get back on eastern time 😴 and my body has some time to recuperate.😜

Happy Birthday

Wishing my son-in-law, of almost two years, a very happy birthday. 🎈🎈

As you can see from this photo, he is an extreme Falcons fanatic. (Yes, this is their wedding engagement photo.) 🏈

The man knows EVERYTHING there is about this team! The Atlanta Falcons SO need to hire him, for real!! He has been so loyal to them no matter what the season! (Even writing Facebook posts to encourage fickle fans.)😉

Now I know more about the Falcons than I ever have in my life. HA

*Photo by: Haley Dawn Photography