Monday, October 25, 2010


I only started blogging six months ago,
and already it has enriched my life in many ways.

I have learned so much from reading their blogs
about various cultures and lifestyles.
It has made me pay closer
attention to the riches in my own life,
and the beauty that surrounds me.
I can't believe I took it all for granted!

My blog also brought me a comment
from a magazine editor who found my summer
vacation pictures taken in my OWN state
of Michigan...
the state I usually take for granted.

She encouraged me to enter the magazine's
"My Michigan Moment" contest,
so I did!

I told my dear blog readers about it and many of you voted
for my entry all summer!

Here's the shocker...
Out of 320 entries...

I WON!!!

I am still absolutely stunned, humbled,
honored, and mostly TOUCHED
that my little blog that only my mother and cousin
followed when I started in April,
has blossomed into such an amazing adventure for me.

My blog fulfills my favorite passions,
writing and photography..
Oh, and laughing, too!
And,  uhh..we can't forget, it's my therapy.

When the contest winner was announced,
I could not believe my eyes.
I told Hub to check for me..."Do you REALLY see my name?
Maybe I'm dreaming."
He saw my name, but maybe HE was dreaming, too,
so we called me my mom, but she might have been dreaming.

I wondered if the Prize Patrol would show up on my
doorstep to deliver the check.
Heck, I never win contests!

Sure enough, I was wearing my bathrobe when the
doorbell rang.
It was the Fed-ex guy (Yep, Prize Patrol!)
 delivering this: 

I guess this means I DID win!
I haven't cashed the check yet because I'm
stuck in a daze staring at it.

Anyway, I could NOT have won this without
my precious voters who got me into the
top five....


My biggest prize is my new friends who
come into this little blog and share time with me.

LOVE and thanks to all of you
for brightening and enhancing my life!

Here is my winning contest entry:
(You'll remember some of these from my vacation blog post.)

BeHOLDING Michigan Sunsets

by Jill Wellington

Capturing the Sun


My sister Sally and niece Megan beholding the molten sun over Traverse Bay.

Holding the Sun in One Hand


We loved gathering on the beach each evening hoping to hold the sun as it set on Michigan's west coast.

Can I Keep this in my Pocket?


My niece Joanna grasping the sun as it set in a colorful sky over Traverse City.

Mighty Man

It took my hulking, 6'4" brother Bob to hoist the majestic sun over his head like that!

The Sun in my Cap

Niece Megan wanted to scoop the setting sun into her hat.

I'm a Star!

I love this picture of Megan where it looks like she's balancing an enchanting star on her fingertips!

From Photo to Wall Art

I played around with photo-editing and transformed the photo into this poster to give to Megan on her birthday. (Don't tell's a secret!)

Beholding the Rising Sun

I arose at 6am to capture the sun rising from our hotel balcony in St. Ignace.

Your Michigan Moments story:

No matter where you live on this magnificent planet, you can walk out your front door and watch the setting sun. The amazing thought is, it’s the same sun everywhere in the world!

Yet, I know a place where sunsets are special.

In June, my family and I vacationed on Michigan’s west coast. We chomped lots of cherries in Traverse City, ambled up the astonishing Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and poked for Petoskey stones along Lake Michigan. It was one of my favorite vacations, EVER!

We packed the days with fun and delight, but our favorite time was evening. That’s when we brought blankets down to the beach or walked the piers to view some of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen.

We were so touched, we wanted to reach out and behold the fiery sun in our hands…so we did…if only for a moment…

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Last Week as a Mom!

After 21 years of mothering...I have only TWO days left!
Hubby and I take our youngest child to college on Sunday
which happens to be our eldest's 21st birthday.

I know...I know...mothering is forever.
I'm talking about the every day kind that all parents understand.

I remember way back when we had a newborn and a two-year-old.

I wondered if we would ever sleep again.

Everyday tasks seemed monumental.

One morning, I hired the three-year-old to babysit the one-year old while I took a QUICK shower.
This is what I found when I returned ten minutes later:

"Mom, he was hungry," the babysitter reported.
Nothing like grazing off the family room floor,
dust bunnies and all.
Of course, I ran to get my camera.
Isn't this cute?? I thought.

Yet, I think I spent the next twenty years crouched on the floor cleaning up after them.

Piled with responsibility...

Hubby and I wondered how we'd ever get them big,
then watched in wonder as it happened right before our eyes.
(Hey, this may be the first "piling" pic! Maybe we TAUGHT them how to pile!)

The parenting and chaos continued right through this LAST week.
I was still washing and folding mountains of laundry and picking grass out of my washer...
I continued to trip over shoes by the garage door, etc...etc...etc...

I also lovingly cooked up Mark's favorite meals.
Here he is eating his beloved flank steak and smashed potatoes.

Lindsay came home from college to celebrate her birthday.

Of course, the kids were hanging on each other...

Beating on each other...

And, yes, they're STILL piling on each other!

I loved making Lindsay her favorite dinner...Chicken Pinwheels.

When I was walking the trail behind our house this morning, a green John Deere cart zoomed up beside me.

It was Sonny on his last day of his summer job working park maintenance for our township.

I was so proud watching him weed whack around the flower beds.

So THAT'S where all that grass in my washer is coming from!

Hubby and I can't believe the FUN and FRENZY of parenthood is almost over.


It continues right up to the last moments as I check off things we need to get for college.

I know we'll shed a few tears when we say goodbye to both kids this Sunday...

*Sniffle, was all SO FUN!*

Then we'll come home and sleep forever!

We deserve it...