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Monday, December 5, 2011

What's The Deal With You, Anne?

...deep breath...

This post has been a long time coming.

My life has changed.
My priorities have changed.
This blog has changed.

I post less, and seem to spend less time
on the computer in general.

On a fairly regular basis,
I get e-mails asking me
"When are we going to get to see more of your new cottage? "

I have other bloggers inviting me to show off the new house in
linky parties, which I invariably always decline.

I have famous people asking when it might be possible to
come and photograph our farmhouse, and I've had to reluctantly
put them off for the time being.

Here's the deal...

Life as I knew it changed forever on September 13, 2011,
the day my mother passed away.
It's as if time stopped, and I did too, right along with it.
Frozen. Immobile. Numb.

As most of you know, it took a very, very long time for us to
even get moved in, due to fencing and construction issues,
and it wasn't until the end of June, first part of July that we finally
got even a little bit settled in.

And then August came.
It became apparent that my mother was not well at all, 
so rather than styling the house and welcoming famous visitors,
my whole focus became trying to get her to seek medical attention.

By the end of August, my critically ill mother entered the hospital,
and two weeks later she was gone.
Just like that.

And she pretty much took with her any and all desire I had
to decorate, to primp, to style, and to show off this
beautiful old house I had so wanted to share with all of you.

But that's not even the whole story.
There's more I haven't shared with all of you.

Concurrent to all of this, I was dealing with a medical situation of my own,
and facing a never ending cycle of doctors appointments.

And if you think that's all?
Think again, dear readers.

Two days after my mother died, my father, my active, 75 year old
father fell and broke his hip, and since September 15th, has had
three failed hip surgeries, and is due to face his fourth surgery
this coming Wednesday.

This vibrant, fully employed man has had to live in the rehab wing of
a nursing home the past two months, and will have to live there
THREE more months, until he returns to the hospital for his
FIFTH and hopefully final hip operation.

My mom and dad had been divorced many years when she
passed away, and admittedly, he and I have never been close.
We have even been estranged at times.

But through the mercy of God 
( and perhaps the intercession of my sweet mama ),
he and I have become much closer in recent weeks.

And lest we forget the doggie drama
which recently took place, too.

is what I've been doing instead of decorating,
instead of staging photo shoots of my farmhouse.

Rebuilding relationships.
Trying to regain and stabilize my physical health.
Devoting much more time to my faith and to prayer.
And just trying to make sense of all that is going on,
and recognizing the fleeting, fragility of life in general.

To those who have been disappointed that I haven't
gotten the house photo ready, join the club.
I'm disappointed, too. I can count 30 pictures, mirrors,
and what-not's that still need to be hung on the walls,
not to mention drapes in every room except the bedroom.

But all of this will have to wait.
Because in the bigger picture, the grand scheme?
It really doesn't matter right now.
Family comes first.
Faith comes first.

And I know each and every one of you well enough
to know that you'd probably feel exactly the same way.

I'm not going anywhere, I'll still continue to blog on the same, 
somewhat reduced schedule I've maintained the past few months.
And I hope that when I finally DO get the house photo ready,
you will all still be around to witness the miracle, LOL!

I hope this didn't come across as a "poor, pitiful me" post,
because I surely did not intend for it to!
I recognize the hidden blessings amidst the trials, I promise you that.
Through it all, God has been right there with me.

That's all.
Just a little "state of the union"
to let friends and readers of this blog know where I stand
and what I stand for.

Oh, yeah....
and to tell you that I love you.

photos taken at
chick-a-dee and house wren 
in wimberley, texas
this past summer


Miranda @ Pressing On said...

((ANNE)) You are beautiful. I love this post. This is a season in your life and your priorities are right and good. I will pray your dad is able to recover quickly and that this next surgery will work. I'm sorry for all you're going through, but I love that you're seeing the blessings even as you are going through the fire.

Katie @ Wildwood Creek said...

Life has taken you on a detour; life does that. I've come to some detours in my own life so I totally understand. You've made the right decision, and I'll look forward to your posts when you have the time. You and your family are in my prayers.

A Vintage Vine said...

WOW, that has been a lot of stress for you...So sorry to hear about your parents and their challenges, you are in my prayers!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Anne,
You are so sweet to share your heart with all of us. You do have many trials in your life at this time and I know what you are feeling. Believe me, I do. I have walked in your shoes and it's not easy, so I'll not even try to paint a rosy picture. What does help is being able to communicate how you feel and share your feelings with like minds.
One day you will, and I promise this, heal!

Blessings sweet girl. You are so loved here in Blogland.


paige said...

i love your transparancy and your desire to just be real.
you encourage so many

i've been praying for you all along

Karen said...

Anne, you are experiencing life to the fullest... the difficult times. You are such a devoted daughter. Things will eventually get back on track for you so we'll just wait patiently. Take your time and please do not feel pressured. We miss your frequent posts, but take care of your dad and know that we are in the wings cheering you on.
God is good, Anne.
Ladybug Creek

Claudia said...

Dear Anne, you are spending time on what is truly important. Yes, we love our homes and we love taking photographs of them, but I think most of us would drop any thoughts in that direction in a second if we were needed elsewhere. You are doing the right thing.


And you are in my thoughts, and will continue to be.

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I work in the medical field, also, and witness every day how fleeting life is. How in one minute your life can be forever changed. It is a constant battle to keep our priorities in order, and you seem to have found that balance. Your house will still be there when you have time to enjoy the decorating process once again. Your followers will be, too.

Shabby soul said...

Love who is able to be true, and in search of that.
Life, in certain moments, put us in front of so many difficulties we have to face. This is your time ... But as you can see not all the bad is only bad... You are a so lovely person! I'll pray for you and wait for your time to come back here in blogland.
A big hug from me

Susie~From My Home To Yours said...

Hey Anne....I think you are one wise gal! There are many seasons in our lives, and it's evident this your time to 'take it easy', grieve and concentrate on what is most important in life.

Continue seeking God and his wisdom and comfort. Our Heavenly Father is still, pray, worship and listen.

Blessings for a peaceful and joyous Christmas season.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anne,
I am really proud of you,really proud that you have written this post and that you are strong enough to put yourself first,with faith,with relationships as these are the foundations to whatever you build in life,a lot of people carry on trying to fulfill what is expected of them only for it to all tumble around them,you are a wise girl with a beautiful heart and i will pray for happiness to come your way and also pray for your dear Dad's surgery to be a success.
Love to you xxx

Unknown said...

Well Anne if everyone on would read the blogs and not just look at pictures. They would know that your life has not been the greatest, But I know things will get better. It's not easy I know, I told you that I lost my Mother four years ago and I'm still not healed I miss her like it was today. Take a deep breath and take care of yourself. And try and enjoy the Holidays... my prayers go out to your Father and you..


Vintage Gal said...

Anne ~ Even though we did not know what trials and tribulations you have been going through ~ our Lord and Saviour certainly has. We will all pray that he will continue to lift you up and that the peace that passes all understanding will descend upon your heart. We will wait and pray. You are in our thoughts and our prayers. and...YES we will be here when you are ready

Unknown said...

this was a beautifully written and very touching post anne. yes..i have wondered where you've been but only because i so enjoy your posts and you are such an inspiration to so many. that being have your priorities straight my dear. no worries there! take a deep breath...look heavenward...and march on!! we will be here..whenever you have the time to stop in. blessings..... said...

Oh Anne, It sounds like you have your priorities right where they should be. And I'm not surprised at all. Family and Faith do come first for me too. They are so important. Take all of the time you need but don't forget to do something for YOU too. You are such a sweet person and so real. Everything will be fine, Anne. I hope this next year brings you nothing but wonderful things. You deserve them.Take care:)
~Debra xxx
capers of the vintage vixens

Theresa said...

I love you dear Anne! I can relate to what is taking priority in your life! When I retired 9 years ago, my Daddy took ill and I spent much of the first years of retirement with him! Taking him to the Doctor, handling his business and just being there for him! I am thankful that MY priority was with him because he is no longer with me! He KNEW that he could count on me, that I helped him with a smile and that I loved him to the end! You DO what YOU need to DO and everyone who counts will understand:) Love you bunches and if you need me... YELL! HUGS and PRAYERS!

Zenitude said...

YOu have a lot to deal with, stay strong. Your priorities are just perfect and will get you through these difficult times.

SuzyMcQ said...

Stay strong, Anne. Follow the path that suits you and the day and the situation best. Be true to your heart, true to your soul. Those of us who understand, many who have walked the same path, never ask any more of you than that you are able to give. You give more with a few words than do many who go on and on. It's quality, sincerity, and compassion....not quantity that counts.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry about your lost...I know what you are going through. Its been 7 months but the life is never going to be the same. keep strong. you are in my prayers

Jemsmom said...

You are 100% correct in that you put family and faith first. I am so sorry to hear about your issues and your father's but what a wonderful gift to be able to reconnect with your dad. Your home will be there to decorate and do what needs to be done later. We will always be here and be cheering and praying for you! Take care!

Rene Foust said...

We will all still be here when your trials are over. You are so right faith and family must always come first. God bless you!

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Dear Anne:
There's nothing I could say that hasn't been said by all your friends already. Know that we're not going anywhere, and that we'll pray for your health and healing.
You are loved right back!

Anonymous said...

God bless you and your family, Anne. You clearly know what comes first, and we support you 110%!

Oh - and people are always asking me "When are we going to get to see more of your new cottage?" and the answer is always the same. When I find the time! :)


Sarah said...

Beautifully written, Anne. Your readers are not going anywhere. I wish both you and your dad improved health. Your life is filled with much stress at the moment, but your faith, strength, and beautiful positive spirit will take you through these difficult times.
Love you back ~ Sarah

Tricia said...

You're doing what you should be doing, focusing on your life and relationships. A person never wants to have regrets, especially since life can change in an instant. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs ♥

tracie c. said...

Sending you a big hug and a prayer.
XOX Tracie

Marty Mason said...

So glad you shared what is making your heart ache. Good thoughts and prayers going your way.

Annie Louise said...

Totally understandable, life is a roller coaster, things change--just know we are all there with you whether you are able to blog or not. Concentrate on your family and your faith--very wise. Take care,

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Sweet Anne, I am truly sorry for all you are going through but I completely understand. Since my brothers downward health I too have had to struggle with what is important. I am so glad your faith is strong and you will get through all this. I will be right here each time you post whenever you feel able. Sending you gentle hugs sweet girl.

Julie said...

Right there with you. Lost my mama Thanksgiving Day 2010. It's a hard one to get through. As we have to let go of people and things in life, it is true. Priorities and Purposes become clearer. The thoughts of why we even exist and what we are investing our time into become sharper. We go through different seasons in life as we age, and different stations in life as God sees fit to move us around. It's all about Him. When He is in the center, the very core of every single thing we do, our choices, our work, our all comes into focus. I know. The death of a dear one is a blow to the "norm" of our lives. Take time. It's a good thing. Rest and Ponder. Everything else will still be here when you bounce back. Prayers said for you and for your dear daddy. Sending a bloggy sister HUG your way...because I can relate. xoxo

Debra@CommonGround said...

You are doing the things that are priorities, we all have these seasons of life, yours just sort of hit you all at once. No pressure from any or all of us out here. We love you and appreciate you. Be who you need to be, and on your own timetable.
you know I love ya, Deb

At The Picket Fence said...

Oh, sweet Anne! You have so honestly and vulnerably shared from your heart! I'm so sorry to hear about what is happening with your dad too. You know what? I feel like you are showing others how to have "proper" priorities even when it may not be the most "popular" priorities. There are seasons like this for all of us and if we haven't had them yet, we will. I think you are handling it all with such grace and real-ness and even though you don't owe any of us an explanation for anything, you are folding us into this journey with you so that we can come alongside in prayer and friendship. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of walking this road with you and please know that we all come here not just to see pretty pictures and hear about your home, but rather to do community and life with you. And that includes what you are experiencing right now. You are in our prayers for sure! :-)
Blessings to you friend,

Wendy & Megan Chamberlain said...

Dear Anne
Definitely not a 'poor, pitiful me' post. Take one day at a time and look after yourself. Your house will still be there to do all the creative things you have dreamed of when you are ready.

TheSaltedAvocado said...

Dear Anne,
My heart truly goes out to you. I can't say I know exactly what you're feeling, because only you and God know that, but I can say that I have experienced loss, and it's so very painful.
All I have to offer are these passages that really helped me through some difficult times:
Psalm 34: 17-19
Psalm 46 ; Psalm 77
and my favorite II Corinthians 1:3-11

We have the comfort and joy of knowing that this world is NOT our final home. We have a new and perfect home waiting for us. For now, we are to live for Him and share His goodness. That doesn't mean always having a smile, or having a perfect house, it means living by faith.

"Blessed be the name of Lord...You give and take away, You give and take away, My heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed be Your name."

We'll be here for you.
S. Pick

Karen said...

Deep breath - be with your Dad and your family, pray and know you have a lot of others praying for you. Priorities always change ... it's OK.
And when the spark comes back - Yay. Until then - just be at peace.
Time does have a way of healing invisible wounds.
Love and hugs. Karen

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Bless you Anne!

Rebecca said...

Praying for peace and joy that only comes from the strength of the Lord.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

If it were not for trials we could not help others. As well loved as you are you will be able to help and you opening up your heart you are letting others know how much God is helping and seeing you through the tears and sadness. In the end HE gets all the glory as it should be. Through these trials you will be able to help others and show them how our lord got you through it.

Much prayer coming your way and prayers for your father in his coming surgery.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Dear Anne - you and your dad and husband are in my prayers.

Reenie said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Don't forget to take care of YOU also.

Hugs ~

At The Picket Fence said...

Dear Anne,

Thank you for your transparency, thank you for being so real, thank you for being "you". May the prayers and love expressed here by your many loyal readers and friends help to uplift and encourage you during this season in your life! It's not about a blog or about photographs it's about doing life with people who care about you dearly, thank you for sharing your life with us! Much love and prayers to you during this Holiest of seasons!


Sue said...

You know, things in our life happen for a reason. We don't always "understand" the reason, but we have to trust and believe in. I'm a big believer in the "day at a time" theory. I mean, our world in general isn't the world we use to know, let alone our personal lives. Right now, you just have to listen to your heart and it will lead you where you need to be. Don't beat yourself up, it doesn't do any good. Hopefully you can take life a day at a time to get where you need to be.

Take care, Sue

colleen said...

dear Anne sometimes life just sucks, its true! but you will get to the otherside. so give yourself a break. cause ya know we will ;).so bless you, do what you have to do ,and we will wait for you.

elizabeth said...

You are making the right choices for now. I pray for God to comfort and strengthen you.

Shabby chic Sandy said...

The last thing in the world you need to worry about now is your blog. I am sorry for your loss of your Mom and I wish the best for your Dad's continued improvement with surgery. Take Care of yourself! The house and blogging will come when you're ready. I believe your Mom is watching over you. Take comfort in that. --Sandy

pballard said...

Hi Anne~ I am never great with words but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your realness on the blog. As you know from several last comments both my parents are very ill. Both at once is extremely hard and very emotional for me.. So I can relate in a way to what these last several months have been like.. I have prayed for you in the past for comfort and peace and will continue to do so.. Blessings Anne!

Finding Home said...

So sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time but so glad to hear your perspective on what is important. Best of luck getting everything in order and we will be here when you are ready!

Take care, Laura

Angela said...

You are such a sweetheart! We really can love our cyber-friends, can't we?
I want to agree with the others and say that you have your head on straight, even when the whole world seems to be wobbling. First things first...the other details will wait. So often we find it hard to give ourselves the permission not to perform for others. I'm glad you've seen the importance of doing that. Please take care of your health. I'm praying for you.
With love,

Unknown said...

Annie , You take your time , only you know what is right for you ! Get healthy ! Your blog friends love you and want only what is best for you , and we will be here waiting when you decide you want to share with us . God bless you !

pbrenner said...

I can only mimic the words others have said - your priorities are spot on! Your mother is smiling down on you, she taught you well :-) We will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers - I hope you have a peaceful and blessed Advent and Christmas season!


Beverly said...

Love to you, dear Anne. Life has lessons to teach us, and you are wise to listen and let God help you every step of the way.♥

Joanna said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. Losing a precious parent makes everything different, forever. YOU will be different, for ever. It makes you focus on what is REALLY important, so it's right that your house (your gorgeous waiting to be primped house) has taken a back seat while you deal with what life is throwing at you (in bucket loads, it has to be said).

I do hope your health issues are being addressed and that you feel well. I'm glad you have built bridges with your Dad, before it is too late (says she who is not attempting to build bridges with her own mother).

Take care of yourself (and, I know it's probably obvious, keep your husband totally in the loop with how you are feeling).


rememberwhenfarm said...

Oh Dear Anne, I understand, and have been there. I am 55 years old and both my parents have been gone a long time now......I went through the same wasn't the same.....but, it will get better, but it will take time, a lot of time......this is just one of the many passages of life and it is a hard one for sure. Be strong.....warm hugs to you young lady..........

sweetpea said...

anne, isn't it a bit sad that the blogging world has made us all feel responsible to blog even when life takes priority and we struggle to find the time let alone an interesting thought to share with our readers?

blogging without guilt is my new year's resolution for 2012. decorating and putting yourself through the rigors of a photo shoot should be the last thing on your list right now. you've got your priorities straight so cut yourself some much needed slack. the blog world will still be here when you get things squared away.

much love to you.


Roxanne Mendoza said...

Hi Anne,

I'm a fairly new reader to your blog. Take your time to heal and mend relationships while you can...the blog world will always be here. Take care!

Susan said...

Anne, are thought of and loved by many!
2nd...let's NOT EVEN discuss our "houses"
3rd... BRAVA!! for rebuilding your relationship with your you know, life is short...My entire family is basically estranged from all or some. It SUCKS!

4th and most importantly, I think perhaps, you should consult with your Dr. about some anti-depressants. I am serious, please at least think about it. I KNOW that you would like your life to get back on track, and anti-depressants may very well be what you need right addition to your Faith.

My spirituality is no longer the same as yours, but know matter what our beliefs...we know we all believe this:
love one another
love yourself
and God (whoever that may be) helps those who help themselves.

it is like the old joke or proverb even...
a man is drowning , and a lifeboat comes out with a lifeguard, he tries to get the man into the boat, the man says no thank you God will save me.
this happened again with a 2nd lifeguard and boat. Finally a rescue chopper lowers a man and a basket to rescue the man, again he says "no thank you. God will save me"...the man drowns, and when he arrives in heaven, he asks God, why didn't you save me? God replies; "I send you 2 boats and a helicopter, what else did you want?"

Perhaps, God is sending many of us to be his messenger to you. you may not realize it.

I believe in angels, I believe they come in many forms.

Listen to the messages.

Love n light to you always!

trump said...

Im very sorry about your mom, i lost mine in 2007. And yes i dont blame you for changing the way you blog and go on your computer. The best of holidays to you and your family. Richard

Sonya Badgley said...

Dear Anne,
First of all YOU are grieving, on top of that you are dealing with health issues and now with your Dad too. YOU have a right to be distracted with the "important matters". Don't worry about us or any famous people, we will be here when you are ready! :)
I lost my Mom last year on July 13th and then on Sept. 1st my son-in-law was tragically killed. My life stopped too. And I have health issues on top of it. But I KNOW just what you mean when you say you are taking care of the important things in your life-family and faith. I am praying for you dear girl. I pray that the Lord will carry you through this time. He loves you and so do we! Take care of you and your family.
Big hugs of encouragement and love,

Arabella said...

I love you too.

Hugs, prayers, empathy...

Anonymous said...

Take your time and do what you need to do, each day, one day at a time. Strength for self, before you have strength for others. (((HUGS))) and wishing you love and peacefulness in your heart and home. Take care of yourself please. I will see you when you post. Until then, rest and breathe and take time for yourself. xo Patty/BC

Unknown said...

Echoing what everyone else has already said. It's your blog sweetpea and whether you blog weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly - no matter. When you don't have it to give, you don't have it to give, and that's OK! Your priorities are perfectly in place. We all love ya and will wait patiently. Big hugs!

Lara said...

You have had such a lifechanging, heartwrenching, rough year sweet. And you are doing the right thing right now - take care of you - spend time with your hubby - smell the roses. I don't blame you at all. You do what feels best for YOU without any pressure and you will feel free.. and at peace.
Lots of hugs,

Low Tide High Style said...

I'm sorry to hear all that you've been going through, and I can relate on so very many levels...and it's not a fun club to be in, trust me I know! You will get through this, it will take time, and you are making all the right choices. That way, when it's all said and done, you won't have any regrets, no what if's, only the knowledge that you did what you had to do when you needed to do it the most!


Tricia said...

You do what you need to do and take all the time in the world that you need to heal and love your self and family. As LLH told me last year, "live first, blog second".
Love you back, happy holidays!

Jody.Kippels said...

Take all the time you need...we'll still be here when you get back. I lost my mother too. Hopefully things get better soon.

Anonymous said...

I don't visit you just for pretty pictures of your have given so much more on this blog. Some of your posts that have inspired me the most are your personal ones.

Take care of yourself and your family...big hugs and prayers for you. xo

Kelly said...

Stumbled on your blog today (love it!)...Life sounds difficult right now, but it also sounds like you are recognizing the blessings in all of that. Take your time. You don't owe anything to anybody, but yourself. :)

Mary said...

You just take care of you! Your Mom raised a good girl and I am glad you are finding your father again. Relationships are tricky and as long as you do the right thing, all will be well.

Take care of your health and don't hesitate to ask for help. Often the care-givers end up sicker than the sick. That's my public service announcement ;)

From Virginia

Olive said...

You got it so right. God and family and taking care of Anne is what is essential.

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

I admire you even more now Anne!
Taking care of family is number one, you are too so please take care of yourself!

The opportunities will still be knockin' when the dust settles, so just take it one day at a time.


The MO Farmers Daughter said...

Anne,Its Ok to be human,it will all work out,and is,t it nice to know,that everyone still loves you,and no one cares if you blog every day,we still love you,it will b ok!I don,t blof every day,coz,I have a life too,we all do,just take care of u.merry xmas!your friend,carol

hurdla said...

You are who you need to be right now and for as long as you need to be there I support you. No reason why anyone should not understand and certainly not an excuse, you do not need them! Give your self permission to do this. God Bless and take one day at a time.
Lorretta from NH

andrea@townandprairie said...

All in due time. Take care of your poor dad. It is a horrible thing to be bedridden. It strickens the soul with depression. He must have a horrible time of it right now. Prayers to him, andrea@townandprairie

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

Wow, Anne, I love your honesty and directness. Here I am trying to catch up on blogs after being away from the computer a bit and your words always hit home. I'm struggling to get our house 'just so' for blog pics when life is happening all around me and the house is looking quite lived in.
It is the absolute truth - family and faith first, and all the joy, sorrow and daily rituals that come with them.
Although decorating and magazine shootings are fun and full of inspiration, what's more significant are those friendships and connections that are made in our blogland.
I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your farmhouse some day, but in the meantime - take care of you, take care of your family, and take your time. Merry Christmas season my friend!
- Susan

Sandy said...

You have your priorities in place and we will all be ready and waiting for you to share when the time comes. God's best blessings on your, your health, your fathers surgery, and your budding relationship with him. I hope despite the circumstances that your holiday is indeed merry and bright.


Hi Anne,
It is FAITH,
and then Friends and the rest of life!
You take Care of your Dad and yourself!!!

Unknown said...

I love that you tell us this. Thank you for trusting.
You have your priorities in order~xoxo~SueBee

Heaven's Walk said...

Sweet Anne ~ This is for you, my dear friend...

"Rest with Me a while.  You have journeyed up a steep, rugged path in recent days.  The way ahead is shrouded in uncertainty.  Look neither behind you nor before you.  Instead, focus your attention on Me, your constant Companion.  Trust that I will equip you fully for whatever awaits you on your journey.  I designed time to be a protection for you.  You couldn’t bear to see all your life at once.  Though I am unlimited by time, it is in the present moment that I meet you.  Refresh yourself in My company, breathing deep draughts of My Presence.  The highest level of trust is to enjoy Me moment by moment.  I am with you, watching over you wherever you go."

I am praying for you. I am here for you. I am sending you love and hugs. We will be here waiting when the seas are once again calm for you. ♥ Until then, keep the faith.

xoxo laurie

PS And if you need a shoulder or an ear or anything else, I'm all yours.

Privet and Holly said...

YOUR life ~
your snowflake ~
is just that: yours.
You are my hero
for keeping all
of this together.
To think that when
we met in May all
of this lay ahead.
You've had my prayers,
all along; just wish
i'd known the even
heavier burdens that
you carried, as I'd
have included them,
too. Hope your dad's
next surgery is success-
FULL. I have no doubt
that your mom is very
happy that his trials
have pulled you together.
Love you!

xx Suzanne

Sherry said...

Sometimes things happen in life that make us just stop and think hard about what we are doing and what we should be doing. I have stepped back a little from posting on my blog and just try to do a little reading of others once in a while. Life events have taken much of my energy. Thank you for your beautifully written post. I will pray for you as you walk through this time in your life.

My Grama's Soul said...

Hi Sweet Anne.......I have always know you to have your priorities straight.....I just think that all of this might of been God tapping you on the shoulder.

We'll be here dear do what you need to do.



A New England Life said...

Honestly Anne, I don't know how you can blog at all right now. What you really need to do is take time to yourself and find what brings you peace. Concentrate of the life around you instead of the life online. The house will be ready when it's ready.

I wish you only the best in the coming days.

north pal said...

anne, you are absolutely correct, thankgs have changed and that is just the way it is. we cannot force things back to the way that they used to be. you need to be slow at this. after all, you have just lost your dear friend and mother. you really need take it slow. the way you were was yesterday. you cannot rush. you need to breathe and only one day at a time. let God work thru you and for you. we all care and understand. Bestest,Denise

ohiofarmgirl said...

After just finding your blog I can truly say...I am in the same state as you are. My dear, loving, sweet Mother passed away just 4 months after we found out she was sick. My world has forever changed. It is like taking off the rose colored glasses. I dont care about decorating for Christmas...I don't care about Christmas...but I put on a brave face and pretend I am normal when nothing is normal...I am so lost. I know where you are because I am there too. Dianntha

Kathleen said...

My heart goes out to you. I lost my Mom too and its as if my world was flipped upside down.
Its like you cant find your bearings and are so lost.
Take care of yourself.
The best to you.

Jill Marcott-McCall ~Feathers & Flight~ said...

Hello Anne
There are so many Blogging Friends of Mine that have you Listed in their Blog Role. I can't even tell you why I haven't been here to visit before. But something tonight made me click on the link to your blog tonight. Something brought me here to read your most Heart Felt Post about your Dear Mother and the trials that you are going through.Family First Always. Always. The rest will remain waiting for you.
I Have been reminded myself many times,of Late,
of Mother Teresa Wonderful Way with words.
One of my Favorite Quotes really reflects her Beautiful Spirit
with a touch of her Wonderful Wit!~*I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.*~
You are my Prayers.
Many Blessings to you and your Family.
Jill McCall

Shirley said...

Hi Anne, I am one of the many who are saying prayers for you. I know I keep getting reminded that I need some of that much needed ME time or we can get sick. It is hard to lose a parent and have another one suffering as your father. It makes it rough because of the holidays coming up. I lost my dad on Christmas Day and my mother the week before when she pass away many years ago. It still makes you think.
I do hope your dad's surgery is successful and after 5 surgeries that they have it right. Take care of yourself and have some of that me time, even if it is going shopping and just looking at what the holiday season brings. Everybody will wait for you that are your loyal followers. Take care Hugs and Prayers Your Missouri Friend.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear little Anne, you've shared your heart beautifully! And you are where you need to be! Blogging is wonderful but it's certainly not everything! Your family and you must come first! God bless you and give you the strength and peace you need to deal with all that's going on in your life at this time. I'll be here to see your precious farmhouse photos when you're ready! :)
Shelia ;)

Maura @ Kisiwa Creek Photography said...

Sweet Anne (with an e)...I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here patiently waiting for you when you're ready. There's more to life than just Blogging and right now you have things that are much more important than worrying about how we feel. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I your life...heal...mend bridges. We'll be here when you're ready. All the best to you.
Maura X

Florence said...

I think I have some idea of what you are feeling, I lost my brother in August, he was 56, I feel like I am finally coming back. Always remember your family comes first, and yes we will all be here, when you are ready. Hugs to you! Florence

Anonymous said...

Oh Anne it sounds like you are working on the most important things and I am proud of you for that. Relationships with people will last eternity- decorating with the season-

This has been such an eventful year for you and I pray the coming months will bring a renewed joy and depth of love for the Lord that only times like these bring.

bee blessed

Barbara Jean said...

Oh Sweet girl. So many comments, I almost hate to add to the list you will have to/get to read. But I will.

This journey you are on is not a foreign one to me. My Dad just passed away last week after a long bout with Alzheimer's.
I will not dwell on that except to say: this life is a process, one with sorrows and joys.

I too have stepped back and realized what the important things are, and it is not things, but relationships, and learning to grow through all life's ups and downs. Letting God have His way in us, and to see bits where we can actually count it all joy, realized he has a plan for us, and we can trust Him.

I've rambled. Just know you are on my heart and in my prayers. So glad I stopped by for a visit.

blessings and prayers; comfort and peace.

Nancy said...

Life is what happens while you are busy making making plans, isn't that what John Lennon said? Condolences on the death of your mother. Se will always be as close as a thought, hold her close. May your health continue to improve as well as your dad's. Live each day.

Norell said...

Thank you for your post. Your are 100% correct when you say we all understand. We all love you and are so sorry to hear you are facing your own health problems and also that your Father is having such a hard time with his hip.

You are doing the right thing for your mental health too. It is so much better for you to take(as much as you need)time to reflect and recover before you jump back into daily life as it was before. I made the mistake of returning from my Mom's funeral and jumping back into my many activities immediately. Now, 15 years later, I am suffering the effects of not letting myself grieve when I should have.

Thanks for your brief posts to let us know how you are doing. We will always be here to support you.

Cecile Nichols said...

My heart goes out to you. I lost my mother just over one year ago after a long illness. Granted, we had some of that illness time to visit and reminisce, and I'd bring things in to the nursing home (as she never got to go back home--big sadness over that) and she'd explain who the people were in those old photos, or where she bought that beautiful dish that she loves, and on and on. We enjoyed that immensley, but the end didn't come any easier and I still have a very difficult time dealing with Mom being gone. In a rush to get through her house and prep it for sale, to help support her living in the nursing home in case it went on for a long time, we shoved a lot of it in our house, where it sits, stacked today. There are a lot of neat things there, but there are memories too that are too difficult to open up to at this time. I really do know how you feel. All of this really means that you are not alone and even though I don't know you, except through your blog, you're thought of at this difficult time. I hope too that you have some quality time with your dad!! Hang in there! I wish you the best with your feelings and with your own health and hope you have the support of your family!

Andi's English Attic said...

You're on my favourite blog list, so you just take a breath and blog when you feel the need (sometimes it helps). We'll all be here and holding your hand across computer-land. xx

jr said...

My heart is pained after reading your post, and my soul smiled at your eloquence. I am a sporadic reader of yours as all blogs, but you are in my favorites, for some reason I logged on today to share in your world.....please know that I share in your sadness and say prayers that all of your being will be strengthened to bear all that is being passed to you. What an extraordinary gal you must be!...and a doubly extraordinary daughter on all fronts!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Oh Girl,
Looks like you have a ton of support here.

I know I haven't commented in awhile but this one deserved some words... my heart was just aching for you.
Our houses, our "stuff", our photographs... it's all just kindling anyways - we bloggers would do good to remember that and you have reminded us.
Life is beautiful and very hard. I am so happy that you have our Saviour to hold you up right how. I know it's so difficult not to feel some strange but friendship-like obligation to our readers... sometimes keeping up with the blog seems so trivial.
Your plate is very full - when the kids go down this afternoon I am setting aside some time to pray for you.
This too shall pass and in the meantime stay close to Jesus like you are.
You are loved by so many!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Anne, I will be praying for you. I will be lifting you up and asking for God's grace in the healing of relationships. Hugs for you.

Our Hopeful Home said...

Hello Anne, sorry I've been absent as of late but that doesn't mean that I wasn't thinking about you. You know that I, too, have felt the pain of a family holiday while missing my mom. Decorate? Who needs to decorate? Family and faith. Family and faith. It's funny, but after my mom died I didn't want to finish law school because she wouldn't be there to see me graduate. I didn't want to get married because she wouldn't be there to walk me down the aisle with my dad. I didn't want to have children because I couldn't IMAGINE having a child without my mom there. That first Christmas without her, well, I'll never forget it. My pain was palpable, physical even. A broken heart. But life goes on, despite our sadness and other troubles. I did graduate. I did get married. And I did have children. All very bittersweet moments in my life for sure. But I got there. The road was very tough and very long (for me) but it did finally lead me to a peaceful place. Take all the time you need, girl. I wish you a blessed and holy holiday season and will keep you, your dad and your family in my prayers.

Mandy said...

Anne...if you are putting Faith and Family first, then you are doing exactly as you should...Nothing feeds the soul more than that...feed your soul and never, ever apologize for that...I have accepted the everything, follow peace. It sounds like you are doing exactly that!

vintagegirl said...

Anne, my heart goes out to you and you will be in my prayers once again. I have experienced similar hardships and know how truly difficult it can has a way of making you re-prioritize everything and realize what really is important in this life. Take as much time to focus on your dad and yourself and on healing...everything else can wait:)


Shannon said...


Thank you for sharing your life with us readers. There is a season for everything and it's always important to step back & take time away for more important issues as they arise. I hope all goes well with your father's latest surgery & his recovery.


mollydianeh said...

Take ALL of the TIME you need...
for your FAMILY...
and for YOU! We all
LOVE you with HIS love.

We'll (I'll) still be here; checking in on you from time to time. Our hearts break when your heart has been broken and so tired.
and someday you WILL rejoyce...
once more! Take care sweet friend!
love, Mollydiane

Stan and Jody Gabara said...

What you have been going through is so hard. I lost my mom 3 years ago and my dad in August. Everyday I think of them, some days good and some days bad. But, I know in time it won't hurt so much.
Thinking of you and hoping tommorow will be a good day.
Love, Jody

Lili said...

This must have been such a difficult post for you to write, but sometimes sharing what you have been struggling through brings such a sense of relief. Now we all can send up our prayers, hopes and wishes for you dear Anne. You're never alone and I know that you know that. Sending much love to you and prayers for your healing and comfort both physically and spiritually. xoxo ~Lili

Faded Charm said...

I must have somehow missed this post, Anne. I think everyone understands and I, for one, am feeling very overwhelmed with life right at the moment and I don't have any health issues or deaths to deal with. So, hang in there and we can only do so much:-)

Take care,

Tilda said...

We smile weakly, we say "fine". our tired eyes say otherwise. we put on contented faces, we decorate for the holidays. sometimes we simply don't have the heart for it. our hurts are too great. you have had many hurts.
the courage is to say i can't. the strength is to say no. not now. our many prayers for you and TIME will ease your pain somewhat. this is a stage of life you will eventually come through. not for a while perhaps, but you will. probably changed. but i promise, i promise..a day will come when the smile is genuine, the heart doesn't hurt so much. you will smile about your sweet mama without tears. it comes in YOUR time. the rest, as you already know, barely matters.
in my fondest of thought and prayer for you. Tilda

HRH Sarah said...

Anne, I'm sorry all this has piled on top of you all at once. I'll be praying for you, and checking the blog looking for little rays of sunshine;) And I'll be keeping Mr Twig in my prayers too, that y'all will draw closer and support each other during this tough time.

Anonymous said...

Anne, this might be my favorite post of yours, as your heart is an open book, showing us the healing, the hurting, that God works in mysterious ways to bring relationships together and to bring love that was lost back in your life. I am so sorry you are going through all of this, and I honestly would feel the same way if I lost my sweet mother as well, time would stop, but if I can say this...she knows how much you love decorating, and writing and taking photos and she is watching you from above and would be so proud I would assume if you finished up that sweet house of yours and showed it off...I am sure she would be smiling because her girl was doing what made her happy...she is proud of you don't forget that! Hang in there my dear...God doesn't give you anything you can't handle, if even at time you feel like you don't know why all of this is coming all at once, this too shall subside. Turn to your hubby when things get to be too love love. xo, T

Joanna Jenkins said...

Anne, To say "been there done, done that, and still doing it" doesn't mean to minimize your pain, sadness and difficulty one bit-- But I'm walking in your shoes and know how hard it is to move forward and get inspired.

Please know that we all understand and life comes first. -- all the other stuff can wait. Just please, take care of yourself too and be well.

xo jj

Sisters Treasures said...

Anne, so many before me have expressed my thoughts much more eloquently, so I'll just add, you, my friend and your dear hubby, are in my prayers. You're relying on the best possible supplier of all things, God! Blessings to you!

Cheryl ~ ZanyMayd said...

Dearest Anne, Life certainly has given you too much grief & worry in the past months, my Heart & Prayers always go for you... Sorry to hear about your Dad, but as you said, Your Sweet Mama probably did have a hand in your getting closer ~ Blog as you can, We will be here, Whenever you are able.... just think, the house photos will be even sweeter with time~ Wishing you God's Great Blessings & Healing.

Curtains in My Tree said...

I know how you feel, or THINK I do.

when my mother died at age 74 I thought I would die also. She died 3 weeks after we found out she had bone cancer.I cried the entire 3 weeks at her bedside.She would tell me Janice quit crying I am glad I will be out of this pain and I am going home to see Jesus. I never wanted to do anything again and wanted to get rid of everything in my house because it didn't mean anything to me. All I wanted was my Mom and her things.

This went on over 1 year. It's just such a shock. I also felt like an orphan.

Life is hard sometimesand this is one.

I want you to know I am thinking about you xoxox

Lois Arnold said...

I felt the very same way when my mom died rather suddenly during a bout with cancer. Life just sort of stopped for a while. When you are ready you will "do" again, but in the meantime, do what you need to get healthy yourself, cope with the loss -- the hard times are what make us stronger, but it doesn't feel like it at the time! Blessings to you!

HeARTworks said...

Of course family come first. Will pray for your dad and your medical condition. God bless you. Patsy from

Teresa@magazineyourhome said...

Anne, I have just recently found your wonderful blog but just by reading this post I can tell you have a beautiful heart. I'm so sorry you are going through so many trials in your life right now. You are doing what you need to do, staying close to God and family. My prayers are with you.

MJ said...

Anne I have always admired your blog and your design style. But I admire your courage to know that family and life take priority over all of blogland. I have learned this from "Elizabeth" and I love her for that.
My father just left rehab wing of hospital...he is battling brain, lung and kidney cancer. I know that he doesnt have much time. I dont' feel like doing much, but I know that he would want me to have my store open next Spring (his bday is then, so it will be either my gift or my tribute)
Take your time to get yourself back to good health and good spirits. Also to spend time with your father and make him well too.
Your fabulous farmhouse will be there for us all to admire at a later time..YOU are what matters right now.

Blessings to you and yours at this time!

Lucky 7 Design

stefanie said...

I am so sorry for all you have been going thru...but it has to give you a warm spot...118 comments of well wishes and love!!! take care

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh Anne, you are doing exactly what you should be doing in your it. You can't sweat the small stuff when you are surrounded by the big stuff. I will keep you in my prayers for strength, healing, and peace...XO

Into Vintage said...

Thanks for sharing all of this. Wishing you much love and peace. We'll be waiting for you, right here. ;-)

Leah'sMoments said...

I loved meeting you and seeing you for the first time in the ART of BLOGGING magazine. Thank you for sharing and inspiring I will visit you again. I started a blog at at the end of October. I have so much to learn. God Bless. Leah

Anonymous said...

Anne, oh no, you are not being selfish at all. Or whiny. Life is what happens....
and dealing with it comes first. We all understand. And you've had a lot to deal with.
I hope your holiday season is calm and peaceful and restorative.
Blessings to you,

Sue said...

Hugs and prayers to you, sweet Anne. We will be here for you whenever you are ready. Been through lots of the same at one time in my life - get yourself healthy and know that we care.


Kim said...

Anne, so sorry to hear about all of this. It seems like when it rains it pours, and you are having a hurricane. I've learned one thing about blogging, we are a strong group and always here for each other, even after long breaks. Take the time you need to heal your body, mind and soul, and everything will still be here when you feel up to it.

jeanne@juNxtaposition said...

thinking of you

Binky said...

Love ya girl!!!

Beth A. @ Songbird Hill said...

Anne, I certainly understand. I haven't blogged for over a year now. So many things goin on in my life too. You have to just take care of the important stuff. Family first most definitely. And you! I hope you get well very soon and that everything works out for the best. Remember God never lets us go through anything that He will not give us grace to handle. May he pour many blessings upon you and your family.

judi said...

i empathize with you during this season of life. i too have had a change in "my normal" over the past year. it is still evolving and i want to encourage you to take as much time as you need. it is a time of grieving (in more ways than one) and change. i wish you well my friend, keep the faith and take care.

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

Life can come at us pretty hard sometimes and I feel for you and your family and what you've gone through with your mother and also what lies ahead. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your father and your family.

Eileen said...

Anne, You are so right about what is really important right now in your life. My heart goes out to you on the loss of your mom. I miss my mom everyday for a very long time now. I hope your Dad has success with this up coming operation. Everything will wait for you. Your pictures, your mirrors and your readers, will all be here.
God bless you and your family.
Eileen @ CBH

nonnie said...

Oh, Anne, I so understand. You have so much on your plate right now, and you are certainly putting the right things first!
My mother passed away last Friday. I haven't blogged since October. My creative juice just wasn't working either. I really truly know how you feel.
I do hope and pray that life with somehow come around to some kind of normal for you. I will pray for you!
Thanks for letting the blogging world in on your hardships so we can pray for you.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matt. 18:20

A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Hi Anne,

I love this post...I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I really appreciate your beautiful honesty and how brave you are to open your heart to your readers. Thank you for "being you." :) Hugs & Happy Holidays!


the old white house said...

oh Anne, you are such a beautiful soul and your perspective is perfect. just perfect.
I hope that you and your dad are both on the mend and that along with your physical mending that your heart is growing stronger every day.
I will be here, ready when you are. No rush, take care of you and yours... and consider yourself hugged all the way from Michigan.
t. xoxoxooxox

KATIES MOM said...

Here I just found you, so I decided to get to know you. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My mother, 73 yrs. old just lost her mom, 98 yrs. old 3 weeks ago. My mother is suffering so much right now, she even said life will never be the same. I wasn't close to my grandmother she lives in Louisiana and I never saw her very much. So we didn't have the same bond as I did with my Northern Gram. My 14 yr. old daughter lives here at home, but has been on life support for 1 yr now. You will be in our prayers. Take care of you, and may your journey of healing keep on and the new bond with your father help sooth your soul. Faith and love truly do go a long way. God Bless.

Olwyn Hughes said...

You are so right about having to sometimes put things aside to focus on family first. I experienced something similar when my father passed away suddenly in 2010. Life just seemed to stop. My thoughts go out to you at this difficult time.

Jensamom23 said...

Prayers and Blessings, Anne.

My Sparrows Nest said...

Thank you for being vulnerable enough to be honest and share your pain. I'm so sorry for all you have been going through. That's a lot! I hope your Christmas is very special and meaningful and full of sweet memories of your mom! Blessings!

SLR said...

you don't need me tell you what has already been said here, which of course is sage advice...
hope today and the holidays bring you some joy!
just a thought too: sometimes having a distraction like decorating and taking photos is good to get your mind off of any sadness and worry you might be feeling...i know sometimes those distractions help me from time to time.
Merry Christmas to you!

Unknown said...

My dear sweet friend. I am so sorry I did not know about your Mom. I know first hand how this can be, 20 years ago my dad (who was only 55yo) complained about a backache, went to the dr. and came back with a terminal cancer dx. He lived for two weeks...we were in shock. I am so sorry you and your loved ones have had to deal with the loss of your mom, dad's surgery and your health issues. Know that RIGHT now, I lifted you up in prayer. Be blessed my sweet friend and know ABOVE all else, you are loved!!!!

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