Peace is a journey...

Today marks four years when Doug entered heaven. How can that be? Time moves so fast. 

I was recounting the journey to a friend today (thank you Jan.) n the last week of Doug’s life we prayed for peace and calm. I was not at peace...not one bit! I dare say I was probably a bit angry! Seeing the suffering that took place was unbearable! 

I get so emotional when I hear songs that talk about approaching the throne of God like “And Can it Be” because my mind tries to imagine what that experience was like for Doug. Music is so powerful.

Four years is a long time but it also seems like yesterday.

I wish every day that Doug didn’t have to leave this temporary home so soon. He is missed by everyone who loved him. He was a very special man!

Peace is a journey and I take one day at a time. Some days are just hard and some are filled with wonderful memories that make me smile. 

Thank you for being on this journey with me, reading my ramblings and for the encouraging words that you have shared with me. It means more than you know. 

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Happy Birthday to me!

I celebrated a BIG birthday last week. Bernie and I spent it in Biloxi and NOLA. Here is our trip through my lens.

Biloxi, MS | Back Bay of Biloxi 


New Orleans, LA | Sites around NOLA


Food around NOLA. The Famous Cafe Du Monde and a really cool restaurant called Meauxbar in Vieux Carré. I had scallops with a squash gratin. Yum! Is was a great birthday dinner! 


Art | Cafe Du Monde and Armstrong Park

Christmas Mug Sister Exchange

My friend Lily, picked 20 women that she cares about and intentionally prayed for each week. A sisterhood, if you will. 

She thought - who doesn’t love to receive packages at their door for Christmas. So she prayed for each of us and paired us up. We would receive a coffee mug from someone and also send a little love and encouragement. A simple connection between sisters. 

So this morning while enjoying my cup of coffee, I prayed for Lily who arranged this simple gift exchange. A person who loves Jesus and who prays for her friends. I prayed for Jenny Alarcón, my sister who I was paired up with and pray for. I also prayed for Alexa Ponceano who sent me this beautiful mug. 

We don’t really know each other but we belong to the family of God so that makes us sisters. 

“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart.

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:3‭ MSG‬‬

#christmasmugsisterexchange2017

 

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Another year...another anniversary

Here we are. Another year has passed. Let’s be honest, this year has flown by! Year after year time moves at warp speed.

January 19 was the day my brother was born.  I wish that I was throwing a big party for him. Making him his favorite foods. Celebrating him!

The last birthday we celebrated was four years ago. He went off chemo that month because it wasn’t doing it’s job. It’s one job was to shrink the tumor instead it was sucking the life out of Doug. 

Doug relied on his faith and in the journey that God had for him. I think we knew what that journey may look like we but prayed fervently that a miracle would take place. 

So here I am, four years later still trying to understand why. Why Doug? Why our family? I guess I won’t know this side of heaven. 

Today will always be your day! You would be 47 years old today. I will always celebrate you and what you meant to me. Today you celebrate in heaven and I can’t even imagine!

I will love you always! Happy birthday kid! 

Friendship

The last 12 years I have developed a friendship with Carla and Sunshine that is binding for a lifetime. It’s more than friendship really, we are sisters. Even though many miles separate Sunshine and I from Carla, when we get together it’s like we haven’t been apart.

This kind of friendship is special. It takes time. Our schedules are busy and we all have different jobs and family dynamics but we communicate, build each other up and hold each other accountable!

I am so very grateful that these two ladies (and their families) are in my life. 

Here’s to 2018 and all the new adventures!

 

 photo credit: Coda Meeks

photo credit: Coda Meeks

Dake Family Photos 2017

It's hard when you are the photographer. You take everyone's photos and you find you don't have any professional photos of you and your family.

A few months ago I thought I would schedule new family photos. It's been about 5 years ago and it was time. Thank you to Hannah for capturing our family! You are amazing. I couldn't be happier!

Photo Credit: www.maryhannahharte.com

Christmas 2017

Thankful that God sent his son to be born as our Savior! Grateful that we were able to spend this Christmas with family and that my parents live close enough to us that we are able to do that.  

I am reminded of those special people who are no longer with us.

I miss my brother so much. He was such a huge personality and he leaves a massive void in our lives. He now celebrates with the Father in heaven. This photo was the last Christmas we spent together four years ago.

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This Christmas I also missed my sister-in-law, Melissa. We don’t get to see each other very much but she is still part of our family and I love her very much. #sistersforlife 

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And then there’s grandma! She was a strong woman who loved the Lord. She also is in heaven. Two years ago we went to Ohio for Christmas to be with Bernie’s family and to spend time with grandma. (It was Bernie’s idea!) I am so glad we did that because she died the following March. 

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It has been a great day! I hope your Christmas was just as wonderful!

 

Thanksgiving 2017

We drove to Ohio for Thanksgiving to be with the Dake/Marshall clan. It is a long drive especially when you have a crazy anxious 70lb German Shepherd in the back seat coupled with standstill traffic! Yikes! 

We had a great time being together for the few days we were there. When you are there for just a short time you try to do everything you can in a little bit of time you have. 

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Thanksgiving 2017

Bruce, Noah, Doris, Ron, Becky, Bernie, Laura & Luger

 

Wednesday was a great evening spent with Bernie’s siblings, nieces, nephew and grandniece! Our niece Liz and her husband Eric revealed to us that they were having a boy and his name is going to be Nolan Ellis! 

 

We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal served by the hostess of the century...Doris (Mom Dake) with a surprise for Dad...a graham cracker cream pie from his favorite place in Hornell NY. Bruce, Bernie’s brother, was very thoughtful and went out of the way to pick it up. It was a great surprise and we were all able to share it. ;)

Our niece Jen brought over the newest “grand pup” so that Luger could meet him and have a play date. Luger was very good with him and Aspen wasn’t so sure. But someday in the very near future, Aspen will be bigger than Luger. It was so much fun for me. German Shepherd pups are my fav! 

 

We spent half the day in Wooster, first at Sure House coffee with the family. I loved this place! Quant, modern, great coffee and AMAZING #cretzels They are a croissant pretzel filled with chocolate or cinnamon sugar. Oh my! I need to learn how to make those! Later that afternoon we had lunch with our friends Brett & Jessica and their family at Gouda Bar & Grill. Great time catching up. Thankful they had some time to spend with us because they are Salvation Army officers in Ashland OH. 

Saturday we left to go back home. We drove all they way taking turns driving. Grateful that we beat the holiday traffic. 

All in all a great time with family.

P.S. Thanks for the venison Ed! ;)

P.S.S. I missed my family!