As promised from an earlier post on a guest room makeover, here is the Candid Camera footage of my mother-in-law from 1974 at an office in Buckhead, Atlanta. My last several posts have been rather heavy, so here's something to leave you with a good chuckle and a smile.
When I was a child, I remember watching this episode, where a beautiful temp finds herself thinking she is losing her mind while trying to answer a telephone on her first day filling in as a secretary/receptionist. We all can relate to that "first day" on the job anxiety, where you want to make a good first impression. Now combine that feeling with having a prank played and there, you have a hilarious moment caught on camera.
Years after my husband and I were married, I found out about her being on the show. My husband got in touch with the production company and bought a copy of the episode where she was featured. I almost fell over when we played it for the first time. It was the one scene that I actually remembered from the show! How weird is it to see your mother-in-law on television some twenty years before meeting?
Like I've said before, having a mother-in-law with a good sense of humor is GOLDEN!
Thanks for reading and watching!
P.S. Next time you think you're losing your mind, think again. You might be on Candid Camera phone.:)
If you live anywhere around Northeast Atlanta and are on facebook, you probably know of the group, Smiley for Kylie. If not, take a minute to visit Smiley For Kylie and find out about an amazing girl and her loving family. This beautiful girl had a contagious smile and encouraged thousands with how she and her family dealt with a devastating diagnosis.
On the night before Valentine's Day 2015, twelve year old, Kylie Myers was led into the realm of heaven where she encounters more joy than one can write about, imagine or comprehend.
My husband and I did not know her family, but there was a deep sadness that came across in my husband's voice as he processed the news. Sitting down he made several utterances, his thoughts really, just pouring out one right after another.
If only she didn't have the same last name as my sister.
If she didn't also pass away at the same young age of twelve.
If she hadn't had aggressive childhood cancer.
If she didn't also pass away in February, just like my sister, Terri.
While writing this post we also realized they both passed away on a Friday night. My husband, Scott, was only seven years of age at the time of his sister's death. He still is coming to realize all that his parents and sisters went through, especially now as the parent of a twelve year old himself. I never met Terri or Kylie, but their lives have made an impression on me and countless others.
Kylie's family asked people to Smile It Forward today, February 24th, in honor of Kylie's birthday. February 25th is the anniversary date of Terri's passing, 38 years ago. I decided to publish this post as a tribute to these brave young ladies, their amazing families and all the people who came around them to offer support.
Here is a picture of Terri Dianne Myers just before her diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma. Kylie was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma. Both of these precious girls had long beautiful hair and sweet dimples to go along with their warm smiles.
Both girls had an almost supernatural positive attitude in the way they handled themselves and encouraged others.
Terri also loved to talk with new friends on the Citizens Band radio, her CB Handle name was "Tippy Toes." She became a favorite sweetheart of CB listeners and people from all over rallied around this frail but strong, little girl.
Both girls had big trips scheduled in February as the community gathered to grant them their wish. Kylie decided to stay home with her family as her health suddenly worsened. As you can see in the pic below, Terri was holding herself as best she could, no one knew at the time, but she only had sixteen more days before she would be going home.
Terri was able to spend time with the cast and crew of Welcome Back Kotter.
Terri met with actors, Robert Hegyes who played Juan Epstein and Ron Palillo who played Arnold Horshack. Brenda, Terri's mom, told me that Ron really focused on Terri, listened and was touched by her story as you can see in these pictures. Sadly, both of these actors have also passed away.
John Travolta who played Vinnie Barbarino was very kind as well.
Here she met Lieutenant Governor, Mervyn M. Dymally, of California.
This pic below speaks for itself.
Both Terri and Kylie enjoyed connecting with others. Terri used the CB radio and Kylie the internet.
The Police Chief of Smyrna really went out of his way to show love to the Myers family and stayed apart of their lives for many years up until his passing in 1990.
Photo of Terri's parents, Roger and Brenda Myers, at City Hall for the proclamation of February 4th being "Terri Myers Day" in the City of Smyrna. Ironically, February 4th was the birthday of their first grandchild in 1997.
In this article, Roger had an opportunity to share an amazing encounter they had while out in California with seeing two gray whales that made an unusual appearance for their family. Roger always felt like those whales where sent by God to bring about a supernatural peace that defies explanation.
This last article was used in another post and tells the story their Family Portrait. If would like to know more about Terri's sister and brother, you can read their testimonies at Victoria's Friends and Shofar Outreach.
Thanking God for the beautiful lives of Terri and Kylie and how they continue to encourage others.
My mother-in-law, Brenda, and I have a very close connection. Over the years, I have told many that my husband's mom gives the often joked about, mostly notorious "Mother-in-Law" title a good name. However, most of our deep connection is based upon great loss; she lost her daughter, Terri, to a rare form of childhood cancer, at the age of 12, and I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was only 44 years of age. Over time, she really has become a mother to me and I, a daughter to her. It's not that we never disagree, it's just that we know what's really important.
NOW, to break up the already serious tone of this piece, another interesting part of our relationship is that I saw my mother-in-law, some twenty years before I met her in person, on television. She was one of the unsuspecting guests on the tv show, Candid Camera. I vividly remember giggling as a youngster, watching her try to find a ringing office phone that was hidden. Apparently they had pulled this prank on others, but she gave them the best reaction. Okay, that is an entirely different story, but I will post as soon as I find the footage. By the way, having a Mother-in-Law with a good sense of humor is GOLDEN! (Ok, found it, here is the link to Candid Camera, Where I First Saw My Mother-In-Law), ENJOY!
Now, when she asked for my help in turning an extra space into a warm guest bedroom, I was excited to help her with the challenge. It was a challenge because there was a very important dated piece that needed to fit in with the room, where it could serve as a reminder of all that God had brought them through since the year 1976.
In the newspaper picture below, there is a special painting in the background. Brenda had told me the painting was done by a prisoner who was able to paint their family portrait from a photograph used in their church directory. The photo was taken before her daughter's diagnosis and the painting was finished and given to the family before Terri's passing on February 25, 1977.
Jump ahead some thirty plus years from this article and the two remaining children in the picture had grown up, married and had children of their own. Now grandparents, Roger and Brenda, had moved back to Georgia and had an extra room that we all called "The Children's Room" where there was a futon couch, television, toys, exercise bike and other miscellaneous items with no particular design in mind.
The grandchildren loved this room to hang out in, but as they got older, Brenda was hoping to have it transformed into a beautiful guest bedroom.
Brenda wanted to display this special family painting in the new guestroom, but how to design an updated room around this 70's style portrait would, at first glance, seem to be difficult. We looked at the colors from the painting to help us with choosing the fabrics and wall color.
In this painting done by artist, Boyd in 1976, we liked the burnt orange in Terri's collar, her father's neck tie and her little brother's collar. Also, we noticed the light, aqua blue in the brother's collar. These two colors would be our starting point. In the picture below, Brenda found this bedspread at Walmart, and we both felt the colors in this fabric, along with the neutral tan and white, tied in with the colors of the painting perfectly!
Our next exciting find was Valspar's Woodlawn Valley Haze interior wall paint that I found at Lowes. It had the perfect mix of that aqua bluish green that we were searching for with such determination. Thought it was great that my husband, the boy in the picture, offered to paint the room for us. To be completely honest, sometimes I 'volunteer' my husband for projects, but this time he volunteered himself, which I thought was a really sweet gesture to his mom.
Excitement builds when a room is all cleared out and ready to be painted!
We decided on a trade, our full mattress for her futon bed, but we still needed to find a headboard that would work.
Spotted this beautiful Leirvik white metal bedframe from IKEA with a tight and sturdy feel that we both loved.
Also at IKEA, I found two Hemnes Nightstands that had that perfect shade of burnt orange! Then discovered two modern lamps at Marshalls with lamp bases that had just the right amount bluish green tint in the glass.
Love how well the lamp, bedside table, bedspread and bedframe all come together so wonderfully with the Woodlawn shade on the wall as the backdrop.
Above the bed we needed a smaller picture. My mother found this painting at yard sale for me when I was a child and it hung over my bed for many years as I transitioned into an adult. I showed Brenda this picture and she loved it. We also thought it suited "The Children's Room" quite well.
Finally finished, the inviting new guest bedroom is ready!
Love the color scheme!
We were both so pleased with how well everything came together. This deeply meaningful family portrait now hangs across from the bed as a sweet remembrance of their beloved, Terri and all that God has brought them through in the last (almost) 40 years.
Psalms 145:1-4 A Praise of David. I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.
Thanks for reading,
The sixties had just come on the scene, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the future was uncertain. Ah, but young love was not! It seemed to be the most certain, undeniable fact in these two teenagers' lives. Dottie and Rex were high school sweethearts, who at eighteen years of age, eloped on the 14th of December in 1963 while on a long outing. They survived a near fatal car accident when his vehicle slid out of control on an icy bridge while coming back home. After returning, they didn't tell anyone for over a year, until they broke the news on New Year's Day in 1965 to their family about their secret marriage.
I'm sure when they took their vows, they thought, of course, yes, in sickness and in health, but that must have seemed like an eternity away from their young minds' perspective.
Eight years later, I was born and my little brother came along thirteen years after me. Their marriage had been good,
but had entered into some hard and difficult times with their parents' serious health problems, stress at work, sending their oldest off to college, having a five year old at home and some major depression issues that were a side effect from taking certain prescribed medications for lowering cholesterol. All of this put a tremendous strain on their marriage. In June of 1988, there was a diagnosis of breast cancer made just six months before their 25th wedding anniversary.
I tried really hard to surprise them that special day, with a cake I had made after they came back from their celebratory date night. It was a surprise all right, but in a disappointing way. I used granulated sugar, instead of confection sugar for the icing, so it was grainy, instead of smooth. My mother, was so kind and patient as she showed me how to fix it. I was in tears, because we knew her cancer had been extremely aggressive, with her undergoing two mastectomies just months apart, and I wanted that night to be PERFECT for them. (Ok, I can hardly read the screen now. It has been almost 27 years since that night and this is the first time I am seeing her again so clearly in the kitchen.)
In February of 1989, they headed to Duke University for five specialized Chemotherapy treatments to see if she would be a canidate for a bone marrow transplant. The procedure was considered experimental at the time and Blue Cross Blue Shield stated they would not be able to cover it for that reason. However, our church, Briarwood Presbyterian, had rallied around them and raised money to help.
They were there for almost a week and celebrated Valentine's Day in a hospital room.
They received an out pouring of love from their church, family and friends and the hospital staff was wonderful to them!
Their smiles, in the picture below, are amazing to me, especially now as I understand more fully the enormous amount of physical and financial pressure they were under at the time. If she was a likely candidate, the bone marrow transplant would cost somewhere around $100,000.00 out of pocket. After this visit, she would go home and deal with the side effects.
My dad had a sweet cousin, Teddy Jean, who had died of breast cancer years earlier. Her widower, Joe Griffin, called my father and said he would pay for the full cost of the bone marrow transplant! My parents were tremendously touched by Joe's concern and generosity. Joe also ended up losing his second wife to cancer and then passed away from cancer himself. His willingness to help his late wife's cousin's wife is a huge testament to the kind of man he was.
Sadly, it was determined that the first five of those chemo treatments didn't work, they would be going back in March for five more attempts.
The picture below is one of my favorites. Despite the two radiation and ten chemotherapy treatments that left her bald and worn out and the fact that the doctors couldn't find an effective round of chemo that would help them move forward with the transplant, my mother had a supernatural peace that carried her through to June 9th, when she went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ at just 44 years of age. She died almost exactly one year to the day after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She once called out to me from the bed that hospice had brought to our home and pleaded with me not to let the small stuff stress me out. She must have overheard me say something in a tone of voice that alerted her, and she told me that I sounded like her before she got sick. I remember that conversation and thought, yes, I will try not to let myself get caught up in frivolous worries, but years later, as a mom myself, I realized it wasn't that easy.
Nobody wants to get sick or see a loved one go through a terrible illness. However, LOVE GROWS stronger and deeper through sickness. I saw it with my parents, who struggled in their marriage, just like everyone else struggles.
A couple of months before she died, I walked in on a very tender moment between them as they sat on her hospital bed, I thought about how difficult the years had been for them earlier and now, it was though they were . . . going to write falling in love for the first time, but it was much more meaningful than that . . . loving each other more, faults and all, than they ever had before, since meeting. They were sitting on the side of her bed, facing the warm sunlight shining so sweetly through the window, surrounding them in a loving embrace. With their backs to me and the door. They were unaware that I had walked in her room. I had, in fact, frozen when I came upon this sacred, Holy sight. Matrimony, after all, is referred to as Holy. For she was bald and both of her breasts where long gone, but they kissed and it was the most tender and memorable, most romantic, passionate kiss I have ever witnessed. All the hurts, disappointments and troubles they had accumulated over the years seemed to melt and fade away in that one moment. A moment that I was privileged enough to witness as their child. Normally, the sight of seeing one's parents kiss, would bring on a wild case of the dry heaves, but this beautiful sight rendered me silent, still and taught me that love was so much deeper and meaningful than I had ever imagined. In fact, God has continued to show me that over and over again through the years. But in that specific moment, I knew that was the kind of love I wanted to have and be able to give someone else.
Jump ahead to January of 1999, after almost ten years since she passed away, I found myself walking down the same aisle that her casket went down. We were married by the same Pastor Wilson who used to visit my mother and encourage her while she was sick and led her funeral service at Briarwood. Scott and I owe a lot to Pastor Wilson, he really took time with us to prepare us for marriage and told us how responsible he felt before God to make sure we fully grasped the commitment we were about to make before a Holy God.
So I knew, that with our marriage, we would have our own set of trials. Now, when I say I "knew" what I really meant was I had NO IDEA, what marriage would have in store for us. How can anyone, really? Even with all that I had seen, I still was blinded by youthful bliss. Sometimes what you learn by seeing doesn't fully sink in until you experience it first hand. However, witnessing THAT KISS was the initial start of a very important lesson.
Years into our marriage, the honeymoon phase was certainly coming to an end. We had times of frustration with each other and doubt. It was especially hard when I experienced postpartum depression after our first son was born. We still had our share of good times, but I was feeling and sounding more "stressed out" as the years went by, which was the very trap my mother pleaded and warned me about during her last days.
Starting in September of 2012, we had our house broken into, our youngest broke his arm and our oldest fractured his heel, Scott lost his job and I had major cancer surgery in April of 2013. It was a daunting time, but funny how one's perspective changes from the view of a hospital room. While I was recovering from a physical surgery, God was performing a type of spiritual surgery on my heart. Ironic that I was 44 at the time? It seems strange.
I felt so close to my mother even though I hadn't seen her in 24 years. All that she was trying to share with me on her death bed all came back and I GOT IT this time! Turns out, humility and forgiveness go a long, long way! Just trying not to be stressed out didn't really work for me very well. I had to repent of some things, and I spent a lot of time telling Scott how sorry I was for letting small stuff get to me and how my actions had negatively affected our relationship. He was gracious to me and just like the husband is a type and shadow of Christ, he walked with me, changed my bandages and even volunteered himself in other many selfless ways to help the process of my healing.
I don't deserve his love and I definitely don't deserve the love of Christ, but they are precious GIFTS to me that I will forever treasure! I'm going to praise and thank God daily! Instead of criticizing, I'm going to appreciate my husband and let him know it daily. I'm still a work in progress, but hey, there's progress going on and I am not the same. The lesson learned from my parent's most passionate kiss is being worked out on a daily basis.
Fall of 2013, Scott and I standing in front of Emory University Hospital, celebrating what God had brought us through and the lessons learned. My youngest now wants to play Legos, so I'm off to focus on him and tell him how much he means to me. Life is short and precious, don't let stupid stuff get in the way.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I hope it blesses you!
Stay humble & BOLD!
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
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A while back, my good friends, Kate and Gus, were trying to decide how they should decorate their living room in their newly purchased home. The husband, a Tulane Law School graduate and musician, had just aquired a beautiful baby grand piano. We had a great time with them around the piano singing together one evening before Christmas, and it was wonderfully apparent that this room should be a warm place to enjoy the music. When they asked for my help, I was honored and the wooden mallard on the floor was about to find a new home.
Rare, but great, when both husband and wife know exactly what they like about a room. in this case, they both liked the color of the room but wanted to have the curtains replaced. Also, they both agreed the living room should be more of a music room, New Orleans' style, with some seating but not filled up with furniture. Besides, when they entertained, they needed a place to bring out their dining room chairs, so the dining table could be used as a buffet table. With the piano taking center stage, the guitar, floor lamp and table lamp base would be kept for accompaniment, allowing for a few new select pieces to enhance the space. They wanted the room to flow and have enough space for guests to gather around and sing. They were excited to plan a Mardi Gras party for their friends and wanted to have the room ready in time.
You can see how this Baby Grand is the heart of the room! Also, notice the space where the tree is standing. That is where we planned to have some seating for the room, a place where one could relax to the sounds of music, enjoy the view from the window and welcome guests being greeted at the front door, as they arrived. This also allowed us to keep the room open and flowing.
We decided on choosing a loveseat, because a regular sized sofa would take up the whole length of the wall. After searching several furniture stores, in Atlanta, for that perfect piece, the one with that NOLA French look, we FINALLY
found and agreed on this one . The stained black wood accents tied in nicely with the piano and it was comfortable and cozy. Found the side table, with black stained trim at Hobby Lobby along with a different lampshade for the lamp base they wanted to keep. At Kirklands, I found a framed print of the New Orleans' historic French Quarter, and the red wine color of the mat connected this room to their dining room rather nicely. Also pictured is one of several plants added to bring in that courtyard feel.
We were extremely excited to find this beautiful, iron, window style mirror! It was found at the same furniture store where we discovered the loveseat. When you enter the room, this mirror compliments the piano without competing or fighting for attention.
Placed another plant, this one larger, in the corner behind the piano. Tucked in a small light at the base of the planter to shine upwards and create a palm shadow on the ceiling, while highlighting the plant. Found these thick, tapestry curtains at Anna's Linens and used rich looking tassels to hold the panels back.
Picked out new curtain rods with fleur de lis finials. (Rats, one is crooked! Feeling a little like Adrian Monk right now. Will make a note of that along with some other things to watch out for next time.) Between the curtains, I hung some round decorative mirrors and below placed an ornate music stand from Kirklands.
Loved this upholstered storage ottoman from Kirklands that could easily be moved to one side of the room for parties. When Christmastime rolled back around, the tree could be displayed nicely in front of this window and the piano. The ottoman would resume to offer rest for the feet of those snuggled on the loveseat, as they enjoyed the view.
Everything came together just in time for their Mardi Gras party, with dining room chairs moved into the music room, there was plenty of room for guests to go around the dining room table buffet style and enjoy the evening filled with delicious food, jazz music, singing and laughter. The Blues just got better!
As I get more experienced with blogging on these room make-overs, I hope to improve upon hiding electrical cords and taking an after picture of the whole room. Oh well, more opportunities await.
Thanks again for reading and feel free to share your comments!
So all you need is . . .
* Beverage Napkins
* Favorite Tea
* Clear Plastic CD/DVD Sleeves
* Love Notes
* Tissue Paper
* Swiffer Duster (This is if you use burlap or have any other little fibers that might have a static attraction to the sleeves)
Simply slide beverage napkins in sleeves and place the individually wrapped tea of your choice in the corner. You can add little love messages on back or inside as you wish. Have fun playing with the ribbon to get it just how you like it on the basket. Fill in bottom of basket with tissue paper to help Valentines position well.
LOVE great deals at yard sales! I would say finding fifty yards of white, wire edged ribbon for 25 cents was a thrill for me. The red basket was found at a another sale. Happily, I found a great new use for CD/DVD clear plastic sleeves that can be ordered from PSI Media Supplies. They hold the beverage napkins just perfectly! Now the stage is almost set for serving out Twinings and Stash tea with decorative beverage napkins.
That's it! Now you have your Valentines ready to go with love, in a hand basket!
Tea for one or two, maybe more? These Valentines are great for coworkers, neighbors, book club members and Downton Fans! They are easy to assemble, and little love or encouraging notes can be simply inserted as well.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends...
Christina is an
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