Friday Faves Edition 66


It’s Friday and as promised, I’m back!!

Last Friday, I was preparing to watch my oldest son graduate from high school!


Friday Faves.

Sometimes the term Friday Faves doesn’t seem quite the accurate statement. I definitely have some faves to share, but I also have things that are not faves (far from it, in fact) that I need to talk about as well.


A conversation about life…my life…the lives of others…life in general.

Before Graduation.

Leading up to Big Mr.’s graduation, our schedule was pretty chaotic.

Mr. D had a random schedule because he had some finals to take and they are given in two-hour windows.

Miss Sunshine had an 8th-grade field trip to Washington D.C. on June 5th. We had to have her to the school by 4:45 a.m., with a “planned”, pick up time that night of midnight. The best-laid plans…right?! I know that they can’t calculate traffic and never come back at that time. We had Big Mr. on standby to pick her up. I stayed awake, but barely. She got in about 1:00 a.m. Her English teacher had told them there would be a quiz the last day of school, so she chose to go in for that morning block. I’ll refrain from publicly making commentary on my thoughts surrounding the situation.

My parents got in on Wednesday afternoon. We took them up to the Roanoke Star on Thursday and then Thursday night, I took them on a drive through downtown Roanoke. Mostly we stayed around the house visiting.

Dress Rehearsal.

Big Mr. tried on his cap and gown for us and my mom and I snapped a few pics. There are some that are quite hilarious because his attention span for photos is rather short and he starts being silly to indicate “enough”. I’m sure if he could have gotten away with wearing flip-flops to his actual graduation, he would have.

Graduation Day.

While he did wear khakis, boat shoes, a dress shirt, and tie to his graduation, his one claim to his own personal style was the necklace.

The necklace is a strand of cedar beads. That is what I was told they are called when I bought them from a roadside stand in Arizona on my honeymoon. I purchased them because they keep nightmares away and while they were worse in my 20’s, nightmares are a frequent part of my dreams. In digging around, it seems that the necklace is mainly known as a Navajo Ghost Bead Necklace and is made from Juniper Berries.

Big Mr. was wearing them because he’s been wanting to rock some beads recently, but it still felt special because even though I purchased other jewelry and pottery on my honeymoon, this is the one piece that I bought because of the story behind it. While I don’t sleep in necklaces (I have a fear of strangulation) and so didn’t advocate it for my children, I did hang them above the bed of one of my children when they were having night terrors.

The beads are also thought to represent an interconnection of the earth, trees, animals, and humans and bring harmony and safety to the wearer. What a perfect thing to wear on such an important day. One teacher did suggest he remove them, but he just tucked them in a little.

Party Time.

In my past, I used to host our entire family in Florida for parties. It felt a little strange that it was only my parents, but we embraced the time to celebrate together.


Big Mr. had already stripped out of the cap and gown before I made it through the nasty graduation traffic and back home. I may have him put it back on and snap more photos, but for today, I’m happy with the few that I was able to capture.

Beach Week.

Big Mr. left for beach week along with many of his graduating classmates. He will return home soon. The house feels a little quieter with him away, but I know it won’t be long until this is the norm.


I don’t know how far news travels, but you may have heard about the triple homicide in Bent Mountain, Virginia. If you hadn’t and your breath has just been taken away, that is how I felt Wednesday morning. I don’t watch the news very often and hadn’t recently. I heard about it from my hairdresser. When she told me their ages, I suspected that either Big Mr. or Mr. D might know the people. She didn’t know the names, but I pulled out my phone and googled it. I knew right away that it was likely that the boys might know them. They did. The 20-year-old was a skateboarder, something my boys did quite often when they moved here. The 18-year-old girl, a classmate of Big Mr.

I knew her name.

It’s strange the little things you remember. Her name felt familiar because the last name is the same as someone well-known in this country. It made me stop a little longer and notice it at that time. I had read a quote from her in the yearbook. They were words about travel and culture, something that you know I am passionate about. Words that she will never get to fulfill. Ones that have been horribly stripped away from her. It broke my heart both as a mother and as a human. A week ago, I watched her walk across the stage and take her diploma in hand. The world a bright, open future. A world stolen.

The community is in shock, three families left without a piece of their lives and countless others heartbroken over never seeing their smiling faces again.

Be the light.

I have to believe that the good in the world outweighs those who are blackened with evil. Many days I fail to be the person I’d like to be, but I still try to spread my light through the little circle of influence that I have.

I encourage you to be the light as well.

You may have noticed that I’ve been a little quiet on the blog and social media front. I have been writing more and reading more and trying to be fully present when my family is home.

Miss Sunshine and I head down to Florida next week. While I will miss my hubby and the boys tremendously, my heart is happy that I will be seeing family and friends that I have missed. I will be letting them know how important they are to my life by making time to just be present with them.

Still, I’ll be working on my photos and the blog in the wee hours of the nights and mornings, but I expect to only be here a few times a week during the three weeks that I am gone.

I hope that you have a stunning weekend and light-filled week. I hope there are more smiles than tears and that you find a moment to speak a kind word into somebody’s soul.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King Jr quote quotes photoquote

Let your light shine!


23 thoughts on “Friday Faves Edition 66

  1. Congratulations on your sons high school graduation. One of many wonderful milestones you’ll enjoy in his life.

    I’m so sorry about the deaths. It’s happening too often and it also saddens me.

    I love your quote. We can be the light. We much be the light.

    Have a blessed day and weekend. โ™ฅ

    1. Thank you so much!! It was a wonderful milestone.
      Lives taken way too early…we definitely need to keep being the light!

    1. Thank you so much Deborah! Another milestone crossed for sure!! Miss Sunshine and I head out this morning! โ˜€๏ธ

      1. Thanks so much Deborah!! We are enjoying our time and move over to the little beach cottage today! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’m sorry you felt that loss so deeply. It’s strange how proximity changes perspective so easily. It happens to us all. Makes us hold our children closer and give thanks for every moment. There was a school shooting here recently. Just two school systems away. Too close to home. Makes it worse, like it’s closing in.

    I don’t know why “They” plan things the way they do. I recall in May, “They” put state competitions for sports and music on the same day following finals, and if that wasn’t enough? Prom.
    Who schedules this stuff? Not a mom.

    Look at that baby, all manly. I love that he wore the beads, be they juniper or cedar, or whatever. I like that. Self expression and talisman and I’m glad you shared that with us. We used to shake the bad dreams out of our kids’ pillows and the other night, Sassy said she almost brought me hers <3 I love how these small things stay with our kids. Wonderful stuff.

    I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip! I have missed reading you, but I'm delighted you're on a happiness roll ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thank you Joey. I do think that when things are close to home, it does give a sense of closing in.
      Those who schedule definitely canโ€™t be moms. ๐Ÿ˜‚
      I love how the small things stay with our kids too. Love that with the pillows. I may have to pass that one on to friends and family with littles.
      Miss Sunshine and I head out this morning. Iโ€™m looking forward to it! ๐Ÿ˜

  3. Congratulations on Mr. Big’s graduation. This truly is a milestone. And a great accomplishment for the mom as well! Sorry to hear about that homicide story, truly terrible. Enjoy your beach time! Marcus

    1. Thank you so much Marcus! It was a big accomplishment! ๐Ÿ˜Š. Yes, terrible about the deaths.
      We head to Florida in just a bit. Weโ€™re visiting family along the way, but hope to be beach side in the next couple of days!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. Oh my gosh, it feels like forever since I last commented. Probably because it has been. Ironically, it has been a result of my social media hiatus. About 3 months ago it became very real that my daughter would be graduating. It also became more teal that in less than 5 months the house will be entirely too empty. And then that feeling of guilt rushed over me that I had missed so much of their life. And I realized that as I was scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I decided right then that social media had stole so much of the time I had away from my kids. And I knew. Iโ€™ve been social media free 3 months now and I donโ€™t miss it. Now if you count WP as SM than not totally free. But I donโ€™t look at this as that. Because the time I take on here is time that I am using to vent that creative need and not get caught up in lives other than the ones I should care about most. So sorry that went so long, but it brings me back around to congrats on the graduation. I am right in line with where you were. But when your House felt a little quieter while he was at beach week,mine became deafening. During my daughters beach week, also last week, with the oldest already moved out, the middle in Madrid, studying abroad I got a week preview of what this fall will be like. Iโ€™m sorry about the tragedy. It is sobering when you know people who lose their life senselessly, let alone while they are still young. As a high school teacher the past 20 years, the feeling is just as strong as it was the first time I knew someone. And whatโ€™s worse is when you knew a kid who caused it to happen. You race through your memory trying to remember if there was any signs that you missed while you knew them. Itโ€™s just takes a toll. In any case, missed catching up. I had to go back to find your posts about London. It looks like a blast. But I think Iโ€™m caught up now. Hope you have a very bright week!

    1. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. WP randomly put your comment into spam, and today was checking it day. Congrats on your daughter’s graduation. I’m sure that with all of them gone that was REALLY quiet! Since my return from the U.K., I have also spent a lot less time on social media as well as WP in order to focus more on this time with my family. The murders were shocking in themselves, but also because it doesn’t happen there. The boys did not know the murderer, only the girl and one of the murdered boys. I have not experienced knowing a person beforehand that did something so heinous, but I would imagine that you would be racking your mind to see if there was anything you missed. I hope that you are having a wonderful summer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Congratulations on your son’s graduation, and I am sad for the loss to the community, and to you personally๐Ÿ˜ž. I hope your son has a great time celebrating his summer before college๐Ÿ’•

    1. Thank you Dee Dee! ๐Ÿ’•. And the son had a blast down in Myrtle Beach for the week. Now heโ€™s enjoying his time with his friends before they all head in different directions. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  6. I love that MLK quote. Some days, it’s hard to believe that there’s much good in this world. But overall, there truly is so much that is good. Sometimes, it’s just harder to see.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful time in Florida! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think it would be nice if the media would temper showing the good with the bad so that we can remember that there actually is a lot of good. I love that quote as well! ๐Ÿ’•

  7. Congratulations to your son Amy. Time flies doesn’t it?
    I love the whole bead story. Very interesting. <3

    So sorry to hear about the terrible tragedy.

    1. Thank you Nikki!! Time sure does fly!! Even now, my getaway is rapidly heading toward its end ๐Ÿ˜‰

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