Day Nine

Of the ten-day countdown before our daughter, Shantel, moves into her own apartment started out nice and slow. Shantel didn’t have classes today so I didn’t have to make that drive to Phoenix. Instead, I decided I would get the grocery shopping done and go visit my mother. I have been eating, drinking and sleeping talk of “the move” for so long now that I just decided since Shantel would be home today watching her TV shows, I would give myself a little break from even thinking about “the move…” or so I thought!

On my way to visit my mother at the Care Center, I stopped by McDonald’s to get a caramel frappe, her absolute favorite treat.


I bought a small one today because the last time I bought her a large, she drank the whole thing then wouldn’t eat any of her lunch. Well, apparently it doesn’t matter what size frappe she gets, once she has it, all thoughts of getting her to eat her lunch go out the window… All I could manage to get her to eat was a very small bowl of chicken with rice soup. However, as soon as she ate that she immediately wanted to go find the duty nurse, Judy, to let her know she ate soup WITH her lunch, and asked her if she thought that was enough… Judy, not knowing that was all mom ate, and had no idea mom wouldn’t eat her lunch because she drank the frappe before lunch… said “oh yeah, that’s fine.” After I pushed mom back to her room she said to me “that’s how you get in the back door to keep them off your back about eating…”

Visiting with my mother is somewhat of a challenge now because she has lost the ability to follow along with conversations for any length of time. After the initial hello, and hugs, mom will tell me a few things about what she thinks is going on in the care center. However, some of the stories she tells me are really far-fetched… and when I ask the duty nurse about some of the things mom tells me, they tell me most of what mom is talking about didn’t really happen or it is only bits and pieces of an actual event.

Even on the rare occasion when my mother asks me what is going with my husband, Bill or Shantel, when I start telling her she is so easily distracted she will just turn and leave mid-sentence. Today mom asked me about Shantel and what is going on with her. She remembered she is moving out and asked if she is in her new place yet. I tried to explain in simple, short-terms, about Shantel moving, but before I even got to the date of the move, mom turned and started towards the door.


So, because of my mother’s lack of attention span,  I spend most of the time during our visits looking for things to talk about with her.  Today, I happened to notice this little handmade Easter decoration. How adorable is this little chicken egg cover, complete with a real feather for its tail?


See, you flip it over and it is hiding a plastic egg filled with little candies. I LOVE that!


I was able to get enough information out of mom to understand that the woman who oversee the Catholic Church Service every week, and bring Holy Communion to the residents, made these adorable little chick egg covers for all the residents. So CUTE!

Before long my mother said she was tired and wanted to take a nap. I hugged her and said I would see her again soon.

On my way home I thought about my visit with my mother and thought it went well, and in fact, it was a nice distraction from all talk at home about “the move…”

When I arrived home I saw two large garbage bags full of shoes on the kitchen counter. Of course I immediately asked Shantel what was going on and why were all those shoes on the kitchen counter? She said “I just washed them all and now they are ready to put in your car to take to my apartment.” I said “Shantel, first of all who washes all their shoes to move…? And you don’t even get the keys until May 5th, why would you think I want to drive around from now until then with all these shoes in my car? And, why aren’t they in moving boxes?” Shantel smiled and said “I’m not putting all my clean shoes in boxes, it will be fine mom, we will just carry them into my apartment in these nice clean bags…” I said “I’m not going to haul all your belongings into your apartment in “nice clean” garbage bags like some kind of backwoods hillbilly’s.” Her response was ” oh, mom, it will be fine… you worry too much about how things look, relax and it will all be just fine.”

At this point, all I want to do is get through this with what little sanity I have left…. so I conceded to what I have no doubt will be many, many more “nice clean garbage bags full of Shantel’s stuff…


However, in my own defense… I know I am a planner, and I try to have things manageable in my life… Raising a totally blind child for me, required everything in its place, consistency, and not only having a plan, but a back-up plan as well… That’s how I got through it… Shantel is just not like that. She plans nothing, and has no problem just throwing things together on the fly at the last-minute… etc. So, all I can do at this point is respect her wishes, and keep reminding myself that even though she is moving into a one bedroom apartment alone, without roommates to help her along…,  She will be fine. She does things differently than I do… but she is not me, and in reality, I am proud that she is about to dance to the beat of her own  music

I love you Shantel,


Stay Tuned!







Count Down

Ten days from today our beautiful daughter, Shantel, will move out of our home and into her own apartment. Today is day ten of the ten-day countdown. We are all full of emotions. Shantel says she is both excited and a little nervous. My husband, Bill, says it is what it is and that he will miss her but knows it’s time for her to “leave the nest” and make a home of her own. I’m still processing a wide range of emotions. I’m excited because I know this is what Shantel wants and needs. I’m nervous because she has never even spent one night in our home alone. I’m a little fearful because of the unknown. I’m happy because I know Shantel has been well prepared for this day. And, I’m sad because it is the closing of a chapter in our lives as a family unit within our home… and I am so going to miss her presence in this home…

Today Shantel didn’t have to start her first class until 11:00 so she asked me if I would take her to get her hair cut at 9:00, then stop by Fry’s grocery store, the donut shop, and then McDonald’s for lunch all before her first class… Shantel never has just one errand to do it’s always three or more… Always!

As I was driving back home, I started thinking about our family life together over the years… Then, when I arrived home, I started looking through some family photos. This is the very first Christmas dress I bought Shantel and had her first baby picture taken in. I LOVE this photo more than any others because those are Shantel’s natural eyes before she lost them both to cancer..


I also found this picture of her going to receive her First Holy Communion. She looked so beautiful in her dress.


I donated that dress to the church for another child to wear who may not have otherwise be able to afford one.

As time went on, Shantel became very interested in basketball. She LOVED the Phoenix Suns.


She would have us print out the game schedule and listen to every game on her radio in her room. She understood every play and knew all about every player… Bill took her to several Sun’s games. At one game as they were waiting in line for autographs, one of the players, Channing Frye, actually took off his game shoes, signed them, and gave them to Shantel. She also has a basketball signed by all the Phoenix Sun’s players…. Shantel was over the moon excited about all that!

After many, many, hard battles with the school system from grade school all the way up and through High School, fighting for Shantel to have the accommodations she needed. Accommodations such as braille books and assignments from the teachers brailled, so she could read them independently and do her work without the need to have someone read handouts or books to her…, High School graduation day finally arrived. This is Shantel’s High School graduation picture. I’m not so good at taking pictures of pictures and sorry for the flash light on the picture….but you get the picture right?


Our hearts were bursting with pride as Shantel walked across the stage to get her diploma.

Now, our beautiful daughter is graduating college and moving out… and our hearts are bursting with pride again…

We love you so much Shantel. Papa and I know you will do well no matter what path you take in life. You are smart, and strong, and we are so very, very, proud of you.

After I took the walk down memory lane, I realized if I didn’t put the pictures away, I was never going to get through this without becoming an emotional mess… but hey, I’m her mom so it’s OK… So, I ordered the cake for her moving out party on Saturday, and started doing what I always do when I need to take my mind off things… I started cooking. Chicken with olives and capers over long grain black rice for dinner… YUM! 🙂

Stay Tuned!





My husband Bill and I went to Costco this morning and picked up the usual supplies for the week with one exception. Bill saw a Cedar Plank Salmon and thought the price was $14.99 so he decided we should give it a try…


I was ahead of him in the aisle so I didn’t see the price but agreed I thought it would be something different we could have for dinner… I reminded him that Shantel most likely won’t want to try it, but Bill said that didn’t matter because she doesn’t like a lot of things we like… (she is a very picky eater and I bet when she moves into her own apartment, in two weeks, she will survive on hamburgers, fries, and chinese food unless I make something she likes and bring it over to her).

Anyway, I usually sit at the tables at the front of Costco watching people while Bill goes through the check-out line. As he was walking up to me he had a strange look on his face so I asked him what was wrong? As he was looking at the receipt, he said “OMG, I didn’t know that salmon  cost that much!” I said “how much did it cost?” He showed me the receipt and I almost passed out when I saw it cost a whopping $30.02!!! I said “wow Bill, that is a lot of money for a piece of salmon…” That is when he said I thought the sign said the salmon was $14.99. Obviously he misread the sign or looked at the wrong sign altogether! I said “well why don’t you take it back while we are still here and tell them you misread the sign?” He said “no, it will be OK, we will try it.” Then he laughed and said “But I hope it isn’t too good.” I said “yeah, because we don’t want to fall in love with something we can’t afford to keep buying, especially now that we will be trying to help Shantel too…” Ha!

When we got home I told Bill I was going to do a blog post about this little OOPS! As I was preparing to write this blog post I was still thinking about how much money that salmon really cost. Then I remembered my birthday is this coming Monday, so I said to Bill “hey, we can just count that salmon as a nice birthday dinner.” He picked up the salmon, laughed, and said “I don’t think it would be too good by December!”


Funny boy… his birthday is in December!

But all is well that ends well… and our little salmon oops gave us a real good laugh… 🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!



Delayed Easter Dinner

I went to visit my mother at the care center today. I arrived just as she was getting ready to go to lunch. I pushed her into the dinning room where a “new” resident was sitting at the table my mother and her tablemate Joan claim to be “their table.” What an issue ensued as a result of that.

Immediately my mother wanted to know who she was and who told her she could sit at “her” table. The new lady said her name as Mary and she was lost. She said she needed to find her brother-in-law who must be walking up and down the halls looking for her. One of the dinning room workers came over and asked Mary is she would like some potato soup. She said “no, I just need to know where I am and where my brother-in-law went. She said she needed to go to a phone and call all the 800 numbers so she could find him. About that time my mother’s tablemate Joan arrived and wanted to know who this new woman was and who told her she could sit at “her” table… Mary said she didn’t know who brought her here but she just wanted to find her brother-in-law.

My heart went out to this new resident as it was very clear she was confused and afraid. That didn’t matter to my mother or Joan… No, they were both relentless in firing questions at Mary and even insisting one of the dinning room workers get a nurse or aid to get this woman away from “their” table. Joan said she wouldn’t have enough room to sit at her side of the table if a third person was sitting at “their” table. Never mind that every other table in the dinning room has four residents per table… my mother and Joan have a pecking order set up at their table and no one is going to go against the rules they have established. Joan is number one at the table because she has been at the care center longer than my mother and they laid claim to table number one right by the door. They made such a fuss about this new woman being allowed to sit at “their” table that finally one of the office workers, a Social Worker, came in and took Mary back to her room along with her lunch… Oh my, I swear, if you closed your eyes and just listened to the commotion in that dinning room about who belongs to what table… you would think you were sitting in a prison dining room…

After Mary was removed from the dinning room, Joan proceeded to tell me that the center is having a delayed Easter dinner today for lunch because apparently someone forgot to order the ham that was supposed to be served on Easter Sunday. I said “so you are all going to celebrate Easter together right now? Joan and my mother said “yes” we are celebrating Easter today and after lunch we are having a church service and a choir come to sing Easter songs to us. I just shook my head and thought to my self… “you might want to use that time to go repent for how both of you just treated the new resident, Mary..

However, I keep my thoughts to myself and sat through lunch with my mother and Joan. On the menu was ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans and a roll.


I helped my mother cut up her ham and she started eating saying how good everything tasted. However, her tablemate Joan took a couple bites of the ham and said “this ham is too thick, fatty and it’s tough… I couldn’t believe my mother when she said “oh, yes it is, and I can’t even eat it..”

I said “mom, are you kidding me, a minute ago you were diving in with both hands and saying how good everything was… she didn’t say anything but this is the look I got…


Then she put her fork down and said “I’m not going to eat that, I will just wait for desert. Lucky for her it was strawberry shortcake which is one of her favorites.


Both my mother and Joan said the desert was delicious! I was just glad to see that at least one thing good came out of that whole delayed Easter dinner that seemed to make both mom and Joan happy…

After lunch I pushed mom back to her room where she showed me her Easter stash.


I said “oh wow mom you have so much candy perhaps you can share some with the new resident, Mary…” She didn’t respond so I just smiled and said “OR NOT…!”

I decided a change of subject was in order so I asked mom if she would like to talk to her sister, my Aunt Ellen. She said she would so I called Aunt Ellen and mom had a nice chat with her  until mom got distracted about something going on in the hall and handed me the phone back. I chatted with Aunt Ellen for a few minutes and she thanked me for making the call.

This was one of those visits that reminds me that while I am frustrated with the behavior I witnessed from both my mother and Joan in their treatment of Mary, I must not judge them. I’m not in the position they are in now… and I hope I never have to be.

All I know is I’m still thinking about and feeling bad for Mary…!

Stay Tuned!




Easter 2014

Happy Easter!

Bill and I started our Easter Sunday by attending a 6:00 a.m. sunrise service at our church. Then we came home and had a light breakfast because we knew we were going to have lunch/dinner out.

Since our Arizona family has dwindled down to the precious few, with most of our adult children and grandchildren living in Colorado, last year my husband Bill, daughter Shantel, and I decided we would go to Joe’s Crab Shack for Easter lunch/dinner. Shantel said she wanted to try crab legs so off to Joe’s we went. Well, she LOVED those crab legs so much, she asked if we could go there again this Easter, and in fact, wanted to know if we could make that our “new” Easter family tradition, (wait a minute… what “new” family tradition…your moving out in 3 weeks.. just saying…)

Another Easter tradition in our family has been that the Easter Bunny always puts Shantel’s Easter treats in her very first Easter Basket, saved for 21 years and counting… A cute little basket with a bunny face on the front,


and bunny tail on the back, with the basket in between…And true to tradition, the Easter Bunny filled her basket again this year with all her Easter favorites.


When it came time for our Easter lunch/dinner, we headed over to Joe’s Crab Shack. Bill had a Southern bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp plate, complete with one of my all time favorites…., hush puppies!


I went for the East Coast sampler platter. It had fish & chips, crab stuffed shrimp, and a delicious crab cake.


Shantel said nothing but King Crab Legs was going to hit the spot for her. She went after those crab legs with a vengeance!


However, when Shantel heard that Bill had bacon wrapped shrimp on his plate, well of course she asked if she could try one… She loved it. Then when she found out I had fries on my plate, she asked if she could have some of them… (not like she hasn’t ever had fries…) But hey, I was happy to share as it was more than enough for me… 🙂

I asked Shantel if she was enjoying her Easter meal. She said ” yes, I’m just so overwhelmed with food right now I don’t know where to start.” Trust me, she had no problem working her way through all that food.


That girl can EAT!!!

When the waitress came by to ask if anyone saved room for desert… both Bill and I said we couldn’t eat another bite… But not our girl… no, she asked what her choices were and decided on an apple cobbler type desert topped with cinnamon ice cream..


OMG… where does she put it all and stay so slim…?

Hoping each and every one of you enjoyed a Happy Easter!

Stay tuned!









Our New Furniture

Look what the Easter Bunny brought us! Our brand new La-Z-Boy power reclining sofa. Just push a button on either end and they recline. So, so, comfortable. I may never get Bill out of the house again… Ha!


And, the matching reclining rocking chair. I love, love, love, to rock and this chair has my name written all over it… 🙂


The color is called silt. The fabric is a micro fiber that is made to look like leather and this particular color looks like an old bomber jacket. Very  rustic, and fits into our decor perfectly!

Our other sofa and chair were over 18 years old so it was time to bite the bullet and get new. So happy we did because we just LOVE “our new furniture!”

Happy Easter. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!

Mustgo Pasta Salad

Every week we have a dish made from small amounts of left overs from other meals during the week. This past week we had B-B-Q chicken, tacos, a goulash pasta dish, and smoked pulled pork sandwiches. And like always, we had some leftovers… So today, I made what I call “mustgo pasta salad.


I had a half of bag of pasta left over from the goulash dish so I cooked that. While the pasta was cooking, I chopped up a half of a green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and green olives that were left over from a salad earlier in the week. I also had some black olives, and green onions left over from taco night, so I chopped them up as well. I put everything into a large mixing bowl and added some left over smoked pulled pork and a left over B-B-Q chicken breast that I pulled off the bone and cubed.  I added some frozen corn, and two Weight Watcher smoked string cheese sticks that I cubed. I mixed in some light Mayo and some fat-free Italian dressing (just enough to coat all the ingredients). Seasoned with coarse black pepper to taste, covered with plastic wrap, and set it in the refrigerator to allow all the flavors to blend and the smoke from the pulled pork and smoked cheese to seep into the dish lending that smoke flavor to all the other ingredients.

When it’s dinner time, I will simply add some crusty bread and call it good… The best part about this, is dinner has been ready and in the refrigerator since 10:30 this morning, leaving me plenty of time to get the laundry done, make this post, and we don’t have any more left overs! Sounds like a win/win deal to me… 🙂

Stay Tuned!


Random Restroom Encounter

Yesterday my daughter, Shantel, came home from school and told me of a most outrageous encounter she had with a complete stranger in the restroom on her college campus. She said as she was washing her hands a woman came up to her and started a conversation that went like this:

Stranger: How long have you been disabled?

Shantel: Since I was about 2 years old.

Stranger: What happened?

Shantel: I lost my eyes to cancer.

Stranger: Your lucky.

Shantel: Why?

Stranger: Your life is easier, and you should be grateful because you get benefits from the government.

Shantel: I don’ get that much from the government.

Stranger: But you really wouldn’t have to work if you don’t want too. I don’t even know why your here at college.

Shantel: Walked out

After Shantel finished telling me about this “random restroom encounter”, I asked her how she felt about what that stranger said to her. Shantel said “I was really angry at first but I got over it. I just try not to let people like that get to me.”

All I can say is Shantel is a much stronger and better woman than I am. I was fuming just hearing about what that stranger said to Shantel. If I had been there, I don’t think I could have “just walked out” without asking that woman why she was wasting her time at college as it is evident she is still stupid and from the way she talks it doesn’t sound like that is going to change anytime soon..

It just never ceases to amaze me how ignorant, outrageous, and out right stupid some people can be… what gives anyone the right to not only  judge other people, but also just voice your uninvited opinions to them?

I’m proud of the way you handled the situation Shantel. I love you and YOU are my hero!


Stay Tuned!



Shantel’s Moving Out Update

The past few weeks have just gone by in a blur. With Shantel taking possession of her apartment on May 5th, we have been very, very, busy trying to make sure everything is in order for the big day. I’ve spent almost every waking minute helping Shantel pick out her furniture and shop for things she will need for her new apartment home. Things like, air tight canisters, no sharp edges can opener, shower curtain and hooks etc… We are also sorting through pots/pans, silver ware, dishes, cups etc. that she can have from our home to help save some money.

The day after Shantel picked out her new queen size bed, we noticed we gave the wrong direction (west, instead of east) in her address for the bed to be delivered. So, after I dropped Shantel off at school, I went back to the store and had the address corrected. The lady that sold us the bed set was not there, but the man who was working there that day was very nice and helpful. Since the store had just opened, I was the only customer there and as he was correcting the address information in the computer, he asked me how my day was going….I started chatting it up with him about Shantel graduating from college in May with two degrees and moving into her very first apartment. He said he could see I was very proud of her. I went on to tell him more about the journey of our lives. How Shantel became our daughter, how she lost her sight, how she is an A/B student in college.. and how badly she wants to get a job. I told him I have never seen anyone want to work more than she does. I explained that she has had some interviews, but with no work experience, and with her vision impairment, no one seems willing to give her a chance to have her first job. I told him that it is so frustrating to think that Shantel has earned two degrees and yet some people don’t even think she could answer their business phone… He listened with intent and I could see in his eyes that he was thinking of something as I spoke. He continued to ask me questions about how she gets around, how she uses technology etc. I had no idea what he was getting at so I went on and on telling him all about her smart phone and how she can do all her research papers, print them out for her instructors etc. I said she is very good at using her smart phone and/or computer and all it took for her to be able to access this technology was a voice over/screen reader application. Then this man said something that shocked me… he said he owned his own business, a courier service in Phoenix. His company picks up and delivers court documents and other important papers etc. within the Phoenix area. He said he just recently started this company which is why he works at the furniture store right now, but he said Shantel sounds like someone he would be proud to have on his team. He said he thought she would be an asset to his company and wanted to meet her. I said I would be picking her up from school in about 30 minutes and would bring her by to meet him. He gave me his business card for his company in Phoenix and said in a month or so he would be ready to hire a dispatcher/customer service person for his company and Shantel sounds like she could fit that bill… OMG, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…

I left the store and went to pick Shantel up from school. I was so excited to tell her about my encounter with the man at the furniture store and Shantel was just as excited to go meet him. When we got back to the furniture store and walked in the man came over to Shantel and shook her hand and told her how I had told him all about her and how badly she wants a job. He reiterated to her what he said to me about how proud he would be to have her on his team and what a true asset she would be to his company. He told her he gave me his business card and asked her to send him her contact information and a resume just showing her school information and any volunteer job experience she might have… He said it might take a few weeks or month but to not get discouraged as he continues to get his company ready for the dispatcher/customer service position he wants to offer to Shantel… He shook her hand again and even asked her to follow-up with him if she doesn’t hear back from him within a few weeks. Of course we ran right home and forwarded Shantel’s resume and cover letter directly to him via email… I will provide an update on the outcome of this later.

The next big thing, or at least it’s a big thing to me, is I got my very first smart phone Friday.


Yes in deed I did.. I never needed a smart phone before, but now, with Shantel moving out, she wanted me to be able to face time with her so I can see her and let her know for example, if her make-up is smudged in the morning before she leaves for the day, or if she thinks something is wrong in her apartment, she can call me and point her phone to what she thinks might be a problem and I can see if she needs hands on help or if I can just help her over the phone… it makes me feel better knowing I will be able to actually see Shantel when she calls.

In addition to all the things we are doing to make sure Shantel has everything she needs for her first apartment, we are also planning a little “send off B-B-Q/party” with family/friends to help us wish Shantel well as she takes this next step in her life journey.

I can say with all honesty, this has been the most bitter-sweet experience of my life… That is why I haven’t even been able to update my blog lately… I just needed time to process all this, and I’m still processing it… Everyday since Shantel said she was ready to move out on her own has been a unique experience for us all. Speaking only for myself here, I’m so proud she wants/trusts me to help her pick out her furniture (I promised no cowgirl stuff…) and along the way, together we have laughed… and privately I cried, we laughed some more, and  privately I cried some more… You get the picture. It’s not that I don’t know that Shantel will be alright, it’s not that I don’t know I will still see her, and I know for sure I will be fine once it’s a done deal… it’s just DAM, I’m going to miss that girl’s daily presence in our home…

However, I just asked my husband, Bill/Bro today as we were making breakfast together after Mass… “so, are you ready for it to be just you and me around here again…?” He smiled and said, “me and you and a dog named blue..” That was a little inside song/joke we always shared whenever one of our other children left home… With five children between us, Bill and I are not new to having children leave home… While it was always bitter-sweet, we always knew eventually it would come back to just us, full circle, and that’s just the way it should be? Right?

Stay Tuned!

Shantel’s Moving Out…

We knew this day was coming, and I’ve been trying, with some success, to prepare myself for the actual day… Shantel was approved to rent a one bedroom apartment in Phoenix. Moving back into the Phoenix City limits will allow Shantel to be able to travel independently, anywhere within the Phoenix City limits, using Dial-a-Ride without transfers to the East Valley Dail-a-Ride, which currently leaves her standing outside her pick-up-point for as long as three hours. Last week, Shantel had yet another episode where East Valley Dial-a-Ride left her standing outside a Fry’s grocery store for over an hour. When she called them to let them know her scheduled pick-up time was over an hour ago, they just hung up on her. She called them back to complain and they left her on hold twice for thirty minutes, and said she would need to wait an additional two and a half hours. They said they didn’t have any available cabs until then. Are you kidding me…. out of 800 cabs in East Valley, they can’t find one to send to get Shantel for her prearranged pick-up time?

Because East Valley Dial-a-Ride left Shantel on hold for so long, her phone battery ran out. She was trying to use a pay phone when a man noticed her and offered her his phone. Shantel was finally able to call me to let me know what was going on and I went to pick her up. However, as you can imagine, she was exhausted and frustrated beyond belief…. and I don’t blame her. That very day she decided she would rather live out on her own, within the Phoenix City limits than deal with East Valley Dial-a-Ride any longer. We have complained numerous times to East Valley Dial-a-Ride but nothing seems to change. All I can say is if I knew before we moved to Chandler what a nightmare East Valley Dial-a-Ride would be for Shantel I would never have moved at all…

However, now all we can do is move forward with supporting Shantel’s decision to move out on her own. She found an adorable one bedroom apartment in Phoenix. We completed the application and she was approved. She paid the security deposit, and has a move in date of May 9th.

This is a picture of Shantel standing outside her soon to be new apartment home. Is this a happy face or what?


Today, Shantel and I spent the day shopping for furniture for her new home. She has been saving money for years for her first apartment and was able to pay cash for every purchase.

Our first stop was to Mattress Firm where she purchased a new queen size bed set. She tried many, many different mattresses wanting to be sure she was going to be completely comfortable in her new bed. We offered to let her take her current bed, but she didn’t want it because it’s only a full size and she insists on a queen. It’s her money, and she is an adult…so nothing more to say about that… 🙂

By the time we finished with the apartment paperwork, and purchased the new bed, of course Shantel was hungry, so I told her I would take her out to lunch to celebrate her new apartment… She said she wanted to go to Macayo’s,


where she feasted on salsa, chips, and mini chimi’s. I had fish tacos because it is still the Lenten Season.. Nothing makes Shantel happier these days than eating and talking about her new apartment…


After lunch, we continued our furniture shopping. We went to the Roomstore, where Shantel scored a deal on a very nice sofa. She said she loves it and can’t wait to sit on it and relax in her new home…


As we went about our day, driving from place to place, I took the opportunity to make sure Shantel knows how much both my husband, Bill, and I love her, and that she knows we could not be more proud to be her parents. I told her again, that we are so proud of her accomplishments and the beautiful young woman she has become. I reminded her that if she ever needs us for anything, we are but a phone call away, day or night. Shantel thanked me and said “you and papa gave me the best home life I could have ever imagined.” Well, that brought me to tears, again,,, but who could ever ask for more than that from their child?

One of the best things Shantel loves about the location of her new apartment is that her very best friend, Jaz, lives within walking distance and will visit often… Just imagine the fun, and memories, these two will create… 🙂


Letting go is never easy, but, I know Shantel is ready, and because this is what we spent our lives preparing her for…,I’m working on being ready…just don’t rush me… 🙂

We love you sweetheart!

Mom and Papa

Stay tuned!



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