This is the Real Thing

I don’t relax easily.  Find it difficult to sit still unless I’m reading something, and even then I’m wiggling a foot up and down, a constant jiggle perfected by my fellow Porters…my dad, my brothers, even my sister to a certain extent.  I’ve a quick temper, too, far too impatient, and easily irritated when I have to repeat myself to the kids…or probably anyone.

But something happens in Hawai.  I unplug.  I write less blogs, visit Facebook more infrequently, and I read lots lots more.

Better yet, if I’m not on deadline, I have less childcare, or none whatsoever.  Which means I get to nap with Mac.  Every day.  It’s my favorite part of the day.  He can sleep for hours…I’m maybe out for 30 minutes, but then I wake up and read next to him until he wakes up.

I love sleeping next to him.  I love reading while he keeps sleeping.  Its the calmest, sweetest part of my day.  And I don’t do this at home, in Bellevue.  I only do it in Hawaii with the doors and windows open and the sound of the ocean outside and the wind in the palm fronds.

Ty Gurney took the picture above on New Year’s Eve day.  He came home early from work and snapped this of Mac and me napping.  The click of the camera woke me and I hated the pic, and then I loved its sweetness.  Not me, but the moment.  This moment of just living, breathing, resting near someone I love…that’s the real thing.  That’s the best part of life.

I’m home now and digging deep into my second book in the Brennan Sisters Trilogy.  It’s due February 15th so the next 6 weeks will be very intensive writing, but it’s exciting, too.  I’m so eager to find out about Kit and what happens when you don’t trust yourself and rely too much on others opinion instead of your gut. But I’d also like to hear from you.  I know it’s been a long time since I posted a new blog.  Apologies.  I’ve been reading and resting and napping with my littlest guy and loving lazy days of just being a wife, a mom, a friend.

Tell me something that’s sweet…something that is real…something that’s one of your favorite things and you’ll be entered to win a contest prize.  I have 10 prizes to give away–two NewYears prizes and 8 (eight!!) bonus mystery prizes that have gone uncollected.   Contest runs through Sunday night, and I’ll announce the ten prize winners on Monday.  Talk to me and I hope you win!

143 Comments

  1. Something that’s sweet: my daughter, she is grown up, but throws herself at me & says I NEED A HUG!! Not just want, but need.

    Something that is real: I am not technologically savvy. So my son helped me buy a new DVD player. He installed it in 5 seconds. So, that’s sweet & real I guess.

    Something that’s one of my favorite things: sleeping in. I always wake up around 5 am. I love rolling back over & dozing. I seem to wake up every half hour & check the time. Until I finally decide enough.

  2. happy new year jane! loved the pic of you and mac taking a nap; how sweet. i remember doing that when my kids were young. i think the swetest thing i enjoy is knowing my four kids are really there for each other, helping each other out and watching their backs. both my youngest take meds and they each ask the other, did you take your meds? the older two actually share a townhouse to make ends meet. so that is what i really enjoy knowing. thanks for a wonderful blog entry.

  3. I love those sweet special moments!

    My sis-in-law had a baby back in Nov. So over the Christmas break I got to hold and sing to a new baby. I LOVE babies. They are so precious. It was fun to see my 8 year old lay next to him and sing to him. I am so thankful for these moments!

  4. Hi Jane,

    I love the picture of you and your son. How precious. The sweetest part of my day is when my daughter is cuddled up next to me. She is such a tiny little thing and fits just so nicely in the crook of my arm and my side. To feel her next to me and hear her soft breath is the most wonderful feeling.

    I hope that you and your family had a wonderful New Year. I’m looking forward to reading your new books!!!

  5. This might sound silly, but the sweetest part of my day is when my husband and I are curled up on the couch watching t.v. It’s at the end of the day when things are winding down. We just watch t.v, have a little snack, and cuddle. I love this because my kids are all grown up and it’s just the two of us in the house now. It’s nice to reconnect each night and have our little evening “tradition”.

  6. Hello Jane,

    I can totally understand how you can relax while in Hawaii. Although I’ve never been it looks like paradise. My sweetest part of the day is when my daughter climbs into my bed in the morning and wakes me up. She gently taps on my back and says … Mommy, it’s time to get up. Her sweet little voice puts a smile to my face and nothing else matter.

  7. That is just the sweetest photo of you & your son… My sweetie pie is the king of laundry!! Which he’s done almost all the 31 years we’ve been married..

  8. Somethings that is sweet: when my 4 year old daughter told her 5 year old brother she loves him and he gave her a huge hug. The picture of you napping with your son is sweet. For christmas I got a kindle and I just ordered your princess trilogy. I love it. Im on the second book. I was wondering what gave you the idea to come up with that sort of story line? It would never cross my mind. Keep up the good work writing and I will keep up the good work reading :)! One last thing my babys birthday is Feb 15! A very special day she is a true miracle baby!

  9. OMG!! What a sweet and peaceful picture it brought tears to my eyes because our babies grow up so fast and those pics that we may not like at the time are the best to look at later when they are older. I loved being at home for a week between christmas and new years being with my family watching movies snuggling on the couch with the fire going with now where to go and nothing to do that was a great week of happiness and no stress and just taking care of my loved ones with no plans in site!

  10. love the picture….funny how we let our bodies unwind when we’re away from home?! much needed tho’…happy new year to all.

  11. Our sweetheart grandchild at 14 months has learned to wave goodbye, “read” her books and snuggle into our shoulders when we hold her. What a precious feeling holding and being with her. Beautiful picture of a special moment in time, thanks for sharing.
    Happy New Year and hope you get loads of Bloggie nominations this year and win!

  12. Happy New Year! Your picture is beautiful, peaceful and real. It sounds like Hawaii is where your soul feels complete.

    One of my favorite things is cooking with my children. We talk, laugh, sing to music and just have together time. It seems so simple and well it really is. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  13. What a sweet and genuine photo. Just treasure those special moments. I know that I do, especially with little ones who grow up too quickly. I enjoy time spent with family since it is to be cherished.

  14. I am so glad that you had a chance to relax and recharge!

    Sweet moments for me are long hugs from my sons, opening Christmas presents with my family around me, walking the beach with my husband, and reading the happy ending of a really good book.

  15. Happy New Year to you and your family. That is a sweet photo of you and your precious Mac.
    A sweet time I had a few days ago was when my daughter came by to help me take my Christmas decorations down. I had a meeting that evening and had to bake many things for it and for some reason I was very nervous and upset. But, after she arrived, she not only helped me with my decorations but she stayed and we ended up baking all the goodies together and we had a lovely time. She calmed my nerves and we enjoyed the day. I had her 8 years after what I thought would be my last child, and I am so very fortunate that I did.

  16. I love to hear my kids say the word “mom” even with all it’s inflections or eye rolling. It’s more than a word or a title. And I am the only one who owns that word now in their lives.

  17. What a fantastic picture of you and Mac and a great ‘return’ blog. I loved taking naps with my youngest too and holding him. My three older children didn’t get as much of me because I was soooo busy caring for them in other ways. We mothers do and give what we can and it always works out even with a few guilt trips along the way. Hawaii is your paradise, understandably, while work is in Washington, acceptably. Have a wonderful new year in all your places that provide you with what you need. Happy New Year to everyone…it’s gonna go quick, that’s for sure!!

  18. What a sweet pic! You and Mac look so much a like in this photo, cherish it. You will turn around and he will be a grown. I no I can remember sweet thing like this with my son and now he is 22 I miss his younger days. We use to set and read stories every night. Those days were my most sweetest times with him. I have had my son back home these past few week and it was very sweet but coming this weekend I have to move him back to college and I am really going to miss him.

  19. One of my favorite things is a walk on the beach at sunset. Hawaii is perfect for that. It’s been too long since I have been there. Hope you have a fabulous year! I can’t wait for more of your books!

  20. You and Mac look really alike in this photo. It is very sweet. My “sweetness” lately has been seeing my beautiful nine month old niece. If you roar at her like a monster she thinks it is hilarious and it puts a big smile on her face. She also has a TON of hair…she gets it from her father who is from India. We were able to start “styling” it when she was just a few months old. I just love her so much. Happy 2012 to you!

  21. i can not believe how big Mac is getting! I thought he was one of your older boys.

    I’m loving how my kids interact with each other. My son just turned 19 on Jan. 3rd and my daughter is 7. That’s quite an age difference plus they’re different sexes so to see them hang out, talk and laugh together is a pure joy. They also bicker, pick and fight- which I secretly love! [Ham could of stayed back in Indiana and gone to college with his friends but he chose to move with us and I am so grateful!]

  22. Love that picture! As I sit here reading your blog, my own “sweetness”, my 18 year old daughter, is curled up beside me napping on the couch. She is home from college on break and I am savoring every moment till she goes back! It seems like yesterday she was Mac’s age! So great that you can enjoy those times with our children.

  23. What an awesome candid photo!

    Something sweet: My husband and I pick one night a week where we all we do is chill out together in front of the TV and have to-go food so that minimal clean-up is involved. We haven’t been as consistent about the night lately, but for a couple years while I was in grad school wevery Friday night was “Sci-Fi date night”: Stargates (SG-1 and Atlantis), Battlestar Galactica, and Freebirds Burritos.

  24. One of the sweetest things is when my niece kisses me goodnight and says she loves me. I don’t get to see her often, so it’s extra special.

  25. One of my sweetest things is that my almost 13 year old son still secretly cuddles his teddy bear in bed. If he has a friend over I will scoop up his bears and hide them until later so that he can be “cool”. Occasionally, he surprises me and reachs for my hand when we’re walking into a store… just for a few seconds…but its so nice. A magical time before girls….he’s still innocent and sweet.

  26. My youngest grandson got behind me on the couch yesterday morning and wrapped his arms around my neck and said “love you maw maw”.He’s 1 1/2. It was a very sweet moment.

  27. Beautiful pic, Jane. So glad you shared!!

    Sweet: My 4-year-old earned a storytime for today and chose the one at B&N because they were having a baby storytime and she loves handing them toys before the story begins.

    Sweet2: We don’t let our daughter into our bed until it’s 6 a.m. Many times, she’s been awake for hours waiting for the digital clock to tell her it’s time to grab her animals, her pillow, and her reading material and get into our bed and wait for us to wake up (usually 7:30).

    Susan

  28. Something that is sweet, to me, is to see my daughter dance. She’s been dancing since she was 4 (she’s now 12) and she loves it. She started with just ballet & now does contemporary, jazz, pointe, Celtic AND ballet too. When she gets on a stage & you see her face light up … it’s one of those moments as a parent that just touches me deep down inside. 🙂

  29. One of the sweetest things I enjoy is coming home and my dogs go nuts, whining with the little rear ends shaking like crazy!!

  30. Something that is so sweet…my youngest was born 15 weeks early weighing only 1 lb. 5 oz. He spent 107 days in the NICU and suffered with many medical problems. There were so many times we came close to losing him. He is now a very active 3 yr old boy and the very sweetest thing in the world is when he whispers in my ear “Mommy, I love you.”

  31. I love to read–we did not have a TV growing up in the country but we did have the “Bookmobile”& oh howwe waited every month for it to run again–tha’s how long I have been reading & I now have four daughters & only two of them like to read!!!I have 9 granchildren & One great so I have been reading a long time!

  32. Jane, I love the picture of you and Mac, and how wonderful that time is with him. Isn’t it funny how sometimes the sweetest moments are when your little ones are asleep? One of my favorite sweet moments is checking on my kids each night before I go to bed. I’ve missed doing it only a couple of times in almost 10 years. It’s so funny to see my youngest after maybe a cranky evening deep in slumber, sometimes with her arms over hear head (my former boss called that the “I surrender” position). I also love it when I’m tucking in the 9-year-old, and he insists on a hug, whereas otherwise I embarrass him. Happy New Year, Jane. I hope 2012 is the best year ever for you and your family!

  33. Hi Jane,

    Happy New Year.

    Today I had a chance to nap with my 6 month old twins for the first time this year. We are all suffering from jet lag so it was so very welcomed that all tree of us took a nap at the same time. I really needed that. Now I feel like my self again 🙂

  34. My pug sleeps cuddled up against me, under the covers. She keeps me warm and makes me feel loved being so close and soft.

    She curls up under my blanket, behind my knees, while I lay on the couch and read too.Reading is my escape from the day-to-day. I totally know what you mean about Hawaii – especially the slowing down and relaxing.Love it and the picture of you and Mac!

  35. Your picture brings tears to my eyes :). I personally have had a tough two years and struggle to keep the faith at times, but I know good things are to come as in life with difficult times comes a wave of good! So here it is 2012, and while I fear whether or not this will be the year of good things. I watched my daughter proactively enroll in college this week after taking a year off without her parents guidance! She made the decision, owned it, and made it happen! There was my sign and I am so very thankful!

  36. It’s funny how we seem to have a love affair with sleep.

    I never get to nap, but every so often if the outside temp is just right (nice and warm) I will nap in my car! Yes, I said nap in my car. I love to be outside and hear the birds and feel the warmth on my skin. No one knows I’m out there and it’s so peaceful and relaxing. The moment I step into my home I have an agenda, but there’s not a whole lot I can do in my car so I get a chance to drift away peacefully.

    Thanks for the “creative writing” opportunity. 😉 B.

  37. Spending every minute I can enjoying my 12 year-old-daughter as I know how fleeting it is. I have a 20-year-old-son and I cannot believe how fast he didn’t ‘need’ me anymore. I cherish every time she says “I love you, mom”.

  38. My favorite thing is when I call my daughter and my little 3 and 4 year old granddaughters get on the phone and tell me, “I wuv you, Nana”! I just want to reach through the phone and kiss them both.

  39. That is the sweetest picture, treasure it. As you know, they grow so fast and that quiet time is lost. I remember watching my kids sleep, a moment when they stopped moving and talking, and I could just soak them up.

    Real: I’m questioning every day how my daughter and I are going to survive her teenage years. It has been a brutal week. She is a smart, driven individual in a group of kids with no ambition and only a desire to pick, poke and be mean. Somehow, some way, after a night of no sleep (how we do beat ourselves up at night!), we managed to get through the wall, talk out the problem, try to find a solution, and end it all in a hug and I love yous. Not sweet, but oh so real.

    Sweet: My son writing me a “good night momma” note and leaving it for me when I wouldn’t be home until after his bed time.

    Sweet2: My dog is attached firmly to my side at all times. When I picked her up at the kennel after a short stay, she just about did back flips, she was so happy. Simple joy.

    Welcome home from Hawaii. I’m glad you have a time and place to go recharge and find your peace. Happy New Year!

  40. Perhaps not everyone but to me I think this is sweet and real: My brother, whom I was very close to, passed from cancer in 2010. I can’t get the guts to delete his phone number from my cell phone. On New Years Day I was missing him and having a hard time remembering his voice. So I called him, hoping that his phone was still turned on and I could get his voicemail. Naturally the number was disconnected and I somehow ended up redirecting my call to my own voicemail. It stated that I had one saved message. Not remembering what it was and distracted by my tears, I played it. The first thing to reach my ears was the voice of my deceased brother. It was the very last Birthday greeting before his passing. His sweet voice gently sang me Happy Birthday and in the end he proceeded to tell me what his favorite memory of our entire life together was. Knowing very well that his end was close. He finished the voice message with my favorite quote by Walt Whitman, The Untold Want. Knowing very well how much that quote speaks volumes to me. To hear his voice recite that poem to me and to stumble upon his voice message on New Years Day just made me realize just how special my relationship with my brother was. 2012 will find me once again mourning for him but it will also be for me “to seek and find” what is left in my own life. Thank you for allowing me to share my story. Sometimes sharing makes me fear reality and other times, such as now, it helps me cope.

    1. Jessica, so very very beautiful.

      I love how much you love your brother–not past tense, present tense, because the love will always be there. As it should.

      xxox

  41. We had a foster child from the age of 10 months to 2 1/2 years old. His name is Zac. When he first came to us he wouldn’t sleep in the crib we had for him. He would only sleep in his stroller. We latter found that this was where he was used to sleeping in. It took months to get him into the crib, and at last he started to sleep all night in the crib.

    As he got older he was able to get out of his crib and come into our bed in the middle of the night. Although we we tried to brake of this habit, to no avail he would come and snuggle with my wife and I.

    When he was given back to his mother, that was one of the things that I missed the most, his snuggling with us.

    We have been able to see him on the weekends, on the first night he came back to us he went to our bed and called us both to lay down and snuggle with him.

    It was hard to see him go, he had grown into our hearts, but we still get snuggles visitations.

    1. love this, but its hearbreaking, too, when one thinks what foster kids go through, and how lucky the little guy was to have that time with you.

  42. That really is a sweet picture. I have to say my favorite time of the day is napping too. I always nap with my little guy (cat) Pono. As soon as he sees me get in bed, he comes running so fast and onto the bed and under the covers. I too have the problem of sitting still. I have always been that way.

  43. Love the picture Jane!,
    My real deal, favorite thing making me forget all the bad, upsetting things of my past year is seeing my son playing with, holding, and feeding his girlfriends daughter. Some may wonder why? He was to get married this Sept and 4 weeks prior, his former fiancée left him for someone else , moved out of state leaving him with all the mess to fix. He was unsure he ever wanted kids, much to my “grandma clock ticking”. He has met a beautiful inside and out woman, with a bonus 1 year old . To see him so happy, and wrapped around this little girl is beyond words.. My clock is still ticking!

  44. Something sweet is happening right now! My seventeen year old daughter is taking my fourteen year old out for dinner, just because… 🙂

  45. Jane- you can’t relax, have little patience, a temper, easily irritated, are you an Aries like myself? I feel like I go go all through the day with both kids (5,2) SAHM, cook, clean, put everyone to bed. My quiet time is from 10pm-2am when everyone is sleeping and I can actually breathe. Whether I watch a DVR show, read a book, sew or wash dishes- that is my time. I would love to cook (helps me relax) but the kitchen is inbetween the kids’ room 🙁 Neither of the kids are snugglers so I resort to the two cats, though they talk (meow) a lot. Welcome home Jane and I hope 2012 is relaxing for both of us.

    1. I;m not an Aires–I’m an Aquarius–but I think I have some Aires somewhere in their because I’m definitely a driven, opinionated hard-head…but with a very soft heart. 🙂

  46. First of all: you first paragraph could be me! I didn’t know that the constant foot jiggling comes with being impatiant when you have to repeat yourself.. but I really have a problem with that, too. My temper rises hot and quickly when that happens and I have to calm myself down before answering.

    Something sweet and real…my little ones! The moment they see me, when I pick them up from school … or when I return home and their eyes light up like I were the most special thing to them ever – this one second before they come running – makes me so happy I could cry.

    BTW: I’m not sleeping nearly as beautifully as you do, so enjoy the picture. There’s no drool in sight! 😉

  47. What a sweet picture…
    I just love it when my daughter whom is almost 11 still wants to hold my hand and be near me. I know this will not last much longer so I try and savor every moment with her. She still loves me and is not afraid to show it, so I don’t make a big deal of it and just go with the flow.

    Happy New Years Jane!
    Your old neighbor
    Wendi Soria

  48. Love your picture!
    Here’s my something real… and sweet…
    Most every night my husband and I sleep on our side with him hugging me. Since my belly is now bigger and we can feel the baby move, instead of hugging me he puts his hand on my belly. So the other night, we faced the opposite direction and I was hugging him, he then put my hand on his belly to make me feel his belly as if saying, “the baby might move.” hahaha…

  49. I have four children under the age of ten, three boys and a little girl. When the older three go off to school baby and I get time to ourselves. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to stay at home. He is 18 months and just started walking which is HUGE seeing as the others had that mastered by one year. But…he is on Island time LOL! You see my husband and I celebrated our anniversary a little over two years ago in Maui which is where we honeymooned 13 years ago. Well….we brought back a little “Hawaiian” suvenir! What a delight he has been to our family! His cookie scented palms are the delight to my heart as are his cocoa eyes. He is my sweet thing Jane! Happy new year!

  50. Aloha Jane,
    Recently my aunt suffered a major stroke. Her left side was the one impacted. She lost some vision in her left eye, movement in her left arm/hand. But just hours after in ICU, her sisters were all gathered around her, not one was allowed to cry because we didn’t want her to get pneumonia. So they told her no crying allowed, no apologies and no worrying. They kissed and hugged her goobye before they left, knowing she might not make through the night. All grateful that she was still able to recognize everyone and understood that they loved her.

  51. A precious moment which is captured in that photo. great post which is so true. The little ones when they were sitting close to me and reading together, miss it all now. I walk in the sunshine and welcome each day.

  52. Hi Jane!
    I can totally relate! Going camping is like that for me…nothing else that has to be done so I relax, read, nap, etc! It’s good for the soul!
    Something sweet: When my 12-year old son tells me “thanks” for doing his laundry.
    Something real: When my kids (12 and 14) have something strike them as funny and they do that deep belly laugh! Nothing better!
    One of my favorite things: That my 12-year old son is still a lap-sitter when we watch TV. The chair seems to be getting a little smaller, and my leg goes to sleep, but I won’t complain!

    Happy writing!

    Amy

  53. The sweetest thing to me would be the quiet, non-verbal moments in life. Where I can just sit with my husband outside in our patio and not have a word to say, but hold hands. Or when he brings me hot-coco with mini marshmellows and gives me his little smirky smile. It’s the human contact that means the most to me and is the sweetest thing. My son who is twelve demands mom and son time with me. We tell everyone we are running off for the day and we grab the cameras and take off for a day of exploring and snapping pics along the way. Life is sweet!

  54. Hi Jane! Such a sweet picture, I love it!

    One of my favorite things, something I get to enjoy so seldom these days now that my children are all teenagers, is when they play together, they giggle and laugh and I get to sit back and watch as they enjoy each others company. I love that!

    Weather is so beautiful here the last few days, sunny and almost warm. It was 57 here today and supposed to be 61 tomorrow. I love the sunshine!

    Big hugs to you sweet friend. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  55. My kids. Lol most of the time they are sweet. Especially my new baby smiled at me yesterday as soon as I walked in the door and got excited when she saw me.

  56. Today I had my fourth and final baby it doesn’t get much sweeter than that! Ella Paige welcome to the world!

  57. My 8 year daughter, Ariana telling me,” Mommy, I need to give you a hug, right now! And then you can give me a kiss.”

    My 11 year old son, Marcus, telling me what’s on his mind at any given time. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s weird, and sometimes it’s very tender.

    My husband of 20.5 years, Jeremy, telling me that he’s glad we are still married.

    Those are all sweet and all very real.

    One of my favorite things? Being able to read books in any size, shape or form, digital, hardback or soft back.

  58. My current sweet thing is when I ask my 18 month old nephew where his dimples are and he points to them on his sweet little cheeks, something I taught him! I also love it when I can get his 10 year old brother to give me a hug and a kiss and not act like he is absolutely mortified. 🙂

  59. This picture brought back soo many memories for me. This is how my son and I used to nap. It was my favorite part of the day.

  60. My new niece has just started smiling. The other day when I picked her up, she looked at me (it took her a minute to focus on me) & then she gave me the biggest smile. It kind of said, “Hey, I remember you!”

  61. Happy New Year! I love the picture-and thats the best way to nap, all the windows open and listening to the waves, love to hear that sound…my cousin surprized me by coming home from Iran,for Christmas, and his 2 buddies that live near my house so it was neat for I’ve been sending care packages to a few soldiers and I met 2 face to face, my cousin is a civilian who goes over and ministers to them and had me do care packages so its fun, sent then all kinds of things..still doing it..then went down for a few days to see my dad with him and walked the beach and relaxed. I’m kinda bummed for I was suppose to start a job but it fell thru so now I’m looking again..signed up to subsitute teaching but because of cut-backs, there using teachers aids,maybe they will call. Gotta think postive and 2012 will be better! I loved your pictures of your tree and all, I decorated my palm tree thats o my porch with flags and bells and horseshoes and hay…alittle U.S.A. and country…thats about all thats going on with me…can’t wait for your new book series..I sent your books and so many to the soldiers, thats the fun part going shopping with other people’s money…it makes me feel good!Have a nice weekend!

  62. Something sweet and real – my teenagers and me going to see a movie at the theater together. We just went this past weekend and driving home I just had the best time listening to their discussions about it.

  63. Hi Jane,

    Great picture! My sweet moments, with my teenagers, are when we sit in the family room and sunggle on the sofa and watch a movie together.

    melissa

  64. My DH and I celebrated our 30th anniversary this past summer. He happened to be off that Monday, so off we went an hour away, holding hands when possible in the car. Took a ferry to an island (so I read a book while he wandered the deck). Drove around the island slowly, checking places out. Found a quiet place and necked like teenagers. Had lunch out, and then ate my homemade brownies in the car afterward. Drove around some more, took the ferry back to the big city, and enjoyed supper out. Drove to yet another ferry (where we did the same thing re books and walking) and then found an ice-cream parlour. Slowly ate said cones outside, appreciating the beauty of the moment, and drove home, where I finished my book and he watched his favourite TV show. It was the best anniversary ever. (We officially celebrated it the previous weekend with friends, having a potluck barbecue, and friends of ours performed with their band in our backyard as a beautiful surprise too.)

    Yup. We are blessed, as are you. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and tender moment, Jane, and here’s to many more!

  65. I had a very sweet moment at sunset tonight. I was out in my pastures with my cows when my favorite sweetheart cow came up and we touched- face to face. Our noses were breathing in each other’s scent. She smelled like the fresh hay from the roll I put out and a touch of molasses from the lick tank. Who knows what I smelled like to her? Such a serene and lovely moment.

  66. Hi Jane,

    I love the photo. It speaks to every part of me as a woman. The woman who never seemed to get any rest when my children were small, the mother in me, the grandmother in me – so many thoughts it brings to mind. Ty Gurney must have recognized the sweetness of the moment immediately to have snapped the photo.

    A few years ago, my granddaughter & I were snuggling on the sofa while watching television. She commented about my ‘oversized’ middle. At first it bothered me until she had me to know, in no uncertain terms, that Nanas are suppose to be “squishy”. Well, that memory stays with me because she was as sincere as any little girl could be. All she meant was that I was her “perfect for snuggling, squishy” Nana.

  67. Hi Jane!
    I’m so jealous of your picture. My kids are teens now so no more naps with them-actually, I rarely nap now a days myself.

    The sweetest thing is that my kids make me laugh! They are truly funny and brutally honest! That can be a good thing or a bad thing! I guess that makes it ‘real’ too.

    My favorite thing: just eating pizza and watching a movie with my family. It’s one of those times that make me truly happy!

    Happy New Year!

  68. I think the sweetest thing is when my kids (all teenagers) call me Mamma Llama. The endearment warms my heart. It’s extra special when they give me a hug and say Mamma Llama. My Mamma is a Llama was one of our favorite books when they were little.

  69. Snuggling with my baby girl is the sweetest thing on the planet. She’s almost 10, so it’s becoming much less frequent, but she has always been a huggy kind of girl, so I’m hoping I get some extended time on that. You and your baby boy are so adorable!!!

  70. Hi Jane,
    I have one of the best brothers. He adores me, and let’s me know it in so many ways. His job has him traveling a lot to Europe and once he brought me back a beautiful glass necklace from Venice. The necklace is a square piece of glass – a few shades of green: olive, jade, a little gold and black specks. He says he bought it for me because it reminded him of my eyes. Ahhh, what a guy! Of course I had to look in a mirror closely at my eyes and yes they definitely have all those colors in them.
    This year I was shopping in a Christmas shop and found the cutest little cup cake ornament. I was a little short on cash, so I planned to come back and get it after pay day. Well, when I went back, it was gone. Christmas Day I opened a present from my brother and it was the ornament! He didn’t even know I wanted that exact one. We don’t live in the same city, so he didn’t get it at the shop I was shopping at, but another one by where he lives. He just always knows what I like, and I love him for it and many other reasons.

  71. How sweet,Jane. You nap all you can with Mac. The time goes all too swiftly.

    I am getting ready to celebrate my youngest daughters 21st birthday next Thursday and then mine and my hubby’s 28th wedding anniversary is on Saturday the 14th. I am trying to find special presents and cakes for the occasions.
    Ali came so soon after Christmas that finding good things for her birthday is always a challenge, but I am still trying to find something she will like. When she was younger I always gave her a half birthday celebration in the summer to make up for the January birthday.

  72. I just loved reading that! So sweet.

    My kids are growing up and the tender moments like that seem further apart. Maybe knowing that helps me treasure them more though.
    I love when my not-so-little-boy (almost a teen) still wants to crawl up in bed or on the couch right between mom and dad! He still wants us around! 🙂
    He loves to read and will plant himself among us and we will all read our books together – silently, but all together.
    It’s heavenly.

  73. One of my fondest memories of motherhood, is making banana pancakes on Saturday mornings the summer my daughter was 2. Her sweet laughter and smile as we danced around the kitchen singing to Jack Johnson’s song “Banana Pancakes” was priceless. We would twirl, dip, shimmy and shake the entire song. The house was filled with love and the smell of delicious pancakes. Whenever I hear that song, I can’t help but relive one of my greatest summers, ever.

  74. When my 3 and a half year old daugter says ‘I love you Mummy’ out of the blue. Feels like we are doing an alright job at parenting.

  75. Well starting tomorrow I get to spend Friday’s with my little dude hanging out while the other two are in school. I love spending time with him, Roen’s three and you never know what’s going to happen! I have been in nursing school and finally finished! I have a new work schedule that will allow me to spend all my time now enjoying my three kids!! Can’t wait! A great start to 2012!! Happy New Year’s to Everyone!

  76. My dog is something that is sweet. Someone found her stuck in a barbed wire fence when she was six weeks old and we adopted her from the vet. She has been the sweetest dog since the day I got her, eleven and a half years ago. Recently she’s had some health problems and I’ve been really scared but she’s okay for now. I love her to death and she really is like a daughter to me. I cherish every day I have with her. She is the sweetest thing I know.

  77. I need to have “me” time to recharge…reading uninterrupted, going for a jog. But, I wouldn’t pass up the little moments with my kids. I especially love reading to my oldest when the other 2 are in bed; it has created a special bond between us.

  78. That’s such a beautiful picture, Jane. I am forever taking pictures of my sleeping boys (who are now 6 and 9, and it annoys the heck out of them), but after a hectic day with them (and me) being grouchy or lippy, watching them sleep is what reminds me how much I love them!

    Happy New Year Jane! I’m happy to hear you’re working on new material, I would love a new Jane Porter book to read!
    N

    And P.S., it has been years since I have been to Hawaii, but I’ve always slept much better there too, with the windows open, fresh fragrant air, and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore…sigh.

  79. Sweet. Being with my niece the first time she went on a tour to see Christmas lights. She was so excited and amazed to see the displays.

  80. Hey Jane – my sweet little boy is now 8 years-old, but he still won’t go to sleep without me sitting there reading him stories, and I love that too! Once he is asleep, I get to read, and as I read I look at his sweet little face and remember when he was younger. I admire his little hands and toes that one day will belong to a young man. Bittersweet 🙁 In the morning when I am working away in my office, he gets himself ready and won’t leave the house without a kiss goodbye! If he accidently runs out and forgets, he runs back in and says, “kiss, I have to have my good-bye kiss!” Then he says, I can’t leave without kissing my mommy goodbye!” Oh, I love that boy.

  81. I, too, love holding hands while my son falls asleep. He always gives me a stuffed animal to hold. It is so precious.

  82. For me, it’s watching my two dogs play ball in our yard every day. No matter the weather or what’s going on, we play outside for an hour and I love to watch them run and get so excited when they can catch the ball mid-throw.

  83. Hi Jane,
    The sweetest thing is seeing my children succeed and share their joy. I love watching my teenaged boy get so excited about his new passion: tap dancing! It is so cool.

    I love the pic; I absolutely got warm fuzzies looking at it. Just the innocence and peace was wonderful.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Michelle F

  84. Ahhh, this just melted my heart and made me realize the importance of time and how quickly it passes us by. I have two little ones 3 and a 19 month old and life is crazy, but I always feel guilty napping with them because I always have a list of things to do! I think I will now try to allow myself to do this moreand things can wait!

    The sweetest thing for me is seeing my girls just love on their Daddy and truly want to be the center of his attention. I know they love me, but the love they share with their Daddy is so special.

    I am a photographer and I love capturing those unposed moments that really show love between two subjects and even though we may not like ourselves in the photo (like you said above) we end up having a special memory that stops time, fills an emptiness and makes our heart skip a beat!

    I love that you shared this!

    Mariah A

  85. Jane,

    What a sweet and special picture, I know that you will always treasure these naps with Mac!

    I have a couple of sweet moments to share, my nephew, who will be 12 in Feb, still blows me kisses on skype now that he lives near Seattle and I am down in San Diego area. I am sure that this will end soon, but until then I will treasure it! Also my best friend’s son calls me auntie, well the other day I get a txt message and it said, Hi its Jack(he is 7) and you are the best Andy(he meant auntie.)I have saved that txt, because it just so cute, and always makes me smile.

    Now for a keeping it real and a sweet moment to boot, is all about my Grandma. I have such great memories of the times I spent with her as a kid, and now that she has alzheimers they mean so much more. I visit her as often as I can, she lives in Indy now. On my last visit she was in such great spirits, and she knew who I was everyday, and we just spent time together. We watched movies and old reruns of “Little House on the Prairie.” just like when I was a kid. One night, I tucked her in before going back to my hotel, and I went to kiss her on the forehead, and she just looked so peaceful that I decided to take a picture on my phone,the picture is now one of my favorites!

    Happy writing! Excited to read this new triology from you!

    May 2012 be filled with Blessings for you and a lot of special “nap times” with all of your special people in your life.

  86. Love the pic Jane. Sometimes the spontaneous pics mean the most when you look at them again. I just posted a picture on Facebook of my daughter when she was coming out of anesthesia from an endoscopy. She hated it, but then realized that it represents the next step in getting better!

  87. Jane,

    What a great picture of you and Mac. Both look of you looked utterly relaxed and at peace with the world. You have to cherish those moments.

    Something that’s sweet to me is when my 11 month old nephew gives me a big smile upon seeing me. It always melts my heart.

  88. When i saw the pic ..i said to my self ‘see Jane is a real mom’..LOL..LOVE the pic Jane..
    i know the feeling..i just put my 14months old baby on bed, sang the lullaby and he’s asleep now..peace and quiet 😉

    Happy New Year 😀

  89. Lovely photo, Jane! So glad to read that you had time to relax and enjoy your family.

    One of my favorite family moments that is sweet is listening to all 3 of my children laugh and have fun together (they are 18, 13, and 11)…they really are best friends, which warms my mama heart.

  90. My husband Mike is the sweetest man I know. Our youngest son of four children just left for college. Mike knows how hard this is for me and he really tries to make life special and real. Just the simple little things he does makes me smile. He has my lunch prepared when I come home from work during my lunch break. How real and sweet is that. We love spending the evenings together. Watching our favorite TV program or getting in the hot tub. Just spending time together laughing and talking. My mother has always lived with us and now she is getting older. Mike will clean up and take care of her while I am at work. He truly is a blessing and my love!

  91. I remember naps woith my boys when were small just like this. It is sweet. One of my favorite things is every Christmas i buy a deck of UNO cards that the boys get Christmas eve. We play then starting that night through their Christmas break. By March some of the cards are usually missing ergo i get the new deck every year. It’s kind of a Winter thing to play. This year i bought UNO attacks same guy with a twist. It spits the cards our of a small machine randomly so you don’t know who will get them and how many. Lots and lots off laughs for all of us.

    Happy New year Jane!

    Lisa B

  92. Sweet pic. I’ve enjoyed having my son home from college for a month. I didn’t realize how much I miss his daily presence.

  93. Jane,
    When my almost 8yr old son gets up in the morning, he will come find me and immediately cuddle until he’s more fully awake. He also still likes to be tucked in at night. He is so loving. I keep getting told that this will change so I am enjoying every single moment of it. Now my preteen daughter has always been a daddy’s girl but the moments with her are just different. Like when she sends me private look telling she understands how weird daddy and her brother are. Or yesterday when I went into NY for Live W Kelly and she not only got herself ready and down to school but home later and homework done when I got held up outside the Holland Tunnel when a tractor trailer hit our car. No injuries but a big pain in the butt. She makes me proud:)

    Love the pic! Such a sweet moment.
    Happy New Year!
    Cindy

  94. The sweetest things for me are cuddling under a blanket with both of my kids and stroking their hair. So precious…and they still let me do it from time to time at 11the and 13. I’m so grateful!

  95. The sweetest thing for me is when my two kids are actually home at the same time. Since they are in college this is rare but sweet because of it.

  96. Jane,
    What a precious moment Ty caught on jpeg for you. One of the sweetest things for me is when 10 year old son will randomly yell out, “GROUP HUG!” My husband, daughter and myself will drop whatever it is that we’re doing and find him for the group hug. I love that he is practically a tween and still wants the affection from his family. I was truly blessed with this big guy! Best wishes for an incredible new year and happy writing. Can’t wait to hear about the book.

  97. Oh, the memory of the warm pacific ocean and trade winds makes me just a little bit jealous. Enjoy! You are so fortunate that Hawaii is a big part of your life.

    My kids (18 and 21)and my gem of a boyfriend bring me the most happiness and comfort. And hot bubbly baths with candles and quiet music.

    Happy New Year Jane to you and yours!

  98. Jane,
    Hello. The sweetest thing for me right now is when I come from a hard days work and my husband has already started supper!

    Melinda

  99. Hi Jane,

    Love the pic and the story that goes with it 🙂

    My husband and I don’t get to do alot of just fun stuff together much anymore with the strains of family and work on us, but tonite we get to go on a hot date to a hockey game which already has me smiling 🙂 I can’t wait! I started taking hockey practice this time last year, so it means alot to me that the date involves the hockey game 🙂

    Have a great weekend!
    Sandy

  100. A sweet spot today: Late to my sons’s basketball game, my ‘baby A’ is dribbling down the court, surrounded by defense, takes a 3-point shot, and swish, it’s in. He looks up and sees me! So happy to see his mom seeing a moment of triumph.

  101. Hola Jane

    Happy New Year! Love the photo. During my time off for the holidays, my 9 yr old and I would take a daily nap. We would select the coldest and darkest room and then we would each cover up with a warm mexican blanket. And we could not forget the X-mas music playing on the radio. Easily took 2-3 hr naps 🙂 It was the best.
    Hope your writing goes well.

  102. The sweetest thing for me is our reading time before bed. All of us get cozy and cuddle while we take turns reading books to eachother. I’m sure in a couple years they will be ‘too old’ for that, so I might as well enjoy it while they let me! 🙂

  103. Watching my grandkids play on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas was pure bliss. They were so happy and carefree. I totally know what you mean about Hawaii, Jane, because I feel the same way about Cabo. It is my favorite place to go with my fav people! Enjoy your naps and reading time with Mac!

  104. My son is 9 and during the day he’s starting to show more independence and seperation. It makes me sad, but I know I can’t snuggle him all day…but at night when the lights are out and he’s cozy in his bed he’ll say “Mommy, will you snuggle me” and no matter how tired I am I crawl into his bed just so I can have all these moments with him. My heart sweels and it makes his independence far more bearable.

  105. This week “sweet” is the opening of a tiny fist to out an out-stretched hand of slender fingers, feeling her soft, fuzzy blanket while she woke from a sleep.

    Avarie-3 months.My sweet grand-baby.

    Simple,cherished moments from which I category in my mind, and in my heart.

    Funny is Avarie’s Auntie, Lily, my fourteen year old daughter recanting her dentist visit-pulling off her scrunchy from the discomfort of the dentist chair and….her hand flying off her head with scrunchy, accidentally punching the dentist in the face.Luckily everyone laughed:)

    Dee~

  106. Hi Jane

    What a great picture of you and Mac and I can remember fondly the relaxation induced from being in Hawaii. I am just happy to start a new year and hope its a little smoother than 2011.

    My tender moment is that both my kids, a teen and a tween, still love hugs from me every day.

    Can’t wait to read your new trilogy!!

  107. What I find the sweetest is giving my youngest son many kisses and cuddles. He is extremely handicapped and will be my forever baby. He is sweetness personified!

  108. What a beautiful picture of you and your little child! So very sweet. My girls are grown up, but I still love the sweetness of their hugs and kisses and how they can never get enough. I always hope that will never change.
    Happy to hear you had a relaxing time in Hawaii and you are ready to get back to work recharged.

  109. This picture is precious! My two little girls and I love to cuddle under blankets on the couch while we watch the snow falling down outside. Such a simple thing…but it is our ‘sweetest thing!’

  110. Unwinding on holidays near the beach is one of my favorite things. The unconditional affection of my dog is one of the sweetest things.

  111. Something sweet: My granddaughter, Natalie who turns 5 today! She is precocious, gorgeous, sweet and I love her like there is no tomorrow.

    Real: the love of my family. Since my father passed away two weeks ago. Was it only 2 weeks ago?.. their support has been unending.

    A favorite thing: cuddling with my husband.

    Love your picture, Jane.

  112. Drooling, haggard mother say, “Me. Want. Hawaii.”

    🙂

    A recent sweetness was time off with my kids as we all got a break from their demanding schedule of school and after-school care and homework. Who knew they were so delightful. Sweet is the kids, and the lesson I learned this week.

  113. Just under the wire?!

    The real thing…the morning routine. When the alarm went off 4 days ago, after Christams break. Four kids running down the stairs. Breakfast cooking, coffee brewing, folders flying, lunches packing, backpacks dragging…and suddenly…the break was a distant dreeam.

  114. I was gone all weekend, helping celebrate my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. She is confused sometimes and doesn’t hear too well, but she is able to get around and for her present wanted money to go to the casino and play the slot machines (and she still reads romance novels, too)!

  115. Something that is sweet and real is experiencing our 17-year-old son’s senior year of high school and hearing him play lead trumpet in the jazz band. His solo in “The First Noel” captured my heart. And peppy numbers played at the basketball games are just as exciting.

    Love my kids playing music! His 12-year-old sister is learning trumpet, which is also sweet. He helps her, which melts my heart

  116. Hi Jane,
    Happy New Year! Mac is just as adorable when he’s sleeping:)
    Something sweet, real and my favorite thing to do is having pajama days with my two boys. Although I wish we had more of them. Happy writing!
    Love ya,
    Stephanie

  117. Happy 2012! Great picture Jane! Precious! Mr. Mac will always remember naps with his Mommie!

    My babies are all almost grown & taller than me! I have so many sweet memories when mine were small. I remember getting up in middle night to check on my girls, my oldest daughter (about 4 yrs) had climbed into the crib with my younger daughter (about 18 months) to sleep with her. They were so sweet, Now I wish I had a picture of girls all curled up in the crib together.

    Now that they are older I get really great hugs from all 3 of my kids (My big babies). I have some great huggers! 🙂

    I can’t wait to read your new book! Sept. seems so far off! but it will be here before we know it! the way time flys anymore!

    Have a Great 2012!
    Dee D

  118. My flight home was late and I couldn’t post the winners without internet so here are my 10 winners for this latest blog!!

    Winners, email me your name and # and you have a prize coming to you ASAP!!

    Two regular winners:

    #27 Elizabeth P
    ##35 Jenni H

    The 8 Bonus winners are:

    #4 Linsey T

    #33 Cheryl S

    #37 Katy

    #45 Jessica N

    #46 Alex B

    #75 Kris G

    #111 Heidi C

    #122 Cathy S

  119. My sweetheart moments have been watching our rescue Boxer dog “Harper Lee” bond with her brother Otto and us. Someone threw her away and we have a wonderful new addition to our family and Otto just loves on his new sister. It’s like she has always belonged in her new forever home. Harper blesses us.

  120. Hi, Jane…looking forward to seeing some photos of your Hawaiian Christmas when you get a chance to post them…just don’t take time away from your family to do so.

  121. My favorite thing is sleeping with my grandson who is 3. We have our “picnics” on the bed, watching TV, and eating popcorn. Then we curl up in bed shortly after. He’s my “snuggle buddy.” There is nothing sweeter than the smell, and feel of his little body. He grabs my neck and says “I love you Nana.” Or he will lace his hand with mind and we go to sleep. The most innocent, beautiful thing in the world.

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