A feathery Australian Pine hanging over the bay - I can't believe how beautiful the water is..... It's been so fun learning all the names of the trees and plants here. So many interesting and gorgeous varieties!

Another depressing weekend in Florida with gloomy weather.....

Yes, yes, I know. I promise I am not trying to make anyone jealous. No, my life is hardly perfect and the weather here is not always sunny. Sometimes, even here in paradise, it gets stormy and things can be stressful. I don't take pictures when the skies are dark, tears are falling and I'm stressed with work and covered in paint (although that may be coming...stay tuned) However, I do believe in looking on the bright side and being thankful not only for the things that are going right, but also for the things that are difficult and painful, because even those trials can bring about good things. I am learning that acceptance, faith and gratitude are keys to peace. They make the disappointments and pain in life bearable and the sweet moments in life even that much sweeter. (Romans 8:28)

This weekend I had occasion to enjoy one of those happy times, taking some time out to celebrate a very special event in my family, my beloved baby sister's engagement! Lis is my spunky, adorable, funny, vivacious, smart, beautiful, sweet and energetic only sister. I am very protective of her (typical older sister) and it thrills me to see her so happy and contented. My new brother-to-be is a terrific guy who has proven, over time, to be such a consistent blessing, not only to my sister, but to our entire family. He is kind, reliable, honest, respectful, gentle, generous and loving. A man of integrity, a true rarity these days. They are so well suited to each other and bring out the best in one another, just as it should be. I am so happy for both of them and wish them a loving, peaceful and fulfilling life together. Congratulations - I love you guys!!