50th Wedding Anniversary Party

A month or so ago,  Andy and his siblings decided that they were going to celebrate one of the most unbelievable things — their parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  It truly is amazing to think of the milestone that 50 years is.


It is hard to imagine falling in love and getting married at the age of nineteen, but that is in fact the story of his amazing parents.  They have stood by each others side through each and every year, and they have built a family that is grounded in love and faith.

We had the chance to discuss just some of the things that would be great to have to honor and celebrate their relationship.  We included fun things like poster enlargements of their wedding photos, a memory tree that was filled with their friends’ best wishes, and an assortment of yummy treats that truly were favorites of them both.

My sisters-in-law scheduled a beautiful blessing at mass and the food was all catered in so everyone could enjoy the evening.  Andy and his brother stocked the bar and included their dad’s favorite beer and wine choices.


In planning a 50th wedding anniversary party, here are some things to consider:

  1. Pick a Theme –  Clearly gold is a great option and we used it because it is timeless, classic, and elegant, just like my mother-in-law.
  2. Plan Ahead – My sisters-in-law and I met about two months before to review details. We DELEGATED too … one took food, the other handled invitations, and the other was generous enough to provide the location!
  3. Incorporate the Couple’s Wedding Day – Make sure to include the couple in the details.  We used their sweet wedding picture on the invitation and I enlarged several photos from the wedding album.
  4. Music – We had music playing from their era, and of course, included some of the favorite country songs my mother-in-law loves.
  5. The Toast –  As I said, there is nothing more special than achieving 50 years and to top it off, to be healthy and happy enough to celebrate it with family.  Raise a glass to the couple with a prepared speech by the children…it truly makes a memory.

We included beautiful white hydrangeas in gold vases resting atop gold gilded mirrors.  Votive candles flickered everywhere and all stay warmed in a heated tent with tables and chairs.


The napkins were wrapped in gold glitter ribbon and each had a photo of the happy couple tied to them.  The memory tree was made with gold branches and twinkle lights were woven into them.  We clipped wedding photos to the branches to display memories from their special day from fifty years ago with gold clothespins that were picked up at Jo-Ann Fabrics.




We also brought in some of their favorite things.   My father-in-law’s specialty, homemade salsa, was there ready to serve with dipping chips.  Bun Bars and Paydays were also there for nibbling, as they too are favorites.  My mother-in-law’s infamous chocolate chip cookies were on display and they truly melted in your mouth! (My sister-in-law made them! Yum!)



All in all, it was a wonderful evening.  I look forward to celebrating the next milestone with all of them.

Make it a great day!



Photo Credit to the amazing Gabby Savoie Photography!



I received a phone call a few weeks ago from an amazing mom who was looking to give her son an update to his bedroom for his birthday.

I made sure to interview my “young” client and pick his brain about what he really wanted in his room.  He said he loved Star Wars, superheros, and video games.  He sounded just like several other soon-to-be “double digits” kids I know!  I wanted to weave in those requirements in a way that his room still felt playful, but would transition him into his teen years.

During our first meeting there was discussion about putting a loft bed in the room and super sizing it to a full or queen size.  I took several measurements to see if it was possible.

Mom requested a desk for homework and a place to stash books for nighttime reading.  I felt that I could easily meet that request.  I went home and began sourcing options for his space.  I did my best to make some budget-friendly choices that will stand the test of time for her son.

I laid out some options for both loft beds and floor full sized beds.  Knowing that the bed was going to dictate the inspiration for the room, we needed to have that selection made.

I went back to their home with tape measure in hand, and because of the lower ceilings, we were all on the same page of selecting the low upholstered headboard platform bed.  It’s sleek and mature, and allows for his beloved pets to join him on his bed.  It is from Wayfair and the link is attached. Blanchett Upholstered Bed


It was time to start decorating!  We began by repainting the room.  Andy and I brought in a couple of gallons of Sherwin Williams Online paint to cover the walls.  The soft grey is a true grey and would set the tone for the more mature space.


I brought with me some Star Wars inspired artwork, along with Marvel comics inspired pieces.  I found this great USA shelf at At Home for $129.  I was able to display many treasures this little man has held onto in his life.  Special Hot Wheels cars and an Iron Man mask are just a few things that made it to a front a center display area.


I found this great Game Room LED light that we hang over a new mirror that provides depth to the space.  I found a book cart for his books and a table lamp alongside for chapter reading at bedtime.


We placed a Target desk in the bump out window area and it measures just perfectly to fit in the space.  There is a drawer to hide pens and pencils and other items.


The bed was made with new sheets from the Target Threshold line, a soft grey blanket, and a grey plaid duvet to give a more “grown up” look to the room.  I found some black and white Marvel and Star Wars pillows for his bed, along with his initial “J” to monogram his space.

img_5495img_5462img_5464img_5426img_5431Finally, we put his name in lights and completed the wall corner with two images of the X-Wing Fighter and the Millennium Falcon.  We left some room on the floor for a video game chair that the birthday boy just might be getting this week!



img_5442We stacked up his books on one side of his bed, and on the other is a fun storage bin for his “Things”.  Yoda and Chewy look over the basket as you walk in his room.

img_5449img_5477As always, I had a ton of fun trying to get in this little guy’s mind and execute a room that was ideal by his standards, yet met all the requirements of mom.

Feel free to give a call if I can help design a room for a little person in your life.

Make it a great day!





I was so excited when a sweet, blushing, bride-to-be reached out to me during the springtime.  I knew how excited she was about her upcoming wedding and I was thrilled to help pull some final details together.

After a few meetings and discussions about what her grand plans were for her wedding day, I gained an idea of some things that I thought would make the space magical for her and the groom.

Because the nuptials were taking place in October, there would be pumpkins.  Her adorable father grew his very own garden filled with mini white pumpkins for her special day.  It truly warmed my heart to see the love this family has for the beautiful bride who would soon be walking down the aisle.


I designed some Pinterest boards for her so we could work together on creating a theme and look for the day.  I integrated the plum hue she was looking for as the bridesmaids would be wearing aubergine on the fall day.

Then it was back to the pumpkins!  We would have metallic glass ones, white ceramic ones, real gourds, and white mini pumpkins to fill the tables and landscape of the special day.  The bride was so cute and even assigned a pumpkin “type” to correlate with each dinner table.


The discussion of flowers lead to earl grey roses, lisianthus, seeded eucalyptus, and garden hydrangeas.  The mother-of- the-bride, sisters, and friends, all helped in making the beautiful flowers for the center of the table.  The day of the event, I sprinkled more simple arrangements to fill the design on the table.


We layered a beautiful runner on each table.  The bride always shared with me her vision was for an elegant fall wedding.  The word elegant always resonated with me as we built out the special day.


She had a small frame that each guest wrote out a best wish on a heart and dropped in the top of the box.

She and the groom share a sweet tooth, so it was only fitting to create a candy bar.  The beautiful clear vases were elevated on top of an old rustic box and their favorite treats filled the jars.  We had small bags for the candy at the side and scoops in each jar for easy sharing.


Finally, we filled the window sill in the room with flowers and tea lights resting on birch trunk pieces.  The candles offered a soft glow for the wedding reception.


The evening was magical…right out of a Cinderella fairytale story.  They both danced the night away while sipping on their signature drinks…a Moscow Mule for the groom and a Pomegranate Martini for the bride.

Cheers to many years of happiness!

Make it a great day!


*****A special thank you to Ilze Lucero Photography  for passing along some beautiful photos from the day!

Renovate and Decorate – A Kitchen Overhaul

A few months back I was asked by some friends if I might be able to help with their kitchen.  I had been to their home once before and I had vaguely remembered some paneling and fixtures that dated back several decades.  I remembered that the space did not seem very functional.  I met with them and soon realized all my memories were right on par with what I had recalled.

The space had beautiful windows but it still felt dark because of the paneling and closed off space.  There were cabinets that were impractical, as the doors covered up a closet to an adjoining room.  The room was hot in the summers and cold in the winter.  The vent hood above the stove was essentially a down draft letting in cold air.  It was time for an overhaul.

I sat down with our friends and learned what was most important to them.  They needed the space to be functional for all to easily move around and cook.  They needed the kitchen to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  They needed storage spaces that made sense and were practical.  They needed a place to put food items and store various tabletop appliances like Crockpots and rice makers that are often used.

They did not have much vision as to what they could do with the space, so I did some planning on paper to show them what they could do with their area.  We decided to take down a wall separating the two rooms and incorporate it into the kitchen.  It would soon become home to their dining room table.

We moved the stove to a different wall, so there could be counters extending on either side, to create more space for prepping and cooking.  Because there are seven people living here, we decided to include two sinks, one for prep in the island, and the other for rinsing and doing dishes next to the dishwasher.

Andy and I, along with several volunteers helped with demo.  We discovered layers of walls, old insulation, floor tiles from years ago, and various other elements that dated back in time.  After four days of completing the full gut of the space, the real work began.


Since safety and function were the driving elements of our design, we began by integrating new electrical wires and outlets.  We revamped the heating system, moved plumbing lines, and made sure the structure was sound.  Framing was completed and plans were set for the new layout.  We needed to replace the windows and all of the insulation in the room.

Meanwhile, I began refining the design decisions with our friends.  We selected dark maple espresso shaker cabinets, practical and affordable appliances, granite countertops that would be impervious and resilient to stains, and cabinet hardware and fixtures that portrayed a clean line and contemporary feel.


We discussed kitchen backsplashes and landed on a beautiful tile to finish the area behind the oven.  During demo we discovered exposed brick and decided to keep that in the space too.  Finally, the floor tile needed to be consistent in color and paired with dark grout to conceal potential dirt from traffic in and out of the kitchen.


We had our contractor team to help with much of the project.  We worked together to make the space reflect the needs and requests of those living in the home.

There was something so peaceful about working on this project.  I always am looking to make sure my homeowners are filled with comfort in their newly renovated home.  This project was extra special.  Andy and I found such joy in making this room safe and sound for our friends.  Our children loved following the project every step of the way, and often asked if they could come and help or just check on the progress.

All that being said, here are the final reveal pictures.  The granite is installed, the cabinets have plates stacked neatly in them, and the drawers are filled with all the kitchen essentials.  This kitchen truly took a village to complete and the experience was “heavenly”.


A 72″ side by side refrigerator and freezer by Electrolux.  Finished with a trim kit, this appliance system looks as if it was made for the space!


We opted for stainless steel Electrolux appliances and lighting to compliment, also in a stainless steel finish.  We went with clean lined and contemporary fixtures and cabinet hardware for a consistent look.


The granite we selected is colonial white with an ogee edge.  The granite has pattern and grain in it, but is consistent.  After careful search and selection in the granite yard, we chose the perfect slabs.


The island features nearly 4o square feet of surface area to prep, prepare, and eat.  There is a small prep sink to wash veggies as cooking is done at the stove.  There are six nailhead trimmed counter stools below, that are great for a quick breakfast in the morning.  Their smooth surface cleans up easily in case of any spills.




Finally, the dining space was made complete with this beautiful table and chairs from Crate and Barrel.  It completes the dining area and is perfect for seating ten guests for dinner.


We wanted this kitchen to become the hub of their home.  We hope the function of the space leads to many home cooked meals and peace in this newly designed room.

All in all, this truly was one of my favorite renovations that we have done to date.  To bring comfort, happiness, functionality, and simplicity to our friends’ home gave us such joy.  I hope you enjoy this reveal as much as we did!  Please take the time to find us on Facebook and Instagram @georgiapepperberry.

Make it a great day!



I recently had a client request some accessories and finishing touches to complete her room. She and her husband just purchased new carpet and furniture and they repainted their lower level.  They also had their mantle and kitchen cabinets repainted in a beautiful antique white with a warm glaze.  They added stacked stone to their fireplace in rich neutral tones.  I was asked to bring in some accessories to finish off the space.

I met with my client and I gained an understanding of what she was looking for in her main floor.  A clean modern space, yet a room that felt cohesive and warm.  There were several blank walls and I knew we were going to need to incorporate some new artwork.

After our first meeting, I went out and shopped for some items and created a vignette for her to see in person.  In my travels, I would take photos of different pieces of art and got the thumbs up or thumbs down from her.  It was a great way to refine what style she was looking for in her family room.


I was gathering a sense for what she really liked.  Textured and neutral items were first on the list.  Contemporary artwork that featured abstract images and different materials. These wood rolled art carvings were perfect for the living room.


Drapery panels that were muted, yet filled with pattern to give a fresh look to the space.  We found these great options from West Elm.


A chair was requested for the desk area, lighting was needed too.  A floor lamp was perfect for behind the sofa and this beautiful gray lamp looked great next to their side chair.  Since there was going to be movie watching in this room at some point, a basket filled with soft blankets and pillows was a must.  The coffee table has a tray on it for trips back and forth to the kitchen for drinks and popcorn.





Finally, it was decorating day!  Andy and I hung drapery rods, steamed curtains, fluffed pillows, and filled the couple’s space with neutral decor items that tied the area together.  There are little ladies in the house that play with Barbies from time to time.  I secretly tucked them away in these little seagrass baskets.  I added the leather bench with nailheads for extra seating in the room when friends come over for football games.




The dining room area just got a simple addition of placemats and a centerpiece.


The entryway is narrow, so a long cabinet with doors and drawers to tuck loose items away was appropriate.  We hung a fun, varied wood mirror above the table for last minute looks as they run out the door.  A simple key ring for guests keys or perhaps for their dog’s leash.



Finally, we added a few items in the half bath downstairs.  I added some contemporary art, a simple, washable rug that tied in the blue from the walls and painting, and fresh white towels with texture to complete the space.


The main floor is all open, and now, with consistent tones and textures, the downstairs area tells a story.  I thoroughly enjoyed pulling the pieces together for this amazing woman and her great family!

Hope you enjoy too!

Make it a great day!



I often wonder what my children will be when they grow up.  Will they become artists or scientists, teachers or writers?  Will they get married and have children or will they stay single?  I am not sure and honestly, it does not matter. I want them to do what makes them most happy.

My oldest daughter just celebrated her 7th birthday a few weeks ago.  She is a unique gal filled with so much spirit and drive to be her own person.  She does what her heart tells her to do.

I was shopping for her birthday gift and found this t-shirt that reads, “Be You Bravely”.  I purchased the shirt knowing this is what I want my girl to know.  I want her to know that she can be herself, confidently and bravely.


This spunky gal of mine is known for wearing superhero costumes, rescuing bugs in the backyard, climbing tall trees to the very top, and recently, signing up to play flag football.  She is herself.

For her birthday, we were in Northern Michigan and she shared she just wanted to be with her family on her special day.  She has often talked about horseback riding and asked if there was any way she might get the chance to ride a horse.  Andy and I secretly found a stable up north that met her request.

There would be seven of us.  Andy, myself, our monkeys, and my mom would be participating in the adventure.  We pulled into the stable and Devin got the biggest smile on her face.  She realized her dream was going to be fulfilled.


While our special girl was elated to be getting the chance to ride a horse, others in our group were less than thrilled that this was the birthday excursion.  With some words of encouragement and promises of prayer, all of us got onto our horses, bravely.

We rode through the narrow trails of the Mackinac State Forest, lined up behind our leader.  She spoke to us about her history and where her business came from.  I was inspired listening to her.  Our leader had started her business and I could tell she “bravely” was herself in following her dream.

I looked behind and everyone was riding confidently.  The birthday girl was stroking the mane of her horse and my youngest was calmly chatting away with her wrangler.  Even the skeptical riders had smiles on their faces.  They showed such satisfaction in overcoming their initial resistance.  We were all being us, “bravely.”


In that moment, on that tree-lined trail, I realized how special this day was.  First of all, I’m blessed with such an amazing family.  I’m blessed with a daughter that loves to test her limits and challenge the rest of her family members along the way.  I’m blessed to know that we all truly appreciated the simpleness of this special day.


As my monkeys get older, I want them to believe in themselves, create their dreams, and follow them.  I want them to know things will not always be easy, but that’s when they need to be brave.  Others may not trust they are doing the right “thing”, but if they have faith in themselves, promise and commitment to follow their heart, then they are on the right path to making their dreams come true.

Make it a great day today and “Be You Bravely”.




The one thing that I have learned in the years of helping others with decorating, is that scale is often forgotten when putting together a room.  I have walked into many homes and have seen the attempt to transform a space, but only small pieces of artwork or accessories are there.

It is so common to go to a store, try and choose a piece of artwork for the walls, only to get home and see that it is small and actually dwarfs the wall that it is hanging.

Proportion is such a tough thing to judge.  The look of balance in a room can be difficult to achieve.  You want to fill the room, but having all large items or all small items, often creates confusion in a space instead of leaving it cohesive.

Here are some things to consider when analyzing scale and creating balance:

  1.  Fill UP Your Space –  Ceiling height is a consideration in a room.  The rooms space does not end at eye level.  Make sure the pieces of your space take into account the height of a room.  Mirrors are a great way to create a visual filler to a space.  Take them beyond 8′ in rooms that have cathedral ceilings.  They work wonders in these spaces.img_3330DSC_0602
  2. Group your Accessories – Accessories are unique.  It is challenging to find things that pull a room together and fit your personality.  Make sure you choose things you love.  When you have them, group them together.  Spreading accessories across a space, as opposed to having them sit together in one area, actually creates visual confusion.  The “rule of threes” applies too — 3 objects of varying height grouped together.Noel Sofa 1
  3.  Make your Ceilings Taller –  When you go to the store to purchase ready-made curtains, you can often purchase any color or texture you can imagine in 84″ length.  DON’T BUY THEM!  It’s so tempting, I know.  They are right there, and you know you can get them home and hung within an hour.  Take the time to locate the 96″ length or order them.  What you want to do is hang your curtain rod all the way to the top of your standard 8′ ceilings.  It makes your room look so much larger and actually creates a feeling of taller ceilings.  IMG_0966

These are “go-to” decorating tips I use frequently in my client’s interior design projects and in my own home.  I hope you find these tips helpful as you take on your own decor update.  Let me know if you have any questions or decorating challenges that have your stumped!

Make it a great day!





A few months back, I was invited into a family’s beautiful home.  I spent some time with the couple and listened to them.  I learned what they liked and disliked and gained an understanding of how they lived.

Their daughter curled up in a chair to watch a show and I knew that comfort was important to this crew.  Style was equally important.  They had beautiful pieces of furniture and accessories that they had collected over the years.  Understanding what the couple liked was gained after a tour of their home and listening.  I heard what pieces were selected by the Mrs. and which ones were selected by the Mr.  I was learning what was important to each of them.

I took some pictures, and as always, came back with a design board of my initial ideas.  I brought some curtains, one of the lamps, some artwork, and a few accessories.  I wanted them to be able to see the items and get a feel for the mix of textures.

There were items that would be worked into the rooms — that super comfy sofa in the family room, the custom wall finish  in the living room, the beautiful bar and secretary, and some other items that had special meaning to the family.

At our next visit, final selections were made and we had a game plan as to when things would be ordered and we would start putting things into place.

Midway through the project the fireplace in the family room came up in discussion.  As you can see, it was a standard fireplace, and the couple was looking to make a change.  I emailed the couple some ideas to see which ones interested them.  I then returned with some stacked stone options and the ideas began to flow!  They opted for the more rustic and varied stacked stone and their was a request for a rustic beam.


The search began…I contacted several people to help find the perfect beam…and we found it.  It was a monster, so we had it cut to size and I soon thereafter, I was picking up the gem.


It took a couple of weeks for the fireplace to be completed.  We raised the fireplace box, built a hearth for many to sit, and the contractors installed the stacked stone, beam, and limestone hearth.  The goal was to fill the space and have it be the focal point of the room.

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Decorating Day arrived and Andy and I worked like busy bees to make sure everything was in place.  We started in the Dining Room and Living Room.

I was sure to incorporate their beautiful pieces.  I added the upholstered finishes, along with the accessories and window treatments, to create a cohesive look to the space.  I made the flower arrangement for the dining room table that has hints of lavender that are pulled from the triptych art on the wall.  I carried the hint of lavender to the damask pillows on the sofa.

I used black to anchor the space.  The dining room chairs have black leather material on the seats and the black is repeated in the artwork, drapery panels, and throw pillows.  I included several layers of texture to the space to make it feel warm and welcoming.

Good DIning Room ChandelierDR different angleDining Room Chandelier. jpgLR and DRLiving Room SofaLiving Room BarDrapery Living RoomSecretary


Then we moved into the Kitchen.  The request was for a new farmhouse table and we decided to add a bench and bistro chairs to complete the classic look.  The table was custom built and features a white, rustic finish with grey undertones below the surface.

I added the colorful rug to integrate the colors of the adjoining family room into the space. I pulled some, soft, buttery, drapery panels in to bring another layer of warmth to the room.

Kitchen tableFlowers and ECKitchen and FRCrate Close Up


We finished  the day in the Family Room.  With the fireplace as the anchor of the space, and the barn artwork being the focal point of color, I pulled much of the decor from those two items.  I knew we were in need of soft drapery panels to balance the fireplace.  The trellis design linen sheers were hung on an oil rubbed bronze finish drapery rod.  I integrated black into the space again in the lampshades on the oversized blue lamps.  Beaded pillows added another layer of texture, and the coral birds carried the hint of color from the kitchen into the room.  I used both rustic and gold finishes in the accessories to balance the personalities of both the Mr. and Mrs. of the house.  This is their family room and it should represent them.

We had an antique buffet converted into a media center and it is finished in chalk paint with an antique glaze finish.  The couple’s sofa, chaise, chair, and tables, all were included into the space.  We moved the layout to best enjoy TV watching and the fireplace.  I see many cups of hot cocoa being enjoyed in this room.

Cropped Feature FRCropped Media Stand

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When the Mrs. arrived, I saw her eyes fill with tears and so did mine.  The reveal truly is the best part of the job.  I selfishly relish that moment and enjoy seeing all of the efforts of the project come together.

My client asked me — “So how would you describe the style of our home?”  I replied and let her know that I wanted it to be a blend of she and her husband’s personality.  In each  corner of their house, I wanted their space to feel like them.  She loves elegance and glamour, he loves rustic and comfortable spaces.  My answer to her question… “It’s a blend of your styles.  It’s Kate Spade in the country.”

Make it a great day!




I have mentioned in the past, that my monkeys often request “dirt cups” as birthday treats when their special day arrives on the calendar.   We have whipped some up for family picnics and I have taken them to friends’ homes as a perfect after dinner dessert for the little ones.

With only just a few short weeks left of our summer, I thought I would post the recipe I use.  Perhaps you will be inspired to take a tray to your Labor Day picnic or family barbecue.  Below is a recipe for eighteen cups of yumminess!






  • 2 pkgs of chocolate flavored instant pudding
  • 4 cups of ice cold skim or 1% milk
  • 2 container (8 oz) of whipped topping — make sure it is thawed!
  • 2 pkgs of Oreo cookies crumbled (I put the package into a large Ziploc bag and the kids enjoying breaking them with a mallet to make the perfect texture.)
  • 2 pkgs of chewy candy worms
  • 18-24 8 oz clear plastic cups



Pour your instant pudding mix and cold milk in a large bowl and whisk together the ingredients for 2-3 minutes.



Next, add the container of thawed whipped topping to the bowl.  Continue to whisk the ingredients together.  I like the texture of the pudding to get smooth like mousse and it takes about 3 minutes of whisking to achieve the consistency.  (Sometimes my helpers get distracted!)





Mix in half of the crumbled Oreo cookies to the mousse mixture and save the other half in the bag.





Place your plastic cups into cupcake trays. (This makes it easier to put them in the refrigerator and transport later.)


Sprinkle a thin layer of the Oreo crumbs on the bottom of each empty cup.




Next, add a layer of the chocolate pudding mousse to the cup.  I typically add a healthy serving of the mixture!)



Top off each cup with the Oreo crumbles and then place the entire tray into the refrigerator to cool for an hour.


After the cups are cooled, add your chewy candy worms to the top for decoration!





Tell me how they turned out — I hope you all enjoy!

Make it a great day!





I often say the phrase “Life is good”.  I say it to my monkeys, I say it to strangers, and I constantly say it to myself.  I use it as a hashtag on Instagram posts and smile every time I see it printed on a spare tire cover on the back of a Jeep.  “Life is good”.  I am so blessed and grateful for all that I have, but more importantly, all of those who are in my life.  They are three simple words that are such a reminder to me, that when things are tough, “Life is good.”  Because it is.

I grew up hearing the phrase, “Life is good”.  My dad often said the words just to keep things in context that we are all lucky in life.  Even in the most troubling of circumstances he would say the words, “Life is good”.  He said the phrase when I didn’t make the basketball team in sixth grade, when I won an art contest in high school, and just moments after delivering my first baby boy.  “Life is good.”  They were words that I heard him say but they did not necessarily register until December 10th, 2003.

Three weeks after our first son was born, I was sitting on the couch comfortably holding my new little bundle of baby joy.  I received a phone call that afternoon that changed my life forever.

I knew my dad was having an endoscopy and shortly afterwards he called. His exact words were, “I have a picture of something they found and I’m bringing it over. OK?”  An hour later, he arrived.  In a calm voice he said to me, “They found a tumor.  How do we fix it?”  I knew he was scared and so was I, but I also knew how he had raised me.  Our job was to work together a find a solution.  So I did my best to help him.

I reached out to some friends and colleagues in the oncology field and within twenty-four hours we were sitting across from one of the best oncologists in the area.

My dad was nervous, but he kept a composure through his visit that was impressive.  My dad was a Marine and perhaps that’s where he refined his ability to stay calm in challenging circumstances.  My father chimed in after introductions with the physician and confidently said, “Life is good, doc.  I have a new grandson and I want to see him grow up.  Life is good.  I’m ready to fight this.”

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He did fight it — like a Marine.  Countless chemo and radiation treatments led him to remission by summertime.  Throughout the many trips back and forth to the ER, the side effects of chemo and radiation, and the CT scans to confirm stabilization of growth of tumors, he kept saying, “Life is good.”  And when he was too sick to say the words, we did for him.

That summer we played golf together every chance we could get.  We had a high school graduation party for him because he entered the military draft and never formally graduated.  He inspired me to follow my passion and start my interior decorating business.  He and my mom graciously offered to help watch my son when I needed to paint a mural in someone’s room.  Life was good.

I knew remission was just that, remission.  I knew his stage 4 cancer would rear its ugly face again, but for the summer of 2004, we lived by the words, “Life is good“.  I found an embroidered sign that read the sweet phrase and I hung it above the back door that led to the garage.  I never wanted to forget that “Life is good” and I never wanted him to forget either.

My dad continued his fight until the Lord decided he would be a perfect person to have in heaven.  It was summer of 2005 when he was escorted by angels to inspire others and let them know that “Life is good.”  Eleven years later, myself, Andy, and my mom, still say the words, “Life is good.”  My dad had no idea he would forever inspire us to continue to share his passion for life.

Although he has been gone eleven years, he never stops fueling us with drive and positive inspiration.  My dad was an entrepreneur and he had successes and failures.  As Andy and I continue down our path there are moments that are challenging.  We channel my father’s “Life is good” attitude and persevere, because the Marine would have.  He may be gone on earth, but he lives within us everyday in all that we do.



Life IS good.  Life IS REALLY good.  I say the words often and remember my dad each time they roll off my lips.  I try to live by the words.  It isn’t always easy as we get busy with things, but I try.  I want my monkeys to know, “Life is good“, because it is.  For each of you, I hope your Life is good.  I pray that you enjoy the little things amongst all the other things.  I got to play Rock’Em Sock’Em and build a robotic arm with my boys the other night — Life is good.

Make it a Great Day.