Dec 31, 2013

All Set...

The more you praise and celebrate your life
the more there is in life to celebrate...

The scene is all set for receiving 2014.  Fort Lauderdale Beach is now in full swing.


Not far from us Aruba's Beach area is also getting set for the dropping of the ball.


Just hours left so let's say goodbye to the old and hello to


There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate...

~Nadiya~

December 31st...


2014 Is Nearly Here,

2013 Will Be No More,

What You Never Achieved In 2013

Put It As A Priority In This Coming Year.
What You Just Need Is Focusing On Your Dream
And Making It Happen.
Good Bye 2013,
Welcome 2014.

Last day of the year!  I honestly think this year has gone by super fast.  Hopefully it has
been a good year for everyone.  Even so hopefully 2014 will be an even better one.
As my dad always says, "Here  is to those who wish us well, those who don't can go to hell."
My dad is a wise man :)


We are already starting out with a pretty good vibe here.  We have family visiting 
and it makes everything feel so much better, jollier and rises our spirits.

Today we will be having a family dinner at our place.  Looking forward very 
much to it and to having a few hours with good company, good food and drinks.


To bring in the New Year we plan to go to the beach and watch the ball drop.
This is all contingent on Arvid's brother feeling up to it.  You see he has
a bad cold and depending on that we may or may not go.  Even so,
we will spend time together and that in itself is a good way to start 2014


Enjoy the rest of 2013 and let welcome 2014 with a BANG!

As We Bid Goodbye To The Old And Tired 2013
We Are Left With The Memories Of The Year That Was.
We Now Joyfully Welcome
The Brand New Year 2014
As We Look Forward
To An Even Better Year Full Of Promises.

~Nadiya~

Dec 30, 2013

2013..

It's soon time to say goodbye to the old year, 
but I think goodbyes are sad and I'd much rather say hello. 
Hello to a new adventure and to a brand New year filled with possibilities...

The year is soon over.  For us it has been a year to remember.  We started out the year 
with both Arvid and Brutus having surgery.  Arvid for a blood clot and Brutus for some 
weird bacteria that attacked his paw and to which we still have no clue as to its origin.


Both Arvid and Brutus are still on daily medication.  For both the medication is 
containing what they have.  Hopefully the day will come when neither of the two will
need to take it anymore.  For now it maintains them healthy and that's good enough.


Like Brutus, Arvid's leg still gets swollen if he is standing for too long.  Throughout
the day it is a must that he elevates. His diet has also changed, but that is all good.
For a man who hated fish his entire life, fish is now one of our main foods.

Brutus is not better nor worse.  With the medicines he takes daily, we at
least don't have to take him to the vet everyday for a shot.  That he 
hated and we hated doing this to him.  Even though it was for his best.  Overall
we are doing good.  Glad for all the good things we have i our life and always grateful.


Another very good thing is that we became grandparents to the wonderful Aleah.
Like I have mentioned before, I am in heaven with her and I love the fact that I am
grandma to her.  How fortunate can I be.  Here I am no kids of my own, yet I 
am grandma to Aleah.  I am happy happy and I love her so.  We both do.

We sold our apartment in Chicago.  We don't get attached to things, but we loved
it there.  This was a sad day for us, on the other hand it was the right thing to do.
Brutus was not up to the travelling anymore with his medical issues and both Arvid 
and I decided that it was time.  Still makes us sad to know it is no longer ours.
We love Chicago and I'm hoping we still go there.  According to Arvid we will.

We may not have Chicago, but we now have a place in Mexico.  It's perfect
for us.  We were fortunate to have my sister and J visit us this past November.

Yes, our life is good and we feel very fortunate.  Aleah and Michelle
were here not so long ago.  My parents will be coming for a month.  

Arvid, Brutus and I are enjoying living in a condo again and we are relaxed now.
Seems that this time we will make this our last address.  At least that's always
the plan.  Our life is good.  The three of us are happy.  We have each other, 
good friends and family; that's all we need.


Hope 2013 has been a good year for all of you.  Even if it was not exactly
as you expected, was not for us; there sure must be somethings you
are grateful for.  


We are still coping with Arvid's and Brutus' medical
issues, but compared to the alternative  am grateful they are both here with me.
May 2014 be a year to remember and may it be better than 2013.

Years come and go, but this year I specially wish for you
a double dose of health and happiness, 
topped with loads of good fortune.
Have a great year ahead!
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!!!


~Nadiya~

Dec 29, 2013

Sunday...

Some people pursue happiness, others create it...

Lazy Sunday begins, but with a twist.  Today we are having Arvid's brother and girlfriend 
visiting us here in Florida.  Pretty exciting to have company and with those two we get along 
very well.  Have been looking forward to their visit and finally it's here.


Last night we went to see ZZ Top in concert.  Nothing to brag about, 
but just being out and being at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood was
a sight all by itself.  The place was glowing with life and there was a festive
mood going on all over the place.  Yes this was more than enough for me.


Sometimes the best of times are those we create all by ourselves.  With a little
imagination and a good attitude we can all make our times  the best of times.

The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; 
to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; 
and have courage when things go wrong...

~Nadiya~

Dec 28, 2013

Early Riser..

It is well to be up before daybreak,  for such habits contribute to
 health, wealth, and wisdom...

I must definitely be a morning person otherwise why would I be up before 6am
if I did not have to?  There are no little kids to wake up to.  I don't have to go to work out of home and unlike many I sure am not going running.

Then the only reason left is that I must love mornings and the fact that Brutus
is almost begging me to go out with him.  occasionally I want to sleep in later.
Especially when the day before was an exhausting one and your entire body is
full of aches and pains.  This is of course also due to the aging process.

Since I am awake noting better than to see the sun peek out and see how
it glistens on the water.  Even the palm trees appear to have flecks of gold
on them.  Brutus enjoys me taking him out to the balcony to have a look at the 
sun rising as well.  Pretty interesting to see the colors in the sky change.


The bad side is that by 9:30 I sorta fall asleep while we are watching TV.  Only 
for about a half hour, then I am wide awake again until 11pm then it's back to 
dreamland.  

Another new day begins. The other day I captured the sunset from the pool area.
It was gorgeous.  Maybe now I will capture the sunrise there also.

For now everyone..Good Morning.  
Be productive and be happy for this new day!

Explore, dream, discover.
Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it...

~Nadiya~ 

Dec 27, 2013

Lessons...

You can't achieve any goals without discipline...

Seems pretty straightforward, but the truth is that there are way too 
many kids out there with no regards for anyone or anything.  I don't
blame the child, for they are too young to know better.  I do however


blame the parents who seem inclined to ignore bad behaviour just so that they 
do not have to confront the child nor discipline them.  I know many parents
who prefer to be the child's best friend rather than take a stand and be a parent.

One of my sister always has said to me, "I'm not their best friend right now.
Right now I am the parent and therefore they have rules to follow"
Gotta say the kids turned out pretty amazing.

Discipline is doing what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
when we don't want to do it....

Dec 26, 2013

19 Years Old....

You Danielle are one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give...

Today Danielle turns 19. From the amazing little girl she was to an even more
 amazing young woman today. From her both Arvid and I have learnt what being
 positive and upbeat is all about.


From child to woman..she has an amazing journey ahead of her.
One we are certain she will face with determination and always optimistic.
For Danielle NOTHING is impossible.  The words impossible and can't are NOT in her vocabulary.

Courage, determination, pride...that's what Danielle is made of...

~Nadiya~

Until Next Year...

Attitudes are contagious.  
Are yours worth catching.......?

Christmas came and Christmas went.  For starters it was an extremely quiet day.
Just about EVERYTHING was closed.  Good thing we are close to the 
beach where the party was going on and on.  Of course on a day like this
 is exactly when I want to go somewhere. This is when I miss family the most.



Some look forward to this day for a whole year. 
Others (like Arvid) could care less and are super happy when it is over.  Even so, 
we had a very good Christmas.  It is the best time of the year after all.  Like every year 
Arvid always has some surprise in store for me.  You would think by now I would
figure out his intentions, but every year he still surprises me and I love him for it.

Although we could not be with my family (tradition) we spent a very nice and relaxing 
day on our own with Brutus. A few surprise visits are in store for us, so very excited 
about that.  One of them being my parents who will be here for a month.
Dinner was at home, but a little celebration took us to the beach.

We had a nice drive along the beach before dinner and of course could not miss out on 
a Pina Colada.  No Christmas trees for us.  Not since we have Brutus, but the apartment was
sure filled with Santas, snowmen and flowers coming out of everywhere courtesy of my
sister and her family.  Thank you Mala, Gopaul, Reshma, Sachin and Jaxen.  Made the
 place smell like Christmas for a few weeks and best of all even Brutus appreciated their beauty.


We have had gorgeous weather.  This year we have been spared the cold and usually
that lasts only a few days.  Still in shorts and T-Shirts.  Beach weather.  Normal for us here
in Florida.  Best of all presents is having my parents here for a very long time.  It has been 
a tradition now for a few years to bring in the New Years with them.  This year
they had company and were in NC.  Missed them, but seeing them soon.

Life is good and we are sure enjoying it:)  Every day may not be good, 
but there's something good in every day.  If you don't like something change it;
 if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.  Hope you 
have also had a good time so far during the Holidays and that the coming
year is even better than ever.


If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one...

~Nadiya~

Dec 25, 2013

Merry Christmas....

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, 
everything is softer and more beautiful...  


May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love. Christmas is the time 
of giving and sharing.  It is the time of loving and forgiving.  Merry Christmas to Everyone!

It goes without saying that Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  People seem to be merrier 
and there is so much love going around that the warmth engulfs you and for that brief time 
known as Christmas everyone seems to live in harmony.


 All over the world there are happy faces waiting for that day just to open up their presents....
for some it may be a ton of presents for others maybe just one or sometimes not a thing...


Growing up we were not wealthy.  Our presents were not many if any at all  but the love we
 shared as a family was more than enough to make each and every Christmas better and better.


For us Christmas is extra special because it is also our mom's birthday.
She is a special lady and the thing she and my dad have gone through to make our lives 
better is just one of the many reasons that I will forever be grateful.  My mom and dad 
have taught us that not all in life is about receiving.  Because of them we know that life
is about family values, love, honesty, giving, sharing and best of all we know that they are
always there for us.  In the good times and bad times.  I love them and and I am always grateful.

Many may have forgotten the true spirit or meaning of Christmas.  Remember it is not always 
"I want" , I want" but sometimes the best of times are those spent sharing with family 
and friends and just enjoying each others company.. One of the nice things about Christmas
 is that you can make people forget the past with a present....

From our home to yours: HAPPY HOLIDAYS
May the Christmas season fill your home with joy
your heart with love and your life with laughter:)

The best Christmas of all is the presence of a happy family 
all wrapped up with one another....

    A merry Christmas to everybody! 
A happy New Year to all the world...

~Nadiya~

Dec 24, 2013

December 24th...

At Christmas, all roads lead home...

One more sleep and it will be Christmas Day.  For many it is already Christmas.
Just the thought of Christmas brings to me memories that will forever remain with me.
Most of these are from my childhood of Christmases past.  hat a wonderful time we had.
Maybe then we did not know it for certain, but today looking back I can definitely say
 it was one of the best times ever.


As a tradition on this night our parents used to take us in Old San Juan to see the Three Kings
and the Nativity scene.  In my mind those will always be cherished times spent with family.
 For us this was a special treat because we would have ice-cream and other goodies out. 
 It was fascinating even as a child to see all the lights and to see all the people gathering
 around town just having a wonderful time.


Today most of my sisters will be in North Carolina celebrating Christmas
with mom and dad.  Also celebrating mom's birthday.  Unfortunately, we could
not make it even though I tried.  The time frames were just colliding with stuff.

It's Christmas Eve, on this day when we were little my dad and mom took
us around and we sang carols, my mom baked and we had a good meal at home
surrounded by love and family.  It was always and still is my favorite time of the year.

video

Be good everyone for Santa Claus is coming tonight.
Remember it is not what we receive that matters, but it's the love
we share with each other that will forever live with us.

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, 
and we are better throughout the year for having,
 in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time...

~Nadiya~

Dec 23, 2013

Almost Here.... (Monday 23)

Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are.
It solely relies on what you think....

The countdown to Christmas is on.  For kids all over the world this is the day that 
they look  forward to like none other.  They are waiting with great anticipation to see 
what Santa will be bringing them.  So like the song says, 
you better watch out, you better not cry,you better not pout 
I'm telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town. 


Brutus as you can imagine has been a good boy.  This year even more so.
With all the things going on with him he has never not been a happy kitty.

Sometimes you wonder if animals have the secret to eternal happiness.  We see him
and we are amazed that none of this has affected him negatively.  His appetite is good
he uses the litter regularly, plays all the time and is a joy to have around us.


One thing we did notice and for which we are even happier is that Brutus
has developed an even stronger bond with us.  Especially with Arvid.
If Brutus was once Arvid's shadow, then today he is even more so.

For me this is the best present I could ever ask for.  Brutus, Arvid and I.
One big happy family.  May your days be merry and may all your wishes come true...

A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart...

~Nadiya~

Dec 22, 2013

Sunday

Life is only as good as you decide to make it.
So stand up.  be bold and don't let everyone else define it...

I feel good today.  No special reason.  Just happy because we woke up to 
another beautiful day.  We have all we can want and we are happy with our lives,
and each other.  I am love and I am loved.  More than enough. 


For some the Holidays are not the happiest time of the year.  I can 
definitely understand that.  I have been there and I know how lonely
it can be even when you are surrounded by Holiday cheer.  I wish 
to say that one way of getting into the feeling good spirit is to TRY and forget
everything that ails you.  Do something for someone.  Do something totally out of character.

Trust me it works.  What I did long time ago was find me a little part time job at the mall.
It was the best time ever.  I met people.  I talked to people and I realized that no 
matter how bad I thought I was having it there was always someone who was
worse off than I was.  My goal at that time was to cheer someone else rather than 
focus on why I was not feeling so good.  It worked for me.


Wishing you all good times ahead.
May you all live n interesting times.

Happiness is when you feel good about yourself without 
feeling the need for anyone else's approval....

~Nadiya~

Dec 21, 2013

Will Get There...

There is always, always something to be thankful
and grateful for...

Not sure what it is, but for some reason this year I have not gotten into the 
Holiday Spirit as of yet.  Christmas is just a few days from now and I still feel 
like as if something is missing.  I have been used t a big gathering with lots of family.
Maybe I'm missing that.  Spoke last night for the longest time with one of my sisters.
  Somehow he isn't feeling the Christmas excitement either.  To make up for
it we are having a few special toasts in the evenings.  Happy!


The good thing is that we have already seen my sister, niece and nephew in Mexico.
That for me was a Christmas present and just thinking of that makes me realize that
we have been fortunate to have been able to share some wonderful days with them.

Like as if that were not enough, we also had the pleasure of having Michelle and Aleah
with us for 13 days.  It was a beautiful time.  Another perfect Christmas present.  Aleah
is a joy and seeing her was just perfect.  I miss her and I picture her face all the time...Smiling.

Though Arvid is not the Christmas kind of person, he is always fun to be with.  
Together we always manage to have a good time and to make each other smile.  Add Brutus 
into the mix and life is very good for us.  We may not have everything, but we have each other
and that for me is everything that matters.  So even though I don't feel Christamsy, I am happy.


I believe that it is all in our attitude.  We all have the power to do something
to make ourselves happy; at least we can try.  When I think about past Christmases
around family it does make me sad.  It makes me want to be around them, at 
the same time, we all have our own lives to live and we all need to make the most
of it.  We do and I am grateful for what live has given to me.  

I always tell my friends and family that somewhere out there,
someone else is happy with less than what we have...

Sometimes, I forget to thank the people who make my life so happy in so many ways. 
Sometimes, I forget to tell them how much I really do appreciate them for being
 an important part of my life. Today is just another day, nothing special going on.
 So thank you, all of you, just for being here for me!

~Nadiya~

Dec 20, 2013

Friday..

A good life is when you assume nothing,
do more, need less, smile often, dream big,
laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are...

Another of my favorite days of the week is here.  Friday!!  Yeah!!  It's been a long week.
We have had problems with our email system.  Yes, someone hacked into our email.
Sent out letters to all Arvid's contacts with some sob story and of course requesting 
money.  I'm happy that there are really smart people around who right away knew it
was a scam.  As I said to Arvid this morning, "if anyone sent money to this scammer.
then they deserve to lose it."  Thankfully no one did.  


On Fridays like most of you, we like to do something different.  Something that 
breaks up the usual routine of the week.  Today we will take a trip into Miami 
and as usual when in Miami, I cannot resit going to Monty's.  I love the raw bar there,
and of course Arvid loves the pitcher of Heineken.  Both happy!  Hope it does not rain.
Right now looking like rain, but many hours left to go.

I woke up this morning all smiles.  Thinking of the day ahead and also because I had
a dream with Gabby.  Gabby plays the Sax and just the other day he was first chair
in the school concert.  Makes both Arvid and I proud everytime we hear him play.


That's big brother Gabby and Lilly Vade.  Aleah reminds me in many ways
of Lilly Vade.  Lilly Vade is always smiling, laughing and forever a happy 
child.  From the time she was a baby she's been know to always be happy. Thinking
of them made me smile and has already made my Friday a beautiful day.

Wishing you all a good start of the weekend.
Remember always make time to have a little fun.  
Life without fun is really no life at all.

Make today ridiculously amazing...

~Nadiya~

Dec 18, 2013

Life...

As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret 
are the things you didn't do...

You can miss someone, yet at the same time as we carry on with our lives 
you find that things go back to normal.  At least whatever "normal"
means to everyone.  For us it's once again back to our hectic routines.


As I get caught up with my chores and daily activities, there 
is hardly time to really dwell and think much, but just a few minutes
ago I sat down, looked at pictures and I was able to picture every moment.
For a little i was sad all over again.  Missing that little one.  She reminds me of Lilly Vade.
Pleasant, happy and forever smiling.  Both happy babies and I love them so.

Good day all.  It's already been a long day.
Not everything went according to plans, but hey that's life.
We make the most of what we are given and always move forward.

Don't be fooled by the calendar. 
 There are only as many days in the year as you make use of...

~Nadiya~

Dec 17, 2013

Aleah....Missing You

I miss you.
I don't know what else to say....

Michelle and Aleah left last night.  We had 13 day with them and we made each moment
count.  In those 13 days we got to know Aleah and to fall in love with her.  Now she's gone
and I feel a sadness in my heart.  The same sadness I feel every time I say goodbye to one 
of my sisters, nieces, nephews and parents.  Aleah being just a baby was even harder.


I knew I would love her, but I am very surprised at how much I love her.  She may not be 
my grand daughter by blood, but the feelings I have for her are sure something that will only
grow stronger and deeper as the days go by.  I miss her little face, her smile, laughter...
everything already.  I think it hit me harder than Arvid right now.  Either that or he has better 
control of his emotions.  Mine are raw and my heart is breaking.  Seeing her leave was
a very hard thing.  She was smiling and waving us goodbye.  Just thinking about it 
and I am already starting to cry.  As I told Michelle, "I have on waterproof mascara."


Early this morning they will be back home in Norway where Aleah has
3 other set of grandparents.  Yeah!  Lucky little one. I was awake
very early just so I could track their flight and make sure they
were safely on the ground.  After that I went back for a little more
sleep.  This time I slept better.


 Being so little she will  probably forget about us very soon.  
Breaks my heart, but I know that when we see her next summer in Norway 
she will love us again.  We love her and I am missing her very much.  Reminds
of all the times I have said goodbye to my nieces and nephews all over again.
For days I am sad and mopey, but then we get into our routines and move on.

Life goes on and for now wishing you all a very good day.
Remember, the memories we make today will be with us for a lifetime.

I miss you a little.  Guess you could say a little too much,
a little too often, a little more each day.... 

~Nadiya~

Dec 16, 2013

A Cat's Prayer

The difference between friends and pets is that friends 
we allow into our company,
 pets we allow into our solitude...

I have had kitties for many many years now and I think life is
better with a pet. It has been said that often a man is more humanely related
 to a cat or dog than to any human being.


For those who have pets, you know that life without them will never ever be
the same again. For those who do not, I honestly believe that you are missing out
on something very special.

If you were to ask Arvid he would be the first to tell you that with a pet you
 are never alone. This from a man who never in his life had a pet before Brutus.


Sometimes when I am away for a few hours, I come home and I see the two of
them sitting  side by side in silence.  Both happy, both content.
Watching them together is something I will never tire of.
Just the other day Arvid said to some friends,
"Brutus has taught me things I never knew before.
I think he has made me a better person."

A cat...he will be our friend for always and always and always...

~Nadiya~

Dec 15, 2013

The Right Attitude...

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to 
determine how you're going to live your life...

A few days ago I saw this and right away I knew it was referring to all my sisters.
  They face every challenge with a positive attitude.


Take Rima for example.  She's the youngest. My mom says she is now the family's guru.
 She is always positive and always looking for the good in everyone.  Life has thrown
 her just like it has to so many of us, some tough moments.  All I can say is that
this girl bounces back.  They all do, no matter what is thrown at them.


She is my baby sister and I am protective of her.  As little girls we
shared the same bedroom at home.  We fought, we made up and fought more.
Typical of sisters.  Today as grownups we are more than sisters,
we are friends.  We don't always agree, but who does.


Everyday I learn something new from each one. many a times
I am amazed at all the things they can do, and that they juggle so much
at the same time yet manage to stay focused and balanced.


I watch them and I am always in awe.  Our parent are proud of the way
their daughters turned out.  I am proud to be related to these four amazing women.
My sisters and my best friends for life.

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings
to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by 
 what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens....
~Nadiya~