Sunset Beach, NC
Hey Sweet Bloggy Friends,
I thought I'd post a few pictures from our vacation. Our best friends Lisa and Rudy and our god daughter Mallory are here; we're playing LOTS of Wii games and Bocce Ball on the beach.
The girls are planning the 45 minute walk to The Kindred Spirit tomorrow.
Wish you were here!!!!!

On Vacation
Hey friends,
I've packed the last few items, cleaned the house and folded the last two loads of laundry.
I have a thing for leaving my house "company ready",
I just love returning to a clean house.

Our best friends Lisa and Rudy and their daughter (our goddaughter Mallory) will join us Wednesday and then Tom and Debbie will arrive Friday with their jet ski. Yippee!!!
Tom and Debbie graciously let me drive their jet ski last summer in the Atlantic Ocean fulfilling one of the items on my "51 things I've always wanted to do" list.
And yes we are taking the Wii game system and the Wii fit!
I have challenged all our friends to a hula-hoop contest. Remember I am a hula-hooping fool.

Before we leave I wanted to answer one question that Kay posed on my last blog entry.
After the journals are full where do they go, who takes them?
Kay, if I remember correctly and the town of Sunset Beach hasn't changed the protocol, they keep the journals at Town Hall. I'll try to confirm that while we're away.

In the meantime TTFN (Ta Ta For Now),
Enjoy the pictures. I hope to update my blog at least once while we're away


The Kindred Spirit
Good Morning Bloggy Friends,
A warm welcome to those of you joining us from today's Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional.

My husband Tom and I are just four days away from our vacation on Sunset Beach and yes I am just like an excited child counting down the days.
In fact, I'm counting the hours until I put my toes in the sand and feel the ocean breeze blowing through my thick and curly desperately needing some color grey roots showing hair.
I can hardly wait to walk on the beach, passing the bathing beauties and children playing in the surf to reach the quiet and secluded spot at the edge of Bird Island. That's where I'll find
The Kindred Spirit.
Visiting The Kindred Spirit is a vacation tradition for me, I've been making the 45 minute walk at least once a year for the 24 years we have vacationed on Sunset Beach.
In all the times I've visited The Kindred Spirit I've never written anything in the journals but this year I will.
This year I will write about the deep loss I feel as I grieve my daddy's death.
This year I will write about the precious friends who call me to check on me and to offer words of encouragement.
This year I will write about the joy I feel over my daddy's complete healing as he has been released from a sick and paralyzed body to dance with our sweet Jesus.
This year I will write about the bitter sweet feelings grief brings.
This year I will write about the presence of God I have experienced in the midst of my grief.
This year I will write about the truths I know despite the feelings I feel.

Oh friends, I wish I could pack you in my suitcase and take you with me to Sunset beach in just four short days.
We would meet our best friends Lisa and Rudy and you would love them to pieces.
We would laugh till our sides split and we would cry as we talk about sweet memories.
We would eat fried seafood; especially hush puppies. Yes, hundreds of hush puppies smeared with honey butter.
We would talk and shop and watch funny movies.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding is our favorite.
We would give ourselves homemade facials, manicures and pedicures while the men watch sports and the Three Stooges.
We would stay up late and walk to the pier just to see what they are catching.
We would read, ride bikes and play Boccie Ball on the beach.
Oh friends, it's going to be a grand time of relaxation, rest, rejuvenation and restoration and I wish you were going to be there!

Since the beach house isn't quite large enough to accommodate us all, I'd love to hear what you like doing best on vacation and what you might write in the journals of The Kindred Spirit.

As I continue my packing and counting down the minutes I'll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures.

I can't wait to read your posts!

Good Morning Bloggy Friends,
I survived last night's work out with Joe "The Nutritionist" and my assessment with Laura the "Fitness Queen" and here are the results.
Drum Roll Please...
Weight - 4.2 pounds higher
Body Fat - 3.6 points lower that's a 13% decrease
Men's Push-Ups - from 16 to 60
Total inches lost - one

Well there it is friends, the good the bad and the ugly.
Eight weeks of heart pounding, glistening (a princess never sweats), muscle screaming, and bone building work.
It's a process not a race and I've discovered one important truth:
It's much easier to stay in shape than it is getting into shape.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, "It's not about the Hips; it's about the Heart".
My goal of a strong and healthy heart is attainable as long as I'm committed to do the work.
That means a life structured around doing the work.
Everyday I must choose to persevere and keep on doing the work.

As we talked about several weeks ago we all make choices everyday regarding the heath of our lives (physically and spiritaully).
So... what about you friends? I hope you will share your stories of the process and the progress you are making.
We all need a little encouragement or sugar sloppin' as I call it.

Returning Home
Good morning bloggy friends,
We're just back from our business trip and my mom's family reunion. Tom and I have been on the road for three weeks and it's good to be home! We're back to work this week and then to Sunset Beach next Monday for a week's vacation. We've driven over 1,000 miles and I'm glad to out of the car.

It was great to meet his business colleagues and to visit with family but returning to our regular routine will be a welcomed change. It's been a challenge to stay on course with my eating and exercising program while we've been away. Pre-planned meals and tight schedules haven't made it any easier and I haven't recorded anything in my food journal. Okay, I'm whining I know. Sorry, my bad!
Tonight, I meet with Laura the "Fitness Queen" for my 8 week assessment.She will be taking me through my workout and recording my progress as well as measuring, weighing, and calculating my percentage of body fat.
Laura indulged me last month with a mini-assessment because I had cheated and weighed myself, saw a rise in the number on the scales and was freaking out. Her calculations showed a 1% loss of body fat and a gain of 4 pounds of muscle in just 4 weeks. It's been tempting, but I haven't been on the scales since.

For those of you who don't know my story, I've struggled with my weight throughout my entire life and even been a slave to some eating disorders. At my worst I weighed myself 20 times a day so when I tell you that I haven't weighed myself in about 4 weeks, that's a huge (no pun intended) step forward.
So... tonight's the night. I'm going to leave work and drive to my appointed session with the "Fitness Queen".
I promise to let you know the results tomorrow. The good, the bad and the ugly.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a few pictures from the family reunion.
This is Sadie (my mom's best friend) , my mom Lois and my aunt Sherry. Thanks for your contiued prayers for my mom, she's doing well as she grieves my daddy.

Here's the family! Believe it or not;there are at least 25 people who could not attend.

From A to Z
Okay my bloggy friends,
We're back from our trip to Wild Dunes and the South Carolina Hospital Association meeting and I'm back to work, unpacking, washing and re-packing.
Tom and I leave early tomorrow morning for our last business trip. We're headed to Hilton Head Island for the North Carolina Hospital Association meeting. We return Friday night and leave for my mom's family reunion early Saturday morning.While I'm away I thought I'd leave you with the following.
A is for age.52. Huh?
B is for burger of choice.One my dad use to make at Gus's Luncheonette with cheese oozing out the sides of the bun, the best homemade cole slaw and chili, mayo, mustard, lettuce and tomato.Now I know why I was a size 20 in high school.
C is for what car you drive.A used 2002 Acura MDX (Magnificent Diva EXpress). We drive our vehicles for 14 years or until the wheels fall off.
D is for Dog's name. We don't have a dog-- our dog died April 17 of this year and his name was Max. He was a 17 year old Shi-tzu.
E is for essential item you use every day.Exfoliating scrub. Actually any skin care product. I'm a product junkie.
F is for favorite tv show at the moment.Reba. We just discovered this show and we howl every night at the comedy.
G is for Favorite game. Anything on my Wii game system. Yes, I'm a 52 year old woman and our sons bought me the Wii for Mother's day. I am a hoola-hooping fool!
H is for Hometown.I grew up in Durham, NC.
I is for instruments you play. I used to play the piano, now I play the radio,my ipod and Wii games.
J is for favorite juice.I don't really like juice.
K is for who you'd like to kiss. My sweetheart of 29 years or a baby's feet.I don't know why I like to kiss baby feet but I do.
L is for last restaurant you ate at.Unfortunately not Chick-Fil-A (my favorite). It was Shomars. I had a large Greek salad with grilled chicken. No taco shell, greek dressing or pita bread.:-( My next fitness assessment is in 6 days.
M is for your favorite Muppet. Big Bird
N is for number of piercings.Two. one in each ear.
O is for overnight hospital stays.Many, I've had a total of 8 surgeries. None of those was a plastic surgery; but working for a plastic surgeon is tempting.
P is for people you were with today.The staff at Carolina's Counseling Group, my sweetest friend and work mate Kim Vail,the clients, my trainer and my sweet hubby.
Q is for what you do with your quiet time.Watch Reba and play a Wii game.
R is for biggest regret.Not going home to see my daddy one last time before he died.
S is for status.Happily, madly, thrilled about and he still gives me chills married.
T is for time you woke up today.6 am. I'm working at Carolina's Counseling and it's taking longer and longer to get ready. I'm 52 remember?
U is for what you consider unique.The life I've been privileged to live
V is for vegetable you love.Any fried vegetable.
W is for worst habit. Procrastination and being a product junkie.
X is for number of x-rays you've had. Many; can I use that to explain my bad habits? It's the radiation.
Y is for yummy food you ate today. White Cheddar Cheese-it's. Okay, they aren't on my food program but at least they were the low-fat variety. Please don't tell my trainers. Bobby the Beast, Mike the Machine, Aaron the Abdominator or Laura the "Fit Queen", they would NOT be pleased!
Z is for zodiac sign.Pieces. I think James Kennedy wrote a book on the biblical meaning of the zodiac. Does anyone know where I can find a copy?

Moving Forward
Hi sweetest friends,

Your calls, cards, e-mails, flowers and prayers have sustained my family as we walk through this time of loss and grief. My mom is doing quite well and getting out of the house every day. She's planning to join us at the beach in a few weeks as we vacation on Sunset Beach.
She is finding and reading old letters, discovering old photographs and taking her time as she sorts through my dad's numerous collections.

Tom and I are just back from a business trip and we leave in a few days for another.
Today I'm washing clothes, cleaning house. writing thank you notes, packing for the next trip and preparing for work on Monday.

I worked out this morning and I'm posting a few pictures. Although I haven't talked too much about my commitment to a healthy heart (see my posts "It's not about the hips; it's about the heart") I have continued with regular my workouts and I'm posting my food journal on for my trainer to see and critique.
Having someone check your food journal on a daily basis is not only helpful in keeping me accountable it has made me aware of my eating habits (good and bad).

I'm scheduled to have a fitness profile done on Monday evening July 21. Great, just 2 days after we return from the latest business trip with pre-planned meals and 8 hours in the car!!!
Oh well... I guess we will soon know the truth about my progress as I pursue a healthy heart.
Enjoy the pictures of the men's push-ups on the Bongo Board and "The Woman Maker" Super Set!

This Man
Good Morning Bloggy Friends,
Tom and I returned to our home late Saturday and I've spent that time trying to get back into the "regular routine".
Again I want to thank you for your prayers,cards, calls and
e-mails.Each one is a precious treasure.

We leave for a business trip tomorrow morning and we have another business trip next week.
God's timing is always perfect in everything and these two trips so soon after daddy's death are no exception as I find myself wanting to retreat into my nest here on Holleybank Drive.

At the insistence of the counselors at Carolnas Counseling I did take the day off yesterday but will work today.
I only have a very few minutes to leave this post so it will be brief.
I hope you will indulge me and this post.
Grief is such a complex emotion. I have experienced grief of course; Tom's mom passed away in January and then our beloved dog of 17 years Max in April.

I do rejoice greatly that my dad's broken and frail body has been replaced with perfect and complete health as he is in the presence of our sweet Jesus;
BUT I am heart broken.
This man was my daddy, the one who drove me to his restaurant and made me breakfast each morning before I walked to elementary school.
This man who ruled our home with a iron Greek fist and had a heart as big as the moon.
This man who took me fishing on Johnny Mercer's pier and the shores of Wrightesville Beach.
This man who scared away potential boyfriends and then welcomed my sweet Tom and Maria's sweet Brandon into his family with open arms.
This man who loved his family with that wonderful,rich, and deep Greek love.
The kind of love that envelopes you and surrounds you with warmth and good food and boundless love.
This man who could fix anything and who collected everything.
This man who loved kitchen gadgets and anything electronic.
This man who called me "number one".
This man was no ordinary man.
This man was my daddy.


Thank You
Good Morning Sweet family,

Thanks to Kim Vail for updating my blog regarding my dad's triumphant release from this temporary world and into his glorious arrival into paradise with our sweet Jesus.

The funeral, burial and celebratory meal begins
this afternoon at 2:00.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers.
They are sustaining each of us and your love for us is a powerful witness to my family and this community.
What a joy to serve side by side with each of you as we serve our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In Memory of my Dad
My name is Kim Vail, co-worker with Zoe Elmore and I am writing this on her behalf. Her Father, Nick Pantazis, passed away this past Sunday morning, June 29th at 9am. Zoe is in Durham with her mom and her family. Mr. Pantazis' funeral service is Wednesday, July 2nd at the Hall-Wynne Funeral Home in Durham, NC. Their website is From their you can click on Hall-Wynne Funeral Services and Cremation and then go to the obituaries.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that you make donations to the following:

Watts Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association

2828 Croasdaile Dr. Suite 200

Durham, NC 27705

or to the Charity of your choice in memory of Nick Pantazis.

I know that Zoe would appreciate your prayers during this time.

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