Friday, April 29, 2011

My Greatest Gift

Greetings, Precious Moments collectors! Just in time for Mother's Day, we have a very special post to share from our own Director of Product Development. We hope you enjoy...

As a teenager, I was very free-spirited and independent. I was ready to tackle to world, and as a result, I left home at a young age. My Mother was not ready to let me go, but she knew it was what I wanted so she did her best to let me spread my wings.

Over the years, my Mother has found little ways to stay connected with me. She sends me little letters just to say, “I love you,” and leaves me voice messages just to hear my voice on the answering machine. For a while I thought this was silly, and I didn’t really understand why my Mother did these things; but deep down I truly loved it. Now, as the mother of two beautiful little girls, I understand why she did those things to stay close. Sending the little one you cared for and nurtured for years off into the big world is like sending a piece of your heart away with them.

The moment I saw the PM My Greatest Gift collection, I was instantly reminded of the wonderful moments I shared with my Mother. The story each piece tells is so touching and so true-to-life. The sentiment perfectly expresses each touching moment, and the tear is the detail that completes each scene. I believe this collection expresses the special bond of a mother and daughter, because there is noting quite like this unique relationship. My daughters are truly my life’s greatest gift, and I personally own the entire collection in hopes that one day I’ll tell them why they are so meaningful to me. I can only dream that they will share the story with their own children. My favorite issue in the collection is the last one, which I feel is the perfect ending. The title, “Always and Forever My Little Girl,” captures the sum of my feelings towards my own little girls. Plus I really love the shoes; they are super cute!

Children always hold a place in a Mom’s heart, and you never really let them go completely. Through a Mother’s eyes, and in her heart, you will always be her little girl no matter how old you become. I hope that these “Precious Moments” will bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face like they do for me.

Learn more about this collection now!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Looking to beat the heat...

We’re coming into the “dog days” of summer. The Fourth of July has passed, and back-to-school time is around the corner. Football fans are anxious for preseason to start. So while we’re in limbo in some ways, we do have heat. And, boy, has it been hot, hot, hot!

Looking for some ways to beat the heat? I have a few…

Last week my parents came into town for a week-long visit on one of their summer trips. We found lots of ways to beat the heat. One day, we rented a boat for a few hours, and so we sped off on the Intracoastal Waterway in a boat loaded with coolers of sandwiches, fruit and plenty of cold drinks. I think there’s something that mentally happens when you are on a boat. You just feel…cooler. Not just more hip! Really, the air seems cooler, and things just look better from a boat. We saw lots of beautiful birds, fish jumping and plenty of beautiful homes from our scenic view on the water. It rained while we were out, but even that was bearable while on the boat.

Another way we beat the heat was with home-made ice cream. Years ago my husband and I bought an electric ice cream maker. You simply chill the bowl, and then pull it out of the freezer and pop it on the electric base, add your ingredients, and voila! Ice cream in no time at all! Of course, if you are watching your waistline in the middle of swimsuit season, I don’t recommend this gadget. Anyway, we put it to good use, and it was wonderful! The ice cream it makes is that yummy soft-serve consistency which you can eat right away or freeze for later. We scooped out the “soft-serve” ice cream and ate it with sliced strawberries.

Of course, summer wouldn’t be summer without a good old-fashioned slice of watermelon. On the Fourth of July, we grilled burgers and hot dogs and had plenty of watermelon on hand. My husband and father grew up in the South, so they can’t eat watermelon without a salt shaker close at hand. Neither my mother nor I salt, and our 4-year old ate his plain, too. Whether you’re a melon salter or not, you just can’t beat ice cold watermelon on a hot day.

Finally, another way to beat the heat is to enjoy the air conditioning and take a nap or lounge with a good book. We did plenty of that during their visit, too!

However you choose to beat the heat this summer, stay safe and enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Mother's Day to Remember

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. In my corner of the world, it was a beautiful day—sunny, warm and a little breezy. It was a great day for the playground, the beach, the park, or just about any venue you might want to visit and enjoy.

My son made me a picture that included his hand prints. The hand prints were then dusted with glitter, and a poem was included. It was so touching that I just had to share it here:

I miss you when we're not together
I'm growing up so fast
See how big I've gotten
Since you saw me last?
As I grow, I'll change a lot,
The years will fly right by.
You'll wonder how I grew so quick
When and where and why?
So look upon these hand prints
That hang up on your wall.
And memories will come back of me,
When I was very small.

Many of you may be familiar with this poem. You may have a hand print picture of your own very similar to this one I just received. Once upon a time I did not think much of poems like this, but this past weekend it just made my heart melt, especially when my sweet little four-year old looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!” with such pride in his home-made present.

I like to think of my son making those hand prints. That is truly a precious moment for me and always will be.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Prom Night

Last Saturday evening, I had the thrill of seeing a red-carpet worthy event right on my street in suburbia. Glamorous, sparkling gowns, tuxedos and corsages…that’s right, it was prom night!

My husband and I were out in front of our house watching our 4-year old pedal his new bicycle in the driveway. A white stretch limousine pulled up in front of our neighbor’s home, so we had good seats for the show. Two freshly-pressed boys emerged from the limo in black tuxedos and headed for the door with the plastic containers holding their dates’ corsages. After a few minutes, they came out with their dates. One girl was wearing a lavender gown, and the other girl’s dress was turquoise with sequins. Three sets of parents followed them out, and before our eyes, the limo emptied four more couples. Right away, the line-up began, the teens struck their best poses, and the parental paparazzi took over with flash bulbs flying! We counted 6 couples—12 people—all lined up. It was a great night, too…warm and breezy without any hint of chill in the air.

Do you remember your own prom? Or how about Saturday date night? I love hearing the stories my own mother has told me about sock hops and doing the jitterbug. Back then, she tells me, music was played from the jukebox or from a live band. When I was in high school, we had a DJ, and today, everything is digitized. No records, just downloads.

Although times have changed, the thrill of date night—or in the case of last weekend—prom night, hasn’t changed much. I could see the starry-eyed excitement in that group of 6 couples. The girls looked so lovely in their gowns; the boys looked dapper and handsome. I imagine someday my 4-year old will be part of a scene like this, and I hope I can be one of those anxious parents snapping photos to remember the night forever.

To commemorate that thrill, this week I’ve selected “Rockin’ Through The Years,” one of our brand new figurines! It’s nostalgic and classic, just like Precious Moments.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Big Firsts

Do you remember your first bike? Your first roller skates? How about your first swing set? Many of us can remember these fun firsts—they were bigger, more important toys. These were the toys that lasted for years and had many memories created because of them.

This past weekend we bought our 4-year old son his first bicycle. What an exciting day! What started as a trip to the mall to replace worn out sneakers turned into an excursion to the sporting good store to look at bicycles. Until last weekend, he was riding a big wheel around in the driveway and on the sidewalks in our neighborhood, but it was just too small for him. So he is now the proud owner of a cool new bike and bike helmet.

He LOVES riding it, and luckily, he even likes wearing the helmet. When I was a kid, we didn’t wear helmets, but today is a different time. The fact that he now owns a bike is actually a very good thing for me. It means that I have to go on bike rides with him. It forces me to exercise, which is nice. Admittedly, pedaling around behind a 4-year old isn’t a workout, but it’s time outdoors in the fresh spring air. Yesterday afternoon I rode behind him around the neighborhood on his bike. He stops a lot, and for no apparent reason. Sometimes he tells me he is stopping for gas, even though I’ve told him a dozen times that bikes just don’t need gas.

Here he is on the new bike with the new bike helmet…with the new sneakers, too. I am looking forward to another ride this afternoon!

This morning another member of our Teardrop Eyes team told me about her weekend, which was equally big. Actually, it was much bigger. Literally! She and her husband did what my husband and I never dared to do.

They bought a swing set for their 2-year old daughter. And they decided to assemble it on their own!

“Swing set” really doesn’t accurately describe what they purchased. I’m not talking about a swing set with the A-frame and a couple of swings. “Play set” is the better term. It holds multiple children and can be crawled on. It has a curvy slide, a window box, a sandbox and a second story landing. Not for faint-of-heart parents, these mammoth creations are often sold with an optional set-up charge because toy stores know most parents aren’t brave enough to take on that kind of do-it-yourself project. They actually bought the set a couple weeks ago. After sealing every piece of wood in the set with weather sealer, they were finally ready to begin construction. They boldly started assembly at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Day 1 concluded around 11:00 p.m., and this was after a couple of trips to the hardware store to buy extra bolts that weren’t included in the kit. (Because if you’ve ever tried to put something of this scale together, you know there’s almost always something missing. And it’s usually something important, like bolts.)

She and her husband are still assembling the play set. They have the actual swing set part complete, but everything else is still under construction. Their 2-year old is getting anxious, too! See, she’s a Dora the Explorer fan, and Dora got a swing set, so she wants one, too!

Here she is posing with the play set as it looks now:

One thing is certain—when this play set is complete, she is in for a treat. As I said before, this is one of those toys she’ll remember for the rest of her life.

If you’re curious about what this play set will look like when it’s fully assembled, you can see a photo of it here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break is Precious

My child is not yet in school. Luckily, I have a couple more years before I’ll be thinking about homework assignments, packing lunches and parent-teacher conferences. But I am still looking forward to spring break with much anticipation.

Why? For the babysitting, of course! My favorite sitter will be available over her spring break. Hey, at least I am honest.

Actually, many people I know are anxiously looking forward to spring break. My teacher friends are all thrilled to have a much-needed week off. A few people here in the office are planning to take time off for family since the kids will be out of school. Others I know are in graduate school and looking forward to the rest from nightly reading and classes, even if just for a week.

Just for a moment, think back to your own spring break weeks…whether it was grade school, high school, college or beyond. What memories stand out most for you? Did you lounge? Go to the beach? Disney World?

For me, one of my most memorable spring breaks was back in high school. My family traveled to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and rented a house for a week. I was thrilled to be able to walk to the beach…it was a short 100-yard walk in my new red flip flops. My brother and I walked to the beach early each day to hunt for sea shells. The best shells could be found in the morning. The thrill of the hunt was as much fun as finding them. We were also fascinated by the people on the beach who slowly walked with radar detectors, gently waving them back and forth as they meandered down the shore line with their headphones on, listening for a signal that treasure lay beneath the surface.

That week, my brother and I collected over 100 shells, but unfortunately, we left them all in a bucket by the back door of the rented beach house! Hopefully, the finder kept a few of the nicer ones since we worked so hard to collect them.

Today, I no longer collect shells. I do, however, collect Precious Moments figurines. In honor of that memory, I’ve posted one of my favorite Precious Moments figurines above to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as you think of your favorite spring break memories. Better yet, come visit our Facebook page and share them with us!

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's Time To Spring Ahead!

It’s time to spring ahead! I always have bittersweet feelings toward this time of year. I hate the idea of giving up a precious hour of sleep when we turn the clocks ahead, but I love the idea of longer days because that means that spring is just around the corner! So this year I’ve decided to ignore my lost hour of sleep and focus on all the things I can do now that the days are longer.

One of the things I really enjoy doing when the days are longer is going for a walk after dinner. Being out in the fresh air and seeing the trees and flowers start to bud always puts me in a good mood. It helps get me motivated to tackle all the “spring cleaning” projects around the house. This year, we are focusing on turning our somewhat bare backyard into an inviting outdoor space that includes a screened in porch, swing set for our daughter and some much needed landscaping – fingers crossed that we can get all done!

One of the other things I’m looking forward to is teaching my daughter how to ride a tricycle. For her 2nd birthday, we took her to the store and she picked out her very own tricycle. It has been sitting in our garage for a couple months now, just waiting for a nice spring day to take it out for a test drive. She has tried riding it a few times, but it’s hard to learn to ride by just circling around the garage. This past weekend, we had our first opportunity to venture out of the garage. Here is a picture of her first real “ride”. She’s still getting the hang of it, but I’m sure she’ll be zooming around the neighborhood in no time!

These are just a few things I’ll be doing now that the days are longer. What do you like to do when we “spring ahead” to longer days? Share your stories and photos with us!