this, please

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soulmate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

I dunno about you, but I think Bob Marley got it right. This…this makes me look to the future with a smile, a heart full of hope, and a soul that fully believes that God has something crazy in store for me. He will reveal it in His perfect time, and He’s doing that, day by day. Thankful for every step of the journey, even the steps that exasperate me.

So, gentledudes, if this isn’t up your alley and you can’t bring this to the table, consider the seat next to me taken. The rest of you, carry on.

it only took 5 days

5 days to find what? A hot Italian guy. Holy smokes. Tonight, as fate would have it, we had dinner at Il Vicolo, a family owned restaurant in Montecatini with a wood oven for pizza.

The minute I laid eyes on the waiter, I was happy with our choice. He was ridiculously adorable, super sweet, and very polite. Yahtzee!! Ron pointed to his wedding ring to ask if the waiter was married and he blushed and went to the other end of the table – skipping me entirely! As the meal went on we kept stealing glances and making eye contact, both grinning ear to ear like goofballs. We leaned his name is Daniele Scarcella, not sure how old he is, but looked close to my age. I have pictures, but I’ll have to post them later, or you’ll have to check Cheri’s blog, she’s posting a pic as I’m typing this. You should probably go look at it, like…now. Cheri passed him a Chamber business card with my name and blog address, so Daniele, of you’re reading this, you’ll see me for dinner tomorrow night, and I’ll be roaming the streets of Montecatini tomorrow. :-)
Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, when he said ciao as I was leaving, he pulled me back and we kissed on both cheeks. Holler!

Let’s just say, American men, this Italian beat every single one of you. I’m going to have sweet dreams tonight!

{winner} turquoise bracelet

it’s valentine’s day, love bugs.

not valentiMe’s day. don’t say that to me. i’ll cringe or maybe correct you.

on this day in 1916, i think, my late papa, clarence valentine hempleman, was born.

today, his wife, my gaga {not to be confused with lady gaga} is in the hospital. please pray for her to be strong and to get home soon. we’re staying positive.

i’m single.

but i got valentine’s from some crazy wonderful people.

and my neighbor just brought me over hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries.

i’m a big fan of love. i think it’s awesome. i’m just not in it right now.

i wore yellow today. not because i’m a v-day hater, but because yellow is the color of friendship. and i’m celebrating all the incredible friendships i’ve made over the past year.

i’m real pumped that froyo is 50% off for singles at josie’s today {don’t worry love birds, your dessert is BOGO}. and yes, i’m taking myself on a date this evening. maybe i’ll run into mr. right.

a guy won the turquoise bracelet giveaway from designs by mandi boutique. get this ladies, he entered the giveaway for his leading lady.

three cheers for you, raymond!
your lady is gonna get a nice spring-y surprise
that neither of you expected.

i’ll get you connected with mandi and she’ll send the bracelet your way. congrats!

thanks again to the rest of y’all for entering. if you aren’t as lucky as courtney, stephanie and raymond, don’t give up. there are still goodies coming your way – the three i promise – plus one more in the works. i don’t mess around when it comes to hooking you guys up, because quite frankly, you rock.

another giveaway’s coming up tomorrow…if i can actually peel myself away from it. i’m attached and it’s not even mine!

hope you’ve felt loved in your corner of the world today.


single ladies, listen up.

ladies. if you ever read and let my words sink in – let them hit home with you tonight. i mean it. and if you take nothing else away from your time spent reading this post, remember this: you are worth it.

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep. Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have you. The one who turns to his friends and says, that’s her.”

i wish i could attribute this to some really wise person, but i can’t, because all signs point to “anonymous” or “unknown.” {frustrating!} if you’re a single lady {like yours truly}, questioning yourself, wondering if you’ll ever find the right guy, here’s what i have to say to you: quit itstop questioning. start trusting. believe in your value. and don’t you dare settle for mister-right-now when mister-i’m-gonna-love-you-forever is still out there.

and dangit, be ready, because he’s going to find you, when you least expect it. he’ll be your best friend. he’ll make you swoon. he’ll think you’re sexy without your make-up on. he’ll love you for who you are. and he’ll believe in you. he’ll support you. he’ll challenge you. he’ll push you and help you grow. he’ll be real with you. he’ll make you laugh. he’ll wipe your tears. he’ll hold your hand. he’ll be proud of you. and he’ll make you a better person. so be ready, because when he finds you – game over.

i don’t know about you, but i think that is something worth waiting for.