Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Nana Holds from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartThanks so much for stopping by today. I promise it will get a little happier here soon so stick with me as we get closer to wrapping up Nana Holds; and stand by for more of life’s valuable lessons in months to come as He prepares me to share Nana Prays! Grab your coffee and let’s get back to coffee with my girlfriend.

I stared at her, my heart overflowing with gratitude that despite me, she was learning something incredibly valuable about God! And how funny it was that God had allowed me to be used in her life in some of her darkest moments, and now He was using her in mine! Yes, one of God’s most precious gifts He gives us is relationship. I was sort of dumbfounded by the irony of it all.

Her words echoed in the hallways of my mind, spilling comfort over into the depths of my heart: “Well, He’s not going to leave you now. He’s brought you this far. It’s just another change.”

“I definitely know that, friend and” – the ringing of my phone collided into the end of thought.

I looked at her. “It’s him.”

She motioned for me to answer it.


“We’re on our way!” His enthusiasm tugged at my heart and I couldn’t help but smile, but only a little bit. It had been a long time since I had seen or heard such happiness, such life in his voice and I certainly didn’t want to rain on it with any level of bitterness.

I looked at my watch. It was already almost 12! “So where did you want to eat?” I asked him.

“Where are you right now?”

“I’m with Joanne at Starbucks by the freeway.”

“Let’s meet at Red Robin.”


“I’m starving like Marvin,” he laughed at himself.

I couldn’t even think of eating at the moment, but I didn’t tell him that.

“Invite Joanne to come. I haven’t seen her in a while. It will be fun.”

His childlike enthusiasm pulled at the strings of my heart again and I smiled because I had missed that part of him for so long.

Joanne had heard him, too, and she was shaking her head vehemently.

“I don’t want to interrupt in your family time,” she whispered for my ears only.

“So what time do you want me there?” I asked.

“Well, we just left Santa Ana, so let’s say 12:45.”

I agreed and then asked to talk with John for a second. He came on the phone and I congratulated him for his release and confirmed God’s hand in it. He sounded relieved but otherwise pretty non-emotional, which I had learned by this time didn’t mean anything negative from him; it is just part of his makeup. After we said good-bye and I hung up, I felt as though I was the one with dual personalities: how could I be so torn but still be so kind to this person who was in so many ways still more boy than man? Would the things I learned while he was home for those thirty days stick? And what about all that I’d learned the entire almost two years? Would we continue to build the foundation we started with the little bit of conversing we had finally engaged in? Would the respect continue to grow? And then there was George and our relationship. Would he ever value me just as important as his kids? Would he learn to confirm his convictions with them and for them?

I sat back in my chair, willing myself to just stay in each moment, to not mind-screw the future to death and rip myself off of any lesson I needed to learn. Joanne and I shared a comfortable silence, each of us lost in our own thoughts.

Finally, I looked up at her and re-invited her to lunch.

She repeated her desire to not intrude on our “family” time and I assured her she would be doing me a favor, sort of helping me ease into this new lane of change. With that, she agreed and I told her I’d pick her up at her house in a half hour.

My confession of needing her help must have triggered something because she changed her mind and even offered to pick me up from my house in a half hour. She wanted to go home and change, and so did I. There was no need to stay in my workout clothes. I needed to make an effort at looking happy, even though my heart was not quite there.

We’ll resume with more of the ending of Nana Holds after our WOW next week. Join me tomorrow for Power Friday.

Reminiscing with thankfulness,


Nana holds . . . in her heart

Nana holds . . . in her heart


Nana Holds from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Oh, how to put the next thirty days into words? I’ve actually dreaded writing this part of the season of Nana Holds, though I have learned so much from it so I will try and write about it in a way that glorifies Him and all He’s taught me and brought me through more than glorifying the pain it took to get me there.

I think to shed some meaningful light on just how dark things had gotten, I need to share something I forgot to mention that happened back on our little getaway. It was Friday evening and we were having dinner, finally. I say that because we had waited about an hour to get into this restaurant, which was no big deal. There is plenty to do

while waiting. After all, it’s Vegas! All around us was gambling fever, people everywhere. It’s one of the more interesting places to people watch. Anyway, when we finally were paged and taken to our seats, for some reason, it took another fifteen minutes for them to even acknowledge us, and then finally, our waitress took our drink order, promising to be “right back” to get our food order.

Well, I don’t know about you or your man, but when mine gets hungry, he gets a bit cranky. I remember trying to find things to talk about to distract him, such as the ambiance of the restaurant. Mistake! Ugh, talk about anything but the restaurant. Get his mind off of waiting, away from food and on to something that makes him smile.

In the midst of the frustrated tension, our drink orders arrived and as the waiter left, I picked mine up and did what Bryden likes to do. “Cheers.”

At the thought of Bryden, he smiled! It worked . . . for a minute. I wanted desperately to know what in the world was going on in that head of his. It was obvious he was uncomfortable and . . . I can’t even put words to it but I can see him, his eyes devoid of joy, his face tired and his shoulders positioned in such a way that they looked burdened in a heavy sort of way. And his frustration was increasing as the minutes ticked by with no appearance from our waitress for our food order.

When the waitress finally returned to take our order, twenty minutes later, George simmered down to calm but he let her know in a sarcastic way that only he specializes in

after dinner view

after dinner view

that he thought she disappeared and went home. Then like the flip of a switch, he asked her about the steak he wanted to order. After listening to her explanation of how it was cooked, he ordered his dinner, and I ordered mine. “I’ll get that right in,” and she walked away.

I still had over half of my drink. I began to sip on it and then proceeded to ask him about work and his job that morning. Mistake! Big mistake! Out of nowhere, he exploded emotionally like a helium balloon that had popped. What came out of his mouth didn’t surprise me and yet it did. To finally have this confession that I had suspected months ago exposed for both of us to look at was painful in a raw way, especially considering the expletives that came with it, which I will not repeat.

But there in the captivating and exciting ambiance of Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill, my husband blurted his disdain for his job, confessing he was in a rut and hated his life.

I, for one of the few times in my life, was rendered speechless!

Join me tomorrow for more, and rejoice in trials for they are temporary but how we endure through them will go with us into eternity!


Nana Holds!

Nana Holds!


The Night after the Bachelorette-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for coming by for “The Night after the Bachelorette.” Grab your coffee and come on in. We’re about to go on the hometown dates with Ashley and the four guys, Ben, Constantine, Ames and JP, and it appears we have some concerned families.

It’s already the first commercial break and the only thing she’s said that is worth writing is that when you meet the families, it puts things on a whole different level. Okay, let’s get to the first hometown date with Constantine, who is a restaurant owner.

Oh, I can’t wait to meet his family. He took her to his restaurant and she was really impressed with the love all his staff showed him. He taught her how to make a pizza while his staff peeked around the corner totally checking her out. He’s actually very funny and Ashley picked up that he’s totally real and more comfortable in his own space. Constantine just said something rather profound: “That’s like the beauty of love is that you can only be open and ready for it. You can’t do anything to make it happen or force it to happen.” OMG, you should have seen his chefs and waiters and waitresses all looking through the glass window out onto the patio, straining their necks, a couple of them obviously on tippy-toes to see if he was going to kiss her and he didn’t disappoint them! 🙂

Now it’s time to meet his family. How cute; they have balloons hanging up with a “Welcome Home Constantine” sign. His sister, mother and father were so excited to see him. Dad recognizes his happiness right away. The love in the family is beautiful music and it inspires Ashley.

Mom initiated a one-on-one talk with Ashley and I love her insight. She wants her son to find the love of his life, but she feels that they need more time because of course, everything is wonderful when you’re jetted away to these awesome places and beautiful beaches, and life is wonderful, but real life is different! Can I get an AMEN!!! I like her! Now she wants to ask a mama question, which was legitimate. She wanted to know if this did go in that direction, would Ashley relocate to where they all were, and Ashley said without a doubt, she wouldn’t have a problem doing that, especially if it’s what he wants.

Now it’s time for father and son who reiterates that it takes time, but he gives his blessing if he feels that Ashley’s the one. Dad said to use his mom and him as an example. He talked about ups and downs, that it’s not going to be perfect, but in the beginning, it should be.

Ashley was obviously very comfortable and had no idea about the planned surprise just as they were going to get ready to leave the doorbell rings and his entire family shows up, grandmas, aunts, uncles, sister, cousins and then they did this dance. I could so get on with his family. “All the pieces of the puzzle are really put together for me and Constantine,” Ashley said. She really didn’t want to go. And Constantine’s dad, well he wished for them to have love forever.

Ahhh, Ames is so excited to see her and his family includes a sister and her husband, another sister and a brother and his wife and his nephews and nieces. Mom can see that Ashley has really caught Ames attention, and his sister Serena could see the spark but wonders if Ashley has it. So, she gets right to it and tells Ashley clearly he has feelings for you. It’s serious now. You’re meeting his family now, his nieces and nephews and I’m just curious, what are your feelings for Ames?

Ashley admits that their relationship has moved a lot slower than the others but she’s choosing him over the relationships that have moved faster because she sees so many good things in him.

Serena asks another tough question: are you comfortable when you guys are together? Is it easy or do you feel like you have to work toward things or do you guys just — does it come naturally?

She feels something for him; he’s different in a good way and she’s just not ready to stop learning about him.

His sister says, “He’s like an onion. You keep peeling layers and you’re going to find out more.” She then confirms that he’s the most loyal, honest person you’ll ever know and he’s a romantic. His sister says that Ames has brought other girlfriends home before but this time it’s different. “He’s smitten with you.”

All Ashley could say is she wants to know more.

When Mom and Ames talk, he really comes out with how much he admires how she’s handled things. We definitely have a different opinion on that one.

Okay, now back with his sister Serena. Ashley asked her to tell her a bit about Ames’s father who died when Ames was ten and then his step-dad passed away, too. So that gave Ashley another piece to this puzzle. Serena wasn’t convinced that Ashley’s spark was/is as bright as Ames. Oh, now Ashley is telling Ames’ mom that she thinks they’re both similar and yet, when Ames has said that, she looked a bit bemused. Bummer, she just admitted to still missing the spark, that romance and passion. Why is it we feel that has to come first?

Oops, his sister gave Ames a heads up about kicking up the romance, so he did just that and took her to this beautiful garden and under his favorite tree with a picnic lunch.

Oooh, I like what Ames says: You can have romantic through the ordinary. There’s so much more magic in the ordinary; life doesn’t have to be like fireworks. And then she reached over and he leaned in and kissed her. Then he took her on a horse-drawn carriage with some beautiful horses, the perfect ending to their hometown date, a storybook romance.

Now it’s time for Ben, Sonoma, California. This is the winemaker and he says it’s his turn to surprise her all day. They start at the winery, and he shows her many more facets to him and they share a sweet moment before they begin their picnic in the rain. Ben tells Ashley that he’s only brought one woman home to meet his mother, and he assures her that it’s a big deal to him. Ashley asked Ben to describe his dad: “A gentle giant, super happy with life, soft-spoken, didn’t say a lot but super, super happy about life. He would have liked you.” Ben admits that this process has put him in touch with a different side of himself, the emotional side and he likes it. I hope he’s able to say that no matter what happens. Ben makes it very clear that “my mom and sister have to like you, or it’s not going to work for me.” If things don’t go well, then it may be the end for me.” Wow, his vineyard is beautiful.

Ben’s sister breaks the ice by talking about Ben’s hair, and then admitted to being the one that signed him up for the Bachelorette. Julia says Ashley is sweet, but she’s skeptical so she brings Ben in the kitchen and they talk, heart to heart. Ben admits to being into it despite it being scary and exciting all at the same time. When his sister asked if he saw himself engaged at the end of this, she smiled when he responded that if things keep progressing the way that they are, he most definitely sees himself engaged. Wow, I sure hope he don’t get a broken heart. 🙂 🙁  🙂

Ben told his mom that he hasn’t said he loves her but he likes her a lot. He’s really grown through this process, and he talks about his dad that passed away, and mom tells him that she thinks dad would be proud of him. Ahh, Ben has tears in his eyes. What a sensitive heart. With tears running down his face, he admits to missing his dad. There really is a little boy inside each man.

Okay, so now it’s JP’s hometown and this is who I think she feels the most for. We’re in Long Island and JP’s so excited to have her all to himself and he didn’t sleep a wink all night. It’s raining so JP has a special plan for them and Ashley narrates that she doesn’t care if she walks with JP down the street for three hours. She just wants to be with him. That says a lot! They’re going roller skating and didn’t even get their skates on before kissing. She is the most genuine with him. She’s going to meet his mother, father, his brother Roy and his brother’s girlfriend. JP admits to taking only four girls home to meet his family. He also admits that he’s willing to risk getting hurt for a chance at love. Interesting concept, huh?

The welcome from the family was genuine and loving. Mom is concerned and has so many questions to ask. She is honest about not wanting to see her son’s heart hurt like it was hurt before. When she asked if he was in love, he couldn’t quite say it, but he is confident that she doesn’t share what they share with the other guys. Mom is still guarded and tells Ashley as much as she relives a season of broken-heartedness for JP and says she’s nervous because she sees love in JP’s eyes when he looks at her. Mom really puts her on the spot and Ashley doesn’t flinch at all, but in fact encouraged it. She fell in love with JP’s family and talking to Chris, she has no regrets. I think maybe Constantine and JP and Ben get to stay, but let’s see.

Ben is the first name she calls to give a rose to. JP is second. Boy, they’re milking it. Just say Constantine’s name and get it over with. Whew, she just did. Poor Ames, he’s completely shocked, but still he’s smiling. He breaks down a little bit, telling her how impressed he is with her, and that it was beautiful and even more poetic than he expected and that he will remember every second of it. What a truly nice, nice guy, another broken heart. Somebody please tell me what is the purpose in all of this?

Have a great day,