Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Year 2013

It is December 26th and it is mid morning because I really slept in this morning. I am now enjoying my chair as I use my Santa coffee cup one more time. I really need to get into that kitchen and living room to clean up that mess.  I am instantly reminded of Andy Rooney's quote that I saw on a friend's FB yesterday. 

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." ~ Andy Rooney, American writer, producer, humorist. ”

I guess I will leave the mess a while longer while I reflect on 2013.  

Christmas cards are being sent less and less it seems over the years, and I have been guilty of that the past two.  I know that social media has a lot to do with that as we can keep up with each other's lives easier now, but I do miss writing that Christmas letter each year and more importantly reading and enjoying our annual cards received from friends and family.  What I certainly love the most are the photos that we receive and viewthrough the cards, and on Facebook and Instagram. 

The end of 2013 seemed to arrive faster than usual.  The year was  certainly full of change and adventure for me with living as an empty nester, anticipating the release of the movie, My Son, and the event of the year, Kristin and Matt's wedding!  

Elizabeth's year was full with a job promotion with Senior Health Care Centers, the new love of her life, Rob, and the joy of their shared pup, Khai!  She lives in the Plano/The Colony area and works in Denton as the Director of Marketing.  She and Rob met on their kick ball team and the love sparks began after she invited him to attend a wedding. Rob is a civil engineer in Dallas and is originally from Florida.  We love him and he fits right in!

Matt is now a married man as of October 25th when he married the beautiful Kristin Ford. What a blessing she is to our family and I know that she is the one that God had me praying for so many years ago.  Matt is still peddling windows (his Dad's phrase) for our window replacement company and has done very well this year.  I am so very thankful for Matt and his loving support.  He is always there when I need him. Also, Cash, Pat's beloved australian shepherd, loves living at their house and he has a new sister australian shepherd, Maddox.   

Garrett is a freshman at Blinn College in College Station.  This year has been an eye opener for a new student that never studied much in high school and if he had his way, he would go back to high school. I am so proud of the man he is becoming and you can certainly see Pat's hand prints all over him!  Garrett loves that!

The new addition to the family last Christmas was Hank, Garrett's boxer.  Much to Garrett's dismay, he is really mine.  This beautiful, white and deaf sweetheart has brought me so much joy and the kids make fun of me because he is very spoiled and I take his picture the most!  

As for me, I certainly was busy doing various things. I began developing websites and plan to continue this in the future. The movie, My Son, took a lot of my time this year marketing and promoting for the release on September 20th.  I was cast as the mother, Sherri Clark, of the main character in this Christian feature film.  The premier was truly a magical night that I will never forget and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.  Another highlight of the year for me was that I had the honor of doing the florals for the wedding which inspired me to continue my floral design business, Petals by Paige. 

2013 has been been a year of healing while building new family traditions and most of all bringing the five of us closer and closer to each other. We miss Pat very much, but we always find a story to tell, a memory to remember or just making plain fun of the dad who was such a vital part of this family.  I was able to surprise the kids this Christmas with quilts made from their dad's favorite t-shirts and the smiles and tears on their faces when they opened me blessed me beyond measure.  

We now will focus on 2014 and wait with expectancy and faith as we trust our mighty God to go before us as He leads us. What I have learned the most in 2013 is that He is truly faithful and sovereign. I am so blessed as I am held firmly in His grip! 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Thankful List

It is a Facebook thing, the Thirty days of Thankfulness for the month.  I usually participate and today is Day 21.  The first week and a half are easy, but I find myself lingering a bit longer the last half of the month creating my list.  Many things that I am thankful are so small, private or just not humble, so I list the nice, readable 30. For the past two years, thankfulness has been whispered and actually cried out in my prayers, so I don't believe 90 days would be long enough. 

We are approaching the second anniversary of Pat's death next week, and thankfulness and gratitude would be what I have to describe to be the strongest emotion other than grief.  Oh, there is the journey itself with so much pain and challenges, but the gratitude, laughter, peace and love have carried us. As the days go by, the beauty of relationships dulls the grief.  

What has been the most painful for me is my children's pain.  I have seen it in their faces and felt it in the words that they text me. In the middle of the day or night, I will get a text from one of them. "I miss my dad." "I dreamed about dad last night."  "If I had only one more day."  They are experiencing major life events such as graduation, job promotions, engagements, weddings, and dad is not here to share with them.  I told Garrett the other day how thankful I am that your dad's handprints is all over him."  His reply, "I know. I am too."

I just read this:

During the month of November, we hear a lot about gratitude. Gratitude is more than being thankful for your blessings. Gratitude flows from a person’s heart when they see the good in God’s character, the good in themselves, and the good in others.

Gratitude is about finding what is good and magnifying it by appreciation and celebration. When we appreciate and celebrate the people, miracles and gifts of God in our lives, we begin to prosper because kingdom assignments are being fulfilled and expanding! Paula White

My kids have absolutely shown selflessness with me in the way they love me, support me, encourage me and even brag on me!  My relationship with each child has grown stronger and the closeness of Elizabeth, Matt and Garrett is so strong and evident. Now that Kristin is my daughter, I am seeing Elizabeth and Garrett just embracing her and initiating her into our crazy Easterling madness!

This year introduced more changes for me as Matt moved out this summer, Garrett went off to college, so I am now an empty nester.  I really have adapted well and love my space.  We had the most magical wedding last month when Matt and Kristin married (I will blog about that soon....can't wait to show you the wedding photos.) and oh, how I would love to relive that day.  Elizabeth got promoted this past year in her job as marketing director for a skilled nursing facility and doing excellent. She also has a new love, Rob. Garrett is finding out that school is hard, but he is up for the challenge with a bit of griping!

Sadly, I have friends that are walking the journey that Pat and I traveled and those raw and realistic emotions have hit me at times.  Just reading my daily Bible these past few days, I am reminded of that journey when I see some of the notes that I made in the margins such as: tough days; "tired and weary"; "need wisdom regarding Pat's pain"; "do we do chemo or not"; and finally "Pat met Jesus today, November 26, 2011".  What is my advice for couples facing cancer?  I first tell them that there are many gifts in cancer.  I tell them you will experience God hugs and they will just make you smile.  I tell them to soak in God's word and allow Him to love, encourage and allow Him to teach you more about His faithfulness, sovereignty, and hope.  I share with them that my most cherished gift I ever received was His peace.  A peace that is so unknown and foreign....peace that which surpasses understanding.  

When you lose a spouse, you start to learn about who you are without that person, especially after you have been together 30 years, and discover more about who God created you to be.  I have found some discoveries about myself that are good, surprising and also hidden.  I would like to use the word "unfortunately" as I begin the next sentence, Unfortunately, I have discovered some things that I don't like much about me, but I can't as God is using these ugly discoveries to show me more about who He is, how He can transform me, but most of all that He loves me....unconditionally.  

As I close, I realize that I could add to my list of those thankful days, but I will just bask in the fact that I have thankfully discovered more!

Happy Thanksgiving!

In His Grip! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pre Wedding!

The excitement isn't over in this family as we have a wedding October 25th!  Kristin and Matt's big day is just a few weeks away.  The bachelor and bachelorette parties were this weekend.  Although the boys have not shared their photos from the weekend, I have a few from our night together!

Elizabeth & I on our way to dinner!

Painting With A Twist

My new daughter to be, Kristin

I am doing the florals for the wedding reception and have started this project this week.  As of today I have three down and many, many more to go!  You can see below that Hank is all up in my floral is all fun though!  Wedding time is so exciting!


My Son Movie Premier

September 20th was absolutely magical.....limousine, red carpet and getting to share the evening with my friends and family.  The movie was a hit and ran an extra week in the local theater.  Retta Vision is meeting now with movie distribution companies now to get the movie out nationally.  Meanwhile, this weekend the movie, My Son, has been nominated to the 2013 CMM Christian Film Festival this weekend in Clark, New Jersey, and actress Kate Randall, who plays my daughter, Jess in My Son, has been nominated for the "Best Actress in a Leading Role" award. I Love you, Kate and so very proud of you!

Rob, Elizabeth, Garrett, Kristin & Matt

The Clark Family
Restin & Kate

Austin, the star!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

MY SON's R-Rating Is Getting Attention!

MY SON, the movie is getting press.  WFAA Channel 8 out of DFW has covered the story twice.  Last night, Jim Douglas, of WFAA, did a follow up story on the R rating the movie received from the MPAA.  Click below to see the two new stories:

Burleson church pulls together to produce movie they hope inspires faith

MPAA gives Burleson church's $25,000 film an 'R' rating

The Baptist Standard

Burleson church produces movie

The movie premiers September 20th at the Burleson Premier Theater.  Tickets are on sale now!  

How exciting to be a part of this movie and see just what God has in store!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Son - Official Movie Trailer

Did you recognize the mom?  Yep, that is me!  How did I get the opportunity to do a movie?  

Paige Easterling

Sharri Clarke

A few months after the tragic loss of her husband to pancreatic cancer, Paige Easterling was asked by a friend to audition for a role in MY SON. With no prior acting experience, Paige was uncertain why God had placed such an unfamiliar opportunity in front of her. Looking back, she found that her involvement in the film proved to be a gift from God that aided in the healing process. Paige is the owner of a residential window replacement business and volunteers at her church, First Baptist of Burleson.


Cadon wasn't going anywhere . . . until he met Jess. Now that Jess and her young son Austin are living with him, his life seems to have direction and purpose.

But when they lose custody of Austin under questionable circumstances, Cadon feels responsible. His hope of having a normal family is all but lost. Desperate to keep Jess, Cadon turns to his lifelong friend Bo for help to reclaim their son.

He is willing to do anything.
Love Has No Limits.

As their plan unfolds and tensions escalate, Cadon finds himself trapped in a hostage crisis in a small church. With the situation spiraling out of control, Cadon, Jess and Bo will each have life-changing decisions to make. MY SON tells the story behind a too-real tragedy interwoven with a message of hope that can overcome even our worst choices.

History of the Film

In its continuing efforts to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ, Retta Baptist Church has sought new and creative ways to accomplish this goal. One example of this is Retta's long history of ministry through media, including music videos and documentaries. In the summer of 2011, the vision of spreading the Gospel through media was expanded in the hearts of those at Retta to include the possibility of producing a feature film. Throughout the entire production process, from the writing of the script to the shooting of the film to the current marketing efforts, the goal has remained the same: to share with as many people as possible the message of hope and new life that Jesus offers in a way that they can relate to and will be easily accessible to them.


Principle photography for MY SON began on July 27th, 2012 and concluded August 24th after 26 days of near continuous filming. Additional scenes were shot in October of 2012 and March of 2013. A crew of more than 40 volunteers contributed behind the scenes in various roles during the filming process. Private homes, churches, and local businesses in the Texas cities of Burleson, Alvarado, Mansfield, and River Oaks provided the backdrop for the film's scenes. 

The movie premiers on September 20th!  

The Graduate!

Every time I open up this blog, I always say I miss it.  Time passes and so much of life has too!  As of June 10th, I know longer have a child in school.  Garrett graduated, we celebrated and now getting ready for him to go off to college in August.  

Graduation celebration began with a party with his two best friends, Paxton and Alex at Leslie and Jeff's followed by a cruise with more friends. Garrett and I  left on the 13th for a four night stay and a day trip to Cozumel.  A lot of great memories were made.
The Three!
The Three Moms of the Three!
June 10th was the big graduation!

After graduation, Garrett and I, his friends and my two girlfriends went on a cruise!

Paxton, Alex & Garrett

Leslie & Kay

Thanks for the great memories, G!  I love you! Photobucket