Reflections and rearview mirrors…🚨

Dearest Friends…

This will be my last post for 2019. As I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to convey it hit me that in two weeks it will have been a score since the dreaded Y2K was staring us in the face. I was still in banking, and we were preparing for the disaster that never arrived. Looking back it almost seems comical at the preparations everyone made, but at the time we were heading into an unknown that was surrounded by lots of hype.

I remember that New Years Eve well, because everyone in our family, with the exception of our youngest daughter and me, had the flu. Alison will remember that I almost OD us on Vitamin C, but I was determined that we stay well, and we did!

Being nineteen Alison had a date for New Years Eve, and I was home with The Captain(our nickname for my husband), who had already been sick for several days. I was fussy at the prospect of welcoming in a new century on my own, and I’m sure I didn’t try to hide it. I picked up carry out chicken for my dinner and spent most of the evening in Alison’s bed reading, and watching the new year/century come in. Definitely not a glamorous start to the year 2000, but to be honest, New Years Eve is usually a quiet event for us anyway.

So what have I been doing  for the last twenty years? I was promoted into a job within the bank that I dearly loved! It was a whole new world for me, and I think First Merchants was as happy with my performance as I was with the opportunity they gave me. But then in 2015 the desire to write a book  took hold of my heart, and wouldn’t let go. I’ve told you before how the announcement of my decision was received by my husband, but I did has he asked and worked one more year, before taking early retirement in 2016.

The last four years have without doubt been the most exciting and fulfilling of my life. Of course getting married and having three beautiful, remarkable daughters was the best part of my life, but writing Lottie Loser? That was all mine! And following up with Call Me Charlotte and The Greysons, and the spin-off starting with Noah’s Lark, well, all I can say is, that’s just been icing on the cake!

The title of this post is reflections and rear view mirrors , because it’s easy to look back and only see the happy times, or the accomplishments we’ve had. But that isn’t real life. I’ve made my share of mistakes, and even though I’ve moved past them, they still pop into my mind from time to time.  The one good thing about mistakes is that if you learn from them, you shouldn’t want to repeat them. I know that I don’t!

This New Years Eve I’ll spend with The Captain, and know how blessed I am to be doing so. All of our girls have families of their own now,  and lives of their own, which is how it should be. Being a mom is all I ever wanted to do, but I know I wasn’t as good of one as I could have been. I’m still not, but my family is everything to me, and I pray that twenty years from now we’ll all still be together, and those grandkids of mine will have made me a great grandmother.

Life is fragile, but it’s also wonderful and beautiful, and filled with laughter and love. Would I change anything if I could go back to New Years Eve 1999? Maybe less Vitamin C, and I’d be more compassionate to my husband, who’s loved me and supported me for almost forty-six years. He didn’t want to be sick anymore than I wanted him to be, but that’s a lesson I learned with maturity.  I read somewhere that you can’t see where you’re going if you keep looking in the review mirror, and my plan is to look towards the future, and let the past be a memory.

So to you, my dear friends and readers of the AMI Series, I say enjoy every day, and even on the worst ones, remember your blessings. For me, that’s all of you. Because without you my Fairytale would never have come true.👸🏼

Until we read again…📚

Blessing and love,

Dana L. ❤️

Christmas Bonus

In The Greysons Charlotte made Nick the  Sticky Buns for Christmas morning that his mom had always made when he was a child. It was one of the few happy memories that he had of her. This is an actual tradition in our house as well, one that my girls have continued.

So here is the recipe from our church cookbook, very easy and always delicious! Enjoy🎄

Hot Sticky Buns

2 loaves Rhoades or other frozen bread, thawed

1 C.  Pecan halves or chopped pecans

1 stick butter, plus more for dotting on top

1  C.   Brown sugar

2  small packages of REGULAR vanilla pudding (Not instant)

3 T. Milk

1-2 t.  Cinnamon

Cut each loaf lengthwise, then section into 16-18 pieces. In a well greased 9X13 pan place half of the bread pieces leaving spaces between each  piece. Cover with pecans.

In a heavy saucepan melt the butter, then add brown sugar, 2 pkgs. pudding, milk and cinnamon. Mix well until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly.

Pour the hot mixture over the bread and nuts in the 9X13 pan and fill in the openings with the remaining chunks of bread. Dot with butter

I do this on Christmas Eve afternoon, then put them in the refrigerator covered, and let the bread rise overnight.

Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. For a nice presentation turn the pan over on a large covered board or platter. These rolls are really are delicious, and a treat for any special occasion.

And remember this! If Nick’s mother could make them, you can, too!


Merry Christmas from Charlotte, Nick and the crew from AMI! And of course, from me!