Thankful Thursday: The Generosity of Friendship

I can't tell you how often I stop and think about
how fortunate I am to have such wonderful friends.

Case in point:

A few weeks back when I was lucky enough to be part of Lisa's 1st Photography Workshop ever, I had the opportunity to bunk with an amazing woman I had only hoped of meeting one day,
Wanda from At Last..We Are Family.

She was everything I thought she'd be and so much more.
And I'm here to tell you, she's even more strikingly beautiful in person than she is in pictures...and that's hard to imagine!

Well, not only is she gorgeous, sweet, smart, warm and completely charming...
she is one incredible talent!
In addition to her photography, Wanda is a true artist...a painter, in fact.

Wanda had a very special surprise for me when I finally got the chance to hug her in person.

So special, in fact, that I had to fight the tears back when I saw it.

Not a day goes by that I don't look at this incredible work of art created by
the hands of this very dear friend and realize just how special she is to me.
The lid of this box is not a photograph, though it looks as perfect as one.
It is all hand painted.
Wanda studied a photo from my blog and created this masterpiece.
It takes my breath away.


My heart just skips a beat when I see my Sweetie's eyes staring back at me!


Inside is my daughter's name


along with this beautiful quote.



The detail is simply exquisite.


Wanda also surprised our friend, Lisa
with an equally stunning box all her own.

Wanda, I can never thank you enough for this unforgettable gift
and the richness your friendship brings to me.
I will treasure both for a lifetime.
(To see some of Wanda's gorgeous paintings click HERE)

That evening, as Wanda and I made our way back to our hotel room,
we found on our table a little taste of heaven sitting on a silver tray.


There was a note.

We were like two giddy little school girls devouring our find.
We just couldn't believe the thoughtfulness and generosity of a very special girlfriend
who wasn't able to make the trip.


What can I say about Valerie?
I adore her...
she has a heart of gold, a lightning quick wit and a sense of humor like no other.
She often has me gasping for air from laughing so much.
I tell her regularly that she needs to do stand-up comedy.
She'd sell the place out.
I truly don't know if I've ever met someone so innately funny as Val.
I'm laughing writing this just thinking of her!

As big as Val's sense of humor is, her heart is 100 times bigger.
Wanda and I immediately huddled around the phone in our hotel room with Val on the line
delighting in our little sweet gift from our ValPal in the Lone Star State.
She was the only thing missing from our perfect weekend.

One day, Valerie...one day soon.
Batten down the hatches!
You are an absolute gem and I am so lucky to have you in my life.

With friends like these...well, with friends like these,

Thank you both for the gift of your friendship.


  1. My fingers are just hovering over the keyboard, for once I am at a loss for words.

    The best in me, the best in you; came togeter because we knew;
    it wasn't hard to understand,
    being friends was part of God's plan.

    You make it so easy,
    Love Valerie

  2. What a beautiful post about the blessing of friendship...

    Wanda is a beautiful mother with an amazing talent. The box ...wow...what a treasure that will be for generations to come!

    How sweet of Valerie! Chocolate covered strawberries are my favorite...my mouth was watering looking at those pics!

    A well deserved weekend!

    Love and blessings,

  3. ....k....now you've got me in tears. Some people we meet and a friendship or love grows slowly. Others - it can happen in a second. From the first time I heard you're voice - I loved you. And when I knew we were meeting at Lisa's fabulous workshop - well....ask Danny?....I was giddy for weeks. Really, he said many times - "what's with this girl, I've never seen you so excited to meet someone".

    It's true. Your heart is so big - it spills out of every word you say, every way you think - in everything you do. I'm so blessed to know you and "bunking" for the week-end only confirmed that.

    Can't wait for our next road trip girl - and for our lovlies to meet too.

    And thank you for such a sweet tribute. I'm tickled knowing you can see the box each day and it's a reminder of just how special I think you are.


  4. oh my goodness. oh my goodness. oh my goodness. WOW. That is amazing! What a gorgeous gift from a beautiful friend! I cannot even believe how perfect that painting of SP is. Her eyes are exactly as beautiful as she is in person. What a sweet friend! and those strawberries, well I guess you know you are blessed!

  5. Dita that box is amazing! I just stared at your blog for a few minutes because it looks identical to your photos. Wanda is so talented. I know just from her blog posts and emails she must be a very special person. I can also see the same from you. It was no surprise to read how quickly you became fast friends. I hope to meet you ladies in the future and have the exact same connection. I will be traveling up to the NJ area in mid November. I have my fingers crossed that Lisa and I will be able to get together. I'm sure I'll have the same reaction upon meeting her as you did with Wanda.


  6. That box is absolutely breathtaking, I am in awe of Wanda's talent. And the fact that she's as sweet as she is talented is just...well, awesome!

    Valerie sounds like a doll too. Of course, it doesn't surprise me that you have such good friends, because I'm sure they're only returning the love they get from you.

    Isn't it amazing to be surrounded by such people? :)

  7. Dita, You and Wanda are both amazing! Your really something fabulous! I felt so special being part of the "Newark Posse" and I will always remember how awesome you all are. I will admit...I was a bit nervous meeting up with the "jersey" crowd but now... I love you guys and would love to meet up with you for more Vodka Gimlets in the future! Wanda is awesome and an truly an amazing artist and all of the workshop weekend girls are awesome as well! =)

    Love ya!

  8. What a priceless treasure.... Truly beautiful!
    Oh, the joy of friends.... we are so blessed.
    Big hug to you sweet friend.

  9. What a wonderful weekend, and such joy with friends! The painted box is exquisite! I couldn't imagine a more beautiful and professional gift!
    Amazing to read about the fun you have had!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy

  10. Wow!! You, my friend, are just blessed in love and friendships!! That's only because you give what you receive!

    Wanda is such a class act and a true talent!! I am so happy I got to meet her over the photography weekend. And even though I've never met Valerie, I can already tell she's one special lady with the beautiful way you descibe her!

  11. OK - Honestly, this is such a beautiful post for your precious friends!!! And that treasure that Wanda gave you, WOW!! How is one person so talented? I can not imagine what you said when you saw that... Simply stunning!!!

    I LOVED meeting you! You just bring joy with you when you walk in the door!