The Love of My Life

My Love For 32+ Years and Best Friend!

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love NEVER FAILS!” I Corinthians 13:7-8a

Thirty-two years ago on July 27th, my husband Mike and I recited the entire chapter of I Corinthians 13 back and forth to either during our wedding ceremony. The LOVE Chapter of the New Testament laid the groundwork for our marriage and we have treasured these words of God ever since.

It has kept our marriage strong in the love of God and our love for each other. A love not born of selfishness, but rather giving. A love not filled with jealousy, one upsmanship, or jockeying for position. Not filled with who is right and who is wrong, but rather consolation and support.

We have been there for each other through the tough times and celebrated in them midst of them. Now we enjoy a deeper friendship, respect, joy and passion than I thought it was possible to know on this earth.

My husband, Mike likes this quote from Gale Sayers: “The Lord is first, my family is second, and I am third.” He doesn’t just like the quote, he lives it. And his family, my daughter and I reap the benefits, the support, the love…I return it by having his back as he has mine.

Is loving unconditionally possible for human beings? I have lived it and I know it is. By the power of God alone, we can put him first, each other second and ourselves last.

That is the secret of our marriage, putting each other first, having fun together, being best friends as well as lovers. The Lord, the support of family and friends provide for the rest of this loving community.

I treasure our days together. Yesterday was special, but so are they all! Unconditional love, forgiveness, fun and lots of hugs and kisses are the order of the day at the Sweiger household. Thank you God for being there for us and for the wonderful gift of each other!

Easter Reflections: The Death of a Son

Davey at 6 months

I was with my lovely daughter today. She drove down from Duluth, MN to Minnetonka, Mn see us on Easter. She is delightful, loving and the best daughter any mom could ask for. She’s the child I dreamed about and prayed for. I enjoyed the day immensely.

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” — Robert Fulghum

Next to her picture on the mantel, is one of her brother. I could not help reflecting on my dear little son, who’s been in Heaven for the past 30+ years. He only lived eleven months. He was such a precious child like his sister. Desperately sick with a bad heart, yet such a brave and strong spirit. A joy-filled, loving, wonderful child.

And because it’s Easter I was thinking about the Son that died for us. What the Father lost. What He did for us that we might have fellowship with Him. I am so touched to the core, by the love that He showed in sacrificing His only son.

The death of a loved one is hard to bear and doesn’t lessen with time in some ways. I went to a grief class years ago and they said grieving is like a taffy pull, one minute you’re fine and then you snap back to the worst sadness again.

Comfort IS found in Joy and Laughter. I do believe the above quote is true and the author most insightful. When I think of my son I remember his laugh, his wise eyes, his depth of understanding for a life he was really too young to understand. He was a wonderful gift to me and his father. And perhaps there we find our joy. In the gifts that we experience, in the love that we share, in spite of the grief that comes with loving.

This Easter day I remember my David and his precious life. My Savior and His precious Love for us all — and my heart is filled with the enormous gift my life is.

What can we do for Japan and its people?

“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.”
— Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

It’s hard to know what to do for Japan. The news is so terrible, it’s depressing, almost immobilizing. Who are we, one person to help in the face of such a tremendous, overwhelming catastrophe? Thousands of people are dead! Many, many more are still missing or injured. And almost half a million people are homeless. Now they are under threat of a nuclear disaster some experts are depicting will be much worse than the Three Mile Island Disaster. What can we do? The only thing we can do is look into our hearts, every one of us, and see what our insides tell us to do for the country of Japan and the people who have survived this devastation. People who are hurt, homeless, mourning and stunned by the destruction in their lives.

Here is a link to

I’ve Met the Twitter Stream #Usguys!

We put childhood pictures up on Valentines #Usguys

“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” Groucho Marx — LOL

To get in touch with the innocence of childhood we put up childhood pictures of ourselves on Valentine’s Day. I loved it! Haven’t been satisfied with my Twitter “grown-up” Avatar since.

Being on Twitter is a lot of fun. Anyone who knows me or who has ever read this blog know I derive a terrific amount of enjoyment from it. A couple of weeks ago a nice looking guy with a long name by Twitter standards @StephenCaggiano asked me to join the #Usguys stream on Twitter. It was a, “Come on in the water’s fine”-kind of friendly invitation — which belied the intellectual sophistication of the group. I couldn’t resist, so I did. They’re a great bunch — very friendly and carrying on conversations rich in content on social media, techie stuff, customer service, you name it 24/7. I wasn’t always joining in because I’m new and I couldn’t see a good place to plunge into. Now often I do and will usually snag someone to have a great conversation with. That is what is so fun about Twitter. Pulling someone out of the stream for a little one on one, or two or three. #Usguys and they are very adept at it. It isn’t surprising to see 5 – 6 conversations going on at once under the #Usguys hashtag with 2-3 people mentioned in each, linking each other together by Twitter name to keep everyone informed of what each other is saying. This may sound a bit confusing! You really have to see it!

Why don’t you so a search for #Usguys and see what you turn up! Fascinating, illuminating and funny tweets 24/7 I’ll guarantee. They could almost advertise it. Well I guess I am!

Here’s a link for more information: http://stephenjcaggiano.com/2011/01/26/usguys-directory/

Best Friends Finally Meet!

Good friends meet at last!

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
— C.S. Lewis

Last week was one of the funnest ever in my life! And meaningful! And active! A non-stop crazy-girlfriends stupendous, exciting chat and shop — eat and drink pop, do toenails, have slumber parties extravaganza! My friend from twitter and Facebook, Heather @AliveinMe flew into Minneapolis from Philadelphia last Saturday and stayed the week! In that time she found a BIG place in me and my dear husband’s heart! We will never be the same again. So endearing she was to our family…we miss her and my 80-year-old mom misses her. Mom has dementia and doesn’t remember people well. But, she remembers Heather. We talk about her every day!

We had such a great time! Ordained by the Author of all great fun and great plans for us! The Lord was so good to us…kept us from sniffles though the weather was frightfully cold. We stayed up until the early morning hours making beaded necklaces! And talking. Always talking. Like we had known each other forever. And we have! Virtually!

We raced through the week like our tails were on fire. Trying to absorb all we could from each other. Making necklaces (our favorite ones to give to each other), many went to me since I was a newbie at beading. I was keeping my attempts and Heather was showering me with gifts, not for any other reason than two generous hearts meeting and reaching out to each other with the true love of Jesus! I kept her supplied with tea, water, pop, her every need, so she could rest and stay well and jam making jewelry for her mom’s shop. We chatted and laughed and talked and smiled and enjoyed immensely each others company! Oh yes, and took about 100 pictures! Which we kept posting on Facebook! 🙂 We did our own nails and toes but counted on department stores for new makeup and trying each others brands like long-lost sisters sharing their secrets! We hit the best beading shop the first day to stock up for the necklace making nights and we fared well! I now have 10 for myself and Heather has 30 to sell at her mom’s store! My math has never been great, but I’m not sure I contributed to the profit margin. 🙂 Oh well, I will, I am carrying on…it is such fun!

My dear friend’s gone home to her family. My husband Mike and I are missing her. I am quite lonesome, but there are remembrances all around the house, an artificial flower arrangement I love with butterflies in it. I bought her one at the same time and we didn’t know it until we got in the car! A beautiful glass pitcher threaded with blue and green transparent color from my favorite shop. She has left little parts of her love and joy everywhere. We hope she returns very soon, or we will get in my car and drive to Philly! Chilly Philly! Love you all! Facebook and Twitter friends! Take a chance and get to know each other better! Love you Heather so aptly named @AliveinMe. You are sure aLIVE, full of joy and love and definitely glowing in Jesus. As for me @libbytalks, it has now been confirmed that I can talk all day and all night too!

Best Friends Forever!

Music Expresses the Inexpressible!

I love music! Worship Music! Playful Music! Anytime Music! Let's Dance!

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” — Aldous Huxley
I have always loved music. One of my strongest early music memories was driving through the most beautiful parts of the Rocky Mountains in summer in Colorado. My dad was driving. He burst into song, singing for the first time I’d ever heard it: “America the Beautiful”. The song was as majestic as the scenery and my dad belted it out with reverence and gusto. I’ll never forget the feeling it gave me. One of awe and reverence for the beauty of the earth! And the glory of the skies! My dad taught me the entire song as we drove through those mountains. What a glorious, stirring, magical day. I reached out to the BIGNESS of our God and creation as much as a 7-year-old can! I felt such a terrific love for my father it was almost fierce. He fit in the scene so well, bigger than life, knowing it’s mysteries and secrets and willing to share them with me!

I love to sing! In the shower, in the car, in the kitchen, wherever the mood strikes! And dance. I used to have a dog Spunky. She lives with my daughter now, who danced with me every time I put the radio on! I love to listen to music of all kinds. It brings joy to my soul. But of all the songs I have ever heard and of all the voices I will ever miss — it will be my dad’s whether singing “America the Beautiful” up a mountain pass, or Happy Birthday to me, every morning of my birthdays!

I’ve tried to express the inexpressible, how I feel about music and how I feel about my dad. I guess the only word that comes close is LOVE.usic.html”>

My Dad’s an Author Twice!

Author Twice! My Dad - Bill Baker

“Some of these stores are humorous, some involve pathos, some are illuminating, some resulted in hospital confinement and some just portray the human condition.” So says my dad in the introduction of his new book “The Guide Shoots First”. It’s a collection of stories of his trips to hunt waterfowl and upland birds in the Dakotas, Montana and Canada, including a camp he ran in the Dakotas. I really love the book and recommend it heartily. I am not saying this because he is my dad — which he is — but simply because it is so well-written, witty, and moving — a real page-turner. Frankly, I hate to admit something. It takes a bit to get me to read a book these days, with my online business, writing and family responsibilities. Lying down is one of my favorite past-times! So I was pleasantly surprised to finding myself so enjoying a book of hunting stories. Of course, not very surprised, because I know my dad is a consummate storyteller. Flawless really. I’d just never read these stories before. They came so very alive and were so funny and quick. I know my dad is — just didn’t know he would translate so well and he does.

If you have an interest in fathers and how they relate to their sons. The great outdoors. A good book filled with the vivid vignettes William Baker can lay down, you definitely want to check his website and take a further look at this. And at least discover where the title came from!

Here’s the website: http://theguideshootsfirst.com — Oh it’s on the blogroll!!! 🙂

Enjoy!

Our car escapes the junk heap again, this time with laughter!

We Love To Laugh!


We were driving home from a busy day on Friday. My husband Mike had the day off. We’d gotten our teeth cleaned and run errands and made a day of it. We were beat and eager to get home! We were driving on 394, the freeway that leads to our house in Minnetonka, a suburb of Minneapolis, Mn. Suddenly the car started making a terrible whooshing sound!

I panicked of course. I said what is that and Mike replied he had no idea, but that he’d recently put some money into diagnostics on the car and it really couldn’t be anything. I begged to differ. I said we just had $300+ put into this car and now it’s really falling apart! I say we drive right to Morrie’s and trade it in today! Before something else goes drastically wrong. And I panicked about three more things related to the car in quick succession! I thought Mike was going to listen to me and get real tense instead he stayed calm saying there is nothing wrong with the car. My mind fixated on that like a kind of mantra and suddenly I said, “Could it be the mood roof? I had that open today to show mom.” He looked at me reached up and shut the moon roof tightly. The whooshing stopped. He started to laugh. And then without warning, began to do a perfect imitation of me in a state of high anxiety! 🙂 He was sooo funny! I started laughing and couldn’t stop! He was perfect! He was saying in a high-pitched voice, we’ve got to call Morrie’s see what they’re offering for used cars! We’ve got to over there at once and see if they will work with us! We can’t let this car eat anymore of our money and so on and so on and so on!!!

We both laughed so very hard!! It’s good to laugh at yourself! And I wouldn’t have if Mike was in the habit of imitating me, but he wasn’t. He’d never done it before. Which is what made it so funny! We went into spasms of laughter, not at each other, but at life. And cars, And pinching pennies! Hope you laughed with us! And remember this wisdom:

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” — Oprah Winfrey — That’s my guy!

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends…

Wonderful, loving Birthday Lunch!

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
— Jane Austen
We had a wonderful birthday party this year. One of the girls couldn’t come, but the truest friends came, the ones who haven’t missed one lunch in 27 years and we had a time full of laughter, touching moments and even tears! One of the gals was really struggling and we were the Jane Austen quote in action! We did not love her by halves, but completely and gave her all of our support! It brought home to me the way I have felt for a long time about these dear friends:

I would do anything, within my core values, for these women! They are real friends. Friends you can call up early in the morning and wake them up and they won’t get mad! They’ll listen to your problem. Friends who will bring you groceries if there’s too much month at the end of your money, back when times were harder. Friends you would do the same things for and more, any time, any place. Friends who would be there one of our perfect marriages ever blew up in our face. Friends you would stand up for if anyone tried to put them down in any way! Friends who stand by you at the loss of a parent — or heaven forbid a child, or have a heartbreaking problem with one. We are true, loyal, on each other’s sides, real friends. And we are so thankful to have each other!

These are the friends that were at my birthday lunch and we had a blessed time. We had an inspired, wonderful, life-affirming time. We gave each other the best present a friend can give one another: the Gift of Love!

Here’s the celebratory dessert we shared!
Hurray for us!