Sunday, July 11, 2010


I have a strong bond with my family. I was blessed with the privilege of growing-up with all four of my grandparents and three of my great-grandmothers. All of whom I had relationships with and fond memories of. The name "Birdie Pearl" is the combination of both of my grandmother's first names (although neither one will claim them). These two women are so very different, yet both are intelligent, strong-willed women of faith with a strong love of family.

Bertie Wynell on her wedding day

Birdie is from my maternal grandmother, Bertie Wynell (I grew-up thinking it was spelled the other way), also known as Mommom. She had her name legally changed to drop the "Bertie", so she won't mind my artistic license on the spelling. Mommom grew-up in a family with five girls. They had very little money, but it never slowed her down. She married her sweetheart at sixteen, had my mother, her only child, at seventeen, and never missed a beat or an opportunity for education. Mommom has a servant's heart and enough energy to put me to shame. (She takes all three of my kids to Chuck E Cheese's and doesn't think twice and I need a week to recover!) She drives for Meals on Wheels, never misses a Sunday at church, takes the "old folks" here and there (some younger than her), plays cards and dominoes, coordinates and cooks for the socials at her retirement community and is always asking," What can I do to help?" My family and I have been the grateful recipients of her love and energy, and we are so blessed to have our Mommom. She is a wonderful southern cook and nothing can ever be "too sweet". Mommom is a practical person and has taught me that there's nothing better than finding something you really love, on sale (the joy is in the"hunt"). Upon my college graduation, she and my grandfather gave me a sewing machine. At the time,I was insulted. What would I need a sewing machine for? -i just earned a college degree!! Mommom knew better. By golly,I have learned to sew and every time I feel the need for new pillows, curtains, table cloths, Christmas stockings, etc. I am ever-reminded of my wonderful Mommom. A sewing machine is the perfect gift for an interior designer who likes to create things herself! She is a role model in her faith, love of family and the blessing of serving others with a glad heart.

Pearl Lavoyce at eighteen

Pearl is from my paternal grandmother, Pearl Lavoyce. As a young child, she had jet-black hair that earned her the totally un-PC nickname of Blackie - it stuck. So, she is Blackie to close friends and family, Lavoyce to others, but to me she is Nanno. I love Pearl, personally - her oldest sister was Jewel, then Opal, then Ruby, then Pearl- the youngest two are Bessie and Jo. Wouldn't Sapphire and Amethyst have been great? Nanno grew-up on a farm in Beattie, Texas. She made a break for the city lights by traveling around the country selling text books and then went on to be a Rosie the Riveter in WW2. She finally settled-down and married my grandfather. Nanno adores her family. They are always first and because of this passion, I am blessed with a wonderfully large extended family. (How many people can honestly say they know their second cousins, twice removed? I can- they are great!) Nanno has always indulged my creative side. She allowed me access to her extensive collection of home decor magazines from the 60's and 70's, which I cut and pasted into shoe box houses for my paper dolls. Nanno had the most magnificent, terraced backyard. It had three levels and staircases and was "my mansion". She was always careful to remember where all of the "doors and walls" were. She encouraged my imagination and love of the arts. Every summer, we would get dressed-up and go to a museum exhibit and have tea. I treasured my time with her. She also taught me to love collecting and we always took mementos from our trips and excursions - rocks, shells, roadmaps, postcards. Nanno isn't as able-bodied as she once was, but she never misses an opportunity to get the family together. She wants everyone to remember the past and celebrate the future.

This blog is to celebrate the ideals that these two amazing women instilled in me and share that with others.I strive each day to be a loving wife, patient and devoted mother, loyal daughter and friend and create a home where my family finds peace and joy. My passions are interior design, art, antiques, reading and music. I am a total Anglophile and feel I was born in the wrong era- the 1950's suited me much better. So, buckle-up and join me on this journey called life....

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