Happily Ever For 50 Years and Still Going Strong!

My in-laws just celebrated their 50th Aniversary. We all went to the beach for a week. If my husband and I make it to 50 years we will be 93 and 94! LOL! And this is our first marriage.

This was my first family trip with my new family and it was great. Of course, like any family we had the members that did not want to conform or participate in certain things. My husband and I are both the first born and pleasers. So, not only did we agree to wear what our mother-in-law wanted us to wear for the Christmas card picture-we also brought additional white shirts for family members we suspected would not bring what they were asked to wear.

The rebels not only did not bring what they were asked to bring they also refused to wear our back up options. And one member was not even present when picture time rolled around. It was refreshing to see that all families have their black sheep and what really matters is how you handle the rebels.

My mother-in-law was a sport about the whole thing. But, having lost a parent and knowing my parents will not celebrate their 50th (as well as being a pleaser) I wondered why others can’t conform for 5 minutes to make their mother or mother-in-law happy while celebrating their anniversary???

I am sure part of making it 50 years is learning to roll with the punches and that is the lesson I got out of our celebration week. We can’t control others-even when it’s our party!

I am thankful to be a part of such a great family (rebels and all) and hope to celebrate 50 years with my prince!

Happily Ever After and Congratulations!


Happily Ever After and the Royal Wedding

Happily Ever After…What does that mean to different people? In my book Princess Bubble, she learns that true happiness comes from loving God, helping others and liking who you are already. But, what to people expect when they think about someone or themselves living, “Happily Ever After”

Do people believe William and Kate to live “Happily Ever After?”

What do we expect happened to Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast….? Do we expect them to live blissful every day with no money troubles, in-law issues, fertility problems, loss of jobs, government shut downs, wars or the issues of every day life?

And could “Happily Ever After”  just be the fact that they are no longer hidden in a dungeon or feed a poison apple?

The Brothers Grimm originally wrote the stories with more reality and less Disney. Here is an excerpt of the original Cinderella.

“The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, “Dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always protect thee, and I will look down on thee from heaven and be near thee.” Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed. Every day the maiden went out to her mother’s grave, and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet over the grave, and when the spring sun had drawn it off again, the man had taken another wife.

The woman had brought two daughters into the house with her, who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now began a bad time for the poor step-child. “Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlour with us?” said they. “He who wants to eat bread must earn it; out with the kitchen-wench.” They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes. “Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is!” they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash. Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury — they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the fireside in the ashes. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella. It happened that the father was once going to the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them. “Beautiful dresses,” said one, “Pearls and jewels,” said the second. “And thou, Cinderella,” said he, “what wilt thou have?” “Father, break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home.” So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls and jewels for his two step-daughters, and on his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the branch and took it with him. When he reached home he gave his step-daughters the things which they had wished for, and to Cinderella he gave the branch from the hazel-bush. Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother’s grave and planted the branch on it, and wept so much that the tears fell down on it and watered it. And it grew, however, and became a handsome tree. Thrice a day Cinderella went and sat beneath it, and wept and prayed, and a little white bird always came on the tree, and if Cinderella expressed a wish, the bird threw down to her what she had wished for.”

Cinderella was so unhappy life could only get better for her getting out of that household! And The Brothers Grimm did not even end the story with the focus on Cinderella’s good fortune and life of happiness. No the story ended, “

“Afterwards as they (the stepsisters) came back, the elder was at the left, and the younger at the right, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye of each. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived.” This story ended with evil being punished.

As far as I can tell, all the stories end with the heroine content and evil villain repaid for his actions.

I don’t think we really expect Kate Middleton to live “Happily Ever After” in the fairy tale sense that she will never have another problem. We saw Diane struggle with feeling unloved and eating issues. I believe we are all rooting for Kate to have a wonderful marriage and getting to do and see things that we can only dream of doing because of her position. But, we know she will also pay the price of living under a microscope, being judged by strangers and human faults being magnetized when they are revealed. William is probably the luckiest in this situation. His life is not changing for the most part and yet he get a gorgeous bride that seems to genuinely adore him and has stood by his side for many years already. Maybe his reward for losing his mother at a young age and having a father that cheated.

If we don’t expect William and Kate to live “Happily Ever After” how can we expect anyone to have that? I believe most of can and do live “Happily Ever After” it is just a matter of recognizing  it and enjoying what you have, loving the life you are given. Sometimes we end up with ugly step sisters or locked away in a dungeon or expected to spin straw in to gold. But, most times these situations pass and you are more likely to recognize you are in the “Happily Ever After” part of the story having lived through the evil villain part and having made it out!

I believe every girl is a princess and in the end good will win and evil will be repaid. I am excited for Kate Middleton and the life she has ahead of her. I hope she has as much love in her life with her prince as I do with mine. If she has even half as much love in her life- she is sure to live (one last time) Happily Ever After!!


Princess Bubble Review By a Domestic Diva


Princess Bubble is your average fairytale.  Sure there’s a

beautiful and good princess who lives in a fairytale kingdom,

but her quest to find her Prince Charming doesn’t end the

way that most “happily ever after” books do.  No, this thirty

five paged book, complete with colorful and beautiful drawn

illustrations, has a very different ending.


Princess Bubble finds herself a graduate of Royal University,

she takes a job with Royal Airlines so she can learn about

other kingdoms and cultures, and then this well-rounded and

beautiful princess finds that many of her friends, also

Princesses, are starting to get married.  The Queen tells

Princess Bubble she must find a Prince so she too can live

“happily every after.”  But after searching for a prince,

Princess Bubble has a visit from one of my favorite Fairy

Godmothers ever.  Princess Bubble’s Fairy Godmother tells

her that she doesn’t need to have a Prince Charming to have

a “happily ever after.” She tells her that if she lives a good

life, loves God, does good deeds and treats others well and is

comfortable with who she is, then she is already living her

happily ever after!  Princess Bubble realizes that the other

fairytales were wrong.  She realized that since she had great

family and friends, was a good person that she didn’t need a

Prince to live a happy life. Princess Bubble went on to do

many great things and she did live, “happily ever after.”


The authors, Susan Johnston and Kimberly Webb, are “never-

married, seasoned career women-turned-authors <that> did

not meet through their former employer, Delta Airlines, but

rather through Johnston’s ex-boyfriend. These small town

Southern girls immediately became kindred spirits and have

been close friends ever since. Taking advantage of their

company travel benefits, these two well-educated women

decided to continue their education through their many

excursions all over the world. As they traveled, Johnston and

Webb formulated the idea of a new generation of fairy tales:

encouraging women to find their security in something much

deeper than a left-hand ring and to emphasize the notion that

“happily ever after” is attainable for everyone.”


What a fabulous message for young girls!  Even in 2011

young women are just hit with a barrage of messages from

all around them that tell them what it means to be a “happy

woman” or a “successful” woman today.  Many times this

message also says that to be complete or a success you must

marry and have a family.  While I found that to be my path,

it certainly doesn’t mean that is the right decision for every

woman.  This book will help me enforce the message to my

own young daughter that she can have a happily ever after

herself that may or may not include a prince of her own.


For more information on Princess Bubble, as well as other

books and where to purchase, visit their website, “like” them

on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!







Princess Bubble Review


Praying for a Husband

Retiring from Dating and Praying for a Husband.

I was 43 before I married. When I was in my late 30’s I was just exhausted from blind dates, bad dates, being in limbo…I had a great life and wonderful friends and family so I decided to retire from dating.

Some people were not happy that I decided to retire from dating. They thought I was giving up or doing something weird. But, I saw it as such a load off my shoulders and just a chance to relax.

When people retire (in general) many come out of retirement and work again. But, unless the person is broke-they generally don’t come out of retirement for a job they do not enjoy or are passionate about. This is how I saw retiring from dating. I would stop dating and worrying about finding Mr. Right and enjoy my life and I could be a consultant to my friends about dating if they had any interest hearing my opinions. And if someone amazing came along I could come out of retirement. But, I was not going to date just to date.

People said you have to put yourself out there…You have to be open…I heard it all.

I said, “I went on The Today Show and CNN and said,”I am single.” And still no one asked me out! Or anyone that I would have wanted to go out with. What else can I do?” That shut people up, for a few moments at least. (I wrote a book, Princess Bubble about a princes that has not found a prince and by the grace of God I  landed on national TV! http://www.PrincessBubble.com)

I was enjoying my retirement. It made me feel like being single was my choice and not that I was just left behind. Then my mother called wanted to fix me up with my now husband. On paper he was so many things on my list as far as similar backgrounds. We were both dirt poor (which was not on my list! Hee Hee) from the same area, the same age, went to the same college, same faith and values, never married…

I felt God said, “This is The One!” so we got engaged and married 6 months after meeting. Since then, I have fallen head over heels for MY prince. But, on hind site I don’t know how “in love” we were till we married. I think we just really liked each other and felt called to each other.

I think maybe not being infatuated and being older has been great for us. We could see clearly. We both knew the other has faults but that there really was not anything better out there for either of us because believe me we had both looked!

I have a good friend who is still single. I thought she was content as I had become in the last years of my single life. She tells me she loves to date just to meet people and has not intention of ever marrying. But, I recently learned  from another friend that she is grieving for the husband God has for her. So, I am passionately praying for God to bring her a godly man who will cherish her and make her smile.

I don’t know God’s plan for her or His timing. But, based on my own life I think he wants us to be at a point where we can let down our guard, fearlessly commit, and realize we are imperfect and our spouse will be too- before He brings the right person (if He even does)

So, what do I pray for this friend?  I don’t know. I guess I just pray for her to be the best she can be! To be happy and to be protected from the wrong men and her eyes opened clearly to the right man. I pray for God to heal hurts in her life that may prevent her from trusting or being open and I pray for her to let go of control and rest in His plan.

There is always an area in our life that has the same challenges as being single. In the bible all the women seemed infertile. I have thought maybe because they were arranged in marriage and that was not a challenge so fertility was an area they had to release to God. If it is not being single, it is having a baby, finding a job, worries about children, worries about aging parents. There is always something out of our control. But for some reason, the single struggle has a little different angle to it in my mind. I don’t know if it is because complete strangers want to give you advice. “Have you tried…?” Or , if it because or physical appearance is tied to dating and acceptance far more than fertility or dealing with other issues? Or that is more obvious than other issues because they just look at your ring finger.

I believe being single can be wonderful. But, only if a very,very important person loves you. Yourself. If you like who you are you will be happy in most stages of life.

I pray for my friend. I am not sure what each days prayer will be. But, every girl needs a friend who prays for her and is willing to listen, cry and laugh with her. If a girl has a friend like that she is headed for “Happily Ever After” whatever that looks like for her.

Happy Valentine’s Day without a Prince?

Happy Valentine’s Day without a Prince?

Featured on The TODAY SHOW in the segment, “Raising Confident Girls”

New Release, Princess Bubble, Strikes Chord with America’s 51% SINGLE WOMEN WHO, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN U.S. HISTORY, OUTNUMBER MARRIED WOMEN

ATLANTA, January 8, 2011—This Valentine’s Day almost 90 million Americans will celebrate the romantic holiday single. Two successful prince-less princesses show the world that being a stuffy Old Maid does not have to be “in the cards” for single woman today! Susan Johnston and Kimberly Webb offer girls of all ages updated version of the traditional fairy tale. No longer a “Damsel in Distress,” this princess travels the world, helps others, and finds “happily ever after” even before she finds her Prince!

With wisdom gleaned from their careers as single, globe-trotting flight attendants, first-time authors Susan Johnston Hamrick and Kimberly Webb have crafted a modern-day book that celebrates singleness. A contemporary fairy tale for all ages, Princess Bubble was written to reduce the overwhelming sense of failure, self-doubt, and despair that some single women face.

“Knowing how low self-esteem and depression plague many single females, we wanted to spread the message that ‘happily ever after’ can occur even before Prince Charming arrives. . . or even if he never does,” said Webb.

“We’re definitely not anti-Prince,” said Susan Johnston Hamrick (whose college nickname was “Bubble”). “We’re not anti-family or anti-marriage, if anything we’re anti-‘Damsel in Distress.’ Our message—the single life can also be a fairy tale. The End!”

Princess Bubble stars a princess who is confused by the traditional fairy tale messages that say she must find her “prince” before she can live “happily ever after.” Princess Bubble dons her “thinking crown” to research traditional fairy tales, interviews married girlfriends, and even takes counsel from her mother, who advises her to sign up at FindYourPrince.com. With a little help from her fairy godmother (this is still a fairy tale after all), Ms. Bubble discovers that “living happily ever after” is not about finding a prince. “True happiness,” the book reveals, “is found by loving God, being kind to others, and being comfortable with who you are already!”

A Better Princess Story!


Reviewed by Maria Plasterer 12/28/2010


Princes Bubble was written by Susan Johnston Hamrick and Kimberly Webb, and illustrated by Maria Tonelli. In this book, the authors set out to provide an alternative to the traditional princess stories, told with beautiful watercolor illustrations. In this princess tale, you won’t find any damsels in distress, wicked stepsisters or evil spells. In the Princess Bubble modern day princess story, each princess defines her own happiness and is responsible for attaining it. While experiencing an unsuccessful search for her perfect Prince Charming, and seeing her friends married off one by one, Princess Bubble finally comes to the determination that true happiness doesn’t find us externally, but rather is developed from within.

Princess Bubble inner pages 1.jpg(Excerpt above from Princes Bubble. Written by Susan Johnston Hamrick & Kimberly Webb. Illustrated by Maria Tonelli)

Princess Bubble is modern and independent. She is well employed, enabling her to buy her own palace and fancy car. She and her girlfriends are smart and fashionable. Princess Bubble hangs out in coffee shops with her laptop and double espressos, and even tries online dating. Princess Bubble is eventually shocked to find out that all the fairy tales are wrong, and that happy princesses are simply people who enjoy others and strive to be happy with themselves – a good lesson for a person of any age.  Princess Bubble learns that while it would be wonderful to find her prefect prince, her happiness is not dependent upon it. I don’t find this story to be anti-male in any way – it is simply pro-self, and is a refreshing counterpoint to the traditional princess stories. In my opinion, Susan Johnston Hamrick and Kimberly Webb succeed in providing a more positive princess story for our daughters – one which focuses on self-esteem, ignores the tick-tock of the marriage clock, centers on the pursuit of our own dreams and redefines the process of “happily ever after”.

Read about the authors Susan Johnston Hamrick and Kimberly Webb at www.princessbubble.com