Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lunchbox Surprises

It's been months...maybe a year...since my last post, and I have a scribbled list on a torn half sheet of paper of all of the memories I still need to find time to document. 

But, today, I had to sneak away to capture the napkin I pulled from Kate's lunchbox. 

It's moments like these that I fall in love all over again.  I hope she knows what a wonderful Daddy she has!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Afternoons with Grandma

I have shared my memories of weekends with my Grandma before, and have always felt fortunate that a country boy met a city girl and allowed their kids to have, in my opinion, what was "the best of both worlds".  A childhood filled with Big City days, and at least one weekend a month where I could get dirty at the Farm.  The combination of both taught me many life lessons for which I am grateful. 

Those weekends at the Farm usually meant spending the days with my Grandma.  Us girls always had plenty of work to do, which usually involved picking eggs, feeding the farm animals, picking vegetables, or making cookies- the cookie baking being a young girls treat!  We would sit on the porch swing, enjoy our cookies, and watch the trucks go by on the highway. 

During those weekends on the Farm, Grandma would pass the time by telling stories.  Her stories were always about family, made me laugh, and taught me life lessons.  Although, the life lessons were not realized until many years later. 

As a young Mother, she raised three children and the family made a living selling cotton.  The days she has told me stories about started at sunrise and ended with her as one of the last to lie her head on the pillow at night.  The days were spent cooking meals, taking care of children, working the cotton fields - she did it all.  The stories did not involve big houses, fancy clothes, sports, or pizza nights.  Rather, they were more simple, and told of family and friends gathering on Friday nights for dominoes and good company.  I know stories of her little ones being sick, her beaten black and blue by a Ram, and enduring many hot summer days working under the Texas sun.  Through all her stories, I have never heard her complain.  Stories describe life, and life is what you make it. 

As an adult, her stories still make me laugh, smile, and more importantly, admire her wisdom and strength.  This weekend, I visited Grandma for a different reason - she is ill.  Our roles were reversed these last few days with me sitting at her bedside, holding her hand, and telling her stories.  For the record, I am not nearly as good of a story teller.  As we sat and I talked, again I found myself admiring her strength and her wisdom.  Even without many words, her eyes tell a hundred stories.  My Grandma is one of the strongest women I know.  A woman that I will one day tell my own stories about.  A woman I am proud to call Grandma.   

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy Anniversary

A friend of mine shared a blogger article today,  16 ways I blew my marriage.  It's a short read listing the little things that we as couples may take for granted in relationships. 

Today, we celebrate our 9th wedding Anniversary.  Sure it is nostalgic to look back through pictures, listen to our wedding disc, or talk about how fast the last ten years have passed and how much has changed in our lives.  But, like age, I feel today our Anniversary year is just a number.  We could be celebrating 9, 19, or 29, and I know I would still be as much in-love with you, as proud of you, and as confident in our relationship as ever. 

Last year, I made a quick list of a few things I love about you- and they still hold true. 

This year, I find myself looking at this bloggers list, and reflecting on how blessed we are.  When we packed our things and moved across the country all those years ago, how hard it must have been for you to watch me cry when we drove East over the California state line.  We can laugh about it now, but we didn't know what the future would hold.  We were taking a leap of faith, bonded by rings, and all we had to get through each day was each other.  In hind sight, this was probably one of the best things that ever happened to us.   

Maybe it's because I read this article on a day like today, the day we celebrate our wedding Anniversary.  Maybe it's because we are on the backend of a relaxing and truly enjoyable weekend away..just the two of us.  But, I am no longer weary of what the future will hold.  I am just coasting along relying on what I do know: 
  • That road trips and long walks with you are my absolute, hands down, favorite favorite!
  • While I do like to hold hands, just watching you take the seat next to me or placing your hand on my shoulder in a crowded room warms my heart. 
  • I never sleep as good as I do with you lying beside me (except on high-volume snoring nights).
  • No matter what brings me stress, whether it is what to wear or how to approach a work situation, you give my dilemmas the same amount of time, attention, and sarcasm. 
  • Beauty to you has never been defined by a size or a weight.  You think I am beautiful. 
There is no one else in this world I trust more than you.  I am so thankful to call you my best friend and my husband.   

I cherish every day with you, and look forward to a lifetime of love, laughter, and happiness. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012: A Year of Live Music

Joe and I have always loved live music.  Before kids, it seemed like we were always finding some small San Diego dive (Belly Up, Casbah, even the Del Mar Fairgrounds) to watch a band play.  But since becoming parents, the outings have been less frequent.  This year, we vowed to get out to live shows more. A recap...

 Robert Earl Keen at Rams Head in Annapolis.
David Cook at House of Blues Chicago.   
 Blue Grass Festival at the Fiddlers Convention in Brogue, PA. 

 Zan Brown Band at Merriweather Pavilion in Baltimore.

 Bruce Springstein at Fenway Park in Boston. 
 Luke Bryan at York Fairgrounds.

  Farm Aid at Hershey.  Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Kenny Chesney, Grace Potter, and others. 
Dave Matthews at Baltimore Arena. 
We ended up selling tickets to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, VirginFest and Ben Harper. 
Still...All the venues, all our friends...always a good time! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sports Photos - these are the ones I will treasure

So, this year the kids started officially playing sports. While the team pictures are cute, these are the ones I will treasure.
 All dressed up and ready to play!
 Batter up! 
 Conor, Daddy, and the trophy.  So proud!
 Playing the outfield takes a lot of patience.   
 In this picture, Katie is upside down next to the blonde little girl.  If you look closely, you will see her pink and black cleats.  Puts a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Get your head in the game". 
 Twirling her hair. 
 Taking a turn in the goal. 
 All this concentration is

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Growing up, I always wondered what it would be like to have a sister.  Don't get me wrong, my brother is irreplaceable, and one of my dearest friends.  However, my Mimi was one of six, three girls and three boys.  Watching her with her sisters at the family reunion this summer, I had to admire their bond, and wonder what it would be like to share clothes, makeup, or girlie secrets...
Here is a picture of my MiMi (far left) with her sisters (her twin in the middle). 
As life would have it, I did receive a special gift after all...two very dear Sister-in-laws.  While we don't share clothes or makeup, we have shared many laughs. 
Love you two!  I am so lucky to call you my sisters. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A letter to our Son on his fourth birthday

My dear Conor, my buddy,

Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, you will turn four years old. To think back and remember all we have faced the last four years, I couldn't think of a more special day to celebrate your birthday. It seems so fitting, like a re-birth of sorts. Great things are ahead for you.

This is the year you made the decision to give up your woobie...woobs. Just like when you decided it was time to use the potty, you threw your blanket in the trash with such confidence. I am a "big boy," you declared! So sure, so proud of yourself, just as we were of you.

I love your new found confidence in your speech, too. From the little stories you tell (that sometimes only I can understand), to how you now sing along to songs in the car, to how you spell your name. We are so proud of how hard you have worked over the last year, are proud of your progress, and excited about what the future holds.

I love how you have no reservations. You push the limits, literally "dance like nobody's watching", and approach everything in life like their are no consequences. One day, you are going to have to remind me that this can be a good thing. You are my wild.

I love how you throw your hands in the air, and yell, "I did it," after eating a meal, getting dressed, finishing a puzzle, or kicking the soccer ball. I hope you always recognize your accomplishments (big and small), even if one day this recognition is in silence.

It is hard to believe four years have passed since we welcomed you into our family, and I couldn't imagine what our lives would have been like without you in it. We love you, Buddy. Always.

Happy Birthday, Son.

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