Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Philosophy 101

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Plato

The words are printed on a tiny little card from a set that I discovered in a clearance bin...at all places...Starbucks. When I peeled back the perforated flap to reveal this little nugget, that was first uttered eons ago, it brought a grin to my lips. Reading those straightforward words, which get to the heart of it so easily, propels me into action...to bring them to fruition.

Because their timelessness tells me just how true they most certainly are...in our day to day existence we never really know what the young woman checking out our groceries might be dealing with at that very moment...but a kind smile could bring light to her life. The simple kindness of holding the door for that grumpy little gray haired gal at the bookstore could ease her burden...whatever it might be. Or in Alissa's case adding those words to her Face book status might bring a ray of hope to someone it bumps into them along their route on the technology superhighway.

I just know it's worth the effort.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cupcakes, homemade popcorn and so much more...

Just the other night when he had a softball game in less than twenty minutes (and if you know him...you know he hates being late more than ANYTHING...he thinks it's rude)this man of ours heard and satisfied the request, "Dad, can I have one of your special grilled cheese sandwiches?" with a "sure, babe...two slices or three?"

And when one of the girls mentioned that she was craving cupcakes he quietly rummaged around the cupboard and started whipping up a batch. "But dad, we don't have any canned frosting!" To which he replied..."it won't take but a minute to whip up some of my own." And when he was finished the cupcakes were arranged lovingly on a serving tray complete with rainbow sprinkles. "I didn't know we had sprinkles!"

But, his homemade popcorn is legendary amongst their friends. He always maintains a supply of his favorite kernels in the freezer for the frequent movie night requests just like the one spoken last night, "Dad, wanna watch a movie tonight. Oh, and can you make your popcorn?" To which he happily complied.

He's never refused. Or even complained a little bit. He does it because he wants to and they will remember that about him...always. Gosh, I love that man.

Friday, July 23, 2010

In the sunshine.

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…” ~Ralph Waldo Emmerson

I might have to cover up with 50+ sunblock in order to do it, watch the little ones frolic in the sea (or lake...in this case)rather than swim myself because this body doesn't do a swimsuit, but I definitely try my darndest to gulp that astounding air by the lungful.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


“Never write about a place until you're away from it, because that gives you perspective.” ~Ernest Hemingway

If you've ever read Hemingway you are bound to be pulled in by his concise, succinct prose...and marvel at the perspective that is offered from its utter simplicity. Implications, impressions, and viewpoints are made between the words...not from the words themselves...and that type of talent enthralls me. There's no flowery phrasing yet passion and romance still seeps through...and each time I reread his words I always discover something new.

I'm still not clear whether that's my perspective or his...but it doesn't matter...I'll take it.

Forgetting about these photos and then discovering them weeks after our return...one of our few getaways that we shared as a family of four...at the time I was just ecstatic to leave the chaos of the cottage...but now I look back fondly on the craziness that ensued both prior to and after this perfect little picnic...he's right, isn't he?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Old Florida.

Yesterday Laura and I took a little jaunt down yonder in search of some sites for her to hold future photo shoots and I shared with her these little treasures. And although we were both dripping after trudging around in 94 degree heat...it was so worth it. Ooohhh...to have a wrap-around porch on which to lounge while listening the to the sounds of summer storms upon an ancient tin roof...that would be heaven on earth.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On parenting.

Here's the thing. When you choose to have children you never really know for certain the type of parent you will morph into...strict, permissive, aloof, involved, etc.

Hopefully, as each situation and stage develops you make decisions that best suit that particular moment in time. At least that's what you hope and pray for...although mistakes will be made...and you try to keep the damage to a minimum.

The man Alissa and Kinsey are absolutely blessed to call their father is so capable at walking that fine line...holding them to the highest standards yet catching them when they fall...inserting wisdom when required and offering humor at just the right moment...and they adore him. And his girls are truly his world.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


When the ultrasound technician reported to us that our second child was a healthy baby girl...I was over the moon...for sisters. Although they couldn't be more different from one another...they will always be sisters.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pure Lazy.

There's no other way to put it. I've slipped into this state of utter relaxation where I rise at 11...only to drift off for another twenty minutes. Once I slowly pull myself out my slumber and finally greet the day, I discover the house is still silent. The pups are perched atop the couch backs and barely lift their sleepy heads to acknowledge my presence. Oh, and my baby girl loves to laze as much as her mother...staying burrowed in her cocoon of covers until 2...if I allow it. But today I woke her with the promise of a strawberry frappacino and her favorite lemon cake. Ahhhh...summer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I am so fortunate to have children that work hard and actually like school. Alissa has always known that she would attend college...and planned accordingly...taking a challenging course load, participating in both sports and clubs, and taking on every opportunity that presented itself... all while cultivating close friendships and family relationships. And her sister is following her lead.

Which leads to choices...happy, difficult, complicated and life-altering choices. I trust that she will make the one that suits her best...because that's just who she is. Our visit in late May to Florida State is just the beginning of all of the choices yet to come...

Monday, July 12, 2010

10 Days.

Of laughing so hard that I thought my cheeks might fall off.
Of quiet moments that required no words what-so-ever.
Of loving my girl so much that I could barely stand it.

When the decision was made that my oldest and I would travel north as a two-some...I was torn. On the one hand, I felt just awful knowing we would be leaving Steven alone for both Daddy's Day and his birthday...even though he insisted. This year has been one that hasn't allotted him much time off and he didn't want us to wait around town for him.

And, on the flip side, Kinsey was travelling overseas to both Rome and Greece during those same dates making our decision a bit easier. She wouldn't feel like she was missing out somehow because she had her own amazing journey ahead of her.

Add those facts to the bittersweet realization that our chances for successfully completing just such an adventure will become more and more challeging...so, I seized the opportunity.

And I adored every single moment...especially the "Glee" giggles, secret "knowing" glances and how she would repeatedly reach for my hand time and time again. We are cut from the same cloth...she and I. We love nature and solitude and finding meaning in the simple sights that surround us. During that week and a half my respect, love and admiration for this magnificent young woman grew ten-fold. And knowing how full my heart is already, I didn't think that was possible.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


It doesn't take much. Sometimes, it's an unexpected set of stairs outside of a Michigan summer cottage,

the rushing stream that meanders through the newly budded trees of the forest,

or the promise of blossoms soon to come.

It doesn't matter where we find our renewal...but that when we find it...we derive strength from the simplicity.