Sunday, September 29, 2013

Edge of Childhood

Today we took the little ones to Bullwinkle'l Family Fun Center.  After we had played games (we really liked this milk jug game), Saxton and Max decided to go play in Kidopolis and Sage initially chose not to.  Figuring she was too big, she decided to hang with the parents.  However, after a little while and after watching how much fun her younger siblings were having, I could tell she was reconsidering her decision.

Finally, I coaxed her to take off her shoes and get measured, (Sage was worried she was too tall.)  We laughed as she literally made it in by a hair and she smiled as he made her way to her sister and brother.  When we finally called them to go, they were grinning and telling us how much fun they had.  I was happy that I'd encouraged my Sage to go ahead and just be little. After all, childhood goes by in just a blink.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A secret between sisters.

H a P p Y   B i R t H d A y   Kathleen!!!

September 24, 2009 Las Vegas Birthday Trip!  
September 25, 2009 Las Vegas!
Four years ago today I was in Vegas with my family celebrating all of our birthdays.  The trip was more than that though.  An hour before I flew from Denver  (I was living in Colorado at the time) to Nevada, my Ex flew to California.  His choice forever changed the fate of our family.  I was an emotional wreck when I landed in Vegas  (September had been a long emotionally and physically draining month.  I lost over ten pounds in three weeks), so by the time I arrived at our hotel I was literally shaking.  Somehow I knew that day, that my life would never be the same.    

I remember walking through the lobby of the Venetian and looking around for my sister Kathleen who had come down from my parent's room to get me.  When we saw one another, we literally ran and jumped in each-other's arms, laughing, crying and hugging.  It's one of those moments I will never forget.  I was finally safe in loving arms and you have no idea how good that felt.  It was raw love.  A few hours later, at exactly midnight, we rang in Kathleen's 29th birthday.  Needless to say, we had a blast!  

Throughout the years my sister Kathleen has walked by my side through many of my life changing paths.  Either there in person or in spirit, I have always been able to count on her.  She, like all my siblings, is my best friend.  Ironically, she is the reason that I am with my husband.  She was there the night we met and actually encouraged him to sit down by us.  Little did we know, how she had just had a hand in aligning the stars.

Kathleen I love you.  I love you in the purest form of the word.  We understand and feel each other's emotions in almost an indescribable way.  God had a plan in giving us one another and I am grateful for you every second of every day.

Happy Birthday Dear Sister!  I love you and hope all your dreams come true!

December 31, 2008 in Estes Park, Colorado
Side Note:  I love this picture.  It was taken while I was still living in Colorado.  We had come up on New Year's Eve to go sledding in Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was a very fun day!  We were wet and cold, but happy when we stopped in Estes Park to get some warm comfort food.  This pictures us in our own little world, almost like we were young children again, sharing a secret between us.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Parenting in the fast lane.

While driving 50 in the carpool lane today, I looked over at the right two lanes sitting still and I realized that having a three year old passenger did have its advantages.  However, a few minutes later when he was making sirin noises as loud as he could I questioned that reasoning. 

Motherhood.  It's a fragile balance between a positive and negative attitude.  Today Max came along with me to a meeting In the city.  It went as well as can be expected with a busy toddler in tow.  But one thing I remember about the drive, was his awe and fascination with the sky scrapers.  He loved the big buildings and the tunnels in the city.  Which inspired this thought; sometimes parenthood is the carpool lane and sometimes it's a traffic jam, but no matter what, the view is the same, so you might as well enjoy it. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

That's what sisters are for.

Today my baby sister Colleen turns twenty five.  A fact that makes me feel both nostalgic and a little old, after all I was twelve when she was born.  I remember her "birth" day like it was yesterday and thank God all the time for her.  She brings such humor and spunk to our lives and truly brought love to mine at a much needed time in my life.  

called her this morning and sang with my best voice H a P p Y   B i r T h D a Y! 
She called back while I was in Costco with Max, but I sang her another quick rendition not caring who heard.  She heard her monkey (his given name from his Aunt) in the background and asked about him.  I professed by telling her how earlier I looked in the mirror in Costco's bathroom and saw that my shirt was holey and see through enough that you could see my black and white bra.  That along with my messy hair was enough for me to wish for no run ins with anyone I knew.  (For those of you who know me well, know I don't often care what I wear unless I'm working.  I have clothes older than Savannah in my closet, but even I had crossed my own fine line in the sand.) 

Anyhow, I continued to tell her how Max was literally monkeying around in the cart.  So at one point, I pointed to this well behaved little girl and encouraged him to sit nice like her.  Then to my horror, I saw who was pushing the cart.  It was a mom I ran into frequently at the YMCA, who of course looked cute as a button.  She smiled a kind smile, but it could have easily been one of sympathy at how disheveled I looked.  Smiling sheepishly, I walked away.  Hey, I wanted to say, In my defense I had to rush out of the house to get one to band before school and home to get another off to the bus.  Then I was off to run several errands.  Although I admit it wouldn't have hurt to look in a mirror.  

So I went on and shared with her my feelings of ineptness, knowing full well that she wouldn't judge me.  I didn't tell her that the shirt I was wearing was the one I found left behind at the Dave Matthew's concert that her and I went to a few weeks ago.  After wearing it today, I realized why they threw it to the ground, probably after replacing it with a newer model.  Nonetheless, I will wear it again, although maybe next time I'll at least wear a cami underneath.  Hey, one person's literal trash is another DMB fan's treasure.  

When I was finished regergitating all this to her about how attractive I was looking today, she made me bust out laughing after making some comment about making out.  She never lets me take life too seriously and quickly I was back to proudly sporting my new (even if used) DMB T-shirt.  

I am lucky to have many blessings and my sisters are three of my biggest. All different, yet special, they add something to my life that I couldn't live without.  

I love you Colleen, Elizabeth and Kathleen and miss you so much.  

H a P p Y   Bi R t H d A y my sweet, funny and adorable baby sister!  Thank you for everything you've done for me and all you've brought into my life! May all your wishes come true!!!

Taken by my honey 9-1-13 at DMB concert. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seahawks and Seattle

I loved today.  The game was awesome and the crowd electric as the Seahawks beat the Jaguars.  There is nothing better on a crisp fall day than a football game.  Tailgating and then the walk with other Seahawk fans to the stadium is Ike a giant party where everyone radiates excitement.  The actual game is almost indescribable.  Unless you've been to Century Link, it's impossible to comprehend how loud the crowd truly is. Today I was most defintely part of the roar, cheering my heart out during each defensive down.  The twelfth man truly is a force to be reckoned with.  
After the awesome Seahawks win, we decided to get some dinner in West Seattle on Alki Beach.  After a day of showers and sunshine, the clouds and the setting sun were gorgeous over the Sound.  We had an amazing, yet very reasonable dinner at Cactus where our waitress even bought us desert. Yum! 
Our day ended with a walk along the beach and an abandoned fire pit.  Seattle is a special in the way Puget Sound weaves through.  This allows for fabulous views, yet the water blankets enough of the light pollution to where you still are able to see stars as well as the city skyline.  Tonight the cold wind blew away most of the beach goers so that at times we had the beach to ourselves. Having been to Alki many times when the weather is warm and the shoreline is packed, the isolation we happened upon was rare and special.  
Life is hectic and often we find ourselves wondering if we're coming or going.  This makes days like today much appreciated. Where instead of running yourself ragged, you're able to just be.  (Even if that does include, screaming your head off.) 

Good-night and Go Hawks! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

David Vs Goliath, Colorado State Pride

Today I watched CSU battle against the defending National Champions and number one ranked Alabama.  The final score isn't an accurate representation of how well Colorado State played, especially the defense.  They didn't allow Alabama a third down conversion until the very end of the game.  I truly was proud of my Rams.  

One of my favorite quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird, is when Atticus Finch says, "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."  Colorado State didn't win on the scoreboard, but I was proud to call them my team.  

From a young girl who used to study at her locker and never missed class, to a mother who had to put school on hold for her family, no one was more excited than I was when I graduated from CSU in December, 2008.  It wasn't where I started my college career, but it's where I finished and that made all the difference. CSU became a place of peace and solitude for me and I will forever be grateful. 

No we didn't win, but because we didn't give up, we didn't get beat either. The people of Colorado have been taking some licks, but after the spirit I saw today, I know they'll right themselves again, I'm sure of that.

I can hear them chanting all the way from Washington, "I said, I'm proud, to be, a CSU Ram!!!"

To donate to the flood relief check out and purchase a t-shirt! With matching grants, 100% proceeds go to relief efforts!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A flashback Friday!

Do you ever wish you could jump inside of a video or photograph?!?  I do, all the time.  I loved this day.  We drove and took the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, about an hour ride and I remember the way Savannah squealed when she was feeding the seagulls.  The weather was gorgeous, making an amazing backdrop to our adventure.  After we arrived in the city we walked around Pike Place Market.  The whole afternoon was just lovely, as quaint as it sounds, the word fits perfect.

I miss and love you my little ones to the moon and stars and back!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hit the Target and Found Footies For Savannah

You could probably hear our laughter all through Target's dressing area.  Jerry said he could hear me across the whole store.  The funny thing is, that one of the people laughing was literally hundreds of miles away.  Thanks to technology, my daughter Savannah and I were both hootin' and hollering at the selfie I had just sent her of me posing in footie pajamas.

My Savannah has homecoming next weekend and as part of the festivities, they have a Throwback Thursday during spirit week.  So yesterday she asked me if I could get her some footie pajamas and send them to her.  Having sadly missed out on getting her a homecoming dress, I was grateful to be able to participate in some way, even if it meant purchasing giant size footies.

So via snapchat, we narrowed it down to a couple different styles and I decided to surprise her and put them on to check sizes as well as model them for her.  I tried on a small because that was the closest that was going to fit her and I wanted to see if the pjs were going to even be close.  They fit snug, but my gosh they were the most comfy things I think I've worn since I was a toddler and actually wore footies on a regular basis.  I was so jealous of Max that he got to sport such comfort every night and later told my husband I want a pair.  (If you want a pair visit

Anyway, that's where the giggles and uncontrollable laughter cues in.  I called her and told her I sent a snapchat of them on me and the second that Savannah saw the picture, she lost it.  However, I knew I was in trouble when I saw she took a screen shot.  It was only a matter of seconds and she had shared it with her best friend and boyfriend.  What I have to admit, is that I loved every minute of it.  I loved being able to feel like we were actually together, school shopping of sorts, bonding over homecoming attire and laughing the whole time.  I say it frequently, but I am going to say it again... I miss her and Sam like crazy.  Maybe that's why I found myself, in Target's fitting room, in Max's pajamas, taking dreaded selfies.

I hope you like them Savannah Banana.  Maybe I will get another pair for me and we can be twins the next time we're together.

Good-night, I love you both, to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back!

Update:  My Savannah in her Snuggies!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sparkly Savannah

When I think of you, you're this little girl, patent leather shoes, spunky little outfit, eight years old with the weight of the world already on your shoulders.  I look at old photographs and wish so badly to be able to jump into those pictures, hug you tightly and tell you everything is going to be okay.  I was looking through several from this day, most were smiley pictures, except for this one.  Here you are lost in your own thoughts, off by yourself.  Looking back at this photo, it's almost as if this unforeseeable force swooped in and stole you away from me.

I naively thought for so many years that I could protect you from all the bad in the world, I was wrong.  I wish every second, of everyday that you were here, you and your brother.  I remember you as babies, snuggled close to me after I nursed you to sleep.  How can it be that you are so far away?  I miss you so much it hurts.

My little Savannah, you're growing up so fast, this beautiful young lady with a personality that lights up a room.  I want you to know one thing, that you deserve every happiness.  I am so proud of you, so humbled at how greatly you love and how brightly you shine.  You're amazing and I am so blessed to call you mine... I know I have said things like this before, but I also know you can't say them too much.

I love you my Savannah and my sweet little Sam, I miss you, I wish you were here.

Good night... I love you to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back.

P.S.  I know you read these and my Sam doesn't.  Can you please hug him for me and have him hug you back.


He buys me my favorite Coffee-mate creamer.

First, read this blog post:

I Didn't Love My Wife When We Got Married

Elad NehoraiSep 11, 2013

The concept of an acting love is one I am  thankful to know.  I have talked before how my sister, after listening to me go on and on about how wonderful my husband was, stopped me and reminded me that yes, he was wonderful, but that the way he was treating me was normal, what I deserved. To me it was still foreign and everyday I'm still grateful.  

Monday I wasn't feeling well (that's why I was naughty and didn't blog). He came home from work and I was cranky. It started when my ironing board broke (Max tried to surf on it... Max won). Something silly, but actually very annoying when you are trying to iron. In comes my prince charming, my knight and shining save-me-from-myself armor. He hugged me, massaged my shoulders and brought me slowly to my center. We had a chat and I felt better. I thanked him, he was acting in love.

My husband isn't overly lovey-dovey, but that's not to be confused with not being complimentary. When I am feeling low about my post five pregnancies body, he is always there to pick me up. When I didn't think I was capable, he made me feel beautiful. It's easy to throw a women a line, it's harder to make her believe it.  That is where the work comes in, the action of making her believe what you say.

People say it's the little things that matter, I agree. It's finding my phone on my charger when it was dead and I was too busy to put it there. Bringing home my favorite treat, taking a walk around the neighborhood, listening to my silly stories, stopping so I can photograph something, welcoming my family with open arms when they visit, helping me put the kids to bed, always kissing me good-bye in the morning, sleeping on the couch-bed in the hospital for days in a row so I wouldn't be alone when I was on bed-rest. It's taking the boys for haircuts tonight and encouraging me to take some time and go for a bike ride.  

My husband doesn't just do these things for me, but also our kids. When I was working my trade show in August, he piled them all in the car to go school shopping because Old Navy was having a one day jean sale.  He recently surprised Saxton with a case for her tablet that she'd been asking for. (It was so cute seeing her open the mail box and smile all the way home with her prize.) A rose on a special day or grapes for lunch because he knows they like them. He was the one last year who woke up Sage early every Tuesday and Friday for band and drove Saxton this morning for her band try-outs. Not because I won't, he's just being helpful. It's going to Wild Waves or the fair on his one weekend day off instead of watching baseball or football. It's the little things after all.

I am blessed with my husband and the fact that he chooses daily to do big and sometimes little acts of love.  Even if it is just bringing home my favorite Coffee-mate creamer just before I run out, it's still appreciated. 

I love you honey! Thanks for all you do!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunflower for my sister

A sunflower for my sister.

I photographed this sunflower today with my sister in my heart and on my mind.  She's going through hell right now, so it's important that she knows that I'm here, her big sister has her back.  

A sunflower is special in that it can grow almost anywhere, under all kinds of conditions.  In tough situations it blooms beautifully, withstands the rain, then opens it's face and welcomes the sun.  

My sister, you're amazing and resilient, this too shall pass and I have faith in you.  I love you to the moon and stars and back.  


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Something's just can't be rebuilt.

Something's just can't be rebuilt.  This might sound negative, but it's the conclusion I've come to after dealing with everything that's been rattling around in my brain the last few days. Someone commented on my post showing the destruction in Colorado, they pointed out the fact that they'll rebuild the road to Estes and life will go on.  While the point is valid, it just doesn't take into consideration all the damage done in the meantime, the homes lost, the landscape that's been changed and what's happened to innocent people's lives.  All of that can't be perfectly rebuilt.  Something's will never be able to be the same.  

Today I was looking at old pictures, which is always very bittersweet and emotional.  I came across some of the kids at Estes Park (and the morning before we left) when we took my sister, niece and the kid's grandpa who were visting.  The kids all looked so little and unassuming.  Little did they know what was ahead of them, how their life as they've known it would be gone in one fail swoop of a signature on separation papers. A moment of calm before the storm.  
Yes, they'll rebuild, but in a different way.  Hopefully they will take into consideration what has taken place and how they can try to prevent the same thing from happening again.  There will be new homes, new memories made.  However the old ones will still linger, in  photographs and stories, hopefully preventing all the destruction that took place from truly taking everything. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thoughts on Estes Park and The Big Thompson River in Colorado.

These Pictures were taken by Either me (upper left) or the kids in 2003.
I first fell in love with Estes Park and the Big Thompson River back in September of 2003.  We had decided to drive from Albuquerque, up through Colorado and onto Chicago when Saxton was just six weeks old (you can barely see her where laying on me in bottom right hand picture), Sage was 18 months, Sam three and Savannah was just five.  I remember the drive from Loveland up the canyon like it was yesterday.  The canyon was awesome and years later, in 2006 when we actually moved to Colorado, became one of my favorite parts of the drive up to Estes and on to Rocky Mountain National Park.  I loved the reaction I would get from guests as we entered the mouth of the canyon. As I wrote earlier today as a reaction to a video that showed the flooding on Facebook, "This is normally one of my favorite parts of the drive... Where you just start to enter the mouth of the canyon and are soon sandwiched between two sheer rock walls and the river. I called it God's country and Nature's art the way The Big Thompson river ran through it, strong enough to carve ancient stone."
I took this of the canyon in August of 2009.
I have dozens of pictures of the canyon, the river and Estes Park, unfortunately some were lost in the divorce and many are on my old computer that is still packed from the move.  I am hoping to find some of them to share, but in the mean time I wanted to take this opportunity to share my love and sadness for what I have seen over the past two days and the effects of the flooding on several of the rivers in Colorado.  I have driven along all of them, camped by them, swam in them with my kids, hiked and photographed them.  I saw my first ram on the cliff edges of The Big Thompson and found peace driving through the canyons the river wove it's way through.
Enjoying ice cream in Estes Park

My sister Kathleen was with us and we actually decided after falling in love with Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park to hold off leaving for Chicago for another day.  After finding a cabin right on the river, we ventured back into Estes Park to look around.  The small mountain town is quaint, the people friendly and the environment gives you the feeling of something out of a movie scene when you walk along the shops on main street.  I was in Love.  Later that second day, my sister and I and the kids (my Ex was golfing) spent the afternoon laying by The Big Thompson.  The sun was out and the nearby mountains and the sound of the river provided an unforgettable backdrop. I remember little Saxton sleeping on my chest, my sister there to keep me company and the little ones playing nearby.  Truly heaven on earth.

We take for granted that certain places will always be there.  While we appreciate them, fall in love with them, we don't often think that a beloved park, river, scenic byway or mountainside might not always be there for our enjoyment, that memories can literally be washed away. Or that mother nature might turn something from beautiful to deadly in a matter of hours.  It all just speaks to the fact that we truly do have to live in the present, appreciate beauty in the moment and respect the laws of nature first and foremost.  I am still in shock and truly heartbroken at seeing towns I love, a state I will always claim as one of my homes, in such disastrous conditions.  My prayers and thoughts go out to all those affected and my doors are open to anyone in need of a place to stay.  

This blog is dedicated to my friends in Colorado, who no matter what, were always there for me and whatever they need, I will be there for them.

I took this of Saxton and Sage strolling down the main street in Estes Park, Colorado 2006.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

I always knew he was full of sh*t!!!

Today has been an emotional day for many reasons, however, right now, I am literally dealing with sh*t.  All day today my ex and I have been going back and forth about a fall break visit and now Christmas.  These exchanges are never easy and truly stress me out.  It's hard for me to admit how stressful they are because I know that he reads my blogs.  I don't want to give him any more ammunition than he already has.  But I'm so over dealing with his literal bullish*t!

Tonight, while texting back and forth about confirming dates for Christmas, he sends me not one, not two, but three pictures of his excrement.  Yes, you read that right.  My ex is 39 years old and acting like a child.  Even worse, because if any of my children did such a thing they would lose their phone.  What he sends to his friends, ect... is his business.  But what he sends to me during a discussion about our children is supposed to be at least an attempt at civility.

What chance in hell do we have of ever coming to some sort of arrangement with our four beautiful children if this is what our conversations entail.  I am not perfect by any means, but this is ridiculous.  I am so over this song and dance.   Normally I keep this kind of crap (no pun intended) private... but this time I am done.  You want to know another time we got to see his feces?  When we were in the hospital with Max in the NICU!!! He sent a picture to my husband.

I know we are divorced.  I know WHY we are divorced.  However, we have four children together!!!  We both had to take classes on how to co-parent and I am absolutely sure that this is not okay.  How can twelve years of marriage come to this?  Wow.  I don't even know what else to say.  I look to this blog for many things, but now I am looking for advice.  How do I even deal with this?

I have told all of my children many times, "he is your dad and I want you to have a loving relationship with him."  My biological father doesn't talk to my siblings and I and it sucks.  I absolutely don't want my kids having to go through that.  However, accepting such behavior and knowing that this person is raising my children is almost too much to bear.  I had hoped that someday we could at least have some sort of civil, respectful relationship for the kids sake, obviously that is never going to happen.  What a shame, not for me or even him, but for Savannah, Sam, Sage and Saxton.  They deserve better.

Side Note:  Unfortunately this blog, if read by them, will not be new to my children.  They were with him and he showed them the text he sent to my husband when Max was in the NICU and I was still in the hospital.  They all know he does this.  I did have the decency tonight not to share details of the text and actual images that my Ex sent... because yes, it does get worse.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I've thought all day about what to write about today.  9-11 has become a day to remember a truly terrible moment in our country's history and all those mercilessly killed.  The lasting effects will be felt forever.

I found my old journal of posts to a mom's board from the day after 9-11-01 and I want to share them:

Written 9/12//01
"I did not get on yesterday because of busy connections and then to keep lines open in our area... I watched in disbelief, sadness and anger yesterday.  I did not turn the tv off for over twelve hours... I finally had to make myself go to bed.  I cried many times during the day thinking of all of those lost and trapped and of their families and friends.  Those brave firemen and women as well as the police that were lost... God bless them.

I like many of you was so scared yesterday and still am today.  How could anyone do something so horrible and evil?  AS I sit here pregnant with a tiny baby, I worry what they will face.   Savannah asked why I was crying yesterday and I had a hard time trying to explain to her what happened.  She has no idea the danger that she, as well as all of us were in.  I could only pray that we get whoever did this before they attack again..."

I remember this well.  I was pregnant with Sage and had just moved to New Mexico and was living with my parents for a few weeks until our apartment was ready.  Savannah was three and Sam was 17 months.  The reality of how that day changed all of our lives is still fresh in all of our hearts today.  The immense effect of 9-11 has had an affect on so many, those that were killed during the initial attacks, those lost due to working at the site, troops lost who have been fighting over seas a battle that was waged after 9-11, then all the poor families left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.  Not to mention the innocence that was taken away from all those who experienced the scenes of the towers falling, planes crashing, people dying.  A true wake up call to an evil that many of us hadn't met until that day.
World Trade Center Site in NYC

Written 9/16/01
"...all those angels who lost their lives this week in this hell were just living their lives.  Working for their families, doing business, vacationing, visiting friends, families... innocent people taken from a human form of the devil.  He has me feeling an anger, as do all of those people trying to hurt us, that I have never felt before.  My blood truly boiled when I heard they were taking people into custody who were possibly making other attempts.  How could they look at the devastation they caused , the heartbreak and even fathom doing more?  I saw that clip on the father looking for his daughter and he said he would do anything to hear her holler at him again, as he broke down into sobs..."

9-11 Memorial
9-11 Memorial
I came to believe back then and I still hold true to this belief today, that we can't let them win.  I remember writing God Bless the USA with my mom across the cinder block wall behind my parent's house in side walk chalk.  My mom and I also stood on a street corner and handed out red, white and blue ribbons to passing cars.  At first we did it to just show support, but people starting giving us donations without us even asking.  We ended up giving all our donations to a local bank that was sending money onto New York to families who had lost a loved one.  When we headed out that day, we didn't have a set plan, we just had to do something!  Like many, we couldn't just sit idly by and feel defeated and heartbroken.  I know that many people across the country did similar acts, many wanted to help, donate, pledge their support for NYC, DC and our entire country.  That part was inspiring and the only way for us to show all those who were in mourning that their loved one had not been lost in vain.  That we wouldn't forget and we would spread beauty and love in their memory.

Cemetery at St. Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church in NYC with World Trade Center Site in the distance.
Today 9-11-01 feels like yesterday, the emotions and images burned into my mind and heart forever.  When I rocked Max tonight and sang him lullabies I was grateful that he wasn't here when 9-11 happened, hopeful that slowly things are getting better and that he won't ever have to witness such wicked acts.  Sadly I know I am being naive.  I know better.  I know what atrocities are still happening all over the world and will continue to happen until we truly are able to find world peace.  Maybe that peace will be found in Max's lifetime, I know I will do my best to encourage him to fight for it.

Side Note:  I took these photographs while paying my respects in NYC in 2009.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"That not me", life with a toddler.

Tonight as Max and I headed upstairs, him holding my hand and both of us walking in the dark, he said to me out of the blue, "Monsters are scary.  I hate monsters.  Storms are scary, I hate them.  I like the dark, but I hate it to."  Words to live by.  When we got to my room, I asked him what he liked, he said, "I like frogs and grap-hoppers."  Just hearing his pronunciation of grass-hoppers made me smile and the whole conversation reminded me of why having a three year old is fun... sometimes these reminders are necessary at the end of a long day.

Earlier my husband opened the freezer and laughed out loud.  I asked him what he was laughing at and he had me come look.  There inside was a small black hand print, about the size of our little Max.  When we asked him about it, he said, "that not me."  Never mind that just minutes before I had caught him with a Klondike bar that he wasn't to have, just before dinner.  Life with a toddler.

My days are full, busy with housework, work-work, errands and running here and there.  But nothing keeps me busier than my children, but most especially my three year old Max.  He is up at dawn and off to the races.  He keeps us on our toes and while he can exasperate us (especially his siblings at times), make a lot of noise and scare us with his daredevil nature, he mostly makes us laugh and always makes us grateful that we have him in our lives.  Max has a way of looking at us with his crooked grin and a smile that radiates across his whole face, instantly melting our hearts.  He's my fifth three year old, but he reminds me of my first.  Savannah and him would have had a ball if they had been twins.  I guess in a way they are, just spread apart almost thirteen years.  My two little sprites, my two wild spirits.

I love all my babies and I feel blessed they are in my life.  Good night little ones, I love you all to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back!


Monday, September 9, 2013

The crooked Path

I often look to nature, to photography in order to find symbolism in my own life.  Tonight's blog was inspired by a photograph of mine that I took in Ocean Shores of the route that we took to get down to the ocean.  At one point the wood gave way to a bumpy path covered in shards of sea shells.  I remember walking back from the beach, my feet bare, sandy and wet from the ocean.  Instead of putting my shoes back on I chose to walk without, feeling the sharpness of the shells and stones, yet at times the softness of the sand.  What life is teaching me almost daily is that even though I still feel pain, discomfort and unevenness on my path, it is still beautiful.  I could lace up the next time in order to make it a little easier, but that's not me.  Ever since I've been little, I've always prefered to go barefoot.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Banshee

A banshee is a part of Irish folklore and represents impending death.  My biological father used to tell stories about banshees when I was young, only now can I see the irony in that.

Tonight while on a walk near our home, Jerry and I heard this unrecognizable screech sound just over our head.  However, despite the fact that we both looked up immediately, neither of us saw anything.  I hadn't thought of banshees in forever, but at that moment they immediately crossed my mind.

Today was an odd day, a mixture of happy and sad.  I won't go into details, just one of those days you'd like to only relive part of.  (Like a Seahawks win and later watching my little ones laugh while swimming for the last time this season at Wild Waves.)  

But like the Irish folklore, who come out of nowhere bringing fear and even death, life is full of it's own symbolic banshees that we all must deal with.  Figurative demons, that swoop into our lives unannounced and unwelcome.  I am left wondering, how do we even fight such things and is it even possible?

I suppose tonight's blog was more along the line of a question, versus a statement.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dave Matthews and a Grey Street to divorce.

"Oh how she wishes it was different
She prays to God most every night
And though she swears He doesn't listen
There's still hope in her He might
She says I pray
But oh that they fall on deaf ears
Am I supposed to take it on myself
To get out of this place"
Dave Matthews - Grey Street

Four years ago today began the first days of the rest of my life.  On Sunday we had arrived back in Colorado from Indiana visiting family and friends, as well as getting Sage and Saxton baptized.  Monday was my wake up call that my Ex wanted a divorce.  He had told me as much in Indiana, however being home the reality had finally set in.  Fast Forward

Last Sunday my baby sister Colleen, her husband Jed, my husband Jerry and I went on a road trip to the Gorge to see my beloved Dave Matthews.  (I have seen him several times before, the first being March 7th, 1995 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.)  As I have mentioned before, he is my favorite, the soundtrack to my life.  As he sang each song, my smile grew larger, the lyrics rolled effortlessly off my tongue and my body danced a silly dance... I was truly content.  (The Head and The Heart and Lord Huron opened and they were both wonderful!!!)

Dave Matthew's Set List for September 1st, 2013 courtesy  of Dave Matthew's Band Website

 1.  One Sweet World 

 2.  Squirm 
 3.  The Best of Whats Around 
 4.  When The World Ends 
 5.  Recently 
 6.  (Water Into Wine) 
 7.  Gravedigger 
 8.  If Only 
 9.  Lie In Our Graves 
10.  Gaucho 
11.  Kashmir 
12.  Digging a Ditch 
13.  Drive In Drive Out 
14.  Lover Lay Down 
15.  Pig 
16.  Crush 
17.  Snow Outside 
18.  Funny The Way It Is 
19.  Pantala Naga Pampa 
20.  Rapunzel 

-------- ENCORE -------- 
21.  Some Devil *
22.  You and Me 
23.  Grey Street 

Show Notes:

* Dave Solo

 (song name) indicates a partial song
  indicates a segue into next song

Dave never disappoints and sang for close to three hours,  ending with a spectacular encore and a song very close to my heart, Grey Street.

Over thirteen years ago I met a special friend on a Mom's Website called Babycenter.  After logging hundreds of hours on the phone and sharing our lives via the internet,  we finally met each other in New York City in 2005 (I still remember braving the streets of NYC with my four littles ones, aged 1, 3, 5 & 7 and her 3 & 5 year old).  Then in 2006, she came out with her two little ones to visit me.  Unfortunately my Ex overstepped his bounds with her and I lost her friendship for several years.  (We have since become friends again, all in part to my getting divorced.)  This re-connection was a positive step for me as she was one of the first people in my life to really encourage me to leave, to quit tolerating what was going on.  Also a huge Dave fan, she brought to my attention how "Grey Street" was almost a mantra to my life, even sent me a bootlegged version she had come across.  Looking back now, I can only thank her for letting me know that I did have a choice to "kick out the windows" and get out. 

After the concert Jerry and I (My sister, who is now almost 13 weeks pregnant and her husband headed home a little before us) walked with the mass of Dave fans who like us, were also camping at the Gorge.  It was so much fun to be with a literal swarm of people who were jovial and happy, some singing at the top of their lungs.  Our campsite was awesome and I fell asleep listening to the hum of the campground and the occasional firework.  As I though back to the final song, I realized that the emotions that flooded me as I listened to the words of Grey Street were endured in my past and it was time to put those feelings to rest.  I chose to instead think back how many of the other songs made me feel... cheerful and at peace, I held on to that, to carry into my future.  

Side Note:  Today begins another 30 days of posts... it's my dream to write and I won't get there if I don't start here.  This post is dedicated to my friend and our mutual love for DMB.