Friday, December 26, 2008

I am the kind of person who, when choosing a house, bases that decision partly on where the Christmas tree will go in the house. One of the first questions I ask my friends when they buy a house is " where is your Christmas tree going to go".  It is a very big deal. I have been know to completely rearrange my living room to suit the tree. My very patient husband understands this, he accepts this about me. I love him for that. 
This year, was a bit rushed to choose trees (yes trees). We did NOT cut a tree down from a tree farm this year.  They were however beautiful and I was happy with our choices.
Every ornament I have has a significant memory. we do not put bulbs on the tree, unless they have a significant memory!   The first ornament we ever got together was this happy santa.  We we sort of dating at the time, and we were at this bar that had one of those machines with the claw. This was what we won. It is one of my most cherished ornaments and has a front and center spot every year on our tree. 
I also cannot have a tree without strung popcorn and paper chains. Its my family tradition, and I will pass it on.
The little sweetheart at the top of the tree was on my grandmothers tree. I adore her and she will always have a place somewhere on our tree.
My husband bought the santa on the flamingo for me I think our first or second christmas together. It was the start of my Whimsical Christmas tradition. It suits my personality. 
At 16 and 13, my boys will soon start to lose interest in the tree decorating tradition. They will be to busy with friends and girls and music. I have already seen the signs.  I hope that as they grow and someday start families and homes of their own that the traditions they grew up with will come back to them, and they will pass it on. 

The Annual Christmas Portrait

Like many people, I like taking a new portrait of my kids at Christmas time.  The last two years, I have taken an indoor portrait so this year I decided it would be fun to do something outside.
The day of the portrait, we were blessed with snow. What we didn't count on was the extreme cold and wind that accompanied it.   The first one is the picture we chose for Christmas cards, and the others are out takes of my boys being pelted with snowflakes, and wind.  They were troopers till the end when they couldn't smile anymore because their mouth was frozen!!!  We then went and treated ourselves to Pizza at Guys pizza to warm up.



Thanksgiving  in my house always means lots of cooking starting early in the morning. Because of his work schedule, sometimes my husband is there, and sometimes he is asleep. This year he was up bright and early with me cutting potatoes and preparing for our feast.
When I was a little girl, I remember going to my Grandma's house and she would have cucumbers and onions  in vinegar and oil in a bowl on the counter. I would always pick at them until they were gone. This past year after my Grandfather passed I was given a couple of her bowls. My favorite food this year was a similar version  of my grandmothers cucumbers, served in one of her pretty green bowls. I added a few things to make it my own, but it still made me think of her.  Oh, and those pickles... they lasted all of ten seconds. My boys would rather eat pickles than candy!!!
Jade our kitten seemed very taken with the goings on in the kitchen. Could it be the bird in the pan???


This has truly been the busiest holiday season I have ever experienced.  I always thought that I understood what single parents or full time workers went through during the holidays. I couldn't have imagined that it was this hard.  I am truly, truly grateful to have a job. I am also extremely thankful for the Photography business, which I love doing. All of this however. made for 7 day a week working, sometimes 12 hours a day through the holidays. I am proud to say that I made it through. I may not have put up all the decorations that I wanted to, or bought the gifts that I wanted, but I did manage to stay calm, and focused on what the holidays meant.  I am proud of that. 
  That being said, I am just now getting around to posting from Thanksgiving thru Christmas. 
I hope that everyone had a peaceful holiday filled will lots of joyful moments.  I look forward to the coming new year which I pray is filled with patience, peace and hope.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winter Beauty

I love winter for many reasons.
Here is just one of them. 
Simple Beauty.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"As Above, So Below"

There are many things about my new  job I like. One of them is the music. We are able to listen to music all day...Loud music... All kinds of music. With the eclectic group of people I work with we have everything from industrial metal to Willie Nelson, and lots of unique stuff in between.  Various people bring in their ipods and hook them up for our listening pleasure.  Today, I was taken back to the early eighties  when I heard several songs by the Tom Tom Club.  ( I have this one on vinyl) .  The Tom Tom Club is just fun, silly, ridiculous music and  very interesting lyrics. They have such a catchy beat. As the songs played they all slowly started coming back to me. I think I will be spending some time on Itunes tonight...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't forget to stop and watch the Sunrise!

This morning as I was rushing around making lunches, getting kids ready for school, and myself ready for work , I happened to look outside and saw this most spectacular sunrise.  As it rose, it reflected off of the snow, and cast the most beautiful pink hue on the ground and trees. As hurried as I was, I had to stop and take it in.  Each second that past offered a new image to admire.  I was thankful that I took the time, It helped put my coming day into perspective. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So Sweet

My husband does not consider himself a romantic. He doesn't bring home chocolates and flowers or make reservations at fancy restaurants or even think of romantic gifts on anniversaries ( most of the time). What he does do that I consider the most romantic is little things. He packs my lunch and puts sweet notes in it, he always always remembers to hug and kiss me goodbye. He tells me how much I mean to him often.  There are also big things that come few and far between ( he is not a big planner) One anniversary, he had a pilot friend fly us to a city about 100 miles away to have dinner at the airport restaurant.  
Well today, for no other reason other than he knew I had a tough week, he planned a nice dinner. He made plans for the kids to be gone, cooked steak and baked potato's, and bought wine. ( The chocolate was my contribution, a new favorite candy that I am completely in love with) 
I can't imagine a more romantic gesture. I am blessed!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today I drove my 16 yr old son Ben to his first job.  As I watched him get out of the car, I didn't see a 16 year old, I saw the 6 month old  who looked to me for all his needs. The one who listened to me talk to him, who held onto my every word smiling and giggling. The boy who would eat what I fed him and liked it.  After his diagnosis of autism, all the milestones seemed a bit more sweet when they were met because I knew how much hard work went into meeting them. 
Now there is this milestone. The one where your 16 yr old starts his new job. I had to fight the urge to park in front of the store and watch him the entire time. I know he will do his best, and I know how challenging it will be for him.  I am so proud of the young man he is growing into, and I will still be there for whatever he needs, although I know he will need me less and less.  That is the way it should be. But oh how I miss that 6 month old!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It is official, we all made history today!!! I am humbled, and grateful. I was blessed to experience this most powerful historic event with My friends A and G who watched history unfold with us, and over the phone with my Mom, cousin K, and my friend C.  I thought McCain was very gracious and kind, and I  was moved to tears by the celebrations all over, including in Kenya. Barack's speech just reinforced my belief that change for the better is coming!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Fun

                                                         Father and Son...No denying

                                      No better Sweetest Day for me than spending time with this man.  I would choose him again and again. 

                                                             OH those beautiful smiles.

It has been such a long 6 weeks. So much has happened.  For the Short version, I started a new job after Labor day. Full time, 8 hours a day.  This has been a major change for me. I am use to being home, tending to home things, and working part time in very unconventional jobs so I could be available to my kids.   I Love my new job, and finally this week I started to feel calmer and more at home there, but it has been a bumpy road. 
  None of that mattered today. Today we picked our pumpkins and spent the day in the Fall beauty.  Just what I needed to rejuvinate my soul.  I had one last respite visit with my little friend T so we decided to bring him along to celebrate with us.  There were hay rides to pumpkin patch, an amazing corn maze, adorable goats, hot chocolate around a little fire and huge bails of hay for climbing!  Borrowing a new favorite word from my lovely friend A,             It was a splendid day!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1st Day of School!



Another year has come. Ben is a Sophomore, and Lewis starts Jr. High in 7th grade. Mornings are rough for me. I am a night owl, so this is never easy for me in that respect. I know so many moms who are glad when school starts but I am not one of these moms.  As frustrated as I may be sometimes, I love being around my kids. Here is a comparison of last years first day, and today.  I can't believe how they have grown. ( I have added a couple of other "1st day" photos from past years.) 

Warning: if you have Arachnophobia !!

Last evening, the boys and I went out for a last day of  summer break treat. We did a couple of errands and came home. What we found on  our sliding doors was amazing. This very busy spider spinning his/her web across one whole side of the door. It was fascinating to watch. Its amazing how fast they work. We had such a close up great view that we could actually see the web shooting out and the many eyes of the spider. If you enlarge the first photo and look very close, you can see the web coming out.  I snapped a couple of shots of " Charlotte" before getting on with the evening routine. A bit later and after dark, my son noticed a huge bug had been captured and was being devoured. I got a flashlight and watched for some time. Its hard to believe that at 43 yrs old, I have never watched a spider spin a web. By the way.... I am terrified of spiders!!!!!  Does anyone know what kind of spider that is???

Friday, August 8, 2008

Warm and cozy

My Husband. I absolutely love this picture. He is beautiful!!
This is my Mom in front of my grandparents house. She looks so pretty.
Ben at the beach. I think he was about 3 1/2 yrs old.
This is my husband again. His baby picture. I think this might be only 1 of two that exist. 

This is me and my youngest Lewis. He was about 10 months old. I love how we have the same smile.

In my continuing quest to make improvements in my life, I realized I didn't have enough art and photographs up in my family room. The things that make me want to be in that room.  
When I started my Photography studio, I used our living room to take pictures. When I had a client, I would have to do all sorts or rearranging to make room. We decided to make our family room in the basement and convert the upstairs living room into my full time studio.  Since then, I haven't made much of an effort to make the family room comfy and cozy. So this week, I have       decided to finally go thru old pics and enlarge some of my favorites for the walls.  I  found all sorts of goodies, some old and some newer. When I am done, I will post pictures of the family room but in the meantime, here are a few of my favorites. It is always a warm feeling to go thru old photos. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some summer fun

While my young one was at camp this past week,  Ben and I went Canoeing.  Ben has to meet 60 hours of physical education requirements for an independent study course. He can do a variety of organized activities including walking, biking, bowling, golf and he can even go to a baseball game. Since my hubby is not too fond of water sports, especially ones that might actually flip him in the water, I decided to take Ben canoeing myself. We packed up a cooler with sandwiches and water and off we went. 7 miles down a lazy river...  3 hours.  It was very peaceful and calm for most of the trip. When we approached the 6 mile marker the water started moving a bit faster. Our canoe turned around and when we tried to turn back we got hung up on a rock, sideways in the river. I worked for a while trying to free us, all the while hoping I didn't have to call the place and ask them to come and rescue us off of the river. Finally, I was able to free us and  we  made it to our destination.  I had feared the end since we started. I knew noone would be there to pull the canoe in for us and I wasn't sure how I was going  to get out. There was a steep hill, and Ben made it out and tried to pull the canoe ashore but could get very far. I decided I would not be able to avoid getting my feet wet. I stepped out of the canoe with one foot and when I did, the canoe started moving in the opposite direction.  As I stood there doing my best impression of a cheerleader doing a split, I had no other alternative but to throw myself into the river. Oh how Ben and I laughed.  Unfortunately or fortunately,  I didn't have a camera to capture it. I enjoyed my special time with Ben, just him and  I.   
  Ben also was  able to do a riding lesson which I did capture, so here are a few of Ben, his amazingly, sweet cousin Valerie, and Weyekyn the horse. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Soul Mates

A few weeks ago, while my hubby was working, I sat down to watch a movie. I have 3 males in my house and when we get together to choose a movie, I rarely win out with a "chick flick" as they would say. So I sat down and chose one of those "chick flick" movies.  Have you ever watched a movie that touched you so deeply that you could barely breathe? Well I barely stopped crying and laughing the entire movie and when it was over, I wanted to watch it again. So last night, since we had a night to ourselves, I asked hubby to watch it with me. It has such a special story.  There are so many little things in it that remind me of my husband and I, how we met ( he was walking down the street, I was riding a bike) , my ties to Ireland, and how deeply I feel about him after 20yrs.  Of course I cried and laughed through the whole thing again, and surprisingly, he enjoyed it too. I especially love the music (the priest singing had me roaring laughing) Imagine my surprise, after I watched the movie the first time, to find three of the songs from the movie in my ITunes shopping cart.  They had been sitting in there for quite a while waiting for me to buy them. Of course I bought them immediately.  It has become my all time favorite romantic movie. I can't  wait to watch it again...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hair Attitude

Lewis is my youngest. He is going to camp tomorrow. He is very proud of his new haircut, so I thought I would snap some photo's. I am experimenting with the Urban look. We went out late so we were losing light, but managed to capture a couple awesome pics.  I cannot wait to try this for Senior Photos.