Playing Hooky

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We had a family wedding in the Outer Banks this past weekend so my parents asked us to join them for a week at the beach, making it a little vacation.  Having kids still in school makes me pause, but as a kid, I remember loving it when my parents took us out for special occasions.

Each fall, our family would fly to Florida (St. Petersburg, Sanibel Island, Orlando, etc.) and we would miss a week of school.  It felt special:)  My sisters and I would load up our backpacks with schoolwork and baby dolls- usually never opening a notebook.

However, my kids are not so enthusiastic??  They are a bit nervous about missing school work.

The highlights of the week for me include:

playing tennis with my parents and my two monkeys

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walking on the beach (and even jogging with Mary Fowler!)

my dad’s daily bloody marys and perfect soft-shell crabs

playing cards (500 Rummy)

laughing so hard as Davis tells us his secrets to great hair:) “A lot of shampoo and conditioner… I’m talking a crap-ton.”

Mary Fowler doing my hair and nails for the wedding- I looked great!  So proud of her!

going to my cousin David’s house for dinner and the kids playing with their cousins just like I used to do!

both kids loving all over their dad while throwing the football on the beach

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and definitely spending time with my aunts and uncles- Anne, Kerry, MaryAnn, and Danny… I cannot get enough of their stories growing up.

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I hope that one day my kids treasure these moments like I do 🙂

Sparkle

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I have a file on my desktop that I call INSPIRATION where I put little things like this above.  I actually used this quote for Mary Fowler’s 12th birthday party, printed them out, and tied them to all the party favors- some of her favorite treats!

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But today this quote makes me think of someone else.  My dad called me yesterday to tell me that one of the families I babysat for lost their mother to cancer over the weekend.  The Saturday before Mother’s Day.  Her name is Cassidy, mother of FIVE children, and I am in shock.

I met this sweet family when I worked at the athletic club in high school.  I worked in the nursery and they brought their oldest daughter (at the time their only child) in and Cassidy stayed to chat while the dad played racquetball.

Cassidy was such a bright, energetic, and happy mother.  Her eyes were luminous, her smile infectious,  and she spoke with such excitement!  We talked a lot and she loved my name- I found out later they named their second daughter Olivia 🙂

One time, years later, I was working in the bakery during college and without even seeing Cassidy, I heard her booming, excited voice happily chatting with her clan of kids somewhere else in the store.  For whatever reason at that particular moment, I decided to BE HAPPY.  And by that I think I mean project happy.  That’s what she was doing.  Projecting happy energy.

I don’t even know if I ever spoke to her that day but we must have stayed in touch somehow because they came to my wedding and my photographer took many photos of their sweet family:)  I sent them the photographs in a thank you note but I’m going to resend with my condolences.

I feel compelled to let her children (daughters and son) know how inspiring I found their mother to be and how her radiance reflected onto, enhancing my personality.  How amazing.  She really did leave a sparkling impression on me.

Mother’s Day

Mday_2016_final.jpgThis year my mother-in-law came to stay with us for Mother’s Day weekend and it was very relaxing.  Saturday night Adam and I went out to dinner with friends and grandma took the kids to her favorite restaurant.  Then Sunday we all just hung out around the house.  After looking at all our Italy pictures, Davis and grandma were dying to make homemade pizzas so we did that for lunch and then Adam grilled out for dinner.

I made a salad and grandma made her wonderful baked beans.  The dinner took me back to when Adam and I were dating and I would go to his house for dinner.  His dad always grilled on Saturday and Sunday.  It is still hard to believe sometimes he’s gone.

If I’m completely honest, I would love to have a family photo each Mother’s Day of my sweet family in our Sunday best.  I love all of those beautiful, Spring photos I see shared on Facebook.  What a treasure!  But that does not happen each year (and even when it does, Adam really resists so I try to save my battles for the Christmas card photo:) so I really started thinking about something I could do to get some of my reflections down on paper.

A couple of years I wrote each of the kids letters and stuck them away to read later.  This time I thought about one of my favorite photos.  I actually have it in a frame on my bedside table.  It was taken when Davis was born and I love that it shows me eating him up!  I love it.  So I used one of my digital scrapbooking layouts and journaled a little bit.

To all those thoughtful, caring, supportive, selfless, unconditionally loving moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Little Things

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Lately we have been having some TRUE spring days and the weather is just invigorating!  I LOVE it!  My favorite climate is around 72 degrees (although I also love a good rainy day for staying inside and making soup:)

I’ve taken several walks and the blue skies make me feel all bubbly inside.  This morning I took my big camera outside because my Irises are blooming!  I’m sure my neighbors thought I had lost it outside, still in my pajamas.  But Irises are my mom’s favorite flower so I always think of her when I see them.  She loves their sweet scent and we can’t believe someone hasn’t invented Iris-smelling perfume or candles?!?

They are so delicate and it had just rained.  I have tried cutting them to vase indoors but it never works out for me- they kind of wither- so I snapped away and will have the photos to enjoy instead!

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The Spring blooms and clear, blue skies are two of my favorite things this week and here are some others:

 

 

  • This article from Parade Magazine (in the Sunday newspaper): Exceptional Minds Movie Magic It makes me so happy to know that society is learning about how different we all are and instead of focusing on what we can’t do, focusing on what our gifts are!