Posts Tagged ‘family’


Thursday, April 24th, 2014


Years ago, long before I was married myself, my grandmother gave me her engagement ring.  I had asked her for it when I was a young girl {please excuse my lack of tact} and she didn’t forget.  It was wearing thin and she decided to stop wearing so it would be preserved for me.  Crazy, right?  She truly was a one-of-a-kind.  I have kept it safe, but tucked away.  Months ago I came it across it when I was moving accessories into my closet.  I decided it shouldn’t be tucked away.  I wanted to wear it.  However, I have freakishly small hands and it was too large for my finger.  After checking with my mom, I had the ring resized.

When we travel to Italy next month, I will be wearing my grandmother’s ring with two whisper thin gold bands from Catbird. {That makes my heart happy.}  I have been stalking Catbird for quite sometime, so when I decided to resize the ring I was thrilled to be able to buy simple bands to wear with it.   The bands I ordered are stacking rings, meant to be worn together in multiples.  The Mignon Memory Ring and the Twisted Stacker Ring are perfect compliments to my grandmother’s delicate diamond and gold ring.   When I slip this special stack on my finger, I smile.  If she were still here, she would give me a big hug and tell me a story about her ring or my grandfather.  I treasure my memories of her and I treasure her ring.




Do you have jewelry tucked away from someone dear to you?  I urge you to take it out.  Make it part of your life.  Wear it and love it!


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Thursday, November 28th, 2013

giving thanks

In just a few hours our home will be filled with laughter, family and love.   My heart is full of abundant gratitude for you. Your encouragement, kind words, and thoughtful comments mean more than you could possibly know!  I am so grateful for my little creative space here in the world wide web.

I CANNOT wait to eat stuffing and pie!  Love to you all.

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Thursday, November 7th, 2013

a special guest

My boys will have a special guest at school today. My father will sit with them on stage, as their elementary school honors Veterans at an all-school assembly.  Their grandfather served in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969, stationed with the 27th Surgical Hospital in Chu Lai on the South China Sea.  {A world away from our little rock.}  My dad brought along a scrapbook filled with pictures taken during his tour of duty.  As we looked through it and listened to the stories, I had a deep appreciation of the moment.  You could see it on my son’s face.  He was taking in every word, every picture, and storing them away.  There is a deeper, personal understanding of war, history and service.  It really is a precious gift.

My dad is a very humble man.  He certainly is not one to boast.  In his mind, he simply served in the military just as his father and brothers did before him.  He deserves to be honored and it is certain that I will be beaming with pride when my oldest son introduces his grandfather as his distinguished Veteran.

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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

pumpkin decisions

Early this month I shared that our pumpkin patch tradition was ending.  Our most loved farm was closed for business.  I left it up to the boys if they wanted to visit a new farm this year.  I am pleased as punch that they decided it was a must-do for our family.  The day was crisp, the pumpkins were plentiful, and Jubilee Farm was charming.  The hay maze and warm apple cider were great, but the high point was launching a pumpkin from a {home-built} medieval trebuchet!  What boy doesn’t love being part of smashing a pumpkin to smithereens?

New memories created.  Life doesn’t get much better.

big W

Little Man


big W and Little Man

Pictures like this one make a trip to the pumpkin patch essential – in this mom’s honest opinion!

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Wednesday, October 9th, 2013


Oh, my crazy cats.   They have made me a mother.  However, in today’s modern world, there is a mania surrounding motherhood.  It may be self-induced, but either way it does exist.  Some days [or weeks] I feel it more than others. Recently, I have asked myself, “What do these boys really need?”  They are fortunate to have food, shelter, safety, and love as part of their every day lives.   Beyond that, what do they REALLY need?   And maybe more crucial, “What do I do as a mother that truly means the most to them?”

I don’t have my final answers yet.  What do you think?  [Do you have older kids?  What would they answer?]

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Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Fall City Farms

[October 2008]

Traditions.  They are touch points for me.  They keep me grounded and in the moment.  From a young age, traditions surrounding holidays and seasons, gave me great comfort and a sense of anticipation.  It is because of these strong memories, that I seek to create and embrace traditions for my boys.  As a mother, I see it as my gift to them.

One such tradition is finding the great pumpkin at a local farm in October.  Since the fall of 2005, we have been visiting the same farm.  It is where we go, what we do, and who we are.  Sadly, we cannot return this year.  Fall City Farms did not grow pumpkins and the farm is now closed to the public.  It is the end of our tradition.  Big W and I took time this weekend and went through all of our photos taken at the farm over the last eight years.  A visual memory book of how far we’ve come and how big we have grown-with the back drop remaining the same.

first years  Fall City Farms

later years  Fall City Farms

It might seem like something so simple, but I always thought we would outgrow the farm.  Grouchy and moody teens, too cool to go to the pumpkin patch with mom, would be the reason we stopped going.  But that isn’t the case.  So we are faced with the decision, make a new tradition or just let it go.  I am ready to let the boys decide and excited to create new memories.  Because in the end it isn’t the farm or the place.  It is the time we spent together in the autumn sun loving and caring for each other.  I am lucky, lucky girl.


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Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
Where is June | Advice for a new dad

{Sharing a quiet moment with Big W when he was 12 days old.}

I have gone a bit baby crazy!  I have spent the last 5 days holding, kissing and loving our new nephew.  At only seven weeks old, he could not be any cuter or more loveable.  My kids are finally old enough for me to enjoy and appreciate an infant.  My own exhaustion and anxiety of being a new mom is a distant memory and the simple, precious moments are all that is left.  I tried not to give any advice, because let’s be honest-no one really wants it!  Plus, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are doing a fantastic job.

However, what kind of “veteran” parent am I if I didn’t share a bit of wisdom?  It was simple.  I told my brother-in-law to grab the camera and take pictures.  Without being asked.  Moms want to be in pictures with their babies.  Simple, every day moments [like the one above of Big W and me] are fleeting.  I don’t have many pictures like this.  Even today, I am rarely in any of our pictures.  I am always the one with the camera.  On vacation I have to ask for my picture to be taken.  The kids are always antsy and never want to pose or sit for a picture.  And they always turn out horribly.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love to take pictures of my boys and my husband.  But, without sounding ridiculously vain, I want someone to take my picture too.  I want to be part of our history.

So, to dads everywhere [new and otherwise] earn yourself some points.  Find the camera, learn to use it, point and shoot!  You will be surprised by the moments you start to notice and to capture them is priceless.

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Friday, June 14th, 2013


My boys are the lucky ones.  They have a dad who loves them unconditionally.  It’s that simple.  A man in their corner.  A coach in the dug out.  An instructor on the slopes.  A fan in the audience.  An amazing role model with a loving heart.  They may not realize it now, but one day……..

What are your Father’s Day plans?

My husband asked for help cleaning his office.  We can do that!  I do have a few other tricks up my sleeve.  And of course, he chooses the menu.  His favorite chips n’ fish and salted brown butter rice crispie treats will be served Sunday evening.  I am hoping I can convince him to head to the Farmer’s Market if I surprise him with Swedish Pancakes in the morning.  I am looking forward to a fabulous weekend!

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the gold standard

Monday, January 9th, 2012

My grandmother left our world two weeks ago today and I feel the space she has left deeply.  Living to be 97, I was blessed that my children were able to not only know their great-grandmother, but to also know the love she showered on all of us.  She lived her life with grace, but also with a quiet, fierce determination. Those whom she loved tried to never disappoint her.

Born 60 years apart, our lives took entirely different paths.  Mine through college and graduate school and finally a career.  She fought to finish high school and had to do so early.  Her father wanted her home to help her mother.  Somehow we ended up in the very same place-caring for our home and family.  Believe me, never in any of my life planning did I think we would share this common thread.  Maybe that is why I don’t like calling myself a stay-at-home-mom.  I am a homemaker.  A housewife-just like my grandma.

My grandmother is the gold standard.  I want to share with you a few of things that I learned from her.  Not through her telling me (I don’t ever remember her giving me any advice), but through the way she lived her life.

Show your love through small gestures.
My grandmother was the queen of spoiling you in very small ways.  A cupboard in her kitchen stocked with the candy.  (We are talking full size candy bars!)  Sneaking a $5 bill in your pocket when you were leaving.  Meeting you with the warmest hug each and every time you walked into her house.  Never forgetting a birthday or anniversary.  Always sending a card for every occasion with a little spending cash tucked inside.  Standing at the screen door as you left, waving and smiling until you drove away.

Do what you do, well.
She had years to perfect her craft, and what she did, she did almost perfectly.  Hands down, she made the best pie crust I have ever tasted.  When my grandfather was alive, they tended an amazingly huge garden.  Her raspberry jam, made from the berries she grew in her backyard, is my all time favorite.  Even the way she cut strawberries….just small enough to eat with a spoon.  The table was set days before a meal.  The details mattered to her.

Traditions are lasting.
Growing up in an Italian family,  most of our traditions centered around religious holidays and food.  We have our own traditions that we have started with our boys.  And then are some from when I was a young girl.  Most likely, those traditions are from when my grandma was a young girl.  Traditions reaching back to a time much different and living forward into time, seemingly without end.

Family is first.
There was nothing more important than her family.   While I know she had friends and connections outside our little world, it began and ended with us.  It is an amazing gift she gave.  I thank her every night in my prayers.  I know she hears me.

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Where is June?


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