Thursday, October 02, 2014

Throwback Thursday

So, since today is often #tbt (throwback Thursday), I decided to find an old photo of Stuart and me to share.

This one comes from 1992. I had gone back to England to see Stuart during my Christmas break at uni. We were sitting in a country pub, enjoying some drinks with another couple. We were 22.



We just hit double that age this year.

That cold winter night seems an eternity ago. The pub was warm and loud and friendly. There was a fire in a big fireplace. And I remember there was freezing fog outside -- something I'd never heard of before, even though I'd lived in England only two year earlier.


Emily realized she's nearly the same age as Stuart and me when we met.


*  *  *  *  *

What "throwback memories" do you remember when you see old photos? I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Day in the Life

Or the life in a day?

Sometimes it feels as if we're living many lifetimes in one day. There's so much going on.

My brain tries to sort out our schedule and keep everything straight. Soccer at 3:30...drama at 6:30...dinner at 5:30...little-guy soccer at 6.....laundry, meals, cleaning, and, oh, that's right...I have a newspaper story due.

Still. The soccer season is nearly over. Drama rehearses for a short period of time during the autumn. All will end before I know it and life will slow down, if only a little.

Enjoy the moments as they come, I tell myself.

I got extremely nostalgic this past Sunday when we passed a mom and her young daughter walking on the sidewalk as we drove to church. Suddenly, I pined yearned longed for that time again. It seemed so much easier, simpler somehow. The kids got up and had breakfast. We got dressed. We did school. We had lunch with a couple of PBS shows and then read a story together. After that, it was playtime. The kids loved playing outside. They built "fairy houses" in the flowerbeds and washed rocks and ran around defending our house from "bad" guys. They were little, and I could carry them. My kisses were still magical and healed boo-boos. We colored together.

It was while I was thinking about this and admitting that I missed that time that our 6-year-old piped up, "But then you wouldn't have me."

My heart froze.

He was totally right. He's 11 years younger than Emily and 7.5 years younger than Edward. To go back in time 10 years would erase his existence.


Then I got to thinking about how much I enjoy the kids now. And while they don't play outside very often anymore...and school takes a bit more time than the morning (mostly due to concentration problems),..and they're not as much into PBS kids' shows anymore...and I can't carry them (they're 5'10" and 5'9" tall now...and even the "little" one is 4'6". Sigh.)...they still love to hug me...and my kisses still have magic of some sort in them because they are filled with love.

Enjoy the moments as they come, I remind myself.

One day I'll feel nostalgic when I see a mom and her teenagers walking along the sidewalk, chatting together.

Enjoy. The. Moment.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  

What makes you feel nostalgic?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sweet Sunday


"Our God"

Water you turned into wine,
opened the eyes of the blind
there's no one like you, none like You!

Into the darkness you shine
out of the ashes we rise
there's no one like you none like You!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

Into the darkness you shine
out of the ashes we rise
there's no one like you, none like You!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
What could stand against.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
Then what could stand against.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power,
Our God! Our God!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Sweetheart

My very favorite player on the Wyomissing High School Boys' JV Soccer Team!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Label Readers

I'm getting really tired of all the labels we give to ourselves and our kids, trying to explain every condition/ailment under the sun.

We all have a label. It's called " human." 

What if we all realize this, take responsibility for our own actions and abilities /struggles and accept each other "as is" without giving ourselves a name or label or condition? 


I've read that "normal "is only a setting on the dryer. No one is normal. Because think about it. Who actually determines what normal is? 

Maybe when we see this, we'll stop feeling defensive -- or judgmental -- and we'll look in the mirror and like who we see, accepting our own selves flaws and all.


I think that's a start to peace on earth.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Using His Head

Life has been extremely busy with school and activities

Edward has soccer everyday after school, and Ethan has soccer on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Sometimes life feels consumed by soccer. We finished watching the 2014 World Cup just in time for Edward to begin the high school soccer season.

Not that I'm complaining.

It's my favorite sport. I love the speed and skill the players display. It never slows down; only pauses for kicks and throw-ins.

Stuart and I are having fun coaching our U8 team, the Blue Cheetahs. The kids have plenty of silliness and energy to make it very enjoyable.

And then this happens.

Edward's team played Oley, and for the second year in a row, he got headbutted.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sweet Sunday

So yesterday, Emily and I participated in the Fall 24-hour Short Story Contest. Well, I participated, and she joined me for some writing (and Starbucks) fun.

The contest costs $5, and usually she joins in, too, but she's currently saving all the money she makes to replace her phone. So she just used the prompt to write her own story.

And. It. Was. Awesome.

She felt a bit bummed that she didn't enter since the fall prompts are always decidedly more spooky than the other seasons....and she's very good at writing spooky things.

Still. We had lots of fun together and drank our first pumpkin-spiced drinks of the season.

Sweet times!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Sweetheart

Edward made this helicopter with K'nex last night. The model itself came from the instruction book, but he made it have working gears and rotors.

Such a clever and creative guy!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Birthday Boy

...on his birthday bike!

Last night, Stuart finally found an awesome deal on an awesome bike.

Doesn't he look awesome on it?

Now to accessorize....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Worded Wednesday

The hardest part of loving pets into old age is having to say goodbye. 
Rest in peace, our sweet bunny Tony (L).

Click here to read about when we got them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

All Is Bright

So this happened today:

Emily had her first college (interchangeable with university over here) interview today at Albright College, her first choice of places to get her degree. 

Sur-real to the max. 

Here's hoping they accept her and give her a full-ride scholarship. That would be awesome!

We had to get a snack at Jake's Java afterwards. It's a tradition. *wink-grin*

Monday, September 15, 2014


...second grade!

One day down...179 to go. Only kidding. It was an awesome day!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Oh, Happy Day!

What a difference six years makes, right?

From little to "big" in the blink of an eye. Today is Ethan's "Star Birthday," meaning his birthday actually landed on his actual day of birth.

We are so proud of this little guy! He woke up, and Edward asked him if he felt different. He said he felt we, of course, measured him, and he is actually an inch and a quarter taller.

Happiest 6th Birthday to our special "caboose," Ethan Samuel! We love you more than you'll ever know!

A couple of pics from today:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Come Fly Away with Me!

Ethan's special birthday adventure was to the National Air & Space Museum "Annex" (which, ironically, was the same place Edward went for his 6th birthday adventure). He wanted to see a Blackbird and a space shuttle. We saw both -- and more!

It was an awesome day!

Here's the link to the whole photo album.

Our favorite quote of the day:

The wisdom of a 5-nearly-6-year-old... Heard from Ethan in the car yesterday while we drove through D.C.: "I think the Secret Service is really dumb. Who ever heard of writing 'Secret Service' on a car. They're supposed to be SECRET, aren't they? I don't think that's very secret."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happiest Palindrome Birthday to My Bestest Friend and Hubby!


Love this man!

We started the day with a power had an impromptu brekkie out...but it turned out to be a fun -- if busy -- day!

He's the best thing that ever happened on this day! xxoo

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


So life is speeding by at an incredible rate! (Not like I haven't said that before...)

We've only just started school, but we're already hitting the ground with our sprinting shoes on. We're immersed in the middle of the high school soccer season and drama club just started and Emi is getting the school newspaper up and running again...and...and...and...

Remind me again: I am a STAY-AT-HOME mom, right?

Thankfully, we gave Ethan time off from school this week. He is between first and second grade, and since he schools year 'round, we thought a much-needed break was in order. He'll start again the day after his 6th birthday.


SIXTH birthday!! Wasn't this kid just born? How on earth did we get here so fast?

From this:

To this:

See what I mean about hanging on tight during this awesome and crazy ride called parenthood?

Here are some photos from this week:

Edward at a home JV soccer game.

Still smiling even though they lost. "I think we played really well," he said. 
So proud of him!

We've hit the two-sandwich stage of Edward's life.

Emi helped out as an assistant coach at tonight's U8 soccer practice.

Think someone liked his U8 soccer practice? 
Guess who his coaches are?

Another writer joined Voices last Saturday!!

Proud sister with her "little" brother before their first Voices meeting of the year.

I sure do love these kids!! 

The best thing about being in the blog world is seeing all the fantastic moms and dads out there who love their kids with their whole hearts, too. It gives one reason to hope!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Saturday Sweethearts

From the First Day of School on Tuesday:

Love these sweeties with my whole heart!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Friday Funnies

This is brilliant advertising at work! I love how technical they make their "bookbook" sound. Enjoy a funny Friday!

And now...

...a few more "Ethanisms" (from this week)...

"You know, Mommy, I really don't like to write [for school]. I only do it because I love you." Then he smiled his sweetest, most lovey smile at me, which, of course, softened the "blow"...not that I didn't already suspect his dislike by all the moaning he emits while wielding a pencil above paper. I told him I appreciated his honesty, but he still needs to do it. And I smiled my sweetest, most lovey smile. Not sure it softened anything for him.

*   *   *

In the car yesterday, he said (continuously), "I love how our brains slow down the world outside the car when we're drive. That way we can enjoy all the pretty nature. And it is so pretty! Edward is so weird. He said when he dies he's going to say, 'This is the best day of my life.' (pause) But I guess it would be the best day since he would get to see God. That would be awesome! And I think the nature there would be so pretty, too. Esp. the trees. Because they would never die or turn brown."

*   *   *

He came down to lunch yesterday and said excitedly, "Edward was playing the 'Battlefield 4 Warsaw Theme Extended,' (a song) and it was EPIC!" No plain, everyday Battlefield 4 theme for them.

*   *   *

What funny things do your kids say? I'd love to hear them! 

Thursday, September 04, 2014


...our second-grader, Ethan Samuel, Class of 2025:

Time's a'flying!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


...our senior, Emily Susanne, Class of 2015:

How did we get here already???

Monday, September 01, 2014

Thoughts on the Eve of Another School Year

 Top row taken of each one in kindergarten; Bottom row taken in June 2014

It's very early on the day my kids start a new school year. And I can't sleep. Not because I'm worried. Not because I'm too busy. Just because I can't believe we've reached this point in life.

We have a senior, a freshman, and a 2nd-grader.......


During the first week of Emily's life, I remember looking at her and thinking that we'd only have her for 18 years. It seemed such a long time away. Then there were times during those long early-morning feedings that I wondered if I'd survive for 18 more years. It seemed like such a long time away.

"Blink and you'll miss it!" I remember people warning me. I knew they were right, but a big part of me thought, "It's such a long time away yet."

And here I sit, typing out my thoughts on the eve of our daughter becoming a senior. She'll be 17 in October. She's been looking at universities and learning to drive. It really isn't such a long time away anymore.

It's here. It's now. It's amazing!

People are right: Blink, and you will miss it.

Or just hang on and enjoy the ride. The view from the "parental window" is exciting, daunting, terrifying, and joyful all at the same time.

*   *   *

A Prayer for Our Kids on the First Day of a New School Year:

Lord, help our children as they embark on a new year of learning.
May they know the joy of discovering new ideas and learning new concepts.
May they be excited when they get things right and humble when they get things wrong.
May they feel gratitude for the privilege it is to be able to learn.
May they be thankful for good health and strong bodies and bright minds.
May they share their joy of learning with others in such a way as to excite those people to want to learn.
May they continually weigh what they learn against the core of their moral being.
May they be kind to one another and share their learning space with respect and love.
May they always do their best.
May they never forget where they've come from or where they are headed.
May they also never forget to enjoy the moment, to find peace with where they are and patience for what's to come.
May they always be awe of all You have created.
May they have wisdom to manage their time properly so they can do their best on assignments.
May You give them wisdom in their journey through school and later into the workforce.
May they never stop thanking You for the lifetime gift of learning.
And may they always remember how much we love them, no matter what!
Thank You for loving them more than even we can!