Robin Williams

Robin Williams, beloved comedian and accomplished actor, died yesterday…  A sad day.  On my Facebook feed, every single post last night had something to do with the passing of this great star – people of every generation posted stories and memories of his movies that affected their lives…  Isn’t that amazing?  Whether it was remembering “Aladdin” and “Mrs Doubtfire” or “Mork and Mindy” or “Dead Poet’s Society…”  We all have memories of this actor and the ways he made us laugh or cry.

Dead Poet’s Society was my favorite movie for a very long time…  I cried for days after the first time I saw it.  (I still do.)  I think this was one of those moments that made me think I could be someone in the world…  What was the quote?  “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”  His role as Prof. Keating reminded me that one person can make a difference in other people’s lives…  Especially with the fragile lives of kids.  I loved that he taught them to go ahead and be themselves, even if it’s a little different – in fact, embrace what’s different and live!  Ahhh…  I could start crying again, now.

I have funny memories of Mork and Mindy – as a little kid, my parents and I used to walk around the house, saying, “Na-nu, Na-nu” to each other.

Aladdin brings back memories of my youngest sister’s toddler days…  We would watch that movie over and over… and over… and over again.  For awhile, I knew every word to every song.  And it was always fun to sing and play – it really never got old.

Patch Adams made me smile – and cry.  The message of compassion and love for all people always struck and chord for me.

What Dreams May Come was different.  And beautiful.

And Awakenings…  Won my heart.  Every time it’s on TV, I stop to watch.  A beautiful story of the fight for real life… over just sustaining a heart beat.  Once again, the compassion and love for people came through in determination, humor, play, quiet sincerity, and grace.

So many movies in this talented life…  So sad to see it end so soon.  And so marvelous that he was able to affect so many lives through his art…  Amazing.

“What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family.”          —Awakenings

Life is short, friends.  It’s time to Carpe Diem!  Live life boldly.  Work hard.  Play lots.  Value and nurture those friendships.  Love your family.  DO life.  We each have a role to play – lives to share – memories to make.

If nothing else, let Robin Williams remind us of that…  And to live with laughter.  What better way to honor his memory?!



Made It Monday – Photo Collage

Finally!  This project took a year to complete…

First, I found out I was pregnant…


Then, six months later, I was ready to pop!


Finally…  Six months after “popping,” this little human has taken over!


I just ordered the photo collage to frame and hang in our bedroom…  I can’t wait!


**The idea came from Pinterest, of course.  Too cute to pass up!


Any projects in the works at your house?

Road Trip!

Ahhh…   The dreaded road trip – with a baby.  What usually takes 5 hours to get to my mother-in-law’s house, now takes at least 6 hours, usually 6.5.  Lovely.

But here’s the thing – I LOVE our rest stops!  It’s great family time!

We bring a giant picnic blanket and find a shady spot in the grass.  Get the babe out of the car, let him wiggle and crawl and play. Change him.  Feed him.  And play.  Lots of play.  Gotta say, after a long week – this can be pretty fun times!  (Even the dog gets in on the fun.)


Daddy is trying to eat his lunch…  With Sawyer and Bailey doing their best to make him give it up!  (Mr Tough Guy!)


Stretching his legs – with wiggles and dancing, too!

Today, we found some great McDonald’s with nice, big trees and grassy areas around their parking lots.  Perfect.  Isn’t it funny that we now rate places to stop along the way by who has the nicest lawns?  I’ll be very sad when winter comes and we actually have to sit inside… and behave… and use the icky changing tables…  I plan to thoroughly enjoy the rest of the summer road trips!

What are you – particularly – loving this summer?


Thankful Thursday


It’s that time again…  Time to focus on the good in life!

It’s been kind of a rough week, so today I’m even more excited to remember what I’m thankful for!  Here goes:

  • A husband and kid that like a little adventure.


  • Thunderstorms.
  • Having a pool in our neighborhood…  So fun.

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  • A couple more pounds lost!  Woohoo!
  • A little visit to the fabulous ladies I used to work with…  So fun.
  • Making progress on a big project at our church.
  • Being part of honoring a police officer that was shot in our community.  A special experience.
  • Continuing to tackle projects around the house…  The never ending process…
  • Our 10 year old poodle, still playing like a puppy.
  • This coolish summer.  Loving it!
  • Hee hee…  Sawyer had his first poop in the tub – and my husband was giving him his bath (thing to be thankful for #1).  I was downstairs cooking dinner, listening to the giggles and clean-up.  Thankful #2 – a husband who is grateful for the funny moments, too.
  • Bedtime stories and prayers.
  • A kid who is willing to try any food – and likes most of them!
  • A husband who eats whatever I cook – even when I’m on a diet.
  • We’re all consistently sleeping through the night.  Hallelujah!

What are you thankful for today?  Feel free to comment or share your blog link in the comment section!

You Just Never Know

Today was a sad day for our community.  A police officer was laid to rest after being shot during a “routine traffic stop” last week.  It happened in the community that I worked in for 10 years, and that we go to church in – so Sawyer and I went to honor the soldier, standing along the funeral procession route.  We joined many people from our church, and several community members – waving flags and saying “thank you” to the thousands of officers who drove by.

I knew it would be emotional – what I didn’t realize is how this is sticking with me.

I kept thinking about his wife and daughters.  How they probably said a quick good-bye that morning, all heading in their own directions…  Taking for granted that they would see each other again that evening….  Or maybe it’s different when you know your family member is a police officer?  I’m not sure.  But, I’m pretty sure, you never expect to get the call that your spouse or dad has been shot… in the afternoon… and is now gone.

Oh, my heart hurts for them!

I’ve always said I didn’t think I was a strong enough person to marry someone who was a policeman, a fireman, or in the military.  I couldn’t imagine not knowing, every single day, if that person would come home for dinner…  And yet, what makes me think I’m safe from something happening to my Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation husband?  Seems a pretty harmless job…  But you just never know…  That’s the thing.  You just never know.

My family members and I always say, “I love you,” before hanging up the phone.  Even my closest friends and I say those words at the end of a conversation.  And yes, Mike and I say it all the time – and always part with a kiss.  Cheesy?  Maybe.  But if anything ever happened, I’d want to know we told each other we loved each other.

Life is short.  It’s unexpected.  There’s no guarantees.  So tell those around you that you love them.  Say “thank you” often and always.  Treat others with kindness.

And thank those who protect our communities.  And their families.  They deserve so much more credit, respect, and thanks than we tend to give them…

Thank you Officer Patrick.  Your sacrifice did not go unnoticed…


A Great Meal

The Daily question for today is…  “What was your last great meal?”

Mmmm…  Anyone who knows me, knows I love food.  I love trying new foods.  I love cooking and baking and trying new recipes. (Which is probably why I’m needing to lose some weight…  Ha!)

But my last great meal?  I didn’t have to think long – it was last weekend!  The epitome of simplicity and “ordinary.”

Kabobs.  Over a campfire.  Oh yum.


Steak.  Chicken.  Red bell peppers.  Green bell peppers.  Small portabella mushrooms.  A little teriyaki.

Campfire smoke.

Fresh air.

Listening to baby in the tent, giggling with Daddy.  Feeling relaxed and thankful.

Great meal.  (Isn’t it funny?  The food tasted great – but just as important was where I was and what I was feeling.)

What was your last great meal?

Made it Monday – Pool!

We finally “made it” to the pool this summer!  (Which is silly…  We live in a neighborhood with two beautiful pools…)  Between the summer being a little cooler than usual, our vacations, the pool hours (opening at 10am), avoiding the peak sun times, Hubby getting home around 4:30…  And Sawyer’s dinner and bedtime rituals beginning at 5:30pm…  We just hadn’t made it to the pool yet.

It’s August!

And we’re so pale!

(I usually half live at the pool during the summer!)

But we finally made it.  Sawyer was wearing all the ridiculous sun-protection clothing and sunscreen.  He looked hilarious.  (But I saw the news last week – apparently, we’re all going to get skin cancer.  So might as well protect the next generation from the very beginning…)

We started gradually.  I sat on the step with the little guy.  He dipped his toes and we splashed a bit.  He was slow to to smile.  But eventually thought that was pretty cool.

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Then, we let him stand on a step.  Since he loves standing anywhere – that was a big hit!  Now we were having fun!

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Mike eventually took him into the water and pulled him around a bit – then the smiles really came!  And he started kicking – loving it!

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He was perfectly happy lounging in Daddy’s arms, enjoying the show that all the other kids were putting on.  He was entranced by the splashing and laughing and yelling.  The pool “noodles” even caught his attention – curiosity peaked.

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So cute.  What a fun way to spend our Sunday afternoon!

Isn’t it funny how the simplest things become magical again, once you have a baby in the house?  Watching them experience things for the first time is so enchanting.  The wide, bright eyes.  The wonder.  The uncertainty.  The excitement.  The joy.

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It was pretty clear to the other moms at the pool that it was Sawyer’s first trip to the pool.  (They all had that knowing smile and chuckle as they watched us…)  One mom even offered to take our picture.  I love it!

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Did you accomplish any goals lately?  (I hope they were as fun as a day at the pool!)

Camping Out…

Camping out…  is a lot different than it used to be!

My hubby and I love to camp.  Love it.  And we’re good campers.  Happy campers.  Efficient campers.  We’ve got this down – whether it be car camping or a short backpacking trip.  We’ve got it.

Til baby came along.  Ha!  We’re bound and determined to continue camping…  It’s just that it’s… a little different these days.

We get to camp on a Friday night, around 5pm.  While Mike sets up camp, Sawyer and I play and read books on a picnic blanket.  And he eats dinner – while trying not to make such a mess that the bugs swarm!  It’s tricky, but we do it!  By the time his dinner is gone and cleaned up, it’s “supposedly” time to get ready for bed.  I start the bedtime ritual while my hubby is making the campfire and beginning to cook our dinner.

Bedtime?  Are you kidding?!  We get the jammies on, read a couple of stories, say our prayers, have a bottle, sing a little…  And then?  Well, apparently it’s playtime!

Sawyer loves the tent.  Loves that he’s laying beside us and can roll over and grab our face at any time.  (It gives him the giggles.)  He wants to crawl, to stand, to roll in our sleeping bags and over our pillows.  He stares out the door at the kids walking by.  He hears dogs barking and perks up to see what’s going on.  I gotta say, it is pretty fun laying in the tent with him…

All of a sudden, Daddy comes to play in the tent, and tells me to go eat my dinner.  Seriously?!  He’s made and eaten his dinner already?!  Time goes fast when you’re trying to get a little one to sleep…

So we switch roles.  I go out to the campfire and eat my delicious kabobs.  And in the tent?  It’s not any quieter…  I can hear laughing and giggles.  That kid is not going to sleep anytime soon.

They emerge from the tent at 8:30.  Sawyer’s having the time of his life.  And I’m realizing there will be no “mommy and daddy time” at the campfire tonight.  And that’s ok.  He’s a happy kid.  And this is what it’s all about, right?


The magic of being outside as the sun sets.  The smell of the campfire.  The flames dancing and hypnotizing anyone who looks at them – including the babe.  The fresh air.  The scent of rain coming.  Hearing thunder in the distance…

Oh wait!  What?  Is that rain I feel?

Yep…  Quick, into the tent!  A downpour!  Thunder!  Lightening!

I was a little nervous.  Sawyer’s eyes were big – yet, he played harder than ever at first…  And then passed out in my arms during the heaviest part of the storm.  Oh dear…

An exciting night.  That’s for sure.  Not what we expected.  Not what we planned.  But I’m so appreciating our ability to enjoy it for what it is.  And loving how well Mike and I work as a team.  We may not get much time together at the campfire…  But we love seeing Sawyer wiggle and giggle and hear each other’s laughing, too.  We’ll figure this out the more we do it.  But for now, it’s not exactly a bad way to spend a Friday night.  We’ll take it!