Makinley’s 6th Birthday! Finally!

Frozen Cake

We were laid up in Maryland with the tummy bug on Makinley’s real birthday, so we celebrated almost one month later with a Frozen tea party.

And then there were further delays in my putting this blog post together.  I won’t get into the nitty gritty.

But now, here I am, posting this 10 months late.

I’m not sure where the time goes.  There just never seems to be a quiet moment anymore.  We are in that really busy place of raising seven children.

And I don’t want to miss out on the now, because I’m too preoccupied with trying to capture the present.  I want to soak it all in and appreciate these moments.

Yet, I’m really afraid I’m going to forget the details of what made this time we’ve spent together so special.

And this friends, is the crux of my quandary. ;)

This blog is behind.  It’s not exhaustive.  It’s not perfect…but at least it’s something.

So today, I will add another little picture that helps to tell a bigger story. [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to Pop

Pop and Baby Kin

I wrote this tribute to my dad last June, on Father’s Day.

I wanted him to know what he meant to me,

to us,

before it was too late.


My dad thanked me profusely after reading this, for all of the kind words, but didn’t feel he really deserved them all, he said.


My dad knew he wasn’t perfect.

It’s part of what made him Pop.

He could laugh at himself and he could laugh at Mimi.

Nobody could tell a better Mimi story than my father, by the way, although my sister Kath has definitely inherited the gift and is gaining ground.


Mimi, Maddie, and Kath

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My Brother’s Wedding

Oh it was going to be a doozy.  I knew this heading into our travels.

We were planning to hit Boston and Connecticut in a whirlwind trip totaling 6 days.

We would pick Maddie up from CYT (Christian Youth Theatre) about 10:00 PM, van fully loaded, and head north on the interstate.

I expected to be the primary nighttime driver since Duff intended to put in a full day’s work the day of our departure.

No worries.  I had a plan.

I would take the five youngest to Pullen Park that morning.

Pullen Park

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My Dad


Pop and Gabby

You watched countless soccer games.

You organized backyard baseball.

You attended recitals.

You let me pretend to shave with you in the wee hours of morning.

You took me ice skating.

You let me pick out my favorite ice cream flavor at the Friendly’s take-out window.

You took me to father-daughter square dances.

You looked forward to family vacations.

You sang ‘Barbara Ann’ at the top of your deep voice.

We went fishing and actually caught fish.

We rode bikes in Cape Cod to pick up the morning paper.

We body-surfed the waves and leisurely walked along the shore.

We collected golf balls and used the driving range after-hours.

You took us for nighttime swims. [Read more...]

Rising to the Call

My Crew

People often tell me…

You’re an amazing mom. 

I don’t know how you do it. 

You must have the patience of a saint.

Bless your heart.

And if you know anything about that last one (a notoriously southern phrase) it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. ;)

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Photo Op


We headed out to the zoo on Friday after a week of standardized testing, obligations, and a handful of appointments.

We were sad that Duff and Maddie couldn’t join us, but they apparently had more important things to do. ;)

We didn’t have to be anywhere at any certain time.  We left when we were ready and came home when we were done.

It felt positively wonderful to be free from any schedule or time frame.  <deep sigh>

Just a happy-go-lucky day with my children creating memories.  I had been looking forward to it for days.

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Angels Among Us- My First 5K

Let's Do this!

I’m not a runner.  I’ve never really been a runner.

Even back in the day when I played soccer, I detested running.

I believe the fact that my face consistently turns an alarming shade of red, after even moderate exertion,

Tomato Face

is a bit disconcerting for everyone involved.

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How I Recharge

I think because I presently spend an obscene amount of time at home,

escaping from the house is the very best way for me to recharge an extremely dead battery.

During the week I’m running on a hamster wheel, furiously motoring toward a destination I will never reach.

You know what I’m talking about moms- the maddening cycle of cooking, feeding, cleaning, bathing, dressing, picking up, and putting away.  It never ends.

The moment your kitchen floor is mopped, a child crosses it in dirt-filled shoes.  The second your washer is empty, the diaper fails during nap time.  You bathe your little one and dress him in clean clothes, only to find him covered in food, dirt, or art supplies a short time later.

Can you tell I desperately needed to escape from within these four confining walls?  I wasn’t well.

I needed a short hiatus away from it all, to catch my breath and simply enjoy my family.

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Do You Know What’s Sexy?


Young ladies, you can chase anything in a pair of snug-fitting blue jeans.

You can find a set of diamond-cut, blue-green eyes that pierce right through you.

You can seek out a hard body at the gym that ripples with muscle.

But let me tell you what’s really sexy.

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Our Little Minion Turns 3!!

When ‘Despicable Me 2′ was released on iTunes, my little guy became obsessed with minions.  He walked around the house chanting BEEEE-DOOO, BEEEE-DOOO!  He would sneak away with the iPad (this kid is super-ninja stealthy…trust me), when I was preoccupied with homeschooling, and we’d find him hidden in a dark room watching his little yellow friends.

My boy was riveted by these chubby fellas.  His fascination didn’t really surprise me though. The minion is just a two-year-old bundled up and repackaged in a bright yellow suit with goggles.  They have exactly the same energy, silliness, and sense of humor as my boy.



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