Entries for the ‘other people’ Category

Life Lessons

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

I recently had an argument with my son about black suits. We went shopping for a new suit and he kept pulling out black jackets. I told him that at fourteen he had no real need for a solid black suit. Black suits were for funerals and very formal occasions, I explained, far too fancy for regular church services. Motherhood is full of teaching moments, important lessons and inconsequential lessons. Who knows if my son will even remember this little lesson about formal and informal suits based on color and cut.


Its funny sometimes to reflect on the lessons that have stayed with you. I was thinking of a few of the gems I’ve learned from my own mother.

  1. If you’re going to cut your hair short, do it in the winter. When its hot you’re going to want to be able to pull it back and off your neck.
  2. When buying eye glasses, pick a frame that matches your hair color- they will flatter your face.
  3. Never wear white or black to a wedding (I know this rule is considered old fashioned now, but I’m a die hard)
  4. Butter and real maple syrup.
  5. Don’t stay in hotels near pawn shops and don’t make eye contact with anyone on the street near a pawn shop.

I learned the hard way to always pack shampoo on a vacation.  When I was fourteen my mom, sister and I took a road trip through Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. The first morning on our trip I realized I didn’t have shampoo and I don’t think our motel offered any either. I asked my mom where the shampoo was- because surely it was her responsibility as Mom to make sure those things were packed! Mom was not amused or willing to share her shampoo and my sister and I were on our own for not packing any. Its something we all laugh about. At the time though I was mortified that I couldn’t wash my hair, I think I even resorted to bar soap a few times. In hindsight I don’t know why it never occurred to me to go to the nearest drug store and buy a bottle…but it didn’t. Life lesson learned.

At thirty-eight, I am still learning lessons from my mother, and I hope I never stop. My mother is amazing at supporting her daughters even when she thinks we are crazy or cannot see the logic in our choices. There were times when I made choices I knew my mother wasn’t happy about (getting married at twenty!), but she always, always supported me. As my own children are ageing and beginning to make their own independent choices- some of which I don’t agree with, I feel crazy, frustrated and helpless.  I recently asked my mother how she was able to be so supportive when my sister and I were sometimes making stupid choices. Her response just left me in awe. She told me she knew that she wasn’t always right, and that sometimes there is more than one way to do something, or an avenue that maybe she can’t see. I have been trying so hard to remember this as I ride the crazy roller coaster of raising teenagers…I’m trying to learn humility.


My parents divorced when I was very young and to be honest it still has ripple effects in my life today. The silver lining (more like platinum) in their divorce is that I now have Kathy in my life.  She and my father married when I was seven, and I love her. Because of Kathy I’ve been known to say “hooray for broken families!” I could not have asked for a better step mother. I’ve learned a few little gems from her along the way too.

  1. Never wear navy with black.
  2. Your purse, belt and shoes should always match (I’ve given up on the purse bit).
  3. Easter means new spring sandals!
  4. There is always something to laugh about, even in the midst of challenges.
  5. When eating a sandwich that has been cut into two triangles, you always eat from the end, not the center.

I laugh more with Kathy than anyone else in my life, she can take an ordinary situation and make it funny. When I was twelve or thirteen Kathy, my sister and I were all at the mall flipping through a clothing rack. Kathy pulled out a shirt that looked more like a leotard but with intentional under-wire cups (this was the 90’s), she held it up to us and said, “Its a fill-in-the-blanks shirt”.  I’m not sure what it was about how she said it, but my sister and I busted up laughing. For years after that when we saw shirts like that we’d call them fill-in-the-blanks and chuckle to ourselves.

I’m so grateful to have her in my life, I’m so thankful for her listening ear and her patience. She is probably one of the best listeners I know, sometimes I get off the phone and wonder if I even let her get a word in edgewise but she never makes me feel like I’ve monopolized the conversation.

I am so lucky to have these two women in my life.  I am a better person because of them, who I am today is because of them and their love for me (Dad gets credit too!).

Mom- thank you for never giving up on me, even when times were really hard. As a mother myself I understand some of the pain and sacrifice that comes from not giving up on your kid. I Love You.

Kathy- thank you for always listening to me, for being my friend, for making me laugh. You accepted me from day one. I Love you.

Happy Mother’s Day

To Hope Again

Monday, December 17th, 2012

That is my prayer right now; that those who suffer grief and pain can find a reason to hope again.

On Sunday the opening Hymn for our church service was Longfellow’s “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day”.  I thought it to be the most fitting song given the recent renderings of our American community.  Longfellow wrote this poem during the Civil War while grieving the recent loss of his wife and the crippling injury of his son.  It just seems so poignant to me.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on the earth, good-will to men.”


I was also really touched by this piece on finding God in this tragedy.

Making Memories

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Last weekend my father-in-law was here to take my oldest daughter up to WY for some one-on-one time with her paternal grandparents.  Before he left with my daughter he asked me if I had any reservations.  I laughed and made a joke about him falling asleep at the wheel on the long drive.  Later that night I laid in bed and thought about what he’d asked and I realized that no, I did not have any reservations.

(they stopped along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon)

No, I thought how lucky we all were.  How lucky my in-laws are to have their health and the time / resources to spend with their grandchildren.  How lucky I am to have in-laws who truly find joy in their children and grandchildren.  How extremely lucky my children are to be able to have these special times with their grandparents.  My son will go up by himself for ten days later in July.

I know that they will form relationships with their Mimi & Papa independent of my husband and I,  and I want this for them.  I want them to make memories that are shared only between each other.  I hope this summer-and many more to come- are filled with special fishing spots, watercolors in the sun, lightening bugs on the back deck, grilled cheese with butter for lunch, splashing in the pool, and snowballs at the Maverick.

(her first fish of the summer)

Many (many, many) years from now when their grandparents are no longer here, I hope that my children can look back and take comfort in the countless memories of special summers and hotel sleepovers with their Grandparents.  I hope they will not only acknowledge their love for Mimi & Papa, but that through these memories they will know that they were deeply loved in return.

What We Fear Most

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I read this quote the other day and it really resonated with me.  I typically have little patience with Philosophers and even less with Existentialist (I’m talking to you Camus), but this Kierkegaard guy…hmmm, I think I might  read a little more from him!

Back in The Saddle

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Well, sort of.  I got home last night and promptly went to bed.  I was fighting something off before I went to Denver, and it seems I still am.  Been nursing a low headache for 4 days now, yeah me!


Enjoyed Denver with these two people (my sister and Step-mom).  The weather was WONDERFUL.  My first night there, I was so cold in my sisters basement I asked for socks and slept curled in a ball.  I haven’t felt that cold in ages,believe me when I tell you I was so happy to feel cold!  The high in Phoenix today is supposed to reach 112, so I try to enjoy cold whenever I can.

Ski Lift

This was really the only good shot I got while we were in Breckenridge for horse back riding.  Have you ever tried to shoot a DSLR while on a moving horse?  Not so easy.

If you’ll excuse me now, I think I will be scarce this week while I try to feel better again.


It’s What’s For Dinner

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

photo credit to sarah e photography

You’ve all heard me to about my Sister-in-Law Sarah many times over the years, she is the talented photographer behind most of my kids pictures, she is my companion for chick flicks and the ONLY person besides myself or Aaron whom the baby likes (well, Uncle John is coming along!).

BUT, I have another sister in law, whom I don’t think I have ever mentioned here before, she goes by the name of Auntie Lala, or Alison.  We don’t get to see Alison often, as she lives way out where the land is flat and the sun shines on golden fields, but recently she came to visit.

Alison is a lot of fun, and always breaths a little more life into any family gathering.  Family events are always more fun when Alison is there!  She has a sense of humor that even my children can appreciate (see above photo).

One of the things I envy most about Alison, is her ability to laugh.  She is so free with herself and others.  Her life has had some very very rough curves, but she has never lost her sense of humor and her willingness to live life to the fullest (she just survived sky diving!).  She has the kind of personality that just fills a room, people gravitate to her (and if we’re being honest here, sometimes I feel dull as dirt next to her!).  She has a great sense of fashion, I don’t think I have ever seen Alison look bad.  She is just one of those women who instinctively know what looks good on them!

Thanks for coming to visit Alison and for spoiling the kids rotten!

photo credits to sarah e photograhy

Last Night

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011


Last night, after 46 years of service Jack Hales retired from the National Weather Service.  He has spent the last 36 years as a Lead Forecaster.  If you live in Tornado Alley odds are he’s issued a watch for your area; and there is no doubt that his watches have saved many many lives in 36 years.  I didn’t need to sit through the retirement dinner (although I wish I had been able) and hear wonderful things about him to know he is a great man.  I already know, because he is my father in law.

He is a man I love, admire and respect very much.   While I am sure that the weather world is sad to see a Legend retire, I know my kids are super excited to have a full time grandfather!


Monday, June 13th, 2011

When I saw Camille’sSwoon” quilt pattern, that is exactly what I did, I swooned.  It makes me think of pretty snowflakes.  I pinned it to my quilts board and decided I was going to make it, in baby form, for a friend.  The very next morning I received an email from Camille with the quilt pattern attached!  I sent a text to the mommy to be, found out her nursery colors and went to work.

it matches my couch!

The colors aren’t ones I would pick, but I still love this quilt!  It is backed in the same brown fabric from the front.  I quilted around the smaller brown 8 point star, then around the outer star, and finally I quilted in large squares around the sashing (it looks really cool on the back!).   I *wish* I had the patience to make (and quilt!!!) a queen sized version.  I made a few mistakes while constucting it.  Which you can see in the full version.

in full glory

You may notice that some of the purple points aren’t actually points, but rather blunt edges….that’s because I have problems with math.  I know where 3.5″ is on my ruler, but 3 7/8th?  Where is the mark for that?  I know, its totally embarrassing to be 33 and um, still not be good at math.  Besides that one “little” thing, the quilt went together really well, Camille’s instructions were great and the pattern is really simple.  I’m not a quilter by nature, I come from a long line of garment sewers and I was amazed how many pieces I had to cut out to make one quilt block.  Holy heck,  how do people have the patience to do large quilts?!!

Here’s hoping the momma to be likes the quilt, I’m delivering it tonight.

Art & Books

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Let me start by saying I don’t think I have ever walked into an art gallery unless someone else asked me to, or lead me in.  Not that I don’t appreciate art, because I really do, but I am more of a museum person than a gallery person.  That all changed recently when walking by the Tim Cantor Gallery, as I looked up from the pavement my eye caught “Grassland” and I stopped mid step to admire it.

Source: timcantor.com via Heather on Pinterest


I had to go into the gallery to see it up close.  It is even more beautiful than it is here online.  I love his use of light and his over saturation of colors.  I loved all of his work, he combines classical genres with magical realism.  Just wow.  While walking through the gallery I couldn’t help thinking of the under belly of the gallery world- thanks to having just finished Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty.  A book I sort of enjoyed, I can’t in good conscience recommend it without telling you that it is pretty raw and raunchy.  The story was a bit bland…but I felt I had a glimpse into the seedy side of the art world.  I suspect I will never own real art…the piece above is selling for $28k.  However, I hope the day comes when I can afford giclee prints of art I admire.

Other books I think you should add to your “sit by the pool and watch the kids splash” list are:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  Can you believe I had never read this book until a few weeks ago???  Crazy…and I was always confusing Charlotte Bronte with Mary Shelley (makes no sense, I know).  I loved Jane Eyre, really loved it.  Gasped out loud when Mr Rochester proposed and everything.  I thought I had guessed the ending, but boy was I wrong!  I suspect you’ve already read it, but its good enough to re read every few years.

I am *this* close to finishing The Help by Kathryn Stockett, people I can.not put it down (in fact I am trying to type this super fast so I can get back to the couch and read more!).  It is a historical fiction novel about the hired help of Jackson Mississippi during the 1960’s.  A young girl wants to write the story of what its like for maids to serve and raise white people’s children.  The risk that these maids take to tell their stories, is almost tangible to the reader.  This is a book that makes you think a bit about your own “lines”, the lines that you draw that dictate how you treat other people based on looks and socioeconomics.  There is also a movie set to be released August 12th, based on the book.  So, you know, if you want to see the movie you should really read the book first (that’s my motto anyway).

What are you reading right now?


Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Just for fun, I thought I’d show you some of the artists (living and dead) whose work inspires me:

Mary Blair, a Disney legend!  Do a google image search and you’ll find a great example of her work!

image from http://www.animationarchive.org

Japanese artist Shinzi Katoh is a little bit vintage and a lot of cute!

Betsey Bates, an illustrator from the 1950’s. Her work is hard to find, and there is practically nothing about her online.

Chapter 2

Katie Daisy, oh it reminds me of my college days in Kansas.  Her designs are so happy and bright.  She just launched a line of photo frames, gift cards & gift wrap at Target.  You can also shop her designs at The Wheatfield, which is where you will find the below artwork.

That’s the short list of a very long list of inspiring artists.  What about you, who do you like?  I’m always looking for more inspiration!