Thursday, May 31

The Dance Costumes Arrived Today


Oh you should have seen them all in their tiny little costumes with hair curled in dozens of little ringlets, secured with hairspray and gel, and then topped with a fine little dusting of glittery powder - all made up for picture day.

And Alex and Amy and Kimberly were the shiniest of them all – naturally. No fussing with curling irons and hairspray, makeup or hair gel – just ribbons for the hair and bows for the shoes and the brightest most excited little faces in the room.

(OK - Seriously. Could they be ANY cuter??)

(Or any more excited?)

(or sweeter?)

(or beautiful?)

These are the days - filled with happy smiles and giggling girlfriends - that make the memories of a happy childhood. I wish many, many more days like today for my girls and their friends.



Saturday, May 26


If I'm honest with myself ....,

I want more money.
I want more stuff.
I want more options.
I want more freedom.
I want more choices.

I'm feeling left behind and left out.

I'm going back to work and my kids are going to go to childcare. I'm going to find the best care possible and try to work in some flexibility to my work schedule.

But I need to learn to love life and be full. Treating myself well will teach the girls how to treat themselves.

Loving life - be full and live big.

I can no longer sacrifice my everything.

Have You Heard About Rachel?


The little one with the BIG personality?


Sitting on the "Royal Throne," Rachel grins up at me and says, "Mommy I'm peeing. I'm peeing and I'm the King of the World."

You know, I think she might really mean it.


At just 18 months Rachel uttered her first curse word. Not once, not twice, but three times and in the correct context. (Do you think she might be too smart for her own good? or my own good?)

Aunt Julia and Gama Amy had been here the day before, talking quietly at the table. "Damn," I overheard someone say and cleared my throat to get their attention. "Opps."

"Don't worry," I said. "I don't think anyone but me heard you."

Well, little Rachel with her one good ear can apparently pick up the sound of water droplets in the next room because not only did she hear it, she remembered it and understood its usage.

The next day she didn't want to take her nap. As she protested I said, "Rachel, you have to take a nap now. Fussing won't change anything."

"Damn. Damn. Damn," she said as I lay her down in her crib.

I stifled a giggle until I got out of the room. (Luckily this hasn't been a recurring event.)


One Sunday Daddy told the then 20-month old Rachel that our flatware is for eating not for playing.

The next day, as I was making lunch, Rachel reached in and grabbed a couple spoons. "Rachel, Daddy said you couldn't play with those. Spoons are for eating not for playing."

And with that oh so innocent little smile, she looked up at me and said, "Daddy's not here," and took the spoons out of the drawer.


A few weeks later, while eating snacks I reminded both Rachel and Alex to get off the carpet while they were eating. "You can stand on the tile or sit at the table - but you can't eat that on the carpet. You'll make a mess."

Alex took her food and stood on the tile, happily eating her breakfast bar. Rachel stood with one foot on the carpet and one on the tile.

"Rachel, off the carpet."

She rotated her her heel and moved her foot onto the tile.

No sooner had I said "thank you" then she rotated her heel and put her foot back on the carpet.

WOW! Less than two and could she ever INTENTIONALLY test my patience!! I was amazed.


Bang! Bang! Bang!

"Rachel. Rachel don't bang on my table."


"Rachel don't bang on Mommy's table. If you bang that on Mommy's table again you're going to go sit in your chair."

"It doesn't work that way," she said confidently as she looked up.

"Oh really?" I said as I stifled a laugh at hearing my own words tossed back at me.

On the plus side - she stopped the banging.


She's also our resident nudist - stripping down to her birthday suit every chance she gets:

(Strippin' down at bedtime)

(In the backyard during play dates)

(And just running around the house.)
(Check out the stylish boots!)


Yep - that's our little Rachel. The ever sweet, loving, independent thinker testing the limits of the world around her. I can only hope that we're up to the challenge.

Gotta love her!!


Tuesday, May 22

Cancer Free


"Opps," she said. "Did I forget to call you? Yes - the doctor says, 'No Cancer.' They'll do a few more tests but he said it wasn't cancer."


Monday, May 21




First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Socialists
and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Socialist.

Then the came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out -
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

-author unknown-

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

I took this photograph almost three years ago while living near Washington D.C. and have always loved it. I found the accompanying poem while in my mid-twenties. The two seem to fit together like two matching pieces of different puzzles.

Both the photo and the poem remind me that if we don't take the time and make the effort to help and protect those among us who can not protect themselves - one day we may look around for helping hands ourselves and find none. Either because there is no one left (as in the poem) or because, through our tacit approval and participation, we will have created a society that doesn't look out for its fellow human beings.

Don't let this happen. Look around you today and reach out a helping hand to someone around you. Volunteer or make a donation - this world is counting on you.

And remember the words of Marian Wright; “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”


Friday, May 18

Quote For the Day


"No one can drive you crazy unless you give them the keys."

~ Doug Horton ~


Sunday, May 13

Things That Make Mother's Day Grand....,


Cards and notes from friends recognizing your 'work,'

Hi Casey -
I saw this and thought immediately of you.
Guess that says it all.
Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!
Love, Kris

Thoughtful words and homemade cards from your husband and kids,

The first ever handwritten note from my oldest child.
A Mother's Day Card.

Decorated by my youngest.
The oldest helped by signing the little one's name.

You're the best wife
and the best mother of our children
that any man could hope for.
I love you!

Dinner with some of your favorite people,

(Mike, Noelle and the twins, Adam and Matthew)

And the most delicious homemade apple/raspberry pie you've ever tasted.

Made with love (You ROCK Daddy!!)

Mother's Day is GRAND.

Big hugs and lovin' to all the Moms and Grandmas out there who do so much for the little (and not so little) ones in their lives. And EXTRA XOXXOs to everyone who made my day so very special.

I love you!!


Saturday, May 12

Happiness – Defined and Displayed


Hap-py. (hap-e') adj.-pier, -piest. 1) Having, displaying or marked by pleasure or joy. 2) Pleased and willing. 3) Unduly enthusiastic. –hap'pi·ly adv. –hap'pi·ness n.

Joy (joi) n. 1) Great happiness : delight. 2) A source of happiness. –joy'ful adv. –joy'ful adj. –joy'ful·ness n.


Wednesday, May 9

Mother's Day - It'll Be a Surprise




"I know what we can get you for Mother's Day!" Alex is so excited I think she might jump out of her skin. "Shhh. It's a surprise."


"A card," she whispers. "We can get you a card. We'll make it. With Daddy and put stuff on it from the house with glue," still whispering but clearly not grasping the concept of a surprise. "And you have to go somewhere."


"Yes cause we have to get ready," she explains as she walks into her room for stories with Daddy and bedtime.

"Daddy, we can decorate with streamers and balloons and we'll make a card and mommy has to go someplace so she won't know and it will be a surprise," Alex excitedly tells her Daddy as he and Rachel pick out books for story time.

Me - grinning from ear to ear. It's great to be a mom.


Monday, May 7

In My Daughter's Eyes


This song came out just after my first daughter was born and I still love it. And now, 4 & 1/2 years later, both my daughters know most of the words.


In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

~Written by: James Slater~


Thursday, May 3



My mom called yesterday. Which was almost an event in itself as she rarely initiates a call. But my older sister was out of town and she needed to talk to one of her kids. The news she had needed to be shared and shared with someone who loves her.

In the midst of her husband's treatment for prostate cancer, Mom discovered that her cancer of 2o years ago has returned. She hasn't been properly diagnosed but her symptoms are identical and she seems fairly certain. She also seemed pretty (read: uncharacteristically) calm - though very concerned. And, on top of the fear she has for her own health, she really seemed overwhelmed by the thought of having to deal with both cancers simultaneously.

I did my best to listen and not inflame her anxiety. I asked questions. She had very few answers. I let her tell me what she could and offered to help her navigate the nightmare health care system.

Later that night Dave and I talked about it and I gave him all the details. The few that I had anyway. He asked me how I felt about it and I said, "Fine. I'm assuming that she'll be OK. She went through this 20 years ago and was ok. It sounds like she's caught it early and all will be fine again." I confidently added, "You know, it's not like it used to be. Cancer isn't automatically a death sentence."

We talked a bit more about how we thought my mom would handle it and what help we could offer and then it was time to get the kids off for bed and take care of other things before we went off to bed ourselves.

By about 11:30 I was still wide awake and in the midst of a mild anxiety attack. Yeah! Who was I kidding. You don't get news like that and have NO reaction. I'm scared for my mom and, honestly (selfishly) for myself and the possibility (however small) of losing her. Whatever ups and downs we've had, I love her. She's been with me since the day I was born, a wonderful, sometimes rocky, constant I can't imagine my life without.


Wednesday, May 2

Quote For the Day


Life is too short for drama
and petty things.
So kiss slowly,
laugh loudly,
love truly,
and forgive quickly.

- Unknown -


Tuesday, May 1

Cancelled Due to Rain


Our simple plan to visit the Wild Animal Park today was canceled due to rain. (OK - A few sprinkles really.)

Our alternate plan to go to a 'Mommy & Me Movie' was dashed when we arrived at the movie theater and discovered the Tuesday showing had been canceled.

So..., our next plan? Plan number three before 10:00 am? Let's just throw out the rule book and wing it for the rest of the day!!

First we went to Starbucks for two small hot chocolates and one VERY large latte and then headed over to Block Buster and, with friends Miss Debbie and her daughter Amy, rented 5 movies! Next we all went back to our house, closed all the shutters, blinds and curtains, turned out the lights and pulled out the popcorn and candy necklaces and let the girls play 'movie theater.' They watched 3 hours worth of movies while we mommies chatted about random happenings past and present.

It was GREAT!!

Popcorn and candy and 3 hours of TV movies before lunch. They were in HEAVEN. And Debbie and I were free to finish sentences and entire conversations without interruption. We were in our own little heaven in the next room.

I just love rainy days!