For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 1988

Twenty-four years ago today, Hali was born.
Hali is my sister Lori's daughter - her first-born.

 Hali was a precocious little girl!
She was also extremely entertaining!

When she wasn't talking (which was rare)
she was singing.

Her Uncle Vance loved when Hali visited!

As she got older, my kids loved her too!
And they also found her entertaining!

Kerry and Adam still remember when she told them that airplanes have a Butt-Hatch. When people use the bathroom on a plane, it gets dropped out of the Butt-Hatch and falls to the earth below.  Gullible as they are at such a young age,  they remember running around with buckets when a plane flew overhead hoping to catch some droppings!
That's just how Hali is.  Imaginative, creative, smart - a natural story-teller!

Hali is all grown up now - 24 years old!
But not too old to ask for a birthday blog!

So here it is, Hali!

Oh, here is a more recent picture of Hali...

She's the one on the right, above the Butt-Hatch!

Happy Birthday, Hali!
We love you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Worth the Wait

I got a birthday present in the mail yesterday.
From my sister.

My birthday was over a month ago, but over the years I've come to expect Lori's gifts to be a little late.  Between her main job as an accountant and her new endeavor with her good friend Terri catering and giving cooking classes (Cooking Sense), not to mention her 3 daughters, 4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 horses, and a few visiting squirrels - I'm surprised my gift arrived when it did!

She is pretty amazing.

To add to her long list of responsibilities, she also takes time for some creativity.
This winter she has been learning to quilt.  Her friend, Terri, who is also amazing at so many things,  invited her along on a quilting weekend and she has finished her first quilt.

And I am the lucky recipient!

I knew something was brewing when she made me send her pictures of my family room but wouldn't tell me why. Then it was confirmed when she was trying to pick out a backing for the quilt and had to ask me what I would want.  Print or solid.  I chose solid.

Here is a picture of Lori (left) and Terri (right) as they were in the process of making it. 

And here it is in its forever home!

I don't know how she managed to choose the perfect colors from a few phone pics, but it is gorgeous and eye-catching, bold and modern - absolutely perfect!  I love it!

She chose a pretty purple backing that looks great with my green sofa.

She was quick to point out the mistakes she made - using the wrong color thread on the backing and the the quilting lines were not always straight - but I hope she realizes all those things don't matter to me.  In fact I didn't even notice them.

Whenever I receive a gift of this magnitude, I always wonder if my reaction truly let the giver know how much I love it and how much it means to me. 

But then again, Lori knows me better than anyone in the world.
So she must know.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Field of Dreams

It's really happening!

The planning - the idea began 2 years ago.
The speculation - will they come?
The timing - ready for the end of Annie's junior year in high school.
The nitty-gritty - learning Excel, spreadsheets, keeping track of income and expenses, sales tax, bank account, credit/debit card reader, pricing...
The advertising - networking using a Facebook page, photography blog,  ad in local newspaper

I had done just about everything I could think of.

School ended last week and I timed my one and only ad to go into the paper at the same time.

Then I waited.

And the bookings came in. 

In just one week, I have booked fifteen upcoming Seniors for their Senior portraits!

I am surprised but not surprised, excited but scared.

But most of all I am very pleased.

Of course it didn't hurt that my first Senior this year was such a beautiful girl!

Well, not the first Senior.  Annie was the first and always will be.
She's been my biggest cheerleader and helper.

My dream has been to be a photographer.
I never really thought it would ever happen.
I just knew I loved to take pictures.

I know it's just the beginning, but I really do feel like a photographer now.
And it feels really nice!
Really nice!
 “If you build it, he will come” is the famous line in the classic 1989 flick, “Field of Dreams.”

I'm still building, but I can feel my dream really happening.
I wouldn't have changed anything about my life up to now.
I just think there's a time for everything.
And that time is now.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


After four months in Italy, Adam is home.

It hasn't been an easy 4 months for Adam or for us.
Communication was difficult - bad phone connections, slow internet, difference in time zones.
In this day and age you'd think it would be easy.
But most days reading Adam's blog was our only way of staying in touch!

Yesterday, as he was in flight from Rome to home, we were busy.
Adam requested barbecued ribs, corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes for his first meal back home.
As I kept busy getting food ready, the girls were the welcoming committee.

 Kerry printed out a very large photo of Adam using 16 pieces of paper taped together!
This was displayed on the house for all to see!

If someone didn't know our family, they probably thought Adam was returning from a tour of duty!

As darkness fell and his arrival was just minutes away, everyone was anxious to see Adam.

I don't know if the dogs knew what was happening because Sami looked a little unsure!

 Then the phone call came from Vance.  They were just a few blocks away!

There was a mad rush to light the giant sparklers that lined the driveway!

As the car pulled in the driveway, Adam got out and greeted his sisters...

  and his doggies...

Family and food...

 and a friend.

I believe he was glad to be back home!

And we were VERY glad to have our family all together again!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Daughter is Fast!

Annie got an award this week!  An award for being FAST.

The fastest in the history of her high school, in fact.

Those fingers typed 130 words per minute in keyboarding class!
That is 130 words per minute with no errors (even more impressive)!
I firmly believe much of her fingering skills come from playing the piano.

I was trying to do a little research into typing speeds to put things in perspective.
I don't know how true this is, but I found the average American can type 30 - 40 WPM.
A professional typist (if there is such a thing anymore) types between 80 and 100 WPM.

Cortez Peters set a typing world record of 225 words per minute without a single mistake (an average of 18.75 keystrokes per second). His top recorded finger speed was 297 words per minute. Peters, along with his father, who was the world speed typing champion before him, developed special competition keyboarding methods and techniques that became the foundation of modern typing instruction worldwide.

The Cortez Peters typing program used at the high school only measures up to 130 WPM, so Annie couldn't even try to go any higher.

I have included a speed typing test for you to see just how fast you are!
Begin typing each highlighted word in the blank line below. 
The test will stop  when a minute is done and calculate your speed.
Good Luck!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Roses are Red

When else do you get a chance to talk about the good and bad qualities of men with your daughters?
When do you get insight into what kind of man your daughter might be attracted to and why?
When would you ever get a chance to compare and contrast so many different guys with your daughters?
When are you able to scrutinize the words and actions of men trying to impress a woman?
When is a mother able to do all of these things with her daughters in a fun, lighthearted way?

Watching the Bachelorette, of course!

I understand that many people feel the show, The Bachelorette, is worthless television.
After all, is it really possible to fall in love in such unreal circumstances?

I admit I am glued to the TV every Monday night to watch The Bachelorette.

But I'm not watching alone.
Annie, Kerry and I watch it together.

All three of us love the current bachelorette, Emily Maynard.
It's fun to watch how she dresses for her dates (she's beautiful) and how she wears her hair.
We watch her face when she's on a date to try to predict who she will fall in love with.
We try to figure out who will get a rose, and who will be sent home.

Could it be conceited, arrogant Ryan who continues to show his true colors with every show?

 How about Arie? He seems very sincere, but I get a strange vibe from him.  Something about him bothers me.  Kerry too.

Or the handsome hunk, Sean who looks like he could belong to one of the Swiss families in our town?

One of the most disliked bachelors this season is Kalon.  We can't figure out why she's keeping him around this long.

 We all want Emily to find love.

Maybe she will.
Maybe she won't.

But we'll be watching every episode.

Watching and learning.