the Andy Warhol in each of us...

Henri Nouwen wrote in “The Way of the Heart”…

“In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephones calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me - naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken-nothing. It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me want to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something.”

I never understood Andy Warhol's art nor appreciated it when I was younger. Not sure I do much more now but it is instantly recognizable to me. His familiar 9 block style with the wild colors and sketchy outlines, tells you it is classic Warhol. There is a fun little site, BigHugeLabs that will turn any photo in to your own Warhol experience. It is fun - nothing I would want a steady diet of. Loud, in your face and too much repetition for my taste but within each of us, there is a Warhol in each of us.

Something that keeps us loud and distracted. Something, like Henry Nouwin says, keep us from getting rid of our scaffolding. Good way to put it. Like putting your hands over your ears while yelling, LA LA LA, very loudly to not hear what is going on around you. The distraction becomes the familiar and the comfortable. The silence, in turn, becomes the enemy.

DH had to go back to work last night and I couldn't sleep so I waited up until he got home at 230AM. When the alarm clock goes off at 6, no one is ready to commit. There are no thoughts of prayer time - sleeping time is all that goes through your head and to get back to that sleeping time, I have to have noise. The TV has to be on for me to get to sleep. Isn't that strange?

Yesterday was a Warhol Day. Wnet to lunch at the Brick with DD, just us, then off to Costco. A time we are Big People and talk about our little people. As I catch up with her, there will be colorful Stories about my babies that will make me giggle. Something Miss M said, something Gage did or a question that Keaton asked. We will live vicariously thru them for a few moments as we each try to remember our childhood as we live through theirs.

And Sometime later that day, I shut down for a few and let myself be. Be quiet and be in the moment. Like all things we choose to do, it takes practice. Over and over because we all are thick-skulled, until it is as natural as breathing. The over and over might look different each time but it's great practice. It was a perfect day...

Rocked to my core...

The Smiths - Todd, Angie, Ellie, Abby and Audrey.

Smith Family Story from Matthew Singleton on Vimeo.

I know it’s long, but take the time to watch it. Here is your warning. This video will cause you to live differently. You WILL hug your kids differently. You WILL love your spouse differently. You WILL trust God


There are some things that humans do to each other that are beyond comprehension. There is no way to get your head around them. No amount of understanding or explanation will help either.

In those cell-like rooms behind that door, investigators say retired electrician Josef Fritzl imprisoned his daughter for 24 years and fathered seven children with her.

Three of the children "never saw sunlight" for years until they were freed this past weekend, they say.

Authorities said Fritzl, 73, confessed Monday to crimes that have chilled Austria and raised uncomfortable questions about how he could have deceived his neighbors and police, as well as social workers who had made repeated visits to the gray stone apartment building he owned.

One of the children died in infancy and was tossed into the furnace of the building where Fritzl lived with his family and rented the other units to relatives.

It is at times like these that what you believe it tested like never before. It is when you either believe that God is who He says He is or the whole thing is a hoax. It is a time when your faith is either your friend or foe.

Fritzl "managed to deceive everyone," including his wife, Rosemarie, who apparently was unaware of the existence of the children in the cellar, Polzer said.

The questions go over and over in your head. How could he keep her and the kids locked up for 24 years? How could his wife not know? How evil can we really be?
These times don't shake my faith as much as explain now much evil we humans are capable of carrying out. It makes it harder for me to love all God's people which is is hard enough already.

Our faith is not Real unless we accept the highs and lows of what is all around us. It is easy up on the mountain top, many times you feel like you could take on the whole world but then there are the valleys where we would all rather not go. A reflective day for sure, I am ready to move on...

rebate checks...

Friday morning George Dubya announced that the first set of rebate checks would be in the bank on Monday. The first monies will go to those who filed electronically. According to the web site I can expect my check next Monday and when it hits the bank, it won't be there long. It is going toward the PayOffTheVan fund as are all extra monies at our house these days. I have a plan - Pay off the van, replace appliances and save, save, save until DH retires. Unlike the government, I understand that plans were made to be broken but you have to start somewhere.

This whole rebate thing doesn't make alot of sense. The government does not have the money to give us - they had to borrow it from China. Just like they did when Katrina hit. They have no emergency fund for those unexpected things that always happen. So they borrow from China and tell us to go spend it to stimulate the economy. Going on my premise that 20% of the people will do anything, there will be people that will not pay down credit cards or save it for a rainy day. They are going to hit Walmart, fast and hard. Guess what? China gets the money, a second time. Forget about stocks, I want to get in on that action!

It seems like bad financial advice to tell a country who already in trillions of dollars of debt to go buy more stuff instead of saving for a rainy day or paying for the stuff you already bought. 40% of Americans say they are going to pay off bills with the money. Sounds like the government should have made this into a voucher deal. Show us your receipts for a whole bunch of stuff - then we will give you the money... but who is going to trust that theory. Kind of like buying blind and the government's track record is a little off.

The most amazing thing is how fast they are getting the checks out. The April 15 tax deadline was less than 2 weeks ago. HELLO, who is really behind this? I would obviously think China althought they are having their own issues with the torch and up coming Olympics. Whoever it is, I want them to be president. Maybe then we could really get something done. Enjoy the Rebate, it is costing us Big Bucks...

game on...

There are are on third base and ready to run home. You are aware of what is going on around you - all you are waiting for is some to yell, Run Home..
While I am not much of a baseball player, I am all for running Home.

Home can be many different things. The metaphors are endless. Sometomes it is the physical place where we will safe and can be ourselves - in our underwear, if we are so inclined. For me, the idea of home also represents being in the presence of the Holy Spirit and letting my mind wander. I need lots of wandering time. I don't worry so much about my form or doing it right, just practicing the Presence. No agenda, no expectations and no answers.

There are times, I can't wait to get home . It is a time that gives me the peace I crave and quenches my spiritual thirst. By being ready, I triple my chances of it really happening. It is a gift from God and I cherish it with everything I have. Game on, you bet. Bring it on...

Dr Bob...

Early 80's, my life had finally caught up to me and the coping skills I had used since childhood were no longer working. It was suggested that I get some help and that is how I met Dr Bob. Since he was a PHD mental doc,he could prescribe medicine as well as counseling and not knowing where all this would lead, he seemed the best fit and he was.

Dr Bob and I met for over a year. I came out seeing my life up until then for what it had been and that there was a better way to live. My bio family ordeals were far from over but gave me a new start, to change what had always seemed so normal.

At our last session, Dr Bob gave me his opinion of me. First, he told me to enroll in school and hang out my shingle. While it appeared to me that I was a mess, his attitude was much different. He thought I was a pretty smart cookie and sold myself too short. I did not go on to school and eventually hang out my shingle. College seemed a waste of time to me and since I had already done so well in Real Life, I decided to go with it. I hadn't thought about Dr Bob for a long time - until yesterday. Thank you, Dr Bob - I think I would have made you proud.

I have never met Joseph Duncan but his Story has plagued me since he decided to kill a mother, son and friend then kidnap two younger kids, molest both of them, kill the boy and hide out with the girl until he was caught at a Denny's restaurant. You have probably read about Shasta and her dad in the news. Her dad has throat cancer but the people of Northern Idaho and others, have built them a home so Shasta could have a safe place to live. I was looking forward to watching Duncan's trial last January but suddenly, he pleaded guilty. Great for Shasta, now she would not have to testify.

The sentencing phase has started in Boise this month. Jurors were being picked and suddenly, Duncan decided he wants to represent himself. Some think he is doing it so he can force Shasta to testify, First things first, he has to be deemed competent to represent himself. Enter Dr Bob.

Judge Lodge made a fine choice and I will not question whatever Dr Bob decides for Duncan. Some would say a normal person couldn't be sane and commit that kind of crime, I am not ready to commit to that theory. I would love to be a fly on the wall of that session. Duncan will get what is coming to him Someday. For now, it is just about our human way of dealing with people who do things we can't wrap our head around. As for Duncan, I hope he is paying attention during his time with Dr Bob - he might even learn something...


A unidentified Forbes business man referred to our present economy as a parade of potential horribles. Disturbing yet a delightful group of words.

In my little area in the last month, a coffee shop and a local video store went out of business - with very little warning. Today I passed several gas stations with a new $3.50 a gallon theme. Mortgage repossessions in my local area are up 191% over this time last year.

It just isn't looking good. Truck drivers are striking because of rising gas prices. Animals are being left at pet shelters in record numbers because people can't afford to feed them anymore. Maybe the worst part is having our government using the R word now, no longer trying to deny it

A Parade of Potential has a ring to it and yet, there is hope. At baseball tonight, as our guys were up to bat - their worthy opponents pulled of a triple-play. From what my SIL said, You will never see that again.Made it sound like somewhat of a miracle and if that can happen in baseball - it can happen anywhere. We just have to keep our eyes on the parade and see the potential of the Big Picture...

facing your fears...

If only it were this easy...

Danger safely behind a protective barrier, keeping you virtually - out of harms way, then allowing you to stare down that danger, straight in the face. However that is not the case in Real Life - it can come from any angle, any direction and, at any time. Even with our secret decoder rings and spy gear, we quickly find out how clueless we really are.

These are tough times for parents. Stranger danger and regular danger are everywhere. Every time we step out our front doors, we are on alert. I spend lots of time trying to anticipate how I will behave in certain situations but until it happens, it may be all for naught. One of the certainties for me though, is language. Whether in a dream or daydreaming - when put to the test, IF extra adrenaline is needed - the language gets really bad, really quick. So here is fair warning - if you see me in a heated situation and I have some man who tried to take my babies, in a headlock - guaranteed the f bomb will be going off. As my DH always says, They picked the wrong gal to mess with. It's almost like he feels sorry for them.

The real issue is to separate what appears to be dangerous from what actually is dangerous. We get the two mixed up more often than we think. For many different reasons, we need to face the real ones - head on and act accordingly. When it is Time, really Time to face those fears, we need to know that we don't go alone. With no protective barrier to shield us, we take His hand and keep walking. How will I respond next time? Ask me when it happens. Hope I remember these words...

digging up the past...

There are times in each of our lives when we need to look back at our past. We need to dig it up and look for Something. Something that has popped up in the now but is tied to the what was. These times are usually not done on a voluntary basis and depending on your own personal history, may be tough to swallow.

Nothing big going on but when I snapped this picture of Gage digging up dinosaur bones at the zoo on Friday, it reminded me of those times. The ones I have experienced and the ones that are yet to come. As he dug the sand around the bones, more and more of the bones became visible until you could see the whole thing. Not much different than Real Life.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I have given up wishing that foresight was my default. I don't think I would learn what I need to learn if I could see everything up front. It wouldn't mean as much. Somethings I have learned to do up front and I am always grateful but I am always aware that somethings can only be learned by doing some digging.

Although I have never been to an AA meeting, I have accepted their creed as my own. To change the things I can, accept the things I can't change and the wisdom to know the difference. Pretty much a great definition of faith and a great tool to keep around when you are digging up the past...


Second week of baseball and the second practice of the week. The boys spent almost 2 hours running different drills, getting ready for the next game on Saturday.

I am very impressed with his coaches this year. They teach a skill, then practice with each boy, then as a team. Each kid is getting a good share of coaching time with generous helpings of praise when they see an effort made. Not performance based but effort based.

I think we should all have a coach for every season of our lives. Someone who knows more than we do and can teach us skills we do not possess. In Real Life, this doesn't necessarily mean someone older - sometimes for many different reasons, we have missed steps and just need help. At the last practice, not only did I not have a firm grasp of the game but I was using DH left hand mitt to play catch with Keaton. After having my hand almost broke several times, he told me how to catch the ball. Not in the palm of my hand but higher up. That little piece of advice would sure have been handy at the beginning of the practice.

When you find yourself in a position of being coached in an area of life where you could use some more skills, put forth some effort and learn all you can. Whether a short or long lesson, pay attention and be the student. When it is your turn to be a coach, make sure the person you are coaching - is getting it. If they aren't - it isn't their fault, it is yours. It is the coach's responsibility to make sure the student gets it - not the other way around.

Sometimes it is hard to coach and sometimes it is hard to be coached. Don't take either lightly and fight the urge to run away. There is alot we all can still learn. Don't let what you know get in the way of what you could learn...


Imagine that your dad is dying,
so close that Hospice has been called in.
Suppose at the beginning of all this,
you had made a deal with God...
Give him 2 years and I will give myself to you, forever.

And God doesn't make that deal with you,
and you are so angry with Him,
angry at everyone and everything.

The anger is consuming you so completely,
that you can't see straight.
You don't know to handle all this
and it isn't going the way you imagined it...

We have all been there. The deal-making is the worst. Either way, you can't win. If you get what you are trading for when it comes to pay, it doesn't seem like the thing you want to do, then. You dodged another bullet and when the time comes to make another deal, you will deal with it then. If you lose your trade, you couldn't care less anyway.

It is not about the deals we want to make when we are up against the wall. It is not about offering God everything and then being angry when He doesn't see it our way. It is about being all in with God, no matter what and I admit, that is tough. I have tried to imagine myself now in that unasked for journey and while I have practiced it over and over in my mind, there are no guarantees. You have to be about it everyday. This is an excerpt from a Commencement Speech given by Apple/Pixar CEO, Steve Jobs.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.

I want to tell the son, you are already naked.
I want to tell the son, that accepting you will be dead someday, will change the life you have now.
I want to tell the son to run to the Son.

The only right spot to put the Masking Tape Jesus picture that Gage made me last week was on my nightstand. It seemed so natural, like it was made for that spot. It is the last thing I see at night and the first thing I see in the morning. When I woke up very early this morning, I turned on the light and saw my picture and instantly thought of the son. May the Peace that is being offered to him this very moment, that is his - just for the taking - may he reach out and grab it and not let go, ever again...


Spent some time with DD and her friends last week at Miss M's birthday party. We are obviously not in the same season of life but it was fun to remember being where they are. I remember thinking the things that they are going thru and while they share with each other, I love playing with all their kids. I even have a new BFF. Miss S wanted her mommy to invite her friend to the zoo outing on Friday.

Girlfriends are necessary no matter what season of life you are in. All of my friends are younger - none yet know the nana syndrome but share my journey but we share enough other things that is is a very satisfying give and take. Sometimes you are the mentor and sometimes you are the mentoree. There is no rhyme or reason, it just happens.

Girlfriends...You don't need a bunch, depending on your personality - a few will do nicely. I am so lucky to have the women in my life that I do. They are a diverse lot, cover a wide range of ages and are so precious to me. They are honest, truthful, willing to share themselves and most importantly, I believe, will get in my face if they think I need it. I would have it no other way. Being a friend is not a mambie-pambie, makeyoufeelgood person. Those are a dime a dozen. A real friend will share the good and bad of her life and take on yours as her own. It is about quality not quantity. Not a job for the meek, don't participate if you are not willing to go the mile. Anything less is not fair to them and a bigger loss to yourself.

My new BFF just turned three. Not sure we will be going out for coffee or sharing current events of the day although she did follow me out to the car last week. Good thing her mommy saw her streak out the door behind me and caught her before she went into the street. I will be at the zoo Friday and she may not be very happy. Gage and I are going to do our own thing so the playgroup and their mommies can bond and make their own magic but I imagine that Miss S and I are now girlfriends and how great is that!!!

state mottos...

How did I get here?
It has to do with a radio show.
Bob and Tom.
Don't go there.
It is sophmoric, potty humor
but right now, it beats the Barack and Hillary daily morning show.

Sometimes, I learn stuff.
For instance, state mottos.
Florida's - Visit Florida.
Sounds like a guy who had to pee and his boss wouldn't let him till he came up with Something. So he did - Visit Florida.

Maine has chosen - The Way Life Should Be.
It should read, Maine - Too Cold To Swim.
Idaho started with Famous Potatoes
and made the enormous leap to Great Potatoes
Who could have seen THAT coming???

Quite a few states have chosen song titles for their mottos.

Pennsylvania - You've got a Friend in Pennsylvania.
Georgia - Georgia On My Mind
Wisconsin - Stay Just A Little Bit Longer
And Colorado - Hip To Be Square.

But by far, my most favorite and most sophmoric is New Mexico.
The actual motto of New Mexico is Land of Enchantment.
I like B&T's better. New Mexico - Wayyyyyyy better than regular Mexico

Sometimes only silly will do. A good belly laugh to lighten the Load. I swear that laughter is better for you than any medicine advertised on TV. Go where you need to today to get some for yourself and laugh until it hurts...

true happiness...

Happiness is relative and if we are all honest, superficial most of the time and by that I mean, much like a newborn - we get our days and nights or the things that bring us happiness - mixed up. I am as guilty as the next guy, no questions about it but I am trying to see it from a different perspective and I got to tell you, this could be the real deal.

Saturday was a great day. I was looking forward to Miss M's 3rd birthday party later on in the day. Balloons, cake, presents, cake, lots and lots of noise and more cake. It was giving me something to look forward to and it certainly put a smile on my face. Just before noon, I walked out my front door and headed for the mailbox. My next-door neighbor had his front porch patio furniture out in the yard, ready to rinse off the long, winter dirt but first, he started with his Harley. As I reached the mailbox, his three dogs came over to give me the once over as if they have never smelled me before. He is very particular about the behavior of his dogs and wants them to be respectful to his good neighbor - that is what he calls me. We chit chatted a bit and I walked up my driveway to come back in the house. When I was about 10 steps from the front door, he yells over at me.

Speaking very slowly, he said, If I was a religious man...I would thank Jesus Christ for today, then turned back around to finish washing his bike. I didn't know what to say. Something like, Yes sir, is what I think came out of my mouth but I wouldn't swear to it. All kinds of thoughts were going thru my head. I wanted to tell him that been religious was a prerequisite to anything concerning Jesus and...I wanted to give him a big hug, just because.

When I got back in the house, I gained some composure and realized I had just been given a wonderful gift. The gift to see Jesus thru my neighbors' eyes and that brought me the true happiness that stayed with me throughout the day. Simple yet so powerful. The stuff of true happiness. Not the physical stuff that we think brings happiness but the stuff of deep, deep inside - where it counts.

We went on to have a FABULOUS party for Miss M. She loved her Bitty Babies and loved that their outfits matched her. She has just begun her journey and for right now, her stuff brings that smile. Happiness is a journey and as with all journeys, they all look different. As for me, I wouldn't trade mine for anyone else's in the world - not one soul...


I had just finished my post for today and my computer, with no notice - shut itself down and I lost the whole thing. I think I know why and will process that and what it means. I think I know but you know about the whole assume thing.

The week started with much anxiety about Miss Audrey's birthday. It has been an emotionally draining week. The last post on her blog reported that her mommy got to come home a day early. These days have to been seem unreal to their whole family. They will start picking up the pieces, trying to put on foot in front of the other. It is a journey that we can walk along side and share yet can't fully comprehend. It is their time to mourn but for each of us, our lives go on.

It is our weekend to celebrate Miss M's 3rd birthday. Actually, she has been asking everyday this week if it is her birthday yet. Darn it, would be her response and thankfully tomorrow, will be the first of 2 birthday celebrations. I am looking forward to celebrating.

This week has been about two little girls for me. Completely different experiences but connected by the One who made them both. When taken in context with my lost post, the week is making a bit more sense than it has. The ebb and flow of life is takes a flexible soul and I seriously lack in that department. Time to put on my party hat and celebrate. Not just with cake and ice cream but for the life I have, the thankfulness I feel and the God who holds my hand daily...

an ordinary, extraordinary day...

DD and I pretended to be preschool teachers for the day. Gage and 11 of his friends along with Miss M spent 3 hours together discussing the snow we all woke up to this morning and many, many, many other things. They are a delightful group of kids and we really did enjoy being with them.

It is hard when your mom and nana are your teachers for the day. Gage thought I was there to be his personal play pal but I had to encourage him to play with the kids - he could play with me any old time but he really wanted it to be me and him. I finally got him to play with one of the little girls' and as I watched him, I heard him telling her about, Jesus - dying on the cross. No idea in the world where that came from. His account was short but accurate. It was going thru his head so it was coming out his mouth.

Later he joined Morgan and me at the coloring table and decided he wanted to make something. There was masking tape and he was very deliberate about his project. I had to get a piece of paper and put 2 strips of masking tape in the shape of a cross, then he finish the picture with his drawing. I got distracted with some other kids but when he was done, he brought it to me. This is for you, he says.I couldn't have been happier if he had given me a million dollars.

I immediately saw the crown on His head and Jesus' hands and feet were perfectly still and dead on, the masking tape. Profound yet so simple. Children have lots and lots of free space on their little people hard drives and it open up countless possibilities to them because of it. When we grow, some of the hardest work we ever do is learning to be childlike again.

Today was a good day. I colored a picture for Miss Brandi, our teacher and the one I gave birth too. She was very happy with my picture and seemed to appreciate my hard work. It doesn't take much to have an extraordinary day - sometimes it comes wrapped as ordinary and if you aren't paying attention, you will miss it...


In life there comes a time when that dream you dream becomes that thing you do...

I got back in in the car and headed home yesterday from a great day of playing with my gkids. Looked at the clock in the car, 2:58. I knew that Miss Audrey's birthday was scheduled to start in 2 minutes and when I got home, that was confirned by the first of three emails. Stuggling with my purse, trying to get my camera out, I knew this was meant fo rme to see and I didn't want to forget so driving down the road, I am taking pictures out of my windsheild - there were no drivers in peril and I was very careful but not willing to stop until I got the shot.

Flipped thru my IPod looking for songs that would fit this moment. I knew from my own DD's c-section that it would take less than 10 minutes to get the baby out but in the first email, Jessica, the official poster of the Smith family - said she would be back in 1 1/2 hours. I did fine with the music until I was almost home and Josh Groban and Charlotte Church came on with The Prayer and I lost in right in front of the Chervon station. I was home in less than a minute and continued the music while I checked out the first email.

Audrey and her family were never far from my mind as I started dinner, eat, cleaned up and headed back to my computer for an update. Praise God, she had been born and making little sounds. Her daddy was ready to give her a bath and then they were going to take photos. Her heart was weak and they didn't know how long she would live but for now... Her mother was beaming and her sisters on their way to meet her. I fell alseep for a while and ran for the computer for the next update when I woke up. Miss Audrey had lived for 2 hours and 15 minutes and then went to be with Jesus. Our wonderful poster was on her way to the hospital to be with the family.

Our last email for the night was Jessica telling about the sisters wanting to show her their little sister, Dressed in a little dress, they pushed her bonnet back to show her Audrey's fiery red hair while she lay in her mommy's arms.

I went ot bed reviewing in my mind how much this young family had to process in such a short time. it was almost midnite when I woke and started thinking about Angie having to give Audrey up. It was unsettling and I couldn't shake the feeling that it had been a terrible thing for Angie to go though. Finally settled down to a fitfull sleep and woke this morning, knowing this was going to be a difficult day for Audrey's family. None of us can ever imagine, unless you have been there.

Hold your family close because you don't know what tomorrow may bring - make today count...

JJ Flash, its a gas, gas gas...

On Sunday afternoon, we spent 2 glorious hours with the Bad Boys of our generation. I think whatever your age, the music of your youth will always hold a soft spot in your heart and getting to see them on the 5 story IMax screen, doesn't hurt either. Besides being in little piggy girl music heaven, I walked away with a new found sense of age. If you are trying to talk to your kids about the dangers of sex, drugs and rock and roll - I would stay away from mentioning the Stones. Mick Jagger works the stage like a teenager. His muscles are ripped, you could bounce quarters off his abs and his stamina is amazing. Even Keith Richards, who repeatedly got on his knees to play and got right back up again - goes against everything we have ever learned about health and taking care of one's self. Make no mistake, they are Bad Boys, very Bad Boys but they have endured and have come thru the fire. You can't live that lifestyle for over 45 years and still do what they do. Oh yes you can and they do. Saw one interview with Richards and he said that these days, he can party or perform, not both on the same day. Forget exercise, got to start smoking, partying and playing in a rock band. Seems like one could live forever or it would sure feel like it. Another chapter in the Life Ain't Fair book. The dudes just rock the house...

Happy Birthday Audrey Caroline...

Tomorrow is the Big Day! You finally get to meet your mommy who so faithfully carried and loved you along with your daddy and sisters, who already adore you. I hope it is a sunny day, birthdays are the best on sunny days. April 7 is a wonderful day to be born and I hope your day is filled with lots and lots of birthday love from those who will help bring you into this world and will care for you, little one.

Most birthday are different than yours. Usually at home, surrounded by cake and presents - your arrival will be a bit more structured although you wouldn't know it by all the people and love you will be surrounded by. You will be held and loved and those familiar voices you have been hearing - will be made real to you.

Your mommy will have a hard time, say a little prayer for her. Birthdays are always hard on mommies and yours will be no exception. Birthdays remind us of times past and fast it really goes. It is easy to say we can't wait to be with Jesus and hard when that wait seems all too soon.

There will be a lot of people thinking about you tomorrow - those of us who couldn't be there with the rest of your family. Lots and lots of people. We will also be thinking of your family. We pray for safe passage for you and your mommy. May your birthday brings joy to her as the years go by. I imagine that Jesus has been as close to her today as He has been to you. May you both rest in His Arms and enjoy this precious time together.

I know there will be lots of people around you tomorrow but if you see that huge, pink balloon with the white twisty ribbon almost touching the hospital ceiling, that's me. Happy Birthday Audrey Caroline, Happy Birthday...

back to basics...

One of the most important things I can do for myself is to every once in a while, go back to the basics. It is not a failure nor a weakness, and may very well, be the greatest strength one can possess. Nothing majored happened to shock me into this particular reality but as I was doing this layout of Miss M and our cookie adventure at Flying M yesterday, it dawned on me how it is the basics that always bring me back to where I need to be.

Reading Brian McLaren, A Generous Or+hodoxy this week and it is making me examine where my spiritual head is right now and if some things, need adjustment. I don't believe that we ever arrive at anything we do. I don't believe we ever fully, see the Light and I especially don't think we can not, start at the beginning, over and over again and again.

It's a great way to end the week by going back to the start. One of the many descriptions that Brian Mclaren describes himself as is unfinished. Making room for more, pliable, flexible, teachable - unfinished...that's good enough for me...

You're Special ...

Not my words but my eye doctor. He looked at the results of the pre-tests I had taken with his assistant and uttered these shocking words. He said that apparently, according to my test results, I did not have an optic nerve. I volunteered to retrace my steps and check the lost and found at Walmart but other than that, I pretty much would be of no use to him. We talked of going on and having Brian Williams come to interview us and my being special and all. Dr D thought maybe Oprah to tell this extraordinary Story. We had a good laugh, redid the test only to find out that I did indeed, have my optic nerve. No Dateline, Brian Williams or Oprah for us. We would not be hitting the road and worse yet, I was no longer special.

I think little moments of special are great times for each of us. Nothing wrong with it. Problems arise when we need to be special or decide that we can never be special. We all know people in both camps and when taking to the extreme - can make us crazy. If someone perceives that they are always the victim, life is a drag for them and everyone around them. If one thinks they are perpetually special, the princess syndrome is equally difficult for all involved.

We need both and need to make sure we are always moving to the center. It is a healthy thing for our own mindset. It gives us perspective and a point of reference that will help us lead our lives by making good choices.

I must admit, however, that I was so looking forward to talking with Brian Williams - want to talk about his Saturday Night Live experience and let him know, I for one, think he is a funny guy. My 5 minutes of being special is gone but gave us all a good laugh. That is special enough for me...


To one who is most comfortable knowing there is always a camera in her purse, at first I didn't understand what value I could glean from this blog but what I did understand was those times, when I couldn't get my camera out fast enough or it would be inappropriate to do so. I have missed so many shots and more importantly, I miss the opportunity to see a Story because I was so focused on getting the shot. Once you experience a photographer's high, you never forget it. From the moment you realize you must have the shot, all decisions are predicated on the task.

Sometimes in life, we are too busy to see what is going on. No wonder people hire others to take care of weddings, birthday parties, family reunions. While many of us can multi-task, how many times have we missed Something going on because we were looking down the barrel for that perfect shot.

Unphotographable has given me some much needed balance, and challenged me with seeing what I am looking for without a camera. Whether I can document an event with a physical photo or not, having it imprinted on my brain - may be the greater lesson. It puts the One that got away theory, in its place. We learn in many different ways and to limit ourselves to a certain way or the highway - maybe prove to be the worse thing we could do for ourselves. This is going to be a part of my on-going photography experience, Can't help but believe the pictures will get better and better...

This is the picture I did not take. This winter, I missed him when I hadn't seen him for a while. When I saw that an elderly gentlemen had been killed crossing the street while walking to work, I thought it was you. You are my favorite Walmart greeter. I searched the article in the paper to see if it was you. I would look for you, everytime I came in and left the store. One dark afternoon as I was leaving, I stopped and asked my second favorite greeter if you were alright. she said, Sure he is - he's over there. . I looked over and there you were, lining up the carts. I could have hugged you even though I probably would have scared you to death. She must have told you about my concern, now when I come in - you always give me a big smile. So glad you are ok.