Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Becoming A Boy...

It's been awhile. 

You know, life happens and you can't ignore it. 

But it's good to be back on the blog train. 

I hope to keep it going. 

And I begin on this Wordless Wednesday 

With a photo that moves my heart. 

This Fall Moment. 

This is my youngest - the baby. 

Love the light and shadows in front of him. 

His walking so independently symbolizes how my baby has become a little boy. 

Where did the time go?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flood Waters

From Wednesday, September 11th to Friday September 13th, Boulder County along with other counties in Colorado experience heavy rain storms which lead to massive flooding all over the city of Boulder, including our neighborhood.

Friends and neighbors experienced major flooding in their basements and crawlspaces up to a foot and 1/2 high.  Roads were washed out and schools were closed.

Above is a picture of our main road which was flooded.  To my boys' amazement, their road of 75th - a road we drive on at least 4-5 times a day, to get out of our neighborhood and go to other parts of Boulder - became a river as water flowed from the creek beside it.  A creek that swelled to about four times its size and became a rushing mass of murky water.

Over the road and onto the acres of land that run beside this main road.  As far as the eye could see covering over land that animals used to graze on.

Surreal and Amazing.

Colorado is a dry place usually with little rain.  That changed in a matter of hours.

Boulder and parts of Northern and Eastern Colorado haven't seen flooding like this in about 1,000 years they're saying.  And probably won't for another 1,000.  Ironically, we are a part of history.

This photo above of our three boys standing in front of our road  - my husband took, speaks volumes.  

I sent it to CNN/iReport and they posted it with a news note because this photo does really does say it all.   For several days, Boulder and the counties north and east, especially those in the mountains and in the Eastern plains were covered and  surrounded by water - roads washed out, homes damaged, people stranded.

We feel spared and blessed.  We had limited mobility due to flooded roads,  our basement sustained a little damage with water, but we are fine.  Our school too but it too has been cleaned up and the grounds are drying out.  Other schools didn't have it so lucky.

So over a week later, Boulder is in recovery mode - drying out - though some of our friends who live in the mountains are displaced - they won't be able to go back to their homes for about 9 months to a year which is when the county is expecting the roads to be repaired.   They are living and renting down here - starting life over, literally.

It's like that here.  A sense of disorientation and disruption in our lives for a week because of the floods and now life starting over again now that the floods are gone.  Getting back to normal - a new normal, for a lot of folks.

School is open again and soon the boys will be able to have their soccer games again - the fields are drying out.  

The sun is out nowadays - bright and shining - but as I drive I still see the residual from the floods -- small ponds and lakes in the middle of fields where there weren't any before and lots of mud and dirt across and on the side of roads where the water once covered it.   Homes with murky pools of water still standing in their front yards.

This back to Normal - this New Normal for some - it will take time.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Milestones: First Day of School Ever

My 3 year old.

The youngest - my baby.

This photo - taken two weeks ago to this day.

He was on the way to the car when Mommy told him to turn around and smile for a picture.

I needed one to mark this very special milestone.

The First Day of School for this 3 year old Ever.

To him, it was a new adventure -- school, a new teacher, new things to do, being with new people.

To me, it is the end of an era -- of having baby/toddlers in my home, hanging onto my legs, going on walks with me.

And to me, it is the beginning of a new era - having independent time alone in the mornings.  Thinking for one, instead of two - at least for two and half hours, anyway.

With busy school activities filling in a few of the mornings in the last two weeks, it may take awhile for this new independence of mine to sink in but it's there.  It's there for me to use as I see fit.

I have to confess though - I do love it when the 3 year old runs out of school, backpack on and his arms open wide, with a big grin on his face, screaming "Mommy!"

I get to have my pal back and we get to spend a few hours alone together until it's time to get the big boys.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


"The following information will help you prepare your preteen to come to camp." 

This is the first sentence on the Kids Camp Guidelines form.

My preteen?  Preteen?

When did I become the mother of a preteen?

I have a preteen.

And I will be sending him off to sleep away camp for the first time ever, through our church.

For him, the first time ever being away from home.

Four nights up in the mountains.

My sensitive, moody boy who believes all things in life should be fair.  Must be fair.

My train loving transit kid.  

My little engineer who has to have things exactly the way he wants them.

My heart clenches.

I want him to have a good time.  The best time ever.

To grow and make new friends.  Maybe even find the BFF he has been longing for.

It will be the first time he'll be hanging with his peers for an extended period of time this summer.  It's been mostly hang time with his younger brothers.

I'm excited for that or should I be?

How will he do?

The unknown makes me and his Dad a little anxious.

But this is good.

For him and for us.

I've got insurance though.  Yes, his Dad will be working up at the camp as a counselor.  ;-)

Far enough away from him (Dad will be with the 5th grade group), yet still nearby.

Just in case.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer's Upon Us

Can't believe it's been over two months since my last post.

The summer started off with a bang - less than two weeks since school ended and we were off to Toronto, Canada for a wedding and then to my hometown of New York City with the boys solo.  Stayed in the home I grew up in back in the Bronx.  It has been about 8 years since I stayed there.

The old neighborhood looked the same yet smaller.  The subway cars the same.  Tons of time riding them back and forth much to my 8 year old's delight.

2 weeks in NY and back to Boulder near the end of June.

And then fourth of July and a few sick days for me, and then summer in Boulder.

A birthday bash of a weekend for the new 6 year old - our middle boy (see photo above)

and then summer really began in Boulder.

And now it is August.

In less than three weeks the boys will have their first day of school.

The Back-to-School Commercials have begun here in Colorado.

Nope.  Not ready for that yet.

Summer.  Summer.  My favorite season of the year.

And yet in moments, it doesn't feel like summer to me.

It's been more go-go than laid-back-feet-up-resting-on-a-chair.

More urban visits and less coastal visits.

Coastal visits, ocean views, beaches give me the summer feeling and haven't had an abundance of those, so maybe that's it.

It's been all good, though.

Not ready for it to end.

Nope, not at all.

Friday, May 24, 2013


So it looks like Spring is here to stay (cross your fingers!) in this part of Colorado. 

April brought snow. 

May is bringing rain

and because of that we get to experience

a visual wonderland of beauty.  

Just several of my spring photo favorites 

from a spring that has come late this year 

(all from just last week!). 

I stepped outside my front door on a rain-washed morning 

and found these raindrops sitting atop blades of green grass. 

And outside on my back patio I marveled on the plant and what is to come 

(and the lush green grass in the background). 

On Mother's Day, took a walk down Pearl St., an outdoor promenade in downtown Boulder 

and found what I'd been longing to see these last few weeks. more flowers...

in all their orange, red and yellow glory. 


And down the next block, more in their purple majesty. 

The striped red and yellow flowers stood out in between, 

not wishing to be forgotten. 

And in their classic red beauty, these tulips.  

An array of beautiful colors.  

I couldn't ask for a better Mother's Day gift after all of our snow. 

I felt doubly blessed because the lens caught their vibrancy.  

No editing needed to be done.  


Sunday, May 5, 2013


Along with the love of photography, there is the love of writing.  

My first love.  My dream.  My career path. 

It's been good to get outside this week, parking myself at a cafe to write.  

With that, there's been lots of progress - pages of a screenplay written.  With the pages, that falling in love feeling again -- with my story, with my characters.  Though I skipped this morning's writing time, I am planning on tomorrow night's writing time outside -- possibly at the Barnes & Nobles, a mile away from home.  The goal as always is to be consistent.  Doing something for 21 days creates a habit.  That's what I'm hoping for.

Yes and sometimes the writing seems endless -- the end goal, far, but having these writing times makes me see that I can reach that end goal.  That I will finish a draft.  It is possible.

Of course, my life hovers around me -- there are only three weeks of school left -- and several school activities and events that will take up the days.  Book reviews to write, a personal business to build but I will not despair.  Despite the busyness, stress and anxiety, I will keep the faith.
I believe these voyages outside the home to write will help me with that. 
So I look forward to them in the weeks to come. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

In Search of Joy...

I realize what both my husband and I need is joy.  More joy.

To enjoy life more with the kids.  Cherish the moments instead of getting stressed out by them.

Today I had two fun, enjoyable events to go to.  I felt like I should have been more positive, more happy and yet my joy was tempered.

Tempered by what?

My husband at home sick with the three boys.

The house being a complete disaster.

The two tasks we have for church in the morning: serving breakfast and teaching the kids, the latter we are not completely prepared for.

The worry about tomorrow - will the husband be well enough to teach?  And if he is not, how will I convey the help I need? By the fact that there are several details to remember for tomorrow and I am afraid I am going to forget one of them and they are each important.

These worries are why I couldn't fully enjoy the baby shower I went to this afternoon, though I had fun.

I figured as I was driving from the baby shower, that I need to lean on God more.  Surrender.  A challenge for me and the husband since we're both by default self-reliant people.

And be 100% in the moment.

Don't worry about tomorrow.

Just focus on what's in front of me today and cherish.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

PYHO: Yes, I Am A Christian But Do You Really Know Me?

Almost twenty years ago, I made a decision to make Jesus Lord of my Life.

To live my life for God to the fullest extent.

 It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, especially after having grown up religious.

I had to throw off every religious, legalistic part of me and really embrace the message that Jesus was sending to the world.

Think with my heart and my head and count the cost of what it means to really live this way.

Hard work.  But one of the best decisions I've made in my life.

One of the wisest too.

Which I think is why it bothers me when I am viewed by people who don't quite know or kind of know me as a caricature because I am a Christian.  Mind you, these are people who already have a pre-conceived notions in their head about Christians and Christianity and what a Christian is.  Of course, it doesn't help when there are those who claim to be Christians who come across in certain, unappealing ways.

I  am not preachy, self-righteous, living high on the pedestal of my soap box (ick!)

Nor am I a mindless robot, following a philosophy blindly and without rational thought.

I am not weak and co-dependent, needing a crutch to lean on.

I am a critical thinker.

A human being just like you.

I married a man who lives the same way.  We are looking to teach our boys to be the best they can be in this world - strong, smart, tough, sweet, faithful, honest men of integrity and character where your word is your bond.  Where your "Yes" means "Yes" and your "No" means "No".

 I mess up.  I admit I do - sooo hard! - and I love God for being there for me when I do.

I am not trying to keep up with the religious Jones' or even with the leaders of my church or any church for that matter.  Or even with the hippest, latest philosophy trend.

I am just a woman who loves God and strives to live my life honestly and righteously with all those pesky flaws I possess.  They are glaring, believe me.  I see them every day.

I don't bible thump, I don't raise my hands, I don't judge others nor do I liked to be judged (but I don't have control of that  one, do I?)  :-)

I share my life.  I share my faith.  I share my words.  I share my love even in the most painful times when it is so hard to do so.

Being a Christian in this world is not easy.  Trust me, this is not me having a victim mentality or me complaining.  It's just a fact,  like being Black or being gay or heavy-set in this world is not easy, among other things.

Having those principles and living by them can lead to repercussions, some of which I don't understand.    But they are there.  And I have to continually remember that people come with all sorts of baggage and notions (religious and non-religious) so when they discover I'm a Christian, judgements are made.

I would love to be viewed as a human being who just has a deep love for God and is living her life His way.

I cringe at the Christian stereotypes.  Or being "typed"in general.

I am just Me.  Probably a lot like You.

Feel free to accept me for who I am, Christian and all.

Without judgement, please. (wink!)

And I promise I'll do the same with you, no matter who you are.

Linking up with Shell and pouring my heart out...

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Spring is here. 
Even though it depends from day-to-day here in Colorado. 

Spring and a whole host of chances 
for photo opportunities.  

I am joining in with Nurture Photography and their Spring 2013 Seasonal Photo Challenge series
through my photography blog. 
Wonderful for this photographer as I photograph my way through spring. 

I am excited to discover this season through my lens. 

A week ago, the family and I took a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico
but we couldn't forget our family tradition of coloring Easter Eggs with Easter just around the corner
even while away. 

So we colored eggs, in our hotel room. 

My three boys colored their eggs all kinds of wonderful yellows, oranges, pinks, purples and blues.

Including the special three: one with each of their names on it. 

And two days later, on Easter, after we returned home, there was an Easter egg hunt in our backyard.

One lone egg waiting for a little boy to find it.

A yellow egg  found by the 3 year old

And a yellow bat too which made him quickly forget about the yellow egg and the egg hunt altogether.

A wonderful time. 



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: It's All in the Lines...

A railyard in Santa Fe. 

A beautiful spring day. 

A boy who loves tracks and lines

enough to sit and marvel in the details of  this ground

made of metal and brick

and be engrossed for awhile. 

Linking up for Wordless Wednesday 


 Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Snowy Fingertips

It's March and here, in Colorado, we've been going back and forth between snowy days and mild non-snowy days.   Luckily they're all sunny.

My 3 year old decided to take advantage of one recent sunny day and decided to dip his fingers in the snow as it was melting in the sunshine.  

As a result, he came up with watery, snowy fingertips.

Happy Wednesday! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flakes (Wordless Wednesday)

Our park across from our house

Being blanketed in snow. 

Snowflakes big and thick as they  fell in droves...

The most snow this year in our part of Colorado. 

Linking up with Kristi at LiveandLoveOutLoud
for Wordless Wednesday. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Loves...

On this day celebrating love, I couldn't help but share my three little loves. 

It's been an unexpectedly blessed month of quality home time together because of days sick, days off from school or just days of nothing planned.  

My always active 2 year old little love

My sleeping 5 year old little love

My sick 7 year old little love

These three little hearts make my heart race


I am so grateful to get to have them in my life. 

Of course, there's the Main Love, 

whom without him, the three little loves above wouldn't exist.  

He too makes my heart race and flutter often


constantly leaves me securely wrapped in his love and friendship. 

I couldn't do it all with out him. 

Happy Love Day to You! 
Enjoy today, friends!

Linking up with Alison and Galit for this month's

Memories Captured


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter White

White sky. 

White trees.

White branches  

barren of leaves 

against a whitish, winter sky. 

a seasonal photo challenge, a four week photo series. 

This week's prompt: White/Minimalism

Nurture Photography Challenge

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WW: Brunch of Champions

Peanut Butter. 



Sticky, salty fingers for the two and half year old. 

And it's only 11am. 

The Brunch of this Champion. 

A Cherished Memory for His Mother. 

It's Wordless Wednesday.  

I am linking up with Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud 

Feel free to grab a photo and come join up. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Drawing On Furniture

Yesterday, I walked into the family room and screamed in horror.  Truly I did, because the white ottoman that accompanies our cool white big chair had been covered in purple and orange magic marker.

Purple and Orange Permanent Sharpie markers.

My scream was loud, unexpected and straight from deep in my soul.  It was my worst-nightmare-come true-kind of scream.

My 2 year old, sitting in front of his creation in the big chair, after 6 seconds of staring at his screaming mother who was staring at the marked up ottoman, face stretched in horror, screamed himself then cried.

He saw my horror.  Heard my scream and understood.  Coloring the furniture with markers - a HUGE, HUGE "no-no".

Not a lesson I was teaching on purpose because I was too wrapped up in my defaced white ottoman.

After my 30 second scream, I was reduced to a cough, a slight gag, and then nothing.

In shock, I had no words.  None.  Posted this fact to Facebook even.  I was rendered speechless.

"No, no writing on the furniture, Owen," was all I could choke out as I wrenched off the ottoman cover.  And then I was silent, speechless as I thought of my ottoman cover destroyed and my new mission to get in the wash as soon as possible in hopes of saving it and getting it back to it's beautiful whiteness.

My lesson.

You'd think it was not to have white furniture in a house of boys under 8 - as a few of my FB friends were quick to point out was the flaw.

No.  That wasn't it.  Even though it's a pretty logical foregone conclusion.

No, my lesson:

To never stop looking at things from a child's perspective.

How true.

Instead of looking at that marked on ottoman cover that was a part of my cool looking furniture as destroyed, I could look at it as a creative piece of art that came from my 2 year old's imagination.

At the end of the day, thanks to several more of my FB friends who saw the brighter, creative side of things as well as the kid perspective of things - I caught that vision.

 That perspective.

That ottoman cover, in my mind, is now a work of art.  I am so glad that the marker didn't wash off.  The 2 year old's creation, though a little faded, is still preserved.

And honestly, the white fabric ottoman cover made for a great canvas.

So that white fabric ottoman cover becomes a cool "art" pillow (stuffed with giant pillows) that my 2 year old can keep for years to come and possibly Mama will hang it on his college dorm room wall - as one friend suggested.  Hee. :-))

It also becomes a reminder of my 2 year old's childhood days that are going by ever so swiftly.  He starts preschool in August - yikes!

And most importantly the white fabric ottoman cover becomes a cool reminder to me to remember to never stop looking at the world through kid-colored sunglasses - to never lose that perspective, ever.

It's a creative, fun, imagination-filled, colorful, daring-drenched perspective of the world.

One that is too precious to lose.

And we lose it often as adults.

A very cool, precious lesson, that I aim to never to forget.

Parents, what lessons have you learned from your kiddos' "no-no's"?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Matters of Mean

I get irked.  

We all have pet peeves.  

One of mine is witnessing one kid being deliberately mean to another kid. 

Most times I see this happen when there are three kiddos, and the first kid wants the second kid all to himself and decides to be mean to the third kid who is friends with the second.  

Yes, my two older sons each have been that third kid at times. 

It hurts my heart to see that happen.  

More importantly, it hurts the kid who is the target. 

Meanness for meanness sake. 

If the meanness stems from a kid feeling grumpy, tired, sick, hungry or from having their feelings hurt by others, I understand it. 

It's still not good in my eyes but it makes sense: when we're not feeling good, we tend get irritable, snappish, mean.  We're not nice. 

I still talk to my kiddos about how even in these circumstances being mean to others is not acceptable. 

It's when the kid is feeling fine and he/she decides to be mean to another kid that gets me. 

Because the kid that gets it doesn't deserve it.

It's not fair to him/her.  

Because I feel that meanness comes from a place that is deliberate. 

That means to hurt on purpose. 

In my mind, why would you hurt someone's feelings on purpose? 

That's just cruel. 

However, I am aware that in our human natures, as there is a need to be helpful, to do something good for someone, also, in moments,  there is a need to be spiteful. 

But it still shouldn't be acceptable. 

I see some parents overlook this behavior,  not addressing it, letting it go.  

Oh it's just happens, is their reasoning. 

It may happen but it doesn't deserve to be overlooked.  

Meanness in any form whether it's coming from a 4 year old or a 40 year old shouldn't be overlooked. 

So maybe I'm looking through Pollyanna-tinted glasses or just from a logical, practical point of view (I'd like to think it's the second, though the first is not bad either): 

Treat others well.  Respect others always. 

I believe that meanness unchecked can grow into something pretty big and ugly.  

We have all witnessed the ugly in this world.  

Do we really need anymore?

Kids being mean for the sake of being mean.  Have you or your kiddos experienced it?  How do you handle those moments?

Linking up with Shell this week from Things I Can't Say and pouring my heart out...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Want Alone

I confess.  

But before I do, I need to state for the record that I love and adore my sweet husband and my three beautiful boys and would not change being with them for all the world.  Honestly, I couldn't live without them and my heart would break if I had to.  Losing them - I can't even go there in my thoughts  because it's that tragic and unfathomable to me. 

That being confession, and it truly is a guilty one because I feel tons of guilt whenever I admit to it,  is...

...this mother likes to be alone.


Away from the constant demanding (by kiddos) and asking of things (by all).  

There are three boys and the world revolves around each of them.

Sometimes they talk to me like they are the only person in my world.  Each one talks, oblivious of the other two boys who are also talking to me at the same time.  It can be too much at times, not to mention hard on the ears and draining on the patience. 

Maybe it's because I grew up an only child.  It was just me and my Mom for the longest time.  

I'm not use to active, constant running feet, constant interruptions or constant clamoring noise.  

People pulling on me or taking up my space - though I did do that to my mother.  Often.  

Sorry Mom.

So my solution - whether consciously or subconsciously is to go into my bedroom and get on my computer or immerse myself in a novel.

My escape.

On the weekends, this where my husband finds me.

"Come join the family," he'll state, a longing look on his face.

You see he works five days a week and is away from his family most of those days.  He doesn't really get to be with us as a whole except for the early mornings.  And that's usually for about twenty minutes before the boys head off to the school bus.

Or in the evening for about two hours - most of the time in which he is dog-tired and semi-conscious after a long, busy day at work.   So the weekends for him are cherished family time. 

But I'm done by the weekend.  Stick a fork in me.  I'm a mole and I don't want to come out of my hole. 

And sometimes I don't, leaving him to handle the kids.

Guilt riddles me when this happens but I don't move. 

I reassure him repeatedly that I will come out but sometimes I procrastinate and don't come out right away.  It takes up to an hour at times.  Two hours.

Don't get me wrong,  I love my family.  I like being with people.  I like socializing.  

I just find I need down time during the hours when I’m actually alert.  Down time after the kids go to bed doesn’t count because my brain is fried and I'm barely conscious. 

Yes, even in my sleep, sometimes, I just want to be alone, much to the chagrin of my affectionate, snuggly husband.  

But I cherish being alone and I'm finding that I want 'alone' more and more these days.  

Maybe it’s my way to get a grip on the wonderful intense craziness that is my life right now taking care of other human beings for 18 to 20 hours a day - thinking for them, planning for them, etc. 

People tell me I'm going to miss all this one day.  

I'm sure I will, knowing me.  

However, right now, 

this mother, this nurturer,  

in moments, 

lots of moments,

just yearns to be alone more than anything else in the world. 

Linking up with Shell this week from Things I Can't Say and pouring my heart out...