Category Archives: Signatures

A Blue, Yellow & Burlap Day

I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day but today, I’m sharing something much more special. Today is a blue, yellow & burlap day.

I was honored to have been asked to photograph the wedding shower for the daughter of my good friend Cathy. Cathy and I have been friends and co-workers for a long time and her daughter, Sarah, is just precious.

She’s getting married!

The theme is rustic blue and yellow. So perfect. So very perfect.

I’m posting some photos as I get them edited. It’s going to be a long process but I’ll share some as I go along. Such a special time!

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sarah8BTW, if you have notice by now, their last name begin with the letter M.

So many prayers for a truly blessed life together!

A Universal Ubiquitous Question

When I get to heaven, the question I want to ask is this, “Why God, did you make life to so complicated?” By then I won’t care – but now I care. I care very much.

The girl was on spring break last week and well – I was so busy that I really didn’t see her at all, so yeah, no photos. She did however volunteer for the Culinary School because she had no choice. I was in desperate need and she wasn’t doing anything else – so it was serendipity. It was great because she and I are in perfect synchronicity, i.e., I can text her 12 times when she’ll at the grocery store and she ask me 12 questions about what I really wanted – and it would be alright whereas a personal assistant may find that frustrating.

And there are days when I think I need a personal assistant if only to help me find my shoes.

But she was great – she performed outstandingly.

Then there’s the boy.

The boy’s spring break started last Friday but in true boy form, he wanted to stay a couple more days because his school’s hockey team is number one in the nation AND playoffs started this weekend so he wanted to stay and to go. His dad then decided that he wanted to go to the games too – and so he took another trip to the tundra this weekend, the second in as many weeks.

I was glad – it’s not a bad thing that the boy and his dad are able to hang out. The husband was able to do some maintenance on the boy’s car because the boy was apparently too busy to do it himself. It was alright with the husband because he enjoys doing things like that – he’s going to make a great retired piddler.

springbreak9In the three days the husband was there, they went to two hockey games. The Sioux won both games btw, super!

springbreak5They went bike riding. Apparently spring has spring in North Dakota. Everyone is in shorts and a muscle shirt.

springbreak1Everyone but the husband – but he’s from Maryland.

springbreak7I got this photo Sunday morning. They were on their way home – but it’s never that simple is it?

springbreak4They were on the plane to Minnesota from Grand Forks! Yes! First leg is done.

springbreak6When they got to Minneapolis they found that they couldn’t get a flight out. Remember – they fly stand by. Thus began a thrash of conversation and texts. The husband had to get home because he has to go to work. The boy said he would stay in Minneapolis with friends, go to a concert Tuesday night and be home Wednesday. I had no idea how this plan was hatched in about ten minutes – but I had a lot of questions. A lot of questions.

Some of those questions were these.

“Who are you staying with?”
“How are you going to get there?”
“What concert?”
“TELL ME YOUR PLANS!”
springbreak2After a while they sent me this photo. It’s Kyle’s dad who apparently showed up at the airport to bring the boy back to his house. I just saw him a couple of weeks ago. I can kiss him. These are the nicest people in the entire world.

springbreak8Hi Mr. Ron.

Things seem to always work out – and I should know this by now but it doesn’t stop me from having constant anxiety about the boy – and about the girl. When does this stop? Anyone?

The girl returned to school today. Her travel plans are always easy – she drives. However, it’s a three hour trip and I chew my knuckles until she gets arrives wherever she is going.

So – a little simplicity this week would be a really, really wonderful thing – – -

The Amazing Winter Classic

DSC_9514I start wondering what I’m going to do for Christmas presents in August. I really do. Starting this process in August makes September, October, November and December a whole lot less stressful.

What? You do this too? Glad I’m not the only one.

DSC_9538Hockey’s famed Winter Classic was being held in Washington DC this year and since the family is such hockey fans, I decided that’s what I would do as gifts for all of us. I’ve been told that gifts of life experience is better than a say – a cheap toy that will break easily or an ugly Christmas sweater.

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I had no idea what it took to get tickets. I almost had to sell the boy to get them but I was successful and the boy is safe and sound.

DSC_0255The Washington Capitals were to play the Chicago Blackhawks at National Stadium, where the Nationals baseball team play. It was to be outside and to make the experience really authentic, snow was trucked in from somewhere (probably Boston – the weather has not been kind of those poor Bostonians this year). An outdoor rink was set up outside and hockey was going to get back to its roots.

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Look at this guy’s face. Ow.

I didn’t know – I really didn’t – what a big deal this game was. It’s the hockey version of the Super Bowl. The pageantry was amazing, the atmosphere was electric and I was truly amazed. I found myself grateful that I didn’t just ugly Christmas sweaters for the family. This was much more fun.

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This lady was a part of Billy Idol’s entourage. She looked so chic in her boots and gray shawl and everyone else was dressed in red white and blue stripes.

DSC_9527The rest of us was dressed to the nines in hockey gear. I of course, am practical and since I didn’t have a warm coat with Capitals logos all over it, I put on my purple coat. I was literally the only one without a hockey jersey on in the entire stadium of 40,000 people. Oh well.

The weather by the way was perfect. It was 44 degrees and everyone was warm and excited.

DSC_9521Every seat had a Winter Classic cushion. It was really neat and in an event where hot chocolate is $10, I was glad to have something for free.

DSC_9516I had to sweet talk a stadium guard to let me close to the announcers so I can take a photo. These are the hockey equivalent of Bob Costas, Al Michaels and Howard Cosell.

DSC_0196They’re not household names but they are stars in their own right. Everyone, but me, seems to know who they are.

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The Washington Capitals were dressed like Where’s Waldo. Their uniforms were . . . well, you decide.

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They are cute in a way though – the socks . . .I guess if you’re a big hockey player you can wear anything you want right?

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There’s the Great 8, Alex Ovechkin and somehow he managed to pull off the striped socks.

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Billy Idol was the entertainment during the first intermission. I’m sure he hasn’t played a crowd this big in 25 years. I recognize his shocking white hair anywhere. There something about old rockers –

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He’s almost 160 years old I think –

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Everyone remember Rebel Yell right? I was singing along and half way through the song, I wondered what the words really were. I stopped singing thinking that I was singing questionable lyrics and didn’t know it for almost 30 years. DSC_0146

Then Billy Idol broke out into White Wedding and I really started to wonder about the lyrics.

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But he was a fantastic entertainment. Gavin DeGraw sang during the second intermission and you know what? I missed the entire thing and half of the second period because I was in line for a $20 hamburger.

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But I didn’t miss this! It was the Army Choir and they made my heart swell with patriotism.

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They were fantastic.

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I was so enthralled by the pageantry and the entertainment that I almost forgot about the game.

DSC_0239The Capitals won! It was an exciting finish.

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I love it when they give each other bro hugs. It shows so much teamwork and the triumph of victory!

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So much love – that’s what hockey is all about right? Right?

I had to finally post this because it truly was an exciting event for the family.

Thanks for reading. Is it too early to wonder what to get for Christmas this year?

Ten Years Ago

Back in 2008 I wrote about a young family who lost their son to a tragic accident. That death happened ten years ago and Matt was a few days short of fourteen years old when he died. It happened about this time of year and every year in the spring, I think of his family.

A few weeks ago Debbie & Steve, Matt’s parents, gave their testimony. I listened to their story from my seat and I died a thousand deaths for them while at the same time was inspired once again by their faith and their strength. The tears wouldn’t stop flowing.

Last night I saw a photo of  Matt that his mother posted on social media and I stopped and stared at the smiling little boy so much like my own. I’m so moved by it that today, in the midst of everything going on around me, I’m reposting what I wrote back in 2008. Please read again – and then listen to their story.

This is God.


Repost from September 28, 2008

Four years ago, a boy named Matt Bertolaccini died tragically. He was accidentally hanged on some play equipment, in his backyard. His mother found him.

Matt’s Place is a foundation that is rooted in that tragedy.

I see his mother, Debbie, all the time. Every time I see her, my heart does a little lurch. It’s not because I feel sorry for her, because she wouldn’t want that. It’s because as a mother; I can imagine what it would be like to have a child die. It’s a fear that every mother lives with. It’s why we startle in the middle of the night and place our hand on our baby’s belly, to make sure they are still breathing. It’s why we have a rush of adrenaline when our five year old wanders off at the grocery store. And it’s why we turn the car keys over to our teenager and hold our breath until we hear the the front door open. And it’s why we live with the thought that we shouldn’t outlive our children, no matter what.

I’m glad the boy and the girl aren’t driving yet.

The boy turned fourteeen this year and I remember the last time I was at a fourteen year old’s birthday; it was at Matt’s own funeral. I remember looking at Matt’s lifeless body in the casket, on his 14th birthday, and his mother over my shoulder, telling me, “He’s having a heck of a birthday party right now in heaven.”

I don’t know why Matt died, but this year, Matt’s Place will be offering after school programs for kids. Kids can go there after school and have a place where they can connect to their community and be safe and be themselves. A mother’s heartache can be channeled into good for her community, a life is taken but perhaps another child can be saved.

If this is not proof that good comes from somewhere, I don’t know what is. If this is not proof that there is purpose for all in this life, I don’t know what is. Why else would Matt have lived and died? Why else are we all here? Fourteen years can be a lifetime to another person.

Debbie knows that God took Matt for a reason but it doesn’t stop her from wanting him here, on earth, in the flesh, where she can hug him – hard. I can’t blame her. Which is why I look at her and am inspired by her smile, her grace, her joie-de-vie, even when I know  the depth of her sadness.

This is how I know.


Matt’s Place is no longer an active program for our church but in its place is Journey, a ministry for youth where both Matt’s parents channel their abundant energy and love for youth and for their community. Please take a moment and listen to their story and be inspired.

Back in 2008

Nothing makes me feel the passage of time more than going back through my archives and I realize that – wow, I’ve written a lot of words. Some of these posts were for you – but most of the rambling ones about my family are for me but I’m happy that you read along.

girl1Back in 2008 she was 12 years old. One of my very first posts was about how she was upset about something so to cheer her up, I took her to Office Depot. Back then she loved school supplies, particularly any Sharpie or white board markers that were pink or purple – all shiny and bright. Now she’s all grown up, 19 years old. I think how wonderful it is to see her grow from a girl to a young woman but at the it hurts more than child birth to see her go through some of the pain of life’s challenges.

Well – I don’t remember child birth but I know this hurts more!

It’s all one big package of life and speaking of packages, I went through great pains to make sure we wrapped her birthday gifts in pretty wrapping and bows. The top package has running socks and some of the others may hold yoga pants and workout clothes but when they’re colorfully wrapped they could be Tiffany boxes!

Last week, we drove to school to take her out to a birthday lunch and spend some time with her and I’m happy to report that she’s doing fine. I know God will take care of her.

As we spend time with her I’m reminded of how special she is so I made a list.

G – she is gorgeous.
I – she is intelligent. She is majoring in biology.
R – she is reserved.
L – she loves luaus, sushi lunches, and lump crab meat. I couldn’t think of any L words that are poetic – but that’s all true.

Love you and happy birthday, my lovely girl.

North Dakota In A Nutshell

Last fall, the husband and I planned a trip to North Dakota to see the boy and for me, it would be the first time that I would see his apartment and his car. These things are a part of his life and I wanted to see how his life was going. We canceled that trip at the last minute and we were all disappointed but it was for a great reason. We rescheduled for last weekend and I wasn’t going to let anything stop us from going up there, not the fact that I had to be back promptly on Monday for the start of a Culinary School class nor the fact that the husband had a serious stomach flu.

Nothing was stopping us. nd3Since we usually hop a ride to go up there, we spent some time trying to find a flight into Grand Forks that would guarantee us a seat. As it turns out – there were none. We ended up investing in airline tickets at the last minute and flew up there in an overbooked airplane. I’m not sure how an airline can overbook a flight then ask people to take vouchers to get off the flight – it’s a mystery.

We weren’t giving up our seats by the way.

I love the Grand Forks airport. It’s small, cozy, clean and it’s starting to feel like home.

nd1The boy picked us up and drove us by a buffalo farm on the way to his apartment. I was excited! I’ve never seen a buffalo farm before! Please reserve judgement on my enthusiasm.

We purchased a car last year for the boy to drive at school and I heard all about it but had not seen it. It’s a small Camry and I worried about a little car in the snow. I didn’t have to worry – it performs like a champ. Those folks in North Dakota really know how to handle the white stuff.

nd4The other surprise was the boy’s apartment. Four young guys living together is a recipe for a smelly disaster and I told myself before we got there to not be critical. I was pleased with the spaciousness of the apartment – much nicer than any place that I lived while I was in college. It was also really clean. The boy gave me a tour and I was truly happy to see their space.

I don’t know where they got their furniture but from what I gather, it was almost all free, I don’t remember giving the boy any money for it. He said they rummaged for it in the paper and through word of mouth. They’re resourceful I tell ya. We did however, buy them the tv for the common area. It was our contribution to the furnishing.

nd5Remember the canvases I purchased from Hello Canvas? Well, they’re on the wall and they look absolutely fantastic.

nd6They had these plates hanging on their wall with inspirational scriptures. This was a really wonderful surprise!

nd7This is their kitchen and my question is this – why do guys like to decorate with beer bottles? This is the typical college scene. BTW, everyone who lives there is 21 with the exception of the boy. We did not ask any questions.

nd8And now to my photos from my phone. When I walked into the apartment, I found their shoes all on this mat – I felt like I was in Japan again.

nd9And there was this – a white board of chores to be shared between the guys. The dates are behind a couple of days but now I know why they don’t have disagreements on bills or chores. It makes so much sense.

nd10And there’s this on the dishwasher. I just love it.

nd11After we took a tour of the apartment, we went shopping for all of the essentials. There are bananas and grapes behind the ramen. Really.

nd12The other great things about being up there? Meeting some of his new friends! This is Jim who told us he likes to stop by often to hang out. We gave him a Ducks Hockey shirt that Neighbor Doug sent and he was so happy. He kept saying, “Are you sure? Are you sure?” It was really cute. I think he’s a Ducks fan now!

nd13We planned on going to the UND hockey game but there was some kind of mix up with the tickets and I gave mine to the boy so he could go with his dad and his friends. They felt badly that I had to be left behind but you know what? It was alright with me. We got out of bed at 3:15 that morning to fly up there and truth be known, I was tired. I stayed at the apartment and cooked them buffalo chicken mac and cheese and I think they were all pretty happy I stayed behind too!

nd14After the game everyone came back to the apartment and it was a party! I loved it. I got to hug Roommates Kyle and John, meet Kyle’s new girlfriend, hug the other Kyle’s parents and meet the girls who live upstairs.

nd15There was dancing (I think that’s what they were doing.)

nd16And sage advice from the parents.

nd18There was adult supervision – no worries.

nd17The best thing about being there was this. It was the first time I’ve seen Roommate John’s mom, Diane, since his father, Tom, passed away last June. Roommate John and the boy have been friends and roommates since freshman year and we have grown to love his parents. When Tom passed away we worried about how his family and John, in particular, would continue to move on. Roommate John’s brothers joined Diane that weekend and it was wonderful to meet them. They are just like their parents. God makes wonderful, strong people and then he brings them into the boy’s life. They are our family now too! We missed Tom very much that weekend.

nd19Here are the boys.

nd20And the girls.

nd22And here is everyone! I have a “real” posed photo but this one is funnier.

nd21Some of the other things we did last weekend? We chilled . . .

nd27…attended the hockey game – well, everyone but me. When they all came back to the apartment after the game, they found me watching House of Cards and drinking a glass of wine. Here the boy’s other friend Kyle is showing me a video of him doing the goalie race at the game. Kyle was the goalie on his high school hockey team and is a fantastic athlete – and he won the goalie race during intermission. It was apparently a hoot!

nd28…skated outside in the very cold weather. The boys played a game of pick up hockey while I gingerly made my way around the pond on skates. I’ve never skated before (or can’t remember if I did) but I did alright. The only times I fell was when I was just standing and watching. Falling hurts by the way.

nd23…we flew in the simulators. I almost threw up and it wasn’t even real! I swear I have the weakest stomach of anyone I know.

nd24…we went to eat at a little known “secret” diner where all the hockey players go to eat. It was clean, and really small but had good food.

nd26I love this boy – seriously love him.

nd25I was sad to leave. It felt like I was only there two days – oh wait – it really was only two days.

This train held us up from getting to the airport but that was only the beginning of delays on the trip home. Our airplane taxied back to the gate twice for maintenance issues (I’d rather have it fixed than not) and when we finally landed in Baltimore well over 12 hours later, we found the entire city of Baltimore covered in an inch of ice.

nd29Someone left their sodas out in the cold and the cans were stuck to the pavement. This was what the parking lot looked like.

The next day all the schools, government agencies, and even non-profits were closed. I was relieved to have a day to recuperate from the trip. The husband in the meantime had to recuperate from his stomach flu. Yes, he’s a trooper.

I think the boy is doing alright overall. I can’t tell you how much pride I have for all the boys. They’re making their way, studying hard, and having fun doing life. I can’t ask for anything more. I look forward to going back.

It Finally Feels Like Hockey Season

capsvducks1A couple of weeks ago my hockey lovin’ husband and I went to another hockey game with some friends. I’m starting to feel like I know these guys personally.

capsvducks3It was fun as usual but the best part of going to a game is hanging out with friends and going to eat before hand. It’s just how I enjoy hockey.

capsvducks4Then there’s the fights –

Actually it’s seems that there is less and less physical altercations during the game and I’m glad. I always feel uncivilized watching one – like I’m in the Roman Coliseum watching Christians slaves get eaten by lions. I’m not kidding, I find it very barbaric.

But yet I still go – and I’m glad there’s less fighting now. The referees break it up early. Whew.

capsvducks5Neighbor Carrie and her son sat across the stadium from us and I spent a little bit of time looking for them through my long lens. I finally found them! Can you see them?

Why this post on hockey? Well it’s because it’s been frigid cold. And it snowed last night. Though this game was almost two weeks ago, I finally feel like it’s hockey season. I’m obviously a situational fan.

On a cooking/restaurant note, we met at Jaleo in Washington DC for dinner before the game. It’s a very popular restaurant owned by the renowned chef, Jose Andres. I’ve been there before – but I couldn’t remember what we ordered so we asked the waitress to bring out whatever she wanted. It’s a tapas place and it’s a great way to sample all the different dishes. The waitress brought us a steak tapas, a chicken tapas, cheese and seafood. Everything – everything was delicious.

hockey1This was the scene at the beach today – brrr – but beautiful.

Stay warm out there!

Valentine’s Day Week

The week between postings was full of crazy life “stuff” but it’s all good. I was perhaps feeling a little under the weather and not really motivated to do much except get through the week as best I can. You’ve had those weeks haven’t you?

The thing that occupied my mind the most last week? The girl was sick again at school and I’m wondering if she is allergic to school. Anyway, we spoke at 2:30 am midweek and it’s amazing what that does to a person’s ability to function the next day. I couldn’t do anything about it but somewhere inside of me, I worried that it was more than what it was – probably a bad stomach flu. She had a horse show last weekend and my plans were to drive to school on Valentine’s Day to watch my first collegiate show and spend the day with her.

Best laid plans.

The nurse suggested that she not do the show in her weakened state and I agreed. I’m not sure how her coach felt about it though. The girl missed three days of school last week and drove home. When she got home she felt better – then immediately felt that she should be at the show. We tend to second guess ourselves to the detriment of our mental health. She drove back to school on Sunday and when she got there, she promptly told us she had a sore throat. To which I told her to go to the nurse – again. It’s a dance this is – a jumbled mess of a jig.

I had plans myself you know – ones that didn’t involve the girl. It doesn’t matter I suppose, we take care of what is immediately in front of us.

vday1It was love week, and I focused on the loving and the lovely. What a shame that it would pass by without a acknowledging the sentiment.

Since the husband was leaving for training to the much warmer Texas on love day (the 14th) we decided to not go out to dinner but rather to our church’s Date Night. You may think it’s old fashioned, boring and unromantic.

To the contrary.vday2It was a lovely setting with all the trappings of a great night out.

vday3I had to show you the cute Cupid cookies. What a romantic alliteration!

vday4We were there with almost 200 hundred other people and our table mates were great conversationalists.

vday5And these two are my absolute favorite entertainers of all time. Here’s a little trivia – Jeremy once whistled Back Home in Indiana at the request of the husband during a gig at our favorite winery. He’s an amazing musician.

After dinner all the guests moved into the auditorium where we saw the movie God’s Not Dead together. Aside from making a casserole dish to share, we didn’t spend any money on that evening and it was one of the most enjoyable dates we’ve ever had.

On another note – the casserole I made was this Beef Moussaka on foodnetwork.com. It was cheap to make and really, really delicious. I’m going to make it again this week for a family of nine. Yes, a family of nine. Much more on that later.

Aside from the girl being home, the husband leaving to go to training and Valentine’s Day, it was a full week – but oh, it wasn’t over. We had a wind storm last Saturday which knocked out the electricity for most of last weekend. On top of that, the temperature is in the single digits, a record set back in the 1960’s for this area. I will recount to you my experience with all of that, but suffice for you to know that I am wholly unprepared for the zombie apocalypse.

I haven’t had much opportunity to think of photography but that will change tonight and tomorrow because – it’s finally going to snow, at least according to my favorite meteorologist Doug Hill. He also happens to be a friend but I’d trust his predictions even if he wasn’t:) I hope to photograph some beauty – it’s good for my soul.

Here’s to feeding your soul in this winter season!

She’s Making It

The month and a half that the girl was home was not all rest and relaxation. It was a time of reflection and a re-evaluation of where her future lies. At times it was rocky. At times we cried.

The husband and I knew that she wasn’t totally happy at school but we didn’t realize the depth of that unhappiness. I fully take responsibility for not knowing but on the other hand, the decision to stay at school or come home is not up to me or the husband. It’s up to her.

We did however, want to be a source of support and comfort and provide some guidance along the way. We had to walk a balance between not intruding at all and perhaps helping too much.

After all, she’s our girl and we want nothing more than for her to be happy and to realize how much she has to offer the world.

team1Early one morning a few weeks ago, I woke the girl up so that she could go to the beach with the dogs and I.  It was a gorgeous morning and when we got to the beach we found a low tide phenomena.

team2The tide was way out to the bay and the frozen snow and ice made it possible for us to walk for almost a 100 yards out on the water.

team4There was a flock of Canadian geese out resting where the water was not frozen and I walked out as far as I could to them.

team3I urged the other three to come with me and Ella the dog was a little nervous about the entire thing but there was no reason to be scared. The water was frozen and well, it was only an inch to the bottom.

team5When the girl urged her to go and started walking with her, Ella decided that it was alright to leave the safety of the beach after all.

team6We all need the encouragement to step out of our comfort zone and, in spite of our fear, face the unknown and scary.

team7When she got out to the ice, she realized that she wasn’t going to fall through.

team8And she began to well – party it up. It was hilarious.

team94We video taped the entire thing.

team9Look at the beauty of the water! There was about two inches of ice and barely an inch of water and we can see the sand right through all the layers. I was far out from the beach looking back to shore.

team91And Ella was too. Do you see our other dog back on the beach? Sometimes we are too set in our ways to try something new. Someone has to stay on the beach.

team92Ella was having so much fun that she went our further and further.

team93Then she turned around and saw how far out she was and was so scared that she literally – froze. Once again we laughed at her. It wasn’t very nice but it was so funny.

team95The girl walked out to get her and urged to “come.”

team96It wasn’t happening. Sometimes we can encourage someone as much as we can but the unknown is still too scary.

team97. . . so we have walk out and get them.

team99It’s only then do they realize they need rescuing and they gladly accept the comfort that brings.

team98Ella was so relieved and grateful but you know what? There was nothing to be afraid of. The water was an inch deep.

team991She stayed close to the beach for a while but then decided to venture out again when she felt safe.

team992You probably realize by now that is more about the girl’s scary adventure than it is about Ella. It sums up last semester pretty well, minus the partying. The girl never made friends and spent most of her time in her room. She claims the school was too small, that it was hard to meet people like her so as a result, she came home almost every weekend – and the school is three hours away. It hurts a mom’s heart.

When we were searching for colleges we all thought a small school, in the middle of a rural part of an adjoining state would be perfect. As it turns out – not so much. The college is about as big as her high school and though the girl is introverted, she’s still very worldly and loves to experience different adventures. A small quiet school in the middle of nowhere doesn’t offer those things.

So what do we do? She decided to go back and finish the year. She did however, begin transfer paperwork to other universities – where she ends up, we don’t know. I do feel that she has a different perspective now. Talking about it has made a big different in how we view the situation.

And then there’s this –

team994I found this on her SnapChat the other day. Things are getting back to normal . . .

Last semester the thought of trying out for the equitation team was overwhelming. She said to me, “Everyone here is better than me.” I, of course, thought that statement was ludicrous and if you’ve been following my blog for a while (wow, it’s been seven years), you also know that she’s a talented rider. It was the first week of school though and everything was new so I told her that if she didn’t want to tryout, she shouldn’t. Ironically, she decided on the school because of its competitive equitation team and its equestrian program. The equestrian club is the biggest club at school and almost everyone rides. There were a lot of other things to adjust to though and it didn’t seem as important at the time. We understood why she decided not to tryout.

But this semester is different. Before she left she asked her dad and I what we thought if she tried out for the team. We held back our enthusiasm and told her it was a good idea, that perhaps it will give her sometime else to focus on but internally, we were both jumping for joy.

Two days after returning to school she tried out for the team – and made it. Hallelujah!

We pray it will be a great semester for her. We pray that making the team will give her something positive on which to focus. We just pray for our girl – she’s a precious jewel trying to find her way in this big bad scary world.

She may not get as much saddle time as a freshman, but I hope to go to some competitions. Stay tuned for some horse pics! What a journey through life! And it’s just beginning . . .

Why Did They Throw The Ball?

sb1Why did they throw the ball?

That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to run the ball and win the game or to suffer the slings and arrows of living with the worst decision in your life?

Those poor coaches!

I had to post early today because so many people are talking about the game and yes, even Puxatawny Phil can’t compete with the press coverage of the game today.

We, the husband and I, watched the game from a private event. Yes we did.

sb6Neighbor Beth hosted a party at the yacht club. I was excited to go, the husband – not so much. I wanted to enjoy a dinner out, the husband wanted to stay home and actually watch the game without – you know – talking to anyone.

Men.

sb3But look at the menu.

sb4How fun is this? It’s a Seahawk on the menu! The sliders were amazing by the way. I didn’t feel like cooking but the husband was hungry so he had four of them.

sb8Neighbors Beth & Bill really threw an awesome party but we decided to leave a little after halftime because of this.

They were streaming the game and the commercials weren’t shown. Since that is such a large part of the Super Bowl experience, we decided that we should go home and watch the rest of the game from the comfort of our couch.

It was the best decision we ever made because when the Seahawks were intercepted on the last play of the game, the husband rocketed out of his chair and yelled at the television at the top of his lungs. You know what he yelled?

“Why did you throw it? Why did you throw it?”

I hid cowering under my blanket and thanked God we were at home.

I love football – everything about it. The emotion, the drama, the half time shows. And yes, sometimes I even watch the game.

sb2Hi Neighbor Margie! She’s waving from the second floor of the ballroom. And to all a good night.