Thursday, November 3, 2011

You Are Special Today

Have you ever come across a friends tradition you thought was really cool and really wanted to steal?
For example, the Greek. They have some seriously cool traditions! Incredible party people "Opa!"

Or some people go boating every summer. Or Disneyland is another.

One of the coolest families I ever got the privilege to grow up with, the Lockharts, held a ton of traditions.
One thing you need to know about the Lockharts. They're grounded on tradition and family and most of all, God.
Now I grew up with a lot less tradition, but we had some, nonetheless.

But when we received this plate as a wedding gift from the Lockhart's grandparents we got an entire inherited history that they passed on to us.
To be honest, I didn't know what the plate was or what it meant when I opened the gift. I obviously knew there was something there, but what... I had no idea. When I mentioned it to any one of the Lockharts (and trust me, there are a quite a few) they spoke with reverence and said "IT'S TRADITION!!!!"

Every birthday from here on was not meant for restaurants, but meant for having a close intimate dinner with brothers and sisters and mom and dad and the meal you thought was the best you had all year. But that wasn't the best part... you got to have the plate. The red plate that only comes out on someones birthday. The plate that reminds you... YOU ARE SPECIAL TODAY.

I must admit, the Lockharts, Del and Nina, gave us one of my favorite things. A wool blanket that saves me every year when the temperature drops below 0. The Lockharts parents {(Pop and Gram) that used to bring huge brown bags of popcorn filled with surprise candy bars for each one of us kids} ....gave us tradition.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm Home

I just recently had a conversation with a friend about love. And we spoke about that feeling you get when you're so comfortable with someone it just feels like... you're home.
I know you know. And I just felt like bringing it up again.

For those of us who have truly, deeply, purely loved... there's no word quiet like... home.

"I may have loved, and I may have lust, but there's no one who has ever brought me home until I met you." Poetic, right?

I remember meeting Luke and okay, I'll admit. I didn't remember his name. How horrible am I?! But on our first encounter, we were pretty smitten. And I say that with twenty twenty hindsight. I don't know if this is how he remembers it, but I spent the evening fully aware of where he was and what proximity I was to him. I spent most of my time watching him (which I'm fairly certain he still doesn't know) and the rest giving my tokens to him *we were at a funplex* because I'm not a game person and have never been.
We pretty much hit it off and when he asked for my phone number I was floored. (I was not allowed to call any member of the opposite parents are old school)
I had to wait for him to call....Yep, it sucks!
But my point is not our first date, or the first thing he ever bought me, or our first kiss (which by the way has it's own story)... the point is that... he was the one and only one I could ever really be myself. I spill my guts. I let him know me inside and out and he still loved me. He loves me when I'm unlovable. And that .. to me... is Home.
So back to twilight... Christina Perri just released an amazing song called "A Thousand Years" and its on the new Breaking Dawn track list.
The new song?... um look down

Well, maybe I'm just feeling a little romantic... but whatever the reason... I do confess, I am a fan of Twilight. Yes, I agree, they're not for an intellectual read. But, it's an interesting love story.

Christina Perri - A Thousand Years (Official Lyric Video)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


A lot of you may well know that Luke's Dad, Jack, went to Heaven on Sunday morning. He died after a few short months of being diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer.
Now I never had long serious talks with Jack and we never had more than casual conversations which usually included blonde jokes, but this is my blog... so it's MY take on Jack.

The first time I met Jack, he tried his hardest to crack a joke. Obviously, I had been prepared for a "meet the boyfriend's parents" with a formal and awkward introduction. So I wasn't really prepared for Jack. I honestly felt like a dumb blonde. I had no idea what he was talking about and why everyone else thought it was so funny. I do believe this was probably the moment of failure because from then on, he pretty much just tried to doop me every chance he got.

My first frustration with Jack was at our wedding. Jack refused to rent a tux.(insert eye roll) We must have had at least ten tuxedos running around that day, and the father of the groom was not one of them. Stubborn to the core!!!! He also thought I should be a mountain bike rider... ummm no, he thought wrong!

I, to be honest, never really fully understood the photography that he did. And I say this as a very tragic flaw on my part. I suppose, it's because he really only showed me his favorites. Yesterday, I had the privilege of putting together a 15 minute slideshow, showcasing some of his best photos. And now, I've finally seen MY favorites. The thing I think I love the most is that it really shows me all the places he's been and the things he's seen. Some of them so breathtaking, they create a moment of awe. Watching him go through this disease, from a cane, to a walker, to bed ridden.... the places this man has seen and captured is one of the most beautiful testimonies to him that he could've left behind.

Jack taught me how to fish. Okay, let me specify. My dad (who is the coolest guy I'll ever know) taught me stop getting the lure caught in the trees. Jack taught me how to skunk my dad :D And now, my dad refuses to fish with me. (Sore loser!!!)

Jack was there last year for my first hunting trip. He spotted the deer and pretty much knew where they were for my tactical maneuvers. And yes, we got it.

Jack was the babysitter. He was the one that got down on the floor with the babies and played their games. He watched their movies. He just spent time. And that's probably one of the lessons I want to take away from him. That... time doing what others like and enjoy is the best time spent.

What I've learned...I believe there really is something special about a photographer. They have to be stealth, they have to feel their environment, they know the terrain, and they're patient to the end.

I'm not really sure I have the qualities that Jack did. Although, I learned to throw a mean comeback in his face when he decided to razz me about my hair color. His passing was graceful, and painful, and confusing, and in a lot of ways.... just Jack.

I've never actually taken a first hand grip on planning someone's funeral and let me just say...
this has been the longest week of my life.
P.S. I'll probably change this post, based on the things I remember.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Diary of Fred and Ginger

I don't know when or why I started calling Anna-Claire, Fred. It's not like she needs anymore nicknames. A C, ACE, A C KAT, Anna-Claire, Hey YOU, Monkey, and Fred. Well, she's never been that keen on it, until I told her she could either call me Ginger or Wilma (I don't need to explain this, do I?). And now that the kids are all in school, it's just her and I all morning. Until she goes to school at 12:30.
To be honest, one on one time in a house of five kids is practically impossible. So today was like a breath of fresh air. (For both of us)
We dropped the kids off, left the car at school, and walked to Main Street. We had bagels with cream cheese, Fred threw a penny in every fountain, checked out Culinary Corner, antique stores, and all the pink things we could find. You know, cause pink is (according to Fred) the best color. And when Main Street no longer held our attention, we walked (rather, Ginger walked, Fred hitched a ride on Ginger's back) to Lincoln Park.
Okay, so we did indulge and hit the McDonalds for a happy meal and said hello to our friends at Johnson's House of Flowers before it was time for school. But this was one of the best days I've ever had with my little Fred.

Quotes of the Day...
"Can we do this ever day?"
After hearing a motorcycle behind her "I did NOT fart!"
"Come on, Ginger!" "Let's go, Fred"
Hold's up an antique pink dress "I'm totally into this."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No Throwing Rocks!!!

Cody is my middle child. He's the one that makes me pray for patience or calgon (whichever comes first). And he's typically in trouble eighty-five percent of his life.

So when my daughter came in and said Cody had thrown a rock at some kid. I did what I always do. I took a deep breath and screamed "CODY!!!!"

Now, to his defense, he did tell the truth and fessed up in throwing the rock. But he tacked on what the other girls had not. The child to which he had thrown a rock at had done a bit of name calling and thrown a rock at him first... and with apparently accurate aim.
Now, no... Cody wasn't off the hook. He got his punishment in full force. But to the child who was, according to Cody, much taller and rode an orange bike, I felt the need to enforce the same lesson.
No, I don't want revenge and I don't think Cody was justified in what he did. But if there is some little prick running around name calling and throwing rocks, I fully intend to take him home to his mother and allow her to install the same set of manners that should've already been taught. Yes, I realize that if some strange woman came to my door with my child accusing them of something they had done, I would be mortified. But I do think that at some point, you need to know that your child is terrorizing the neighborhood and that it's not appreciated.

No, I didn't find the little squirt due to a terenchal downpour. But if I see him... make no mistake, I have no qualms taking him directly home.

Okay.... I'll climb off my soapbox now.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Child's Prayer

Tonight, Luke and I and our five kids were chlllin' on our back patio when we heard sirens.

Anna-Claire came running up to me very upset. "Mom, did you hear that? What should we do?"

My response "You pray for them."

She bowed her head and looked at me...and with my help... she said this prayer

"Dear Jesus,

Please be with the person who might be hurt. Help the ambulance workers too. Be with the policemen who might be chasing a bad guy. And Jesus, be with the firefighters who might be putting out a fire.

Anna-Claire gave me the biggest smile...cause she knew.... there really was something she could do...

A 5 year old's prayer :)