Thursday, July 15, 2010


I love my garden. It's twice the size of last year's and I'm already concocting plans to expand, again. I love the experience of growing something from nothing. Of seeing a tiny seed morph into a six foot plant, bursting with fruit, right before my eyes. I love witnessing the change that one good rainstorm can bring and the unbelievable growth inspired by the warmth of the sun. I love the taste of it all, whether it's a spicy Caribbean chili pepper, deep green basil or the complex burst of flavor from a tomato still warm from the sun. And I love that the kids love it. They're just as excited as I am to see a new cucumber or revel in the gargantuan blossoms of the zucchini plants. They'll pass by and pop cherry tomatoes in their mouths right in the middle of a round of tag. They'll run inside to announce the first yellow bell pepper. They're invested in it, too.

I realized the other day that working with the garden and the other plants around our home is such a great lesson in life for us all. When we arrived on this vacant lot and decided to break ground three and a half years ago, it was nothing. Now it is full of trees and shrubs and flowers and vegetables. It's alive with green life and we're thrilled to be in the middle of it. We learn from our mistakes and wait out changes in our tactics and find out what works. We test our theories and try new ideas. We see the ramifications of our actions. And things bloom, or die or multiply, just like life. How lucky we are to have this living metaphor that feeds us in so many ways.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's coming....

I can feel the dread slipping in just like last year... a solo plane trip on the way again, but this time for both Logan and Riley. A quick two hour ride for them to North Carolina, but the longest two hours of my life.

I learned in my debate to let Logan go or not go last summer that I just have got to let them go. One thing I can say for sure is that my children are not afraid. They are confident. They stick their necks out. They want to spread their wings. They feel free enough in their own skin to try (let's hope not) everything. From tasting something crazy to making pets out of bugs (I'll never forget my shock when Riley introduced me to her pet "spider", who in actuality was a tick named Blaze), these kids are excited about everything and searching out every new experience they can wrap their minds around. Fostering these amazing qualities is my responsibility, my desire.

This is exactly what I want for them. While I'm always up for something new, like joining a networking group, there is a notable amount of self-talk before I walk in the door. There's a little fear of rejection, a bit of worry about how I'll be perceived, some hesitation as to whether I'm good enough. I know these things aren't true and don't matter, but somehow that itsy bit of doubt sneaks in and taints my thoughts just a little.

Parenting is all about creating a life for your kids that is better than yours. I want to give them everything in terms of experience. I enourage them to follow their curiosities, dreams and passions. I want them to crave adventure and always be able to conjure up freshness in their spirits. I want worry to have no part in their futures.

So off they'll go, with no sign from me that I'm worried or hesitant. No sign other than the streaming tears, that will be certainly uncontrollable. And they'll fly off. And they'll land safely. And they'll call. And I won't be able to wait to see them again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fireworks through Finn's Eyes

This video from the 4th of July says it all....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cover Girl!

How lucky am I? My upcoming article on Sports Safety will be the cover story with the best cover model of all - Riley! After a recent photo shoot by my client, little miss R landed the cover!

The magazine runs nationally in newspapers across the country and should be out later this month. I'm working hard to get more info on distribution.

And as you might have guessed, someone is pretty excited about this!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

One more...

Can't leave out the dream team!!

More catching up...

Now on to the fireworks... Happy Independence Day!

Catching Up

June, in a nutshell, has probably been the busiest month of my life. I've never felt so strapped for time, exhausted or so active. Even with so much going on, there's been much excitement and fun to be had. Here's our highlight roll and a couple of posts of pictures to get us caught up...

Logan was accepted to the Otters swim team and begins weekly meets that run into the wee hours. She's doing great and becoming an awesome swimmer.

Riley began USAG team practices and logs 7.5 hours in the gym each week.

Finn is learning to roller blade and ride his bike with training wheels.

We took our first family trip to Great America. The kids loved ALL the rides and measured up to 51 inches (Logan), 49 inches (Riley) and 40 inches (Finn). They're already excited to see what rides they'll qualify for next year. There was nothing like Finn's face as he drove those old antique cars all by himself - remember those??

Daddy, Riley and Uncle Dan participated in a family relay with Logan for her time trials meet. They were the "Dream Team"!

We've experience major summer storms and power outages, with the strongest destroying our trampoline. We're hope to get some replacement parts for next year!

Logan attended a week-long Brownie camp at Camp Dean near Sugar Grove. It was an awesome experience and she got to experience things like archery, canoeing, creek stomping, hiking and so much more.

We've been swimming almost every day.

Riley had her first visit from the tooth fairy.

Logan and Riley got their ears pierced!

We visited the Geneva Swedish Festival.

We even rode to the top of the Sears (I mean, Willis) Tower and had flaming cheese in Greektown.

Sounds like the summer of "the kid" to me!