Sunday, October 30, 2011


What a great week we had last week when we surprised the kids and Mike's Dad with a trip to North Carolina for his 70th birthday!  I think our arrival surprise was a true success and Alby loved it.  We spent the next three days, without any agenda, enjoying each other, hanging out and catching up.  I hope it was Alby's best birthday yet!!  Here are a few shots from our trip...

Saturday, October 22, 2011


How did this happen?  Oh well, onward and upward!  My top 40 thanks go to...

40. opportunity knocking.
39.  movies that make me laugh and cry.
38. great quotes - i'm a sucker for inspiration.
37. the indigo girls - galileo on a road trip might be the best.
36. nature's silence.
35. family movie night.
34. finn's super duper, from the belly, silly high laugh.
33.  the feeling that i've still got it.  sometimes.
32.  my love of learning something new.
31. finishing my "homework" on friday's after school. those friday folders are a bear!
30.  logan's sweet sensitivity about all things.
29. adele. ray lamontagne. van morrison. otis redding. blues traveler. janis joplin. james taylor.
28. the ability to teleport to age 22 with a few good friends and occasionally act foolishly.
27. the appropriate level of guilt i feel after number 28.
26. the forever friendships found in all stages of life.
25. family that shows up and loves like crazy.
24. in summer - a light mocha frappuccino, double blended. in winter - a skinny vanilla latte.
23.  autumn colors.
22. riley's uncanny old soul perspective.
21. a day that starts bad, but ends great.
20. being surprised by life.
19. making a real connection.
18. cooking anything from scratch.
17. limitless reinvention.
16. the relationships I have with my brothers.
15. mike, always, but especially all the time.
14. a good haircut. and hilary, who gives it to me.
13. shopping at hot mama.
12. folding laundry, but having others put it away.
11. the ambiance and comfort of a roaring fire.
10. the mom-developed ability to turn a carpooling-related phone call into an existential discussion and then run out to pick up the kids from swimming.
9. resilience.
8. the fact that i'm figuring out the life messages i want to give my kids. and that they occasionally repeat them back to me.
7. asking the girls' opinions of an outfit and really wanting their answers.
6. hugging finn.
5. tightening the thread.  this is how I describe my editing process. it's the feeling of it coming together just right.  i think, at 40, we're tightening the thread and it feels great.
4. days when we're all home, something's cooking and there's nothing we MUST do.
3. the endless possibility of things happening that you never imagined.
2. mike, logan, riley, finn, jesse, dempsey, harley, and maggie.  my immediate forever loves. my life.
1. the next 40 years, experiences, possibilities. the rollercoaster.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

can you roll your tongue?

Four of the five of us have the genetic trait that allows us to roll our tongues.  For at least three years, the fact that Riley is the only one of us lacking this physical ability has frustrated her beyond words.  Our girl, who can pretty much master any bodily task that she sets her mind on, cannot complete this simple movement.

Until now.

For some reason, her tongue rolling problem came up again this week.  In her room and I suppose in class and on the bus, and in any available moment, this girl has been secretly and relentlessly training her tongue to roll into the perfect tube.  This morning she proudly announced, and displayed, her victory over her genes.

It's seriously amazing.  She can do it, but it takes some kind of mental focus I can't describe.  The look on her face and effort she's putting forth into this one simple movement is completely intense.  She can't hold it long, but she can do it.  I swear.

All I can do is laugh.  If anyone would be determined, competitive and strong enough to beat out her own genetic makeup, it's Riley!  I so admire her strength.