The Week

The week has been a hard one.  A week that weighs heavy on my heart.

A week that started with such a high shortly disingrated into a moment that deeply affected me.

What I walk away with from this week is the reminder that Life, our life-this life, is fragile. It is fragile and it is beautiful.

So I leave you this week with some of the things that have helped me to move through the days.

What I am reading:

In words the gift of siblings:

Just finished this one. My grandfather served as a mechanic for Lindbergh on one of his flights abroad. Pictures of this hero peppered my childhood along with stories of his ego and temper. Interesting to read this account which is not a work of non fiction but a historical fiction.

Ells has been obsessed with this one. Every night before bed I am “required” to read it and this week I choose to really focus on the words and the book proved helpful to me.

What I am listening to:

Darius Rucker- Take Me Home (could not find a link to put here that would send me to the actual song so encourage you to listen to the spotify version)

I and love and you. A favorite that seems to be on repeat this week.

moments of the week

Couple of moments from our week:

What I am listening to this week:

This song has been on repeat on my ipod.  I realize it’s been out for a while but it’s worth sharing. My favorite line- ” she carries me when my sins make me heavy”.  

What I am reading this week:

Some of you may have already seen this on my facebook page. Her words are perfect and I encourage all parents to read it.

Only a few pages in but really enjoying this-

What I saw this week that moved me:

This couple and their love. That is inspiring.

We are so stinking excited for this weekend to be here and to visit with my younger brother. He’s been at Ft. Lee (outside of Richmond, VA) for the last 3 months doing some advanced training. I cannot think of a better way to spend the Memorial Day weekend then being with him.


The Square Dance Caller

Harry and I met today in the most unlikely of places.

I was shooting pictures for the day as a volunteer at Sidney’s third grade field trip.

Harry was the square dance caller.

One smile from Harry and I knew I had to get to know him better.

He’s charming, energetic and  87.

He’s been calling square dances for 40 years.

“I tried to retire last year but they called me at the last-minute to do a pioneer day at a local school and since then I can’t seem to stop”.


Today Harry called square dances for almost 6 hours with only a short 30 minute lunch break.  After 2 hours of following 80 third graders around I was pooped. But, there was Harry standing before me full of enthusiasm for the job he loved.  “I love this job!” he told me.

He cajoled all of those 8 year old boys into holding the hands of the 8-year-old girls beside them. None of the kids complained in fact they loved every minute.

The common refrain in this day and age seems to be that kids of this generation just don’t get it. They are disrespectful and maybe even lazy.

Harry shared with me that over the last 10 years he can count on one hand the number of times he has had to tell a child to leave. He finds them to be engaged, completely respectful and down right excited to dance around a barn while he calls the commands.

Maybe, we just need to learn to talk to kids more like Harry does.

Nina’s Story


Meet Nina

Nina is eight years old.

 I have a daughter who is eight years old. Her name is Sidney.

Nina’s mom was a healthy young woman when she became pregnant with Nina.

I was a healthy young woman when I became pregnant with Sid.

Nina’s mom and I should have had identical pregnancies.

Neither one of us had histories of preterm birth.

We both carried singleton babies.

We both had access to the best prenatal health care in Ohio.

But somehow the births of our daughters, eight years ago, were radically different.

An average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.

Sidney was born at 39 weeks a great big ball of screaming baby. She weighed 7lbs 12 oz.

Nina was born 9 weeks early at 31 weeks and weighed just 2lbs 15 oz.

 Sidney came home from the hospital with me 4 days after she was born.

Nina fought for 5 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital before she eventually came home to  her parents and  big brother. For months and years after her birth her parents waited for the other ax to drop but her health has remained exceptionally good for a child born at that size.

 I was able to meet Nina and her mom yesterday and hear their story. I walked away with these tidbits:

Not one researcher can answer the question why it is that so many women in the United States deliver babies way too early. Women who should, according to all the statistics, deliver a healthy baby.

But statistics fail us and babies are born every day way too soon.

We believe that bringing our children into the world in America they will be armed with every advantage imaginable but yet we fail at just that- bringing them into the world.

That is why there are groups like the March of Dimes. Groups that bring stories like Nina’s to people like me. They bring these stories in the hopes that by the telling of stories we create a society that deems this as unacceptable.

One out of every 9 babies are born too soon.

We have put men on the moon and we have invented a modem that will connect us with each other every moment of every day.

One day we will discover the cause of preterm birth.

Until then Nina and her mom will continue to tell their story.

The First Post, Where this story begins……

Starbucks 8am

I swear there is a corporate memo hanging out there somewhere that “encourages” baristas to make small talk with the person in the drive through line awaiting their much anticipated cup of morning joe.

 The memo reads something like this:

“The line is backed up and you are confronted with a sleep deprived mother of three on her way to work. Take her mind off the wait by inquiring about what she is up to today. If that does not work then ask her what she is doing this weekend (or last weekend if it’s a monday). If she offers one word answers or appears disinterested do not take it personally, said mom is probably emotionally drained and in need of our espresso to jolt her into a state of heightened awareness”.

This morning I hit the pause button. I looked up from my satellite radio, jumped past my own distaste (and lets face it lack of ability) to make small talk and I engaged with, let’s call her Kelsey (since I did not get permission to use her name in my blog), my drive through attendant. She smiled and inquired about my day. I told her I was heading into the office. And then instead of waiting for her to ask another question, I turned the tables on her. How was she doing? How was work for her this week? Oh you are worried about your nursing exams? Tell me what kind of hospital would you like to work in? The questions rolled off my lips in a manner much easier then I ever anticipated.

Once I started I simply could not stop.

The grande misto long since handed over and there I sat still learning about this young lady, working early mornings at the Starbucks and making her way through nursing school on her own at 20- excited for where life is going to take her.

An awkward moment where I realized I was now the cause for the back up in the drive through line, so I smiled, told her I hoped her exams went well and then drove off. Off into the start of my day filled with meetings, deadlines, doctors appointments and time chauffeuring children to evening activities.

Now I sit and rewind that morning interaction and I cant help but smile. I think about my days as a young women  much like Kelsey-climbing the ladder, working a day job at the office and an evening job at Ann Taylor to make ends meet and surviving on pots of coffee and  the proverbial Ramon noodle dinner. The conversation this morning took me back to a time long since forgotten by this working mom of 3. 

Thinking on it now I wonder how maybe not that much has changed. I’m still surviving with pots of coffee (this time starbucks mistos) and now instead of ramon noodle dinners I order expensive takeout from the chinese restaurant down the street. I am still striving. The only difference between my 21 year old self and me as a 35 year old women is that I now climb for a different purpose.

Thanks Kelsey for reminding me how far I’ve come but how close I still am to where I was 15 years ago.

So this journey begins:

People and their stories .Challenging myself each week to reset and connect with those around me -strangers and friends alike.

My new story begins.