Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jitter Bug

...loves to watch the birds at the feeders.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Soooo BIG!

Dear Tatum,

Sometimes, when I look at you, I see your daddy. Sometimes, when I look at you, I see your mommy. Sometimes, when I look at you, I see my dad. Sometimes when I look at you, I see your Grandma Deb.

Sometimes it is all within a short little span of ten minutes. IT amazes me to see all these generations represented in your sweet little face.

Mostly, what I see is a miniature person whose personality is unfolding before our very eyes. You are such a happy little boy. I see your face light up when you see your mommy and daddy.

One of the best things in the world for me right now is when you fall asleep in my arms. 

I am so in love with you, Sweet Tatum. I am so happy I get to be your Mimi. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kansas in the Rear View Mirror

I did a little reorganizing of photos on my hard drive today and came across some old photos. I love looking at old photos ... even if there is no journaling to tell the story. I know I should journal, but looking at those photos, I was reminded of a silly woman who was afraid to move, but who was so grateful for the experiencing moving.

I loved visiting this reservoir. It was the closest I could get to beachcombing. I found some of the prettiest drift wood here and I even found a fantastic shell.

I saw these photos that I snapped. I remembered the air that day was cool. I remembered the mud was sticky. I remembered the air was heavy with the smell of pungent wild fire smoke. I remembered staring at those dead trees that had drowned in the deep water of the reservoir and wondering how long they'd been there. I wondered if anyone had enjoyed their shade. I remembered feeling like it seemed almost of prehistoric times. I had such a feeling of curiosity and wonder yet I felt an eeriness, too.

Moving away from all that I knew and stepping outside of my comfort zone was terribly frightening to me. Once I got there, the time passed rather quickly. Before I knew it, it was time to pack everything up and come back home. I look back at the Kansas pages of my memory books with very fond memories. Each and every one of us grew by leaps and bounds from that experience.


It's the start of a brand new year!

"So what will you do with your one wild and precious life?"
Mary Oliver

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Freebies for Christmas!

It is Christmas time and I am in the mood for giving!

I designed these adorable little gift tags for you to use in your Christmas gift giving.

I ask that you use these for your personal use only and that you not sell them anywhere. You may download and print this file as many times as you need.
You  may link to my blog, but please do not put this file on your own blog.  These are my original design and it is protected by copyright laws.

If you agree to my terms of use, then click HERE to get the full-size PDF so you can print your gift tags.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Song For Tatum

Angel's Lullaby
as sung by Reba McEntire

Midnight moonlight shining through the curtain lace,
Paints a perfect picture on your perfect face
One sweet angel sleeping in my arms
You are the promise I knew God would keep

You are the gift that makes my world complete 

And you'll never know how much I love you
But I'll keep on telling you my whole life through
Now I believe in miracles, and you're the reason why

So dream on while I sing you my angel's lullaby 

Witnessing the birth of my firstborn grandchild was by far the most beautiful experience I have ever witnessed. As long as I can, I will cherish those memories. Nothing has eve

So many people tried to tell me that there isn't a thing in the world quite like becoming a grandparent. I knew it was a special milestone...welcoming a new family member....seeing your children become parents. But truly...there are no words that accurately describe this experience. Nothing has ever rendered me speechless for two days like this did. 

I have been Tatum's Mimi for two and a half months now. There are days when I feel that realization sink in just a little bit deeper. When I see him and talk to him and he smiles at me, I definitely feel my heart growing. I love it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autumnal Vibrations

Got out for a bit to enjoy some of the beautiful Colorado scenery with all five of my children yesterday.

Monday, July 9, 2012

25 Things

I see these lists everywhere. I decided I wanted to give this style of blogging a try because I have been so distracted lately and haven't been able to log in as often as I would choose. So here we go.

1. I love thrifting. While all of my personal affects are still safely packed away in storage crates somewhere in Kansas, I have managed to piece together a lovely work station for doing homework. I found a lovely stained glass lamp and a comfortable red chair and another little table for my printer/scanner. Super affordable and I like the way it all looks together.

2. I live right across the street from the Farmer's Market. Every Sunday, the main street in town here gets blocked off so vendors can sell their wares. It's fun. It's festive.

3. I am glad to be back in Colorado so I can watch as my daughter's baby bump grows.

4. We have less than 5 weeks to eagerly anticipate the arrival of our newest little family member.

5. I am knitting a lovely baby blanket.

6. Jitter loves that work in progress and has already made a few snags in the blanket. I cut his claws short so that can't happen.

7. Amanda came for a visit today. She brought our mail to us. There was a package from Karen. She sent me some lovely clothes and adorable sleepers for Tatum to wear.

8. Kaitlyn is coming for a visit today, too. She should be here sometime after lunch. It will be good to see her!

9. Today, the weather is cool and cloudy. The same as it was yesterday and the day before. This is a very welcomed change from the extremely high temperatures we were having.

10. I love cloudy and rainy days.

11. The kids went to the store this morning and bought some Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. I ate two and really wish I hadn't. I am allergic to wheat and am now paying the price. Boooo!

12. I got to go to knit night with my knitting buddy, Rose, last week. It was so fun to go and hang out with the girls. It was even better to be remembered by all my fellow knitters. They all asked to see a picture of my wedding dress. I crocheted it while I sat next to a lot of them, but the never got to see the finished product. I will need to remember to load a few of the photos onto my phone so I can share it with them this week.

13. I am planning a baby shower for my daughter. It will be a lot of fun. I am starting to get RSVP calls. It is so exciting!

14. Last week was the beginning of a whole new session at school. I had gotten distracted and thrown off course and fell behind. I worked really hard for three days in a row and got all of my school work caught up. I am so relieved and happy.

15. It was so dry here in Colorado over the 4th of July that most every fireworks display was cancelled due to extreme fire danger. It was a little strange.

16. I miss shopping at Trader Joe's. We used to make a trip to Trader Joe's once per month when I lived in Kansas. Ryan and I would drive to Kansas City, Missouri for his Orthodontic appointments. But now that he is finished with braces and we don't live there, we don't go. I know were are supposed to be getting a Trader Joe's soon, but until then, I do miss it....which kind of surprises me.

17. I started crocheting a lace scarf called an Alpine Frost. It is made with laceweight yarn. The first three rows are beautiful I can't wait to have it finished. It will be so pretty and warm this Fall and Winter.

18. I am using my gorgeous ladybug crochet hooks designed by Heather Rhodes to make the Alpine Frost scarf. They are gorgeous polymer clay handles that add a bit of girth to the handles and texture that make holding a crochet hook for extended periods of time more comfortable...and a whole lot more fun. I am thrilled with her ladybug design, too!

19. Coming up with 25 things to write about is really a bit of a challenge. I really thought it would be a piece of cake! It's a challenge.

20. All of the men went fishing yesterday. All together, they caught 33 fish. They released them all back into the water though.

21. My graduation is inching closer and closer. I am really starting to feel excited. my classes are getting more and more challenging and I am beginning to feel like a real designer.

22. I slept later today than I have in a long time. I slept until 9:30. I usually wake up at 6:00. I get out of bed right away to enjoy a little quiet time before everyone wakes up.

23. I need some more coffee. My cup is almost empty.

24. Yay! I am almost to 25 and then I can refill my coffee cup and then go take a shower to get ready for Kaitlyn to come visit.

25. Yay! I did it! I found 25 random things to write about. That last one seemes like it shouldn't I will tell you that the kids and I walked around the lake in Parker last week. We dipped our feet in the water. It was refreshing and good to spend time together.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


It was the afternoon of Halloween. Quincy’s First Grade class was having their celebration. Rob and I walked to the school to drop off Quincy's costume. When we got there, we discovered that he was using another costume. We watched the kids dance to appropriately chosen theme music, snapped some photos and then we walked home.

My heart was so heavy with thoughts of my dad. He was in South Carolina literally on his deathbed. I knew it wouldn’t be long until he was gone from my life forever. Rob and I walked hand in hand in silence except for the footsteps his combat boots and my Danskos made with leaves crunching under our feet. I was wearing an ivory colored sweater. I noticed a ladybug landed on my chest. Then it took flight again and flew near my right shoulder at the same pace that we walked. I thought that was so neat. Since that ladybug interrupted my intense thoughts of my dad, I decided that I would always think of my dad whenever I saw a ladybug. It granted me some comfort. Rob and I walked the rest of the way to our home.

The next day, my dad was taken by ambulance to the VA hospital in Charlotte. Karen followed in her car.  We talked briefly. She told me she would call once he had been admitted.

The day progressed on and the news nor my dad’s condition never improved. In fact, dad was actively dying and I hated the thought. Later that night, Karen called and told me that my dad’s breathing had changed and she was certain this would be the last change before the suffering ended. She allowed me to say goodbye to him one more time. Through tears and sobs, I told him it was okay for him to go and that he was a good dad. I told him I would be all right. Karen called my sister.

God! I wanted to be in the room with my dad. The few minutes that my sister got to talk to my dad to say goodbye felt like and eternity. I felt small and alone. I longed for connection. I sent a text message and asked my sister to call me when she hung up. She did. We talked about dad and about other things.

I suddenly remembered the ladybug from the day before. I sent Karen a series of text messages. The first one read: “Karen, will you please ask my dad to send me ladybugs when he gets there?” The next one read: “Karen, I know you are busy, but this is really important. Can you please whisper in his ear to send me ladybugs?” No reply came. The next was, “Karen? Are you getting my messages? I need to know he hears this message before it’s too late.” She didn’t respond.

For each message I sent, I didn’t get a response from her. My mind and my heart started racing. I tried to stay in the moment in the conversation with my sister, but I couldn’t focus. I knew my dad was dying and all I could think about was him. My sister was in the middle of a sentence and I said, “I’m sorry, Danielle. I need to let you go. I need to call Karen to ask her something.”

She said, “Do you mind if I ask what you’re going to ask her?”

I felt an intense surge of urgency. I told her, “I’m sorry. I need to call her right now. I will tell you about it in a few minutes when I call you back. Don’t leave your phone. This won’t take long. I promise I will call you back in a few minutes.”

I hung up with Danielle and used speed dial to call Karen. Her phone rang five times and went to voicemail. I hung up and called right back. I knew she couldn’t have gotten too far from her phone. I must’ve called three or four times and each time the phone call was answered by voicemail. I was feeling really panicked at this point. I sent Danielle a text and started to explain to her what I wanted to ask for and about that time, Karen called me back. I answered my phone with the usual, “Hello?”

Karen responded with, “Kelly, he’s gone.” She was crying. And she said it again, “Kelly! He’s GONE!”

In that moment, I heard a loud, heavy, iron door slam shut in my heart and mind. I knew there was no going back on this one. I cried out, “OH MY GOD! OH NO!” Then I burst into tears. I knew I would never hear his voice again. I knew I would never get another birthday card from him. I knew it was over and he was gone forever.

When I started crying, my kids came in and sat on my bed with me. Without asking, they knew the reason for my tears.

My heart sank. I realized my dad didn’t know that I wanted him to send me ladybugs.

I asked Alex to use his cell phone to call my sister. He did. My sister was on Alex’s phone and Karen was on my cell phone. I held both phones to opposite ears.

I don’t remember now how it came up. I must have told my sister that I was trying to call Karen to ask about the ladybugs and my sister said, “Kelly he knew. He knew what was on your mind.”

I wanted to believe her, but I just couldn’t. I tried, but somewhere in my heart I just wanted to know that he heard my request. Karen had other phone calls she needed to make, too. So we hung up and I continued on with Danielle. We called our mother three-way and told her the news.

We talked and cried and laughed and cried and talked until my mom said she wanted to call her sister. She hung up. My sister and I talked until about 1:30 my time. I went downstairs into my living room. My husband was with me as was my older son, Ryan. They listened quietly as I talked and cried with my sister.

Ryan whispered, “Mom! Mom! Look!”

I got up from my seat on the loveseat and walked around to the dining area. Jitter, our cat, was sitting on the tile floor poking at something with his paw as a curious cat would.

I strained my eyes to see what the cat was poking. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I gasped and said, “Is that?…..a? No way! A LADYBUG???” I started laughing and crying at the same time. I exclaimed, “Danielle! You are NOT going to believe THIS! There is a ladybug in my dining room right now!” I went over and bent down and held out a finger so the ladybug could crawl onto my hand.

I would NOT have believed it myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.  A ladybug was in my house on November 2nd. I was certain it was just for me.

It goes without saying that I felt pretty darned special about that.

I received four more ladybugs daily….and now only sporadically. Of course I expect to see and look for ladybugs in the garden. It is nice to see them. The ones I consider special gifts are the ones that land on the window of the bedroom that was my dad's. Or the ones that land on me. They are all tiny blessings, for sure.

Saturday, May 26, 2012



I saw the word "always" as a writing prompt. Immediately, my mind began thinking thoughts of eternity or forevermore. I wrote a few jagged sentences to get my pen moving, but scratched them out. I decided to conduct an internet search on Google. com for "always". I was presented with four links to a feminine hygiene sanitary product, a music video link and a definition on and another definition at I clicked on the link to I discovered yet another avenue to find more information about sanitary pads in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

The four definitions I found were:

1.) every time; on every occasion without exception
2.) all the time; continuously; uninterruptedly
3.) forever
4.) in any even; at any time; if necessary

I even check! The third definition there made me giggle! It is quite possible that the only reason it did was because it contains an f-bomb. The definition reads: "A fucking long time, sometimes for all eternity."

My conclusion: The internet always provides entertainment.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chasing Light

As we were out an about tonight, I wondered if my children will look back favorably on these little outings. When they were little, they almost loathed going on photo shoots with me. They'd see me dragging out my big gear bag and their bodies would start to twitch with angst.  Times have changed a bit. While some of them refuse to have their faces in my line of view, I think they do enjoy the outings.

A Bug In Your Ear

Life is funny, isn't it? Just when you think you have it all figured out, someone goes and changes the rules! The important thing is to not let that last bit trip you up too much. At least, that is what I have discovered.

I have a week left in this place I call my home. I have a whole list of little adventures I had hoped to make before I left. But now with all the to-do lists growing longer and and the countdown clock getting closer to lift-off, I am beginning to embrace the fact that some of these adventures will have to be left undone. And that is okay.

I am ready to go back home.

I am ready to put down roots again.

I am ready to begin this new chapter in my life.

Three times this week I have been talking with various friends on the phone and have used the idiom "putting a bug in your ear" I catch myself each time and let out a grand guffaw. Why? Well, Sunday night, I finished up my homework and closed my laptop, set it on the floor and rolled over, closed my eyes and quickly drifted off to the land of nod. I was awakened by an insect which had ventured into my left ear. I heard a loud noise and I knew exactly what it was! I could hear its footsteps as though it was tap dancing on my ear drum. I had no idea how big or small the bug was. I was afraid to try to put my finger in my ear for fear I would push it further into my ear.

I tore out of bed and shook my head and the bug wiggled and continued tap dancing. I knew I was going to need a doctor's help to get this remedied. Excitedly, I convinced my husband he needed to take me to urgent care right now.

Needless to say, he was not at all amused by this rude awakening. But really, would you be able to rest knowing there was a bug...a real live, six-legged and possibly even winged creepy bug inside your head?

We went downstairs to get our shoes on to leave and I was pretty certain I felt the bug walk out of my ear. After that, I didn't hear the the tiny foot steps.

Once I had calmed down and decided a trip to urgent care was no longer in order, I crawled back into bed. This time I pulled the covers up over my ears.

Needless to say, I hear that phrase and it has a whole new meaning to me!


It was 22 years ago yesterday that I held her in my arms. Newborn Amanda was so tiny and so small. Maybe neither of us realized it then, but we both had so much to teach each other and so much to learn from each other. As she grew and matured, so did I.

Now, in just a few short months, I will be a grandmother and she will be a mother. I am certain we will both learn many wonderful things in our new roles. As Little Tatum will be our brand-new, tiny teacher. As he grows and matures, so will Amanda ... and so will I.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another Adult Child

She counted down the days and there was a huge sigh of relief that she breathed as she walked out the doors that day last December. She met all of the requirements to graduate a semester earlier than her classmates. We knew she wanted to walk with the class in May, so we waited for the celebration.

I met her friend so he could follow me to our house. As we made our way up the winding hill, it hit my like a ton of bricks. The emotions all washed over me and I started to cry tears of joy. Her big day was finally here! Her friends and family made long drives to be here on her special day. 

The ceremony was lovely. I got a lump in my throat when I heard the band play "Pomp And Circumstance" and then again when I saw my daughter walking out from behind the big black curtain. She looked so proud, confident and beautiful.


I am so very proud of you. You are truly an inspiration and I love you. I am so glad I got to be YOUR mom. You are so smart and can do ANYTHING you have the desire to do. Stretch your wings and fly! 

May you know no limits.

I love you more than Swedish Fish!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today, I am loving:

...that we are this much closer to moving back home.
...the lovely memories we got to make over our last weekend trip to Colorado. coffee brewed by my fantastic hubby in my beautiful polish pottery mug
...this photograph of the apple core my daughter crafted with her teeth.
...the fact that there are just 13 weeks (give or take a week or two) left to go until I get to meet my grandson
...the beautiful weather today
...that Kaitlyn's graduation ceremony is THIS weekend
...a nice quiet morning in comfy pants

What do you love today?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

This week, I have:

explored and learned important softwares

enjoyed breakfast in the yard with my mother

enjoyed long phone calls from a very special friend who lives far away

dreamed of tending my own garden

planned a very special photo shoot

fallen completely in love with Spring again

cast on another baby project for my grandson

celebrated Alex's accomplishment of doing well in school this year...more celebrations to follow

enjoyed the company of some very beautiful Orioles in my backyard! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


The Quiet

Quiet mornings are mine
for loving, listening, knitting, writing...dreaming.

In my home, there is a lot of living that happens,

but it is in these moments of quiet
from which I draw my strengths.

In this moment, I am loving:

*  the sunrises I get to see on the way to school with Alex
*  breakfast for any meal
*  quiet mornings with the windows open so I can hear the songbirds' songs
*  starting knitting a baby blanket for my unborn grandchild
*  Springtime and all of the beautiful green budding plants and wonderful blossoming trees