Sunday, March 31, 2013


Christ has risen!  Hallelujah!  And this morning, I find myself still mesmerized by a shell I found at the beach yesterday.

Amongst a sandy shoreline filled with millions of imperfect and broken shells, there sat this perfectly whole and unblemished conch shell. It reminded me of Jesus.  I found it on Holy Saturday--a "quiet" time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. A day when we reflect upon His death and HOPE for more of His presence. It felt so special to find this precious creation of God, tucked away beneath the feet of thousands--but revealed to me.

   It was a beautiful day at the beach.



And a cool breeze.

On Holy Saturday.

Two years ago, we celebrated Charlie's baptism at the Easter Vigil. It was such a special service, though Charlie was a tired and teething babe. He blew raspberries all over Monsignor Tom. Thank God he has a sense of humor!  As Jimmy held him up to the assembly, we couldn't help but think of Simba in The Lion King and the crowd gave a chuckle as Charlie belted out a loud noise, as if to say, "Amen!"


This year, we celebrate with friends and family.  The kids colored eggs with neighborhood friends.

Julianna and Madi decided to paint Charlie like an egg, too. He loves being "tended to," so he didn't fuss as they played spa and painted his toenails bright pink.

And this morning brought sugar...and more sugar. After beheading his chocolate bunny, Charlie opened not one, not two, but three ring pops at the same time and joyfully took turns licking all three. Thanks, Bubba and Grandpa. I am thankful this took place at your house!


Proving that there was something in it for everyone, Bubba and Grandpa made this adorable arrangement for Daniel.  Happy Easter!  May God continue to bless your lives abundantly!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Our annual festival fun

So I'm two weeks late (or maybe more?) to post these pictures from our annual parish festival. And, as of this writing, Charlie is still wearing his wristband. I don't think it's comin' off any time soon!

Madi's baton group performed that Sunday under the tent. They were fantastic!  So proud of her:)

Madi and Grandpa before the show
Madi with Bubba & Grandpa
Sand art with Jules
"You buckled in back there?"
"Am I tall enough?"
Tea cups with Daddy
The tea cup kids
"Hello down there!"
Waiting is hard.
Love on the Wiggly Worm

Friday, March 15, 2013

Feeding Aqua

While this clip might seem "uneventful" to some, I find it so adorable. Let me explain why... 

It is a very rare occasion when Charlie is even allowed to be present while Madi feeds her pet fish, "Aqua."  But sometimes, if she's in the mood, she will take him in her room and allow him to watch this "sacred" ritual.

Due to our scrambled post-daylight savings time schedule, Madi forgot to feed Aqua one morning this week, so I took Charlie into her bedroom to do the honors.

I didn't realize, until I watched him, how intensely he's studied Madi doing her job. He had it down pat, mimicking the precise hand movements that he's observed, and he made sure to use the correct tone of voice, just like his big sister!  In fact, at one point, he started out calling Aqua in his own pitch and then immediately raised his voice an octave higher!

One thing is guaranteed...he'll be a really good student.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


My brother, Andrew, and our nephew, Matthew, came from New Hampshire for a short visit last week.

It was so great to see them. Sadly, the distance keeps us from seeing each other much, so we truly appreciate and relish every moment when we do get together. Unfortunately for us, Colleen (my S-I-L) stayed back to take care of their new puppy.

We had schedules in place well before their arrival and planned out just about every minute of their time here. That drove my brother crazy, but our event coordinator (Madi) enjoyed making preparations immensely. 

Mom and Dad were so elated to have all the grandchildren together again. They treated us to a fun Intracoastal boat trip on Friday. Uncle Andrew was able to spend some quality time with Charlie, and the kids loved exploring the boat decks. Of course, Charlie was content mostly with stairs...lots of stairs...

We weren't sure just how well the kids would bond, based on the age spread of 3 - 7 - 10, but the dynamic turned out to be magical. The cousins joyfully found common ground doing the same things we loved as kids...playing tag, playing chase, and just being kids. Madi and Matthew badgered Jimmy into hiding in our backyard each night so they could enjoy the thrill of finding him. And Charlie tagged along right behind them yelping with excitement. They totally loved being scared. Suffice it to say, with all the antics, there was a lot of screaming going on around here!

Matthew was so sweet and loving with Charlie. It was heartwarming to watch them bond and do "boy things" together. It was so nice that Matthew didn't mind getting down on the floor and playing cars or trains or whatever Charlie insisted on doing with him. They genuinely took pleasure in being together.

It's hard to believe so much time has elapsed since they lived here in Florida with us. Seems like yesterday that Matthew was Charlie's age. Where does the time go?  
Anyway, it was a wonderful and fun reunion.  We were blessed to have them here, if only for a long weekend.  We miss you guys already!

Friday, March 1, 2013


This is the new "phrase du jour" from Charlie.

His response to almost every statement is "Why?"

Even when it's not the appropriate response.

And "because" is simply not an acceptable explanation to our inquisitive little man.

I love when the switch begins to flip inside those little minds.

It presents a great deal of teachable moments, doesn't it?

And it also makes for a circular conversation sometimes.

"Don't do that, Charlie."

"Why, Mama?"

"Because it's dangerous."


"Because it can hurt you."


"Because it's dangerous."


You get the picture...

But it's fun nonetheless.


Because.  Period.