we skip a beat

and just like that we skip a beat and she’s 16. . . and a few months.

I stepped away from this space that I loved, forgot the password, forgot how much I loved it here, forgot recording love brings joy.

And here I am again, bad spelling, terrible punctuation and I hit send. I hit send and record for me and anyone else who doesn’t mind the appalling(ness) of my writing.


  • no matter the trouble he drags himself off to work because he loves
  • staying up to late talking and watching our favorites with her
  • taxi mom
  • phone calls just to say hi
  • video calls with brown eyes waiting on the other end
  • this mentoring group I have found
  • photography that gives me life
  • time alone with honorary grands and their mom – how I love them.
  • little messes of evidence they were here.

Frozen time

That frozen moment of time photography gives is my favorite.

Liz's 13 Birthday edited Feb. 2020

That moment one image can take you back to the very sent of birthday cake . . .  candles burning. 

I love the way photography gives you that one moment in a flash you remember it all: laughter at Sunday spaghetti dinner, presents for her, pounding heat from sun, pool so cool, water splashes on faces, eyes squinting, feet kicking, conversations, weight of babies in arms, her joy at finally reaching 13.   

I absolutely love that about photography.

 and as   I stumble on quiet stillness frozen in time I hear him in my head:  “take pictures”  he said.   I wonder if he knew the chain reaction that was about to unfold as he crossed over?   

I am convinced . . . he must have.  

She lite her own candles and I remember it well. . . I grabbed Nikon and we celebrated 13. . . last summer. 



18.) the way she stands strong for what’s right

19.) that unwillingness of not giving in

20.) sun trickling through clouds . . . gives off such beautiful light

21.) Wednesday lunch with the littlest ladies

22.) images waiting for me

23.) spell check

24.) homeschooling her

25.) they hang out here

26.) puzzles that drive her crazy

27.) he goes anyway

28.) seeing them

29.) hard rain . . . safe inside

30.) moments I won’t forget





the marching

It’s been a minute. 

I’ve been super slack. 

Funny too because I write here all the time in my head. 

It’s time to put fingers to keyboard and get it done.  

Logo Sam & Philonena 2019

This little Ninja girl slipped into our lives full-on exactly two months ago this day.    I posted here with this picture but, forgot to hit publish.  .  .  what was I thinking? 

This little delight is a complete chatterbox.  She has lots to say. . . and wants her momma’s full attention.  

That momma obliges and my heart sings. 

Today I can hear the conversations as her momma tells her that on this very day she should be proud because her family is Marching for Life.  . . for so many years in a row now, they march.    

They march with the old and young of Greenville . . . they march with the man with the big laugh as he leads his group of youth.  They March with all of America in D.C.  

Marching on. . . peacefully.  

Standing up for what is right

and good

and holy.  

for the youngest ones.  . . for the most vulnerable . . . for all life 

they march.

and I’m not going to lie. . . I’m so proud they stand up.  

The fisherman and I have always told them to be better than us.  Do better than us  .  . they are.  . . they do.  

and I’m in awe of them all.  


2020 – 1001 Gifts

1.) forgotten images that take me back

2.) sweetest conversations

3.) when she takes my hand and leads me to another room

4.) great friends

5.) watching them as adults

6.) time with my youngest

7.) baby smiles

8.) soft rain

9.) pixie lights

10.) a shoot tomorrow

11.) clean curtains

12.) work for him

13.) quite mornings

14.) sleeping in just a little

15.) they stand for what they believe in with all they have

16.) four years now . . . thank God!

17.) that smile she has



 Ten years this day the Visionary died.

Logo July flowers three with human touch

Ten Years ago we wondered why the world didn’t stand still while we held our breath and regrouped. 

Ten years later I wonder do you ever really regroup? 

I guess you just grow stronger . . . together. . .  alone – you must move forward. 

A lot has happened in ten years. . . so much has happened in ten years.   Sometimes I hold my breath & I feel my teeth shift more when I think of it all. 

  With a conscious effort, I push the stress out of my mind and only focus on good. 

So much good has happened in ten years. 

I think this Visionary of ours would be most pleased with the good.  

I read this morning: “What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.”  – G.K. Chesterton 

and I pause and list what’s right 



strong faith and we know where he is

a dinner out for the best Nana with my boy and his girls

little “hi” on the phone

little arms reaching

hearing from my favorites

bellies growing

breakfast out

a Mass in remembrance

they throw the baseball

a  sweet little redhead friend for her

talks on the phone with my boy far away as he drives to school

May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. 










Five years and the heartbeat doesn’t stop. 

Truck Transmition

my beautiful real and the biggest crises of our lives this year has been cars. 

both cars

just cars

and transmission that waits to be fixed   

and honestly,

I don’t worry

my fisherman husband can do anything

and even though he’s never put one in before. . .

I know he’s got this simple

but not so simple thing


borrowed rides getting us there

patience and perseverance

outside the box thinking

one day at a time

cooler days to get it done


good coffee, better friends

new adventures on horizon


sweetest little “Hi”

great first week of school





Life of Normal

Two days until five years and I know they count too. 

My girl who loves music up before dawn and off to school.  I hand her breakfast & coffee for the road – thrilled for this role I play.  She’s worked so hard. . . waited so long to be back to this life of normal.

The fisherman and I slide backward it seems but not really . . . only in our minds.

We plug away at each new day, block out noise and know the ships not sinking as fast as before.                                           A sigh of relief. 

We lean into this side of transplant, self employment, joke about keeping eyes forward . . .welcome little arms reaching

text our sons and their beauties, check on homework, medications, blood pressure and such . . . plan for tomorrow, say our prayers, go to bed, reach for each other. . . and do our best to know

“the light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it. John 1:5 




2 days until five years – and God is better to us than we deserve.

early morning eggs crackling

I watch her walk out the the door – breakfast in hand

cool summer days to put that transmission in.

he can do anything

a beat up old truck he says he’d take to California

borrowed wheels

conversations in a barn

photographs showing his life

great school days with her


love of my life

Dear Youngest one of us, 

logo 4 faustina

Would it be too much if I told you a secret?     

You are most definitely the love of my life.   


Don’t say anything. . . .

It’s just between you and me.

love and kisses and all that jazz



little arms reaching

puffs everywhere

blue jean eyes

tiny kisses

long conversations with brown eyed girl

having what we need to get the job done


being able to help

clean kitchens

early morning sunrise

sitting on the kitchen floor-  “cluck’n it up”

Wine Wednesday even when the wine is the worst

Adoration & Confession





Wine Wednesday on Monday

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
Oprah Winfrey

Logo July flowers four

and you break all the rules by celebrating her amazing news with Wine on Monday and not Wine Wednesday.


green tea

Wine Wednesday on a Monday & mental note to tell what that means

hard laughter

when only one hour turns into 2.5

beautiful day

feeling better

wheels all week

great day for the dancer yesterday

good things coming up

sweet little ones

helping to move

counting down the days before we hug them

a sister taking good care

she loves dance camp


my son the almost Doctor

Nature does nothing in vain. Therefore, it is imperative for persons to act in accordance with their nature and develop their latent talents, in order to be content and complete.

                                                                                                                    ― Aristotle

I’ve kind of left my blog behind.  I’m gonna be honest though, I write on it all the time in my head.  I miss the words on screen.  I miss the gift counting for real. 

Here’s happy news. 

The philosopher is close to being an almost doctor.  Truth be told: he has wanted this higher education since he realized it was a thing.   He was 12 years old. He has always been a deep thinker, deep reader, searching for more.  I feel like if we didn’t fall into homeschooling, this kid would have been an atheist.  And because we knew little – we would have been okay with that.  But, he isn’t. He is Catholic strong.  He knows his faith. He lives his faith with that brown eyed girl by his side. They both work hard to make it all come true.  My heart grows when I think of it. 


He wants to teach in Catholic colleges to seminarians. . . Ethics and Philosophy. They say the Church is going to hell.  I say, there is hope.  The sons & daughters of the church are rising up.  I see them. I know more of them like him: his brother, his sister, his friends. . . that brown-eyed girl.   The list is long. 

The next thing, at the end of summer he’s off to CUA to study that doctorate.   The first 100 times he said it, I ask him what CUA stood for and he would smile and say, “Catholic University of America, Mom.”  

and I smile big because – I’m his mom. 


He blows us away.



fourth of July with family and friends

warm banana bread I can eat

babies reaching

little love jealous when she see arms full of another little love

my morning snapchats of sweet blue eyes

watermelon turtles

summer breezes

phone calls of friends “just checking in”

happy to see me

aunt and cousins down to visit

kicking off the birthday week with cake

a first-time taste of Brandy.

he reaches out when I walk by




blue jean eyes

She has the most beautiful blue jean eyes

Elizabeth April 15 2019 Logo

like her dads.  

I could stare at them forever. 

She loves Jesus, her family,  magic tricks, all animals, the Latin Mass, and will read anything she can get her hands on.  She trust everything her big sister does and says and simply adores those  big brothers and their girls. 

She loves “almost” everyone.  She loves hard. 

Her love for me is unmatchable. and I hope I will never disappoint. 

She will tap out dance after dance through grocery shopping because where there is music her “feet will not stand still”.  

Her favorite shows are the Rifle Man and Bonanza and imagines days of how the West was won.  In her version girls wore pants, carried pink guns and rode horses wild.  She saves each day and fights for all things good and holy along with Lucas, Little Joe, Pa and all the gang. 

I hold all these things about her here. . . to remember always. 


studio light streaming in

wind blowing curtains softly

surprise visits

days spent with best nana outside

talks in her room

lunch in the big city with half of my favorites

sound of hard rain

flowers blooming

clean beds outside

tight morning hugs from her

messages of excitement from our brown eyed one