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. 

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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. 

and 

He blows us away.

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Gifts

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

 

 

 

April 30

It’s the Philosopher’s birthday today.  I can’t keep my mind off a lifetime of memories with that one.  

flower 29 day of April logo.jpg

 My heart is full. 

I remember the firsts of so much. Just like any parent, you would think I thought I invented love. . .

Because with this one – our first . . . 

I did. 

I laugh at myself because  . . . it’s true. 

This life passes by so fast and now here I am almost in May and I think to myself this is the month. . .  I solemnly swear to photograph more, post more, come here more.   I have so many things planned for this space my head is swimming.  If only I could figure out how to add tabs.  The frustration is real. 

and so I leave you today with a link to my favorite birthday song that I will send to him. 

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surprises from people who love me

pennies from heaven

problems being solved

headshots out of the blue

a quick trip to a mill to share a dream coming true for a sweet friend

a breakfast out

meeting a lady on fire for Jesus

catching up with a friend from days past

loving care to a stray

a midnight run to the ER for my girl & she’s all better now

Birthdays

a gift to celebrate . . . lady lola

 

 

July 15

July this brown eyed girl joined our family and has made it even more beautiful.

 

Wedding photo for Blog

She married our son the Philosopher in the most beautiful wedding Mass where incense rose to the heavens, and the Fisherman said,  “We hit the jackpot with this one.

I took a deep breath to take it all and I knew it was true. There is nothing more a mother could want for her son.  She is perfect for him . . .  us.  

and then we all danced until the cows came home.

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gifts

best part of being a photographer. . .    being able to do your future daughter in laws wedding portraits

safe travels

friends who say your stupid dog is okay playing at their house.

cooler summer days

long phone conversations with my son

photos of new finds from her

many, many hugs from my youngest today

 

 

December 1

Today is the first day of December and my heart is light.  We had quite an impressive  storm last night that sent us all running towards shelter.  But, the morning is glorious.   Isn’t that the way it always is? 

 It’s no lie that 2016  has proven to be an amazing year. . .  a year we will never forget. 

It was named  the year of Mercy in the Catholic Church. . . and through this year, “His Mercy has filled us“. 

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I had the privilege of  photographing these two last weekend.   Engagement photos for our Philosopher and his brown eyed girl. 

and this brown eyed girl . . . Oh, what a love she is.

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Gifts:

impromptu conversations in a parking lot

calls about safety

surprise texts from a much loved cousin

a photograph sent to me that I love

messages of love

safety from the storm

friendships

support for each other

 

 

 

study more . . . harder

Today is the day we travel. The day the philosopher starts work again towards that new life he has dreamed of . . . worked so hard for.  

Studying. . . studying . . . studying 

Henry, Liz, Flowers logo

and now 

He’ll study more. . . and work towards a Masters 

and Henry the giant puppy won’t be the only one to miss him.  This pup has claimed that one as his own. 

I keep finding my gift counting is lasy. 

and I haven’t shown you how the sun has washed away the color from my  hydrangea’s.  . .  I totally love what it’s done.  

Gifts:

a talk with the man who wears the white collar

a walk through the Mercy Door

the man with the big laugh who loving us so much

faded hydrangeas

morning breeze

and impromptu tea party with my girls

swimming alone in that great big pool

that fisherman of mine who works so hard

hands that can fix broken down cars

all of us in pews together

 

our Peter

This one.

The oldest of our clan.

This philosopher son of ours

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is headed back to school for his Masters this August.  

After graduation he took the year off to: take the GRE, to apply to colleges, to work,  to rest. The year before while he was away was rough on him as he studied a 1000 miles away from home, and worried too much about the health of his father .

He is home for this short time, and it is so nice, and we had know idea what the year held for us this past year

and then the accident happened and he never left his little sister’s side .

Having him home at this exact time was more important then we could have known.  

It’s times like these you realize what a favorite aunt so wisely says is truth, “God’s plans for you are none of your business.”  His are always better.

and

If you know this son, and you know him well . . . he will bring you closer to your faith. . . whatever that faith maybe . . .  he will bring you closer.

the crazy thing is,  he doesn’t even know he’s doing it. 

He’s our Peter.

after this year is said and done. . . it will be hard to see him off. . . but, we will. 

His future’s so bright. 

and God’s plans for him. . . “are none of my business“. I’m just so very thankful He‘s invited me for the ride. 

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Gifts

breakfast with my son two day in a row

cool breeze

her favorite dinner last night not a drop left

 heartfelt apology from a girl who didn’t mean to hurt

steady work for the hands that feed us

air conditioner in the South Carolina heat

everyone one of us around the dinner table

peace in this house

dinner by candle light with the family

 

the last day in April

The last day of April was the Philosopher’s birthday. We used all the candles in the candles package on his cake.

Matthew, Birthday, 2016 April 30. Logo

  That means next year I’m going to have to buy two packs just to keep up.

And, that also means he’s getting old.  

I think I’m going to have to start lying about his age. . .  too. 

Happy May 

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Gifts:

rain pouring down so hard you hear it hit earth

so many birthday candles you need another pack

great dinners

hard talks

help in the kitchen

giant puppies acting like they are small

the talk

The Philosopher is doing what he does best. 
Matthew BW 2

studying 

Matthew 1

and writing 

Matthew BW 3 to give a talk to a high school youth group about “a man who was executed almost 2000 years ago, and why all this matters to us.”  

and I said to the Fisherman last night . . . “this weekend he is my son . . . it doesn’t matter to me that his dishes can’t find the dishwasher.  I am simply proud.”  

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518.) rainy weekends

519.) talks with the best Nana

520.) finding friendship for the youngest of us all

521.) pumpkins

522.) clean laundry

523.) candles burning

524.) misty rain on my face

525.) sleeping all night

526.) kids coming in to talk

527.) tea with honey

528.) crisp apples

529.) shadows

530.) chest filling with pride for a son . . . who knows more then I

531.) the studying

532.) kids worried about grades

533.) young men wanting to share all things

534.) watching them care for the elderly

the light

My self employed, multi talented, fisherman husband wore his electrical hat the other night, and has begun to repair this wagon wheel light for one of our much loved customers.  wagon-wheelWhen he walked away to get another tool, and I saw how he had laid things out I couldn’t help myself. I moved the table into the stream of light coming through the window, plopped down the plant and started shooting. 

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summer news

Laundry-Day-1

 It’s officially – the philosopher is a real philosopher now.  We have the proof in writing,  and it’s in latin.   He graduated in May. Our trip to Kansas was a dream come true  for me – all of us piled into the car, healthy and happy making the 1000 mile trip to collect our oldest son and see him walk in that cap and gown. For this son the summer brings: outside work in the 100 degree heat of pressure washing, yard work, fixing fences, watching over past employers who have grown old and gray, seminars and diligent studying for the next step in his college life.  

Charming is vigorous in his studies too, and has elected summer school for himself. He tells me he’s afraid if he takes the summer break he may not want to start up again. You see, school has never been his thing. But, this thing called studying – he has learned to embrace; he studies, and studies, and studies so one would never know his truth. His true love is working with his hands. He’s an artist, a people person.  He knows he must pay the debt now and get the job called schooling done.  

The girl who loves music has graduated from our little homeschool, being the third graduate under this roof. This girl, the girl who just graduated from high school two weeks ago, the girl who loves music has 27 college credits under her belt.  She plans to continue at the local college and earn her first degree – just as her brothers have done. All to soon we will be packing up the car to take her to the college of her choice.  She has started working at a little pizza shop, and you know what?  She likes it.  Of course she does – there must be music playing in the restaurant. 

The girl with the dancing feet is on a break because the dancing school is closed for the month of June.  She’s getting itchy though and has started to practice by moving tables and chairs and embracing her tap shoes once again – tapping on anything that makes a sound.  Tap . . . Tap . . . Tap

The fisherman is still doing so very well – transplant – (that’s Emory talk for our team of organ transplant doctors who watch over the fisherman)  are watching very closely. They are still calling for blood work every week or two. We make the 150 mile trip grabbing coffee in the early morning ride . .. . get stuck in the early morning commute  – he gives the sample with a smile, and then back on the road grabbing lunch at any new little joint we can find . . . and then home by 4. 

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Gifts 

425.) paying bills on time

426.) knowing what’s right

427.) everyone home working together

428.) clean cars

429.) doctors watching so close

430.) girls who can do shopping

431.) love notes from little hands

432.) doors wide open

433.) books to read

434.) coloring time with my girl

435.) phone calls for work

436.) people always asking . . . how is he?

437.) the answer . . . he’s so good

438.) new beginnings

439.) hard working hands

440.) people who really love me

441.) tapping

Plans in 2015

Christmas came and went like a whirlwind with sparkling lights all around.  It came on so fast I didn’t quite finish my decorating. 

Because of everything we have had going on in our lives I put down my camera and just soaked in the season. Even though I am known to always be clicking, I have grown to believe there are somethings you just need to enjoy away from your lens.

and it was a beautiful Christmas with our house filled with family. . . love, and joy

Tree signed

It’s been four months now since transplant, and even though we are on high alert for calls from Emory and ready to go with bags half packed because of rejection, infection and so on –  we are starting to get down to the business of living.  Pretransplant making plans was something we learned to do without.  Sometimes just living the day to day was all we could do. And yes, 2014 was one of the toughest years we have had with many obstacles in our path – it was also the best year of our lives with more blessings than we could ever deserve or even count.  Now that the Fisherman can breath, and the heart beats like it should we are spinning with not only relief but,  ideas of: bike rides, hikes, graduations – yes two – a hopeful trip to Benedictine to see our son the philosopher walk in that cap and gown.

The girl who loves music will graduate too. She will graduate from our little homeschool high school this year of 2015. Our little school has very quietly seen two others graduate just as she will . . . with several college classes tucked neatly under their belts.

I couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done.

and I think I’ll probably cry. . . because as their mother, and their teacher from the past 12 years, I know the work, the worry,  the tears. . .the fear of wondering – if we had the right material, if they knew the right things, and then of course the big one – if the Fisherman would get to see these days of graduation ahead. These days he worked so hard for so I could stay home and teach.  The day when the last of our original homeschool three would be finished with high school and all that work would be done.

Secretly, I had wondered if the Fisherman would see the Philosopher take that walk to his college degree.  I had wondered how I would go by myself because a wife knows her husband . . . and knows when he’s not doing well.  She just knows . . . and holds her breath.

2015 holds the future for this family of six. . .  “Life is for the Living” I was told my uncle once said . . . . AND the living can make plans for the future. 

and that’s the simple buzz around here. 

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1001 gifts

332.) cold rainy days when everyone is home . . . and things seem ordinarily normal

333.) the tallest of us all cleaning the stove. . . even though he has taken the stove completely apart – I am happy he is working hard. Always thinking that Stevie Wonder of ours

334.) the philosopher working with the one who loves everyone on the fishtank – he’s always teaching

335.) the fisherman eating anything he wants

336.) the girl who loves music running the vacuum

337.) quite days

338.) rain falling on tin

339.) days so rainy you don’t want to go out