These Days

Steve is working on the bathroom remodel; there’s crashing and banging and sawing and drilling and hammering and swearing filling the house.  Hayden is doing her nails and otherwise prepping for homecoming while her music volume constantly increases to cover the crashing and banging filling the house.  Anna is drawing a “Welcome October” picture for me in my bullet journal.  I told her a simple sketch would be sufficient, but she is an artist, and nothing for her is ever sufficient; it must be perfect.  And, I am researching a new book idea.  There are two dogs at my feet; one because she is always at my feet when I am in my office, and the other because she is terrified by the banging and crashing filling the house.  It’s raining.  That will ruin the homecoming pictures.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty perfect Saturday in the fall.  There’s spaghetti sauce in the crock pot, simmering away, filling the house.

Steve and I just celebrated our ninetieth wedding anniversary, and I wonder, so often, how it is that we got here, to this place, these weekends, that I so dearly love.  Sometimes it feels like such a long ride, and other times I think we are still at the beginning.  We are the among the lucky ones, I know this.  We’ve had plenty of bumps and bruises along this journey, we’ve suffered some great losses, but we have never faltered, we have never doubted our love for one another.  Many of our friends have divorced or almost divorced, a few of those divorces quite shocking, and each time we wonder how it is that a marriage can get to that point, each time we are so thankful that we don’t know the answer.

I know I sound a little, or maybe even a lot, self-righteous.  But, I truly know that our success so far has as much to do with luck as it does with our hard work.  I know that it could all fall apart tomorrow, that some unforeseen event could shake us, some minute shift in the universe could rock us to our core.  I know how blessed we are to have these moments, this family, these Saturdays.  I take none of it for granted, and I do, I honestly do, wonder how we got her so relatively unscathed.

Because these days?

These days are the days that sustain me.  These little days with my little family.  I am such a lucky woman.






A Joyful Noise

So, this week is Spirit Week at the high school; five days of dress up and mayhem leading up to Homecoming on Saturday.  Tuesday was holiday day, and the Seniors dressed for New Years Eve, and ran throughout the building at 12:00 in the afternoon blowing noise makers and yelling, “Happy New Year.”  This perk of being a Senior is apparently quit startling to some of the underclassmen, freshmen especially, but is a tradition everyone in the know greatly anticipates and joyously awaits.

It got me thinking.

Why can’t we be so joyful about every milestone in our lives?  Forget sweating the small stuff…why don’t we celebrate with complete abandon?  I want to run through the halls of my home and scream and praise my family for everything we do!  Made the volleyball team?  Yay, you!  Suffered through the pain of getting your braces tightened?  Hip hip hooray!  Got an A on that AP Psych test you studied for all week?  That’s awesome!  Congratulations!

Okay, sure, I already do that, I already praise those things each day, but I’m talking bigger and better.  I want my kids to more than hear our praise, I want them to understand that every single day is a gift, and that they should be proud of what they accomplish in that day, in the manner in which they celebrate that gift.  There’s too much stress in the world.  I want them to focus on the goodness they see and they create.

And, I want them to do it with noise makers.


Smith invasion 2016

Steve’s mother and two of his sisters rented a house in Niantic for a week in late August, and we spent that week running back and forth between that house and ours.  The view from the top deck of the Niantic house was incredible.

We went to Newport, and took a boat tour of the area.  It was great to see a couple of lighthouses and the mansions from the oceanside angle.  Also, it was just a really pretty day and a great time to be on the water.

We loved Newport!


We shopped at Old Mistick Village where, as always, we were greeted by ducks.


This one was my favorite:

We shopped for back-to-school, we kayaked, grilled out, went to the casino, got ice-cream, argued and laughed.

Some of us got a little older.

We had a great week.IMG_3230

Our Happy Place

We made a quick trip to Maine this weekend.  The traffic was the worst we have ever seen, the campground was old and dilapidated, and the weather Saturday morning was less than pleasant.

We had a great time anyway.  We set up the tent and left it there reminding ourselves that it didn’t matter that the campground was a dump; we were only sleeping there anyway.


We went to all the usual places, but decided to eat someplace new.  The Beachfire bar and grille in Ogunquit did not disappoint.


Couldn’t gamble with breakfast though.  No trip to Maine is complete without The Bagel Basket.


The weather improved quickly, and we spent a great late morning/early afternoon on the beach until the tide finally kicked us off.

Of course, we went downtown, and to Perkin’s Cove.

We visited with Bear at the Life is Good shop.  Bear is thirteen this year, my kids have patted his head every one of his years.  They are always anxious to stop in and see him.    It will be a sad, sad, day when Bear is no longer a part of our Maine trips.


And, the sun has set on another year in Maine.  No matter where we go in our lives, York Beach will always be our happiest of places.


The Summer of Nancy

This is Nancy.


Nancy showed up at my parent’s camp one day via a shopping trip to Target in which Hayden casually threw her into the cart declaring she loved Nancy and that she would love her and feed her and play with her everyday.

At first, Nancy blended into the family nicely and played well with others.


But, rather quickly, all others were forsaken as Nancy’s charm caused everyone to gravitate towards her and her alone; everyone wanted the attention of Nancy.


They loved her individually.

They loved her in pairs.


They whispered their secrets to her.


Even the adults were smitten with Nancy.

Occasionally, Nancy got a little frisky and attempted to mess with anyone not paying enough attention to her.  Luckily for Hayden, Nancy was unsuccessful in bumping her off the paddle board this time.DSC_0345

Only because Nancy decided it was more fun to be pulled around the lake.

One day, Nancy became a little too frisky and ventured out into the lake unaccompanied.  She managed, with a little help from the wind, to make it several camps down the Narrows before Hayden, the love of her life, was able to rescue her.

It was a close call, but tragedy was averted and this, the Summer of Nancy, was saved.

Until next time.


Notice the beety, evil eye.  She’s plotting something.  I just know it.

Memorial Day 2016 or Avery’s First Memorial Day

This holiday, my brother, my sister, and I, families and dogs in tow, descended on my parent’s lake house for a weekend of dock installation, baby snuggling, barbecue, thunder and lightning storms, swinging, sliding, laughing, tickling, and togetherness. Much merriment ensued.

There was traffic. IMG_2687

Though some of us remained unfazed. IMG_2690

There were ridiculously unsuccessful photo shoots.

And, the first kayaking of the season.

There was swimming.  Even though the lake was freezing cold, and it appears to be more noodle lounging than swimming.


There was some getting our toes wet.  Even though Hayden’s bracelets were more interesting.IMG_2714

There was some walking on the newly installed docks.


And, some snuggling off to sleep in the arms of a loving cousin, Anna.


There was pink eye.  And, there were horse fly bites.IMG_2699

And, there were rainy day activities, too.

But, the best thing was the Grandma love.

And, the moments I wasn’t quick enough to capture on camera.  Like the Colton giggles as Pop was tickling him, or the gust of wind that blew the canopy off the deck and simultaneously dumped a gallon of pooled water on my mother-in-law and almost took Grandma over the side of the deck chair and all.  Drew was a both a huge helper and big goofball, Ainsley was super loveable and a hugger, and we crammed twelve of us on the boat for the inaugural ride of the year.

All in all, it was a terrific weekend.