Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blessed Thanksgiving Weekend

I'm not one to throw around the word 'blessed'.  I'm a spiritual Jew, deeply connected to God, but very privately. I know I have a lot of good things going and most of us do, but I just don't dig the constant FB-reaffirming of our great lives. But that is just me. But...this weekend, well, it was truly amazing. Three years ago I reluctantly moved my family back to northeast Ohio, the place I grew up and the place I hurriedly left at twenty years old. I came back not knowing what to expect. It's been hard. I've had a lot of downs since returning to the Buckeye state but this weekend erases all of the frustrations and the hard times. The family I have connected with as an adult - simply put, they freakin' rock. Done. My cousins are my brothers and sisters; my extended family (I'm talking second and third cousins) are good friends. I love it and I love them.

Thanksgiving was laid back and filled with good food and laughter. Yesterday was our 2nd annual OSU beat Michigan party (I suppose one day I will have to change the title) and wow, what a group! I've been shying away from all of the race arguments the past week and for good reason. I'm still not going to comment, but I will say this: Look at these pictures below, especially the group photo, this is the US, this is how it should be: blacks, whites, bi-racial, multiracial, Christian and Jewish all together for good food and football. That is it folks; that is it!

I'm blessed. I have such wonderful people in my life and I hope each and every one of you  know that I appreciate our friendship. Whatever brought us together: sharing a great-grandparent or grandparent, living in Green, fitness, religion, kids' sports or the love Ohio State - just know our friendship is valuable to me. I battle depression and at times I can't help it, but this Sunday evening, I'm not completely and totally dreading my Monday morning and it is because of you. And I'm thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving friends and O-H...

 Thanksgiving day cousins
 The husband and me.

The cousins

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Old Frienships, A New Marriage, and Seven States

I have been all over the US the past two weeks. I made it home yesterday from California on a true-to-its-name red-eye flight.  Prior to departing for California, Scott and I went on quite the the little adventure: Last week, well no, actually twenty-five years ago Scott met a wonderful friend named Frank. Over the past quarter of a decade, the two men have grown up and moved apart but have always remained good friends. I met Frank twelve years ago in Columbia, MO. Scott snottily declared that Frank didn't like me. This odd lie turned out to be far from the truth and I immediately fell in love with Frank. Frank has been a wonderful friend to Scott and me. He would frequently make a two-hour road trip to Columbia when I was pregnant with Jackson. He filled the role of "father-to-be" while Scott worked in South Carolina. Frank came to the baby shower and then a year and a half later, our wedding.

Frank was always that good guy that I wanted to hook up with my friends; he deserved the best and the lucky girl most definitely needed to secretly pass my approval.

Well, it's a good thing I did not get involved, because last weekend, Frank married the most wonderful woman. A perfect counterpart to his already established big heart. Ali loves Frank and we love her. We love her for so much: She is beautiful, kind, smart, funny, and loves all that is Frank. We had the honor of driving over 2500 miles to be a part of a small wedding in an even smaller town in Rothsay, MN. The event may have been small in numbers, but in love - enormous. Friends and family  from all around the country attended to support Frank and Ali; they all knew, as Scott and I knew, that the union of Frank and Ali was not to be missed; this was the event of 2014; a love story with a picture-perfect ending.

Two weeks ago I reluctantly said bye to Scott as he left for St. Louis for the bachelor party: Three days on a farm in Missouri with out potable water, but enough whiskey and beer to keep forty guys entertained for days. I finally reunited with my husband in Kansas City a week later and we journeyed through Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota.

We spent three days in the small town of Fergus Falls, MN disrupting and arrogantly taking over the town.

Scott has the best friends. I admire that he established and has maintained contact with this group for more than twenty years. They are SO MUCH fun; the kind of fun that leaves tears in your eyes and your heart full of joy. The stories they tell about each other are better than any 7 pm reality show.

Frank and Ali brought us all together in MN. This group occasionally gets together throughout the year, but this time this group descended upon this small town like locusts with laughter.

The ceremony brought tears to my eyes minutes before another friend officiated the marriage. Just simply seeing Frank and Ali walking separately down the aisle with their parents melted my heart. I cried again when the Mr. and Mrs. Frank T were announced.That was the moment that all of his friends had been wanting: Frank did it - he found a beautiful person and will now continue his beautiful life with another pretty awesome friend - Ali. And we are the ones that were truly blessed to be apart of  it.

 Cows and an abandoned limousine in Minnesota..

Before the wedding...

 A few W selfies along the way...and wine of course

 Good friends for over 25 years!
The super-awesome wives.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sometimes my heart is so full for my kids. It's true; sappy and probably annoying to anyone who doesn't have kids, but true. Bear with me: Scott and I had a kid. Then two more. We are just two slightly normal human beings that happened to like each other and BAM (sorry for the caps), we have a family. Weird. Especially since having three kids together 100% was NOT in the plan. (Side note) I once had a romantically optimistic friend ask me, "How did you know Scott was the one?" Let. Me. Tell. You. The look of pure disappointment and confusion when I told her, "Well, the pregnancy test read positive" was priceless. I'm a truth teller. And that my romantic optimistic friend, is the truth.  But that truth, has been my positive. I sometimes feel guilty for wanting to talk about my kids or share stories about their awesomeness. I don't want to annoy people or be "that person", but truthfully, my kids are only 9, 6, and 4 once.They will be these exact ages for 6 months. They will be this person only for one day before they learn something new, grow a centimeter over night, and are one step closer to not wanting to give their mama a hug. It is my right as a mother to cherish every, single flippin' day of their existence. I will annoy them with questions, hugs, "I love yous", and my camera. I will spend hours editing my precious photos and writing ranting blog posts before ordering my photo books and checking on them before I go to bed. My kids are so very beautiful, so sweet, smart, and unique, but most importantly mine. I don't know how Scott and I, two people not looking to make children, made such sweet, unique kids, but we did. Our diverse backgrounds somehow convinced the universe that him and I, and three little people were a good idea. I'm thankful for that. And unfortunately as my FB friend or Instagram or Twitter follower, you're just going to have to deal with it, or delete me.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


It's amazing the strength that your children can give you. Their smile, their constant attack of questions, their hugs, just simply their presence can heal you so quickly.

And at times, that is all you need and the only thing that can heal.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


The kids and I were blessed with a Disney vacation last week. My dad (stepdad) graciously planned and booked a week in Orlando for the three little Ws and me. Scott didn't go with us, which honestly was probably a good thing; I'm not sure Scott W could have politely endured the long lines, parade of abruptly stopping strollers, the over use of the word "magical" and just the overall happiness and magic blanketing Disney. He's a people person - just on his own time.

So the kids and I boarded a jet plane with G-Dad to "magical" Orlando for a six-day trip to Disney.

Ivie's first plane ride.
Let me tell you what Disney is not: Relaxing or cheap.

The kids had a blast. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for my children to experience Mickey, Cinderella, Rupenzel, Daisy, Donald, Alice, Mary Poppins', Pooh, Eyore, Tigger the Pooh (Ivie's name for the bouncing tiger who scared that hell out of her), Piglet, Rafiki, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, 3-D shows, Star Tours, Indiana Jones, etc....................... The rides were exciting and shows were best in class.

As an adult, I enjoyed seeing my children so happy and so in awe of the what is Disney. The Disney staff was so happy and helpful and genuinely seemed happy that my little broad of curtain-crawling-crumb snatchers were invading their kingdom and vising their park. My girls were greeted by everyone as "Princess" which for girls who really think they are princesses was not unordinary, but overdue.  Aida's eager acceptance of the term princess led me to believe that she believes she should be addressed this way everyday - not just at Disney.  All of the kids loved the rides and even this mama, who hasn't been on a roller coaster in fifteen years, secretly enjoyed the jolting, jerking, stomach flipping coasters.

So that was Disney in three paragraphs or less. The video below is Disney in ten seconds or less and a few pictures of our "magical" six days! Enjoy!!!!

And Ivie let a complete stranger hold her for fireworks...Disney really is magical.