Option two

Our emotions are defined by our greatest joy and our deepest tragedy.

As the school year comes to an end, as the class of 2013 is nearing the graduation walk, I find myself among parents who are sad. Sad that it is the “last” of everything, last game, last prom, last whatever it is that is important in their family. I get this, I really do, I felt these emotions in 2010. Twenty ten, the year the boys’ graduated, I experienced the sadness that comes with thinking of something as the end. It is now twenty thirteen and I am not the teary eyed Mom I was three years ago. Yes Rylie is graduating, yes there are many high school things she will not do again but it is not sad, it is not the end.

My love for Rylie is no different than my love for Cale and Conner.

Her graduation is no different than theirs.

I am different.

This last year, Conner’s sudden violent death, has left me a bit battered and weary but it has also given me a very new perspective. A perspective that I didn’t ask for, a perspective that I wouldn’t wish on any parent but that I must embrace because it is now mine. My deepest tragedy has changed my very being.

“The end” means something very different today than it did before. The end means there will be no more graduations, no wedding, no children, no new memories, it means you have truly experienced “the last” of everything with your child.

Rylie’s graduation is not the end, it is a fabulous new chapter, a time for “firsts”, a time for new memories and new beginnings. There will be tears, but they will be happy tears for a girl getting a diploma, a girl who has survived life with faith and a smile, a girl with the whole wide world in front of her.

My emotions have been redefined. My greatest tragedy has given me two choices: to be bitter or to embrace what I had, what I have and the joys ahead. I have chosen option two.


if I could turn back time

I was huge, bed rest for 12 weeks, feeling so insecure twenty four years old yet I felt so very young

like a mistake had been made I couldn’t possibly be responsible enough to raise twins

This night eighteen years ago there was dinner with my parents photographing the evidence of just exactly how a girl

of five foot and one inch doesn’t have room for two babies.

There was laughter and witty sarcasm to divert my mind from the fear of a girl who is about to be a Mother

If I had known that night what I know now fear and anxiety would have received NO party invitation

Being your Mother is one of my greatest accomplishments


302 North 9th

The first place I drove to on my hometown pit stop last week was my Nanny’s house.

Of course I knew before I got there that it had been torn down a few years ago. That knowledge didn’t prevent my heart from sinking when I got to her corner.

The corner that used to blossom with tulips, roses and babies breath.

The corner where a very pink house used to stand proudly.

The corner that nourished an old pear tree and the mailbox that stood beside it.

The corner where I learned to french braid hair, dye easter eggs and and appreciate design and love color.

The corner where I ate redeye gravy on Christmas mornings, learned to paint and always knew I was loved.


The house may be long gone but my memories of 302 North 9th are very much alive and a part of who I am.

Where I come from

So I took a little pit stop on my way to the lake last Friday.

I’ve been wanting to take some pictures of the town where I grew up. The place that is the setting for most of my memories before the age of eighteen.

It’s not now nor has it ever been a big, fancy place but as we all do my town has changed, grown and to some degree kept up with the times… they are building a McDonalds now and rumor is a Braums sometime next year…pretty big deal for a town with one stoplight.

Though I appreciate the new and improved I found myself drawn to the old stuff.

The horse swings in the park, that plead for a coat of paint

The rocket slide that seemed so big and risky when I was little

The Rangeline Motel sign that even as a kid I knew was tacky

The old convenience store next to the tennis courts …always grabbed a Dr. Pepper and an order of potato wedges after tennis practice

The football field (replaced with a new one a few years ago) where I spent almost every Friday night my first 18 years



I’m glad I took the time to stop, reflect, remember and record before these pieces of my memory are inevitably upgraded, restored or all together demolished.

My town – a place where I grew up happy – left with a smile – and remember fondly.

The Middle Man

My first child wasn’t really ONE child at all, it was two… twin boys

I learned very early in my Mothering gig that being in the middle of a twin relationship isn’t always easy.

You have to ignore their fights because the second you get involved they are fine with each other and will redirect any remaining anger at you.

You also have to accept that they don’t necessarily need you…

they have each other.

Kind of that “third wheel” theory in action.

All of that to explain why I fell in love with the snap I took at the lake…


C&C on either side of their friend Alec.

Alec has been the middleman for years now. He has found that elusive balance of being in the middle of twins.

Ignore them or quietly laugh when they fight.

Knowing that you are important to them just in a different way than they are with each other.

A tricky friendship that has survived elementary school, middle school and 3 years of high school.

My guys and their friend off to tackle the world, or just check their phones to see if their girlfriends called.