Happiest place on earth

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Words will have to come another day. But for now I’ll just say I hope I never grow so old that Disneyland doesn’t make me scream at Thunder Mountain, get giddy over Indiana Jones, giggle at Goofy, and take the racing portion of Radiator Springs Racing VERY seriously.

Also, sunshine IS good for the soul!

apple – tree

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Yeah. I know that most girls are horrified at the thought they are somehow like their mothers (so shhh. Don’t tell!), but I found this throwback while sifting through some old photos and couldn’t resist the side-by-side! I totally stole the other photo off Facebook ages ago and it’s what I see every time my daughter calls me on the phone. Because I love everything about it. And unlike the photo of me, which is so staged. This one is so real. And so very much Lindsay.

We share a lot of similar characteristics and maybe that’s what makes us butt heads now and then. But I admire her heart and her strength and her sense of self. I also love her energy and the way she goes after the things she loves to do. It’s a wild ride with a bit of sass but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

of good report

One of the great things about having kids is that your family expands exponentially when they start bringing home friends. I love having them in my home. They make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. They bring this wonderful energy into our lives. And we love them like they were our own.

Here are a couple of great things some of our favorite “adopted” kids are doing right now. It’s so great to see them take a chance, really go after something the want and love, and make it happen. I wish them the best success!

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Finding rainbows

taste the rainbow

I love walking across the ramp every morning. Today was a little eerie because the fleet was all locked up tightly in the hangar due to expected high winds. (Undesired lift can get a little crazy.) But generally the quiet days are the best.

I also love a good storm. I was at peace bracing for it as I walked along, appreciating the darkening clouds. Then I saw it! A subtle hint of a rainbow. Can you see it? Just to the right of the tower. I quickly snapped a shot of it and then hurried to my office.

Before too long I was mired in the seemingly impossible challenges of a particular project, whose details don’t matter. And then I got word of a young friend of mine whose four young children lost their father unexpectedly last night. Suddenly the day darkened, as I couldn’t get her and her family out of my mind. I felt the darkness of their hour and the weight of sorrow on my heart all through the day. I feel it still.

But I keep coming back to that rainbow. I remembered how during the darkest days of this past year there was always a rainbow, a sunset, a perfect (in the good sense of the word) storm, or heartfelt encouraging words from a friend reaching out at just the right time. A hint of light against the darkness. Even when I had to look for it.

I hope my friend and her family will see rays of hope, in whatever form they take. And that light will cut through even their darkest days.

Love story

Jeff and Melody

Once upon a time through the miracle that is summer vacations at your aunt’s house in Wisconsin, a boy fell in love with a girl. And she fell in deep friendship with him. But he was so in love he actually laminated her wallet-sized school picture and carried it around in his wallet for ages.

Their lives moved apart fall after fall and then back together summer after summer until they grew up and married other people and went their separate ways.

Those separate ways were full of beauty and full of joy, but also fraught with trials and sadness and loneliness and divorce and single parenthood.

Then one day, the now grown-man was moving some boxes in his garage. One box flapped open and there was that laminated wallet-sized school photo of his first love.

And he thought to himself, in this day of the Internets, maybe I should find this girl.

And so he did.

I still remember the first time I met Jeff. He was walking up the stairs as they came to pick up Melody’s granddaughter, who ended up at my house when her little brother ended up in the emergency room with a broken arm. Jeff’s whole being exuded kindness. Right then and there my heart silently consented for him to marry one of my best friends.

Long story short, just last month, Melody and Jeff got married. And they are just getting started putting the happy in happily ever after.

And I think that’s the point. This mortal life is fraught with trials. We tell each other – particularly people who are alone – to just hang on, everything will work out in the next life (and it will – I know it!). But isn’t it so beautiful and so hopeful to know that sometimes you don’t have to wait until the next life?

filling holes

[I need to write. I don't expect anyone to read this. I still don't understand how anyone has time to read blogs anymore. This is simply my attempt to get back up on that horse. NaBloPoMo seemed like a good excuse to try.]

This has been a year for losing and missing people. It’s still too soon to write about losing my mother. Except to say it’s not a thing you can begin to understand until you experience it yourself. (Which I don’t wish on anyone.) And that one of the things you will realize after she’s gone (despite how complex your relationship may have been at times) is that one of the best things about your mother is that she is the one person in your life who will care about the things no one else cares about simply because you care about them.

A good friend, colleague and mentor moved across the country. I was ghosted by one of my closest friends. Another of my closest friends moved to Texas. And another of my closest friends found and married the love of her life. (Which, on some days, feels as far away as Texas.) And so on… Yes, I am blessed to have that many close friends. But that only made me feel the distances between us more acutely.

The context of that kind of loss in such a short time throws the best thing that happened this year into sharp relief. Namely this little guy:
James

His name is James. He is sweetness personified. Until he was born I could not have imagined or believed how instantaneously one could fall so deeply in love with a child born to another mother, but that’s part of the beauty of becoming a grandmother.

And the moment I saw him – as his father (my oldest son) held him up to the corner window of the OR – my heart began to heal.