here we are on the way
to celebrate 
gg's 99th birthday

here she is in her beautiful red dress


cake is good

we got to drive home in this

what a great day 
it's times like this that remind you
that family is everything 
and simple moments are the most precious
love ya!


stella's sunset

happy birthday to nonny, happy birthday to nonny, happy birthday to nonnnnnn-neeeeeeee, happy birthday to you!
i love you bean!!!


dear daughter,

dear daughter,

i felt sad today when i dropped  you off at school.  i could feel your discomfort, your uneasiness of not knowing where to go, of wanting to hide.  i want you to know that i remember feeling the same way when i was your age.  i was in between friends- feeling like nobody liked me- that everyone was staring at me- uncomfortable in my own skin- i felt like i didn't fit in.  it seems so long ago yet, i see myself in you and i can feel those same feelings all over again and i realize that it's happening to you now.  i want to protect you.  shield you from those stares (that by the way aren't there but they sure feel like they are, i know they do!).  i want so badly for all the hurt and discomfort you feel to soak into my body so that i can carry this burden for you.  i can't or i would in a second.  what i can do is tell you your time to shine will come and when it does your magic will be revealed.

i read this today quite coincidentally and the words were as if i had spoken them myself so i will quote, but know they are the same thoughts that filled my mind as i drove home after dropping you off.  "one day, you'll get out of school and go somewhere besides this small town we're in and you're going to discover that there are groups of people just like you- not that they do what you do or act the way you act, but that they refused to change who they are to fit in , and that makes them like you.  and when you find them, you're going to feel at home."

most likely you will leave your childhood friends behind because you no longer have much in common with any of them.  you my girl are a different kind of kid.  you have a deep, beautiful soul and are older and wiser than your young years.  this is a gift you've been given- i believe it runs in the family :)   use this gift of yours and it will ground you.  it will attract the right kind of friendships- people will gravitate towards you because you are real.  continue to hold your head high even when you feel weak...take comfort in the sun, breathe the clean air and remember that this time in your life is fleeting.  there are many, many years ahead of you and that is exciting!  it's good to dream so dream about travels to India or where ever you may want to go.  

i am your mother but i am also a daughter and once a young girl...we have a lot in common you and i.  my arms are always open, my ears work perfectly and my many years of being a girl have garnered me 'girl wisdom'...i love you with all my heart.