Saturday, December 14, 2013


Just wanted to spread a little joy during this special time of the year.....

This was earlier in the week.

Lucys ballet class from Karen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

in all things...Thanks

Thanksgiving has passed, and our travels (for now!) our over.   I finally had a chance to sit down and write a post.  Going through the pictures, I realized:  I am truly blessed.   Although I did reflect a bit on all of this on Thanksgiving, there is something about looking at the memories in picture form that invoked a bit more nostalgia and deep gratitude.   Lucy loooooves going up to western New York to visit with Brian's side of the family.  Truly, she is filled with excitement almost the entire. time. she is there.  She thrives on being with her cousins and her aunts and uncles and Mamaw Barnes.  And seeing her so happy, well-- it makes my heart happy.  I feel blessed to have such wonderful in-laws.  In all  things, I give thanks.

Getting ready to go ice skating with cousins Brandon, Macayla, Claire.....

...and Uncle Timmy and Daddy.

Timmy, being the most skilled skater of us all, took over with Lucy.

Before the 5K Turkey Trot, Thanksgiving morning  (Lucy's cousin Claire, Aunt Maureen and Uncle Joe)...

and after!   The 17 degree temps didn't deter the four of us!!!

Thanksgiving dinner.

A toast with one of Wally's last home brew's, to celebrate his 50th anniversary and birthday.

Lucy went out with daddy every morning to feed the barn cats.

A visit with one of Bri's BFF's from childhood: Rob.

Lucy watching in anticipation for.....

this!    That 8 inches of snow was good for something!

Aunt Sandy took Lucy on her first snowmobile ride! 

She loved it!
Lucy looooves her cousin Brandon.

and her cousin Macayla!

December will hold even more celebrations, with more memories to be made:  the birth of Jesus, and the birth of one of my greatest blessings, Lucy.  I can't wait!  My heart is filled for sure.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blurred Lines

Sometimes in the eyes of a child, the delineation between fact and fiction can often become a bit blurred.  Case in point, a conversation I had with Lucy recently.  Lets just say that she is a bit obsessed with the animated movie Tangled, and two of the leading characters:  Flynn Rider (the protagonist) and his beloved horse, Maximus.  She pretty much wants to act like one or the other every. minute.   Over dinner, she told me she wanted to talk about the movie.  One thought lead to another, and before I knew it, she was telling me who her ‘fave five’ crushes were.   Me, being the perpetual therapist (I can’t help it), asked her to tell me what specifically it was that she liked about these characters.  “What are the behaviors you are attracted to honey?” (I told you, I can’t help it!)

Here is what she said, pretty much verbatim:

#5-Shane (from Mulan, or as she calls him “Shaney”): “He is helpful.”
#4-Greyson (an actual person who plays piano on YouTube)-“He picks good songs and is emotional.”
#3-Flynn Rider:  “He is good and nice.”
#2-Maximus:  “He is encouraging. “
#1-Brandon (her cousin in NY):  “My heart and his heart love each other.”

The way I see it, she is just about right on track here, in picking out some important character traits in a person/character.  Never mind three of them aren’t real and one of them she will never know!

So, my dear Lucy, when you read this (hopefully) years from now, this is what I want you to know: 

“If you can find a man that is
 helpful, good, nice, encouraging and loving…
I approve! 
I hope when you said ‘emotional’
you really meant ‘sensitive.’
And the picking good songs thing…  
a definite added bonus!”

Speaking of fantasy/make believe, Lucy had a great time this Halloween.   She got to trick or treat in our neighborhood on Thursday; then we headed to Indy on Friday (for my niece’s play) and got to trick or treat there too (they had postponed it due to bad weather)!   Oh, and did I mention she also trick or treated at school?  We may be going into diabetic shock anytime in our house, due to the overload of sugar we are ingesting!

Lucy----ehemmm--Black Cat--introducing herself to the class.

It was rainy and windy and icky in our neighborhood.

Lucy and Lindsay:  meeeowwww!

How photogenic are these girls?

Lucy surprised Lisa and picked her a dandelion "because I love you."

Lisa, Lucy and I had such a great time trick or treating!  And the weather was purr-fect this time out!

My dad stayed at my sister's house to hand out candy.

Lindsay was a total  rock star in her high school play,  "Thirteen"

girlfriend can sing!

A bow well deserved!

(Footnote: Regarding the title of post... 
Pardon the use of the most overplayed song of the summer, but it worked!)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Parties, Prairies and Pumpkin Patches

My favorite time of the year is upon us again.  I am not sure why October always brings such warmth and joy to my heart.  Maybe the weather and beauty of the changing trees, maybe the anticipation of the holidays, maybe the birthdays and inevitable family time that this brings, maybe the festivals, hot apple cider and caramel apples.  Is there anyone that does not love fall?   If so, I can not relate!  We have been partying and playing and enjoying every moment of this glorious season.  Hope you can say the same!

Lucy and I went home to Indy to celebrate Lisa and I's birthdays.   What fun the trip was!   It just happened to be the "fall festival" at Lisa's school, so Lucy had a blast spending time in her aunt's second grade classroom:

Notice on the board next to her....he is never far from her heart!

The girls mobbed Lucy when they noticed her over here playing!

Lisa did a question and answer;  the second graders had a lot of neat questions for Lucy!

This about sums it up:  "I Love you Lisa."

It was grandparents day at Lindsay's high school, so Lucy and I tagged along with Papa.  The breakfast was wonderful, but even better was the all school mass afterwards.   How wonderful to be surrounded by so many faith filled youth.   I left feeling so energized.

Spending time with family....

One night we went to Connor Prairie.   This is considered an "interactive history park"; it takes you back to 1836 and what it was like to live during that time.   I remember going to this place as a child, although haven't been there for many years.   They have a wonderful fall festival, complete with hay rides where the headless horsemen chases you (Lucy was quite confused by where his head was!).  It was the best hayride I have ever been on!

Lucy wasn't sure what to make of this "beauty" queen...neither were Lisa or I! 

They had this great tent filled with musical instruments.  Lucy loved it!


The guy in the picture is Lindsay's boyfirend, Luke.  Or, as Lucy calls him "Lukey" (she looooves him)

We saw a fantastic puppet show about Sleepy Hallow... the best I think I have ever seen!
 Let the partying continue.....After returning from a great trip to Indy, Brian's sister Bridget, and his childhood buddy Tom, came to Cincinnati for a visit and to do more celebrating of my birthday! (note:  most of the pictures below were taken with Bridget's camera, if you were wondering why they were so much better!)

The boys decided to act like woodsmen and cut down a few (dead) trees.

Now what?


Lucy enjoyed trying on Aunt Bridgey's camera.

My friend Layne sent me these gorgeous flowers.
And lastly, Lucy and I enjoyed our annual trip to Schappacher Farm with our friends Tammy and Abby:

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful season!!!