Hi Ian’s Mom

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis morning one of Ian’s friends said, “Hi Ian’s Mom” to me in the hallway before school.  He had to speak up since I didn’t see him at first.  I said hello in return and smiled.  We then  each went our separate ways.

This friend was in the same 1st grade class as Ian, but this year is in a different class.  They are in Cub Scouts together so we still see him. That is nice for Ian and for me since I like this young man.

Ian’s Mom is who I am known as at Ian’s school and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Kids call me that as well as some of the parents.  His friends in his Cub Scout den also call me that.  Other parents, and the teachers and staff know me as Patti and the PTO secretary.

I love being his mom and love him so very much.  I love that he has made friends and continues to do so.  I love that he enjoys going to school.  He is such a sweet boy and so much fun to know and listen to.  Kirk and I are truly blessed to be his parents.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn two days, we will celebrate Ian’s birthday.  He will be 8 years old.  Wow, our sweet baby is really growing up.

The changes that have occurred in his lifetime are just amazing.  He went from crawling, to walking, to running.  From no speech to early words to talking endlessly some days.  He went from thinking he would never learn to read, to reading toddler books, to recently finishing “James and The Giant Peach.”

He now wakes himself up, makes his breakfast, and gets himself ready for school.  He has an alarm set to help him wake up.  So far so good with that.  Next week though is fall break and I told him we won’t be using the alarm clock.  He reluctantly said okay.

Our boy is a young man now.  He is getting very tall and outgrowing clothing and shoes. In the mornings, I often ask him if he has had his growing machine on at night.  He laughs and says, “No Mom.  I am just growing.”

n539281610_366595_2660Before that day 8 years ago, I never knew how much love I had to give.  I didn’t know that I could put someone else’s needs before my own with middle of the night feedings and lack of sleep.  I didn’t realize that someone would be listening and carefully watching all that I do in order to learn for himself.  I didn’t realize that my heart would live outside my body in such a small yet amazing package.

The job of parents is daunting and very hard at times.  After all, our job is to love them, teach them how to behave, to be kind to others, and provide them with discipline.  Then when they are grown, to prepare them for the outside world and eventually say goodbye and leave our home.

It is also the most fulfilling and precious time of my life, of my life with Kirk as co-parents on this journey.  We want the best for our son and do all we can to provide that.  Not only with money and material things, but in special moments and times together, and creating memories.  We listen to him when he talks to us and live in the moment with him.

I teach Ian many things but he continues to teach me each and every day.  From him, I have learned to live in the moment.  I have learned to be truly thankful for each day.  I have learned what love truly is all about.  Ian, I thank you for that and am so proud that you call me Mom.  Your Dad and I love so so very much!

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Throwback Thursday – It’s Fall Y’all!

TT.Fall.1Can you believe that yesterday was the first day of fall?  I sure can’t.  The summer season flew by.  I do love fall though and always enjoy this time of year.  Happy Fall Y’all!

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a photo of Ian from fall 2011.  He turned 4 years old that year.

He was fascinated with these pine cones.  He was in a corduroy outfit and very curious. He is still curious about life around him and a great reader!

I just love the fall. This is my favorite time of year in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I love the brisk mornings and evenings, the warmer days, and the lovely blue skies. I love that there isn’t the humidity of summer, and even on rainy days, it’s okay since we can be inside and enjoying baking and relaxing.

TT.Fall.2A few things about fall/autumn that I love are:

  • My mom’s pumpkin bread
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies
  • Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Soups and chowder
  • Clear blue skies
  • Cool nights
  • Vibrant orange and red leaves
  • Football games
  • S’mores
  • Being outside without sweating the entire time
  • Shorter days and time inside together
  • Fall premieres of favorite television shows
  • Birthday and anniversary celebrations
  • The smells of apples, cinnamon, maple, and nutmeg
  • Brisk walks and bike rides
  • Soccer games
  • The World Series
  • The fun of a camp fire or bonfire
  • Hayrides and choosing a pumpkin for Halloween

A few quotes about fall/autumn:

  • “Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.” ~Hal Borland
  • “Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.” ~Leo Tolstoy, to Nikolay Strakhov
  • “Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn’t begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings…. My year begins in Autumn.” ~Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • “Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings.” ~Terri Guillemets

I wonder what this fall holds in store?  I can’t wait to find out.  Have a great one!

Camping Adventure

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Hi and Happy Wednesday.  Life has been quite busy this week and will be this upcoming weekend as well.  Ian’s Cub Scout camping trip is this weekend.  We are looking forward to it and making sure we have all of the supplies we will need.

Ian is excited about it and a bit nervous.  I too am nervous since we are going somewhere we have never been before.  Still, it should be fun.  We just will be out of our routine and outside for much longer than we usually are.  Thankfully, the camp has bathrooms and water.

Ian has never camped before so it will be interesting to see what he thinks of it.  We will be spending one night at the campground.  I cannot wait to see what he thinks of the adventure.  I hope and pray that he has a fun time with the boys in his den and pack.

I haven’t been camping in years. I have many fond memories of camping when I was growing up.  We went to many State Parks and had a great time.  Two of my favorites were Cove Lake and Big Ridge State Park.

We had such fun and made some great food on these camping trips.  I loved cooking over a fire, in a box oven, and a tin can cooktop.  I also was in Camp Fire Girls and Boys growing up and learned many tricks and cool things.  Just hope that I can remember them!!

My family normally went with tents and a pop-up camper that had a hand crank.  We often would have one lamp and play cards after eating dinner.  And, we would tell stories and sing songs.  During Camp Fire camping, we strung up jungle hammocks in the trees for us to sleep in, and learned to make tables out of trees and rope.

This photo was taken at Laguna National Park in California this summer.  We had just bought Ian’s stuffed wolf and were enjoying a walk in the field and had seen some group camps.  It was a lovely day and a fun trip with my mother and her two sisters.  Their family had a cabin for camping that has since been torn down.

Now for the finishing touches for our trip. We just have to pack these and some other items in the car and be on our way:

  • Bug Spray, check
  • Cooler with drinks and extra food, check
  • Uniform and hat, check
  • First aid kit, check
  • Comfy shoes and warm clothing, check
  • Sleeping bags and pillows, check
  • S’mores fixins, check
  • Camera with charged batteries, check
  • Flashlights and water bottles, check.

I wonder how the trip will go and what Ian will think of it all?  I think he will have fun and so will we. At least I hope so.  I will let you know how our trip goes!

Remembering 9/11

Twin.Towers_1986Where were you when the world stopped turning?  So says the song by Alan Jackson about the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Even though these events happened 14 years old, I remember that morning as if it was yesterday.

Never before had I felt such chills while watching the news.  Seeing the second airplane fly into the tower was a shock and I instinctively knew something was very wrong.  Little did I or others know that in many ways life would never be the same again. The entire day was then a blur of emotions, sadness, and shock.

I was one of the lucky ones though.  I didn’t know anyone killed in the towers or at the Pentagon, or on the airplane.  I instead mourned for those who did, and held my husband,  family, and friends a little bit tighter.

As a result of this tragedy, we saw the both the best and worst of people.  We also saw a lot of love and appreciation for helping others.  My prayer is that we can remember to help one another, be kind to one another, and continue to love one another.

This photo is one that I posted last year on the anniversary of 9/11.  I took it during one of two chorus trips to New York City in the 1980s.  The first was in the early 1980s and the second trip was in 1986.  Both trips were fantastic.

We saw amazing sights — the United Nations Building, The Statue of Liberty, Macy’s, the Twin Towers, Central Park, and “Cats” on Broadway.  I bought some I Love NY souvenirs and was happy to be there.  It is a great city that I hope to visit again.

I recently read a fascinating book by a man who worked in one of the towers.  He is blind and was there on 9/11 with his guide dog.  They both made it out with several other people from his office and from other offices.  They walked down 1,463 stairs to get out.  At the time, they didn’t know what was happening.  He just knew that they needed to leave the building.

The man’s name is Michael Hingson, the book is “Thunder Dog” and the guide dog was Roselle.  She helped him remain calm enough to keep walking and not panic.  This is an amazing book that I recommend reading.  This experience was part of their story but there has been so much more for both of them since.

And, there has been so much more for all of the survivors.  People continued on with their lives.  This chapter on the stairs mentions a quote from a New York Times editorial from September 12, 2001, “It was one of those moments in which history splits, and we define the world as ‘before’ and ‘after.'”

I hope and pray for those who lived to see after.  May we make the most of our lives and savor each and every moment.  May we appreciate those who worked to protect us and died in the process.  May we appreciate and be thankful for our military who have fought for our nation both before and after.

After all, those who died that day didn’t know it would be their last morning with their families.  May we never take one another for granted.  May we make the most of each and every moment that we are blessed with.  And, may we never forget.

Throwback Thursday – Preschool Fun

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  Today’s Throwback Thursday photo is of Ian at the Old Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego, California.

This photo was taken in 2010 when he was almost 3 years old.  We went with my parents to see the lighthouse and Cabrillo National Monument.

He had a great time and was fascinated with it all. We bought a few miniature lighthouses, a coloring book, a book, and postcards. And, we took lots of photos.  It was a great day!

In this photo, he was talking to my mom. Soon after he looked up in the top of the lighthouse with my dad and loved it!  He could see for miles and was quite happy.  I love his sweet smile, dimples, and blue eyes.  And, I love that he is on his tippie toes.

Even then he was fun to talk with.  He has always had his own ideas on things and we love that.  In fact, when he was very young, he called a stop sign, an octagon.  We knew then that we had an inquisitive and fun child!  And he has continued to amaze us every year since.

We had a lot of fun adventures while he was a toddler and preschooler.  We traveled to Florida, California, and North Carolina.  We shared many amazing experiences and learning opportunities.  Throughout each place, we read together and learned new things.  It was a precious time for all of us.

Now Ian loves school and is thriving in second grade.  He looks forward to going to school and learning new things.  We are beyond blessed and thankful for that!  He continues to have great ideas and grasps things beyond what we have expected.

This morning I received a call from our vice principal saying that Ian had received an award for going above and beyond.  I am so very proud of him.  He tries to do his best and is excelling.  It is great to hear that he has been awarded for that.  I will give him a big hug when I pick him up.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memories of a toddler age boy
  • Watching the learning both in preschool and now in school
  • A boy who has always loved books
  • Listening to Ian read a favorite Elephant and Piggie book by Mo Willems
  • Having Ian explain his Lego creation of Heaven and wanting to know what Heaven looks like
  • Early morning chats before school
  • Ian receiving an award for working hard at school
  • Hearing “I love you Mom” followed by a kiss on the cheek
  • Waffles and sausage for dinner with my parents
  • An upcoming field trip with Ian and his classmates
  • A husband who is a great partner on this amazing journey
  • A father and son who love to spend time together
  • Our upcoming camping trip with Ian’s Cub Scout Pack
  • Ian’s school and all of the amazing teachers and staff
  • Walking home from school in the rain
  • Hand-me-downs from our loved ones
  • My brother and sister and their families
  • Cooking and baking with Ian
  • Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins
  • Family and friends who we love and cherish
  • My parents and in-laws who are wonderful grandparents
  • Mostly good health
  • The love of learning
  • Savoring the small moments

I wonder what new and fun adventure we will have next with Ian?  I cannot wait to find out.  And, I will savor each minute.

September 5 – Sparkle

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Hi and Happy Saturday!  Today’s Photo-A-Day Challenge is Sparkle.  I thought this photo captured that very nicely.  I love how the sun is sparkling on the water and the wet sand.

This was taken several years ago at my favorite beach at sunset.  I have seen hundreds of lovely sunsets at this location, perhaps even thousands. And, I have taken numerous pictures.  Each night is different and lovely in itself.

I really love the sparkle the sun makes on the ocean water both at sunset and during the day.  During the day the lovely blue water shines like diamonds.  In the evening, it takes on a different hue with the pinks, reds, and oranges.

Sparkle as a verb is defined as “shine brightly with flashes of light” and “be vivacious and witty.” As a noun, it is defined as “a glittering flash of light” and “vivacity and wit.”  I think this photo captures the light part. And, it is fun to be witty and vivacious.  I hope I have both of these covered.

Here are some quotes on sparkle:

  • “Never let anyone dull your sparkle.” — Unknown.
  • “Don’t be afraid to sparkle a little brighter.” — Unknown
  • “Dream Big. Sparkle More. Shine Brightly.” — Unknown
  • “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  • “Consider the fact that maybe…just maybe…beauty and worth aren’t found in a makeup bottle, or a salon-fresh hairstyle, or a fabulous outfit. Maybe our sparkle comes from somewhere deeper inside, somewhere so pure and authentic and REAL, it doesn’t need gloss or polish or glitter to shine.”–Mandy Hale
  • “Do more of what makes you sparkle.” — Unknown

I am all for being our best and pursuing our dreams.  And I agree that true beauty comes from within.  So let’s sparkle, be ourselves, and love our life!

Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

Throwback Thursday — Summer Memories

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Hi and Happy Thursday!  It is hard to believe that today is the 3rd day of September.  We are almost finished with our 5th week of school.  Wow, time flies by.  This summer seems but a memory now.  We had a great time and made some fabulous memories.

Our summer went by so quickly and was just nine weeks.  Not enough time in my opinion since I always want more summer and more down time and more time without our usual schedule.  But, then again, would it be as special and magical if it went on and on?  Something to think about.

This photo is from a few summers ago.  Ian was having a great time playing at the beach.  He loves it as much now as then.  He likes to do some things on his own and also play with his cousins.  It was great family time and lots of it.  We had that many other years as well and are so very fortunate.

So many summer memories are precious and ones that I love.  My favorite place to spend the summer is at the beach in San Diego, California.  The weather is usually just right.  There is very little humidity and it is cool at night.  That is what I grew up with and now what Ian is growing up with.

Soon it will be fall/autumn.  That is my favorite season in both Tennessee and North Carolina.  I love all things fall.  For now though, I am enjoying my wonderful summer memories.  Hope you have them as well.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • Seeing cousins this summer after several years
  • Catching up with dear friends who I hadn’t seen in a few years
  • Walks at the beach and back and forth to our motel
  • Fish tacos on the beach house porch
  • Healing from an injury from the beach trip
  • The ocean waves and breezes
  • A house that has been in my family for generations
  • Memories of ice cream treats
  • Sharing so many special times with my hubby and son
  • Sunsets and photo opportunities
  • Family bonding time
  • Laughter and singing with family and friends
  • Celebrations
  • Two parties for my parents’ 50th anniversary
  • Another wonderful summer

I wonder what our next summer will bring?  I am sure it will also be fun.  Until then, I will enjoy the fall, winter, and spring.