fiddlehead.....every changing, ever growing

fiddlehead....ever changing, ever growing

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

we are family....

we are family, I got all my sisters and me.  We are family....come on everybody, lets sing!   
Now that you have that song in your head you are officially invited to see our weekend of family.

In celebration of family.....of my sister's family...their marriage, their sweet baby girl and sweet baby boy on the way!   

For the event the McCormick family came up north to help us celebrate....from FL, VA, NC.  Sorry Cousin Jim was left out.  He was cleaning up after all his playing with the boys.  They can spot a fun dude a mile away and were all over him.

Off to celebrate Krissy and Steve at the Van Dusen Mansion....
Introducing the bride and groom!

and their sweet baby girl

who also took a little cat nap

Then there was our family attempting a family photo...looks about right!

And the McCormick cousins
and a shot of them ALL looking.   
Judson basically had that look on his face all day.
I just can't believe how big they are all getting....

 Then there was this sweetie in a sequin pink dress...ahhh.
They didn't have my size or we would have matched.

 And of course there were cupcakes.....
lots of cupcakes!

Tyler better watch his cupcake.

And a birthday cake for Nana....coconut cake. mmmmm

There was a new "cousin" marrying into this McCormick clan in October......

I think he now has all of the information he needed, 
and loves my cousin Michele more and more with each moment....

Then there were kissing cousins.... 

a few of the McC girl cousins....

  The Aunties.... can I just tell you how amazing each one of you are?
And my Dad....I love this shot of you Pops.
And this is possibly my favorite shot of my sister and you Krissy.

It was a wonderful, family filled weekend celebrating Krissy and Steven,
celebrating family!

Our family is a circle of love and strength.
With every birth and every union the circle grows.
Every joy shared adds more love.
Every obstacle faced together makes the circle stronger.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a glimmer of hope....

Tessa and I walked in Strides for Africa in Madison last weekend...
it was a really nice event for an organization doing amazing work in rural Ethiopia. 
A Glimmer of Hope    What I love about Glimmer of hope is that every single dollar goes right to a project.   100% of every $!   They provide clean water, education and access to health care to women, men and children.   I love their can see the villages in Ethiopia they are impacting.  I could go on and on....please click on this link and check them out.
A Glimmer of Hope

It was a beautiful day for Tessa and I to walk in Strides for Africa.... Tessa rode in her stroller until we got to the "party", aka Africa Fest after.   I hope we can do things like this together often as she grows.   Along the walk were these signs, which are powerful in their simple messages.

What will be your impact this year?
It has me thinking....what about you?

Monday, August 22, 2011

pet love...

We love our pets around here.....really do
There are furry friends and not so furry friends.

but they are loved all the same.  This is my oldest son's pet, Sonic the bearded dragon.    He eats crickets and veggies....he is just generally cool.

It's pet week at i heart faces so I had to share some pet love.  Now I am going to go snuggle with Bob the bulldog in bed.

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenges and Photo Tutorials

Friday, August 12, 2011

$ a tough question $

This post makes me very really, really does.  Especially with what is going on in my mind as our daughter's homeland is stricken by famine.  It is impossible to reconcile.   But I want to write about this question my son posed because it makes me think about how to handle our extreme fortune respectfully and consciously.  So, my middle son, Drew, asked me very innocently, from an 8 year old's mind and perspective.  He just wanted to know....
"Are we rich?"  

When he asked this question I felt immediately uncomfortable and unsure of how to answer.  I mean the fact that he is asking that question speaks volumes.   He is aware and wanting to make sense of this world, especially as we are often talking about the crisis in the horn of Africa and in relation to Tessa's homeland.  

So, then the question for me is how do I answer it so he is aware of his many blessings, our many, many life blessings.  How do I answer it honestly in a very real realistic material sense.  How do I make sure he can handle the answer and be sensitive and respectful?  And how do I answer it from a broader life and world perspective?   I knew I wanted to be able to answer this questions in a way that addresses what we ourselves were born into (middle class families in the USA) as well as what we have worked hard to create.

I stumbled...I wasn't particularily eloquent.  This is basically how I answered this 8 year old's  question...
"Drew, we have sooooo much.  We don't have to worry about food, where to live.   Many people worry about their next meal here and all over the world.  Daddy works so very hard to make money for our family to live.  He went to school for a long time to be able to be a Dr. to help people, and he is paid well for how hard he works.  I am able to not have to work anymore because of this and be able to be home full time with you.  There are lots of people who don't have enough food, or clothes or a home all around the world and right here where we live in Monroe.  Does that make sense?".   He answered yes and seemd to understand, but I realize this is a message that will need to be reinforced over the years.

The truth is we have so much and it makes me uncomfortable at times.  I do love our life.  I love our beautiful home and being able to give our children so many opportunities.  I am keenly aware that our life isn't made of up the things and luxuries we have, but I do enjoy them.  Sometimes there is that guilt for having so much when you see suffering, here or anywhere.   Of course we are talking a lot in our house about the crisis in the horn of Africa.  Thinking about a place we love, our daughters homeland, her birth family....we pray and hope and do what we can from here.   I  want to  focus on how we live our lives.  What we do with our lives, how we live in this world.  

Money is so uncomfortable to talk about, isn't it?  But I think our kids need an honest answer, how else do you learn about the world?   (Is this making you uncomfortable yet?)
I want to get better at talking about it with my kids.  I don't want money to be a secret or a mysterious thing.  And I don't want them to see "rich" in a one dimensional way.  I want them to see the riches of their lives honestly.  They swim in a pool in their yard.  They have traveled and played around the country and world.  They ride on a jet-ski and boat.  This is in a very material sense.  But I also hope their lives are rich in love,  in family, in friendship, opportunity, education and filling their minds and all the basics...a home, water, food.

This is my kids frame of reference....they have A LOT and need for nothing.  Of course, I wouldn't want it any different, but with this comes a responsibility to make sure they appreciate their lives, to see it honestly and give back in their own way.   And I am very aware that when you have all of your needs met and beyond you need to be grateful and use your life to the best of your ability.
"To whom much is given much is required"

So this simple question, "are we rich?"....stirred up a lot in me.  It made me uncomfortable....and usually when something makes you feel that way you know you should look at it!
But I see that despite my discomfort my little guy is just trying to figure out the world, his place in it and I am here to help guide in that process.  Raising children who live in this world with integrity, honesty.   I want them to understand the many priviledges that they were born into, given.  I want them to have gratitude, to live gratiously and within a larger world perspective.

The answer is yes.....yes we are.  We are so very rich.  Our lives are rich in love, in water and food, in community, in education, in friendship, in family......   

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


In one day there have been some milestones occuring here....

Andy turned 40.   yep, he is 40!  Fabulous and 40.     
I met him when he was just 21.   wow- we really are grown-ups now.
he is so loved.....

*Proud Mama alert*
Jack is on 2 wheels.  That's right!   He is such a big boy.  Within a minute of Andy taking off the training wheels and he was immediately on 2 wheels. He is continually asking me "Mama, I can go on 2 wheels now.  Want to see?"   It is so sweet, he is so proud...and so am I.

Drew got up on 2 skis!!!  I was driving so I only have this photo of him on a tube.  But let me tell you getting up on 2 skis was BIG!

Jud is kneeboarding like a pro....seriously hitting the wake like it is nothing!    I wish had had a shot of him throwing up his "hang-loose" sign.  Needless to say he is totally rad.

Tessa is working on getting 3 teeth all at once.  It is not a small task.  
And it seems like there is alot of drama at our house.  
She is basically ticked off alot....I hope those teeth pop through soon!

I am always amazed by this life.  Watching all of us grow and change....together. 

We Love You! is your 40th birthday and

today and always.

Monday, August 1, 2011

spinning my wheels

Sometimes when I come across other people's blogs, their words, their photos I get inspired.   Often it is parenting, art, photography.  Tonight it is organization......this blog Cathy Talks has inspired me to get some s*@! done!  Sometimes I just feel like I am spinning my wheels!!!   The only one fighting all of the clutter creating forces = hubby and 4 little ones.

I need to do this in August, while I have some help from summer sitters....I need to do this for my sanity.  I need to declutter, I must organize and finish some overdue projects.

*  finish painting the garage and art studio doors (started it last November)
*  clean up old studio attic space
*  organize the gift bags & paper mess
*  sort and organize kids toys in the basement
*  paint the basement wall
*  start uploading photos for yearly digital album
*  work on kids art folders/boxes

I could be setting myself up for failure, but I am going to do my best to stop spinning my least for this month!

Thank you for visiting the fiddlehead report!