The Texture of Life

My youngest child is about to graduate and move away to start college. Like most parents, I have mixed feelings. Of course, I am proud of him and excited that he is about to start this new chapter in his life. However, on the flip side, there is a sad mom that is scared and sad that her baby is leaving.

Being a mom has been the hardest and most wonderful role in my life. I adored my kids toddler days: their chubby little hands; their funny, never-ending questions; and their pure innocent and honest faces. Oh, how I miss those days.

Now, the teenage years were different. Their cute little hands were slamming doors, their questions were laced with attitudes and their faces had moments of downright guilt and contempt. Nonetheless, these stressful times were always smoothed over with laughter, hugs and discussion. Eventually. I had a front row seat to this self development. I witnessed, and experienced, thousands of little moments.

My memories with them are the glitter in mind. They make my past sparkle, even in my darkest of days. I laugh when I think about my four-year-old daughter pushing her newborn brother around in her baby doll stroller and watching her play mommy. Now, years later, she is still pushing him around, but in ways to motivate or uplift him.

I remember watching my little blond-headed boy sit up on his knees with such interest while watching the River Dance and asking him how he liked it afterwards. His little preschool answer was classic and still true to his character today: “The boy fight dance was cool. The girly dance was dumb.” Now, his favorite things are playing paintball and driving around in his car that has its own booming stereo and light show.

There are countless other stories to tell of course, as most parents can relate. Beautiful moments I will never forget and others that still bring tears to my eyes. I wish I could have protected my children from difficulty and sadness, but I know that is impossible. All these moments, good and bad, are part of life. And it’s all those little moments that we’ve shared that have woven the fabric of our lives. Like the best fabrics, a good life is rich in reality, according to Ralph Fienness.

” Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”

~ Ralph Fiennes~

I couldn’t agree more. Some of best memories are so very simple, yet…they are the best and most powerful. Many have built upon each other as well, forming something unique and wonderful. Not that I would wish some of the same pains upon my children, but surviving those things has made them who they are

If I were to change their past, would they still be the same? It’s hard to say and an answer I will never get. So all I can do is appreciate the young adults they are, and pray for the people they will become.

I pray that these little babies of mine will continue to blossom. I pray that they can learn to live in the moment. I pray that they can really the magnificent details in life. I pray that they can embrace the glorious textures of experience for what they are.

Overall, I hope they find happiness and come to appreciate just how wonderful they are. Though they are different, I can’t help but find both of them equally terrific, my little blooms.


For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black & White.


Pay Attention to Detail-Hair Clips Can Kill

At Army basic training, we were grilled with the phrase ‘Attention to Detail.’ They drilled it into our heads repeatedly. Over and over. Look around.See what you are doing. See what others are doing. Where are you walking? Where are … Continue reading

Stats of Life

I write, ramble and ponder. Seemingly, there are no consistent topics to my posts. I just go with whatever inspires me that day. Sometimes it’s an angry poetic rant to people I can’t approach in person. And yet, other times I may weave together a romantic story involving a cat and a machete.

What do those have in common? Now that, took a moment to consider…

The daily post today said:

Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

When I looked at my top four posts, I scratched my head. How the heck are these things related?

  1. Four haikus together that gave advice to the bitter, greedy, hateful people of the world.
  2. A haiku that talks about our childhood dreams and adult reality.
  3. A fictional romance about a cat who links a machete-weilding hot guy with a home-owning girl in yoga pants.
  4. My personal ramblings, and a couple of iPhone pictures, on how I am discovering myself.

The connection is life, but not just any life. I am not talking about zombie lives or miserable/hateful/bitter lives. No, I am talking about lives with purpose. They all encourage passion and personal improvement. They speak to the hearts and souls of us as human beings and whisper-give it a try, be more than yesterday, seize the moment and don’t give up.

I have lived that just-barely-breathing life before and vow to not return to it. I promised myself to live in the moment and plan for my tomorrows. Each day, I want to be better, stronger and wiser. Sometimes I exceed. Other times, well, I fall on my face. But, that is OK. That’s life. If we get another chance to try again the next day, we are blessed.  I think that is how these four random topics are connected. Now go look around and relish in all that you have, and go take a few baby steps towards your dreams. One step at a time, you can get there. And who knows, maybe you will inspire some bitter/sad person, accomplish that childhood dream, or meet your soul-mate. And in between all that, you may just discover something new about yourself. 🙂

Best wishes.



Value of Traditions

Traditions are a critical part of life. They can be part of our family, religion or career field and cover anything from the clothes we wear to the food we cook to the things we say.

My family didn’t really have a lot of traditions when I was growing up. However, the great thing is, I have been able to find and create my own over the years.

When my kids were young, we moved a lot due to the military. That was hard for the kids. (Heck, that was hard for me too.) Changing schools (or jobs for me) and friends every few years takes a toll. Adjusting to new places was always a challenge. Therefore, I tried to make our home consistent. Of course, I didn’t really have a strategic plan to do it. I just felt the need to. Doing certain things during the year, became regular, like little customs. Those things grew over the years and seemed to offer us a sense of comfort, which is exactly why traditions are important, according to Susan Lieberman. “Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.” In hindsight, that makes sense. I just can’t say I had a thought-out plan back then, I just did it. Funny how we just naturally do things that it can so easily be explained by complete strangers.

It all makes sense though. Out of confusion and change, I sought comfort by creating regularity. Of course, our traditions grew and changed over the years and varied depending on the ages of the kids and the time of the year, but overall, there were regular events.

Spring would always bring my home flowers.

Summer demanded some kind of trip, even if just for a weekend.


Fall required pumpkin carving and pie making.

Christmas would not be Christmas without hard-rock candy and no bake cookies.

My mom used to make cinnamon rock candy and no-bake cookies every Christmas. Now, if I don't, my kids are upset.

My mom used to make cinnamon rock candy and no-bake cookies every Christmas. Now, if I don’t, my kids are upset.

All of these little things brought us stability in our hectic crazy world, and gave us wonderful memories. Well, I know they did for me, I suppose only time will tell with my kids though. Since they are both still in high school and college, it may take time for me to find out just what their fondest memories are. However, I do know a bunch of them now, and as time passes, we will make more.

And, with them expanding their wings, it means my personal traditions will have to be tweaked too. I may not have any little ones to cook for each day anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t cook and bake. I just may need to do it in smaller quantities (or need to share with coworkers). And, as I rediscover myself in this stage of my life, I find that I am making new traditions just for me. For example, for the last few years, my fall traditions have included Octoberfest festivities, a half marathon and some kayaking.

Not all my new traditions are big either. One of my simplest and favorite traditions is getting sushi when I go to the commissary (military grocery store). Nearly every time, every visit, I get that snack and it just give me a sense of calm. (And it is just frankly good sushi!)


Overall, I think these traditions gave me a sense of peace. They brought me joy, something to look forward to regardless of any stress happening then. They were, and remain, little reminders that my life is in order. I am ok. And all is right in the world, at least my little part of it anyway.

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For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White (with a few color bonuses).

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