Tuesday, May 25, 2010


matt will be finished with school this friday for the summer and i have to say i am READY to have him home. we have some fun things planned but mostly we are going to try to make it a low key time with plenty of rest and relaxation. the end of the year is starting off with a visit from matt's parents. they arrive tomorrow and of course graduation which will be especially meaningful this year as it is the year matt's first class is graduating. he had this class the first year he taught at trinity when they were only freshmen. i feel especially close to some of these kids as i have watched them grow up for the last 4 years.

i am looking forward to having matt around and i know the kids are too. but mostly i can tell that this year is different in that matt himself is desperate for the summer. he is tired this year. more so than the other end-of-the-years. i am really praying that he finds the rest and the rejuvenation to start next year ready and refreshed. would you pray for him too? teaching is hard work. even more so for a man like my love who doesn't do anything half way.

i have a couple of photography sessions scheduled which will be fun, i will be working 3 nights a week still and of course we plan on getting as much beach time as is possible given the fact that our beaches could look like tar pits in a couple of weeks. every time i think about all of the oil spilling into our beautiful oceans i can't help getting teary eyed.

this morning we were driving to costco and the farmer's market and micah started singing, "he's got the whole oceans in this hands, he's got the whole oceans in his hands, he's got the whole oceans in his hands, he's got the whole world in his hands." i smiled to him and then to myself as i silently prayed asking God to forgive the way we have treated his oceans, his land, his world...

my thoughts turn to relaxation and the fun that the summer holds for us as a family, but it also turns so quickly to those families and wildlife that have been devastated by this tragedy.

we need rest and relaxation so we can work harder for Him!


matt left for work last thursday at his normal time of 6:00. what wasn't normal was the fact that he called me a little after he left. look out the window, he said. i did and saw a red tent in the darkness. what does that sign say i asked. he told me, i laughed and got up to start making some breakfast for our squatters.
when micah saw the tent he was so confused, "what are they doing on out there mama?"

i made them some blueberry muffins and chai tea. we had to leave early to get to trinity to buy micah some school uniforms and to take beatrix to her check up at the doctor.
these girls make me so happy and keep me feeling young and silly. i remember doing fun and carefree things like this. they remind me of the importance of staying youthful at heart.
the next day we had to say good bye to one of them.
ashlea got an amazing opportunity to work for a not for profit organization in washington dc this summer. (one of the reasons why they camped out in our yard the night before.) the whole harrison family was sad to see her go, but excited for what may lay ahead for our dear friend. blessings ash, we love you!

a sweet get-up

micah raided his piggy bank last week. he really wanted some flippers to go with his snorkel. we went to target where he proudly gave the clerk his money and he put the bag over his shoulder and told me he couldn't wait to show daddy. when we got home it was time for a rest and when i peeked into the room this is what i saw. i turned around and ran and got my camera. flippers and snorkel mask on even to read before nap. that is some dedication!

ocean preparation

this is what micah has been doing.
in the pool and in the bathtub.
he is practicing for the real thing,
snorkeling in the ocean.

having dinner outside after a dip in the pool.

like him, take 3

she wants to be like me, part 1

my make up on her face and my tooth brush in her mouth...
only the beginning.

the mother of all mother's days!

for over 4 months my two best friends from college, melissa and amy, had been planning a weekend away. we choose mother's day weekend. how appropriate to take a vacation away from our families, right? they arrived on a thursday and we left for key largo on friday. we stayed in a hotel on the ocean for two nights and 3 days. we went to fantastic restaurants, the beach and stayed in the hotel relaxing. it was wonderful to reconnect with these girls after so much time has passed.
without interruption!
at marker 88 on the bay watching the sunset and eating great food!
the restaurant we went to for breakfast on saturday on our way to the beach.
do you know that there is nothing more relaxing then sitting on the beach with no obligations or responsibilities?
well its true.

outside of the fish house waiting for our table.
i love these ladies!
admiring our pedicures.
on sunday we left our hotel at 11:00 and headed north to find another beach. melissa and amy had fun learning to snorkel and took to it immediately! they didn't know i was taking this picture of them, but i thought it was so cute that they were doing the same thing at the same time without the other one knowing. i imagined them in 30 years as older women, coming for a visit and doing pretty much the same thing. thank you my sweet friends for an amazing and memorable weekend. it was absolutely perfect!

extinct no longer

a couple of weeks ago matt called me to say that he had a huge surprise for micah. i made the mistake of telling him. micah asked me all day when daddy was getting home and he wouldn't take a nap. when matt got home micah was at the door instantly wanting to know what it was. the surprise was more than he could have ever imagined. one of the teachers at trinity was retiring and she had put out all of her bins for anyone who wanted them. matt brought home two bins FULL of everything dinosaur!
micah was ecstatic and had no clue where to start!

he is well on his way to becoming a soccer playing paleontologist.

wants to be like him, take 2

saying farwell to an old friend

matt bought this bike right before we were married, in 1999. we rode on it together for 10 years...we drove it when we were single, matt rode it to iowa to visit me while we were dating, we signed our marriage licsence on it at our wedding, we rode off on it to our hotel the first night we were married, we took it to canada, we drove it to lake michigan, we rode it around grand rapids, we moved it to florida where matt has enjoyed riding it year round, we also drove it in February 2008 to the ocean where i told matt we were going to have another baby, beatrix.

but this bike was getting old and expensive to fix, so a month ago matt decided to put it on craig's list and he sold it to someone else who gets to have new memories on it. i have to say that since the kids have come i really didn't get to ride on it much, but when i did, it was wonderful.

it was a sad week in our house the week that the bike was no longer in our garage. but on to new adventures. we are saving our money for our next one. a sail boat! who knows what memories we can make on that.

painting party for two

she wants to be just like him, with everything!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

inspiration in a shower stall

flee from the crowd and dwell with truthfulness.
be satisfied with what you have, it may be small.
to hoard brings hate,
to climb brings dizziness.
the crowd has envy and success binds all.
be happy with what to your lot may fall.
work well yourself to counsel others clear.
and full-truth,
hard work,
God's law,
shall make you free!

torment yourself not,
all the crooked to redress.
nor put your trust in fortune's turning ball.
great peace is found in little busyness.
and war but kicks against an age-old wall!
strive not you earthen pot to break that wall!
subdue yourself and others you shall hear!
and full-truth,
hard work,
God's law,
shall make you free!

what God does send,
receive in glad-whole-someness!
to strive for greater wealth foretells thy fall.
here is no home,
here is but wilderness.
forth pilgrim,
up beast and leave thy stall!
know your country,
look up!
thank God for all!
hold to the higher way,
your soul,
God with in you!
be a pioneer!
and full-truth,
hard work,
God's law,
shall make you fee!

poor beast,
forsake thy wretchedness!
no longer let this world be thy stall.
His mercy seek,
who in His mightiness made you of dust,
but not to be a ball!
work well yourself and work for all.
who seek for larger life and deeper cheer!
and full-truth,
hard work,
God's law,
shall make you free!

inspiration can be found anywhere...

{as found on Dr. Bronner's Magic Fair Trade Soaps -
poem by geofrey chaucer and soapmaker bronner}

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


once again the kids are napping and i should be too, but as i laid there i couldn't turn my brain off.

i am thinking of bill.

bill lived two houses down from ours. he was a quiet man and mostly kept to himself and his menagerie of cats. the only real evidence that bill moved in and out of his house was the occasional sighting of his recycling box that like clockwork came to the curb every monday morning. it was always filled to the brim with empty bottles and cans telling more of his story then he probably ever imagined. you see all of these vacant containers once held alcohol. bill was a drunk, and a crazy one at that.

i am a bar tender at an italian resturant in our neighborhood. i rarely have disgruntled patrons, but bill was one of the few. in fact when he would saunter into my place of employment i always felt dread because one of two situations were inevidable. number one he would very rarely come in happy and feel like talking, though i would have to tread very carefully because at any moment he could turn on a dime. or number two he would come in already a little tipsy and angry wanting to sit in silence downing bottles of corona quickly. on these such occasions i would stay clear and just let him work out what he needed to in his own mind. no matter how he came in i would always leave the empty bottles sitting in front of him so that he would know exactly how many he had drunk, otherwise he would accuse me of lying and over charging him.

one night about 3 months ago already, he came in happy and smiling and his long crazy white hair was somewhat flat against his head. he was in the mood to talk. he sat down ordered his beer and said to me, "i've just come from an interview with the palm beach paper."
"really?" i said, "what were you interviewed for bill?"
"oh," he replied, "after the war i stayed on in germany and joined a german band. we recorded 6 or 7 albums. we were always asked to play for parties of very famous people. the paper wanted to interview me because i am going to my 25th year reunion with the other members of the band. can you imagine that?" he shakes his head in disbelief and looks at me with a look of anticipation. "i haven't seen them in 25 years. it is going to be so good to see them all."
"wow bill", i say, "that is wonderful. what years were you in germany?"
"1951-1957, 25 years ago." he shakes his head again. this time in disbelief that so many years have passed. and my heart sinks as i think to myself, oh bill, how sad that it has been 50 years since your glory days have passed you by and you don't even know it.

right than and there my heart became even more burdened for bill. a man who once upon a time had talent, enormous talent. what happened? was it alcohol? was that what made him a hermit? or was it something else? maybe an undiagnosed disease that slowly started to deteriorate his mind making him want to drink so he could forget and not feel...

for the past two weeks i have noticed that bill's car has not moved. i haven't seen him around and i started to become agitated. there was no one to ask about him though. no one really sees bill much. but i did hear rumors that the police had been to his house a while ago. my neighbors and i speculated what may have happened to him.

this morning as i got in my car to do some errands i heard chain saws and when i drove by bill's house i noticed his yard was full of tree branches. the feeling of dread moved slowly to the back of my throat and i knew in my heart that bill had died. i turned the car around and parked it in front of his house. silently i approached the house, hoping for the best. a man was in the front yard stacking piles of branches and palm fronds. i asked him about the owner and he looked at me blankly. he went around to the back of the house. i sensed that i should wait. another man came walking towards me. a cigarette hanging from his mouth and a kind smile on his face. "can i help you mam?" he asked me.
"yes", i said, "the gentleman who owns this house, bill, is he ok?"
he took a slow puff from his cigarette and as he exhaled he said, "no mam. he's dead".
"really?" i sighed. "how long ago?" i asked.
"one or two months ago. his brother up in north carolina hired me to clean the whole place. inside and out. it is a pretty big mess."
"yes, i imagine it would be. bill didn't get out much."
he takes another puff and i sigh again. we stand there in mutual silence.
"well, thank you for telling me. i have been wondering."
"no problem", he says kindly. he steps on his finished cigarette and says, "i had better get back to work".
"sure. thanks again." he gives me one last smile and starts back to the jungle that is bill's overgrown back yard.
i get in the car and drive away.

that was almost 6 hours ago and i can't shake it. the feelings of guilt. there were so many times this last year that i felt the Spirit prompting me to take food to him, check on him, ask if he needed anything.
and i didn't.
cause i was afraid.
there i said it. once again fear got in the way. sure i tried to be kind to him and listen to his stories when he came into work. cause it felt safe there. he wouldn't know where i lived, and more importantly there was a bar in between us. a natural barrier.

i feel sick inside cause i didn't reach out to this lonely, talented, old man cause i was too full of fear and self protection....

this past sunday pastor shirley told the story of Christ's ascension and the fact that before He left us to join His Father He gave us a job, a very specific job. one that He said from the start would not be easy. and that job is to show others His saving love. to BE His love to our neighbors, the widow, the orphan and the stranger.
to act.
and i didn't, in this instance i didn't.
and now bill is gone.
i only hope before bill got to the place where he was of living 25 years ago, that someone had told him and that he had made a decision. but i won't ever know and because of this i have a heavy heart. i know i will have to answer some day for my lack of courage, with bill.