Monday, December 29, 2008

Learning to Dwell on the Unexpected

Last night, our family celebrated the eighth and final night of Chanukah.  We had just returned home from a trip to San Francisco, placed all of our suitcases in to the house, said hello to all of our animals, and brought out one of our menorahs.  Chanukah is a celebration of light and of freedom.  It memorializes the first battle that was fought for the right to religious freedom.  During each of the eight nights of Chanukah, a candle is lit beginning from right to left until the final night when all eight of the candles are finally illuminated.  The center candle is known as the "shamash", or the helper candle.  It is used each night to light all of the other candles.  The reason that it stands above the other candles is to remind us that God is always above us.  To me, it represents the idea that God is with us to light the paths of our lives and to guide us, even when things seem to be at their darkest.  It offers brightness and hope and encouragement.  It is a symbol of family and friends.  Although Chanukah is a minor holiday in the Jewish tradition, it is a time which is looked upon with great fondness.  It is a time of celebration and joy.   Often times, the children receive one gift on each night.  For our family, it has always been a time to celebrate together.  On one of the nights, I would have our extended family over to our home.  Of course, this always included my beloved brother, my sister-in-law and my two wonderful nieces.  Having my brother and the girls around always made me feel as if he and I had somehow succeeded in achieving the close-knit family that we were deprived of as children.  We always looked on, in awe, as our six daughters loved on one another in a way that we never experienced during our younger years.  He would sometimes shake his head and say, "I cannot believe that all of these girls belong to us!"  The look on his face as he took in those moments is something that I will hold onto within my memory forever.  

As Chanukah approached, this year, I found myself dreading it.  You see, when my brother gave me his usual bear hug before he walked out my door last year, I never, ever, ever thought it would be the last time that I would see him in this lifetime.  I didn't hold on long enough.  I didn't memorize what his final words to me were.  I did not know that just about six weeks later, as we were preparing to meet him and his family for dinner, that he would be gone.  And that the next time I saw him, he would be dead.  

My family has taken this in each of their own ways.  But the one that sticks in my mind is the phone call which I received from my youngest Angel, one night, when she was home alone.  She was quietly crying and when I asked her what was wrong, she replied that she missed her Uncle Robbie.  She said that she had written him a letter and that she wanted me to take her to the cemetery so that she could give it to him.  Ten months later, the tears flowed so freely that all I could do was tell her that I understood.  I still haven't asked her if I could read the letter.  I still have not gathered the courage to face my brother's grave site, again.  I know he is not there, but the part of the earth which he has now become a part of, is.  And I do not know if I am yet brave enough to face the finality of it.  In Judaism, the grave stands marked with nothing but a simple plaque, for the first year.  Around the anniversary of the death, a ceremony known as an "unveiling" is done, and the completed gravestone is then placed at the site.  My brother's wife will not be having an unveiling.  

When Mark and I were discussing how we would be spending the holidays this year, I knew that I could not face them at home.  I wanted to be away, some place different.  I wanted to be with all four of my daughters and Mark and I wanted Chanukah to pass rather quietly and inconspicuously.  It is kind of how most of 2008 has been for me.  A long passing blur on the highway of life.  Large, readable signs popping up along the way, but for the most part, fuzziness and blur.  So, we decided to take a trip up to San Francisco.  Someplace far away enough to forget, but close enough to remember.

And it was good.  It was good to be together, insulated from our world.  Good to be in a big city. And good to be able to spend some time alone, together.

San Francisco is a city that you can get lost inside of.  There are huge amounts of people, but most of the time, they insulate themselves inside of the safety of their own bubbles.  In the picture above, Mark, myself and our Angels Daughters created our own little bubble of family.
Beautiful architecture fills San Francisco with monumental buildings.  There is so much to observe and so much to get lost in.  A visual feast for the eyes.
This father paced back and forth, with his little one in tow, for a good twenty minutes in front of the restaurant that we were eating in.  We could not resist enjoying the tiny Christmas elf as he/she slept soundly nuzzled close to his daddy's back.  Look at how the dad even kept a hand resting on the baby as he chatted on his cellphone!
Trolly cars are a traditional staple on the hilly roads of San Francisco.  We skipped the ride this time, as it can be very interesting trying to find a place for six people in a car.  People can become very pushy and aggressive, so since we had already ridden on the trolly's during a previous trip, we skipped it this time.
AD4 and AD3 taking in some shopping.
Mark and our Angels standing outside of the Jewish museum waiting for me to stop with the camera.  There was an incredible exhibit of Andy Warhol's portraits of ten famous Jews being exhibited and so we decided to check it out.  It was definitely worth seeing!  We were able to stand within a foot or two of Andy Warhol's actual works!  Photography was not allowed, but I think Angel Daughter Number Two(our photographer, sneaky girl) managed to shoot one great shot of the portraits.  I will try to post it here soon!
AD2 gazing out at the city from our hotel room.
AD1, 4, and 3 hamming it up for the camera.  They sometimes get tired of me taking pictures of them.  Can you imagine?!?!?
AD2, or Nanook, as I lovingly dubbed her, decided to don her winter hat in the forty-five degree weather.  I definitely think that children who are born in warm weather climates have much thinner blood!  My girls LOVE the cold weather, but of course they have never had to actually live in it.
I asked AD4 to give me her best "That Girl!" swirl, but unfortunately, she had no idea what I was talking about.  She's a very good sport, anyway.
Chinatown is a big part of the San Francisco experience and it's a lot of fun to shop there.  This is the entrance to several long blocks of Chinese culture and history.

And so, another year has gone by, another memory created.  I cannot help but wonder how many more family vacations we will be able to take as our self-contained, little unit of six.  Our Angel's own wings are becoming stronger and more independent with each passing year, and soon, there will be others joining our roost.  It is only inevitable.  

As I was searching for one of our cats tonight, I opened the door of a cabinet that I rarely ever open.  As I looked down for a pair of glowing eyes, I found something entirely unexpected and it momentarily knocked the breath right out of my lungs.  Last year, for Chanukah, my mother bought my brother and I the same, exact Celine Dion CD.  Neither one of us were big Celine fans, but when everyone left my house and I was cleaning up, I noticed that my CD was nowhere to be found.  Tired and admittedly, a little bit annoyed, I called my brother and left him a message asking him if he had accidently taken my CD home with him, as well.  After a few days, he returned my call and told me, that yes, he had indeed taken an extra copy of the CD home with him.  A bit sarcastically, he asked me if I wanted him to mail it back to me.  I told him, "Of course not, I'll just get it from you the next time we get together."  When Mark, my SIL and I were planning my brother's funeral in February, she brought the CD over to my house.  It was kind of an odd gesture, so I placed it, still in it's original packaging inside of that out-of-the-way cabinet, a sign of it's seemingly unimportantness in the face of my brother's passing.  Yet tonight, in the resurfacing of this still wrapped CD, there is a message from my brother.  And although I have not spent the time to think it all the way through yet, I do know that there are no coincidences.  There is, however, insignificant unfinished business which has suddenly become a very important reminder from someplace else.  

I hope that your holidays were filled with love, meaning and enough joy to hold onto for a very, very long time.  And in the coming year, may the symbols and signs that are meant to teach, stop you in the tracks of your journey to remind you that there truly are no coincidences.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

As the Tides Change and Happy 1st Night of Chanukah

As I sit back to take inventory on the things that I have gleaned during 2008, I must remind myself to reflect more deeply on the good, while still holding on to the lessons that I have received from the unbearable.  Spreading my wings to fly off into the unknown of another year is, at the same time, a huge relief and scary as hell.  The emotions that I am experiencing in leaving this past year behind, remind me that I truly do not know what life will bring from one moment to the next.  That there are no guarantees, no coincidences and truly no absolutes.  And although this past year brought with it only a month and a half before my family experienced the saddest tragedy that we have ever had to face, life continued happening as we celebrated birth(renewal), a graduation(transition), and the flight of two of our Angel Daughters going off to college(one for the first time and one as a senior).  
And while I cannot say that I am at all sorry to get past the psychological boundary of putting 2008 behind me, I can say that it was a year that will stand out forever in my mind.  Heading in to 2009 brings with it a mixed sense of relief, apprehension, and hope.  In some ways, I feel as if I will need a compass in order to navigate the wind currents by which my life will now flow.  In other ways, I feel a bit stronger and better prepared because of the storms that sought to clip my wings.  Life is like that.  We don't realize how incredibly strong we are until the bounds of that strength are tested.  It is only then that we know, really know, how resilient we can be in the face of adversity.

Standing at the edge of a very low tide, last week, I noticed the rippling sands that are usually covered by the sea water.  It made me think about the things that reside just below the surface of who we believe ourselves to be during the times when our lives seem fairly unchallenged.  It is only during the unusual times, the times when things are not as they should be, that we are forced to peer beneath the surface into the face of someone who feels strange and unfamiliar.  Those are the times when we can learn one thousand lessons in what seems to be a few short moments.  The low tides of our lives, when taken seriously and to heart, are the times when we can gain momentous growth.  And whether we are ready or we are not, the wind currents will change, the tides will ebb and flow, and the storms will come.  It is in how we choose to navigate the changes, that will determine whether we will become permanently grounded or if we will be able to soar even higher than we did before.

As you reflect upon this past year, may you treat yourself as you would, a student who is constantly learning new lessons as they go.  Gently, honestly, but with a small bit of slack and a swift kick in the rear, when absolutely necessary.  

Thank you for helping me to find my own wings.

Monday, December 15, 2008

And They Say it Never Rains in Southern California

Sometimes the journeys which life leads us on, can bring us from this...
To this, all within the span of twenty-four short hours.  Southern California has been full of delightful surprises over the course of the past few days.  Even though we are missing just about half of our Angel clan, when we heard that there would be snow in our local mountains we decided to play "hooky" from work and school to head up to the five thousand foot level for some good 'ol fashion white stuff.  Sometimes, we're a little crazy like that.  It's how we like to roll!
And by the look on Angel Daughter Number Four's face, she and Jersey really enjoyed the extra cuddle time.  

May you take a little time to do something out of the ordinary, even if it's only for an hour or two and may you stay warm and cozy no matter where you live.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Welcome Home

I find that as life takes on a faster pace, I have an almost desperate need to slow things down. As someone who used to be a "doer"(raising four daughters will do that to you), I have learned to become a more constant observer and it seems to serve me well. I like catching moments as they happen. I enjoy recording things by camera or using words to express and evoke emotion. I feel that in some ways, I am finally beginning to come into my own. You see, when I was young, as early as eleven years old, writing was something that felt very natural to me. I found that it was a very therapeutic way for me to calm myself as I dealt with some very tumultuous situations in life. Writing allowed me to place things into perspective. It allowed me to compartmentilize my world into things that were good and things that were not so good. It allowed me to connect with a part of myself that understood a little more, a part that was wiser and more maternal. It helped me to withstand a difficult childhood.

Looking back now, I see that for a time, this gift, my coping mechanism, was taken away from me. Professors in college became overly critical of my use of "descriptive language". My father decided that I should become an attorney and that creative writing was a huge waste of my time. I lost something that was important to me. I lost something that meant expression. I lost my absolute love for the written word.
But somehow, my love for writing never really disappeared. It just lay doramnt, right beneath the surface of my life, waiting. Waiting for the right time. Waiting for me to return. And like this loyal dog who waited patiently for his master to return to the edge of the water, my words waited for me. Slowly I find them buried just beneath the surface, and slowly they return to me like an old friend whose been with me all along.

I began to read more and then more and then more. I participated in a wonderful writing workshop taught by an inspiring and gifted writer named Peggy Payne. Peggy encouraged me with her love of the written word, her adventurous spirit and her giving nature. She made me realize that to some people, words are like air and without them, we fail to thrive.

And as I became more of an observer, the words and images flowed back to me. I no longer waited for them to return without understanding that I was, indeed, waiting. I opened my soul back up to the power of the written word. I began this blog...

and the words poured out.

So I wonder when I think about the people I know, the friends I have, the Angel daughters I am raising. What have you left behind? And how will you open yourself up into coming home to it once again.

May you close your eyes and search your soul for the things you left behind. May you believe that you are worthy enough to bring those things back into your life.

I have been dealing with a computer crash since this past weekend so please bear with me if I am a bit out of touch. I am sharing this computer with my Angel daughters who for some reason, think that it's important to do homework.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sky Paintings

Sometimes the only thing it takes in order to change one's perspective, is to take a deep soul-cleansing breath...
raise your eyes towards the sky, and observe.  It does not always take something drastic or life-altering or even a move from where you are already sitting.  Sometimes, just breathing and looking up is all you have to do in order to view things in a better light.

During a moment of frustration, this afternoon, I stopped to look out of my window.  This was the beauty that met my gaze and held it there for quite a long while.  There is nothing like capturing a majestic masterpiece in time, just before it begins to fade out into darkness.  

If something has you feeling down, try looking up.  You might not find the answers to your frustrations there, but you certainly might find something that will distract you into a momentary feeling of calm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learning to Navigate Hopefully

Coming home from our long weekend in the mountains, I find that I am filled with more questions than answers.  In so many ways, I am more grateful at this point in my life than at any other time in my forty-six years.  I have my loving husband and our four incredible Angel daughters.  We have our furry and feathery family members, the souls of our home, our constant companions.  We have our home as well as our other spaces in which to hide and retreat.  We can afford to have two daughters in college.  We are secure, happy and solid.  We are alive.

Yet this has been a year that has brought more despair than I have ever known during my forty-six years.  The death of my beloved brother in February created a domino-effect that we are all still trying to cope with almost ten months later.  I have experienced biting betrayal that left me in a state of pain, confusion and depression for much of the first half of this year.  We have been kept from my nieces, our other Angels, my brothers daughters, without any rhyme, sense or reason.  And now we must fight.  Fight for what we know is honorable and good and right.  Battle for love.  And although I know all too well that many others have walked this path before us, it rips at my heart to have to follow in their wearied footsteps.  When I look down at the path that lies ahead, I see things that have been shed both necessarily and by choice.  I see old growth which has been discarded and seedlings of things that may someday grow into something more.
Yes, indeed, the road is covered with more sharp edges and prickliness than I would ever care to navigate on my own.  Yet I know that I am not alone.  Never alone.  I am guided along by God, a Force much more powerful than I can even begin to understand.  I have my husband, my forever-partner and our daughters, our heaven-sent Angels.  And I have my brother, sometimes whispering, sometimes yelling, reminding me that we are the connection.  I am the connection.  He tells me that he will do whatever he can to help us to make things right.  He reminds me that he walks the path along side of me, his older sister and will remain here until the journey is just and complete.  For however long it takes, he will walk the tightrope between this world and the next.  He will stay between, balanced only by the hope and the knowledge that I will do what I must in order to bring his daughters back into the circle.
Along the path, there is renewal and there is hope.  There are words that come to me and I listen as carefully as I am able.  And when I look down and see the hope which grows along the path I feel gladdened and peaceful and safe.  Because if something that begins as tiny and as vulnerable as this...
can grow into an enormous giant that will, most likely, outlive me then I can hope.  And even in the midst of the darkness, there is always light.  Sometimes only as tiny as a glimmer and sometimes bright enough to guide us through places in which we are hesitant to go.  But how will we know if we aren't willing to muddle through the prickly, dark spots in order to find our way?  There is bittersweet beauty in all of it because it is a part of the process.  And if hope can create a towering canopy of Ponderosa trees out of a pencil-tip seedling, then it can certainly sustain us on the path that lies ahead.

May you honor that which you have lost by holding tightly onto the hope that you have gained along the road.  May you always feel guided, loved and surrounded by the things that allow you to believe in the journey.  If you aren't happy with the way that your story is going, may you search for a way to change the ending.

Thank you for hanging with me over a bit of a blogging break.  You are always appreciated.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunshine From Within

Our Thanksgiving tradition as a family is to spend a few days at our home in the beautiful, rustic mountains of Lake Arrowhead, California.  For well over twelve years, we have packed up our four Angels, our dog(s) and sometimes a cat or two and headed up the mountain.  Not only is this a wonderful change of pace for our sometimes busy, busy family, but it is something that we have all come to expect and enjoy.  

For many of these twelve years, my very best friend from junior high school, her husband and their three fantastic kids have joined us as a part of our extended, chosen family.  Recently, their family has grown by leaps and bounds with the addition of one son-in-law, a beautiful new baby(who I cannot wait to get my hands on again!) and THREE foster children.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to spend Thanksgiving day together, this year, but they will be coming up to spend the weekend with us on Friday.  With four little ones crawling and running around, this family get-together will be energetic, life-affirming and joyful, to say the least!

This afternoon my four Angels and I decided to head out for a little fresh mountain air and retail therapy.  We knew that it was supposed to rain, but we had no idea that we would end up braving a thunder/lightening/heavy rain/hail storm as we laughed and screamed our way back to the car.  Five drenched women running through puddles and dodging lightening bolts!  What a sight we must have been.  As I grabbed my camera to snap a few pictures of the mess that the storm was creating, my four Angels yelled at me from inside the car to hurry up!
When we arrived home, we told Mark about our crazy adventure and then we all settled in.  As Angel Number One pulled out a coloring book and crayons to color in a cute turkey picture for me(yes, it is hanging on the fridge and no, it doesn't matter how old they get), I thought about the fact that it doesn't matter where we are, or what the weather happens to be outside.  As long as I have my Angel Daughters with me, the sun is always shining.
Parts of my heart.  Angel Daughter Number One.
Angel Daughter Number Two.
Angel Daughter Number Three.(I just had to get the beach in there on this cold and blustery night!)
Mark and AD3.
And finally, Angel Daughter Number Four with our adorable kitty, Jersey.

May this Thanksgiving bring you a soul filled with warmth, a heart full of love and a family(either genetic or created) filled with hugs, laughter and enough of  whatever it is that makes your spirit SING.

Oh happy day...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Heart Stones or Remaining Open to Love

As I prepare to close my eyes on another busy day, I take a few minutes to look through a bowl of heart stones which I have collected during my travels along the beach.  Each one represents a journey along the shoreline and each one reminds me of a moment of mindfulness in which something caught my eye and I bent down to examine it.  Whether it was a walk with my wonderful husband, a family outing with my Angel Daughters or a meditative walk alone, each stone stands for something different and unique.  Each one caused me to pause.  Each one allowed me to focus on how nature is able sculpt ordinary objects into works of absolute beauty.  Each one reminded me to give pause and to offer a silent prayer for those who own a piece of my heart.
For no matter how hard life may become.  No matter how our souls can be battered and bruised by the difficulties and disappointments.  No matter how many empty spaces still need to be filled within our spirits, the heart can remain open to love as long as we allow it to.
Life may shape or mold us many different times throughout the journey, but only we can determine whether to love or wither.  The choice is up to us and although it is not always easy, and it does not always end up the way that it should, may you always choose love.
Every person you meet, every heart that connects with yours, has had to contend with heartache and difficulty and pain.  But if you are lucky, the one thing that remains a constant is your ability to love...and to be loved.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Moonlit Morning or Reflections on Reflecting

Through sleepy, dream-fogged eyelids I felt something beckoning me to rise from my restful slumber as I tried my hardest to resist.  Nestled cozily underneath my covers the last thing I wanted to do was open my eyes.  Lately, sleep is the only respite I receive against the frustrations that sometimes fill my waking hours, and I get a bit grumpy when I am woken up before I am ready to face the day.  But on this particular morning, the brightness which was infiltrating my dreams shone relentlessly and I was forced to squint, little by little, towards the light.  There it was, enticing me out of my darkness, and there I was hopping from my warm bed onto the cold ceramic tile searching for my camera before I even realized what I was doing.  I glanced at the clock.  Six a.m.  Daylight was barely beginning to break, yet there was the persistent full moon holding its position in the sky.  It was almost as if the moon was refusing to relinquish its spot, holding fast to its ownership of the heavens.  I opened the door to our bedroom deck and stepped outside into the cool morning air.  There is something about being part of a day that is just waking up that brings hope to my soul.  Something about knowing that today can be a better day that allows me to wonder about the possibilities.  Maybe this will be the day that certain people in my life will come to their senses.  Maybe this is the day in which all of the planets(however many there are now) will align properly and I will be allowed to see my beloved brothers children again.  Or maybe this will be the day when my restless soul will find some serenity and everything will be as it should be.  On this moon-filled morning, I am in awe of the idea that night can be day and day can be night.  It reminds me that if something isn't right with the story, there is still a way to turn that which feels impossible into possible.  And so, I begin doing my best to preserve this moment in time.  To capture its beauty, to capture its message.
The sky begins to change and swirls of colorful clouds begin to wisp their way across the horizon as the moon politely fades into the background.  The sun takes its rightful position in the sky and day now begins.

Later in the day a lone seagull wades serenely along the shoreline.  The water mirrors its image beneath.  As I observe him, his double-image reminds me that our stories can take different paths depending upon how we choose to act or react.  If we aren't happy with how the story is going, we have the choice to change it.  We have been given the innate power of free-will and in that power, we can decide what we will do in order to change the ending.  Will we peek out at the morning moon and then close our eyes against it, or will we open our soul to the message and then take it into our heart?  Will we ignore our images as they are reflected back to us, or will we observe that image, take it in and use it to learn and grow and change?

May you open your eyes to the possibility of each new day and may you find a way to remind yourself that if you aren't satisfied with how your tale is evolving, you have the power to make changes.  May you trust your own intuition so that you can confidently co-write the story of your life.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Learning New Tricks and A Very Special Welcome and Thank You

There is something about an old dog that makes my heart grow indescribably full.  Maybe it's the grey hairs that mysteriously pop up above the soulful eyes and kissable snout.  Maybe it's the expressions of absolute need, admiration and love which have been well cultivated and well used over the years.  Or maybe it's in the knowing that our beloved dogs are with us for far too short of a time.  That one day they are puppies romping around like they will live forever and the next, they are our closest, most loving companions holding onto our deepest, darkest secrets as if their lives depend upon it.  Whatever it is, an old dog can tug at the heartstrings just as strongly as any fluff ball of a puppy ever has.  

Becca, our lovely Dalmatian/Lab/who knows what else, just turned ten years old.  Thank goodness she is in good health and seems to be made of good strong stock.(although my family says she is WAY too chubby, but that's another story for another day)  My youngest Angel picked her out on her way home from pre-school one day and somehow, she instantly became ours.  She was four months old when we brought her home, and she came into our house full of spunk!  We had another wonderful dog named, Elijah, at the time and instead of having to worry about him attacking her, she went after him like nobody's business.  Poor Elijah who weighed in at about one hundred pounds just cowered under his daddy's leg waiting for the attack of the killer puppy to end.  Becca and Elijah went on to become great friends, over the years, and sadly when Elijah passed away last year at the age of nine, Becca kept watch for him for a very, very long time.  Not easy explaining death to a dog.  But Becca bucked up and decided to stick closer to me.  I can't say I ever really minded being that my husband is at work all day and my daughters are either in school or away at college.  She is wonderful company.

And as I sit here typing busily away, Becca is snuggled securely at my feet, deep happy snores coming from her beautiful grey snout.  I am learning to cherish the time now that my Angel daughters are fourteen, sixteen, eighteen and twenty-one.  Not that I didn't cherish the time before, I just had much, much more to distract me from the moments.  The moments when you realize that not only are your children getting older, but so are you.  When I look at my old dog, it makes me want to slow time down so that I can have more.  More moments, more gratitude, more connections that are lasting.  Something about having an old dog can do that to you.  I suppose you can teach an old dog(well not that old!) new tricks.
On a totally different subject, I must take a moment to welcome any new readers who have popped over from Melissa's incredible blog, The Inspired Room.  Melissa, one of my favorite and oldest BFF's, featured my blog as her "blog of the week" and I have received countless visitors from her site today.  Thank you, Melissa, for featuring my blog and for introducing new friends to me.  You are such a talented and beautiful soul and it shines through in everything that you do.  Even as I have witnessed your site evolve and grow, you have remained the same sweet gal that you were when your blog was just an itty-bitty.  If you haven't already discovered Melissa's blog, please pay her a visit.  You will be inspired to live a more beautiful life!  To all of Melissa's readers who have come over to check out my blog, I wish I could offer you a cup of tea and some chocolate!  Instead, I am giving you these cyber-flowers to brighten up your day.  Please feel free to leave me a comment and say hello!  I really enjoy connecting with new blogging friends and visiting new sites.  Please don't be shy!  I know that Melissa has the best readers.  I do hope that you will stop by again.  It's nice to have you here!

May the moments that cause your heart to flutter happen slowly enough for you to hold onto them.  May you recognize the things that make you feel safe and loved and connected.  And like an old dog, may you live for right now, not constantly worrying about what tomorrow will bring.(Because all we truly have is now, isn't it?)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Homecoming Dance 2008

Last weekend, our youngest Angels attended the Homecoming Dance.  Together they primped and prettied themselves as they prepared for the evenings festivities.  As a large group of high schoolers descended upon our home for photos, we watched as these teens giggled and posed for one of those snapshot moments of their lives.  
Angel Daughter Number Three is a bit more reserved and has a very classic style when it comes to fashion.  She rarely wears make-up, but she basques in the uniqueness of her own special beauty.  My mother, her grandma, often equates the way that she carries herself to Audrey Hepburn.  AD3 is quite athletic and really enjoys being part of a team(dad's genes), but she is also just as happy being by herself(mom's genes).  She is funny, very smart and quite creative
AD3 and AD4 are the closest in age of my four angels.  They are just twenty-two months apart.  Growing up, they struggled a bit, to establish their own unique positions in the family.  Now that they are both teenagers I have noticed that the dynamics are changing.  Being that they are the only two angels living at home full-time, they have learned to rely on one another for companionship.  It is interesting observing how their relationship has evolved since their older sisters have left for college.  
Angel Daughter Number One stopped by to see her little sisters off.  We were hoping that Angel Daughter Number Two could come by also, but she was off motor-biking(Oy) with her boyfriend, Joshua and his family.  My girls sometimes get tired of my fascination with the camera and so they start doing some very special poses for me.  They do make me laugh!
My Angel Husband was very proud of his daughters, as always.  They adore him with all of their hearts.  It is very sweet to see how they idolize him and how he dotes on them.  He is a very lucky man.  They are very lucky girls.

I am one very, very lucky woman.
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