Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mommy's Helper

Laundry day is way more fun with company.
(Take's a lot longer, too.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crazy Cat

You know about crazy cat ladies, right?
Well, did you know we know a crazy cat man?
The Crazy Cat Man.

In his own words, "This guy's' a nut."
(I couldn't say it better myself.  And we love him! And his cats.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


There are many perks to having a pool in your own backyard, not the least of which is privacy.
For those times when the gator steels your pants.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Memorial Day Walk

We took a family walk today and ended up in the Key West Cemetery.
It's half a block from our front door.

Our first stop: The USS Maine Monument.
I love military cemeteries.
It's like you can feel the courage and love that drove these great men to serve their country and their fellow Americans.

I hope I can instill in my children a love for country and for freedom.
And a sense of gratitude for what we have.
Because you know what?  We have it so good.

Sometimes I worry that my children will fall into that trap so many around us are in.
The trap that makes them believe we are entitled to all that we have.
But what people seem to forget - or maybe they never knew it to begin with -
is that everything we have has been bought with a price.
And in most cases, the price was so many lives lost.
For us.
I want my children to understand just how blessed we are to be Americans.
To understand that we truly do live in the greatest country in the world.
Because we are free.
I want them to know that the rest of the world does not live like we do.
And I want them to be grateful.
Because they are not entitled to this life.
They are blessed to be here.
And I want them to have a sense of duty.
That they will help to keep us strong and free and good.
So today, we remembered.
And we looked forward, too.

Since we were in the cemetery, and what outing would be complete without annoying my family with all my picture-taking, have a look at how they do graves here on our tiny island.
We call them "apartments."

And here's two reasons why...
1. We're on an island.  Sea level.
Oh, and there are storms.
The rain "showers" are enough to send me looking for a boat, so I can't - and don't want to -
imagine what it's like in a hurricane.
Things sink.
2. Again, we're on an island.
Limited space, if you catch my drift.

The family plots are my favorite.
So many stories wanting to be told.

And I've always loved the Jewish tradition of placing stones on graves.

Finally, I'll leave you with our favorite epitaph of the day.
Apparently, Pearl was a well-known (it's a small island) hypochondriac.
And she had the last word!

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Boy is Here

As I write this, my baby brother is sacked out on the couch next to me.
We picked him up from our tiny airport this afternoon, drove him around the perimeter of our little island, and dumped him into the pool with two very happy boys.
I fed him a real home-cooked meal.
And then he fell asleep.
Tomorrow, I figure we'll show him some more of what Key West has to offer.
But for right now, with FIVE of my favorite men under my roof,
all is right with the world.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dreams Do Come True

Growing up, I always knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life.  Anytime I was asked that age-old, empowering question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" my answer was the same.  Honest.  Not once did I entertain any other job possibility.

I wanted to be a mom.

And now, I'm living proof that dreams really do come true.  I am a mom.

And you know what?  Being a mom is so much better than I even imagined it would be.  Not in the "my children are always clean and well-mannered and they gather around me each evening to sing songs and study the scriptures reverently" way.  Because my children are rarely clean - too busy for that - and while they put on a good show of manners in public, stop by our dinner table sometime for the real deal, and as for scripture study, well that's the perfect time for a wrestling match, don't you think?  But that's why it's perfect.  My children are perfect.  For me.

There's Jake.  He's good and kind and thoughtful.  He's hilarious and brilliant.  He's just about the best big brother there ever was.  He made me a mom.

There's Camden.  He's feisty and silly and loving.  He's athletic and logical.  He's the most compassionate person I know.  He made me grow.

There's Nico.  He's happy and cuddly and sweet.  He's calm and curious.  He lights up our home with love and joy.  He made me better.

I am so thankful for these amazing boys who have given me the chance to live my dreams.  I'm a mom.  And I'm proof that dreams really do come true.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Water Baby

Nothing - and I mean nothing, except maybe getting a lego successfully into his mouth - makes this baby happier than a dunk in the pool.

He could play this game for hours.

Luckily, nothing - and I mean nothing, except maybe keeping their legos out of the baby's mouth - makes his brothers happier than his great big grin.

"Hey brothers, how 'bout another round of dunkin' yourselves.  For my enjoyment.  Thanks."

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Important Things in Life

Everything a boy really needs to know,
he can learn from his brothers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's a sad, sad day...

... for Mayo.
Her baby's on the move.

And on a totally unrelated subject, See those beautiful orange curtains?
Now, that's happiness in a piece of fabric, right there.

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