Goodbye Pop Pop

With a heavy sad heart, I convey the news that last night, Mark’s Dad passed away while in hospice care. He was released from his tired body and has moved on to his soul’s next purpose. His passing was at the end of a gradual decline as we watched congestive heart failure take him day by day. To know that he is no longer suffering is an immense relief to his loved ones although it’s hard to explain to a 9 year-old what that means. Wanting someone to die to have them no longer be in pain.

Pop Pop and Fiona

Pop Pop was dear, funny, and generous with his love and care. Two miracle granddaughters were born last year and I never saw him happier than when he was gitchy-gooing a grandbaby.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

My son was asked to do a project in school on a family member who had served in the military. Pop Pop served on a destroyer for four years during the Korean War, starting at age 17. So this is the paper quilt that Eamon made to commemorate him.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

The pieces are different scenes from the story of Pop Pop’s ship and how he was feeling about serving his country. I retrieved the art piece today from Eamon’s school so that we can put it on display at the funeral parlor.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

Pop Pop’s and Eamon’s birthdays were so close together in April that we often had joint parties for them.  This photo below was just 5 years ago. It was and wasn’t so long ago, you know?


These will be the memories I will hold of him. Him loving on Eamon and Fiona. His cheering Eamon on at soccer and baseball games. And that incident where Eamon threw up on himself at the McDonald’s inside the Wal-mart in Easton, Maryland, and Pop Pop stripped him down on the tailgate of the SUV in January to put him in clean clothing. He was a take care of it kind of guy and I am immensely grateful that my husband is much of the man I love because of him. We will miss you Terry. Say hi to Uncle Dick for us.

Easter Birthday Earth Day Holiday Weekend

This past weekend was the Spring Break, Easter, Eamon’s Birthday, and Earth Day weekend. It was a 4 ½ day extravaganza of playing, egg hunting, and family visiting. I had done all of my house cleaning and blog prepping and I actually was able to enjoy myself for a couple of days. We ate and laughed and opened presents and ate some more. Monday I posted and pondered what visiting with family and sharing our children means. Here’s the pictorial proof of our doings for the Holiday Weekend.

Eamon and Matthew

Cousin Matthew and Eamon

Sue and Fiona

Sue aka the Easter chicken with Fiona

Fiona's special egg hunt.

Fiona’s special egg hunt.

She had streamers for her hunt.

She had streamers for her hunt.

Sparkly Easter eggs at the end of the streamers.

Sparkly Easter eggs at the end of the streamers.



the Easter chicken

The official Easter chicken trophy


dying Easter eggs on

Dying Easter eggs with Aunt Michelle

Dyed Easter eggs on

A gator puppet from Florida

A gator puppet from Florida

Easter baskets yay!

Easter baskets yay!

Shalagh and Michelle

Me and my sister Michelle at Out of the Fire restaurant in Easton, MD

Wendy, Dad, and Fiona

Wendy, Fiona, and Dad at breakfast at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, MD

Easter baskets for the guests on

Easter baskets for the big visitors

Piazza in Easton, Maryland on

Prosciutto from Piazza for the adult Easter baskets

Bagguettes at the Easton Farmer's market on

Baguettes form the Easton, MD Farmer’s Market

Pussy willows at the Easton Farmer's market on

Pussy willows from Seaberry Farm at the Easton, MD farmer’s market

Stock, willow, and cherry blossom branches from Seaberry Farm on

Stock, willow, and cherry blossom branches

The fried ice cream for his birthday dinner at Cafe Sado

The fried ice cream for his birthday dinner at Cafe Sado

Playing with the chain dividers at Cafe Sado

Playing with the chain dividers at Cafe Sado

Eamon's Birthday present on

Eamon’s Birthday present!

Truly what any holidays should be about : family, food, wine, and fun. Almost makes up for the stinky Spring weather.

Have a happy joy-filled weekend.


Enjoy Your Now

Our busy weekend is still going strong. Today’s Eamon’s 9th birthday. We’ve had days and days of visiting with family, fun Easter egg stuff, and eating out and unhealthy. I needed to write a post for today and as we wind up our vacation mode, I am reviewing what I have noticed and what was important from these experiences. In honor of my new friend Lauren, I would like to offer a five things list.

1. There is no such thing as a given. What you think will be the way it always will be may not be a day, month, or decade from now. Enjoy now. Noticing the lilt of a voice, the readiness of a laugh, or the loveliness of a wine is all of the moment you will ever ‘have’.Mark and Eamon from

2. Birthing and maintaining babies is a lot of work. The word relentless comes up quite often for me. They are inconvenient and terrifying. And at one year-old, are the truest cutest delight to give to the world and those you are related to. They are a gift you give to those you love and those who don’t even know you. Share them often.

Easter basket contents on

3. Spring cleaning is necessary. We worked hard for a week to clean the clutter, chaos, and deceased shrubs from our garden, a reminder of the awful weather we endured. My every cleaning whim was attended to and I feel hopeful now that I can move on to planning for summer and projects and travel.

Fiona walking in the backyard on

4. Planning makes a tremendous difference. My husband always says it’s easier to break an appointment than make an appointment. We had a visit because we set intentions and they bought airplane tickets and we wrote things on calendars. Live a little ahead of yourself. Enough to have stuff to look forward to enjoying.

reflection on

5. The best time ever to decide or do or change is now. It’s all you have. Do your best, let go of the rest. Forgive, forget, get over it. It isn’t always about you. Exist in your life in the moment with integrity and gratitude and that feeling of contentment is better than the completion of any to-do list.

I made the best use I could make of a car nap writing this. Hope everyone is enjoying Spring and family and thinking about what they’re getting up to next. Enjoy your now.

Fiona’s First Birthday Party

Seems in the rush around and shuffle of creativity and Spring projects, I forgot to post a Fiona’s First Birthday party post. Which is to say, you still haven’t seen the pictures of her cupcake face yet. I did show you the party decorations.

Paper feathers for Fiona's party on

My paper feathers are still hanging around. See the whole post here.

Gold circle festooned balloons on

And the fabulous gold circle patterned balloons that my son and I made.

That post is here.

Bells of Ireland from

And I published a post on the flower arrangements.

Flowers for Fiona's birthday party on

I made pulled pork and my special coleslaw and good old Aunt Emma’s chocolate cake cupcakes that morning.

Aunt Emma's chocolate cupcakes from

Eamon used Lucky Charm marshmallow shapes and sprinkles to decorate them.

Cupcakes and presents for Fiona's birthday party from

Emma and Fiona and the balloon from Fiona's birthday party on

Family came including Fiona’s cousin Emma whose only several months younger.

We are all thrilled to know they have each other to play with as they grow up.

And soon it was time for the cupcakes.

Here comes the cupcake fro Fiona's birthday party onb

Fiona's birthday cupcake on

Fiona's birthday cupcake on

Fiona's birthday cupcake on

Fiona's birthday cupcake on

This has to be my favorite shot.

Keep up the red balloon at Fiona's birthday party on

And our good friends John and Gayle played a rousing game of keep up the balloon with Eamon.

New toy from big brother for Fiona's birthday on

Fiona got new toys and it was a really great day for everyone.

My sister-in-law Kim and I at Fiona's birthday party for

Shalagh laughing from

Balloons out front for Fiona's First Birthday Party on

A month has gone by since the party and it seems so long ago. Happily, I’ll always have the pictures and the memories. Celebrations are an excuse to create memories and well worth all the efforts.


My ex and I were out to prove we were unlovable. Our agendas fit. And we did a good job of proving our simultaneous lack of lovability for about 8 years.
I was persecuted by his abuse. Unworthy of his change.
He was damaged and unchangeable, unworthy of my unconditional love.
And the slow torturous tumultuous dance went around and around.
Neither one of us willing to state what we needed or claim we deserved more or be responsible for walking away. It was a game of marriage chicken.

antlers and mirror from Unlovability on

I believe strongly,

the attention, devotion, and
presence you receive from your parents

 will become

the promise and
reflection of your worth and


I continued to believe I was unlovable beyond then into now.
A year ago, I had a dream that it was meal time and I was with my mother, sister, and husband, my family.
But my sister was distracted measuring out flour on a scale and my mother wasn’t in the room and the husband was making an omelet. I felt so aggravated. Why hadn’t anyone included me? Or was I unnecessary?

bay leaves and crab basket from Unlovability on

And as I thought about this dream, I felt very sad for myself.
I believed that no one’s going to be there the way I need them to be. And If I was unpurposed, I had no cause for being loved. My needs won’t be met by my loved ones as they fulfill their own. Their needs or my needs, not both. If my needs fail to be met, am I unworthy?

cast iron pan and feather from Unlovability on

In my dream it seemed if no one took care of me then I was unlovable and unworthy of their care. Conditional love. Around and around. But there’s a forgotten loophole.

Love of self.

I can choose to give myself the love and attention I need.Instead of looking to others to see me and give me purpose and worth, I can see me and give my life purpose and worth. And others will join in the parade.

These days, I am making sure I’m getting truckloads of self love.

Now, instead of waiting for others to take care of my needs, I’m taking care of them. I’m scheduling my time to do this. I’m calling people to help. And I’m feeling jazzed that I can make a difference in my life and eventually hoping to make a difference in others’. No longer talking the temporary psyche out to myself which is doomed to Peter out. But living, being the change I never realized I needed.

I’m busy making a real deal self-esteem boosting cocktail.

I’m becoming a mixologist of the positivity smoothie, the one that feels good for you as you drink it.

Grab a straw.

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