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Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

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I want to be just like the woman at the coffee shop when I grow up.

May 12, 2017

When I was around 20 years old and playing in a band full time, I would stop by the coffee and donut shop, near my apartment, after the gig. You’d always find me and several other regulars there, night after night, winding down from our “shifts” with coffee and a donut.  

Or was that the reason we were there?

I knew that, for me, it was more about visiting with the woman behind the counter than it was for any coffee or donut — but oh the donut! The reason it was so good was that she knew I liked the maple glazed kind so, when she saw me coming in, she would take one and drizzle extra maple on it just for me. She’d greet me with a smile and a hug and tell me how happy she was to see me and then she’d always ask how the gig went? 

But here’s the best part.

She listened (really listened) to what I had to tell her. She’d laugh and smile her beautiful smile — I mean, who wouldn’t want that coffee and donut?! She made sure I knew I was special and she knew how special she was to me. Then one night, many nights into this coffee shop routine, I looked around the room and saw on the faces of others what I felt inside — welcomed and cared for — I mattered. If to no one else, I mattered to her and so did they. 

I listened to her conversations with them, as much as I listened to my own with her — this woman — this wise and beautiful woman was in her way…well, healing people from the inside out. Over the years I watched from across the room as laughter erupted, tears fell, and anger subsided. I don’t know what all the stories were about, but I do know they were made better by her. 

One person — one beautiful, wise, kind and caring woman — intently listening to people and making a difference in their lives.  What a gift! Making people feel…no, scratch that, making people understand that they matter and sometimes (by my observations) for the first time. I felt privileged to watch it happen. 

I was reminded of those times as I watched my mother from across the room, listening to my Yittle, just as beautiful as she was all those years ago in the coffee shop. Listening in that special way that she has always listened, and as I saw the look on my little girl’s face (a look I have seen on so many faces before), I felt privileged all over again. Privileged and grateful that my children have this beautiful woman in their lives to listen and listen well. 

Mom, in case I haven’t told you lately, you pour the best cup of coffee — ever. And when I grow up I want to be just…like…you.

Happy Mother’s Day — I love you.

I wrote this a few years ago, and it has now become a tradition to share it every year. As Mother’s Day approaches I’d like to wish all the mothers who are reading this a Happy Mother’s Day! — I hope your day is special. 💐💝🌺

Black and White, Featured, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

White Rabbit Road

April 10, 2017

I was having lunch with a friend last week when she asked me what I look for when I go out to take a picture?…

Me: “Huh? You know, Kathy, I don’t really go out to take a picture. I’ve thought about this but what happens, really, is that I come up on a story and it excites me, fascinates me or stops me in my tracks with how beautiful I think it is and then I take a picture. Even if it’s just a moment story I’ll want to capture it. I giggle under my breath when someone calls me a photographer because I really feel like a story gatherer.” Hahaha!

I love stories. I love to hear them, have them told to me, read them, write them…

I come from a very large family and when I was young we gathered a lot and the kids would sit satellite around the adults and listen to them talk and tell their stories. True and some not true stories (at least, I hope they weren’t all true). Hahaha! They were about good times, great times, bad times, terrible times, funny things, sad things but whatever they were about (good or bad) they were always told, somehow, with fondness. Can you imagine? My mother, father, four uncles (heck, one of them wrote songs where he talked his stories over music), both of my grandmothers, grandfather, aunts…it’s amazing really to have so many in one family. My mom always jokes that it was because “we didn’t have money so that’s how we entertained ourselves.” Maybe but I think we were luckier than just not having money — those people were (and are) special and I’m so grateful for them and what they added to my life, to how I see things, to how I want to see things.

Like this moment story on the way back home from taking my Yittle to school. I turned the corner on a foggy morning and I could have sworn I saw my white rabbit (in his usual hurry) dashing off into the fog and trees. I just had to stop and let him know I noticed. 😉

Happy Monday everyone. 🐇

Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Travel

A moment in India I’ll never forget.

April 4, 2017

When my son was very young, say four or five years old, I told him that one of the greatest gifts a person could ever receive was the chance to say I love you too. “Because if you get to say, I love you too it means that someone else said, I love you, first.” After that he would often follow up his “I love you too’s” with “Hey, Mommy, I win!”

When I wrote this he was much older, a much more taller than me, deep voiced, hulking, athletic teen — with a girlfriend, friends, team mates, school, video games, interests, etc. You know, a life of his own and with a lot of childhood things left behind.

Then one day, a few years ago, my husband and I were traveling in India and something about standing alone, amongst the many, in the din of this Indian street corner caused me to miss the few — my children. Finally, I managed to get enough signal to send a text home so, I sent my son an “I love you” text. A few minutes later I got an “I love you too” response and then, a second later, a second text that said, “Hey, Mom, I win!”

I lost my breath and my heart fluttered…he remembered. I let him think he won but in that brief moment I had my five year old boy looking up at me and holding my hand (as we crossed a busy street) and telling me…he loved me too.

Hey, Son…I win.

Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

Mom! Mom! Mom!

March 31, 2017

Very excited to be in the car and headed to Gramma’s…

Yittle: “Can we talk a-l-l the way to Gramma’s?!”

Me: Of cour…

Yittle: Cutting me off says, “Yay! I love to talk and play and have fun! You know Mommy?!”

Me: I do know that about you Yit…

Yittle: Cutting me off again says, “Sometimes, my friends say that I’m hyper because I’m always the same — even if I’m not really feeling the same — I’m still the same to them, you know Mommy?”

Me: Now, let me finish because I think I know what you mean but what, exactly, do you mean?

Yittle: “I mean, sometimes, if I’m feeling grumpy or they’re feeling grumpy or something I don’t act that way towards them because I just want to play and have fun so I’m just the same, you know?”

Me: Okay, yes, I see. Does that ever get tiring for you?

Yittle: “Nope! Never. I don’t want to rain on their parade ’cause then they’d have all these wet parade props and the parade would be over and then what? We’d be done playing and sitting around looking…looking like we wished our awesome parade hadn’t been rained on and who wants that?!”

Okay, I’m sorry, this may not have been my finest parenting moment but I about drove off the road in a fit of giggles!! And then Yittle started giggling so much that I did have to pull over and after I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes I HAD to unbuckle, jump out, go around, and give her a great big hug and while I was there…

Me: Yittle, honey, you are one of the most amazing people I have ever known and I think it’s wonderful that you have such a positive attitude. Now, tell me what you do when you need to reach out for support because that’s just as important as having a good attitude, right?

Yittle: Still giggling a little says, “Mommy, you know what I do — I rain on your parade! Hahahahaha!”

Me: What?! You just said you didn’t do that!

Yittle: “I said I didn’t do it to my friends but (whispering now) you know I rain on yours sometimes (now talking in a normal voice) but it’s because you do really awesome things with wet props and parades Mommy and sometimes I wind up forgetting they were ever rained on.”

Oh God, thank you for my children — they are a gift to my soul.

By the way, I begged her not to go to Gramma’s but apparently it is a magical wonderland not to be missed. Just like the ride over there. <3

Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Uncategorized

One for the archives.

March 31, 2017

In July of 2016 I was asked to give an interview with ShutterLogic Magazine. I really enjoyed the process and sharing it with all of you and then someone suggested that I give it a permanent home here on the blog by including it as a PDF, so voila!
View as PDF

If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you will. It’s best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and some nice music. 😉

Thank you ShutterLogic Magazine and Peter Fenech for being so kind to ask and for making it such a joyful process. You’re the best!

Featured, Moments, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Travel

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions but in the spirit of the hour I can always remind myself of these things…

March 31, 2017

If you want to do something to improve your happiness this year work everyday to be less judgmental.

If you have the chance to lift someone up — take it.

When things get difficult find a way to laugh.

Celebrate your wins and celebrate with your friends when they win.

People will mess up — forgive them.

You will mess up — forgive yourself.

When someone is speaking to you listen and listen well.

Everyone you know is more special than you know — treat them that way and watch the world change.

And…

Time doesn’t stand still but sometimes we should.

I wish you genuine moments in the coming year — moments that will fill you with such joy, peace or happiness that they get placed securely in your hearts and minds forever. 

Happy New Year everyone! 🌟

Featured, Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

Sharing My Happy!

March 31, 2017

Yesterday my husband and I shot the first in a series of photos that will be a personal project for us. One that’s been on my heart for a while now and I couldn’t be happier about it — thrilled actually! It’s a collaborative photo series project I call “Title Tracks” that we’ll even be video documenting as we go along so that our children will have this journey to look back on one day and knowing that feels like…flying.

Scott has written the whole story and included behind the scenes photos and the final image at this link https://scottkelby.exposure.co/title-tracks, I hope you’ll go take a look, I’d love to share my happy with you.

Have a wonderful day everyone.