family · life · through my camera lens

The Point and North Park

Friday we went into the city. The boys and I met Richard at his job and from there we went to an art’s festival by “The Point”. Point State Park is the location of Fort Duquesne which was part of the start of the French Indian War. (I’d have to have Blake do a blog post to tell you more about it) The Point is also the location where three rivers (the Allegheny, Monogahela and the Ohio) converge.


The art festival was… ok. But, we had a good time walking around and just being. I was also able to get a few decent pictures of some of the bridges as well as the incline.

Saturday we got up and headed to North Park. The boys took Richard on another trail that they rode with their mountain bike class. This trail travels across the park so I dropped them off and then moved my car. When the finished they wanted to ride more so they took off on a new trail. This trail also ended in a second spot so I moved the car again. I hiked on two new trails for me too. We were all tired when this was done.


While I was hiking I came across this little deer having a snack. I decided to stop and watch. While I was there, the boys and Richard actually made it to where I hiked (we were going in opposite directions). We then headed back to the car.

Last night Colby had two friends over for a late birthday sleep over. They had a blast playing video games, watching a movie and we even went out for ice cream. We are all tired today, but it was a fun weekend.

food · life · through my camera lens

Happy Birthday Colby!

Today Colby turns 10 years old. He was the person who completed our family. So many people over the years have asked if Blake and Colby are twins or they try to tell us that the boys are alike, this could not be further from the truth. Colby is nothing like Blake. Colby is nothing like anyone else I know.

10 things you may or may not know about Colby!



1: Colby feels with his whole heart. He loves nature, his friends, his family and so much more. He shows empathy in ways that even some adults wouldn’t understand.

2: Colby works on Colby time. He moves at his own pace in everything he does. While he learned to tell time at a young age this doesn’t matter to him, he will complete things when he wants to finish them.

3: Colby wants to become a scientist when he grows up and has had this goal for years now. For as long as I can remember he has said he is going to find a cure for cancer when he grows up. When Colby sets his mind to doing something he accomplishes it, it maybe on his time table (see #2), but he will do it.

4: Colby loves pasta, peanut butter, bacon, steak and many other things. He enjoys working in the kitchen, as long as he doesn’t have to clean up after himself. He has recently learned to enjoy pizza, french fries and chicken nuggets… it only took him 10 years to like typical kid foods

5: Colby is very creative. He loves to draw, write stories, build with Lego and so much more. He enjoys looking at something that is a known item and making it his own by changing colors, sizes or other variables.

6: Colby loves to do things with his dad. He loves learning to work with tools, help with yard work and just be around Richard.

P10503447: Colby enjoys math. He thinks about math in ways that would seem strange or certainly different to others. He loves to look at the problem and then create a variety of ways to solve it because one way is never enough.

8: Colby loves the ocean. His favorite animal has almost always been a dolphin. When he was younger we traveled to Tampa to see Winter and Hope, there we found a dolphin that they sponsored who’s name is Colby. This dolphin still holds a special place him his heart.

9: Colby doesn’t know there ever was a box. Colby sees the world through his own set of eyes and doesn’t like it when people expect him to see it any other way. He loves to see the world as fluid and ever changing and knows that he will change it as he goes forward in life.

10: Colby is Colby. From his crazy hair to his quirky personality he is his own person. It doesn’t matter if he riding his bike, drawing a picture, working on a science project, or hanging out with his friends he does it in his own way. When you get to know Colby you know he will make you smile just by being near him.

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Happy birthday dude! (I’ve been calling Colby “dude” since he was in first grade. It fits his personality and he will continue to be dude for as long as he tolerates this nickname) I’m proud to be your mom. Your dad and I are proud of everything you have accomplished in life, the person you’ve become and are excited to see the man you will be as you grow up. We love you!


November 14- Richard

IMG_20171021_105200When I think of what and whom I’m thankful for, Richard is always at the top of my list. Today is Richard’s birthday. It often gets overshadowed by Blake’s birthday. Over the years so many magical moments have occurred on this day.

In 2003, Richard asked me to marry him today. We were having a housewarming party because he had just moved into his new house and it turned into a housewarming/birthday/engagement party.

In 2005, we closed on the house we bought together in FL. This would be the house we brought our children home to from the hospital. The home where so many memories were created. The home where the love of our family flourished

In 2006, we brought Blake home from the hospital on Richard’s birthday. This was the best gift for both of us.

Over the year I have joked, “What are you getting me this year for your birthday?” But, Richard doesn’t have to get me anything ever because the love he gives me each day is more than I can ask for.

Richard is a loving husband who understands and respects me. He and I compliment each other, we don’t need to complete each other because neither of us was incomplete, but we help bring out the best in each other. We have a true partnership in life.

Richard is a  kind, patient and loving father. While he and I parent differently, he is active in parenting our sons. You will find him on the sports fields, in the theater, playing in the backyard, building legos, and so much more. He makes sure to spend time with the boys and shows them how to live life, respect others and all the things men should learn from their fathers.

When I look back on my years with Richard, I look back with a smile. I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with him. I know there will be plenty of laughter, a few tears, and more love than I can fathom.

I love you Richard more than words can say.


November 11- Blake

11/11/06 was a day that changed my life. It is the day that I became Blake’s mom. It was the day, well night, that I held my first child for the first time.

Blake has challenged me as a mom since the day he was born, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it in.

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11 things that make Blake … Blake!

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting11- Blake loves to read. He ALWAYS has a book in his hand. As a teacher, I still cringe every time I have to say “stop reading and…”, but I have to say it to him. His teachers have had to say it to him at school too.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing10- Blake loves sports. He still swears he is going to be a professional football player when he grows up. Not if I have anything to say about  it, but hey a guy can dream. I would not be surprised if he did something dealing with sports as a grown-up, just not playing football.

9- To Blake everything is debatable. I have said for years that he is going to be a lawyer when he grows up. I’ve learned to say to him “this is not up for discussion” or “I’m not arguing with you right now” in certain situations or we’d go the round all day long. Maybe he will be a sports lawyer? Hey they make good money!

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoor8- To Blake everything is a competition. I swear he would compete over breathing if he could find a way. This is often a downfall in family tranquility, but we work on it. I love the competitive drive he has, just sometimes I wish he’d reign it in a bit.

7- Blake loves music. He always has to have music on and his taste is very eclectic. At his last school he began getting involved in musical theater, and was pretty good at it. He has no interesting in singing in a chorus or playing an instrument, but I think we will see him back on stage again at some point in his academic career.

6- Blake loves history. He enjoying learning and memorizing the facts he discovers about history, and then quizzing everyone else around him to see if he knows more than you about a subject. He has always gravitated towards learning about US history especially presidents.

Image may contain: people riding bicycles, bicycle, tree, plant, outdoor and nature5- Blake loves facts! He loves to learn and can’t get enough of most topics. I personally am thankful for Google and Wikipedia. Without them I would not always be able to answer his questions. He learned early in life to research topics and now can do it on his own. He loves learning things and then making power points about them.

4- Blake loves to ride his bike. The boys got new mountain bikes this summer and Blake loves going out and trying to ride it over anything and everything.

3- Blake is sensitive in his own way. He doesn’t always show what he is feeling and Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and stadiumprotects his emotions to the public, but if you know what you’re looking for you see it. Blake has been dealing with anxiety for the last few years. It is getting better and mostly has to do with testing now, but it’s part of what makes Blake, Blake.

2- Blake is very patriotic. He finds honor in the fact that he shares his birthday with Veteran’s Day. He is proud of the fact that he was pen pals with a US Marine, and still keeps in contact with him from time to time.

1. Blake is Blake. There are so many times you will hear “Because,… Blake” in our house. There are things that Blake does because he is Blake. We love Blake for this. He is his own person and you can’t change that. Our house would not be the same if Blake was not there.

Happy Birthday Blake. Thanks for making me a mom. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. Thanks for being…. Blake. We love you and can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for you.