life · through my camera lens

Thankful for- places

Home is where my family is, where we sleep each night. In my married life I have lived in 3 houses. Before I married Richard, I owned my own house in Orlando. Before that I owned a condo in MA. I also lived in Rochester, NY and grew up in different area of MA.

I still talk about going home to FL even if I feel like our house here in PA is home. There are so many things that make this house a home. We have done so much in the year we have lived here. We have explored the area and enjoy everything if offers.

I am thankful for the house we live in, but I talked about that last week as a “Thing”.

I’m thankful that we live so close to North Park. This is a county park that we go to whenever we can. I have watched the leaves change the snow fall and the floods comes. My sons have learned to ice skate, mountain bike and kayak in North Park. We love the trails, wild life and scenery we can enjoy there.

I’m thankful for the city of Pittsburgh. This is the city where Richard works. But, more than that it is the city we get to explore. We have experienced a variety of cultural activities there. We have gone to baseball games, monster truck races, street fairs and many more things. It is know as Steel City from all of the steel factories that were located here back at in the last century. This steel is present in the many bridges that crisscross the city.

I’m thankful the memories we have from our years in Orlando. It was the city where my sons were born and had all their “firsts”. We miss going to Disney World and the year round summer.

But, for now… Pittsburgh (well really Wexford) is our home… and for that I’m thankful.


family · life

Thankful week 1 -things

thankful blog

For the month of November, each Friday I will write a thankful post. I think it is important to stop and think about the things you are thankful for. Those things/ people/e vents in your life that just make your life a bit better, a bit more meaningful.

This week I will focus on things.  What objects am I thankful for having in my life? How do they make my life more meaningful?

Our House

Image may contain: house, sky and outdoorI’m thankful for our home. We have lived in our house for a bit over a year now. It is now home. Granted home is wherever I spend most of my time with my family. It is the place where my children soundly sleep in their beds. It is the location I see my guys first thing in the mornings. It may not be the first home we lived in as a family, but it is the home we are loving and growing in now…. for that I’m thankful.


Image result for technology clipart

Many people think I am anti-technology since I limit the amount of technology the boys use. I’m quite the opposite. I enjoy technology, but I understand the needs for limits. I enjoy the connections that technology allows. I enjoy being able to dance my fingers across the keyboard and access a huge variety of knowledge, products and so much more.


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I love food… ok who doesn’t? I love to cook, bake and explore with foods. I have been working very hard the last few months on being more proactive in my food selections. It is often easy to say… this tastes good, so I must eat it. But, thinking that way can get you in trouble. So instead, I think this is healthy AND tastes good… so I can eat it.


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There have been so many changes in the last few years. I know that change is hard, but change is good. Change brings about growth. Changes brings out the best and the worst in people. But, it is important to be flexible enough to deal with change.


I have decided to have the boys join in this thankful process.

Blake is thankful for our house. “Without it we wouldn’t have the life we live”

Colby is thankful for nature. “Nature shows us there is more to life and change. That the real world happens beyond technology”

Join in… What things are you thankful for?





November 24– one last thought

Yes, I know that yesterday was Thanksgiving, but as I was writing my last Thankful Post, I got to thinking about this post… so here you go, one last ramble on this topic.

As I sit back and reflect on what I have to be thankful for I realize that it isn’t “things” or even people, it is a state of “be” that we should look at and wish for in life.

Let me make that statement a bit clearer. When I think about what I want for my sons future I don’t think of the things I want them to have, but the way I want them to live life.

I wish for my sons:

  • to be productive members of society with professions that allow them to use their talents for good
  • to be understanding and patient with those around them
  • to be humble more than proud
  • to be learners not just in school, but in life
  • to use the resources they have to help those who don’t have
  • to love themselves before they try to love another
  • to love and accept another for who they are together and who they are apart
  • to take pride in what they have, to strive for more– but, in a way that keeps in their means and doesn’t bring down the things that truly make life worth living
  • to enjoy time alone and see the value of quiet
  • to spend time with friends and family outside of work
  • to realize that work is a part of your life not your whole life
  • to not forget your mistakes, but to grow from them
  • to fail, get up brush yourself off and move on with life

I could continue this list as my wishes for my sons are long and deep. But, what I realize most is I want them to be…


family · food

November 23- Thanksgiving Day

Image result for happy turkey day

Happy Turkey Day.  When I think about this holiday the first thing that comes to mind is food. I think about having Thanksgiving as a child and having to go eat 2 Thanksgiving dinners many years, one with each set of grandparents. I think about the years that we traveled with our sons to have Thanksgiving with Richard’s family. I think about the years we stayed home to have Thanksgiving with both sets of my boys grandparents. But, it is typically the food that I think of first. But, that isn’t what we should focus on when we think about Thanksgiving.

Image result for Thanksgiving DayAs I woke up this morning and had the room actually the house to myself, I started thinking. I spend the month talking about the things I’m thankful for this year. I talked about the home we live in, my loving husband Richard, each of my boys (Blake and Colby). I spoke of my extended family and friends near and far. I also talked about the gift of time and so much more. 22 days of looking at my life and thinking what am I grateful for. The thing is, I do this all the time. Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks aloud, but each and every day we should be giving thanks, being grateful and appreciation what we have, not worrying about what we wish we had.

So this Thanksgiving day, truly take time to realize how grateful you are for who you are and what you have– shelter, food, family, peace, stability, love



November 22 – friends

Image result for friends word art
As I think of the things and people I am grateful for the thoughts flood to me in memories. I think of the people who were part of my past, people who I considered friends at the time. I look back and see how we each grew and moved on in different directions.

I’ve found over the years that I tend to have people come into my life for time frames. There typically isn’t some big falling out, just a moving on. I have a few people who I have reconnected with via Facebook and still consider my friend, but long distance friendships are very different than face to face ones.

Over the years I’ve tried to determine why I don’t have those long term friendships that others talk about. Those friends who you spend time with over the years and make sure to see on a regular basis. I never quite put my finger on the why of the moving on of many of these friendships, but it is just is…

One thing most of these people probably know is that I’m still there for them. If you find a place in my heart, you are there until you do something to annoy me, and then even then I’d help you if I could. Many of these people are now what I think of as Christmas card friends. You know what I mean? Those people who you reconnect with on a semi-yearly basis if that. But, you look forward to hearing from them and seeing that life is still treating them well.

So today I’m thankful for the friends I have now, and those who were my friends in the past. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the love you have shown me and my family. And just know… I’m here for you.


November 21- My kitchen

I have always found comfort in kitchens. It is the heart of a home. It is where meals are made, conversations are had and life is lived. When we built our home we put a lot of money into the kitchen and living room. We wanted this to be the heart of our home.

My kitchen is where I spend most of my day. I have my laptop sitting on one end of my island. It is here that I type my blog posts. It is here that I plan my menus and make our meals. It is here that I help my children finish their homework, answer their questions and so much more.

So I’m thankful for my kitchen and all it means to me.



November 20, umm 19 and 20?

I forgot to write a thankful post yesterday. I thought I’d had one pre-written, but I didn’t oops.

November 19– Well I’m thankful that I can make mistakes and move forward. This is a trait I’ve tried hard to help my sons understand. No one is perfect. There are some mistakes that take longer to move forward after, but everything is a learning experience. I grew up with the expression: “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” While I hope none of my mistakes or the mistakes of my family kill them, I do hope we all learn and grow from all our life experiences.

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November 20- I’m thankful for Dixie. I don’t talk about her much, but she is such a presence in our family. She is loving, caring and very much part of our family. She is afraid of her own shadow, but won’t let anyone mess with the boys. She is very protective of our property and all who live inside it. She has been through a lot this year. She moved to PA with Richard in April and then moved with us to the townhouse and into our home here. She is adjusting to the new neighborhood, the cold and having wooden stairs (not her favorite).

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November 18- time

So often we forget to look at the gift of time. Life seems fast when we are living it, but life is short.

We often need to step back and reflect on what we have, not what we wish we had. We need to realize that time is a gift. That the time we spend with those we love is the best gift we can have. That the time we spend doing the things we love should out number the time we spent complaining about what we don’t have/can’t do.

Take time today and cherish the gift of time.


November 17- extended family

Our sons are lucky to have 2 sets of grandparents who adore them. Both Richard’s parents and my parents enjoy spending time with the boys and look forward to hearing about all their adventures.

Richard also had a sister and I have a brother. My brother has 3 children. This gaggle of people gives the boys a great family group of people who love them. Richard and I know that if, God forbid, anything were to happen to both of us, our sons will be taken care of and loved.

I’m thankful for the people who care about my family.


November 16- Colby

Colby may not have his birthday in November, but I can’t forget him when I talk about what makes me thankful.

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Colby is my creative, caring, and carefree kid. I have called Colby “Dude” for the last 4 or so years. The nickname just fits him to a “T”. For the most part he is laid back and loves life. Colby is one of those kids that lets stress roll off his back, but push him too much and watch out the claws are sharp.

Image may contain: one or more people and people sittingColby loves science. He loves to discover things. His goal in life, and this has been his goal since he was in first grade, is to grow up and cure cancer. He hasn’t decided if he is going to go into pharmaceutical sciences or some form of medicine yet, but hey he is only 9. I’m not sure if this is the direction he will go, but I can tell you that he will chose a profession that uses his brain for the good of society. Colby would not hurt a fly. He loves animals, people, nature and wants to protect and preserve all.

Colby has a very sarcastic sense of humor. He is learning to Image may contain: people riding bicycles, tree, bicycle, plant, outdoor and naturebalance out when he can and can’t use it. His teachers actually enjoy this side of him. They enjoy being able to use it when they need a break from the chaos of class, but don’t want everyone to see this need for a break. Colby is the type of child that teachers trust. He is often the child who sits next to the child in class who needs a bit of extra patience.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, eating, food and indoorColby does things not to get attention, but just because it needs to be done. He has already received recognition for this at his school. He got a certificate from the administration because he helped a child he doesn’t know clean up a mess in the cafeteria. He said, “she needed help, so I walked over and helped.” The certificate didn’t mean much to him, he was just glad that the little girl thanked him and smiled when he helped.

I can’t wait to see what Colby becomes when he grows up. I know that he will make a difference in the world, or at least his little corner of the world. I’m thankful to be Colby’s mom. Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, plant, tree, grass, outdoor and nature