Friday, January 24, 2014


I've noticed that I have kind of been in a picture taking slump lately. I think the freezing weather that we have been having leaves me uninspired to pick up my camera.

Here are a few of the recent shots from my iPhone.

 1. My parents cleaned out their closet, and I acquired this.  Little Miss already hung it in her room. 2. Valentine's pompom garland...easy peasy to make. 3. Patriot's Day at school
4. Blue-eyed beauty 5. More Valentine's Garland (watercolor on heart-shaped doilies) 6. Helping with dinner.
7. Little Miss can blow bubbles! 8. Family Portrait 9. Rapunzel wanted to get in the picture. 
1. Craft time with her Gran-memere. 2. Final product
3. Glittery Heart Craft 4. Playdoh Food

This year I have been teaching CCD to a group of 8th graders.  We have been talking a lot about the gifts they have been given and how they should use their unique qualities to help others.  For me, this experience of teaching them, has caused me to reflect and examine my own self more closely.  What are my gifts?  What am I doing to serve others with my gifts?  We are all so different and unique, we all have gifts, and we all have others who could benefit from us sharing our special qualities.  

It reminds me of a poem my friend and co-worker introduced me to as she said good-bye to her fifth grade class at the end of each school year. 

Do you know what you are?  You
are a marvel.  You are unique.  In
all the years that have passed,
there has never been another
child like you.  Your legs,
your arms, your clever fingers,
the way you move.

You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo,
a Beethoven.  You have the
capacity for anything.
Yes, you are a marvel.  

-Pablo Casals

Last week I decided that I would try to do a weekly craft activity with my grandmother.  This was our first project.

Whether you are a religious person or not, you still have gifts and you can still share them.  Look inside yourself, find your gifts and go out into the world and spread the wealth.  The world will be a better place because you did. Happy Friday!

"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One moment at a time...

It's Wednesday morning, it just snowed about 12 inches, the kids have a day off from school and I am sitting with my memere while she watches bobsledding on the television.  It's hard not to be reminiscent when I visit my grandmother.  The grandmother I knew for my entire childhood and a good portion of my adulthood is not the same person that sits before me now.  It's easy to become sad and long for the days that have passed, the days when I could find her knitting a new hat, making crepes for her family or tending to her plants.  That grandmother no longer exists, as it is very difficult for her to even perform daily tasks without a great deal of assistance.  Dwelling on these thoughts can often bring her loved ones to tears, and it certainly doesn't change the situation that exists in front of us now.  

Several weeks ago, I wrote briefly about the beauty that can be found in hard things.  Although we don't choose the difficult roads in life, we are able to make the decision about which way to go when we come to the detours.  We can try to find the beauty in every situation, even when it may be a struggle to see it. 

My grandmother is different from the sharp, resourceful woman she once was, but she is still beautiful. She lights up when a loved one walks into the room, even if she struggles to retrieve their name from her memory.  She is so thankful each and every day for her family.  She giggles like a child when we tease her.  She appreciates the small things.  She is the essence of living in the moment, because really, she has nothing else.  
 We could all learn something from her.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” 
― Henry David Thoreau

Monday, January 20, 2014

The words of Martin Luther King Jr.

 “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” 
 “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.” 
 “The time is always right to do the right thing.” 
 “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” 
“Without love, there is no reason to know anyone, for love will in the end connect us to our neighbors, our children and our hearts.” 
“Be The Peace You Wish To See In The World!”
-Martin Luther King Jr

And just in case you want to be reminded...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Double Digits...

 It's hard to grasp the fact that this little guy is turning 10 in a couple of weeks, hard to grasp and a little scary...

The birthday party prep has begun.
"Lost time is never found again." 
-Ben Franklin

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I'm not going to lie.  Seeing some of my things pinned on Pinterest gets me giddy, even if it is all Minecraft and Star Wars stuff.  That green creeper gives me more hits on my blog than anything else.

 Are you on Pinterest?
 There is so much inspiration and creativity on there that sometimes it makes my head hurt.
 Here are my boards.
Pinterest honestly helps me to keep some of the clutter out of my head.  Instead of trying to store all the things I want to do in my brain, I can store it on my virtual bulletin board on Pinterest.  If I'm planning a party, I look on Pinterest and pin ideas. If I'm looking for a recipe for something, I look on Pinterest. By the way, you can also install a Pin It button and pin anything and everything right from the web.
 Typically I don't just go on to browse.  If I did, I'm sure I could spend many hours in front of the computer pinning.
 Here is the link to Pinterest if you want to check it out.  Happy Pinning!

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Unposed moments...

I was looking for something yesterday and came across this photo of my two memeres.  I actually posted it last year, but now it has so much more meaning.  It's been 7 months since one of my memere's left this Earth; sometimes it seems like longer.  When I stop and think that this photo was taken less than one year ago, it's hard to believe.  So much can change.  I'm so grateful that this moment, although brief, was captured. I'm also grateful that I just found it, because I had not remembered it. This is the beauty of taking pictures, especially those that are not posed. Of course looking at the photo doesn't bring back the moment, but it evokes an emotional response. I can look at it with fond memories and a smile and I can "hear" my memeres' distinct voices and laughs.     

I'm a planner by nature.  I'm not really into flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to doing anything.  But, photography is different. I prefer photographing the "unposed" moments.  To me, those moments are more accurate pictures of life and what it's all about. 

Those moments often end up to be the "sweetest". 
Those of us with Type A personalities may find it difficult to go with the flow and take it one day at a time.

But, we are forced to discover that life is made up of beautiful, unposed moments and  sometimes we cannot even see the beauty in them until they have passed us by.  

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's a new year, a new day...

It's already been two weeks since the start of 2014, holy moly, 2014!!!  Remember when we stocked up on toilet paper and went into a frenzy at the end of 1999?  It's been 14 years since then.  Time goes crazy fast.  

I don't know about you, but I find the beginning of a New Year to be a bit stressful, with the pressure to come up with a meaningful resolution, or a "word" to focus on throughout the year.  Being diagnosed with the Big C on New Year's Eve two years ago also adds to the dislike. 

I've never been big on making resolutions and this year is no different.  I typically do not make any formal pledges to work on anything...I know, lame! Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of areas I could work on, but I don't vow to resolve them as the new year starts.  It's too much pressure.  I go more for making mental notes of goals I'd like to accomplish and I prefer to go after things on a day to day basis.  So many resolutions are made and broken before the month is over.  Why do we need a new year to motivate us? Let's resolve to improve every day instead.

As we pulled into the YMCA parking lot last week for Little Miss' swim lessons, I said, "Wow, it's crowded here tonight!"
To which she responded with, "It's probably because it's a new year and everyone made a resolution."   

I have no idea where she came up with that, but I chuckled and told her she was probably right. 

Of course a New Year represents a new beginning and a fresh start, but I prefer not to jump on the bandwagon of unkept promises and resolutions. Going after things in smaller chunks works better for me; it's more of a gradual process and transformation as compared to instant changes we pledge to make at the stroke of midnight. 

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.
All photos taken at Lasalette

Monday, January 13, 2014


On the day I took these pictures, a little over a week ago, there were wind chills below zero.  

Today it was 50 degrees and all the snow has melted.  Just goes to show you how quickly things can change, especially in New England.

Weather is a great metaphor for life — sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. ~Terri Guillemets

Friday, January 10, 2014


Happy New Year!  It's been awhile.  After a few days of a somewhat typical routine, I feel like maybe I can get back into the swing of things and get myself back to blogging.  It's good for me.  For today, Here are some of my recent phone pictures, most from the holidays.  Enjoy!
 1. my gifts 2. glittery ornaments 3. curls
4. tag making 5. gift wrapping 6. Zart, the elf
7. gift for me 8, 9. gingerbread house building
 1. house decor 2. letter to Santa 3. gifts for birthparents
4. bags for the homeless 5. old bulb makeovers 6. one of my favorites
7. cupcake liner trees 8. handmade by memere 9. reminiscing 

 1, 2, 3. more handmade goodness
4. from a former student 5. ornament to support adoption 6. teacher gifts
7. snow 8. more snow 9. friends
 1. barbie doll cirque 2. lights 3. sugar
4. gift giving 5. best presents under the tree 6. traditions
7. decorations 8. no schedule 9. gingerbread people
1. my craftiness started long ago 2. we were cute 3. child labor
4. lasalette 5. old fashioned fun 6. friends
7. before the clean up 8. my personal hairdresser 9. after the clean up

I've also been having some fun with the new Flipagram App.  

Check out my video here.

If you're on Instagram, find abetterdream and follow me. 
Happy Weekend to you all!

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.