Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Happiness Project

We were at the library this morning making our way towards the Children's Room. We had just walked in and Dylan was already flailing about in the stroller. Out of habit I said, "Shhhh... Please.". Cassidy was insistent on taking off her jacket even though I had just asked her to please not do that. I was sweating even though it was 22 degrees outside. I took a deep breath and glanced over at a table nearby. Among this table of neatly stacked books was one that was differently placed. It caught my eye and I picked it up. "The Happiness Project", by Gretchen Rubin...

Lately I have been feeling a deep desire to find...something. An answer. A purpose. A focus. Energy. I'm searching and searching, but really, what exactly is it that I am looking for anyway? Peace? Meaning? Contentment?

Yes, all of those things, and more, too, but deep down, way deep down in my gut I want to be happier. I know that sounds obvious and anticlimactic, but I mean it. I want. to be. HAPPIER! I want to feel true happiness in this one life that I have.

I want to appreciate the things that truly matter.

I want to make things happen, take control, make a difference, be better. I want to dig up what I know is in there somewhere.

Yes. I want to be happier. And that is not to say that I am currently unhappy. Not at all. I am as blessed as can be! It's just that I know there is more...there is definitely more.

See, I wasn't even looking for a book this morning. I am right in the middle of a great book, actually, but this - this book was there for a reason, I just know it. So I picked it up, checked it out and have read 32 pages so far. I'm sold and I'm going for it.

I discovered that there is actually a blog, The Happiness Project. On this blog is a one minute video, The Days are Long but the Years are Short. I clicked on the link and began to watch it. I had no idea what it was going to be about, really. Cassidy sat there next to me eating her fruit cup, spilling juice all over the place. We had just finished painting and I had just finished getting frustrated with her as she had managed to get the red paint all over her hands and in her hair. The video finished and I looked at her. She smiled at me and I cried...

The Happiness Project. I have no idea exactly what I am going to do, but I am going to do something. And what better time to start it than right now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Nonexistent Holiday Card

If I actually had gotten my act together this year

I would have sent out holiday cards.

And if I actually had sent out these nonexistent holiday cards,

they would have included pictures



So, if you can, just imagine how nice it would have looked... : )

Happy Holidays, All. We love you very much.


Monday, December 20, 2010


I haven't known quite what to say, so I haven't said much of anything.

The truth is, I still don't know what to say, but I want to at least try. The blog is called, "Days with Dylan and Cassidy"...and I can't write much about that without telling how, over the past few months, our lives have changed.

I don't know if we are finishing a chapter here or if we have already begun a new one. I suppose because most of the time, I don't know whether I am coming or going. Our lives have changed, that much is true, and I suppose it doesn't really matter exactly where we are in this book, but more so that we are moving through, page by page, sometimes word by word and even letter by letter, doing the very best that we can.

My marriage has ended.

The kids and I have moved.

We do not live in our home anymore. We moved because I was asked to. We moved because our life, as it was, was not as I believe this one life should be. We tried and we didn't try. We worked but then we didn't. We talked. We cried. We were not happy.

The details. The details of how and why and but - they do not matter in telling because truthfully, I do not expect anyone to fully understand. Sometimes even I don't understand and I lived it. Maybe you feel empathetic, sympathetic. Maybe you feel disappointed. Maybe you are judging me. But you see, I have not ever walked in your shoes. Just as no one has walked in mine. I would not expect to understand your choices, your decisions, your behavior, your life, just as I don't expect anyone to assume they can understand mine.

With these changes come challenges, that's for sure. We are working through some difficulties, that is true. When your life is shaken this way, it takes some time to get straight. Once you feel your world stop spinning, you open your eyes. You realize you're standing on your head and you must adjust and stand up correctly. You dust yourself off and look around. Your kids are there looking at you. Waiting, wondering what has happened, wondering why. They are waiting for you. You need to somehow make it better, make it alright. Make it safe. You pick up your kids, hug them tightly, and tell them that you love them with all of your heart and that you know they are hurting. You tell them that this is hard, that it is hard for you, too, very hard, but that it will get better. It will.
You look around and see that while some things are familiar, the kitchen table, your favorite hooded sweatshirt, most things are very different. But that isn't really the stuff that matters. You know that you are lucky, really, because you are here, you are together, you are healthy, and there is love.

It is not the best ending to a chapter or not the best beginning...but it is part of the story.

As life continues on, in time, I will join along.

I'll continue doing the best that I can, knowing that some days my best may wind up being lousy.

I'll continue loving my kids with everything I can muster.

I'll continue advocating for the least of these.

Trying to make a difference.

Being a good person.

And being true to myself.

All in time...


Tonight, after a challenging day, I was pulling Dylan out of the tub when Cassidy said, "I love my baby brother.". I said, "Yes.". I placed Dylan down on his towel, wrapped him up tightly, and Cass leaned in close to his face and smiled. She turned up to me and said, "I'm just so glad I got this one."...

Me too...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thank you.

::blows dust off of the ol' blog::

Thank you to those who have donated towards Sergey M's adoption fund! As his Christmas Warrior, I find that he is never far from my thoughts. Please, if you can, consider making a tax-free donation to Sergey M. through either Reece's Rainbow, the Chip-In on my sidebar, or through Peaceful Products. Every little bit will help bring him closer to finding a family of his own.

If you make a donation of $35 or more before December 15th, through Reece's Rainbow you will receive a Christmas ornament with a picture of sweet Sergey.

Please remember to leave your name in the comments so that I can choose a winner to receive a beautiful custom made journal from Peaceful Products.


Lots going on in these parts, but that...that is a post for another day.

Peace, love and hope this holiday season...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Christmas...for Sergey.

"Maybe Christmas", he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

~Dr. Seuss

This year, I have signed up to be a Christmas Warrior for Sergey.

He is two and a half years old and has Down syndrome. He was born a bit early, has a heart issue and has the most gorgeous blue eyes.

It sounds as though I am describing Dylan, except for one heartbreaking difference: Sergey is an orphan.

Sergey does not have a family. He does not have a home.

If you are able, won't you consider making a donation to help Sergey? This money will go directly towards the cost of his adoption.

You may make a tax deductible donation directly through the Reece's Rainbow site (click here) or by clicking on the Chip-In button on my side bar. Please specify that you wish your donation to go towards "Sergey M".

If you make a donation of $35 or more, through Reece's Rainbow you will receive a Christmas ornament with Sergey's picture on it.

Let's help Christmas be a little bit more for Sweet Sergey.


Please leave me a comment or send me an email to let me know you've made a donation. One random person will be chosen to receive a beautiful custom made journal from Peaceful Products.

Monday, October 25, 2010


This morning, bright and early, Cassidy and I walked into Dylan's room and were greeted with a smile, a wave, and a never before heard, "Hiiiiieeeee.".

I gasped and Cassidy, eyes wide, excitedly turned to me and said, "He said HI! He said HI!".

During dinner tonight, he started saying it again, so naturally I ran to grab my camera and caught some of it...

Love it. Love him.

Remember to check out Peaceful Products! Beautiful art pieces for wonderful causes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Let's begin with this:

Peaceful Products : Special Artists

You will have the opportunity to win a prize.

You will have the opportunity to make a difference.

You will have the opportunity to help save a life.

Will you help?

More details coming...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I sometimes wonder...


of the two, is luckier?

Is it him for having her?

Or rather, is it her

for having


Sunday, October 10, 2010

If you appreciate Signing Time...

I mean reallllly appreciate Signing Time,

then you can understand our excitement about this year's Buddy Walk.

This year, Rachel from Signing Time performed (with Hopkins, naturally) on stage prior to the walk.

Both Dylan and Cassidy have learned the majority of their signs by watching the Signing Time dvds. Seeing it all live...it was awesome, it really was.

Signing. Ah, it has had such an incredible impact on our lives. It is Dylan's primary means of communicating. I am guessing that at two years of age, he now has close to 80 signs. If he hadn't been taught to sign, we would be missing out on what makes Dylan, Dylan. So much of his personality is understood through signing.

Rachel from Signing Time has two children. One child is deaf and one child has both Cerebral Palsy as well as Spina Bifida. She understands. She knows.

And we just love her.

(Despite what it looks like, both kids really were excited, trust me. I think there was some confusion as to why she was there as a real live person. Tonight at dinner Cassidy asked me if Rachel fell out of the TV and if that was why she was at the Buddy Walk...).

Another magical Buddy Walk experienced. So different from last year, and even more from the year before...

Onward we go.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My best girl...

is FOUR years old today!

Happy Birthday you sweet, spunky, silly, spirited, sensitive Little One.

I love you and am so very proud of YOU!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Thank you, Little One.

Thank you for being you.

For you have given your ol' mama

something to smile about today.

Thank you for reminding me that in this life, we do have a choice...and I choose to be like you. To believe. To trust. To see the good. To be happy.

To smile.

To smile...to always try and smile.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


She peeks her head into the computer screen and tentatively looks around. She swallows. There is a familiar face there, maybe two. They are waiting. She clears her throat, takes a deep breath, and begins to type...


September has brought change into our home, into our lives. Into our hearts. When I am able to gather my wits, when I am able to muster the courage that I am currently lacking, when I am feeling braver, I will attempt to explain. But for now...this:

Dylan has grown into a toddler this September, I feel like. I hang out with this little one just about every minute of every single day and yet I see it - change. He is growing, he is learning, he is absolutely thriving.

He had surgery in the beginning of the month for tubes

and has since then been on a mission to excel.

Cassidy has begun preschool this September and while she likes it well enough, I have a pretty strong inkling who was more excited on that very first day...

Dylan has been making progress by leaps and bounds with eating. We are down from 9 jars of baby food a day to ONE (or 2, but still!). He eats real food (albeit gluten free) for most of his snacks and meals which makes this mama's heart very happy. Oh, I can not tell you how satisfied I will feel when I can stride directly past the baby food isle at the grocery store without so much as a second glance. (Although knowing me, I will stop, look longingly at the millions of jars and say, "Awwwww baby food! Remember when...")...

He has started making many more sounds and has even begun trying to imitate spoken words. His signing is crazy - I don't have any idea how many he knows, but I am pretty sure it's more than either Cassidy or I know...

Cassidy has been her usual busy self, fully enjoying the beginning of our New England Fall.

Cassidy understands that there have been changes. It has not always been easy for her and knowing that hurts my heart. But she is smart, she is strong, and she is very much loved. I have much faith in my best girl...

In September, more pieces have come together for Dylan in the mobility department. One day, I looked over at him and just as if he's done it a million times before, he began to crawl across the room. I am talking crawling - real crawling - belly off the floor and everything.

He has been pulling to stand more and has started slowly cruising along various surfaces of our house.

He has perfected "The Funny Face" while standing. Now that is an accomplishment in and of itself if you ask me.

As each day passes, I feel like his personality becomes more and more lovable. I do not know quite how to explain my feelings for this little guy, but I can say that one look into those sweet blue eyes makes my own eyes blurry with tears.

One look makes me thank my lucky stars that he is here with me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Little Ones

"Me and Dylan and the Sunshine"

By Cassidy, age 3

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Strollin', strollin',

strollin' down the carpet...

Today Dylan's Physical Therapist brought over a posterior child walker.

While Dylan has been showing an interest in pulling to stand recently, I am learning that walking is an entirely different and complex skill. One that is going to take some time. Even the concept of putting one foot in front of the other does not quite make sense to Dylan just yet. His strength is building, but his comfort and confidence in the upright position need some boosting.

But just like everything else, he will get it. He will. We've got the time.

And baby steps are certainly fine by me.

Friday, August 6, 2010


We are going to miss you, girl.

You have stuck with me for 12 years and for that I am grateful. We had a good life, Bai.

I wasn't always the perfect companion, I know that, but you accepted me, protected me, and loved me just the same. At first you were't too sure about me (I don't blame you) but we grew on each other, didn't we? I know that lately I could too often be overheard complaining about dog hair on the carpets and sneaky escapes... for that I apologize. I did love you Bailey.

You always were a Boulder-Dog at heart, I think. Oh, you were the best hiking partner. But then you fully embraced the West Coast and later the East Coast, too. Going to the cape and swimming after tennis balls was your idea of a dream vacation.

Your life changed once Cassidy and Dylan entered the scene, but I know you understood. You were so good to them, Bai.

And you knew me, I know you did. You got me, girl.

On your last night, when you were not well, you were determined to climb all the way up the stairs to sleep in our room. And I am so glad you did.

You were one-of-a-kind, Bailey, that's for sure...

And we are going to miss you very much.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Beautiful Sight

It's a beautiful sight:

Watching my son

as he puts the pieces together.

Watching as he begins to understand that he now has the ability to be upright.

Seeing the strength finally begin to grow along with the motivation and desire that has been there, waiting.

A beautiful, beautiful sight,

this boy.