June 30, 2010

always searching for something beautiful

June 29, 2010

hide and seek

I have added this post here, to this Tuesday linking site! It says "Simply share your "today" with us (in a post on your own blog where you mention, and link back to communal global) then link up with us (at the bottom of this post) so we can come and visit your blog and see your unique (or wonderfully ordinary)"

June 27, 2010

tell me what poetry is

Tell me what poetry is
use clear words like the pool before me
cold on my skin
rounded stones beneath the palms of my feet
the slight plume of dirt
obscuring only briefly.

Tell me what poetry is
my ears are waiting!
tell me as gently as the breeze
that breathes through the leaves
and bends the flower my way
it's busy bee exposed.

Tell me what poetry is
show me smooth words
strung gently, side by side
my grandmother's pearls
in my daughter's small fingers,
a whisper that lasts for years and years.

Tell me what poetry is
brush my tender head
until my hair shines
and I put on a white dress
my cardigan pulled close
in the morning summer sun

Tell me what poetry is
tell me in words I understand
show me it's power
it's daily dance, it's laundry,
sleep, it's blessing
please, tell me what poetry is.

June 24, 2010


I use aol for my email and this week it has been down. Please forgive me if I have not emailed you back! Hopefully they will work out their technical issues soon. 

June 23, 2010

June 22, 2010

June 21, 2010

June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Let me brag a minute. This is father's day and I have something to crow about:

My Mark is the best daddy my kids could have. I love how happy he makes them, how he watches over them, cheers them on, plays with them, encourages them, helps them navigate the world, provides for them and prays for them. 15 years ago I did not envision this blessing. Mark, I am so glad we have you. Life is full of sparkles because you are who you are.

Today is also a good day for me because I am with my dad! He lives in England and I have not seen him since Annie was a baby. He is over in Dublin to visit us this weekend. Life is good.

June 18, 2010

Little Momma

my sweet Annie Rose

June 16, 2010

looking out

Update - Today for the first time (post jet lag, post running around with kids, post Matthew's cast) I had time to sit down, alone (Mum took the girls to the cousins to play) and read the comments that have been left over the passed 2 weeks. I feel so thankful for all the warmth and friendship and support that you guys have left me. I treasure this blogspace and all the sweet words that have been peppered here. 
Thank you, thank you. 

OK, well that didn't last too long.... Max is now awake.... off to join the rest of them at the cousins.
I hope to come by your blog over the next few days. 

June 14, 2010

Trooper at 9 years old

I admire Matthew's spirit! We hired a wheelchair and are going out and about as close to normal as possible. Today, he pulled himself up to be with his family on this mini ziggurat on the top of Killiney Hill overlooking Dalkey Island.


This afternoon he went to Tallaght Children's Hospital to get a cast put on his leg. Yeah! They said that he may get it taken off before we go home which would be wonderful. Even with him being a trooper I will be ready to have my son back and running around.

He chose a blue cast. He could have chosen a pink one with glitter!


Check out this excellent blog article on achieving SUCCESS - in a nut shell it takes work, day in day out, rather than waiting for magic or a fairy godmother. This is an approach I espouse for Moms who want to create in my book 'The Artistic Mother' p11-15.

June 13, 2010

Day at the beach

A weak sun
warms slightly
through the blue
that has banished
all thoughts of Texas

I remember why I shouldn't 
have packed my flip flops

June 12, 2010

8pm Friday night

Friday night. Mum is at home watching all my kids. Mark and I are in on Grafton Street in Dublin city center on our way to have coffee at Bewley's. Mark is working. Yep, it is 2pm Texas time, still the business day. He works the whole time we are away. It is how we are able to come here every year. Yeah for technology!

June 11, 2010

milk and sugar


Time for drinking coffee
Writing in journals
Eating scones
and jam

June 10, 2010

A slower pace

We usually do a lot of walking when we are in Ireland. We are a little slower this year - my bad back, Max in a stroller or back carrier and Matthew's leg. He has an appointment at the children's hospital on Monday to have a cast put on. 

Lots of crying going on here
My poor baby is experiencing what every baby does
We soldier on
We nurse again
and again

June 09, 2010

It's my blog and I can snapshot if I want to

Finally he sleeps!

When we go away or do any family outings I am always torn between taking snapshots and looking for more artistic shots that capture the moment in a beautiful way.

The thing is I want both. I want the snapshots for the memories and a record of our life. I want the artistic shots to elevate our life, to see the beauty in the world.

So I do both kinds of photos. My thought today is which photos to post here. In other words what is my blog for? On one hand I want to post the record photos (regardless of low artistic merit), cause for me it is fun to go back through the posts and 'see' our life. But on the other hand I don't want to bore you, my visitors, with yada yada photos of my kids. I have gone back and forth on this. This morning I was thinking about this I decided that I will go ahead and post both because 1) in the end of the day a blog is for the owner, I am me and this is my space to post my vision and 2) I love looking at other folks snapshots, so why do I assume mine would bore others? I love to look through other folks wedding and holiday albums! I could spend all day looking at cute pictures on other blogs!

So.... you just never know what you will get when you visit. I just hope you come back by and say hello despite my gratuitous family pics.

June 08, 2010

Travel notes

Despite being very prepared and well seasoned travelers, despite our new matching outfits, despite my 4 oldest kids being perfectly well behaved, this was not one of our best journeys, thanks to Maximus who decided to teeth on the day of the trip.

Max is such a easy going baby unless he is teething. His face gets red, he wants to be walked around and to nurse. So he pretty much screamed whenever I was not nursing or if my saintly husband was not standing in the aisle holding him. I apologized to everyone seated near us, but they seemed understanding. We had a lot of those 'you have your hands full' comments from other passengers.

The first plane ride to Newark was OK, but Lily got travel sickness and then she threw up 5-6 times on the Newark to Dublin plane. She suffered in silence and threw up in to plastic bags, so really was no trouble. I just felt so sorry for her.

Laura and Annie were so well behaved, but stayed awake for the whole trip, so excited and talkative.

Matthew with his broken leg was not in any pain. He enjoyed being pushed in wheelchairs and the Continental staff were very friendly and helpful. He is such a trooper, but a little sad that he can't do a whole lot here in Ireland.

The kids were wild to see granny. After a time we all slept and then got up for dinner. Then my brother came over with cousin Maya and the wild girl play began. Seeing the family is all worth the effort.

June 07, 2010

The dog knows something

Final packing is done. Half of us have head colds. We have a boy on crutches. We will be like a traveling circus!!

June 05, 2010

Echo - Rouge

Shannon left
Shona right

Susan Tuttle and Chrysti Hydeck prompt collaboration week.

To see what others are doing on the themes check the Echo Flickr group.

We have not missed a theme, we store ours on our Bloom Art Flickr group AND have invited Shelley Kommers (Lane) to join us. She is a wonderful collage artist who has a few pieces in my book. She interpreting the themes in collage. I am writing poems on the themes too. I am excited to see where this goes.


Thank you for all the kind words and prayers for my son's broken leg. He has a splint and can't out any weight on it until he gets his cast next week. Many of his friends called him yesterday and that really lifted his spirits. He keeps saying it is one of those things that happen in life.

I packed his back for him last night, he has more books than clothes in his bag!

June 04, 2010

Since when does trip prep involve a broken leg?

Oh my poor son! My first born. My brave young man. My Matthew broke his leg in two places and I was there to see his face. Can you ever erase that image from your mind?

(This photo was before the accident)

We went to Space Center Houston at NASA with his Tulsa cousins, who are in town for a visit. There were all these cool rides. We were just about to leave when Matthew had one last ride - on a bicycle attached to a hamster wheel thing. His feet were strapped in to the pedals and he was just finishing the ride and he pedaled forward when the momentum of the pedals was going backwards and his tibia and fibula, just above the ankle, broke in a forward motion. The operator was able to stop the ride before the break got worse, but that pain and panic I saw in his face was evident.

He was so brave as we went to the minor emergency clinic to get that confirmation X-ray. Today he got a splint on his leg and he will have to get a cast when we get to Ireland. He is being a big boy about it all, I am so impressed with his brave spirit, I can see a glimpse of the man he will become.

I called the airline to request a wheelchair.

And so real life goes.

Our children are breakable.

June 03, 2010

Trip Prep Day 2 - the mother of the trip

I am the mother of the trip!
I am the supplier of treats,
of activities upon activities
I am the ears of excitement
and chatter
I am the divider of warring bodies,
the squasher of squabbles
I am the dabber of tears,
hugger of heads
I am the warder of hunger,
the bearer of smiles
and words that lift,
that sooth,
that promise
it will be okay
we are

June 02, 2010

Trip Prep Day 1

As our dogs that are use to having 5 fenced acres to roam around in when we leave we need to have pet/house sitters. Having someone living in your house is very motivating in terms of cleaning. Each year I clean every surface in my home. I straighten book shelves, I put away old clothes, I clean out cupboards and drawers. This year is no different. I made a list and did a little each day until I got to the end of it. My house is old and can never be perfect, but at least I know it has been attended to and I will not be embarrassed if my sitter needs to look for scotch tape or a pizza cutter!

We are getting excited!

June 01, 2010

Going to Ireland

It is June 1st and time to prepare for my yearly family trip to Ireland.

While I am an America citizen now,  I was once an British citizen.

I was born in London. My dad is Scottish but grew up in Ireland, my Mum is Irish. My dad was working there for a while, but when I was 3 months my parents moved back home to Dublin. For most of my life we lived in Cabinteely, in the house that my mother still lives in today, the very house my kids race around in each year when we go stay with her.

I was 19 when I met my future husband, Mark.

 He was studying theology in Yale university and had a Rotary Scholarship to study in a foreign country for a year. He choose to come to Trinity College in Dublin which was where I was studying Psychology.

We met at a party about 6 weeks before he was to return to the States. We saw each other everyday for those few weeks. We were crazy in love, but we made no plans to continue to see each other. All I remember is the emptiness when he left. I ached for his letters (yes, pre-internet romance!). I tried to learn how to drink coffee just to remember his smell. I listened to country music to capture a sense of the Southwest, where he was from.  I wrote endless poems. But I was in college and he had graduated and was American; I had never even been off the British Isles let alone ever thought of living in another country!

The next year he got an internship to learn German and work in a company in Lichtenstein. He called me up out of the blue and asked me to visit him there. It was the craziest thing I had ever done! I remember being so nervous going over - what if we didn't like each other? what if our connection had only been a made up romance? But when we stood at the bus stop outside the airport and he touched my hair I knew it was all still there.

After that we saw each other in every holiday we had. He came to Dublin, I went back to Lichtenstein, then when he was home in the US I visited him there, he came to Dublin, and so on until we finally got married in London when he was studying law at Notre Dame, who have a London campus. I was 23.

15 years, 5 kids, 4 house moves and a published book later we live an hour north of Houston. We are happy. We are home. We have our real life friends. I have my blogging friends, you!

Dublin will always be in my soul though. I know the streets, the songs, the smells, the people, the greenness, the poetry. Mark and I want our American children to have a sense of where their mother came from. We want them to live here and know that in a day they can be over there with their Irish family. We want them to see the world as small and accessible. We want them to love traveling, but to love even more coming home here to Houston, to Magnolia with a sense of who they are.

As the kids grow older we intend to take them more places, to use Dublin as a launching pad to visit other European countries and one day, perhaps, parts of Africa. This is all part of their education, but also the formation of their character.

To chronicle my trip this year I will be forgoing my usual blogging schedule and posting at the minimum a photo a day for each day of June and July, sometimes I may have something to say, other times... well I may only have time for a photo.

So I invite you to come visit Ireland with me (we leave next week).

(For a foretaste, you can view last year's photos here)


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