HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIN LEE 2018!!

 

 

Today we celebrate Erin Lee, my elder daughter, born 34 years ago, just shy of midnight, changing my world forever. I knew she was going to be Erin Lee, no ultrasound needed. When I told my obstetrician that I was embroidering her Christmas stocking and already had her name across the top, he reminded me that the odds were 50/50. When I told him that I was working on her Christmas dress, he just shook his head. Then she was born, making a dramatic entrance in her own time – Erin Lee. I just knew. 

     She was tiny, five pounds, thirteen ounces, and I was smitten. I couldn’t possibly have known the depth of love that would overtake me instantly and forever. Though she lives far away in a city she loves, I believe we are close at heart, more alike than not, though she might not always agree :). Over the years I’ve had occasion to tell her that there is absolutely nothing on the face of this earth that could possibly change the fact of my unconditional love for her; she will always be my Erin Lee.

With her permission, I describe her as 120 pounds of pure spitfire. She’s an artist in personality and temperament, unlike myself; I’ve always been amazed at how she sees the world, from little on, with totally different eyes than mine. I’ve saved samples of her art over the years; a fascinating journey through the developing eye and mind of an artist’s view of her world, always a unique perspective. They will provide the back-story when she’s famous, having her first big show. In the meantime, three of her paintings hang in my home, and I keep a file of her work, updated often, on my phone and my PC.      

     An early reader, having completed the Laura Ingalls Wilder series by age six (a gift from her first-grade teacher during one of her many hospitalizations); she’s intelligent and articulate. I used to joke that all the time spent in an oxygen tent paid off beautifully, the silver lining to difficult days of chronic illness, first manifested when she was just five months old. Erin has a gift for languages hearkening back to her early days of imitating Pépé Le Pew. This was a little girl who let you know with a toss of her hair, that she was special. When Erin Lee laughs, everybody laughs, it’s positively contagious. She’s fiercely loyal with a wicked wit. If you’re close to her, she may challenge you in ways that test your soul, but the result is always worthwhile.

      Erin Lee loves to travel. In January of 2014, she took her first solo trip – to Iceland – looking for artistic inspiration. 2015 began with a trip to Hawaii and included the traditional Hawaiian pineapple tattoo. As the recipient of art grants, she has traveled to various locations to further her craft. Her newest venture is into the world of curating. She curates a monthly art pop-up in downtown Seattle, bringing together a variety of artists. She recently accepted an invitation to curate a gallery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Her reputation is expanding and she would eventually like to become an artists’ representative.

       Erin Lee lives in a Seattle neighborhood with her dog, Andromeda (Andy) and three cats. She’s cultivated a tribe and enjoys meaningful relationships.  She gardens, battles invasive bamboo in her yard, and generally enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest (PNW).

     My firstborn child is 34 today, I am proud of the woman she is and I am a better person for being her Mumma Lee. To my partner en Français: Joyeux Anniversaire; je t’aime le plus chèrement! Join me, please, in celebrating my elder daughter, Erin Lee. (Enjoy the photos courtesy of Emily Eddy).

 

                                   

PHOTOGRAPHER’S MODEL

FOREST NYMPH

THE ARTIST IN BLACK

THE ARTIST IN BLACK

  

   

 

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEGHAN LEE!! 2018

          G’mornin’ Friends. I wrote the original Happy Birthday post in 2011. Seven years later, it is definitely time for an update. Today, I am most happy to share my younger daughter, Meghan Lee Smith, with ya’ll.  

          Thirty-three years ago, this evening, I met Meghan Lee for the first time. Weighing in at just six pounds, she showed early signs of being her own person, struggling to be released from the hospital swaddling that her sister, a year earlier, had found so comforting. An early reader determined to keep up with her sister, she began calling me Mother. It was disconcerting at first, so formal, not just to my face, but in reference to me as well; very noticeable coming from this little person – Mother.  I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mom; (we had the series). 

     Being her mother, one might accuse me of bias, but I am so very proud of the woman she has become. I am blessed to be close to her, both in proximity, and in mind and heart, the places that matter. I have watched her grow over the years, overcoming challenges and learning to soar like an eagle!!

     Since I began the birthday post, each year has been one of continued growth in grace and beauty for Meghan Lee. She has grown from the young woman who began a tradition of wearing a tiara on her birthday, even on her motorcycle, to the young woman ready for a major life event – marriage to R. Brian Smith, known to me as FSIL, in 2012.

     Six years later, they continue to grow closer and are, as I describe it, incredibly well matched. They’ve embarked on several major life changes. Together, they decided Meghan Lee should quit her job, and go back to school, which she did. In typical Meghan fashion, she excelled in the IT field, learning to code; now she is one of a growing number of women in IT, a field that until recently, was dominated by men. She’s become part of a group that mentors girls to enter the IT field, sharing her skills and talents. Taking that a step further, Meghan Lee began her own IT business – Meghan Smith Solutions. She has clients in several states, and her work includes developing and maintaining the website for our Harbison community.

     With things going well, they decided Brian should return to school. He completes his Physical Therapy program this December. With  license- to-practice in hand, he, too, will become self-employed. As co-owners and partners in two businesses based in Lubbock, TX, they have an adventurous future beginning in 2019, Life is good for Meghan Lee!

     My younger daughter turns 33 today and I couldn’t be more pleased to claim her, though I’ve learned to share her with Brian. She is intelligent, kind, loving, and generally an exceptional human being, grown now, with a family of her own – Meghan Lee, Brian, and four cats – the Smith family.

     I’m thanking the Lord for putting her in my arms and into my care – a gift to me beyond compare. Happy 33rd Birthday, Meghan Lee, je t’aime en bric broc, (our French slang for “I love you to pieces,” literally “I love you to bits and chunks,” which makes us giggle).  Enjoy the photos and join me, please, in wishing a most wonderful new year of life to Meghan Lee Smith!

MEGHAN LEE

 

 

 

ON the ROAD

                THEY ARE A TEAM

WELL MATCHED

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGHAN LEE, 2015

Having begun what is becoming the annual birthday post in 2011, it is time for the new round of my daughters’ birthday posts. I have fun with them and hope you and the honoree do, as well.

     Thirty years ago this evening, I met my younger daughter, Meghan Lee, for the first time. Weighing in at just six pounds, she showed early signs of being her own person, struggling to be released from the hospital swaddling that her sister, a year earlier, had found so comforting.  An early reader determined to keep up with her sister, she began calling me Mother, likely based on something she read; not mom and not just to my face, but in reference to me as well.  It was very noticeable coming from this little person, so formal – Mother.  She still does, today, but I’m used to it and no longer feel like Joan Crawford. That’s Meghan Lee, no nicknames, please. Being her mother, one might accuse me of bias, but I am so very proud of the woman she has become. I am blessed to be close to her, not in proximity, but in mind and heart, the places that matter. I have watched her grow over the years, overcoming challenges and learning to soar like an eagle!!

Since I began the birthday post, each year has been one of continued growth in grace and beauty for Meghan Lee. who, in 2011, began a tradition of wearing a tiara on her birthday, even on the bike. The 2012 birthday post addressed a major life event, marriage to R. Brian Smith, known to me as FSIL. 

Three years later, they continue to grow closer and are, as I describe it, incredibly well matched.WELL-MATCHED

They have embarked on and completed  fitness challenges like the Tough  Mudder twice! They enjoy DIY home renovations. Together they are into weight training, running, and travel. A newer venture is gardening, with which I’m thrilled. I always told her it’s in the Buelow genes; we love to “play in the dirt.” For years she denied it because of spiders – my fault for making my daughters pick too many beans as children, or so they said. In typical fashion, Meghan did the research and came up with a plan for raised beds, which she and Brian built together.  More research led to plans for squirrel-proofing those beds, which she designed, they built, and now their gardens are safe from critters and they’re well into their second year of gardening

This past year brought new challenges and changes.  Making a career shift after soul-searching, and with Brian’s full support, Meghan resigned from her former position, enrolled in and successfully completed a new course of study in the IT field. Having excelled in school and enjoying the change in direction, Meghan launched her own business Meghan Smith Solutions; her work has already attracted clients in the South and in WI; she enjoys the freedom of working at home and/or wherever she happens to be.

My younger daughter turns 30 today and I couldn’t be more pleased to claim her, though I’ve learned to share her with Brian. She is intelligent, kind, loving, and generally an exceptional human being, grown now, with a family of her own –  Meghan Lee, Brian, and three cats – the Smith family.

I’m thanking the Lord for putting her in my arms and into my care – a gift to me beyond compare.   Joyeux anniversaire, Meghan Lee, je t’aime en bric, broc, our French slang for “I love you to pieces.”  Literal translation is “I love you to bits and chunks,” which makes us giggle.  Enjoy the photos – faces of Meghan Lee – and join me, please, in wishing a most wonderful new year and new decade of life to Meghan Lee Smith!

 

     MEGHAN LEE              M__BD POST_2015      MBCOURTYARD_CROPPED        

Happy 30th Birthday, Meghan Lee!! Be blessed†, my precious daughter!!         

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN LEE, 2014!!

Today we celebrate Erin Lee, my elder daughter born 30 years ago tonight, just shy of midnight, changing my world forever. I knew she was going to be Erin Lee, no ultrasound needed. When I told my obstetrician that I was embroidering her Christmas stocking and already had her name across the top, he reminded me that the odds were 50/50. When I told him that I was working on her Christmas dress – red velveteen and white satin – he just shook his head. And then she was born, four days overdue, making a dramatic entrance in her own time – Erin Lee – I just knew. 

She was tiny, five pounds, thirteen ounces, and I was smitten. I asked that her bassinet be left with me, couldn’t imagine letting them whisk her off to a nursery. I wanted to get to know this little miracle and the journey began. What I couldn’t possibly have known was the depth of motherly love that would overtake me instantly and continue to grow. Though she lives far away in a city she loves, I believe we are close at heart, more alike than not, though she might not always claim that:). I’ve had occasion to tell her over the years that there is absolutely nothing on the face of this earth that could possibly change the fact of my unconditional love for her; she was and always will be my Erin Lee. 

With her permission, I describe her as 105 pounds of pure spitfire. She’s an artist in personality and temperament, unlike myself; I’ve always been amazed at how she sees the world, from little on, with totally different eyes than mine. I’ve saved samples of her art over the years; a fascinating journey through the developing eye and mind of an artist’s view of her world, always a unique perspective.  It will provide the back-story when she’s famous, having her first gallery show.  In the meantime, three of her paintings hang in my home, I wear several pieces of her jewelry and I keep a file of her work, updated often, on my phone and my PC.      

An early reader, having completed the Laura Ingalls Wilder series at age six (a gift from her first-grade teacher during one of her many hospitalizations), she’s intelligent and articulate. I used to joke that all the time spent in an oxygen tent paid off beautifully, the silver lining to difficult days of chronic illness first manifested when she was just five months old. With a gift for languages hearkening back to her early days of imitating Pepe Le Pew, and a first-rate imitation of Lady (of the movie Lady and the Tramp), this was a little girl who let you know with a toss of her hair, that she knew without doubt that she was special. When Erin Lee laughs, everybody laughs, it’s positively contagious.  She’s fiercely loyal with a wicked wit. If you’re close to her, she may challenge you in ways that test your soul, but the result is always worthwhile.

  My firstborn child is 30 today, three decades under her belt. I am so very proud of the woman she has become and I am a better person for being her Mumma Lee. Blessings, Erin Lee and thank you for the joy you’ve brought me over these 30 years. I’d do it all over in a heartbeat. Joyeux Anniversaire; je t’aime en pièces  (1) The parenthetical one symbolizes our long-distance hug.

                                                           Quintessential Erin Lee   6.8.14      

                                             QUINTESSENTIAL                    ERIN LEE 6.8.14

                                         Enjoy the photos below courtesy of Emily Eddy. 

 The artist in black 2014

The artist in black 2014

ERIN LEE  fALL 2014

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Bunnies With No Heads – A Tale of Hope and Encouragement – 2014 Edition

Tonight’s post is a rerun and  a favorite Easter story of ours.  We shared it with a new group of friends today; told by Meghan Lee and me together, it was even funnier and our audience seemed to enjoy hearing it almost as much as we enjoyed telling and reliving it with much laughter

Do not be dismayed by the title,  this post will give you hope and encouragement,  I promise :)  As is often mentioned in these pages, I’m a traditionalist;  I believe tradition is the glue that binds us together.  Today I’ll tell a quick story about a mother who used to buy solid chocolate Easter bunnies, the big ones, $16 each, back in the day, the best for her daughters, year after year.  Tradition was that early Easter morning, the mother would hide the colored eggs and then the baskets.  While the girls were hunting for eggs and baskets, the mother was cooking a special breakfast, one for each of her daughters as they had different favorites.

This particular year, the night before Easter as the mother was preparing the baskets, the temptation of those fabulous bunnies overcame her.  Just one little nibble, the mother thought, who’ll notice?  Y’all know how this goes – the edges had to be evened out and smooth so one nibble followed another and all of a sudden one ear was gone – Horror!  What could the mother do?  She had to do the same to the other bunny; it would never work to give one daughter an intact bunny and the other, one with a missing ear.  On with the “evening-up” process.  Now two bunnies without ears, very uneven, more work to do;

Holy cats, what now?  May as well even things up, you know, neaten it up a bit.  One head gone, on to the next – gotta be fair.   Enough already.  So the mother tucked each bunny back into its little bag and tied them shut with the original ribbons, pink and purple.  It’s Saturday night, Easter eve, no replacing these special bunnies.  Early Easter morning, the mother went about her business, then woke the daughters to begin their hunt, while the mother went into the kitchen to begin cooking those special breakfasts, didn’t miss a beat….

All of a sudden – horrified screams!!  The girls had discovered their headless bunnies in their otherwise beautiful baskets.  And they had no doubt as to the culprit.  Good thing they were of the age to know that the Easter Bunny really was the mother.  The thing that I remember most clearly was Meghan Lee’s absolute indignation that there were teeth marks in her bunny – eeeuuuu!! To use FDR’s words spoken years ago, this was a day that ” will live in infamy.”  And it has; brought up every Easter and shared as it was today, with love and much laughter.

I promised encouragement?  You bet.  My friends, regardless what you may be thinking about your shortcomings, faults or misses, remember the mother who ate the heads off the bunnies and laugh!  You haven’t done that yet, have you?  There is HOPE and there is GRACE.  My daughters love me, forgave me and we share another precious memory.

Easter is a special day, not a present-giving holiday, at least not in our home, but without it, we would all be hopeless.  Remember, because of what occurred on that first Easter morning, there is abundant hope and grace for all of us.  I hope you’ve found or find yours in our risen Lord.  My prayer is that all the blessings of Easter – life, forgiveness, grace and joy – live within each and every one of you!  Be blessed…

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN LEE, 2013

 

Today we celebrate Erin Lee, my elder daughter born 29 years ago tonight, just shy of midnight, changing my world forever.  I knew she was going to be Erin Lee, no ultrasound needed.  When I told my obstetrician that I was embroidering her Christmas stocking and already had her name across the top, he reminded me that the odds were 50/50.  When I told him that I was working on her Christmas dress – red velveteen and white satin – he just shook his head.  And then she was born, four days overdue, making a dramatic entrance in her own time – Erin Lee; I just knew. 

She was tiny, five pounds, thirteen ounces, and I was smitten.  I asked that her bassinet be left with me, couldn’t imagine letting them whisk her off to a nursery.  I wanted to get to know this little miracle and the journey began. What I couldn’t possibly have known was the depth of motherly love that would overtake me instantly and continue to grow.  Though she lives far away in a city she loves, I believe we are close at heart, more alike than not, though she might not always claim that:).  I’ve had occasion to tell her over the years that there is absolutely nothing on the face of this earth that could possibly change the fact of my unconditional love for her; she was and always will be my Erin Lee. 

With her permission, I describe her as 105 pounds of pure spitfire.  She’s an artist in personality and temperament, unlike myself; I’ve always been amazed at how she sees the world, from little on, with totally different eyes than mine.  I’ve saved samples of her art over the years; a fascinating journey through the developing eye and mind of an artist’s view of her world, always a unique perspective.  It will provide the back-story when she’s famous, having her first gallery show.  In the meantime, three of her paintings hang in my home, I wear several pieces of her jewelry and I keep a file of her work, updated often, on my phone and my PC. 

  An early reader, having completed the Laura Ingalls Wilder series at age six (a gift from her first-grade teacher during one of her many hospitalizations), she’s intelligent and articulate.  I used to joke that all the time spent in an oxygen tent paid off beautifully, a silver lining to difficult days of chronic illness first manifested when she was just five months old.  With a gift for languages hearkening back to her early days of imitating Pepe Le Pew, and a first-rate imitation of Lady (of the movie Lady and the Tramp), this was a little girl who let you know with a toss of her hair, that she knew without doubt that she was special.  When Erin Lee laughs, everybody laughs, it’s positively contagious.  She’s fiercely loyal with a wicked wit.  If you’re close to her, she may challenge you in ways that test your soul, but the result is always worthwhile.

  My firstborn child is 29 today.  I am so very proud of the woman she has become and I am a better person for being her Mumma Lee.  Blessings, Erin Lee, and thank you for the joy you’ve brought me over these 29 years.  I’d do it all over in a heartbeat.  Joyeux Anniversaire; je t’aime en pièces  (1) – that’s our long-distance hug.

 

             Quintessential  Erin Lee                                                                         Artistic View

                                                                                                                

 

                                                                                                 

                         

 

                      

                               

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Hhappy Birthday, Meghan Lee, 2013!!

 

It’s time for what is becoming the annual birthday post, updated, of course.  Twenty-eight years ago this evening, I met my younger daughter, Meghan Lee, for the first time.  Weighing in at just six pounds, she showed early signs of being her own person, struggling to be released from the hospital swaddling that her sister, a year earlier, had found so comforting.  Being her mother, one might accuse me of bias, but I am so very proud of the woman she has become. I am blessed to be close to her, not in proximity, but in mind and heart, the places that really count. I  have watched her grow over the years, overcoming challenges and learning to soar like an eagle!!

An early reader determined to keep up with her sister, likely based on something she read in a book, she began calling me “Mother.”  Not mom and not just to my face, but in reference to me as well.  It was very noticeable, coming from this little person, so formal – Mother.  She still does, today, but I’m used to it and no longer feel like Joan Crawford.  That’s Meghan Lee, no nicknames, please.

This past year was one of continued growth in grace and beauty for Meghan Lee, who, in 2011, began a tradition of wearing a tiara on her birthday, even on the bike :) Last year’s birthday post talked about her major life event, marriage to Brian Smith.  This year, they’re closer than ever and have embarked on some fitness challenges.  In April, they completed their very first Tough Mudder event in Austin, Texas.  I had some concerns, especially after looking at the list of Most BadAss Obstacles and reading about the signing of a death waiver.  That said, together they completed the event, which is the point; it’s not a race.  Brian has future aspirations, which is his story to tell, but they’ve continued training.  Meghan Lee has become a runner, logging record miles this year and also is into weight training.  In typical fashion, she did the research and came up with a program that she follows diligently and is making steady progress, which we talk about almost daily.  The purpose now? Another Tough Mudder in a month in Charlotte, NC. Being Mother, I asked if she was certain she was ready to commit to training for a second event in less than a year, more like six months.  Of course she was, or it wouldn’t be happening 🙂    
My younger daughter turns 28 today and I couldn’t be more pleased to claim her though I’m learning to share her with Brian.   She is kind, loving and generally an exceptional human being, grown now, with a blog of her own.    Ride on Tiara Girl

I’m thanking the Lord for putting her in my arms and into my care – a gift to me beyond compare.    Joyeux anniversaire, Meghan Lee, je t’aime èn bric, broc, our French slang for “I love you to pieces.”  Literal translation is I love you to bits and chunks, which makes us giggle.  Enjoy the photos and join me in wishing a most wonderful new year of life to Meghan Lee Smith!

                                                                    Be blessed, my darlin’ daughter!!

Meghan on her last birthday :)

Meghan on her last birthday 🙂

Tiara girl

Tiara girl


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Here We Go Again…

That may well be what some of you think about this post and frankly, my response is, it’s my blog, the subjects about which I write are important to me and I believe some of them are important in the larger scheme of life.  That said, there are three reasons leading up to my choice of topic today.  First of all, another woman in another nearby county is dead and her “boyfriend” is in jail awaiting charges.  Interestingly, a law enforcement officer commented on the “irony” of the situation because the murdered woman was recently publicly lauded for “her tireless advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence.”  Ironic?  Really?  That’s reason one.  The second reason is a conversation with a young woman I know, mother of two children under age three, whose significant other was arrested on a DV charge after punching holes in the walls and grabbing the woman by the throat.  Is this true?  I looked it up in the state court records just to be able to answer the doubters; yes the arrest occurred based on evidence.  Third, this issue has become personal.  In discussions this week I received comments like “Get over it,”  (from a woman, no less) and “Well, I didn’t see it,” from a male relative.  Really?  Not seeing an abuser in action means abuse didn’t take place and one should sit down and share a meal with said abuser, basically demeaning the experience of three victimized women, two of them children or at least under age during their experience?    

Do I need more reasons?  Are three enough?  I know this isn’t a pretty post; there’s no humor, nothing funny like chocolate bunnies without heads, but there’s very little humor in me as I write this.  I’m discouraged and disgusted and it’s once again time to stand up and speak out with all its ugliness.  Disregard, disrespect, dismissal, those darned D words that women experience all the time.  It’s even worse when life-altering occurrences have the D words applied.  

If you care enough to help, what can you do?  First of all, do NOT dismiss the experiences or minimize the effects even years later. It’s now known that women who’ve been mistreated – intimidated, called ugly names, had their possessions broken, walls and doors kicked in, pets abused – all these events leave their mark and many women experience symptoms of PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, triggered by something as simple as a spring breeze causing a door to slam shut, or observing a young couple in a grocery store and he calls her a vile name.  These incidents can bring back the ugliness in a heartbeat and are not easily gotten over; flashbacks are not something over which a person has control.  

Educate yourself so you don’t make hurtful comments or display a dismissive attitude.  And be willing to stand up and be counted; it’s not okay to condone abusive behavior through silence.  And pretending something ugly didn’t occur does not make it disappear.   It’s not a matter of lack of forgiveness or dwelling on past events.  Do you think people who’ve experienced this kind of ugliness really want to relive it?  Not on your life.  There are those of us who’ve chosen to turn ugliness into benefit for others.  Help me do that, please – support your local women’s shelters, donate your old cell phones and printer cartridges, volunteer at shelter events, advocate for victims whenever the opportunity presents itself, open your mouth, take a stand.  Thanks for listening with an open mind and heart…

 

 

 

 

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Bunnies With no Heads? 2013 Edition

Today’s post is a rerun and  a favorite story of ours.  It’s all  true; absolutely, I really did the deed. So without further ado, here you go – enjoy and be blessed!

Do not be dismayed, this post will give you hope and encouragement,  I promise :) As is often mentioned in these pages, I’m a traditionalist;  I believe tradition is the glue that binds us together.  Today I’ll tell a quick story about a mother who used to buy solid chocolate Easter bunnies, the big ones, $16 each, the best for her daughters, year after year.  Tradition was that early Easter morning, the mother would hide the colored eggs and then the baskets.  While the girls were hunting for eggs and baskets, the mother was cooking a special breakfast, one for each of her daughters as they had different favorites.

This particular year, the night before Easter as the mother was preparing the baskets, the temptation of those fabulous bunnies overcame her.  Just one little nibble, the mother thought, who’ll notice?  Y’all know how this goes – the edges had to be evened out and smooth so one nibble followed another and all of a sudden one ear was gone – Horror!  What could the mother do?  She had to do the same to the other bunny; it would never work to give one daughter an intact bunny and the other, one with a missing ear.  On with the “evening-up” process.  Now two bunnies without ears, very uneven, more work to do;

Holy cats, what now?  May as well even things up, you know, neaten it up a bit.  One head gone, on to the next – gotta be fair.   Enough already.  So the mother tucked each bunny back into its little bag and tied them shut with the original ribbons, pink and purple.  It’s Saturday night, Easter eve, no replacing these special bunnies.  Early Easter morning, the mother went about her business, then woke the daughters to begin their hunt, while the mother went into the kitchen to begin cooking those special breakfasts, didn’t miss a beat….

All of a sudden – horrified screams.  The girls had discovered their headless bunnies in their otherwise beautiful baskets.  And they had no doubt as to the culprit.  Good thing they were of the age to know that the Easter Bunny really was the mother.  The thing that I remember most clearly was Meghan’s absolute indignation that there were teeth marks in her bunny – eeeuuuu!! To use FDR’s words spoken years ago, this was a day that ” will live in infamy.”  And it has; brought up every Easter and shared with love and much laughter.

I promised encouragement?  You bet.  My friends, regardless what you may be thinking about your shortcomings, faults or misses, remember the mother who ate the heads off the bunnies and laugh!  You haven’t done that yet, have you?  There is HOPE and there is GRACE.  My daughters love me, forgave me and we share another precious memory.

Easter is a special day, not a present-giving holiday, at least not in our home, but without it, we would all be hopeless.  Remember, because of what occurred on that first Easter morning, there is abundant hope and grace for all of us.  I hope you’ve found or find yours in our risen Lord.  All the blessings of Easter to each and every one of you!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN LEE!!!

 

  Today we celebrate Erin Lee, born 28 years ago tonight, just shy of midnight, changing my world forever.  I knew she was going to be Erin Lee, no ultrasound needed.  When I told my obstetrician that I was embroidering her Christmas stocking and already had her name across the top; he reminded me that the odds were 50/50.  When I told him that I was working on her Christmas dress – red velveteen and white satin – he just shook his head.  And then she was born, four days overdue, in typical fashion, making a dramatic entrance in her own time – Erin Lee; I just knew. 

     She was tiny, five pounds, thirteen ounces, and I was smitten.  I asked that her bassinet be left with me, couldn’t imagine letting them whisk her off to a nursery.  I wanted to get to know this little miracle and the journey began. What I couldn’t possibly have known was the depth of motherly love that would overtake me instantly and continue to grow.  Though she lives far away in a city she loves, I believe we are close at heart, more alike than not, though she might not always claim that 🙂  I’ve had occasion to tell her over the years that there is absolutely nothing on the face of this earth that could possibly change the fact of my unconditional love for her; she was and always will be my Erin Lee. 

With her permission, I describe her as 105 pounds of pure spitfire.  She’s an artist in personality and temperament, unlike myself;  I’ve always been amazed at how she sees the world, from little on, with totally different eyes than mine.  I’ve saved samples of her art over the years; a fascinating journey through the developing eye and mind of an artist’s view of her world, always a unique perspective.  It will provide the back-story when she’s famous, having her first gallery show.  In the meantime, three of her paintings hang in my home and I wear several pieces of her jewelry. 

  An early reader, having completed the Laura Ingalls Wilder series at age six (a gift from her first-grade teacher during one of her many hospitalizations), she’s intelligent and articulate.  I used to joke that all the time spent in an oxygen tent paid off beautifully, a silver lining to difficult days of chronic illness first manifested when she was just five months old.  With a gift for languages hearkening back to her early days of imitating Pepe Le Pew, and a first-rate imitation of Lady (of the movie Lady and the Tramp), this was a little girl who let you know with a toss of her hair, that she knew without doubt that she was special.  When Erin Lee laughs, everybody laughs, it’s positively contagious.  She’s fiercely loyal with a wicked wit.  If you’re close to her, she may challenge you in ways that test your soul, but the result is always worthwhile.

  My firstborn child is 28 today.  I am so very proud of the woman she has become and I am a better person for being her Mumma Lee.  Blessings, Erin Lee, and thank you for the joy you’ve brought me over these 28 years.  I’d do it all over in a heartbeat.  Joyeux Anniversaire; je t’aime en pièces!!

                Artistic  view                                                                         Quintessential Erin Lee

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