Time Stands Still



Today’s daily prompt is about time standing still.  Time seems to be going faster and faster with each passing year.  But there is a certain time of day in the summer when it feels as if time pauses ever so slightly.  It is in the early evening, after 5 o’clock and before sunset.  The breeze is perfect, the clouds are moving and the shadows are long.  Whenever possible, I stop what I’m doing at that time and sit outside.  I watch nature, the children in the neighborhood, my kids.  Each night brings a different sunset depending on the weather and the colors can range from relaxing gray to popping hot pink.  As if my sitting there will prolong time, I stay on my chair until it’s dark and the mountain air has brought a chill.  Everyone has gone inside and I’m being summoned too but for that time I breathe in the air of a new night and imagine that time is standing still.

Here is a very short time lapse video:


(if an ad appears below here, it is from WordPress)



Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | The Daily Post

This week’s photo challenge: carefree.
Those moments free of hassle don’t come around all often. When they do I treasure them and I feel a bitter sweet sting knowing that, like everything in life, they too will pass.

The place where this photo was taken is a lake where my husband’s family goes to be together and be carefree. This year his aunt is not with us and unfortunately, nothing is the same. Still we are appreciating these carefree times with the kids playing in the lake, on paddle boards or canoes. What is your carefree time or place? -smilingbug

Love and Tears of Joy


When I saw the Daily Post’s topic about being moved to tears my first thought was about my children (which I wrote about) and my second thought was the time I sat crying from joy while looking at people in love, vowing their love to one another. It was a two days after the Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and I came across this link to photos of couples getting married in San Francisco.


I was not a kid who wanted to grow up and get married or be a wife. I did not clip out photos of wedding dresses or dream of being a bride. Yet if I watch “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC I will shed a tear at the end of every single episode, no matter how annoying the bride’s sister was nor how endless the premise of the dress search dragged on. Even after all of the typical reality TV ups and downs in the episode, TLC shows that bride coming down the aisle and her father grinning, her mother crying, her partner glowing, it’s all over for me: water works. If you click on the link and see the faces filled with love and devoting their lives to each other are you moved to tears? -smilingbug

(photo above is from the BuzzFeed article referred to in this post, link provided above)

A WordPress Family Thank You



I’m fairly new to wordpress and don’t have much experience with blogging in general so when I received a notification and saw that a wonderful blogger I follow nominated me for this award I didn’t know the first thing about it but I was so thrilled to be recognized.  After reading her post on it I’ve come to understand that the writers in the wordpress community nominate bloggers and those bloggers nominate bloggers and so on and so forth, making up this diverse community of people who are connecting and sharing through their blog.

The WordPress Family Award is another opportunity to tell people “thank you, you touched my life, made me think, you gave me a smile” or whatever the specific instance may be.   Thank you to each of you listed below and thank you to Suzie81 for thinking of me.  This does take some time, but part of accepting this award is that you must write a blog with your nominees (and a few other things below).  I am low tech so this was a lot of work for me but I really enjoy the pay-it-forward spirit so without further ado…

Here are bloggers I am recognizing either because I enjoy their posts, I’m welcoming them to wordpress or I miss their posts and hope they’ll be back soon.  My awards for the WordPress Family Awards go to:

  1. A Woman’s Guide,  http://patticlark.wordpress.com/
  2. Ask Sabatino. http://www.hotcupoflove.com/
  3. Jack Flacco, http://jackflacco.com/
  4. Natasha’s Memory Garden, http://crown7cacb.wordpress.com/
  5. Flo Me La, http://flomela.wordpress.com/
  6. Franimal1230, http://fabfran1230.wordpress.com/
  7. A Blawg, http://ariweisbrot.com/
  8. JB Maddawg, http://thethrowdown.wordpress.com/
  9. The Happsters, http://happsters.com/
  10. The Seekers Dungeon, http://theseekersdungeon.com/
  11. Help Me Help Me Holly, http://charlieandpearl.wordpress.com/
  12. Sandra Crook, http://castelsarrasin.wordpress.com/
  13. Sonja Flye Oliver, http://kingdomkindling.wordpress.com/
  14. Grand Slam Grumblings, http://grandslamgrumblings.wordpress.com/
  15. Cole Ryan, http://coleryan.net/

Here are seven interesting (maybe?) facts about me, the last condition for me to accept my nomination from lovely Suzie81.

  1. Nature makes me feel alive.
  2. If I had to choose one food it would be ripe avocadoes.
  3. My favorite workout is hiking in the snow.
  4. I like tattoos.
  5. Three of my top books are The Art of Fielding, The Paris Wife, The Glass Castle.
  6. I have five children.
  7. My favorite vacation is being on a beach.

To the nominees, if you have time to pull this off (LoL) the official rules to accepting your nomination are:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
  • Announce your win with a post. Make sure you post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.
  • Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers.
  • Leave them a comment to let them know after you have linked them to a post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Thanks again to Suzie81 for inspiring me to continue writing and sharing.   Have a great day wordpress friends!

Blog Origin Story

Thanks to a blogger I follow named Suzie I learned about the Daily Prompt and today I’m going to write about it, my blogger origin story.


My first blog in June of 2011 was on blogspot (currently called blogger.com) where I posted random thoughts and photos, a book review, self reflective posts. In November 2012 I found wordpress when a friend sent me a link to her inspirational son’s blog here. Perhaps because his blog was so inspirational (documenting how he grows up with autism) or perhaps because of the inspirational community on wordpress, I wanted to write more and right away. I had very little time to write, as continues to be my situation. When I sit and scroll down my reader now and then, other writers make me think, inspire me and remind me of the many lives that are taking place all over this world every day. Of course the world is filled with complicated issues but the simplistic maybe naive side of me thinks that if we share our stories, we can understand and be kind to each other. I don’t know if my blog has evolved at all but this is my blog origin story. What is yours? -smilingbug

My first blog on wordpress:


Be Inspired

I came across a Forbes article on line about the answers that leaders in the business world gave when asked “what inspires you?” I clicked right away and the answers were not what I was expecting. Things like “Game-changing people everywhere” from Richard Branson and “It was all started by a mouse,” by Jon Steinberg. I thought to myself, really… these are the things that inspire what Forbes described as “The World’s Top Leaders?” When I think of world leaders’ inspiration I think of, for example, cures for diseases, clean water for third world countries, vaccines for needy, shelters for the homeless. Pete Flint said “Solving Big Problems,” which is a bit non descript but maybe the closest to the big themes I was expecting. Trish Regan definitely struck a chord: “My mother’s determined pursuit to find answers,” (okay I’m a Mom, that was biased). Seriously, my favorite was from David H. Stevens: “A depression-era Dad and Pioneer Mom.” In one word: family. It made me think about what inspires me. What makes me be a better person, or makes me go the extra mile is my family. I thought about each person in my family and what they do or have done that blows me away. Each of them was an instance where they were taking an action that reminded me about what is important in life, why we are here. With each memory I thought “I want to be like that, I can do that more, that is what life is all about.” Even with all of the larger issues that could inspire someone the way that Bill Gates was inspired to saved millions of lives with clean water initiatives, we can still be inspired by something as simple as our Grandfather or our kid. Every person has a distinct form of inspiration and it changes over time. What inspires you today and in twenty years could be very different. But acknowledging what that inspiration is heightens your awareness of it. Just having thought of what insprires me has inspired me! What inspires you? Be inspired, time moves too fast to not recognize and capture your inspiration. -smilingbug


Grown Ups


Just when you think you’re all grown up, life keeps bringing the growing and the lessons. My kids made me take the “what is your mental age” app test and I turned out to be just a few years younger than my actual age. My husband who is a stitch older than me but was not showing any signs of being a grown up when I met him turned out to be mentally older when he took the test. Go figure. Sometimes I feel ancient. Other times I feel fifteen. One day I’m keeping a lot of moving parts synchronized, paying bills, doing tax prep, whipping up loads of laundry. The next day I’m screaming Lady Gaga lyrics, in denial about making dinner for the family and my son is saying “Mom, you have to clean up around here, really.” Life brings so many experiences, so much joy and so many fall on your face and learn your lesson experiences. By the time you’ve been here a while you think you’ve seen it all: you haven’t. Being a human is a wild ride. If you think about the people killed by a storm in Oklahoma or the kids growing up mistreated, or the families of the children of Newtown, the whole analysis of our stumbles, maturing and lessons sounds meaningless. I don’t have the answers but I do want to live it to the fullest and do things right, take time to be kind, appreciate every day. What a big world filled with people living, learning, laughing, loving. What’s your mental age? -smilingbug

Kindness When it’s not easy

There is a friend of one of my kids’ who has been very difficult to handle in years past. After many attempts to have this child around I got frustrated and did not want to deal with him. He acted out, did not listen to repeated requests to behave, did not demonstrate the most basic manners, had no social skills with my other kids, at times he was flat out rude. I should have tried harder, could have turned the other cheek and found a way to tolerate him but I selfishly chose to not make him part of our plans when I tired of unsuccessfully dealing with him. I thought it was self preservation then and now I think it was a lack of compassion. Yesterday we gave him a ride when none of his family could be reached and no one was at pick up for him and I looked into his big eyes and felt sad. I had not seen him for almost a year, he has grown and he can be a sweet kid. During our ride he had trouble getting some words out and I realized he had started to struggle with a stutter, something he did not do last year. My heart sunk. How to reach and find the kindness and compassion when the recipient is challenging, difficult? I read something interesting at a site I found on tumblr about being compassionate when people are difficult and it said “Try to see them as people who also suffer and struggle in many ways.” Reminders to be kind are everywhere, it’s up to each of us to listen to them, to reach for kindness sometimes when it’s difficult to do. -smilingbug

image from http://www.thehappyproject.com


Conversations of the Heart

photo from Tumblr, no photo or art credit was listed.

During an interview that Paul McCartney recorded with Howard Stern in October of 2001, Paul mentioned consulting with the deceased love of his life.  He said one night he was asking Linda if he should be with the woman he was dating and he said when you do that “of course you are just talking to yourself.”  That sounded sad to me, how he wanted to share and talk with his deceased loved one but then just feeling he was talking to himself.  Then McCartney explained that after he asked Linda the question he heard an owl off in the distant say “who, who” and he took that to be a yes.  Of course we all know how it went with that girlfriend he was asking Linda about, Heather Mills.  During the interview, while Heather was Paul’s fiance, Howard joked that he would have heard that owl’s answer as a “no” and everyone on the set laughed.  Sounds funny but seriously, who doesn’t wish they could communicate with someone who has passed away, someone close to their heart, share stories and have heart to heart chats.  When I sit to write letters to my relatives who appreciate snail mail I still want to write one to a special aunt.  No more letters, emails or phone calls with someone, ever, hurts.  Then there are the feelings that the person we miss is all around us, in every reminder and in our hearts forever.  But the missing never goes away.  -smilingbug