I looked across the table at my husband one day and I could see in his eyes the weight of the nest emptying. Back-to-back boys has been a ride – joy, terror, bliss, chaos. I have known for a few years that my honey would take hard the hit of the college drop-off. And I was right. And he did. We decided that we would take a little trip. You know – embrace the change? Start a new ritual? Being the mouse fans that we are, we thought we would head to Orlando. But, as fate would have it, the places we wanted to stay were booked, so we looked toward Anaheim.

We had gone there together for the very first time ever together. Back in 1986. We were both visiting friends in Fresno and they took us. That was so long ago. I don’t even think there are any photographs of it. If there are, they are on film somewhere with Miss Ginny in Fresno. But, I have faint memories of the park. We then took the boys there for the first time in 1999. Our little family of four headed west. To see the mouse. Toon Town times and little blonde boys falling asleep in their mouse-eared nuggets were the order of the day. And I have a few photos of that trip. And negatives somewhere. It seemed like a circle to book-end the trip with the boys with a second trip for the two of us.

We stayed at The Disneyland Hotel in 1999 and opted this time for The Grand Californian Hotel. As the trip got closer, we became more and more excited. I would text hubby little images of the parks and we would do countdowns. During all of our anticipation, a friend asked if we were going to the Halloween party. I told her we weren’t planning on it. She talked about how much fun she had at it. So, on a whim, we decided we would buy hard tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. And we ended up trick or treating! And it was so much fun.

Biggest moment – being blown away by all of the reworking in the Haunted Mansion to convert it to embody The Nightmare Before Christmas. Biggest let down – the main PM parade didn’t showcase the villains like I thought it should. But, it was a little bit of magically ghoulish fun. And just the thing we needed to help ease our hurting hearts.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – Disneyland – October 2013


Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation

Papers from Echo Park, Girls Paperie and Pink Paislee
Fonts: Minnie, Noteworthy and Blackmoor LET


You Smiled Back

It can seem like a very silly holiday.  Especially if you factor in the balloon bouquets and carnation teddy bears at the local big box or the footie hoodie commercials on the little black box.  But, I think there are enough of us out there that have a deep-seated romantic penchant that likes to peek out every once in awhile, if for no other reason than to sustain its existence.

I know that with two teenage boys in the house, romance is on my list, oh let’s see…never.  Now if you want to talk about them doing their laundry or getting their bedroom floors visible, that turns me on.  Date nights?  Our last date was a Friday night disaster: it was a fast dinner and a walk around Wally World that was totally sandwiched in between homecoming football game drop-off and pick-up.

Married to the reality of life with my two darling, albeit messy, sons, is the deep-seated routine of sharing a life with the same man for all these years and sharing 24 Valentines.  There’s a lot of poetry in living life and loving your mate through time.  Life doesn’t come with everyday lace hearts and Belgian chocolates.  Somewhere, though, along the path of moves and sugar cookies and soccer games, something organic and rich grows.  My life and our love is richer and deeper and fuller than I could ever have predicted.

Steve and I met January, 1984, in the dimly lit lobby of Cathcart Hall.  He was the new guy in town.  We become fast friends and I liked that new sassy sweet red-headed Yankee.  I think a part of me then that he would someday be mine.

“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” William Shakespeare

Thanks, baby, for the smiles, and the tears, and the life that we live, and the love in the years.

We Are Best Valentines – Valentines Day


Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation

Papers from Crate Paper
Font: Pacifico