Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Guy ~ Hubbells


Born sometime in 2001
Adopted by our family in July 2002
Passed from this world July 30, 2013

For the past several years, as Hubbell and I grew closer and closer, I'd often ask him, "Hubbell, what on Earth did I do in my life to deserve you?".  It must've been something amazingly good. We'd laugh about that.  But I still find myself thinking it tonight......my first night lying in my bed without him lying on the floor right next to me. This gargantuan cold & empty space on the floor.  The one that is currently shattering my heart.  Yeah, I did something good alright. And that made me the damned luckiest woman on the planet.  Because I was Hubbell's Mom.  I can already tell you that, when I'm 90 something years old and I look back on my life, I will still feel so deeply in my heart that Hubbs was a highlight.  And he will still be there in his little corner of my heart keeping me warm with his sweet, gentle, loving, nature.

All you need to know is this: Hubbell was my guy.  You should know that we went together like peas and carrots. 

Taking care of him the last three months, as hard as it was (and it was excrutiating at times) was truly a pleasure of my life.  It's one of the things I'm most proud of. I LOVED taking care of him and I can only hope that I was worthy of him. 

My anchor.  My soul mate. My love.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Recollections of Clara's 2nd Birthday

Because I want to remember....

....the GORGEOUS gift wrap that I picked out especially for Clara's birthday presents (yes, I do serious searching for the perfect wrap for each of my girls' birthdays!).

.....just how much Clara loves cupcakes!

(Whew, this photo, I die!)

.....how sweet and excited she is when she unwraps presents.

.....how much she loves wearing her bathing suit.  Or, as she says, "babing suit".

.....how much I LOVED the little cupcake flags I made for her small party.  And how Sophie said that was her favorite part of the birthday celebration!  She insisted that she get to pick out the cupcake flag that Clara would get ~ the one with the wide flower ribbon.  Such a sweet big sister!

.....how crafty I felt leading up to her birthday and how excited I was to make these things for her.  She may not remember all of this but she'll see these pictures when she gets bigger!  (And, Sophie will remember!)

.....how much I love this wreath I made for Clara, which I intend to hang in her bedroom.

....how delicious those cupcakes were (from Trader Joe's!)?

....and, how Clara gave us such a funny look when we sang Happy Birthday to her, that I laughed and blew out the candle myself.  I had to relight it and then let her blow it out!

.....and, even though I don't have a photo, how our nephews, Benjamin and Mimi, sang Happy Birthday with us via Skype!  Seriously, that made us all so happy!

.....how much I enjoyed going back through the last two years of photos to choose the ones for her birthday collage.

.....how girly and rustic everything was!

.....how Clara would scream out "cake, cupcake, hearts" each time she saw the little cocktail napkins!


.....how I got to use one of my favorite antiques.  The phone number for the farm is so old that it's only 5 digits!

.....how much my sweet grandmother loved the strawberry/pistachio bark.  No matter how small the party, I go all out. I made the bark simply because I knew it would look great with the rest of my party decor.  The funny thing is that I don't even like white chocolate!  But I thought it looked great, especially in the little antique candy jar.

.....the beautiful, gorgeous, colorful, amazing dress that Clara wore for her party (consignment, of course!). "Butta-fly, butta-fly", Clara would respond when I asked what was on her dress.

..... and, last but most definitely not least!, how my sweet, gorgeous, lovable Hubbell was still around to celebrate with us and how he wanted to get in on the action of opening presents  (I HAD to include this picture!)!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Clara is two.

It's so hard to believe.

It seems like only yesterday when I sat in the doctor's office and I was told that I was having another baby girl.  I guess some part of me thought I wanted a boy....because society seems to think that is ideal and what I should want.  As soon as the word "girl" popped out of her mouth, I broke down into massive tears.  It was such an immediate reaction. She asked if I was okay.....and I quickly replied....

"I am just so happy that I'm having another daughter. I'm so happy it's a girl!"

I was surprised but that's what was in my heart. I felt so relieved.

Clara Lu, thank you for being a dream come true.


You are definitely the silliest nugget I know.

Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl.  Happy Birthday!  

I hope you have a hundred more....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spirited & Scrappy

I've often mentioned how life with Clara is never boring!  She has quite a personality and, as she comes into her second year, she only becomes more & more interesting.  When I was trying to think of what to title this post, I decided upon two words I would use to describe this sweet little ragamuffin.  

These photos are from yesterday.  I walked into the den and this is what I saw....

This is so typical!  Clara doesn't really play with toys that much. She finds things to get into.  I've never EVER been able to leave her alone for more than about 1 minute.  In this case, she'd grabbed a CD from the table.  She knew she wasn't supposed to have it so I guess she thought she'd hide in one of the curtains.  I couldn't help but smile when I saw those little legs and feet sticking out.  Soph loved it too!  I ran to get the camera.  And I started clicking just in time for this next photo....


She's lucky she's so cute!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Making Pizza....

On Saturday, Alain & I made homemade pizza for dinner.  Sophie was at a friend's house and Clara wanted attention. What did we do?  We dragged her play table into the kitchen, spread out some flour and gave her a little ball of dough.  Clara ran to the playroom and grabbed her little play rolling pin.....which made Alain and I laugh.  Alain even fixed up her little round piece of dough (after she played with it), spread on some sauce and cheese and Clara ate her pizza for dinner.  So cute!  

I ADORE the photos with her little chubby baby hands trying to roll and spread the dough!

Bon Appetit!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Day Shelly Came To Visit

Just last week sweet Deb over at Paper Turtle posted a picture of her dear pet turtle, Rexy.  I thought he was adorable and just seeing him brought back memories of all the turtles of my childhood.  Where I grew up, Eastern Box Turtles were EVERYWHERE.  Once I learned to drive, I'd often stop the car to save them from the road.  You could say that I really like turtles.  So I emailed Deb to ask how Rexy had come into her family and we corresponded a bit over email.  It was so nice to find a fellow turtle lover!

You can imagine my surprise when I walked into my garage yesterday to find this.....

I am pretty sure I squealed when I saw her.

We've lived in our house over a decade and I've never seen a turtle in our yard.  Yet this one was in the garage!!!  I was home alone at the time because Alain had shuffled the girls off to the pool.  I knew Sophie & Clara had never seen a turtle up close so I put this sweet baby into our kiddie pool with some snacks and water. 

For the next hour, I spent time with her.  Played with her, let her walk around in the yard, took pictures of her, etc.  I was smitten!

Her shell was quite dirty with birdseed and other debris so I washed off her shell.  It was beautiful! 

It was quite sunny so she sought out any shaded area she could find.

When Sophie & Clara got home, they were deliriously excited about the turtle!  Sophie was a little scared to handle her so I taught her how.  After that, it was on.  Every time I looked out the window, Sophie was carrying her to a new place.  I started to feel bad for the sweet turtle. 

I loved watching her walk around in the yard....the way she'd lift her head up high to see above the grass!

I won't lie.....I wanted to keep her as a pet.  In my heart though, I didn't feel that it was right.

I did some research online.  This baby was definitely a female.  And I learned that the box turtles have now entered the first category of threatened species.  Because they're slow to mature and have so few offspring, they're quite susceptible to human activities. Many get hit by cars but mainly, in this area, we just destroy their habitats with our endless,greedy need to develop every square inch of land.  Also, when I read the section about the pet trade on this page, I felt really ashamed that I'd ever entertained the idea of keeping her.  I can hardly believe I'm writing it here.  But I am only human.

It made me sad to read all of this. I thought long and hard and decided that this baby needed to be in the "wild".  While there are a lot of dangers for her out there (roads, cars, lawn mowers, etc), she'd still have a chance to reproduce.  There's a pond area not far from our house with some woodland close by and we thought that would be a good place to "relocate" her. 

We knew she'd have a lot of friends there. (Yes, I've read way too many kids' books!)

We put her in a box (so as not to bite Soph while we were driving over in the car).....

.....and found a nice spot for the sweet turtle that Sophie had named Shelly.

Shelly.....because she has a shell.....and after the character "Shelly" from the kids' movie A Turtle's Tale.

Sophie was just as smitten with Shelly as I was.  It was hard to let her go out in the big, dangerous world!

Shelly checked out her new surroundings.

Even though she's a land turtle, we made sure she was close to the water.  We'd read that the box turtles do sometimes venture to water's edge. 

Sophie stayed to watch her for a long time.

Shelly seemed reticent to come out while Soph was standing there.

I insisted to Soph that we go to the other side of the pond to give Shelly some space.

So we watched the ducks....

.....and Sophie looked for fish.....

....until I couldn't take it any longer and we ventured back to sneak a peek.

Shelly's head was way out and she was looking all around.

And, in the next moment, she started walking......off on her next great adventure!

When I put Soph to bed last night, I asked her about her favorite part of the weekend.  I was SURE it would be the couple of hours she'd been at the pool with Daddy.  She's a pool fanatic.  Much to my surprise, she said, "Playing with and carrying around Shelly.  I loved her."  

Me too, Sophie, me too!
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