Footprints in the Sand

When my mom first shared this story with me, even as a child, I easily gleaned its importance to her. We sat on her side of the bed, the room dark, but for her small nightstand light providing a welcoming glow. The words were printed on a bookmark, and she read the story aloud, glancing up to catch my eyes, insuring my rapt attention. And, as a child often does, I wondered in awe of my mother’s wisdom. To me, she was not reading someone else’s words or story. The tie she felt wove its way into her speech so that the language became her own. She stared at me for a moment when her heart had been lifted by the sharing of stirring words. I don’t remember what conversation passed between us after, only that I carried the moment and message forever after. Now, I have a chance to intertwine myself and share my own version.

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I think of my mom often. I think of what our relationship would be now if Alzheimer’s hadn’t come to claim her body and infect her mind. Now I must rely on my memories of my childhood. Memory is such an unreliable thing, but these words I write, they help me remember.

My dad always carried this air of intelligence. When he spoke to me I would marvel at his charisma and strive to earn his approval as he taught me the power of experience and wisdom. He insured I understood the difference between that and intellect, and although both important, the real goal is the journey to wisdom.

My mom did not speak like this. She did not spell out lessons or share time-worn stories riddled with morals. Where my dad’s cleverness and penchant for solving puzzles eagerly filled space with awe, my mom’s heart delicately encased it. And so, I was taught gentleness with wisdom, kindness with logic, and love with reason. These scales are not always balanced, but I yearn to honor them both and make it so.

The Footprints though, my mom did share that story. And how poetic, how unifying when I reflect on it now. My mom marveled at how when the narrator is at the lowest of the low they cry out in anguish to be left alone by their Savior, when in fact He had been carrying them through the bleakest of moments, the darkest of nights.

My mom only had one boyfriend, one husband, one love. She met my dad when she was twenty and that was that. When she was diagnosed he helped her make and complete a bucket list. And now, even as we near the inevitable end, he is still by her side, caring for her more than most spouses will ever have to care for each other. He stayed for better and for the literal worst. Her white knight, her caregiver, her endless one love.

I was in the car the other day listening to Sia. My mind slightly wandering until I hear her sing the words, “Your footprints in the sand“. I remembered the story my mom had shared with me all those years ago. I heard her sing, “but you were carrying me, carrying me to safety” and it hit me.

My mom can no longer make her own footprints in the sand. She could not control her toes to squeeze them through the warm sand, letting it sift over her skin. But now, in her bleakest moments, in her darkest hours, my dad carries her. And I know when she looks back at her journey she will see their path together as they wandered through forests and scaled mountains, as they struggled through hard times and basked in the good, how they raised three children and embedded themselves in a community, how they supported each other through career and job changes, how they embraced nature with an understanding that few posses… Yes, she will look back and see how long they traveled together and then she will marvel when the two footprints become one, knowing exactly who it was that carried her to safety.

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Why is Christmas Special?

Last week, while teaching one my early childhood music classes one of my five-year olds turned to me and said, “Do you want to know why I love Christmas so much!?” I expected him to talk about presents or this “elf on a shelf” or something to that effect, but he followed up with, “Because we always go to Colorado to see my grandma and also because there’s snow there!” Another boy chimed in, “Want to know why Christmas is the best time of year? Because you get to be with all the family you don’t see a lot!”

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Nebraska to Utah

From my last post I left off in Omaha, Nebraska. We took an extra stop in Parowan, Utah and in between we stayed in Boulder, Colorado. Here are some pictures from our adventures!

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Hotel View in Omaha

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Somewhat sketchy gas station in Nebraska

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Apartments we stayed in Boulder

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Redford and Kate, our Boulder companions (Ben’s cousin’s dogs)

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Random haunted house in Boulder (surrounded by businesses)

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Colorado

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Driving through Colorado was beautiful!

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View area in Utah

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Also at the view point, I just thought this was cool

Today we are heading to Las Vegas where we will spend a few days with Kevin’s parents until our final destination in California. Hopefully I’ll have some more adventures and pictures to share!

Goodbyes with Family & Friends and Beginnings Born from Ends

I meant to publish this post four days ago, the day before I left for California. As I was going through all my family and friends and visiting one last time the title for this post popped in my head. Instead of beginnings from ends I first though of “nights we don’t want to end” because indeed, each of my goodbyes I drew out for hours. Awkwardly standing around saying “alright” about 50 times before finally heading out the door. There were tears, there were embraces that shook from the power of our sobs, but there was always laughter and the reassurance, “See you later.”

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A Weekend in Norfolk

I grew up in the very small town of Norfolk, CT. It seems fitting that the week before I leave this place I’ve considered home for 24 years, the town puts on a celebration of its rich history. The weekend was packed with activities, music, and exhibits showcasing the way this small town has developed over the years. And by that I refer to what I always tell newcomers, “Norfolk is a town untouched by time.”

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Garfield and Elphaba

I have shared a few pictures of my two cats, Garfield and Elphaba, and quite honestly I’m surprised it hasn’t been more. My phone has over a thousand pictures and 95% of them are animals. This is a special occasion though, and one I could not resist to share with the world. 

I bought Elphaba a cat leash!

She is always trying to sneak outside, but our cats are indoor only and I don’t really believe in her capabilities to survive in the outside world (sorry Elf!). Of course I have a huge soft spot for my furry friends so I try to make them happy however I can. Here are some pictures from our adventures!


Garfield would not go near the leash and I think he was offended I even suggested it. Instead he opted to glare angrily from the window as Elphaba explored the great outdoors. 


I love my kitties! 🙂

Happy Father’s Day

My family and I went to church this morning and I heard something that’s been sticking with me in the sermon. One of my best friends, who I have been friends with since I actually have memories of having friends, and who I could not even begin to imagine what my life would be like without her, was in a serious car accident. She has made great improvements and has finally been moved from the ICU. Our pastor said he was touched by the outpouring of love for her, and that we should treat every person as if they were her sibling, because every person deserves that much love.

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Day 3 of the 3 Day Quote Challenge

I have saved the best for last! I went from song lyrics, to movies, and now of course, to my favorite writers (although I definitely have more than 3). Also, if you know what the featured image is…props to you!

I want to thank samanthamurdochblog again for nominating me for this challenge. Please do check out her blog as well!

Once again, the rules are post 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days and nominate 3 new people each day.

Check out Day 1 and Day 2 if you haven’t already!

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