sunset

portocesareopalmsunsetWM

Porto Cesareo, Puglia

Sunset is one of my favorite colors.

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never forget

I was walking into work that morning. Birds were chirping around me and the sky was shining above me on my short walk from my parking lot in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. I walked into my building to utter silence. I peeked inside the Director’s office en route to the steps that would take me to the office I shared with two others. He was frantic and packing his bags and I could hear the TV on in his office. He motioned for me to come in and then I saw a few other co-workers standing near him watching the screen before them. Mouths were dropped open, eyes were tearing up and I got goosebumps as I turned to the screen to see that one of the buildings in NYC was smoking. Was that a plane end sticking out of the building? My brain and mouth weren’t working together and I just went numb. We all stood together as we watched live coverage and we saw a fleck in the distance closing in on the other building and soon our world exploded.

An explosion at the Pentagon, a burning field in Pennsylania, what the hell was going on? We were dismissed from work, sent home to be with our families and friends. We were told to check our emails later and be safe.

On my 25 minute drive home I felt all alone although I had just spoken with my parents and my one brother. I thought the world was ending and I remember this unreal quiet to everything. There was not a lot of cars on the road and no planes flying in the sky. As I got closer to home I noticed several parking lots emptied that were usually speckled with cars. I walked in the house, hugged my mom. The TV was on and I sat glued to it for what seems like hours. Disbelief, sadness, and an empty, quiet feeling that still when I think of it, gives me goosebumps and makes me crumble with sadness.

Bittersweet

img_20180824_185907

Bethany Beach, Delaware

On this last day of summer vacation my mind and heart are all over the place. A range of emotions, but settling on bittersweet to best sum up how I feel.

Sad to see our summer go. Our adventures, our quiet mornings, our late nights. We held onto our summer days with a firm grip, not wanting to let go but knowing that all too soon we’d have to say goodbye. Goodbye to our time in Italy, fortunate to call it home for as long as we did. Goodbye to all the memories we made in that beautiful country and so grateful for all the traditions, new paths taken and future plans for more good times to add to our list. Farewell to the month after we returned and all the family, friends and special moments we shared.  August was a month of play-as-you-go and what fun we had. Pool days, mini-road trips, ice cream shop visits and barbecues. And sunsets, always sunsets.

We took a deep breath of that hot August air and now we’re ready to exhale. We can acknowledge that we did all we could this summer, we didn’t want to let go but it’s time.

We’re happy for new days ahead. New school year, new challenges and a new routine. We will learn something new, maybe make a new friend and hopefully work on our strengths too. We can embrace all that is to come because we can and because we must. We will breathe in fall, fall will fill our lungs and we won’t want to blow that long breath out. But we will, when it’s time. And it’s not time yet.

We are all made of stars

portocesareoboatWM

Porto Cesareo, Puglia

Spend time with people that build you up. You don’t have time to be broken down.

Enrich your mind with simple pleasures. Simplicity never goes out of style.

Realize that practice doesn’t always make perfect, but being perfect is overrated. And boring.

Engage others, lift them up and praise their efforts. We are in this together.

We are all made of stars. We love, we laugh, we cry. We live and we die.

making memories

makingpasta

Puglia, Italia

Memories are everything. They are unique to each soul and have varying levels of impact. A memory could be something that fleetingly crosses your mind or something that you reminisce about fondly and often. Placing importance on a memory brings it back to life, gives it a grander meaning than just some moment in your time.

Turning moments into memories for my children, no matter how big or small, is a gift I give myself. Hopefully these moments turn into fond memories for them. For now, for me they are everything.

makingpastagirls

take your time

whitecamo1WM

I hear and read about it often. We are living in the age of distraction. Too many things occupy our minds, flood our thoughts and drown our days away. There is always something that needs to be done immediately and someplace that we need to be right now. You see it on the road to where ever you are headed, in line at the stores and even just pumping gas in your car. We are so consumed with distraction.

We crave this need to be busying our minds in all moments, with anything and everything that can invade our senses and at all costs. Life is busy, very busy. We make it that way for ourselves for the most part, constantly saying “yes” when we should be saying “maybe, but not now”.  We run, don’t walk and not take notice of things around us. Have we really forgotten how to just take our time?

It’s so easy to set limits for ourselves, they take time to slide into our overactive lives but we should give them a chance nonetheless. We need to learn to take a deep breath, hold it in for a second or two and then release slowly. We need to learn to embrace the space within us and around us, to live each moment without overfilling it to the point where we don’t appreciate it. To take our time living our lives.