When I was a kid, rollerblading didn’t even exist. There was roller skating, and ice skating. If it hadn’t been for birthday parties at the roller rink in Paxton, Illinois, maybe I  never would have learned to roller skate. My first couples skate was holding hands with a boy named Quentin when we were literally 12 years old. Then we moved to the ‘burbs, and I went roller skating with my youth group. We skated to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Axel F. from Beverly Hills Cop back in the 80’s.

Then in the 1990s, the rollerblading craze hit, and I jumped right in. I bought my own pair of rollerblades. Skating on rollerblades was deceptively harder than roller skating, this balancing on a row of wheels, but I was soon rollerblading along the blacktop paths of DeKalb, Illinois. As long as there weren’t any hills, I was okay.

roller blades

As with most athletic activities, such as biking and skiing, rollerblading went by the wayside when I became pregnant for the first time. It wasn’t until Lily was in Kindergarten when the rollerblades came out of retirement. Every year, her school has a rollerskating party, and we love to go when we can. Sometimes I see some of my students skating with their older siblings, and they get a kick out of seeing their preschool teacher on skates!

This past year, the girls enjoyed the rollerskating party so much that I took them to the roller rink for open skate on President’s Day. Lily has her own pair of roller blades, and I rented a pair for Emmy. The rink was less crowded than it is when the school goes, and we had a lot of fun skating together. I loved seeing the moms who were encouraging their kids to skate. Some watched from the sidelines, some were learning to skate themselves, and some were obviously pros. I’m definitely wobblier than I used to be, but I feel pretty good getting out there and skating even though I’m definitely a middle-aged mom. Lily and Emmy loved skating to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and of course, “Uptown Funk.”

roller blading

Since our weather seems to be very fickle this year, I think we’ll have to go skating again soon!


Birthday Birthday!

Someone crawled into my bed this morning at 5:30 a.m. Someone is so excited this morning, and has not adjusted to the time change yet. Today, Lily is 9 years old!

Since I have been participating in NaBloPoMo every November for a few years, Lily always gets a birthday post. Emmy’s birthday, however, is at the end of July. This summer it was right in the middle of BlogHer13, VBS and our Grand Canyon vacation. I mean to blog about Emmy’s birthday, but somehow it slips right past me.

This summer, Emmy turned 6 years old! Emmy is kitty-crazy, so she planned her own kitty birthday party. We rented a room at the park district, ordered a bunch of pizzas, and invited 30 of Emmy’s friends. To my amazement, most of them came! Fortunately, my sisters were there to help me with our crazy party; I meant to take more pictures, but Emmy’s guests kept me very busy! Emmy wanted to play cat cat mouse (the cat version of duck duck goose), pin the tail on the cat, and going on a mouse hunt. Party favors were kitty ear headbands and little fuzzy toy mice. Everyone had a meow-velous time!

kitty cat

This past weekend, the family celebrated Lily’s 9th birthday. Lily does not like birthday cake. At first, it broke my heart because I wanted to make her homemade birthday cakes just like my mom did for me growing up. I’ve learned that I can still make Lily fun desserts, but they are just not traditional cakes. Last year, I made homemade strawberry shortcake. This year, I made a layered Jello dessert with an Oreo crust. My sweet daughter loves fresh berries, so I topped it with raspberries.

Lily's 9

Over 9 years ago, I gave up my teaching job in a top suburban school district to stay at home with my baby. To this day, it is a decision I still struggle with; I loved my job and spent 13 years in the classroom. Motherhood is the best thing that has happened to me, and I love watching my little girls grow up. I’m so proud of all the things they have already accomplished.

Happy Birthday to both my sweet little girls!


Loving him was yellow {Spin Cycle}

Let me get this out of the way. I have a confession to make–I love Taylor Swift’s song “Red.” Should a 44 year old woman really be a fan of Taylor Swift? I suppose that’s what happens when my two daughters dance around the living room singing her songs. So when I was listening to “Red” and singing along, I began to wonder. (Why, yes, the girls were at school and I was home alone playing their Taylor Swift CDs. I’ll admit it!) I wondered. Is love really red?

Red is a logical choice for love. It’s the color of a heart, the color of a rose, and even seems to be the official color of Valentine’s Day. A woman will wear red lipstick and a red dress to attract a man. But is red really the color of love?

loving him is red

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always thought of the color yellow when I think about my love for Ed. A bright yellow, like the yellow of the sun. Perhaps it’s because of the effect he had on me. My life was pretty dull until Ed came along. When we first started dating, he would tell me how lonely he was before we met. Now that we’ve settled into married life with two noisy kids, he’ll deny that he ever said he was lonely! But I must have brought some brightness into Ed’s life, too. Yes, yellow seems like a good color for love.

Yet yellow is not perfect. When I was pregnant with Lily, we chose not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl before the baby was born. As a result, we received a lot of yellow baby clothes. But for a baby, yellow seemed so…neutral. Lily didn’t have any hair, so it was hard to tell if she was a boy or a girl. Of course, I always thought she looked like a girl, but when Lily was very little some people complimented my baby boy. I wouldn’t say I especially liked pink until I was sick of seeing Lily in yellow. Lily grew older, I had another baby girl, and then I was inundated with pink; pink clothes, pink baby towels, pink everything. Both Lily and Emmy decided that pink was their favorite color. All of a sudden, I loved pink too. Pink made my girls look so pretty, and I was so proud to be the mom of two beautiful little girls. I still am. Pink is a good color for love.

The color of love is always changing, I suppose. What color will I think love is as I get older? A nice comforting gray? An old and sturdy brown? Time will tell.

Emmy in pink

What do you think is the color of love? Write your Spin and link up your blog post either here or at Second Blooming!

Don’t forget to visit Second Blooming to grab your Spin Cycle button!

Second Blooming


Nothing Like the Sun

Copernicus had it all wrong. Obviously, I am the center of the universe.

embroidered sun

What else would explain my eight year old daughter climbing into the middle of our huge, king sized bed, and squishing her body so completely next to mine that I am in danger of plummeting off the edge?

Lily and Emmy are drawn to me. No matter where I go, they are soon behind. There must be invisible threads pulling them toward me. They can be totally absorbed in something, but as soon as I go into the bathroom for a moment of privacy they become disoriented. MOMMMM! Where are you?

They always find me.

Making sure everyone is happy, I get in the shower. As soon as I have a nice, bubbly lather in my hair, I hear screaming. MOMMMMM! Lily isn’t being nice to me!

I’m banishing them to the far corners of the globe when I ask them to play in their bedrooms, begging them to give me some space. But Mom, why do we have to play UP THERE? They don’t even realize that once they get older, their bedrooms will become their havens. They will need to go slam the door and escape from Mom for hours. Mom, who will be old and needy and who just doesn’t understand.

Those days haven’t come yet, however. When I’m in the kitchen making dinner, they soon appear, getting underfoot as I stir the stew. When I’m in the basement doing laundry, they are at the top of the stairs, demanding my attention. When I dash outside to put a trash bag in the garbage can, their little noses press against the screen door, wondering why I ventured outside WITHOUT THEM.

Around the same time every day, however, their orbit is suddenly shifted. The garage door goes up. The side door opens, and suddenly, the strings attached to me snap.

“DADDY!” they cry, running to jump on him.

Then as soon as he disappears for a couple of minutes, they are abruptly back in my orbit.

Their little arms automatically go around my neck. Their legs curl around my waist. Their sweet chubby cheeks fit next to mine. Their love warms me like rays from the sun.

Perhaps I am not the center of the universe after all.


My two little suns
My two little suns

I’m linking this post up to the Yeah Write challenge, where we are reminded to read books, read more books, and to take a long break from reading blogs by people who don’t read books.

This post was inspired by the book I’m currently reading: A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness. The main character is a scholar of the history of science. Click the button above to read more blog posts by people who do read books, starting on Tuesday. Then go back on Thursday to vote for your favorite five.

At the Library

I haven’t wandered among the stacks at the library for years. I used to love browsing through the titles, reading the book jackets, looking at covers. I might even take a book off the shelf and start reading a chapter. When I moved to a new town, I never did find  a new church (much to my mother’s dismay), but I got my new library card in the first week. There was a beautiful adult fiction section, small but comfortable. Large French door windows looked out into a courtyard, creating a light, airy room for reading.

Sitting with the library duck

I still go to the library. (And I now go to church, in case you were wondering.) I spend most of my library time in the short stacks with Clifford the Big Red Dog. When I do make it up to the fiction section, I rush to grab a book with my impatient children in tow. It seems like my days of gazing leisurely looking at book spines are over. Until our last visit.

After Lily and Emmy had picked out their books, we went up to find a book that’s been on my “to-read” list for a while. Lily and Emmy sat down on a comfy couch, and I headed to the tall shelves looking for my book.

For the first time in years, I didn’t hear a peep from Lily and Emmy.  When I peered around the corner of the bookshelf, they were engrossed in their own books.

In this age of e-books and Amazon, iTouches and laptops, I’m glad they love the library as much as I do.


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