This is 6

“What are you doing up so early?” asked our next door neighbor as we were walking out of the building. “I’m going with my Mommy to take my birthday photos!”

You asked to bring Charmeleon, your favorite Pokémon stuffy, and wear your birthday crown as we walked around and took pictures in the neighborhood.

And you were so happy when people walked past saying, “Happy Birthday!” “Mommy, they know it’s my birthday because of my crown! Not everyone says ‘Happy Birthday’. Some people, they just smile at me.”

Even when we were finished with the photos you wanted to wear your crown for the rest of the day, “so that everyone knows it’s my birthday!”

Six years ago today the world was blessed with your sweet soul Grey Grey and I can’t possibly love you more than I do.

Always & forever my crown prince,



It can be tough living in the shadow of an older brother, especially when everything comes pretty easy to him. While some days will be harder than others and tears may fall, the good news is he will be able to direct you and help shape you. Besides, you’ll probably end up being taller than him so it’ll all work out in the end.

Letters To My Sons | September

Dearest sons,

This September was a busy month. It was back to school for both of you, a 6th birthday for one of you and the beginning of my fourth year of "Letters". Throw in all the emotions and preparations for those things and you've got yourself quite the whirly rig. 

Grey, this fall you returned to Columbus Preschool in the 3's program five mornings a week, while Cash, you made the big move to Manhattan Country School as a kindergartener. It's all new for you this year after being at Columbus for four years, so lots of anticipation. Below are the snapshots I took outside of our apartment on your respective "first days".     

Grey, yours involved a short morning circle followed by an activity with half your class and since Daddy was able to come you were extra happy. To get to know everyone's names, the teachers started singing, "Bumblebee Bumblebee, Won't you say your name for me?"  and when it was your turn to say your name you went silent, curling shyly against Daddy's chest. Rather adorable for us grownups watching. Then the next day you made sure to tell me that you said your name in front of all your "new friends". 

Cash, your first "meet-and-greet" at Manhattan Country School went really well. I think it was because I was with you those 30 minutes you saw your classroom and met your new teacher and a couple of classmates. The photo above was taken around the block from the school and your smile is dazzling. It was the next morning that was an emotional wrecking ball. Parents were told to make drop off as brief as possible - in other words, cut the cord - and you not only knew this but felt it deeply, burying yourself under my bedcovers pleading to not have to go. Through the most gut wrenching sobs you kept telling me how scared you were and that your stomach was hurting. You cried on the subway and during our walk to the school, pulling your shirt up over your face so nobody could see. There was no amount of assurance or explaining that was any comfort to you. You were completely terrified and though I didn't let on, my heart was in a million pieces. 

All I could do was give you a tool to help you cope. I told you that when you felt really sad you could pull your teacher aside and let her know. That she would be understanding and surely has dealt with other children who have felt like you. You reluctantly agreed. When I picked you up at the end of the day, I asked if you talked with your teacher and you told me you didn't have to. "As the morning went along I wasn't sad anymore Mommy. I mean, I was a tiny bit sad when you first left but then I was okay."  And there you have it my love. You made it through your first terrifying transition with the bravery of a thousand soldiers.

Later that evening I received a touching email from your teacher Anna. She told me she that a few of you were sitting at the playdough table talking about having more than one feeling at a time (namely nervousness and excitement). She said that you shared how you'd been crying so much that morning and were scared to come to a new school but that you were no longer worried. I was so happy to learn you were one of the first to self-reflect and share your feelings with the group, which I find to be quite brave - especially since during our walk to school you didn't want anyone to see that you were upset. 


Grey, you love Cash's school so much I think you'd rather be going there. And hopefully you will be next year. Every day you get so excited to go pick up Cash, peeking inside his classroom and doing the happy dance until they open the door for the parents. I doubt you will have any fears going there next year since by then you will be so familiar with the place.

We are in our third week of school now and I have to say you both have done a wonderful job transitioning into your new classrooms. There was the second day Cash, when you said, "I'm going to be sad because I have to go a full day without you Mommy." You really got me with that one. I swear, it's amazing how much love and gratitude is within that little heart of yours.

In fact, just the other day we stayed out past your bedtime for a sundowner with friends which you were so excited about. As the sun was setting you ran over to make sure I saw it, pointing toward the horizon. "Isn't it beautiful Mommy?! This is the best night ever!" A fellow Mom overheard this and said, "Awww, I wish my kids said things like that! Instead of always complaining and saying, 'I'm bored.'


There was also the time recently when I was watching some movie while you were coloring and a sentimental song started playing. Without looking up from coloring you said, "Mommy, I think I'm going to cry."  "Why?" I asked. "Because the music is making me feel something. It's making me sad."  Your heart felt the sadness in the song; the music quite literally moved you to tears. Though I guess I shouldn't be surprised since you have always been of the empathic, romantic sort. You observe the beautiful and the sad; you see it and you feel it. And I pray you always will.

We just celebrated your sixth birthday and one of the first things you said to me was, "I know you might be a little sad Mom, because I'm six now, but don't worry, even when I'm older and if I'm mean to you, it doesn't mean I don't love you. I'll always love you."

And I'll always love you son. Welcome to SIX. You'd better rock it!

Grey & Cash - you boys are the chambers of my heart and I am so proud of the fortitude with which you tackled your new beginnings this month.

I love you both to the galaxy and back.

Always & forever,



Treehouse Tag

Brothers in arms during a game of tag at the playground. 

Happy first day of autumn!

National Grandparents Day!

"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children." ~ Alex Haley

Happy Grandparents Day Grandma & Pow Pow!

Our boys are blessed to know you, to love you, to be loved by you.


The Graduate

It's not easy moving through a sea of parent "iphoneographers" at a preschool graduation with a larger "real" camera, but somehow I managed to capture this moment. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my first official preschool graduate. Sweet as a rose. 

Who We Become | May's Hotshots

Blues Traveler | NYC

Click HERE to visit our collective site, Who We Become, and see a mosaic of our images for May, or follow along the circle beginning with my talented friend Julie Kiernan.

Boy + Window

He chose where he wanted me to take his portrait - right next to the window - which in the end, I think was a pretty good decision.

Who We Become | January's Hotshot

I love when my muse is standing against a wall for the interesting angle it allows. If I'm lucky I'll get some wonderful leading lines and patterns. And if I'm really lucky I capture a quirky grin. 

Below is my hotshot for this month. Make sure to visit our collective site, Who We Become, to see a mosaic of our January favorites. Or click HERE to follow along the circle, starting with my good friend down in the District, Lisa Rigazio.

Boy Wonder

The Gold Standard

At least in my eyes they are. The Gold Standard of LOVE. Growing up as kids in the same neighborhood in a small Ohio town, my dad asked my mom out on a date when she was 15 and he was 16. They were sweeties throughout high school and college and on her 21st birthday, which happens to be New Year's Eve, he proposed. As Dad likes to say, "The rest is history." Indeed. Sixty years of history!

So on this New Year's Eve Mom, I would like to wish you the happiest birthday! You are 81 and so much fun! Your joy and compassion for others is such an inspiration and whether you believe it or not, you touch so many lives, namely mine, in extraordinary ways.

This day is for you!

I love you.