Friday, April 27, 2007

happy birthday jen!

To an awesome sister, Auntie and friend, we love you. Tonight we celebrate.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I used to love sitting in the narrow aisles of McKay's flipping through random photography books. There's something about the musty smell of a used bookstore that's exhilarating. You never know what treasures you might stumble upon mixed in with the Kodak how to books from the seventies and the strange pictures of eighties models in all their blue eye shadow glory.
Pictures tell a story, give us a window into history and of course, are worth a thousand words. They somehow have the power to bring home those universal chords of humanity that bind us. And sometimes they just look pretty hanging on your wall. One of my favorite photography books was given to me a while back, The Family of Man created by Edward Steichen. Juden really likes looking at pictures. I watched his little fingers turn the pages this morning as he sat in my lap and the images made me daydream. Here's a couple of favorite's to brighten this drizzly Tuesday morn.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

many happy returns

Many happy returns of the day to the baby of the Riley clan who today turns 24! He use to come home with frogs in his pockets and bloodied knees he couldn't remember how he got. He was an imp looking for mischief but he had a sweet heart. Even then he was always looking out for other people. He has a gift for helping people, and he makes just about any kind of person feel comfortable in his presence. He's a man with deep convictions but a gentle playfulness that makes all our little ones cling to him. He's still got that incredible smile that could brighten the darkest of moods. I'm proud that he's my brother and blessed that he is one of my very best friends.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


A little while back I was lamenting what seemed like an endless stretch of busyness, it seemed like every minute was filled with something. I missed times of solitude, time with God and time with Josh. I thought to myself, the Brits have the right idea, stopping everyday for afternoon tea, alotting time in the work year for holidays, just having a slower paced lifestyle. I don't like being busy. I want to be someone who always has time to take walks, to listen when people need to talk, to play with my kids, to be quiet before God, to reflect. I want to learn to just BE. Anyway, we just had the huge blessing of spending Josh's Spring break at the beach. There was no agenda, other than just being together, it was awesome. We played and swam and stood where the waves rush back into the ocean until our feet were buried in the sand. We laid in bed and watched the sunrise over the ocean. I love the beach. The coconut smell of suntan lotion and salt water made me feel like I was five. My folks used to take us to Ocean city in the summer. My brothers and sisters and I would jump waves and build drippy castles till our skin was pink and our eyes burned from the salt water. Then we'd change and stroll the boardwalk full of stores that sold t-shirts that said things like, 'I'm not bald it's a solar panel for a sex-machine.' There was cotton candy and ferris wheels and all manner of carnival charms to tantalize a child's eyes. I would drag behind staring through the cracks in the boardwalk as the tide came in and foamed on the sand beneath. It was so fun watching my kids play in the sand and showing my new baby girl the ocean for the very first time and dipping her tiny toes in it. Swinging my sand-covered kids in the waves to rinse them off definitely beats being the sand-covered kid.