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    Shades of Fourteen

    Monday, April 21, 2014

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    Our Spring Break is not going exactly as planned. Jackson developed pneumonia in both lungs, so our trip to Disney, one that had been planned for well over a year by my parents, was cancelled. Madeline was able to go and we encouraged her to have the time of her life. She is, the scallywag is on the road to recovery, and while we weren't able to celebrate Easter as a family, I have enjoyed some time with my two favorite men. I've also had the time to sit down and write a bit.

    Madeline celebrated her birthday a little over a week ago. Fourteen. It's a big year for her: graduating to High School, encountering her first challenges in the classroom, baby-sitting, dances, travelling across the country independantly. Fourteen. My sweetest, most lovely gentle-hearted girl is growing up so fast, and so beautifully. She is changing in many ways and in others, remaining constant. One thing that has always been steadfast is her love of the color blue. I figured since she enjoyed it so much, the pretty and frivolous parts of our celebrations would be wrapped up in different shades of her favorite hue.

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    Thanks to Paper Source, she was tickled blue! I was able to pick out exactly what was needed, and threw in a few touches of cream and gold to keep things fun.

    April 12th was a wonderful day spent celebrating a wonderful young lady. Her birthday celebrations continued with a very special cake and planning for a "film"tastic birthday party. I'll be happy to share more with you later this week. Until then, here's a little sneak peak of what's to come:

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    A Touch of Spring

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

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    Springtime is here! Much as we enjoy the cooler days and the comforts they bring, there is something to be said about these perpetual days of sunshine and beauty. Before living in southern California, I'm hard pressed to remember any other place with such amazing weather. The rain falls while you sleep, the days are crisp and bright, the skies are the most gorgeous shade of blue, and thanks to the rain, the grass is the lushest green. Is it any wonder the days are longer? Everyone wants to be outdoors enjoying nature's bounty.

    Springtime makes everything feel fresh and renewed. On a personal note, it really motivates me to simplify; purging the uncessary, and cleaning house and home. The windows are open most of the day, which always perks us up, and foods and spirits are lighter. It's not just our imigination. Spring really does revitalize every part of us.

    It also brings my favorite palate into play when decorating: green and cream. I don't think there are any other colors as versatile or as pretty (but that's just my humble opinion).

    We'll be celebrating Easter elsewhere this year so I've kept our decorating to a bare minimum. Our front door wreath is simple: green berry sprays and cream hydrangeas. Inside the children's "Easter bunny" is donning a new ribbon in grosgrain to compliment the white hyacinth and hydrangea arrangement.

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    I'm going to be honest: bare bones decorating is my cup of tea. More focus is on my family and enjoying our days together. Christmas is our decorating bonanza, and I do love it, but smaller, simpler touches for the rest of the year keep us focused on the meaning behind our celebrations. I like pretty as much as the next person, but really, who has the time to do it all? Holidays will come and go, but this time with family, my children in particular, is precious and fleeting. I don't want to miss a moment.

    Do you have any tips to quick, simple decorating?

    All About Class

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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    Yesterday Madeline registered for her High School classes. Be still my heart.

    We've been discussing summer school for a while; trying to decide which class she could take to get a few credits out of the way. Her Freshman curriculum, on the other hand, we had little information on until it was released last week. Mandatory classes aside, the biggest discussion revolved around her electives. There were quite a few options, and after weighing the pro's and con's with her Father, she ultimately chose some very challenging classes. Challenging, yet rewarding. Never let it be said that my daughter shy's away from anything. She's very excited by her selections: Chinese I, Intro to Personal Finance, and Computer Programming. I'm a little amazed by her fearlessness. Goodness knows I'd never make it in those classes.

    I love seeing Madeline flourish. She's been slowly blossoming from a bright child into an even brighter young woman. She has a quiet confidence, accepting the unknown with a certain grace that is well beyond her years. She's always been a little bit of a mini-adult, but I'm glad she finds the fun in her education and in the high school years ahead. Football and lacrosse games, dances, classes...she is growing more excited as the months slip by. She's already planning for Summer conditioning for cross country in the Fall. Following one of her passions into a bigger arena is something Madeline has been waiting for, and knowing her, she'll do brilliantly at everything she's chosen to be a part of next year.

    Until we're there, however, I'll hold onto her last picture as an 8th grader at the Great Race. For a few more months, she's still my middle schooler.

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    Shaking Up St. Patrick's Day

    Monday, March 17, 2014

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    We started off this St. Patrick's Day with a bang, or rather, a large shake. It's true that we experienced an earthquake this morning, but everyone and everything is right as rain. Perhaps it's due to our blessed Irish luck? The fact that we'd already donned our festive greens? In any case, most of us are at home as we continue to enjoy our three day weekend. Jackson and I are enjoying a few lazy Monday moments, while Madeline is at school for her History with Honors project on rights and responsibilities. It's all very impressive and we're so proud of her!

    I hope you all have a lovely day filled with luck and love, be you Irish or not. Cheers!

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    Happy Mardi Gras!

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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    From our very own King and Queen.

    We wish we could be uptown with everyone, parading and watching Rex and Zulu. Next year we plan to be home with each and every one of you revellers! Be safe, stay warm, have fun, and laissez les bon temps rouler, mes amis!