parade maker

And now we will pause for a moment of parental bragging because when you are a parent who has a blog sometimes you do that.

My darling 4th daughter made a parade…for a university…for their homecoming. It’s kind of a big deal for the university and for the city of Tempe and my kid made it.

Of course a homecoming parade for Arizona State University is not something one creates over night. No. Months and months of planning and hard work and stress and emails and reams of paper and telephone calls and meetings go into it. Thank goodness for a great team, that you put together, backing you up, working just as hard as you are.

Yet when the night-before-the-parade nerves just might get the best of you, thank goodness for Mom to remind you that it’s going to be just fine because all those years of dance competitions and recitals and high school student leadership events has prepped you for a moment like this. Trust yourself, mom tells you, because you got this and so much more after this.

Like I said, it’s what moms do. Plus, your mom knows that you got this.

Yes you did, my darling daughter! Just like I knew you would.

And you did it wearing the most amazing fanny pack as Homecoming Parade Directors do!



as September ends

Since June, one of my favorite photographers and writers, Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, has been sharing at the end of the month her five favorite photographs.

My sweet photographer friends Xanthe & Andrea both share their five favourite photographs they take every month — isn’t that a great habit? Not just because it inspires fans like me from a technical photography perspective (and really, they’re just so talented), but I imagine that the practice of going through their archives to look at their images more critically to pick their favourites helps them get better as well.

And so, of course, I’m copying them.

I was inspired but never got around to it (or a round tuit – nod to my late father in law) until now as September ends.

Is it just me or does September always seem a little endless? It does. At least it does here under The Big Top and, of course, I have this on a loop in my ear pretty much all month long…thanks Green Day!

Sorry. Off topic.

Me when I sit dow to write lately.

Like our friend, Shaun, here I am tripping down memory lane staring at baby pictures…babies with incredibly big hair.

Think what you may about Greek life ladies, but these ones are fierce, driven and super smart…watch out world!

Whatever will Dr. D. do when the last Scarborough living under The Big Top is straight outta braces?

And while the rest of the world seems to be overwrought over a recent news story about a 13th Zodiac sign, it really isn’t news after all. Regardless of the news, I remain Pisces forever!

photo dump: the “momsoon” edition

No autocorrect, it is not monsoon, it is MOMsoon. Just accept it, okay?

Family weekend at ASU with Jodie.

Aside from the massive thunderstorm that soaked me upon arrival, Tempe weather was glorious with a high only up to 90 degrees. We won’t discuss the humidity that created the ball of frizz that was my hair…the low humidity they tell me. My hair vehemently disagreed.

Oh well. I was spending the weekend with my 4th darling daughter.

At the movies.

And the obligatory Costco re-stocking run followed by lots of eating together.

Plus a little politics too including this discussion which I wholeheartedly support.

Followed by bowling.

Bowling with the roommate and her family.

Twins versus DG Twins.

The DG Twins win…the right twins they tell me.

The next day brings football and the call to wear maroon for the Maroon Monsoon which is what we do. But first, tailgating.

Tailgating Greek-life style, a first for me and where I become acquainted with the Maroon MOMsoon and that the Greek guys love the moms.

We shall imagine that it was the MOMsoon that brought it for ASU’s victory over Cal and not their now 4-0 season.

And as the MOMsoon recedes, it is back to the books and studies and work and bringing back out all the stuff hidden from the parents for the kids. Thanks, kids! This mom had fun!

smiling eyes

When it comes to the selfie game, most of this circus act has it down to a science. Now don’t hate on the selfie. Were it not for the art of the selfie some of us wouldn’t even be a part of their own narrative…ahem…because they almost always are behind the camera. Here under The Big Top, we love the selfie and love to share with one another a selfie or more while making great adventures away from home.

Bill helped Jodie move back to Arizona this weekend and the two of them, as promised, kept me updated with pictures so that I can in a small way be there with them.

Currently this will be my favorite picture of these two and I made sure to tell my darling husband so.

His selfie game is improving; and yes, he was smiling with his eyes…and that makes all the difference, my darling husband.

When he gets home I will try to explain why he must never use “smize” in a sentence again.

even more quiet uptown

Big happening changes here under The Big Top.

These two, who literally did not want to pause for even one moment to let me get a picture of them because, eww, Mom, it’s too hot and I am literally too gross and sweaty right now! Until I played the Mom-card where you two are literally breaking my heart with your stupid milestones just like you did when you were babies so you will pause and let me get a picture or two or more, god-dammit! So they did because I am their mom and I can get a bit crazed when I am hot in triple digit temps and over the top in emotions right now as they both are leaving this family circus…on the same day.

One is back to her studies and adventures in Arizona at ASU and the other is unlocking yet another adulting badge as she has a little place of her own that she, and her best friend call home.

As their mother, with their father, I am patting myself on the back because, YAY, in spite of us we have managed to do pretty good bringing these two babies up to be functioning adults doing pretty okay all on their own…still with some help from mom and dad. But also as their mom I am feeling pangs in my heart because it was LITERALLY just yesterday when they were babies and toddlers and I could never, ever manage but one moment all to myself with total, complete silence.

Yet here I am…right now.

And, left to my own devices, all alone in this incredibly quiet and empty Big Top, I am making some plans…

Does this make me a bad mom that I have plans for at least one empty bedroom because too soon?

Seriously, my darling third and fourth daughters, I miss your presence here already but I am so, so proud of you both for the remarkable women that you have become in spite of my mothering.

Never make a home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.

~ Tad Williams