My Sweet LiLi

My sweet, sweet L is struggling with questions friends are asking her at school. They want to know what happened to her lip. They want to know why she doesn't look like her parents. She is questioning the color of her skin and deciding she does not like it. I always try to teach L that everyone is different and to never ask someone something that could hurt their feelings or make them feel uncomfortable. I try to teach her to think about how it would make the other person feel. I told her it is her story and she can choose to tell the children that she does not want to talk about it. She said they keep asking and pushing her for answers. I told her she can tell them the truth or tell them it is private and personal. She said she is scared to talk about it. I don't even see her scar. I only see beauty when I look at her. Pure, innocent beauty.

the long road


Happy Birthday Linhsey!

Such a bittersweet day. Somewhere out there, there is a mother who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl 6 years ago today...and I thank her from the depths of my soul and the bottom of my heart. This beautiful child has given me life...with her beauty, her old soul, her loving heart. Her very being has shook me to the core and I couldn't be any more thankful. I love you Li Li. Happy birthday to the sweetest, spunkiest, 6 year old EVER.

The only child I know who would pick the cupcake before presents! To see both of them smile like this? At the same time? Priceless. Can you just hear the giggles?!

Love. Her.


An Afternoon at the Boardwalk...

She had this unsure expression throughout all of the in between moments, but I assure you by the time you get to the bottom of this you will know she had fun!The beautiful birthday girl in orange!L and little B are both so spunky that when the two of them are together, watch out!I told you! Silly little B. 


11 More Days....

And this beauty will be 6 years old.

The other night while tucking her into bed the conversation went as follows:

Me: Linhs, don't turn 6. Stay little!

Linhsey: Oh c'mon! If you plan to have a baby you gotta know they are going to grow up!"

Me: You do realize you are 5, right?

Linhsey- But I feel like I am 15!

And so it goes....11 more day until 16...I mean 6.


Just an Off Kind of Day

It's just been an off kind of day for Linhsey.

I'm hoping tomorrow brings lots of smiles and better moods.


* Linhsey quote of the day. Upon awakening and remembering the brownies we baked yesterday...

" Mama? Can I have a brownie for breakfast?"

No, L...sorry.

" Just pretend it's banana bread and give me one!"

Busy Summer Days....

With splash parks, amusement parks, swimming, catching fireflies at night, she's had her fill of fun the past week. L's daddy went away for a few days for a business trip and by the time I got to these images she had already been up way too late for a few nights watching Harry Potter and having sleepovers in my room. She was a tired, cranky, tousled hair mess, yet she still flashed me that adorable smile. Thanks L : ) 

Hope you are enjoying your summer days.....and nights....

I think I see a little Asbury Park boardwalk and pinball in our near future.


Favorite Photo Friday- Catch Up!

I thought having a small child keeps you busy, but with the 8th Grade Washington DC trip, the dance, and graduation I feel like I have lost track of all time! I am behind in posting. I am behind in editing. I am just about behind in everything right now.

Here's a little catch up through photos.

Up until this school year L's cousin Ally used to come over and play every single week. This year the girls' school hours conflicted with each others and it wasn't possible. BTW, L is 3 months older that A !

I finally figured out my remote timer and propped my camera on a stool to take this self portrait. He ended up tucking his shirt in, don't worry! Love my boy. L is looking pretty tall here!She attended a princess makeover party and surprisingly enjoyed it! Hey Mom, maybe we can do the princess thing in Disney after all? ; ) Here's a shot of Gene going up for his 8th grade diploma. I was so proud of my boy. He made honor roll every single marking period 6th-8th grade. He got accepted into an elite AP Academy for high school next year. He took the test with bronchitis and fever and passed! They only accept 30 children into the academy  and he is one of them. He's not so thrilled about the mounds of homework he has this summer though!G and one of his closest friend's J. People always think they are brothers because of their hair! 

Believe it or not I still have more photos and posts to catch up on.....but this is a start!


Enjoy your weekend, and may all of the dads have a wonderful Father's Day!

  the long road


Favorite Photo Friday

While my last series of images are definitely my favorites this week, I love the laughter I have captured in this image of L yesterday. Yesterday in L's class they celebrated her birthday since she has a summer birthday of September 1rst. She was SO. Excited. When she got home she was wearing her birthday hat/crown and informed me she would be wearing it for the rest of the day. Later on a rather unnerving thunderstorm passed through. L was frightened and began to tear up some when out comes, " This is the worst fake birthday I ever had!" .

Awww, poor L. I couldn't help but laugh when she said it though.

The storm passed and then I was able to capture this:

So happy her fake birthday could be salvaged ; )

the long road


Sunday Snapshot

Our weekend in pictures. Saturday we went to a local flea market at the beach in Ocean Grove. I found the coolest thing! I'll have to take a picture of it. I'm in love with it!

Every spring the tents get erected in Ocean Grove . At one point there were over 600 of them. I believe there are only slightly over 100 left now. You can read about it HERE . It's pretty interesting!

Sunday started off with a visit to the Red Bank Farmers Market to see Adam at the Cinnamon Snail.

We were second in line.

This guy was first.


L had the chocolate cookie glazed donut.

Mike gets the breakfast burrito...religiously....with no hot peppers. Adam knows this and always has one off to the side waiting for Mike.

Me? I had the Creole Grilled Tofu Sub and O.M.G.

After that we headed to Poricy Park with the cousins to sift for fossils. Click HERE to read about the 72 million year old fossils we found. It was a blast and I can't wait to go back again.


Hope everyone had a great weekend too!

Ni Hao Yall


Favorite Photo Friday- Tennessee

Tennessee continued-- This swimming hole was beautiful and you could see fish swimming everywhere in it. I think G could have spent the entire day at this place.Later that day a tractor drove up to my grandmother's place. We met a friend and followed him and his brother to his shop. He had many small homes he built on his property from the trees he cut down himself. This was the shop.He hand made everything in here. I think I was in awe. In this part of Tennessee everyone has dogs. The dogs never see the inside of a home usually. They wander free. They chase your car when you drive by. This was one of the homes this man built. L walked out of the shop with a dream catcher to catch all of those bad dreams she has, and a pretty necklace. Not too bad!In Tennessee Moonshine is the drink of choice ; ) 

We wrapped up the night with roasting marshmallows and then said our goodbyes. It was difficult to say goodbye. Many hugs, tears, and good memories.

Until next year Tennessee. I'll bring sneakers next time, I promise!

the long road


Day 1 in Tennessee

This year we flew to Tennessee. Mike decided after driving there from New Jersey last spring that he would never do that again. The flight was only 1 hr and 40 min and then we had a 1 hr and 40 min drive from the airport. As soon as we got there we jumped right into the games my uncle made. The first was a bean bag toss. Here is Mike with my Granny. She is 81 years old. Next was rolling the hoop and throwing the spear through it. Here is my Uncle Paul. L wore him out by the end of the visit. She was his buddy the entire time. Of course Gene had to do some shooting with the 22. Later on my uncle brought out a shot gun, but I steered clear of that!Granny and L blew bubbles while Gene shot the gun. L decided bubbles were for weenies (her word, not mine!) and she needed to get her hands on the 22 as well. We did some crazy hiking. 2 miles each day. I wore flip flops. Have I mentioned I'm a girly girl? I don't like bugs. I don't like dirt. I don't like danger. See that stone door? We hiked to it. Later that night we headed back to our cabin and did some fishing. L caught the first one. Uncle Paul went to the other side in search of Bass, and Granny collected wild flower seeds to plant in her woods. Have I mentioned they have close to 30 acres with a stream too?I love this shot of Gene running back to us.  It definitely is a very different way of life there. It's calm. It's peaceful. It's laid back. There's no hustle and bustle. Everyone is friendly and stops to say hi. It's beautiful.

I can't wait to post the rest of the pictures tomorrow!


Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Tuesday night Gene's school band and choir opened up the Lakewood Blueclaws game with the National Anthem. G and his friends hanging out watching the game. This was L's first baseball game and she was so excited to get a foam finger!This is G's baby brother M. Is he not the cutest?! He is 2 1/2 years old. And this is G's baby sister S. Do you see L in the background? At this point L made her way to me. Then she cried. She was upset that I was taking little S's picture! 

The Blueclaws won the game, and we had a great time with friends and family.

And L is still singing " Take me out to the ball game" , and sporting her foam finger and Blueclaws hat around the house. Not to mention she is still carrying around the bag of peanuts Mike bought for her at the game. When she heard a man saying " Peanuts! Crackerjacks!" She turned to me in excitement and said, " It's just like the song!!!"


Ice Cream, Linhsey and Sun Flare, Oh My!

Mama! If I stand right over there you can catch some sun flare!

Sure enough she was spot on.

Yesterday at her tennis lesson a little boy in her class repeatedly called out her name. "Linhsey! Here's ball Linhsey!" "Linhsey! I have a ball for you Linhsey!"

L just kept on going right past him. When the lesson was over he called out " Linhsey! I'm going to have a play date with you Linhsey!"

Me- Boy, it sounds like "A" really likes you. L- He told me he LOVED me! Right in the middle of the game! Me- So I guess he really DOES like you?! L- Apparently it's more than like! Apparently it's LOVE! It's embarrassing!

What's not to love?