Charming Life

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Quote of the Day:  It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. 
William Shakespeare 

My daughter said to me a few weeks ago, “Mama, I’m so lucky”.  I couldn’t help but smile as she said this, because, at the time I agreed whole heartedly with her.   However, if you look at the definition, it will tell you that luck is a success (or failure) brought about by chance rather than through one’s own actions.  Lucky, yes she is; by chance or accident, I don’t think so.  I am a firm believer in karma.  The energy you put forth is the energy that will always come back and surround you.  Okay, perhaps I’m walking down my path of kooky, hippie ideology; however, it is such a privilege for me to watch and be a part of this small child’s life.  Her energy has such a positive and profound effect on me.  The child has a dream and passion that motivates and drives her.  She has a heart of gold that has not be affected by the negativity that life can sometimes throw your way.  She has a conscience in her soul and a kindness in her heart that I pray will stay with her as she continues on her journey.  Wherever you are and wherever you go you will take this energy, charm and light with you and it will be contagious.

It does not come as much of a surprise that the name of her new best friend and first horse is Charming.   Yes, my small child, you are lucky, however, it is the energy within you that brings such luck your way.  Stay true to yourself and to your dreams, and may you forever have a charming life!

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Sand Castle Virtues

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Quote of the Day:  “And the sand castle virtues are all swept away in the tidal destruction ~ the moral melee.” ~ Ian Anderson

I wasn’t so sure where I was going to take the Journey this week.  I was busy with shooting, editing, child and traveling.  In the normal course of a week, I generally have my ideas formed by Tuesday and crank something out by Wednesday morning.  As it happened, Wednesday came and I had nothing.  So, I walked on the beach for inspiration and took this shot.   I was mesmerized by the sand castle.  I had posted a shorter version of this quote earlier in the week on my personal page ~ “and the sand castle virtues were all swept away”.   Coincidence?  I think not.  Perhaps just a simple reminder that everything is as it should be.  What’s great about song lyrics is they are wildly open for interpretation.  So…my blog, my interpretation :).  I am fortunate to say that my sand castle virtues have not be swept away.  Time has only made them stronger.

As I photographed the sand castle, I had an “aha!” moment.  I angled my camera to capture the castle with the ocean as its background. However,  I was inundated with tourist standing on the other side to snap a shot.  I was fortunate enough to catch this lovely moment with the young boy running towards me.  However, the tourist kept coming; paying me no regard.  I was irritated and becoming very disenchanted  with the moment.  Defeated, I surrendered and walked to the other side of the castle to try to get a clean shot.  This is what I captured.  I still favor my ocean shot, but, am glad for my irritation with the tourists.  I’m sure they were having similar feelings about me as I blocked the view of The Del.

Gravity of Time

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Quote of the Day:  “Time makes you bolder, children get older, I’m getting older, too.” ~ Stevie Nicks

I’m feeling nostalgic today as I turn a year older and the small child graduates from Third Grade.  They say that your past comes back to you as your child journeys forward. Perhaps it is because we feel so intrinsically close to our children, that we not only want to share our joys with them; but, also share our pain and hardships in order to protect and guide them.

As much as I try not to do it;  it is very hard not to compare our lives; the similarities and the differences.  It was 1972 when I graduated from Third Grade.  My parents split that year and we shuttled between Germany, Cleveland and Ohio.  I was a straight “A” student (tickets to the Big Red Machine to prove it:), the best speller in the Mrs. McConnaughey and Ward’s class and the most terrified child on the planet.   It wasn’t easy trying to figure things out when you are eight going on nine years old.

As I look at my beautiful child and reflect on her Third Grade year I feel a sense of relief and gratitude.   Relief that history did not repeat itself.  Gratitude that I was able, for my family’s sake, to remain an optimist about love and life.  And a certain feeling of honor and ownership that I am able to share with her knowledge about worlds that are not so perfect.

I always accused my Mama as looking at life through rose colored glasses.  Thank you, Mama, for leaving those glasses on the nightstand for me. I promise I will leave them behind for the small child; however, I think she was born wearing a pair of her own 🙂

On June 8, 1963, Herta Renges Craft gave birth to the last of  her six children.  Thank you, Mama, for the gift of life, the gift of contentment and 48 happy birthdays!!  xoxo!!

Where were you on 9/11?

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Quote of the Day:  “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” — Abraham Lincoln

Today is an important day on our Journey to 2020.  Today, nine and a half years later, I sit next to my nine-year old daughter and tell her the story of what happened on September 11, 2001.  Believe it or not, I have kept the horrific details of that tragic day away from her.  She has heard of terrorists, she understands there are horrible wars being fought on lands far away, she understands that America is fighting a war on terrorism, but, until today, she did not know what Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda did to our country.

Do you remember where you were the morning of September 11?  Of course, you do.  We all do.  The cats were unusually restless and woke “us” at 6:00 a.m.  There was no small child yet, though the Bean was starting to sprout.  Those who know me know that I will never willingly get out of bed at 6:00 a.m., however, on that day, I did.  Then the phone rang.  I knew immediately it wasn’t going to be good news.  It was my friend, Lisa, from D.C. calling, “turn on the news”.  The first tower had already been hit, and, Paula Zahn was announcing it was a small plane.  As she spoke, the view behind her was of the twin towers with smoke billowing out of the first.  I stared in disbelief; the unthinkable was approaching the second tower.  I watched in real-time as the jetliner smash into the second tower.  I thought how surreal life had just become.  I contemplated turning off the television.  I was one month pregnant in what I’ll simply describe as a very sensitive pregnancy.  This was so horrific and tragic, I didn’t want these emotions filtering through by body and soul.  But, I didn’t turn off the television.  In fact, I could do nothing, but, watch for the next week.

I also shared with my daughter the story of one victim that hit very close to home.  Our friend and contractor was at the house the morning of the attack.  He and I sat in silence waiting to hear the news.  His nephew was a financial planner for Cantor Fitzgerald.  He arrived every morning that week and we watched.  One morning, he called.  He would not be coming today.  It had been confirmed, his nephew had been killed.  What hit me the hardest was that his nephew’s wife was also expecting.  Her now nine-year old never got to meet her father.  Counting my blessings.

My husband flew into D.C. last night minutes before President Obama made the announcement….Osama Bin Laden was dead.  Bryan was able to join the thousands of revelers just after midnight at the White House.  He described it as a moment of  beautiful mayhem that he will never forget.  Americans coming together in celebration that terror and evil did not prevail.

[I wrote this blog in May of this year.  As I sit at home tonight, hours away from the event that changed all of our lives forever, I still wonder how to share this information with my child.  She is now 9 1/2 years old  and understands that terrorists attacked our country and many people died.  However, she still has not seen the vivid images and events of that day.  I am debating whether or not she should see the raw terror that we all saw and felt on that day.   I think I will continue to shield her from the vision of the falling towers.  God bless America and may everyone strive to live in peace and harmony…it really isn’t that hard.]

Poetry in Motion

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Quote of the Day:  “Ask me to show you poetry in motion, and I will show you a horse.”~ Author Unknown

In honor of the Woodside Horse Show which begins today, a photo of the painted pony the Bean got for her 9th birthday.  She will show for the first time as a nine-year old and possibly for the last time on her beautiful pony, Paint by Numbers.  They jumped a 2.9 oxer for the first time yesterday in warm-ups and the small child came home beaming.  To those of you who don’t ride, 2.9 means the height of the jump.  It also means a prescription of Valium for mom.  The dynamic duos have climbed all the mountains and now stand at the pinnacle.  Have fun this weekend, small child and everyone else at Nighthorse Farm!

She is Going to be a Handful.

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Quote of the Day:  “On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.  So they sprinkled gold dust in your hair and golden starlight in your eyes so blue.”

Dear Small Child,

Nine years ago, today, all my dreams came true with one deep breath and one small push.  Okay, so it was many deep breaths, many big pushes and promise to divorce your father if I survived the ordeal.  However, the moment our eyes connected, and I knew it was for real, it was love at first sight, and all the rest was history.

You didn’t come to us easily and when you did decide to make your appearance, you found it fashionable to be early.  You were due to arrive on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, and I had a plan.  You would have brown hair and eyes (like me); and we would name you Maya, to commemorate the occasion.  Well, I should have known when the amnio technician said, in his thick, French accent “She is going to be a handful” that all my plans were going to hell in a tuille basket.  At week 37 (April 20) when things seemed amiss and I felt the urgency to vacuum the garage, I knew that my plans were further going astray.   All it took was look and a word from your Uncle Joe saying, “that baby is coming tonight” that I realized there was no way out of this predicament.  Daddy, too, was not prepared.  He was sharing some fabulous wine with your Uncle Joe.  We all suggested that maybe he stick with one glass on this particular eve.  Ah, the best laid plans.  Let’s just say, when 4:00 a.m. rolled around on April 21, your Daddy was feeling as nauseous as I on the winding way down the mountain.

As it was, at 7:36 on April, 21, 2002 you came into this world, with a smile on your face and a look in your eye.   My first thought was, hooray, the doctor didn’t drop you, my second thought was that you looked exactly like “the greys”.  The proof was on the table, I had been abducted and impregnated by aliens.  In all seriousness, you were much prettier than the greys; less grey, more pink, with big, beautiful, blue eyes and blond hair.

Of course, I say this all in jest, because that is how we Sinclairs roll.  The reality is I often wonder how it came to be that I was so lucky to get you. You are truly an amazing human being; you are kind, you are generous, you are loving, you are courageous, you care and are considerate, you love nature, you love animals, you are interested and interesting, you are joyful and honest.   Of course, any mother would say these things about their child.  These are not my words.  These are the words of the people who teach you, the people who ride with you, the people who love you. Happy Birthday, sweet Aya Bean, my forever handful!

A Few of My Favorite Things

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“Red colored ponies with blue satin sashes; snowflakes that stay in Tahoe on their nose and eye lashes;  sunny warm winters that melt into spring; these are a few of my favorite things!”   Original lyrics by Julie Andrews.  Edits by me.

This is my new favorite plant.  It’s called an air plant; no soil required!  It derives it’s nutrients from the air and rain water (or in my case, a little drink from the faucet a few times a week).  This is my kind of gardening!  The blessing of the green thumb bestowed upon my family turned brown after the goddess of horticulture was born.  So, in order to maintain good standing with the family tradition; I’ve learned to photograph the lovely gardens and blooms.

As much as I love posting photos of lovely flowers, my post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of my true favorite thing hugging her favorite red pony.

As we head to Brookside this week for another horse show, I sense some changes on the horizon for our little girl and her beloved pony.  The lessons in love, pain, accomplishment, defeat, poise and grace that this pony has taught our child have been priceless.  Watching these two beautiful creatures move together on this journey to the unknown has and will continue to be one of the greatest joys in my life.  ✌