"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Friday, September 17, 2010


Here is a tale of love, woe, and hopefully redemption. This is the story of Owen and Olivia. Owen and Olivia have been dreaming of getting married since they were 3. Everything’s all set; Owen has even picked out all of our outfits to wear to the ceremony. This love has stood the sands of time, lasting over the separation of an entire summer.

Shortly after his beloved Olivia came back to school, Owen received an invitation in the mail…it was for Olivia’s birthday party. Owen cannot even stand this…he has literally checked on his invitation every day, just to make sure that it’s still there. When I asked him what he wanted to get her for her birthday his reply?

Owen: “I’d really like to buy her flowers.”

Me: “Flowers?”

Owen: “Yes…pink flowers…oh! And some orange ones, she likes to color with orange at school.”

Me: “Do you want to buy her real flowers, or pretend flowers she can play with for a long time?”

Owen: “I think real flowers are a lot prettier, don’t you?”

Me: “Well done, son. “

Owen: “I was also thinking about getting her a ‘my little pony’ because that was on her invitation, so she must like those too. But I was also thinking that she would like a necklace…”

Everything was going along wonderfully, until one day Olivia was sitting sadly in the sandbox. A teacher approached her and asked what was wrong. Olivia replies, “Owen won’t play with me.” The teacher reassured her that Owen would play with her later, but Olivia wasn’t buying it.

She marched across the playground and found Mr. Owen playing with his guy buddies. “Owen, if you don’t play with me, I’m NOT going to marry you!!”

Owen proceeds to break down in sobs and run to his teacher. “Ms. Ann, did you hear that? Olivia’s not going to marry me!” Ms. Ann explained to Owen that sometimes people say something when they are angry that they don’t really mean, and that it would all work out. She also said to Owen, “You know the really good news? At four, you don’t have to decide who you are going to marry…”

Owen looked up at her with tear filled eyes and exclaimed:

“But I have made my decision…my heart has made its choice!”

The next morning Olivia who has naturally beautiful spiral curls had her hair straightened and of course, how could she not, she looked adorable. Ms. Ann told me that when she had come into class that day and Ann had complimented her on her hair she replied “Owen’s not even going to recognize me!”
And so it begins…you find the one you love…and try like mad to make them think you’re not crazy for them.

Her birthday party is tomorrow…hopefully this lover’s quarrel will have a happy ending.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Disney Magic…Confessions of a Disnut

Forget political party lines, I think that most individuals fall into one of two camps, those that ‘get’ Disney and those that don’t. Sure, I think there are some independents out there who waffle between the two, but for the general masses, either you feel fairy dust falling from the sky, or you feel money falling from your pockets.

I am a confirmed Disnut. Is a mouse wearing pants that appealing? Not really, but the history behind him is and what Disney World has become for my family absolutely is. I could go on and on with the history of Walt Disney and how much failure he endured to make the thriving company that lives today (in fact, I even gave a speech on this topic for a college course)- - from the first of his successful characters being underhandedly stolen from him, to surviving the economy at war time, and the rebuilding of his brands…him and his wife eating dog food because it was all that they could afford after they went broke trying to build his dreams…building a theme park for his daughters, could there be many things more romantic than all that? Walt holds for me the fascination I feel towards our founding presidents, the determination, imagination, and perseverance to hold on to something they felt was important…Ok, history lesson complete.

I believe what Disney (world in particular) has become to my family the exact thing Walt was striving for. When I first went there, I was the perfect age to believe in all the magic the park had in store…and when we went again when I was a little older; our family was at a financial state that I knew just how special it was that I was at the Happiest Place on Earth. I can remember the surge of excitement that out there, was a place that was built on the world of my dreams, where wonderful, enchanted things really happened. Every time I walk to the front entrance, my heart still skips a beat. No matter how old Cory and I got, it was the unspoken rule that while at Disney (because the rest of the kids there were with their parents too) you weren’t too cool to talk to your parents, and you found out that your sibling could still be a fun companion…before you could catch yourself, you were having fun! I will never forget our graduation trips there, having our closest friends together for the week and I was so fortunate to marry someone who got that this wasn’t just about the characters for me, this was a place where many of my favorite memories are stored. People always looked at me strangely when I explained that is where we went for our honeymoon, but for me it really was the perfect, perfect place to start a new exciting chapter of my life.

I am so nostalgic about this because we are going again in two weeks. This time, it is for me to complete the ½ marathon. (Disclaimer: I don’t plan on running the whole thing, I’m just going to soak in the experience…if I run it all great, if I walk it, as long as I finish, I’m happy. ) Jason and Owen are going down first on Monday. I cannot express how happy I am that these two are going to do this special thing together…and that Jason thought of this and planned it; get out of here with it! Anyway, then Jason’s Dad’s going to drive and meet them (again SO excited he is coming to experience it with us again. Thrilled.) Then Wednesday my mom, dad, Ava and I will board our plane and join them. This also makes me excited…going without my parents doesn’t seem right, they were part of the experience for me, and so I love experiencing it with them again as an adult. Every night at bed, I hear Owen and Jason whisper under the covers planning out which ride they are going to go on and in what order and Ava has a whole list of princesses she’s just got to meet!

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited…oh! And I can’t forget to mention, that I’ve never been there during fall so I can’t wait to experience it! Whether or not this is a tradition that my kids will take on as their own in the future I don’t know, but I do know that we are building wonderful family memories along the way, and to me, that’s a dream come true.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Papa Chiz

Happy 51st to a great man...
51 things that I will always associate with my Dad
1. early 90's flip phones...I thought his cell was sooo bad ass.
2. s'more poptarts...eating them in the car every morning when drove me to school. Loved that time together.
3. wisdom.
4. Tony Danza.
5. 'You are my sunshine' 
6. comb over/politician hair.
7. shuffling slipper steps.
8. 'Pippin'
9. "that was AMAZING/AWesome/WONderful"
10. whiskers.
11. the perfect listener.
12. Directing music.
13. Red sweatpants and dress shirts...tucked into underwear :)
14. 'The JERK'
15. strong hands.
16. wine.
17. our shared love of the season Fall.
18. choppy laughter, body rocking back and forth, hands gesturing as he delivers a point he knows most people were going to be pissed at.
19. "It is what it is."
20. Babbitt.
21. Jerry Lewis.
22. "bing, bang, bung."
23. 'Private Benjamin'
24. 'going on a treasure hunt...'
25. Fire & Rain...well, any Jimmy T song actually.
26. 'Jigaboo stew'
27. made up words.
28. wagging his finger at your food..."you finished? I'll try a bite."
29. "I had a burp, but it went away."
30. legacy.
31. hockey.
32. "madder than hornets!"
33. escalating laughter with one exploding suddenly while he claps and tears roll from his eyes...ha ha ha HA ha ha....HA!...ahh...
34. 'moderation'.
35. "At the end of the day..."
36. plaid button down shirts.
37. vacations.
38. "And- Have a great day."
39. good food...he's the first person you want to share it with.
40. angry side eyes, lips pursed when people talk at Cory's shows.
41. business/preacher voice.
42. true confidence - not prideful, but sure.
43. playing guitar and singing me to sleep.
44. 'oops! Didn't see you there...' as he pinches the back of your arm. 
45. the dreamy gaze into the distance, head cocked, legs crossed, hands folded across his knees listening to music.
46. founding father/ Lewis & Clark biographies
47. dancing on his feet.
48. Oswald Chambers.
49. "so, your boyfriend came to talk to me today..." ruining the engagement surprise aspect :)
50. song association game with any word mentioned.
51. papa pride.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mama Kay Kay

Songs have an amazing way of expressing what we wish to say, but somehow fall short in spoken word…this song describes my mother perfectly, and if you have ever met her, I know you will agree.

photo by Erin Chisel

Where you are Bebo Norman

Take another look at me, oh breaker of my heart.
Take a look and you will see how beautiful you are.
Cause even when I walk away, I cannot go very far
before the child in me would say, home is where you are.

In the tapestry of time, I cannot imagine where
I can find someone as kind on the ground or in the air.
‘Cause I have heard that angels fly and they never show their face,
So I suppose that from the sky, one landed in your place.

And did you know right from the start, when you first held me in your arms
That you would always hold my heart - where you are…

You make the mornings seem so light, with coffee in the air.
But to be a mother and a wife is a heavy load to bear.
And so you gave your life away, like the God inside your heart…
And even though we’ve gone away,

Home is where you are. … It’s where you are.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Can you hear me now?"

Driving home from daycare today, Owen was singing along to music.  He told me,

"Mom, I can sing because it's my voice coming from my throat."

I said, "Yup."

Owen: "If I didn't want to sing, or if I couldn't sing....I would have to send you to my voice-mail."