Archive of ‘Photo Fun’ category

One Perfect Night.

I was sprawled, slug-like, on the couch, body aching with tiredness. I wanted nothing more than to close my eyes – even if just for ten minutes.

“Mommy?” Tori asked, patting my face. “Mommy, can we go see the balloons now?”

Inwardly, I groaned. We had promised to take her to the hot air balloon festival, but it was the last thing I felt like doing.

“Soon, honey. Go see if your daddy’s ready to go.” I was sure he wasn’t.

She skipped off. “Daddy? Daaaa-ddddy. Are you ready to go?”

Her voice faded and my eyes closed again. Seconds later, a small hand patted my cheek again.

“He’s ready, mommy! We can go!”

Of course he was.  Pasting a (very fake) smile on my face, I opened my eyes. “Awesome. Let’s go! Where’s your shoes?”

A short while later we piled in the car and got on our way.

By all rights, the evening should have been a disaster. We started with a tired, grouchy mom recovering from a stomach bug, a starving dad, and sat in a half-hour long traffic jam trying to get in. Once we got there, we discovered there were only three food vendors available. And worse yet, there were no balloons in sight. Not one.

But you know what? It wasn’t. It was actually kind of awesome.

Although there were only three vendors, we didn’t have to wait long.  And the food? Was greasy and delicious. We gobbled up our sandwiches (pork tenderloin for him, fish for me, bits of both for Tori) from a shaded spot on the grass while listening to some slightly off-key local band.

Then we wandered the grounds, grabbed a free frisbee for Tori, and set her loose to run with a pack of kids. She giggled and grinned, and her good mood was infectious.

Before long, the balloonists began unfurling their precious cargo, and the real fun began.

The first balloon came to life before our eyes.

a balloon inflates

As it did, small children darted in to touch it, then ran back, squealing as the wind flopped it over. Then they stood back and watched in wonder as it launched into the sky.

oliverballoons

Soon, other balloons came to life. There was a scarecrow, a dragon, and rainbow-hued balloons of all sorts. Their operators made sure they remained tethered to the ground, and as dusk fell, we were surrounded by dancing, roaring, glowing  balloons.

a circle of balloons

The look on Tori’s face was pure magic.

And just when she thought it couldn’t get any better, the stage came to life and a band began to play. She looked at us with a silent question in her eyes.

“Go ahead, sweetie. Go dance,” I said, and she took off for the stage. Then she and a group of other hyperactive kids up way past their bedtimes danced and pranced and twirled their hearts out.

a balloon over the stage at sunset

All too soon it was time to go.

As I buckled her into her car seat, Tori grabbed my hair and asked, “Can we do this again tomorrow?”

I kissed her forehead and said “no, sweetie, it’s over for the year. But maybe next year.”

“Okay,” she said. “What about ice cream? Can we go get ice cream now?”

We did. And it was delicious.

It was the perfect end to a perfect summer night.

Listen To Your Mother Show: Now Live on YouTube!

A little more than two months ago, I took the stage as part of the Indianapolis cast of the Listen To Your Mother Show.

It was a fabulous night full of laughter, tears, and beautiful stories told by a spectacularly talented group of women.

That night, only 300 people were able to hear our stories. But, as of now, anyone in the world can listen in.

The national Listen To Your Mother Show organization just posted the videos for all 24 shows on their YouTube channel. Mine is one of them.

I hope you like it.

I also hope you take the time to listen to (and watch) all of the videos there. Not all at once, of course. But when you find yourself feeling a little down, maybe in need of a little encouragement? Click on over.

There are hours and hours of inspiration waiting for you.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The Speed Racer Unleashed.

My family has a thing for speed. From my fighter pilot-flying grandfather and rally car-racing uncle to my pedal-to-the-metal dad and speed walking mom, we all move just as fast as we can, almost all the time.

So it’s no surprise that Tori likes to go fast, too.

She started running about two days after she started walking…and never looked back.

But let’s face it. Her little legs can only go so fast. To get a taste of real speed, she needed wheels. Or, you know, a Big Wheel.

My husband fished a perfectly good, practically unused Big Wheel out of the garbage a few weeks ago (apparently, it’s former owners had never heard of a little thing called a Garage Sale) and after a bit of cleaning and tuning, presented it to her.

At first, she was more than a little unsure. It wasn’t pink, sparkly, or like anything she had seen before.

But when she took her seat and started pedaling, a light bulb went off. And then? Then she took off.

Now walks have become Big Wheel rides for her…and huffle puffing jogs for me.

Before we start, we always go over the rules.

“Now, Tori. What do we do when riding a big wheel?”

“Stop at every corner.”

“annnd?”

“Turn around every once in a while to make sure I can still see you.”

“Annnnnnnnnnd?”

“Don’t go too fast.”

“Right. Now let’s go.”

And off she rides.

At first she sticks close.

Tori starts off on a Big Wheel ride

But before long, speed calls.

SHe gets her speed under her.

And not long after that, she forgets she even has a mom.

And she's off.

If it wasn’t for the flowers that line our path, errr, sidewalk, we might never see her again!

Tori picks pretty blooms along the way.

But she always stops to smell the flowers. And at corners. And at particularly loud yells from a gasping me.

And when she’s raced across the last straightaway and stopped in our driveway? Her smile could power the entire town of Bloomington.

“I beat you again, Mommy! I’m fast!”

“You sure are, baby.”

“Next time I’m going to go even faster!”

I have no doubt that she will.

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