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soccer mom…huh?

today i took my son to his first soccer game.

cliff note version: he resisted.

his fight to ‘not play’ lasted a few minutes longer than i thought (and if you know aaron at all–you KNOW he can put on some LONG fits!) and i must admit that the high temps and the sun blaring did add to his frustration and fear of this strange game i was forcing him to play.

he did a great job blending in with the kids and jumping into the action. i was proud of him. and then i found myself falling into the pattern of becoming ‘one of those moms’ yelling spiritedly (and loudly-we are not a quiet family) for my son to “follow the ball” lugging my huge DSLR, snapping photos when i know that the light is terrible. at times i looked around to see if anyone was repulsed by my obnoxiousness. i did get a few glares but nothing too significant. all in all–it was a lesson in culture shock. but it was a fun lesson.

we are now official ‘soccer parents’ and, now I know to tone it down… just a little bit.

Lori - July 19, 2008 - 1:27 pm

You make even bad light look good.

Come over next week and our sons can play soccer together.

Heasleye - July 21, 2008 - 11:04 pm

Heehee… I got a great visual of your first soccer experience! Glad you shared, as we will embark on this adventure with Ethan in September. I’m sure I’ll be just as obnoxious with my big camera. 🙂


What Ever Happened to…

…the lost art of hand writing?. am i the only one who misses getting something personalized- mail: cards, letters, heck–anything hand-written and or creative? over the years i seemed to have collected cards from a variety of cool bookstores i’ve visited. most of the time i don’t have anyone in mind at the time of purchase to send them to–i just like the design or the message. and i guess i like the thought of sending out something to someone to brighten their day. (secretly i guess i am hoping someone will do the same for me.) i’ve saved hand written cards in boxes for years and i really do treasure them all.

i make cards out of the photos i take and get excited attaching them to the cardstock, pulling out my favorite black ink marker, stamps, address book and labels. it gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing someone is going to get something other than bills and junk mail to open. i envision the smile it will evoke and it warms my soul just a bit.

recently my best buddy from high school (we graduated 25 years ago) came to colorado for a visit with her daughter. we had a lot of fun. i hadn’t seen her in 7 years (since my wedding in 2001) although we talk regularly and have a strong relationship. i convinced her to extend her trip and i think she didn’t regret it. this friend of mine is one of the best writers i have ever known (pretty significant considering i was exposed to some pretty amazing ones while working on my bachelor’s degree in english writing and literature at penn state university). she has NEVER written me a note or a letter over this past 7 years so i TREASURE the thank you note she recently posted to us after her visit. although it’s not “deep” (nor should it have been) it was hand-written and lovely. getting something like that means so much.

i send notes to my husband’s grandmother and parents as well as my parents and try to include prints of the grandkiddos (especially for those who don’t have high speed internet access nor the technical skills and patience to navigate the world-wide-web.)

each week my mom mails me coupons from the sunday paper. believe it or not, i save every envelope that she mails because i get to see her handwriting (beautiful i must note) and because she takes the time to think of me.) {update–i finally had a friend encourage me to get a tattoo of my mom’s handwriting on my wrist to remind me of her. i never thought i was a tattoo gal but it brings me tremendous comfort–especially considering my recent battle with ovarian cancer…}
(or even with a hand written note/letter)


as i started on my journey with chemotherapy a few years ago my sister gifted me a lovely italian journal. i asked everyone who came to chemo with me to write in the journal. they i asked family and dear friends to write in it as well. i treasure that still to this day. so personalized. so comforting. so important to me.

don’t get me wrong, i am as addicted to email and the internet as the next stay-at-home-mom in search of connecting with others. i guess the only difference with this gal is that i love and miss getting and sending out actual mail. {that’s why i’ve already ordered and sent out our holiday cards! they were in the mail december 1st!}

deep down i do wonder if anyone is reading this blog–so here’s a challenge: if you do read this–email me–reach out electronically (or even with a hand written note/letter) and let me know you were here and took the time to stop by. {or even follow me on instagram!}

Lori - June 20, 2008 - 7:20 pm

Here I am!

I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to get something in the mailbox that isn’t a bill.

Your mom DOES have nice handwriting.

Spicy Sister - July 2, 2008 - 6:29 am

I read this a while back but didn’t read all the way down – I am here, reading too and looking forward to meeting you!

TucsonHillary - July 2, 2008 - 6:41 am

Hi MB – I have not been to your blog in awhile, but happened to be here today, so here’s my 2 cents. I too enjoy writing and am so grateful for e-mail as handwriting is something I don’t really do very much, but I love the communication that e-mail does afford me. I think after 34 years as a dental hygienist my hand just is not comfortable writing, but the keyboard is fine.
I have a small note my mother wrote me when I was a freshman in college (1970) and a daily journal she wrote when she visited me while I was living in Israel that I have saved and treasured…along with other things, of course. I love seeing the handwriting and her words.. It is very important to me. Nice that you wrote about that in your blog. I will come back and visit again soon! Have a great 4th of July! Hillary

Heasleye - July 6, 2008 - 12:37 am

OK…this is uncanny! I have an email all ready to go to you and was just checking your blog before I hit send! 🙂 I agree…getting something in the actual mail box is special. And sending something to someone via the USPS on a regular basis is a goal of mine for the rest of this year. Three cheers for snail mail! Although, I admit, I do enjoy email as well.

Shirley - August 2, 2008 - 6:50 pm

I blogged about this very think a year or so ago and received a hand-written note from a friend in Israel after that. She and I exchange hand-written notes probably 2 or 3 times a year now. I’m with you… whatever happened to the woman’s writing desk where sheets of delicate colored paper and a fountain pen grace it?!!! (I saw your link on Smugmug)

Sue Burnett - December 3, 2015 - 8:58 am

Hi Mary Beth! I enjoyed reading your blog!

Molly mc - December 8, 2015 - 5:09 pm

Here and loved loved loved your card.

Which Come First: Words or Pictures?

A wonderfully talented writer and friend of mine, Lori ( once asked in a post: do you write the blog first and then the title or do you draft the title and create the blog from it? It was a tough question as I was so new to the art of blogging. But now, a few months into this, I can honestly say that neither applies to me. Photos jar me to be inspired to write and the words flow from the images. I “think” in photos more so than words (a total betrayal for a gal with two degrees in English Writing/Literature.) I see a picture, capture it and then spend time editing it and discovering the story within the image. I scrape through the layers of the photo to find the real story.

Lately I have been thinking about time. Simply put, the older I get, the quicker it passes. And factor in being a parent–watching your kids grow–it just seems to pass twice as quick. I look at the photos of what–at the time–seem like regular, normal days in our lives and start thinking about just how archival these days will be in a very short time…which will inevitably pass by…well, quickly. This weekend my oldest son wanted to ‘mow the grass with daddy’. I watched in delight as he pushed his toy bubble mower (sans the bubbles) right behind his father step by step, copying his father’s every move, until the lawn was finished. It was a peaceful and graceful thing to watch on a regular early summer night in Colorado. Our younger son, being true to himself, wandered off on his own, discovering a bucket of water and a neighboring toy. I shot some images, hoping to capture this ‘slice-of-life’ evening of ours. While editing the pictures–I scratched deeper and searched for images that were memory-like…archival, if you will. So I added texture to the photos to create the fuzzy-like images I felt were lurking deep within them. And then this story came to mind and urged me to post it!

I want to remember each detail and relish in the simple days of our lives–ones just like these photos remind me of– watching our sons grow tall and strong in the Colorado sun, in the month of June, in the summer of 2008.

Lori - June 10, 2008 - 9:20 am

Those photos are priceless, both for content and texture.

And I enjoyed the explanation of how images, thoughts and words interact for you.

I love the way you show your love for your family in your artwork.

You are awesome, MB.

My Life List: A Work in Progress!

I had the honor of crossing off another item from my ‘life list’ yesterday-completing the ‘Bolder Boulder’ 10k race with my buddy Diana (Pink Cowboy hat girl–as she became know as during the race)!

There are so many reasons I love Boulder; the amazing flowers that line the Pearl Stree Mall, the view of the flatirons, the food, the infamous Boulder Bookstore, the noticable good vibes…and the people-watching. But the race took the people-watching to a new level. Very unique “characters” (including Captian America not pictured) were everywhere enjoying the day–despite the chilly temps (note the pic of the tye-dye bikini girls and the pink dress dude) and the light rain. All I saw that morning were people enjoying themselves, fun bands along the roadside, folks cheering us along and lots of smiles! It was such a rush to be part of the 2008 Bolder Boulder and even more exciting was walking through Folsom Field (University of Colorado stadium) at the finish line to the crowd cheering us on. And the Memorial Day ceremony was quite touching–evoking feelings of patriotism and gratitude for the real heroes of our culture who gave their lives to our great country.

And I got to experience this fun event with a good friend to boot! We laughed and enjoyed celebrating our common goal–pushing ourselves to do something on our mutual ‘life lists’. (We even took the bus at 5am to head to the event early–this, if you know us–was a big step!)

I love the spirit of the people there. And I really value the people who love life in general–many of whom can be found in Boulder, Colorado!

Antigone - May 27, 2008 - 5:25 pm

I love Boulder too. Next year I’m doing the 10k.

Heasleye - May 28, 2008 - 10:44 pm

Yay for you!!! I’m so jealous! 🙂 And even though I don’t know you IRL, I’m proud of you for following through on this. Way to go!

A Step Back in Time…

I grew up in a small city-town if that makes sense. I mean-the city was close by but the small town seemed to eclipse it in a way. It’s been 8 years since I’ve lived there but what I remember most about it is the people. Never before have I met such sincere people, such passionate sports finatics and such an interesting group of folks able to tolerate the crappiest weather and still keep a smile on their faces.

During our recent visit-7 days-it rained 6…all day long. It was dreary, dismal and humid. The clouds hovered over constantly and the raindrops lulled me to sleep at night.

My dad took our sons (his grandsons) to his favorite local bakery. (You don’t find many of these around any more and certainly not here in Colorado.) The same two ladies worked behind the counter from 8 years ago and past visits with my dad to get our pastry fix. They smile, make jokes, and offer our boys fresh baked cookies. It smelled lovely in there and the smiles from those clerks really brightened up the dismal morning. I snapped a few photos to remember and relive the moment. I should have made the photos all black and white…as they remind me of days long ago and times long ago when papas took their grandsons to the bakery. I wanted to capture my dad in his everyday life, his environment, his world and his town. He’s loyal to it and enjoys the small town life he lives in and around the big city.

I love you dad-for all that you are passionate about and…for the doughnuts, cookies and fresh baked pastries every time we come back for a visit.

Lori - May 16, 2008 - 7:37 am

What a nice tribute to your Dad.

Your kids are so dang cute!