Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cheese Heads!

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

The kids hijacked my cheese grater after I made breakfast with it! They loved eating the rewards of their hard work!






They do!

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Raven and Dave were married on Saturday!! We are so happy for them and it was such an honor to be a part of their day!

I stayed with Raven and the bridesmaids the night before and we all got ready together in the morning. We had a great time but we all knew that the big black cloud outside had nothing to do with the day, but everything to do with the weather. Before we could hope, pray, and will it away, the skies opened up and they just wouldn’t stop!

Luckily, the groom knew just what to do to lift Raven’s spirits -


And we did the best we could to make sure no one’s mood got dampened. We blasted the music, danced, put loads of makeup on, had fabulous things done to our hair, and dressed in fabulous gowns!


And I…. took pictures… of course. Walter stepped in with the camera once I was summoned by the bride, but it was fun to get all the candids before “go time”.



Raven and Dave were supposed to get married on a beautiful golf course in Palm Beach. Unfortunately, they could only snuck out every now and again between rain drops for photos. Instead, they were married in the entrance of the gorgeous Breaker’s Golf Club – under cover.


Isn’t she GORGEOUS!?!


Raven’s father collects old cars. This was his first and it is named after Raven’s grandmother (who has passed). Rose just HAD to be there, and so she was.


The groomsmen all received cuff links that were very fitting to their personality, relationship with Dave, profession, etc. Walter snuck in the locker room to get this of the guys between the candids of them goofing off!


The wedding party! You can see how wet the ground is here, but you can also see how happy we all were in spite of it all!


In the Jewish religion and tradition, you not only marry but you sign a prenuptial agreement called a ketubah. Not like one from the lawyers of today, but a document outlining the rights and responsibilities of the bride and groom to each other. Their Rabbi, parents, and a few select Jewish friends signed as witnesses in this small, pre wedding ceremony.




And then it was wedding time!


And after beautiful ceremony and a few “I Do”s, they were husband and wife!


Afterwards we bustled the bride, and my 5+ years of wedding planner experience paid off! We had her tied up and ready to mingle in no time!



Walter didn’t get much coverage of the ceremony since it was a tight space and she already had professional photographers to capture it all. After the wedding we agreed it was time to dance and party with the rest of the guests so we’ll have to wait for the photos from the pros to see how that went down.

I gave a speech as part of my Maid of Honor duties (actually Matron of Honor, but the other one hated that term). I wouldn’t let Walter video the “performance” just in case it went horribly wrong, but it actually turned out great! I was nervous and I’m so glad that my friends Grey Goose and Cranberry helped me through. I was quite impressed with myself and loved being able to share this with everyone that was there to celebrate with them -

Good Evening! For those who don’t know me, my name is Dawn. Raven and I met twelve years ago in college, we became instant friends and we’ve been inseparable ever since! I will always have such fond memories of those care free college days when we might not have been the most responsible kids, but man we had fun!

After college we had each other to navigate the beginning of real life with. The ups, the downs, the victories, the defeats, the loves and the losses. We had each other and, SHE was amazing.

Raven was my maid of honor.  She was there when I had my children, she’s been such a big part of my life. Through everything that matters, she’s been there. When I needed encouraging words the most she sent me this quote (which I still carry with me today) – “Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Those words have become my mantra, I still hold them close to my heart.

My relationship with Dave has been tons of fun, naturally, if you know him you know there is no other option. When I met him, also in college, it was clear that he was not only the class clown and one of the most outgoing people on the planet, but also the love of Raven’s life. Way back in college, she knew. She knew that someday this day would come. What she didn’t know was that it would take Dave over a decade to figure it out! Dave has been a fixture for as long as I’ve known Raven. He’s also been the life of the party, the guy who hosed my kitchen down with a fire extinguisher at my son’s first birthday, and the guy that would make my best friend ridiculously happy!

So today I share with you these words, that I hope you will carry as your new mantra – May you share a joy that grows deeper, a friendship that grows closer and a marriage that grows richer through the years. May your good times be plenty and you sad times be few, may all your troubles be little ones, and at least one of them a girl!!

To love and laughter and happily ever after, to the bride and the groom!



Happily Ever After

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Raven’s grandmother had us to her club for brunch the morning after the wedding. It was a great way to sober up continue celebrating.




Single Motherhood

Monday, October 12th, 2009

My sister has been a single mother for most of her daughter’s life.  I know single moms, I know people who, in times of frustration with their spouses, think it would be better to be a single mom.  Never have I known what it means to be one, although it has always been very easy to say “I don’t know how you do it” and pat them on the back.  I never knew how easy I have it.

Walter was at a conference for a few days recently.  Although he crawled in late in the night and left early the next morning I was mostly in charge of the parenting and household chores.  I was pretty much on my own and let me tell you, it was tough.  I have never before given single moms, or moms of traveling husbands, the credit they deserve.  Sure, you have no one extra to clean up after or put up with, but you also have no one there to help you or, more importantly, support you and appreciate you.  The kids mean well and they wouldn’t be able to make it if you weren’t there but they rarely admit it and they don’t tell you how good of a job you’ve done at the end of every day.  So to all the single parents, or parents who find themselves mostly in charge on a daily basis, I salute you.  I appreciate you and I envy the strength and patience you have to get through the day with your head held high and your sanity intact.  I would never choose to be put in that position because I’m not sure if I could muster what it takes to do it long term.  You have my utmost respect.

I leave you with a story that I read for inspiration and perspective every now and again.  This is for any parent and although long, and a little religious (for those that aren’t), it is very worth the read…

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a tv guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

So to all the moms out there, single or not – Great job!  Keep up the hard, good work.  Whether you’re coated in formula, spackled in peanut butter, frustrated with your teenager’s raging hormones, or constantly hearing about your grand kids trials and tribulations, thank you.  You are an amazing person, we need you, we appreciate your love and your energy, even if you don’t hear it all the time!

Kate’s First Year Video

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Here is Kate’s First Year video created by Dawn and, of course, her beautiful letter is below.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009


What a difference a day makes!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Construction on the kitchen has officially begun!  Today they started ripping out the wall that encased our stove.  It will still be a wall but much shorter and not nearly as 70′s.  We will also no longer have an island but instead a whole bank of cabinets connecting to a new set of more cabinets and tons and tons of counter space.  Why the kitchen was ever designed like this is beyond me but we’re very excited for the finished product.  Unfortunately I’m sure the time between now and then will be riddled with dust, dirt and plenty of frustration.  Let’s see if you really can get sick of eating out!

So here was our kitchen yesterday (after we cleaned off the countertops, all of the junk now residing on our dining room table in the back) -

Here it is during the wall demolition (sorry about the shadow – I had to shoot and run!) -

And this is how it looks right now -

They will be back tomorrow to cut down the steel pieces and extend the back wall to the side wall.  The range will be replaced by a cooktop so don’t worry, there won’t be a huge unsightly piece sticking out like you see now.  I’m not sure where the hot pots go once they come off the stove and I’m also not sure where dinner is supposed to be eaten.  If I had absolutely no shame I’d give you a close up of our dining room table but that’s just too embarrassing right now!  Wish us luck – and patience!

Happy Father’s Day!

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Today is Father’s Day!  It’s a pretty uneventful day this year for us but with no less love or honor for all the father’s in our lives.  We had breakfast with Walter’s parents, his mom made her famous shrimp fritters that we stuffed ourselves on.  Tonight we’ll have dinner with my family at the Outback Steakhouse, as dad has requested.  For “our family” we got up early thanks to the poking and prodding of poor Noah who decided to celebrate by catching a cold.  We let Walter open all of his cards and gifts and then Noah used him as a jungle gym, as usual.  Unfortunately there was a piggy back ride incident with a cabinet door that was left open (my bad) and both guys smashed right into it.  Oh the joys of a crazy toddler household!  Anyway, we hope you all have a great Father’s Day and find time to honor all the men in your life.  Here are a few photos from our day.

Here’s the poor munchkin at lunch time (explains the split peas soup on his face).  Mouth hanging open because he can’t breathe, a gash over his swollen left eye from the cabinet door, rosy red cheeks and nose from his cold and generally a little droopy looking because I’m sure he’s wiped out.  As I type this he’s passed out for a nap, hopefully a long one.

And here are the boys…

What a difference two years makes – this was them on Walter’s first Father’s Day…



Photo as promised

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

And here’s the office as of today, as Walter promised.  I can’t wait to move in!  Notice the junkyard that is now our backyard just outside the window.  That should be cleaned up soon, and again, can’t wait!


And the rest of the story…

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Sorry its been so long since an update.  Unfortunately between the weather and gravity the more I sit at my computer the more swollen my feet become.  I’ve been trying very hard to keep away or keep my feet up but it doesn’t seem to be working very well so I might as well give you an update.

My camera.  Poor thing.  It really is broken.  The flash of life it gave last week was a last ditch effort to let us salvage what was there.  It has turned into Noah’s new toy I’m afraid.

Our house.  The addition is nearly done!  We have a few little minor things left but we should be moving furniture this week.  They are also starting on our kitchen which will be a HUGE renovation, a very needed one!  Very exciting!  Unfortunately Noah will be so disappointed when he realizes the office addition is not a play room.  He’s been enjoying the big empty room to race around in.  Here’s a recent photo of the space, Walter promises to take some full room shots very soon -

Noah’s bed.  It arrived!  We got it all put together and its working out great.  We had no idea he would need a step stool to get into it but its working so we’re not complaining.  Here’s two photos of his finished big boy bed, doesn’t he look so little?! -

Noah.  He starts a new school on Monday.  Its a Montessori program and he’ll be attending three hours each morning (Monday-Friday) plus swim lessons for the first 9 weeks.  I hope he likes it and the transition won’t be hard.  I’m very nervous for him!  Noah also had his two year check up this week.  He weighed in at 24 pounds, which is only 10% on an average scale and measured 33 inches which rates him 20% on that scale.  The doctor said we should just resign ourselves to the fact that Noah is going to be a little boy.  I’m still sneaking vegetables in his food in an effort to help!  And yes, I know, it will all work out and he’ll be average or better in no time but a mother worries – there’s no getting around that.

That’s about all that’s going on in our life.  Be well and stay in touch!