Archives for May 2012

Thursday Ten: I love the smell of tacos in the morning edition

1. This morning when I arrived at work, I got out of my car and the parking garage smelled like…tacos? It’s not unusual for it to smell like food, but usually it’s a nasty scrambled eggs aroma that greets me when I arrive. But tacos? I’m down with that.

2. The kids have just another few days of school left – and I am left in disbelief that the school year flew by so fast. This has been my first year working outside of the home for their school year, and since shifting to full time just after the start of the new calendar year, I feel like it’s whizzed by. Soon I’ll have a second and fifth grader. It’s amazing, right? And fifth grade is the last stop before middle school. [Note: When I was in 6th grade, it was still elementary school. Middle school is a concept I was unfamiliar with until I moved to Michigan. How is it where you are?]

3. Today both my sister and my good friend return back to work after their maternity leave. I know they’re both having kind of a rough day and miss their baby girls. It’s tough. I remember returning to work after The Princess was born – pretty sure I cried the whole drive. And then most of the work day. I’m sure I was a lot of fun.

4. Yes, like the rest of the world I watched that viral video of that guy and his lip dub marriage proposal to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” – and then got the song stuck in my head for an extended period of time afterwards. Yesterday, my mom sent me the link, “This is SO cute.” I emailed back, “Can’t watch. Won’t watch. Don’t want it stuck in my head.” Her email today? “I CAN’T GET THAT SONG OUT OF MY HEAD.” Yep. Uh huh. I know. Toldja.

5. Festival of the Arts kicks off in Grand Rapids tomorrow and all I’ve been able to think of since is… elephant ears. It’s ridic because there’s so much to the Festival – even foodwise – but really? Fried dough covered in sugar, baby. That’s what I want.

6. This afternoon I ventured outside during lunch with my camera and a need for fresh air, to breathe and to channel some of my energy creatively. I can’t even describe how much happier I am with a camera in my hands, looking through the world in a way that feels comfortable to me, creating both a distance from and an intimacy with my surroundings, just by capturing a moment through the lens. It doesn’t solve anything, really, but for those brief moments I catch my breath.

7. My nails are getting too long. When I was playing guitar regularly, I kept them short out of necessity. I like them short. My thumbnails are like little daggers right now and I hate them. And, this seems an odd thing to complain about, but my nails are so strong those stupid thumbnails won’t break. I need to keep a nail file, clippers, in my bag. They are driving me crazy. Now that I’ve truly noticed them, I can’t stop noticing them.

8. The temperatures have dropped from this weekend’s brutal 90 degree days and all I can say is THANK GOODNESS. Back to spring weather, and I’m glad.

9. Now that summer is approaching, are you a “YAY! SUMMER!” kind of person or an “UGH. SUMMER. {retch}” kind of person?

10. This post needed a picture and I’m too lazy to see if I’ve used this picture before but it feels sunshiney and perky to me. Daisies just kind of are, aren’t they? They don’t try too hard. They don’t smell too bad. They kind of just happen. I’m a fan. Yay daisies.


Happy Ten, Sweet Princess

ten candles

Dear Princess,

Another year has come and gone and today you are turning ten and – WHOA – ten? Where have all the years gone? I find that the past few weeks, in preparing myself for your birthday I find myself more nostalgic than I have been in the past. I don’t normally get worked up over your birthdays – because I am just excited for all that lies ahead for you. Somehow, ten feels different. Ten means you’re old. Ten means I’m old. Ten. It’s kind of a big deal, no?

This year has been fourth grade and season two of competitive gymnastics and the year that you are all of the sudden wearing women’s shoe sizes. This was the year your teacher let you choose your own spelling words and you would challenge yourself each week with words like “mimeograph” and “entrepreneur” and “ambidextrous” – and do you know how many adults can’t spell those words?

You AMAZE me.

Gymnastics this season was even better than last year – because you still radiate that confidence when you compete, but this year, I see the increased skill. Your roundoff back handspring was terrific this season – and I loved watching you become more solid in your skills in your routine. I love every time you execute your routine and you finished and I could whoop and cheer for you. I am so proud of you out there.

This is the year that they are going to talk to you in school about all the “changes” that are gonna happen as you get older. I’m sorry if that talk at school emotionally scars you. I’m here whenever you need, for whatever questions you have, and I promise I won’t embarrass you or make you feel dumb for asking. I’ve always wanted to be someone you can come to with anything, no matter what it may be – and I hope you know that I’m here. I’m going to do my best to keep making sure you know that. I love you and I worry that as you get older that you will shut me out, and that’s partly your job – to be difficult and to push the boundaries that are set for you – but even if I’m pushing back and standing firm on boundaries, I’m still here for you and will always love you. Know that I’m here. No matter what.

One of my favorite things about you has always been how you have my love of reading. I’m glad we started our book club this year (even if you spoiled the ending of the “Mango Shaped Space” book for me!). And when you came home with “Bridge to Terabithia” I was so happy because I remember that book so vividly. I love that you have found the same joy in books that I have always had. I like reading what you’re reading. We need a new book; let’s pick something soon.

I love when you sing in the car. The other day, I was driving you and your friend and Pumpkin to the store and you were singing “Raise Your Glass” so loudly and unabashedly. I love that. If I could have driven safely and  recorded the concert taking place behind me, I would have. The sound of singing voices makes me smile. I love to see the carefree side of you. And you? You have a beautiful voice.

For the first time recently, I noticed that you have my smile. I had kind of told myself that I was a recessive gene pool and that even though you didn’t look a thing like me, you at least had pieces of my personality. But a few weeks ago I saw it. In a picture of the two of us together, I saw our smiles and they were the same and it brought me far more joy than it probably should have. But yes, it makes me happy.

You got a cell phone this year. Your texts are my favorite. When you first started using your phone, you sent me so many “I love you” messages. Gosh, I love those. And then, that very first day you texted me from the bathroom asking where the toilet paper was and I laughed so hard that you did that. I still laugh. You are a funny kid.

When I was younger, grandma used to call me her soul child. It wasn’t that she didn’t love my sister or brother – it was just that there were ways that grandma and I are similar that my brother and sister aren’t. You are so much like me, Princess, that I can often know in any given situation how you will react. And in someways, you are probably more sensitive than I am, but for the most part, I think I read you well – I’ll try to not be obnoxious about it.

When we went shopping for birthday gifts, your sister picked out a koala bear WebKinz – you love koalas, and had asked for koalas. Somehow, in the midst of this sea of stuffed animals, she spotted the koala face and has been beside herself with excitement since-she’s too excited to even sleep! I hope you like the koala bear, and I hope you realize how much your sister truly loves you and admires you and really cares about making you happy. And I hope that once you open that bear today she starts sleeping again!

You are the queen of cupcake baking. Drawing. Writing. Singing along to the radio. Mastering gymnastics stunts. Shining blue eyes. A nose sprinkled with freckles. Radiance. A quiet self-assurance. A bit of doubt.

You impress me often – not even necessarily by doing anything, but just by being. I still remember the moment I first held you and it doesn’t even seem like it could possibly have been ten years ago already, but somehow? Ten years has gone by.

I try so hard to not say the same thing in every letter every year. I am so excited about the you that you are. I am so excited about the path that you are on. I’m excited to see where each new year takes you. You have so much ahead of you, and that’s exciting.

You’re smart and beautiful and kind and loving and creative and you have such a fun-spirit.

And today you’re ten.

I wish you the happiest of birthdays today. I hope you know how blessed I am to have you in my days. I love you with my whole heart and I am so very lucky to be your mom.

Love you lots and lots of tater tots,


Thursday Ten: Almost Walking Normally Again edition

1. Well, several days post-walk I feel that today may well be the first day I am not walking with the stiff-legged hobble of someone whose feet are plastered with blisters (really I have just a few blisters on my toes – all in unfortunate spots that most shoes rub, which is a bummer). I am on the mend, for sure, and am grateful. I’d love to get back to my normal routine with working out and now that the weather’s nice, maybe try to start running again.

2. The Princess will turn ten on Monday and I can’t believe she’s entering double digits. I don’t ever mourn the stages she left behind – I’m generally too excited to see what changes each new year brings. Admittedly, her turning ten makes me feel really OLD.

3. On the music front, I did just buy John Mayer’s latest album, “Born & Raised” though I haven’t listened to it yet. It was getting pretty solid reviews and since I’ve always been able to separate the musician from the DB, I kind of enjoy his music. Actually, I hated him until I saw him perform live in 1998 at Rothbury – now? I don’t. The reviews are saying this is album is a bit folkier sounding, and y’know? I’m okay with that. I’ll let y’all know after I listen, though.

4. This morning while I was getting ready for work, Pumpkin stepped out on the front porch without my knowing to “check the weather”. She ended up locking herself out of the house. The dog started barking as she knocked on the door, but I was in the back of the house throwing a load of whites in the washing machine, and frankly, he barks at everyone and everything who goes by – so I didn’t realize there was a real purpose. All told, she was out there maybe three minutes but when I got closer to the front door, I heard her knocking and when I opened the door, she was in tears. I felt awful.

5. Whoohoo! Tomorrow our office is letting us wear jeans again in exchange for a donation to a local autism charity. I love combining a casual Friday with a good cause. I’m pretty excited to be comfy while I work.

6. Sooo, it’s a holiday weekend. While I’m stoked for a three day weekend, my weekend predictably revolves around birthday activities. A party for a bunch of kids on Saturday and the actual birthday on Monday (be sure to take a break from your festivities to read my annual birthday letter to my daughter. I haven’t written it yet, but it will probably make me cry while I write it, and so it’s always a lovely and difficult post for me).

7. Sometimes you take a different route home and when you do you see a big cluster of daisies by the side of the road. So then you do some creative maneuvering to turn around to go back to shoot them. At least, that’s what I did.
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8. I’ve been trying to write more lately. I didn’t realize how much I was missing it until I put a deliberate focus on it. It’s good – if I can’t turn my brain off, I can at least distract it.

9. I still haven’t picked up my guitar in months, however.

10. My dog would bite my arm off if I ever tried to put clothes on him. And I’m sure a dress would conflict him quite a bit. This dog seems to be totally okay with the dress though. I am kind of curious just how extensive this dog’s wardrobe is.


Avon Walk: 117.9 – 157.2


Four years ago, I drove to Chicago to walk in my first Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I’d done my fundraising, I’d prepped myself by taking long walks to train my body to get used to these long walking distances, I even borrowed a sleeping bag thinking I’d actually camp out in the Avon Wellness Village after Day 1 (I didn’t. But y’all probably knew that). I drove down on Friday and on Saturday morning, bright and early, I set out to meet my team at the starting area at Soldier Field.

And when I say “meet my team”, I really mean meet my team.

I’d never met them face-to-face before that morning. Sure, we’d corresponded via Twitter and email, but nope, before that day we’d never spent a single second in each others’ presence… and somehow we were going to walk 39.3 miles side by side.

And you know what? It was a tremendous leap of faith for them to invite me to join them and for me to actually go. And sometimes it’s good to leap, because I’ve never for a single second or a single foot blister been sorry I went.

I walked again the next year.

And the next year after that I flew to San Francisco to walk.

And this year I flew to Boston.

In between all those times? Those women who were my teammates that first morning became my friends. I’m not sure who said it this weekend – if it was Debbie or Barbara – imagine if I hadn’t gone that first year, if we’d have never met, then we wouldn’t have each other.

I suppose you could argue that none of us would know what we were missing – but knowing now what I know about them, I know that there would be a hole in my heart where those friendships belong had I not ever gotten to meet them.

Walking long distances is tough – I’ve heard it’s tougher than running (but seeing as how I don’t think I’ll ever opt to run that far on purpose, I’ll have to take other people’s word on that).When you’re walking all that way, there’s a lot of time for conversation, getting to know people. You learn that one of them is just the right size to stuff in a shopping cart and wheel around a deserted parking lot, or that another hates the word “pee” (you will probably repeatedly forget that she hates it, and you will probably inadvertently say it over and over again causing her to cringe each time – but you know it anyway). You learn about kids and pets and families and work and life.

If you ever want to get to know someone, walk with them for awhile.

Though they have far more miles on their sneakers than I do (I just officially hit my 157th Avon mile – Barbara, on the other hand was on her 17th Avon Walk!), I do my best to keep up. By the time walk day rolls around, we’ve been deep in the process for awhile. We’ve worked hard to fundraise and rally the troops and inform people about the good things the Avon Foundation does with this money to help research cures as well as fund programs for those fighting breast cancer. That’s the hard part.

Walk days are as fun as you make them, and we believe in fun. We believe in creating joy if the crowd support is lacking (and, sorry Boston, it was lacking. San Francisco and Chicago do it SO WELL, that the vibe in Boston was decidedly subdued. Kind of a bummer).

By the time the opening ceremony had ended and the walk kicked off, I had already experienced a huge range of emotions: I’d cried more than once at stories of lives lost to breast cancer, I cheered for survivors, I laughed at cute team tshirts and outfits, I yawned with exhaustion (It was early, y’all). The two days is like that. Once you start walking, add pain, fatigue, excitement, challenge, fury at hills (OH THE HILLS!), laughter, camaraderie… add that all to the mix.

I can’t imagine experiencing that with anyone else but my team. We just work. On the morning of day two when we all hovered around a pool filled with pink rubber ducks at Reebok’s HQ shooting pictures for over ten minutes I realized again, these are my people.


And when blisters slowed me down and I wasn’t zipping at the same pace they were, they slowed for me and refused to leave me behind though I said they could. And eventually we all crossed the finish line together at the end of it all.

We finished the evening with a celebratory dinner, venturing outside at sunset to take pictures of the sky (my people…). We parted ways in the hallway with hugs and love, and the next day all headed back to our corners of the midwest.

I miss them tremendously already.

There’s something soul-lifting about spending time with people you admire, people who are strong and joyful, people who make your world better just by simply existing. Spending time with friends, even while hobbling along with blisters, is renewing and recharging.

That I get so much out of doing this walk would have surprised the Sarah who drove to Chicago to meet a group of strangers to walk 40 miles. This Sarah, however, knows better and is already planning miles 157.2 through 196.5 (Denver 2013, baby!).

I forgot to be scared

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I have been on four different airplanes in four days en route to and from Boston for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I’ve been on four airplanes and never once had that breath-stealing feeling of fear, the overheated nervous sweat, the certainty that surely that noise, those bumps, that none of them were normal and all were a bad sign. I never gripped the arm rest in terror. I never had to sing “Baby Got Back” to myself to get the Alanis lyrics out of my head (“And as the plane crashed down he thought, well isn’t this nice?”) that always seems to bog my brain in the midst of my mile-high fear.

Not. A. Single.Time.

I wasn’t imbibing in flight cocktails, nor did I acquire a fistful of Xanax. I took my usual Rescue Remedy (which frankly doesn’t always seem to work, but it makes me feel like I’m doing something) and boarded the plane. Fortunate to not have much turbulence, surely that was a factor, but even so, I am almost never able to completely close that fear out of my head.

Today? I read a book for TWO HOURS on the plane AND? I almost fell asleep.

I’m not sure when I developed my phobia of a flying, though I know it’s been awhile as I distinctly remember breaking out into a sweat and damn near hyperventilating on a flight back from Greensboro, North Carolina while I was pregnant for Pumpkin (The flight attendant asked if I needed a Valium – I’m still not sure if she was kidding).

I also have not repressed the memory of actually screeching on a late night puddle jumper flight when we hit a huge pocket of turbulence in a storm and the plane made a massive dip that scared me out of my ever loving mind (So lucky I had a coworker on that flight: “Remember that time Sarah screamed on the airplane?” Yeah. That was fun).

Even in the days leading up to this trip, I was getting anxious.

And then somehow? It was fine.

I wish I knew what the magic trick was – because I’d like to make sure it happens every time. Sure, the flights were relatively smooth (and it’s the turbulence that really wigs me out) but even takeoff (gah) didn’t rattle me like usual.

I hope this is a permanent thing. I’d love to shake this fear. I’d love to effortlessly travel without waiting to fall out of the sky. I have no other trips planned, but I look forward to seeing if this calmer-traveler side prevails.

Thursday Ten: It’s ALMOST WALK WEEKEND! edition

1. It’s finally here! Tomorrow, I’ll head to Boston (I’ve never been there!) for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and I’ll walk 39.3 miles (or somewhere over 40 miles in Avon miles… their mile measurements never seem quite right!) to support breast cancer research and programs to help those with the disease. I’m SO excited (but still a little freaked about the airplane because y’all…airplanes). It will be a good weekend, the weather looks like it’s gonna be great (maaaaybe a bit too warm, but, I’ll get over it), and I can’t wait to spend time walking with friends for a good cause.

2. In anticipation of my trip out of town and a bit of missed time at work, I haven’t been out and about as much during my lunch hours to take pictures. I haven’t even really taken lunch the past few days. I miss that time mid-day with my camera in hand. It means that my picture of the day could very well be… my lunch? Yawn. Sorry.
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3. The Home button on my iPhone is being severely cranky and a bit of a Google search tells me that this is a) common and b) likely easily remedied by cleaning it out. I should probably try giving it a whirl with the cleaning idea because it’s DRIVING ME NUTS to push that button and have NOTHING happen.

4. Yesterday, The Princess made cookies for me to take on my trip. She knows I love cookies – she recently made me cookies for mother’s day. However, she was following a Rachael Ray recipe and mid-process realized we didn’t have enough flour and there were no chocolate chips (I think they’re just hidden in the fridge… seems like we have some). My girl altered the recipe, omitting the chocolate, mixing all-purpose flour with whole wheat and you know what? They’re PRETTY GOOD. Kinda proud of her getting creative with baking.

5. I asked for some recommendations for new music to add to my iPod for my trip, and got several recommendations. One of my favorite recent additions is “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons (h/t to Amanda for the recommendation).

6. Found out yesterday that the awesome card thing that has been going on was coordinated for me through Hallmark’s CARD SHOWER program (You can find info on their website). I can’t even describe how cool it is, and how much it’s lifted me. The Card Shower makes it easy for someone to set up such a thing – for whatever the occasion – and I’m grateful someone took the time to do that for me.

7. And also in the music category, that which is old is new again? Added some old stuff to the music library this week, which is why Dido’s “Here With Me” has been stuck in my head all morning.

8. I need to go bathing suit shopping. I bought my last suit at an outlet mall somewhere in Maryland while out of town to shoot a wedding (it’s a Gap suit, I think), and if I’m remembering correctly, it was a mildly traumatic experience. Nooooot so much looking forward to doing it again.

9. The airline called me this morning to check in for my flight. It kind of freaked me out and I hung up on them. That was probably an inappropriate reaction. Also, I hate flying. But, I did check in online and am good to go now.

10. How many times have I listened to Augustana’s “Boston” in anticipation of my trip? Eleventy, but mostly because of shuffle. Love that song. I wonder if it annoys the people in Boston.
I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset…

Bombed. With Love. Like Whoa.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
-Albert Schweitzer

I started blogging just over six years ago, when Pumpkin was an infant and The Princess was a preschooler and I was a newly working-from-home mom who wanted an outlet for writing and talking about my day and hopefully hang on to a piece of myself while living elbow deep in diapers and bottles and bendy straws.

And initially I was shouting into the void because I didn’t really give the link to anyone I knew, just started writing.

And then somehow, people came.

Not many. I’m not one of those bloggers. I don’t have the charisma to attract people in droves to find out about my riveting iTunes buying habits. That’s okay.

Eventually, I would meet other bloggers and work on other projects and form friendships.

Oh, the friendships.

It seems weird, these friends of mine who live in the computer – who were so theoretical and imaginary until a few years ago in Nashville, I met many of them face to face. And then later in Chicago, I met more of them at another blogging conference. And these ladies who fill my Twitter stream and invade my Skype on the daily (thank god), have become some of the best friends I could ever ask for.

It sucks when many of your closest friends are so far away. I could go damn near anywhere in this country and know someone there – and that’s pretty awesome. But sometimes, when you’re having a hard time, the country feels kind of big.

Until your friends make it smaller.

I’m not sure who started it, but my mailbox has been getting so much love lately. Almost daily, I receive a greeting card with love and support and joy and friendship.

Sending hugs from the middle of Georgia.

Remember I’m here for you always.

I hope you don’t mind slightly pornographic fairy cards.

You are loved SO much.

You, friend, often make me smile…

Amazing. You’re amazing.

Love you.

#GuacTribe forever!

Surely they know, have to know how their kind words mean the world to me. How even though my world is a little shaken right now and things are chaotic, their love and support from their various corners of the country remind me that I’m loved and that as long as I’m loved I’ll be okay. They don’t even need to know what’s bothering me, only that I need love and they have reached out to give it in spades.

And I am so blessed. So very very blessed.

I wish they were all nearby and we could kick back somewhere with a table overflowing with food and drinks and just all laugh and talk and be surrounded by the light that each one of us has to shine. But until the next time, I welcome their arrival in my mailbox. Little by little. Each kindness. All of the love.

I am so very blessed to have these friends.


Thursday Ten: Talking About Things edition

1. First things first, because you know I’d mention it and I’mma get it out of the way and then move on. Season Two of The Voice ended with Chris Mann placing fourth and while I am tremendously bummed that he didn’t win it (OH THE TALENT, Y’ALL), I have faith that good things are in store for him. Besides, does anyone even know who won Season 1 of The Voice? I sure don’t. He’ll find his way – that I’m sure of. It was just really nice to see his face on my TV for all those weeks. Quite nice indeed.

2. In the midst of feeling massive amounts of stress lately my friends had bombed me with love in the forms of cards in the mail and random texts and DMs on Twitter. It feels amazingly good to know I have such great people in my corner. It makes my heart lighter to feel loved and I appreciate it.

3. A week from tomorrow, I’ll be on a plane (GAH) heading for Boston for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This will be my FOURTH Avon Walk, and I’m excited and nervous. I’ve never been to Massachusetts and I’m looking forward to seeing so much of a new place over the few days I’m there.

4. I wasn’t going to mention it – because I don’t do politics here – but I’m pretty damn pleased that President Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage yesterday. Whether or not you think it’s a ploy to get votes in an election year, or whether you believe his sincerity — it’s still huge and I am tremendously glad he took that step in that direction. I am choosing to tune out the haters about it – because who has time for hate? Not me.

5. So, it’s totally rational when feeling stressed out to make massive changes to your hair. Cut three inches off the bottom and colored it (myself! Can you tell?!). I think I’ll be taking it a little darker soon and getting rid of some of the red, because WHOA.
Oh. The red.

6. Tonight The Princess has a school musical. I added it to my iPhone calendar a month ago. Never thought about it since. The reminder popped up last night. Her teacher sends reminders about EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. Not this. Soooo… guess I have plans tonight. Don’t get me wrong – I love love love seeing my kids involved in school and shining their light and being their best – but apparently there are TWO HUNDRED KIDS IN THIS PERFORMANCE. 200.

7. I posted briefly last night about my intent to write more and I meant it. Some of that writing will fill this space. Not all of it, but some. I love writing, and I want to find my way back to it.

8. I haven’t downloaded anything new lately that wasn’t The Voice related (see #1) or wasn’t for the kids (which is how “TTYLXOX” popped up on Shuffle this morning). What are you listening to these days?

9. While I am working to make writing a bigger part of my life again, my time with a camera in my hands remains some of my favorite waking time. I cannot imagine not having this outlet. I love getting to show people the way I see things. Needing to find a way to keep challenging myself and seeing things differently.
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10. It’s Mother’s Day weekend approaching – so if you are a mom, have a mom, know a mom, have heard of this strange concept called “mom”, or whatever. Enjoy yourself. Or don’t. But if you’re not enjoying yourself, can you make some waffles for me? I’d like to celebrate this whole mom thing.

Write Now

It used to be that when my mind was in chaos, I turned to writing to process my thoughts and figure things out and get myself from point A to point B – and… I stopped doing that. I used to write all the time – poetry, lyrics, short stories, essays.

And somewhere along the line I stopped writing so much.

I need to change that.

We’ll eat you up, we love you so.

“Live your Life. Live your Life. Live your Life.”
– Maurice Sendak

Sometimes my brain surprises me with its capacity to grieve for those I’ve never met. I cried when Lucille Ball died. I joined the rest of the grungy youth mourning Kurt Cobain. The death of Steve Jobs somehow hit me like a ton of bricks. And now, with the news of the death of Maurice Sendak, this inexplicable sadness fills me as this person, this creator of magic and wonder is no longer here.

Children’s literature has always held a place in my heart and I was raised in a home where reading was valued, and reading was special and reading was part of our daily lives. As a child and now, as an adult, I could easily slip away and get lost in the world between the covers of a book. I could let the words paint pictures in my mind and somehow I was transported – to the land of the Wild Things or to Ramona’s Klickitat Street.

Those who know me know well the place in my heart held by “Goodnight Moon” – my favorite children’s book, it was also my mother’s favorite to read to me. And now, even though my children are too old for its simple prose, I still cherish that great green room and its telephone and the cow jumping over the moon.

Max held a place in my heart, close to that of the quiet old woman whispering hush.

I remember having this story read to me, I remember reading it to myself, and I read it to both of my girls, though neither seemed to love it quite like I did.

Sad and complicated Max escaping to a world where he could be king.

And he felt sad and complicated to me – not so much naughty. Just a frustrated boy. Frustrated kid. Creating a world when he couldn’t control his own.

And I loved it.

I love it still.

And from a house of reading to my own house of reading, my daughters both have my strong love for books and our shelves overflow with books – all of these pages full of new adventures and characters and illustrations. But it seems so many of these stories don’t hold the same magic as the ones from when I was young – and maybe that’s just my age talking or maybe it’s true. There are so many people out there creating, and the creating? That’s good. But it’s hard to sort through all the garbage to find the true gems. The classics. The ones that become a part of your heart and your history and weave their way into your very being so that when you are older, you remember with a wave of nostalgia how much those words meant to you and you nearly ache to share those words with the next generation.

I have no idea what books those will be. What books my daughters will share.

But, to me, I still hold Max close in my heart.

And Max the king of all wild things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.

RIP Maurice Sendak. Thank you for your words, your creativity, your passion. Thank you for leaving your mark on my childhood and on my heart with your stories. I’ll keep on sharing them, I will, so that one day maybe my grandchildren will love Max and the Wild Things as I did.