Monday, May 20, 2013


Sometimes I forget I ever stood and waited for the train. I forget what the view from our conference room window was. I forget that look of absolute contented belonging that lived on Stephen's face there. That look that only returned when he held Ada and Margot for the first time in our apartment. Then I find reminders.. like my notebook of self indulgent observations that I carried around when we lived there. I think I am going to share some here.. unedited for better or worse. 


"Sitting on a bench in Central Park by a pond. Watching a couple have their photos taken together by the water. I passed them on the way here posing by the fountain by Bergdorf. Have they just gotten engaged and are taking pictures for the paper? The girl is very loud and sounds like a native New Yorker. She is talking about the fact that all the pictures they take together always come out badly and her head is always chopped off at the top. I wonder when the wedding will be?

From where I sit I can see 4 groups of people taking pictures. . . of eachother, of the pond, of the bench I am sitting on. I too wish I had a camera here if only to take pictures of the picture taking people! What a collection that would make. . pictures of people taking pictures of other things. 

I passed  a very striking woman on 5th just now. She was standing on the corner of a Catholic Church building with another man. She pointed at people passing by with a lit cigarette and mumble shouted negativisms at them. She had on deep red lipstick and she looked like she might have been on something. Her face was so striking. Dark skin and angular lines. She was beautiful in her way. I think her apparent madness made her even more appealing and fascinating. 

A group of British boys just passed my bench here in the park commenting on how clean it is here. I suppose I have to agree with them for the most part. More picture takers just now. It is twilight and soon there will be too little light for portraits and snapshots."

The Cabin

Ellen invited me to come away for a girls weekend at the cabin. I have been there exactly twice before. Once, when I was 12 and again towards the end of college. This time was like the last. Her precious father met us there. He had gotten everything opened up, cleaned and ready for us. This is the view. Close your eyes and imagine the perfect amount of balmy breezes blowing gently over tired eyelids.

Built at the turn of the century. The last one. 

The simplicity of the interior drove me wild this visit. I couldn't get enough visually. The simplicity and the light and the harmony of color, form and functionality. Mostly the functionality. Everything is so tight and neat and orderly. 

The color of the stain on the plywood. The way it made the rooms glow in the sunlight. 

Somehow it was like visual poetry that I couldn't put to words. 

Tell me you don't see it.. then look again.

One family's paradise. 

Grateful for the sharing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's 65 Celebratory Day Weekend Extravaganza

So.. when you are an introvert and you have a visit from your fabulous inlaws for special Grandparents Day at the girls' school plus your Dad's big 65th birthday mountain birthday extravaganza and it's Mother's Day weekend as well.. you find yourself pretty silent on the Monday that follows. You might even find yourself bursting into tears for no reason on Sunday night and sobbing on your husbands shoulder - despite having one of the best weekends imaginable. Us weirdos get a backlog of emotions taken in without time to process and reciprocate fully and that's what happens. Anyway.. I am not sure anything truly interesting is going to come out of this post since I can barely form a sentence today (I spent all afternoon playing playdough with girls.. playdough is a universal language). 

This is the quick family shot from Dad's birthday party. Pretty good looking bunch of folks I think.

The twinsies ended the day covered - head to toe - in mud. Best day ever. 

Yes, it is every bit as beautiful in person as it looks on "film". 

Babies love ice buckets.  Yes, she is still a baby.

Me. Visiting. Talking. And talking and talking and..

 The girls ran..

.. and ran.. 

.. and stopped just long enough to pose. 

We got this one shot of the birthday boy :) there were lots of folks to visit with and see

My lovely sisters-in-law. 

Lots of hammock time.. 

Frankie refused to nap but spent the majority of the day surfing from shoulder to shoulder being alternately cuddly or fussy. She was a super trooper.

Bluegrass bands, bar-b-que, this view and birthday cake? What's not to love right?

Then there's my new favorite picture of all time. My brother Page - fisher/hunter/outdoors man extraordinaire - borrows a left handed fishing rod (he's right handed) from someone there and started fishing while the rain was sort of gently starting to come down a bit. Pretty soon the girls and I are standing around watching him as he carries on a conversation with folks nearby and casually casts out and reels in the line over and over - expertly placing it in various deep spots. Every time he tossed in towards this one big rock face I thought for sure it was going to hit the rock and slide down into the water - silly Sarah. Of course it just went "plink!" right into the perfect little spot. Anyway before long he catches a little brook trout (??) and he turns around and hands me the rod and lets me reel it in!! Then with the girls watching he gets it off the hook (he asked me if I wanted to eat it and I choked under the pressure and told him to let it loose) lets them take a good look at that beautiful little creature and then off it goes back down stream. Well now I am all giddy and excited and the girls are HOOKED and want him to catch a fish for them too. So my sweet brother stood out there and fished for what seemed like a blessed eternity. I say blessed because during this time Frankie finally conked out and slept on my shoulder for awhile - so I got to sit and watch my daughters follow their uncle up and down the bank. Watch them put their little hands out and hold his jeans pocket to catch their balance going down the steep parts. Watch him put his arm out to steady them if they came down the wet grass too quickly. It was heaven. I couldn't even break myself away long enough to grab the camera and thankfully Larry snapped this awesome shot. I just stored the entire thing away in my memory. Can't really express how special it was. Sitting under the trees in the gentle shower of rain, holding my sleeping baby, watching my childhood hero - my big brother Page - fish with my big girls as though it was something they did together every day. It was a moment I won't soon forget. 

And then there was Mother's Day. I got the royal breakfast in bed with homemade cards and my favorite flowers treatment. Then I got the Whole Foods picnic lunch treatment (Yum!). THEN John and Mariel showed up with THIS. Mariel brought goodies for everyone as she usually does but she also brought loads of beautiful flowers for the girls to arrange in vases around the house. Plus three beautiful lavender plants for us to plant outside. One for each Shinglette to care for. 

How spoiled am I?!?!

What a fabulous aunt. 

If I had every flower in the world to choose from these are the ones I would have chosen - seriously. There is no filter or photoshop on these picture they were and are just that gorgeous! Now my house looks like a resort. 

Happy Uncle John in the background there. It was just the best day.. the best weekend. The best visits and late night talks with the best people and the best food and the best memories. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013


If you have young children, particularly girls, you might be familiar with finding various toys arranged in a particular scene or set up from time to time. This is a regular occurrence here and I have been trying to record a few when I get the chance. Most of these were left in the wake of the tidal wave of Ada and Margot's imagination and I am not sure what each represents but I do know a few. For instance the baby above is a "Queen baby on her throne". Around our house the Queen is better than the Bride and statements such as "If you don't let me wear the pink headband I will say it is only the BRIDE headband and not the QUEEN headband." are common. 

No idea. 


This one I know! This is "A water fairy taking a nap on the couch watching TV". I told Margot she could have just told me it was supposed to be me but she reminded me I am not a water fairy and can't do things like put dew drops on spider webs - thanks Disney. 

Just sat down to fill out the calendar for the month and I am very close to a panic attack. I am not ready for this. I am not ready for so many end of school things that I can't keep them straight and that constant nagging feeling that you are forgetting something - usually because it was due yesterday. Seeing every weekend and the majority of each week left in the month melt into a blur of pencil scratches. I refuse to write them in ink - the page instantly becomes an unnavigable maze of obligations. Then there are all the fun things that the girls are going to go bananas over. Field Day. Grandparents Day. End of the Year Celebration... Last Day Class Party... these are the ones I can't handle. I am not ready for this part. Not ready for them to be done with their first year of school. Not ready for them to leave their precious and amazing and oh-so-supportive Pre-K Teachers. What will I do without them next year?! They have been like having two extra mothers on staff to share in the loving on and raising of my girls. How can they be this old?? To make it worse they quit wanting to wear their jumpers this week and started wearing the plaid skirts with their shirts tucked in. They look like 6 year olds. Not.Ok. 

As much as I cried when they started school.. sliding down this steep hill to the end of it is going to leave a mark. Not here.. or here so much.. but right here in the middle of my chest. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Twin Life

Being a twin can be tough. You love with a fierce love that gets so entangled you fight hard to keep it intact some days. Sometimes ideas that seemed brilliant in your little mind turn out to really upset your other half. 

Today Margot decided to tear the Canadian flags (that the girls have been marching and dancing with all day) off their dowel rods. She had some purpose in mind for these rods that I am sure would have elevated them far above the roll of flag pole. When Ada saw what she had done she stared in horror. When I saw what she had done I issued my standard "That's not safe. You'll put your eye out." comment and confiscated the items. Ada planted herself in the middle of the hallway, arms crossed across chest, angry tears rolling down cheeks, angry sobs making my ears ring, and declared herself to be super angry at Margot. Margot, devastated at having made a mistake that wasn't popular with Ada ran from her room, to my room, then Frankie's room looking for a place to cry. I left them for a few minutes before stepping in. Ada remained in the hallway. I heard Margot banging in their bathroom and went to try to help them work things out. She was so upset by the fact that Ada was so mad at her, she had taken a drawing she had recently given to Stephen off his night stand and was trying to get the old tape to stick to the bathroom wall - insisting that it wasn't good enough for Daddy anymore and it belonged in the bathroom. I took her into my arms and she crumbled. Sobbing. This is not unusual as Margot is pretty moody but these tears were not manufactured. She decided to apologize to Ada, who immediately stopped crying and hugged her sister. Margot remained inconsolable. I held her on my lap and talked quietly to her about mistakes and how easy some mistakes are to fix. How wonderful it was that Ada forgave her right way and wasn't even upset anymore. Daddy can fix just about anything. Making mistakes is the best way to learn sweet girl. Etc. Etc. Cuddle. Snuggle. Ready to find Ada. A far off voice called us into the kitchen. There stood Ada with her "I Forgive You Card" for Margot. Good grief how I love my girls. Margot and her tender heart that breaks mine in half when I watch her struggle with my own hurts and insecurities at such a young age. Ada who loves like wild fire.

Strawberry Picking

Cold, wet and rainy day? Hows about a nice trip to the strawberry fields!!! Boots mandatory.

 An old friend and his sweet mommy got ride along with us today. I have another pictures buried somewhere of the same set up but all three of these kids can't roll over yet and are lying on their backs in their overalls. Time stinkin' flies ya'll.


They did great at keeping the tops on the berries - the key to long lasting berry freshness. 

Group shot. Cutest class on the planet. 

It's tough work to pick strawberries in the rain and cold and then sit down for homemade strawberry ice cream. Seriously though.. it was cold. 

Ice cream made it feel colder but these guys toughed it out. 

Best buddies.