Friday, February 10, 2012


the number I hope to see a lot in Las Vegas next week.
the weight of a toddler.
a forever store that I won't see the inside of until I am dragged there by my own teen.
a film with Kevin Spacey that I have never seen...or heard of.
the second album by Adele.
$33.05, in British Pounds.
the amount of weight that I have lost since September!!!

Sorry, had to shout that one from the rooftops! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Girl

An open letter to my daughter on her 3rd birthday...

My darling,

Where to begin?  The nostalgia started last night when I was putting you to bed.  Rocking my 2 year-old baby girl, as we have done hundreds and hundreds of times since you were born.  In my mind, a two year-old is still a baby and when I placed you in your bed and kissed you goodnight, I felt almost like I was saying goodbye to mine.  I lingered in your room longer than usual, soaking it all in.  And, your Daddy told me this morning that he snuck into your room last night just to watch you sleep.  I guess he felt the same way.

Tears stream down my face as I think of all the joy and love you have brought to our lives.  From head to toe and from inside to out, you ooze happiness and love.  As it has been since your first gummy grin, your smile lights up a room.  You have a way with people, my love, and you capture the hearts of anyone in your path.

I love your spirit and tenacity.  I must admit, its hard to let go, as you crave to do everything on your own.  Things that have been my job all along.  But, how could I not admire your gusto for life and fierce independence?  I can and do, because, secretly I know, that at the end of the day, its me you want to give you your last few bedtime kisses. 

I love your wicked sense of humor, that seems to pick up on all the inappropriate things and scream them from the rooftops.  Like how you've been going around saying, "keep the change you filthy animal" from "Home Alone" -- a movie definitely not made for your age group.  I love that you would forgo any meal, any dessert, any time of day for a piece of gum.  Girl, you love your gum and put Violet Beauregarde to shame.  I love how you enunciate words, like ash-eh-leigh and that you still say lellow, for yellow.  Speaking of which, your language, wow.  Sometimes the things that come out of your mouth, have me searching the room for a college kid.  I love when you grab someones face to get their undivided attention.  I love that you love to dance and can't think of anything cuter than when I catch you dancing in the mirror.  I love that you forbid anyone to use "your bathroom."  You're lucky you have a brother who is okay with this set up!  I love that your face still lights up when people you love walk in a room.  I love your genuine concern when you hear someone is sick or hurt.  I love that you love books and music and are the first to plop on the couch to watch football with Dad.

Your big brother, oh how he loves you so.  The way he looks at you, it takes my breath away.  Just the other night, you locked yourself in the bathroom, in the dark and broke a vase.  I was scared because I couldn't get to you and when I finally scooped you into my arms, safe, it was him I saw.  He was clinging to his Nana, heart beating fast, with concern in his eyes.  I wish I could have captured on film to show you one day how his hand reached for yours, stroking your face, asking you over and over again if you were okay.  And, no one was more excited that you moved into the older class at school, because it meant that he got to spend more time with his sister.  And, just this morning, do you know what he said when I was trying to put a crown on you for school?  "Mom, she doesn't need the crown.  She is as beautiful as a princess without it."  I mean, just melt my heart.  All the nights that you woke up in the middle of the night with a bad dream, only wanting your "broder"...I rest easy knowing you a set for life with him by your side!

Oh my Ellie-girl, know on this day and everyday that follows how much I love you. 

As our favorite book says, "I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.  And, if someday your lonely, or someday your sad, or you strike out in baseball or think you've been bad...just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.  That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.  So hold your head high and don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade.  If your still my small babe or you're all the way grown, my promise to you is you're never alone.  You are my angel, my darling, my star...and my love will find you wherever you are."

Happy 3rd birthday love.  Your Daddy, brother and I adore you with all our hearts.  Thank you for being you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The 9/11 Memorial

I'm writing this from 30,000 feet. I still marvel at technology. I'm using the Internet on the plane, while the man sitting next to me is reading a book on his iPad (the Steve Jobs biography ironically enough -- not that I looked over his shoulder or anything). I really don't like to fly, so being able to shop play online, is now another thing in my arsenal to take my mind off the ever-present fear.

I'm headed back from NYC, where I was since Monday for a business trip. I don't travel for work a lot, so when an opportunity comes up, it feels like a treat.

I was booked back-to-back for some really neat and exciting meetings. I barely had time to take a breather, but I managed to squeeze in a little time with some of my favorite people on the planet and meet my dear friend's adorable and perfect baby boy!

And, lucky for me, this morning I mis-read my calendar and thought a 11 a.m. meeting was actually at 10. This left me with an hour to kill. I jumped in a cab and went to the 9/11 memorial. I can imagine the mere mention of downtown Manhattan is still heartbreaking for some, but for me, to stand on this ground has been calling me ever since my first glimpse of the devastation in 2001.

As I write this, just mere hours later, I'm still reveling in the calm and serenity of the memorial, on the exact site that brought anything but. When I rounded the corner, after weaving through the fences protecting visitors from the overwhelming amount of construction to rebuild the NYC skyline, into the memorial site I instantly knew I was witnessing one of the most unbelievable, breathtaking, historical, sad and poignant things I've ever seen.

This first picture is of the tree that survived at the base of one of the towers. It was miraculously nurtured back to health and re-planted among the hundreds of trees within the memorial site.  It stands out from the others and seems at rest in the foreground of the unbelievably beautiful (more so in person that in pictures) Freedom Tower.

The pools are just, for lack of a better word, perfect.  And, something I couldn't fully appreciate or capture on TV, was the sound of the water. When I walked up, first to the North pool, the closer and closer I got, I noticed the the noise of the water melted away all other sounds. By the time I was standing overlooking the heartbreaking and all-so-real rows and rows of names, I forgot I was in NYC, in the middle of a HUGE construction site and surrounded by people. All I could hear was the peaceful sound of the water.

There was something about being there, especially alone.  No one really talked, but when I met eyes with passersby, the Port Authority police security or volunteer workers, the eyes said it all. 

Sadly, I only had 15 minutes to spend there. I know I'll return to take the proper time to pay tribute.