“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” – Sandy Dahl, wife of pilot of Flight 93 Jason Dahl

The Geranium, in the Language of Flowers, means – consolation.  The definition of consolation is:

comfort received by a person after a loss or disappointment.
synonyms: comfort, solace, sympathy, compassion, pity, commiseration, empathy

I hope that all who survived, those who lost loved ones, and those who served 14 years ago today and during the months following have a sense of consolation in the love from those of us whose hearts are still full of grief, love, gratitude, and inspiration.

Personality, Eyes, and Skin…

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I loved working with this family a couple of weeks ago… A mom and her three girls!  Is there anything more beautiful than a woman with the loves of her life in their natural state?   I’m thinking Dad/Husband will be thrilled with his surprise gift!  What do you think?

Grandma’s Hands

Grandma's Hands

Grandma’s Hands


“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”  – Mark Twain

The hands in the photograph, as the caption reads are my grandmothers.  She is 90 years young and I simply adore her!

Weeping Sunflower


Tears Fall

Tears Fall

I try to stand to tall

But it happens not at all.

The tears begin to fall

I cover my eyes

The shame swells up inside.

As it overflows

My heart knows,

I’ve failed him,

I’ve failed them.

Through the angst,

The anxiety

Influenced always by society

To be an appearance of notoriety.

The loathing of self

Leads to impropriety.

For instead of the love that’s there for him,

For them,

The words and actions

Appear to condemn.

Causing pain

When I mean to encourage,

I just can’t explain

Why my thoughts can’t abstain

From making their way into

Words of disdain.

If I understood me,

If I could define me,

Would it be possible to be free?

Would they begin to believe

That my love does exist?

Or is it too late?

Has my opportunity to love been missed

Because of words resembling hate?

No, they would say,

It is never too late,

For we love you

And will never hesitate

To take you in,

To hold  you close,

For we will always love you most.

copyright Robyn Graham

Weeping SunflowerWeeping Sunflower

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind….It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

I chose two different backgrounds (one dark and one light) and two different editing styles for this post, edits were both custom edits in Topaz Labs.  I am absolutely in love with Topaz Labs Black and White Suite.  I would love to know which image you like best, and which you feel best accompanies the poem.  I wonder if your thoughts are the same as mine.

Sharing Christmas Traditions for the Joy of Others

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles Schulz

“Christmas is love in action.  Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” – Dale Evans

“Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge

I chose the above quotes for this post because of the experience my family and I had today.  Every year at Christmas I try to coordinate a giving project for us to do as a family.  Something that will impact the thoughts and hearts of our children and to remind them of how blessed we are to have each other and the life we have together.  This year, our project involved little extra time and effort and produced big smiles and much gratitude.  We took a Christmas tradition from our home and shared it with those who do not have a home or family with which to share traditions.

Every year we as a family work together to make dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies and candies.  It is a tradition.  Every hand is involved and we spread Christmas cheer to our neighbors and friends by giving them each a tray of the goodies that we only make once a year.  This year we took this a step farther.  We made a huge tray of cookies and delivered them to a homeless shelter for youth.  We paired the cookie tray with a bundle of gift cards, one for each child presently staying in the shelter.  We delivered the cookies and cards this afternoon and I have to say I have been an emotional wreck since.  Yes, my heart is filled with joy from the act of giving, but my heart is also breaking for these young kids who have no one to hug them, to love them, or to shower them with the gift of family togetherness or traditions this Christmas, or maybe even any Christmas.

I tell you this not to obtain praise for doing something nice, but to share the Christmas spirit and to share the idea so that others may do something as simple as sharing a homemade gift with someone who otherwise would not be so blessed.  To me, this is Christmas love in action.  Sharing the joy found in the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Joy to Be Shared

Christmas Joy to Be Shared

Sharing Family Traditions to Give Joy to Others

Sharing Family Traditions to Give Joy to Others

Generations of Blessings

“A grandma’s heart is a patchwork of love.” – Anonymous –

My 89 year old great grandmother and my  daughter.  Generations of blessings.

My 89 year old grandmother and my daughter. Generations of blessings.

The tragedy that took place Friday has left me thinking more and more about how dear my family is to me.  I have always known that of course and I have never intentionally taken them for granted, but when life is flying by, I don’t take time to consider how blessed I am as often as I should.  I think most of the world today is the same. Everyone I talk to is SO busy.

Especially during this Christmas season, I hope that all people who are blessed with family will take the time to love them, to reach out and hug them, hold their hand, and let them know how strong your love for them is.  Love is an everlasting bond and when thinking about Christmas, it is my prayer that all remember that love is at the heart of the meaning of this ever so special holiday.  The first gift of love came from God above, let’s treasure it, and share it.

Love flows from generation to generation.  No one is too old or too young to need to know they are loved.


A Big Event

My oldest son experienced a big event yesterday.  I thought I would post before and after photos for our “far-away” family and friends to see.  He is not thrilled with the discomfort and is struggling a bit to eat and play his horn, but other than that he’s doing great with the addition of metal in his mouth.

I, as his mother, am just thankful that we have the means to improve his mouth structure and appearance, and that he isn’t in a lot of pain.  Our orthodontist, Dr. Benjamin Cassalia (, is fabulous!  We are thankful for his excellence in orthodontia and his, and his staffs’, fabulous caring attitude toward their patients.


And After


The Zinnia

Zinnia in the Victorian era language of flowers meant “I mourn your absence”.  Today, my sister and her family are mourning the death of her father-in-law.  Cancer took another good soul from Earth, but heaven gained a saint.  I’m quite certain my father was at Heaven’s gate to greet Clifford with a big grin, a joke about St. Patrick, and a firm handshake.

I chose this particular Zinnia to photograph specifically for this post because I felt it held symbolism to accompany the meaning.  The hard light represents the overabundance of hardships experienced during life on earth.  Hardships Clifford no longer has to endure.  The face of the Zinnia gazing upward toward the sky represents Clifford’s climb to a better, peaceful, heavenly resting place.  The vibrant yellow is to offer cheer to my sister and her family, and those who are grieving the earthly loss of a good man.

Peace, love, and blessings to the Martin family.

Zinnia – “I Mourn Your Absence”


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ― Dr. SeussThe Lorax

While John and the boys were camping this weekend, Gracie and I took advantage of the quiet time and rented a movie.  It was her treat to choose dinner, pizza of course, and the movie.  She chose “The Lorax”.  Can I tell you that I enjoyed the movie very much?  I really did.  The quote above was shown on the screen towards the end of the movie, and of course can be found in the book by none other than Dr. Seuss.   Gracie enjoyed the movie so much she asked the boys to watch it with her when they arrived home.  It was a hit all the way around.  And the quote above, what more can I say about it?  I love it.  Dr. Seuss certainly had a way with words and his quotes have so much meaning, as well as application for all generations.

As I was contemplating which image to post this evening this tree came to mind in light of having watched “The Lorax”.  We were in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina recently and the trees with the Spanish Moss hanging from them reminded me of Dr. Seuss trees.  With that said, I thought it appropriate to post an image of one of the  trees with Spanish Moss.

It is not an award winning image by any many means, but I liked the contrast in the lighting and it reminded me of Dr. Seuss.

One Beautiful Family

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!  ~Albert Einstein


The family is a haven in a heartless world.  ~Attributed to Christopher Lasch

Family at Heart

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.  ~Joyce Brothers

Family Fun

You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.  ~Desmond Tutu

Daddy and his Girls

Momma’s Boys