Archive for the ‘pictures’ Category

My husband and I love to travel and explore new places. We rarely begin any journey with an itinerary, and yet we always end up having the most remarkable times.

Yes, we have our “Bucket List” of places we’ve yet to visit, places both near and far… but this past Friday night we stumbled upon one of the most amazing “near” places imaginable – WaterFire.

The night began when Jane asked us to join her and her husband for dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant in Providence. I hadn’t been to this restaurant since November, so I was up for the best vegetarian Thai spaghetti anywhere. We also “BYOB”, and relaxed over dinner, wine and beer. The night was my favorite… warm, with a warm wind.

As we were leaving the restaurant, the owner asked if we were headed to WaterFire.

We weren’t. But we immediately changed our minds. Yes, it was kind-of a long walk. And I did have high heeled clogs on. But hey, my husband and I hadn’t been to WaterFire in four years.

So what is WaterFire?

WaterFire is the most stunningly beautiful, award winning work of art that I have ever seen. WaterFire was designed by sculptor Barnaby Evans… where one hundred bonfires are lit on braziers installed in the three rivers of downtown Providence. The fires are ceremoniously lit, one at a time, at dusk. Soon the bonfires that sit on the water are sending delicious scents and crackling flames up and down the rivers.

And it’s free. Families, teenagers, lovers, senior citizens… people from all walks of life converge in the center of the city as enchanting music fills the air, vendors sell the wares, and fires delight.

I have always loved Providence. I love its history. I love its name. I love its diversity. I love its recent renaissance.

And I fell in love all over again Friday evening as I strolled with my husband and Jane and Steve… with the sparkling bonfires dancing on the river.

Yes, sometimes we don’t have to look further than our own back yards for the most special things of all.

Please tell me about the special things in your back yard!

An artist ignites the fires at Waterfire

– Sharon

Read Full Post »

My first little granddaughter called me “Umma” when she was learning to talk.

I loved being called Umma, but I knew it would not last.

She caught very quickly onto “Grandma,” and the rest is history. Since then, all of my grandchildren have called me Grandma.

Except Benjamin, Audrey’s littlest guy.

He calls me Mama.

Now, it is true that I see him every day because I work with Audrey. And it is true that I am pretty involved with his care, especially now that Audrey is due with Henry in a couple of weeks. Yes, I can still bend and lift and all that good stuff.

I just melt when he extends his arms and hands to me… looks into my eyes with his big baby-blues… and says, “Mama. Mama.” Thank goodness that Audrey is so comfortable in her own role as the “real” Mama. She laughs and melts right along with me.

Maybe Benjamin just knows exactly what he wants and how to get it from the world’s biggest sucker.

Me. Mama!

– Sharon

Read Full Post »

We expected rain all week in New England for Mother’s Day.

So you can imagine my delight when I opened my eyes at the usual 6:45am and sun was peeking through my bedroom windows!

But where was my husband?

Downstairs making coffee, breakfast and (gasp!) cleaning the kitchen before bringing up the boys and the news that I could sleep “as long as I wanted.”

But all I wanted was to gather my boys, my belly and head to one of our spectacular Rhode Island beaches!

This is what my morning looked like…

(Me and my boys – William and Alexander – pushing Benjamin… getting ready for baby Henry. Thanks BOB Strollers for this amazing stroller! Can’t wait to use it more this summer, and for getting into shape after Henry!)

*I just wanted to update – I’ve gotten a bunch of emails this morning from people asking where I got my polo shirt (in the photos on the beach). It was a gift from my husband from Motherhood Maternity. The color is aqua. The style is button-down polo. And it’s that ultra-soft cotton.*

– Audrey

Read Full Post »

We took the boys to Philadelphia this weekend. William is obsessed with anything and everything Star Wars. My husband read online that the Franklin Institute was holding a Star Wars Exhibit through the first week of May, so we decided to make a weekend out of it.

Oh, yes. William. Alexander. Benjamin. Pregnant me, all 7 months. And Daddy.

Quite the crew.

The Star Wars Exhibit was great. William loved it. Alexander loved it. And even Benjamin seemed to get a kick out of all the costumes.

After we were done at the Franklin Institute, Matt and I thought it would be cool to take the boys to see the Liberty Bell. And really any other historical landmarks I could physically walk to.

The Liberty Bell was all I could do. Not only was it tough chasing the 2 older guys around, it was an amazing 82 degrees! Just gorgeous.

After waiting in the 30 minute line to see the Liberty Bell, and taking the appropriate family photos in front of it (you know, with none of the boys looking in the direction of the camera at the same time!)… we decided to let the boys run around and let loose on the grass field in front of where the Liberty Bell is housed.

And that’s when it happened.

There was a group of about 50 tourists from Korea visiting the Liberty Bell when we were there. I could tell they were getting a kick out of our boys waiting in line and taking some photos in front of the bell. They were smiling and laughing at the antics that went into getting them to pose. (It’s never easy!)

So imagine our surprise as we were letting the boys run free on the grass and the whole group starting snapping photos and taking video footage of them and Benjamin, who was watching and laughing from his stroller.

Their translator approached me and told me that they thought the boys were adorable and they couldn’t get over their big blue eyes, and asked if my husband and I minded. I could that they were just getting a kick out of the boys (believe me, I would never allow anything that I didn’t feel comfortable with), so I said it was fine. After all, my boys seemed to rather like the attention! They even started playing “tag” for photogs. It was hilarious.

But it got even better. The boys eventually wanted some water, so we packed everything up and started walking… and they followed and kept snapping photos! Of ALL of us.

I heard one woman say to her her husband, “I wonder who that family is…”

Oh yes, “that family” was us.

And this continued until we came to a little cafe down the street. This is when we parted ways… my little family and the “papparazi.”

We even had another woman see what was going on and she started taking photos of us too, probably thinking… well, they have to be “somebody???”

I kept saying to Matt, “Oh my God, where are these photos going to turn up?”

At first it was funny… but then it got to be a bit too much. Especially for the kids. They are not used to having people in their faces with cameras like that. You know, besides Matt and I! 🙂

So Brad and Angelina… I feel for you. I do. I don’t know how you guys do it day in and day out. Hats off to you. Bravo.

Because as different as it was for us, and as crazy and as silly as it got, I knew that once we got away, that was it for my family.

So, the force was with us on Saturday, just a little bit of a different force than we thought! But it was all good… and quite filled with memories to last a lifetime.

– Audrey

Read Full Post »

It’s interesting that Audrey, Jane and I never discuss our blog posts prior to posting them.

It’s not some Pinks & Blues policy…

I guess it’s just that we spend a great deal of time planning, organizing, researching, discussing, emailing, and meeting with so many people about our Pinks & Blues reviews, giveaways and features that, well, the blog part is the one very personal and special perspective that is all our own. Until it is posted, of course.

And just as I look forward to opening and reading so many fellow bloggers’ posts each day, I look forward to reading my daughters’ post too. I love reading blog posts. They are like personal letters from great friends. They give me eyes to see other horizons…

As Lord Chesterfield wrote, “Few men are of one plain, decided color; most are mixed, shaded, and blended; and vary as much from different situations, as changeable silks do from different lights.”

I see these different and beautiful shades and lights when I read my daughters’ posts…

So today I glimpsed at the “butterflies” of Audrey’s first spark of love with Matt. And now I will write about the unexpected love-at-first-sight possession that my husband had (and still has) on me from a hot summer day many, many years ago…

We were both teaching summer school. You know, the high school kids who didn’t quite accomplish what was supposed to happen all year and then are forced to come to this place each day for several weeks to learn the lessons during the hottest days of the year. Barry, my future husband, was (let’s just say it) my supervisor. It was my first real teaching job. I had heard wonderful things about this guy, but as of my first day of summer school, I hadn’t met him. I was told by many fellow teachers that Barry had an amazing way to connect with kids… primarily through sports.

But what I didn’t know was that he would be coming to summer school on that first morning wearing shorts.

So… as I waited in the very large cafeteria for my classroom assignment and then kids, I looked around nervously. I was fresh out of college. Most of these kids were bigger than me. None of them wanted to be there. And I began to think, “I don’t want to be here either…”

And then I saw them.

Legs. Well, not just legs. The most gorgeous hunk of legs that ever walked. I couldn’t see who was attached to these legs because a petition hid the upper part of the man. (I assumed they belonged to a man!)

I can’t get too descriptive here because I know my children will be reading this…

But my heart pounded as these legs took entire possession of me.

Within seconds, the man emerged from behind the half-petition, and ah… the upper half was conveniently just as perfect as the legs.

This was my summer school supervisor. This was the man with the amazing connection with kids, particularly kids in troubling situations. This was the man who would become my husband less than one year later… and the father of my children and grandfather of my 7, soon to be 9 grandchildren.

Audrey, thank you for your post today. Thank you for bringing my glorious first spark to life again.

And I would love to hear from the rest of you out there today! Make your own day by writing your first-spark story down and sharing it with the world! Sign Mr. Linky below if you decide to join in!

– Sharon

Read Full Post »

Throwback Thursday is back after a few weeks on hiatus. If you haven’t joined in yet, now is the time!

Baseball and softball season is now in full effect.

Here’s me (Jane) sporting my All Stars uniform – and a huge water bottle – back in 1993. With me, of course, is Mom, working the brown hues.

Pinks & Blues Girls Blog is your Throwback Thursday Headquarters!

Join in on the Throwback Thursday fun! Sign Mr. Linky so others know you’ve participated and can check out your Throwback Thursday photos on your site, and don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know you participated!

Read Full Post »


I had an epiphany of sorts last week.

Audrey’s oldest son, 3-year-old William, is getting very interested in letters and words. I happen to have a little sign hanging on my back door inside doorknob, and he was studying the words on it: In the Garden.

“What does this spell,” he asked.

I answered, “In the garden.”

“What does it mean?” he innocently asked.

“Well, Honey… I hang this little sign when I am going out to work in my garden. That way you’ll know where I am.”

Silence. Then he walked four little 3-year-old steps to gaze out my bay window.

Finally, “Grandma, where’s the garden?”

Oh, yeah. Little detail. There isn’t one.

And I got to thinking that this little guy has never seen me work in my garden. My husband and I moved to our home 3 years ago. We had sold our home a little north of here when William was a mere 6 months old.

Now THAT home had gardens. I had a garden for each of our 4 children. We celebrated Audrey and Jane’s graduations from college in those gardens. I had a grandchildren garden (we had 5 grandbabies back then, and William was the youngest).

Audrey and Jane dressed for their weddings in that home, and we captured my gardens in the photographs.

I had a garden tea party baby shower for Audrey when she was expecting William.

My neighbors and I divided our beautiful plantings and often stopped to chat, have a lemonade… or a beer!

I had bountiful blueberry and raspberry bushes. My granddaughters had the greatest fun picking those little fruits.

I had exquisite garden decorations (stone, granite… each with a precious meaning). Thank God my home purchase and sales agreement specified that I take these with us. Oh. They’re in my shed.

But anyway, back to William and his question. I realized at that moment that William was too young to see my gardens. He never saw me at sunrise, noon, sunset, and even in the dark… planning, digging, planting, watering… loving the earth and its glorious bounty.

I realized that he couldn’t know that when we moved to our new home (well, old home… our home was built in 1780), my husband and I spent two years renovating the interior, and almost three years renovating and rebuilding the back of our home. We added decks. A pergola. A shed with its own little cupola, with a rooster weather vane. We leveled the yard of all its weeds and growth and nastiness.

William didn’t know that I would awaken at night and stare out of my bedroom window onto the front lawn below. I actually had nightmares about the front. One day I took a sledge hammer from our shed and hammered the crap out of a horrible fence that smothered the front yard. I felt a twinge of bad for the former owner… and then it seemed that all of my neighbors simultaneously were shouting “hurrah!” I raked all the dead things away… and that’s where we are today.

Ah… my little William who loves to work with his daddy in his own gardens (Audrey is not the gardener in her family) didn’t even know about grandma’s green thumb.

Long story, well, long! I have entered DIY Network’s America’s Most Desperate Landscape contest. I’ve gotta get back to the soil. I’ve gotta hit dirt.

But I had to have a little fun doing it. So. Have a couple of laughs on me (and my son-in-law, Steve, and my granddogs in their breakthrough acting rolls) in the video HERE.

And while you’re there, rate my landscape as the worst in America so my front yard will get a little respect! Rate it as ONE shovel (“landscape emergency!”). I’ll thank you all on the Today Show if I’m a finalist!


– Sharon


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »