Archive | July 2015

My Little Girl


In my life I have been lucky enough to have had many amazing people walk through my world. There are however very few that I would say that I really look up to in such a way that I strive to be like them. In the handful of those amazing souls my two amazing daughters are at the top of that list. Some people might think it a little backwards for the parent to look up to their children, I just think it means that as a parent I did my job right. To raise a child that is so amazing that you admire them….I kind of think that was my job and I did it not once, but twice. We should all be so lucky.  Today I want to honor my youngest daughter Alyssa Crawford, for all that she is and all that she is yet to become. She is 23 years old today, and in those 23 years this will be the first birthday that I have missed. Although I am away with her blessing and her encouragement, this is the hardest day that I have been away from home so far.

So Miss Alyssa, here’s to you…..

2015-05-10 21.19.06

On this day 23 years ago I held you in my arms for the first time, there is nothing in the world like the moment that they put this tiny person in your arms that you have been waiting to meet for what seems like forever. Unfortunately I was a little drugged so the moment was quick, but it was the first of many amazing moments yet to come with you in my arms and your big, beautiful presence in my life.  I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today without my daughters. We learn from each other, it has never been just my children learning from me. That is how I think it should be, as our children know more than we ever give them credit for. I am happy to say that at the end of the day I know that when it’s needed that I am the little voice of reason sitting on your shoulder helping you make wiser decisions, just as you and your sister are mine. It’s hard to believe sometimes that you are already 23 because in some ways time has gone by all too quickly, although this journey of ours has not always been an easy one and sometimes it seems like it’s been longer.


I’d like today to tell everyone all of the amazing things about Alyssa, but I’d be writing all night and I’d like to post this while it’s still her birthday. So here are just a few of the things about my daughter that make her so special, and a superhero in my eyes.

  1. Beautiful – Inside and out. I love that as you are getting older you get more beautiful. I will never forget the time you told me that you thought that you would never be more beautiful than you were in one of your pictures from high school. Then you realized that you were just loving life and it was the energy you had around you that made you glow so much and you realized that when you get happy in your life it shows on the outside. Keep cultivating that energy and take it with you your whole life.
  2. Giving – Always you are coming home with stories about the people that you give to. You don’t just roll down the window and pass some change out like most of us do. You take the time to go get a gift card and some cash, sometimes a meal and take it back to them. You my lady are truly an angel, you just show up for people in a way that I envy. Never lose that giving side of yourself in this world that can be sometimes cold, you are a breath of fresh air.
  3. Funny – I know the entire world doesn’t always get our sense of humor, but put me, you and Ashton in a room together and we can laugh all night. I don’t care if anyone else thinks we are funny…the important part is that we do!! Keep laughing, life is too short for anything else.
  4. Strong – You have a strength that most people don’t know about. In the short 23 years that you have graced us with your presence you have been through some stuff! I know there are times when you want to let things bring you down, but you always find the strength to get back up and come out on top. Watching you has brought me strength in so many untold ways. Always stay strong enough to cry, and strong enough to know when it’s time to wipe your tears and get back up.
  5. Loving – They say you never lose by loving, you only lose by holding back. You throw your heart in the ring and go for it…always. It doesn’t matter if it is friends, family or the man in your life, when you love, you love. I am blessed to be your mother and be one of the people in this world that gets to be loved by you. Never lose that all in love you have in your heart…it’s a rare thing in this world.

There are a million more reasons why I look up to you, but those are the ones I’ll tell the world today. Happy Birthday Alyssa Crawford. It is one of the greatest pleasures in this life to have the privilege to be your Mom. I love you! Here is to the next 23!!


P.S. I would have posted some embarrassing childhood photos, but I didn’t bring them on the trip. Lucky Girl!!

If You Ever Get A Chance To Travel

     If you ever get a chance to travel, I highly suggest you do. Not a vacation, travel it’s different. As few hotels as possible, stay with family, friends and sleep out in the great outdoors. There’s so much more to life than the next Hilton down the freeway. If you can’t afford to travel far then travel in your home state. I guarantee you there are a million wonders there that you have never seen. I for instance have lived in Arizona my entire life and I have never seen the Grand Canyon except from a plane. After this adventure and getting back in touch with how amazing the world is, I guarantee it is now on the priority list. How far you travel is not the issue, just go. Go somewhere, go everywhere, see the world, see some sights. I am not even two weeks into a 14 month adventure around this beautiful country and around every corner I find a new land. I almost feel like I have seen it all, not imagining that around the next corner there will be a sight more beautiful than the last. Some of these places I swear I could only imagine existing in a fairytale, some mythical place like Neverland. I have already seen the most beautiful rivers, the most enchanted forests, and tonight I am sleeping beneath a giant redwood that could tell stories of this earth that we could never imagine in the thousand years since it has been standing.

Wine Country Collage

     I have always loved pictures, I’m a photographer at heart. That was in fact a big part of why I wanted to take this trip. Give myself an excuse to get out my camera and get my creative juices flowing again. The only sad part about that is that no picture could ever do justice to the amazing beauty that my eyes see every day. The most amazing part of all of it is that it’s only just begun, this epic journey of mine. When I said I knew that I would come home different, I think that was an understatement. I’ve already changed, and the journey has just begun. Who knows what tomorrow will bring or where it will lead. My favorite part, for as much as it drives me crazy is the not knowing. If you ever get a chance to travel, travel like that. Let the wind blow you where it may, try not to keep to many schedules, let the days come and be in it, all of it.

Wild Flower Collage

If you ever get a chance to travel, forget all of the reasons why you can’t and just find a few reasons why you can. I have no doubt that this trip came into my life at the exact moment that it was supposed to, but I’ve been putting it off my whole life. Finally I had to listen to the whispers on the wind that were telling me to go. If I had to go home tomorrow, I wouldn’t regret a moment of it. Already I have seen more beauty in the world than I have ever imagined existed, and I know there is more waiting for me tomorrow. The only side effect that may come from this, is I might have a hard time keeping my feet in one place for two long for many years to come. Grateful am I to have the opportunity to lay here under a tree that has lived at least twenty lifetimes to my one and wait for the full moon to come over the horizon and bless me with this magickal night, then wake in the morning and see where the wind blows us and fly.

North Coast Collage 1