Bliss

It is said that, for some individuals- even famous, reveered, and incredibly talented- a true peace of heart and mind are sought, but ever elusive. Vincent Van Gogh was my own intruduction, in the 7th grade, to the notion that one’s gifts and vision do not always equate to a life of harmonious experiences. I remember still my bewilderment at the mental anguish of an individual with such gifts as he.

I have been truly so blessed in the last year by so many different people and experiences that have molded a broken me into a woman who walks with my head held high- but not so that I cannot see those I may help-who’s vision of myself worth has been given a complete facelift, and I am profoundly thankful to have this platform now to give credit where it is surely due.💗

When  it comes to my emotional well-being, no one could have done a better job of keeping my boat righted than my husband, Ryan. He and I are dedicated partners in this journey called Life, as well as the complex job of raising two wonderful young men, as well as running our household (and all the many tasks which that entails..) 😃 I can never repay the debt of gratitude owed him. He is my rock.

As I have surely mentioned before, I believe in God’s plan and his perfect timing for our lives. We could not be more thankful for that perfection when it relates to our dearest friends, Angie and Tom Slatin. I personally do not believe in coincidences. That being said, we were given a huge gift-all 6 of us (Carter and Brady are certainly included) on a hot, humid August afternoon last summer. That moment in time probably stands, to me, as the most definitive proof of the notion: “Everything happens for a reason.” It so truly does, and we are so blessed because of that fact! Angie and Tom stepped into our lives (again…) that day and the bonds of friendship that we would build were beyond imagining. Tom, owner and exquisite artist behind the website and business: http://www.TomSlatin.com, has become such a cherished mentor and friend to me- without who’s influence, this site may not have become a reality! His writing blows my mind and the photographs I receive daily in my email inbox always touch my heart and make me feel more honored to know him- if that is even possible. He is the brother the Lord placed out in the world for me to find! Thank you so very much, Tom- words fail me to fully express my awe at your work and my gratitude to be a student of such a master!

Angie is such a charismatic, intelligent, down right hysterical and utterly kind soul. You must really “know her to love her,” and for those of us given the gift of knowing her, that love runs endlessly deep. I adore so many of her attributes that it is uncommonly hard to describe how my friendship with her has changed my life. Suffice to say, for having known her, I will never be the same. We text back and forth almost daily, and Angie, I cannot tell you the joyous feeling I get, knowing I have a message from you waiting! Not a television watcher, yet a voracious reader like myself, the messages are full of light and love and joy- no matter what obstacle she is staring down at that moment. Thank you, my sweet friend- you have made this world a brighter place to be for myself, your “Brother”, Ryan- your childhood friend of 25+ years and your nephews. 👭.

Lastly, I would not be where I am today if not for the dynamic people who make up my Northpointe family. Ours is so much more than a church, it is a congregation of Christ-followers who are truly the best community of individuals I have ever met. To be a part of this family, and to walk our journeys of Faith together almost feels like our motto should be similiar to a military one: “No one is left behind.” When an individual or a family is in need, and this stretches beyond our church family, the folks at Northpointe take notice and action. The impact on our lives has left us forever thankful. To all of you– FAR too numerous to name, Thank you from this modest little family of four who love each and every one of you. 💕💕

I knew sitting down today that I was setting out to show my gratitude to some of the tremendous people who have been instrumental in my healing this past year. Suddenly I find, there are so many more….. For now, I will conclude. Please hug your children tight, read that extra book, and hopefully enjoy some sweet sunshine! J’adore Les  Printemps!

Amy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you!

Mr Abraham

This has been a fantastic fall season here in beautiful New York State. My husband and I, along with our two sons of course!- own 3.1 gorgeous acres of property that is just rural enough that there is the occasion sputter of a tractor or bellow of a cow, but close enough to everything we like to do in our area. I suppose it will become a theme in my posts, so don’t be surprised if you hear me say how truly blessed we know we are. We are a humble, tight-knit, hard-working foursome who all make our best attempt to greet each day and person we meet, with a smile.

I was blessed with probably, ok I am biased, the best teachers that money could buy growing up. I learned from my wonderful track coach/American History teacher, Mr. Roger Abraham, that it is so much less difficult to be the bigger person in situations where conflict arose. This included on the track, in practice, as well as in the classroom. I keep the lessons learned from this extraordinary man in my back pocket, like a shiny new penny, because I know that I learned my morals and values from watching him devote himself to our student body, as well as raise four extremely beautiful and successful children of his own. My graduating class threw a Class Reunion party last October, and were so delighted that Mr. Abraham and his lovely wife, Linda, were able to attend as our honored guests. You see, Roger has not only done all of the wonderful things I have just spoke about, he has also spent decades honoring his vows of marriage to the love of his life. As an adult, I can now look at that example and be encouraged once more, because: I don’t believe one truly appreciates what it takes for two people to enjoy a great marriage until you are married. ( Or in some instances, in a long-term relationship.)

I don’t want to embarrass him, and this post was not meant to be an ode to Mr. Abraham, I never sit down to my keys knowing what I am going to exactly say, I just enjoy the flow of thoughts as I click the keys and they appear on the page before me. I have entitled this post: Thank You, however, because I am so grateful for the gift of his influence. I hope if he reads this, he understands a little a how much respect myself and my many classmates and teammates have for him, some 20+ years later. That is the mark of an individual with a true gift. I hope one day someone will have such a thing to say about the influence I may have had on their life.

Thank you to all who teach and I am letting you know, we are listening, we are learning, and we are watching your example!

I know so many truly remarkable educators:  Melissa Barber, Jeff Sabol, Lisa Sabol, Amy Ashbaugh, Michal Westover, Andrew Christensen, Bonnie Fenner, Stephanie Mirabito, and so many others. Thank you all for what you do everyday. YOU are making a real difference in the lives of children! 🙂

~Amy

Photo credit: Melissa Capristo. ( In the photo are from left: Melissa Capristo, Telicia Orloff, Roger Abraham, and myself 10-04-14, New Hartford NY)

My chaotic, silly life

Profile PicI suppose every human being in the world can relate to the week I have had. Well, perhaps not? I can’t tell you just how many people I have run into in the last seven days who, upon being asked how they are doing, reply: “Busy.” Only one word, then a knowing look, and off they go. I know couples who have 1 child, no children,all the way up to 8 children and it seems like everyone is being pulled and twisted -up in a multitude of directions, all at the same time.

My family sure fits into that category. When I am not: cleaning the house, dropping or picking kids up from school, cheering at a soccer game, selling popcorn for the Boy Scout Pack, or – ok, I am just going to stop there because there is not a time when I am NOT doing something that involves my family and our school, social and

civic commitments. Did I mention I just got home from cleaning my church? PHEW! I am a fanatical history buff, and find some quiet moments to look at old photographs on a site I like to visit online. I adore the way that life was then, and when people say that in a few decades this will be known as the “good ol’ days,” I tend to cock my head to the side and wonder what they might mean by THAT! I do not believe that to be true. Society has changed so much in the last 50 years or so, that I do not see this time to be an era that we will remember so fondly in the future. Simple reason: We are just TOO busy!

In looking at old photographs, reading poetry and books from decades past, you see them either with your eyes or your mind’s eye, sitting on porches and sipping coffee or tea, going for long walks, hiking and enjoying the great beauty that our state has to offer. The cars moved much slower, but so did people’s schedules- if they had one. They took the time to stop and chat, eat a meal together, spend extra time helping a child learn a new skill. I fear that this particular mentality is lost on this generation, and perhaps will never return. We are in the information age, and now even eight year olds have a complete computer/phone/camera in the palm of their hand and are capable of sending messages near and far with the click of a button. I can’t help but think that this is perhaps to our detriment. Yes, I have a blog and if it were not for the Internet, you would not be reading this, but  truthfully, I love the word written on the page much more, However, we all must adapt to what is current.

Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if we were all able to take each day, one at a time, as they came– shoot! I am planned out into the next year, all carefully organized in my “smart” phone with reminders dinging all the time sending me shuffling off to the next “to do.” I just want a long walk, or a cup of tea on a porch, or the ability to play a quiet game of chess with my son, and then when I travel about, I would love to stop and hear how my friend’s lives are going- if they are not too busy!!

9-11-01

Today marks the 14th Anniversary of the horrific attack on the World Trade Center towers, The Pentagon, and the downing of an additional plane in Pennsylvania- presumed to be on route to Washington D.C. As I think back to that day, I see the robin’s egg blue sky, no clouds in sight. I can feel how unseasonably warm it was and hear the birds chirping, how could they know how much had changed in just a couple of hours? Being an American, on that day and the numbing days that followed, felt different, better, and more vibrant. Not vibrant as you would normally think of as describing colors, but vibrant as the sunset- the country’s people hurt, angry,despondent, and on fire for justice!

I didn’t lose a friend or a family member on September 11, 2011, but my husband did, We did, however, lose the company of my husband for 7 months while he was deployed to Afganistan in 2010 in response to this tragedy. I suppose that makes me lucky, but I don’t feel lucky. To this day I still feel sadness, fear, and helplessness. I am a New Yorker, but not from NYC. That day, though, and every anniversary that has followed, it hasn’t mattered WHAT state you are from. We, as Americans, grieve for those lost and pray that our children never experience a day like that fateful day 14 years ago.

Inspiration

I guess I have always been a writer. I remember, and due to some undiagnosed semi-hoarding tendencies, may still have, a book I created when I was around 8 years old. I say “created” because I not only wrote the book and illustrated the book, I also bound the book myself- white ribbon attaching six to eight pages of loose leaf paper. I can still remember sitting in my room, producing my creation. I was quite proud of it!

It is worth being said that I believe I have a type of memory that is close to photographic. I am not sure what the term for it is, but my memories are not fuzzy, faded, or do they seem distant. They are clear, precise, and I can even make out people’s faces and remember exact details. My siblings call me the “vault” because they can’t seem to remember even 1% of the childhood details that swim around in my head all the time. Well, perhaps not ALL the time. I have two young sons of my own now, whose childhoods are now my biggest priority and greatest joy!

I made a friend a few weeks back- quite randomly- and have entitled this post “Inspiration” because that is what he has done for my creative side. I am not normally a very open person to many people. I am not fake, but it takes a great deal of time in order for someone to see all of me. Most never have. Some have see parts, and others have just seen the surface. I like the simple saying: “There is more to me than meets the eye,” because, well, because it is 100% true. I AM a Soccer Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Fellow Parishioner, and Student, but I am so much more. I always told my Father that I was born in the wrong era. I feel like I should have been born in the 1920’s or 1930’s. Perhaps I don’t get close to people because I really can’t relate to this world that we live in now. I don’t want my children to inherit this world- oh no! I intend to make certain that this world is a better place because I was here. That may sound odd, or even a little egotistical but, in my life, if I have learned anything, it is that we can DO anything we put our minds to. All it really takes is a little inspiration. Thanks TS~

~A