Archive | November, 2011

Whiskey for my men and beer for my horses* (and time for myself)

30 Nov

Sometimes, being a mom is about carving out time for yourself.  And so, for my birthday in November, I did just that.  As a birthday gift, Justin and I went horseback riding with our friends, Blue and Jamie, who own and operate Rancho Chilamate, a horseback riding tour company.  Deeply committed to the community, their horses, and each other, they have created an experience like non other for tourists in the San Juan area.  If you plan on visiting San Juan, and want to fly down the beach on horseback, be sure to give them a ring.  Nothing compares to this awesome experience.  All photos are taken by Blue, during the ride.

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*Willie Nelson

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Staying Present

21 Nov

Lucy turned one yesterday.  I’ve struggled for nearly a week to put to paper all of my feelings about this tremendous day.  I’ve tried writing Lucy’s birth story.  I’ve tried writing her a letter.  I’ve tried outlining her amazing accomplishments of the last 365 days.  I’ve tried to describe how I felt that first time I looked at her, held her, nursed her, bathed her.  But nothing seems quite right.  Nothing can do this day justice.  How do I honor such a beautiful life that has only just begun?  How do I explain to my baby girl all of the joy and love that I feel for her everyday?  How do I share my hopes and dreams for her?  And how do I make this letter meaningful enough that she understands and feels it when she’s an adolescent, a young adult, perhaps a mother herself one day?

For Lucy’s first birthday, I asked my parents to each write a letter to her.  My mom’s note arrived yesterday.  While it is Lucy’s to share when and if she wants to, I will quote just this:

“What a joy and a privilege to spend time with you!!  You taught us to slow down and enjoy the present.  We recognized that time flies by and all of our grandchildren were changing and growing very rapidly and if we didn’t take heed we would miss it all.”

I will write her my love letter, but for now, I will slow down and enjoy the present, this present of life and family.  I love you my sweet, sweet baby girl.

Grandma’s Legacy

15 Nov

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of my grandmother, Harriet Lillian Northrop Cressy.  She was 5 months shy of her 100th birthday.  Lucy was born just 5 days later, on the day of Grandma’s funeral.   She would be Grandma’s 20th great grandchild.

Living so far away and being so pregnant, I knew that we would not be able to attend the funeral.  However, I never expected that Lucy would be born on such a special day, as she came three weeks early.  It was difficult not being with family to mourn G’ma’s passing, but by the time Lucy arrived, I was so exhausted, so overwhelmed by joy, and so utterly high on adrenaline that I didn’t have much time to think about what I had missed.

My Aunt Cathy brought it all back home for me when she wrote “Your energy and love was with us on Saturday.  We could all feel your presence at Grandma’s service.  I know she passed Lucy along the way.”   How honored we felt to share such an auspicious day with such an amazing woman.

My grandmother was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother to eight, a mother-in-law to more, an aunt, a grandmother to 17, a grand aunt to 2, and a great grandmother to 20.  She was a nurse, a caregiver, a charmer, an intellectual, a mentor, a friend, and a writer.

This summer, the family gathered in Wolfeboro for Grandma’s interment.  We celebrated her life with music, letters, photos, and memories.  We laughed, we cried.  We swam in Lake Wentworth.  We took walks down the old railroad tracks.  We picnicked on hotdogs and clam dip and super duper cake – her favorite foods.  But we also questioned what would become of the great Cressy Clan with our matriarch gone.   We promised to stay in touch, plan the next family reunion, share photos from the weekend, and more.  And so far, we have.   In doing so, I have realized that Grandma not only left us the legacy of family, she also left with us the desire to remain as one.

Shortly after Lucy was born, my cousin Allison wrote, via Facebook, “welcome, welcome Lucinda, to our big wonderful family!”  We have none other than Grandma to thank for that.  And it keeps getting bigger.  Great grandchild number 21, Lillian Harriet Cressy, was born to my cousin Matt and his wife, Vanessa, on November 3.

In Memory of Grandma from Sarah F on Vimeo.

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