This has long been one of my favorite images of my daughter and myself.


Of all the photo shoots and photography studios and fancy cameras, this picture, made from a photo booth at a Chuck E. Cheese is the one that captured us truly.

Happy, in the moment, barely posed…

It’s not the most flattering picture of me, although Anslee looks like a gorgeous little imp, but it hangs behind me at my desk at work, proudly displayed for all the world to see.

And that’s saying something.




She turned eight years old yesterday.


Here she is the first day of third grade, also yesterday – 


She’s so grown up….

As I struggled to leave her classroom, since of course her father and I walked her to it, she sat and organized her desk pleased as could be.

I kissed her on her head at least three separate times, each one the beginning of an individual effort to leave her, she suffered each one indulgently and on the last she looked up at me and whispered, “I think this is going to be the best day ever.”

Did she feel my reluctance to go? Was she letting me know she was happy and confident in this new place with these new people? I don’t know.

But it did make me feel better, and it did make me able to leave her – without tears from either of us.

On the drive back to the house my husband said to me: “If it were easy for us to leave her, but hard for her to be left, then we wouldn’t have done our jobs as parents.”

So wise.

I love you Anslee Rayne. You are everything I’d hoped you be and so much more. You make me proud every single day.

Happy Birthday, and congratulations on a successful first day of third grade!