Slow Down, Please. We Have Memories to Make.

Thatcher turns 12 today and I want time to slow down.  It is not lost on me how special our time together during the next few years should be.   In reflecting on the last couple of years I find two things remarkable. First of all, how close we are….and secondly, how far apart we often seen. Confusing, right?  So, I planned a trip for us.  The hug that I got after Thatch listened to this birthday message and learned about his surprise birthday trip made every second of any hard day worth it…and more. When it came time to pick a place to experience with him, the choice was pretty obvious. I can.not.wait to take this special trip with him.

Happy, Happy Birthday Thatcher,
 
As silly as it may seem, for some reason, you turning 12 has rocked my world a little bit.  It both makes me excited for the person you are becoming and hurts my heart just a little bit. 12, you see, comes just before 13. 13 equals teenager which, to me, equals heading off to conquer this world on your own…all too soon.  Each year leading us to today has been as unique as it has been amazing. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that some of it has also been trying. Each year you become more independent, more confident, more mature, maybe more headstrong, and just a little bit less of my little boy.  In reflecting on the last couple of years I find two things remarkable. First of all, how close we are….and secondly, how far apart we often seen. Confusing, right?  Understandably, you are getting to the age that other things come first. Lately, it feels like we argue more than we laugh, but you still give hugs freely and say, “I love you” without hesitation. Those will be the memories that I bottle up and save. You don’t head to college for six more years (If that is the path you choose) and yet I already miss you terribly. It is not lost on me how precious these next few years should be. 
 
So, with all of that in mind, I wanted to do something special for your birthday. I, selfishly, wanted to spend time with you. Just the two of us. I also wanted to do something that speaks to both the little boy you once were and the young man you have suddenly become.  When you were little you played for hours on end with your miniature whales and boats. You would spend full afternoons setting them up perfectly, arranging them in detail to act out the narrative that you had created of boats rescuing whales and dolphins that were in danger or entangled. You did it at home….and at the beach. We watched Free Willy more than 50 times. Each time I was moved watching your little shoulders go up and down as you sniffled at the end. Soon after was the year that a stuffed orca whale moved to the top of your Christmas list and I couldn’t find a store anywhere who could get one to me in time. A college friend came to the rescue and mailed one that belonged to her boys that was no longer being “ loved.” And, then there was the year you wore an Orca costume for Halloween.  We visited Sea World several times and you were mesmerized. You absolutely loved watching those orcas….until, one day, you didn’t.  We now find you watching Blackfish instead and scouring the Internet for different videos about the wrongdoings and miss treatment of orcas in captivity. You have schooled us, and others, on what you have learned and I have loved watching you become passionate about something that is “all yours.”  Your empathy and concern greatly resembles the sensitive toddler that I remember with a full heart.  Who knows, maybe this is just a “fad” for you….or maybe it is a sign of things to come in your bright future.
 
Regardless, when it came time to do something special for your birthday, I chose to plan a surprise trip.  When I tried to think of the perfect place for us to build lasting memories….and to reconnect….the choice was pretty obvious.  On July 5th,  we’ll head to Orca Island, just north of Seattle, Washington.  With three resident pods of orca whales, more bald eagles than anywhere else in the country, the most beautiful landscapes, and so many place to explore surrounded by lots of small town charm….there is no place I’d rather experience and share with you.  Here’s to your birthday, here’s to making some pretty special memories, and here’s to you.
 
All my love,   Mom xoxoxo

 

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Family Gather to Celebrate 90 Year Old’s Birthday

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Family gather for a Birthday celebration on the Privateer, 90 year old “Man of the Hour”, in the center.

They came from Beverly, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado.

A great way to celebrate on the Privateer from the 7 Seas hale Watching.

Super Fun at Super K’s Birthday Party!

Bill and Kate Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015Kate and Her Dad Bill

Joey -Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015Wonderful friends, fun, and food–with Joey expertly grilling! Happy Birthday Kate!

Eric and Carly - Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015.JPG

Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015.JPGHannah and Craig Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015Kate, Marth, and Erin Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015Catherine and Alicia - Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015Sophia -2 Kate's Bday ©Kim Smith 2015See More Photos Here Continue reading “Super Fun at Super K’s Birthday Party!”

4 Years Ago Today Was Captain Pete Mondello’s 60th Birthday

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A lot has changed in the 4 years since that day except how hard Pete works to provide for his family- THAT IS A CONSTANT.

One of the best guys you’d every want to have the pleasure of knowing as a friend OR a business acquaintance.

Pete Mondello is the kind of guy everyone should be lucky enough to have in their circle of friends.

Happy Birthday Kathy Chapman

Friend of Good Morning Gloucester and friend of mine, Kathy Chapman, a native of Minnesota, has given us many Gloucester waterfront posts, as well as the popular and long running "Fish on Fridays," in collaboration with our own Marty Luster. She and I have had many discussions about photography, and she's visited and transported me in my medical time of need. As GMG's Donna Ardizzoni told me: "Kathy Chapman has a good heart." And so true. Happy Birthday Kathy. We wish you many more.
Friend of Good Morning Gloucester and friend of mine, Kathy Chapman, a native of Minnesota, has given us many Gloucester waterfront posts, as well as the popular and long running “Fish on Fridays,” in collaboration with our own Marty Luster. She and I have had many discussions about photography, and she’s visited and transported me in my medical time of need. As GMG’s Donna Ardizzoni told me: “Kathy Chapman has a good heart.” And so true. Happy Birthday Kathy. We wish you many more. (Her actual birthday was yesterday, Friday September 5th).

 

Surprise on the Lobster Dock

Twenty of us, authors, contributors, and friends, converged on Captain Joe's lobster dock. This is a very industrial space, with herring parts on the floor.
Twenty five of us, authors, contributors, and friends, and family converged on Captain Joe’s lobster dock. We entered singing Happy Birthday. There was only one time I felt this level of camaraderie, and that was with my fellow rowers at the Maritime Gloucester rowing program. There they are right off the dock. This is a very industrial space, with herring parts on the floor. But the view isn’t bad. The mug up was held up in Joey’s office. Industrial.

Joey was totally surprised. Kim Smith made the tiramisu birthday cake and  delivered it with candles burning. Melissa Cox is on Joey's left.
Joey was totally surprised. Kim Smith made the tiramisu birthday cake and delivered it with candles burning. Melissa Cox is on Joey’s left.
Good luck! All the candles were blown out and Joey apologized to Kim for blowing a cocoa powder storm onto her blouse.
Good luck! All the candles were blown out and Joey apologized to Kim for blowing a cocoa powder storm onto her blouse. That cake was consumed in short order.

Here's a man truly enjoying his birthday. There's the expression of: "For me?" So happy.
Here’s a man truly enjoying his birthday. There’s the expression of: “For me?” So happy.

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