Sometimes it is just looking at someone from faraway that makes you realize how much you love them.  
Sometimes what is right in front of our face does not sink in to our reality.
Sometimes we get so busy we don’t even feel what really matters.
Sometimes we need something really big to knock us back into reality.
Sometimes we take a moment and start to see what really matters in our hearts.
Sometimes it is the smallest things that mean the most.
Sometimes…all we need to do is stop and love each other.
Sometimes one small word of kindness can change your whole day.

Make today one of those days…slow down, be kind and take a moment to love the ones that mean the most!




Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me to be thankful and grateful. I realize these are such common words. But, every once in a while it takes a certain date to hit you upside the head like the ever famous 2x4 to really make you feel those words on the deepest level.

June 8, 2015 is the day my friend Leslie lost her fight with Cancer. Watching that battle will forever be etched in my memory. If you have not walked down that path yet, trust me that it is filled with agony and pain to see someone disappear before your eyes. To watch her husband and children lose the powerhouse of a woman that she was to all of them is imprinted in my heart. So when this day came around this year I wanted to push it away. I wanted to ignore that it held something in history.

To pretend was not my option. Her three children had to know we were still holding their mother’s memory in our heart. Nothing worse than when you start to forget pieces of that person you have lost. So all I knew to do was gather flowers that were Leslie’s favorite colors. I went straight to the nursery after work and said I need red and pink anything. The store was closing in five minutes so we made quick decisions. My friend Trudy met me and we headed over to Leslie’s house. We snuck in the side gate put on our garden gloves and started planting. When you sit in her kitchen or den, you look out into her backyard. That is where I wanted to put something bright and cheery. I wanted there to be something that brought color into that dreaded day of June 8th.

The act of planting is so therapeutic. Pulling weeds, digging, watering – all of it the most basic simple acts of love. John, Leslie’s husband, comes walking out to greet us as we are almost finished planting our last red bloom, “You want a glass of wine?” Now, if there is one thing I know, Leslie would have been very disappointed if we came to her house, were in her backyard and did not enjoy a glass of wine on her porch.

So, we packed up our shovels and gloves and sat on the porch to visit with John. Just sitting there feeling the breeze on our cheeks as we all felt the spirit of Leslie washing over us.

Sometimes, we can keep loving someone even when they are gone.

Flowers, friends and wine.

Love never ends...we just have to take the time to hold the space and remember those that we love.



Today is one of those days that I want to pretend that the United States is one big jigsaw puzzle. I want to pick up the piece that is “Texas” and put it right next to the piece that is “North Carolina”.  Because today someone very special is graduating from high school and I want to be there. I would drive for days to be there…it is just that it would actually take days and the vacation schedule and life did not permit me to make that wonderful road trip. So instead, I am holding this day in such a special place in my heart because today a girl named Esther will walk across the stage to receive her diploma. She will shine like a beam of sunshine as she takes that piece of paper.  

The story of Esther’s high school career is an interesting one. For she has weathered a lot of real life during those 4 years of teenage awkward and hormonal turmoil. She has grown into a beautiful person inside and out, and it wasn’t easy.  

The past few weeks, I would get a text from her mother saying, “Oh, Corinne, you wouldn’t believe it, Esther won another award.”  The list kept growing – Choir Award, Journalist Award. Yesterday, it was the Headmaster Award. Now that one sounds so big I can hardly imagine what the categories would be to even qualify to be on the list.

As I responded with joy, celebration and applause from Texas, I asked her Mom, "Did you know she was going to win it?" Her response says it all..."Had no idea. But when he started describing her...such a humble person, always welcoming the new kids…always a huge smile..works so hard behind the scenes..I knew it was her."

You see this precious girl has been through the loss of her precious father in those treacherous years of high school. She watched him be sick for 2 years and then she lost him from her world. Her father, my brother, was just as the words were used to describe my sweet niece Esther as she was given one more award for the precious and tender soul that she is. For me to hear that she marched through that dark cloud of grief to come out on the other side and SHINE like she has is one of those stories that you could not write until you watched it. Knowing how hard it is to be a child that has lost a parent, her high school story was up for grabs.  

In 2012, we had no idea how to help her get through the grief. And she did it her way…she faced each day with her heart and used her pain to help others. She took those cracks in her heart and used them to reach out to others with compassion. She became a leader, she loved the new kids that came to her school when they were perfect strangers, she wrote for the school paper, she decided she was going to make the very best grades she could. Esther decided she was going to shine. And Shine she did.  

Character is something we are born with and we can choose how we share it with the outside world.  As I have been hearing all of the ways that Esther has touched the lives of students and teachers in her high school, she has touched me too. She reminds me what love and courage look like. She took what could have sunk her ship and instead decided to open up her world and bring more love. Just when you think a dark cloud is over you and your heart feels so heavy…try to do something that can make you shine.  

Keep facing each day, help others, smile and spread joy. Shine today!!! From the inside out.

Esther, I love you and when you get that diploma, know that you have graduated from so much more than high school already!

Cheers and hugs from Texas!


Make the Ordinary Come Alive

"Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself."

Happy Friday!