Newborn Twins Photographed Holding Hands

 

It has been said “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”. The viral photo of newborn twins holding hands is a heartwarming encapsulation of what should be their marching orders as they begin their life’s journey. As twins they will share an even deeper bond than that of other siblings, and as twin girls, even more so.

Jillian and Jenna Thistlethwaite faced their first challenge with breathing difficulties after birth, needing respirators for a short period. The identical twin girls shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. Such births are called monoamniotic, or “mono mono,” and doctors say they occur in about one of every 10,000 pregnancies. They will face many more hills to climb in their lives, but those hills will not be as steep if they face them, metaphorically, hand in hand.

Boyfriends and girlfriends may come and go, but sisters are forever.

Bruce Willis: Parenting at 59

Bruce Willis and his wife, Emma Heming-Willis, welcomed a new daughter, Evelyn Penn Willis, into the world the other day. What has made this remarkable, besides the joy of a new birth, which we should celebrate in any event, is that Willis is 59 years old. Some might say that 59 is too old to deal fairly with all the issues parenting raises. Others point to the statistics that say older parents are much more likely produce progeny with disabilities. Baby Evelyn is healthy and doing fine.

What struck me at first was how I would might meet the challenge of raising a newborn (Bruce is five months older than me). I recall how tired I was most of the time with my two boys as a father who was 37 and 40 years old at their births. My wife and I were work-at-home parents when the boys were young, arranging our office either really near to our home or finally an office within our home, so I was blessed to be around to watch them grow up. I wouldn’t have traded that for anything. I treasure all the memories from those precious years, but they were a handful for me in my forties. Without my wife’s help, well… I might have needed a rest camp.

My wife and I chose at the time to have “nanny at home” much the same way she was raised. The girl came to our home and was responsible for taking the kids to parks or events we could not attend though being near his school, we always could to get to as many events, Halloween Parades and games as we could. But hair cuts? No, we weren’t at each and every clipping. We were never comfortable having our children too far from sight especially after one nanny quit in the middle of the day, leaving my youngest at the Mall Police Station saying she couldn’t cope any more. While the police loved him for the forty minutes it took us to get there, crying, my youngest was a handful. He’s a brilliant kid now happy and healthy at an Ivy League school and had we not been hands on/home based business folk we never would have all those moments with him to learn about him

Bruce and Emma, even with consuming careers such as ours were, can hire nannies to help with all those tasks that tire out 59 year olds however from appearances sake, he seems to be a very hands on parent. Who isn’t? We love our kids. We love to be with them. And yes ladies, men love the way they smell too. Although I was tired, somehow at an older age I was able to deal with my children quite differently than if I were in my twenties. SO, I traded wisdom for energy.

So yes, I was pretty tired and can imagine how at nearly 60 Bruce Willis may feel at times but children are truly a gift from God. So, at any age I would never trade fatherhood for the rest home.

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Family photo, 1927

Couple Turn Their Wedding Vows Into an Adorable Song

Sing a wedding song together at your own weddings, sign with a record company hours later.  Sounds implausible.   That is exactly what happened to Michael and Carissa Alvarado during their wedding.  Shortly after their wedding, this couple in love and the singing duet called “Us The Duo” signed with Republic Records.  A similar story, we attended a wedding here in Orlando a couple years ago to see my dear friend and son’s former high school teacher marry the man of her dreams, and yes!  Just after they said I do, Michael McDonald (not the same) but successful gospel singer burst into a seranade to his new wife.  The entire room of wedding guests were crying (women) or sighing (men “Damn, why can’t I do that?”) and everyone applauded.  My gift to this new couple was two lovely dresses for their flower girls and I must say, we had a blast!

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More and more couples submit their wedding videos online – some are fantastic, some quite professional and some are down right hysterical.  Which are your favorites?

 

Our Fairytale

THIS IS OUR FAIRYTALE

My husband and I have just celebrated 28 years of marriage and are business partners as well. We have had a fairytale relationship and are mad about each other. We share all the likes that couples do, renovating old homes and visiting the parks in Orlando. Our annual trip to Disney World, at first was just the two of us, then three, and finally four of us from our home in New Jersey as our family grew. My husband always got worried every time we finished renovating a place because he knew my eyes would start wandering again. About 8 years ago, we had just finished an entire renovation on an old, 1928 English Tudor House and gardens. We entered a contest, winning an honorable mention in Better Homes and Garden’s Whole House Redo. So instead of waiting until our traditional December trip to Florida, we decided it was time to have an early fall trip to Florida.

AN IDEA GROWS

That year, while driving on the return trip from a wonderful Halloween visit to Orlando with our boys, we were just a few hour North over the Florida border, when snow flakes started to fall and the air got down to a chilly 40 degrees. Looking at my husband who was driving, we both said to each other “turn around.” He looked at me first and then at the road and then uncharacteristically for him, turned right around in the median strip back to Orlando (so to speak). We started to look for homes the next morning in Central Florida. A year later we had built a new home and moved to Orlando, and the warmth of Florida.

Our flower girl dress business is fun but frantic as the wedding business tends to be. We decided that if we had to work a lot of crazy hours we may as well be nearer to the parks when we need chill time. Although our decision to move to Florida was an on the spot move, our promise to live in Orlando grew from our love of the parks. Face it, Disney just makes you feel good. Don’t get me wrong, we love Universal too (especially since they opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). No matter what your day has been like, your week or year – Disney gives you that special feeling that makes the blood pressure just turn back to normal. We get season passes and find ourselves there generally once a week (except in Summer, we leave that to the tourists!) We enjoy ourselves there so much that we are excited when friends visit and head straight to the parks there. Eventually, we decided to celebrate our nearly 30 years in business working together (and our wedding anniversary too) with family and friends. Where better to have a vow renewal than at our favorite “get away” place?

So this year, we will be working on renovating another home and discussing our experiences working together as partners.

OUR STORY

AltarOur wedding in 1985 was wonderful but my mom and Percy Leach (God bless both of their souls) were really in charge of all the decisions. I was busy building a business with Jim and I trusted my mother’s taste explicitly. Percy was the owner/curator of Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ where our wedding took place, and an Interior Decorator who was used to supervising all sorts of fund raising, music and so forth at the Village of Waterloo he and his partner Lou Gualandi loved. Percy invited my father and family up there when I was just 7 years old to show the dream to him and to enlist my father (who was in politics and a law practice) to see his vision. I saw Percy’s vision right then and there and enjoyed my many years of visits to Waterloo. As a young girl, he promised me that I could get married there, only I was 7 and had to find a husband! Seeing him often, we made plans for the “wedding” without a fiance! I even called him from London during a buying trip for fabrics and laces in 1983 and told him I had found “the dress”.  My family attended many concerts and events there, and even my brother proposed to his wife at the same spot. Two years later, after a whirlwind of just three dates, I took Jim on a picnic (unintentionally) and showed him this marvelous place I had fallen in love with. Right then, outside the old Methodist Church of Waterloo, he proposed, just 5 days into our relationship! Percy and I were off and running, and although not professional, he was a very good wedding planner who made our evening magical.

I was building my business at the time, so much of the wedding was decided by Percy and my mother since that’s what you did 25+ years ago. I think except for the cake, I had no firm ideas and left most decisions to my father and mother because they were of similar tastes as I. From the fantastic music and food choices, I left it to them to make final decisions.

This blog is dedicated to my former mentors, Mom and Percy —- and hopefully they will be watching me from above with full blessings…. both of whom not only helped me get my wedding together but both of whom shared with me their love for design and interior design. Percy was a celebrated Interior Designer to New Jersey’s famous residents as well as many other. He also had a wicked sense of humor. His love for design was carried through in one of his great loves, the restoration of Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ. I love them and miss them both terribly.

I hope you will join us in our journey of life, love, home, and work.

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