Friday, May 28, 2010

because nobody looks better in plaid



Thursday, May 27, 2010


The BEST part of this trip has been Charlie's opportunity to visit with his cousins, Kayle and Aidan. The good kind of visits, playing, eating together, matching PJs, running around in the backyard. Spending so much time together that you actually start to drive your big cousin Kayle nuts by invading her bedroom & throwing all those pretty little things off her dresser onto the floor. That kind of quality time.

cousin collage


Rich flew in a few minutes early this morning . . . and we were a few minutes late to pick him up. So what started off as the reunion that wasn't going exactly as I pictured in my mind ended up just picture perfect anyway.

Charlie did walk up to Rich at the airport with a sign that read "Welcome to Michigan, Daddy". Rich did cry and hug him. Rich's sister did make it up here from Chicago. We did have breakfast together. We did sit on the back porch & drink wine as the little ones played in the back yard.

And Rich was able to relax and love on his little boy.

rich charlie reunion

tom & rich reunion

chazzy upside down collage

double trouble

Misty's friend, Suzie (who may take the award for Nicest Chick on Earth), allowed me to take photos of her 6 month old twin boys. They're little preemies - Darren & Byron - but healthy as can be. Very good babies. No screaming or scratching. Like, ahem, you know who.

Lee Twins May 25, 2010

Lee Twins May 25, 2010

road trip to GR airport

Gonna pick up Rich!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


at The Lakes mall in the play area. He was totally hitting on a blonde chick a few minutes ago.

Monday, May 24, 2010

woodland creature

Last Sunday, Grandpa & Grandma Phee had us over for dinner with the Jacksons. Which meant Charlie got to explore out in the woods. He had a blast running all through the trees and brush, picking at things and looking at the trees. But notice in the bottom photo - after Charlie took a little spill & Grandpa helps him up, no way is Grandpa letting go of that beer!

wooded areas

Grandpa Phee helping out

hot and muggy and Uncle Dave

Uncle Dave and Aunt Janet were kind enough to host us at their house last night. And my God it was hot here in Michigan the last few days! Which did not do much to improve Charlie's afternoon crankiness. So today, as we're packing up the van to say goodbye and move on to our next Muskegon stop, I wanted desperately to get a photo of Charlie with Uncle Dave. And I managed this one, with Charlie in all his grumpy and sweaty glory.

Uncle Dave

when the cat's away

the mice buy new (old) trucks.

So I wasn't out of California less than 48 hours and Rich had purchased this 1961 Chevy truck. Seriously. He went to look at it in some old man's garage in Anaheim at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 15. It was at our house by 1 pm that same day.

I'm now partial proud owner of a classic truck that I haven't seen except for these few photos and many, many, many a story from Rich over the phone. And text. And email.

Remind me to never leave town again.

1961 Chevy

1961 Chevy

1961 Chevy

1961 Chevy

sad attempt at picture perfect normalcy

Last night, the Cunningham clan gathered at Kruse beach for family photos. This is us trying to do a "total family" shot. I think this may be the best we could do.

Cunningham Blog Final Photo

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One year ago today

We said goodbye.

And today we spend gathered as a family at the lake. Doing the things she loved for us to do.

And it hurts all over again.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


This kid isn't afraid of anything. He went down slides today at Great Wolf. He floated down the Crooked Creek river. Splashed around. In general, it's been a wonderful day. Now we're off to meet J-dogg for dinner.

may 19 - 20 635

vanilla sky

On our way up to Traverse City last night. Taken in Cadillac, Michigan.

Vanilla sky

Monday, May 17, 2010

B to the Ry

My brother Bryan (the middle brother, 29 years old) is annoyed with me for taking so many pictures. I don't care. I managed to snap this one of him and it was worth all the annoyance.

My Mom always said Bry was "the pretty one in the family". Sure knew how to make a girl feel good.



Obviously,there will be better Michigan posts coming. But I wanted to share one of my favorite photos so far. Charlie, swinging with Auntie Misty, in her front yard. Joy joy joy.



I'm working from my Dad's office today. And in my Dad's office is his constant companion, Faith.

She's a nice distraction after an otherwise crappy morning.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

leaving on a jetplane

In about 12 hours, Charlie and I will be on plane to Michigan. And leaving Rich for two whole weeks before he flies in to join us. I already have knots in my stomach about it. Although I’m excited to see our friends and family and take a break from all things work, I’ll miss him. And so will Chazzy.



Monday, May 10, 2010

framed photos and ghetto boxes

My sister-in-law, Robin, sent me a very thoughtful gift for Mother's Day. See photos below. Gorgeous framed photos from Charlie's 1st Birthday photo shoot in Seal Beach. (Because although I love all things photos, I'm horrible about actually framing them and getting them up on the wall.)

The funniest part is that Perfectionist Robin was concerned about the packaging of the shipped boxes. She called to tell me they were completely ghetto and to apologize. These boxes showed up neat, tidy, perfectly taped and with Mother's Day cards taped to them.

And inside were very beautiful gifts. Thank you, Robin.

wall photos from Robin

wall photos from Robin

the dude with the balloons

Charlie and I were having a lovely Saturday afternoon at the park. Until the dude with the balloons showed up. And I had nothing but my camera and an American Express. Apparently the balloon man doesn't take Amex, just cash. And Charlie was none-too-happy about this.

So park time was over.

day at the park

Sunday, May 9, 2010

swagger continued

And this video, shared with us by none other than Tom Peters, topped off my Mother's Day.

Mama's Day 2010

My entire weekend was spent with Rich being extra nice to me, which made me suspicious. (As in, was there a classic car being delivered to our house in a few days?) But no, it was all in an effort to ensure I had a wonderful 2nd Mother's Day. And I did.

This morning started with me sleeping in. Coffee. Mimosas. Omelets. Lounging around. Getting my nails done. Going with my boys to EJ Malloys in Long Beach for a glass of wine and a sandwich. And just sitting outside at one of my favorite spots in all of Long Beach.

Then back home. More lounging. And watching Rich be the spectacular Dad and husband that he is. And watch Charlie joyfully play and babble. And get into all the stuff I just put away in this room. I guess it's back to life as normal now.

Oh, and Rich took all of these photos of me today. Another Mother's Day treat. He's learning how to use this big ol' camera of ours and is slightly less embarrassed that he looks like the paparazzi in our front yard.

Mother's Day collage

every day is Mother's Day

It's kind of a surreal weekend. Looking forward to days of pampering from Rich and extra hugs from Charlie. Yet hearing people at work or in the store talking about getting together with their Moms for this holiday stings. This holiday, that I admittedly took for granted all those years, suddenly fills me with regret. That I just sent a card, gave her a call. Made sure someone had bought a cake back home.

But now, now I wish she were here. I would be in Michigan. There would be a catered brunch and beautiful flowers and lovely gifts. An occasion to dress up and celebrate. She would hate all the attention but secretly love all the fanfare of the event.

Yet, maybe every day was Mother's day for my Mom and me. When we did get together, there was fanfare. Nice restaurants, shopping, I remember the Christmas I bought her this little Coach coin purse. She literally wore it out, stuffed all her receipts in it, pulled it out of her purse every chance she got. Because she'd never buy herself something like that. I made sure we had long lunches sitting out in the sun. That she always, always had her favorite iced tea, a comfy robe, a good place on the patio to read her books while I was at work.

I called her every single day. 365 days a year from the time I left home. Who can say that? I lived 2500 miles from my Mom but if I took a Sudafed and switched from sweatpants to pjs, she knew it.

I just wish she were on the other end of the phone today, saying thank you for the lame card I sent her. And telling me about the sales at Wal-mart. And listening to me drone on about the dirty grout in my bathroom. And just being my Mom.

Linda Cunningham 2007

Friday, May 7, 2010

the lake

This is the lake where I spent every summer from the age of 3 until 23. It's where I spent time with my Mom, just sitting out front of our place, reading books and watching her drink iced tea. And I saw so many gorgeous nights like these.

I saw this photo on Sarah's (Steve's girlfriend) Facebook page tonight and it struck a cord. So I played around with some editing. Made it vibrant like in my memories. And now it's posted.

cotton candy sherbet ice cream

oldie but goodie

From this winter. When Charlie discovered the joy of toilet paper.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Meals make Happy Moms

This is Charlie's first Happy Meal ever. What a milestone . . . It also signifies my laziness tonight.

our weekend

We had one of those weekends that didn't have many plans. A birthday party on Saturday but otherwise, it was all ours.

Friday afternoon involved some tug of war between Charlie and his new best friend, Cook. (Don't worry, no animals were hurt in the making of this blog post.)
dog collage

On Sunday, TomMish came down for an impromptu Sunday night dinner made with our fresh basil.

But Sunday morning, Charlie decided to act like Mom and Dad by drinking coffee and watching music videos. Don't worry, folks, he didn't really have coffee. Just some smokes and red bull later that night.
coffee collage

We actually grew basil. (Yes, Greg, basil, nothing but basil.) And it was delicious.

basil collage


Katie's dog, Chopper, looking in on the kids, wishing he could come in and play.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

celebrating Mason

On Saturday, our friends Anne and Michael threw a party to celebrate their son, Mason's, 2nd birthday at a little park in San Clemente. Charlie managed to make it the whole day with eating no sand, no sunburn and only binged on 1 and a half cupcakes.

Mason's party

Mason's party

Mason's party


It's so nice to see these two munchkins playing together. Although, my munchkin taught Katie's munchkin how to play in the dog food dishes.


safety first, last and always

Charlie's bike helmet

Charlie's bike helmet

Charlie's bike helmet

Charlie's bike helmet

Charlie's bike helmet, on the big boy

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Giulietta Elizabeth Morad

happy, happy birthday, baby


Today, 17 months old. And you're home with a fever and molars busting through your gums. Much like your mama, when you're sick, you're a great big baby. Crying, waving your arms around, and making little whining noises even when everything's ok. You also sleep a lot when you don't feel good, another one for team Mom.

In the last month, you've expanded your vocabulary to words such as "Oh dear", "shit", "more", "thanks", "shoe", and Daddy's favorite "da-da-da". I even coaxed "papa" out of you but I had to request it in Spanish.

You actually play with stuff. You balance one toy on top of another. Or you drape our laundry on top of your music table . . . or Cook. Then you hysterically laugh. You also climb on top of the ottomans (which makes me so nervous) and then applaud your own efforts.

I forgot about one other word: ball. But you don't say it just once. You repeat it over and over as you trespass into Mario & Maggie's yard to play with their basketball hoop. And even though I rushed out and bought you the exact same hoop and ball-ball-ball-ball, you'd rather have theirs. Welcome to the grass-is-greener, buddy.

Happy 17 months, buddy. We love you. Hope those teeth give you (and us) a break soon.

Mom and Dad

17 month birthday

17 month birthday