Wednesday, February 24, 2016


I've just finished singing and praying with my daughter. She's been cuddled in the crook of my arm while listening. After a long hug and many kisses, she suddenly looks distraught. "I forgot to get my baby! I'll go get her."

She scrambles over me, hops off her bed, grabs her baby from where she'd earlier tossed her, then stands beside the bed cuddling her doll. I watch, amused, wondering if Ella is feeling guilty for forgetting her baby or for tossing her haphazardly into a basket earlier or maybe both.

Ella shifts the doll in her arms so that her baby is looking right at her, then brings her doll's face close to her own and whispers, "Are you ready for this? You're about to go really, really high!" With that, she throws her baby up, up, up high past me.

I guess Ella is trying to make bedtime fun for her baby?

Before her baby's head reaches the pillow, her baby's plastic, smiling face hits the wall with a loud thud. Then, like a basketball hitting the rim before sinking through the net, the baby finally lands on the pillow.

Ella looks horrified. I mean, what decent 4-year-old mother wouldn't, right?

Then, realizing I'm watching her, she plays it cool like this was her plan all along "She's fine," Ella tells me with a shrug. "She actually likes when I do that."

We are both smiling. She knows I'm not fooled. "You're lucky I didn't put you to bed that way when you were a baby, Ella Grace." 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


We love Valentine's Day in the Galotti home. It's such a colorful and cheerful holiday in the middle of all the gray, brown and white. Since the day fell on a Sunday, Justin was gone before the kids had their special heart breakfast, but not before he was able to give us all a big Valentine's day hug. The kids enjoyed hearts and treats and cards from relatives. Then that evening, we had a fun Valentine's day dinner with dear friends.  



We've had few truly cold days this winter. But during one of them, a few days back, the kids and I spent our Saturday downtown. Between a cozy brunch our dear friend's place, and then a return to that same place afterwards for cinnamon rolls, the children and I spent time in Toronto's beautiful Allan Gardens. It was a perfect way to warm up and enjoy sunshine and the anticipation of Spring even in frigid February.

Monday, February 15, 2016


The Humber River. One of the gems of the west end, for sure. Even in winter, it's a great place for urban kids to play. 


My favorite moments of watching my daughter dance are not at the year-end recital (though of course that is sweet too), but rather the sneak-peak that parents get during Parents Week at the studio. I love watching them in the studio setting, doing the simple things like plies and walking across the studio en demi pointe. What a treat.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Happy Birthday, Jake!

I have an eight year old. 
His name is Jake.
I love him so much. 
We all do.
He's a pretty amazing person.

A few nights ago I was saying good night to the boys and had climbed up to Jake's top bunk to give him a final hug and kiss. He was sleepy, almost dreaming, when I whispered to him, "Oh Jake, I love you so much. I could never even put it into words how much I love you." In a tired, not-really-paying-attention voice, Jake said, "Sideways eight. You love me like a sideways eight symbol: infinity. It never ends." And that's Jake. He'd put it into words, and only with the slightest half-sleeping effort. 

Earlier tonight at his birthday dinner, our family was sharing the things we love about Jake. Between Justin and me and Jake's siblings, various things were mentioned, ranging from silly to serious. One thing that Justin mentioned about his son, one of the things he loves about him, is how Jake is growing into a boy of such character -- a boy who loves what is true, who seeks justice, who desires to encourage others, who is honest even when it doesn't serve himself. I agree. I delight in his gifts, but I delight even more in his character. 

Dear Jake, 
Mothers always say this, and it's always true. I can't believe how old you are. I can't believe you're eight. You are a gift from God entrusted to me, and I thank Him for making you and giving you to Daddy and me.  
I want to share with you a story that in many ways describes who you are. One day I think you'll read it and find it funny. Daddy and I were planning a surprise for you for your birthday. No party this year. Instead we were taking you and your siblings on a short little overnight trip to a water park. 
A few days before this trip, you sat with me on the couch and said, "Mom, I'm so excited for this surprise. And I really want to wait. But I think I know what the surprise might be, and if it's what I think, I'm going to pass out from excitement. Are you... are you taking me to a Bob Dylan concert?"  
No. No Bob Dylan concert, my son. Maybe one day. For now, all the live Bob Dylan music we hear will be coming from you. And I will enjoy every minute of it. You have provided the sweetest soundtrack to life, Jake.  
We love you and thank God for your life. Happy Birthday, my son!