A Happy Place...in Australia

It started when I was looking looking at photos..that feeling you get when tears starts to roll in from distant places and you blink to say it can't be so and then you suddenly catch your breath, take a deep breath and you realise there is no stopping it...the flood gates have opened. Tears..happy tears.

Saying that, I  have to tell you...me...crying..is not a pretty sight. I am the one who goes all puffy and splotchy and needs to be gently guided into a dark room, so as not to scare the others.  The only upside on my appearance is that my eyes become bright blue.  I think it is the red splotchy part that highlights them. Never seems to work together.

What's all the fuss about? The little guy below is my eldest son Patrick..who is getting married on Saturday, in Australia. Patrick and I sat in a photo booth together, 24 years ago...and I am feeling teary...as mother's do.

When Patrick was little
I used to read
(kind of how I felt last Thursday). 


We used to laugh about Alexander 
wanting to move to Australia...
and then we did, 
when Patrick was nine years old. 
He has been there ever since. 


And now Patrick is marrying an Aussie girl, Cherie.
How the world goes round! 

Patrick and Cherie

Speaking of horrible, no good, very bad days (last Thursday)...I am happy to report that my hair colour has been sorted and my mother of the groom dress came back from the dry cleaner in top shape. No more tears! I am still wavering on which dress to wear to the wedding, I will pack it all up and decide on the day. I like options. 

Thinking of Alexander and his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day started me on a book trail of all the children's books we used to love to read. I have to admit, that even today, with my oldest, now 25 and the youngest of my four, 15...I still pop into the children's section at bookstores, just to see what is new. It's always a happy place. 

Do you have a favourite children's book? One that you read as a child or some that you read to your children and grandchildren? Would love to know if you do...


Here are a few of ours...

by Judith Viorst

because we do have 
a touch of the Irish in us,
a book I bought just for Patrick
all those years ago.

by Tommie dePaola


Celebating St. Patrick's Day
and a wedding in one week.
It's a sign!
A great one!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Jeanne ;)


  1. Hello Jeanne!! So lovely to hear all your news - have a wonderful time and hope the wedding goes smoothly.....there will be lots of happy tears I suspect! Enjoy and look forward to seeing some pics of the glamorous mother of the groom! Love Susie x

  2. My son, Alexander, thought the Alexander books were written just for him! He is 29 years old now and has a 2 year old daughter. Guess I should pack up those books for him to read to her! Thanks for the reminder. As always, thanks for your blog. I really enjoy reading everything you write.

  3. Safe Journey to Australia. . . . . . . .may the wedding be beautiful and you all have a fabulous, wonderful fun time. Congratulations to Cherie and Patrick - may their years ahead together be full of happiness.
    Jeanne, you will be a stunning mother-of-the-groom no matter which dress you finally choose to wear - please be sure to share a wedding pic with us later.

    As for books, yes, several of the same ones were read here to the children, then again to the grandchildren! Now my oldest granddaughter is married (last Dec.) you never know, I may be reading Goodnight Moon to a great-grandchild one of these days! Isn't life amazing, and don't the years pass quickly, far too quickly!

    Take care, enjoy each moment - know you and Mr. H will be so proud of your son!
    Hugs - Mary

  4. I hope you are sharing the gift of your writing at their wedding. A special day...surround them with love and support on their path. Blessings and big hugs.

  5. LUCKY YOU!IT will all be OKAY!BETTER Then OKAY.................tears are allowed.XX

  6. Hope you have a wonderful, memorable time.....tears and all. Can't wait to hear all about it. And Congrats to the Happy Couple! ;)

  7. Savour each moment of this wedding as you gather with family and friends. Quite the handsome-beautiful couple. It goes so quickly. Our son married his beautiful Slovak bride in Bratislava 28 Dec 2002. Now they live in Colorado with the gorgeous Liliana Grace(almost 10), Kristina Fatih(7), Noël Joy(5). Life is wonderful, with all its curves and sways, bumps and glides. Look forward to exponential joy and laughter. Blessings to your family, and best wishes to the bride and groom.

  8. Oh Jeanne. What an exciting time . My oldest is also a Patrick, (22) and I totally get what it's like to look at old photos when they were so little. Sigh. Such happy memories. I'm glad the dresses have worked out, and so sorry about the hair. I hate when that happens :) But you've got the perfect perspective--and sense of humor--I know you're relishing every moment. Blessings to you and your entire family. I can't wait to hear all about the wedding!

  9. congratulations to C & P + you will be beautiful + as far as books go + Goodnight Moon could not be read enough.xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  10. Such a coincidence! I have just been thinking about children's books as my daughter (married last October) will make me a grandmother in August! I am of course delighted although feel I still do too much parenting to be ready to start the grandparenting but one of the pleasures I shall look forward to is re-discovering all the books we all loved so much --- Where the Wild Things Are, Burglar Bill, Mr Magnolia has Only One Boot, anything by Janet and Allen Arhlberg, The Silver Sword, Goodnight Mr Tom and Five Children and It which was a particular favourite (helped by a very good BBC series in the early 90s when mine were small). A sequel has just been published --- Five Children and the Western Front by Kate Saunders --- in connection with the commemorations of WWI. Its wonderful and deeply moving for anyone who loved the original. And something which has amused and touched my children is that the family name of the children in the sequel is the same as ours!
    Jeanne -- I will be thinking of you this week and hoping that the tears will not flow too freely ( running mascara is not a good look!) and that you have the most wonderful happy family wedding --- really looking forward to the update and photos of the MOG dress.
    Ceri x

  11. Twenty-one years ago, my sister and her husband were building a house so they moved in with me for a bit. Every night I read Can't You Sleep Little Bear? (by Martin Waddell) to my five year old nephew and he loved it. So did I! Since then, that is my favorite book to give to new moms. Such a sweet memory. Enjoy every minute of the wedding festivities, Jeanne!

  12. I hope you have an absolutely wonderful time. The joy only enhanced by the nostalgia and sense that time passes all too fast.

  13. Jeanne,

    Happy St. Patricks day to you as well! I hope that you have a wonderful and happy day with your family in Australia on such a happy occasion!

    Travel safe and take lots of photos of you looking fabulous in both outfits!

  14. Your pictures are priceless! Congratulations to your son! They grow up TOO fast! Each of those books were favorites I read to my children as well...I miss those days! xoxo

  15. Since you asked ..... Several years ago, I was able to find a copy of the first (as I recall) book read to me when I was certainly before school age and it is the book of Uncle Remus Stories by Joel Chandler Harris. Being born and raised in the South, it was very apropos. And the reading seed was sown. My favorite story was the one that took the longest to be read to me, "De Moon in De Millpond" featuring Brer Rabbit. I also have, and a bit ragged it is, the little book that was a favorite with my daughter Angela which is "Are You My Mother?" by P. D. Eastman. It's about a little bird who falls out of the nest before fledging and goes on a "walkabout" looking for its mother.
    Eagerly awaiting a wedding report. I know everything will go off beautifully, so relax and have fun!

  16. Hmm...transitions...can be...so...hard. And then things change, and they're never quite the same. But new is wonderful in entirely different ways that would never have been experienced without the change. I hope that makes sense. Don't forget the tissues on the big day!

    Passionate about children's books myself! Some of our favorites were (and are again with our three grandchildren):
    "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub" (Don and Audrey Wood)
    "The Happy Hedgehog Band" (Martin Waddell)
    "The Favershams" and "Rosie and the Rustlers" (Roy Gerrard...really anything by him!)
    the Beatrix Potter books
    "On Market Street" (Arnold Lobel)

    Safe travels!

  17. My girls listened to "Noisy Nora" over and over again until we were hoarse from laughter. Now my grandkids are enjoying it with us. That makes me teary and warm all over but I won't let myself cry. I too turn blotchy and my eyes get even darker blue.
    Just look at those fresh lovely faces of the bride and groom. May their day be filled with love, joy, and peace. You too, Jeanne! xo

  18. We are the happiest on the birth of our children. We are the happiest again when they get married.

  19. One's child's wedding is such a splendid occasion...only to be topped by becoming a grandmother...and I suppose that will happen next. Have a wonderful time...soak in all the love that will surround you.

    As for books, one of our favorites was "The Dream Child" by David McPhail, a lovely story filled with fabulous illustrations. I still pull it out when I feel melancholy...and also share it with my grands. Highly recommended.

  20. Oh such a sweet sentimental posting...............I am so thrilled for you all.
    Please take lots of pictures of the wedding and congratulations to you all. Best of luck.
    Love Jeanne

  21. Yes to so many of the books in your list and above. Some lesser known but equally delightful books my grandchildren love:

    Mrs. Biddlebox by Linda Smith
    The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat by Catherine Ann Cullen
    A Tooth Fairy's Tale by David Christiana

    And you should check out Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughn for that first Australian grandchild when he\she eventually makes an appearance.

    I remember the odd mixture of both joy and grief I felt when my first daughter was married. The joy was uppermost, but there was an undercurrent of loss that surprised me.

  22. What wonderful pictures! Have a wonderful wedding day!

  23. Such a handsome young man and his darling fiancé. I am sure you will look just beautiful. All-time favorite childhood books: The Story of Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wow, such wonderful memories just saying the titles gives me. Wonderful post. xo, N.


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