So Thankful for Zeb

Young Zeb Lauging

How was it only a year ago that Zeb was still living with us, and we were toasting his 21st b-day? 


Talk about a year of change. New home (several of those), new job, new friends, new adventures, and still the same passionate heart.

As we watch you take your steps into adulthood, fixing appliances and purchasing furniture and a car, etc. it flashes us back to the first steps you took back in the day. Little did we know all the places those tiny feet would go.

We are so proud of all you have accomplished this year, Zebulon, and for the way you have tackled obstacles in your path. Hope you have a truly fabulous upcoming year. We love you and thank God you were placed in our family.

A Quarter Century With CJ

Today we celebrate 25 years of a beautiful addition to our planet. Doctors told us it wouldn’t happen, and if a child were to come into our existence, there could be major complications. Yet 25 years ago, on a beautiful Saturday morning, a healthy CJ entered the world, to our delight.

You know those Hallmark moments where the parents gaze in awe at their perfect newborn child? That didn’t totally happen. After hours of back labor and some complications that were a bit intimidating, CJ entered the world. We turned exhausted eyes to our newborn progeny and watched as he opened one eye as if he didn’t care enough to open two eyes, then gave us the bird.

What a way to enter the world.

Now that we have gotten to know him, we realize the one-eye thing was probably due to the fact that it was morning, and he wasn’t quite ready to wake up. The bird? Well, even now I would say that was a bit out of character for him, but it made quite the initial impression.

When a parent things holds a child in their arms, there is a dream that develops. For me, it was to rear a child who could stand on his own taking on whatever life threw at him and contributing back in a positive manner.

CJ, you have far exceeded our hopes for this. Not only do you take on the world comfortably, but you you inspire us with your passion for faith, family and dreams as you pursue your world in music and tech. We are so proud of you and love you so much.

Happy 25!

Hudi Turns 19

It can be argued that his birth seemed like yesterday. And at the risk of sounding boring, that statement cannot be dismissed. But interestingly, it feels as if we’ve been together forever. I cannot fathom life without our kiddos — Hudson and Zebulon and CJ. What joy and inspiration they bring!

Many parents worry about the teen years, but Hudi took them in stride. When he was in tenth grade he insisted on being in charge of his own virtual homeschool education, pacing himself in his coursework. At 16 he decided to go to college, and now, at 19, has his degree, his own apartment and a great job and a wonderful young woman in his life. It’s enough to make any parent proud.

It does take me a bit aback to realize this will be the last year I will have with a child in their teens. Remember the excitement of hitting double digits? Then teen years? Good times. Good times, indeed.

Still, it’s fun to look back to the past. Here’s a video I found of his 9th birthday party. And another of his college graduation. He’s changed a bit over the years 😉

Hudi’s 9th Birthday
Hudi’s College Graduation

I’m not saddened by the path of continual growth. And no parent could be more proud of their progeny.

Hudi, you are rockin’ life. Being real with it and taking on its edges with determination and class. Your dad and I are so proud of you!

It’s kind of fun having you live so close to where you were born now. Who would have thought that 19 years ago?

I asked Mollie for some current pics of the birthday boy, and I love this celebration of life I received in return:

I see he is still somewhat of a goofball. This is good.

We love you, Hudi, and wish all the blessings of the world on you and your future. God did an amazing thing creating you! You are a true gift to the world.

Celebrating Birthdays

It was a great day for celebrating birthdays with 2/3 of my beautiful sisters-in-law and Mom. Today was Heidi’s b-day and Mom’s is on Saturday. We had perfect weather as we lunched on the patio by the fountain at Tin Pan Galley in Sackett’s Harbor. Can you believe the size of my Portobello salad sandwich?

Portobello mushroom sandwich and cherry pancakes.
Portobello mushroom sandwich and cherry pancakes.

Thankful for Zebulon

Zeb skateboarding

Day 11/30 – Today I’m thankful for my son who was born 21 years ago today. And I’m particularly happy that he was here so we could celebrate with him. We are super proud of the man he has become, and I look forward to seeing where he goes next in life.

Zeb has a habit of doing the unexpected. When he was two or three years old, I had to tell him it wasn’t safe to do headstands in the bathtub (he didn’t hear me, though, since his head was under water). Another time he and his friend showed up on our porch to show us their “jewelry” (a bunch of snakes that they played with so regularly that they became friends/necklaces/bracelets).

From ski slope to sales to designing elements for a skate park, Zeb brings ingenuity, compassion and joy to all around him. I’m going to miss his goofiness as he takes off for his next life-adventure and already can’t wait to visit. But he’s ready to fly. I’m proud of this young man! I love you Zeb!


  • For November (the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US), I’m trying to blog about something for which I’m thankful for each day of the month.

From Three to Twenty-Three, Our CJ

3-to-23Twenty-three years ago a little being came into our existence. The labor was so tough I barely understood the plot of the animation I tried to watch after he was born.

Now that I look back, it cracks me up that I was watching this the day my game-maker son with an obsession for trains was born.


The boy was also born for music. He used to cry uncontrollably between songs on the tape cassette. And he was only a week old! It’s not terribly surprising that he is marrying a voice major.

One of my favorite parts of being a Mom is seeing the brother-bond in action. Look how they have grown!


Zeb and Hudi pulled a switcharoo in that bottom image, though.

Now that CJ is growing up and has moved across the country, I’m all-the-more thankful for our technological ties. He Facetimes us from chairlifts so we can vicariously enjoy his surroundings on the slopes, and he keeps in touch with texts, Snapchats and video messages.


CJ, you are certainly a treasure, and you know we thank God for the amazing young man you are. We are truly proud of you and hope your life is filled with all the wonders you deserve. Love you always! Happy Birthday!