Ashlee & Christopher are graduating


1_class of 2016

You’re invited to join us for a Graduation Party for

Christopher & Ashlee

Saturday, June 11th, 12:00 Noon

North Park, Pittsburgh, PA – North Carolina pavilion

park map

Lunch will be served.

Hosted by Ron & Carey Sparks

Feel free to enjoy the various activities at the park. More details can be found at Ventures Outdoors.

Can I believe what I want to believe?


Side bar….I clearly didn’t stick with my goal to write more, given my last post was 8 months ago!  Clearly I didn’t have much to say.

Until today….

Should we or must we defend our beliefs to others?  Is it wrong to ask that we respect others beliefs and treat them without judgement?

Here’s an example of what I am referring to.  Say you are a devout Catholic.  What if you have a friend that is Agnostic?  Do you constantly ask them to attend mass or make statements that you wish they would attend mass and believe what you believe?  (Feel free to replace Catholic and Agnostic with any other religion, faith, belief.)

Why? Do you do this because you believe your religion and faiths are right and theirs are wrong?  What evidence do you have to allow you to make such an assumption?  Pretty sure the answer will be there is no evidence.  The key word here is BELIEF.  Beliefs are ideas, opinions, theories.  You will not find concrete evidence to prove your belief, religion, faith is better than any other.  There is nothing wrong with having faith, I encourage it, but keep in mind, they are personal to YOU.

I understand that some faiths want to “save” or “evangelize” to others.  I am not against inviting or talking to your friend about your faith and beliefs.  That’s totally valid.  Your friend may be completely open and interested and so be it.  My issue comes when once you know how your friend feels and what they believe in, and you don’t support, accept and respect it.  My issue comes when passive aggressive comments are made or statements/judgements are tossed out as if they were leaves blowing in the wind.  No consideration for how the other person feels.  If they are not interested, the topic should be dropped and not constantly pushed.

Think about what message we are sending to each other.  Have you considered how your comments make the other person feel?  Pretty sure nobody wants to feel disrespected or judged.  I, for one, do not like to feel that way, nor do I want to hurt anyone else.

I won’t go deeply into my specific beliefs.  That’s not the point.  The point is, I want to be treated with respect as a fellow citizen of the world, no matter what my beliefs are.  I am your fellow sister, you are my brothers and sisters.  I live in the same world you live in.  We are all human, breathing the same air, drinking the same water, living the same mortality.

Real friends, real family, accept each other for who and what they are.  Agree to disagree.  Do not allow the differences of opinions/beliefs to get in the way.  The foundation should always be in love. If you cannot do this, then I’d have to question the relationship or friendship.


Binary Princess – Gets a makeover


It’s that time.  It’s a new year, so time to make fresh starts and to attempt to set goals for the next 352 days, until the next new year rolls along.

First things first, give the blog a facelift.  Check!

Next, figure out what you want to do for those 352 days.  Easier said than done.  I want to spend as much time as possible with my husband and kids, I want to travel, I want to try to snow ski, I want to embrace my love for photography, I want to find an apartment that allows Ashlee to go to a great school AND allows my pups, I want to spend more time with friends, I want to tackle Barre classes without needing an oxygen tank and (here’s the selfish one) I want new shoes.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I can do all these and more!  I am looking forward to it!



2013, wow, what a year……… Reflections

It’s normal at the end of year to always go back and reflect over the happenings of the year.  Sometimes questioning, obsessing, scrutinizing specific moments, decisions.  Why did that happen?  Did I do the right thing?  I should have done X, and so on.

So as I write this, I am thinking about the serious roller coaster 2013 turned out to be.  We made some pretty significant decisions and changes that not only affected myself, but my family.  Did we do the right thing?  (I stress the WE, because it was totally a group decision).  Was it worth it?  Will it be worth it?

Last year this time, we were sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear if the acquisition of CI by Google was going to go through.  That was the longest few months!  We finally heard in February it was going to happen.  Exciting right?  Sure!  All the hard work, long days and nights, that everyone had put in for years, hoping, wishing something big would happen, was finally coming true.

BUT, with all the excitement meant there was a huge change looming.  If I wanted to continue on this journey, working for Google, meant a move to Pittsburgh, PA.  YIKES!  Pittsburgh?  Come on, let’s be real, that is typically not a top city destination on bucket lists of places to live.  What about the family?  Could Ron move?  What about his job?  What about the kids?  Should we pack them up and move them to a city we know nothing about, far away from all their family and friends?  Needless to say, lots went into the decision making process.  In the end, we made the best decision we could at the time for everyone involved.  So far, it’s been a work in progress, it’s hard.  Lots of traveling, hours upon hours of Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime, but we’re making it work.  We count days until we are together again and try to stretch out the time when we are.  It honestly makes our time together more special.  We treasure our family time and don’t waste a moment.  In this regard, it’s actually been a bit of a blessing.

Pittsburgh has surprised me.  It’s actually quite an interesting city.  It’s in the middle of a resurgence, huge growth, plus lots of history (something Orlando was lacking).  We’ve taken the river boat tour, we’ve been to the top of Mt. Washington, slide down a blue slide, we’ve gone to Heinz Field, checked out a few museums, seen a giant rubber duck, explored a cathedral, just to start!

On top of being so busy in the new city, we’ve been traveling like crazy.  Not just back to Florida, but being here in Pennsylvania has put us closer to Connecticut, which puts me closer to Candie and family!   Lastly, London and Dublin were in the books for September for work (poor me, I know).

Here we are, December is here and I sit and reflect over the year.  It’s been a ride.  Lots of ups and downs.  I miss my husband and boys like crazy.  When we are apart I feel as though a piece of me is missing.  When we are together, everything is in place.  Ying and Yang.  Will this be our life for long? Who knows, we take each day as it’s own.  All I know is that I am so very thankful every single day for my awesome husband, sons and daughter, who have been on this ride with me.  I can’t tell them enough how much I love them!

Here’s hoping 2014 brings even more!  Bring it!  We’re ready!

Happy New Year

Get Out Of My Head!


Have you ever had a song stuck in your head?

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head for a really long time?

I have.  I have it all the time!  Every day, at any moment, there is a song running through my head.   Not just any song, either.  There are 2 songs specifically.  Non-stop.

Why?  I have no clue.  They have been there for as long as I can remember.  Most of time I have no idea I am humming them or singing them, until someone points it out.  They are just there, running over and over on an infinite loop.

Up until recently, I didn’t even know what one of them was.  It just a little ditty or jingle I thought I had made up.   Wrong!  One day I just couldn’t take it anymore, so Ron and I sifted through tons and tons of YouTube videos of old kids shows trying to find it.  Somehow I knew it was some old Hanna-Barbera show.  Finally, we found it.

So what are these songs you ask?  What songs could be in my pretty little head?

Well the lucky songs are the Speed Racer theme song and The Banana Splits theme song!  Both from the late 60’s!  Check out the YouTube videos if you aren’t familiar.

Do what?  The late 60’s??  I was just a twinkle in my parents eye in the late 60’s.  I do remember watching these shows as a kid.  However, I would have never guessed they would have made such an impression on me.

I can’t explain it, but there they are.  So, next time you see me, ask me what the song of the day is…..guaranteed, it will be one of these.

Speed Racer

The Banana Splits