Category Archives: The Cinnamon Girl

Cinnamon Girl’s Birthday | A Favorite Day Of The Year

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unnamedToday is The Cinnamon Girl’s birthday and it is truly one of my favorite days of the year. I hope she knows how I feel about her every day of the year. I hope she knows how much our children love her. I hope she knows what an amazing person she is.

The Cinnamon Girl is a person

  • who is shockingly intelligent and quick witted and funny…
  • whose laughter makes me so happy (it’s a goal of every day of my life to make her laugh)…
  • who is beautiful in every sense of the word…
  • who understands the world better than I ever will…
  • whose deep rooted compassion for others has inspired her to change her life over-and-over again…
  • whose confidence makes others confident, too…
  • who is an incredible role model…
  • who is brave and strong…
  • whose very presence in my life makes my life better…
  • who we get to celebrate today.

She is most often the smartest person in any room, able to speak on any subject. She is an engaging story teller, a raconteur. She is the kind of person people want to emulate, people old and young. She makes those around her better.

She is an extraordinary and engaging person and, as I have said many, many times, the only flaw I see in her is that she foolishly selected me as the person with whom to spend the rest of her life.

I am going to hold her to that.

Happiest of birthdays, my love. I am glad we take today to celebrate you!


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YOU Did This | A Mother’s Work

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It’s possible that last year’s Mother’s Day blog about my incredible wife and the mother of our children cannot be equaled, so I have included it below, primarily because my idea for this year’s edition was a sequel to last year’s.

Simply put, we have 3 grown children, each confident in who they are, each making their way in this complex and ever-changing world, each sure of the Cinnamon Girl’s love and devotion.

What I want my wife to remember today (and I hope she knows it EVERYDAY) is that she did this. She made them who they are. She gave them the support, the grace and the love.

She is an amazing mother. Our kids are so very lucky (because you don’t get to choose mom) to have her. I am lucky to parent with her.

Caroline in Snow

How do I know this? I know this because I live with The Cinnamon Girl.

We have three children and I can write today – with no fear of being contradicted – that each of our children has become the strong, young adult they have become because of her love for them.

For them, love begins and ends in her motherhood.

I wonder what they would say about The Cinnamon Girl if you got them talking, it they could identify what really makes her so special in their lives. What might they say? I am not certain, but I do have some guesses.

HJ jr might remark about how his mother has never let him down and always, ever and forever, has his back. He might say she has been his confidante and champion. He might say she is always there for him. He might say that she has made him a stronger and better person.

He might say all of that.

Stretch might say that The Cinnamon Girl taught him not too take life too seriously. He might say she taught him the so critical gift of irreverence. He might say she showed him through humor just how much she loves him.

He might say all of that.

Sous Chef might say that The Cinnamon Girl is one of the best role models for growing up into a strong and confident woman she could have ever had. She might say that she loves it when they cook together, or talk about make up together, or talk about life together. She might say that The Cinnamon Girl helped her become the amazing young woman she is.

She might say all of that.

As for me, I would say I have learned more about parenting (and about life) from my beautiful wife and partner than I ever would have thought possible. I learned it even more as I watched her mother her mother in the last stages of my mother-in-law’s life these last few years. What love and what grace my wife showed. What love and what grace she has.

2012-07-11 11.56.08

They are so different now. If you look carefully, you can see CINNAMON GIRL in the background…

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Filed under Cinnamon Girl, Family, HJ jr, Mother, Mothers, Mothers Day, Sous Chef, Stretch, The Cinnamon Girl

Grateful 2018

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Again, on this Thanksgiving as I do on most others, I share this with you:


The Cinnamon Girl and I have more than we could ever enumerate.

We have 3 wonderful children.

We have two careers we love.

We have a roof over our heads.

We have 5 lovely pets.

We have cars to drive, food to eat, pillows under our heads.

We have family we love.

We have friends we enjoy.

We have a God who loves us.

We have more than we deserve.

We are grateful.

We are blessed.

We are loved.



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Knock, Knock, Knock And Then We’ll Shout… Halloween!

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I originally posted this one on a Halloween many full moons ago and it seems appropriate to revisit it when the leaves are falling, the wind is more crisp and Halloween is here. Special thanks this year to my sister, The Dedicated Librarian for uncovering the ACTUAL piano music book we had as kids!

When I was a kid, I had piano lessons once a week for years.

They didn’t take. I play guitar now…

But, every October 31st, I have the desire to sit back down at a keyboard and plunk out one of the few songs I think I still remember note-for-note. No, I am sure that I remember it.

Except for the title. The title, I didn’t remember, but a quick, internet search told me it’s called (creatively) Halloween Song. That same search revealed that I (and my sisters) are not the only people of a certain age who learned it. Many folks did.

I have great memories of Halloween and I am more mindful of them now because Halloween is The Cinnamon Girl’s favorite holiday.

I remember…

  • the spray painted gray robot costume made of boxes and brown paper bags, milk caps and 8-track tapes
  • wearing coats over my costumes on many, many Halloweens because of snow
  • perfecting the “Clark Kent-changing-into-Superman” costume long before I saw it marketed
  • choosing and making costumes for Stretch and Sous Chef when they were younger
  • HJ jr meeting my father for the first time at a Halloween party. Dad was dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and HJ jr thought the fairly sizable hernia jutting under the costume was part of the costume… he was shocked when he next met Dad in normal clothes!
  • watching the joy that this holiday brings The Cinnamon Girl

But, I must admit, all of those memories are set to the sound track of Halloween Song. I remember it so well… I know all the lyrics!

So, happy fall, all! Great ready for All Hallows Eve and enjoy the song!


Halloween the wind is blowing, spooks and goblins all about!

Halloween and out we’re going, now to play the game shout out.
Knock, knock, knock, and then we’ll shout!
Knock, knock, knock, shout out shout out!
Then a gust of wind comes blowing, blows my jack-o-lantern out”

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Filed under Cinnamon Girl, Halloween, Holidays, The Cinnamon Girl, The Dedicated Librarian

DVerDict: Manifest – RECORD & WATCH

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Manifest is a high concept series that has a pretty intriguing hook: a plane takes off in 2013 and does not land until 2018. For the people on the ground, five years have passed. For those on the plane, less than five hours have passed.

How does that become a series that sustains interest year-after-year?

That is not my problem.

What did sustain interest was the pilot episode. The Cinnamon Girl and I both enjoyed the premiere and, while I guessed a few of the plot twists (inserting patting myself of the back here), I was engaged and ready for the second episode as soon as the first ended. The hook works, the performances are good and there is just enough Lost in the show to make me want to come back for more.

The dialogue won’t be mistaken for Aaron Sorkin, and the show has a bit of a way to go to justify its high concept, but it is a good start.

This is one to watch.

MANIFEST airs on Mondays on NBC.

DVeRict? Record & Watch Manifest

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Filed under Cinnamon Girl, Television, Television Review, The Cinnamon Girl, TV, Watching Television

Wonder Woman – Happy Birthday, My Amazing Wife

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2018-06-22 10.40.18I could not be more excited about the amount of talk there is about Wonder Woman these days. She has been embraced, once again, as a feminist icon. She is all over media. She is a film star. It is all very cool.

But I have a secret: I know Wonder Woman. I live with her. She is my wife.

The Cinnamon Girl’s birthday is today and, while I do hope I celebrate her every day and I do try to celebrate her every day, today is a special day to think about her.

I have written about her many times and will continue to do so. That is what one does for one’s muse. Today, though, on her birthday, I celebrate one of the most amazing things about this wonder woman:

She is fearless and bold.

Many of you who know her may not know that she began her professional life as a lawyer and practiced law for many years. While this was before I knew her, I am told (and am sure) that she was a successful lawyer. I have no doubt she was. Brilliant and accomplished, The Cinnamon Girl was surely a force with which to be reckoned.

She is such a force.

Following that chapter, The Cinnamon Girl changed career paths and became a high school social studies teacher. In her first years in the classroom, she was the entire Social Studies Department at a small, Catholic school in Texas. I met her when she was well into this work and I was blessed for a number of magic years to teach-team with her. I know something about teaching. The Cinnamon Girl is an immensely gifted teacher who inspires students to be critical thinkers. She makes the material relevant to them. And she cares about them.

And they know it. That is why they love her.

Now, she is looking to pursue her first desire for her life: nursing. While balancing a full time job, many other responsibilities and being an amazing mother and wife, The Cinnamon Girl has decided to open a new book and look into a new path. She is looking to become a nurse.

What does all this say about her? What is the through line of my Wonder Woman’s life?


Service to others. Deepening devotion. Selflessness.

The Cinnamon Girl is a wonder woman and an amazing gift.

Happiest of birthdays, baby. Many, many, many wonderful returns.

You deserve each of them.

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This One Goes To 11 (And Counting)

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The Magister, my best friend (well, the best friend I have to whom I am NOT married), was once in my office without me. While there, he looked at my display of photos and left me the below, brief missive:


Truer words were never scrawled on a sticky note.

This one goes to 11. 


11 years of marriage to The Cinnamon Girl marked today. I am the luckiest man I know.

What can I tell you on this anniversary?

I can tell you that, if every relationship has a reacher and a settler, I am – without a doubt – the reacher.

Thank God The Cinnamon Girl was kind enough to settle.

I can tell you I out-kicked my coverage.

I got to The Cinnamon Girl before she came to her senses.

I can tell you I married up.

Thank God The Cinnamon Girl decided on me. She had other options…



11 years today.

I can say without equivocation that these have been the best 11 years of my life.

Happy Anniversary, Cinnamon Girl. By-the-way, this thing we have goes way beyond 11.

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