26 seasoned cyclists – one rider for each of the 20 children & 6 educators who were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School – will ride 400 miles from Newtown, Connecticut to Washington, D.C., March 8th.
In an effort to make our schools and communities safer, these bikers, known as Team 26, will ride for their second year March 8th to honor all victims and call attention to the need for universal background checks.
The GCGV will sponsor a rally to welcome Team 26 as it passes through Greenwich March 8th at 12:30 at the Greenwich Town Hall. Team Greenwich has 12 cyclists who will ride from Ridgefield to Greenwich to show support for Team 26.
There will be a welcoming ceremony and a brief press conference. In the case of inclement weather, the rally will be held inside the Town Hall in the Town Hall Meeting Room.
Keep an eye from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. for the cyclists and their brilliant police escorts, it should be quite a sight!
Our son came home & announced he’s taking off his clothes and jumping in frigid waters.
Freezin’ for a Reason’s Penguin Plunge challenge supports Special Olympics Connecticut.
Participants will strip down to their swim trunks or bathing suits and run into the icy waters of The Sound on March 8th.
This year’s goal is $90,000.
As of this post, $21,000 has been raised.
Every dollar counts and your donation is tax deductible.
If you would like to contribute, please send me a message at Bianca@BiancaTyler.com and I will forward you the direct link to this Special Olympics project.
We are very proud of our son. At 19 years old, he was the Captain of his team in the Relay for Life American Cancer Society fundraiser. He and his team walked the full 24-hours through day and night and day again raising thousands.
The Bright SpotTM - Not quite sure how our little boy grew up so fast, time surely flies, but one thing is for sure, we are proud of his dedication to great causes and hope you decide to help as he prepares to take the bitterly cold Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics Connecticut!
The Positively Me program offered to 3rd grade girls to boost confidence, teach assertiveness & expression, and offer strategies to prevent bullying was positively fantastic!
Offered free by the Junior League of Greenwich, this intensive 2-day event encourages new friendships while the girls develop strength and resilience through skits & role playing, dance, journaling & thoughtful conversations about the painful consequences of bullying.
Why 3rd grade?
Unfortunately, bullying is starting earlier & earlier; it’s a topic Phillip & I have covered often over the past 15 Seasons on our parenting radio show “Let’s Talk!” currently on WGCH, formerly on WSTC & WNLK. (All shows are (All shows are archived on this site.)
One of our popular recurrent guests and parenting experts, Dr. Michelle Anthony, experienced something similar with her little 2nd grade daughter. That painful situation prompted her to co-author Little Girls Can Be Mean – 4 Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades.
Positively Me: only 4 sessions per year, 36 girls per session. The program has run for 5 years and waiting lists get longer year after year. It was marvelous to see the girls beaming each evening at pick-up, full of laughter and stories and joy.
They brought home beautiful button bracelets that matched button cards where each color represented something special, drawings/writings/self-portraits in their special journals, t-shirts with signatures of each participant, water bottles, sparkly feather pens, tote bags with the adorable Positively Me logo and mountains of coping skills to nip future snafus in the bud!
The program taught them to take pride in themselves and their accomplishments; achieve great things; stand up for what they believe in and to be Positively Me!
The girls had a special visit from a martial arts Sensei (master) who had them write their greatest fear on a wooden board and then he taught each girl how to smash through that wood with their bare hands…breaking through their fear. That was a popular activity! Other events included a yoga class, pajama party and crafting dog toys to donate to Adopt-A-Dog.
It is no wonder this program continues to grow and expand.
The Bright SpotTM - A poem – with permission from our 8-year-old - to share with you written in her Positively Me journal:
LOVE is my Guardian
When Days like Today Get in my Way,
I’ll STAND STRONG!
Positively Me Snippet
Superhero Big Brother & Adoring Little Sister ages 2 & 15 & ages 8 & 21…
No one has to tell you time flies. But sometimes we need reminders that making every moment count does not mean filling those moments with endless, scheduled activities.
Sometimes the best memories are the quiet ones, just chilling on the trampoline with your brother or sister, stuffed animal or dearest friends.
Listening to the birds chirp, watching an airplane fly by, smelling freshly-cut grass, discovering shapes in white, puffy clouds.
The Bright SpotTM - Life is fast enough. Slow down & enjoy the simple pleasures all around you.
Our 8-year-old was asked to be Mary at Christmas Eve candle light services.
It was such an honor.
An orchestra played and a harpist filled the air with melodic sounds of yesteryear.
……………. She was so reverent and checked on her baby often during the hour.
The children sang like angels and the bell ringers sounded heavenly.
The Bright SpotTM – Everything. Our daughter made us proud. Our family felt blessed. And the Sanctuary was filled with love, light & joy. Merry Christmas!
And to all who celebrate different creeds, let’s enjoy one another’s traditions and learn about the beauty of each other’s beliefs.
Celebrating Christmas Eve 28 years ago (above) & Christmas Eve 2013 (below) with Elise, one of my very best friends in the world.
Charming, beautiful, smart, a powerhouse in the world of finance, an amazing dressage horsewoman, polo player, horse ranch owner, an entrepreneur, world traveler and devoted friend now and always.
Whether hanging out in California in the 80s or hanging out now on the couch in New England…
Elise is just a wonderful friend to be with.
Always fun, always creative, always goes the extra mile.
The Bright SpotTM - The Girlfriend Network ~ when you find a friend who is dear and true, honest and there for you, never let him or her go. Love you, my friend! b
It was a long 2 years without Grandma but she came calling for Granddad in his dreams this week.
He He became deaf, and she turned blind just a few years ago, but they always sat beside one another for 60 years, and when she was gone, he lived in silence beside an empty chair in the den. Click here: Is This The End?
Granddad fell in love with Grandma instantly. She was engaged, but that didn’t deter him. He knew she was his only one and promised to love her till the end of her life. They married and he fulfilled that promise day after day.
He was determined like that. He fibbed about his age to defend his country in World War II saying he was 18 when he was really 16.
He was stationed in France, and worked as a specialist sending morse code messages when his communication’s truck was hit by a mortar and his arm was blown off.
A female physician – rare to have a female doctor in the war zone in France at that time – sewed it back on…it functioned perfectly!
Granddad was sharp as a tack with very dry humor. Once, he was in the hospital for a respiratory illness that required a chest x-ray. The doctor came into his room looking shocked. “I don’t know how to tell you this,” he said, “but you only have 1 lung and it appears where your other lung should be is a black mark that could be a tumor.” “Oh, that other lung shriveled up years ago,” Granddad answered matter-of-factly, “forgot to tell you.”
Grandma & Granddad gave our little one Tidmouth Sheds for her train table. I put a photograph of them next to it so she could link that the gift was from them. I do that with many special presents so the kids know from whom it came.
Our daughter said she will never give up her piano from Granddad even if she plans for a grand piano in her future. “It will go somewhere special in my house and I will keep it forever!”
Just as Granddads do, he was the explainer of all things.
No place was better than on Granddad’s knee…
…& on his back!
Or hanging out grabbing a drink at the pub.
Granddad slowly went deaf in his late years. Soon he could only hear female voices. Later, on the phone, he could only hear mine – high-pitched & loud, I’m told. But then came the day when even my voice was inaudible.
It was crushing for me because I like family to stay connected especially because we are so far away.
Granddad was 88 years old. He wasn’t on a computer. I immediately printed out this website and Phillip had it bound and we sent these 300 pages of family stories and photos to Granddad in book form so he could read them over time at his leisure and keep up with family news he could no longer hear.
He was kind and sweet and dear and loving. He will be deeply missed by the family. But he’s in his beloved’s arms once again and that gives us great solace.
The Bright Spot TM – We did not lose Granddad, for someone is only lost if their memories aren’t kept alive. We’re a picture-snapping, video-taking, storytelling family, so Granddad lives on. Thank you for sharing his story.
“Wow! Wow! & Wow!” our 8-year-old repeatedly exclaimed in-flight.
That perfectly described our wow-tastic foliage tour of NY state & New York City – compliments of Wings Air Helicopters.
This has been a particularly glorious Autumn! Comfortable temperatures, blazing leaves, plenty of sunshine. Phillip & I took these pics from our cell phones.
Our pilot, Brett, flew our family & 2 of our kids’ friends from Westchester airport over the Empire State Building and around Manhattan island.
The George Washington Double-The George Washington Bridge
The Freedom Tower & The Statue of Liberty
Roosevelt Island, the East River along the FDR & the Queensboro Bridge
The 840 acres of beautiful Central Park
……………The curved landscape of New York City along the East River & Ward’s Island Bridge
The Henry Hudson River, West Side Highway & Skateboard Park, Baseball & Soccer Fields
So if you want some bang-waving, ponytail-flying wow! wow! & wow! family fun, take yours on a bird’s-eye tour of Manhattan * 7 days a week * from sunrise to sunset!
The Bright SpotTM - Wings Air (914) 202 – 3440 also offers helicopter charters, flight training, aerial photography & full-service aerial film production!
I answered my cell on a sunny Friday while I was upstate with the kids. “I’m going to marry my sweetheart on Tuesday,” said the voice. “I was wondering if you & your family would come and represent my family since I’m alone here.”
Incredibly touched, I said it would be our honor! And with that, we attended a beautiful wedding 4 days later. Our friend was from Haiti and his family could not fly in for the ceremony.
My husband was father-brother-friend all wrapped into one, our daughter was a flower girl & I took delight in capturing memories on film.
Our friend was marrying into a loving, close-knit family.
His bride was stunning.
His in-laws were welcoming & kind. And we were moved by the warmth & joy that surrounded all of us this beautiful August afternoon. May we all be so blessed to have such an affectionate family.
The Bright SpotTM - Blessings to you, our friend, and your radiant wife. Peace on your journey of life together. b~xoxo
Thrown off a Connecticut beach for wearing a bikini, my Mom still rolls her eyes at that story & declares the beach keeper a crazy man.
Coming from a country where they play volleyball topless on the beach, they were lucky she even wore the bikini!
My parents met one evening at a beach club & married 2 1/2 months later. So it was no shock when I announced I was getting married after 4 days. “You know when you know,” she said. Phillip & I married after only spending 46 days in each other’s company and she was right.
Mom loves to garden, paint, decorate & read, read, read! She’s like a walking encyclopedia.
She’s an incredible photographer, interior designer, writer & artist. I love her drawings, portrait paintings, and my favorite, this ceramic chess set she painted nearly 40 years ago.
Mom’s a fantastic cook and prepared wonderful, healthy meals for me the entire 9 months I was pregnant!! She made sure I had the best foods when I was a baby and did the same for my kids.
Mom & me 1960s Little Petal & me 40 years later
and, of course, she gave me my 1st chocolates & Easter goodies…yum!
Folks who’ve met my Mom totally love her. She’s funny, talks straight and is the life of the party. She smokes, drinks, swears and gambles. She doesn’t apologize for any of it. She lives life to the fullest beating to her own drum.
When she lost my father 15 years ago, it devastated her. Their love and building a life together for their children was unsurpassed. They were a team in everything they did.
My Mom’s parents absolutely adored her.
Those were some smoochable cheeks!!
My mother grew up on the water (the Baltic Sea and with Aunties & her Mom above at their beach guest house in Pommern) and could out row anyone. When she was young, she liked to ice skate, bike, dance and travel.
And she always loved animals!
Mom was always very close with her parents, as were we all.
My mother & father taught me I could be anything I wanted to be. They supported my achievements in school, my activities, my music, my whims & fancies, my travels, my moves around the country for my career, and my exciting year as Miss Connecticut & all the wonderful memories of representing my native state at the Miss America…
…including helping me pack trunks & boxes & shoes and shoes and shoes for the 2 weeks in Atlantic City for Miss America.
My Mom traveled with me to Vancouver to put me on a ship that circumnavigated the globe for 4 months.
Mom – who saves everything – threw away my clothes after a week’s caving trip…they were really dirty for her to have thrown them out!
We traveled around Spain, Gibraltar, Barbados & Germany together & tons of other places. (left with my sister)
Years later, Mom drove with my dog & me across the country & decorated a house I found for cheap…really cheap…only to find out it was a former drug depot…so I left the house a short while later along with all the painting, bordering, curtain-hanging and decorating she had done day & night the week she dropped me off for my new job.
Mom sewed countless costumes (above) for me and for my sister & my sister’s students.
Mom (her passport pic) me (headshot taken by Mom)
She took photographs of my wedding in England when the photographer there slacked off and almost ruined the day. Phillip gave him an earful and my mother took the photographs and she and my sister created a surprise wedding album for me when I returned from England.
My mother also saved hundreds of newspaper clippings, magazine articles and memorabilia from my Miss Connecticut year and painstakingly glued them into several beautiful scrapbooks to cherish always. She did it for a year and I never even knew it. Another wonderful surprise. You can view some of the clippings here: Miss CT in the News.
She’s always there to goof around and she’s there for all the tears like when we just lost my Uncle recently. He is with Daddy now. :( :(
(pregnant with my sister)
Mom has always been great at photography and even gave me her precious long-lens Canon in the 80s on the ship trip. A treasured item, so I was, indeed, very grateful.
She’s developed her own photography and taken headshots for actors & personalities over the years. Definitely helped save a bundle on my own headshots for TV over the years! Here are some snaps from Mom:
Thanks, Mom, for making my life great growing up. Thanks for all you have done for me. I love you!
In tribute to her, I hope I captured my mother’s life in this pictorial. Please say a prayer for her. She had heart fibrillations recently and was rushed to the hospital. It’s been constant testing every day.
Seeing her weak & tired is unnerving. Fragile is not a word I would ever use to describe my mother. Sweet but tough, robust & resilient, soft-hearted but strong-willed.
My mother prides herself on honesty and has never lied a day in her life. She is someone you can trust. She loves her daughters, grandchildren and animals. And we all love her.
The Bright SpotTM - I believe in the power of prayer. Please pray.
Peace, tranquility, a vacation like none other – cliché by no means! Let me explain.
We were looking for a family vacation & what we found was something above & beyond in Runaway Bay, Jamaica.
It wasn’t the cozy sleep on the flight or the magnificent sunsets or the spa on the stone jetty in the <Caribbean Sea. It wasn’t the climb to the awesome 100′ slide or the fire-breathing master.
The FDR resort is an all-inclusive, 78-suite, ultimate family experience consistently rated among the best in the Caribbean. It is Jamaican-owned, Jamaican-operated with Jamaican restaurants so you get the true flavors of this beautiful, tropical island and its people.
It’s not an oversized resort with a Starbucks, Burger King or Payless Shoes. I didn’t leave the States to find a mini-USA.
What took the experience at the FDR resort to the level of “phenomenal” was an intrinsic feeling of being transported back to the days of summer holiday camps like Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing. Everyone knew everyone at the resort, and if you didn’t, you were welcomed with warm smiles and a handshake.
I was stunned to find that families have been going there for 25 years. Folks e-mail each other dates of when they’re returning. Families plan around other families they don’t otherwise see but once a year. We’ve been e-mailed by guests – now friends – about the next holiday. Unless I’m visiting friends, I never go back to the same places on Earth so I can explore new territory. So I was intrigued when the 1st family I met said they had been coming for the past 10 years. “Why??” “You’ll see,” smiled the father. By week’s end, I was looking forward to re-visiting this very special & unique place.
The owner, Franklyn D. Rance, for whom the FDR resort is named, says he has welcomed repeat international families for 25 years, he has watched couples come when young Moms were pregnant, and then watched their children grow up year after year, and then watched those children marry and come back annually with their own kids. I’d never heard of such a thing; it was fascinating to me.
I felt like I was back in the 60s or 70s ~ where parents of other children cared for, bandaged up, and guided with love the children in their midst. If you’re 40 and over, you’ll know that comforting feeling – a mix of common sense, “old school neighborhood,” and family amongst friends. And all the staff members knew everyone’s name, had fun with the parents, and the lifeguard swam with the kids.
Frank was one of the original 3 partners to found “all-inclusives” 30 years ago. He and his partners built resorts throughout the Caribbean and, now retired, he enjoys his days at the FDR sitting under a palm tree with his advisors. He envisaged a relaxation haven for parents when he created the Personal Vacation Nanny service.
Each family is matched with a specially-trained, private nanny to follow, entertain, swim with, play with, keep safe and care for every need of your child or children so parents can completely relax – body & mind. Your personal nanny takes care of your suite as well, bedding, towels and even brings up platters of evening treats you request.
I wasn’t into it at first. I watch my kids. I play with my kids. This is family time.
Well…guess what…there’s plenty of family time and one can always play and swim with the kids, Nanny is there to assist from 9-4. She will run back to the room if you forget your sunscreen or hat, she’ll get a drink for you at the bar and, once I was completely comfortable and knew how happy my little one was with all her new friends and their nannies, I could actually take a romantic morning walk on the beach with my husband… or a little afternoon siesta…imagine that…on a family vacation!
We loved our nanny so much that we asked she bring her child to work so we could spend time with her 2 year old. We gave her a little dollie and hope she remembers us till we return. We love FDR. It’s not a mega-huge resort. It’s kid-friendly and families are welcomed back year after year with handmade signs on their door.
Another delightful and unusual thing about this trip was that each night dinner was served in a different restaurant, or on the beach or on one of the piers throughout the resort. Location & time were listed on the chalkboard by the pool. We didn’t get that at first and went downstairs when we felt like it for dinner. Everyone was finished and going to the dance floor area for entertainment. Whoa, what happened? Families came up and said, “Hi, we missed you at dinner.”
The next night we came down between the 6:30-9:00 time for cocktails on the pier and dinner. Everyone was there.
Children ran around & played and parents talked about their great day. Amazing! It was so delightful. So friendly. So engaging. So comforting. So not the era we’re all living in now where everyone’s consumed by their handhelds, Facebooking, texting, tweeting, blah, blah, blah. Here everyone was unplugged and relaxed – Eating together. Dancing together. Singing together. And, in Phillip’s case, entertaining us with some funky stick dance on his butt~! LOL!
The trip was simply wonderful, rejuvenating & exciting. We enjoyed the resort’s glass-bottom boat, spa, our private wedding anniversary dinner with our 7 year old on the pier, the children’s talent show, the daily activities, the Rum treasure hunt at the bottom of the pool, board games, water trampoline, swimming with the dolphins & stingrays, snorkeling, diving and all the exciting adventures the Caribbean has to offer.
The Bright SpotTM - It was hard to leave Jamaica but e-mails from other families we met there have been flying in: “When are you going again?” I can tell you it will be very soon. A real pleasure and, indeed, the ultimate family experience!