Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

 I still have a pumpkin-shaped soap dispenser in my powder room.  To say the end of the year creeped up on me is an understatement.

Before we ring in the new year, I should document these last couple of weeks.  Before we hunkered down and basically lived out of our pajamas for the last 8 days, we did manage to enjoy a wonderful Christmas.

Christmas Eve with Bill's family.

Christmas Day

Other events that got us out of our pajamas this week include.....


Not to brag or anything, but look at all those X's on the bottom
Ice Skating.....

So many happy faces there, and no broken bones which was an added bonus.

I gave a valiant effort with the skating, but I'm going to stick to bowling.

Another year has come and gone.  Without a doubt, our biggest blessing was the good outcome of Tommy's accident back in May.  Not a day goes by when we don't thank God he's still here with us.

In Gratitude
Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


It seems fitting that this blog post is my 301st one.

Approximately 301 days ago Bill was transferred to Washington, DC for his job.  We only see him on the weekends.

What a roller coaster of a ride it's been. 

We've been getting anxious to hear about a position that would bring him back home.

Today we got word.

 We got our Christmas wish!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Week In Pictures

Snow Day!

Mary Kate's orchestra concert.
Many times in public school they will play a lot of "winter" songs or secular Christmas songs.  This night we heard songs like O Come, O Come Emmanuel,  Angels We Have Heard On High, O Come, All Ye Faithful, and Joy To The World!  Loved that!

Saturday we went on our annual Christmas Tree Hunt.  The weather outside was frightful!
However, Bill insisted we risk our lives and head to the mountains to keep up with our tradition.

It was FA-Reezing.

Here's proof.

Then it was back to the house to decorate and watch a classic.

Maybe not the best night to stay up late.  Billy and Mary Kate had to serve the 7:30 mass Sunday morning.  We are strictly 12 noon mass goers.  This early time was hard, my friends.  Digging out of the snow did not make it any easier.  (on Bill, that is)
Speaking of Bill....

A perfect weekend I did not want to see end.

How was yours?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cute Babies Alert

I was supposed to meet my newest nephew today.

Traffic accidents and the weather stopped us from getting to his baptism on time.  We had driven about forty miles of the sixty mile ride and had to turn around. We were all so disappointed.

The kids were disappointed because four hours in the car with nothing to show for it really wasn't fun; and I was disappointed because I haven't met Andrew yet and this is the only picture I have of him and well... just look at him and his mohawk.

Andrew William

And if that isn't cute enough, remember my twin nephews I blogged about back in September?

They went from looking like this....

To this.....

And if that doesn't get you smiling on a Monday morning, nothing will.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Out Of The Mouth Of.....

 First up-Matthew:

Me:  Matt, what should we get your teacher for Christmas?

Matt: Ummm, something teachery.


Matt: When is it going to be Monday Black?
 (when I asked what he meant, he was thinking of black Friday and got mixed up a bit )
Next up-Billy:

Billy ( typical 13 year old with complete annoyance in his voice ):  It's not fair that everyone in my class watches shows like NCIS and I'm not even allowed to watch the DISNEY channel.


During a conversation about the need to wash his hands with soap and water and not just hand sanitizer.

Me:  It kills way more germs than sanitizer.  Why are you arguing me about this?

Billy:  Because you are factually incorrect.


Next up-Ann:

Me:  You're my Honey Bunch.

Ann: You're my Mommy Bunch.


On a different note, all of the kids did their lists for Santa.

Can you guess which two are the girls'?

They would be the pretty decorated ones.

 Ann's list says iPad, American Girl doll car, Goosebumps book series, Vera Bradley in Indigo Pop, and a Clarinet.

Mary's list says violin, Vera Bradley lunch box in Lime's Up, iPad or iPhone, or iPod, Divergent Book series, pajamas and slippers, craft stuff, hair stuff, and a "please surprise me."

Tommy--Razor Dirt Rocket, Star Wars Legos, Avengers video game, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck.

Matt--(forgot to take a picture of his )  Star War Legos,  Bad guy Legos, chainsaw, bullhorn, and Flippy's hat.

Billy--Lebron 7 or 11's basketball sneakers (customized ), Xbox 1 (optional --maybe for the whole family), and Madden 25.

Yes, you read that right.  Billy made a list for Vader.
He wants Scooby Doo Movies, a new collar (possibly a different color), toys, and Just For Men Dogs anti-Gray.

Santa has his work cut out for him.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Recap And A Song

Oh, the laziness of the person NOT hosting on Thanksgiving.

That would be us. 

We had the gift of showing up at my brother Jim and sister in law Kathy's house.

My brother Bob, my Dad, and brother Jim.
My sister in law Linda, and nieces Maddie, Bridget, and Kathleen

My sister in law Kathy and niece Eileen
My brother John and Ann
My nephew Jimmy, Bob, Uncle Art, John, and niece Moira

Bill and me :)

My sister's family and my other nephew were busy with their other families.  We missed them greatly!

 Here is a picture of all the cousins who were there. 

Something special happened at the end of the night.  My brother Jim is quite the singer and guitarist.  For years we've asked him to play at our family gatherings, but we could never convince him.  Well, on this night he did!  It was so awesome.

  I will leave it here with a video of him singing Bruce Springsteen's If I Should Fall Behind. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Milkshake Hugs

I used to cut up his food in very small pieces. 

I kept him in his stroller for years, seat-belted in, so he wouldn't wander away from me.

Don't let him near the dock of the bay!  He might fall straight to the bottom and drown!!

He was 10 years old before he was allowed to ride his bike in the street.

He had to be 12 years old and 80 lbs before he could ride in the front seat of my car.

The control freak momma in me was able to do all these things to keep my first born safe. 

Tonight, after basketball tryouts, Billy got in the car and told me he didn't make the team.  Tears welled up in his eyes.  Then tears welled up in my eyes.  I asked a couple of questions and then the rest of the ride was quiet, except for our sniffling.

I couldn't protect him from the disappointment.  It felt terrible.

And so it begins.  The journey to adulthood.  Being there but letting go.  Learning when to speak and when to stay quiet.  Knowing when to offer a hug and when to back off. 

Billy has never been one for showing affection.  Tonight was no different.  All I wanted to do was grab him and hug him.  He definitely did not want that.

So I made him a milkshake instead.

Whatever it takes to let him know I love him. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lesson From A Cardinal

We have a cardinal who sits perched on a bush outside our living room window.  He has this habit of flying into the window over and over again.  I wondered what makes him do this and after a quick Google search I found the answer.  He thinks his reflection is another bird and he attacks.

You would think after a few times he would realize he's not getting anywhere.  I have gotten so annoyed by him and his constant banging on the window that I have muttered, "Dumb bird," under my breath more than a time or two.

As I was about to begin another week with a very bad case of the blahs, I realized that I too repeat bad behavior and get absolutely nowhere.  Whether it's going to bed too late, not exercising,  not praying, not planning, whatever.  My mood has sunken pretty low. 

Monday seems like the perfect day to make a change.  I made a list of what I needed to accomplish today.   It feels so good to cross off the things I've done so far.  Midday, after Matt left for kindergarten, I went for a run.  It was short and slow, but it felt good. I haven't done this in quite some time. Somehow it made the rest of the list (and day) look a lot less daunting.

It can be so hard to make that jump into doing what we know is good for us.  It is really easy to fall behind and be lazy---especially for someone like me who has time that can easily be wasted.  But wasting time can be a mental killer for me and it is high time I do something about it.

Keep me accountable, okay?  

See All Window Strike Solutions
First, you need to know why they do this.
Cardinals and Robins are very territorial birds. When birds see another of the same species in its breeding or feeding territory, it instinctively attacks the other bird.
- See more at: http://www.wild-bird-watching.com/Cardinals-Windows.html#sthash.bgub9rhL.dpuf

See All Window Strike Solutions
First, you need to know why they do this.
Cardinals and Robins are very territorial birds. When birds see another of the same species in its breeding or feeding territory, it instinctively attacks the other bird.
- See more at: http://www.wild-bird-watching.com/Cardinals-Windows.html#sthash.bgub9rhL.dpuf

See All Window Strike Solutions
First, you need to know why they do this.
Cardinals and Robins are very territorial birds. When birds see another of the same species in its breeding or feeding territory, it instinctively attacks the other bird.
- See more at: http://www.wild-bird-watching.com/Cardinals-Windows.html#sthash.bgub9rhL.dpuf

Friday, November 15, 2013

Scenes From A Birthday

It's official.  I'm 43.

Tommy had the idea to make me a cake, so the boys took care of making it.  Mary Kate was in charge of decorating it, and Ann supervised.

I knew having them make dinner was asking too much, so I decided to go with a favorite meal my mom used to make for me when I was growing up.  Chunky Beef soup over rice.

The kids had hot dogs while I enjoyed my "memory."

They made me cards and Ann even wrote me a book.

Her book was titled, "I Will Always Love You."  Awesome, right?  Then I read the story.  It was a story about a girl who got in trouble by her mom, had her feelings hurt so badly that she wouldn't talk to her mom for days.  The mom realized she was mean and apologized but the girl did not accept the apology.  A few days later the girl realized she should accept the apology and they hugged and made up.  The end.

Can you say 1-800-Therapy?

Maybe a little ditty will make us feel better.