Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Ramblings

With the state of the world these days things have gotten pretty hectic with Bill's work.  You know, trying to keep the country safe and all.  He's been busy and preoccupied and his mind is on some heavy stuff.  There hasn't been much time for the two of us to really sit down and connect.  I'm not sure he noticed this, but because I have had some things weighing on my mind lately, I really wanted to have a meaningful powwow with him.
This morning we were able to spend some quality time talking up in our room.  Not so much a heart-to-heart, but more of a heart-to-ear conversation. He did a great job listening to me as I spouted off my list of concerns.

Concern #1: In a nutshell, I told him how I've been plagued....and this is going to sound NOT having a heavy cross to bear.  Even though I know this should please me, I see that I have been blessed by a charmed life, while others have been asked to handle some unbearable things.  Illnesses, heavy work loads, worry, and even tragedies.  Whether it's people I know or hear about on the news, it seems there is heartache everywhere.  I have found that I keep wondering what my/our cross will be and it has me out of sorts and paralyzed with fear of the unknown.

Another concern (#2 for those keeping track) I brought to Bill was this new era I am in; the kids being in school full-time and wondering where I will mostly be "of good use."

Fast forward two hours and I find myself in a pew at church.  The Second Reading was short but caught my attention quickly.  It read:

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.

What a difference some perspective and a good bible verse can do!  And it always helps when our parish's beloved Father John quotes St. Francis DeSales with his "Be who you are and be that well" line.
Yes. Yes!

I was reveling in the significance the Second Reading was for me and wasn't paying much attention to the gospel and homily.  But then I heard the priest speak of "our crosses." (I was thinking, "Okay, who wire-tapped my bedroom?) He told the story of a monk who went looking for a cross to bear. (We are always searching for something, aren't we?) He never did find it, but when he returned home he found a small crucifix there on his pillow.

In today's gospel, it reads:

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me."

Follow Jesus. There was my answer.

Let Him lead me. Another answer.

That's all I need to know.

The series of events that lead me to listen to that homily and reading on this day after that conversation I had with Bill was nothing more than Divine Intervention.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Day Of School-2014

Our Freshman!

8th Grader!!

Mary with Claire and Ben (neighbor friends)

5th Grader!!

 4th Grader!!

 ...and then there's this guy.

1st grade.

 No surprise, he was nervous.

He managed to pull himself together for a picture at the bus stop.

As soon as the bus came around the corner, he went running.  Bill had to run after him and literally push him onto his seat, kicking and screaming.   Ann quickly sat beside him and blocked him in.  Poor kid.

This is a picture of him on Day 2. 

What a difference a day makes.  He ran to the bus this time.

So there you have it.  All 5 in school full time. I can feel a whole gamut of emotions about this. But that's a post for another day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Avalon Video 2014

We are home from our week vacation in Avalon, NJ.

As usual, here is my yearly video of highlights.  I added moving parts this time, but had some trouble at the end.

A big thank you to my brother John and nephew Johnny for putting up with our craziness all week long.  So glad we got to spend some good quality time together. 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Everyday Happenings

August has been a boat-load of fun.  Time is going way too fast and before we know it, school will be starting.

In 11 more days, to be exact.

A few weeks back we spent the day with my sister and her family.  They took us to their neighborhood pool.  Even though the weatherman predicted showers and thunderstorms, we decided to go for it.  Nobody else must have wanted to take the chance because we practically had the whole place to ourselves. The kids had fun diving, sliding, playing tennis and basketball.  They gave Aunt Grace a workout! 

My brother in law Mike and Bill

Aunt Grace playing basketball with my boys.
We went back to my sister's house for dinner.  It was really nice spending time with them.  We usually only get to see them during family parties and holidays when it can be kind of hectic.  This was a nice, relaxing day.  Made me wish we lived closer to them.

Our twin nephews turned one.

Eric and Jason
 Need I say more?

Last weekend was the 17th Annual Sexy Six Sleepover.  I can't tell you how much I look forward to this.  (or maybe I can and have told you because I seem to link this story of our friendship here a lot)
This year it was at Tricia's house.  Her husband and kids high-tailed it out of the house for the night so we could sit back, eat, drink, laugh, and catch up on each others lives.

Tricia, Marianne, Mary Alice, Peggy, Rose, and me.

Rose, and her friend Sangria

 We did have an intruder, though.  Peggy's husband Greg stopped by with some lame excuse about having to switch cars.  I think he just missed her :)
I think my Bill is already planning his excuse to crash the party next year :)

And although the Six might be a tad upset this event was shared with other happenings and not given it's own blog post, I hope they know they are still The "A" Team.  Love you girls!

S.S. Night 2004

From there I was off to meet Bill and the kids at my brother Jim's house for a family picnic.  Tons of fun for everyone.

Eileen, Bridget, Julia, and Kathleen

Sisters Eileen and Moira

Sisters Julia and Amanda

Sisters Ann and Mary :)

Good times!

I will end this very long post with some iPhone pictures dumping.

Friends hanging out:

Matt had given up a chance to go roller skating with Tommy and Ann so he would be home to play with a friend of his I was babysitting.  He barely complained at all :)

Billy spent the week going to Lehigh University's Basketball Camp.
Billy's in there somewhere

Is there any better feeling than having your child fall asleep on you?  I don't think so.

That about wraps up this post.   Until next time, my friends...

Avalon, Here we come!!


Friday, August 1, 2014


It's National Girlfriends Day.  I didn't know this existed until this morning.  How exciting!!

Seems like a good time to say, Thank you, Lord for Girlfriends.  Can I get an Amen?

Let me start by saying that my Mom, my best friend, was top notch.  A close second, my sister Mary Grace.  These two couldn't have made me feel more loved.  Well, except for that time my sister poured a Dixie cup of water on my bed before I got in it.  Oh, and let's not forget the time when they both burst out laughing after seeing me in the first wedding dress I ever tried on.

In their defense, I did kind of look like this:

What would we women do without the friendships of other women?  I know for myself I wouldn't have survived grade school. My girlfriends stayed with me during my bad perm that made me look like this guy from Air Supply:

And also in high school when I thought my coral lace prom dress was da bomb!

Still rocking the perm.

Yet, my girlfriends still showed themselves in public with me.  Unconditional friendship, I tell you.

If I were to say the first word that comes to my mind when I hear the word girlfriends it would be the Sexy Six. (okay, that's two words, but one group, so it counts as one)  You can read our history by clicking Here.

But since then, I have been blessed with friendships that have helped me along this journey.

For some reason the women I have met in this stage of life, whether it be one that became a good friend or remains an acquaintance, hold a special place in my heart. Somehow our children have bonded us together in some inexplicable way.  I may know you from the kids' school, a moms group, a prayer group, or a sports team. I am here to tell you, you all ROCK and you all hold a special place in my heart. (even if you don't read this blog and you will never know it).

How about the girlfriends I didn't choose, but were gifted to me by marriage? Holy cow, did I luck out in this department.  I still remember jumping for joy at 18 years old when my oldest brother and his girlfriend announced their engagement.  And how about my other brother who introduced me to his then-girlfriend for the first time and I felt like we were life-long friends even though we had just met.

Being the youngest in my family meant having no younger sisters.  In marrying Bill I was blessed to receive 3 younger sisters who welcomed me into the family with open arms; one even went so far as to live with me and the kids for 3 months while Bill was away. They, along with 3 more sisters married into the family (and who totally rock by the way) make being with the in-laws one of the best places to be!

Howz about a shout out to blog friends? Sounds weird, I know.  But I do consider them friends and little lights that shine in my life each time they let me into their world.

Girlfriends have a way of showing emotion, feeling what is in your heart, taking the good with the bad, wanting better for you, and giving the best hugs. They see what you can't see, they offer help when you don't know you need it, and most of all they pray for you. (I hope) 

In closing, nothing says it better than this: