Thursday, May 26, 2011


There is a lot of pretty going on around here.  I could have taken a picture of so many different things.  I could have taken a picture of each one of my pretty kids.  I could have taken pictures of my pretty grass in the front yard (not so much the backyard).  Instead I took pictures of the pretty flowers that are FINALLY starting to pop up around here.

Bright signs of life are popping up all over and I need to take note.

Today my mom is going to say goodbye to her big brother.  My uncle suffered a major stroke and will be leaving us soon.  I asked my mom to tell him how much I love him and that I still  have the letters he wrote to me when I was a teenager.  They meant so much to me then and still do. 

Uncle Larry is the man that has kept our large extended family as close as we are.  Always hosting get togethers throughout the years to make sure we see each other as often as possible.  Each of us feel like we have a close special relationship with Uncle Larry.  I think even strangers feel that way with him.  He cares for people.  Really cares for them.  He is a compassionate man, wonderful sportsman, fabulous cook, best  hugger, great storyteller, lover of nature and animals and people, amazing man.  He will leave a great void.

Please say a prayer for my Uncle Larry that he will be filled with God's love and peace and feel all the love we have for him.  Say a prayer for my mom who is losing her only sibling (and her hero) whom she has always been very close to, looked up to, and cherished.  Say a prayer for his wife, seven children, many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and the rest of my family to be comforted in his absence.  Thank you.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Sun shining
Upper 70's
A perfect day

Church first
A nice long run outside
Digging in the front garden
75 Bulbs
35 Pots
Lots of pretty
Happy helpers
"I hep too, mama!" she says.
Picking up sticks
Don't eat the rocks!

Kicking the soccer ball
Riding bikes
Tossin' the football
Catch with the dog

More skipped naps
Busy soaking in the sun
Watching mama dig
Don't forget your sunscreen!

 Storms are rolling in, they say
Nothing but blue sky
And happy kids
"This is the best weekend ever!" he says.
Mama is happy too

Not used to the heat
We're all beat
Feels like summer
Full of mud
Showers and baths
Hamburgers on the grill
Full tummies

Snuggling to a movie
Thunderstorms roll in
Just in time

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It Would Have Been A Good Last Day

Saturday morning as I lay in bed trying to will myself to get up I wracked my brain to think of a plan.  A plan to make the day great.  Fun!  You see, not only were the boys depressed that Todd went up north to the cabin to put the pier in (too many gnats for the kids and I to enjoy being outside) but apparently there are quite a few people that believed it would be the end of the world.  Puts a little bit of pressure on me to make it a great day for the kids, ya know?  Not that I believe any of that craziness, but I figured if on the off chance the world was ending then we may as well go out on a high note.

The weather wasn't much help.  Had it been a beautiful, sunny, warm spring day (what's that?) then I probably would have taken them to one of their favorite parks and let them play until they pass out.  Turns out is was very cloudy and cool with a chance of rain.  Hmm.  Does not leave me many options with four kids ages 1-8. 

I wanted to get them out of the house.  That much I knew.  It had to be something we haven't done in while but that would not be too challenging for me to juggle all four of them.  After thinking it over for a couple of hours I decided to take a chance on the weather and venture out to the free zoo a half an hour from our house.  We'd only been there once before but they kids loved it.  It is small enough I knew they wouldn't be exhausted walking around it.  It has a great little park that the boys could wear themselves out on.  And if it started to rain it wouldn't take long to get back to the car (like I said, small zoo). 

After breakfast I announced my plan to the boys and they were thrilled.  They dressed in warp speed and picked out the perfect stuffed animal to take on the trip with us.  I even packed a picnic lunch for us just in case the weather complied. 

By ten o'clock we were on the road.  By eleven o'clock we were watching the big black bear scratch his tush on a tree stump.  Good stuff.
I was extremely thankful that I dressed the kids much warmer than I dressed myself.  Although it was supposed to be around 65 degrees I don't think it got over 55 and the sun just couldn't break through the clouds.  I was cold.  But we were having fun so it didn't matter.
Gracie did a great job keeping up with her big brothers.
 And the boys did a great job watching out for her and protecting her.
 And helping her out too.
We took a slow lap around the zoo and then headed over to the park.  The kids played, we ate our picnic lunch, played some more, and then went on another lap around the park.  We were relaxed.  We took our time.  We enjoyed it all.
We stopped to smell the flowers.
Although Grace was a little annoyed to find out her dandelion did not smell like the pretty tulip she had wanted to pick.
I just enjoyed finally seeing some signs of spring.
Tulips and bleeding hearts.  Two of my favorites.  We may not have had sun, but at least we had flowers.
And these adorable little guys.  We stopped and watched these two little comedians until we began to feel the first raindrops fall.
That was our cue to head back to the car.  It was already way past nap time so I figured Grace could just catch a little siesta on the way back home.  The stinker ended up staying awake the whole time and I decided that since it was our last day on earth we could skip the naps.  Instead we stopped at the movie store and got a couple of movies the kids wanted to see.  When we got back home we built a blanket fort and popped some popcorn.
Everyone was on their best behavior, trying to make this day as special as possible.  Even Molly was a good dog and sat by patiently as the kids ate their popcorn on the floor.  She didn't even beg.  Amazing. 
After the kids ate their dinner (very well behaved AGAIN) they all snuggled up with their favorite blankies and stuffed animals for another movie.  Sometimes a rainy day can be really awesome. 
I put Grace to bed super early and let the boys finish their movie.  They were pretty tired and as soon as the movie was over they were off to bed without incident.  After all was quiet I had some Pad Thai delivered from my favorite Thai restaurant, made myself a little drink, and watched some pointless tv.  Overall, I'd say the day was close to perfect.  Though I will say that when 6:00 rolled around (the allotted time of world termination) I was relieved it wasn't the last day on earth.  I would really prefer to have Todd with me for that.  But other than that, it would have been a good last day.

So, tell me readers, what did your "last day" look like?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Virtual Coffee


Right now I am sitting with my nice, hot cup of Dunkin Donuts Cinnamon Spice coffee that I just brewed.  I can hear my dishwasher running in the background and Gracie on the monitor.  She is just now waking up and is starting to sing to herself, "I love you maaaach!  I love you maaaaach!". 

Because Grace was a late riser this morning I was able to jump on the treadmill for a half an hour and get my run out of the way for the day.  I even had time to take a shower afterwards.  Now I am clutching my hot coffee in my hands trying to warm myself up.  Though it is nearing summer the weather around here still has not gotten out of the 50s.  My hair is wet and my feet are bare, it is like I am refusing to give in to the cold at this point.  The hot coffee helps.

If we were really having coffee this morning I would let you know that, yes, I did notice how the last five or six posts have all revolved around some kind of event or other.  First we had all three boys' birthdays in February and March.  Then it was my birthday in April.  Easter was a few days later and Joey's 1st Communion the following week.  Then it was Mother's Day and after that my anniversary.  It has been one thing after another and we've been busy.  Throw into the mix the end of school activities (school concerts, meeting, etc.) and we are getting fried.  I'll be oh so happy when school comes to an end.  Especially if it brings some really hot weather with it.
If we were having coffee you would have noticed the massive mound of dirt in my backyard.  The family room addition has begun.  And with it more activity and noise, and clutter, and craziness.  Yes, we just "built" this house less than two years ago but we have realized that when there isn't enough room for all of us to sit down in the family room now when the kids are small the situation will not get any better.  We knew that when we bought the house.  We even knocked down a wall to try and make the room a little bigger.  WHY we didn't think to just expand out right away, instead of tearing up our backyard and making life that much more difficult now, I will never know.  Regardless, it will be lovely when it is done.  The boys are THRILLED to watch the men working and pouring the cement for the frost wall and crawl space, but very much less than thrilled that they will not be able to play in the backyard for a long time.  Long enough for the project to be completed AND for the grass to grow back.  *sigh*

If we were having coffee I'd tell you how even though we've been incredibly busy I apparently don't mind it, and in fact, like to add to the madness.  This past weekend I got a huge fish tank (and about a dozen new fish) to replace my smaller fish tank.  Once the smaller fish tank was empty I decided that lovely tank shouldn't go to waste and thought perhaps it was time for the kids to have yet another pet.  The tank now makes a lovely home for our new pet hamster, Pip (or Hammy, or Ricky Bobby, or Frank, we haven't really decided yet).  "Now all we need is a cat!" Joey told me.  Good thing I'm allergic to cats otherwise I'd probably run right out and get a cat too.

If we were really having coffee this morning I would have to excuse myself to get Gracie up.  Change her.  Feed her.  Start the laundry.  And then I'd really have to go because it would be time to get Ben from school.
Ah well.  Virtual coffee will have to do for now.  Hope you have a lovely day!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Today Todd and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary.  As we opened each other's cards Todd said, "Oh wait.  Are you opening the right one?  Wait... what?  How is that possible?  Did you...  Are you kidding me?" 

Out of the hundreds of anniversary cards to choose from Todd and I picked the same exact one to give to each other.  And to add to the craziness of it, I was standing in the store tearing up over this beautiful card thinking, "I would love to get this card from Todd.  Wouldn't that be funny if we both picked the same card?  Like that could ever happen." 

Just another sign to be that we are meant to be

Cameron Diaz in all of her infinite wisdom and boundless maturity has recently declared marriage a dying institution. "I think we have to make our own rules," she explains. "I don't think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don't suit our world any longer." she says in Maxim's June issue.

I'm so glad I know that isn't true.  I'm so lucky that I've found a man that knows that isn't true.  I know firsthand (and secondhand through my parents) what a beautiful covenant marriage is.  I know how it enriches your life if you nurture it and tend to it and value it. 

It is an amazing feeling knowing that I have this incredible person who has always got my back.  This wonderful man chose me to spend the rest of his life with.  He knows me totally and completely and he likes me (Loves me even!) anyway.

Sharing a life together changes you.  His stories have become my stories, and mine his.  Our life together becomes our history.  I love it.

I love my marriage.  I love our life together.  And I love my husband.   

Love you, babe.  Always.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Day Of Rest

Someday Mother's Day will be full of relaxation. 

Someday I won't be woken up at the crack of dawn on Mother's Day because one of my little ones "has to go poop so bad!"

Someday we will go to mass on Mother's Day and I will be able to concentrate on every word of the scripture and listen closely to the sermon without having to scold hyper children, or wipe runny noses, or calm crying toddlers.  

Someday when we go out to lunch for Mother's Day I won't break into a sweat as the hubby and I run to and from the buffet line with plates and plates of food in an attempt to feed our ravenous children.

Someday I'll actually get to eat at a Mother's Day buffet.

Someday Mother's Day will be too quiet.

Someday I'll really miss all the madness and the rush.

Someday I'll see that Mother's Day buffets are overrated even when I do get to eat them.

Someday I won't need as much sleep and wouldn't mind being woken up by a cute little munchkin that has to "go poop so bad."  Especially when those words are immediately followed by, "Oh.  And Happy Mother's Day, mom!"

Someday I'll sit in church and stare at the young family in front of me with tears in my eyes. 

It wasn't a relaxing Mother's Day.  It never seems to be.  But it was a blessed Mother's Day.  I am lucky enough to have both my wonderful mother and my fabulous mother-in-law here with me to celebrate Mother's Day.  Trying to fit in special visits with two amazing women is a good problem to have.  And four healthy, if not rambunctious, children keeping me hopping all day on Mother's Day is the most I could hope for. 

Mother's Day wasn't breakfast in bed and lazing around all day.  But it was my life.  Crazy, loving, busy, happy, stressful at times, funny, sweet, and most of all BLESSED.

I hope you all had a blessed Mother's Day too. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

PSF- Change

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

 For the past eight years I have had one of these in my kitchen: 
Not so anymore.  For the first time in eight years our kitchen is without a highchair.  I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. 
It does sting a bit but the bite is lessened when I see her at the table with her brothers.  The boys are so happy to have her eating with the rest of us. 
And she is so proud of herself.
She knows what a big girl she is now.
And I am happy to see how my family is growing and learning.
But my heart does ache to let go of the past.  A past I so loved.  Cherished. 
My babies are growing.  So bittersweat.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Special Day

Today Joey received his 1st Communion.  It was a very special and emotional day. 
Each year when I watch the First Communicants walk down the aisle I get emotional.   They look like mini brides and grooms and it just reminds me of  how fast these little ones grow.  Watching my oldest child solemnly walk down the aisle to receive his First Communion made me that much more emotional. 
Joey was so excited and nervous for this day to come and I was just so proud of him.  So happy for him.  He really is such a good boy.
Joey and his puppy dog face posing with his banner. 
 A family shot.
 Me and my big boy.
 The grandparents and the kidlets.

I am so proud of you Joey.  I love you.  God Bless you, honey!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson