Tuesday, December 16, 2008


God is a good God, God watched over His children, God is a loving God. These words I have told myself over and over again, I have told this to friends and my husband when they needed to be reminded but never have these words come alive to me as they have recently. These are words that I truly know to be true and believe with all my heart but there is something different when you walked a long and difficult journey and scratched and clawed to get to the top of a mountain and stood at the top and looked back and seen every step of that journey and know that you did not walk it alone. It's different when the words on that Bible completely and utterly come to life in front of you.

My life is changing and I just can't believe it. He is bringing things to pass that I never thought He would and you know what I learned? I can rest assured that we do not have a God that we can order around and ask things to come to pass and feel entitled for our prayers to be answered immediately. That He knows what is best because sometimes I think what is in front of me is the best thing for me but, wait, He's got something better down the road next month or next year. I am grateful that I have a God and a Best Friend who says "No" and "Yes" at precisely the right time. He is a good God, He does watch over His children and He is a God who loves. Thank you Jesus for all you have done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Building of Character

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. " James 1:2-4

My family has been going through a difficult time as of late dealing with a situation that I would really rather not be going through. But, I have learned in my walk with God that these trials are necessary to prepare me and equip me and develop a stronger walk with Him. So, just as I say no to my child when he is hungry because I am fighting for the greater good of a dinner well eaten, so I believe that God says no to me because He has my much greater good in mind. That can be a tough pill to swallow, but I long for more maturity and completion in my life. So, this is my lot. And I am going to sit through this storm and rejoice in the midst of it because this is a special time of year. This is when my Saviour was born with me in mind. What an opportunity to rejoice and celebrate in the midst of fear and anger. Thank you, Jesus, for never leaving me or forsaking me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Well, I am happy to report that my Christmas shopping is just about done. Every year one of my New Year's Resolutions is to be done with my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving or the first week of December. And, woefully, that resolution has never been realized until this year. Usually I am caught up in the commercialism of Christmas and feeling that I needed to buy more and more and more. But, this year, my perspective has changed. I have been so incredibly blessed this year and I feel like the holidays will reflect that. Sean and I are making plans and making lists and rewriting lists and having a lot of fun doing this together. We just can't wait to see the boys' faces open up their treasures and see what their parents have lovingly bought for them. We have a set budget this year and we won't have to open those credit cards bills in January and want to pull our hair out! I say a big "PHEW!!!" to that!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am.....

1. terrified, scared out of my mind of heights
2. devoted to my husband and children
3. a huge Red Sox fan
4. a girl who knows sho loves and trusts God
5. usually cold so a sweater is always close by
6. someone who can see things from another's perspective
7. trying to be more forgiving
8. someone who loves to cook and bake
9. a voracious reader
10. a girl who talks too fast but am trying to slow down!

Saying Goodbye

Recently I read the Randy Pausch book, The Last Lecture. It moved me and one part particularly stuck out to me. There was a part in the book when his wife said to him, "Please don't die". (It was a book about a man who knew he only had three - six months to live because of cancer). That part stayed with me and I thought and thought about it. Four years ago Sean and I each lost a parent within 26 days of each other. Needless to say, it was the hardest time of our lives and the deaths were starkly different. My father died of a massive heart attack and was dead within seconds. No chance for goodbyes, no time to tell him things I hadn't before, no opportunity to give or ask for forgiveness. No tearful last goodbyes. He was truly here one minute and gone the next. I will never forget Sean walking into work one day and giving me the dreadful news. All I know is that the last words we exchanged were "I love you" and isn't that truly the best words you could ever speak to someone the last time you spoke with them. But I would have thanked him for I always knew that I was loved and I would have thanked him for being a wonderful provider. On the other hand, Sean's mother died of lung cancer. She was in the hospital one week and in that week, she and Sean had soulful talks and cleared up a lot of past offenses and hurts. We were truly able to give her a proper goodbye.

I grew up in that difficult time and I have never been the same since. I have learned much from that situation. I hug my children tighter, I love deeper and appreciate the people in my life more, I prepare better for the future financially. I let things go more, I always remember to say "I love you", "I appreciate you" because I never really know if it will be the last time I will have that opportunity.

It's a hard thing that we walked through as a family but as with anything in life it taught us so much. So I really don't know if I would want to know if I was going to die or if my Sean was going to die, but I do know that I am given this moment and it truly is up to me how to spend it. So, I will be more careful with my words and use them wisely.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Somebody's always watching me.....

Recently I have been on an organizing kick. The closer I get to 40 (yikes!) I realize that I don't need so much stuff. It has been liberating to throw stuff away, donate items and sell stuff that is unnecessary. And one of the first places that I chose to start is my computer files and pictures. I would have one copy of a picture on my computer and I would have three hard copies of the same picture! It was ridiculous. Anywho, as I was undertaking this clean sweep, I had the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane. I saw pictures I hadn't seen in a long time - ones when Sean asked me to marry him, the picture where John was holding Sean's finger right after he was born and pictures of our sweet Hunter.

And when I want to capture pictures of the kids' childhood, I am always looking for pictures of the boys together. One of my biggest dreams for their lives is that they will be best friends when they grow up and they are hopefully on their way to doing that. As I looked at the hundreds of pictures I had, I noticed a trend appearing. In almost every one of the pictures, Hunter is looking at John. I didn't intend to capture that when I took the pictures, but I notice that Hunter does look to John a lot. He thinks John hung the moon, he thinks John is the funniest person in the world and he copies what he does constantly. I think if Hunter could form a complete sentence it would be, "John is the coolest!" Sometimes, I think Hunter is thinking, 'Child, what are you doing?" when John is being his crazy self but I think he is always a little in awe of him. I am so glad that the boys have each other and the amazing love they share.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Turkey Recipe

I love finding new recipes. I especially love the ones that are delicious and easy to follow and understand. I had read about this interesting turkey recipe from Tricia Yearwood (a country singer who I like) and thought I would give it a try. It is unconventional to say the least and I just had to buy a test turkey and try it out before Thanksgiving. And, I am so happy that I did! When Sean tasted it he said, "This is the best turkey I have ever had and one of the best meals you have ever made me." After 15 years, that spoke volumes to me! Here goes:


1 12 pound turkey, completely thawed, giblets removed

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 stalks celery, cut in lengths to fit turkey cavity

1 medium sweet onion, such as vidalia, cut in half

1 large carrot

2 cups boiling water

Adjust the oven racks so the covered roasting pan fits easily inside the oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Rub the turkey on the outside and in the cavity of the turkey. A self-basting turkey will not require all of the butter. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the inside and outside of the turkey. Put the celery, onion and carrot in the cavity. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a large roasting pan. Pour the boiling water into the pan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and put the pan in the preheated oven.

Start a timer when the oven temperature returns to 500 degrees. Bake for exactly 1 hour and turn off the oven. Do not open the oven door. Leave the turkey in the oven until the oven cools; this may take 4 to 6 hours. Reserve the pan juices and refrigerate the turkey if it will not be served soon after roasting.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like fall

Here are the stairs walking up to my home. They are adorned with one of my favorite flowers and one of my favorite parts of fall, my mums. It just wouldn't be fall without them. The one at the top of the stairs is my beautiful orange one with yellow tips that I bought and the gorgeous yellow one was purchased for me by my husband. That is a big deal because he is of the practical sort who feels that flowers are "frou frouy". So, on the rare occasion when he splurges on me, I really appreciate it.
I truly love fall and I wait every summer for the respite that it brings from the heat and humidity of this area. I love the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet, the feel of a warm sweatshirt around me and the beautiful colors, painted by the most wonderful Artist. I like that when I go outside to play with my kids, there is a crispness and coolness to the air. I get cranky when it's hot!!!
And I love that every time I climb those stairs to go home, my beautiful mums await me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Anyone who knows me for longer than five minutes knows that I am a huge Red Sox fan and we are well on our way to winning our 3rd World Series title in five years. The other night as we won our first series of games, I realized what I really love about the sport of baseball. It is truly a game of teamwork. Yes, there will always be the superstars who hit big bombs of home runs that can turn the game around on a dime but many times it's the quiet heroes who make the simple plays that wins the game. It's the guy who picks up the ball when another player may have missed it that gets the runner out. It's the catcher who tells the pitcher which pitch to throw. It's the manager who encourages the player whether he has just struck out or got that needed hit. It's the coach who sits in the batting cage in the heat that watches the same swing a hundred times. It's the teamwork. Isn't that just like with a family? Many times John gets Hunter's shoes for me when we are in a rush to get to an appointment on time. Many times over dinner Sean will say, "Would you like me to give the boys a bath?" There are a thousand ways that we work together to get through this thing called life. As I sit down to catch my breath while I listen to my boys play in the tub, I am thankful that I have people who pick up that missed ball for me........
So, there are 8 victories, 216 outs and two very good baseball teams to beat. Go Sox!!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Tigger and Eeyore in me

Recently Sean and I have been facing a financial trial brought on by someone else. It has been very disheartening and I have been thinking a lot about it recently. You see, we watch a lot of Winnie The Pooh in our house and I admit I really enjoy watching them. Who wouldn't love to live in the Hundred Acre Wood and play all day and visit friends? But, I must admit the one character I cannot stand is Eeyore. He is just so negative and miserable and I just want to shake him until his little tail falls off! I feel this way because I really do see things mostly with a positive perspective. Life is hard, but beautiful and if you can just keep searching, the blessings always follow whatever hardship may come into your life. And if I were to compare my personality with any of these characters, I would most identify with Tigger even though sometimes my appetite rivals that of Pooh's!

So, that brings me back to this situation. I find that I have been looking at this with an Eeyore mindset and forgetting about my usual sunnier disposition. I am grateful for quiet times when I can remember that I have a Friend who walks beside me and "never leaves me nor forsakes me." He knows this situation and will bring the good out of it for us. I am thankful for that.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gotta get me a kiss.....

Well, John has turned four and he is not the cuddly boy he used to be. He used to be content to sit rightnext to me all the time and shower me with hugs and kisses any time, any place. But, now that is not the case! He has,unfortunately, realized that he is four and that is a very old age and therefore not conducive to a mama who loves to kiss and hug these angels that have been placed in her life. I have been told that I do kiss John a lot, but look at him. To have one conversation with him and you wouldn't blame me.

I lived with a father who didn't always tell me that he loved me, but always, always showed me with that practical way that people have sometimes. So, I started to look for ways that John showed me that he loves me. Every single morning, after I get dressed, he comes into my room and says, "Mama, you look beautiful today", he actually knocks me over when I am down on my knees and I ask him for a hug and gleefully shouts, "Mama, I knocked you over with my love ". And, I am also sad to report, my Sean has taught these boys to "head butt". Even my baby, Hunter. So, sometimes, I go to Hunter's crib for a kiss and he butts me in the head and laughs with such joy. And while this Mom may really miss the close hugs and the sloppy kisses, I'll take the head butts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Looking at my watch

So, yesterday after much trouble with my watch, it finally died. To say that I am a slave to my watch would be an understatement. I always know what time it is and always have it on my wrist. Well, I don't have time to buy a watch right now and I had to go two whole days without one and I have surprisingly found it quite liberating. I constantly look at it to see when the boys need to eat, when they need to sleep, when Sean is coming home from work and I don't like when I don't have the one tool that helps me keep order and structure in my home. I am actually going to have to feed my children when they are hungry, to lay their sweet heads down when yawns appear and eyes are rubbed and will be very pleasantly surprised when my husband comes home. I feel that I sometimes are rushing the days and so consumed with my schedule that I forget to live. So, God is taking me a little out of my comfort zone and I find that I am grateful for it. The push has done me a lot of good. I am always grateful for the surprises life has in store for me. Maybe, when I actually buy a new watch, I'll leave it on the dresser from time to time.....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Birthday

Yesterday the boys and I were in the drive-thru line at the bank and John said, "Momma, once I was in your belly and now I am out." The funny things kids say! Once I stopped laughing, I realized that I have been thinking about that a lot lately. You see, John's birthday is in two days and he is going to be four! I get very introspective when my children's birthdays roll around. I have moved past the thoughts on their first birthday of "Oh, thank goodness, I kept them alive for a year" ( I actually thought that on both my children's first birthdays!!) to the more important questions of "Did I show them enough how deeply I love them?", "Did I tell them enough how much Jesus loves them?", "Did I spend enough time with them?"

It does seem like just yesterday when John was in my belly and now he is going to be four. He can now brush his own teeth, pour his own cereal, get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, buckle his own seat belt, dress himself. Sometimes I miss him needing me so much and other times I am proud that I had a hand in helping to ready him for this big old world. Happy birthday, Sweet John. You will never know what you have down to this girl's heart. I am so proud of you.

Another Birthday

Yesterday the boys and I were in the drive-thru line at the bank and John said, "Momma, once I was in your belly and now I am out." The funny things kids say! Once I stopped laughing, I realized that I have been thinking about that a lot lately. You see, John's birthday is in two days and he is going to be four! I get very introspective when my children's birthdays roll around. I have moved past the thoughts on their first birthday of "Oh, thank goodness, I kept them alive for a year" ( I actually thought that on both my children's first birthdays!!) to the more important questions of "Did I show them enough how deeply I love them?", "Did I tell them enough how much Jesus loves them?", "Did I spend enough time with them?"

It does seem like just yesterday when John was in my belly and now he is going to be four. He can now brush his own teeth, pour his own cereal, get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, buckle his own seat belt, dress himself. Sometimes I miss him needing me so much and other times I am proud that I had a hand in helping to ready him for this big old world. Happy birthday, Sweet John. You will never know what you have down to this girl's heart. I am so proud of you.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Old Cliches

Well, I have decided something tonight. The old cliches really do ring true. Today I saw a very pretty woman and she was with a man that wasn't so attractive. Immediately, I thought to myself, "What's she doing with him? She is so pretty?" I know, not good. Anyway, the more that I watched them, I noticed that he listened attentively to every word she spoke, he carried her bags for her and he pointed things out that he knew she was looking for. He just loved her and you could tell. Which brings me to that old saying, "It's what's inside that counts." Isn't that so true? And comforting to know that as I get older those old sayings really do hold water over time?" Like isn't it true that "home really IS where the heart is" and you do "win some and lose some"? It is a good idea to "get your ducks in a row" and it's reassuring to know that "every dog has his day"!

The older I get, the more philosophical I get. What you do put out really does come back to you and I am grateful for that. That in this world of such change for the good and the not so good, that something truly does stand the test of time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

He Needs Me.....

My little Hunter has three teeth coming in and he is really struggling. The pain is hard for him to take and he finds much comfort in my arms. As much as I hate seeing my precious child in pain, I am almost grateful for the clinging for I know that one day he will not be so open to my hugs and he will be a big boy and not need me so much. When he crawls into my arms and heaves that big old sigh and lays his head on my shoulder, I want to melt for I have missed these times. You see, Hunter is, in a word, busy. His little world is exploding in front of him and he can't wait to touch and taste every part of it. I struggle some days to catch him when he goes mach 2. But, these days when he is under the weather, I know where he is at all times. All I have to do is look at my feet! But, I must admit, as much as I love this cuddly, loving little boy, I miss the one that throws my favorite hair brush in the toilet, the one who has figured out how to get up on the kitchen table and the one who plays with my ipod when I'm not looking.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Never Too Old To Try Something New.......

So, here I go again. I was at JoAnn's last night and I saw some dinosaur fabric which led to the brilliant idea to make John some dinosaur pajamas. This strikes fear into my heart because I have never done it before yet stirs my spirit because I am trying something new.

A year ago, we went through a huge change and it was really monumental for me. I thought I always knew what the plan was and, alas, I realized that I didn't really have any idea. Right then and there, I decided that life is to be lived and we are just here to enjoy the ride. So, it may not be earthshattering that I am trying to make pajamas and it won't be the lead story on the news tonight, but I will expand my horizons and then try. I may fail and I am sure that I will reach for my seam ripper more times than I care to admit, but I just can't wait to try. Isn't it usually in our failures that ultimately we have the greatest successes?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Living With Gusto

Sometimes I actually stop amid the hustle and bustle of my day and I really watch my children. And I have decided that when I grow up I want to be just like them. My John will be four and I just can't believe how the years have flown by. He is happy and helpful and loving and sensitive and smart and has a strong conscience. My little Hunter is loving and strong and smart and knows what he wants when he wants it, and he has the most beautiful laugh. Whatever my children are doing, like most children, they are doing with all their hearts. When they cry, all their strength goes into it and when they laugh, they struggle to catch their breath because they are just heaving so hard! Quite simply, they live their lives with gusto. May I also live my life in the exact same way. May I love, laugh, share without abandon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Running Like the Wind.....

I have begun running. This absolutely amazes me because if you asked me five years ago if I ever ran, I would immediately list all the hazards of running and then give all the benefits of walking. While I still love a good walk now and then, I must admit that my heart is growing quite affectionate of the run. I am not a good runner, I only go about a mile and then feel like my lungs are collapsing, but I am running. The Bible says to "run with perseverance" and while He didn't necessarily mean with a great pair of Nikes and the latest exercise gear, I take that Scripture very personally to my heart. You see, in the dictionary next to the word procrastinator, there should be a picture of me. But, I am learning and as I get older, I am changing. Every night I lay my workout clothes out so that they are staring at me in the morning and when I get out on that street and leave my cares in the dust and I start to move my very tired body, I feel like I am flying and I actually start to feel proud of myself for being there in the first place. So, I long to run for longer periods and one day I dream of running in a 5K or 10K race, but for now I am enjoying this time. And my morning jog may not rival the brillance of Michael Phelps and doesn't have the whole world watching with bated breath, I am there and I am cheering myself on for I am pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. And I am grateful for it. And I am actually starting to look forward to that morning jaunt.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

There's something about dancing with my husband. It reminds me that we are in love amidst bills, work, and the daily stresses of life and parenthood. Whenever I dance with him, I always laugh. I laugh because he's my best friend and he constantly indulges me when I say, "can you dip me?" I laugh because there are always at least one set of eyes on us at all times and they are learning that two people can fight and they can struggle but they can stay married and they can be silly in the kitchen. I hope that my boys find women that will love them fiercely and they will take them for a spin every once in a while!