Thursday, December 17, 2009

My New Pin..

See my new pin I bought today at Target? It's great for two reasons. First, it says JOY, (how appropriate is that) and secondly, it JINGLES! I have jingled and jangled my way through the dishes, the laundry and I will spread some more Christmas noise through Jo-Ann Fabrics tonight while I work. So awesome when I find such a little treasure and JOY in my day!

Friday, December 4, 2009

March 19, 2010

The day can't come soon enough for me because that is the day that I will be sitting in Worcester, Massachusetts listening and WATCHING Michael Buble sing!!!! What a good day today is...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The art of saying no...

I truly do believe that learning to say "no" is an art form.  I have always been able to say no to early afternoon snacks that would ruin dinners, to little boys climbing on dressers, but really saying no to someone is not something that I have learned.  But, I am determined to try.  And today was my first step in that process. 

Two years ago, I left a church that I thought I would be serving in until I died.  I gave my heart, my sweat and my tears to that church and the ministry that went on there.  And if you needed something, I was the girl to call.  I was the secretary, treasurer, member of leadership, nursery school worker, so on and so on...  I am not telling you this to pat myself on the back but rather to share that boundaries weren't real easy for me.

But, we left.  Rather God called us out of that church and His timing couldn't have been more perfect because the two most beautiful crawled into my life and their needs were paramount.  With the departure came a sigh, a huge break for me and a time for God to take care of me.  And I wanted so badly to impress Him and people, that I kind of lost my way.

I'm going to be forty in 19 months (but who's counting) and I think it's time I grew up, darn it.  So, today I was invited to a little get together with the ladies from my small group Wednesday morning Bible Study.  And I really wanted to go.  These are really nice, fun women.  But, it was right during Hunter's nap.  I mean, smack dab in the middle of his nap.  So, I did what I always do.  I prayed, I talked about it with Sean and thought about it, ad nauseum.  Do you remember that old song, "Should I stay or should I go now?" 

It is always in the small day to day mundaneness of life that God shows up big time and He teaches me a huge lesson in it all.  And, today, I said "No, I'm sorry, that is right during Hunter's nap and I can't go."  So, as I write this, I have a little cherub blissfully sleeping in his bed instead of being rushed around and exhausted today.  It may sound small to some people but to me that was a huge step because I was putting the needs of my family before someone else.   I cared less about what people thought of me.  Yeah..

Thursday, November 12, 2009


What do I have to be joyful about today?  Yesterday, that's what.  Yesterday was Veteran's Day and my husband was off from work.  And that was so nice because he works six days a week and when he is off on Sunday I am off to work right after church.  So, to have a day with him smack in the middle of the week was surely a blessing.   

And I am a huge believer in getting Christmas shopping done early.  I feel like with so much on my plate on a daily basis, Christmas shopping becomes a chore instead of a pleasure the closer it gets done to the holiday.  And yesterday we were able to sit down and really figure out what to buy the kids and we pored over catalogs and laughed and we budgeted and we dreamed.  We dreamed of what we could buy them and what we could really afford!

We planned what day we are having our Christmas picture taken and when we are going to buy our Christmas tree.  Just having those plans gives me such peace during this holiday season....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Michael Buble Anyone?

Michael Buble.  Need I say any more?  Great singer, great song, not too bad to look at!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Flying in the sky...

Place: T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island
Time: 9:47 A.M.
Date: October 10, 2009
Reason: Flying to see my good friend in North Carolina
Thought in my head: I am going to die, I am going to die...

Today I have been challenged to tell about something that brought me great joy and here it is.  Recently, I flew from Rhode Island to North Carolina to see my good friend.  She is an amazing Army Wife carrying her third child while her husband is serving our country in Iraq.  I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her that I love her and that I am proud of her.  But, to do that, I had to get on a plane and that was REALLY hard for me.  I told everybody how scared I was, strangers and friends alike.  Anyone who basically made eye contact with me heard my story, to the point that I was tired of hearing about it. 

And, as always, God came through for me in spades and put the nicest people around me on every single flight.  So, I am filled with joy today that I conquered that fear and looked it in the face and didn't let that fear control me and my life anymore.  We are even planning our next flight for next summer.  I can't believe it.....

He is a gracious God and He is my Friend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My message to yeast..

Let me take you back in time.  It was about 14 years ago and my boyfriend (now husband) said he was going to make sweet rolls for dinner.  Now, my Mother's motto when I was growing up was "God helps those who helps themselves."   Now in all my reading of the Bible, I have never found that verse or chapter in the Bible.  So, as you can imagine, with my very limited culinary experience, I was a bit in awe of him.  Still am, I must say.  I watched him knead and roll and actually PUNCH the dough, something I have never seen.  And can I tell you that those are still the best sweet rolls I have ever tasted.  Hands down. 

Fast forward about five years later and Sean, the fabulous husband, was building a deck for a woman and she wanted a certain kind of roof that he had never made before(the kind escapes me at the moment) and he came home and told me about it.  I was so worried he would lose the job and I said wide-eyed, "What did you say?"  He told me he told her no problem and then proceeded to ask me to find a book about these roofs at the library.  Hip roof maybe?  I found said literature and that roof came out beautifully.  I had asked him, "Weren't you worried?"  And he said, "Worried about what?  I knew I could figure it out."

That attitude still amazes me, the way he takes life by the horns and lives it with gusto and doesn't worry. He actually has faith in himself.   I quiver, I quake, I worry and analyze something from every which way.  You see, I have wanted to make bread for a long time.  I have longed for the rich smell that wafts from the kitchen when bread is being baked.  Maybe it's the chilly day or the changing leaves, but something inside me yearned to make wheat bread.  But, you see, something about yeast scares me.  I always heard about bread falling and the perfect temperature of the water.  Yada, yada.   I know, I know.  I would look longingly at it in the grocery store and last week I said, "No more! You are coming home with me."

So, today I made bread!  I haven't cut it, I haven't tasted it but I conquered my fear.  I said, "No more".  And you know what my message to yeast and fear is?  Shut up.  (Here's a picture of my creation!  So proud.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Words to live by...

Recently while searching the internet, I ran across this blog called The Non-Consumer Advocate ( and while running the risk of sounding dramatic, I learned a phrase there that has completely changed my life.  The phrase is "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  Well, my family and I have taken those words and have completely run with them.  I was constantly on the search in my house for things to use up and get rid of and wear the life out of.  And here is what happened. 

First I set off to attack USE IT UP.  And I love to knit.  And it has always been on my heart to use the gifts that the Lord has given me to bless others.  And mostly, preemie babies have been on my heart because I was so fortunate to give birth to strapping and healthy babies while others have not been as fortunate as me.  So, I first attacked my knitting basket.  And I found many small balls of yarn that really wouldn't have been able to used for anything other than hats for these precious angels.  So, I set my hands to work and here is where I am at:
Okay, next scenario: My husband was really struggling to fix this cabinet in our kitchen.  He usually can fix ANYTHING but for some reason he just couldn't get this particular cabinet to work properly.  So, I came up with the brilliant idea of taking the doors completely off and hanging a cute little curtain instead.  So, I sewed a little curtain and I excitedly said to my husband, "I can go to Target tomorrow and buy a tension rod to hang it so we won't have to worry about hardware."  So, he then said to me, "Wife, you don't even have to because I have a dowel that I have been wanting to use!"  As I was a little disappointed that I couldn't stroll the aisles of my beloved Target I knew staying home would SAVE MONEY.  And then I thought with one fail swoop we tackled USE IT UP (extra material from my fabric stash) and MAKE IT DO (dowel instead of tension rod!)  Here is a picture of our beautiful handiwork:
So proud.  So thank you Katy Wolk-Stanley, I don't know where you live (except on the internet) but you reached into our little home and you changed this little family in Connecticut!!!! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Living Proof

Here is living proof that I can actually make something grow (besides my children).  I actually bought the pot and the seeds and this is the fruits of my labor.  I realize you may look at this and think, "It's just a marigold."  But, I once killed an evergreen.  Enough said.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


There he goes off to conquer the world..or at least Kindergarten!!

But, how sweet it is to come home!

Dead in my tracks..

Somedays the Lord teaches me a lesson and the other day He used my John to teach me.  It was a particularly stressful moment and I spoke too harshly to John.  He looked at me straight in the eye and said to me, "Momma, you don't have to talk to me like that."  It just about nearly took my breath away.   I immediately apologized to him and he again looked me straight in the eye and said, "that's okay, Momma."  How has a four year old (five in 11 days!) managed to find that delicate balance between lovingly standing up for himself and granting immediate and genuine forgiveness when I have not found that in all my 38 years? 

Sometimes I think I have to show so much grace to people that I end up being a doormat and then  I end up not defending myself in a calm and loving manner like John and then kicking myself for it in the process.  And sometimes I think John could teach seminars.... :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

There's a time for us..

I am happy to report that I have survived the first three days of school! I have successfully not fallen apart, packed satisfying lunches and snacks and managed to get John on and off the school bus for three whole days, with many more to come. He is flourishing and comes home so tired.

And the one thing I have really enjoyed through this is the special time I get with just Hunter. As wonderful as it has been to have days filled with two boys' laughter and ruckuses, the quiet time with just one has been very welcome. And I have noticed that I am able to curb these meltdowns that he has been having. The other day I asked Hunter if he would like to go to the playground and he readily said, "yes". (We have to drive to said playground.) I gathered up my purse and my keys and we were off. But, there was one glitch in the master plan. I had forgotten to take some magazines out to the end of the driveway to recycle them. So, I grabbed that cutie's hand and we walked down the driveway. When I tried to walk back down the driveway to get the car, Hunter completely fell apart. Just threw himself down and pitched a classic fit. He was yelling, "Mama, go!" at the top of his lungs. I realized that he thought we weren't going. He thought we were on our way and somehow I was backing out and robbing him of his fun. Because I was much calmer and determined to start this new adventure off on the right foot, I patiently bent down, looked him in the eye and said to him, "Hunter, we have to drive to the playground, now walk. We need to get in the car." He looked right at me, stopped crying and said, "Oh!" Then ran down the driveway to the car. Now, normally I would have screamed at him and lost my patience and we would have tangled. But t is true that a "word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." (Proverbs 25:11)

God does know a thing of two about seasons and I am going to embrace this one!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Boys..

Can they be any cuter?

Friday, August 14, 2009

I've pretty much had enough

I have two sons. They are spectacular works of art and I would gladly lay down in front of a train or walk a hundred miles for one of their smiles. But, they are polar opposites of each other. John is patient, Hunter is impatient, John is other-minded while Hunter is completely Hunter-minded and John is so easy-going and Hunter is prone to fits. And what fits he throws. Screams at the top of his lungs, usually either bangs his head or stomps his feet - whichever way the wind is blowing that day.

These temper tantrums are a mystery to me and not a part of John's childhood at all. I have learned to lovingly accept who he is while trying to remain patient and guide him out of this stage that he is in. You see, Hunter is also the child who will wink at you, will give you smiles that will leave many a trail of broken hearts in his path one day, will try to take his Daddy's shoes off after a hard day of work and will kiss any boo boo you may have. But these fits come easily to him and today was no exception.

He was rubbing his eyes this morning and I should have known better. But, the weather was warm and John only has so many days off before school. Anyway, we went to the beach and he threw two fits while we were there. And both times I had mothers (I.E. PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THIS BOAT WITH ME - WHO HAVE WALKED THE LONELY FRUSTRATING EXASPERATING WONDERFUL AMAZING JOURNEY WE CALL MOTHERHOOD) give me those judgmental looks that I was so ready to give BEFORE I had children. One woman actually wanted to put her stuff down on the exact same spot where he was laying on earlier said ground. That brought on the "come on, woman, control your children better look." Come on, she couldn't move over five inches? She couldn't give me a look of compassion, she couldn't remember when her perfect little teenager next to her was uncontrollable, she couldn't keep her judgements and opinions to herself and realize that I am trying the very best I can? That I am trying to love these children and teach them about this big old world? Today I made a resolve that the next time I see a mother struggle, I'm going to offer her a hand instead of a millstone, I'm going to pray that God gives her the strength to get to that naptime, that she would realize these days truly do last but a second..I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt.

And, gosh, you should meet Hunter. He would knock your socks off - he is so special.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's almost here..

I have exactly 12 days to go before my boy gets on that school bus and starts a brand new chapter of his little life. One that he is so excited about. I asked him the other day, "John John, are you afraid at all about starting school?" And he said in that inimitable way, "No." Like I was kind of foolish to even think for one second he would be afraid. He even cheered when I told him he wouldn't have to go to Shop Rite anymore with me and Hunter.

So, I have decided to take on John's attitude. When I think about him leaving and being gone all day, I will be happy. I will be filled with joy because he is starting such a grand adventure. Sure, kids will be mean and they all won't realize that he is one of God's GREATEST creations, and there will be crushes that will leave his heart broken, there will be friends who will treat him bad some days, but there will also be his burgeoning first steps into the world. And he will be loved every step of the way...

So, when I see that first e-mail inviting me to the first PTO meeting of the year, I will pick out a cute outfit and try to represent my boy well and do him proud! Because he has always made me proud......

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Fear..

Why do I let fear rule my life? It is ridiculous how many times I hear myself tell Sean or a friend how afraid I am of something! And then if someone shows concern for me or they have doubt in me it makes me angry. Well, why wouldn't someone doubt me if all they have heard from my mouth is fear.

Take my life recently. I live in a beach town. I live in a town where I only have to drive three miles to an absolutely beautiful beach and I had never been there until today. I was so afraid of taking the kids there that I stayed away. I was afraid of them drowning, I was afraid that they would die in that water and they would do it on my watch, that they would be so rambunctious and lively that I would not be able to control them without Sean's help. I worried about them getting too much sun and then worried it was going to rain. My goodness. They were amazing. John plunked himself down and dug in the dirt and Hunter ran along the shoreline and chased after birds.

I don't want my children to grow up into fearful wimpy men but rather men who take life by the reins and if I am an example to them, then I need to show them. I am taking a trip in October and I have to get on a plane. The thought doesn't scare me, doesn't terrify or even petrify me, I feel almost PARALYZED with fear. But, no more. I actually love my friend more than getting on that plane terrifies me. Thank God.

And this afternoon I am going to attempt to make spaghetti sauce. You see, I didn't make that either because I was afraid that it wouldn't come out right. You know what? What if it doesn't? I don't think Sean will leave me or stop loving me, I don't think the kids will strike, and I'm pretty sure the sky won't come falling down...And now that I have conquered the beach, I think I'll go heat up the stove.......

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Date Night

It's all so beautiful in the movies. The two young lovers walk hand in hand while the music crescendoes and everything is so romantic. You just know that they are whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears and nothing can possibly shatter this wonderful time they are having. It's all so magic.

Why don't you pan over to my night? To my date night. I had a date with my husband tonight which we don't do near enough. You see in that movie, babysitters are readily available and money and time is abundant. Not so here in the real world. Tonight my friend Renee graciously offered to watch the kids and our time was spent discussing where we should take the kids for ice cream and lamenting at how expensive the dinner was and how tired we were from the heat. See, that's the real world. That's where the rubber meets the road. I don't need the music and the flowers and the perfect date. I just need someone who is my teammate in this life, who says to me, "Which boy am I reading to tonight?" The real world is when you are both looking in the checkbook and trying to make the paycheck meet all those bills, it's when dinner doesn't turn out so great and sometimes we are crabby with each other for no other reason other than the fact that it is so unbearably hot. That's when relationships get tested, it's usually in those small quiet moments. I am grateful for my night because I could actually hear my husband while he was talking to me in the car!!

Thank you God for my night....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


You see these three people? They are my family. They have loved me like no one else, they have celebrated my victories and comforted me in my defeats. They are my reason to get up in the morning, they are my reasons I search for new and exciting playgrounds, they are the reasons I touch worms (yuck!!!), they are the best people ever. Hands down, no question about it.
(Side note: These amazing pictures were taken with my fabulous Mother's Day gift, my new Nikon digital camera. Thanks Hub!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hunter's cahs

Here is the automotive world according to Hunter:

car: cah

train: choo choo cah

boat: boat cah

dump truck: dump cah

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why I like Hunter:

Here was the interaction between John and Hunter in their shared room right after they woke up:


John: Hunter, stop your crying.


That boy sticks up for himself.

Why I like John:

Hunter and John this morning were sitting on the couch eating Smartfood and drinking their juice, when John looked at Hunter and said, "You need Buddy (Hunter's favorite stuffed dog) and your favorite blanket!" He then proceeded to run in his room and took care of his little brother.

I have always viewed it as an honor to be these little boys' mother. One day they will be someone's husband, someone's father and I will have had a hand in shaping them and blessing those future families. That is a huge responsibility and I am so happy that God gave me them. I like them as well as love them and I see that as such a gift.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A lesson learned...

The other day my boy was using the bathroom and, well, he always likes me to sit with him and read him a book. Some days I am too busy and I usually bring him his Leap Frog learning system to entertain himself. A couple of days ago I tried to busy him with his toy and he looked at me with his beautiful big blue eyes and said, "I just want you to read to me Mama." Well, after I picked up my broken pieces of my heart off the floor, I decided to tease him a little bit. I got this new parenting book from James Dobson that I have been reading. (I also brought his new dinosaur book from the library too.) I thought for sure he was going to hate it. And I read. He looked so happy just to have me there and probably didn't understand a word of what I was reading but he was so happy just to have me there with him. So, this week I learned that sometimes I need to SLOW DOWN and sit down!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Conversation with my boy...

This is a conversation that I had with my boy, John.

John: Mama, I want a bug girl.

Me: A bug girl, what's that?

John: Mama, (said exasperatedly), a girl who likes bugs. (Like this was completely obvious)

Me: Oh, yeah?

John: Yes, Mama, and she is going to have long hair and flat hair.

So, he gave me a peek into my future daughter-in-law. She will be a long haired girl who loves bugs and probably laments her flat haired status! But, most of all, whether she will be entemologist like my boy or shriek at the sight of a bug, I pray that she will love my boy like I love his father. May she think he is as wonderful as I do and may they both love the Lord. I can't wait to meet her.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Such a good heart...

Today started like any other day yet today held a tiny treasure. I see the generosity of my son, John, everyday but somedays there are times when it really shows itself in a simple yet extraordinary way. John is starting to learn the concepts of money and we are starting to teach him to save and spend his money accordingly. This morning we were going to Shop Rite and I told John that he could take a quarter out of his piggy bank and buy himself a gumball. This is a treat to him and one that he was very excited about. Well, I stood there and watched him excitedly take his quarter out for his big transaction and then he did something amazing. He looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes and he said, "I have one quarter for my gumball, Mama." I thought that was that and then he said, "And I am taking another quarter so I can buy Hunter a gumball too because I love him. And I will take another quarter for a gumball for you, Mama" I thanked God for my beautiful little boy with teary eyes.

As a mother one of the many things that I have wanted to teach my children was to be selfless. As every mother wants, I want my children to place others above themselves and to share their good fortune. I want them to see the pain and the hurting of others and reach out with a heart of compassion. And I don't want to raise selfish, greedy men. They will one day be husbands to precious women. And, today, I saw the pure heart of my child. He didn't have much money in his piggy bank but what he did have, he wanted to share. What a beautiful little boy.