Category Archives: friends

Well, That was Awesome!


And it was. It, of course, being Christmas!  All the shopping, wrapping, stress, anticipation and craziness was more than worth it for all the fun we’ve had in the past 8 days.

To recap, we have:

> Celebrated Christmas 7 times since last Saturday: 1) the Hub’s Dad’s side of the family, 2) the Hub’s Mom’s side of the family, 3) my immediate family (parents, siblings, etc), 4) my Dad’s side of the family, 5) just the 4 of us, 6) Christmas night hodgepodge at my aunt and uncle’s and 7) my Mom’s side of the family. And we still have one more celebration to go!


> Taken over 300 new pictures.

> Celebrated my brother’s engagement!

> Gone through 3 rolls of wrapping paper and 3 rolls of tape.

> Unwrapped all those hard-wrapped presents in under 20 minutes each time we’ve exchanged gifts.


> Eaten more food in one week then I have in months- and enjoyed every bite of it.

> Spent 2+ hours sledding.


> Driven well over 400 miles doing round trips to various family members homes.


> Gone on one date night, had one breakfast with friends from high school and had one girl’s night out with my sister and mom.

> Watched Scorch put together 7 lego sets and meltdown approximately 100 times when said lego sets fall apart when moving them around.

> Had a billion lightsaber fights since we are now the proud owners of 7 lightsabers (you can never have too many, you know).

> Watched 4 movies with the Hubs- only one of which I’d recommend (Trouble with the Curve).

> Enjoyed each and every day of this vacation as both the Hubs and I have been off since the 24th!

All in all? This has been one amazing holiday!




30 Days of Thanks: Friends


Six weeks ago, I got to spend a day with some of my oldest friends. Last week, I got to have lunch with my college roommate. Yesterday, I got to spend part of an afternoon laughing with some of my favorite women. Tomorrow, I get to spend an evening with some of my dearest friends.

I am so very lucky.

When the Bean talks about her friends (both boys and girls) she tells me a lot how one person is mad at another person for playing with a 3rd person. I hear her and her friends saying to each other “I’m not your friend anymore.”  I get that it’s completely age appropriate and that this giving and taking away of friendships will settle down, as it has for Scorch, but every time I hear those words come out of her mouth, I want to point to all the amazing women that line my life and tell her- see, see what friendship is really about?

It’s about being able to laugh with friends that you’ve had for 26 years- friends that loved you during your bad perm years, who snuck out of houses with you all while terrified of getting caught, who know your family and all your secrets and love you for them and despite them.  It’s about being able to pick up where you left off with an old friend, but instead of complaining about professors, you’re complaining about pediatricians and finding that balance between work and family. It’s about having a group of women who you see at every practice and game, at school drop off and randomly at the park that have your back, mother your kids when you’re not around and keep you sane by reminding you that it’s just a phase.

I want so very much for my kids- more then I could ever list. But if I did write that list, the joy of friendship would be near the very top. I hope that my daughter surrounds herself in crazy strong women who lift her up, make her laugh and always, always wants what is best for her- just like I have.

Make It or Break It


“Mama- race me to my room. But make sure you let me win, ok?”

It is wrong that I beat her just because I knew it would make her crazy? Maybe this will be that watershed moment she shares on NBC when she’s running in the Olympics- that one moment in time when she knew she wanted to be an athlete.

Or maybe I just crushed her spirit. Either way, it was fun!


Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during this time. They mean more then you’ll know.

Boys and Girls


Almost a year to the day after Scorch was born, Dancer was born. Dancer is one of my best friends (and neighbor’s) daughter. When Dancer’s mom had to go back to work after she was born, Dancer came to our house every day to be watched by our nanny.  A year and a couple months after Dancer was born, the Bean came along.  For a year, the three of them were watched at my house and were as close as siblings.

Scorch and Dancer were the big kids and Bean the baby.  The two of them were best friends and played everything together.  When Dancer was three she started at a new day care and while the kids don’t see each other daily, they are still good friends.  Up until about 6 months ago, it was still the two of them and then Bean, the baby, tagging along.

But now the Bean is older- she’s closer to 4 than 3 and Dancer, very much a girly girl, gravitates to her instead of Scorch when the kids play. The girls do all the stereotypical things that girls do together- like play dolls and have tea parties.  Scorch is suddenly the odd man out after being the ring leader for so long- something he’s not at all happy about!

None of that was more apparent then when we went out to dinner tonight. My friend and I sat at a table by the kids, but we let Scorch, Bean & Dancer be by themselves. They had some things to play with (cars, coloring stuff, etc) but they obviously couldn’t run around so we told them to make conversation.

Hey Dancer, do you know who the Flash is?

Oh. Well, who’s your favorite super hero?

Have you ever seen Ben 10? You’d like Gwen.

What? No- I don’t like princesses.

Do you want to play cars?

No- this is not the baby car! They are all cars- they shoot each other and crash into each other, they don’t live in a house together.

Mom- why are the girls giggling again?!

And on and on. Too bad poor Scorch didn’t think things were nearly as funny as we did!


Not Our Best Day


So…today? Not a great day.

The kids were good as gold this morning. I remember sitting there patting myself on the back because they were being such angels. Since school is on break this week, they got to spend the day at their BFFs house (thankfully their BFFs are siblings the same age as my kids).  I received frequent texts throughout the day telling me what great guests my kids were, how wonderfully the kids were playing, what good manner they hand and on and on.

I picked my kids up 15 minutes before the mom had a phone call she needed to take for work. Before dropping the kids off that morning, I prepped them for that- they knew when I showed up we had to hustle out of there. They agreed to it- but as most things with kids, the theory works out a lot better then the practice.

When I showed up Scorch flat out refused to leave. He sat on the playroom floor with his arms crossed and big tears rolling down his cheeks- he wanted to stay and that was that.   Well, so sad for him because that wasn’t that.  After coaxing him off the floor, out of the room and down the stairs we had to pause for the Bean to put on her shoes. That’s when Scorch made a break for it- he wanted to play some more. *sigh*  So I got the Bean situated and out the door and then went to get Scorch. I kid you not when I tell you I had to 1) carry him out the door and 2) pry his fingers off the door jam as his sobbed and screamed that he didn’t want to go.

Hi! Mortification? So nice to see you again.

I set him down on the porch and the wild animal who replaced my son screamed at me “I hate you!” loud enough for the whole entire neighborhood to hear.  So- I did what any rational parent would do. I sat my kid down in the drizzle in the muddy grass and made him sit there in time out on our friends wet lawn while I got the Bean in the car. I didn’t know if I was going to laugh or cry at that point, so I just ignored him while I collected myself.

Unfortunately after that fun, we didn’t have time to go home. We had a bunch of errands to run that included a stop at the library. Thankfully Scorch pulled himself together by the time we arrived there because the Bean decided to assert herself. Some how, over night, the Bean lost her ability to whisper. So everything- everything- in the library was said as loudly as possible. If I asked her to lower the volume, she cranked it up a notch.  Thank goodness we were in the Children’s room and her volume wasn’t out of place, but the defiance just about killed me.

Between the scene at our friends house, the errands in between and our 45 minute stop at the library, I had already sweated through my t-shirt. But we weren’t done- oh no. We still had to go to Ash Wednesday Mass at the local college.

Due to the Hub’s work schedule, I was flying solo at this mass, something I try to avoid like mad. But it was this mass or not being able to go at all, so I sucked it up. I figured since it was a college campus, mass wouldn’t be crowded. Yeah- wrong. There was no parking, so by the time we found a spot we were running late.  We hiked it in the pouring rain to the chapel and realized after we got there that I forgot the kid’s backpack with all their church toys (coloring books, crayons, snacks, etc). I had nothing in my purse besides my wallet, tissues and empty gum wrappers- and I had to make all that entertaining enough to last us an hour.

So that’s how I sweated through my sweater all while playing RockPaperSissors with Scorch and having thumb wars with the Bean for 60+ minutes. Thankfully most college kids think little kids are cute and don’t seem to mind having their pews kicked, hair accidentally pulled and potty words sung out loud during Communion.

Tomorrow has got to be easier, right?!

Thanksgiving 2011


I really enjoyed having a thankful theme to my posts these past few weeks. I may cheat and keep it going through Christmas because I feel like I have so many more things/people to be thankful for that never got mentioned here.

Our Thanksgiving weekend officially started last Wednesday and since then we’ve traveled 400+ miles, visited 3 homes, attended one 6th birthday party and two 1st birthday parties, went swimming, ate some amazing meals (none of which I prepared), visited with more family members and friends then I could count, saw the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in the wild, watched my kids play with each of their cousins (no mean feat considering 2 of them live in Missouri!), put out all our Christmas lights and cut down our Christmas tree.

All in all, our weekend was just about perfect. Many, many thanks to all our friends and family who helped make it that way- we are so blessed to have you in our lives!


The Blessing of Friends


This afternoon was a typical one- the craziness of school pick up, the fun of trying to juggle work and the kids until 5 pm, the dinner rush and the bath time antics. All normal, but I couldn’t stop staring at my watch. My patience wasn’t what it should have been and I just wanted to get out of the house.

Tonight was Girls Night.

I have been so lucky over this past year to carve out a great group of girl friends.  Making friends as an adult is hard and it doesn’t come easy.  The bar was set really high because of the wonderful friends I still have from elementary school- it was really hard to find women that measured up.  Which makes it that much sweeter when things finally did click into place.

We started doing monthly girls nights back in September and now they are as essential to me as date nights with the Hubs.  I need a group of supportive, funny, smart, compassionate women around me- just like every other woman does.  I need shoulders to not only cry on, but woman to laugh with over the craziness that is life.  Women with advice on everything from relationships to books to child raising to vacation tips.  I can share everything with the Hubs but sometimes he just doesn’t get it- and that’s fine.  Sometimes a woman just needs a girl friend and I’m so very glad I’ve found a new group to call my own.

So tonight I’m thankful for laughing so hard my sides hurt.  I’m thankful for honest advice and friends who like to eat as much as I do.  I’m thankful for the joy, the richness and the fun that all my friends bless me with.




Today was not a stellar day.

The day after I have a hard night with the kids, I feel guilty. Guilty that I yelled. Guilty that I can’t figure out how to manage the Bean better. Guilty that I don’t keep as calm as I want to.  Guilty that the last thing my kids heard me say to them before bed was “Go to bed- I don’t want to hear an other peep from you!”  Guilty that the Bean is going to read this blog in a few years and just see the negativity and not see the joy she brings to our lives. Just plain old guilty.

Then I called the car dealership about this random blinking light in my van.  Turns out that random light means the air bag system in my car isn’t working.  The cost to fix it could run as much as $4000.  I almost cried. That’s a 4th of the total cost of the whole damn van!

Throw in lost car keys, running out of Hershey’s Syrup (a girl needs her chocolate milk!), a washer full of pieces of straw (don’t ask) and a few other minor insults and I decided today is simply not destined to be a good day.

Then reality slapped me in the face when I found out a friend of mine’s mother passed away. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but still completely heartbreaking.

My worries? Sure- they are big in my world today, but in the grand scheme of things they are nothing.  Money comes and money goes. The Bean will eventually go to sleep again (please God, let that be true). The keys will show up and the grocery store will stock Hershey’s Syrup again.  My kids know I love them dearly and I really don’t think occasionally losing my cool is going to result in huge therapy bills for them.   And the end of the day, I have a healthy, happy family- the rest is just minor details.

Just Like Her Mom


One of my dearest friends is someone I’ve never seen in person, or even talked to on the phone.

Heather and I met 8+ years ago on a message board when we realized our husbands shared similar, rather unique, jobs.  At first we just corresponded through the message board but soon started talking via Instant Messaging. Pretty soon we started talking at once a day during the week even if it’s just for a few minutes to say hi.

Over the years we’ve been each others sounding boards as we’ve bought homes, dealt with infertility, our husband’s job hazards, family drama, illnesses, car accidents, job upheavals, and now finally, kids.  I’ve made it no secret about how we built our family, and Heather’s made it no secret how their daughter, K, came into their life.

Long story very short (seriously- go read the details, it’s so well worth it!) Heather and her husband adopted K when she was 11 years old out of the foster care system.  K is a gorgeous almost-12 year old now that looks so much like her parents it’s eerie.  She had a rough upbringing- from a very premature birth which has caused a few long term health issues, to the lack of stability in her life and never having a family, until now, to call her own.

Raising a little girl in today’s world scare me- a lot. Which is why I’m so very glad Heather gets to go first on this one. And right now they have entered a small rough patch where K is starting to care -a lot – about what other people think of her.  Instead of celebrating her uniqueness, K is starting to want to just fit in.

I will have all of Beaner’s life to work on sculpting her self-esteem and confidence.  Heather’s had a little over a year to prepare for this.  She’s wrestling with that big time now and I was hoping some of my very wise readers may have some thoughts. Just how can you foster confidence and ambition on a tween? How do you teach them to laugh off their insecurities and to realize just how great they are?  Because K is more then great- she’s awesome. Just like her Mom.