Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throw Back Thursday!

Throw Back Thursday!

I found an old picture of Jay from when he was a young teen!  He definitely had the 80's look going on!:)

Jon saw me scanning the pic...

Jon:  Is that Dad?!?
Me:  Yes...look at that hair!
Jon:  (chuckling)  Look at that everything!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Throw back Thursday!  Look how cute these little ones are!  Ellie was 2 and Sarah was 6.  It's hard to remember how little they were....especially since Ellie is a few weeks away from turning 12 and Sarah will be 16(!) in May and both of them are almost as tall as I am!  

Seeing these pictures make me appreciate Kate's littleness even more!(and the picture makes my heart ache just a little!)  The days are long, but the years are short!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seeking Perspective

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I've blogged! Well....I can believe it because last week felt like it lasted a month!

Last Monday, Kate woke up at 4am vomiting.  She vomited about 10 times Monday, had no vomiting during the day on Tuesday.  Then, just as I went to bed on Tuesday at 10:30, vomited every 20 minutes to half hour until 2:45.  It.was.awful! On Wednesday we took her to the doctor hoping for Zophran for the stomach bug we assumed she had.  Turns out...she had strep!  She never even complained about her throat and barely had a fever!  I have never had a child vomit that much with strep!

See...after 8 kids I'm still learning!

It took her the rest of the week and the weekend to seem back to herself!  Poor Kate!  I'm still recovering from the extreme sleep deprivation!  It's been a rough couple of weeks!

Things with my Jamberry Nails business have been very busy, too!  Which is great!  It was just tough to try and stay organized with Kate being so sick.(and no sleep...did I mention that yet!?!)

It's still Lent!

I have to be honest.  I'm still feeling discombobulated with life!  Everything seems a little upside down and overwhelming. I feel like I can give all that I can give every waking hour of each day...and then several times during the nightly wake-up times my lovely cherubs provide....and I just can't get ahead in any facet of my life!

Too much busyness with Jay's schedule, too many bills, too much on the to-do list, and too little all makes me feel like giving up!  I know I'm looking through dirty lenses because it's been a rough couple of weeks health wise....and a rough couple of months weather wise!  Things will get better...Spring and warmer weather are coming!

Sometimes, hope seems a little elusive lately!  It's definitely an opportunity to focus on staying in the moment and on the blessings we have each day.  Somehow it always works out.....eventually!

I've really been enjoying Dynamic Catholic's Lenten series:  "Best Lent Ever".  If you haven't looked into it, there's still 2.5 weeks of Lent left!  It's not too late:)

Yesterday, Dynamic Catholic shared a prayer that St. Francis suggested we pray:
"Holy Spirit, may my heart be open to the Word of God,
may my heart be open to good,
may my heart be open to the beauty of God, every day."

I love it!  I want to work on memorizing Philippians 4:8, too.(I'm terrible at memorizing verses!)
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable,whatever is just, whatever is pure, 
whatever is pleasing,whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Sometimes...all I need is a change in perspective!:)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Winter's Last Hurrah...Hopefully!

It is FINALLY Friday!!!!  This week felt soooo long !  We made it everyone!:)  Here's a quick weekly wrap-up!

#1:  And the Snow Just Keeps Coming!
So the 1-3 inches of snow that was forecasted for us yesterday turned into about 10 inches!!!  That's a big difference...especially since schools based their decision to have class on the original forecast! Halfway through the morning, the forecast changed and some schools dismissed early.  The roads were awful!  The city right next to where we live reported 36 accidents in only 3 hours!  Buses were getting stuck all over the place in our town when they tried to get kids home!  Once of the high school buses actually had the kids call their parents to come and get them because the buses couldn't enter their neighborhood!  Just crazy!!!

 Let's hope that yesterday was Winter's Last Hurrah!

#2:  Heatwave!

I saw this pic on Facebook!  It is so true!

Starting on Sunday, temperatures are supposed to be in the 40's and may even get into the 50's by the end of the week!  (Like my friend, Laura, said..."It's time to shave our legs and find our capris!)
It seems too good to be true!  This winter has felt endless!

#3:  NOT a Winter Wonderland Anymore!
view of our front walk with walls of snow on either side that are taller than Luke!

Reminds me of horror films!

View of our walkway from the house

Even the trees have had enough!

On the way to the grocery store today, Kate was singing to herself, "Snow, snow go away, come again another day."  Or next year, or never...that works too!

#4:  Time Change
As much as I dislike losing yet another hour of sleep....I am soooo ready for an extra hour of daylight!  
Extra hour of daylight=more melting snow!
Yes, please!

#5:  Bring on Spring
Yesterday, Jay read my post and thought I needed a little Spring!  So he came home with these...

Who knew that when you quote Lord of the Rings your husband brings you flowers and chocolate!?!
(take note ladies!:)

And continuing the Spring Theme.....

This morning, Andrew, Kate and I headed to Kohl's for a few things.  As soon as I walked in I was like a bug towards light saw all the pretty spring dresses everywhere!  Andrew saw what was happening and feared that the "quick" run into Kohls was going to turn into a boring shopping trip with mom trying on all kinds of things!  He dragged me away reminded me several times about my list!  He needed new jeans, I needed an outfit for my goddaughter's birthday present, some underpants for Kate to try and encourage potty training, and a couple of new pillows!  Did I mention the dresses were so pretty?!?  I managed to not buy any cute Frozen clothes for Kate.  I may have grabbed a dress or two for Sarah.(Ellie is in that in-between stage when everything needs to be tried on!  We will have to go shopping soon....I wouldn't want to be unfair;)

All the Easter colors and  Easter Baskets were so pretty and I am so ready to move on from this incredibly dreary winter and start trying to create some fun surprise baskets for the kids!

#6:  Spring Break Minus the Spring!
On a side note:  Andrew has been home on spring break this week and it has been so nice spending time with him!  It's also great to have one of my drivers back....he has run errands, checked on my grandfather, played lots and lots of hours of Legos with Luke, and picked up Luke at school a couple of days!  

I'm going to miss having him around:(...and not just bc he's been my minion;)! :)

#7:  He Said
We were watching the newish Nyquil commercials:  when moms and dads are sick but aren't able to call in sick for parenthood!

Ever notice that in the "dad" commercial, the dads take in the "mom" commercial the moms take Dayquil?

Andrew:  Wow, Nyquil made an accidentally sexist commercial!

(although I don't think it was accidental....moms just never really get sick time!;)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

This Day We Fight!

Caution:  whining alert!

I'm sorry...this winter is just kicking my New England butt!(and I know I'm not the only one!)  We woke up to more snow falling and, even though it isn't supposed to amount to much, the snow is making everything slippery and still needs to be shoveled.

It's depressing!  We've been buried under white stuff since the end of January and it feels like it will NEVER end!

Ok...rant over!

This has been a long week for me.  You know when you feel like it should be Friday already and it's only Monday that you're in trouble!  This week has been busy and sleep deprived...which never helps anything!  Just last night, Kate was awake from 3:30 to almost 5!  Oh the joys of parenting!

Between the weather, the sleep deprivation, and anxiety I was ready to just wave the white flag and give up!  (I mean, seriously, do you know that it still isn't Friday yet!?!?!)

Then I took a deep breath and tried to shrug off the shawl of discouragement that seems to have wrapped itself around me.  A short plea for strength("Please, God, help me to do what needs to be done today!"), a timely blog article entitled "Keeping A Vibrant Spirit in Your Home{When Your Body is Bone-Tired}, and an unexpected compliment have already started to fill my encouragement tank!

Last night and this morning I have been thinking that we need a Braveheart/Lord of the Rings pre-battle type speech to help get us through the rest of this winter!  Aragorn's seemed fairly appropriate!

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of Men fails
When we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship
But it is not this day
An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Man comes crashing down
But it is not this day!
This day we fight!
By all that you hold dear on this good earth
I bid you stand, Men of the West!

(Except in this case it would be "People of the East"!....and our enemies are discouragement, depression, and hopelessness!)

Spring will come....the snow won't last forever(even though it feels it will)!  Hold onto hope....Easter is coming!  (and next week we are forecasted to have 4 days over 40 degrees!!!  Heatwave!!!;)  We will make it!  I'm pretty sure that Spring will be appreciated in an entirely new way this year in New England!

"Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off."
-Proverbs 23:18

Saturday, February 28, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday on a Saturday!

Well...A day late and a dollar short seems to be my life's motto!  My Friday Quick takes are a little late...but I do have a good reason!

#1:  Involuntary Penances

Those involuntary penances just keep on rolling!  Over last weekend I had symptoms of a UTI, went to the doctor's, got antibiotics, then a call later in the week that it wasn't a UTI and probably something called cytosis.(which, from what I understand thanks to Google, mimics a UTI but is not caused by bacteria and there are a host of reasons why it can happen.)  I have a follow-up on Wednesday...sigh.  #Lent

I got the van stuck in the middle of our street this week just backing out of the driveway! The back wheels were just spinning.  A fed-ex truck ended up behind me and the man was kind enough to help me shovel out from around the tires and help me put down some sand!  I was very grateful!

Yesterday, I got a phone call at 3am from my grandfather because he was feeling really shaky and dizzy and Felt that he had to go to the hospital.  My parents are out of town, so I got to his house before the ambulance came and spent the morning with him in the ER.  They ran all kinds of tests and everything came out normal.  He was feeling better, so they sent him home around 10:30.  Once I got him settled, I ran to the grocery store then headed home and crashed!  I was very grateful that my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law helped Jay get the kids to school and watched Kate so he could go to work AND picked up Luke from school and watched the littles until after 3 so that I could take a much needed nap!  I was also grateful that my sister came to the hospital to hang out with me!   

I'm hoping for a little less excitement this weekend!

#2:  What Brothers Are For

Kate:  Come on Jon.  You are my have to dance with me!
...and Jon obliged because who can turn down such a cute partner!

#3: The Obsession Continues!
Most of the day, Luke can be found creating Star Wars ships and humming the Star Wars Theme Song.  (Like right at this moment...I can hear it from the other room!)  He loves all things Star Wars!

#4:  #toomuchstarwars!

The other day, Luke and Kate were having a Lightsaber battle...which they call "Lightsavers".:)
Kate:  You killed my fadda!
Luke:  I am your father!
(I told you he was obsessed...and he drags his little sister in, too!:)

#5:  100th Day of School
Thursday was the pre-schooler's 100th day of school!  They celebrated with a pizza party and made these cute hats!  They also did a poster board project which I forgot to take a picture of!  I am not a good project person...and forgot about it until the last minute!(bad parent award!)  Luke was talking about some of the other kids' projects whose parents had passed them in early(......).  In particular, there was a drawn fishbowl with 100 glued goldfish crackers inside.  But no pressure!  I had Ellie search the art cabinet for stickers...because, I swear, everything I glue falls off!....and all she came up with were Anna and Elsa stickers and Easter stickers!  So...Easter stickers it was!  I had Sarah draw a basket and Jon helped Luke count out the stickers in groups of 10 and glue them on.  (See...having a large family has its benefits!:)

#6: He Said
We were watching The Middle on Wednesday night.  There was a scene where a smooch occurred.
Luke:  Can we skip this?  I don't like the "woman parts".
(Jay and Jon thought that was just hysterical!)

#7:  Missing Men
Our parish is holding a Men's Retreat Day today so most of my friends and I are flying solo.   I hope it's a meaningful day for all of them....and that they come back refreshed and ready to take over so us women can run away for a couple of hours and eat chocolate and some yummy appetizers!  (I think it's a fair trade off!) 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

34 Days To Go!'s your Lent going?  How are you handling all of those involuntary penances?

We've had our share of involuntary penances around here this week, too!

One of the things that I added into my life in an attempt to grow(at least a little!) during Lent was the daily Dynamic Catholic emails.  Some days they have been quotes and some days short videos.  I am really enjoying them!

Yesterday's 3 minute video was a good one...and a challenging one!  The topic was "Stinking Thinking" with the broken philosophies of Individualism, Hedonism, Minimalism, Relativism and their fruits...such as selfishness, isolation, laziness, procrastination, gluttony, mediocrity, and hopelessness(just to name a few that spoke to me).

This winter has been hard, cold, snowy and L.O.N.G.!  Being stuck inside for weeks and having all kinds of winter paraphernalia everywhere....gloves, boots, hats and snow pants!...makes everything in the house feel cluttered and claustrophobic!  I have found that I just don't have the motivation to thoroughly clean and organize everything that needs to be addressed in the house.  We've had too many busy Saturdays so all the inside projects that we have put off until winter are still not being accomplished!  I find phrases like "Why bother" and "It's just too big to tackle" swimming around my head a little too often lately!  It's easier to just shut a door than deal with what needs to be done!

Well, after listening to that video yesterday morning, I did a (mostly) thorough cleaning of Peter's room...which is also home to all of Luke's Legos, the little kids' books, stuffed animals, and what ever else gets brought in there!  The rug has been in great need of a good vacuum for a while!   But it's been one of those rooms I've just shut the door to rather than deal with it!

It's still not perfect now!  It's much more organized, though, and better for the kids to play in!  What I love about an organized room is the sense of peace I feel when I walk into it!

Now I have to tackle my room!!!(insert wailing and gnashing of teeth!)

Last night, I was reading The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis and something I read stuck out to me and seemed to tie into the video from the morning:  "Living Holy Week means....following and accompanying Christ, staying with him, demands "coming out of ourselves", requires us to be outgoing; to come out of a dreary way of living faith that has become a habit, out of the temptation to withdraw into our own plans, which end by shutting out God's creative action."(pgs.72-73)

That "dreary way" feels like the dreary winter we are enduring and the lack of inspiration or motivation to do much of anything!  I have given into the desire to hibernate a little too much!  Laziness and procrastination have taken up residence!  Getting back on track isn't easy!  It's certainly something I can offer up this Lent as I attempt to re-organize and re-energize my house....even though I would rather stay in hibernation mode!)

Good think I have about 34 more days to work on it!

Oh...and if you're interested you can find the "Stinking Thinking" talk here!  You can also find Dynamic Catholic here.  Sign up for your daily dose of's free!