Friday, June 28, 2019

A Shower of Blessings

Last weekend was my soon to be daughter-in-law's bridal shower! I can't believe that we are so close to the wedding day! The bridal shower was a group effort from both families..and it came together beautifully. I wanted to share some highlights from Liz's special day!

#1 Gotta Love Pinterest
We chose a Coffee Theme for Liz's shower because Liz loves coffee. Thankfully, Pinterest had lots of fun ideas to choose from! After all, Liz and Andrew are "The Perfect Blend" so the theme definitely fit! 

Liz's mom found these super cute favor bags!
They are filled with chocolate covered espresso beans. :)

Decorations were simple and rustic with pops of light pink, which is a shout out to the bridemaids' dress color. My mother-in-law does amazing flower arrangements and helped us with the centerpieces and some other super cute flower decorations! (My favorite was the Mr. and Mrs. mugs filled with flowers!

#2 A Few Favorite Things
Liz is finishing up a Master's Degree to be a reading specialist.(In fact, her very last class ends 3 days before the wedding!) Her undergraduate degree is in English, so one of her bridesmaids, Marisa, who is also Jon's fiancee and amazingly crafty, printed out some romantic literary quotes to use as decorations.

~"Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." C.S. Lewis
~"A woman's heart should be so close to God that a man should have to chase Him to find her." 
C.S. Lewis
~"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S.Lewis
~"They belonged to each other and no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that their happiness was in each other's keeping." Lucy Maud Montgomary
~"My heart is and always will be yours." Jane Austen
~"He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began."Leo Tolstoy
~"I loved her against reason, against promise, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be." Charles Dickens
~"Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale." Melissa Brown

Liz loves Bananagrams almost as much as we had to find a way to incorporate them into the decorations, too! 
#3 Looking for a Sign?
Marisa also hand painted a few fun signs that fit the theme!(Like I said before...amazingly crafty!) Just another special touch! You can see the welcome sign that she hand painted in #1.

This was a super cute touch...right outside the bathroom door.
No matter where you went, there were special touches. :)

#4 What's a Party Without Dessert?
Keeping with the theme, I made some mini espresso cheesecakes. My daughter, Sarah, (also a bridesmaid), spent hours making several flavors of homemade macaroons. They are SO good but very labor intensive. She made coffee flavor, (of course), raspberry(to add a little pink to the dessert table), chocolate with chocolate ganache filling, chocolate with chocolate mint filling, and lemon. They looked great and tasted even better!

My mil made Polish Bow ties...which is special because both Andrew and Liz share a Polish heritage.
Liz's last name is Dobrowolski and my mil's maiden name is Buraczenski. 

#5 The Bridal Party
From left to right:
Victoria, Liz's sister and Maid of Honor: Sara, Liz's cousin: Sarah and Ellen, the groom's sisters: Liz: Marisa, my son Jon's fiancee: and Kate, the cute flower girl and sister of the groom

#6 Family Means Everything
This was the first time I've gotten to meet Liz's extended family. They were all so kind and so excited to be sharing in such a special day. You could see and feel their love for Liz and for each other. What a blessing it is for me to be getting a daughter in law who comes from a family that cares so much. 

I think that all the emotions were even more evident because just the day before, Liz's Uncle Jimmy, who is her mom's brother, passed away after a long struggle with MSA. Experiencing such a close loss just highlights how love, family, and faith are everything.  

Uncle Jimmy had been struggling with his health for a long time, but in the last couple of weeks things went down hill quickly. I have so much respect for Liz's mom and her sisters who spent most of those last weeks sacrificing sleep and time with their own families to care so lovingly for their brother. It was truly inspiring. 

(Not to mention how amazing Liz's mom, Patti, is to have focused on making her daughter's bridal shower so special while driving back and forth between MA and CT, caring for her brother, and carrying her own grief! #faithandgrace) 

Celebrating Liz and her upcoming wedding brought some joy and hope for the future for everyone.

#7 The Final Countdown Begins!

And now...on to the wedding! 44 days and counting! I.can't.wait!
Andrew & Liz

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Mom's Summer "A" Game

This was an actual conversation at our house just the other day:

My two youngest kids on their last day of school: "Woo hoo! Summer vacation! I'm so excited!"
Same kids(5 minutes later): "So, what are we doing tomorrow, Mom??"
Me:(after several seconds of silence...a couple of "Umm's"...and a little anxiety): "Well, we need to go grocery shopping."
Kids: (groan in unison)
Me: (groans on the inside thinking of visiting multiple stores with kids in tow!)

Summer vacation... it's such a special time of year. With kids ranging from 7 to 26, I've certainly had a lot of experience with summer vacation.(and lived to tell about it!)

I actually like having my kids home with me. (At least most of the time!) This year though, I just don't feel like I'm on my "A" game.

Head on over here to read the rest of my post on embracing summer parenting over at

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Every Dash Matters

"There will be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read them. But all that is going to matter is that little dash in between them." -Kevin Welsh

What about if there is no dash?

Our fourth child and first baby girl only lived for 16 short days. Therese Elizabeth was born 21 years ago with a genetic disorder that is "incompatible with life". We soaked in the short time we had with her as best as we could...but it wasn't nearly enough.

Head on over to Catholic Sistas to read the rest of my post. (A little side note: I wrote this particular post on Therese's birthday(May 20th) and it was published today, June 5th, which is the 21st anniversary of her journey to Heaven.)