Category Archives: Uncategorized

When You Look at Her

When you look at her, I don’t want you to see her disability. I don’t want you to see weird. Different. Gross. Not normal. Unusual speech. Slow walking. Weird walking. Stupid. Dumb. Hand flapping. All the things she can’t do.

When you look at her, I want you to see HER.

Her beauty
Her chocolate-brown eyes that always smile
A gorgeous head of thick, brown hair
Freckles
Stylish outfit

A girl who…
loves without abandon and doesn’t know how to be mean
loves Disney movies and Spongebob and her family
wants to hang out with friends
plays with her brothers
jumps on her trampoline
sings at the top of her lungs
dances and doesn’t care who’s watching
lights up a room with her smile
laughs freely
makes jokes and is really funny
understands more than you know
has friends and family who love her

When you look at her, I want you to see a girl who…

wasn’t supposed to talk and yet here she is saying “Hi! What’s your name?”
wasn’t supposed to walk very well but is running over to you to say hello
works 100 times harder than anyone I know and doesn’t complain
has been working on her name for 13 years and can finally write it

When you look at her, I want you to see that she is loved. Deeply and by many. She is cared for thoroughly and with pleasure. She is treasured. Revered. Inspiring. Lovely. Funny. Feisty. Smart. Amazing.

When you look at her, just see her.

Please.

Happy This Week

It was WARM THIS WEEK! Like roll down the windows, play outside, go for bike rides warm! Hallelujah!

Gabe had his first soccer game and played great. Matthew started practice this week. I’m a total soccer Mom because it felt so good to be back watching my boys!

My kids have to go an hour extra each day for three weeks to make up for their snow days. Olivia has had no trouble at all! This also means I get an extra hour after work just for me!

We haven’t had a dishwasher for about a year now. Last week, my washing machine broke too. So we finally bit the bullet and bought a washer and washing machine/dryer. I am ridiculously in love with these appliances.

Matt got me an iphone for an early birthday present and I LOVE IT!! I haven’t been using it too much yet because I don’t have a case for it and I’m afraid I’m going to break it. But my birthday’s this week, so I think I’ll be getting one soon! ;) I’m getting an Otterbox defender case so it’s super safe.

Guess who I get to meet tomorrow? Dana from The Kitchen Witch!!! I’m seriously so excited I could pee my pants. We’ve been blogging/email/facebook friends for years now and I can’t believe I actually get to meet her in person. My friend Heather is going too so we’ll get to hang out for four hours in the car as well. What a FUN day…can’t wait!!

What made you happy this week?

What I Couldn’t Say

***Linking up with MamaKat today: Write about a blog post you didn’t publish.***

Besides family posts that I would LOVE to write because they would be amazing to write about, but I won’t to protect people’s privacy and feelings, I typically write whatever I feel.

But there are two posts that I couldn’t finish.

One was for therapy. I had to write a letter to myself as a little girl. I’m still working on it. It’s much more difficult than I thought. I just can’t do it. It’s weird. I go to start and I either don’t even know where to start or I’m flooded with so many things I can’t pick one.

One was to my future daughters-in-law. I got so overwhelmed with all that I wanted to say to them, about how good and wonderful my sons are, about how I hope they love Olivia and include her like we do, about how I hope they include me too, but I just couldn’t make it work.

I guess they were too close to the heart. Which is weird because I feel like I share everything. But, alas, they sit there unpublished and half-written.

Do you have any posts that you couldn’t write?

What 12 Looks Like

12 sign

all 3 porch 2 bw

all 3 porch 3

all 3 porch silly

g cake 2

g cake 5

g horse 3

g messi jersey 2

g vpersie jersey 2

gabe 1

gabe 2 bw

gabe 3

gabe 4

gabe O

o kiss gabe

Books, Please!

I love how much I love to read. Gabe has fallen off the reading wagon (as I know is typical for boys his age) and I’m desperately looking for books to bring him back. I am so very thankful my Mom instilled a love of reading in me. There is nothing I’d rather do more than read a great book. How about you?

Here’s what I’ve read lately…

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

I wanted so badly to like this book. It’s why I kept reading. It had to get better, I had to find out where the missing Matthew was and why he left his wife and child and dog, Honey, I just had to! But, alas, it didn’t get better. It wasn’t that shocking of a reason as to why Matthew left. It wasn’t that great of a book. I always feel duped when I keep reading because it has to get better…and then it doesn’t. Don’t waste my time! Mila and her father are from England and set off for New York to help find Mila’s father’s long lost friend, Matthew. He has disappeared on his wife and baby son. The story is told from Mila’s point of view; I did enjoy Mila’s character quite a bit. That’s probably the main reason I kept reading. Maybe it’s a sign I’ve read too many books, but lately it seems as though the “surprise and shocking” ending is never that much of a surprise or that shocking to me. Oh well. Rosoff did a great job of capturing the mind of a teenager in Mila, but other than that, I was pretty disappointed.

The Bird Eater by Ania Ahilborn

This was my March selection from my wonderful and worth-every-penny Amazon prime membership. In addition to the free shipping, I get a free book per month. I love it! I picked this one because the reviewer said it was so scary she had a hard time falling asleep. I love all things horror-related and knew this would be right up my alley.

I couldn’t put it down!

It is very scary and if you don’t like the idea of ghosts and haunted house or gory deaths, pass on this one. But, if you’re a horror junkie like me, you will absolutely love it. The main character, Aaron Holbrook, has returned to his tiny hometown 20 years after the mysterious death of his aunt in their house. Supposedly abandoned by his mother, and raised by his aunt, Aaron was whisked away to live with distant relatives when his aunt died. After a terrible tragedy rocks Aaron’s world and his marriage, he heads back to his hometown to fix up his aunt’s desolate house and either sell it or live there. Aaron is struggling to survive his tragedy and he feels as though this house may be his savior.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

The house has remained untouched for 20 years. Rumors have swirled around town that it’s haunted by an evil, evil spirit. Aaron begins to fix up the house and terrible things start happening. That’s about all I can tell you without giving anything away. There’s a wonderfully unexpected twist at the end and Ahilborn doesn’t care about a happy ending or closure. Just what I like in an author! This book was scary, thrilling, creepy and amazingly horror-ific!

Cross My Heart by James Patterson
Patterson is one of my all-time favorites, but his last several books have left me feeling “meh”. This one perked me right back up. It is a definite high octane thriller which reminded me of the first time I read Along Came a Spider. Alex Cross is at it again. The murder rate is on the rise in D.C. and Alex is tapped to solve them and solve them fast. On top of your “run of the mill murders”, there is a kidnapper of babies on the loose and the runaway girl who lived with Alex’s family for a while is missing and accused of murder. There’s A LOT going on in this book but the best part is that Alex and his entire family are being hunted by a criminal mastermind. Thierry Mulch, the bad guy, is ridiculously skilled at plotting against the Cross family and thinks of everything. His goal is to kidnap and kill the entire family, leaving Alex with nothing and no clue as to who did it. Will he succeed??? This book sure leaves you hanging!!! I loved it… I felt like Patterson was back.

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

A book written by yet another of my favorite authors who has been rather disappointing lately; this one, however, was great. Although Cornwell can be a tad verbose, especially in her explanations of medical procedures relating to her cases, I felt as though her storytelling was back on track with this one. The case she is trying to solve is very intriguing. A ginormous prehistoric sea turtle becomes entwined with some fishing line that is holding a dead body. Is this dead body somehow related to the missing paleontologist Scarpetta’s recently been working on? Is the dead body the wife of the man whose trial Scarpetta is involved with? Marino is back in center stage too, along with Benton and Lucy. I really enjoy when they are in the mix too. If you like Cornwell’s books, especially her early ones, you’ll enjoy this one too. There is sexual tension throughout and they are racing against the clock to figure out “whodunit”. There’s even an excellent surprise at the end.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Moriarity wrote one of my favorite “fluff” reads, What Alice Forgot, so when my friend at work told me about this book, I was very excited. It did not disappoint. It’s definitely of the “fluff” book genre but I rather enjoy that at times. Especially after the horror and death books I had been reading! Moriarty does a great job of interweaving all of her characters; at the beginning you’re not sure how all of these characters are going to come together and then, when they do, you’re sort of in awe at how she does it so seamlessly. This book is set in Australia (which was a fun change) and the main characters are Cecelia Fitzpatrick, supermom and Tupperware salesperson extraordinaire, Tess O’Leary, recently self-diagnosed with social anxiety and Rachel Crowley, a widowed mother whose daughter was murdered 30+ years ago.

Cecelia’s husband is the one with the secret that will ripple through and affect everyone in the story. But, of course, I’m not going to spill the secret here! It’s a doozy, that’s for sure. I couldn’t put it down and really enjoyed it. It’s not an earth-shattering-top-10-of-all-time book or anything, but it’s a fun, interesting and entertaining read. If you’ve read it, or after you’ve read it, I’d love to talk to you about the ending. I imagine this would be a great book for a book club discussion.

Have you read anything good lately? Any suggestions for books for Gabe?

Happy Last Week

Ack! We were out of town and I missed a Happy This Week Post!! It’s par for the course lately.

Last week was spring break for all of us. That’s plenty of happy, right?

Olivia got her braces and did really well…and looks gorgeous!

Olivia also got fitted for her new scoliosis brace. That’s not a happy thing, but she did great and I’m anxious to get her spine back to normal.

All of us got our hair cut. I looooove getting my hair cut and the boys look so damn cute when they get their hair cut!

We went to Hocking Hills for 3 days. It poured rain the entire time we were there so no hiking and no pictures…but it was fun to get away.

While in Hocking Hills, we spent the evening with my BFF Amy and her whole family. That was the highlight of the trip for sure!

Hot tub at the cabin!

Cheesecake Factory for lunch on the way home!

MATT GOT ME AN IPHONE!!! It was an early birthday present and I was shocked and excited. I finally have a great phone!!!

What made you happy last week?

Metal Mouth

We’ve been working towards this for a few years now. It started with quick visits to the office just to get used to the place. We then moved on to examinations and pictures and pretty soon we were talking about braces. We were worried about how she would handle it, if she could handle it, but we wanted to give it a try. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve a beautiful smile? We decided to take it slow, putting braces on top first and then the bottom once we see how it goes.

Yesterday. Was the big day and she was a total rock star, as usual. She never ceases to amaze me, my girl. We had been talking it up for weeks and she was excited. I couldn’t believe she set still for over an hour and did exactly as she was asked. It was amazing! The staff was wonderful with her.

Is she not the cutest Miss Metal Mouth??

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After it was over, we took her to the Disney store where she picked out Walter, her new BFF, from Muppets. Doesn’t she look happy?

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Yet another tale to add to my “Olivia is my hero and a total rock star” book!

Happy This Week

On Wednesday, I grabbed the kids after school and we went and got ice cream at our favorite place. It was freezing out but it felt like summer to us!

The kids and I started reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this week. Olivia LOVES Dobby. She even has a little Dobby doll that she has to hold while we’re reading it. She is the cutest.

I got pink eye this week (seriously…it’s the worst) so I had to stay home from school Tuesday because I was contagious. I took a nap, watched movies and got caught up on grading. It was kind of a nice break. Besides all of the goop coming out of my eyes and feeling like there’s a film of cotton over them.

I’m going out for a drink after school today with friends from work. I haven’t done it all year but I asked my MIL to get Olivia from the sitter so I could go. I’m looking forward to it! I hardly ever get to socialize at school so it will be nice to hang out with friends outside of school.

Gabe’s birthday was on Monday and we celebrated last weekend. He had a great party and a great birthday. He was so excited to turn 12!

Matthew has pajama day today and he’s thrilled that he gets to wear pajamas at school. I love that he’s still little!

I’m on SPRING BREAK at 2:35 p.m. today!!!!!!

What made you happy this week?

I Forgot

My sister sent me this quote on Pinterest the other day…and I can’t stop thinking about it.

swim quote

I started thinking about all of the things that I’ve forgotten about myself and what I like to do.

I love to swim. I always have. I was a swimmer for years and years, did you know that? I had a good chance to swim in college but I quit my junior year because I was sick of my coach, wanted a job for money and wanted to spend more time with my boyfriend. *smacks head* One of my biggest regrets, even if I would have decided against swimming in college. I would have had the chance.

I love to play piano. I took lessons for around 11 years and I was pretty good. Not Carnegie Hall worthy or anything, nothing like the girls in Tiger Mother, but good. And I love to play. It’s difficult but exhilarating to get a new piece and learn how to play it fluently and with meaning.

I love to dance. I’m not any good, but I enjoy it. Nowadays, I only dance when vodka’s involved or in my kitchen. I used to dance at school dances, at clubs, anywhere and I didn’t feel self-conscious. What changed?

I love riding my bike. I started going on long bike rides late last summer and I can’t wait until the weather gets warmer here so I can start up again. I really want a new bike too.

I love being with my friends. Sometimes in the midst of this crazy life, my friendships can take a back burner and I miss my girls like crazy. I need my friends.

I love being outside. We’re a pretty outdoorsy family, but I’d forgotten how much I just love to be outside. Doing nothing, reading a book, smelling the air, whatever. Just being outside.

Is there anything you’ve forgotten that you loved?

12

Twelve is…

one part little boy and one part young man.

a glimpse into what kind of a man you will be.

kind and caring and compassionate.

full of energy and thoughts and ideas.

one part sports fanatic and one part cake decorator.

getting good grades even though you sometimes forget where you put your homework.

playing basketball with your Mom one day and playing Black Ops with Dad the next.

tormenting your little brother who worships the ground you walk on one minute yet laughing and hanging out the next.

handsome and athletic and wears nothing but Under Armor and soccer jerseys.

starting to show an interest in girls but not too much. Just right.

funny and sweet and thoughtful.

loving soccer and basketball.

is awesome.

is perfection in your Mom’s eyes.

is loved.

Happy Birthday to the best son a Mom could ever ask for.