Commentary on a Blessed Life

I’m That Mom

So the other day Megan came home from Pre-K in the best mood. Like, “super excited, super happy, I have the best life ad nauseum” kind of mood. She could barely get the words out of her mouth why she was so excited…
She got to use scissors at school, and she was good at it!!!!! The teacher told her what a great cutter she was!!!!

My kids are not allowed to use markers or paint or glitter or scissors or anything else that will make a huge mess.

There, I said it.

I will not let myself feel like a terrible mother because of this. The fact of the matter is, I am a working mom and I like my home and my kids to look a certain way. I do not want markers on faces that take extra time to scrub at night, I do not want glitter all over the kitchen floor that I sweep at least twice a day. I have a personal fear of the children cutting their own hair with scissors (um, from personal experience). And I am not jealous of the Pinterst people who have all the time in the world to craft and make messes and clean them up and post these said projects on Facebook. I, in fact, am happy for them. Go on with your bad self!

Now before you go off and think what a boring life my kids must have and how deprived they are, trust me, they are happy and content and really happy. They use crayons and colored pencils. They have so many coloring books it is kind of an addiction. We have made bracelets and used Play dough and the stickers, oh the stickers.

But mostly at home, they love to play. Inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, anywhere. Hands down, 100% of the time when you ask them what they want to do, it is playing ~ riding bikes, scooters, toy cars, and running around playing make-believe.

I acknowledge that I will be the mom that will be helicoptering over school projects at home. Not because I want them to be perfect or I feel the need for them to be the best; but because I will not want scraps of things all over the floor of my house. The Dirtdevil will have a daily work-out.

Believe it.


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Real Pain

Today is the day my dad died four years ago.

And I am heartbroken.


With each passing year I think it will be easier, but it is not.

I am sad that my children will never know the love of their Grandfather.

I am bitter when I see other people with their dad.

I am angry that his doctor did not diagnose the cancer earlier.

I am haunted by the memory of him lying in hospice.

I still run his eulogy in my mind all the time and it hurts my heart.

My dad lived a wonderful life.

He is the most generous person I have ever met.

He loved his family.

He was a hard worker and a loving provider.

My dad was the greatest.

I am sad today.

Tomorrow I may appear not to be sad, but I still am.

I think the worst part is knowing no one knows my pain, because he was mine and no one can possibly feel what I feel.

I will never forget what I had and what I lost on this day in 2010


Love you, dad, today and always.

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I Love Being a Teacher

As all of my loyal readers know (I’m talking to the one or two loyal readers I have, Beth and Beth’s mom!), I am a religion teacher at a Catholic school. I love my job. I am slightly obsessed with the Catholic Church and building my relationship with God by spreading God’s word to others. I think I have the world’s most perfect job (for me). I get to do what I love everyday with kids that are somewhat interested in what I have to say. When I was a child I always wanted to be a teacher. Really, since second grade. In high school I was a part of a really awesome youth group and my leader expanded my mind into thinking that I would be a great religion teacher…and I am. Not to toot my own horn (but I will!), I am an excellent religion teacher. I spend a ton of time thinking of creative ways to teach my students to grow in their faith. I try to create lessons that put God in a tangible perspective for my kids. I go back and forth about ways to teach a concept that is so very difficult to really grasp. I mean, let’s face it, most adults have a hard time grasping their faith, let alone 12-14 year old kids.

One of my favorite things to do as a teacher is to create really neat bulletin boards. I always joke that I only have two great talents; cutting letters and creating bulletin boards. It is true.
So I came up with some pretty awesome bulletin boards this fall and I thought I would share them here.

Let me know what you think!






Oktoberfest Cincinnati

Growing up we really did not have any “cultural” traditions. In fact, I was never really sure which ethnicity I was. My mom always said her family was Italian and Irish and my dad was mostly German, but, none of my upbringing was strong in any nationality.

I remember a friend of my mom’s being very Italian and when we stayed at her cottage in the summer she and her mother would always cook the BEST Italian sauce that they called gravy. It was delicious and I love the idea of passing cultural events on to my children, but, like I said, we just don’t have any.

Shawn, however, was born into a very strong German heritage. His grandma was a German cook and had a traditional Sunday dinner for their family as long as he can remember. Cincinnati, in general, is a very German place to live. In fact, the Oktoberfest in Cincinnati is the second largest only to the festival in Germany. This weekend we did what any good German family would do and dressed our kids in traditional German outfits and headed downtown to celebrate.

Oh my goodness, we had the best time. We very rarely do things like this as a family. This weekend made me want to schedule so many more things for us to do. From oldest to youngest the kids loved it and they were certainly loved by everyone there. Can you blame them?






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A Little Update

Ryan turned three months old on Friday and I cannot believe my little is getting so big. We go for his check-up this week but if I had to guess I would say he is around 15 pounds. He is currently wearing 3-6 month clothing and eating about 6 ounces of formal/milk every 2-3 hours. The boy likes to eat. Of all of my children, he enjoys breast feeding the least. He is not a great latcher and gets distracted very easily. I know it is what is is, so I am continuing to nurse. My long term goal is to breast feed for a year, but I am hoping to make it six months in all honesty. I am okay with whatever happens. Currently, I am pumping twice a day at work which might be my most frustrating annoyance. I only get enough for about one and a half bottles and sometimes not even that but it takes a lot of time, energy and scheduling to get the pumping sessions in. Again, there is nothing I can really do about it, so it is what it is.

Ryan is really pure joy. I absolutely love having him a part of our family and Megan and Tyler love him so much too! I honestly love being a mother and would have three more if I was so old and poor. HA! His smile is infectious and he is generally happy about 90% of the time.

I will leave you with three pictures from the last three months.




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It happened in an Instant

Well, it happened, my first little teensy tiny baby turned five this weekend. I am both stunned and over the top excited for what this little bundle of joy’s future hold. She is one in a million. She can light up a room in one smile and her laugher is contagious. I will always be forever grateful to Megan for making me a mother. After of years of trying I had really lost hope that this would ever happen…and here we are, five years later, still celebrating this precious gift to us and the world.
Happy birthday, mega-million, we love you so!








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Back to School

I know I said I was going away for a while, but yesterday I was searching through past posts to look at Megan from last year and I just couldn’t help but be thrilled to see that I have so much of the last two years documented in this blog. I have to realize that this blog is not something I have to do but something that I WANT to do to keep and preserve family memories.
So yesterday and today this happened…

Yes, I now have two children in school. Part-time school, but still school. This is Megan’s second and final year at POP school before she moves on to full day Kindergarten at St. Columban School next fall. I am both happy and sad about this. I know it is so cliché, but where does the time go? It feels like just yesterday she was Ryan’s size and I was so stressed out as a new mother going back to work. She was such a blessing in my life and still is. I am proud that she is so kind, and compassionate. She cares for others deeply and I hope she always wants to make the world a better place to live in.

And Tyler, he has grown up so much too. When I look at him, he is still my baby, but I know with each passing day he is becoming more independent. He had a good day today. A few tears in the beginning, but that was expected. He is such a tough little guy but sensitive at the same time. We sometimes refer to him as Jeckle and Hyde. He is as sweet as can be and loves to cuddle up with anyone who has a willing lap for him to sit on…but, when he is hungry or tied, watch out! He gets this crazy look and stars to yell and act terrible. I guess that is part of the growing process.
I will take the good and the bad with all of my kids. No one is perfect, and I am beginning to realize each of their limitations and work to make them feel good and loved and appreciated no matter what they are doing.
As for school, I think they are going to have an awesome year. I am looking forward to seeing Tyler socialize more and become more independent. He already loves playing t-ball and running around, it will be nice to see him sit still for a while and listen to instruction that way.
For Megan, I think this might be a major breakthrough academic year for her. She is like a little sponge and I know she is excited to learn new things. They went on a scavenger hunt today and she was so excited about it. Her teacher already sent home a paper to help us work on pencil grip. I know she will love being able to write.




Now we are off to tennis and then back home for a little walk around the neighborhood.

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I just don’t feel like blogging much anymore,
I have a lot going on and a lot to say but I have no motivation to use this space anymore.
Maybe I will feel differently in a few weeks or months or something.
It’s weird because for a while I loved being here and writing here even though I know not many people read this.
It was (is) a nice space for me.
Like I said, maybe I will be back.
Maybe not.

Until then, count your blessings.


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Long Time

I didn’t plan on taking a few weeks off intentionally. And I am not going to use the excuse that having Ryan makes it to difficult to blog. I just have chosen it to make time for blogging and that is okay because this is my blog and I can do what I want. So there’s that.

Things have been quickly moving here. We enjoyed our last weeks of summer, took a fantastic vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC and I started back to work last week. We are adjusting pretty well. I always have said that I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom. I love my job and I enjoy getting out for the nine months I am in school each year. But, man, I miss being here when I am gone. I miss slow mornings and loving on my kids and just being present for each moment in their lives. Know time is fleeting and I hate missing anything.

Ryan is getting so big and Megan and Tyler are turning out to be wonderful big siblings to him. They will love him to death if we are not careful!


20140824-090359.jpgLittle Mommy
All in all, life is good and busy and crazy and happy. I do really love my life and I need to stop and count my blessings more often.

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Sweat Once a Day

Does anyone out there read Emily’s blog? She is an amazing woman…running 50 milers on the weekend…FOR FUN! I love reading her blog because she is not only inspirational, but she seems so down to earth even though she does things that most people could never do. It is one of my favorite blogs even though we have nothing in common and we live worlds away from one another. I guess that is the magic of blog reading, you can live vicariously through people and their words and pictures.

Anyway, Emily has inspired me to, well, “Sweat Once a Day” in August. I may not have the time, energy, or endurance to run like she does, but I can certainly make it is a goal for August to participate in something physical every day this month. I want to get back into exercising, but I feel really out of shape and just generally “blah.” So getting physical everyday is going to a challenge for me but also an opportunity to feel better about myself plus also take some much deserved me time even if I am pushing a stroller in the process.

20140803-111254.jpg My view during a sweat session on Friday

So, no elaborate goals for me at this point…I can sweat for 5 minutes or 90 minutes, it doesn’t matter. As long as I am doing something that requires movement and getting myself out there and exerting enough energy to break a sweat I will be happy. I am going to track my sweat via calendar on my phone and the SparkPeople app. I started tracking food as well, but that is kind of a joke since I am breast feeding and my appetite is cray cray. Maybe I will post a weekly update on this blog too…but, who am I kidding? That probably won’t happen!

But here is what has happened so far:
August 1: 60 minute stroller walk in the neighborhood (the double stroller is a work-out in itself!)
August 2: 35 minute Elliptical Trainer and 10 minute bike at the gym (it felt great to be at the gym, ALONE, and bonus I was still able to see swim lessons down below).

What kind of workouts is everyone doing?

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