Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yeah, that's how we roll...

I love this picture of John-Paul and Maggie in the car on the 8 hour drive to visit Nana & Gramps. John-Paul gets carsick, so our doctor advised that he sit as close to the front as possible and wear sunglasses. Maggie gets hungry, of course, so John-Paul is also the designated baby-feeder. Here he is feeding her puffs while wearing my shades...too cool for school!
Christmas Season 2008:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another one bites the dust...

Impact-Site-Verification: -10791198

So, we're still visiting my in laws and the day after we arrived, Maggie and Eamon started puking. Then yesterday, Phil and Andrew began vomiting. Last night, Phil's sister and father came down with it as well.

So now it's just me, John-Paul and my mother-in-law who are fighting off this vicious beast. I really hope we don't get it because we are supposed to drive back the 9 hours tomorrow.

Uggh, if there's anything worse than having a stomach bug, it's having a stomach bug in the car...Please pray for us!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where's Colleen?

On Facebook. Come join me! (Colleen Sweeney Martin)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wish granted

We are visiting my in-laws this week, and today we went to Mass at their newly rebuilt church (it had been destroyed in a fire). When we entered the beautiful Church, I told the boys that you can make a wish the first time you visit a new church.

John-Paul wished he could be Santa, and Andrew wished that the poor people could have stuff. (What a difference in personalities!)

Anyway, during the Mass, the boy's Aunt gave John-Paul a dollar to put in the collection basket, and told Andrew that she would give him a dollar to put in the poor box after Mass. Andrew was so excited that his wish had come true...he could now give money to the poor!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My FAVORITE day of the year!

Yup, today is my all-time favorite day of the year; Christmas Eve! I told John-Paul (5) that this morning, and he was shocked. His little mind could not understand how anyone could like Christmas Eve better than Christmas Day. Come on, Mom, we get PRESENTS on Christmas Day!

While I do love getting, and more importantly, giving presents, after all the Christmas morning hoopla...that's it, it's over. And we have to wait a whole year to experience it again. It's a little depressing, actually...kinda reminds me of the morning after my senior prom. I had done so much work preparing (buying the dress, eating right and exercising to look good in said dress, waiting for the cutest guy in school to ask me, getting my hair done, etc.) and when it was over, I realized I would never go to my senior prom again. It was done, kaput, finito.

At least with Christmas, we get to experience it every year, and the preparation for Jesus' birth is the most exciting part. We pray our Advent prayers, go to Confession to prepare our Souls, the house gets cleaned and decorated, holiday candles are almost constantly burning, and I am thinking of all the people in my life that I love and figuring out the perfect gifts to get them. ANd let's not take for granted how easy it is to turn a child's sour mood into a good one by reminding them who's watching! (We actually say that Jesus is watching, and He's friends with St. Nick!)

It is this anticipation of Christmas that fills me with warmth and happiness, and today is the culmination of all that. Sure, there is still work to be done...presents to be wrapped and Jesus' birthday cake to be made, but I will do it joyfully and try not to take for granted every special moment that occurs in the meantime. Because, with the holiday stress and hustle & bustle, we MUST remember the true meaning of Christmas...that unto us a Child is Born, God made Man, a King and Savior for the world, so that we could enter the Kingdom of Heaven for all Eternity.

Wow, how lucky are we to receive the Greatest Gift of all!! Merry Christmas to you and your families...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Week's Workouts

I've heard that writing down exactly what you eat and how much you exercise has been proven to help you lose weight. I'm gonna try to keep a food journal on my own, and make this my weekly exercise journal.

So, without further ado, last week's workouts totaled:

Ran - 14.5 miles
Walked uphill - 3.5 miles
Cardio Kickbox class - 2 hour-long classes
Abs - 3 sessions
Upper Body Weights - 2 sessions

Monday, December 22, 2008

I feel like a totally horrible mother...

...because I have been counting down to naptime and bedtime the past few days :-(

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And the winner is...

Since I've already sent out the Christmas cards, I decided to show you which picture we chose for the card. It was by far the best one we got, even though Maggie is mid-clap, Eamon is baring his belly and John-Paul looks like he's choking him!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Christmas Stroll...

...around our house.

These are some of my favorite Christmas decorations this year:

This Fontanini Nativity set was a wedding gift, and we've added a few pieces.

Aaahhh, my beautiful Willowtree Nativity. I collect the Willowtree figurines, and wanted this Nativity so badly. My MiL gave me the starter set, and then when Fr. Dave left for Rome he gave his to us so we could display it since he couldn't...I don't think he's ever gonna get it back ;-)

My Celtic Advent wreath...gotta celebrate that Irish heritage all year long!

I LOVE candles, and this one smells and looks so pretty. My friend Katie gave this to me a couple of weeks ago, and I think I have burned it every day since!

I bought this at Marshalls last year. It's not my normal style, but it just spoke to me. It makes me feel peaceful...

Kathy, a fellow teacher with Phil, gave him this gift yesterday, and he was so happy to get it. He loves this depiction of Santa kneeling down to Christ; even Santa knows the true meaning of Christmas!

This is my favorite ornament this year, it's moose-tastic! (sorry, lame)

And now to my Black Friday super bargain. This "fake" tree was half-off, and it's our first year without a real tree. But it looks nice, it came with the lights on it, and it doesn't shed...what more could you ask for?

...well, I guess I could ask that it smelled like a real tree, but that's why I have this little guy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And now for a break from all the Christmas stress:

The Martin girls...
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

And now for the boys...
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pet Peeve #2846

On my way to work this morning, I got stuck behind a school bus. Normally, just being behind a bus would annoy me (I get really impatient when it comes to traffic, it's a major flaw) but today was even worse. Why, you ask? Because this bus stopped in front of just about every other house. It was a constant: Drive 20 feet, stop to pick up ONE kid, repeat.
When I was a kid, I had to walk almost a mile to get to the bus stop (and even when I was really little, I had to walk to the ONE meeting place in my neighborhood where all the other neighborhood kids were). We didn't get picked up individually at our houses, that was unthinkable!
I realize there are safety issues involved, so I can't be too hard on the school bus transportation system, but at least let the line of 15 cars behind the bus pass at some point!!
Okay, venting complete, I feel better :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We're baaaaack...

We safely arrived home yesterday afternoon. The wedding was awesome, one of our top three weddings (attended together) of all time. Phil gave a wonderful toast as the Best Man, and he didn't appear nervous at all!! So many people complimented him on the speech, it was great :-)

The kids all had fun with my parents, who deserve a nice little getaway themselves now! They were perfect angels (why do they always do that when we are gone?) and got lots of treats. We actually missed them terribly but still loved the time we had together. Especially the 6 hour car ride each way...plenty of time to talk and nobody was throwing up in the backseat or yelling at us to go potty.

I forgot to take my camera with me, so I have no pictures of the wedding, but maybe I'll get to see them later online from the bride and groom's photographer. I was pretty upset at myself for forgetting it :(

All in all, it was good to get away, but great to be home! Happy Gaudete Sunday!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

See ya later...

Phil and I will be leaving in the morning to drive to his best friend's wedding. Well, actually, he says I am his best friend, but this is his best friend since childhood. He will be the best man and we will work on his speech during the long car ride.

This should be our "second honeymoon" as we are leaving all of the kiddos with my Mom & Dad, but alas God has a sense of humor and timed my cycle so that we will be getting a lot of sleep, only sleep. ;-)

The wedding is at night, and kids were not invited. I am nervous to leave the kids, because 4 kids aged 5 and under is a lot for anyone to handle. They are very good kids, but Maggie still wakes up at night, and Eamon likes to get up around 5:30 each morning. My parents will be earning their place in Heaven!!

Anyway, no blogging for a while, but I should be back with stories and pictures to share. See you later, I'm outta here!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fantasy Football

I still haven't figured out why people bother with "Fantasy Football". It seems like it takes too much time and energy.
Below is my version of Fantasy Football:
Oh, Tommy boy, you're so handsome!

But you need to be on your knees more, you are Catholic after all!

Wes Welker has been a great addition to the team...

And not a bad addition to the eyes either!

Matt Cassel, you are quite the man for taking Tom's place.

And you're also taking over his place in my heart (sorry Tom, but Giselle will console you!)

Ahhh, my favorite Referee. I just refer to him as #85 (he's also a married father of six!!)

You can call him Ed "Hercules", I mean Hochuli :-)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bad Mom Award

Today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas, and so the boys left their shoes out last night for St. Nick to come put treats in them.
St. Nick did show up, as promised, and even left a trail of 'Magical Saint Nicholas Dust' as he went.
However, he only filled three shoes (John-Paul's, Andrew's and Eamon's) and couldn't fill Maggie's shoe because somebody forgot to leave hers out.
Whoops! The boys were quite upset that she didn't get anything. At least she isn't old enough to remember!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

I have been thinking a lot lately about marriage. This is probably because Phil and I are going to his best childhood friend's wedding next week, and he is going to be the Best Man. Phil is nervous about giving the speech and has been thinking of what to say. Personally, I would REFUSE to give a speech, public speaking is one of my worst fears!! So he is brave in my book :)

Anyway, what advice would you give to a newly married couple? What secrets would you let them in on? What hopes and dreams would you support, and which ones would you throw out the window?

As for me, I think my best advice is to have kids right away, if possible. We did this, and it has worked out great! I feel that focusing on yourselves and waiting to have kids makes it harder when you become a parent. Because then you have a lifestyle you were used to that gets "ruined" by the baby's arrival, and the two incomes that you were used to making seem impossible to give up in order to stay at home with the kids. Having them right away makes everyone involved learn how to pull together and sacrifice and work as one unit. It makes family a priority and not just an afterthought, it makes married men and women fulfill their roles as God intended, and it makes the early years of marriage fun and exciting, instead of selfish and materialistic.

I know there is another side to this, and everybody has a right to their opinions. Some may say that working and making money first is better (but then is there ever really a 'right' time to have a baby? When have you made 'enough' money?). Some may say that a couple has to get to know each other (isn't that what dating and engagement are for?). Some may say that not everybody who CAN have children HAS to have children (so then what is the real point of marriage?).

Children are gifts from God, and we should remember that even when it gets tiring and hard. In the end, when we look back on our lives, what's really more important than faith and family?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Maggie Turns One

Here's a few pictures from Maggie's birthday. She had a great day, and wants to thank:

Gammy for the beautiful dress

Auntie M for the pretty outfit and Sleeping Beauty movie

Miss Sarah & Miss Katie for the My Little Pony

Miss Laura & Robby for the tights, puffs and red rose (her first flower from a boy!)

Fr. Dave for the alphabet toy (even all the way in Rome, he still managed to get her a present...what a thoughtful Godfather!)

Enjoy the show!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Eamon at two years old

Well, he mispronounces words, says "no" a lot, and doesn't quite get the concept of counting, but we're keeping him!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Maggie!

Maggie turns ONE today!

I can't believe it was a year ago that she came flying out underwater in the jacuzzi at the hospital. (Read more about her birth story here if you're interested)

She's been a great baby, and has blessed our lives sweetly.

She is walking, talking, signing, and keeping us on our toes.

We all love you Maggie Rose, you are our PRINCESS!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Day Art

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Here's a show-and-tell of the kids artwork, actually it's more of a show and none of the tell, I'm too tired :-)