Friday, October 30, 2009

Hi Lo: October 30th


1) Everyday I work, Maggie is either at my sister's house with her daughters or my friend Laura's house with her son Robby. They all love each other so much, and I'm glad they get to play together!
The Three Amigos (Maggie, Abby and Robby)

Abby falls asleep on the floor in the family room.

Robby gets some fresh air on the porch.

Maggie "at work" at her "desk".

2) I love having our Sunday night gatherings with friends. Whether we watch football, play cards or a board game, it is something we look forward to all week!

Some of the Sunday night crew :)

3) Last weekend, we went to a benefit dinner at a country club to support an upcoming (hopefully) Catholic Radio Station in our area. My parents are Third Members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and everyone is trying to pull together to get this project of the ground. See their website here.
1) Just one low this week - I need new glasses after finding that my glasses which used to look like this:

Now look like this:
Anyone have about $300 for some new ones?
Maybe I should make the boys get some part-time jobs since they are the rascals who did this.
On the bright side, it is exciting to get new glasses :)
What were your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

If You Give Colleen a Cookie

If you give Colleen a Cookie,

She's going to eat it and ask for another.

And another.

Because she is a Cookie Monster, and her Prince Charming makes the most delicious cookies ever.

Then she is going to feel guilty about all the sugar she just ingested.

And so she will eat some chocolate to make herself feel better.

After that chocolate, she will have woken up the craving center in her brain, and want to put inordinate amounts of food into her "mummy tummy".

So she will dine on mashed potatoes, pot roast, and carrots.

Then she will feel like a bloated pig ready for slaughter.

So she will go for a long run, about 7 or 8 miles.

When she comes home, she will feel tired and pretty good about burning all those calories.

So she will reward herself.

With a cookie.
(of course)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Week 3

The Good:
Took 3 hour-long kickboxing classes last week
Ran 15 miles last week
Felt smaller/skinnier
The Bad:
Ate too many cookies
Didn't track my points too consistently
The Ugly:
Only lost .2 pounds
I'll do better next week!
A Veggie Blendy Soup Recipe
(from my friend, Theresa and adapted by me a little)
2 Green Squash/Zucchini (I left the skin on, and used two small skinny ones)
4 Carrots
1 Large Onion
In pot, heat 4 tsp olive oil and add:
2 TBS minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Cook until onion is translucent
1 can of Diced Tomatoes w/ Italian Seasoning
Cook for 10 minutes on med heat
3 cups of Vegetable or Chicken Broth
Bring to a boil, and then simmer with cover on for about 20 minutes
Blend soup in blender or food processor
Season with salt and pepper
Makes 4 generous servings at just 1 WW point each :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gratituesday: October 27th

Today I am thankful for so many random things:

1) Vitatops are on sale. If you haven't tried these yet, they are delicious and healthy snacks. They are only one point on Weight Watchers (100 calories, lots of fiber, plenty of vitamins) and make a delicious treat with a cup of coffee! If you buy one package of 24, you get the second package of 24 free!! Just make sure you have freezer room, because they are supposed to be frozen once delivered. Here's the link.

2) Speaking of coffee, McDonalds coffee (any size) is still $1.00

3) I'm thankful that my kids still say such funny things even though they are getting older and *should* know better. It probably doesn't help that I don't correct them, because it's so cute. Here's some of their mispronunciations off the top of my head:

Eamon calls a rhinoceros a "hip-o-nuss"

John-Paul calls a mirror a "nearer"

Andrew calls the sound machine the "monitor"

Maggie calls trucks "f--ks" (I know, so naughty!!) And when we are in the car, she points out everything she sees, so she'll yell out "Big F--k, Big F--k" all the time.

4) I'm grateful that Phil still brings me flowers for the best reason of all - none!

Daffodils are my absolute favorite!!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Costume Party

Last weekend, my family got together to celebrate the October birthdays in the family. My sister Holly hosted the party at her house, and asked us all to dress up. The cast of characters included:
Phil - Chick Magnet
Me - Octomom
John-Paul & Andrew - Spiderman
Eamon - Superman
Maggie - Aurora
My Parents - Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head
Holly & Adam - Jack & Jill
Sue & Bill - Monkey and Soldier
The nieces were mostly all princesses, and the nephews were mostly all superheroes (duh!).
We had such a fun time, yummy food, the kids played "Pin the Face on the Jackolantern" and "Catch the Candy Corn" and we had ice cream cake for all the birthday kids.
Enjoy the pictures at the bottom of the posts (scroll down)!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hi Lo: October 23rd


1) I ran 8 miles on Wed afternoon - longest yet :)

2) I was looking at a magazine (US Weekly, I know it's so shallow) and saw pictures of all of these beautiful actresses and was complaining to Phil that I will never look like them. (I was hormonal, ok?) And Maggie came over and pointed to a picture of Carrie Underwood and said "Mommy". She thought I looked like Carrie Underwood!! Well, that just about made my week :) It's nice to remember how we are seen through our children's eyes and God's eyes every once in a while.

3) John-Paul got his first report card! As far as academics go, he has all A's and A+'s. But when it comes to listening to the teacher, being respectful of classmates, etc. he got B's and A-'s. He is smart but LOVES to joke around with his friends, and thinks he knows it all (wonder where he gets that from??) Overall he got a 91. Pretty good!

4)We went to a Cranberry Festival a while ago, and I finally got all the pictures together....scroll down to the bottom of the last post.


1) I ate 4 cookies on Wed night...oh, I am so bad!

2) Have been up awake a few nights because I keep coughing until I vomit. But everyone says it's a virus and there's nothing I can do.

What were your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How do you sleep at night?

In my striped flannel pj's with clean teeth and a clean face.
In a Queen bed (Oh how I wish it was a King).
With a down duvet in a flannel duvet cover.
Next to my hubby, but not touching him...and not facing him, I need to have my own space and my own air.
On my left side.
With a pillow in between my knees (it makes my back feel better).
With two monitors on (to hear the kids) that are broadcasting the white noise playing in their bedrooms.
Snoring a little (so people say). I don't believe them.
Oh, and drooling a little, as my pillow has evidenced.
Makes for a pretty picture, don't you think?
So how do you sleep at night?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

EMME and WWW: Week Two

{ae filkins}

Week two is over, and I slacked a little more than usual.
Gosh, I'm already cheating too much on my diet - where's my self control?
I was good Tues-Fri and cheated on Monday night, Fri night, Sat night, and Sun night. When I say "cheat" I mean eat whatever I want, and don't count points. I don't eat a whole pint of ice cream, but I do eat a cup of it if that's what I want.

Even in the exercise department, I'm slacking a bit.
I took Thursday and Friday off this week (in preparation for the 1oK Race), but ran 10 miles total and did 3 kickboxing classes. So I guess that was okay.

But the results (somehow) were still good: Lost 2.2 pounds!

So, I'm down 5.4 total and have about 12 more to go.
How is everyone else's journey going?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gratituesday: October 20th

I'm thankful for my friend Karen, who sent me this, and made me grateful that I'm not the only one out there who thinks these things :)
1 Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

2 Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

3 I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4 There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

5 I think everyone has a movie that they love so much; it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

6 How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

7 I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

8 I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

9 The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

10 Was learning cursive really necessary?

11 LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

12 Whenever someone say's "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

13 How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

14 I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

15 While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

16 MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

17 Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

18 I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

19 Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

20 I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

21 Bad decisions make good stories.

22 Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

23 Why is it that during an icebreaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from; this shouldn't be a problem....

24 You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

25 Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection. I finally just got rid of all the old Videotapes.

26 There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

27 I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

28 While watching the Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for China and USA . No, I am not of Chinese descent, but I am fairly certain that when Chinese athletes don't win, they are executed.

29 I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

30 I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

31 I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

32 Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

33 It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

34 I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

35 Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

36 Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

37 I wonder if cops ever get upset at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

38 I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
Got anything else to add?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our First Race

Phil and I ran in our first ever race (well, since high school, at least) on Saturday.
It was a 10K (6.2 miles) and we had 3 goals:
1) To run a race
2) To NOT stop at all - just keep running, no walking
3) To finish in under an hour
Here we are staying warm in the car before the race. It was 45 degrees out, and damp, so we were chilly.
Some old guy walked by while I was doing this silly pose, and I felt, well, silly!
Phil was so nice to come run with me, and he stayed with me the whole time (I threatened sleeping on the couch if he didn't - ha!). He could've run the race faster, but we accomplished all 3 of our goals!
We finished under an hour, I ran it in 58:56 and Phil, being the gentleman he is, came in one second after me.

It was a good experience, and since my parents were watching the kids, it felt like a date! I think the next race on the agenda is the Half Marathon in March, I just need to figure out how to train all winter long.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hi Lo: October 16th


1) It was Phil's birthday on Sunday, and I got him this snazzy vest:

and we went out on a date to The Melting Pot (photo credit belongs to 6-year old, John-Paul):

and then had a group of friends over for some cheesecake (provided by the wonderful Laura) and board games. He got some great books, the latest season of The Office on DVD, an electric kettle, and a subscription to Sports Illustrated (no swimsuit edition!). The kids got him some Redskins shirts (for them to wear) which he loved. He said it was an awesome birthday, so mission accomplished!

2) On Columbus Day, we went pumpkin picking at a local farm, and on a hayride which was a lot of fun! Have I mentioned before how much I love fall??

3) This video made me sooooo happy, I just had to share it:


1) The Patriots lost last weekend :(

2) I think I sprained my ring finger. My knuckle is all swollen and I can't move it without a lot of pain. I taped it next to my ring finger, so now it looks like I am making a "W" sign all the time.

3) So as I was running on the bike path on Wed. afternoon, there were news vans and people all around with video cameras. They asked me to stop and talk, but I declined because I was trying to finish my last run before the race this weekend.

Turns out, they were all there because there was an attempted abduction of a woman on that same bike path that same day!! A man came onto the bike path and grabbed her, pushed her down to the ground, and dragged her into the woods. She fought free and used her cell phone to call 911.

The guy actually turned himself in later that night after a manhunt turned up nothing. He is being charged with attempted abduction, with intent to rape. So scary!! This happened so close to my house, where I walk and run all the time. And it happened around noon - in broad daylight!!

At least I've learned not to run there alone anymore. I didn't even have my cell phone with me, thank God it had happened 4 hours could've been me, but with very different results.

What are your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Phil's Ponderings

Phil was a Theology Major at Franciscan University of Steubenville, then received his Masters in Religious Studies at Providence College, and is currently the Theology Department Chair and Morality Teacher at our local Catholic High School.
So, needless to say, he is a man of deep faith. He is a philosopher, a deep thinker (completely unlike myself!), and a wonderful example of a Catholic man. Here's what he has been pondering lately:
The Foolishness of God is Wiser than Man's Wisdom

A thought occurred to me. Or rather it developed. It seems that most things we complain about are of course the result of Original Sin. If we look to the book of Genesis we see the punishments that resulted from Original Sin. The woman was told that she would now bring forth children in pain (from what I hear, this seems to be the case). She was also told that the man would be her master (Gen 3:16). The man was told he must work to survive and that he would now die (Gen 3:17). A few points must be noted. First of all we must realize that these “punishments” are not arbitrary rulings handed down by God to teach us a lesson. God is not out to get us or make us sorry for the sin of our first parents. The punishments are better described as natural consequences to sin. When humans separated themselves from God, these punishments are the effect of that action. Without that union with God, we will all suffer death, have discord in our male/female relationships, work to survive, and endure great pain (physical and emotional) for our children. And so, most of our complaints are the result of Original Sin. We complain about our jobs, the hours we must work or the pay we receive. We have difficulties within our relationship with our spouse and must work hard to make them successful. We complain about the needs of our children. The effort it takes to have a child and to care for them is tremendous. And at some point in our life we will all suffer the loss of a loved one and ask God “Why?”

We may be tempted to say that we would do better if only God made it a little easier on us. However, the greatest effect of Original Sin is not found in these “punishments”. Our real problem comes from the fact that in our fallen state, we are naturally selfish and we do not love as we should. Before sin, God made us to love like him. We were called to give ourselves away for the good of another. But, as we are well aware, we tend to be selfish - to seek our desires and wants instead. And so, through all of our struggles, trials, and complaints we can see that the “foolishness” of God is wiser than our own wisdom.

First, we can consider why God would allow the relationship between husband and wife to suffer after Original Sin. For a marriage to be successful, it requires work, compromise, and sacrifice. We must learn to put another’s will before our own. We must be willing to swallow our pride and ask for forgiveness when we are wrong. We must be willing to offer forgiveness when we are hurt. We must sacrifice our own will because two people, who seek what they themselves want, will inevitably pull apart, but two people who give completely to the other will come closer together. Marriage is meant to be a path to love.

Next we can ask why would God permit there to be pain in child birth? Again, because it is a sure path to love. What happens to a mother who goes through 9 months of pregnancy followed by (what I hear is) an incredibly painful labor experience. What happens when parents spend their nights feeding/comforting a waking baby? What happens when parents spend their days cooking, cleaning up after, and shuttling around their children from one place to the next? What happens to parents who siege heaven day and night with prayers for their children who are beginning to seek their independence for the first time? The whole process, from morning sickness on, is a sure path to love. We are stretched to our limit and called to give ourselves completely out of a love for another. Being a parent makes us more loving by calling us to give up our selfish desires for the good of our children. It begins before they are born and continues for their whole lives.

The third effect of Original Sin to consider is why we must work to survive. The fact is that work is a necessity for most of us. So many of us must drag ourselves out of bed every morning and work long hours in order to help provide for our family. We may rather spend our days at home or on a golf course, but the necessity of work is also a blessing. For it is in our work that we can learn to give of ourselves and our time for the good of another. It is because of love that parents work to put food on the table or provide a good education for their children. Work teaches us to be selfless.

Finally, because of Original Sin, we all must one day suffer death. The reality of death causes some people great anxiety, but God can even use this “punishment” to lead us away from selfishness to love. For many people it is the reality that we all must go at some point that causes our selfish desires to disappear. If we never had to think about the end, we would always put off working on becoming a better person. But we realize that we are not living for this world, but for the next and so we the importance of love becomes more clear.

It seems that the things that are most difficult for us are often what is best for us. The path to heaven goes by way of the cross. It is our crosses that lead to a resurrection and God has allowed the cross of Original Sin to be the path back to Himself. The foolishness of God is in fact wiser than the wisdom of men.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

EMME and WWW: Week One

{ae filkins}

Okay, so one week of Weight Watchers is over! I was VERY strict Monday-Saturday until dinner on Saturday night. We impulsively decided to take the kids out to Red Robin after a day at the Cranberry Festival. So of course, I had to get a bleu cheeseburger and fries (and ranch dressing to dip them in).
Then on Sunday, I was good again until dinner. This time it was a planned deviation from the diet because it was Phil's birthday and we went to The Melting Pot. A great fondue restaurant, where we had a romantic 4 course meal. It was lovely, but seriously expensive!!
Anyway, it's a new week, and I am back on track. I'm not going to be one of those people that never cheats on a diet. Life is supposed to be fun, and as long as I'm being good about 90% of the time, and exercising everyday, I'll probably continue to have 2 meals a week where I don't count my points.
So now for the results: I lost 3.2 pounds!!
Yeah!! Only 14 more pounds to go until I'm back to my pre-children weight :)
Amber, who hosts Extreme Makeover, Me Edition (click the button at the top) has just suffered a miscarriage...again. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gratituesday: October 13th

Today I am thankful for another successful month of using N.F.P. to postpone pregnancy :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just Another Day (Night) in Paradise

Last week, Phil came home with two tickets to go see Phil Vassar in concert. "Someone" had arranged to buy the tickets for Laura and I to have a girls night out. I still don't know who got the tickets for us, but we had the BEST time!! We sat three rows back from the stage, and actually stood/danced at the front of the stage for most of the night.
For those of you not familiar with Phil Vassar, he is extremely talented. He was a songwriter for years before he started singing on his own, and he also plays the piano and harmonica. He has TONS of songs that I love, and he even played some great oldies like "Footloose", some Grease songs, and "Piano Man". Oh, it was so good!!

(Taken with a camera phone - hence the blurriness)

This is Jeff Smith, who is the backup singer and main guitar player. He rocked! And he gave me his guitar pick at the end of the concert:

Even better than that, I got Phil Vassar's signature
(he must be a doctor, look at the way he writes!):

Then, Jeff Smith, Jason Fitz (we'll get to him in a minute), and another band member (he played keyboard) all signed the back of my ticket:

This is the same piano that he played the night of the concert:

OK, so this is Jason Fitz...isn't he adorable? The night we saw him, he had a blue mohawk, and he was still cute :)
He can sing and play the guitar, and best of all...he plays the fiddle - Be still my heart!!
So, needless to say, I was slightly enamoured with him all evening (for his musical talent alone) and called out his name at the end, and he looked over at me and smiled. Then I went up to him and said (stupidly) "I'm not a stalker, but I think you play the fiddle really well!" (C'mon, who says that??) He looked at me weird, but agreed to take a picture with me:

It's a bad picture of me, but I could care less because he was that talented...yeah, talented ;)
It was such a great night, the band members were all so approachable, and I would see them all in concert every year if I could.

Live it up, baby...

...because this is your last year in your twenties!

That's right, Phil turns 29 today! Isn't he just the most handsome thing you've ever seen?

Happy Birthday to my WONDERFUL husband and best friend! You have given me so much in my life, and are continuously helping me to strive for Heaven in the next life.

You are loved by everyone, but especially by me and our children. We just adore you and can't get enough!

Hope you have a great birthday, and we'll celebrate later :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hi Lo: October 9th


1) Happy Birthday to both my sister-in-law, Larisa.....and Maggie's Godfather, Fr. Dave today!! We love you both :)
2) Andrew had a great 5th birthday on Sunday. He wanted to go to Friendly's restaurant, eat dinner and ice cream and have the waitress sing to him - so that's exactly what we did! He was a little embarrassed by the singing, it was sweet.

He got a new Wii game from us (Wii Resort) which he was very excited about. He also would like to thank:

~Auntie Maura for the Joke Book and Writing Book

~Auntie Sue for the cookies

~Gammy & Grandpa for the fleece pajamas and cool books

~Miss Laura & Pedro for the puzzle/pattern/wooden block game

~Nana & Gramps for the Pirate Sticker set

~Mr. Sean for the hardcover book

3) Maggie has been such a pleasure lately. She is my little helper, makes her brothers laugh, and loves babies, especially her boyfriend, Robby:

4) Still having beautiful fall weather in New England, and loving it!


1) Weight Watchers is making me think about food all the time!! I am learning better portion sizes, but I am constantly hungry :(
However, I do feel thinner already :)
What were your highs and lows this week?

Maggie's Got Moves

I was trying to get Maggie to say her whole name, which she pronounces "Maggie Partin", but no luck. Here she is playing and dancing with her cousin, Abby. Please pay no attention to my messy bedroom in the background :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Extreme Makeover: October 7th

{ae filkins}

I joined Weight Watchers last week, and want to try and post about my successes/failures weekly. So I decided to join in on Amber's Extreme Makeover: Me Edition.

Anyone else on Weight Watchers? Feel free to join me!!

This being my first week (actually this is only my third day), it is hard to adjust. It's taking time and energy to really figure out the points of everything and cook in smaller portions. I am hungry all the time, but hope my body gets used to it.

Their online point tracker is very cool, so I enjoy logging in everything I eat each day. I also LOVE putting in my exercise for the day to see how many extra points I get for the week.

Phil has joined me on this journey, and it doesn't seem too hard for him since he can eat 35 points in one day, while I am stuck with a measly 21. Hmmmph, not fair!

We haven't hit any obstacles yet, such as going out to eat, attending a wedding or similar event. I know those are going to knock us off kilter a bit.

Next week I'll post the results of my first weigh-in. Hope it's good :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gratituesday: October 6th

Today I am grateful for my family. Not my Martin Family, but my Sweeney Family (my parents and siblings). Wait, that makes it sound like I am not thankful for my hubby and kids, which of course couldn't be further from the truth!! But today, I am especially thinking about the family I grew up in.

My Dad was born in Ireland, met my Mom at a dance in Donegal while she was there visiting her parents (who were born there and moved back later). As the love story goes, my Dad fell instantly in love with my mom, and had to wait until the end of the night to ask her to dance because she was so busy dancing with all the other gentlemen. Seriously, my Mom was a hottie!! She was also engaged to her fiance back in America - what a player! (Uh, Mom, if you're reading this, you know what they call girls like that nowadays, right??) But back then, my Mom swears she "just dated" different guys on different nights, it was nothing special. Everyone went on plenty of dates as friends until you finally got serious with one guy.

Well, my handsome Irish Dad was so enamored by my gorgeous American Mom that he moved to the US and lived with her Aunt! Sounds stalkerish, but I guess back in the sixties it wasn't so weird?? My Dad actually knew her Aunt back in Ireland (his parents and my Mom's parents knew each other) so it wasn't that crazy, I guess ;)

(My Dad is on the right, and my Mom is next to him)

But there was still that problem of her fiance. My Dad just kept persevering until my Mom finally realized what was good for her, and broke up with her fiance. My Dad says he had to propose three times until he finally got a yes! Talk about determination! They got married when my Mom was 28 and my Dad was 26.

And got pregnant on the Honeymoon like the good Irish Catholics they were :)

Years passed and in the end, they had 6 children: two boys and four girls. I am number 5, and I was a complete surprise as my Mom was 42 when I was born, but she wanted me to have a playmate, and had my little sister two years later. How generous!!

My Dad was/is a builder and my Mom was a nurse that became a stay-at-home-mom and then a Homemade Ice Cream Shop Owner. It was a fun and yummy childhood on Cape Cod!

All of us kids are married with 3 kids each (except me who has 4!), so the "immediate" family is pretty gigantic. We also all live within an hour of each other, with many of us living in the same town!

I am always being reminded how lucky I am to:

1) Have family live so close

2) Get along with my siblings and parents

3) Have my children grow up with their cousins

4) Have 4 doctors in the mix (free medical advice!)

5) Switch "nanny" duties with my sister(s) so that my kids are well cared for while I work

6) Have grown up with such a strong work ethic (we all had to work in the shop)

7) Have lived on Cape Cod

8) See firsthand the beauty of a Catholic, NFP-using, love-filled marriage

Thanks Mom and Dad, and all my siblings and siblings-in-law, and nieces and nephews. For you I am eternally grateful!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Size doesn't matter

Andrew and Eamon went to a pumpkin patch for a school fieldtrip and were told to pick a pumpkin that they could carry.
Andrew (5) picked the one on the left and Eamon (3) picked the one on the right.
And you know what?
They are both equally beautiful :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Five Already?

Can it be that my second lovie is FIVE?? Andrew has been counting down to this birthday for a while now, he is super excited!
Andrew was my biggest baby (8lbs 4oz) and when he came out with dark hair and blue eyes, I couldn't believe my luck!
He never had a bottle his whole life, just breast fed until he was about one. He also never had a pacifier, he was my only thumb sucker. The boy just preferred flesh to silicone, and who can blame him?

He started crawling at 6.5 months, and walked at 9.5 months - by far our earliest!! Andrew had a milk allergy and needed ear tubes around 16 months old. That was when he finally started to hear us clearly, and with the help of speech therapy was able to say more than just "Daditch" (his word for everything).
He was a typical crazy toddler boy that has grown into a typical crazy big boy:)

Here's his past birthdays in pictures:

And here he is now:

Still my handsome little devil!!

Andrew, you amaze me every day with your sparkling eyes, your reading prowess, the way you remember EVERYTHING, your passion for life, how you stopped sucking your thumb cold turkey, your swimming abilities, and your love of our family. We love you so much, and hope you have an amazing birthday!