Sunday, December 30, 2012

That's What I Like About You

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Well, at least the end of 2012, and through this past year of blogging, I have "met" some new friends, gotten to know old ones even better, and been really thankful for this gift of community.  

I just wanted to do a few shout outs to everyone who inspires me daily to be a better mom, wife, worker, Christian, and human in general.

The Fine Print: The names are in no particular order, and I tried to include all my daily blog reads and regular commenters here.  I am heartily sorry if I have offended thee (oh wait, this isn't Confession).  If you've only been a lurker, please introduce yourself so I can come meet you too!

To The Queen Bean for opening my eyes to this whole blogging world and always leaving me wondering how does she do it all??

Sarah, one of my first and BEST friends ever in the blogosphere.  It would be a dream if we could meet in real life.  Have you ever had one person that you just completely click with no matter what?  Yup...she's that for me!

Dwija taught me the importance of rocking a good pair of boots and why caring about one's appearance shows our children that they are worth the effort.

Cari never ceases to amaze me with her polite homeschooled kids, and the relationship between her and her husband is just so sweet that it's not even annoying.

Grace always makes even the worst mothering moments seem funny and has given me some great diet advice.

Laura is a real-life friend whose son happens to have a crush on my daughter...or is it the other way around?  I love when she manages to post in between feeding the chickens, working in the Emergency Room, and shopping at Loft :)

Katie Rose is a fellow Steubenville alum, accountant, and mom of many.  Her nice posts and sweet children always put a smile on my face.

Kendra and Emily have inspired lots of us to start dressing up for Mass again with their fashion/modesty/faith blog.  Love the WIWS weekly linkups.

Sarah always provides great toy ideas around the holidays and reminds me to simplify, simplify, simplify!

Margaret has husbands everywhere thanking her for her ideas on being a more loving wife.

I feel like I am following along in Rachel's shoes (lots of boys, close in age...and one!girl!) just my shoes aren't as fancy or pretty as hers!

Ana let me in on the best deal in glasses and reminds me of all things Steubenville (Go Gabe's!).

If only I could be half as gorgeous and loving as Christine, I would be completely happy.  And so would my husband and kids.

Michelle is someone I see in real life, but feel like I know her so well through her blog.  What an amazing example of a mom she is!

I think of Stacy and her struggle to start a family often.  Plus, she is my go-to cat lady for any feline questions I have!

Mary is a waaaay better mom of boys than I'll ever be, but for now I'll just keep on getting inspired by her.  Her Intentional Advent series was magazine-worthy.

Maggie is cool just because of her name, duh.  But also because she never hesitates to speak of her struggles with faith in a relatable (and gif filled) way.

I'm so glad that blogs don't move away just because people do.  Jenny's heading to Italy and we'll be enjoying tales of her travels immensely.

Tina changed her blog and blog name, but not her wonderful personality.  Sweet, faith filled, inspirational, all while on crutches?  Yup, she's got it!

Mary makes me laugh and keeps it real with all of her straight shooting.  I only wish we could have been friends when we went to Steubie/Austria together (I think I was too busy only having eyes for Phil!).

Well, Liz and I can be motherly matchmakers since she has four gorgeous girls and I have four, ummm, boys.  And then she can take their wedding photos too since she is amazing!

Jamie is like the next door neighbor you wish you had to go over and get a hug and a cup of coffee.  Her sweet Simeon has gone through so much and her whole family has handled it with such faith and grace.

If you want to read a blog by one of the most intelligent person I've ever met, Jen is your lady.  She's even a reality star now.  And yes, I realize you all know her already!

Marijanna is another friend in real life that just happens to be the future mother-in-law for my baby, Alexander!  Her love for her husband and daughter just oozes through her writing.

Paige has the most uniquely written blog I've ever read, and cracks me up with every post.  I think with toddler twins, a new baby, and a house that's literally caving in, there's nothing to do but laugh!

When I got the chance to meet Simcha at a retreat, I said "Oh!  You write that awesome blog 'I Have to Sit Down', right?" and she replied "Yes, and now I need to find my seat."  You just can't make this stuff up people.  Her writing is beyond inspired - if you're a woman, mother, or Catholic, her blog is a must.

If you've ever thought about creating a dollhouse soap opera, don't.  Because Robyn has already done it and here's no way you can one up her.

Suz's blog always makes me smile when I see pictures of those warm Florida sunny days.  When not saving the Earth, she's  raising two gorgeous teenage girls and I know I'll have tons of questions for her as Maggie gets older!

Beth cracks me up with her realistic posts on raising kids and the funny things they do.  She even gave "the talk" to her son recently, and believe me, I was taking notes!

Aimee, oh Aimee, my sister from another mister.  I feel like we've had at least twelve babies simultaneously.  Or maybe we just took turns.  Aimee is another old blog friend that I WILL meet one day, as soon as we can be not pregnant at the same time!!

Emma is a friend in real life (sorta - if someone is friends with your sister and you sometimes run into them randomly, can you call them a friend?  Yes?  Great!) who is busy raising three of the cutest boys on the planet, and doing a great job at it!

Remember when I needed some mascara advice from the man in Sephora?  Well, I should have just asked Brooke because she took the time to let me in on her grandma's secret for great lash.  Just use an old, cleaned mascara brush as a comb to run through your lashes after you've put on your mascara.  Ain't she smart?

Kate doesn't blog as much anymore but when she does she always types straight to this mother's heart.

Can we please move Texas next to Massachusetts so Lisa and I can be together again?  Oh I miss seeing the Gale family on our holidays, but I am enjoying the pictures of their new home and dry county stories!

Kim writes about all the hilarious life bloopers that come along with raising multitudes of children.  How she handles it all with a sense of humor, I will never know!

You know how sometimes you want to dislike someone because they are just too beautiful, too put-together, too happy to seem real?  But then you realize that they actually are that perfect, and super nice to boot, and you can't help but love them?  Yup, that's Bridget in a nutshell. 

Kathleen and I have a lot in common - 5 kids, a shared last name/Maiden name, and a love of photography.  If only I could do it all partially as well as she does :)  

My favorite Hallie posts are the ones about marriage, especially the topics I can't write about because the moms read my blog ;)  The comments are *almost* as good as the posts - lots of fun and full of tips!

Katie blogs about homeschooling her three boys and fitness and adoption, and rallied the troops in the Little Flowers 5K back in October.  She's a supermom.

Natalie's sidebar list of "Things That Have Gone into the Toilet" should be a mandatory mommy blogger list.  So funny!  And so is her life with three little boys.

Jen was another of the first bloggers I read.  At the time, we both had four kids and stayed (mostly) at home.  Now we both work in the same field and have an Evie in the house (coincidence or stalker-ence?)

Katie has such a natural ease at this motherhood gig that I feel more at peace and ready to tackle the day whenever she blesses us with a post.

Susan inspires me to get my run on and makes having five boys look easy!

Another friend in real life, Rose, writes about life in America with a fresh perspective since moving here from South Africa not too long ago.  Plus, you can get a baby fix seeing pictures of her newest addition!

Jiza can somehow keep it all together while her husband serves our country oversees.  Go give her some love and support!

Therese is another longtime bloggy friend who shares the 3-boys-then-a-girl-path-we-were-on before adding Alexander.  She even helped me with some NFP questions, how nice!

Billie Jo is a new writer I discovered whose blog makes me so happy because she just might be the sweetest woman out there.  So cute!

Thank you lovely ladies for being my online social happy hour(s).  Your wit, family stories, shared tragedies, laugh out loud tidbits and relatable moments have helped me though so much over these past 5ish years of blogging.  You all mean more to me than you will ever know :)

What I Wore Sunday

We went to Mass last night, and it started snowing right before we left.  But did that stop me from posing for the lovely ladies over at Fine Linen and Purple?  Of course not!

The only pose I know, and do you see the snow???

Dress: Old Navy (I have the fraternal twin dress in blue/green also)
Tights: Black from somewhere
Boots: Mudd wedge winter boots, from same place as tights

Note what's not on my face: The new glasses, I think they'll be for home use only but "Phil" (a new customer) is ordering a slightly smaller pair that might just be perfect for "Phil".

And on my arm, some blingy bangles by Alex and Ani (a popular East Coast brand):

These are the birthstones from my first three children...eventually I hope to have all of my babies around my 100% pale white Irish wrist.  Then maybe I can add some of their religious ones.

Can I throw in What My Kids Wore in the Snow?  

Those snowy hoodlums...I just can't quit 'em.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What I Wore on my Face

Ana told me about them,she heard about them from Jenna, and Grace wears them regularly.  

What am I talking about?

Glasses from Firmoo.

I went to order my first pair free for new customers, but somehow didn't follow the right steps, and ended up being charged $48 for the glasses plus shipping.  

I emailed the Firmoo company and pleaded my case of I-don't-know-how-to-work-this-Internet-thingie and they refunded my money so I only had to pay shipping!

I'm not sure how I feel about them because they are VERY big.

Phil said: How come you think wearing your regular glasses makes you look like a geek, but then you order big geek glasses on purpose?

Eamon (age 6) just keeps giggling whenever I walk by.

But Maggie, my sweet darling wonderful little girl, she says I look beautiful!

 Only honest comments, please.  I can handle it :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

First up, a less-than-one-minute-you-can-spare-that-can't-you? video of the kids getting a kitty for Christmas:

We went to my brother, Sean's house for Christmas dinner.  Coincidentally Sean's birthday is today.  Him and Jesus, always forgotten amidst all the Christmas presents.

All six of my siblings and their families were there (a rarity since four are doctors) and my parents had all twenty grandchildren around them.   

What a Merry Christmas indeed! 
So, what did Santa bring to you?

Waiting for dinner

Carving the meat with an electric knife!

Half of the shoes piled by the front door, the other half were by the back door

Me and my sisters!
 Here's where I'll step in to do WIWOC (What I Wore on Christmas) with the lovely Grace:
Jeans: Loft
Fleece top: Old Navy because at $3.97, you just can't beat the price!

As for my sisters, I'm guessing mostly LL Bean, Lands End and J Crew, because they're classy and preppy like that.

Is my mom stroking my sister-in-law's hair?

Was it something I said?  Probably.

Waiting to do the Sweeney Swap...Sweeney is my maiden name

Knock it off, you two, that's what started this big crazy family!!

Faux Tie Shirt: Crazy 8

Making the gravy

Apparently, too many cooks do NOT ruin the gravy! 
The Backrub Brigade

Gammy and her youngest grandchild

Daddy's girl

Three generations of Margaret:
Margaret Rosemary, Margaret Ann, and Colleen Margaret

The KID Table

The Bigger Kid Table

Time for presents!

As crazy as this looks - each kid only receives ONE present from my side of the family.  Easy peasy!

More kids, more presents!

Still going...

I think someone has present envy!

And now I am officially wiped out and ready for bed.  

But it's only 7:30 pm, Colleenie!!!

Yes, that sounds about right!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Christmas Morning in Collages

Click on pictures to see them bigger!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Here we are before Mass on Christmas Eve.  
Phil is feeling much better, thanks for your well wishes!
John-Paul and Andrew served Mass so they were only wearing polo shirts as Monsignor requests.

After Mass, we come home and the kids throw on their pajamas as fast as possible and get to open ONE present while Phil and I make dinner.  It was chicken tacos this year.

Then we have a birthday cake for Jesus (not homemade and nobody cared!) and the kids watch a show (something about a warm blanket and Charlie Brown).  

I snapped a pic of our Willow Tree nativity set surrounded by mail, tissues, and remote controls, and headed back to the kitchen to finish making the cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow.  We only make them once a year and they are delicious!

The kids scurry off to bed by 7:15 and we set out presents, and stuff stockings and get all the cat stuff ready.

Now Phil is off picking up Christmas Evie (the new kitten and our kid's first pet) and I am blogging instead of folding laundry.  

Go see Cari for more Christmas Eve traditions!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What I Wore Sunday: Keeping it Real

So it's Christmas Eve eve, and my husband spent the night writhing in pain with body aches and chills and fever sweats.  He's got the flu, which means I am the flu widow because even though he's home, he basically has to lay around all day which of course makes me wish I was the sick one instead of him he will get well soon.

I did my part and met up with a friend in a parking lot who handed me some prescription Tamiflu that his wife had just used but still had some left.  Is it considered a drug deal if I didn't hand over any money?  No?  Good.

While he was taking said drugs and tylenol and eating toast and emergenC, I whipped up some spinach soup, thanks to Jen's last recipe post.  I called it Christmas Soup because it's green and 4 out of 5 kids ate it when bribed with a Hershey chocolate chaser.

The fifth kid can not be reached for comment because she is upstairs in bed and it's only 5:30 pm.  Yes, she was that indignant about not eating it.

Oh sure, she's all smiles and glee before she actually realized she had to eat it.

 And now it's time for What I Wore Sunday, with all the better dressed women participating over at Fine Linen and Purple.  I usually post a day late because I do actually dress up for work, but don't actually dress up for Sundays if we go to Mass on Saturday.  

But since you asked nicely, I will go ahead and show you how I was dressed all day after I ran and showered this morning.

Jealous much? 

Don't be.  You too can achieve this look by not wearing any makeup, not brushing your hair after the shower, wearing your Target footie pajamas like you're three years old, and smiling smugly at the camera sans teeth.

Merry Christmas Adam (get it, the day before Eve?  She taught me that one)!!

Now off you go...Ho ho ho!

Friday, December 21, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

1)  It's Friday!  12/21/12 and the world is still spinning!

2) It's almost Christmas....and I'm still trying to focus on the REAL reason for the season while managing the demands of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and making my family have a great holiday.

3) Phil and I went on a date to pick up Evie and bring her to the first vet appointment for testing and shots, and then drop her back off until Phil goes to pick her up for good on Christmas Eve.  She's in perfect health and the kids still don't know!!  
I love her already.

If you think a baby blanket in the carrier is spoiling her....
then I won't tell you about the heated cat bed I bought her.
Sweet Liz and her family got a new kitty too!

4)  After the vet (which cost us $122.00!!)  we went to eat dinner at a seafood restaurant where we had a 
2-for-1 coupon.
Apparently I eat like an 80 year old woman.
Fish and chips, coleslaw, and pickled beets.

5)  I have been a busy busy elf at work and home this past week.
Gifts for the faculty and staff.

Muddy Buddy gifts for our favorite coworkers!
You must make these if you haven't already.  Mmmmm!
John-Paul asked "Why would you use a Halloween picture on a Christmas gift?"
To which I responded "Shhhhhhhh"
6) On today's agenda - 3 dentist appointments, 1 allergist appointment, a Christmas party, and Phil's parents coming up to visit for the weekend.  Should be terrible, okay, festive and fun, respectively!
Random picture of our school's chapel decorated for Christmas

We sent out about 50 Christmas cards but only have received 30.  I think I need to start crossing some naughty people off my list...

...just kidding.
'Tis better to give than to receive!