Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Quick Takes

It's Friday and it's summer, so that means I have the day off!  Yay! We've got some big plans for the day - oh wait, it's raining.  Looks like a movie and eating type of day.

John-Paul and Andrew have been at Altar Server Boot Camp the last three days.  They go to morning Mass, listen to a talk (one given by their Dad on the vocation of marriage!), eat treats, learn altar serving stuff, eat more treats, play sports, and eat some more treats.  Obviously they love it, and Eamon can't wait until he can become an altar server "so I can eat chips and candy and soda".  Hey, whatever brings them closer to God ;)  Today they are actually headed to Sky Zone in Providence, RI...lucky boys!

Oh my gosh, this week has been so so hot.  Isn't it hard to exercise when it's hot out?  I ran in the morning on Wednesday to try and beat the heat, but it was still 76 degrees at 6 am.  Hardest run ever.  Even going to the air-conditioned gym feels too difficult to do because you still have to walk from the car to the gym in the stifling heat and humidity.  It's really the humidity that gets ya, I need to move to New Mexico or Arizona or wherever it's not humid.

Maggie's new romper, and because you all crushed my dream of wearing one as a grown woman, I didn't get a matching Hello Kitty one.  You're welcome.

I can't believe how stupid this whole Aaron Hernandez thing is.  Or rather how stupid he is to rent a car that was used in a murder.  He's sitting in jail very close to our home, and I hope he's got a good alibi, but I'm thinking not.

Speaking of disappointment, the Supreme Court ruling is just that.

Off to see Jen for more, and Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Black and White

Growing up, I went to schools where 95% of the population was white.  My friend, Tia, in high school was the only black student in our grade.  I never really thought about that until I went away to college, and became the Tia in my group of friends.  

My first friend at Franciscan was Liesl from Dominica.  She was friends with Palesa, also from the same Caribbean island, who became my future roommate.  Liesl started dating an awesome guy named Adrian from St. Lucia, who also became my close friend.  So it was a close knit group: me and the West Indians.

Then Sophomore year, I asked for a new roommate and was placed with Andie, a twin from the Philippines.  Of course, her twin sister Mandie (how cute is that?  Andie and Mandie!) became a treasured friend, and then Andie started dating Hideki from Indonesia.  So now it was me and the West Indians and the Asians.  But that's not all, we also partnered up with a princess from Uganda named Joan, but pronounced Joanne.  Princesses are picky like that.  Finally, another white boy, Tristan, from the Cayman Islands joined our cultural clique and my friend Anne (American!) was given membership into the International Group and there you have it.  

Now, hanging out with this group was so so so fun.  They made fun of me incessantly for my naive and localized views on the world.  They had travelled all over and spoke different languages and knew how to have fun wherever we went.  Do you know what it's like going to a club and being the only white girl dancing in the group?  A little like this:

For our Four Day break one year, we rented a huge van (ahem, like the one my family owns embarrassing)  and drove from Ohio to Massachusetts to stay with my family.  I think the phone call home the week before went something like this:

 "Umm, Mum, is it okay if I bring some friends home for break?"

"Sure, honey, we'd love to meet your friends!  How many are we talking about?"

"Just my close friends, so twelve."

"Uh, okay, we will figure it out.  Sounds fun."

"Oh, and can you please tell my not-racist-but-raised-in-Ireland-around-only-white-Irish-people-and-sometimes-can-be-a-little-blunt-Dad that they are all from other countries and different races.  Thanks" 
(Hang up quick.)

It was an awesome trip, and college experience.  I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Fast forward to present day.  My kids go to a school in a city where there are nationalities and races from all over.  I love it.  They are following in their mom's footsteps and becoming the whitest whiteys in their group of friends:

And you know what's great? No matter what race or background or color God made us...

Now off to Cari for more Theme Thursday: Black and White

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

5 Faves


Gone are the days of slathering sunscreen lotion all over my pale Irish Kids (except Andrew - he got the good Italian skin tone).  Just spray and go!


I know, I know, a lady doesn't sweat, she glows, but on these 90 degree humid days you want to make sure you're wearing a nice smelling deodorant just in case you sweat.  But not me, I'll be glowing.

We had Pioneer Women's Cauliflower Soup from this cookbook last night, and it was yummy!  I ignore the butter, milk and cream ingredients and focus on the veggies and tell myself it's a healthy meal.  I actually did triple up on the carrots, celery, and there.

Bloggy Buddies.

Like this one:

 who's hosting a donation for this one:

Little girls in rompers.  
I love rompers, in fact I have a pair of pajamas like this, and they are my fave!  But, I'm not brave enough to wear a romper out in public, yet.  

So instead, I just dress my mini-me in them:
Last year, but it's the only romper picture I could find!

Now off to Hallie and the rest for more favorites!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sorry, Honey

Want to know a secret?  Phil and I barely argue.  I don't know if that's a good thing or not, since I think passion can take the form of heated arguments from time to time.  So every once in a while, I make sure to start a fight just to keep those love flames burning.

Last night, after a super hot and humid day, we returned home from track club at 8:15 with all the kids and I mentioned that now would finally be a good time for a run, since it was 78 degrees instead of the scorching 90's like it had been all day.  Phil sweetly said "Go ahead, I'll put the kids to bed".  

I started trying to retract my words "But it is still humid out and it's getting late..."  

"Just go where there are street lights and do a quick 3 miler", he suggested.

Now I felt like I had to run because I had no excuse except my own laziness, and I had not yet exercised, and my husband was all but pushing me out the door.  And so, I started to get angry at him.  Does he think I need to run because I'm fat?  Shouldn't he want me to stay home and hang out with him?  My protective Dad and brothers would not want me running at 8:30 at night all alone, why didn't Phil care?

I got on my running gear and headed out into the quickly darkening night.  I made sure to tell Phil that I was wearing my Garmin so they could track my body if I never made it back home and I stormed off.

I put on my music and ran nice and fast, fueled by my anger at Phil as much as my fear of the dark.  At one point, a car pulled into a driveway right in front of me, and I thought "This is it.  I'm about to get abducted." But then I realized they were just coming home with groceries.  At mile 2, two teenage boys were walking ahead of me, so I switched to the other side of the street as to avoid heckling by hoodlums.  And when I saw two men emerging from a car with a pizza, I just knew I would be on the morning news Angry wife murdered at her own request, just to stick it to her husband.

When I finally ran into our driveway, Phil was out on the porch calling my name and making sure I was okay.  I huffed and puffed up the stairs and saw the Redbox movie that still.wasn't.returned and yelled something about how nothing ever gets done unless I do it.  He quietly took the movie back to the store as I was left to sit in a pool of sweat and guilt.  

I thought back on the day and realized everything Phil had done for our family.  He was home with all the children while I worked, went to the doctor for the bug bite (he's on steroids and getting better), cleaned the house, made dinner, was supportive of my wishes to exercise, was worried about me but didn't want to try to stop me, and  then he just let me take all my frustrations out on him.  

As soon as he came home, I apologized for being a girl, and now I know why we don't argue too much.  It stinks.  We can celebrate our passion in other (more fun!) ways.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bug Bites, Dwija Donations, Slenderizing Swimsuits, and Mystery Mondays

My poor husband got stung or bit by something yesterday when we were at a friend's pool, so his handsome face which normally looks like this:

now looks like this:
Got Benedryl?
 He took two doses of benedryl last night and some Claritin this morning, but it's not helping so he'll be calling the doctor today.  Poor guy.  The funny thing is that the kids didn't even notice until around 7 am this morning when Andrew told him his eye looked weird.

Cari is being an awesome Christian and amazing friend and raising money for Dwija's basement/laundry horrors.  Because with all that's going on with her sweet unborn baby, she should not have to worry about the laundry.

You can donate over here.  Also, Katrina who sponsored my hair clips giveaway, is going to have a party where all proceeds will benefit Dwija's laundry fiasco, and you can go here to help!  So many good people!!

A different Katrina pointed me in the direction of a miracle swimsuit that was only $25 from WalMart.  I had to try it!  It came and it actually is flattering, and I got some compliments on it from people who aren't my husband or children, which are the only kind of compliments that count ;)  I even have a picture proof of it's amazing capabilities, but I'm too shy to post it here, you can see it over here.

Anne's Mystery Monday Ingredient this week was jalapenos, and since I won't be cooking with those anytime soon after the burning eye episode, I thought I would just point you towards a different kind of pepper recipe I make a lot.  Is that cheating?  I think yes, but go see what the better chefs have created! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

7 Quickest Takes Friday

1) I am so mad at Burger King right now.  I went there this morning to get a medium iced coffee, and asked for it with "cream, no sugar".

First of all, the price was $2.45 for like the smallest "medium" cup of iced coffee ever!  Then they put sugar in it!  I gave it away to a coworker.  It's McDonald's $1.00 big medium iced coffees from now on.
I'm loving it.
Summer lunch - chopped caprese salad.


I just got this book for Phil for Father's Day, and so far so...awesome!  We just love Jim Gaffigan.

I am having a major caffeine withdrawal headache right now.  See number 1.

Tomorrow we are heading up to Phantom Gourmet's BBQ Beach Party in should be awesome!  And I think I'll be skipping the weekly WW weigh in this week ;)

For you moms of girls ~ do you prefer your girls hair short or long?  If it's short, do you have to style it? 
Terrible picture, but wanted to get her hair in it.
  Maggie's is always looking so ratty and tangly and I think we need a new system.

OK, go have a nice summer weekend everyone.  And don't forget to enter the beautiful hair clip giveaway that ends this weekend!!
Martin out!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Water, Water, Everywhere

Playing with Cari for Theme Thursday: Water

As Mary pointed out in  yesterday's comments, I am very thankful for how close we live to the beach.  Although I don't actually go swimming in the ocean for fear of sharks and crabs and jellyfish, my kids love it and it's a fun, free family event.  Winning!

When we don't feel like braving the sand and jellyfish, we head to a splash park or pool to cool off without getting too dirty.  How blessed are we?

I truly do appreciate God's gift of nature.  I don't want to sleep in it or swim in it...

 ...but it sure is pretty to look at!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Five Favorites: It's June!

Playing with Hallie and her Five Favorite Fanatics.

Strawberry picking!
Eamon at 21 months

We haven't even gone yet this year, but it's on the summer to-do list!  The kids love gorging themselves on fresh strawberries while they pick a few, and I love coming home and making a cake with fresh strawberries.  Yummy!  Then in July, it's raspberry picking and blueberry picking in August, followed by apples in September.  Love!


If you want an easy and delicious white cake with white frosting recipe, here it is!  I've made it exactly as the recipe reads, and also with vanilla extract in place of the almond extract and they are both delicious.  I love sheet cake because the ratio of cake to frosting is perfect!

I just ordered this for Xander's 2nd birthday next month.  

(But I think we will have to break it out before then...he's too little to care, right?)


Going to the beach this summer needs to be streamlined for Phil or he can't handle all 5 kids and their stuff.  (What a saint, I can't handle 5 kids at the beach alone, never mind all their stuff!)  This beach cart makes it possible.  It folds up in the car, then you get to the beach (or pool) and throw everything in it and only have one thing to drag instead of towels and bags of sand toys and chairs and floaties and sunscreen and a cooler.  So much easier!

Anne from Bazin Chronicles nicely reminded me that I could join in their Mystery Ingredient Mondays, Mint Edition with my mint chocolate brownie recipe:

Mint Chocolate Brownies
 So easy to make but seem more complicated...which is exactly the kind of thing I like to serve to guests :)

Just bake these brownies as directed:

While they are baking, unwrap a whole box of these (this is a great kid cooking opportunity):

And when the brownies come out of the oven, layer the candies on top and once they start melting, just spread it around like frosting.

Let cool (sometimes I put them in the fridge to let the topping harden faster) and serve.

 I think the next mystery ingredient is jalapenos, which means I need to remember to have the milk ready for my eye ;)