My lunch break walks...
Friday, October 28, 2022
Week in Review: Things That Make Me Happy
Monday, October 24, 2022
Weekend Wrapup: Food, Friends and Festivities
Friday, October 21, 2022
Week in Review: Too Busy, Too Spooky and Too Good
|He said this 7 hour hike was the most physically demanding thing he's ever done.|
|Andrew #11 killing it on defense|
|Maggie (blond ponytail) killing it at net|
|Xander killing it in the pool|
|Brendan killing it his first time as goalie|
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Seven Things Our Kids Do (or Don't Do) That Surprise Us
My kids have never called Shotgun. When we get in the car, the oldest gets in the passenger seat, and the rest get in the back, and nobody fights about it. Isn't that weird? I remember always trying to run out to the car first to get the precious front seat. Our younger kids just defer to their older sibling.
My kids ask permission to eat anything in the house. They ask if certain leftovers are off limits, they ask if they can have a snack, they ask what's for lunch, etc. This absolutely floors me as I remember just going into the fridge or pantry whenever I wanted and eating whatever I wanted. I think this started because our firstborn was such a people pleaser & rule follower and the rest of the kids followed suit.
I know why our kids don't do friend sleepovers (family sleepovers are fine), and it's because we say no to them. But they don't seem to mind the rule very much at all! Both my husband and I can remember begging to go on sleepovers all the time when we were kids. We both regretted those sleepovers after, feeling sleep-deprived and sick the next day, and it makes me happy that our young kids don't seem to miss it. Our oldest did sit us down before his senior year of high school to discuss the sleepover rule, and we agreed with his points that senior year would be a good transitional year before leaving home for college to allow our kids to have friend sleepovers.
I'm pretty sure most parents feel this way, but our kids are so much less independent than we were growing up. We would ride our bikes around, meet up with friends and not come home until the street lights went on. We would go into stores and spend our money, head to the beach or park, go to the library and check out books, all sorts of things on our own. My kids are nervous to ride their bike on the bike path or buy something at the convenience store alone until they are much much older.
5) Hanging with Friends
Hanging out with friends was LIFE for us growing up, but my kids don't do it nearly as much. We used to make friends with anyone even close to our age in our neighborhood, but our kids don't even know who lives in the neighborhood. Instead they can play xbox with friends/cousins or text them on the phone, but hanging out in person happens extremely infrequently until they get their driver's license.
6) Saint Life
I give credit to our kids' Catholic elementary school and our parish where they learn and celebrate saints all year long. Because of this, they grow a true desire to become a saint, and it is easy to help them navigate their choices in life. Does this help you get to heaven or not? What did St. Francis teach us about helping the poor? What would a saint do in this case? I just remember not wanting to get in trouble, but not necessarily trying to become a saint, which puts a much more positive spin on choosing certain behaviors.
7) Stage Presence
Phil and I used to both have horrific stage fright. He outgrew his and became a teacher and I didn't and became an accountant :) Again, I give credit to their school and our parish where my kids are all very involved, but they seem to have no fear to get up in front of people to speak or volunteer to get on a stage/altar or even say yes to playing the role of Sparty (the high school mascot) when asked:
Monday, October 17, 2022
Brushes with Fame
Have you ever met anyone famous? Some of these I didn't get to "meet" per se, just saw them in the same room and didn't have the nerve or chance to talk to them. Here are my brushes with fame:
When I was a teenager, somehow Bob Vila heard that I was a trustworthy babysitter in Osterville and asked me to babysit his daughter a couple times. He came to pick me up at the house, and famously mentioned that the brick walkway needed to be fixed. My dad built custom homes on the Cape, so it was very embarrassing!
Mr. Gajowniczek, the man that St. Maximillian Kolbe saved, came to our house when I was a teenager and stayed overnight because he was giving a talk at our church. Hanging around with him felt like hanging around a living saint...surreal.
|Pope John Paul II|
Matthew Slater, a long-time Patriots player, came to speak at our diocesan fundraiser and I managed to interrupt him between the salad and entree course of his dinner to get this awkward photo with him and his signature and was able to tell him how much my boys loved him.
OK your turn! Who did you meet and how did you act? Much more professionally than me, I'm sure.
Thursday, October 13, 2022
The Sweeneys and the Drummeys
My mom had a friend in high school named Jim Drummey, and while my mom was certainly popular with the boys (sorry Mum but you know it's true) I don't *think* they ever dated. Eventually she married my dad and became a Sweeney, and Jim married Terry and they all had a bunch of kids. I think there were 14 children between the two families.
Well of course, all of the children grew up together and became friends and the large Irish Catholic Sweeney and Drummey families were well known in Norwood, MA. They even vacationed together each summer in Popponesset on Cape Cod, where my parents had a beach house. Jim and my mom used to lead a Religious Ed class and lead the rosary each morning on the screened porch for all the kids because, as Jim would say "There's no vacation from God!" and then everyone walked down to the beach and had a blast all day. Jim and Terry are my godparents but sadly I didn't see too much of them once we moved to the Cape permanently when I was six. They sent me cards on my birthday (always with cash inside, so exciting!) and we would see them at family weddings and funerals and the like. While my four older siblings had deep friendships with the older Drummey kids, my sister and I played with the youngest two Drummey kids, John-Paul and Meg, but lost touch quickly as we were young.
|Summer Sweeneys and Summer Drummeys (Meg on right in second row from top)|
Back in August my mom told me that Meg was in the hospital, after having suffered a brain aneurysm while watching her son play hockey and it wasn't looking good. I started praying for Meg, mom of four boys, and donated to a GoFundMe set up by her sister, who had recently lost her husband unexpectedly. Meg's husband started a journal here.
In September, my family went to a friend's house for dinner. We were talking about where we grew up, and stories from our youth. The husband, after hearing I was born in Norwood, said "Wait do you know the Drummey family?" and I said yes, that Mr. and Mrs. Drummey were my godparents! He said "Well then I'm sure you've heard about Meg?" and I said I had and he and his wife (a doctor) expressed concern since she had been in a coma for so long. I asked how he knew Meg, and he said that he grew up next to and was good friends with her husband, Walter Corcoran. What a small world!
But wait, it gets even smaller.
In the car on the way to school, the little boys and I were saying our prayers and talking about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati because JP is going to Pollone, Italy this weekend to visit his summer home and hike where he used to hike. I was telling the kids that he was known for being very athletic and hiking to and from mass each morning before his parents even woke up. He was also known for being really joyful, and I said that's how we should all be as christians, because we love Jesus and we want to share his love with everyone, and nobody wants to be around mean and negative people.
Xander (age 11) pipes up "Yeah like Blessed Carlo Acutis was joyful too and started a website to tell people about eucharistic miracles. Oh that reminds me...my math teacher said that his daughter-in-law has been sick and in the hospital for a long time and they were praying to Blessed Carlo Acutis for a miracle, and then she was able to go home yesterday ON HIS FEAST DAY!"
I nearly crashed the car in excitement. "Wait. What?! Is his daughter-in-law's name Meg???" Xander didn't know her name, but he knew that she was at a hockey game when something happened to her brain and she had to go to the hospital. "That's her! That's Meg!" I yelled. I asked him who his math teacher was (he is new this year and I have too many kids to know everybody's teacher's name) and when he said "Mr. Corcoran" I squealed with excitement! It was Meg! She came home!
She still has a long way to go to heal fully, but I am so thankful to God, through the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis, that she is home with her family. If you are able, can you please spare a prayer and/or donate financially to help this beautiful family? If anything, Meg's story has taught me that this is a very small world, and we all are in it together.
Oh and that's my godmother in the photo, on the left :)
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
A Montreal Recap and Another Birthday Boy
Happy Birthday to Mr. Martin today!! I could gush and gush about how much we all love him so, how selfless and dedicated he is as a father and husband, how easy he is to get along with and how we would all choose him over and over again, but instead I'll tell you about our weekend away to Montreal. I think that's what he would want :)
Is there a more beautiful time to drive through the Northeast than in the fall? Methinks not.
Phil and I took Friday off from work, dropped the kids off at school and headed up to Canada, eh? I always thought I hated long car rides with a passion, but it turns out that when it's just him and I in the car, it's more like a long date :) We drove about 4 hours to Burlington, Vermont and stopped for lunch while being completely underwhelmed by the city. Then back in the car for another 2 hours to Montreal! Of course, we had to go through the border first, which was extremely nerve-wracking. It made me feel like I was hiding something even though I wasn't.
We drove straight to a nordic spa, and God provided beautiful weather for us after a rainy day. The spa had hot springs and cold plunges, a sauna, and plenty of places to relax. It was very nice, but too expensive and a one-and-done type of experience. Hey, you only celebrate 20 years of marriage (belatedly) once :)