Sunday, December 28, 2014


I turned my computer on to upload some pictures and then I found myself reading through some of the past posts on my blog.  I'm not really sure what started it, but reading through some of them stirred up all sorts of emotions for me.  In a nutshell, I'm so glad I have this outlet to document this wonderful, unique and crazy life I live. I'm grateful to be able to go back and reflect on the many seasons. 

Ever since the dreaded Christmas of 2011, December is a rough month for me.  I don't even think I realize how hard it is until it arrives and I start to feel slightly out of whack (even more so than usual ;).  As time marches on, things are definitely getting easier, but this season certainly still acts as a trigger for some increased anxious moments.  It has been three years, but yet the moment is still so clear in my mind.  I feel like for the entire month of December, I hold my breath...and then finally after I get through New Year's, I feel like I can take a deep breath and go on with life once again.  Honestly, I'm waiting for the day when I have to struggle to remember the feelings of that day, but for right now, they are quite vivid. 

But, just to show that I'm not completely paralyzed by the anxiety that enters with the holidays, here are some glimpses of our Christmas.  

For me, the original play becomes an historical document: This is where I was when I wrote it, and I have to move on now to something else.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Tis the season to neglect the blog.  It's been almost a month since my last post and honestly, it feels like a week.  Really!  

On the one hand, I have a lot to say, and then on the other hand, I'm at a loss for words and can't think of anything to write.  I think for tonight, I'll just go with some random, impulsive thoughts (you should probably be afraid...)

Basically, it's less than one week before Christmas and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with my "to do list".  I have quotations around it because I don't actually have a list, which sometimes makes it difficult to keep track of what I have left to do and many times aggravates a certain person in this house (hint:  not me or my children ;)  

I went to Target the other night, did all my shopping, went to the register and then realized I didn't have my wallet.  I came VERY close to my first holiday meltdown, but I'm proud to say that I held it together (for the most part). 

Sparkee snatched Zart, our Elf, from the Christmas tree the other evening.  It made for a good laugh, after the initial panic from the kids. 

About a month ago, Victor and I went away for the weekend.  Thank you to my mom and dad for not only sending us away, but for taking our family for us for the weekend.  We stopped at the beach during our stay and it was still beautiful, even in the off season.

Lifeguard chairs tipped over are a little sad though.

So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Beautiful rainbows...

Today, Vic and I have been married for 18 sounds pretty crazy to me to be saying that.  

Today I also decided to watch our wedding video with E and Little Miss, and here are some thoughts I had while watching.

-Although I was quite confident I hadn't changed in appearance much in 18 years, my children quickly begged to differ.
"Mom, you looked a lot better a long time ago." "Mom, was this when women were not allowed to vote?" "Mom, it looks like you have a rat's nest on your head."

-Ok, truthfully, we did look young!

-What was I thinking making my bridesmaids have the same hairdos?  Sorry girls...thanks for putting up with that request!

-I forgot how emotional we were when we said our still made me cry today when I watched it, even more so when I thought about how those promises have played out over the past 18 years.   

-I'm so grateful that my family was such a huge part of our day way back when and still continues to have such a strong presence in our lives now. 

-Creepy mustaches were "in".

-We all had a lot less gray hair.

-Portuguese people can dance!

-We have lost so many loved ones throughout the past 18 years and seeing their faces on the video was certainly bittersweet.

-Time flies.

-Maybe if I got married today, I would change some things but, I'd still promise to "love and cherish" the same man "for all the days of my life". 

So much has happened in the past 18 years and it certainly hasn't been all lollipops and rainbows, but life has been good to us, and we consider ourselves blessed.  We experienced some rough weather for sure, but bad storms do make for some beautiful rainbows. 

Happy Anniversary to my love! xo

Saturday, November 22, 2014


In honor of National Adoption Day, here are some pictures of our Little Miss after her performance in Annie last weekend.  She played one of the orphans and had so much fun!

She even autographed a few programs. 
"I didn't want to be just another orphan, Mr. Warbucks.  I wanted to believe I was special."-Annie

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dear Insurance Company...

You suck(today)!  Obviously you have never been close to someone with the Big C otherwise you wouldn't deny my oncologist's (yes, I have an oncologist because I had CANCER) request for me to have an annual MRI.  I realize I do not meet your strict criteria.  No, I do not have a genetic mutation, nor do I have two immediate relatives with breast cancer and yes, the mammogram I had 6 months ago was normal.  But, three years ago I found a big ass lump in my breast and guess what, it was cancer.  Oh, and guess what else, I had a mammogram 6 months before and nothing was detected.  After my diagnosis, I had my breast removed and then I had to have chemotherapy because the cancer I had was an aggressive form and it was also found in my lymph node.  After months of chemo, I also had radiation.   

Yes, I no longer have the big C and I do not anticipate that it will come back, but really, would it be too much to ask for you to allow me to have that reassurance and peace of mind without having to pay out of my own pocket?

Sincerely yours, 


Done my rant for today.  Don't get me wrong, I'm so very grateful to have insurance in the first place and generally the coverage is quite good, but this particular situation is very frustrating.  I can now officially empathize with those of you who deal with insurance frustrations on a daily basis...I'm not sure how you do it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


If you're fortunate, you have met someone in your lifetime whose love and passion for life have been contagious for you to also feel it.  That someone probably exudes happiness, sees the best in others and leaves his/her mark wherever he/she goes.  

This past week, our community, specifically my kids' elementary school community, lost one such person.  She was a kindergarten teacher and mother, a sister, a colleague and a friend to all that she came into contact with.  I did not know Mrs. D all that well, but I knew her enough to know that when you spoke with her, no matter how brief the conversation, you could sense her compassion and love for others.  She genuinely treated all who crossed her path as dear friends. You walked away from conversations with her with a smile on your face.

I remember her joy when I would see her in her classroom with "her kids", her excitement when she greeted the families at a school fundraiser, and her genuine concern when she asked how I was feeling after I was diagnosed with the Big C.  

She truly was one in a million and I'm certain the ripples of her life here on Earth will be felt indefinitely by those who were lucky enough to have met her and even those who did not have that privilege. 

Every now and then it seems our lives need a "tune up".  We occasionally get jolted by sad events that are a cause for reflection.  In honor of Mrs. D. we should all strive to do better and be better.  Hug a friend, teach a child, and make someone smile, and when you do, think of Mrs. D and send her family and friends healing thoughts of peace and comfort.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

― Mother Teresa

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween happenings...

Another Halloween has passed and I do believe we have enough candy here to last us until next October. Usually we trade ours in at the dentist, but it didn't happen this year.  I think we will have to find somewhere else to send it.

We had a small Hoopla the week before Halloween.  I used to go all out with planned activities and games, but this year I didn't really do too much to get ready...working full-time kind of got in the way.  The kids are just happy running around and playing with each other anyway...

Those photos were taken before all the other guests arrived and then I really didn't take my camera out for a group shot...I'm kind of bummed out about that.

 I did plan a couple things; one was a scavenger hunt. I took photos of various decorations in my house and the kids had to find them.  

And then there's the ole Donut on a string game.  I'm pretty sure E is undefeated in this event. I can't even get a picture of him because he is able to grab the donut off the string faster than I can take the photo.

This photo was taken on the night of Halloween.  Right after I snapped this photo, there was a line of people standing there(I'm not exaggerating) to take a picture with my nephew who was like a celebrity with the "holding his own head" costume.  Fun times! 

If human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I have a love/hate relationship with technology.  Although so many aspects of it have made my life and so many other lives easier, it is also the cause of so many headaches...especially in this house.  

I have one child in particular who is addicted to technology.  He is 10, he has been diagnosed with ADHD and he and technology, primarily video games, are not a good combination.  Although we have worked very hard to control the usage in this house and only allow screen time (of any nature) on the weekends, it's a never ending source of frustration and discussion in our home.  One of his most common phrases being, "It's so not fair mom, everyone else has devices and can use them whenever they want!"  

Out of respect for our privacy, especially our 10 year old's, I will not go into any other detail about our lives and video games.  I will just say this...I would be perfectly happy if all video games were nonexistent.  I can't stand them!  Everything is so easily accessible to children, and it's a full-time job to "police" our kids.  I'd be happy to cross that particular task off my parenting list.  

And in case you need some reasons to dislike technology, here is a link to 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should be Banned for Children Under the Age of Twelve.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Our Superstar...

When Little Miss told us she wanted to play soccer again this season, we were very surprised.  I asked her several times if she was sure she wanted to play, secretly hoping that she would change her mind because I dreaded the thought of her being miserable every week when it was time to leave the house.  The last time she played she didn't seem to enjoy it all that much and she generally liked to practice her acrobats instead of dribbling when she was on the field.  She often played for a short time and would then give herself a time-out for the rest of the game.

This session she played every game and some of the time she actually seemed to enjoy herself.  She especially liked playing goalie.  

 Although our Little Miss is not a superstar athlete, she is our superstar, and, it was great to watch her put some effort forth and gain confidence and skills.  We are proud of her for sticking with it, even when sometimes it wasn't her favorite thing to do.
 During the last game, she even came close to scoring a couple of goals, and I had some proud Momma moments.  

It made me forget that she had a meltdown 5 minutes before leaving for the game because her cleats were too small. 

 And now she is already talking about playing again...
 "No one succeeds without effort...those who succeed, owe their success to perseverance."
-Ramana Maharshi

Saturday, November 1, 2014

That's a wrap...

Another October, or shall I say Pinktober,  has come and gone.  It's time to move on. Although being surrounded by pink all month has its emotional challenges, I do generally love the month of October.  The natural colors that surround us in New England are really beautiful.  

I took E and Little Miss to the water treatment facility nearby to snap a few quick was on a whim. I was able to get a few that I really love. You can see some in my new blog header.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Conquering the mountain...

Several times since I've returned to work, I have had people say things to me like "How are things going?  Just like you never left right?"  To these comments I usually say something like, "Well..." because the truth is...

It really does not feel like I never left.  I mean the job itself is much like a soap continued almost in the same place where it left off.  The thing that is different is the person playing the part. I don't like to continuously wallow in my own self-pity and review the traumatic events of the past 3 years, however, I think it's also important for me to acknowledge the fact that things are not ever going to be what they once were. I'm still in the process of finding my groove, and I will tell you, some days it's not the easiest task.  I still get in my car at the end of the day, take a deep breath and think, "I did it, I made it through another day", well half of one anyway, because then I get home and the 2nd half of my day is just beginning.  

I'm still trying to find the balance.  I'm trying to get myself to a point when it doesn't feel overwhelming to look at the day ahead of me, when I'm ok with a not so clean house, lots of laundry and thrown together meals.  This transition phase is hard, especially for someone who likes everything to be just so.  I'm trying to be patient with myself as I continue to make this adjustment and work through the glitches.  A special "thank you" to those of you who are also patient with me as I continue to adjust...I know it's not always an easy task to be along side me on this journey, especially when the terrain is not always smooth.  Thanks for packing your bags and coming along for the hike as I conquer this mountain!

*Above photos taken at Hill Orchards.