Friday, February 28, 2014


This week we
celebrated the 100th day of school,
enjoyed the beautiful sunsets,
crafted with Memere,
and enjoyed glimpses of spring 
and brisk evening walks.

Sometimes when we have tough days, it's hard to see the beauty that surrounds us.  Looking back at these pictures, although they are few, it is evident that the beauty is there.  Sometimes we just have to look a little harder for it.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

-Ashley Smith

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Random Thursday Post...

I have all the windows open (while it's snowing outside) because I almost set my kitchen on fire.   Sometimes I'm a space shot; I try to get too much done at once and well, let's just say, sometimes things backFIRE (pun intended).  

Have you heard this song?  I heard it this morning for the first time and I actually started crying in the car...goodness, sometimes my emotions are very raw...

...I think the words in the song are beautiful.

Being a parent is hard!  I know this isn't some new found revelation, but I just thought I'd put it out there.  I question myself constantly, wondering if the decisions I make as a mother are the right ones.  I pray that even though I don't get it right all the time, my children will grow up to be happy and confident adults because their lives are filled with love.    

I'm now freezing and the house is pretty much clear of smoke so I'm going to conclude this random post and attempt to make my lunch (again.)  This time I will pay attention.  Thanks for reading this disjointed, random rant...

If you so choose, each day can be filled with even more joy than the one before. If you so choose, even the most seemingly random events can work in your favor.

Monday, February 24, 2014

10 years...

Ten years ago on this date, our E came home...forever!  For us, it was one of the most exciting days of our lives, life changing for sure.  For E's birth parents, it was life changing as well, but for very different reasons.  

Honestly 10 years ago, I wasn't fully in tune with all of the challenges and emotions that come with adoption.  I still saw it from the perspective of an outsider.  I dreamed of the moment I would hold my baby and know that he was mine forever.  There was no sadness or anguish in my world, just pure happiness.  I had already experienced my loss through failed attempts at getting pregnant and miscarriages.  I had reached the light at the end of the tunnel.  That day, however, I was whacked in the face with the reality that adoption is hard, beautiful, but hard. While we were in the midst of our immense joy and elation, there were two young people experiencing the intense pain and the first hand effects of loss after placing a baby for adoption.  I "know" their feelings through words they wrote to us on that first day and first week.  Their words were heart-wrenching.  

"We must be careful not to sanitize, sentimentalize, or even glamorize the pain of adoption.  
-James Gritter, The Spirit of Open Adoption

The joy I initially felt became blurred with guilt.  How can we be celebrating while others are suffering a devastating loss and broken heart?  I remember selfishly wishing that "our moment" wasn't tainted.  I just wanted to look at my boy and be his mother, but in order to do that, I needed to acknowledge all the feelings of adoption, not just the joyful bliss that comes from becoming a parent.  

"We also recognize that pain contributes significantly to the breadth and depth of our existence.  It is a necessary element of life, and it is an error to conclude that anything painful should be eliminated."
-James Gritter, The Spirit of Open Adoption

I'm pretty sure my heart physically grew that day, not only because we became parents to a beautiful baby boy, but because we "experienced" all the feelings that come from adopting a child.  My thinking has evolved to now cherish and even be grateful for all the moments of our experience, even the ones that could rip your heart out. I don't even pretend to think I understand the pain experienced by birth families, but now I can at least acknowledge it.  When my little boy asks me about his first parents, I "know" their words and their struggles and try my best to express to him just how much they love him. 

"Lovingly created adoption can transform extremely difficult circumstances into something beautiful, but it cannot alter the fact that each person's journey begins with loss."
-James Gritter, The Spirit of Open Adoption

Today we celebrate, not only the gift of adoption, but a little boy who has transformed our hearts. He is our smart, but stubborn, loud, but affectionate, spirited E.  We cherish and love you bunches little man.  Happy 10th Gotcha Day!

I've written about E's gotcha day the past couple of years.  You can find those posts here and here.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Another week has come and gone.
We started our Valentine's Date at the PBruins game.  E's 4th grade class sang "God Bless America".  I have a video of it, but I'm too lazy right now to upload it. Mom and Dad then took all the grandchildren to their house for a sleepover and Vic and I had a date night.

 At the game, Little Miss got to spend some time with one of her favorite cousins.  Now that they're both in school full time, I think they miss each other.
 We played a game of Scrabble with the kids, oh wait, they bailed after 10 minutes.
 Little Miss likes to hang out on the swing even in the snow.
 I have the sweetest parents.

Soccer camp during winter break makes for happy kids and a happy momma. 

 This happened again this week, and today we had warmer temperatures, melting snow and a thunder and lightning storm...only in New England.
 E had his 10 year appointment this week.  He's too big for the exam table. How did that happen? 
 The kids opened a portrait studio this week.
 E made a Portuguese flag for camp.  His team won the "World Cup" and he won for the biggest flag. I had nothing left in me when E "remembered" he needed to make a flag past his bedtime the day before he needed it. Daddy came through and they put this together in 30 minutes.  Good work boys!

“I'd rather have a moment of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There are no words...

just snow.

“Kindness is like snow - it beautifies everything it covers”

Friday, February 14, 2014


My Instagram photos from the past couple of weeks...  
 They are mostly snow pics because, well, that's been our life most recently.

 Stuffed animal day at school was most exciting for Little Miss.  She got to bring her best friend, Ellie, with her.

 Snow days provide lots of time to complete projects.  Building this Lego proved challenging, but persistence paid off.
 Snow days also provide time for baking.  We tried this recipe.  They are tasty, but definitely not as pretty as Andrea's.
Happy Valentines' Day to all of you!

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”
-Morrie Schwartz 

Today, I'm linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Waiting patiently for Spring...

It has certainly been a beautiful winter,

 But, I think I'm starting to feel that it's time for the snow to melt.  Bring on the warmer weather! 
 I say this with another storm predicted for tomorrow.
 I guess I'll have to be patient and hold out for spring just a bit longer.
Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Do you ever have one of those weeks when the same theme keeps repeating itself in various situations and you can't help but examine it a little more closely?  There have been several times this week during different conversations, events, and experiences when the same word came to mind....EXPECTATIONS.  

One definition of expectation, found on, defines it as "the degree of probability that something will occur". 

When we travel to a doctor's appointment during rush hour, we expect it to take longer.

When we work hard in our graduate class, we expect to get an A.

When we teach our kids right from wrong on a daily basis, we expect they will do the right thing.

When we live with someone for 18 years, we expect he/she will know exactly how to react when we are upset. 

We need expectations to be successful in life.  Positive expectations can guide us to do the right thing, to perform to our greatest capacity, and to have a good outlook on our future.  However, can the high expectations we have for ourselves and others also cripple us?  Can they cause us to be bitter and upset when things don't necessarily go the way we expected? Do they prevent us from being grateful for all that we do have?  

Speaking for myself, I'd say my high expectations do indeed sometimes hinder me from letting go and living in the moment. When things don't go as I once visualized, it stops me from seeing the beauty in the unexpected, unplanned moments. Instead I get stuck, feeling sad and disappointed that what I expected was not how it actually played out. (I do try not to get "stuck" for too long though.) 

It seems important to find the balance between what we expect and the reality of the situation.  I think it's normal and really a part of human nature to have certain expectations, but it's also necessary to embrace the unexpected.  It's important to "look around" in those moments and see all that does exist, rather than what is not there.  It is in those moments that we experience so many of the important things. We are forced to grow and evolve, and beautiful things happen.  I'm not so sure the caterpillar ever expects to turn into a butterfly...

It seems simple, but I often wonder why I struggle so much with being able to live in the moment and go with the flow.  This week it repeatedly came to me, and now I'm trying to listen.  

 Although I'll always have certain expectations, I'm going to put the extra effort in to be more content when things don't go quite as I expected.

"The best things in life are unexpected-because there were no expectations."
-Eli Khamarov

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Castle Play...

Every time E would go to Michael's with me, he would go to the unfinished wood aisle and look at this castle, so I knew he would like it as a gift for his birthday.  I used the 40% off coupon and bought it.  

I used scrapbook papers and mod podge to cover the floors.
And painted the rest of it (I don't have a picture of the outside yet).
The best part:  it folds up and doesn't take up a lot of room.  Seeing my kids creatively play with these kinds of toys makes my heart happy.  Little Miss has requested a purple and pink one for her birthday.

"Play is the beginning of Knowledge."