Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Holding onto 4

November 11, 2011

This year started off with a milestone birthday in our family  (the big 4 0 for me) and brings with it yet one more milestone birthday, one that is harder for me to comprehend—-our daughter turning 5.  A poignant reminder of how quickly time truly does fly by.  Our full of wonder, wide-eyed girl is growing up before our very eyes.  Although I haven’t been diligent in posting about the memorable moments with Clare this year, I have been extra diligent in soaking up the dwindling baby-ish times with her before we officially embark on the “big girl” years.  Here’s a slideshow of just a few of my favorite snapshots of our 4 year old.  😉


HaPpY HaLloWeEn!

October 31, 2011

Clare had her mind made up in the month of August as to what she would be for Halloween.  Excuse me, what “WE” would be for Halloween.  Rain or shine…there’s no stopping the trick-or-treating festivities.  Meet Daphne and friends…

As she was getting ready for bed, “Daddy…next year can we be the Backyardigans?”  😉

Fall Has Arrived

October 30, 2011

Our warm Indian summer days are no more…20 degree temperature shifts brought brisk cool fall weather our way this weekend.  The kind of weather that makes you want to stay indoors and purge the closets of summer clothes while having a pot of chili simmer on the stove.  OR…for a soon-to-be 5 year old…perfect weather for riding a jeep and painting some pumpkins!  Today was all about the outdoors for the big girl…

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Cracking Eggs

September 25, 2011

The memorable takeaway of our weekend—cracking eggs.  Clare had the idea of baking a cake for her all-time favorite babysitter  on Saturday (for her birthday).  The recipe called for three eggs…say no more, Clare went to town with trying to precisely crack each one.  Then, this morning, eggs (several) for breakfast, cracked by our little chef.  We made cupcakes this afternoon calling for yet more eggs.  It’s still a long way before she acquires the patience to be my little helper from start to finish, but cracking the eggs is one job she definitely loves.  As I was putting her to bed tonight…”Mommy, can we pretty please make something in the morning that needs eggs cracked?”  😉

Time for icing!

Finally, time for icing!


Sunday Smiles

Sunday Smiles

Remembering One Beautiful Day

April 20, 2011

On this day, nine years ago, my little sister became a beautiful bride, a love-struck newlywed and a wife.  I gained a new family member and am grateful beyond words for the family the two of them have created.  Happy Anniversary to my sister and brother-in-law!

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary to my Beautiful Sister!

The Making of a Jack-O’-lantern

October 30, 2010

Step One:  Find the perfect pumpkin(s)…

Pumpkin Pickin'

Somebody found her some pumpkins

Step Two:  Enjoy the Pumpkin Patch (a must!)…

My favorite pumpkin of all

My Pumpkin

Fun times at the Pumpkin Patch

Fun times at the Pumpkin Patch

Step Three:  Get Paint (thank you to my partner-in-crime for battling Walmart on a Saturday!)

Step Four:  Prep the Pumpkins…

Prepare to Paint!

Prepare to paint!

Step Five:  Begin to Paint!

Our Little Artist

The Rainbow Pumpkin

Our little Artist

Decorating the pumpkin just right!

...putting on the finishing touches

Putting on the finishing touches

Operation Pumpkin Painting

Operation Pumpkin Painting

Step Six:  Make the True Jack-O’-Lantern…

Jack-O'Lantern, Complete!

Hello Jack-O'-Lantern!

Step Seven:  Display the Masterpieces and Get Ready for Halloween!

Ready for Halloween!


For Mom–Thank you

May 9, 2010

On this Mother’s Day I am once again reminded of how truly blessed I am to have such an amazing Mother.  I read a quote that really hits home with me, “the older I get, the more I see, the power of that young woman, my mother.”  Now as a Mother myself, I find myself appreciating everything (from big to small) my Mom did for me as I was growing up—and all that she still does for me.

My hope is that I will pass these same values onto my own daughter and help her grow, one day at a time, into all that she can be.  I’m a true believer that so much is learned by example.  I thought by writing down some of these values and gifts I learned from my Mom, it would help me not to lose sight of them as I still find my way in this crazy world.

Thank you, Mom for…

  • Holding my hand, but not too tight
  • Catching me when I fall (and showing me how to get back up on my own)
  • Being my confidant
  • Guiding me to find my individuality and teaching me not to push it aside as I take on my role as a wife and mother
  • Teaching me to love unconditionally.  I may not have been listening to you, but I learned by your actions—you’re right, giving is better than receiving
  • Teaching me at an early age the importance of gratitude by making me write my own thank you notes
  • Letting me know there is always a silver lining and more importantly, how to find it
  • Being patient and instilling that virtue within me
  • Teaching me to embrace change
  • Nurturing my imagination and never appearing to get tired of my antics
  • Encouraging me to reach for the stars (Your unending pursuit of education and career advancement is such an inspiration to me)
  • Reminding me to save time for myself
  • Making me stop and smell the roses (every day)
  • Indulging my creative side (although I didn’t turn out to be an artist, I vividly remember my art classes you and Dad sent me too)
  • Teaching me how to look my best (“what is rouge?”)
  • Showing me how contagious a smile can be
  • Showing me the value of pursuing my career while still being a wife and a mom
  • Always emphasizing the magnitude of family and being there no matter what
  • Retail Therapy
  • I’m saving the best for last…Giving me a sister!

I love you, Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Pick-Your-Own Strawberries

April 25, 2010

Did you know North Carolina is the 4th largest producer of strawberries in the country? Another interesting fact—North Carolina strawberry farmers grow this delicious fruit, not to ship all over the country; but rather to sell locally.  What better reason to head to a pick-your-own farm for a weekend excursion as strawberry season is in high gear!

We discovered Vollmer Farms—an organic farm located only 15 short away in Bunn, NC.  Clare had a grand time hand picking red ripe strawberries to bring home!  This farm was great—lots of fun things for the kids and a delightful gift shop.  Oh…and organic tomatoes and homemade ice cream!  We’ll be back!

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Buy Local!

Easter Traditions

April 4, 2010

What’s your most memorable Easter tradition?  For me, it was springtime bonnets, white patent leather shoes, the end of Lent and Easter Sunday Mass.  Growing up in the northeast, it wasn’t uncommon that Easter Sunday was accompanied by snow…didn’t matter though; we still wore our springtime attire.  It was Easter after all and that signified out with the winter and in with the spring season.

Another memorable tradition at Easter for me, was the Easter basket…every year my sister and I would each get a delicious giant chocolate covered peanut butter egg (I think my sister’s was vanilla crème filled) topped with a flower made of icing.  We had to cut them with a knife and would savor every bite which often led to belly aches as we were sitting in Mass.  I also remember we always had coconut covered mini chocolate eggs in our baskets too…guess the Easter Bunny knew those were Mom’s favorite.  😉

As parents, you easily become a kid all over again as you watch the excitement and curiosity in your child’s expressions as they partake in what may very well turn out to be holiday traditions.  For Clare, this year was her first Easter at home that she will probably remember.

It started out with decorating eggs and leaving carrots for the Easter Bunny to snack on while he dropped (or should I say, hopped) by during the night.   A bit of anxiety hit the next morning when she peeked outside (“Daddy, hold me’) to see if the Easter Bunny had eaten her carrots…I think she was nervous the Easter Bunny would be on her doorstep.  😉  She wore her Easter bonnet with her dress and crocs (she is quite particular about her shoes) to church.

Easter Sunday

Her favorite moments of today were discovering small bottles of brightly colored nail polish in the eggs the Easter Bunny left in the yard along with some Crayola sidewalk chalk shaped liked Easter eggs.  Hmm…Nail polish and sidewalk chalk, could this become part of our Easter tradition?  😉

"This chalk looks like an Easter Egg!"

"There's something in these Eggs, Mommy"

I know what will not become a holiday tradition in our house…roasted asparagus with the ham dinner.  Although it’s a favorite of mine, I discovered that’s not the case for Robert and Clare as I was the only one eating it.  That’s okay, they enjoyed the Peeps all to themselves as that is clearly a favorite of theirs (and a definite tradition for us at Easter time)!

Clare and her Daddy LOVE some Peeps!

Big enough for the front seat?

February 11, 2010

This evening as I was turning in the driveway with Clare in the car, she asked if she could sit in the front seat while I pulled the car into the garage.  This was one of those little moments that I knew would totally make her day; so I let her sit in the front seat.  She instructed me to buckle her in and then lifted her head as high as she could to try and see out the front window as we pulled in the garage.  Talk about a smile!

Here’s the conversation we had later tonight as she was lying in her bed just about to fall asleep:

Clare:  “Mommy…do you think I’m getting bigger?”

Me:  “Yes, I sure do.  Do you think you’re getting bigger?”

Clare:  “Yes, I think I’m too big for my car seat, Mommy.  I really need to sit in the front seat, okay?”

Me:  “Well, kids can’t sit in the front seat until they’re 8 years old.”  I then told her that her older cousins don’t yet sit in the front seat (hoping that would make her feel better).

Clare:  With a questionable look on her face…”What classroom will I be in when I’m 8?”

Me:  “I’m not sure, Clare…you’ll be in the big kids school by then.”

Clare:  Very seriously….“I won’t be at The Goddard School?”

Me:  “No, honey, you’ll be at the big kid’s school!”

Clare:  “What color will the walls be in my Classroom?”

Me:  “I’m not sure, we’ll have to wait and see.  What color are your classroom walls now?”

Clare:  “Green”  She then rolled over and went to sleep.

What goes through a toddler’s mind truly amazes me.  Since turning 3, every single day she has a new word, new sentence and new expression.  Each day I’m taken aback and reminded how quickly they really do grow up.  Before I forget this moment tonight, I wanted to be sure it got written down.

Cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.