Monday, June 30, 2014

My Challenge: Julie

I would like you to introduce you to my friend Julie. Other than Julie being addicted to scrap-booking and crafts I never notice anything different about her. Julie has the best personality.One of those people you think must be faking it because she is always happy. She has a gorgeous smile, a quick laugh and an awesome sense of humor. 

On top of it all she is beautiful. The kind of beauty that radiates from the inside out. This is why I was beyond surprised at her challenge.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bear with me...

This is kind of a Jen Kehl type of post but I hope everyone bears with me. I listen to Pandora at work. This means music goes from Eminem to the Drop Kick Murphys to the Glee Soundtrack.  The other day right after I heard a song by Eminem the music transitioned to Christina Perry's A Thousand Years (theme from Twilight). 

It was the instrumental version so I did not have the singer's voice, just the one in my head. It occurred to me that the song while about true love, to me is about parenthood. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throw back Thursday--On Display

Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I'm taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts.  I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

School's out for summer! (Oh crap)

Today is the official end of the school year for the girls. Seriously I don't know why they even had to go today. I mean really, a Tuesday and it's a half-day. If the school God's loved us school would be year-round.

Apparently the kids bribe better than the adults. Because here is what I get to look forward to for the next 70 days. That is SEVENTY days and nights of

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Challenge: Laura

Today's challenge comes from a fellow warrior mom: Laura. Her son is gorgeous. Like a mini-Elvis gorgeous. You know before he got old. Laura is an incredible photographer, gorgeous inside and out. Her smile lights up a room. Like many of us, she has a challenge that I am so thankful she is willing to share. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thank you

While I have so much to be thankful for this week, I am only going to focus on one person who made a difference in Boo's life.

Friday, June 20, 2014

It hasn't happened yet

Yesterday was preschool graduation. For the third year in a row I did not attend. As I was leaving another mom said, oh are you too upset to stay? 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throw back Thursday--Summer

Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I'm taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts.  I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Actions matter

It happens, a lot. A child will see a person/child different from them and in the loudest outdoor voice possible they will ask:

"Why is that person black"

"Why are those two girls kissing" 

"Where are his legs"

"What is that thing in that boy's throat"

As parents we think we are doing the right thing by saying "don't look" or distracting the child. But it's wrong. When you redirect the child, when you do not answer their questions instead of teaching empathy you are teaching them that there is something wrong with the other person.

You are teaching them that person is not to be looked at, to be approached and most hurtful to be friends with.

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Challenge: Kerri

Today's challenge is brought to you by the letter Y. Okay not really. This is my challenge.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thank you...

”TenThere is a lot to be thankful for, if you don't obsess about the pain in the assness that is life. This weekend is Father's Day. As the oldest child woke us up at 2 am this morning I turned to my husband and said, well you wouldn't be able to celebrate Father's Day without her.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

It's funny. I do not call you dad. I call you Joe. It feels right, to both of us. You met my mom well after I was grown. You gave a woman who is so deserving a new start on life. A better life, for both of you. My mom deserved happiness and security. I am so thankful you were there to provide it. You scared the crap out of her (and us) when you had a heart attack. Made her (and us) smile again when you were able to ride the carousel. 

You did not walk me down the aisle when I married. That wasn't our relationship at the time. But you stood proudly as I made this so important step. When David and built our house, when I went back to college, when we visit one another our relationship evolves into more than friendship. More than respect. A relationship based on trust and love. More father/daughter than step dad/ step monster. That you got to avoid my teenage years is my gift to you this Father's Day.

Although it wasn't until Abby was born that our relationship truly began.

I will never forget the day I brought Abby home from the hospital. You took her into your arms and the connection was forged. From that moment on you were no longer standing by in our lives but living the important moments with us. You stopped asking mom if it was okay to go into my refrigerator. You realized you were no longer company but family.

That is when you transitioned from my mom's husband to my dad. You became Abby's number one when you both accepted one another as is. She deals with your falling asleep in movies. You deal with her needing your endless attention. You suffer through her planning a Princess Birthday party for you. She suffers you trying to teach her Latin and math concepts. Plus you ate the cake she made so bonus points.

You are not Grandpa but Jampa. Even though she can actually pronounce Grandpa she is quick to correct anyone who dares call you Grandpa. While she might not understand why you are a Joe and not a dad to me, she understands unwavering love. In fact she taught us that lesson early on.

Abby and her #1 Jampa Joe

When Boo was born Abby hoped she would get your eyes. Not understanding that, well you being Asian and us being of Irish descent made that kind of impossible. 

You show the same patience with Boo. Involving her in your endless games of Memory with Abby. Even though she cheats (Boo, that is *wink **wink).

Boo might not have ended up with your eyes, but we all win with you as our number one. 
Recently at school she showed off a picture of you. She didn't understand why people were surprised that you were her grandfather. Abby retorted to the teacher: Of course he is, don't you see how we look alike?

As you are a man who exudes and respects traditions we appreciate your sacrifice to our chaotic, crazy and no way traditional family.

Happy Day from Boo. Happy Jampa Day from Abby who will never see you as anything other than her Jampa. And last but not least, Happy Father's day from a woman who considers herself lucky to have her Joe.


Finish the Sentence Friday

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throw Back Thursday--Friendships

Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I'm taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts.  I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Bridget's Brigade in the Walk for Boston Children's Hospital. Our team raised almost $3,000 for the hospital that saved Bridget's life just five short years ago.

We know, in our souls, that she would not have survived without their care. 

Thank you, to everyone who walked. To everyone who donated. To everyone who cares so much for our little girl.

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Challenge: Missy

It is my pleasure to introduce my friend Missy. Missy is a true warrior mom. She coaches, brings her daughter to cheer leading, gymnastics and any event featuring Sofia the First. In addition to keeping her princess happy, Missy has two sons that keep her on her toes with (pick any sport) practice.

Missy's challenge? Anxiety

Truthfully her challenge should be that she is a Peyton Manning fan, but we are friends anyway. Missy doesn't let anxiety stop her from being awesome at her job, working with children like Boo every day. She channels her anxiety into showing her charges that just because they have more challenges than most, with hard work and dedication they can defy expectations.

Anxiety is tough. It is a silent challenge. One that many are afraid to share for fear of misjudgment. Yet an estimated 40 MILLION Americans are challenged with a form of anxiety. Sadly, only one-third is estimated to seek assistance. Thank you, Missy for sharing your Challenge. I am especially thankful for the care you show Boo every day. For more information and resources on anxiety please visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throw back Thursday--Inclusion

Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I'm taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts.  I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

To the Class of 2014

Dear Graduates,

I know you are getting a lot of advice as you transition from High School to College or from College to the "real world". Everyone is telling you to enjoy this, the "best time of your life". As my brother pointed out to me, this isn't quite true. You see the best time of your life has already happened. At the same time you are no where near the best time of your life.

The best time of your life was your first step. Your first day of school. Your first crush. Your first kiss. Your first bike ride.

The best time of your life was the moment you received your license. The day you pitched your first no-hitter. The day you scored the winning goal or you starred in the school play. The night of your first sleep over.

The best time of your life was finding your best friend, for real. 

The best time of your life was your first dance, your first homecoming, your prom, your graduation day. 

The best time of your life will be your first apartment, your first love, your first 'real' job. The day you started exploring the world without a chaperone. The day you realized you can still call home.

The best time of your life will be taking trips with friends, experiencing the world at 18, 28, 38 and beyond. You will laugh and cry and say remember when you talk about those trips in the not so distant future. 

The best time of your life will be finding your true love, the person who makes you whole. Your new life together, starting your family. 

The best time of your life will be when your child comes into your life, when you explore the world through their eyes.

The best time of your life will be after the children are grown and you are still holding hands with your mate.

You will have many best times of your life. Don't focus on this fleeting moment, don't squander or yearn for this time in your life. Live each moment as it should be lived.

That moment will become the best time of your life. Enjoy it.

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Challenge: Kayla

This is Kayla. While I have never met Kayla in person I have come to admire her through her mom Michelle's blog, Big Blueberry Eyes. Kayla loves to dance, act and participate in Buddy Walks. Kayla has not yet met a stage that she cannot dazzle. 

Kayla has Down Syndrome and with that comes some challenges. Somethings are harder for her to do and some things take longer for her to learn. Yet having Down Syndrome doesn't define Kayla. She is defined by her beautiful heart, the friendships she has created and the activities that keep her mom on her toes.

Thank you, Kayla for sharing your challenge. I hope one of these days to see you dancing with Boo on the beach!

There are over 400,000 persons with Down Syndrome in the United States. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm - although each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all. To learn more about Down Syndrome please visit the National Down Syndrome Society.

What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at