Monday, January 4, 2016

I've said it before, I'll say it again...
I am thinking about updating my bloggity blog.

It is always the new year that brings me to this crazy cross roads.  Why is that? Because of the clean slate? Hopes and dreams? Resolutions? Or just the plain ol' crazy girl in me?  Way too much has happened in my life to think I can return to Papermom and simply pick up where I left off.  Kids are in college, I have a new job, I've gained 15 pounds and Mr. Not-so-good has gone off the deep end...I simply can't pick up where I once left off.....but maybe there is another handle out there that is moving me to pen a little ditty.   I know those few phrases will have only the diehard readers standing tall.  Peeps, I've got the stories... I have the material, trust that for sure.... it's the time that I am running short on.  Alhthough this all may be a spark because of a quote that came across my Facebook today...

The trouble is, yu think you have time - Buddha

Today is the first step.  You know I take it slow.... just look at this blog, when was the last time you saw a post?

Let's see w

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Parking Meter Frustration

The world’s Greatest Husband and I don’t fight.  Really, we disagree, we get cranky but rarely do you hear us bickering (quite opposite of my years with Mr. Not-So-Good.) This was all put to a test on Saturday as we found on-street parking in downtown Boston.  Which for the record, this is my blog, so I will simply state, we should have parked in the Boylston Garage, like I suggested. 
After squeezing into a space, negotiating are we too close to that fire hydrant or not? We exit the car, a bit close to the hydrant (again this is my blog).  Um…. Disclaimer:  We don’t live in the city and are not at all familiar with today’s modern day parking meters or etiquette but to our credit we do have 43 years of schooling between us, that’s 2 bachelor’s degrees, 3 Master’s, a 6th year and a PhD.  That put aside, I admit, I am a bit heated over the proximity to the hydrant as I approach the meter.  We put in the credit card, of course - backwards, re-enter and a ticket pops out.  Yes, so much cheaper than the garage, I get it. 
So now imagine you are dining outside at the Panera Bread watching this whole parking meter couple showdown.  That’s where I start to giggle because I know somewhere in Boston there is a married couple still laughing at us as they watched how this all unfolded from a distance.  In addition there are probably a group of young 20-somethings  laughing at how old we looked as we tried to figure out this new meter and possibly an additional young married couple that we scared enough that they vowed to actually never be us. 
This is where it gets good.  He takes the ticket and walks away.  I sternly say, “we have to put that on the window” and point to the line of cars that have tickets stuck to the inside of the passenger windows.  Baffled yet going along with my request he walks to the car, looks at the ticket, presses it to the window, it falls and he decides the dashboard is the next best thing.  The rule follower in me screams “NO – the window” and he tries once again, pushing the ticket to the side of the window, ya still didn’t work.  Frustrated he walks to the meter.  I follow bickering or maybe bitching is the better word and try to figure out how do you make this thing stick? I pull it apart as if it was a sticker but it still won’t stick.  Now I too am frustrated.  The World’s Greatest Husband is done with me, done with the meter and begins to walk away.  This pushes every parking meter button in me and I am determined, finally I figure out how to make the sticker stick! Satisfaction is a wonderful thing.  We spent our first few minutes in Boston power walking through our couple frustration; I swear I could have ran the Boston Marathon at that moment.  In the end all worked out, we soon saw ourselves and the situation for what it was, had a giggle and moved on.  I love that guy!  One of his favorite sayings? “I’d rather be married, than right.”  He gets it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

How Snow Days Used to be....

This past week I learned a thing or two about snow days.   As I shoveled the driveway with the World's Greatest Husband, I realized "shoveling" should be added to the list of things we should not do together, ever.  This joins items such as grocery shopping, visiting malls and driving to see Christmas lights (suddenly he becomes a lead foot race car driver and one must pay attention to see the beautiful displays as he zooms by.)   So as I shoveled and my back began to ache and my blood began to boil, the question --- we have kids, why are we out here shoveling? played continuously in my head.  Let's just leave it as one of those marital moments that was making me dream of my younger days.....

Do you remember snow days as a young adult? prior to kids or maybe even husbands? It meant, stay in bed all day with or without pajamas depending on who was visiting, reading the paper, playing cards, popping a movie in the VCR, and eating junk food.  Am I the only one that relished condo living because you didn't have to bundle up and shovel? I loved that a plow man and his team would dig you out, all you needed was patience and a pre-storm trip to the liquor store.  Ah, life was simple then. Most importantly, It didn't require any blood sweat or tears that often accompany dressing children in snow clothes.  Mom's across the city - you feel my pain, the proper boots, snow pants, hats and glubs (as our little guy used to say) can make any sane woman insane.  Add to that the age 13 and seriously just say no when they ask to play out in the snow.  

With each scoop of cold, wet, heavy snow, I thought of those carefree days only to have a reminder slam me smack dab in the face ....... no, it wasn't the plow spraying snow on me. It was a neighbor.
I heard laughter and running and giggles and thought, what the hell is going on? Until I caught a glimpse of our divorced neighbor running, laughing and snow wrestling with his new girlfriend between kisses and snowballs as they frolicked in the snow.  Clearly that had a no pajama, lazy snow day morning only to be followed up by playing in the snow like two kids in love.

I wouldn't trade anything for my life today but dreaming of the old snow days brought me way back to a simpler time that a girl like me can smile over.  I am counting the days until spring.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Glitter and Glue Video for Mothers - You Will Probably Cry

I am such a sappy, mom geek. I am a fan of author Kelly Corrigan and I was thrilled to see her new video posted to You Tube.  The video highlights her new book Glitter and Glue.  The book is being released Tuesday and I can't wait to read it.  All of her videos (which I have posted a few here over the years) pretty much sum up my whole being, it is as if she has spent days in my head.  She makes life and motherhood real.  She writes or says the things we are all thinking.... for example.  When I was so excited that Kelly Corrigan actually "liked" my facebook post:
   "Kelly Corrigan is my hero.  Seriously,  I know we would be friends if we lived closer.  Video is quick and so worth it"
I yelled upstairs to my thirteen year old daughter who is an avid reader and totally loves books and has several favorite authors (if anyone was to understand my joy, it would be her)  only to have her scroll through my facebook newsfeed  and announce, "Mom, she is liking everyone's posts about her new video. I don't think it was about you"
So naturally, I struggled with giving her the finger in silence as she pranced back upstairs.  Watch her quick video and you will totally get my finger struggle.....

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Finally a 2014 Paper Mom update

You know it has been awhile when you have to try a few combinations of user name and password to actually get into your blog.  I've started way too many blog posts with apologies and hopeful wishes for more time to write and post, these are usually empty promises because our life simply moves too fast.  The funny thing about this blog is... I feel it, it's in my heart and my thoughts most days and I know writing it and reflecting on it over the past many years has brought me peace and joy.  So here I write at yet another cross roads.

Life presented a few challenges as 2013 came to a close.  Challenges that make you pause and force you to focus.  I won't bore you with all the details but it starts and ends with a few days of "unexplained double vision"  what double vision has made me see so CLEARLY is that without good health and the love of family one can be lost and a bit out of sorts.  I admit, there were days that I had no focus because suddenly I panicked realizing  that I am the day-to-day glue for our family of 7, glue that keeps kids on a schedule, ensures homework is done, the glue that traditionally gets dinner on the table, the glue that thinks of work details, has vision for work projects, and works with with many to make it all happen.  I am the glue that makes sure uniforms are clean and christmas presents are bought, wrapped and perfect.  The funny thing about all this glue and realization is - I had to learn to depend on others with grace when all I  really I wanted to do was fly out of bed and drive with squinting eyes, drop the kids at appointments and write the reports and letters and move the chairs for the big event.  I wasn't sure how to slow down.  Ok, I admit to driving home from work with one eye closed in an effort to simply just be okay.   For the first time I thought about my purpose on this planet, what I needed my kids to know about life. It was the first time in my 43 years on this earth that I thought about the "what ifs".   It was really scary and threw me off track!   Paper peeps, take if from me,  it's not about being the glue in all situations, sure we all have responsibilities but it's about being a loving, engaged force of good and grace.

The great thing about the human spirit is...FAITH.    With the new year, I have consciously focused on inner peace, family, friends, work, goals and what's next.  Even practicing yoga and meditation. It's a process and I am learning.  I am eager to know more.  I am lucky.  When I speak of being the glue, the cool thing about my life and my glue is I have a better half, the World's Greatest Husband is my personal glue and  he hasn't skipped a beat.  He sticks by me (get it? glue) I love that guy so much..

This week has presented another challenge, a post lumbar puncture headache that has totally shocked me. I really didn't think I would be one of the 40% that would suffer with this.  But once again, I will focus on a small victory -  it has pushed me to reflect and write a post on this blog.... it's been too long.   The positive? maybe a few days of down time has made me realize that writing regularly makes me a better mom, step-mo, wife, daughter, friend and fundraiser.  Seriously no promises - - - But I've missed my regular readers.  I hope you feel the love.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kringle Candle - Man Style

Visiting Kringle Candle is one of my favorite things to do!  Read my popular post of my first visit to Kringle Candle here  
To my surprise, the World's Greatest Husband  recently visited without me and surprised me with a bag full of goodies.  Our oldest will be attending College in Vermont and apparently Kringle Candle is the perfect rest stop along the way! This is a bit of a perk to that big college tuition bill.  Of course the World's Greatest Husband visited "man style"  He told me he was there for a total of 20 minutes and felt like he had to announce more than once... "My wife loves this place, she is going to be so happy that I stopped here" because he simply felt like a man should not be candle shopping by himself.   Either way, I am glad he did.  That guy is special.  In addition to buying me prizes, he bought the most beautiful sea life puzzle for our Cub Scout.  The puzzle pieces are the best quality, I have ever seen.  Clearly Kringle does it right.  On one of our next visits - move in weekend - Parents weekend -we are trying the Farm to Table restaurant.... 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Iced Coffee (at the zoo)

There is something wonderful about a mid afternoon iced coffee on a summer day.  I had my first one of the season just a few weeks ago.  In order to start the iced coffee season, I have to feel the heat of the bright sun, I need to have my  flip flops on and my big sunglasses on top of my head or it just doesn't seem right.  It's as if I need to physically prepare for this summer treat.  Between you and I - nothing really compares to cold coffee while sucking up little sugar crystals through that extra large D&D straw.  (It only compares to finding the sugar from my Rice Krispies at that bottom of the bowl.)     It's like winning the coffee jackpot when you get a few sugar tidbits.

So while chaperoning my cub scout's class to the zoo, I decided to indulge.  Here is the thing.... my iced coffee lost it's appeal because of two simple things.  They don't allow covers on their cups or straws at the Dunkin Donuts kiosk at the zoo.  I guess it can harm the animals if somehow a cover or a straw landed in a animal area.  All fine and well but seriously it changed the whole summer iced coffee experience. Juggling a small group of children and  a large cup of coffee  is tough without a cover. Drinking it without a straw and missing out on the sugar tidbits, now that is just disappointing.  I usually don't want my ice coffee to end but on this day, I was gulping it down just to get it over with.

Lesson learned? Never drink an iced coffee at the zoo. I run on Dunkin just not at the zoo.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Yoga Pants, Who Knew?

Clearly I am a bit behind the times.  I've heard about the mommy yoga pant craze for some time now but had no idea... Over the years, I thought yoga pants,were .... too tight.... for skinny people and for those who live in workout attire.  That is... until a week ago when I bought my first pair.  Since then, I've been living in them.  I don't think just any pair would work for this full figure but the pair I acquired at Target are simply perfect. Comfy, stretchy, fitted in right places and perfectly not fitted in other places.  They are perfect with my flip flops or my sneakers.  I am in love, so much in love that maybe I should actually try yoga now that I have the pants.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's Been too Long -

Paper Peeps,
It's been so long since this Paper Mom has blogged.  It is a busy week in our life and an emotional one too. Our oldest will graduate from high school and head to college. We've had family in town celebrating all week.  I am a sentimental soul so this has been a challenge for me.  I am the one who cried at our cub scout's school concert yesterday so clearly that gives you a clue to my mental state this week.  They are all growing up.  I am not a mushy mom but I am proud of the big people they are turning into.

So here is a little funny to keep you in the mix as I pray, hope and wish for more blogging this summer.

My 3rd grader cub scout says this while getting ready for school ----
"Mom, you should be a lunch lady at our school because you would be a nice one"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Clearly - I am a mush ball - This made me sob -

My friend (shout out to Miria) posted this on facebook and it made me sob.  Maybe it's my state of mind the past few days. . . . . maybe it's graduation season (always does it to me) or maybe it is the stress of my big work special event later this month. . . .  SOBBING PEEPS!  The power of motherhood! grab your tissues and enjoy (or in my case, sob)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day is too much pressure for this Step Mo.

Mother's Day is too much pressure.
I think my husband is still recovering from Mother's Day. Over all it was a fine day.  No skywriting, no back flips or magic.... simply no dishes for me. 

The World's Greatest Husband actually asked me to write down what my expectations were for this not always great for a step-mo holiday.  I wrote them down....  easy peasy

1. Dunkin Donuts medium hazelnut with cream and one sweet and low.
2. No dishes for an entire day
3. Let's take a walk in the park
4. Win the Norwegian Cruise contest on pinterest (but I also added, it was ok if this one didn't come true)

Sounds simple right?
I thought so.

Except I was crying by mid afternoon and I am not even a crier!

What I failed to write down on my note was.... make sure each child greets me with a warm "Happy Mother's Day"  This is where blended bliss get's foggy.  This is where I started to question my existence and skill as a step-mo.  It's complicated.  In my heart, I know we are all ok.  My two were proud and happy to greet me with love, hugs and kisses.  His three came later in the day and I guess had already "been there and done that for the day."  And if you are an avid reader, rarely do I even use the terms his and mine that's how good it is.  But in the end, somehow I feel guilty for feeling bad that I wasn't greeted with a phrase that is dedicated to mother's all over the country.  What makes it worse? I wrote them a letter letting them know how much they mean to me on this day and everyday.  One letter still remains in the envelope not even opened.  I am crushed on one level and marching forward like every good mom and stepmo does on every other level.  I love them.  I am disappointed and have learned a great deal through this experience. 

Have hope, as the day went on it improved.  We went on that walk.  I poured my heart out to the World's Greatest Husband and they had an ice cream party for me after dinner.  I got some beautiful gifts and  handmade cards.  As they left the dining room each of them said "Happy Mother's Day." Honestly, I think it's too much pressure for all of us.  We do better on our normal days, our normal routines, no expectations.  By the way, I didn't win the Norwegian cruise either (but you can see my board on pinterest ) But now that would have made a Mother's Day I would like to forget, one to remember.

Happy Mother's Day fellow Paper Mom's

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Socks, no the dryer doesn't eat them, you just don't put them away!

Dear Family,
I love you all to the moon and back but we have to pause and have a serious conversation.  SERIOUS.  Are you familiar with the laundry basket of socks that we never quite seem to see the bottom of?  Well today, today is the day, the day that I am determined to clear my heart, head and laundry basket.  It's never good to live with clutter.  It not only takes up physical space, it takes up space in your head.   I live with lots of little annoying things in the blended family blender but a laundry basket full of socks is one of which I am freeing myself of.  I swear some of those socks have lived at the bottom of that basket since I moved into this house six years ago.

So dear family, the time is now.... put them away by 6pm or they will be in tonight's garbage.   Just to give you perspective.  I matched close to 96 pairs of socks today.  I can't seem to find the partner to 53 additional pairs.  And just because I was thinking a great math word problem was in the works for our cub scout, I peeked in each of your drawers to see how many pairs of socks were already tucked in snug.    I've often joked about the hundreds of socks that are in this house.  But today it is a reality, one that is embarrassing and is coming to end.. . . TODAY.  My calculations are even on the low side because I know there are 2 or 3 loads of laundry in the works today and am pretty confident that some of the onesies have other onesies under your beds.  But roughly speaking there are 555 individual socks in this house right now.... that is roughly 39 pairs per individual.  Now, I know that calculation is a bit off because our  baseball player actually has 54.  Yes, I counted.   People, this is clutter, drawer clutter, stinky clutter.  You don't wear 39 pairs because you are often hunting high and low for the 5-7 pairs that you do choose to wear.  And remember three of you only live here half the week!

People are starving and walking barefoot in this country and other countries!  There is no need for 39 pairs, or 54 pairs of socks.

So let's go over the plan -
Evaluate the sock pile prior to 6pm.
Decide on which socks you are going to keep.
Dispose of any onesies.
Dispose of the ones with holes, the ones that no longer fit, the ones that you know you will never wear.
Do not ask for new socks unless your stash is between 7-9 pairs.

Ok, I feel good now.  I feel lighter.  I am ready to clean out a closet. . . . watch out.....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

I probably shouldn't blog when I am feeling a bit cranky.  But here goes nothing....

 I am learning more about what I don't want to be like - than what I do want to be like.  I think that sentence can be argued by any sane individual,  like that makes any sense, right? Wait, does that make any sense?

Here's the truth:  I've had several interactions of late that illustrate behaviors, language and agenda's that I don't care to engage in.  I believe life is hard enough for all, do we really need to critically tear each other apart, as leaders? professionals? women? parents?  I am up to my eyeballs in negative sentiment.  I crave to be in a situation where direct and thoughtful kindness, inner beauty, spirit, grace and peace prevail.... please anyone?  Now my self argument can weigh in and say rationally, "but by witnessing all the negative I am learning.... I am learning that leadership, reflection, kindness and good can go a long way."  and to that I say "Well Little Miss selfie, yes- I do agree" But honestly even with that rational thought I am feeling a powerful, inner soul sort of feeling that is seeking to surround myself with the force, the good guys, the smart ones, the strong ones, the kind ones, the ones who are eager to teach.  Maybe I am in need of a strong woman mentor  to help me filter the crap (please inbox me if that is you!), or a maybe a therapy session? A crafty Diva creative break? or quite possibly a good long talk and visit with my mother..... something to "find my center" (as the World's Greatest Husband would say) - -- because wishy-washy, cruel, tactless, inconsiderate and insensitive acts, language and motives are not making this world any better.

I believe that most of the time we are all doing the best we can but at times I question, can we do better?

Now, how is that for a post that is unlike a paper mom post?  Love to all the Paper Peeps - Keeping in real!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A little of bit of strength in a Dove commercial

Ok, I've found another television commercial that made me think.  My new friends at Step Mom magazine posted this on their FaceBook page and I wanted to share because once again. . . . . a powerful message for us all to take note of.  Step-Mo's if you don't follow, Step Mom Magazine, please do.  You will find a bit of strength in every post.  I've been amazed at how often their posts speak right to my heart, at the right moment in time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Woman of Grace. . .

"When you are in harmony with yourself everything unfolds into grace with ease"

Seems like that is appropriate quote seeing I am a now a woman of Grace.....  Oh the pressure.
If Grace Magazine brought you by for a quick visit, thanks for stopping in.  Grab a cup of coffee and read on.  If you are a regular reader you may want to click here to see what all this "Grace" talk is all about.   No matter how you landed here, I am glad to have you, now click your heels three times and put on your sparkly tiara, you are officially a Paper Mom Peep!

This post is dedicated with special thanks and love to Julie.  A true woman of Grace....

Friday, April 12, 2013

A commercial for Moms-

This morning I saw a commercial that brought me to tears.  It is beautiful and so appropriate.  I can just imagine viewing it as a new mom and having a full heart.  I've posted it here so you can cry too.  

Isn't it sweet? Are you feeling the love?
Now, I would like to challenge the Johnson's Baby people to craft a new commercial that speaks to the mom's of tweens and teens because the message of "your doing ok, Mom" means an entirely different thing to a mother of twelve year old girls.  The commercial would have to have lots of eye rolling, hand held devices, bright nail polish, hair accessories, One Direction music and most importantly, the commercial would not actually show the mother because that would clearly be too embarrassing.  All kidding aside, motherhood is the greatest job on earth, right? no, seriously, right? 
Squeeze your girls (and your boys too) they are our strong future.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

National siblings day

Today is National Siblings Day.  I always tell our children.... In the end, you really only have family.  I hope they support one another in the years ahead.

Here is to brothers, sisters, step brothers and step sisters.  I still hate that word... "step". Really in todays modern age we should have come up with a better word than "step" by now.  I tried "Bonus" but that just doesn't flow either.

Oh the pressure - now I need to worry about inventing a new word.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Power of Purple

Last night I attended an event to end domestic violence.  It was a powerful program of awareness and education.  Kudos to the people who organized and supported this evening.  The event featured resources, a panel discussion and a keynote address by the very funny author and humorist, Gina Barreca.

My reaction to this well thought out evening is simple:
I want my three girls to be strong, be brave, be confident, know their value and appreciate the good relationships and moments in their life. 

The program featured a TED video.  This video was well done and an eye opener.  Really, if you have important women in your life, you have a responsibility to watch this.

Paper peeps, It's real, it's serious and we should all do something to make sure that these horrible statistics start to change.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

7th Grade Memory

I am linking up with the famous Mama Kat's writing workshop to not only creatively express myself through writing but to also act a like a tweenie again and relive my most favorite school year ever. The prompt is.... a seventh grade memory.

7th grade.
7th grade, as a whole, was the best year in my entire educational career.
7th grade, the grade that two of my two girls are in now.
7th grade, the grade when I had my first "real" kiss.
7th grade when I lived for the RollerPort 91 afternoon couples skate.

Really do  I need to write anything more?
silly reader, of course I do. . . .
Oh the memories. . . .

I remember Mrs. Rabe coming into Mrs. Kowalchyk's class to confiscate all the frog dissection "parts" that we took as souvenirs.  After her speech and detention threats she stood at the front of the classroom waiting for us all to unload.  Slowly, one by one kids shuffled to the front of the room digging in pockets and book bags to return the parts that were neatly wrapped up in brown paper towels.  Someone had clearly ratted our class out. 

I remember wearing my winter coat to my art class because I was afraid that Mrs. Gezzie wouldn't dismiss on time and Lord knows I couldn't mess with my locker and catch the bus.

I remember sitting on the living room sofa behind a pillow making out.  It may scare you to know that I remember Madonna's video "Crazy For You" playing on MTV as we made out.   I remember my mother calling me into the kitchen and stating that if that didn't stop at once, I wasn't going to ever see the light of day again.

It was the year of boy-girl parties, hours spent on the phone and night time hide and seek. 

It was the year of big t-shirts, neon accessories, WHAM,  Madonna, Bryan Adams and Jordache.

It was the year that feathered roach clips were all the rage at the Durham Fair and my parents wouldn't allow me to put one in my hair because they would simply say, "do you know what those are really used for?"  Until, luck would have it and I had my birthday party at the roller rink and recieved one as the "gift" from the skating place.  My parents let me keep it.

It wasn't just one memory that made 7th grade great, well maybe the kissing, but many.  It's hard for me to imagine that two of my girls are living 7th grade right now. 
Cheers to the good ol days, I am going to go lock up the girls right now. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

An Expensive Easter to Remember

I love the World's Greatest Husband.  He is smart and witty.  He is not a handy man. I repeat, he is not a handy man.  I wish he was and on days like Easter, I really, really, really wish he was.  Case at hand - - - Dr. Psychologist should never play Mr. Lumberjack, never.

We had a rather large tree come down during a storm.  We had a man come clean up the big mess but a big piece of the rather large tall tree was still standing.  My dear one took it down.  Rope, chain saw, sweat, and you tube.  He did it and gained more confidence than he should have.  This led to the expensive part.

Tree two... near the house, near the gas tank, near the roof......
I admit, watching from the window, I said several Hail Mary's and said to myself..... what the hell is he thinking? ? ? ? ?  The tree came down and landed right between the house and the gas tank.... upside? not in the pool, not on top of a kid.

Downside? a very expensive Easter once we get the gutter guy and roof guy to schedule us in.  People, simply enjoy family, eat ham and search for eggs on Easter Sunday.  Do not attempt tree trimming on holy days or in the case of my husband, ever.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wait is it a $7 skirt or a $50 skirt??

This weekend the World's Greatest Husband and I went to the mall.  SHOCKER. We never shop together and it only took about 3 minutes side by side in Macy's to remember all the reasons why this is never a good idea for us.  But a Friday night adventure was in order and as our children would say.... YOLO.

After a bit of a walk about we glided on into Sears where I prepared him over and over again.... I like the Lands End section, they have couches. Not surprisingly, like a good husband, my man followed my direction and parked it while I went from rack to rack.  The spring collection and the winter clearance made me a happy Paper Mom.  Things got very exciting when I snagged a $50 skirt for $7 bucks.  Regular paper mom readers know that a bargain ranks high on my list of top tens.  So as any proud bargain shopper would.... I bragged and bragged.  I told a complete stranger standing in line.... I got a $7 skirt.  Bragged in the store and bragged on the car ride home.  The $7 skirt made me happy.  Only to be stopped in my bargain girl tracks by this World's Greatest husband's comment:

"Why don't you say you got a $50 skirt instead of a $7 skirt?"

Bargain girls, are you silent now too?
Hmmm this was a show stopper.
This comment left me speechless.  My weak response to the love of my life? Because the thrill is in securing the bargain?  Yes, I know it's weak but seriously, the man made me think..... Why do I say $7 instead of $50?  Any fashionista with style and class would clearly state that the skirt was $50 dollars, $50 well spent dollars.  This entire exchange rattled my bargain girl sense and made me feel like I was hit by a Michael Kors semi.   I've given the whole scenario time and attention since Friday and I haven't come up with any good explanation.  Simply put, I guess I just love a bargain?

But then again, this whole conversation is coming from a man....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Love to my Shop Rite - Shop From Home Team

I've given kudos, donuts and shout outs to the Shop from Home, Shop Rite team before but here I am with a grateful heart once again.  This is the most amazing service on the planet and my favorite little shopper man, Anthony once again impresses (so polite and kind).  It's quite an operation and I am simply grateful for the time they save me each and every week.  If you do not do this simple little time saving, gifty gift to all mom's on the planet.... please take my advice and start now.  You will thank me.  I do the pick up service (not home delivery) just because it fits my life better.  The fact that I don't even have to get out of the car makes me giggle with delight.  Ladies, take it from me... save time and money where you can and sign on to this service. 

I love, love, love it!

Big Weekend at our House....

It was a big weekend in the Paper Mom household.  The World's Greatest Husband and a BIG, BIG, BIG BIRTHDAY!   Really no big stories to tell other than the cutest line from our cub scout.  While driving we were talking about all the presents my husband will open for his birthday.  I went crazy and made him a basket of 50 special things... the cub scout pipes up with, "He is super lucky to open 50 things."  I reply, "yes, he is a lucky man."  After a minute or two of silence my sweet cub scout states - "He really is lucky, some 50 year old guys are still just trying to find a nice wife.   

Oh my sweet boy....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shoe Shopping, every girls dream.......

While having a nice chat with our our oldest daughter and our cub scout.  Our teenager eagerly told me that she thinks  about two things single everyday. . .
First, she dreams about our trip Disney, she can't wait to go!
and before she could say "second" my cub scout pipes up with...
"Let me guess, second is shoe shopping, every girl dreams of shoe shopping."

Paper Mom Showcase....


Tonight is the night!  I will be displaying my paper creations at Bearingstar Insurance.  Gift tags, wine tags, bookmarks, designer paper wreaths and fun paper treat holders.  It's a ladies night out!  Join me and also shop for fun jewelry with Lisa from Creative Obsessions.  See you soon! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Paper Mom takes the show on the road.

Paper Mom takes the paper crafting show on the road.

I will have many paper craft creations on display at Bearingstar Insurance on Tuesday, February 26th from 6:30 - 8:00PM.  I would love to see you.  I am showcasing with Lisa Lavado who makes beautiful jewelry.  You can visit her at
I hope you visit on Tuesday.
The Bearingstar office is at 352 Salem Turnpike.

My next creative paper class is scheduled for March 16th at the Salem Public Library.  Registration is required.  Please visit the Salem Public Library for more information.

Recharge, Regroup - L-O-V-E -

The World's Greatest Husband and I had no kids for 45 hours or so.... I can't describe what this no children time does for us.  Simply put, it's like having a full tank of gas on a Monday morning.  The connection and time brings peace, strength and silliness that somehow seems to carry us through the noise and chaos on a typical day.

I am always amazed at what life looks like with no kids around.  We joke about what the future will look like without nightly dinner for seven and taxi cab service leaving every 25 minutes between the hours of 3:15 and 7:00 PM on any given weeknight.  I've typed it a trillion times before, our life is busy.  I've learned many things about myself and this journey over the years.  The biggest of all is... I know I couldn't have done this blended  family, second marriage gig with any other man on this earth.  The World's Greatest Husband rarely lets an almost 9 year old cub scout, two 12 year old tweens, and two high schoolers rattle him or us.  He goes with the flow - slow, allows for proper amount of space, knows when to shut up and give up.  He is more concerned about being married than being right and truly is the kindest man I know.  I, on the other hand, am detailed oriented, don't miss a trick observant, sometimes keep score, have a hard time holding back emotion and my tongue and generally do more negotiating, picking up and worrying before 8AM than most women. I navigate the role of Step-Mo with no real plan other than an open heart.  Together, our styles seem to compliment one another and we mostly have the home team covered.  Like I said, there is no other person I could be thriving and surviving in the blender with.

Now having said all this.... it only takes about 15 minutes after our little break of alone time to be with the whole gang and be on the verge of tears wondering "How the hell did this happen and what the heck are we doing?"  The noise as I type this post is overwhelming, lucky for us they are laughing and enjoying one another rather than ranting and raving like many blended families.  That being acknowledged, it's loud and wears on every nerve in my body.  Whoa - yippee - Only to be rescued in an instant........Ahhhh the World's Greatest Husband just stepped up his game and announced "QUIET TIME from now until 2:30 PM.  These are my peeps and I love them.  I think I will close my eyes for a minute and revisit the 45 hours of cooking together, long dinners, drinking wine and sleeping late.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

10 Things you don't know about me...

Ten things you don't know about me.
Ok, so there are probably more than ten things but here are a few that may make you say hmmmmmm, that paper mom is cra-cra.  (And oh by the way, do your kids say cra-cra instead of crazy, too?)

1.  I don't know how to dive and I can't stand water in my ears.  Plunging into the pool isn't my idea of a good time although soaking in our pool is quite high on my list of favorite things.  I've always thought a good long soak solves most problems.

2.  The Penguin Plunge is on my bucket list.  This makes no sense considering I hate winter and cold.  Yet the thought of cleansing your body and soul in ice cold water has some appeal.

3. You may already know this one.... I have a fear of math.  I've had adult nightmares of skipping Mrs. Kowalchyk's high school algebra only to have to then attend and not know anything.  I've had this dream people and I have had it more than once.

4.  Despite being a good Catholic religious woman who looks forward to spring each year, I hate easter decorations.  The whole spring, pastel, colored egg, bunny thing just annoys me.

5.  I am slightly afraid of visiting zoo's. I am not an animal girl and the thought of those tigers jumping a fence or a lion crashing through a glass barrier seriously is on my mind while visiting.. . . . and if I am truly coming clean? birds scare me and I have opinions about squirrels.

6.  My cub scout and I have a special kiss each night.  lips, cheek, cheek, forehead, nose, lips, chin, lips.  I hope we continue to do it when he is 30.

7. I am blind as a bat.  I've worn contacts for 27 years.

8. I have an amazing sense of direction and can practically get you from here to there no matter what and I am not talking about mapquest peeps.

9.  I miss working full time.  I know, call me cra cra.

10. I could eat pizza day and night.

I had a feeling I had written a similar post awhile back.  After a quick search, I did a similar blog post in April of 2010 with a post called "Get to know Papermom"  so I guess I have officially blogged too long, I am now repeating myself.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cubscout or science guy?

As my eight year old cubscout was contemplating his career, he asked, "Do teachers get paid?" I thought that was so innocent and out of the blue.  It made me giggle.  Only to be followed up with, "I am not sure if I want to be a science person, like a scientist in a lab or like a science man as a teacher." 

This kid makes my heart sing everyday.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Love Letter to the World's Greatest Husband

I've taken the BlogHer challenge and wrote my lover a love letter.  As any long time Paper Mom reader knows, I love this guy - writing this letter was easy peasy because he evokes mushie, gushie, lovey, dovey feelings in this paper mom everyday..... I am a lucky duck.

February 14, 2013
Dear World's Greatest Husband,

Every week when we hold hands in church, I am reminded of all the blessings that are in my life.  Blessings, much like our days, start and end with you.  Church provides 6o minutes of reflection, appreciation and peace and it is when I feel the love of family and the strength of you.  I feel it throughout the week when you hold me at bedtime.  I feel it when you give me a kiss in the morning or hug me from behind when I am doing the dishes.  It seems to be the one true thing I can count on.
Your love is special for about a million and one reasons, thank you.  I am grateful that you are willing and able to show me your love, I feel it in a very deep and personal way and that gives me confidence, strength and hope.  The fact that you are willing to embrace my love in return makes it all so much sweeter. 
We’ve got history.  I think we have rewritten our definitions of what love and family are.  I am happy that you have given me a second chance at building a life based on love, respect, trust and friendship. Our partnership is so much more than I could have ever imagined 7 years ago.

With all my love,
Paper Mom

Thursday, January 24, 2013

EMILY's List: Strength in Numbers

Ok, I love this video... It makes me proud to be a woman and proud to be a democrat, it gives me chills.... thank you EMILY'S List....for all you do for me, my mom, my three daughters and all my girlfriends.  2016 - is right around the corner. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Age is on my mind....

AGE - It's on my mind again.  Lately I have tried to embrace age a bit differently knowing its inevitable.  My husband is 7 years older than me and time and time again over the course of our love story I have taken note of how he experiences "AGE" before me and quite honestly at the time it is noticed, it has annoyed me only to realize he gets the last laugh.

For example:  When we first started dating I took note of his hearing on occasion.  I would often think,  "He can't hear me.... he is just shaking his head yes and he has no idea what I just said."  Now granted this has always been noted while screaming kids are in the background with at least one machine or device blaring music at the same time.  Add to that a beeping stove, microwave or clothes dryer.  Simply stated, I took note and possibly even maybe, got a tad frustrated with him.  ONLY to give him the last laugh.  My new favorite word is..... "What?"  I swear only a few years later, I am constantly saying "What" unable to distinguish between words, music, noise, kids and requests.

Another example?  Eyesight.... he can't see, always looking for his glasses (usually on top of his head) only to be followed up by my first pair of readers.  Yes, I said it.  READERS!  My dear friend happily bestowed them on me for my 42nd birthday.  Love that girl!  Not having to actually purchase them helped ease the pain.  I like to think they are stylish fashion accessory. I am currently looking for a fabulous sparkly necklace to hang them from so they are never far from my head.  Ya know, your grandma had one.

Ears, eyesight, flexibility, memory..... it's all on the table

Acceptance of getting older not only comes in physical ways.... yesterday at church my husbands shirt was all untucked and ridiculous.  10 years ago I would have been embarrassed, I would have shot him "The look" with emotional hand signals and exaggerated lip reading that demanded a " fix yourself statement" instead age has mellowed me to accept my husband as is.... because bottom line - he loves me so deeply an untucked shirt is minor in the scheme of things.  I think I am mellowing.  I think it's a good thing.  I think I don't have much of a choice here.... age is happening our kids are growing up and soon my husband will get the perk of the Dunkin Donuts discount.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Wreaths

Valentine's Day Wreaths and treat holders

Fun Wine Tags
On Saturday we supported a Cancer Awareness event at Norwich Free Academy.  It was a nice afternoon with vendors, crafts, food and Prizes.  I attended in honor of Ann.  One of the bravest women I know.  A survivor in more than one way - she is beautiful, strong and brave.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 - It's a new year and a new refrigerator

Well I knew better than to have "blog more" as a new year's resolution.  It's taken 10 days for me to log on and wish you all the best in 2013.  Even though I haven't posted ... I've thought of you time and time again, hoping and wishing I could find time to blog.  

My 2013 new year's resolution is to keep my "in box" clean.  This is no easy task.  I've scaled back on tons of automatic subscription emails but companies, products and special offers still seem to find me.  It's amazing how much "junk mail" takes up space in my life.  It has been a conscious act each day to clean out my inbox.  I am not so sure if I can keep it up but I am going to try to, it makes me feel lighter and feeling lighter is an entirely different resolution that has worked for the past 10 days (well minus the slice or shall we say slices of pizza on yesterday's menu) but really in all fairness - I've spent 7 out of the 10 new days of the year living out of coolers in our garage.  Yes, you read that right.... our refrigerator broke and it took a week to get a new one delivered.  I must add - It broke on the day I arrived home with a car load of groceries.  I must admit, the new one is shiny and beautiful and makes me happy but it has been a long week.  I've had to put on a coat and gloves to get the milk for my coffee and honestly that has helped my diet in week one.

Bring it on 2013 - my fridge is stocked and my inbox is empty.

Happy New Year Paper Peeps - wishing you only love, luck and laughter.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Love and a Bathroom Rug

They say as you get older the things you really want for Christmas can't be bought.  I think that is true for me after this very long sad week in America and Connecticut.  I want my kids and family to simply be content in the moment, be healthy, help others, and find joy in their hearts.  Love, love, love - people, it's what makes the world go round.....

I found joy in my heart when my cub scout and I had this exchange earlier in the week:

Cub scout:  "Mom, you really are the best mom in the world"
Paper Mom:  "Your sweet, why do you think that?"
Cub Scout: "Because at night when you wake me up to go to the bathroom you always push the bathroom rug over by the toilet so my feet don't get cold"

As Oprah would say.... Love is in the details.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We Are Norwegian Now... we cruised the Jewel

We are home.  All five kids are alive, happy and well. They did fine without us for a week. But let me tell you easing back into real life is not glamorous or fun.  Cruising like a Norwegian is much more exciting than working, cooking or cleaning.  My only regret....I  was not being able to blog, tweet and facebook during the week, as so many things were happening moment by moment and it would have been nice to share.

I unplugged all devices and that had a whole host of benefits for my romantic week with the World's Greatest Husband as we sailed on our anniversary love boat but the down side is trying to explain moments like the "washy washy man" after the fact. It would seriously have more of an impact and humor if I were tweeting it the moment it happened, with little explanation, now it simply has lost the energy to explain the washy washy jingle and humor. But if you have cruised like a Norwegian, you are giggling right now.

So here is my quick recap of the Norwegian Jewel.... ready?? stay with me.... wait for it..... and now  BOOK IT....

Ironically, the couple that cruised to get away from five kids... had 800 on their boat (I am not kidding) The boat usually hosts 200ish but cruise a thanksgiving cruise and that all changes.  Lucky for us our house is a loud, fun place so being near kids on the boat didn't seem so bad but as the week went on and they all became friends, they traveled in packs and that was interesting to watch.   We heard that some kids were crying when their parents went to camp to pick them up.  My bottom line take on the kid thing.... I think it is a great family vacation idea. Especially for a family with children ages 8-17.   That being said, I would want to cap their key cards so they couldn't spend a trillion of my dollars.  We chatted with a proud dad talking about his kids and their exciting trip only to offer a wink and a  whisper-- "Ya, but take it from us it's way more fun without them."

Once we got settled into cruising life -- life was perfect. Our meals were beautiful and yummy.  Entertainment, top notch with amazing talent and skill.  Staff - the friendliest bunch of paper mom peeps I've ever met. Accommodations were luxurious, roomy and clean.  The Norwegian staff certainly knows how to throw a party.

So what really struck me?
Nakedness in the spa.  No holding back, naked ladies dressing and undressing into comfy robes to sit on the mosaic heated chairs that stared out onto the ocean. Big lady nakedness and little lady nakedness.

The rules don't change.  Shorts and t-shirts are not allowed in the dining room on any night even though we continuously saw folks trying to break the rule and slide on in.  Seriously, you paid a lot of money to cruise I think you should be able to find something other than running shorts and a ratty old T.

A wine package is a good idea.  For a couple who doesn't drink much.... we managed to down a bottle of vino each night.  The package made it easy and was offered at a discount on day one.

The cabin stewards are sort of psychic.  I swear our guy only saw our face once and one evening while walking on the wrong side of the boat he shouts out - cabin 5586 you are on the other side.... amazing.

My only complaint........  hair conditioner.  Bravo for Norwegian saving the earth by having dispensers rather than  individual packaging for soap and shampoo but I missed my conditioner -- a minor complaint for a week in paradise....and oh ya, I didn't care for the hamburger buns.

Now I am ready to book another.  But next time I will stay plugged in and tweet my feelings as I go.  I am hoping I have the power ball winning ticket because I will look to "rent" the whole boat and throw one heck of a party for my family and even you my faithful readers.

I hope your thanksgiving was lovely.  As for us, we are thankful for many things but believe it or not, we ate in the Italian restaurant, Mama's on Thanksgiving - we had the place to ourselves and the best service on the boat.

Tis the season people.  I hope to be blogging a bit more just so we can celebrate the meaning of the holidays together. . . . . like old friends.

Friday, November 9, 2012

One Direction and Rick Springfield

Dear Mom and Dad,
I've had a burning question of late. . . was I as wacky as my two 12 year old girls when I was their age?  I think the answer is yes but last night really sealed the deal.  You see, the girls are obsessed with the boy band One Direction.  They watch videos, play their music, read about them, text about them, hang their posters and scour stores for anything with One Direction or as "directioners" say. . . ID on it.  I've had moments where I think this little obsession has been a right of passage, something cute, part of growing up.  Then I've had other times when I have said, turn it down! or turn it off way too many times before they actually listen.  I heard one of them actually has 24 tattoo's.  While in the kitchen yesterday, one of the girls (I'll let you guess which one) actually whispered with big eyes, "Mom I heard the song "rock me" actually means something else, something inappropriate."  Playing dumb I ask, "Really like what?" and she mouthed the word "s-e-x" to me.  I think it was the first time I ever actually heard the word uttered from her sweet innocent lips.

Last night we watched them perform on the X-factor and the girls couldn't breathe,  they jumped, screamed and one cried.   Then it dawned on me. . .

  • My Rick Springfield t-shirt from the t-shirt shop where you pick the iron on. I picked the back side of the Working Class Dog Album as my iron on.
  • The poster board collage of all my Rick pictures from 16 magazine.
  • The "I've Done Everything for you"concert with Alison Terry
  • Joining the fan club (ok, I admit as an adult!)
  • And much like the word s-e-x I remember whispering the word s-h-i-t when he sang carry me away (the flip side of the Jessie's girl 45)  
  • The fact that I remember the first song he sang at my first concert was "Kristina" and I recently scored pretty darn high on the Rick Springfield online trivia game shouldn't concern you today..... I've been to more than a dozen more shows since 81 but it really doesn't compare to some of the other 40 somethings that I meet there. 
So last night about 8:30PM I answered my own question and in a very sweet way I was brought back to my early teen years, reminding me of the days when there was no greater joy than watching Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.

And for the 100th time on this blog, I will post one of my favorite photos in the world.  Saying this was a thrill of a lifetime really doesn't even come close.
 I wonder if the girls will meet Harry, Zayn, Nile, Liam and Louie in 2037.

Mom and Dad, thanks for letting me have that little teen obsession that makes you want to practice kissing on your pillow.  I still think he is the best.

By the way - Rick has a new album out - Songs for the End of the World.
visit his website for all the details - and if you are wondering my favorite Rick song is "ordinary girl" he wrote it for his wife.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ready to Cruise like a Norwegian

I must admit, since downloading the Norwegian Cruise line puzzle app, I get  little butterflies in my stomach every time my cub scout completes a puzzle and the "cruise like a Norwegian song" plays.  The count down is on and it has never felt so good.  November is a crazy month, I will send 850 solicitation letters asking for support for our local library and I will welcome more than 1200 people to a special one day festival at the Library (the day before my cruise).  Although neither project completely rests on my shoulders.  The buck stops with me and failure really isn't an option. I am working hard.

I've earned my cruise every single day since my last one  16 years ago and the one before that 20 years ago ( a college graduation present).  But this month - my cruise month - with all my responsibilities and projects it seems as though I am earning double points on this countdown journey.  Basically just like you, our life is a circus.

So here is what I am looking forward to the most as I "cruise like a Norwegian" (Can you hear the music?):
1. I am looking forward to not having to share a bite of food off my plate or a sip of my drink and yes, for extra credit lets not forget that I won't have to cook that plate of food or pour that drink.
2. I am looking forward to dressing up, dressing down and undressing. I am looking forward to wearing the new clothes that the World's Greatest Husband has no idea about.
3. I am looking forward to meeting new people, sitting on a beach, having a glass of wine everyday and reading a book.
4.  I am looking forward to uninterrupted sleep.
5. I am looking forward to no alarm clocks, homework checks, spelling tests, permission slips, tween pouty lips, huffs, puffs and stomps.
6. I am looking forward to a week of no electronic media monitoring.
7. If I have to remind the World's Greatest Husband to take a shower, brush his teeth, get his pajama's on (ok, that's a stretch we are a lone for 7 days PJ's aren't needed) pick up his clothes or wash his hands - I swear I will jump overboard.
8. I am looking forward to playing Bingo like a grandma.
9. I am looking forward to listening to music that does not include tracks by One direction, Glee or Justin Bieber.  All cutie-patooties but not my choice on the radio dial.
10. Most of all --I am looking forward to celebrating five years of a beautiful marriage and family with the guy who has changed my life all for the better.  The man who is my rock and my safe place to fall.  The one who just recently looked at me and said, "wow, I don't think I've ever seen you without make up on"   Ya, you can imagine the rest of that conversation......

Almost Bon Voyage my friends.......  Hey Jewel peeps - get ready, I am coming......

Friday, November 2, 2012

Paper Wreath

I've been busy.  I can't stop.... seriously.  It's an addiction.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Unusual Politics This Time of Year

Tonight the World’s Greatest Husband and I attended a farewell conversation with Senator Joe Lieberman.  Those who know me well know that I am a closet political junkie.  This is my season, these are my people and quite honestly it feels like we know we have a winning instant lottery ticket in our back pocket but haven’t scratch off the numbers yet.

Tonight’s conversation, sponsored by the Norwich Bulletin and led by Ray Hackett was a political trip down memory lane.  It was a moment to honor the Senator and celebrate his service.  All done in a conversational format that Hackett has mastered; I didn’t want the hour long chat to end.

I’ve always like Senator Lieberman and tonight I felt like I was sitting in a living room with an old friend.  The room was filled with warmth and respect which isn’t a standard in politics especially these last few weeks.   I seriously felt like we should be sharing a glass of wine and passing around the pictures of his 12 grandchildren.  He shared stories of his life, his family and his work, his hardest days, his proudest moments, his hopes for America and yes - those moments where reality keeps one humble and Hadassah announces “Take out the garbage.”

His career path is one of service, he has reached across the aisle heck, he has even jumped across the aisle. He has been praised and criticized, but in the end it is about making the United States of America the best it can be, Connecticut the strongest it can be.  His reflective spirit was apparent throughout the night.  It had a tone that maybe only a politician that isn’t in a race, a politician who is on the verge of retirement can truly share or feel but all present politicians could certainly benefit from.

Tonight was a breath of fresh air in a crazy political season.  Congratulations Senator Joe Lieberman, Congratulations to the Norwich Bulletin and Ray Hackett.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Paper Mom Classes

Getting ready to mail out my "last minute" holiday paper class invitations to local libraries and senior centers. 

Are you feeling crafty?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Norwegian Cruise to Paradise....

The World’s Greatest Husband and I are contemplating a cruise to paradise to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, a grown up kind of vacation, the kind where it is just the two of us for seven nights and eight days.  I must admit, in my mind this is big, B-I-G, bigger than big.  I deserve this little excursion for many reasons but over the last few days it has become clear that a little break with sun, sand, exotic drinks, vacation sex and a bit of shopping will make me a better wife, mother, employee, volunteer and heck I even think… driver, cook and catholic. Life has suddenly overwhelmed me.

So I want the World’s Greatest Husband to consider the top ten reasons why I need a vacation:
  1.    I need a vacation because I would like to not have to listen for footsteps to the bathroom door with a lock click to know our kids actually, finally did get out of bed after visiting their rooms eight times with a big “Time to rise and shine for school mantra” 
  2.   I need a vacation because our eight year old cub scout’s  4 AM bathroom wake- up call often comes with a “I can’t fall back asleep” situation that lasts until 15 minutes before my alarm goes off.
  3.    I need a vacation because although nothing is really truly lost unless mom can’t find it, I am tired of looking. 
  4.  I need a vacation because starting next fall and for the next 12 years, our five kids are in the college pipeline, our only vacation will be tuition payments, all while knowing 7 out of the 12 years we will be making payments for two children at a time and that is only if they all do it in the allotted four years. 
  5.  Ok, do I need to repeat number four?
  6.  I need a vacation because over the last 4 weeks our September, October schedule has kicked in with art lessons, track and field, gymnastics, marching band, book club, fall softball, tennis lessons,  zentangle class, CCD and ALGEBRA HOMEWORK.
  7.   I need a vacation because we have not one but two twelve year old seventh grade girls. 
  8.   I need a vacation because no matter what night and what meal I am cooking someone has the nerve to say, “Ewwe, I don’t like that”
  9.  I need a vacation because I am tired of monitoring hand held devices with timer on our microwave.
  10.   I need a vacation because five years in -- and  I still really like the World’s Greatest  Husband , I enjoy his company and like to laugh and learn with him and I don’t want to lose that butterflies in my stomach feeling when we focus on one another.  Over the last many years we have never had more than a few days without our children and that has never coincided with no work or home responsibilities.  We honeymooned for two days in Providence (now granted it was a grand sweet with spa treatments and amazing dinners but still only 48 hours!)  A blended family, like any family is exhausting but hey, for extra credit points we have two other sets of parents that factor into the equation constantly.  It takes flexibility, patience, a ton of money and a sense of humor to make it work.  Lucky for us we have a partnership that works and kids who genuinely like each other.  My cub scout recently said, “Our best days are the days we are all together” Now really who can ask for anything more than that?  Well beside a romantic seven day Norwegian cruise out of New York Thanksgiving week with the World’s Greatest Husband who I love deeply.  Honey, I hope you are reading this.


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