Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time is a Gift

As the year draws to a close, the final days of 2010 have brought me to my knees thanking God for a little time.  I’ve spent the past week enjoying my parents love, and as a 40 year old woman with five kids and one World’s Greatest Husband I have a constant evolving appreciation for the love that my parents continue to demonstrate. 

2010 was a year riddled with illness, and few struggles that seemed bigger than me.  I’ve felt strong, I’ve felt weak. I know which I prefer, yet I am smart enough to know that each experience influences the woman I continue to become.  A little time with my parents means more today than ever before.  Knowing all of the “life” that has happened, the good and the bad,  and how that has influenced our relationship, knowing all the stories and memories, reliving them, celebrating them and creating new ones shape our story and our family.  As I approach 2011, I am grateful for time and know it is a gift, this week, my parents, my children, my husband, our ability to participate fully in this life, a true gift and brings me a calm heart
My favorite word is PEACE. It is a word that lives in my soul.  It ranks right up there with balance, spirit, and laughter.  Peace is my wish for 2011.  I wish for PEACE in every sense of the word… peace in my home, peace in my job, peace in my heart, peace in my soul, peace among my children, and peace in this world.   Wishing you good health and love in the New Year and always.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I am officially 40 and Fab!

Oh my favorite Paper Mom readers… are you asking, where the heck is Paper Mom?
I am so sorry to keep you waiting for a post.
So much has been going on….the biggest news?
I am now officially 40 and fabulous!
As so many of you know my dear parents are in town and all the preparation leading up to Christmas and their visit was keeping me from blogging.  Now they are here and we are enjoying spending every minute together.  Which means it’s keeping me from blogging.  So let’s just officially state, I am taking a break from Paper Mom for the rest of the year with a sincere commitment to making 2011 the best blogging year ever.  I have many thoughts to share with you as I begin my journey into my 40’s.  I know we can learn a lot from one another.  Whew, just officially stating that I am taking a blogging break helps melt away all that bloggy guilt I’ve been carrying.  Saturday starts a new year and I’ll be ready…. Until then, I hope you have the opportunity to share some laughter with friends and family.  I’ll talk to you soon.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Funerals and grocery stores....

I can’t believe it’s December and Christmas is only two weeks away.  I had big plans for a relaxing December, trying to be fully aware of the season, our family, peace, harmony and common good.  Suddenly, it’s TWO weeks until 40, two weeks until Christmas, two weeks until my parents and our little family reunion, two weeks until school vacation and I feel unprepared.  My wheels are spinning and I am not sure which direction to turn.  I even feel a bit of bloggy guilt, I’ve been horrible about posting my daily thoughts so here are two quick thoughts as 40 is making me a bit more reflective...

I can no longer pass a funeral procession without tearing up.  I often see them as I pass the Cathedral on my way to work.  I am not sure why this happens now and never used to.  Life is so fragile, to love and be loved is really a honor and to know that family are filing by one after another, slowly with their car headlights on,  dressed in black to pay their final respects somehow deserves my tears, even if I have no clue who they are.

While checking out at the grocery store I realized the “Go Green” bring your own grocery bags initiative is sort of comical when you see all the coupons the register spits out with my receipt.  Today the cashier had to string them back and forth to make a little wad of paper coupons as she wished me a good day.   I guess I will recycle those too!

So I am going to go plan the menu for the week that my parents are in town.  That will make me feel a bit accomplished today.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I don't get it...

Just thinking…. Here are some things I just don’t understand.
  • Why teacher work days are planned for Tuesdays or Thursdays.  Why not make a long weekend for parents to plan for?
  • Littering, really the nerve of that obnoxious act is quite unsettling. 
  • Why the newspaper machine will only accept quarters.  What is wrong with my nickels and dimes?
  • Why I feel guilty about using “Santa is watching” as a threat for my six year old.
  • Why my husband separates our recycled goods when we have one step, streamlined recycling (it all gets thrown in the same truck).

Life is busy lately.  I hope we get to talk more in the coming days…

Friday, December 3, 2010

What is texting doing to our youth?

I like technology.  I like gadgets.  I am not a technology wizard by any stretch but I am intrigued.  I do have growing concerns, I have to wonder about texting and what it means for our future, specifically what is it doing to our young people?  My teenagers should certainly go to medical school to study the human hand because the teenagers today will have carpal tunnel or other issues no doubt, when they approach 40.

So for example.  
I received a text at 3:05 asking when will I be at the “circle” to pick “him” up.
I text back,  I am leaving work in five minutes.  At 3:10 I received a text Ok.  At 3:13 I had a phone call.  Did you get my message? I am in the circle.   

Yes, I think texting is an amazing tool but it doesn’t allow for problem solving.  Answers are immediately given to correct a problem, report, reassure, advise.  Not that those things are all bad but sometimes waiting it out brings clarity, peace or in this case a ride home.  I can remember standing outside my high school for 30 or even 40 minutes waiting for a ride from my mom.  I would have to wait, no play by play, up to the minute update…. Just sit and wait and she will get there when she is able. 

My ride home with our teenager got even better.  He asked me to stop at a friends house to pick up a notebook.  My first reaction was to say you can walk over from the driveway (it’s three houses away) but to cooperate, I pulled into the friends driveway.  And my teenager sits and waits next to me in the car.  I pipe up, aren’t you going to the door? He responds, well let me text him, call him and he begins to fiddle with his phone.  I stopped him and ordered him to go to the door, knock, communicate, visit, smile.  All this and I know he had already text him at least three times saying we would be stopping by.

At the risk of sounding like my father who never lets me forget that when he was a kid he would walk to school for three miles, uphill, in a foot of snow, barefoot.  I will leave well enough alone and simply state, I am on to this technology stuff, my eyes are open to find ways to encourage old fashioned face to face communication skills – of course I may have to text the kids with instructions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Only 25 days....

It’s December. The countdown is on.
The countdown to school vacation.
The countdown to Christmas.
The countdown to Mom and Dad visiting.
The countdown to 40.
It is a month full of anticipation.
Do you know the cleaning I have to complete?

I hope your December days are filled with peace and the spirit of the season.  I am really, really, really going to try and keep the reason for the season in my heart.  It isn’t easy when I am the cruise director for this extra large family. 

Let’s take this month long journey together.  Are you in? 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bargains for those who have the proper coupons

I love a bargain.
I believe in coupons but clearly I am not cut out to use them.
I spent a good part of Thanksgiving Day studying the many black Friday flyers and clipping coupons.  I was proud of the little envelope I created.
When I went to go use my little money saving pieces of newsprint it didn’t work so well….

For example…
My save $15 when I spend $70 at JCpenney was good only after 3pm.  I was there at noon.

My save $10 when I purchase $30 or more at Bath and Body Works cannot be used at the outlet store unless it has the word “signature” is printed on it.  Same goes for my “Free” item when I spend $10.  Needless to say, it was missing “signature”

My Friendly’s Restaurant coupon was only good at one participating store, that was 22 miles from the restaurant I was sitting in.

And although this isn’t exactly a coupon… the icing on the cake?
You know I love online grocery shopping?  Well I spent a bit of Friday and Saturday morning  completing a rather large order only to find out that the only pick up time slots were now slated for Sunday.  Not the end of the world, I scheduled it…. I just woke up out of a sound sleep realizing my order was based on last week’s sale circular.  Today starts a new sale and my order will be cashed out on today’s sales not yesterdays of which I planned my list around. 
Yes, the shopping season is in full swing! Bring it on!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for today...

 am thankful for hot lunches,  gas stations that pump for you, my babysitter, the magic eraser, the butt warmer in my car, DVR, Oprah’s amazing 25th season, my i-phone, long weekends,  online grocery shopping,  and  blogging. 

But really, my husband and five kids give me an amazing amount of strength and love. I am a grateful Paper Mom.

Hope you are enjoying your day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A "Fall" To Remember

Forget thanksgiving, write about a time you fell.
Just reading Mama Kat's writing prompt made me start to laugh and remember the day...

It was a year and a half ago… a trip to visit my parents. I flew to the sunshine state to retrieve my daughter from an extended Grammy and Grandpa visit.  I spent a week with my folks before flying back.  On our last full day of Florida sunshine my mom and I decided to treat the kids to lunch and mini golf…

As I recall the day, it is as if it is replaying in slow motion in my head, it was the hottest day in the history of Florida, well at least it felt like it.  We were sweating off the pounds as we played the course, hole ten,  a slight incline a bumpy sidewalk and a 30 something acrobat tumbling down the hill.  I am not sure what happened, or how it happened, or why it happened.  But it happened, I fell (like a rock star!).  And looking back on it, it was one of those cartoonish sort of moments where I am convinced stars and little birdies were dancing above my head for all to see.  Not only did my mom come to my rescue so did all the nearby players.  Trying to be calm and collected, I had an urge to jump to my feet.  But honestly, I wasn’t sure if they were still attached to my body.   I managed to get up and make sure I was all there.  I had a pretty bad scrape and a toe nail ½ hanging off my big toe,  I was shaken and embarrassed!  My kids couldn’t hold back, they burst into laughter, busting a gut.  My mom  had a hard time holding back the laughter… it was almost too hot to laugh, we were dripping in sweat, giggly in a nervous sort of “I can’t believe I just made a fool out of myself" way, and then my mom got sweat in her eyes and was semi blinded which made us both lose it.  We seriously almost peed our pants from the series of events.  I was limping through the course and she was blind feeling her way through the course trying to find the ladies room to dab the sweat out of her eyes.  The kids were sick of the game, hot and sweaty and just wanted to get home to the pool.  Our little fun surprise outing nearly landed me in the emergency room and my mom at the eye doctor.  It didn’t impress the children and I swear to you… it took several months for my toe to heal.  Maybe you had to be there to appreciate it all, but I know I will never forget the day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love is in the Air...

I loved our wedding…
It was intimate with only 35 people, our closest friends and family.
It was romantic, a ceremony followed by an elegant candle lit dinner.
It was emotional, my husband’s vows had everyone in tears…
Lots of grown (well, like my dad) men crying over his words.
Many  men shaking hands with my husband afterward saying “man that was good” and it was good, because I know he means every single word.
Our kids held hands in a circle around us as we said our vows.
A piano player in the corner set the tone.
My dress was perfect!  Elegant, appropriate, romantic and classic.
Our three girls wore the same dress, our boys in the same tie.
I could gush for days over this special evening.  I could go on and on about our three day honeymoon.
Simply put, Dr. and Mrs. Paper Mom is about the best thing ever!
On Tuesday we will celebrate our anniversary but lucky for me, we celebrate our love every single day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why am I burned out?? haahahahah

Today I am linking up with Mama Kat's writers workshop, answering the question... 
Why am I burned out?

Five kids
Blended rules, lives, time and stuff
Five kids to referee
Laundry, 2.5 bathrooms to clean, dinner for seven
Five kids to shuttle around
Two jobs for the World’s Greatest Husband, Two jobs for the Mom/Step-Mo
Five kids to clothe, feed, strengthen and support
Finding time to talk with, love and date the World’s Greatest Husband
Five kids, period.

Why is my life the best?
Five kids
A second chance at love and a modern day family
Five kids sharing life’s ups and downs, navigating their way
A big house to build our happy life in
Five kids engaged in many activities to help them grow
We have the means to provide for our big family
Five kids that work together with spirit and open hearts (usually)
A husband who is supportive, loving, kind and only wants the best for all 7 of us
Five kids, period.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise... just not with this friend...

I am blogging to work through some unsettling emotion.  This is my therapy session, right? I am not so sure this is a judgment free zone but here I go.  At the very least you may get a good giggle on me.

Ok, so favorite Paper Mom readers, you all know about my love for all things Rick Springfield since I was in the 5th grade.  Well about a year ago, I started to gently plug that the Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise (yes, one does exist through Carnival Cruise Line every November) would be the ultimate 40th birthday dream come true.  I worked it hard for only a short time, announcing it in front of friends and family.  Of which they mostly giggled and rolled their eyes.  As the year went on I took a step back realizing our finances would suffer with such an indulgence and knowing the World’s Greatest Husband’s demanding work schedule would make it nearly impossible to take time off the second week of November.  Plain and simple, I shut up about it.  I stopped thinking about how great it would be to be on a beach with Rick, sipping cocktails and listening to Jessie’s Girl reggae style while soaking up some vitamin D.  Life happens, I moved on.  I hardly remembered it was cruise time until the recent carnival ship making the news…. Ding, Ding, Ding…. Oh, I’ll just visit the Rick cruise website and see the latest news….

Then as a weird stroke of luck or possibly the worst thing ever… I then took a little looksie at our Google calendar and saw "Monday, November 15,2010 2:30 PM – SAIL” as an entry and I started to think and dream myself sick….all I could think was….

OH MY GOD! The World's Greatest Husband BOOKED the Rick Springfield and Friends CRUISE Nov 15-20th!  He notified my boss, his appointments for the week are all a hoax, the kids must be in on it, maybe his sister is coming to stay with the kids, what the heck am I going to pack? Do I need a passport? Does he know I don’t have a passport? I need things, I need travel things…  Looking back on my little 20 minute brain overload, it was quite a conversation! (With myself)

So as the weekend started I absolutely convinced myself that there was no truth to this and wanted to ask him what SAIL meant in the calendar but in some weird sort of way, wanted to live the dream too.  Oh no, no, no this can’t be true.  We are not going.  Until we received a phone message on Saturday night from my sister-in-law, the one that was our imaginary 5 day cruise babysitter.  I felt relief when I listened to her voicemail and saw her number, ok, good, she is home in Virginia, and she isn’t on her way to stay with our 5 babies while I go have the ultimate 40th par-tay.  Silly Paper Mom, you ARE NOT cruising, relax, it’s ok…. Now you know the truth.  Except then I started to psych myself out…. What if that was simply a way to cast doubt on any thought I may have of cruising the ocean blue….

Oh people, you get the picture… the intense measurement of voice, details and scheduling this past weekend have worn me out.  I am not going to cruise with my boy Rick, instead two girls are getting braces in the morning, our oldest son is getting little kids off the bus while I attend a meeting and the World’s Greatest Husband is scheduled to work until 9pm. Life people, life. It would take a small army of qualified adults, contracts, paper, written rules, lists, lots and lots of lists to make our life happen without us being present, what was I thinking?  It was fun to dream, I found the “what if’s” to be truly exhausting.  I am headed to the office in the morning.  I have a lot to do.  But I may just pop in my Rick CD and try to find some peace in this stupid weekend of wonder.  What the heck is wrong with me? I don’t usually get this wacked out.  I am not disappointed, I knew the truth, honestly in my heart, I knew we weren’t going but it’s funny how our brain (especially my brain) can play the whole thing out as if it were a dream come true.  I feel sick and I had a horrible weekend, thanks for asking.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five for Friday with Life Without Pink

Five for Friday
Usually on Fridays I post five great things about today... but here I am switching it up... I am posting some photos about my happy place, the place I blog!  I am linking up with “Life Without Pink” to show off my blogging space.  

I usually blog while sitting in my living room.  While sometimes it provides a little nook to type and referee what is going on around me.  I prefer to blog from my big comfy chair in front of the TV in my bedroom.  Really, I am only able to blog from this special spot on Saturday nights when the World’s Greatest Husband is stuck at the Hospital and my kids are all asleep and let’s be honest, this space is rarely as clean as the photo. 

Winter Sucks!

I feel like I am waiting for a bus, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  WHY? Why do I have this feeling that something is about to happen and I am not sure if it is good or bad.  Hmmm, could it be my 40th birthday? The budget situation and will I have a job next year? The holidays and all the stress that comes with that?  my parents arrival? I am not sure.

It may simply be the arrival of winter….
I hate winter.  I hate winter.  Let me say that in a more creative way, I hate winter.
The thought of shorter days, cold nights and snow makes me want to vomit.  Sorry to be so crude but really… I hate winter.  We had an early dose this past week, nothing ugly just minor annoyances that delayed school for 90 minutes and made me wonder where the heck my sloppy weather shoes are.  I’ve been a New Englander all my life, my closest relatives live in the sunshine state.  Really, how did that happen?  I am the one who was supposed to move to warmer temperatures.  I’ve often said I only have a certain amount of winters left in me… I am at 12 now…. 12 more winters and then I will move.  My youngest will be 18 and headed to medical school, law school or honestly, what I have been plugging lately… dental school, those guys are making a killing off our family! 

You should see me in the winter… besides my grumbling, I dress like an Eskimo.  I rarely come into the house and take my coat off; I keep it on, start dinner and keep going.  I have a chill always and bedtime is joke.  I think the World’s Greatest Husband is really looking forward to the bedtime layers….

So here we go again, winter is fast approaching and I hate it.  I guess what I am really “waiting for” is for winter to be over.  I’ve become a real believer in Groundhog Day.  I’ll take some hope anywhere I can get it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


What would your last meal be?
I listened to a clip on NPR with Nora Ephron.  She has a new book out and I can’t wait to read it!  In her interview she mentions playing the game “What would your last meal be?”  So hey favorite Paper Mom readers, let’s play…

Hmm, I would like a week’s worth of food for that last meal and I absolutely don’t want to do the dishes.  In addition, I would like to eat this meal on the prettiest plates with a tablescape that would make Martha drool.   Let’s start the feast with a glass of pinot grigio.  I would follow that up with a salad, a bed of greens, fresh strawberries, cucumbers, and chopped walnuts top that yum-mo salad off with a balsamic vinaigrette please. What’s next? Well stuffed mushrooms would make me happy, or maybe a slice of thin, dirty, sausage pizza, of course a crab meat manicotti or New England clam chowder works too!  Of course lobster (lazy man only) and garlic bread, lots of garlic bread would make me smile like a first grader on Halloween night.  A baked potato with sour cream and a sprinkle of crumbled bacon or maybe even an egg over easy with some buttery toast wouldn’t be the worst thing to digest… but ultimately my all time favorite would be my mom’s shrimp with squash and tomatoes over linguine that would be the meal to make me feel love and know that life is good.  Let’s add to that the biggest slice of carrot cake with some cream cheese frosting and stick a fork in me…

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet, Sweet, Sweet!

One of Sweet Maria's Creations! Amazing!!!

Unfortunately our downtown struggles.  It is often viewed as a "dangerous after dark" kind of place.  It just so happens, it is where I work.  Our Library, our community center is the heart of downtown.  I personally don’t buy into the danger thing and last night proved it!  As Library lovers we often hear "women won’t go downtown after dark for library events, the parking, the people…" well last night we proved them wrong…. and I admit, it felt good! 50 women (and a few men) packed our community room to hear baker and cookbook author,  Maria Bruscino Sanchez tell her story.

Have you heard of Maria?  Well let’ just say this…. She is AMAZING! Sweet, kind, driven, funny and one heck of a baker!  She shared her journey from marketing account executive to  business owner, baker & author.  Twenty years into the business and she still enjoys it, and prefers to be in the kitchen at her bakery, Sweet Maria's in Waterbury, CT!  She made us laugh and made us Oooo and AAHhh over some spectacular cakes and cookie decorating techniques.  I love, love, love hearing the journey of women entrepreneurs, and her story is another story of inspiration another lesson on following your passion, doing what you love and hard work always pays off.  Be sure to visit her website  and fan her on facebook too!

Kudos to Julie for planning this fabulous night!

An Open House, Paperly Style...

Last week was a fun Paperly sort of week.  I wanted to post a few pictures of my little paper collection.
The catalogs...
Some holiday items!
So many memo sheets!
flat notes, folded notes, oh the choices!
And an additional benefit of hosting a Paperly open house last week? A clean the living room!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Blog-o-versary to me!  My first post was on November 5th, 2009.   I am writing my 200th post a year later.  It is hard to believe that a year has gone by, a year of blogs, vlogs, friends and posts.  I've loved writing, reading and thinking... this blog has become a part of me, I have a sense of responsibility to it, and to you, my favorite Paper Mom readers.  Since blending our families three years ago I feel like very few things in our hectic life are mine... all mine... but this little blog is all mine (well its sort of yours too) but I get to set the direction and tone... Paper Mom has become my creative outlet, personal therapy and my safe place to rant, complain, shine and share.  Thank you for reading. I hope you get a good giggle every once in awhile.  I hope these little snippets of my life help you (and heck, me too) realize we are not alone on this journey, we are a sisterhood of strong women, for crying out loud,  God knows we do it all, we know it all and really - we like it that way... except when it causes small minor breakdowns that require a strong cocktail, a girls night out or a good cry on the World's Greatest Husband's shoulders.  Ladies, let's toast the blog that keeps us connected.  I hope you continue to read my little labor of love.  I truly appreciate your checking in.  Cheers!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Five great things about today:

  1. It's Paperly Open House Day! Yippee!  Looking forward to showing off the Paperly line and visiting with friends.  As I was pulling it all out this morning, I realized.... I own a lot of paper!  Come see!
  2. My playroom is a bit more organized (I won't go as far as saying clean and sparkly) 
  3. Its the last day of 1/2 days... those darn school conferences.
  4. An additional under the lights softball game & pizza party tonight.  It gets my kids out of the house with something to do while I host a Paperly Open House!
  5. Did I mention I am hosting a Paperly Open House tonight? 5-8pm. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Paperly Open House

Friday is the Paperly Holiday Open House.  I hope you will come!  5-8p.  
I am looking forward to visiting with friends and displaying the entire Paperly line of personalized stationery.  Stop by for wine and friendship and prizes!  Need more info? Email me:  papermom.andrea(at)Yahoo(dot)com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My heart almost burst at the city council meeting & that could be messy.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with blog posts floating in my head.  I feel an urgency to write, to post, to read.  I always have the best of intentions for you, my favorite Paper Mom readers.  There are other days where the posts run dry.  Zippo. Done. Toast.  And then there was yesterday, 1 million post ideas and life gets in the way.  Our five kids are all present and accounted for on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.    Add to that: games, practices and activities, yes, life sometimes gets in the way and oh by the way, I live for Fridays. 

I simply can’t let yesterday slip by without professing my love for the World’s Greatest Husband.  Ever have those moments where you are so darn proud of your husband that you want to put an ad in the newspaper? I never had that feeling until meeting the World’s Greatest years ago and although I can’t afford a newspaper ad, I have a blog….Last night we marched our kids into the city council meeting, dressed in softball garb to request $10,000 for field improvements to our softball complex.  My husband was the second to speak.  He said it all so nicely.  But the part that always makes my heart sing? He said, “my three daughters”  he said “my two sons”  I know it may sound silly to take a moment to reflect on those statements but in a blended life, there is so much messaging that takes away from the family we are building.  Hearing my husband state what we live daily, in a public format, hearing him advocate for “his girls” nearly made my heart burst.   Yep, he is a keeper.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, Monday

Running to work but wanted to wish you a Happy Monday.  I will post a Gayle and Oprah reflection this afternoon.  

Also, I am going to live a long, healthy life because of my Five for Friday posts.  Apparently, if you log some gratitude into your weekly or daily life you are a happier person according to Woman's Day magazine. 

Glad to have the frantic Halloween behind us, now on to the sugar high...

PS - If you are visiting because of the Rick Review, scroll down, I am happy to have you visit.  
AND PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE, my "Facebook Like" icon hasn't moved in days.... and I am close to 60! go ahead, make my day and like me!  I have no shame...

And another week begins..... 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Five for Friday
Five great things about TODAY:

  1. My Rick Springfield book review can be seen on his website (silly thrill but still a thrill!)
  2. I am headed out with the World's Greatest Husband to a surprise par-tay tonight.  Shhhhh!
  3. Grocery shopped on-line last night, getting ready to go pick up my order.  (is that not the best little gift?)
  4. Remembered the juice boxes for the Halloween party at school.
  5. My kids are going to Disney with their grandparents this summer - AGAIN!!!!! 

Happy Weekend!
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Late, Late at Night - a Rick review...

Well I’ve finished the much anticipated Late, Late at Night by Rick Springfield.  I have to say, other than meeting him at a concert in August of 2004, it was my second best Rick experience of a lifetime.   I have connected to his music for 27 years, I’ve seen him perform numerous times and as I round 40 I have now connected with my long time rock star on a new level.  Knowing his path makes me appreciate the real life passion and challenges of an artist.  I am struck by many things that he writes but the aspect of the book that resonates most is his description about being a fan.  He writes, “It puts life in perspective and there is always more to aspire to when you’re looking up.  And everyone is a fan of someone.  Paul (McCartney) is a fan of someone, I am a fan of Paul’s, and someone is a fan of mine.”  A little life lesson in that “looking up” statement.  I’ve always enjoyed moments where I get of glimpse of who I want to be in the future or better yet, what I don’t want to be.  Overall Rick’s journey has had its share of pain and if I am honest, stupid moves.  It is a bit more dramatic than my everyday trials at the office but the human spirit,  the wish to succeed, the dream of the good life are really all the same in each of us.  Finding peace and a little joy in that journey is the real trick.  Rick seems to have found serenity after a lifetime of struggle and when we know better, we do better.  To learn more visit
Did you read the book? What did you think? Leave some comment love below...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My role as Step Mo and why I wanted to deck the hygienist

Ok, this post is long, stay with me... it's therapy, remember?

Keeping Step-mo-ing in the positive.... A linky-dinky-doo to Mama's Losin' it...
5.) “Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow” – Helen Keller
In what ways are you able to stay positive about something that sometimes brings you down?

The World’s Greatest Husband and I work hard to blend the lives of our five little monkeys.  It isn’t easy work.  I will even add in our ex’s as partners in the process because for the most part, they try to play along and respect our situation.  (At least to my face, right?)  So I was thrown a bit the other day while we visited our dentist.  I had my bonus-daughter  with me  (just trying the term  “bonus” on for size, I hate the word “step”, while it may describe the situation it rarely covers the emotions, worry and love of the role.)  One of the hygienists kept walking by looking curious.  She was sizing us up and a bit confused.  On one of her passes she mumbles, “I keep looking at you, wondering, what are you doing with them, you don’t belong with them.”  On yet another pass through she states, “This isn’t your family.” Ok so honestly, as the step-mo with class and grace, I was so angered I wanted to deck her.  I know that sounds extreme and I am being a tad silly but the remarks hit me like a ton a bricks….crushing me.   In defense of the poor woman, I think she wasn’t mean spirited in her observation yet as a sensitive step-mo who tries to always do the right thing, I was hurt by her remarks.  I chimed in quickly, “oh she is my family, I am her step mother.”  I think the hygienist who was working on my youngest sensed my discomfort and started rambling on about how many blended families there are at the practice.  I was searching for some sort of validation so her comments and care certainly calmed me.

So here is the deal.  Step-mo is a hard role to navigate.  I am the one who has cleaned their puke, helped with homework, comforted and played referee, I am the one who cooks the meals, does the laundry, remembers valentine’s, stuffs the stockings, creates the sticker charts, reads the stories, puts up the pony tails, goes to the games….. I could go on and on and on (and let me remind you the World’s Greatest Husband is a partner every step of the way) but in the step-mo world, they still prefer their mom.  I am ok with that.  I understand that.  They love me, I don’t really doubt that.  I know that my role to play is different from the role of their mother.  It is sort of like I am not a doctor, but I get to play one on TV?  I play mom (sometimes) but I am not their mom.  What I do embrace is the role I do get to play.  I am sometimes the go-between, I sometimes get details mom and dad don’t, I sometimes am the first text when a boy expresses interest (remember that blog post?), I learn things from their FB pages and coach their dad on the latest happenings,  I can play hard ball or sit back depending on the situation.  I can be a step closer to friend on certain occasions and the one to blame on others.  The role has flexibility (which I sometimes struggle with) but mostly it has those small victories that make me feel like I am right where I am supposed to be, doing what I am doing, to help raise five smart, respectful, kind hearted kids.

So my experience at the dentist, was one of those moments where I felt that all my hard work, worry, care, and interest gets wiped away with one silly meaningless comment.  I understand that step mothers have a long history of being wicked.  Snow white has helped with that notion, but we are a family, my step kids are my family, my children call them brother and sister, we don’t have the traditional every other weekend situation at my house.  Our custody is almost 50/50 each and every week. They live here, with us they just don’t visit on Thursday nights for dinner.  We may not be the traditional family, we certainly aren’t “normal” (by the way, who is?) But we are a family.  I am not mad at the hygienist, it is an opportunity for me to blog about the role, to create a better understanding of blended bliss .  I realize not every situation is like ours.  Blended families can be a big ol mess.  But for the record so can biological families.  I am proud and grateful to be their step-mo surviving and thriving in the blender.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Love is the little things...

We hosted a small gathering here on Friday night.  When I put my kids on the bus Friday morning my son asked, “are you going to clean the house today  like that time you yelled at us all day”    Oh yes, a proud mother moment…  I answered “yes, be glad you are in school and you won’t hear me.”

The World’s Greatest Husband and I had two nights with no children this past weekend (very unusual.)  We slept like little babies.  It was wonderful.  He is the sweetest man alive.  During the week, he gets up an hour before I do and when he leaves our warm snuggly bed he always tucks me in, fixing the blankets, making sure I am covered up.  It’s the little things that make our love grand! 

As a side note, I am already sleeping in sweats, with three heavy weight blankies, I am not sure what will happen when real winter sets in…  You know I hate winter, right? I’ll be blogging about it, because I hate, hate, hate it!  Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh NO! what are they going to be for Halloween?

Well it’s that time of year again.  The time of year when I start to sweat, stir and stress…. Yes, it’s Halloween costume time.  If I were smarter, I would start the selection process with our back to school shopping because we are only a week out and I am still in need of costumes!  And let’s be honest, the deadline isn’t the 31st, my kids need costumes for a few events prior to trick or treating.  My challenge is magnified because I have two children who are afraid to visit the party store at this time of year.  I am not sure what I did years ago… but my ten year old clearly has a Halloween shopping memory and flat out refuses to visit the “Halloween aisle.”  So last night the light bulb went on…. Internet! My dear friend the internet would allow for a mild stroll through the costume aisle on their own terms… I am not sure why I didn’t think of this earlier, but  I don’t care at this point I will pay for priority shipping!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cheese Sticks?

Someday my youngest will read this blog and realize he is the topic of choice.  My son keeps feeding me material for this little bloggy blog...
Today he peaked inside my purse full of tampons and questioned.... "Mom, why are you bringing all those cheese sticks to work?"  
Seriously, "I can't make this stuff up!"  
I hope you are giggling....Have a good day!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oprah & Gayle Reflection Monday...

Ok, so I am sad to report that I haven’t finished Late, Late at Night by Rick Springfield.  I will soon and will gladly post my review.  I’ve been "shocked" and "not so shocked" by what I have read so far.   He is a complicated character.  I’ve enjoyed the media blitz and was pleasantly surprised when I listened to the Gayle King Show on Thursday….
Gayle and Oprah Reflection Monday proves that there is karma, love, and special spirit between me and my three pop culture imaginary friends…. GAYLE commented (for an extended time) on RICK’s NEW BOOK!  Click on the clip below if you are eager to listen (It’s long – 9 min) So beyond Rick’s sad story and his battle with depression and being over sexed… GAYLE mentions, RICK!!!!! 

And not to brag but…. Oprah mentioned my birthday again… on Wednesday’s show she said… “At forty you start to wake up”

Gayle King: News Picks - How Do iYou/i Win The Battle with Depression?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Cub Scout amazes me....daily....

I am not an outdoor, camping, hiking, woodsie kind of girl.  Paper is my thing... but I hiked with my cub scout this morning.  He is a good boy!  I am so proud of him.  On our way home his mature statement floored me.  "Mom, I think (insert name of trouble maker boy from bus three here) should do cub scouts and go to CCD so he can master his good skills."  

See what a little leadership opportunity and church can do....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Five for Friday

1.  The "Most Amazing Childcare Provider" has inspired me to clip coupons.  She saved $50 bucks on a $100 order last week!  
2. A Paperly party tonight.  Lana, can't wait to visit with you and your paper peeps!
3. No softball game tomorrow morning!
4. It's not a washout like predicted.
5. It's homecoming weekend and we have one special young man buying a corsage for a special little lady.  OMG!!!!

I can't wait to blog about Gayle on my Monday Gayle and Oprah Refection Monday Post.... You won't believe how we are soooooo connected!  HOW FUN!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The debate and my little cub scout

Last night the World's Greatest Husband and I went to the gubernatorial debate.  I enjoyed the process.  It was  interesting to see all the different entities and the television crew prepare.  There was something electric with the announcements of "three minutes to live, one minute to live, 30 seconds to live."  I love to people watch so you can only imagine my awe with the pre-rally festivities.  The signs, the chants, the buttons, stickers and energy.  I admit,  I love the spirit of politics.  When I was in college and took the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory (ESFJ) politician was on my inventory.... So fast forward... during the one hour debate, I was a tad bored.  You know my life, it is super fast paced.  Five kids rarely make me say the word bored (although on occasion they do say it.)  So Yes, the debate impressed me.  Yes, I confirmed my choice for governor.  Yes, I am proud and happy that we have this amazing political process and Yes, hearing the candidates with their practiced, calculated messages and silly little prods and pokes made me feel a bit restless, a bit bored. 

But the big winner of the night?  Was my little proud cub scout.  I came home to this amazing little guy reciting the cub scout promise, word for word.... with pride in his heart.  If he is ever on the stage debating, I guarantee, I won't be bored. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's turning into a very busy week. How does that happen, week after week, month after month?
Ok, another Paperly commercial...
Instead of snuggling up to the World's Greatest Husband last night, I listened to a Paperly recording/training and really it just makes me love the products and company more.  If you haven't checked out my website in a while click on the link below to see all the new products and get a jump on your jingle by browsing the new everyday catalog and the holiday catalog.

click here:

AND mark your calendar for Friday, November 5th!  I'll be hosting an exclusive Social and Business Stationery Trunk Show featuring Paperly at my home.  You won't want to miss the give-a-ways, friendship, food and holiday shopping.  If you are not on my Paperly newsletter mailing list, you must give me your email now!  You won't want to miss out on this shopping experience!  It's simple, stay connected by plugging your email into my subscription button on the sidebar or comment on this post or send an mail to papermom.andrea(at)yahoo(dot)com.    

Happy Wednesday... I am on chapter four of my Rick Springfield book.  Stay tuned....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oprah and Martha!

It’s Monday and that means… Oprah and Gayle Reflection day.
Plain and simple, Martha teaches Oprah how to fold a fitted sheet.  It is truly one of those tips that can change your life or at least your linen closet.  I can’t insert the video link but if you visit Oprah's site there is an instructional video!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Flu shots and the blender...

Life in the blender can be chaotic, and sometimes that means chaos for those around us, close to us, teaching us, coaching get the picture.

Yesterday… I found out that our yearly flu shots for the kids, probably has the pediatrician’s office thinking we are a blended bunch that are koo-koo for cocoa puffs!

Here is the coordination or lack of:
  • World’s Greatest Husband asks if I want my two to go with his three for flu shots?
  • We discuss, as crazy as it sounds, I’ve never been a fan of the flu shot.
  • World’s Greatest Husband makes the appointment for all five
  • The appointment was scheduled while he was at work, leaving me to take them.  Needles, pricks, shots…. That was unfairly scheduled in my opinion.
  • I forgot to “google calendar” (yes we sync our calendars for up-to-the-minute scheduling) an appointment and the flu shot appointment was scheduled during a dentist appointment for my two.
  • The World’s Greatest Husband calls the pediatrician and leaves a message to reschedule.
  • The pediatrician calls us back, I reschedule.
  •  I have to admit, she questioned me a few times, clarifying which children will be present and now I think I know why the questioning felt sort of weird…
  • The World’s Greatest Husband’s ex-wife has scheduled her three for a shot next week.
  • So without knowing all the details… I think the World’s Greatest Husband's ex-wife is scheduled to take all five?

I’ll call to straighten this out on Monday. 

Maybe you have to know the personalities to appreciate this example, but seriously everything takes longer, more coordination and much more patience.  Not only for us but for those having to deal with us too!  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rick Springfield to release Late, Late at Night - Can't Wait!

I've loved Rick Springfield since I was in the 5th grade.  If you are a faithful Paper Mom reader, you probably know my obsession all too well.  If your my mom reading, you are probably giggling because you have lived through it all (including some of the concerts.)  On Tuesday, he will release his autobiography.  I can't wait, I am especially excited  because he reads his work on the audio version of the book. I am posting a teaser video just in case you want to line up at Borders, log on to Amazon or visit your local Library to learn about my guy Rick.  You know I post book reviews on this site, so look for the review of Late, Late at Night by Rick Springfield to be posted next week.  Until then, here is a video to satisfy your curiosity.

As you know, I met him a few years ago, I knew I would.  It was absolutely an amazing moment.  One of those moments I will never ever forget.  It was a dream come true. I remember praying... I hope the picture comes out (I didn't have a digital camera) I love the picture because in my eyes, I see the happiest woman alive.


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