Monday, January 30, 2012

Pinterest & A 12 Step program

OH MY - - - 
Pinterest is so addicting
I am sort of scared as to where this might lead.  My son is home sick today (he seems to be having a reaction to something) with horrible hives.  My poor little cub scout.  This has given me the opportunity to surf the super highway of mommy heaven... pretty things on pinterest.... My boy is happy watching television without having to fight his siblings for the remote.  I am thrilled to be pinning away.  We are making the absolute best of a bad situation.

Friday, January 27, 2012

five for Friday

Five great things about today:

1. New iphones on the way!
2. A rainy day - perfect for cleaning my house - Now I have to find some motivation
3. Trying hard to see some professional positives. Reflection is a powerful tool.
4. Fresh, clean, new sheets.
5. Date with the Worlds' Greatest Husband tonight....

Hope your day shines and weekend sparkles.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The life of a Step-Mo

In an effort to be the best Step-Mo around I am reading Dr. Wednesday Martin's book Stepmonster.  I am enjoying it.  It is nice to share and learn from another Step-Mo and it's nice to know I am not crazy.  I'll blog more but for now, go get the book.  I am amazed at the assumptions we have as Step-Mo and ex-wife and biological mom.  We really do ourselves no favors as women.  Yesterday I shared a snippet of the book with the World's Greatest Husband and he gave me the sweetest compliments about my journey as Step-Mo. His words made me feel like a Step-Mo rock star.   Yes, there are many reasons why I married him and he is clearly one of the reasons why this family of seven works!  This path is not easy, glamorous or what I had ever imagined for myself - - -  but possible with him by my side.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

As I looked out my bathroom window last night and saw the glow of the freshly fallen snow peacefully lighting up the night.... I almost said it..... almost. 
But then I thought better of it and went with....
How will I get to my 9 am meeting if school is delayed?
It's so cold, the driveway will be an ice rink.
We don't have any ice melt in the garage. We will slide down the driveway to the bus stop.
When will the plow guy get here? Will he even come? and do I even have $30 in my checking account right now to pay him?

So for the record, I continue to hate winter especially now that the snow has fallen.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Princess Diana

Do you remember watching the Royal Wedding?  Not Kate and William, I am going back… old school….remember Charles and Diana?  Ahhhh, the People’s Princess, Lady Di.  A woman of style, class, beauty and grace.  She was truly a beautiful woman.  This week I had the biggest treat.  A girl treat.  A mommy treat.  A ladies only treat….

I had an opportunity to visit Diana a Celebration an award winning exhibition that chronicles the life and work of Princess Diana.

So believe it or not I was actually able to sneak out of the house twice this week with two gal pals.  We had the day planned for last Sunday but the wait for the exhibit was two hours.  We decided to grab a bite to eat and visit the exhibit on a week night when the line wasn’t so overwhelming (good choice but honestly our dinner date took longer than it would have been to wait in line and visit the exhibit) BONUS FOR ME – two nights out.

The exhibit was one of those moments of wonder and joy.  It was delightful and made you love Princess Diana even more.  The wedding gown was stunning.  The 28 displayed suits, dresses and gowns? Breathtaking.  It was a feel good, girlfriend kind of day.   

Visit the website to learn more and watch a video clip.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lucky me

Lucky Me
I was dreading my doctor’s appointment today.  The thought of having to face the number on the scale and the woman who has been so supportive of my weight loss in the same moment was not something I was looking forward to.  Guess what? My doctor didn’t weigh me and the nurse didn’t weigh me either.  No one asked me to step on the ol’ scale.  Seriously, did they forget?   I wasn’t about to remind her I practically ran out of the office hoping she wouldn’t run after me and announce “oh we forgot to weigh you”.  I was happy to not have to face the music.  Well actually, I am ready to lose it.  I am sick of the few extra pounds I’ve packed on.  But not having to explain my constant chewing throughout the holiday season was a relief that I wasn’t expecting… Yippee for me.   Silly little thing but it made my day a good day.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear Governor Malloy - With Thanks - Paper Mom

Dear Governor Malloy,

Well it’s your one year anniversary and traditional gift giving etiquette lists paper as the appropriate anniversary gift so in the spirit of tradition, I think it is only fitting to celebrate with an anniversary PAPER Mom post. Get it? PAPER? PAPER MOM?

From a rowdy town hall meeting in Norwich  (see my Paper Mom votes for Malloy post on 3/10/11) to a family field trip to the capitol ( see my Paper Mom meets the governor fun day post on 4/21/11 )  to a calculated anniversary discussion, our paths have crossed again.  A year later, I have to say – I am still a Governor Dannel Malloy fan.  A bit older, smarter and settled, I write to say thank you.
I walked out of your Town Hall Meeting  last March encouraged,  it served as a little government pep rally for me,  but as the year went on I became cautious and I would go so far as to say, fearful.  Like the spouse of many state employees, I spent many nights worrying about the stability of the World’s Greatest Husband’s position.  I have worried for the growth of our town knowing that funding is a constant issue, what does that mean to our five kids and their education? Will our Library have to once again close for two weeks?  Will our most fragile citizens and the organizations that support them have an opportunity to grow and strengthen so we can be a stronger community?  Yes, even with our busy life with five children, I find lots of time to worry. 

The truth is, a year later I feel hopeful.  I can’t entirely explain it because we still struggle to pay our bills, our city budget remains fragile and my kids are still picky eaters - But I am hopeful.  Maybe it’s the spirit of the New Year and my renewed mind-set that life is good.  Whatever it is, I’ve made a choice to focus on the positive because where does the negative get us? 

Tonight’s conversation was well done.  Ray Hackett and the Norwich Bulletin facilitated a smart, civil, spirited opportunity to reflect on the past year.  For me, that went beyond politics.  The audience was filled with community leaders, decision makers and area notables.  I can only hope that they too felt hopeful because collectively we can work together to make Norwich and Connecticut a better place. Thank you for all the long hours, tough decisions and courage to act.  It is not an easy job.   

Paper Mom

PS – No need to worry about spending any additional time in an emergency command center due to major weather problems.  The World’s Greatest Husband had our snow blower fixed and that guarantees – NO SNOW. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Focus on 2012

With a sick kid home from school the past two days, I've been able to surf the web and get my fill of new years goal setting thoughts, resolutions and new ideas.  I guess it is the perk of having to be home with a kid who has had a fever.  

I've given an enormous amount of thought to the energy that we put out and the energy that comes back to us.  I am a believer in this.  I could go into a long explanation that references my down and out divorce days and then the days where I began to see things with clarity and how that changed my world or I can skip the details and just repeat ...... I am a believer in the energy we put out and the energy that comes back to us.

So I am focusing on one word for 2012 - LUCKY 
and one symbol :

I chose the word "Lucky" because sometimes I can forget how wonderful my life really is.  I have many things that make me a lucky lady and I don't want to lose sight of the "Good Life" that I live.  I also know that when I pay attention to feeling lucky - more luck will come my way.  My new phrase to the World's Greatest Husband?  This is our lucky year.  I think he may be taking it in a different context but I will let him roll with it for now.

My symbol, the heart, is to always remind me to bring love to my day, my work, and my family throughout 2012. My heart is big but like most woman I have things to learn, strengthen and protect.  

So much more to say and do but I'll leave it to my "lucky heart" for now......

This was read at my high school senior night 23 years ago.  Words to live by, via Mrs. Papandrea:


By Robert J. Hastings

         TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves
on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the 
windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at
crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row
upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and
village halls.

    But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on a
given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands
playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we
pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

    "Yes, when we reach the station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're 
eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL 
Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!"

    From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

    Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no station in this life, no one earthly
place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is an illusion--it
constantly outdistances us. Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a
history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only
today is there light enough to love and live.

    So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today 
that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and
fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

    "Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is
the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

     So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more
mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener.
Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we
go along. The station will come soon enough.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year- it's 2012.  Did you know this is going to be my lucky year?  I am not sure exactly in what way and I am sure I will have to give myself constant reminders but today, I feel lucky. Mostly because I just woofed down a KFC pot pie.  Yep, my year of no fast food has come to a close.  It's a new year with new thoughts, hopes and wishes.  This year I will make an occasional fast food stop.

This year I am not entirely sure what I am giving up but I know what I am saving..... my change.
I am going to save my change in a jar for a whole year and see what cha-ching happens on January 1, 2013.
and I am also vowing to enter all those customer survey contests for gift cards that are printed on the back of my retail receipts.  Hopefully my lucky duck feelings will ring true and I will win.

I'll post more on dreams and new year wishes over the next week but I wanted to share our new years experience from last night.....  Let's see, if I had to sum up the evening in one word? I guess I would go with YUMMO- Is that a word?  Well it is if you visit Buon Appetito in North Stonington.  The World's Greatest Husband and I found ourselves with not one of our five children on New Year's Eve (the first one we've celebrated alone in five years) and decided to ring in the New Year with dinner and a movie.  Buon Appetito has been on my "must visit" list since they opened last February and I would have to say, I hope to visit again before THIS February.  It was delicious.  It was on my pizza tour list but we didn't go with pizza for the glitz and glamour of New Years.  Instead we had their tasting menu. The first course was Arugula Salad with shaved fennel, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and my fave- balsamic vinaigrette.  2nd course: Truffle Ravioli with Sweet Sausage, Lentils, Spinach, Mushroom Cream (to die for) 3rd course: Surf 'n Turf - Grilled Strip Loin, Shrimp Scampi, Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Sauteed French Beans and finally Fallen Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Gelato and Whipped Cream. It was delightful.  Our waitress was right on the mark - She was attentive, assertive and kind all in one.  The owner, stopped over and made sure everything was to our liking with more than one go around and offered me a coffee on the house.  So the experience exceeded my expectations - you know I am all about the customer service and Buon Appetito does it right.  The food? excellent and yes, the World's Greatest Husband agrees with me on that one 100%.  But the real joy of the evening was the ambiance.  The place is gorgeous.  They have worked hard to make a pretty, comfortable, welcoming dining room.  Again, I am a sucker for all things stylish and warm and again Buon Appetito does it with class.   I am thinking this place has World's Greatest Husbands 50th Birthday Party written all over it.  Visit their website and see the beautiful dining room and menu.

From one wonderful experience we went on to one intense experience.  The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.  A long movie that had my attention, it was well done and now I must read the book.

Home by 10:30 ready to watch the ball drop on our new television with champagne.  A perfect ending and beginning to a new year.

Much love, health and happiness to you in 2012


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