Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014


Welcome 2014!!


 Snow Days & Sledding


 Lots of shoveling!

 This year we did a tree on the 1st floor too!

 Christmas pajamas!

 Christmas Eve…

 Christmas Dinner of family, wine, and cheese…and good friends!
(& martini's~and magnums!)
Blizzard does not stop Max from playing in snow…

looking forward…xoxo

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

12

My "baby" is turning 12 on Monday.  Crazy that this life of ours is flying by.  He gets bigger everyday~literally each day at breakfast he looks taller, bigger, feet bigger and wider, school pants size 14-16, more like his daddy, larger.  When he wears shoes he's up to my nose...I'm not ready for this.  12.  Holy crap~12.  We got him his gifts~WAY spoiled...and he's playing golf with friends for his special day...and of course I'm bringing donuts to school for the entire middle school to celebrate...wow, 12.
The day he was born seems like yesterday...and all the days FC laid in bed rubbing my belly and him having full on chats with Henry seem so recent.  
FC & I are the proud owners of a 14 year relationship~one with far more ups than downs, filled with love sex respect babies hand holding kissing dancing dating romance marriage laying on beaches laughing...more babies more sex more love and just more.  I wake up to him smiling at me each day and fall asleep in his arms or holding hands each night...I'm proud of us.  We are a family...just us.  He's my person.  My best friend. And when we smile over coffee in the morning while the boys laugh and tease we are both thinking the same thing~this is the good stuff...we are so blessed...how did we manage this?  This life of ours is amazing.
Watching Henry turn 12 will be bittersweet...6 more years and he'll be ready to leave for the world...2 more years and he'll be in high school...going to homecoming and driving...but for now he's turing 12 and I will love him and spoil him and make sure his day is wonderful.  
Happy Birthday to my dear sweet loving amazing bright beautiful wears his heart on his sleeve child...thank you for coming into our life and not only saving my life, but bringing such joy and love into our world.
And thank you to my beautiful amazing hot sexy loves to kiss me all over dance in the kitchen and smile at our babies while they sleep husband...you have filled my life with a joy and happiness I didn't know was possible...you are mine and I am yours...always and forever...just us.

XOXO

Happy Birthday Henry 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Grateful

Me: "There's too much ice in my water".
Husband: "That's a first world problem".
Indeed!!

Thanks to a magazine article I read recently my family can't stop thinking in terms of first world problems vs. third world problems.  It's a good lesson for kids to learn...and for adults to be reminded of.

There's too much ice...
I can't decide what to eat...
Should we take a cab or the train to go buy new shoes...
Where should we go for dinner...
Where should we go on vacation...
I'm bored...
What time is the doctors appointment...

These are things we say, things we think about, ask, things we worry over...and yet they are the "problems" of a first world society...a lucky people...a blessed and should be more grateful people.

We turn on the faucet and get water, we turn a dial to wash our clothes, we sit down and watch our flat screens, we order take-out & groceries online, we google the answers to things, we pay people to watch our kids so we can go to the movies or out with friends to dinner,  we carry our Iphones everywhere we go, we go to therapists and talk about our awful childhoods, we sleep in beds and houses with air conditioning, we go to the gym, we walk our kids to school, we watch them play outside with their friends...and many more things that people in third world countries would never imagine doing.

We take for granted our health, our job, our relationships...until they are gone, then we look back.

Breathe deep, be grateful, feel the moment, and move forward.

XO






Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Swimming

I went to therapy today. I've been going on and off for many years.  Always mending. Always working. Putting on my oxygen mask...so I can be whole and complete. I talked today about my mother and sister...and the drama of last weekend~where they "no showed" my nieces wedding~their daughter and granddaughter. I told the whole story; every detail. I wanted to have her listen and give an honest, no bullshit opinion. She's always been great at bringing me back down or calling me out.
A few things made me stop and realize she knows her stuff~first, she called absolute bullshit on my sister and the constant drama that surrounds her life. An addict...textbook. That's what she said. I haven't even told her that much about my sister and she nailed it. Someone who is constantly surrounded by drama and chaos, someone who makes everything about them, someone who lies, and has very little remorse, and who takes no responsibility.
Next, she knew right away that my moms actions were insane, and she was a classic "enabler". Duh. That I knew but its always nice to have a professional confirm what you think. She called it out that it was shocking that my mother tried (without success) to throw me under the bus and blame me for her own bad decisions.
We talked about the hope we have as children of any age for our parents to love us, be proud of us, and to fulfill our needs. But that those hopes are nothing to count on and to be honest with ourselves about the limitations of others. Sometimes hope is not enough to make things happen.
We talked about my feelings of treading water and sometimes swimming, while my father, mother, and sister and all drowning in their own bad choices and decisions, their loneliness and bitterness, and finally in their inability for honesty. I am swimming. Sometimes I feel their hands around my ankles trying to pull me under, but I'm back up; kicking and breathing. Funny, I never was a good swimmer, but there it is.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Motherly Love

She looked at my engagement ring and said "it's just so much like your other one"...and what came next was not a hearty congratulations, but silence.    News of a new job opportunity brings the reaction of "you know I hate you right now"...and to be clear, that was not followed by "how wonderful!" or "you're going to be great at that!".  A mothers words can cut deep.  It's be proven time and time by doctor and doctor that the most important relationship for a child is the 'same sex parent'.  My relationship with my mother has been precarious at best.  It was non-existent when I was growing up...oh we lived in the same house, but she was a ghost.  Void of joy, compassion, tenderness...too busy burying her head from her failing marriage.  Over the years she has chalked her questionable parenting up to her childhood and her marriage to my father~a victim of both.  Ruled by her issues and unable to give us the tenderness due to her fear of physical closeness (hugs were few and far between and snuggling out of the question), her repulsion of blood and anything messy (my sister taught me about my period and how to use tampons and my father cleaned up after us if we had accidents~bloody or pukey), and her OCD (dishes, laundry, cleaning always came first~before games, silliness, anything to do with us).

 At some point you have to deal with your past and your baggage to move on and have a life that's not ruled by your problems and that doesn't effect every relationship in your life.  My mother has never taken steps to mend herself.  Her fears rule her life and prevent her from truly living.  But more importantly prevented her from being a loving, giving, protective mother...and my sister and I suffered for it.  I never wanted apologies, but I've never believed you 'can't teach an old dog new tricks'...in my mind it was never too late.  But she gave up long ago; if she ever tried at all.  Her issues, and how they effect the people in her life, are made worse by the fact that she's lived in the same town her whole life~ never left the country to travel or live in another culture, or seen life outside her bubble...so she has a slim understanding about life and how things work, awkward in social situations and says rude or confusing things when meeting new people.  What's worse than all this is how she treats my kids.  Loud noises and normal kid play are much to much for her to handle and she can't stop herself from yelling at them or asking them to stop or "shhhh-ing" them.  They try to love her and she can't handle it.  It's sad, sad to watch.  Her treatment of me is not much better~though she would disagree; again feeling the constant victim.  My husband nailed it on the head the other day when he brought to my attention that she treats me more like a competitive friend than a daughter.

A parents job is to teach, to love, to protect, to nurture, to give life lessons of morality and ethics...to help them to become the people they were meant to be, to build them up, to always support and congratulate, to never make them feel that you don't love and respect them...to send them into the world ready to face problems and life and relationships...send them off strong and confident.  I struggle with these things because I alone was my teacher.

So I guess the cliche is true~the mother always gets the blame...I'm sure I will one day too, but I will know that I fought; that I was an active participant...that I loved them without competition or judgement and that I was available to them and worked so hard on my myself to be able to give them everything I could.  I will protect them and yet build them up to face the world.  I will never make them question my love.  I will listen and be tender.  I will go to them when they throw up and bleed and are dirty and cry. I won't tell them to be quiet or stop playing.  I will never say bad things about my husband to them...or anyone.  I will teach them right from wrong and to put others first.  I will never lie to them.  I will never play the victim card with them.  I will never use my own baggage as an excuse to not handle them and be a good mother.  I will always hug them.  I will let them touch my feet and play with my hair.  I will not make them feel like a constant annoyance.  I will not tell one of them that I prefer the other one over them.  I will help them have a loving relationship with each other.  We will go on fun family trips to see the world and they can laugh and joke and tease as loud as they want.  I will (or Francis will) teach them about their bodies, and sex, and love.  I will love them like no other~and not just with words, but I will show them with my actions.

These are all things I never had...I'm sad to be dealing with this now; I'd gotten all to comfortable with the "nod and smile" relationship, but in the end facing it and finally dealing with it is important...and I'm a little glad too...it will make me a stronger mother, wife, friend, person.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cousins



then...


and now...


Family Vacation 2013

This year we went to Mexico...



The kids rode dolphins...


And got kissed by dolphins...


I laid by the pool...


and IN the pool...


we were surrounded by hearts...


and beautiful tile...


even the outdoor shower had a heart in it...


open floor plans...


patio at night...


relaxing after day of zip lining...


freckles...


watching the kid...


view of our house from kayak...


bedrooms...


plates on the wall...



frizzy hair...


Cheers to a great trip and lifelong memories!

XOXO



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

London...

I brought all my team mates DoRite Donut shirts!!


I picked up Renato Canova from Heathrow~the greatest running coach in the world.  On the train he told me exactly who was going to win and why...he was right!
I love him!!
Oh and sitting next to him is Geoffrey Mutai~fastest marathon ever at 2:03! Nice.

My team at Heathrow...we all look like goobers dressed the same, but it's easy to find each other!

Selfie on the the Heathrow Express.

For the finish, to spot our runners, we are posted right here next to palace...nice.


XOXO

More Pics from London!

View of Tower Bridge taken from my bed at 430am!
 My credentials and black ribbon...
 Corny, I know, but the best Fish & Chips from the Dickens Inn!
 Lunch break picnic behind finish line!

XOXO


Bridge

This was the view from my bed in hotel!!  Seriously!



XOXO

London Marathon 2013!!


Working the London Marathon is probably the biggest honor I have going for me right now...yes, wife & mother, but working the marathon in Chicago & London every year is truly amazing!  To be one on only 10 people allowed on the finish line~ in London, with the 50 foot flags waving, the palace in the background...witnessing people reach their goal...I feel truly lucky!
After "our runners" (the top 100~Elite runners) cross the finish line we stay and watch the "real people" run.  This is my absolute favorite part of the day.  To cheer people on, dance to YMCA, to run out on finish line and help people cross~this year I ran across a woman with cancer who upon seeing the finish line was overwhelmed with emotion and was crying...I ran out to her and hugged her, told her she'd done it, and walked with her across the line and she hugged me good-bye~what a gift she gave me, a moment in her life to help her and share this moment with her.
This year was a magical day...runners held their hearts in honor of Boston as they crossed finish...they carried Boston flags and signs, they wore black ribbons.  
In the early hours I'd stood at the finish and the only noise was the collars of the bomb dogs sniffing their way through the grand stands...sad we are forever changed.  
During the week we'd picked up athletes, managers, agents, VIPs, photographers, timers, other cities race directors...all coming right from Boston.  They we happy to be out, to be in London, but I'm certain they would have rather been home, safe in their beds.  They were tired, shattered emotionally, in need of friends, a beer, a hug.  So we listened, hugged, bought beers.
Our photographers were two days late coming to us, having been held up talking with the FBI.  They were tired...but happy to help, happy to be alive, happy to be whole...working on finish lines for marathons used to seem safe.  
There was a moment in London during the finish that my team seemed to all take a moment...we all were looking at each other~ gently smiling, grateful and safe, happy to be there, to be together...friends forever.


 Finish line

 Packing~

American Airlines was kind enough to hold flight while I ran through Heathrow trying to catch flight...and the gate attendant was kind enough to bring me water after I threw up in the trash can at the gate! Lovely American, keeping it classy!  Walking then onto the plane and seeing I had an entire row to myself~priceless!  If you're going to fly hungover, have a whole row!




Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring has sprung!!


Spring!

Finally it's starting to feel like Spring!!  My daffodils are coming up, the kids are begging to play outside all day, and my window garden is sprouting!!

 My sweet husband called the other day saying he'd found the perfect table in an alley that I could use in our front courtyard as a planting table!!
 Easter grass I planted!!  It's been so fun watching it grow!

Soon we will have long, warm summer days at the pool~in the evenings we will watch the boys ride their bikes, drink wine on the patio, and fall asleep with the windows open...
and soon my beautiful husband and I will be on a beach in Mexico~drinking beer, laughing, and enjoying our amazing life...
we are blessed.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Big plans...

Every morning when the alarm goes off I think "this will be the day"... My big idea is not to take the day by the horns and get tons done, my plan is to return from walking kids to school and climb back into bed and sleep all day.  Sounds simple enough and I certainly deserve it, but I've yet to do it.  By the time I kiss them at the school door and take the slow walk home with Max the wonder dog, I've embraced with morning, I've come to terms with the 4-5 hours sleep I've gotten and am at peace with it yet again.  Coffee helps.  This morning Max and I watched a cardinal singing and fly from tree to tree and we, yes we, smiled thinking of the spring that for sure has to be right around the corner...we chatted with neighbors who were walking to the train or out with their dogs...and then we returned home to our quiet house.  I warmed up my coffee and thought about my bed...it may still be warm...but no, one thing leads to the next when you start to do chores.  You don't even realize it...but wiping down the sink where the kids left their toothpaste turns into cleaning the tub and man that toilet could use a cleaning...and then there's the dirty towels and I might as well make the beds and out the clothes away from yesterday's laundry...ha laundry, yeah I might as well get a load going and crap the dishwasher needs emptying and shoot is it the 1st on Monday~ well I'd better sit down and pay all the bills...wait, where's my coffee?  I left it in the microwave, ok hit 30 seconds again...wipe down counters, book my ticket to New York, look at flights for Cancun~ I've got to book soon...what's for dinner?  Spaghetti and meatballs~easy.  Call the dog groomer, the window washers, and the cleaning lady~ book appointments with all.  Make appointment at passport office~kids are so excited!  Email 10 people.  Chat with husband.  Another load of laundry goes in.  Must eat yogurt.  Is it too late to go back to bed? Or should I have more coffee?  Oh there's the converter for UK~ add to the London pile.  Is it too soon to pack?  I could tag the hangers of things I plan to bring~ good idea, let's do that now.  Where are the post it's?  Harry had them last...oh my god, their room is gross...thank god for 4 day weekend!  Hangers tagged, pile bigger~cords, iPad, jewelry case, notebook from last year, athlete list.
Back downstairs...get coffee, pay more bills, fold clothes, place peapod order, order zipcar for dog grooming day, make lash tint appointment, put Easter basket together for friends to take to tea today....crap Easter, did I order enough potatoes?  14 people, 5 pounds of potatoes.  Must fill plastic eggs tonight or wait until tomorrow night so FC can help...baskets already done~I rule. Water indoor garden~grass really growing!  It's lunch time now...cheese and hummus?  Time to sit in French doors and get some sun...open windows...so nice out, finally.  Tea is in one hour...do I have time to go to cvs?  I have to refill prescriptions for trip...and get allergy meds for Henry to take to California...should I get the kids new swimsuits now or wait until summer?  They both need new bikes.  Can I go back to bed now?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

this week...

max slept...


I cut my hair...


 we sold donuts...


Harry hung in there...


more dancing...


a few days away...my kids love a hotel!


brothers.


Harry chose his bed at hotel...


My "big girl" hair...