Thanks for telling me I’m being a bitch!

February 4th, 2019

I’m a pretty happy go lucky, bright side of life, kinda gal. As of late, I have found myself dropping out of that space and dipping into a level of discontent.

I’ve felt it deep inside. I thought I kept it hidden and managed pretty well to the outer world. You know, the deep breathing and the meditation apps trying to quell the beast.

It’s not that I’m not happy with my life, I am, it’s just added stress and strain of job, life, kids…you know, all the shit. And it seems to have piled on a bit as of late.

Last week at work, I made a comment that veered dark, snarky and the farthest thing from positive. My co-worker immediately responded with a chuckle and a, “Whoaaa Mary…what’s up, that is not your typical kinda response.” I looked at him with hard eyes and he started to back peddle, saying, “I mean, you don’t have to be happy all the time, I’ve just noticed a change.”

With those words I knew I needed to right the ship. I don’t have to be happy all the time but I am happier when I look up more than down. I’m going to thank that guy, he didn’t have to say what he said and he has no idea it changed my course. But I am so glad he did. He opened my eyes to what was falling out of my mouth trying to make myself feel somehow better. Ugly words seep into all those around you, they don’t need that and neither do I.

Happiness can be a choice. I’m choosing that.

Perfectly Said

February 3rd, 2019

It’s 2019.

I have found myself in a situation I never imagined in my wildest dreams.

I have a nephew.

This nephew now lives with us.

Raising children is no small task. Raising someone else’s kid…well, that’s a trick. We, let’s be honest it’s Adam too, have found that on some levels it is easier to raise someone else’s child, in the same breath, it is also harder. Especially when they come to you at 16. You don’t know how they are wired, what trips them up and off, how they learn, what they love or hate. They also don’t know your family dynamics, how you parent, how to deal and live with siblings and what the family rules and expectations are (written and unwritten).

Big D has been here for nine months. He is a lovely kid. As with all kids, he has his “things”. For the first time since he got here, we got “into it”. I showed disappointment and frustration over some of his choices. It was much more of a motherly reaction then a calm, mild, auntie reaction. Let’s just say, my response had a higher degree of upset associated with it.

The tension still lingered in the air as he opened the door to get out of the car and head into his appointment. I looked at him, gave him a hug and said, “Hey, I love you.” He looked at me and said, ” I love you too…sometimes.”

As he hopped out of the car, I rolled the window down and yelled, “DITTO!”


January 27th, 2019

I randomly stumbled across my old blog posts a few days ago. It instantly threw me back into the time of my life where things seemed simpler and very difficult, all at the same time.

So much time has past that I can now send old blog posts to PJ.  She can read them and get a glimpse of her own crazy, fierce self. And, by the way, not much has changed for her in that regard. She sat at the kitchen table laughing so hard tears were streaming down her checks.  It made me joyful to be able to share that with her. I’m so glad I spent the time to jot those things down.

Now, I find myself in a much different set up than in those days gone by. I am working full time, CT has flown the coupe and is off at college and we have three in high school.

Somewhere between my last post in 2013 and today, life has changed dramatically. Like anyone’s would in that handful of years. There has been so much growth, happiness, our share of sadness and even some betrayal.

Life is rich.

I think it’s time to start jotting things back down.


Perseverance…with a capital P

November 27th, 2013

I made a major mistake with this child back when she was 5. She wanted a dog.


I mean really bad.

I told her when she was 10 we would get a dog because let’s be honest…I was going to be the one to tend to it. She campaigned for a dog for an entire year.

Around a year into it, into the constant questions about dogs, books about dogs, discussions about dogs, I broke. When she was 6, we got a dog.

Lesson she learned, I work at them hard enough and long enough I will get what I want.


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Perseverance = noun
in a competitive environment, perseverance is an invaluable asset: persistence, tenacity, determination, staying power, indefatigability, steadfastness, purposefulness; patience, endurance, application, diligence, dedication, commitment, doggedness, assiduity, tirelessness, stamina; intransigence, obstinacy; informal stick-to-it-iveness; formal pertinacity.

This form of stick-to-it-iveness she has surrounds her, embodies her and ALWAYS has.

From the days when she could hardly talk she would make her needs/wants/desires known and then throw herself at them until whatever “it” was, was met.

Now at 11, it’s no longer a dog, it’s a phone.

It doesn’t matter how many discussions about phones and the fact she is not getting one until she needs one and that will be determined by her parents, not by her, we have. She will not give up. Again, we are at the year point, maybe more of this endeavor.

Yesterday when discussing her reasons for wanting to go shopping on Black Friday she finally told me she wanted to buy herself a phone. I launched back into the same conversation we had had 1000 times, then I got mad (as I usually do around this topic).

And then I tried to find the positive in this and I looked at her and said, “PJ, I really appreciate your determination.” Then I proceeded to tell her the story of what I always said to her when she was 2.

I would look at you, get right down to eye level and say, “Someday PJ THIS is going to serve you well, just not today!”

PJ’s response to that little tale, “Well, apparently it won’t serve me TODAY either!”

So, how did the first day at the new school go?

November 15th, 2013

I am going to let this happy blurry photo speak for itself.

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Huge abundance of thanks (and gratitude) to our neighbors, friends and all KP’s new school mates who made him feel so very welcome on the first day of his new adventure.

Day # 1 of the next adventure

November 14th, 2013

5:45am Wake up, shower
6:15am Eat breakfast, make bed, brush teeth
6:45am Fill backpack with all new school supplies.
6:55am Take many deep breaths.
7:00am Head off to tutoring.
8:45am Return home.
9:00am Head off to new school, more deep breaths.

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We walked into the school and immediately saw KP’s new teacher,  who I will refer to as Mr. Bobbie (cause KP would really like to call him that). He walked us to the classroom. As we walked we talked. He showed us KP’s desk. We unpacked his things. Knute asked questions about what the red folder was for and the green folder and what the schedule was and when is lunch and where should I put all the pencils and who the the GIRLS who sit next to me and how are you going to introduce me and do I have a locker….

So many questions, so very nervous. His biggest fear today, that he was going to be so nervous he would cry. He did not want to cry today.


Once he was settled, Mr. Bobbie opened the door to show him his locker. Other kids where now streaming into the hallway. The first face he saw, he knew. I said hi to the kiddo and then asked if he would show KP the ropes today. He said, “awww totally!” I looked at KP asked if he wanted me to stay long. He said, “Nope, you can go.”


I walked back in to talk a bit with Mr. Bobbie. Minutes later I headed out of the classroom and into the hall.


I turned to look back at my boy. He was surrounded by a group of kids all abuzz, with a smile on his face from ear to ear. I turned and left.

You have friends and then…you have FRIENDS

November 13th, 2013

KP’s best friend in the whole-wide-world-since-he-was-wee-little moved to New York City this past summer. THAT was a tough transition but they face time and keep in touch and know deep down in their little souls that they will always be buddies.

If Pete was still in Minnesota, he and KP would now be going to the same school. Irony of ironies. Since he is not, he decided to send an email to his friends that are still there.

Hey every body,

Im sending this to Macee,Calvin,Isabelle. I’m in New York City it’s really fun! 
My best friend might be in your class starting Thursday.  his name you might remember is Knute! Just letting you know he’s my best friend. I’ve spent more time with him than maybe some people in my family (brother)!

(If you see him say hi and welcome him.)

Thanks every one, your friend,Peter!
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Ohhh Pete…we miss you. Thanks for being such a kick ass friend.

I can’t even spell Dysleksia

November 12th, 2013

Where to start.

I guess I will start with this photo. This is 13 minutes after I told him things that I thought were going to be the equivalent of ripping out his little heart, stomping on his soul and feeding it to the wolves.

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What words you ask?

“Yup, buddy, you have to move to a different school.”

We knew there was something amiss last year. So we pushed the school. Then we pushed a little harder and dug a little deeper. Within the pushing and the digging I hoped the path would become clear. Where the path would lead, I had no idea. I simply trusted that those we had met with and those we sought help from would help us figure out the puzzle.

The path finally became crystal clear. KP is severely Dyslexic and an immersion school setting is close to the worst possible setting for him.

With THAT bit of clarity comes action. Action that has been swift and will change the corse of things.

No one ever said parenting was going to be easy. No one ever said the path would always be clear. As much as I want it to be, it’s not. As much as I want a parenting manual, no one would be silly enough to print one.

The agonizing over what the best possible choice for your child is, is hard at best. As a parent, I don’t want to misstep. Oh I will but I don’t want to. I don’t want to cause unease, pain or hardship. But in this instance, pain, change, being scared and having to be open to what the roller coster has in store is what is going on.

Strap on that seatbelt buddy, hold my hand….we will do it together.

Catching a moment

May 13th, 2013

When the bustling of the morning is happening, dishes clanking, dogs barking, cars leaving, everyone readying for the day, then I turn and look…

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and he has found his own bit of solitude.

Double sticks

May 2nd, 2013

Dear PJ,
11…tween…spicy…smart…cute… feisty…hard as nails and fragile as a soft petal all in one. Yeah, that about sums it up.












I love watching you grow. Your petite frames creates a facade of gentle and delicate all the while masking the dynamite inside.

Dad and I only slightly joke that someday you will cut across the lands and oceans, stand tall, and rule China.












You amaze me on a daily basis.

Honestly, you scare me to death.

You challenge me to my very core and then you love so deep it’s sometimes hard to keep an even keel.










How very blessed we are to have you in our lives. May this year be filled with all sorts of epic domination.

Happy 11th Birthday!

Love Mom.