31 December 2009

2009-The Year in Pictures!

My friend Shawna did a review of 2009 in pictures.
I thought it was a cute idea!

In January, I donated my hair in honor of my sister-in-law starting her chemo.
I am so glad I did it!
By the way, she is cancer-free!!!

Not much happened in February. It was too cold to go anywhere.
The boys played trains-a lot!

In March, we got together with my real life friends Lisa and Sydney.
We all had babies at the same time when Michael was born. Here is Michael with Syd's
son, Alex. They have a great time when they see each other!
BTW-check out Syd's blog. She just added to her family this month!

April meant Easter. These boys spent the day before at the zoo with Daddy!

In May, we filled the pool so it would be ready for June.
This was taken at the end of May. The water was freezing, as were these boys!

In June, we went for a getaway to the water park.
My niece, Clare, came with us to lend a huge hand
as I was way too pregnant to be of any good to anyone!

In July, we trekked an hour to see the best fireworks in the state!

August means State Fair.
Although we did not go this year because I was so close to my due date,
we did get our cream puffs-the breakfast of champions!

September, of course, brought our precious baby girl, Alex into the family.
Yes, darling, Mommy would cry too with all of those big brothers!

October, Halloween, enough said!

November was my godson's State Championship football game.
Here I am with my niece, Clare.
Love you, Clare!

Finally, December, and the first real picture of my children together
that actually turned out!
Happy New Year to you all!
I am looking forward to journeying 2010 with you!

30 December 2009

Super Mario

My boys received this for Christmas. I have to say that of all of the games that we have for Wii, I really love this one! While my boys tend to get pretty competitive when they are playing Wii, they can't do that with this game. In this one, they work as a team to defeat Bowser. It has been great watching them work together (all 3 boys!). Hearing them encourage each other as well.
At one point today, I did hear the following conversation:
Drew to Peter, "Dude, that was AWESOME! Let's try it again!" (I don't really like when he uses dude, but it was cute!)
Peter in response, "No one messes with Peter!"
It has been a good break!
They also received Sports Resort, Family Game Night 2, and Mario at the Winter Olympics. They have had a great time. I think I'll wait until Sunday to remind them that back to school means video game free zone!

Wordless Wednesday

29 December 2009

And the winner is:

So, when I plugged the number of commenters (16) into random.org, the generator picked number 13! The winner is Sarah-Kala! I guess you'll be using the scarf when you move back here from Hawaii! Congratulations!

28 December 2009

Up in the Air

This was the movie was saw last night. "Up in the Air" with George Clooney. In the end, Andy and I wished we hadn't seen it. It is getting such rave reviews, but we left thinking how depressing! Someone just remarked on FB that he loved it-possibly because of his HR background. I don't understand how people could leave feeling good about it.

Clooney plays a man who lives literally on a plane. He has a small apartment to call home, but he has spent 352 days of the past year on the road. His job is to go to companies and fire people. In the midst of this movie, he works with a 23 year old (Natalie)who challenges him on his lifestyle of having no real connections. He also meets Alex, a woman who has the same kind of career and seems to be the one who will change him.

In the end, Natalie leaves the company after one of the women they fire kills herself. This woman told them she would jump off a bridge and she did. Natalie leaves the company, and Clooney lies and says he doesn't remember the woman. He decides he wants to change and goes to find Alex and share his life with her. When he arrives at her door, he finds that she is married with children. Alex later calls him berating him that he almost ruined her real life, and that he is only a parenthesis. Clooney's character returns to his solitary life on the road, end of movie.

We were so disappointed. More disappointing is that people are giving rave reviews to an immoral lifestyle. Skip this one if you can!

27 December 2009

A day for celebrating!

Today marks a couple of important benchmarks in my life. First of all, it is my second blogiversary. I kind of started on a whim in 2007, and this blog has turned into way more than I asked for! I am so thankful for the wonderful friends I have made over the past 2 years. For some of you (and you know who you are), you have walked with my through some really hard times and some really awesome times. I look forward to relationships growing in the coming year, and hopefully to meet some of you in real life at some point. I feel so blessed to have such strong women of faith in my life!

Secondly, it is my 13th wedding anniversary! I cannot tell you how much my dear sweet Andy means to me. Thirteen years ago, I didn't think that I could possibly love him anymore than I did then, but time has shown me that my love for him continues to grow with each passing day and year. (I love you, honey!).

So, in honor of both 'versaries, I am going to give away one of my hand loomed scarves. All you have to do is leave a comment by 11:59 PM CST on Monday night, and I will pick a winner! Good luck!

23 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

May all of you have a very Blessed Christmas!

21 December 2009

So far, so good!

My sister is out of surgery. The pacemaker is in and she is doing fine so far. She has to lay flat for a couple of hours, and then still stay pretty still after that. She will be at the hospital for at least 72 hours while they monitor her-which would bring her home on Christmas Eve. Thanks for all of the prayers for her and our family.

20 December 2009

Updating Again!

I just came from the hospital and visiting my sister. It was so good to sit and talk to her! (Actually, our first real conversation was on Friday. I can't tell you how happy it made me to be able to talk to Mary again. It's had been a long week!). She looked good, but really tired. I was able to go for a short walk with her as well while I was there. I am continued to be amazed by my sister's strength and courage through this whole process.

She has one more hurdle to cross before coming home. My sister is having surgery tomorrow to have a pacemaker put in. He heart just has not returned to a normal rhythm, and at this point, it is unlikely that it ever would. She had some scary moments the other day when they tested it, and she hopes to not go through that again. Please continue the prayers for her tomorrow, and I will update when I know something.

Thanks for all of the prayers and encouragement!

17 December 2009

Free Canvas

If you go over to Canvas People, they are running a special which gets you a free 8x10 canvas (you pay $14.95 shipping). It is too late to get it for Christmas, but I am hoping to get mine for our anniversary! (SHHHH! Don't tell!)

Another Update

My sister continues to improve, although she is in a lot of pain. Everyday movements we take for granted hurt a lot. My brother-in-law has requested no visitors for the time being so my sister can rest. I am hoping to see her over the weekend. I miss my sister.

I have a few specific requests for prayer at this point. We were informed yesterday that my sister more than likely needs a pacemaker. This surgery is very minor compared to the one she had, but my sister is very disappointed with this turn of events. Please pray for peace for her with this surgery or for the miracle that her heart goes back into rhythm and she won't need one. My husband reminded me yesterday that this is not a done deal and that God can change this if He wishes, so pray like crazy!

We are also unsure as to when she will come home. My brother-in-law is hopeful it will be next week. I am praying that she is home for Christmas-for herself, for her husband, for her children. Her children are all handling this beautifully, but it is hard for them to not have their Mama home. I am so proud of all of them-from my adult nieces who are managing things on the home front all the way down to the youngest who misses his Mama terribly. Please pray for them to have strength and peace as they help my sister through her recovery.

16 December 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday-Her first tree hunt!

All bundled up, and ready to go!
We don't like this so much! (Great picture of both of us, don't you think?)

15 December 2009

Quick update!

Thank you all for all of the prayers for my sister, Mary. Please keep them coming.

Mary did very well with the surgery yesterday. They did the bypass and replace her valve. The surgery was about 5 1/2 hours. I was able to see her once she was settled. She was still on the ventilator at the time. While in there, the turned it off and she began breathing on her own-huge sigh of relief! By night time, the tube was out, and she was awake and talking. She has quite a bit of pain, which is expected, but they were working on managing that. The only thing still up in the air is whether or not she will need a pacemaker (5% of valve replacement patients do). We should have an answer to this in the next day or so.

THANK YOU for all of the prayers, and please keep them coming. She has a long way to go, but so far, so good! GOD IS GREAT!

14 December 2009


My sister's surgery is scheduled for 6:30 AM this morning. They will be performing a bypass, valve replacement and possible aortic reinforcement. I am leaving my house at 4:15 AM so I can see my sister before they take her back for surgery. I will update here when I can, but it probably won't be until I get home.

For those of you who are friends on facebook-I will update on there from my cell.

Please pray for my sister, her husband and children, and for the doctors and other hospital staff taking care of Mary today. God Bless!

13 December 2009

Happy Birthday, Meghan!

My niece, Meghan, turns 15 today! It is so hard to believe that she is 15! We celebrated last week by having her stay over on Thursday (she loves spending time with my boys and the baby) and then went out to lunch with her Mom and one of her sisters (Megs is #5 of 7). Today, she is spending the day with her family-one of her sisters just returned from a semester in Rome and her Mom is my sister, Mary, who is having surgery on Monday. Meggie-have a wonderful birthday!

11 December 2009

A Gift

After being in such a down mood this week, today I was given a gift. Something I truly needed, yet did not ask for. I was able to go to lunch with my sister and 2 of her daughters (one of them turns 15 on Sunday). It was great to get out-without the kids (Andy was home). I am cherishing time with my sister and her girls-especially before her surgery on Monday, but that was not the gift in today.

After lunch, my sister needed to go home and rest (which is what she is supposed to do between now and the surgery). She asked me to take her daughters over to Confession. I have to say that this Sacrament was just what I needed. It hasn't been that long since I last went, but God knew what I needed. I feel so much better!

10 December 2009

3 Months Old

All ready for her brothers' Christmas program.

Lots to say to her oldest brother, Peter, who would sit by her side for hours if it made her happy!

Just hanging out!

09 December 2009

Thank you

Thank you to those who left comments on my post today. One thing I need to clarify. I should have proofed my post. I didn't mean to say that you all want me to be a better Catholic/Christian. I meant to say that you make me want to be a better Catholic/Christian. HUGE difference. I did not mean it as a comparison. I meant that as I read about others' spirituality it truly does inspire me.

I truly am blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful women in my real life and in the blogosphere. I really do pray that I get to meet many of you one day.

I am making an executive decision tonight. I am going to pass on Recipe Swap this week (and maybe until after the Holidays). Something has got to give and I am starting with that. Perhaps I will post more pictures of my baby instead-y'all wouldn't mind that, would you?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Time of the season

I am in a funk today. We were supposed to have the snowstorm of all snowstorms, and areas around us did. An hour west of here has 17 inches so far. We've gotten about 4 inches of snow, followed by rain and now it is snowing again. All schools in the area are closed except in our county.

Yes, I wanted snow-and lots of it! I was hoping to have a day with all of the kids that was unexpected and spend the day baking cookies and bread. (My Mom always said that the best time to bake bread was when it was snowing.) So, I am just disappointed.

I haven't felt like blogging much either lately. Not a lot to say. Working through my feelings over my sister's impending bypass surgery. I am trusting in God that she will be fine-she has to be. My sisters are my comfort since my parents died. Don't get me wrong, I love my brothers, and cherish time with them, but it is different.

I am also working through some spiritual matters. I look at many of you as such an inspiration. You make me want to be a better Christian, a better Catholic. I am just struggling with how to find the time to do everything I would like to do. That goes for my prayer life as well as my life as a wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend. A friend emailed me recently that she felt like I was an inspiration because of everything I do. I wanted to scream, "Not me!" I really don't feel that way at all.

Perhaps I am just tired (Jamie-Alex gave up her sleeping through the night! She is back up at 3 AM.), perhaps I need to pray more ( I know I do), perhaps I just needed a snow day. Oh well.

05 December 2009


I thought I would post an update about my sister. Her cath yesterday did not bring the best news. Mary has a 60-80% blockage in her coronary artery. Because of the location, she is going to require bypass surgery. While they are in, they will also replace her valve, which as I said before, is bicuspid (two openings) rather than tricuspid (three openings). Please pray for her and for her husband and 7 children (ages 22-9) as they walk this journey. Please also pray for her doctors that they treat her with knowledge strength, wisdom and steady hands. Her surgery is on December 14.

04 December 2009


I hope I am not annoying everyone with all of the prayer requests, but I am guessing that Advent is a busy time for needs. I have a couple more.

My sister, Mary, who has a defect with her aortic valve (it's bicuspid instead of tricuspid), is scheduled to have a cardiac cathaterization this morning. She had an abnormal stress test during the summer, and had a bit of a scare when she was in Rome last week involving some chest pain. The doctor wants to rule out blockages and get a good look at her valve. Please pray for good results, as well as steady hands for her doctor.

Secondly, when I was speaking to my sister this morning, she told me of a little girl named Mia (Mia is a friend of a friend's daughter). Mia is 9 months old, and has been diagnosed with brain cancer. If I get more information on this situation, I will let you know.

Thank you so much for all of the prayers. Please know that I carry all of your intentions spoken and unspoken with me. I truly love and appreciate the community we are building when we help each other like this! God Bless!

03 December 2009

Keep the prayers coming!

Here is the link to Becky's CaringBridge site. The have lifted the sedation and she is responsive! God is so good!

Not just about the baby!

Lest you think that baby Alexandra is the only child who gets space on this blog, I thought I'd throw in a couple of my boys.

Sorry for the blur in this shot, but I thought I would post a picture of Michael's goose-egg from last night when Drew "accidentally" pushed him out of the way to save him from running into a shelf. It looks much better today-there may be a Christmas picture after all!

The boys were pleasantly surprised to find that, yes, their Mama had stayed up last night to finish all of their winter hats. In truth, I finished making Peter's last week. Today it is supposed to be around 32 degrees, so I'd say I finished just in the nick of time!

12 weeks old!


I emailed a few of you about this last night, but I was informed of a family that is in dire need of prayer. The mother, Becky, is the sister of someone at my parish. She has 4 children, age 5 and under, with the youngest being 12 days old. Becky had a massive heart attack and aortic dissection a couple of days ago. Her brother has blogged an update here. Later today, they will be setting up a CaringBridge site. I will let you know when I get it. Let's storm Heaven with prayers for this family! At this time of year, I am so thankful for such a wonderful blogging community! God Bless!

Recipe Swap Thursday-Christmas Cookie Edition!

Today I am sharing an old family favorite-tutus (also known as chocolate balls). I can remember my Mom making these every year. I would love coming home from school seeing the kitchen table COVERED in tutus, freshly glazed, with the excess glaze all over the table-YUM!


4 C flour
1 ½ C granulated sugar
2 T (heaping) cocoa
2 T (heaping) baking powder
5 large eggs
1 C Crisco
2 T vanilla
1 C chopped walnuts
1 C chocolate chips (more if desired)
milk, as needed

Mix all ingredients and roll into balls the size of a quarter. Bake 425° for 7-8 minutes. (As these get larger upon baking, you may want to do a few to see how big you want them). Cool and frost. (Frosting: powdered sugar, melted butter, and milk).

Now, it's your turn! Grab the button on the sidebar to link back to me, and leave a link to your post in the comment section.

02 December 2009

Odds and Ends

Thought I would try to take a moment to breathe and fill in on what's been going on around here. Nothing major, but I am feeling very overwhelmed of late!

I am happy to report that my baby girl is sleeping through the night. She has been sleeping until 5 every morning. This has been a welcome change (6 would be better, but I am not complaining!). Alex is a very easy baby for the most part. She loves to smile as well. Today, she surprised me by rolling from her tummy to her back! I have never had a child do this quite so early. This afternoon, I thought I'd see if it was a fluke or not. It wasn't. She flipped over after about 10 seconds on her tummy. She was laying on the floor on her blanket while I was busy with the boys. The next time I looked, she had scooted herself (on her back) about 16 inches over and pretty much off the blanket! I am so not ready for any of this. I was hoping to not have to worry about the tree this year.

In the midst of these exciting events, Michael ran screaming out of my room. He and Drew had been watching a show in there while Peter finished his homework. Apparently, the two brothers had been doing acrobatics on my bed. Drew said that Michael was going to fall into the shelf, so he blocked him by pushing him (accidentally, of course!). Michael had a goose-egg on the side of his eye which I am sure is going to be a lovely shade of purple. So, do I get their Christmas picture taken or wait for it to go down?

So, my overwhelmedness? (Is that even a word?) Just feeling like I am running all the time. Work has gone from no hours to too many hours! I am just feeling like I have no time to breathe. Busy with the kids and the house all day, then I teach until 10. Most nights I am up until 11 or 11:30, and then Alex is up at 5. I am tired. Thank God for a great husband who helps out a lot, and understands when I don't get everything I want to done.

I decided to take off my last hour tonight to give me a bit of a break. There is a front coming through tonight, and I need to finish Drew's hat because, of course, his is the one not done yet. Wish me luck!


Tomorrow for recipe swap, will you join me in sharing a Christmas cookie recipe? I feel like I need some inspiration! I would love to hear if there is a story or tradition behind it as well! See you tomorrow!