Tag Archives: family

Thanks…giving. Let’s be thankful…..

As I sit here on my couch smelling my turkey cooking, and watching the Macy’s Day parade in my pajamas, I have so much to be thankful for….

  • Thank you Lord for another day to love my husband, and share my time with my children. Thank you for my health…..
  • Thank you Lord for my husband’s tireless work ethic that keeps our family provided for and allows me to stay home and school my children. Thank you for his humor, his love, and his faithfulness to our marriage and our family.
  • Thank you Lord for my parents and the person they formed me to be. Thank you for their sacrificial love and the way they continue to love and support me.
  • Thank you Lord for my beautiful mother-in-law who is a true inspiration in her faithfulness and love. She has always made me feel like her daughter.
  • Thank you Lord for all my in-laws who are truly my best friends. I couldn’t have imagined the blessings they would hold for me.
  • Thank you Lord for the beautiful loveletters you sprinkle into my day to remind me how much you love me.
  • Thank you Lord for the amazing priests you have placed in my life to help me grow.
  • Thank you Lord for the faith-filled women in my Walking With Purpose bible study group and the way that they call me on to holiness.
  • Thank you Lord for the trials and blessings of this year which keep my family ever dependent on you.
  • Thank you Lord for my Franciscan University of Steubenville  family. Many of those friendships span 20 years, over multiple states and countries. I have prayed with many of you through tough medical crises, the loss of spouses and children, and financial hardships. You have been a constant reminder to me of the power of prayer and the strength of friendships centered in Christ. I will be forever grateful for how FUS changed me.
  • Finally, Thank you Lord for you……all of my faithful blog readers who read my thoughts, however inconsistent, and respond with such encouragement and love.

Praying that this Thanksgiving season will have your heart overflowing as you spend some time reflecting on God’s providence in your life. How truly great is our God!




Perfect marriages don’t exist….

16 years of marriage!!!!!

I tell you….I love my marriage.  

To say that I married my best friend would be accurate.

I was reading this beautiful post that my husband wrote about me on facebook, when he stated:

“Happy 16th year of wedded bliss to my best friend and amazingly beautiful wife. I am so blessed to walk beside you through this journey of life towards the kingdom of our Lord. You are the most beautiful and loving person I have ever met and best of all your all mine! Love you”

I believe every word of this.

I believe that he truly feels this way.

Because we have put so much of our time, energy, and ourselves into this marriage.

He has not always felt this way about me.

In fact, there was a time when he wasn’t sure that all of this was “worth it”.

little family 3

I know because I was so tired, so frustrated, so sick of trying to “explain myself”…..and list was endless.

I was a tired mom of young children who felt so misunderstood.

I felt:

He didn’t understand me.

He thought the worst of me.

He was so selfish.

He was always angry, and I was sick of hearing him talk about it.

If you were to ask him, he would say that he felt:

She doesn’t respect how hard I work.

She doesn’t budget our money well.

She always wanted to stay at home, and now she’s just not happy.

She’s always complaining about something.

We were financially struggling, and the burden was heavy.

We weren’t suppose to feel this way about each other. No one could know these struggles.

From the outside, we looked happy but the fighting was just too much.

Our children were so precious to us, so we chose to focus on them.

We made every day about the kids for weeks…months…a year.

We had three children in a tiny apartment. Our third, a baby, was living in our “walk in” closet. We had one car, which he took to work everyday, while I felt smothered in this tiny apartment with three little ones.

Nothing was easy….the kitchen sink was too small. Our kitchen was tiny so it made preparing dinner so frustrating. The laundry room was downstairs, so I would have to trek downstairs with three kiddos in tow.  I would come down later to find that same laundry thrown in my basket wrinkled, as someone else had changed the load. I would have to grocery shop when the hubs got home so that involved not “forgetting” anything that was needed for dinner.

I was too tired to argue…but there was so much frustration that we fought about everything.

Countless nights I would wait for him to go to bed, and I would crawl into bed crying.

How did we get here? This wasn’t the guy that I dated. This wasn’t what I signed up for….

It was so easy to just stay angry. So easy to call all my girlfriends and bitch about my husband and how men are so frustrating.

Let’s be honest, I could have created a list of “justifable” reasons that I could be angry.

We can always find people willing to allow us to vent, but we also need to seek out people who will help us to change the course of what is going on.

I happened to be blessed with an amazing brother in law who would allow me to call him and vent about my frustations. He loved my husband and would provide me “insight” into my husband and share his marriage’s similar struggles. He was a tremendous “bridge” that connected our two worlds.

You see….he helped me to see what I always knew to be true……

Perfect marriages don’t exist. 

I don’t think that any of us truly believe that they do.

However, I think it’s easier for us to assume that others do not encounter our same struggle.

Why is it so hard for us to share the struggle? Why is it so hard to show our weakness?

Because when we leave our struggles “in the dark”,  we also keep Christ out of it. We reserve a part of our life to be handled by us alone. It’s only after seeing how we truly fail anything on our own, that we lift our hearts in prayer to God and allow Him to bring us help.

I decided years ago that I wanted a better marriage.

I decided that I was going to fight for what we both wanted.

I knew that he was that same guy, and I was that same girl he loved. Some how, we let “life” and the “world” come between us.

We had stopped working on us.

And if you are struggling with some of these same feelings/issues..I have a few pieces of advice.

Make a decision to fight for your marriage…..and give your marriage to the Lord. Marriage is a decision. It’s a daily decision to love your spouse. Once you make this decision, it becomes the most important fight that you are in. It means rolling up your sleeves and conquering whatever hurdles you have together. It’s an “us against the world” mentality not a “you against me”. It means waking up daily, and asking the Lord to bless your marriage and any roadblocks for that day. I wrote a great blog about fighting for your marriage here. 

*I will never advocate remaining in a situation that involves cases of physical, mental or verbal abuse. Please seek professional help if you are in this situation. I believe that God can work miracles in your relationship, but that might require distance and professional help first. You are a child of God and worthy of much more.


Always think the best of him. Assume the best so that you are never overly critical. It’s so much easier to think the best, then to apologize for rushing to judgment. Trust that he loves you and would never want to hurt you intentionally.

“I’m sure he meant to get to these dishes. The kids must have been tough tonight.” Instead of, “what an ass! He knows I don’t want to do all these dishes”. I’ve done that second one a few times and it bit me in the ass. haha. I know I leave the dishes until the morning if it’s crazy-ville and should give him the same courtesy.

Be open and honest. This is super important. Communication is key. I can tell my husband anything. I mean anything….. We don’t have “big discussions” because we don’t need to. We work out everything together. I have a certain way that I like things, and other things I don’t care about. We sat down and talked about who would handle what, and what decisions we wanted to be the “voice” of and what decisions the other person could handle. I know how he likes to be loved, and the things I can do to support him.

Honor the stuff that is important to each other.  I honor the stuff that is important to him, and he respects my decisions about stuff that is important to me. I used to hate football….I know…it’s hard to admit. I decided years ago that I would just honor his love for the game. I would make these cute spreads since I loved appetizers and hosting. Then, I would sit and watch the games with him. I was content to eat and hang out, he was content to hang with me and watch the game. What was a “sacrifice” turned into a love of the game. We now have complete ND rituals with songs and gear…haha.

Notre dame

He knows how important “girl time” is to me. He makes sure I always have some wine in the bar, and often will just suggest that I “go out by myself for a few hours”. This past fall, he flew me to Atlanta to surprise my girlfriend for her birthday. It was just an amazing time. As I rocked with her on her porch with a cold beer in my hand, I got a text message that said “I love you. Don’t let her pay for anything this weekend.” As a single mom, he wanted my girlfriend to feel supported and cared for. It spoke volumes into her heart and mine. Whenever I mention a “girls’ night” or a “girls’ weekend”, he always helps me to make it happen.

Laugh. I can’t tell you how much this man makes me laugh. Even when I’m trying to be serious and discuss something with him. There is nothing better than laughter and what joy it brings to the heart. We constantly have inside jokes, or make references to Seinfeld, King of Queens, or The Office episodes. If you know my husband in real life, he is truly one of the funniest people EVAH……

Put each other first. Trust me. I love my kiddos. If you flip through my instagram, you can see how much I love the joy that they bring to our home. However, my husband always comes first. For us, that means plenty of date nights, yearly vacations alone, and just time together. Every saturday, we take our coffee and tea into our sitting room, and chat about the week ending and the week approaching. The kids know not to enter this room at this time. It’s our sacred time weekly. We cuddle and just relax.  In addition, Now that my oldest has started babysitting for us, we have also been able to slip out for breakfast few times a month together.

anniversary breakfast

Perfect marriages do not exist. But good marriages do.

They are the product of love, and selfless actions on the part of each other.

They are built brick by brick into the beautiful home that others see.

So…embrace the fight…embrace the struggle…and join countless other couples in fighting for a good marriage.



Christmas countdown!

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is in

3 days!!!!!

So what has the past two weeks looked like in our house???!!

Something like this…….

Baking: The kiddos LOVE this part of the holidays.


Plenty of chocolate yumminess on the counters. Our mail carrier, trash men, and our neighbors benefit from all these goodies.  Last year, we discovered “Christmas crack”…..research it on Pinterest.  It’s so addictive…..

chocolate chips, peanuts, peanut butter chips, almond bark…..2 hours on low in a slow cooker….DONE!


And decorating cupcakes gets better when you are doing it with family and friends! I love how my SIL shares her love for baking with my kids!!



Who doesn’t love hanging beautiful lights, and huge bows around the house?! And I just ADORE these beautiful stockings from Pottery Barn!!!


Our Christmas tree decorating is not complete without various Christmas favorites, like “The Little Drummer Boy” by Pentatonix, blaring in the background! With a 12 ft tree, decorating is always an adventure.





 Christmas Activities:

On Saturday, the Fashionista, Mini Me and I ditched the rest of the crew to attend a Christmas play at a local playhouse. With their Bitty Babies in tow, we had a blast!



As we continue to plug away on our Jessie tree, Miss Missy is also enjoying all her playtime before the Little People Nativity Set.


Holiday Parties:

Tonight, the hubs and I hit the town for his annual work Christmas party. We love any opportunity to get dressed up, hang out together, drink alcohol and good food!


Lastly, I have been preparing for our Christmas Mass. Sweet Pea and the Fashionista will be singing in the choir this year, and I always enjoy laying out their outfits for planning purposes.



It actually takes me a few weeks to get everyone’s Christmas stuff together…..I do LOVE getting everyone dressed for Christmas Mass. I try to have a general color palette that lets everyone be “individual” without too “matchy matchy”. If you can tell, I can’t decide between the two black and white dresses for Miss Missy which is why I have six outfits and not five.

Look for a family shot after Mass on Christmas Eve!

But through it all, the hardest part has been adjusting our attitudes.  Finding less to frustrate and annoy us; hoping for the peace that only Christ can give and truly “entering” into this Season of Advent.

Asking the Lord to help remind us of the joy of this season……

As we continue to light the Advent Wreath, may we continue to soften our hearts to welcome the Christ Child.

untitled (10)

God Bless,


Christmas Tree shopping!!

My blog might be quiet…but it’s not for lack of action over here. We are “knee deep” in enjoying our Advent celebrations and traditions.

Finding our Christmas tree is one of our favorites. When my two oldest were young, we would just hit the local parish’s Christmas tree lot and drop $40, sometimes $60, on a Christmas tree. We would just pick one that looked “decent” and have the men help us tie it to the roof of our car. It was a 20 minute “on the way home” kinda errand.

Well…you can imagine our shear joy when we moved to our new home, five years ago, and found out that two streets over, there was a Christmas tree farm. It is a family-run farm with just the sweetest old man who passes out hot chocolate, candy canes, and coloring books to the kiddos.

After visiting our first tree farm, we fell in love with the experience!!!

If you haven’t been…I highly recommend it.  There is just something about running through a nursery of trees and picking out THAT ONE that will stand in your home.

Here is our family getting ready to begin our adventure……

Coats, hats, gloves….and ready to nab a beautiful tree!


Dad grabs a colorful “tie” from the owner and gets ready for the inspection. He is the resident “tree expert”. Then, the kids will break off into pairs and then go in hunt for a tree.

Then…it begins….the echoing of “Found it! I found the perfect tree!!”

The hubs and I walk from tree to tree examining the kids’ choices and looking for a tree that is pretty full.

After several examinations, DDD found our tree this year! He did great!


And finally a “We found it” picture!

 Around the time of this picture, we were ready to climb into a warm van and get home!


Can’t wait to see this tree all “fancy”!!!


Stay tuned for more pics of our decorated tree!

God bless,


Thank you, Lord….counting my blessings!

“Chicken Day”…

Miss Missy has been walking around for the past week asking me if it’s “chicken day” yet. She has been seeing this colorful turkey that I drew on our dry erase calendar, and she knows it must be important !

And, it is!!!

Turkey, Stuffing, and Gravy….oh, My!!!!

I love so much about this holiday. I love having an excuse to make a huge meal.

I love looking in my binder over what traditions we did last year and what we want to change this year.

I love setting a beautiful table and having the kids take delight in using real wine glasses and nice napkins.

But, when I sat down at my computer, I quickly became overwhelmed with the “LIST” in front of me : the chopping, the beating, the cooking.

How to get it all done without growing in frustration or impatience..

And then this prayer came to mind, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see you…”

As I look at my list, It is overwhelming.

But….when I see Miss Missy’s list of “I am thankful” items, it is a practical reminder of all the blessings in my life.


Thank you Lord:

For the gift of my husband, who reminds me daily how loved I am,


For the gift of my one and only son, who brings me such joy……


For the blessing of four princesses, who show me true beauty inside and out….


For the blessing of a home, and the warmth that it provides….


For the blessing of sharing every day with this amazing crew and watching them grow…


For the food that will adorn our table, and the blessing of never knowing hunger


 May my life be lived in thankful gratitude for all that you have given me.

May my hands seek to reach up in thanksgiving, and out to those who need me….

May I never take for granted the blessings in my life.

For in Your Divine Wisdom, you have made everything perfect, tailored to me.

Happy Thankgiving to you and your family!

A slow return……to Fall…

I haven’t blogged in so long. It’s not because I lack things to talk about. It’s actually the opposite. I’ve been enjoying the beauty of trying to “unplug” and enjoy my kids this summer. As much as I love homeschooling, much of what I do during the school year is the opposite of my personality. In the summer, I can dawn the hat of “fun, spontaneous mom” that I love. No lesson planning, no set days of schoolwork, no lists to check off, no threats over completing math problems, no stressing over days filled with hours of activity…..and I love it!!!

dress up 2014

I love deciding to have dinner at the pool, or having ice cream for lunch. I love cuddling with the kids in my bed and laughing about their antics. I love the HOURS my kids get to play with nonstop interruption for an academic lesson. I love the countless “concerts” and “performances” that I get to watch from my couch….hours of taping the kids fun episodes on my iphone. I love the lack of responsibility that summer brings…and I know that in order to have balance I need that. I need that “down time” so that I can conquer the next school year. However, as the summer draws to a close, I am having a much harder time this year with embracing this new “season” in my life…..with embracing the upcoming school year.

I have so much to share with you that has been a part of my life this summer. I want to fill you in on our big road trip to New England, on all the personal growth I have undergone, and life with five growing kiddos…. but my heart can’t get pass the feelings that I am overcome with right now.

pool time 2014

How everything that is filling my mind is just…. not important…..

that’s how I feel. I am beginning to question:

What are my priorities in this life?….am I fulfilling them?

And it’s beginning to affect everything that I am doing.

I wake up thinking about it…and go to bed with the same thoughts. Why do I have to pay bills? How important is this schoolwork?  Why is it so tough for me to make God a priority in my life? I feel that the Lord is calling me to re-evaluate everything that is important and that I value as important in my life.

Suicide of famous actors. Abortion. The death of thousands of children in the mountains of Iraq. Earthquake in China. Riots in Missouri. Journalist John Foley’s death. Countless stories of moms and dads abusing their children. The ISIS reign of terror…..

The news just seems to inundate me daily. I can’t avoid it….My facebook newsfeed is full of horrific stories of tragedy….personal friends begging for prayers……many of my friends having full debates about the ISIS situation…..

I start to feel so burdened….so sad…..somewhat hopeless. I start wondering where God is? Why hasn’t He intervened???? But have I invited him?…….Like Peter during the storm, I need to cry out to the Lord to help me….

Lord, have mercy.

How do I immerse myself in prayer for these situations without leading myself into despair? How do I go about my day with my morning vanilla chai and my morning prayer, when there is such uncertainty in the world right now? How can I unite my sufferings with so many, Lord?

Christ, have mercy.

I guess I need to fall on the mercy of our faith.  To remember that we are community of believers. That when the “body of Christ” suffers, all of its members suffer. To turn to the Lord and ask him what he is asking of me.

What is my role in all of this?

I believe that this question will be a daily prayer for me.

“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed”.

I can honestly say that the current state of events has really changed the way that I think, especially about attending Mass on Sunday. What a privilege to worship the Lord so freely??!! I can’t imagine that freedom being taken away…… How many times have I laid in my bed from a late night and wince at the idea of heading out to Mass? It’s embarrassing to admit but…I’ve been there. How many times was I sick or one of the kids under the weather and I was annoyed at having to find a late Mass to attend or having to go to separate Masses with the hubs? The truth is…until you are denied this basic right…you will exploit it. You will take it for granted. The Lord is showing me that my faith is the greatest gift that He has given me. I must cherish it and put it at the for front of my life.

church 2014

The hubs and I have also decided to take another look at our budget, to make sure that we are being good stewards of our money. Are there areas that we are just wasting money? Can we be blessing more people than we are? We also have started to talk to our children about the frivilous use of words like “starving” or “needs”. Our children are privileged on so many levels but we need them to really see their blessings and be more appreciative of what they have.

We also feel a greater challenge, as parents, to raise a new generation of martyrs. Does that sound crazy to you? It scares the heck out of me….but I need to prepare my kids little souls for greatness! They need to know that NOTHING is worth their soul.

sisters 2014

We have had plenty of time over the last few weeks to discuss the children who were fleeing in the mountains in Iraq. We have talked about their poor parents who sent them to die of hunger rather than death by the enemy. We have talked about offering our holy communions up for those souls who live in fear, that the Lord may be with them in a special way. This is a beautiful time in our Church to teach our children about present day martyrs as we continue to focus on the lives of the saints and the examples they have taught us.

maine 2014

It’s also a great time to cling to our faith and remember that God IS, has always been; will always be!! The greatness of our God overweighs whatever evil will try and rob us of our peace.

I will end this post with one of the MOST inspiring performances that I have heard……

Carrie Underwood just really sings from the heart in this one….

During your tough or low times this week, may you always remember how much you are loved and cared for by the Lord.

 God bless,


Parenting: “Phase 9”


I feel lately like….I’m being run over by a stampede…

Yeah…kinda like that….

Actually….that’s more accurate than I really want to admit….

I’ve also noticed that my wine consumption has increased and my kids’ bedtime is gradually getting earlier and earlier….so early that I debated having them get into pajamas for dinner…at 5.

I kid

well…..sort of….

Our house has been blessed with the “phase” otherwise known as “9” (it can also be synonymus with 8, or 10). This phase is characterized by the following:

·       Eye rolling

·       Door slamming

·       Clinched teeth

·        grunting

*Sayings such as “It’s not fair!” or “How come??!!”

·       And finding everyone “annoying”.

Doesn’t that sound awesome???!!!

IMG_2374It’s like I’ve just woken up on a train track with a train coming. I’m not sure how I got there but I know to get off the track!!!!

My first thought is to blast all my “mom friends” who have older children….”Why didn’t you warn me?”

But…that’s the equivalent of a first-time mom asking “why didn’t you warn me about labor?” It’s kinda like….”well, there really is no need to scare the crap out of you. When it’s time…you will be able to handle it.

So….the hubs and I have come to the conclusion that we gotta “step up” our parenting game.

70s partyWait…let’s not judge us as parents on this pic…haha

The simple “first level” parenting level that we had grown accustomed to…is still there. We are still dishing out time-outs; putting kids in their rooms, and issuing “quiet time” and naps.

Shayla balletYep…My little Sweet Pea during those “easy” years…=)

However, this “runaway train” called Phase 9 was going to require some serious prayer and parenting discussion.

So…as we take this journey…we have decided to try a few things that I wanted to share with you. It’s such a science experiment…I will either be able to offer you advice in a year or two……

or you will firmly commit NOT to do what I did.

 Parenting is loving our children and wanting their holistic formation into the life of a teenager. The first thing we decided to focus on was to remind ourselves of our roles as parents and to focus on our parenting philosophy. We are trying to teach our daughter how to communicate; to know herself; to have strong character and conviction; to desire a love for others, and to yearn for a relationship with God. 

shaylaSweet Pea, last fall…

So….how to do we do that without judging her?…critizing her?….or being too negative? How do we “water” her genuine desire to serve? How do we encourage individuality and yet love for her family and friends?

 listen. Listen to what my daughter is saying …Lord knows, at this point, I don’t LIKE half of what I am hearing…but I will rejoice that my daughter feels like she can talk to me. I will NOT confront her in the stress of an argument but will honor her desire for respect as a little lady. I will sneak in moments over a cup of tea or cooking in the kitchen to ask her to explain situations to me. “What were you thinking about when you said_______?” ”Why do you think you are slamming doors all the time?” “What is the most frustrating thing you are experiencing?”I must also be aware of what her body language is saying. What is it that she doesn’t like to discuss? Could I be embarrassing her when I am not trying to?   Does she have certain “triggers” that make arguments escalate?

IMG_0480Allowing Change. Change is so difficult but necessary. I am being called to now foster a different type of relationship with my daughter. I don’t need to make sure she has food nor do I need to dress her. I don’t have to worry about her personal safety but…I do need to assist her in making her decisions. I need to be her mom….gently reminding her to brush her teeth because of her braces, and encouraging her love of piano. I need to watch her to see the areas in her life that SHE is defining and to continue to make experiences to get “to know” my daughter.I need to encourage her desire to lead and help in situations. I need to allow her to have additional roles in the family that would alleviate my burden and yet allow her to feel “treated older”.

dinner with Dad

Date night with daddy.

Be her biggest fan. In a lot of ways, I already am. I know that my daughter is amazing. She is loving and thoughtful. She has such an amazing heart that I want everyone to see. I guess, I just want her to be true to herself. But…I need to spend this time of uncertainty and change for her, being “her rock”. She needs to be told how I view her and often. I need to deliver affirmations more than criticisms. I need to spend more time with my arm around her and my eyes looking at her. She needs to see my “correction” as just that…a fleeting correction and not an “overall” view of her as my child.

IMG_0973As we enter this new journey of “Phase 9”, our prayer, as a family, is that we may continue to be a stronghold for each member of our family. That the Lord will guide our decisions as parents and help us to be what our daughter needs.

Our whole gang

Our whole gang

“You will show me the path of life..you my hope and my treasure. In your presence is endless joy, at your side is my home forever.”- Psalm 16:11

 God bless,



Tip Tuesday: loveletters….be one….

When I was in high school, I had this amazing religion teacher who taught me about “loveletters” and how to look for them. She taught me that God loved me and showered me with little “gifts” throughout the day. It was my love for him and my desire for a relationship with him that would allow me to see these little “gifts” in my life. Wow??!! What a beautiful thought…..I have spent the last 20 years of my life looking for these little “loveletters” every day.

When you open your eyes to see them…it’s really quite overwhelming.

I would like to share with you one of these profound times in my life. In October 2011, one month before the birth of Miss Missy, my husband contracted meningitis and encephalitis. I can’t begin to explain how emotionally draining it was to be “done” with being pregnant and the emotional “basket case” that the last month of pregnancy has you in and then to deal with my husband’s medical condition at that time. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I was not sleeping; barely eating; trying to homeschool three children and be at the hospital for the majority of the day so I could monitor my husband’s care; all while trying to keep myself out of the hospital until it was my turn. My mom had come up to stay with me and help me out when all of this first broke out and she was one of my first “loveletter” during that time. She helped bring routine and comfort to my home. She reassured the children while I battled the doctors with my husband.

My husband’s family delivered hot meals to my home and called regularly to “check in” on my husband….more loveletters. I would often pray on my nightly 45 minute ride home that the Lord will keep me awake….more than once a good friend called at just the right time….another loveletter…thank you, Lord.

The most impressionable loveletter I ever received happened one morning as I returned home. I had spent the night at the hospital with my husband and was coming home to spend some lunchtime with the kiddos. I was spent…exhausted….I missed my husband. I missed the man who I ran to for my problems. I missed the man who held me and assured me all would be ok. He lay in a bed with tons of wires; numerous IVs, and couldn’t speak intelligently. He had lashed out on me so much over the course of that two week span…I was scared and felt very alone. I was worried about how I would handle post-partum pregnancy with four little kids and a husband who really couldn’t function on his own. I needed a good cry…..I sat in my van in front of my house and wept. I was adamant about my kids not seeing me cry. I needed to be strong…I needed to carry this burden solely….“Lord, help me. I feel so alone.”

Then I walked by the mailbox.

“Get the mail”.

I heard it very clear.


Get the mail.” 

I was tired. I just wanted to get in the door. To snuggle on the couch with my kiddos and grab a nap before I journeyed back to the hospital.

Get the mail“….”

“Ok, Lord.”

So…I stopped to get the mail. Then, I did something I don’t normally do…I sat down on the steps of the house and went through the mail. There were three personal letters in there from my household sisters from a Christian sorority I belonged to in college. Each personal letter came with a little gift card: one to Starbucks, one to Subway, and one to Mcdonalds. The floodgates opened and I cried like a baby. “You are not alone”. My heart heard it…….those little cards kept coming for about two weeks. Each letter offered me reassurance from some strong women in my life. Each card assured me of their prayers for my peace and for strength. Oh….I felt it. It’s amazing how much our prayers and our words touch those whom we love.

God answers our cries

if we have the ears and eyes to believe.

Some days we receive loveletters and somedays we have the privilege to be the sender of a loveletter.

So…for this Tip Tuesday…..

Be a sender of a loveletter.

This evening my husband and I had the privilege of having my nephew over for dinner. We have enjoyed having him over a few times a year, while he is closer to us at college, and spending time with him. He is a college student and in the middle of exams. Our little loveletter came in the form of an “exam survival kit” the hubs and I compiled for him.


We filled it with a bunch of stuff that we “coveted” when we were in college with no money and late nights. (I took this picture before I added the homemade goodies and refrigerated stuff.) Here’s what we included in ours:

  • Wheat bread/Peanut butter/jelly
  • crackers/ cheddar cheese slices
  • fresh fruit: apples and grapes
  • canned pineapple
  • oreos: one of his favorites
  • microwave popcorn
  • small jugs of orange juice
  • small individual bags of muffins

***home baked goods: two tupperware bins: one filled with leftovers from dinner and one filled with dessert leftovers.

***A bag of Halloween candy: the kids gave him 3 pieces of candy from their own Halloween bag. The hubs and I might have thrown in a few extra to lessen our bin.

  • Some other suggestions would be: coins for the vending machine; ramen noodles; packets of tunafish; sports drinks or gum or mints.

 The expression on his face was priceless. It was the same look I had as I glance over that mail. Someone had thought of me. Someone had reached out and realized a need before I voiced it.  It’s a beautiful gift to be someone’s loveletter.

What about you?

Could you be someone’s loveletter today or tomorrow?

How about the next time you say, “I’ll pray for you.”…how about instead you BE that person’s answer to prayer.

Try it.

It’s a beautiful thing to be the hands of Christ.

Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Chris has no body now on earth but yours.” – St. Teresa of Avila.


God bless,



Tip Tuesday: 5 things I wish I would remember….

Five Things I wish I would remember…..

I feel like I’m losing my mind. Call it “mom brain” or maybe I’m just trying to juggle too many things and some stuff just “slips out” but…

I forget just about everything.

I start conversations and then get distracted. I enter the kitchen and forget why I am there. I call someone and have to look at my phone to see who I called. It’s crazy. It’s probably a sign that I need to SSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW down…

So…while I have a focused mind, here are five things I wish I could remember everyday:

1.   Wake up early, happy, and ready. It’s the days that I jump up before the kids and jump in the shower that seem to go the best. I don’t let my mind wander onto my Thing to Do list until I’m showered; I’ve prayed; and I’m ready for the day. I grab a few cuddles from the kiddos and just start my day off smiling.

2.   Prayer changes everything. Prayer changes me. It gives me the opportunity to ask the Lord to reign over my day. It allows me to ask the Lord for the virtues that I need to conquer my day. It changes the moods of those around you. It can refocus my family if things are crazy. It can calm me when things seem to be out of control or desperate.

3.   I am one of the greatest role models my kids have. This is NOT what I want to be thinking about when I’m yelling for the 10th time or telling my son how frustrating he is. =( How humbling it is to be correcting my kids behavior and yet I’m the biggest hypocrite when it comes to calm and productive behavior. If I want productive children, I should show them how hard I work. If I want my kids to be loving, they need to learn that from me.

4.   Plan, Plan, Plan. Not having a plan leads to havoc. I can’t emphasize this enough in my life. Does this mean no time for a spontaneous day? No…because you can plan to have a spontaneous day. I love when I really focus and finish a two week menu plan. I mean….to be able to do some dinner prep at 2 when the toddler is napping is WAY easier than deciding at 5pm that I don’t want to make dinner nor do I have anything to make. If I can plan and tackle schoolwork and household errands early in my day/week, I will not have to decline fun field trips or possible last minute fun due to poor planning.

 5.   My life is great. Even when I’m stressed, overworked, frustrated, or worn out…I must remember that my life is great. I have an amazing husband, good and loving children, and an amazing network of family and friends.

I’m thinking about printing this out and posting it on my mirror for when I wake up in the morning. I am hoping that these statements will be branded on my brain and on my heart.

Wishing you much peace.

God Bless,