Thursday, January 31, 2013

Running on E

That was me last night. Actually, I was happier than this lady looks! I'll explain.

I hit a wall. First there was the stomach virus going through the house, then there was a *long* snow day with the kids on Monday, and then there were a few birthday parties. Some of this stuff (like the birthday parties) was actually pretty enjoyable. But, the end result was me last night.

I was standing in the kitchen after dinner (which was a disaster...I made the mistake AGAIN of buying a Hamburger Helper meal and thinking it would actually be edible!), and I just felt like I had nothing left to give to anyone. I hadn't had any time to myself in days and days...and everyone around me was paying for it!

I couldn't even smile back at my baby...that's when I knew it was bad! I just felt like I had no love left, no patience, no kind words for anyone...not even myself. Luckily, my husband saw the signs and sent me off to the gym.

I actually love working out. I know that it is torturous for some people, but endorphins do wonders for my state of mind. It was a very rainy and foggy night...the kind that I hate to drive in now that I'm getting old...ha! But, as soon as I stepped on that treadmill...everything was good again.

I was so glad that I had remembered to go back into the house to grab my walkman (yes, I still have a walkman!). I have three Harrisburg radio stations set...two that play loud, fast, popular music that keep me hyped up and motivated to run, and one that plays some 80's tunes.

I quickly got lost in a zone. Although I have not been to the gym in a long time (moving took all of my "free" time!), it was as if I never left. About two miles in, I heard the song Africa by Toto. It brought back instant memories of a good friend from college. I immediately wanted to talk to her. We lost touch after college, but we reconnected on facebook a few years ago.

There was one problem. This friend is in heaven. At least I can only hope and pray that she is in heaven. As Catholics, we KNOW that the canonized Saints are in heaven. But, we also believe that there are an untold number (hopefully millions and millions and millions!) of saints (small 's') in heaven too. Because we don't know for sure (until we hopefully arrive there ourselves), we should always remember to pray for the souls of those we loved (and the souls of those who are forgotten).

Anyway, Jen died last year of ovarian cancer. She was 35. I hadn't seen her in years before she died, but I have countless crazy memories of the two years that we were close friends (we drifted apart toward the end of college). When I was moving this month, I found tons of pictures and cards from her. The last time we communicated, she told me that my kids were beautiful and that she hoped to have kids soon too (she was married). She never mentioned that she was sick.

As I ran on the treadmill (faster than I had any right to actually...I'm paying for it now!), I realized that it was not a problem to talk to Jen at all! I told her that I had just yelled at my 6-year-old daughter for ruining dinner....although clearly I was the one who had forgotten to add the sauce to the hamburger helper (it probably would've been gross anyway!!).

And, I told her that I so desperately want to be a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, etc...and that I constantly feel that I am failing on all fronts (letting myself get to 'E' didn't help, of course!). I asked her to intercede for me and my kids. Enjoying all the memories of a crazier, simpler time in life (most with beer in hand at Brads, our favorite bar!) made me feel so happy. It filled up my tank!

I was hoping the kids would be in bed when I got home. But, they weren't. And, this was okay. With my new full tank, I was the mother that they deserve again. time. I'm thinking that I need to head to the gym much more often...maybe at a quarter tank :).

All Souls, pray for us.

Jen's in the very sweater. I'm in the back right. Cheers, Jen! Rest in peace.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I got what I wanted!

Today was the re-scheduled birthday party for my 5-year-old. Thank goodness (for now!) all are healthy at our house! It was also my first time hosting an event in our new home. The living room still doesn't have any furniture, but it worked today.

It was nothing, fruit,cake, and coffee for the moms...but it was so nice to host a bunch of bursting-with-energy preschoolers without worrying about space! This is exactly what I wanted...a home where others are always welcome to help us celebrate life!

Joseph is loving his new birthday gifts. I am loving our new home....and the good feelings that come from spending time with good company! Please God, this is the first of many celebrations in our new home.

When Joseph shouted, "I got what I wanted!" today (while ripping off wrapping paper the way that only a 5-year-boy can), I couldn't help but think, "Me too!"

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Truth or Fiction?

Despite having a bad cold herself, Lucy has been cheering me up all day!
Yesterday was a snowy day. Afternoon preschool was cancelled for Cecilia, and Gianna was dismissed early. The result was lots of time to read books and just hang out (and, of course, check out the new backyard in the snow!).

My children requested that I read a book called "Sick Day" at least three times. It is a Berenstain Bears' book (they love those!), and it tells the story of how Sister Bear is sick and must stay home from school. Then Mama Bear gets so run down from caring for Sister Bear, that she gets becomes sick herself. My children asked me what would happen if I got sick.

We had no idea that this plot would come true in our house the very same night! Cecilia had a nasty stomach virus earlier this week. Just yesterday at preschool, I was marveling to the other moms that no one else had come down with it (and then I knocked on every wood I saw!). That was until last night!

I came down with a horrible stomachache after dinner, and the rest is history. It was a very hard night. Joseph came down with the bug too, which didn't help! As for myself, I was nervous about my body being able to make breast milk for Lucy, but I was grateful that I am not pregnant (the last two stomach bugs landed me in the emergency room because I was pregnant and severely dehydrated...not a good combination!).

This morning I told Gianna that I was sick. She said, "Oh....Mama Bear...what can I do?!" She's a very caring and empathetic child.

I hate not being able to care for my family. It is a growing edge of mine...being able to accept help. Luckily, it's Saturday, and my husband was able to do much of what I do and he even took the older three out during nap time so that I could nap too!

I am starting to get my strength back. As I rested today, I reflected on how priceless my health really is, and how the ordinary is really....wonderful!!! Here's hoping for lots of ordinary days...they are great gifts from God (I hated being sick, but it was a great reminder!).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My new prayer...

"Help me to conduct myself during this day in a manner pleasing to You. Amen."

Today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, and this line is from a prayer that he wrote. I really like it. I think that I will add it to our daily prayers; I know that I need to pray it for myself, but I figure it could help my children too!

I really need help to not overreact when my children are acting ridiculous. My children really need help to not act ridiculous.

Take breakfast this morning, for example. It took me a while to pour four bowls of cereal (half healthy cereal/half sugary cereal!) and four drinks (one chocolate milk, one white milk, one apple juice, and one water). After it was all on the table, you would think (well, you would hope) that the children would just sit down and begin to eat.

Rather, (all said in a very whiny voice):
"That's my spoon!"
"Stop looking at me!"
"She pushed the table and now I'm not in the right place anymore."
"I wanted the other kind of cereal."
"Your leg is touching my seat....move over!"
"I'm not in the mood to eat right now."

Not to mention the spilled drink/cereal, kids getting up and down, parents begging kids to take another bite, etc.

It's not even 7:30 a.m., and I feel like I'm going to BURST! Luckily, my day tends to get much much better (for a while!) after everyone *eventually* eats!

People often ask me how I do it with so many young children. In all honesty, when they ask me, only the great things about having so many young children come to mind. And, there are many great things (the picture above reflects happy, peaceful children after breakfast/getting dressed!).

I have many "breakfast" moments throughout my day, but generally, I feel truly blessed and happy. I just won't invite people over for breakfast (ha!!), and I'll keep saying my prayers...starting with this new one! St. Francis de Sales, pray for me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Whole Hand

Today is my Joseph's 5th birthday! He's a whole hand! It's also the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I love to have done something so pro-life as give birth on this very sad anniversary. I'm praying for all those affected by abortion, and of course, for its end.

Joseph got to eat this cupcake last night...right after I told him that I had to cancel his birthday party today :(. Cecilia had an awful stomach bug yesterday (I'm surprised she wanted to even go near this cupcake for the picture!). She rebounded today, but we want to keep our germs to ourselves as much as possible!

Luckily, we were able to reschedule his party for next week, and I made him happy by taking him to Chuck E Cheese for lunch and playing today.

Joseph was the greatest gift that I never knew I always wanted! I always prayed to be a mom, but I was still afraid to have a son. I wondered how a woman could teach a little boy to become a man, having never been a man. Of course, God's plan includes a father, and Joseph has a great dad...thank you, God (for the plan and the man)!

Because Joseph's pregnancy was so similar to Gianna's, I assumed for nine months that it was a girl. I'll never forget the "It's A Boy!" moment. My husband still teases me about it. It most certainly wasn't that I didn't love him or want him, but there was a moment of shock and yes...disappointment (I admit it!).

Jump ahead 2-1/2 years later...I was due with my 4th baby in September 2010. I was lying there in labor really hoping that it was another BOY (it was...Justin!). Joseph had changed my heart forever, and I thank God daily for the gifts of my sons (and my daughters!).

We set up his birthday present (a car track for the wall) last night!
At a playdate a few years ago, a good friend of mine was telling me about this article she had read about parents having favorite children. While most parents absolutely deny it, studies show (I can not site any of the studies now...I merely thought it was interesting!) that most mothers favor the oldest boy, and most fathers favor the youngest girl. Interesting, no?!

My mother always said her heart was divided into 6 "love" parts...the largest section for God, second largest for my father, and then four very equal parts for each of her children. I have always loved the visual this explanation provided. It comforted me as a child. Gianna asked me for the first time recently if I loved her as much as her siblings, and I was very happy to share the 7 "love" sections of my heart! I think she liked it!

So, I do not have a favorite child (although one child will usually stand out for one reason or another on any particular changes from day to day). But, I am so happy to celebrate this special day with my oldest son! Happy 5th Birthday, Joseph!!! We love you so much. High five!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Or Not...

Here are most of my children dressed up for Mass this morning (Sunday). The picture was requested because Cecilia and Lucy have on matching black velour dresses...not that you can tell! Lucy wasn't too thrilled with the idea, anyway!

It started off as a lovely Sunday. No one was up too early, and I got a cup of coffee in me before the children started arriving in the kitchen for their breakfast (the baby actually slept until I woke her up at 9 a.m.)! The Sunday paper even showed up in our driveway (we weren't sure if it would because of the change of address). I fed the kids and then they played happily when I read the paper.

I was enjoying the slow pace of the morning, but I should have started the rat race of getting everyone ready sooner. Because...the last hour was CHAOS!!! I don't want to write the details, but I had to raise my voice more than I wanted to, and we were all piling into the minivan with only a minute to spare to get to CCD (my preschoolers go during Mass) and Mass on time. I hate being late.

While my husband was buckling everyone into their car seats in our freezing cold minivan in the garage, I ran back into the house to grab my coat. I couldn't find it (I since remembered that I left it at swimming lessons yesterday...ER), so I took a deep breath and tried not to get frustrated.

I thought about how the craziness was all going to be worth it soon because Jesus would be so happy when we walked into Mass! And, all those graces were coming to me...

Or Not.

My husband turned the key in the ignition. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Dead battery! Fabulous.

Everyone out of the minivan! I ended up taking Joseph and Cecilia to their CCD classes and attended Mass when Daddy stayed home with the others to wait for AAA.

In the end, it worked out really well. I thoroughly enjoyed attending Mass by myself. It was a lovely homily about the importance of marriage and that definitely spoke to me (love those!).

When I got home, the minivan was fixed, and Daddy went to a noon Mass with Gianna when I fixed lunch for the others. Two of the kids have soccer this afternoon. Although it is very peaceful in the house right now, I will start getting them ready...soon...don't want a repeat of the chaos!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Little things...

Now that the craziness of the move is over, we are settling into our new home. And, we are loving the space! It feels so nice to spread out. There is lots to like, but I have two favorites.

The first is this:

Yes, it is a messy playroom! But, it is a playroom. I've never had a playroom before, so the mess does not bother me! At our old house, the living room was the one and only home for toys. So, my blood pressure would shoot up as soon as I walked through the room (which I had to do to get...anywhere!). When we were little, my mother always used to say, "Pick up your toys so I don't break my neck!" I never thought I would use one of her lines so often myself!

But now, the finished basement is just a big playroom. And, I don't even have to go down there (the laundry is upstairs!)...ever!! I will, of course; but, it will be when I am in the mood! Lucy has her own toys in the family room, so the big kids can go downstairs all by themselves and have a blast...and, they won't constantly hear Mom telling them to clean it up! Ah...

The second thing is this:

It is a bedroom for my older girls. And, there are two bed and two matching bureaus! I know, it sounds so practical, right!? I am loving it because we had the craziest set up in our old house. The bedrooms were small and the kids came so fast that almost no one had their clothes in the right room. Gianna's clothes were all in the boy's room, Cecilia and Justin's clothes were in my room, etc. Now, the entire family has their own clothes in their own rooms...and this is making me so happy. It's the little things in life, huh!?!?!

It feels like a home already. Granted, there are rooms with no furniture (a good problem to have!) and no pictures on the walls...yet. But, it feels like we are where we are meant to be. A few minutes ago I was doing laundry, and this prayer popped into my head about "being where you are meant to be." Of course, I had to look up the words:

St. Therese of Liseux:

Today may there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is here for each and every one of us. 

St. Therese also believed that the little things in life (especially doing little things for others with great love in your heart...always working on that one!) were actually the big things. St. Therese, pray for us! Thank you God for little things (and little sleeping people...I'm enjoying nap time today!).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Here you go, Mom!

I was anxious to post some pictures from the new house. But, the cord to put the pictures on the computer is in a box...somewhere...I think!!! I hope to discover the right box soon...there are lots to choose from :).

We were driving around this morning (it's our first "normal" day in a week!), and Joseph said, "Here you go, Mom!"

Luckily, I asked him exactly what he was giving me before I stuck my hand back (Joseph sits in the seat closest to me in the minivan, so I can reach my hand back to him...which isn't always a good thing!).

"A huge boogey," he said proudly. Fabulous. For the record, Joseph does have exceptionally large boogies...the kind that block his whole nose. If he could blow his own nose (ha!), he still probably wouldn't be able to get these out.

I told Joseph that he would have to hold on to that treasure because I did not have a tissue. He held it for a second or two before telling me that it was gross to hold it, so he would just put it right here...on Lucy's seat (Lucy is his closest neighbor...I'm rethinking this seating arrangement!).

Great, I thought...putting it in reach of a baby who loves to put everything in her mouth!

I decided that I would take the high road. Chances are, even if Joseph held on to it himself, he'd get distracted and it would end up somewhere else in the van...or possibly Lucy's mouth! I stuck out my hand to retrieve my prize. disappeared! I was driving so I could not look for it. I should really go clean my van is flu season after all. And, just maybe, I'll find my camera cord :).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

That explains it...

Gianna wore this penguin sweater to school today. I guess it was the perfect day to wear it because they learned about penguins today (this was not intentional)! Gianna is my easy daughter to dress. I pick out an outfit and she puts it on without a word. She has always been this way. I was not at all prepared for my diva, Cecilia :). Getting Cecilia dressed in the morning is quite a process...I fear I'm in big trouble when she gets older if she has such strong opinions at age 3!

When I picked Gianna up from school this afternoon, she chattered away about penguins. She was delighted that her teacher had commented on her perfect sweater!

As we drove, she shared lots of random facts that she had learned about penguins. Suddenly, she stopped. "Mommy, did you know that the Daddy penguin takes care of the baby penguins when they are born?" I told her that I did not know that. "OH NO, Mommy! I guess you're just not that smart," she said.

HA! Perhaps that explains why I feel so clueless as a parent sometimes. Yes, that must be it!

Ok, now I am going to stop blogging and get to packing...THAT would be smart! I have my moments :).

Almost here...

Two more days until we start the move (a multi-day process!). The kids are actually making the most of the boxes...pushing them around, rearranging them into obstacle courses, jumping over them, etc.

I shouldn't underestimate the ability of kids to use their imaginations and make their own fun! I can never plan for this spontaneous type of fun, but I sure do enjoy watching and listening. In fact, Joseph keeps telling me to leave (I think he's afraid that I'm going to pull the plug on their fun!). That's okay with me...I love when they play creatively and cooperatively and I can just enjoy...these are moments that I store in my heart.

This will be my last blog post for a while. I will be spending my "free" time finishing up packing here and then making our new home functional and orderly for the next week or so! Thanks for coming by though...I look forward to sharing the next stage of our family life with you in the near future :).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Last call...

We move to our new house on Friday. Today is Monday. I keep thinking, "Oh...this is the last Monday that I will do this (open the blinds, put Gianna on the bus, take a picture of Cecilia and Justin playing outside on an unusually mild January morning)!"

I am excited to move. I haven't been overly emotional about it because I know that it is a wonderful thing for our family. I also TRY to live by valuing people and moments, not material things. But, this is the home that welcomed five babies. It's a home linked with so many precious memories and an amazing stage in my life. These walls watched me become a mother (if walls could talk...). So, I'm a little emotional!

I had a flashback in the backyard a couple of minutes ago (the kids are still out there playing...I can see them through my bedroom window!). It was the summer of 2006, and I was 9 months pregnant with Gianna. I was sunbathing in the backyard (yes, in those days, I still cared about my tan!).

I was absolutely petrified about becoming a mother. I wanted that baby more than anything in the world, but not knowing what my life would be like was agonizing. It was my first week of not working (often 2 or more jobs) in about 10 years...I did not know myself. I wasn't feeling any peace when I prayed. I was being called to simply trust.

The six years since then have been beyond my wildest dreams....praise God!

Something else that keeps hitting me. I have lived in this current house longer than any other house that I have lived in for my whole life. Seems weird that I am 37-years-old and 6-1/2 years in a house is my record!?

We moved a lot when I was growing up. I was always blessed to have a safe, loving home with two parents and everything I needed...and most of the houses were in just two towns in Massachusetts...but we just didn't stay anywhere long (lived with grandparents for a bit, needed more space, bought instead of rented, needed to rent again, etc.!). After college, I took a job with lots of travel and rented one apartment after another.

I pray that this new house will be the only house that my children ever know! Of course, only God knows if that will be the case. I'll just keep on trusting!

Here's my new house, so I can keep perspective...and to keep myself excited for the packing which still must happen:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The bite that was worth it (almost!)...

Lucy is a baby on the go. I think her eyes are closed in the picture above, but she's seeing the world in a whole new light!

She started crawling just five days ago, but man, do not get in her way! I am amazed at how confident she has become in such a short time. My husband was just trying to get some boxes out the front door, and Lucy was trying her best to follow him right out the front door! He joked that she was like a teenager with car keys!

Her siblings have always been kind to her and showered her with attention, but suddenly, they seem to notice her anew. There is a new desire to play with her, show her the ropes, be in pictures with her (see below!), and protect her. This has happened each time one of my babies is in transition to toddlerhood (sniff, sniff) least with the last four babies (Gianna was on her own!). It is very affirming and heartwarming for a mother to watch how her children care for each other.

This morning we went to one of our favorite museums in Harrisburg. It was also a very typical Saturday morning...meaning that  it took us about three hours to get out the door! When the kids were finally getting their coats on, I decided to nurse Lucy quickly so I wouldn't have to do it when we were out.

Lucy was much more interested in watching her siblings get ready than in nursing. I should've known better than to try to nurse a distracted, disinterested baby (she is the 5th baby that I have breastfed). All of a sudden, she sunk her two brand new sharp teeth right into my nipple. Yup, it was the type of bite that has you searching for broken skin.

My reaction was as you would expect. I yelled out in pain. I wasn't yelling AT Lucy (but I did tell her NO in hopes that if she wants to continue nursing that she will never do this again!!). The other kids all stopped and stared. I explained that Lucy had bit me, and I wasn't mad at her, but it hurt a lot. Lucy was screaming...not knowing what had happened.

They all quickly ran Lucy. No one asked me I was all right...rather, they were much more concerned about her.

"MOMMY!," said Joseph, "Don't you know that you NEVER ever yell at a scares them very much." He comforted her the best he could in an awkward hug. The others joined him. Lucy got lots of love...even from Justin (who often still views her as his competition for Mommy's lap).

I loved the moment. I pray that God will keep my kids close...always...even if separated by distance. Joseph recently told me (reluctantly) that he guesses that he will go to kindergarten next year (like he has a choice...ha!) because Gianna will be in the 1st grade classroom right next door and he won't have to ride the bus alone. "That is so nice," I told him. Thank you, God.

Lucy looked back at me to be sure that I stilled loved her (I'm reading into her look, obviously), and I smiled the best that I could (through the pain!). She smiled back a huge grin. All was right again. I was thinking that the bite was **almost** worth it.

Well, then again, I haven't nursed her again since...maybe I'll wait to say that until after she wakes up from her nap and nurses again :).


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rude Awakening...

Yes, that is a princess book and magic my underwear drawer! And, yes, the wand did malfunction (dying batteries which caused the wand to go off by itself repeatedly) and scare me half to the middle of the night!

It was bedtime and Cecilia wanted to sleep with them. It was a gift from her godparents for Christmas, and she loves it (obviously, if the batteries are already on their way out on January 2nd!).

I told her that she could not sleep with it as I was afraid that she would roll over on the wand, and the noises would wake her up. She asked me if she could hide it.

Hiding things is just starting in our house. I remember it quite well from growing up in a large family in a small house! I will never forget the day that I walked into the bathroom and to my complete horror, I saw my diary (which I had very carefully hidden in my shared room!) lying wide open on the bathroom floor. Clearly, one of my brothers (if it was my sister, she would have carefully put it back!) thought it made for great bathroom reading...and then they forgot the small detail of putting it back! I was so sad that my mother did not think the offense was that serious. I thought surely it was worth grounding or no Nintendo for a month. It still makes my blood boil to think of all my teenage angst on display!

So, I can relate when Gianna wants to hide her piggy bank or Cecilia wants to hide her princess wand. I wonder if my boys will be in to hiding things? I'm thinking it's more a girl thing! The funniest thing that I ever hid was breakfast cereal. When we were teenagers, my mom would go grocery shopping and buy my favorite cereal...for ME. When I got up in the morning, the box would be empty at the table. My two pubescent brothers would sit there and eat the entire box in one sitting! After this happened a few times, I got smarter.

Back to the wand. I was tucking Cecilia in and she informed me that the wand was quite safe. I didn't ask where...I was just glad that there wouldn't be fights in the morning if someone retrieved it before she did!

I should've asked! Sitting up in a complete panic with heart racing in the middle of the night, I was trying to discern which of my children was making such an odd, distressing sound! Once I determined it wasn't human, I still had to rummage around in the dark for a while...before I discovered it "safely hidden" in my underwear drawer!

New rule: Mommy's drawers are off limits for hiding things! My list of rules grows daily...but, how boring life would be without all the harmless surprises! Thank you God for all the hidden treasures in my life...and for a new year to discover them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's Begin...

I made it to 10:30 last night! That's pretty good for me. I have many fun memories (and pictures to show for them!) of New Year's Eve. Perhaps some day I will make some more memories. But, for now, my nights are unpredictable and sleep takes priority over partying!

We did celebrate New Year's Eve with some good friends. There was pizza, cake, sparkling cider, and lots of live entertainment provided by the children! The good times ended  at 7 p.m. sharp when we quickly ushered our children up to the tub, followed by bed at 8 p.m. They don't know enough to ask to stay up later yet :). My husband and I enjoyed watching one of his favorite movies: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It's great for a few laughs!

This is my life today:

Boxes! And more boxes! Happy New Year!

I was just reading that Mother Teresa had only three possessions: a bucket and two saris. I must say that I'm a little jealous right now!

This whole process (moving to a new home in 9 days) is forcing me to think about possessions. I know that my children need clothes...and some for each season, but I'm learning that less is definitely more. I am much happier with less. Fewer possessions is freeing.

When Gianna was a baby, I remember being delighted one day when I realized that she never wore the same outfit twice (except for a few favorites). And, I barely bought her anything...they were all gifts (she was my first baby, my parent's first grandchild, many baby showers, etc.!). I remember that my sister-in-law took a picture of Gianna's closet when she visited...countless adorable outfits all lined up so pretty!

I have come a long way. 

As I sort through all these clothes...not only the children's, but my own (maternity clothes, post-pregnancy clothes, clothes that fit now, clothes that I really hope to fit into again some day, summer/winter clothes, dress/casual clothes, etc.!)...I am easily overwhelmed! I find myself quickly purging anything that is not worn...a lot! What a different person/mother I am to baby Lucy than I was to baby Gianna :).

I pray that God will guide us smoothly through our move as we begin a new year. My blessings are too many to count this year. I love that January 1st is a Holy Day of Obligation for Mary. It always seems SO right to start off a new year at Mass (although my children weren't too fond of going to Mass again so's only Tuesday, after all!).

Back to my boxes! God's blessings to you all in 2013. Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!