Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Out & About

10 Minutes in the car.
And we can smell it as soon as we get out.

We catch a glimpse as we head down the big grassy hill. Their little feet bound quicker than I think possible as the little baby points from my back. The sweet, salty air floats upward and we greet it enthusiastically.

Into the winter wood we go. Barren trees, muddy moats, tiny chunks of ice reminding us of how the weather should be. We skip past giddy with the surprising warmth, anxious to meet our reward.
We burst from the wood and pause to take it all in.
The marsh, the river, the ocean just beyond.

We linger until it is almost dark. Finally leaving after soaking up our fill, content to know we will be back soon.

Monday, January 30, 2012


3 generations traveled down to Battleship Cove this weekend. Our mission was to see a piece of our history, not just ours as Americans, but ours because our Grandfather helped build this ship. 
My Grandpa Toot (as in Tyler Toivo) spent years working on the USS Massachusetts. This was after serving as a Navy man himself. He told my Dad countless stories, painted his basement workshop with leftover paint from the shipyard, and watched the ship launch for the first time. 
And we climbed, walked, and explored it on Saturday. 
It was a great chance to reflect on our military. Walking through ships and submarines there is an almost overwhelming sense of Service and Sacrifice. And I also felt fear. I can't imagine manning a gun, hiding from enemies and searching them out, running off a boat into Battle. I can't imagine my son or my husband sleeping on those cots or washing the deck. 
I left that day proud and thankful, as an American and a Granddaughter. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mini Rave

Sometimes I send the kids to the basement, turn up the music, turn off the lights and give them lightsticks. It buys me about 45 min to an hour of peace.

Sometimes I feel like a genius and sometimes I feel like a lazy no good mama.

But to them, Im a hero every time...and if there are friends over, celebrity status!

Monday, January 23, 2012

In the Details

 While waiting for the bus today, Tyler was sitting on the console next to the driver's seat. I was looking at his face, studying the details. His lashes, his freckles, the way his lips and eyebrows look just like Mike's.  I said, "Ty your eyes are so cool. They have blue, green and gray in them."

From the backseat, Drew said, "They are the same as yours, Mom." 

I flew open the mirror on my visor and peered into my own eyes. Drew was right. Ty smooshed his face into mine for a quick comparison, and quickly concurred. 

How hadn't I known this? How did Drew? 

We checked each other's eyes out and he other three are all the same, pure blue and perfect. 

But Tyler's are all mine and that makes me feel oddly happy and satisfied. I think we all search for ourselves in our kids. In looks and personalities. Sometimes we search for qualities that aren't really there, or discover ones we couldn't possibly see in ourselves (Stubborn? Didn't get that from me!!!) And it makes us proud. Because we made these awesome little beings...and the proof is in the details. 
(there are few things Ty enjoys more than a little photo booth on the computer:) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

T-Bone is Four :)

I love this video...but it is also making me sad right now because we chopped his hair off. I miss his crazy boy hair!!

Tyler at 3 and our all time favorite video, Tyler at 2

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Drew at 6

Just like last year, our favorite part is the face he makes when he is trying not to smile...Mr. Tough Guy!

Here is Drew at 5 and Drew at 4 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

6 going on 16

Each year I take a short video of my kids....although they are getting longer as they have more to say. Here is 6 year old Ella ...

Here is Ella at 5 and Ella at 4 years old

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On My Mind...

 :: We are missing a 3rd Birthday in New Jersey this weekend. I hate that, mostly because I love Birthdays. I love celebrating a life, I do, especially one as cute as this guy. And the Dargans always have fun when we get together :)
:: I've worked 6 days in a row now. Luckily not for many hours each day, but I've had to leave them and they know it. I have such mixed feelings about working...but then again, who doesn't?!

:: I laced 3 pairs of skates today and everyone (but Colby) smiled for one hour straight. It was one of those "Im so lucky because my kids are so awesome" moments.

:: The two boys got hurt at the rink, after they got off the ice...why does that feel so typical for us?!

:: We are approaching a major clean up around here. The mess seems to happen so suddenly. My father is calling the Health Department on my car, Im afraid a kid will get lost in the pile of laundry, and there are toys scattered everywhere...

:: There are cousins coming this weekend and the excitement is nearly palpable!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Checking In...

I haven't been here everyday like I used to be. Those were the days when mornings moved slowly and afternoons moved even slower. The days when we had routines that felt monotonous and we went looking for excitement.

Those days are gone.

But, I need to get on here. This has always been my time to reflect on the good, focus on my kids, and be thankful for all I have.

The camera has been left behind more than usual too...but I managed to catch these shots...

See you soon! xoxo

Thursday, January 5, 2012

To My In-Laws

 Dear Grandma, Pop-Pop and the rest,
Living away is tough. We always traded updates and stories. You always knew exactly what was going on. You are long overdue for an update. Ill pretend Im sitting at your table sharing cold cuts and fill you in....
Ella's tooth is growing in and she is so proud. She insists on changing into sweatpants and a t-shirt as soon as she gets home from school. She loves taking her own showers now and she's reading more and more words everyday.
Drew's top two teeth are loose. He is eating constantly and I fear that means he is growing more - why can't they stay little forever?! When I volunteer in their class he is a little bit of a class clown, can you believe it?!
Tyler and Drew are quite inseparable. When he isn't with Drew, Tyler can usually be found behind a couch with a container of sprinkles..."Im doin NUTHIN!" His hair is getting long and I think we might keep it that way :)
Colby is a dancing machine. When he isn't dancing he is eating. He loves to hug and kiss everyone, especially if they are crying. Cue lots of fake crying.
Mike and I are doing well, but busy. Everyday seems packed, but we are together more than ever - a bonus! Mike's deal finally closed - whew! Good Riddance! And I have 2 real estate clients. Things are looking up.
We love you, miss you and talk about you all the time -

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Feeling Good

Sometimes when we are out for a walk, Tyler just decides to lay down and roll. I suppose it feels good to my little crazy. We should all do things that make us feel good...just because they feel good.

Here is what feels good right now....

:: Popping popcorn on the stove & savoring with a cup of green tea

:: Crafts in the kitchen & the conversation that comes along with it

::Getting outside, not matter how cold & then warming up inside

::Sharing Homeland with my husband

:: Slippers, books and afghans

:: Settling into home for the winter...almost like hibernating but with little trips here & there

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


(Peapod - give me a call to talk advertising!)

There isn't a week that goes by that Im not planning something, setting a goal or resolving to change. I vow to keep up with the laundry, play more board games, or avoid sugar. Im always ready to improve...myself, my family, my days. Not because Im not happy, but the exact opposite. I may be one of the luckiest people around - family, health, wealth (it's all relative, people) - and I consciously work to appreciate what I have and think of ways to enjoy it more. A little corny? Cliche? Pollyanna-ish? So be it. 

But a new year ups the ante. This is where the big guns come out. It isn't about minor improvements or silly little tasks. For me the New Year is a time to take stock of where we are, what we are doing, and where we are going. My resolutions are designed to move us forward on those goals. What will we make of this life? This year? 

1. Live Purposefully:: I think about this everyday. To me this is about making the days count. Filling our days with moments that build on our life, not just pass the time. But it is all too easy to get caught up in mindless routines, or to veg out in front of the Real Housewives on TV.  So this year, I resolve to keep the purpose present - every day. 

2. Be Grateful:: Im guilty of wanting. There is plenty to want. New clothes, fancy cars, vacations, a house. But wanting isn't satisfying, it isn't making me happy and it isn't the focus I need in my life. Each day Im going to find a way to be grateful for what I have - this blog helps, talking to the kids about being grateful helps more, and a few minutes of good ol' self talk can solve the "wants" pretty quick. 

3. Look Forward:: Laying the groundwork today will get us to where we want to be...someday. Im going to stay focused on our goals - as a business woman :), a mom, and a wife. Little weekly goals will keep me on track. 

I strongly believe that life is what you make of it...and 2012 will be the best year yet!