Monday, October 13, 2014



She doesn't look it here, but Ella is afraid. A few months ago she was doing so well, her instructor encouraged her to take a risk. She did, willingly, but nearly fell off. Since then, fear has found it's place with Ella at the barn.

Ella is no stranger to fear. Since she was a baby she has often been afraid. She shrunk away from strangers. Cowered in elevators. She used to be afraid to swim. But as many fears as she has had, my little munchkin has conquered so many of them. She has approached riding the same way, not willing to give into her fear.

I admit, I've pushed a bit. I'm sure in part because I love to watch her ride. I love to imagine that she is collecting similar memories that I collected riding as a girl. I hope that she is building her own self confidence and strength that I know comes from riding an animal so big and powerful.

I'm proud of her every time she gets on to ride. Ella is brave.


Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons, although I don't give in without a struggle. I love summer with its lazy beach days, ice cream lunches, and flip flops. I love the relaxed routine, if any routine at all, of long summer days. Summer is hard to give up. But then there is the changing leaves and pops of color, the fleece wrapped snuggles, and cozy fires of Fall. We love the Fall rituals - apples, pumpkins, and the woods.

I've wrote about it before, I'm sure. The beach is to summer as the woods is to Fall. I love to gather us up and plop us down at a trailhead freshly covered in a blanket of pine needles. The air has a refreshing crispness and the colors, of course the colors! They may bellyache about leaving hockey sticks and soccer balls behind at first, but once we are just a few feet in, all is well. Some run ahead, a few may lag back. Conversation comes easily, imaginations take hold. Yes, we welcome Fall.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


My kids are all getting to be good swimmers. In my book that pretty much means that no one holds their nose when they jump in, which puts them ahead of me.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Big & Little

There is something about Drew when he is hanging with Colby. He looks so big! He is the gentlest of big brothers. Yesterday I caught a few moments that were pretty sweet. Drew tying Colby's roller blades. Reading him a story nestled in on the couch. Measuring him while Ty had his ears checked at the doctor. A piggy back with a side of giggles. I don't know what's better, being witness to the sweet side of Drew or the look of complete adoration on Colby's face. We are one lucky family.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Ahh, the ol summer pastime of mini golf. Colby has been waiting for it to open since February! It is clear that we are a competitive family and there are moments that get a little heated :) Colby is excited the whole time and fist pumps and jumps follow every hole. Ella enjoys it and is careful to count everyone's strokes. Drew tries to cheat. Tyler likes to race ahead. Mike and I take it a little too seriously! But, we all have fun. Man, I love summer!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Colby G

Colby right now....

- if he sees you eating he runs to grab his own fork to share - he blocks your way whenever he gets a chance, you must say the magic word to get past. Magic word? Huggy time! Followed by a super hug

- speaking of time...he now wears a watch. When asked for the time he looks intently at the watch and answers times such as "36!"

- he is the pet of all our friends. He is regularly sitting on others laps, asking them to make him food and hugging them. Don't throw a ball to him, you'll be stuck playing catch forever!

- he is in a rush - can't wait for school, wants to join a hockey team, and wants the training wheels off.


Friday, July 4, 2014


I left work and picked up Ella and Tyler at a friends house. We went home and claimed Colby from the babysitter. As we packed Drew was dropped off from the movies with a friend. We headed out to our happy place. As I drove I thought about how as they get older today will become the norm - everybody off in different directions. Sad! But, not at the beach. I'm hoping the beach will always be the place where we come back together. We left the beach at 9:30 last night, after soccer games, digging, wave riding and marshmallows on the fire. It was a perfect way to be together.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Night

Today was a work day, which means I can't wait to get home and reconnect with these crazies. We headed out for our weekly library date. It was still hot out so we headed to the ocean. They were fearless and fast on the jetty - jetty ninjas they named themselves. Then home for a night swim. Drew jumping up to catch passes from Dad before crashing into the pool. Tyler shouting "watch me" as he dives down to retrieve a toy. Colby swimming with his full face in the water. Ella begging to do more while resting her tonsils. Even Nonnie got in on the night swim action. Oh, how I love summer!

Monday, March 3, 2014


My computer is malfunctioning and is very fussy with my photos. As a result I have had posts sitting in drafts waiting to have the perfect picture attatched. Today I figured it is time to just hit publish. So the posts that follow were written quite awhile ago and may appear out of order.

Oh well!

Are we there yet?

"How many times do you think we have driven to New Jersey, Mom?"

The conversation took off from there about who falls asleep and who doesn't, and "Oh, look! Is that a hawk?!" They move on quick, but I was stuck on how many times we have made the trip between New Jersey and Massachusetts. 50? 100? I met Mike 18 years ago and since the twins were born 8 years ago, the trips really started adding up.

They used to be from NJ to MA to visit family and back home to Jersey. Now it is the reverse. I never would have imagined the always present tug, sometimes a much stronger pull, that sends us back on the road. Of course, I always knew we would make frequent trips, I just didn't know it would feel like this.

And so we drive. We drive so Ella can snuggle into bed with a cousin and her grandma. We drive so we can wave to a little Dargan at home plate. We drive to lace up our skates together and race around a rink. We drive to hit the boardwalk all together and laugh as the kids whip around a ride. We drive to watch Uncles push each other into pools. We drive to sit at Grnadmas table and share a meal.

It really doesn't feel that long when you think about all that is waiting upon your arrival. Im hoping we drive to New Jersey 1,000 more times...maybe even more.

D-Rew is 8

Dear Drew,
Sometimes I tell you stories about when you were a baby. About how I always had to feed you before Ella because you just couldn't wait. We have a good laugh! Because since that first year, the opposite has been true. You are the most patient of all my kids, and of kids your age in general.  Drew, you are awesome in so many ways.
You are patient with your little brothers, you take kind to the extreme, and I never have to worry about your manners or behavior away from home. You are sensitive and I love it. I can imagine how you will one day be an amazing husband and father.
This past year we have gotten to know you a little bit more and have truly enjoyed watching you come into your own. You love sports and being a part of a team. Hockey is your passion and you always announce that a good day is a skating day. We love to watch you play. You approach hockey as you do other parts of your life - with thought and determination.
You have a witty sense of humor and we all love how the shy smile accompanies the punch line. You can be found playing hockey in the driveway or basement, attached to Captain's hip, or reading in bed. You hate lunch foods, unless it is leftover Chinese, and waffles are your favorite breakfast.
I couldn't ask for a better kid and I don't, Im simply thankful for all that you are.
I love you Buddy Boy!

Ella My Bella

Ella, You are 8 years old!! I don't think anyone can believe it, even you forget when asked a month later!
My little spunky sensitive peanut. Bells, you are in it to win it - everything, all the time. Your inner drive is awesome whether it be on the soccer field, in the classroom, or when you want to finish a good book. You want to do it all and do it right and do it quickly and do it the best. Whew! It's exhausting just thinking about it. But my girl, even with all the pressure you put on yourself, you have a smile all the time. You are friendly and caring and so interested in the world. A true people person, a little social butterfly.
Your roommate Colby is lucky to have you -you read him stories at night, adjust his headlamp and share stuffed animals. You and Drew are closer friends than ever, and we love to hear you talk about friends at school. Of course, you like to push buttons and get into it with the boys too - your my little toughy.
You are an awesome kid and Im lucky to have you as my little girl - can you just promise to stay little?
I love you,

Right Now

Things from the right now that I never want to forget, but probably will....

* Colby sings louder than anyone else in the car. He loves Pharells new song 'Happy.' He is starting to get frustrated when people don't understand him, but making solid progress with his speech all the time. He loves his bed and eagerly asks for lights out - as long as he has a flashlight in hand. Mr. Independent has just started a few classes where he goes in by himself, he happily marches off without a glance back.

* Fights around the house contain the same buzzwords and insults - "you are a baby," and the ever popular "(insert siblings favorite sport) is the worst sport in the world!"

* Ella is all about soccer. She marched into a new clinic last night, clearly nervous. She didn't know a soul in the place and had never seen the drills they practiced. But, she did it and smiled.

* Reading, reading, reading. Ella and Drew read a few books a week and often stay up much, much too late reading. Tyler is fast on their heels, although for some strange T-Bone reason, he doesn't want anyone to know he can read.

* Last week Ella read the Secret Garden and we watched the movie. Now we are half way through Anne of Green Gables. Why this makes me happy, I have no idea, but I love it!

* Drew is still focused on Hockey. He also thouroughly enjoys using his Ipod and playing Xbox. He is most excited when invited to a friends house. His humor has taken on a little sarcastic tone...just another example of him growing up, I suppose.

* Tyler reminds me daily that 6 is an awesome age. Some recent observations and comments that arrive to me in a steady stream from the backseat of the car...."I think the mailman as a list that he checks off when he drops the mail off, because he would get all mixed up if he didn't!' "I think Turkeys walk around near the road because their brains are so tiny" "Big Foot is probably fast like a coyote and that is why it is so hard for people to find him."