Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of 2009

I could post this now, in time, without a pic....or I could post it late with a pic.  I win - posting it now.

How was your Christmas?  Did you get everything you wanted?  And I don't mean under the tree.  I mean for your day....for your celebration.  Did you get a cozy day with your family?  Or a big, loud fun-filled day with your friends and family?  Whatever you wished for, I hope you got to do it.

I've been really, I mean REALLY, enjoying the Christmas lull.  Meaning - I've been enjoying no schedules, no plans, no lists, no to-do's.  Just plain old relaxing.  And its been mighty cold and windy here, so cozying up at home is about all one wants to do this week.  Christmas here was wonderful.  We attended Christmas Eve service at our church.  While singing carols and squeezing into the crowded pew, I was overcome with such a warm feeling being a member of our church body.  We then enjoyed a quiet evening with Paulo's dad, brother and sister in law.  The boy was our entertainment - as he well should be.  Christmas morning we opened all our gifts - Thomas was a hoot.  He figured out that each family member's gifts had their own wrapping so he started making piles next to each of us.  He was a little overwhelmed, but then found his stride and enjoyed everything.  Christmas day my aunt, uncle, cousins and their children all came - it was our first "full" family holiday in 7 years, and it was AWESOME!!  I thought it would be crazy, being crammed into our small house, but it wasn't at all - family never does feel that way.  We had a great day and a wonderful meal - everyone pitched in a little something.  I was so glad they made the trip.

So now its New Year's Eve.  Pretty soon it will all be over, everyone will take down all their lights and decorations, the radio stations have already gone back to the regular programming, and the world will go on again, as it always does.  That makes me sad.  While I love the opportunities a new year brings about, I hate that it also marks the end of such a beautiful season. I'll let you in a little secret - I'm not going to undecorate!!  Nope.  Not even a little....not yet.....not soon......

I'm going to sign off now, cozy up on the couch with a snack, a blanket and a good movie, while I write my "2010 list".  Happy New Year to you all. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Top 10 List - Christmas Edition

This is a fun list to make because it either gets you into the spirit, or if you're already in the mood, it keeps you focused on what you want to get out of this season.

10) Christmas music.  As previously mentioned, I sometimes start listening as early as October, but definitely by Nov 1.  I just can't help myself.  I think of it as my biggest indulgence.  I love how some of the songs can bring me right back into a moment, or a place - like my childhood bedroom, or the back roads of VT during a road trip with Paulo,  or the drive between my childhood home and my aunt's house for Christmas dinner.  Does music do that for you too?

9) Christmas movies: White Christmas and Holiday Inn are not just my favorite Christmas movies, by my all time favorite movies.  Why can't life be that sweet and sappy all the time?  I just love the themes, the snow, the songs from all the Christmas movies.  And I don't care about the progress of Hollywood and technology - claymation Rudolph rules!!

8) The warm glow of  Christmas lights in the house and in the neighborhood.  I'm not a big overhead light person - I'm all about ambient lighting all year round, so the tree and the window candles really help my cause.

7) The Christmas tree - we have over 200 ornaments on our tree (I didn't count, the box of hooks was 200 count and we had more ornaments than hooks).  We have some generic balls and baubles, but so many of our  ornaments have history, stories, memories.  Like the couple of ornaments my mom made probably in the early 80's; the bridal ornaments that were a wedding gift; the granddaughter ornament from my grandparents when I was 10yrs old; the small ornament with a photo of baby me sitting with Santa hanging right next to the small ornament with a photo of baby Thomas sitting with Santa; the mickey mouse and donald duck we got as kids to celebrate our family trip to disney and now Thomas is in love with.

6) The food - need I even elaborate?!

5) The warm sentimental feeling of the season.  It seems at just this time of year people smile more, strangers look one another in the eye, and people still seem to be kinder, despite all the stress this time of year.  Or maybe its not them, but me.  Maybe I pick my own head up out my little world and take better notice.

4) Christmas cards.  As I stated in my christmas letter 2 years ago:  "Whereas Christmas cards can be a daunting task, Paulo and I are amazed by our ever-growing list - to be so blessed to have so many family and friends, old and new.  We love hearing from everyone, seeing photos of your children and families, and getting caught up on your lives...."  Aren't Christmas cards and letters such a nice change of pace from bills, catalogs and junk mail?

3) Gifts....GIVING gifts.  So there's no reason to try to say I don't like receiving gifts, cause really, who doesn't.  But I love finding that one gift - sometime gifts plural - that I just can't wait to give.  It doesn't have to be big or fancy or expensive.  Rather, I know its just right and I can't wait to see the recipient's expression when he/she opens it.

2) The real reason for the season - Jesus and His birth.  No matter how commercial this holiday becomes, or how much I indulge in all the "worldly" aspects of this season, I try to celebrate every day the real meaning of Christmas.

1) The traditions.  Why is it this time of year seems to be much more full of traditions than any other time of year?  Or do we just not call our birthday, first day of school and 4th of July activities "traditions"?  I love the old traditions that Paulo and I still carry on: like making french meat pies with my dad, decorating the house in the same ways we did as a kid, and going to the Student Prince for dinner the weekend before Christmas like I have since I was a baby.  And I'm so excited about all the new traditions we are starting together - like getting one new ornament each year for Thomas so eventually he will have them all on his tree.  And watching the christmas movies with Thomas for his first time.  And the newest tradition started as of yesterday...

We took Thomas to Edaville Railroad and it was AWESOME!!!  He is in love with trains right now so we knew it was the right time.  We got there just before dark and Thomas made a bee-line to the train. We were able to ride the big train twice - once during daylight, and once after dark to see all the Christmas lights.  Thomas also rode some of the kiddie rides.  It was freezing, but like all kids, Thomas didn't mind....heck, he didn't even seem to notice.  And despite how chilly I was, I warm and fuzzy inside watching my son have his first train ride!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm not going to be a grinch....I'm not going to be a grinch

Holiday status thus far:
- took 10 days to decorate everything
- baking still to be done
- gifts still to be bought
- wrapping not even begun
- cards still in progress
- stress starting to build. 

I'm so upset....with myself.  I know the world gets all a tizzy this time of year, and usually I'm the one "tsk tsking" them all.  But its starting to happen to me this year.  And you know what - its not the holiday, its not the list, its not the world caving in on me, its not even the fact that I'm completely freaked out about our robbery last week.  Nope - its about me.  And how I'm handling it all....or in this case, NOT handling it all.  All these ideas of "the perfect gift", the "quintessential holiday", the "best Christmas EVER" - I'm getting too caught up in it all.  Who cares that mine is not the first card everyone receives?  As long is its out by Dec 30th, that's all the matters.  Who cares if I don't have 8 kinds of cookies?  I don't bake all year long, so 1 kind of cookie is a big deal around here.  Who cares if I don't have perfect wrapped gifts?  I'm the only one who seems to care about that!!  Me Me ME!!! 

That's it!!!  I'm making this about ME!  And its NOT supposed to be about me.  It should be the tings that matter most to me AND Paulo.  Which are: time with family, favorite traditions, giving gifts with thought, and memorable moments.  Like decorating the tree with Paulo, and listening to Thomas sing the sweet song from Polar express, and this moment - when Thomas handed Daddy his blanket and said "I climb up on Daddy" and he did.  And my "heart grew 3 sizes that day" - just like the grinch.  Hmmmm....maybe I can turn it around just in time this season. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A list you don't ever want to make

If you ever have to list all your jewelry, let it be for the rider you're adding to your insurance policy....or to count how you've been blessed materially....or for your will and how you will split it all up between your children and grandchildren.

DON'T let it be because you're house was broken into and everything on the list was taken.

Like the list I'm creating right now.

Because our home was broken into this week and they took the whole jewelry box.  No, not everything in the box.  THE...WHOLE...BOX...AND...everything in it.

It sucks, but THANK YOU DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER that we are all safe.  We weren't home.  And all they got was jewelry.  Not the things that really matter. 

Its been a tough week.  I'm going to keep hugging and kissing my boys for quote a while until I feel safe again.  I hope that is soon.  Really soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give thanks

Family...stable paycheck....cozy
really good friends....and my boys...

for all these - I am truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things that make you go hmmmmmm....

One of the most surprising things about being a parent actually doesn't have as much to do with parenting as it does with personal growth and development.  Paulo and I had Thomas when we were both 35 years old.  We'd both complete 4 yr college degrees, did a bit of travelling, had esteablished careers, set up house, and lived quite a bit.  So we thought we knew who we are and what we were about. 

Then this tiny little person comes into your world and takes over everything.  As you make your way through the first few sleepless months and you live from one feeding to the next, you think you're doing okay and things are going well.  You teach him how to smile and laugh, you give lots of love and hugs, you chatter away and engage with this little person.

At about a year, I started to realize - am I really who I thought I was?  Am I really who I want to be?  It now becomes so important because I need to not just teach my child, but to model it to him.  I don't want to be the parent who says "Do as I say, not as I do".  I want to actually live according to what I preach. 

So its been an eye opening few months for me.  I've started to ralize things about myself that I never would have believed were true.  Like, after all those years of going out and being busy and being part of the gang, I actually prefer to be a home body!!!  Well, knock me over with a feather, I would have NEVER thought would be me.  But these days I'm very content staying home with my boys (big and small). 

I heard a sermon last winter when visiting a church.  The pastor preached that "Our passions dictate our priorities".  I've been stewing on that theme for a looong time now, and its really start to resonate with me.  As my priorities are shifting, I'm starting to see what my passions are. 

This is a really fun journey.  I'm enjoying the process, not just the end results.  And I hope I'm becoming more and more my true self - who God really created me to be. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

God, Grace, Gratitude

A dear, precious friend of mind gave me this sign a recently.  She and I have a long wonderful history, but we've had a few rough patches too. She has given me grace and forgiveness and this sign is a sweet daily reminder of that. 

Its also a daily reminder of the grace God gives us daily, and to remember to give gratitude.  And these days, there is much gratitude to be given.  We've had a huge change in our household and the riches are abounding.

A little background first: Paulo has given me the greatest gift by allowing me to stay home to raise Thomas.  In order to give me that gift, he has had to put in some pretty heavy overtime these past 2 years to make up some of my lost income.  Most weeks Paulo works three 12 hours days, which are really 14.5 hours days with the 1+ hour commute each way.  On these long days, Paulo does not see Thomas at all.  NOT AT ALL.  Then he works two 8 hr days - 10 hrs with commute.  Most weeks he has to use one of his free evenings to project, meetings, business, etc.  So most weeks he's home 1 night a week, sometimes 2.  On his "early days" he gets home at 6pm.  Thomas goes to bed at 8pm.  So that's only 2 hours together as a family.  Not to mention, Paulo is way too wiped out to be doing much around here that late in the evening.

Well, the 4pm to midnight shift became available, and has now become Paulo's shift.  When it was first presented to Paulo, he and I talked about the pros and cons.
  • Shorter commute time because not going/coming during heavy traffic.  Shorter commute = more time at home.
  • EVERY morning with us
  • Higher pay rate, therefore higher OT pay, therefore, less OT required
  • Slower and quieter in the shop so Paulo could get a lot more accomplished
  • More free time with us during the awake hours of Thomas' day (and my day too for that matter)
  • More free time to do things around the house, which means more free time on the weekend to just hang out
  • Taking less vacation time for side work and house projects and therefore saving more vaca time for us as a family
  • uuuummmmm......NONE

So he has started the new shift - this is our 2nd week.  So far - we LOVE it!!  Of course, there is some adjusting.  I'm used to being on my own a lot, so I have to share my space, my time, my parenting a lot more now, which isn't a bad thing - just different. And its a change I'm willing to make.

This is never something we sought out, we didn't even think about it.  But God loves us so He brought it about - in His perfect timing and His perfect will.  And for this I have a grateful heart.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The BEST halloween EVER!!

I've never been a big fan of halloween.  For a few reasons - I don't like to dress up, I don't like the feeling of leftover candy and all the mind games it plays on me, and quite honestly, we don't live in a "neighborhood" and don't know our neighbors, so I don't really feel safe going to strangers doors with a 2 yr old. However, we had a wonderful invitiation from our awesome friends Laura, Savannah and Katrina to go to their house and trick or treat in their neighborhood. They live in a very safe development with tons of little kids and lots of trustworthy people.!!

Thomas really enjoyed himself, and he got the hang of it immediately.  Now, we are not a candy house.  Thomas has had candy maybe 5 times in the past year.  But he knew he was getting candy, and he held onto his trick or treat bag with gusto.  I kept asking if he wanted me to take some out and put it in the stroller so it wouldn't be so heavy - NO!  He held that bag all night long.  We hit about 30 houses in 2 hours then headed on back to our friends house.  I hope this is a new Halloween Tradition!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I cannot tell a lie

I am already listening to Christmas Music.  And I don't care what you say about it!!  I just loooooove Christmas music - new, old, traditional, new arrangements and renditions.  And I have waaaaay too much awesome christmas music to limit it to just December. And yes, I've already started watching Christmas movies.   I just can't help it.  When the first cold and blustery day comes upon us, I get all giddy and in the spirit.  November and December are my favorite months and all my favorite things are coming up.  Starting early does not ruin it, does not lessen my enthusiams or dampen my spirit when Dec 25th comes around.  Actually, its just the opposite - it enhances it all.  Because I don't limit the Christmas season to just December, and in fact, I extend it, my December is much more relaxing, much less stressful, and much richer.  December then becomes about enjoying what I love - the movies, the parties, the wrapping, the quality of all the traditions - because I'm not running around shopping, and decorating and writing my cards.  I can linger over cards, pics and letters I receive because I'm not hurrying getting my cards done.  I can enjoy all 25 nights admiring my tree because its already up and decorated.  And I even have time to drive around and enjoy other people's lights and decorations.  And most importantly - I can quietly and realxing-ly rest in the true meaning and the real gift of the season - the birth of our Lord and Saviour.  I don't know where I heard it or read it, but I keep recalling someone pointing out that Joseph and Mary were not all in a tizzy preparing for teh birth of their son, THE SON OF MAN.  Nope - they were doing regular, every day things, mundane tasks such as going for the census.  I mean, really, who in the world is going for the census on Christmas Eve?  can you even fathom that in today's world?  But that's what they were doing when their precious son arrived and brought the most important gift of all - himself. 

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year folks!

Okay, okay, okay - I promise to hold off putting up the tree and decorating until Thanksgiving weekend at least.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A new family tradition?

Last night Paulo got home early - which means 6:30pm.  We had a yummy dinner together.  Pause here for sidenote - we tried a new pizza place - FINALLY, good pizza, make that great pizza here on the South Shore!!   After dinner, Paulo  changed the boy into pjs while I quickly cleaned up the kitchen/house and got everything ready for movie night.  Since Thomas is so into trains as of late, we decided to watch Polar Express a little early in the season.  Thomas LOVED it.  No all...ever... that this boy has A.D.D.  At 2yrs 6days old he sat on the couch and watched the whole thing, start to finish.  And Paulo and I enjoyed a big family cuddle as we snuggled on either side of him.  This was a VERY cool evening.  I think its the beginning of a new tradition.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where is my baby?

I've always thought of 2 yrs old as the passage from baby/toddler to little person.  And now I really know that is true, now that Thomas turned 2 this past weekend.  We had a whilrwind weekend - whilrwind as in 2 parties, 2 cakes, lots of presents resulting in a flutter of wrapping paper, a marathon session for daddy putting together our gift, and most of all, and most unexpectedly, a whirlwind of tears - and not from the tantrumming 2 year old.  No - the tears were from Mama and Daddy.

I was with a dear friend of mine when her youngest turned 2, and I remember she was a mush of emotions that day.  I didn't judge her, or chide her.  I just hugged her and listened...all the while, not having an ounce of understanding as to why she was so overcome.  This was before I was even pregnant, and at the time, of course, I thought I could understand, but in hindsight, I know that I had NO clue.  I thought of this wonderful friend a lot this weekend - as I cried my way through 3 days.  NOW I get it.  Now I understand all the emotion.  Two years is such a milestone.  And before you email me, yes I know, every birthday is a milestone.  But 2 years is one of those rites of passage - just like 13, 18, 21, 30, 40, etc etc.  I thought first birthday was huge, and it certainly is, but I guess 2nd birthday snuck up on me without giving me any hints or notes of preparation that it would be overwhemling for us, the parents of this beautiful, wonderful, joyful child. 

Emotions aside, it was a wonderful weekend.  We celebrated Saturday with Paulo's dad and brother.  They indulged Thomas with gifts of his passion - cars, trucks, and ramps.  And they further indulged him when he made them do the Hokey Pokey 3 times!!

Sunday, my family came to celebrate.  Nana, Big T, Uncle Buck (aka Drew) and Alyssa all spoiled the boy with fabulous gifts, too numerous to list.   And when we had the cake and candles, Thomas loved it so much he yelled out "More" so we had to relight the candles and sing "Happy Birthday" a second time!  PS - he's had leftover cake twice this week and each time I served it I had to sing Happy Birthday again.  Boy is he going to be all confused tomorrow when we sing Happy Birthday to Daddy.

All this news of festivities and presents, I almost forgot to mention the big present from Paulo and I.  We've been chomping at the bit to get him a train set ever since we visited friends this summer and he spent hours playing with their sons' trains.  So we finally got him a train table with wooden train cars and tracks.  It took Paulo FOUR hours to put it together - Phew.  Then it took me another hour to glue the whole thing.  But it was worth it - just look at his expression.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today is Thomas' 2nd birthday. Enjoy these pics while I cuddle him all day long and wipe lots of tears of joy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ch ch ch...changes

This is not your typical story about changes. When I took a "week off" at the end of the summer, it was because God had been calling me to re-establish my priorities, and to realign my relationships. When I went into that week, I didn't expect "BIG" things to happen, or "BIG" changes to occur. I thought I'd be doing a little tweaking here and there, on this or that. Kind of like the week before school start again - you know/remember that feeling? Even as I came out of that week, I thought, hmmm, that was good, all done. Well, when I started getting back into the groove of daily life I realized things just weren't quite right. Nothing that screamed obvious, just that can't-quite-put-your-finger-on-it feeling. So I started to make some changes, and shift things around a bit. I'm not good with change - really. Perfect example - I couldn't wait to have a baby, but in the last 2 months of my pregnancy I FREAKED out about all the changes. So now I'm was going to purposely make changes - without a big long production and plan? But as I did, I started to feel at ease. And please don't think these were easy changes - because they weren't. Some were gut wrenching, some were all wrapped up into other things, some were changes I've been holding out from for years now. Some of these changes involved loss, others involved commitment (well, duh, don't all changes involve commitment?). Some involved the simplest of baby steps, yet they were huge giant leaps for me. I know I'm rambling on in vagueness, so here's just one example. I cut my hair - short. Really short. If any men are reading this, they are thinking big deal. But some of you women know how hard this can be. Of course, at this point, you're wondering if this was a big change or a little change, and what did it mean. Well, I'll tell you. For YEARS now I've been knowing that I need to establish a morning get-up/get-ready routine. When I was working outside of the house it was a no brainer. But then I tele-commuted for many years, and then Thomas arrived 2 years ago. And I never quite established that routine. Getting my hair cut has helped me establish that routine, because 1)now my hair needs to get styled every day, and 2) My shower/make-up/hair/get dressed routine can now be done in 20 minutes! (mini moment for a cheer - HOOORAY!) This is both a little tweak to how our days begin more smoothly around here, and a big change as to how I can get our days to begin more smoothly around here. So over the course of the month, many things have occured - both mega and minor, obvious and not so obvious, and I'm starting to feel just right. While I am both sad about some things, relieved about others, and still adjusting to all, I'm very much at peace, which means I am in the Lord's will. And that is what is most important to me. Not what am I doing, or who am I serving, or how I am doing. Just Am-I-in-the-Lord's-will. That's my measuring stick now. In a world of busyness and doing, I want to be sure any busyness I have and any doing that I do is part of the Lord's will for me, for my husband and for my family. THAT is the biggest change of all. Switching gears, sort of - my week off a month ago was in preparation for my husband's busy season. I wanted to be here, present, in the house, to support and encourage him, to take care of his physical needs. Busy season, by the way, consists of 18 hr days, 6-7 day work weeks, extra long commutes, not much sleep, grabbing food when he can, never really eating a meal, and loads of coffee - for about 3 weeks solid. So I needed to be able to supply what he needed, without complaining. But my work was also in anticipation for when his busy season would end and we'd have "normal life" again - whatever normal looks like to us. So last week was the end of his busy season, and we celebrated Friday with a day trip to the apple farm. It was the PERFECT day. We had fabulous weather, the 3 grandparents got to join us, there was NOBODY in the orchards (yippee), and we got LOTS and LOTS of apples. So we'll be having LOTS and LOTS of apple crisp this week!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quick update - with pics

My last post was about my week off and the work God did in me that week. Well, that was just the beginning. He hasn't stopped working yet. Its been a heavy few weeks - emotional, tough, but I know it is all good. I'm not ready to share just yet, so instead I'm sharing my current favorite pics of the boy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lingering Days and Lessons I Learned

Long, deep post - be forewarned. I have always been a very active person. Actually, make that busy person. Its known by some (okay, many) as a "fault of mine". In high school I was involved in tens of extra curricular activities, plus a part time job. You know, for the college applications. In college, I needed to get involved - you know, to meet people, make friends, hopefully learn some skills for the "real world". Then I was a single, working gal living in the city, so I got involved in singing, and volunteering, and I had the reputation of being the "planner" among my social circles. Once I joined my church, guess what? I dove right in there too...big surprise. Ministry, bible studies, volunteering, planning retreats and womens events, even the choir. I was serving, right? I was also keeping occupied while waiting for our baby. Then I had said baby, and everyone advised - "don't stay home all the time, get out and about. You don't want to get depressed or isolate yourself". So I did that too. And lucky, nope, blessed me, Thomas was and still is an easy kid who liked to go and do and see. So last week as you know, I took a "sabbatical" from all this. A short time, but boy did God reveal a lot to me. He revealed that its okay to stop this pattern of mine. To move on to the next phase. Don't get me wrong - there is a time and a place for everything. Hmmm, where have I heard that? "there is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven" Eccles 3:1. One of my all time favorite verses. And now it is time for a new season 1 - Right now, my ministry is my home and my family. While I can serve at church, and have a social life, I need to put Paulo first, Thomas second, and everything and everyone else third (okay, really, God 1st, Paulo 2nd, Thomas 3rd...but you get what I mean). To most it would seem I already do this, but I know I need to do some more reordering in my heart, my mind, and my scheduling. 2 - I need to spend more quality time with God. I've been in Bible study for years now, but I'm not always successful in completing the reading and assignments. I used to feel guilty about letting God down, but I'm really letting myself down, and my family - because they could be benefitting from what I could be learning. So I making a more firm commitment to my studies this year - which starts next week. One practical approach toward this goal that I made last week was rearranging our home office to make it more "usable" and comfortable. It was becoming just a place to use the computer and put all the paperwork, and the general dumping ground for all misc of the house. I want it to be a place to sit and read, do my crafts, for Paulo and I to have discussions about finances and plans and schedules. I think we achieved that and now I look forward to spending time in here. 3 - Live Intentionally. I've been saying this is my mantra, yet I have not been living it. And its time I start living it - in all areas of my life. This theory requires its own post, so I'll save for another time, but for now, I will be making some visible changes in my life toward this goal. Including this blog. Which brings me to my last point of the day. While I love sharing our life and our boy with you all, whoever you are that read this blog, I want to do more that just report on the life here at Casa Brasil. I want to take a risk by going deeper - share some of my tangents, I mean thoughts; challenge us all a bit in our lives and relationships; and really, just be more honest with you all. So, while that is some of what I was focusing on last week, I can also report that Thomas and I had a wonderful week. While I spend every day with him, making an intentional effort to focus on him was amazing. His vocabulary is growing by the hour. Honestly! All day long he is coming out with new words. And his grasp of concepts just blows us away. We went to the beach one last time and he and I just sat and enjoyed each other's company. That must sound strange, but think about it. When do we just focus on enjoying our children's company? Not what are we accomplishing, or re-enforcing, or teaching - but just enjoying. Try it - its nice. And a wonderful, awesome bonus and blessing of last week was time with Paulo. Last week was the end of his 3 weeks busy season, but the 1st time in ELEVEN years he has had Labor day weekend off! It was awesome. He and I went out to dinner and some amazing discussions about our life and family - our plans, goals and dreams. All I can say is AMAZING. Looking forward to sharing more of God's work in our lives with you soon!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer's End

It's been a good summer. Despite the weather...and the stress we had here due to some situations.....its been fun. We've had a lot of time at the beach, a great week at camp, my parents staying with us as they ready their new home for residence, visitors we adore. Right now I feel God calling me to some quiet time. Not only is He calling me, but He has paved the way. So this week, Thomas and I are going into "seclusion". Its not a bad thing. Its not a punishment. I just feel like I want to soak up the last week of summer with my boy - no schedules, no commitments, no plans. Just get up each morning and let the day take its own course. We will play, we will walk, we will go for rides, we will enjoy afternoon naps. We will actually turn off our central AC and let the late summer breeze blow through the windows. Paulo has a busy week with students moving in right now, but hopefully he will join us 1 or 2 evenings. So signing off for now, unplugging so to speak. See you on the other side...of the week that is. I wish you all a fabulous last week of summer.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's better than yoga?

Yoga on the beach! Today was my second session and it was AWESOME!! The parks department is offering free, yes I said FREE, yoga on the beach every Thursday morning. Even though its been going on since June, I just found out about it, so I tried it out last week. Well, I was the ONLY one who showed up last week, so I got a "private" session. WOW! Today I went again, and again, no one else showed up. My 2nd "private" session. Did I mention, for FREE?? I'm loving this. We go at my pace, and the yogi is able to give me a few suggestions and extra tips...which is fabulous since I'm such a novice. This is going until the end of September so I'm hoping to make it each week. mmmmmmmmm....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to Reality

Just spent another fabulous week at Eagle Camp. We had all kinds of weather, but mostly good - which, when you're camping, means dry. Lots of catching up to do, but working on laundry still, so here are some pics to hold you all over. Enjoy

Monday, July 13, 2009

You pick your favorite...cause I just cannot

I have so many things to say right now. Like: - I NEVER get tired of this face - If I could have handpicked my child, the child we waited so long for, I could have never dreamed this beautiful - "For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him" But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a few thousand words......

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


AND THE LIVING IS EASY We've been enjoying ourselves these days, depsite the rain. We been visiting with lots of friends, new and old. Last week my childhood-babysitter-turned-turned friend visited from CA with her 5 mo son Pierce, whom we hadn't yet met. He is so cute! I forgot what its like to hold a baby!! Thomas kept pointing to him saying "ME!" - not sure what that was all about. Jenn and Pirece stayed the night with us - we had a great walk and I cooked a ymmuy dinner - spinach and artichoke cheese tortellini. Its like eating spinach artichoke dip for dinner - without the guilt. The next day my long time friend Laura came with daughters Savannah and Katrina to play. Well, actually, they came to go to the beach, but of course the weather didn't cooperate (when has it lately?), so we all just walked the boardwalk, got ice cream, went on the carousel twice. It was a fun afternoon even without the sun. We rested on Wednesday, then Thursday Thomas and I were off to Maine to visit my college roomies and their kids. Here's a picture for you - 3 roomies, 1 husband, 5 kids and a day of downpour rain. You say chaos, we say thrilling adventure! We pulled out the fun with McDonalds and bowling. Even Thomas enjoyed it - not that he was throwing a large heavy ball, rather running back and forth behind the lanes. This week is Vacation Bible School - which is something I always look forward to. I am a crew assistant once again, and this year I have 5 eager 8 year olds. Its so awesome to have the opportunity to study God's word and lessons through the eyes of a child. Brings me back to the basics, and their questions really get me thinking. The sun has been out occasionally so we've even spent some time on the beach these past 2 days. Thomas loves the water! Monday when we got on the beach I was pulling him in the wagon and as soon as we hit the sand he started throwing out the toys and trying to climb out! He was of the mind "We're here - let me out and get to that water". I planted herbs in my deck baskets - parsley, thyme, basil and cilantro. So I've been doing lots of cooking and recipes. I even made the world's BEST salsa. Okay, the best salsa in the world of Bree. Since I'm so impressed with my cooking and mixing, its only fair to share and you be the judge. Warning - I don't measure!!! Wing it to your taste Bree's Best Salsa 1 15oz can diced tomatoes and the juice 1 small onion (red or white) 2 cloves garlic - grated zest and juice of 1 lime couple of dashes of hot sauce (to your level) dash of ground cumin salt and pepper lots of fresh cilantro mix in a bowl and enjoy!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Then and now

I haven't posted many new pics of the boy lately. Last week he turned 20 mos!! Yes - he's out of the teens and quickly approaching 2 years old. Here are some pics. June 08 June 09 - ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? To celebrate his 20mos birthday we visited the fire station (the 1st of many visits I'm sure)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Caught off guard

Something unexpected happened at church yesterday. Pastor Jeramie has been preaching about Abraham and his faith, like no other. And in this particular sermon, Jeramie was focusing on Abraham and Sarah's yearning for a child and their experience with infertility. And I sobbed through the entire sermon!!! In the 4.5 long years we waited for our precious boy, I did a lot of crying in those pews. Certain sermons, baby dedications, hymns - didn't take much to push me over the edge. Then I got to hold Thomas in my arms and now watch him grow, and I get to praise and thank God e-v-e-r-y day for him, so I figured I was done crying.....about that. Guess not. Paulo was trying to figure out what was wrong and I just couldn't talk. Once I finally pulled it together, after the service, I was able to tell him. I wasn't sad, I wasn't looking back, I wasn't feeling guilty for not being as faithful as Abraham through it all (which I was feeling guilty, but that's not why I was crying). I was crying tears of unabandoned, unabashed, unimagined joy for the greatest miracle in my life - our son. And the tears were flowing more in part due to the fact that My God, THE God of the universe, our sweet heavenly Father, would love me and consider me worthy to grant me such an incredible miracle. I will never understand that part. And I'm glad I don't have to - I just get to look at my boy and go on thanking and praising.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On the mend

I had surgery on Tuesday. It was minor - the docs removed some tissue from my breast that they say had "atypical" cells. My doc told it was less than 10% chances it would be cancer, so I'm not getting too worked up while we await the test results. The hardest part of this all is that I cannot pick up the boy for 10 days - ugh. Not that he needs me - he has his Nana and Pepe (my folks) so he is more than content....and spoiled. But it makes me sad. I've had a great peace and calm throughout this process. I've been going through this since March 17th - the date of my 2nd mammogram. I then had a consult, a biopsy, and now this, and yet still, I'm okay. I've prayed to God not for healing or clean test results, but for peace and strength. And He has granted them abundantly.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I am blessed

I love my life, and I'm not going to apologize anymore. Because its nothing I have accomplished, but what God has accomplished in me. You see, Paulo and I wanted a baby for 4.5 years. I was working, but I wanted to be at home, chasing a toddler, cleaning the house, baking cookies. And then I got pregnant, and I was sooooo excited!! It was really going to happen. But while on bedrest, my mind started running, and I started to get worried. I've waited so long for this - what if I don't like it? What if I get a baby that I can't love? Yes - I really thought that. That whole "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it" started running rampant in my brain. Instead of praying and trusting God, I started making up scenarios. Flash forward 20 months.....I LOVE MY LIFE!! I love being a mom. I feel like I am finally fulfilling God's purpose for my life. And being a mom to a boy has made me a better wife and a homemaker. I was terrified to have a baby girl, cause I didn't want to put all my "baggage" on her. But I realize having a boy is just as challenging because I need to be a good role model for him. So now I embrace making my husband's coffee and meals and getting his laundry done and folded (still working on that whole putting it away part - baby steps). I'm tired of feeling guilty about it and feeling bad that I can state with confidence "I'm a housewife". And I'm tired of the question "Don't you get bored?" If anyone thinks being at home would be boring, then they obviously have a maid, a chef, a personal shopper, and they don't have one single hobby or interest in the world. There is ALWAYS something to do - if its not the house chores, or playing with my boy, then its my own stuff to do - like blogging, or reading a book, or uploading and ordering pics, or just enjoying a cup of tea on a beautiful early summer evening out on my porch. And that whole "careful what you wish for"? Well, I'm not exactly baking cookies, but I make a mean casserole. And I still have a ways to go on being a better housekeeper - like I'm supposed to be cleaning right now and instead I'm blogging. But I have mastered the laundry routine finally. And am I chasing a very, VERY active toddler? You betcha....but the best part? I get a big hug and kiss when I catch him!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Welcoming Warm Weather

YIPPPPEEEEE!!! Its finally warm here! We have had a few trips to the beach, we've been out walking, we've been playing the yard and to the playground, we've been wearing sunscreen - love that smell, have missed it this long winter. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated - how bout you all? Last weekend my awesome cousin Amy came to visit with her very cool husband and oooooo soooooo cute 9 mo. old daughter Gianna. We had a fabulous weekend, the weather was very cooperative for our yard-playing, front-porch-sitting, beach-pictures-taking weekend. Amy and I both lamented on our wishes to live closer (they are 3.5 hours north in VT) but neither husband is budging. Maybe we'll retire together. The downside to all this good weather is allergies. We've known for a while Thomas has them, but I've just learned now that I do too. Some sort of tree pollen that is going wild right now. So much as I would love to have the windows open all day, that's a no-no now. Good thing daddy is finishing up the new central air with his work buddies. I think it will be running by next week. PHEW! Paulo is about to start busy season with Rack Raiser and BU so May is a tough month. We'll both just put our heads down, push forward and hold fast to the thought of Memorial day weekend, when we can just kick back and relax!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

18 Months - can it really be????

Thomas had his 18 month check up monday. Here are the stats: LENGTH: 32" WEIGHT: 25.5 1st 3 word sentence: "Bye My Dada" # of words: about 12 # of signs: about 35 FAVORITES: SONG: Thank God I'm a Country Boy by John Denver - yes really! TOYS: Disney Cars, matchbox cars, trucks, balls, his new blue ride-in car, legos MOVIE: Disney Cars On the 17th, we celebrated his official 18mo birthday with a cupcake, which he thoroughly enjoyed, as you can see.