Tuesday, December 28, 2010

GRATEFUL!Blackboard contributions from family and friends on Thanksgiving!


A little issue with the parking karma and the snow today.....all for the sake of J.Crew men's shorta...NWT...new with tags! I have been taking it e-bay slow over the holiday week. Gotta get back in the saddle soon...I miss it!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Animal Farm

Not quite animal farm but certainly animal house! Oh wait...that came out the wrong way. We have very sweet animals living with us. This is T.J.'s Jinx....he is one cozy kitty. He loves to sleep in T.J.'s room...at his feet. Now he is all cozied up on our bed, at our feet. T.J. is not in his room. What a nice surprise to have Jinx sleep at our feet. I'm really not flattered. I know better. He just wants to stay warm on a cold winter night! That's o.k. with me. They are such a big part of our lives. We feed them. We pet them. We walk some. We let them in. We let them out. We stop to pet them. We play with them. We chat with them. We tell them how we feel. We sit side by side with them. We laugh at them. We share our home. They don't ask much of us. Wow, they make a difference in our lives. Everyday.

I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PREFECT.....funny that I typed that word incorrectly. It's true. That was a mistake. My own mistake. I was typing perfect and prefect showed up.

I have known this for quite some time. Others may be well aware of this fact. Certainly, the cat was out of the bag when Biff and I began dating....it was important for me to have him know me...the real me...with no secrets. Talk about scary! 

The good news is that he loved me because of my imperfections. He also loved me because of my honesty.Thankfully, he was just as honest....and he actually had some imperfections as well. Phew!

I know this may come as a surprise to you, but there was a time in my life that I believed it better to work at hiding my little idiosyncrasies and peccadilloes and imperfections and faults and blemishes.

While I shared self deprecating comments with many friends, co workers and acquaintances, I truly believed it was better to hide my flaws. Believe me, that was a full time job...with not many benefits.

Benefits....was there any benefit to donning the hat of perfection. Really? I believe it was once I had children that I no longer felt the need to try to be perfect. It came to me slowly. One imperfect moment at a time. Sure, I could have worked at presenting that perfect image for all of the other moms in playgroup, the other members of The Junior League of Boston, The Newcomers Club members, my college alumnae board and many more. Tempting to pose as perfect, to know it all, to be one of the perceived elite few who know that secret.

Thankfully my beautiful children taught me my greatest lesson of my life. It came to me via simple life moments:
We actually had tired/cranky/sick babies from time to time
Our babies spit up on our favorite clothing en route to a party
We had children with their own personalities who didn't behave like our puppets on display
Our children did not perform on demand
I had a baby at home with mom, Biff, Grace and the fire department
I had planned photo shoots with headstrong toddlers 
We had toddlers who slathered Desitin on other toddlers followed by baby powder which had the affect of being tarred and feathered.
While we had babies who loved church, they did cry.
We had babies who had tantrums, mostly in front of others.
Our babies blew rasberries in church.
Our children liked being barefoot in the snow!
We had children who didn't always warm up to everybody we liked
Sometimes, our children were shy
Our kids went through a phase of avoiding a hair brush.

That's only a snapshot of the things I hadn't been prepared for as a new mom. Until we had our own children, I only had the dream niece that was returned after a day or a weekend.

Surprise. At a certain point I realized I could keep those grosgrain bows tightly affixed in my preschooler's hair or I could let her wear her tiara and be happy. Grace allowed me to choose happy.

With T.J., it was his "wed wubber boots" that changed my outlook on life. He wanted to wear those boots to the pool and to the beach. T.J. helped me to see my soul more clearly....with his soles.

Grace loved wearing her beautiful Christmas dresses.....with her adorable tights and red high top sneakers! She also wore her floral knit Hanna Andersson tights under her bathing suit to the beach mid summer.Some of my greatest memories.

T.J. wore his Red Sox baseball cap everywhere...even to church. Thankfully, the monsignor liked the Red Sox and always worked that hat into his sermon on Sundays. 

Grace wore her purple sequined flapper dress to Montessori on her 5th birthday.

Since T.J. didn't love the barber and had such blonde fluffy curls, we had a friend approach us in church and say, " Look at that head, it's like a flock of gulls!" 

Thankfully. Thankfully and honestly. What freedom! What a gift to be freed from those who want to portray perfect. They bore us! I am so grateful that my sense of humor got me through some of my less than perfect moments. Biff and I are thrilled to be real. One of the greatest gifts in life...being real and being true to ourselves....and our family! Thankfully.


Peace. Quiet. Comfort. All throughout the house. What a wonderful day. I don't remember feeling this peace in quite some time. Yes, I live peacefully. I appreciate having the quiet moments all of the time. We live in a peaceful home. Yet....right at the this minute....I feel as though I have nowhere to be, no pressure to get done, no time constraints, no one left unattended.

Sure, there is plenty to do and there are lots of places to go....but it is a delight not to have to do or be going. That doesn't happen too often no matter how balanced my life may be! Obligations. Discipline. Appointments. Responsibilies. Deadlines. These make life just a tad more busy.
Many times, during a quiet moment on those busy days, I enjoy the time but feel the clock ticking and have the feeling of something or someone waiting....for me.

Just some of the things that need attending:

dust bunnies
dog walk
clean...never ending
e-bay follow up
post office
time for friends
Biff time
volunteer meetings
house outside
Projects I want to do

That's the tip of the iceberg. Not any one thing is a chore. It's just lots of little things. Yes, I do keep lists. Yes, I misplace lists. Thankfully, I'm not alone. Biff called from the grocery store the other day to ask me to review the list....on the refrigerator!

So, excuse me if I end this now. I have to get back to my peace and quiet with no strings attached. I wish you the peace of Christmas.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


The perfect storm.... big snowstorm, white everywhere, dinner by the roaring fire and after.....the very last gift we gave to Grace and T.J. last night for Christmas.. .TOY STORY 3.. we were too tired to see it last night. It's the greatest family movie and great to enjoy together.We are.

Snowing sideways

What fun to have dogs. They give us a resonance to brave the elements. We find new places to visit thanks to them! Thanks to Daisy and Fitzy, we meet new friends too.

Nor'easter the day after Christmas

Daisy dilly dallies after dancing in the snow...really she's working to get the snow removed from her pads. I'd love to buy her polarfleece booties.

Christmas Night Skiing with our family

Merry Christmas from Connecticut!

Who let the dogs out?

Fitzy frozen after frolicking in the snow.

The un-Kodak Christmas morning

After that, Biff and I began our gift wrap challenge.That was when it became apparent that our exhaustion was slowing us down. We could not remember what the remaining gifts were...or where they were. After some scrambling, We found some of the missing pieces to the puzzle of our brains.

While wrapping, we watched Christmas mass on television...then a movie. Not a Christmas movie...we had already overdone some of those. Mr. Holland's Opus...a favorite and a long one. Just before the movie wrapped up, when we knew we could not continue any longer, we abandoned the ending and trundled up the stairs....only to find Grace still awake.


After staying up til about 3:30 A.M., Biff and I had wrapped ourselves into a state of exhaustion. Grace and T.J. had been slow to go off to bed so that we could wrap in peace. Biff went off after midnight to collect the skis and snowboard, the Christmas gift that Grace and T.J. knew about....since they had to be there to help select and fit. BUT they did not know that the skishop had them ready with the fitted bindings. We knew it would be a challenge to keep that surprise from the moment Biff began backing down the driveway. Although he kept his lights off and rolled down in neutral, it was the gravel driveway that did him in.

First, the phone call from Grace. Next, the text from at.T.J. "Where are you going" said one and read the other. No secrets here.  Biff dodged the question. About a half hour later, Biff walked in the door struggling with all of the new gear after parking around the corner at the head of a neighbor's driveway, trudging through the woods to keep out of sight and earshot of our eager children, now 14 and almost 16years old. After settling the skis and snowboard and ski poles under the tree he bid adieu so that he could move the car to the end of our street, walked up our neighbors' driveway and pushed his way through more woodsy brambles to get home. And that was just after midnight. Then, the wrapping games began. The stocking stuffers and little gifts that were still, to our knowledge, a surprise.

It was 1:00 A.M. when Grace arrived downstairs to wrap her presents for Biff and T.J. A surprise to us that she was awake. Frustrated, I told her to stay away and wrap somewhere else and get upstairs to bed. OH, she was curious as to her dad's whereabouts. Although he was quiet in the family room, we wanted to keep the information to a minimum and discourage any further questioning.

With only a few hours sleep, we heard T.J. at our bedside. It was 6 A.M. He was ready to let the reindeer games begin. We pleaded with him to give us a bit more sleep. He complied. 45 minutes he was back. Then he attempted to wake Grace. She was most bothered due to severe lack of sleep.....which caused the "Silent Night" Christmas moment to quickly resemble"Shout from the Highest Mountain!" Christmas. Ahhhh..."Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men"....hardly.

Finally, Biff and I began down the stairs with very little "Joy To The World" to be heard. We made coffee. We waited for the "all is calm, all is bright" din in our home. That's when we invited our sweet little angels down the stairs....with only one demand.... to start our Christmas over.  Then and only then could Christmas begin. It was wonderful. We all napped during the day. Life was good. We got our gear together, put on warm clothes and left to ski. We skied together. We all rode the double lifts which allowed us all a variety of one on one Christmas talk. Racing down the mountain we had no shouting from the highest. chairlift.....only calling to each other as we followed the trails.

We all laughed about ourselves on our short drive home. We were all apologetic for our  sleep deprived selves. It was a wonderful Christmas...we have been truly blessed   Biff and I are also thankful  for our sense of humor and ability to laugh at ourselves. We are especially thankful that we have shared that with our children....so that they may be relieved with humor too. We are thankful and we are all grateful for our family....the ones who know us best and love us anyway! Thankfully.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Ski Night in Connecticut....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve Starbucks?

A moment. Just a moment.....Grace and T.J. suggested stopping at Starbucks. Well that was a first. After Christmas Eve mass! A teen adaptation of our traditional. Christmas Eve. Do you know what? It was a great idea. We sat and chatted...even a bit of bickering. ....Grace and T.J. After all, it's their job! And then. laughter and fun. And then, a drive through town and down by the beach to see the Christmas lights. We all talked and laughed and reminisced and talked some more....and drove home to have a nice dinner. Ahhhh Christmas!

You better watch out!

Yes! It was worth the wait. Hysterical photo shoot with Santa & Elves. Grace seems to be begging Santa or striking a deal!

Rejoice! For unto you a child is born...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Toys are for children?

Lego store with Carey and Grace

Lego store at Rockefeller Center

Lego fun with Bryan, Carey and Grace

New York, New York

Grace, my niece Carey and her beau Brian waiting to see Santa at Macy's Herald Square. Lots of laughs!

ALWAYS stop to light a candle at St.Patrick's Cathedral....Lady Chapel, where mom and dad were married.

Thursday....Grace and I are off to N.Y.C.

S.F.A., N.Y.C.
Home sweet home....where mom and I worked forever! Always good to go home...

S.F.A. First Floor

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The "way back I'm time" machine".....that's how this feels to this Christmas photo ....before 9:00a.m. church. Biff was behind me....T.J. and Grace in the wonderful glider we all shared each day. Click. Click. Photo. Seems like yesterday and click ....it's NOW! I'm grateful for the moments.