family, motherhood

Greatest Hits (Happy Holidays 2015)


I don’t know how you top going to the National Championship to see the Buckeyes win in 2015.  It was a spontaneous January trip to Dallas that fortunately ended in a Buckeye victory.  The whole of it was as special as the individual parts.  For Mom, sharing it as a family was the icing on the cake.  To read more, click here:

 The Story of a girl and her Buckeye

Losing a loved one not only changes who you are, it sometimes changes your ability to enjoy the things you used to love.  After losing my mom in 2009, I lost my passion for watching baseball. She was my partner in crime.  Thankfully after years and years of healing, the time to return to baseball finally felt right.  Thank you to the Cubs’ organization for making this season the best in ages.  Thank you especially for beating the Cardinals in the NLDS.  That pretty much sealed the fate of my boys’ allegiance forever.  Seriously, thank you!   To read more, click here:

The Story of a girl and her Buckeye (The Prequel)

Mad Dog and I recently celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.  Our relationship has weathered life’s ups and downs and above all else, we have maintained an underlying friendship.  He still makes me laugh more than anyone. He still is, in my opinion, ridiculously handsome which is also a plus.  But, the reason I love him so very much is because he loves the real me.  When I struggle with self-acceptance and doubt, he never judges.  When I say things in frustrated despair like, “Why can’t I just be normal?”  He responds with, “Full Speed isn’t ‘normal’, T.Puzzle isn’t ‘normal’ and I’m not ‘normal’.  Just be you.  Once you learn to be comfortable being you, things will fall into place.”  A better response I could not imagine.  Thank you, Mad Dog.  To read more, click here:

 True Love’s Cup

Parenting is hard.  I’ve seen enough and learned enough that the only surety is your ability to accept whatever is in front of you.  This year my boys finally no longer have to patch their eyes for amblyopia (lesser vision in one eye).  This all started when Full Speed was twenty months old.  He recently turned 11.  That’s a long time in kid years.  Again and again my boys and their vision challenges have taught me to accept what I can’t control.  That is so hard to do, but eventually, it’s all that remains.  To read more, click here:

 Eye Am Thankful

I started this blog when my boys were little.  I wrote it to cope.  If you ever had a chance to be around them when they were small, you would understand that my coping skills were challenged relentlessly.  Through the years we’ve all grown.  They continue to evolve.  I’m most grateful for the evolution of who-they-really-are.  They have this core of intangible awesomeness.  We all have it and sometimes the only person who can see it is your mother.  I see it.  They have it.  And, they are awesome.  Let me clarify, they are awesome but they are not perfect.  They back talk and fight.  They have a really hard time following directions, even super-detailed step-by-step directions.  They took FOREVER to potty-train, ride their bikes and tie their shoes.  Full Speed especially didn’t understand my distress over the shoe-tying.  I mean, he would just pay someone to tie them for him once he made it to the NFL anyway, so what was the big deal?   Life is too complicated to only focus on achievements (or lack thereof).  Achievements are a dime a dozen.  They come, they go and in the end, they aren’t really all that important.  That core of awesomeness, it is there, even if your kid gets an ‘F’ on a test (true story, it happens).  Instead, spend your time being present and consciously try to catch a glimpse of their awesomeness.  When you do, it is the best feeling in the world.  It is better than straight ‘As’, four hundred touchdowns or winning a spelling bee. It is Pure Love.




children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Merry Christmas Eve

ry=400-3This Christmas is extra special for our whole family.  We welcomed a brother-in-law and his son to our clan.  Each year we seem to grow in love and blessings.  When all the young cousins get together on Mad Dog’s side (all boys!) there is a lot of spirit, Christmas and otherwise to be had.  I imagine at some point they will manage to get together and it will be calm and mannerly.  Or, I’ll be so advanced in years at some point, I’ll politely put my hearing aids on mute to deafen the roar.

If you join in this family, you have to participate in our now annual family soccer classic.  Naturally, playing against Mad Dog is not for the faint-hearted.  He always wins.  It’s as simple and annoying as that.  Thankfully, for the health of our marriage we were on the same team this year.  At one point Mad Dog executed a perfect defensive slide to deny our opposition a goal.  He almost took me out in the process.  If that had happened, this post would have had a much darker theme to it.

Even though Mad Dog is one of the most competitive people on the planet, I wouldn’t trade him for anything.  Sure, his offspring are a little rough to manage at times but obviously, they have amazing potential to be anything they want to be.

I hope that you all are surrounded by people you care about and who care about you.  Winning isn’t everything (ignore Mad Dog), but the love you have in your life is.

Merry Christmas Eve to all!

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

All I Want for Christmas

All I want is peace and quiet.  I want to sit, put on some Bing Crosby and gaze upon my beautiful tree.

I attempted to do this.  Soon, I had tackling boys join me in the room by the tree.  At no point had I said, “Hey, guys!  Get in here quick and start wrestling like maniacs!”

I tried oh-so-very hard to ignore them.


I knew my moments of silent reflection were slipping away once T.Puzzle decided to run speed tests on his backwards running ability.  FYI, backwards running is not one of his shining strengths.  Thankfully, he holds tightly to that wonderful six-year-old mentality that he is hands-down amazing at everything (or is that a trait inherited from Mad Dog?!?).  

Full Speed added his two cents by creating this ‘Deck the Halls’ gem:

“‘Tis the season to listen to your Mommy… fa la la la la, la la la la

‘You better listen or she will punish you… fa la la la la, la la la la”

He is clearly showing signs of being an astute and accurate lyricist who can capture a moment in time beautifully.

Quiet and Christmas just aren’t meant to be at this juncture in my life.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Introducing my two favorite holiday entertainers…
children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

The Real Deal

The day has finally arrived when Full Speed asked me point-blank about Santa Claus.  While he has had suspicions in the past, these were easily overcome by simple explanations.  Now, as the reasoning parts of his brain, along with those of his second grade class, are becoming more sophisticated, so are my explanations.  I didn’t mind dropping an occasional fib here and there about the ‘realness’ of Santa.  I’m started to become uncomfortable as my web of lies expands as Full Speed throws more and more complicated questions my way.

How long do I hold out before I have a sit-down with him and he knows the truth once and for all?  Unfortunately, this is feeling like sooner rather than later.  Right now, Full Speed is content to hold on a little longer even though physical evidence seems to indicate there isn’t a Santa.   In his words, “Maybe Santa is invisible.  Just because we can’t see him, doesn’t mean he isn’t real.”

Isn’t faith in anything believing even when it seems impossible and all evidence points to the contrary?

If this is the case, Santa is real.  He is very, very real.

Full Speed busts out is best Santa impersonation…
T.Puzzle’s soapy Santa version.
children, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Santa Shops the Clearance Bins

T.Puzzle asked me if Santa knew everything.  I told him Santa knew a lot but maybe not everything.

He pondered this a moment.

“Mom, Santa doesn’t know everything.  He gave Full Speed a Hotwheels video for Christmas and we already have that one.”

This was an extremely valid point.  What I wanted to say was, “Well, maybe Santa was stressed out trying to remember every, tiny holiday detail and was trying his best not to disappoint anyone and keep all of his commitments to his friends, family and children’s schools.  Maybe he realized at a last moment he needed to keep things equal between you and your brother and had forgotten to get a video for Full Speed.  Possibly he was frazzled beyond belief and happened to find a Hotwheels video in the Walmart clearance bin for three dollars and he took it as a sign that Full Speed was meant to have that video as a stocking stuffer and he didn’t have time to cross-reference Full Speed’s entire video library before purchase.”

Instead I just said, “He probably wanted Full Speed to have one he could take on trips with him.”

Thankfully, T.Puzzle left it at that.

T.Puzzle with Santa before he began to question Santa's overall knowledge base.