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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ahhh… Easter.

I will start by saying that both my husband and I were raised Catholic. We celebrate Easter with family, dyed eggs, ham, and loads of chocolate. We had a very nice day filled with family and fun. Then this will promptly turn into a rant. Sorry.

What is it with all of the “stuff”?!

The Easter Bunny brought chocolates, Peeps, jelly beans and a bubble blowing whistle for each of my kiddos. We try to keep it simple and remind our children that holidays are much more than scoring tons of new toys. I have noticed quite the opposite trend going on in other households though. In my opinion our kids are pretty spoiled, especially when compared to how we were raised. I am simply astounded by the way that other parents over spend for holidays, whatever the holiday be. While the Easter Bunny did fill a big ol’ basket with enough candy to make an entire city diabetic in about 20 minutes, I just don’t get what I am hearing about what this crazy bunny left for others. Does it mean you love Jesus more if your kids get 9 DS games, 6 jars of Play-doh, 14 Barbies, and a Karaoke machine?! I think not.

It seems to be a bit excessive. What exactly does this say to our young ones?

I have noticed the same trend around Christmas time. Does St. Nickolas really need to bring an entire load or just the traditional goodies that fit in the shoe? I actually heard one mom say that she was buying a Loving Family house for her daughter for St. Nick’s Day! Really?! What the hell is little Veruca getting for Christmas later the same month? Gold plated bike? Trip to Fiji? What has happened to us as a society?!

I realize that with the rise in divorce some parents play the “I love you more” game. I also realize that these little brats will eventually be adults. If the trend keeps up will Santa be able to fit a Ferrari in little Johnny’s stocking and will the real reason for the season just be dead? 

I think family traditions are being lost to the hype. We always got fruit and nuts along with candy in our Christmas stockings. We would get the one thing our heart’s desire under the tree from Santa. Ya know, the big one. Not $1800 worth of every toy we asked for all year long. I am trying my hardest to keep family traditions alive. My boys each got the one thing they wanted most, begged Santa for, and pleaded for in their letters. It was accompanied by a couple smaller toys and your run of the mill stocking stuffers. Neither of my kids died. No arms flew in the air with exclamations of “is that all?!” and they were sure that Santa really did listen and they really were good boys all year. Then they go off to school and hear of the ridiculous excess that happens in other houses. “Mom, my friend Dan said that he got the entire LEGO City from Santa!” Really?! I want to slap Dan’s mom. Why can’t Christmas be about the birth of our Lord instead of the $700 in tiny building blocks that Dan’s parents thought were just what was necessary to make the day special? One kid got a pony and a horse!!! I thought we were in an economic slump right now. Lets teach our kids about that. They will be the ones running this country some day!

So back to Easter. I was talking with an acquaintance the other day and after she got done rattling the items she compiled for her kids for Easter, ranging from board games to sports equipment, she added “I still need one more thing for the baby so they have they same number of things”. Just who is keeping score? And what is up with taking pics of your kids’ loot to post on Facebook?! Is this really even about the kids, or the holiday for that matter? It’s not like these were pics of the kiddo’s surprised faces and the joy of rifling through their haul. Just pictures of stuff. Tacky.

My kids got baskets from us and from Grandma. Each loaded to the hilt with a mother’s nightmare, and a dentist’s dream. Not once did my children ask why they didn’t get the 4 Bakugan toys they need to complete their collection, or why the Easter Bunny didn’t drop off a swimming pool. They hunted eggs and were not disappointed in the least when the plastic ones held pennies and candy instead of $5 bills.

Our Santa is kind and generous without extending our credit into financial ruin. Our Tooth Fairy still brings coin (lots of it but still coin). Our Bunny fills a basket, not the living room. Our kids know the reason for the things we celebrate, beyond the “stuff”. They experience the magic first hand. They believe in fairy tales and fictitious characters that reward them for being good people. The thought never crosses their mind to be greedy.

Maybe if this were more about the traditions associated with Easter and less of a contest our kids will benefit from the experience. Brush up HERE.

Think about the “stuff”. Ask yourself what you are teaching. Lead by example.

I truly hope everyone had a lovely Easter/ Passover/ Summer Solstice.

Let’s get Spring underway!

Much Love.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A charitable post

I absolutely adore charity work. I don’t mind taking one for the team when someone really needs it. I have donated both hours and dollars to many an organization. We, unfortunately, have also been on the receiving end of a couple such organizations too. If you aren’t sure why read HERE, RIGHT HERE, and OVER HERE for some small glimpses of may little dude’s journey, since I don’t have the balls to write it all down just yet.

So… for obvious reasons I am quite partial to charities pertaining to children. Or cancer. Or hell, children with cancer. Which brings me to my weekend to come. My sis has a wonderful friend who is celebrating her 10th year of being cancer free. She had breast cancer. She is in her late 20’s. Yep. You heard that right, not only is high school bad enough but now you have to survive the year bald and fighting for your life. This chick is amazing and her charity does some good work. This weekend is their second annual Pinkapalooza trivia benefit and the money collected will head off to help out with breast cancer research. Check out her website HERE. The event is crazy fun and put together by her and her hubby and about a bazillion other volunteers. I am one of these fortunate folk.

My sis is a photographer. She is friends and a co-worker of the spearhead of the event so naturally is asked to come document the evening. Then, Lord only knows why, she asks me to help her with the evening. The first year I was handed a camera and told to do my best, all the rest will hit the cutting room floor. Thank goodness for digital. I would have wasted more than my mortgage in film had this been done like “in the old days”.

Long story even longer… last year was such a hit that this year has already exploded, selling out in no time and it promises to be unforgettable. Which is where my sis is once again involved. Except this time she has called in some reinforcements. So, three of us will be wielding cameras, two professionals and this yokel. Sheesh.

Back to the original point of this post. Ya still with me?! Great.

When I say that I will be volunteering at a charity event and it takes preference over all other things that could be going on that night I have been getting the reply “oh, charity” like “why the heck waste time on that when you could be (fill in blank)”. Just so happens that this IS very important and unless you are, or have a loved one very close to you that has been, on the receiving end of such an event, you will never understand. This is how I make my mark. Behind the scenes. The thing to do, it seems, is to do a charity run. Well this momma don’t run. Weeeell unless I’m being chased. By a dog. Or the cops. So this will just have to do. Besides being way fun, it is kind of like a payback (forward? ugh. this could go on foreveaaa). After all this amazing lady showed up to “walk” (mosey) on our team that honors my son and raises money for one of our favorite charities.


I think that if you are the type to roll your eyes when someone says “charity”, or are too busy/lazy to help out when others are in need then you need to remember that everyone has somebody they are trying to save. Mine? I made.


I challenge all of you to do something good for someone else this weekend. I don’t care what it is. Just good.

Much Love!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thanks Mom.

I got this in my email tonight, from my Mom. She always seems to have the right words to say and even if they aren’t exactly her words the quote is always more than appropriate.

I am a mother of two little boys. I appreciate stuff like this:

Today he is Batman
His true identity concealed
Via his jet-black cape still damp from the dryer

Today he duels evil
Racing against time
In his convertible top, two-door plastic
Playschool car

Today he breaks cryptic codes
Hacking into his Etch A Sketch and
Disabling reactor buttons on his
Mom's cell phone

Today he saves Gotham City
One cruel-intentioned
Peace-threatening plush toy at a time

Tonight he departs to the Bat Cave
After a long day of portraying Batman
He closes his eyes and ponders what is
To come tomorrow.

Tomorrow he is Captain Hook
And Barbie is walking the plank.

--Jessica McKeon

Embrace the little treasures, they are fleeting.
Love to all,




We roll Imperial style ‘round here. Play is serious business in these parts.

These are old but I couldn’t resist. 

I love you too Mom! XOXO

Monday, April 4, 2011

I live for the little things.

Lately I have been a little off, mood-wise. I have been grumpy or down, depressed or angry. It has been an emotionally tough week. Nothing seems to be going right and when things start looking up it seems some little thing always throws things off again. I am usually a pretty upbeat person, or try to be (if you ask my hubby he will swear I am a die hard pessimist). I try and be a good person and act kindly towards others. It seems lately it is more my law than Murphy’s and my Karma is just a tad shy. I feel like yelling “smite me oh Mighty Smiter!”, name that movie.

So today, pooped out and still in jammies at 11:30, I am trying to turn this frown upside down. So I have to stop and say to myself “self, what is the big friggin’ deal with your crap ass attitude?! Snap out of it!”. I need an adjustment. So I will pull my big girl panties on and reflect on what I love instead of all the yuck. I think we should start with the little things. Things that you don’t really notice day to day but rather when they are gone. These are a few of my faves:

  • The way my little guy mumbles “I love everybody in this family” while snuggling.
  • When my older son, who is too cool for school much less holding Mommy’s hand, laces his fingers in mine.
  • The fact that my dear husband still finds me attractive.
  • Laughing with the man I married.
  • Entenmann’s Rich Frosted Doughnuts
  • The rare occasion when my sissy says “bye” before she hangs up.
  • Hugs from my Mom and Dad.
  • Smiles from strangers.
  • Hearing my little sis’s voice.
  • Napping in a pile with my boys.
  • Spending time with my Grandparents.  
  • Dr. Pepper (which I gave up for Lent).
  • How my dog always knows when my feet are cold and promptly lays across them.
  • Being the first to slide into clean sheets.
  • The smell of raw silk.
  • One hour of yoga.
  • A too-hot-for-your-skin bath and a book (doesn’t matter which one).

Today I challenge you to look at the little things that make your day brighter.

Care to share? I’d love to hear it.