Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Well, as another year comes to an end, I have a few things on my mind...
First of all, this has been a wonderful Christmas vacation with my family. I am dreading its ending, we have so much fun together every year, and I cherish every day I have with them. I hate when we have to go back to school and work. Especially after the tragedy in Newtown, CT -- quite honestly, I wish I didn't have to send my kids back to school ever again. It truly has been terrifying to be a parent these past few weeks. I can't imagine how the parents of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary feel about having to send their kids back to school for the first time on Wednesday. And those poor children must be so scared to go.... life just should NOT be that way.

I am hoping I will be able to be happy in 2013. I don't mean to say that my family and my life don't make me happy -- they absolutely do. I mean internally, separate from them, I find myself feeling sad and jaded a lot of the time. It's my own outlook and attitude I am unhappy with. I realize there are a lot of outside factors (mostly on the news) that contribute to it. I don't want to be one of those people who lives blissfully unaware of what is going on in the world, but I want to be able to look at the bright side of every day...somehow I need to find a way to do that again. Hopefully I can figure out a way to minimize the negative energy around me in the coming year. I will try to stay focused on that.

I also hope to be healthier in 2013. I need to get to the doctor for my routine blood work and I know there are going to be issues to address. Hopefully nothing serious, but it's been a while so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

AND, I'm excited to be starting my 365 Project {again} tomorrow! I have attempted this three other times and never get past January...ok, once I got all the way to March. But I am determined this year, and I'm going to do it, no matter what. Even if I am just using my crappy iPod Touch or my measly little six year old, 7.1 megapixel camera and I don't have my dream camera yet! The point is to have a photo from each day of my life in 2013. It's gonna be awesome. If you want, you can follow my project HERE :)

I wish all of you a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year. I hope and pray that it is filled with a lot more smiles and a lot less heartache for the world...

Here's to 2013!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Words...

This little boy reminds me so much of my own.
I am sitting here sobbing after reading the article about him & looking at his photos.
All those tiny, innocent little angels. My heart hurts.
Dear God, how do things like this happen?

Rest in peace, sweet little James. Much love to you and all of your little friends in Heaven.

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Monday, December 17, 2012


Hugged my kids a little tighter this morning. And prayed a little harder. Wish I could put Friday's events out of my mind but I can't. I know my kids are in good hands at school, but even so, that comforting sense of safety at ANY level of school is gone. I'm sure was not the only parent struggling with that this morning. Thinking of and praying for the children, teachers, and families of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. I have cried so many tears this weekend over this tragedy. I can't imagine how things could ever be ok for any of those families after this...or for the nation as a whole. It's hard to find words for this kind of pain. Hold your babies close every day and take nothing for granted.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11th

Nine years ago today was my due date with my baby boy…it’s funny how even though he was born a week early, this date still means so much to me. I can’t believe next year he will be hitting double digits. I love him so much I can’t even begin to describe it. My sweet little man…both of my kids are just amazing……I’m a very lucky mommy ❤

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY

This is winter in Buffalo so far this year...


...almost constantly these past few days. I hate it. I'd much rather have snow...I miss the way Buffalo used to be. We haven't had a good lake effect snowstorm in almost two years now. We get a dusting here and there. Last Christmas was green. This one is probably going to be green too...or more accurately - gray. And muddy. Bah humbug to that!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wide Awake

I should be sleeping, I have to get up for work in less than five hours. But I’m not even tired. I’m gonna hate myself in the morning. Today was the longest day I think I ever had at work. I hate it when it’s slow…it makes it feel like I am sitting there for an eternity. Watching Halloween 4 now. Watched Halloween before this. Maybe that has something to do with why I’m not sleeping yet…?? My son came walking into the room at a really bad part of the movie a little while ago (when the chick gets strangled in the car in the garage) and I tried to steer him out of sight and earshot of the tv as fast as I could. But something tells me he will be up with nightmares later on :-( My kids cannot watch stuff like this yet. It’s amazing to me to think that by the time I was their age, I was watching stuff like Child’s Play, The Gate, Fright Night, Halloween…TONS of scary movies…and I was fine! I loved that stuff. But my kids get scared just being at Party City and seeing the creepy costumes. They are my sweet, sensitive babies. Even so - this year for Halloween, my daughter will be dressing up as a werewolf, and my son picked out a bloody skeleton costume. Go figure…

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicken style.

My loving hubby made my {as in my mom's recipe that was passed down to me and now he tweaked a little himself} homemade chicken soup for me today...because I'm sick. It was SO yummy. I had two bowls and I could have eaten more. I might, actually. It's still early :) Am I lucky or what? Just wanted to brag...

Tea & Blankets

I'm home from work today, sick and dealing with a head that simultaneously feels ten times too big and like it's in a vice. I've been fighting something off all week, and I just couldn't take it anymore today - I had to stay home to try to get better. My joints hurt. My head everything hurts. I tried so hard to sleep all day today, but no such luck. I laid here - more like curled up here - on my couch, with my computer, catching up on episodes of Paranormal Witness (which I can't watch when my kids are in the house, so this was the perfect opportunity) I'm all creeped out and caught up now. If only I could stop feeling like crap...I'd be a happy camper. My hubby has taken wonderful care of me. He demanded I stay on the couch with my blankets, tea and pillows all day. Hasn't let me lift a finger -- that's how he is pretty much all the time, though. I am very lucky <3 My children will be coming home from school soon. I just want to feel better so I can hug and kiss them without worrying that I'm giving them the plague.

I think in the meantime, I'm going to make myself another cup of this wonderful tea that I discovered this week thanks to my Vegan friend at work. 
Yogi Throat Comfort tea - ever heard of it? Seriously amazing stuff, especially if you have a sore or scratchy throat. The real kicker for me is that I don't need to add ANYTHING to it. No creamer. No sugar. That's unheard of for me. The combination of herbs in this tea flavor it so that the aftertaste is delicate and sweet. It's the strangest thing -- I don't taste much of anything until after I swallow. Then I have a sweet taste in my mouth. I think it's the licorice root. If a sugar fiend like me can completely skip the sugar, you know it's gotta be good. I need to take a trip to Wegman's soon to explore the two full aisles of herbal teas. I love me some great, natural medicine. 

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Flashback - The 2006 October Storm

Six years ago today, the infamous October Storm wreaked havoc on Western New York. Radar - Buffalo October Storm 2006

And oh what fun it was! I still have so many lovely, dark, cold memories...

On October 12th, 2006, my daughter was in 1st grade, and my son was a student in the Toddler Room at the daycare center where I was working as a pre-school teacher assistant. We were scheduled to take our annual trip to the Pumpkin Farm that day. But as I dropped my daughter off at school around 9 am, I really began to hope that the trip would be cancelled -- it was getting very cold and the rain wasn't letting up. Wet, muddy, frozen pre-schoolers are not fun to deal with, especially in large groups. At around 10am, our director decided to cancel the trip and we stayed indoors at the center as it rained steadily for the rest of the morning and afternoon. At around 3pm as I headed over to my daughter’s school to pick her up, the rain turned to sleet…then to tiny snowflakes…..and before long there were these BIG, fluffy flakes of snow falling out of the sky! As everyone knows, snow not a novelty in Buffalo -- but it’s really not the norm in mid-October. My son was thrilled when he saw the fluffy flakes. I remember thinking it was pretty neat to have such an early first snowfall. As parents gathered and stood outside the school, we all kept looking up in the sky, shaking our heads in disbelief and groaning... "Well, I guess that’s Buffalo for ya”, while the kids giggled and tried to catch the snowflakes on their tongues. Everyone thought it was crazy, funny…definitely unusual for that time of year. It was a fluke. Little did we know…

That night, we ordered pizza and watched the Sabres game (luckily it was an away game). We had the pizza delivered and when the delivery guy came around 7pm, he told us we’d better move our car out from underneath our giant tree out front if we didn’t want it to get crushed. We thanked him for the warning but really kinda laughed it off. We didn’t know at that point that there were trees cracking and breaking all over WNY. The weight of the snow was too much for them bear, considering most of them still had lots of leaves. I got an eerie feeling when I opened the front door a little while later to look around and from every direction I could hear faint sounds of tree branches snapping and crashing down. Our neighbor from across the street called us at one point to tell us that the giant maple tree in her backyard had just split in half and crushed her pool. And around 8pm, we heard a loud crash in our front yard. I went outside to investigate and saw this…

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but a huge branch from one of our two large trees had snapped and hit the house on its way down – not hard, thankfully. The top of it was now laying across our front window. And until about half an hour before this pic was taken, our car was right in that spot. Thank goodness for the pizza dude! I also attempted to take a picture of the snow as it was falling…

We watched the 11:00 news and learned that this kind of thing was happening all over western New York. Tree branches were falling through peoples’ windows, roofs, etc. We went to sleep that night figuring we’d have no electricity by morning. We were right. It went out in the middle of the night, and it didn’t come back for a full seven days.

The morning paper…Friday - October 13th.
Front Page of Buffalo News October Storm 2006

This was the view from our front window. There’s that tree branch that hit the house.

The pic below is our side yard. That smushed mound of branches on the left is actually a tree. We used to call it our popcorn tree because that’s what it looked like in the spring when it flowered. It hasn’t been the same since and it looks somewhat deranged, because most of its branches were crushed.

This is how Jeff spent his day. Snowblowing in October!
The snow was unusually heavy, so this took a while for him to do.

An electrical (or maybe phone) line in our backyard...
Pretty much all the lines were completely encased in ice.

Cars were buried…everything was a big, white mess.

I was really anxious that morning. I’ve lived here my whole life and am very used to snow, but I’ve never personally seen it do so much damage before. We listened to the news on the radio and the reports were unbelievable. 300,000 homes said to be without power…trees and live, downed power lines were blocking entire roads - the whole region was declared to be in a State of Emergency. There was a driving ban almost everywhere. And at that point, National Grid was predicting the electricity wouldn’t be restored until at least the next day. THAT seemed crazy to me. Had I known it was actually going to be seven days…I would’ve lost my mind.

The snowfall amounts were incredible:

By October 14th, most of the snow had melted in our area, and it was easier to see the damage…

Jeff had to cut the giant broken limbs with his dad’s chainsaw in order to make them easier to move.
To this day, we still have one of the branches in our backyard garden.

Got this priceless photo of the kids that week.
We camped out in the family room together every night to stay warm until the power came back on...

The next week was painfully long. No electricity meant no heat, no lights, no computer…. no watching SABRES GAMES! Our food was spoiling and the freezer was leaking. We ate a LOT of sandwiches and Jeff even cooked a pot of macaroni and cheese on the grill outside one night. He went to work because his store was back up and running after the first couple days. But since the schools were closed for an entire week, the kids and I spent our days coloring and listening to the radio, trying to get some sense of when things would be back to normal. I really enjoyed having a whole week of them to myself. That was one HUGE pro to the whole ordeal. It was so odd when we went out at night because there were no street lights and no one had lights on in their houses unless they had generators. By day six, our street was humming loudly with generators, including one that my mother's boss had lent to us. We could only power one light and the TV for a couple of hours with it. When the power came back on, it was like heaven. The house was warm, the TV was on and the Sabres were winning. And now I could SEE them! Doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Buffalo gets a bad rap for it’s snowy weather. The whole country seems to be under the impression that that’s how it is here all the time. Not even close. We get to experience all four seasons. Sunny, hot summers (especially this past summer!), white Christmases, beautiful colors in fall and the new colorful flowers in the spring. I love it here! I’m thankful to be here and would never want to live in the southern states, threatened by hurricanes that destroy everything in their path. Like my husband says – everyone complains about Buffalo weather – but OUR natural disasters MELT! Of course, I’d rather not have another October Storm, but if we have one we'll deal. I still have flashbacks when the lights are out and we have candles lit. Tonight is the closest we have come to having a repeat of the storm, because it is VERY cold out and the whole region is under a freeze warning until morning. And the trees still have most of their leaves... Here’s hoping the first snowfall waits until November. Or at least Halloween!

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Prayers for Jessica

Like many other parents all across America, I've been paying close attention to the news these past several days, hoping and praying that this little sweetheart will come home safely to her Mommy and Daddy. But as I read of the new developments this morning, my heart grew heavy, realizing that things are looking grim. But....I'm still hoping and praying hard tonight for a miracle. It is truly terrifying, at times, to be a parent. Is there anywhere anymore where are our children are safe?

May God bless, protect, and be with little Jessica and her family.
Prayers for Jessica Ridgeway

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spectacular Dragons

As soon as I heard that How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular was actually coming to Buffalo {which completely surprised me, by the way! Nothing comes to Buffalo}, I was determined to get tickets for my kids, no matter what I had to do or how much I had to pay...{thankfully the tickets weren't ridiculously expensive}. My kids adore that movie - and truth be told - so do I. I like a lot of kid movies, but there's something about HTTYD that puts it in a class of its own -- it's different and deeper than most kids movies. The unconditional friendship that Toothless and Hiccup have is amazing and the movie sends a few important messages to kids {and adults} - one of the biggest ones being that staying true to yourself is SO very important.

So we went to the show on September 22nd, and it was amazing. The effects were incredible, the dragons were breathtakingly detailed, the beautiful music was right out of the movie... I had tears in my eyes at times -- mostly because my kids were so crazy happy to be there. They each hugged and thanked us about a dozen times for taking them to see it. And they each got to pick out a couple souvenirs from the show. 
I am beyond thrilled that we were able to give them this simple gift of being there. My daughter especially -- anyone who knows her knows how much she adores the character of Toothless the dragon and his sweet but powerful nature. I'll have to share some of the amazing sketches she has done of him. My son has too.

So if the live show is coming to a town near you - I highly recommend that you take your children to see it. It IS a spectacular show like nothing they have seen before, or will ever see again. If you have the chance, don't miss it.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Falling back into things

Get it? Falling back into things? Ha, I'm so clever I know. Yeah not really. Anyway, wow I have been absent for quite some time...this was such a busy summer, blogging kind of went to the way back burner. But something about the fall makes me want to blog again. I realized the other day that happens every year! There must be something inspirational in all the beautiful fall colors and the cool, crisp weather as the holidays approach {I consider Halloween one of those holidays}. This weekend I just might put up some Halloween decorations...or maybe make some with the kids. Or maybe I'll try one of the many organization projects I have pinned on Pinterest. HA. No really I do want to...I have to. I'm aiming for that.

And now for some Pinteresting fall inspiration...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Photography Site

I have finally published my own photography page and I am sooo excited about it. If you have a minute and are interested, feel free to stop over there and check out my photos. But don't laugh because thus far I have no followers or comments...but I just finished it yesterday. You can find it here:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good Question...

A little conversation I had with my kids as we dug into our pizza tonight...

Sammi: "Do spicy things all come from Italy ? Like pepperoni ?"

Me: "Well, no...and pepperoni is called that because it has pepper in it."

David (after a long pause and with a hint of sarcasm):......"So.... if pepper wasn't in pepperoni it would just be called oni ?"

I almost choked on my oni
I love our dinner conversations

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Curse of the Pool...s

Well it's summertime. And it's unbearably hot in Buffalo again. Yes, hey -- it gets hot in Buffalo. And snowless. In fact, we didn't even have a winter this past year! it's hot. And what better way is there to cool off than taking a dip in a nice, cold pool? Well, we have serious pool issues in this family. Ever since the kids outgrew their awesome, nearly indestructible, hard shell plastic pool a few years ago: 

.....we have had to settle for these inflatable, ultra-delicate, don't-even-look-at-me-or-breathe-on-me-because-you-are-going-to-pop-me-pools...

...and every summer, we destroy them, without fail. It's kinda getting a little ridiculous. We have gone through four inflatable pools in the past YEAR. I don't know what is wrong with us. We are soooo careful now! I thought we learned our lesson after the first time...or, ok maybe the second time. And it's not the kids who are responsible for the poppings -- it's me & my husband. We cannot be trusted around the pools. We just bought that nice, big one above at Target about two weeks ago. It was the last one on the shelf -- and we were thankful....aaand then today we had a monsoon....aaaand it blew around the yard. Aaand there is a nice hole in the bottom now. A stupid, sad hole. The kids don't know yet. They are going to be so disappointed in us when they find out.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Angel Hugs

My son came out with this random deep thought tonight...

"Mommy, you know what would be really sad? If when we are in Heaven we can't see anybody....since we'll all just look clear because we're all angels......Because...when we're in Heaven, I really want to be able to see you and HUG you!"

Seriously... how did I ever get blessed with such a wonderful little boy???

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summery Fun

I am so dreading work tomorrow. No real particular reason (well, other than I'm being forced to cross-train in an area that bores me to tears)...I just wish I could stay home with my family all summer. We had such a great weekend! The kids spent 75% of it in the pool. Sam went to her friend's "I Survived 6th Grade Party" (which I think is adorable!) and she may have been stung by a bee for the first time ever. I wasn't there to see it happen, but I did go check on her when the friend's Mom called to tell me about it. With David being so allergic to every little thing, I can't help but worry that either one of them might be seriously allergic to bee stings. Whatever it was, her foot was a little sore but otherwise was feeling better pretty quickly. So, probably NOT a bee sting... Here are some pics from our wonderful relaxing weekend...

We were all really fascinated with the ladybugs this weekend.
They were everywhere, and they apparently love water.
The kids had to keep fishing them out of the pool
Yes, in case you noticed the watermarks, my photography is under the name "DaisyPath Photography". I'm not a professional and I don't sell anything, but if I ever became a professional photographer, that is the name I would hope to use. In fact, I did a lot of work this weekend on the DaisyPath Photography Facebook page...I will post a link on here as soon as it's up and running :)
Layla does not look amused. But she enjoyed the weekend as well!
She just loves to be near us, no matter what we're doing :)

I really love this time of year. I really should have been a teacher so I could enjoy the summers with my kids. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!

p.s. I am sooo in love with this post by Shane at Whispering Sweet Nothings. It could not have come at a better time for me. I adore her blog and I think she is a really amazing person, from what she puts out there in her posts. It's definitely worth a read, folks!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

12 Years of Mommyhood

My sweet baby girl, Samantha Nicole, is 12 years old today.
I am such a proud mama.
I'm a little emotional over this birthday...not sure why.
Maybe because it's the last one before the teen years...?
I feel like this little baby bundle grew up in the blink of an eye.....
June 27th, 2000
7lbs. 2 oz., 21 inches long
Red hair, Blue eyes...both of those surprised me!

1 Year Old ~ with Mommy

2 Years Old~ with Nana

3 Years Old!

4 Years Old

5 Years Old

6 Years Old

7 Years Old

8 Years Old

9 Years Old

10 Years Old

11 Years Old

12 Wonderful Years Old!!!
I love you SO much, Sammi Pooh!!!