Category Archives: Liam

Friday’s Letters 8.0

Dear Baby Jesus– THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY!!!!!!!!
Dear Chest-wrenching Cough that I Have had all Week– You’re bags are packed.  I left them by the front door.  I called a cab.  You can leave anytime now.  Nice knowin’ ya.
Dear Liam and Collin–  What say you two conveniently decide to sleep in until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning?  NO?  How about 8:30?  8:00?  Fine.  7:30, and that’s my final answer.
PS– I love you both IMMENSELY
Dear Broccoli– I love you.  You look like a tree, you’re a platform for spicy ranch, and you help a sista out.  I could go on and on, but I think those reasons alone prove my case that you’re the best veggie alive.
Dear Maria–  Thank you for making me the most delicious coffee every morning (Hazelnut Iced Coffee, to be specific).  You are very important to me.
Dear Bed–  Thank you for housing me and my sick, pitiful self for the first 3 days of the week.  I probably could have left your side a few times, but you just wouldn’t let me.
Dear Grilled Cheese–  Ima eaaatttt youuuuuuuu!!!!!
Dear Current Job–  I am worth WAY more than you make of me.  You know what that means, don’t you?  I don’t know when, or how, or where, but I will be finding a replacement for you.  The main thing is that now, I know WHY.
Dear Family–  Thank you for always supporting me.  Each and every one of you play a significant role in my life, my happiness, and my sanity.  I promise to always honor you.
Dear Friends–  As I said in my last post, Happy Friday!  
Linking up for Friday’s Letters with Ashley and a ton of other amazing bloggers!  
As always, go peep her blog.  She’s great!
Until next time….


Superhero School

With the help of some great people, including my Super Mom, Liam had one heck of a birthday party last weekend.  Here are some of the sweet, silly, beautiful moments:

Looking forward to getting back to posting soon.




What is the one thing in your life that your will stop at nothing to get/be/do?  
That one thing that you will never stop striving to have.  
That one thing that would fulfill a part of your soul that nothing else could.  
That one thing you stay up and think about at night.
 That one thing that you talk to yourself about.
That one thing for me is my degree.
It may sounds silly, but it is totally true and I’ll tell you why:
I graduated from high school in 2000 (yep, I’m almost the big three zero).  
And what year is it again… 2012?  
I went straight to college and lasted (not even) a full semester.  It was a confusing experience, and one I am not extremely proud of.  Sure, I didn’t do what I set out to do, and blah blah blah.  But what mattered to me in the years to follow was that I let down some of the people that supported me.  It was a horrible feeling, and one that I was not equipped to handle on an emotionally mature level at that point in my life.

So what did I do?
I rebelled.  I partied, and I partied hard. (something I did almost none of in grade school).
I came out of the proverbial cage like a bat out of hell, and I avoided responsibility like the plague.

For almost four years I worked in and out of ordinary restaurants, had a few near death experiences, drank WAY too much, and gave my parents a few extra (thousand) gray hairs.

Finally, in 2004, tired of running myself ragged and having nothing to show for it, I made a serious decision to go back to school.  With the help of my family, I stared at a community college where I would spend the next two years busting my ass before transferring to a university with a 3.8 GPA.  Yeah… I was serious about  it this time.

After 3 successful semesters at George Mason University, Bren and I found out we were expecting a baby.   Needless to say, this put an immediate halt on the ol’ education.  I took two full semesters off of school.  I cannot tell you how upset I was about having to stop taking classes.  I was thrilled about having a baby, but depressed about the changes it was going to force me to make.  (I have to laugh at that now… “changes.”  Yeah… a baby changes EVERYTHING). I swore that I would go back as soon as I could.  Bren promised to do everything in his power to help me do so.
About 3 months after I had Liam, I landed a full time gig at George Mason University (how convenient you say!), and began taking classes again soon after.  Luckily for me, GMU offers its employees tuition benefits.  This allowed me to take 2 courses per semester (which was all I could handle anyway having a newborn at home and all…). 
 Four years and two kids later (Liam and Collin), here I am: On the cusp of my last semester.  About to graduate in about 7 months.  Working full time.  Planning crazy birthday parties last minute.  Trying to do this blogging thing (which I love and wish I had more time and energy for).  
I cannot begin to tell you what getting my degree signifies for me.  
Strength.  Support.  Faith.  Determination.  Focus.  Creativity.  Passion.  Hope.  Drive.  Comfort.  Relief.  Relentlessness.    
Most of all, I know, that if I can do THIS… I can do anything.
Never give up on that one thing.  It will be yours sooner than you expect!


Friday’s Letters 7.0

Dear blog– Please forgive me for neglecting you all week.  I can’t believe I haven’t done a single post.  It’s not that I didn’t WANT to.  You’ll just have to trust me on that one.  I’m hoping you and I get to spend more time together next week.
Dear fellow bloggers– Has this ever happened to you?  I have been so busy this week that not only have I had a limited amount of free time, but in that free time, I haven’t been able to come up with anything interesting to write about.  I’d call it “writer’s block,” or better yet “blogger’s block,” but it is so much more than that.  “Thinker’s block,” possibly.  How do you combat this if and when it has ever affected you?  I don’t want to fall of the face of the blogosphere every time I have a stressful week.  Any and all suggestions would be welcome and appreciated.
Dear Hub– OMG.  All I wanted to do was curl up next to you this morning and not move.  You are so comfy.  I’m sorry I fell back asleep when you went down to make our coffee.  And thank you for sending me a text (“Get up.”) to wake me back up.  It worked. 
Dear Liam– First soccer lesson this weekend!!!  Aren’t you so very excited?  If not, I’m excited enough for the both of us!  I promise you’ll have fun Bubs.  I can’t wait to see how well you do!
Dear Collin– I see dat wittle toooof poppin’ through doze wittle gumz!  I’m rootin’ for ya, Monkey!
Dear 80 degree weather that is on its way– Everything is better when you’re here.  Everything.  Never leave me.
Dear Mom– It was so nice spending time with you and AK last weekend.  Thank you for everything: the pictures, the lunch, the dress, the company.  I had such a good time!  You’re the best!  I love you!
Dear Bri and Alex– Can’t wait for a little girl time with you tonight!!!  Such a treat!  Let’s pretend like there’s no one else in the bar but us! 
Dear Friends– Have a wonderful weekend!  Make it just what you need.  Whatever that may be!

Linking up with Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds!!  Every Friday, yo.  Every single Friday.  😉  If you haven’t yet, check her out!!!


P.S.- Here are some pictures from the week:

Friday’s Letters 6.0

Dear HOT 99.5’s Kane Show– 
Thank you and DJ Dirty Elbows for kickin’ it old school on the Weekend Rollout this morning.  In particular, thank you for playing Motown Philly.  
“Could it really happen, or do dreams just fade awaaayyy, yeah.”  
Took me back!  And it made for a pretty awesome car-dancing session, as well.

Tell me this didn’t just make your morning
Dear Lady with the “Baby on Board- Stay Back” Sticker on her car–  
I wonder, is that sticker a warning for other drivers, or perhaps a reminder for yourself that you shouldn’t be texting while weaving in and out of traffic at 70 mph without using your blinker?   
News Flash:  You’re the one driving like a maniac.
Dear Invisible Children
Thank you for my Kony 2012 package.  It came in the mail yesterday, and I was so happy to finally see it.  I already put on my bracelet (and gave the second one to a co-worker/friend), and I can’t wait to start Covering the Night.
Makin’ him famous
Kinda stylish?

Dear Liam and Collin
I don’t want a day to go by without you knowing how amazing you BOTH are.  
It’s just incredible to be your mother, and I am looking forward to all the years ahead of us.  
(Another Liam quote: “I’ll never let go of you.”  Me: “You’ll never let go of me?  Why?”  Liam: “Because I love you.”)
Special moments
 Dear Hub
Let’s play hooky from work again soon?  Circle yes or no.
I adore you.
Dear Roasted Veggie Cous Cous
You’ve got me wrapped around your tasty little finger.  I think hub is getting suspicious.  I’ll meet you at the fridge at midnight.  I’ll be the one wearing pajamas with bed-head and drool streaming down her chin.  HOT!
My edible lover
Dear Friends
If you read my post from a couple days ago, I hope that you know that I was coming from a really gentle and sincere place.  One of fairness and love.  I’m struggling with the thought that I may have offended someone with my opinion.  But when it comes down to it, I have to stand firmly by my beliefs.  Again, if I offended anyone, please accept my apology.
Have a very happy weekend, y’all.
Linking up with Ashley for Friday’s Letters!  Click on the button and link up too!

Last Minute Party Planner

So Liam’s birthday party is three weeks away (less than), and I have been tossed/shoved into the role of “party-planner.”  Not that I mind planning parties…
About 2 months ago, a deal came through on Living Social that I could not resist:  A voucher for half off of a themed birthday party through the local company Oogles and Googles.  I did a little bit of research on it, including reading some reviews, and it seemed like a GREAT deal- $150 for 2 hours of party activities designed around a chosen theme (costumes included), a coordinated birthday cake, and customized invitations and thank-you cards.  In my area, you can’t book a Chuck-E-Cheese party for less that $300.  
So I bought the voucher, thinking it was the perfect scenario.  
I was in contact with the woman who plans these parties, and she seemed to be really competent.  She took all of my information, asked important questions, gave honest answers, and told me she would have my invitations to me within 2-3 weeks so I could get them out to Liam’s guests as soon as possible.
It’s been 6 weeks, and guess who doesn’t have the invitations that were promised to her?  THIS GIRL!
So I have reached out to her and asked for told her I would not rest until I got my money back.  I was nice enough about it, but at the same time, I’m not letting go of that money, honey.  
As of today, I still have not heard back from her.  
Needless to say, I DO NOT recommend this company.  What a shame.
Money aside, (and trust me lady, I’m coming to get ya), I still have a birthday party to plan.  In less than 3 weeks.  With a budget MINUS $150.  Which means one thing… it’s time to DIY.
The theme is a “Superhero” party, so my initial thought was to have the kids make masks and capes.  But the more I consider that, I think it would take too long. 

So instead, they will be making their own masks, and I will be making a personalized cape for each kid before the party.

Pinterest via Apartment Therapy
How CUTE is this idea?
I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I am always up for a creative challenge.  
Any other ideas for a Superhero party for 4-year-olds?  Games?  Activities?  Food?
Any insight would be awesome!
Happy Tuesday, Friends!

Constant Liam

He is in the 90th percentile for his height and the 75th percentile for weight; a big boy!!  He’s hoping that will help him make it big time in pro football someday (any team but the Steelers), but he knows that it is just as impressive (and necessary) to be smart, too.

Just a wittle baby
He is the best dancer on this side of the Mississippi, and he has a great instinct for music.  His singing voice is awesome, and even if he doesn’t quite know all the words to a song, he still gives it his all. 
I so admire his enthusiasm and passion.

Gerber Baby
He has very strong muscles… biceps, calves, abs… and he knows how to show them off too. 
 Soon, he’ll be so strong that he’ll be winning wrestling matches against his Daddy on a regular basis, while I sit by and cheer/laugh/peemypants.  He’s funny too (hysterical, actually), and he loves to be the center of attention.

Being goofy with Dad
His head must be holding one of the biggest brains ever to exist.  That’s how smart he is!  And let me tell you a little secret: He’s only going to get smarter….
He can count to 100 and he’s already learning how to read.

Luckiest Momma on Earth
But those are just the basics to this guy.  Oh yes, he is far more dynamic than his muscles and good looks.  His gifts are felt… not seen.
He sees beauty in people and places.

Handsome Boy
He is kind to those who need kindness, as if he can smell their sadness.
He loves to make people feel good… just because.

Angel Face
He remembers to consider how people feel, 
and he has the uncanny ability to put himself in other people’s shoes.  
He shows sympathy, and he has empathy pumping through his veins… innately.

BIG smiles!!!
He KNOWS himself, and what’s even cooler is that he loves himself, 
And this rubs off on those around him. 
I hope he keeps that… there’s no reason to ever let that go.

Loving life!
He’s a dreamer, and he’s not afraid to dream big.  
He knows what fairness is, and not only does he give it freely and equally, 
but he expects it in return… because he knows he deserves it.

He is the BEST brother in the whole world.  
He cherishes his family and friends, and knows what a true relationship looks like.

Holding his baby brother for the first time
He exudes pure joy and patience for and to everyone he knows.
 He’s a lover boy. 
He is pure brilliance.

Loving on Collin
He is my son.
I could not be more proud of him, and I love everything about him.

This is constant Liam
Constant Liam-
I could never have imagined that my son would be my greatest teacher.  
I never thought it was possible to have so much love for one person.
But it is more than possible… it is my reality. 
You have taught me forgiveness, 
honesty, gentleness, 
simplicity, sincerity,
and so much more.
You continue to teach me daily.
  Thank you for unknowingly 
setting such an amazing example for me.
I fully believe you are a living angel, 
and when I look at you, 
when I hold your hand, 
when I hug and kiss you, 
I hope you feel fully loved.
Because my dear, you are.

Stay steady, Constant Liam.  
Happy Birthday!!!
I love you-

Friday’s Letters: 5.0

 DEAR LOTTERY GODS AND GODDESSES:  Please.  Just please.  And if not me, then someone I know well.  And if not them, then make sure whoever gets it does good with it.  But really.  Pick me!!!  Please?
Dear Dad:  Thank you for buying and sending me a copy of “The 5 Love Languages.”  I have been wanting to read this book for a couple years, and now I have it in my grips.  I’m ready to learn, as always.
Dear Liam:  Thank you for petting my hair this morning on my way out of the door and telling me: 
“I’m going to be four soon, and I’m getting bigger.  But I will always be your Bubba.”  
Seriously, could you be anymore amazing? 

So as a side note:  This was prompted by the “you’re not allowed to get any older” game that my friend Bri and I play with him.  I was making dinner last night, and I said that I was going to cry on his birthday (just joking with him), and he says: “No you won’t.  You’re going to have a cupcake.  And chips.  And that will make you happy.”  I wish you could all know him personally.  This kid is something special.

Dear Collin:  Thank you for choosing “Momma” as your first “kind of” word.  We’ll keep practicing.  😉
Dear Ray:  Watching you push through this week has been nothing short of admirable.  I know how much Jewel means to you, and she will always always always be with you.  Her sweet spirit will carry on in your actions and in the love you give to others.  She was one of most precious doggies I have had the pleasure of petting, and I will certainly miss her dearly, as well.  
Jewely Jewel
 Dear bladder:  Any way that we could strike some sort of a deal where you didn’t harass me every 20 minutes?  I’ve got work to do.  kthanks.
Dear semester:  I will not be sad to see you go in 5 weeks.  But I have learned a lot… including things about myself.  
Dear work:  You have kicked my ASS this week.  My blood pressure is up, my stress level is through the roof, my body is tense.  I am so glad that next week we’ll have our trusty sidekick Ellen Bo Bellen back in the office with us.  Aren’t you, work?
….and finally…. 

Dear Brenny:  If we win the lottery, let’s not lose ourselves.  Let’s stay true to our values.  Let’s continue to show our boys what hard work and sacrifice looks like, and what selflessness means.  Let’s go on a trip together.  Just me and you.  Let’s open the cafe we have always talked about.  Let’s still shop at Target.  Let’s be us, because no one will ever do that for us.
Linking up with Ashley for Friday’s Letters!  Check her out! 🙂 

Dear Friends:  What would you do with 540 million dollars?  
Wishing you lots of luck in winning the Megamillions jackpot, and wishing you all a fabulous weekend!

[in Photos]: My Low-Key Weekend

Hub works every Saturday, so I have the entire day with my boys.  We usually get out of the house, because contrary to what some might think, it’s actually a harder day to manage at home.  I would much rather be out and about, letting Liam run himself crazy at a park somewhere, getting our shopping done, giving Collin a chance to nap (because he won’t at home… I mean, why would he?)

But not this weekend.  This weekend, it rained.   This forced me to STAY HOME!  And not spend money.  And instead, spend time on the couch with my babies, watching Disney movies, eating popcorn, drinking soda and dozing when I felt like it.  Saturday with my boys was so low-key and so very perfect.
Here are some of the things that made my weekend special:

Kony 2012 poster on campus.  It’s starting.
Baby kissy faces
Another amazing car that I want.  Right now.
These little ditties that I made the same night I pinned them .
My zexy hub
My family!!  This is Ray and Bri, who are affectionately known at Uncle Ray and Auntie B.  Like I said, family.
If these three pictures don’t make you smile, I don’t know what will….
His eyes…. are INCREDIBLE!

So proud of himself!
Sqeeeeeaky clean!

Sunday Dinner– Open-Faced Steak Sandwiches via Rachael Ray
Because who doesn’t have their own personalized ice cream bowl that they’ve had for the last 15 years of their life?
I have a leeeeeeetle obsession….
Whatever you did this weekend, I hope it was perfection!!



Friday’s Letters: 4.0

Well, well, well Friday–  We meet again.  What do you say we go somewhere we can have a little privacy, just me and you.  It’s just that I’ve missed you terribly….
What a hellish week this has been you guys.  HELLISH.  I mean, I am still smiling, don’t get me wrong.  But I have been on the verge of a panic attack for about 3 days now.   
Wine helped.

That said… let’s play Friday’s Letters with the adorable Ashley at Adventure’s of Newlyweds and all of her bloggie friends!  My fav link-up!
Dear Person Who Hit My Car When I Wasn’t in it (again) and Cracked my front Bumper and Chose Not to Leave a Note (again)–  What the eff, man?  Really?  I drive a Scion xD… one of the smallest cars on the road.  How hard is it to avoid hitting my car?!
Dear Ruby- Next time someone hits you and I am not there… jot down a quick description of the culprit, would ya?  kthanks!
Dear Tick that Bit my Son in the Most Awkward Spot Ever– Shame on you!  How DARE you bite my son and suck his blood.  Don’t you know how precious he is?  You better be glad he doesn’t have an infection from your nasty self, cause if he did, you’d be toast Mister!  Well… you are toast any way, but you get the drift.
Dear Aunt Flow– Just get it over with already…. this PMS thing is really cramping my style, literally.
Dear Hub– Can you see the little hearts floating out of my eyes when I look at you? [sigh] I just LOVE you!
Dear Raymond Ray Ray Rizzle Carey-We are here for you however you need us to be.  Just know we are thinking of you and sending you all the love and strength and HUGS we can muster.  
Dear Football Season–  Hurry up and get here!!!!  Sunday isn’t as fun without you!!!
Dear Liam and Collin–  Who loves ya?  🙂
Dear Friends–  Happy Weekend to you all.  I hope that everyone gets exactly what they need out of Saturday and Sunday!

I’m hoping this weekend will shift me back into Miss Happy Pants. 🙂

To link up with Ashley, click the button!!