The first year + the final year

Welp, I haven’t blogged since April. It’s been a busy and fun summer and I can’t believe school starts next week!

This is a big year for both of our boys. One is beginning his elementary journey and starting kindergarten and one is ending his elementary journey, now a fifth grader.

These boys will spend one precious year together at the same school and they are pretty pumped about it.

Big bro has offered to walk little bro to his classroom and reminded him they get to hang out at carpool at the end of the day. Little bro has asked many questions about recess, lunch and really wonders if math is going to be hard.

It’s the first time in 10 years that I won’t have a child at home at least part of the day. When I left the corporate world and started my entrepreneurial journey, Vincenzo was 2 months old. And just a few months before he began kindergarten, Santino was born.

So, my work at home life has always included the boys. The longest I’ve ever had at home with no kids has been 2.5 hours, 3 days a week. So to think that for 7 hours a day, EVERY DAY, I can dedicate my time to work and only what I need to do, is honestly mind blowing.

Who wants to go to brunch?!

I have advice for both my boys on this year ahead and I’m capturing it here so they can read it someday when they understand a little more and know how much their mom loves them.

Vincenzo, you are going to rule the school this year, my man. A lot of kids may have changed over the Summer. Some will be a lot taller and some will have completely new hobbies and interests. Embrace your uniqueness and never feel like you have to follow along. You get to be you forever and it’s a lot cooler to be different than to simply fit in.

Speak your truth, make people laugh and be kind. Next year, you will be in a brand new school with lots of new faces, so enjoy the familiarly of the friends you’ve had since kindergarten and the halls you’ve walked for all these years and understand that one or two true friends is really all you need.

Work hard, pay attention and soak in everything you can. You are setting an example for your brother now, as he will watch everything you do, so try not to complain about homework and encourage him by sharing your love of reading.

Speaking of reading, keep doing it! I know you love it and your favorite day includes a bookstore visit and that is so important as you continue with your school career. Let those books transport you when you need a minute away and remember that I’m always here to talk. You tell me everything now and I hope that lasts forever.

I know Covid has stolen a lot of your school time and although cyber school was fun last year, it’s time to get back. I know it’ll be a change and maybe a little scary but think how lucky you are to GET to go to school and see your friends and learn from your teachers and experience this part of your life.

You are going to be amazing, my creative soul. I can’t wait to watch your growth.

Santino, it’s finally your turn to go to the big school! You’ve been wanting to jump out of the car at carpool for a long time and now the time has come. I know this is new for you, but you were a pro at preschool and you will be a pro in kindergarten, too.

You are going to meet so many new friends! Friends that might be around for an entire lifetime. Be nice to everyone and offer a helping hand when you can. Some kids might cry or be really scared on their first day and I want you to smile and share a toy with them to make them feel better.

You have never been in school for such a long day, but you get to do so many exciting things. You get to eat lunch at school and go to special classes like music and gym and have a ton of different teachers! I can’t wait to hear you tell me about your day.

And guess what? You are going to learn to read! Yes, my boy. This year, you get to learn the most amazing skill and you can start reading all the many, many books your big bro has collected over the years. You will be able to read mom and dad a story very soon!

You don’t ever have to feel scared. Your teacher is going to be very nice and there is a nurse if you feel sick and she will call mom if you need me and if you can’t open your milk, someone will help you in the cafeteria. Everyone is there to help! Just ask.

You are starting the next chapter of your life, my sweet child. Not quite so little anymore, but mommy is always here for cuddles and chats.

The first year and the final year begin next week but the memories you’ll make and the experiences you’ll enjoy will last forever. Have a wonderful year, kids!

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The Final Three

Looking at the preschool calendar this week, I realized we are already at Letter X for show ‘n tell. That means just three more times do I get to run around with my kid trying to find something for him to bring in to show the class.

When my oldest son was in preschool and at the end of his show ‘n tell adventure, I was VERY pregnant with my youngest. I knew I would be back, and we would be going through this entire preschool experience again, hoping it was the same teachers. It was 🙂

I felt like we had so much time, like it would be forever until our youngest was ready for big kid school, yet… here we are.

I really see the finality in it all. This is my final child and these are the final three show ‘n tells…EVER.

The last party at school, the Easter party, was the last time I will be at the preschool with all the kiddos and the moms. Everyone will go be going their separate ways to kindergarten, some of us in the same district, but many others in different ones.

The little bonds these kids have formed will someday become a distant memory if they don’t end up in an activity or a class together.

Last year was cut short due to Covid, and this year, the parents couldn’t come in and help out once a month, so when I left the last time I volunteered in March 2020, I didn’t realize I would never be back.

Sometimes we know something is ending and other times, it’s taken away without notice.

This a simple reminder to cherish every moment.

One of my colleagues asked me if I would be sad sending my youngest off to kindergarten and I told her I would be dancing for joy.

And in many ways, I will be. But of course, I’m sure the emotions will hit me at some point.

My boys get one year together at the same elementary school, which is pretty special. I can’t wait to see my oldest walk my youngest into those doors and show him the ropes.

I know my youngest has been waiting patiently until he gets to go the big school! He’s pumped for lunch in the cafeteria and carpool with big brother.

But right now, I need to simply focus on the final three. I need to focus on the last few months of preschool and 4th grade. I need to focus on my kids getting through the toughest year of all our lives, with the pandemic and the lack of social activities and fun.

Time seems to move faster with each passing year. I don’t know how to slow it down and I try my best to be present in every moment.

If you’re facing a final three, soak it all in.

For me it’s X,Y,Z – for you it might the final three games, or the final three months before college or the final three days before a wedding.

There will always be a final three, but more importantly, we need to remember it’s just another milestone in our child’s life.

Take that memory with you and bank it for a day when you’re old and gray. It’s all so worth it.

Now, can anyone loan us a xylophone for Friday?

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Lessons The Last Part of 2020 Taught Me + Might Help You

I’ve been blogging for almost a decade. I started this journey back in 2012 and at first, I was super consistent. Then as the years went on and another kid came into the mix, I started to blog less and less. In 2021, I am trying be here more consistently and whether you’re a long time reader or a new friend, thanks for being here!

The past four months haven’t been that eventful, but I always try to take a lesson away from my experiences and I wanted to share a few. I skimmed through my photos for inspiration.


  1. One kid at in-person school. One kid doing remote learning.

Lesson: Kids are resilient. They are the champions in this pandemic. They were ripped from school, activities and friends last year and even now back to semi-normal, it’s still very different. We could all learn a lot from our young ones and their amazing ability to adjust. My boys are my heroes.

2. Date Night with Friends. We got the chance to meet up with a few of our best friends, eating outside at a restaurant in the City and taking a walk by the river. Not only was it great food and drinks, but amazing conversation. How much I crave date nights, friends, chats and laughter. We laughed so hard we cried. I knew I missed events like these but didn’t realize how much I NEED events like these.

Lesson: We need each other. As winter looms and there isn’t much to do, I need to find ways to stay connected to people. Masks, outside gatherings, Zoom meetings, whatever it takes. I will see you all.

3. Trips Downtown. We still got to the City every chance we could with the kids. We are a go-go-go family. It’s important for my kids to experience the world, learn about people and places and build their passions.

Lesson: Do what you love. Figure it out. Things might look different, things might not be as easy, but they are worth it. Get creative and get out there, especially for the kids.


4. Annual family photo session. There was no way 2020 was going to stop our tradition. These memories are ones we will hold on to forever.

Lesson: Tradition is important and family is everything. The four of us have each other’s backs, forever. No matter what.

5. Solo trip to see my brother. Since he lives in Connecticut, we only get together a few times a year. With Covid, it was even less, but this one short weekend halfway between our world we got to spend together was fabulous.

Lesson: Take the trip! Do the thing! Stop making excuses! If you want to do it, do it. Make time. Sacrifice for others.

6. Halloween. Sure it was different and the kids were trick or treating with masks on top of masks, but it felt normal and the candy haul was super impressive.

Lesson: Harry never quits and Hulk is super strong. It’s been a year of overwhelm for so many. Lost jobs, loss of loved ones, financial struggles, illness, depression, etc. Keep going and do your very best. Find self-care that works for you – meditate, exercise, call a friend.


7. Bridges and Bourbon for a date. We got to sit outside in the middle of the street and sip fancy cocktails and eat steak. It was cold, but it was fantastic.

Lesson: Reconnect with your spouse/partner/girlfriend/boyfriend. Many of us are living, working and spending weekends at home. We are all on each other’s nerves. Try to reconnect. Go on a date, do a fun quiz together, learn to play chess (on our list), remember why they are your person. You need them now more than ever and they need you.

8. November also brought with it many challenges – holiday decisions and watching social media go crazy over both Covid and the election.

HARD Lesson: True colors shine bright. When people show them to you, remember. I learned hard things about people close to me and became closer to people who aligned more with my values. This isn’t a political thing, rather a respect thing. I have family and friends of red and blue but people who hate, discriminate, make fun of, judge or who can’t believe in fact or science are not people that belong in my circle.


9. We watched Christmas movies and played in the snow. We opened presents and stayed in our jammies for days. We celebrated New Year’s Eve as we have for years, just us. We made the most of time off work and played with the kids as much as possible.

Lesson: Make time for the small moments. The kids are getting so big and growing so fast. I am trying to cherish every single second and give them memories they will write about on their own blogs someday.

We aren’t promised anything. We should all know and feel that more than ever after this year. Let yourself feel emotions and work through things. Ask for support and empower one another. Be a helper. Cry. Laugh. Make mistakes, but learn from them.

2021 is still unknown. I will continue to work on myself, be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend I can be and I will keep writing. It is my passion and it is my life’s work. I send you positive vibes, motivation, encouragement and all the love!

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Lots of B words: Our Summer Recap

I suck at blogging, guys. I haven’t written anything since May. It’s not that I’m not busy. I AM VERY BUSY. Client work, my podcast, working on creating online writing courses, writing that novel, housework, events and activities, virtual learning with the big kid, regular preschool with the little kid. Life, in general.

But, no excuses, right? I can recap our entire summer with a lot of B words. If I counted right the first time it was 38 ‘B’ words. That bothered my BRAIN so I added this sentence to the BLOG and now it’s 40.

BEANS (coffee), BOREDOM, BICKERING, BACARDI and BEER are a staple through this whole thing. So let’s just start there.

My BIRTHDAY was in early June. It felt semi-normal at that time. The virus was ‘slowing down,’ things were reopening. We had a small, outdoor party at our house and it was the first time we had seen our friends since March. You don’t realize how much you miss people until you can’t see them. It was a great night of catching up, sans kids, and feeling the human connection we were all craving.

Then, everything went right back to shit about a day before we left for a planned BEACH trip to North Carolina. Oh, we’re headed to a hot state. Awesome. Our trip was planned way back in January, long before Covid was a household name.

It was to be my family and two of my best friends from college and their families and honestly, we had been planning it for close to a decade.

While in college, we always talked about how when we got older, we would go to a beach house every Summer with our families. With two of us living in PA, one in Florida, jobs, family events, other vacations and having 8 kids between us, it’s been busy over the past 9 years.

We finally found a summer that it worked out for all of us. It’s almost ironic that it was 2020. The year NOTHING else worked.

We went and it was a glorious and much-needed vacation. We stayed in a giant house together. We had the beach to ourselves every day and we cooked all our own meals. The kids are BESTIES for life, made memories and formed a BOND they’ll never forget and we laughed so hard each night as we sat outside on our rooftop “BAR” we were crying.

We were safe, but we also had a BLAST. We made sure to get our classic BON JOVI pic and it only took 20 minutes to capture the below “perfect” selfie.

When we came home, we did the right thing and quarantined for the longest 14 days in history. That 14 days was over the 4th of July, too, which was a major BUMMER.

So, we missed all the family parties. We missed a big, graduation party. I canceled appointments. BOREDOM was the name of the game there. We did fireworks with the kids, but the grass was so damn dry from the lack of rain, talk about BARREN, we had to settle for sparklers.

Through the other summer days, there was lots of BACKYARD and BYGONE time.

Swimming in the little pool, doing crafts, playing Play-Doh, jumping in the BOUNCE house, reading BOOKS, enjoying the sunshine. And doing all things 80s like playing Mall Madness and listening to new wave hits.

One BONUS to not having much to do is you get to be more creative. So we bought things like scotch and BOURBON and held tastings with our friend, Randie. BUFFALO Trace and BLOOD Oath are my favorites. We are still holding the tastings. This will be ongoing. A real quarantine win.

We said BRAVO as Vincenzo got to do his hip-hop dance recital, sans an audience, at The Palace!

We got to see my BROTHER! I hadn’t seen him since December so it was a real treat to have all the siblings together and for the boys to get to hang out with their Unc for a few days.

We filled the rest of our days the best way we could. We played mini-golf, one day we played in a BOAT, we got Legos and BUILT masterpieces. We made the most of our time together and tried to do something new and fun every day.

We celebrated more BIRTHDAYS, all four of our nephews in the past few months, we held our fantasy football draft (outdoors, of course) and my husband BOLDY went with this yellow BANDANA.

The months flew by, to be honest. We found BALANCE through it all. We learned how to take deep BREATHS when the chaos was overwhelming. We found out the meaning of BELONGING. What it means to be part of a family, a friend group, and how much we really need each other. Love always.

We also did BRILLIANT things with no B – we grew pumpkins, cooked a lot of great food, did many house projects, watched loads of Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/Apple TV shows and movies.

Schitt’s Creek was our ultimate favorite and it is the BEE’s KNEES, guys. Watch it.

This Summer, we laughed, we cried, we worried, we wondered, we hoped and now as the BLUSTERY Fall air flows into our windows, it’s time to BELIEVE good things are headed our way and remember to BE present in every single moment.

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In This Moment: B is for Brooding

I’m sitting at my computer working, blasting classical music through my earbuds, kids are screaming, my brows are furrowed and I’m brooding. That is the exact word that came to my mind about how I felt and when I looked up the exact definition, I was even more sure it was the correct word:

appearing darkly menacing.

Imagine the start of a movie, the camera slowly panning up a mountain to reveal some massive, dark castle that sits atop, a piano concerto playing in the background when the camera finally focuses on the giant window to show a crazy, old woman dressed in all black furiously typing on her typewriter.

It’s me. I’m the crazy, old woman.

I’m not wearing all black, yet the undoneness of my hair and make-up is scary enough. I am not sitting in a castle, just a raised ranch with not enough space for two energetic boys, a husband working across the table, and me. I am not on a typewriter, just my 10-year-old iMac with 30,000 + photos and videos on it that I wonder daily how it keeps working.

I am trying to write websites that are due, but client work is not coming out. Just this blog is coming out.

My distractions are heavy these days, my mood is sinking and trying to remain positive comes and goes in waves.

My energy is low. My patience is slim. But you know what is getting me through right now, writing THIS. My feelings don’t pour out of my mouth as easily as I would like them to, but they flow out of my fingertips.

I’ve shared this quote so many times, but Hemingway SAID IT BEST.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

I am doing just that right now. Brooding and all, every click of this keyboard is making me feel more and more alive. The crescendo of this beautiful music is aligning perfectly with the speed of my typing. Word vomit is needed. It’s cleansing my soul.

The music isn’t just drowning out the children and my husband typing, it’s making me feel joy inside. Yet, it’s also making me sad. I miss my family. I miss them terribly right now. I miss my friends. I miss HUGS. I miss life as we knew it.

I’m a Gemini, an Enneagram 3. I need people, communication, interaction. These are the things that inspire me and keep me motivated. I get my best ideas during a night on the town or a visit with the crew.

I can’t foresee the future and I don’t know when anything will look different or better, but I can write through these feelings. You might exercise through yours, or cook, or paint, or build, or dance. Keep pushing through.

If you feel the wave of sadness, let it come, then let it pass. Do something for somebody else and you will instantly feel better. I’m going to text a bunch of people right now and tell them how much I miss them and share a memory. I hope it will make their day and it will get me out of this slump.

The inspiration to finish my work will come. I will share this blog and I will go back to the ‘real’ work and the words will suddenly come.

This is just my feelings by the way. I know MANY others are dealing with FAR worse and I feel for them immensely. All my love and support to the world working so hard out there. THANK YOU.

I just wanted to share a moment with you right now.

Today, it’s classical music, an oversized sweatshirt, a messy bun, coffee on top of coffee, deep breaths and WRITING.

What is keeping your soul refreshed these days? 


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The Neverending Quarantine

I told my husband the other day I felt like Atreyu in The Neverending Story when he’s walking through the Swamp of Sadness. You sink if you let despair overtake you, and that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling in the time of COVID-19 or The Neverending Quarantine.

Of course, after a couple drinks last night, I realized how parallel life is right now with this movie and this blog was born. “The Nothing” destroyed the world of Fantasia and we have our own disease (which feels the same because we can’t see it) destroying our world. It came out of nowhere and we weren’t prepared.

We are going on about Week 5 of this life and we feel we’ve already been doing this forever. When Morla (the giant turtle) tells Atreyu he still has 10,000 miles to travel to the Southern Oracle, he’s devastated. I feel you, Atreyu. It seems like we are 10,000 miles away from normalcy, too. Every time I wipe off a cereal box with a Lysol wipe or count my toilet paper rolls, I feel like I’m living in an alternate universe.

The day-to-day monotony is getting to us all. Whether we are working or not, we are missing our family and our friends. We are craving hugs and in-person interaction. We want to go to a restaurant, support our local businesses, get our economy back on track. We want our routine back. I for one really miss driving!

We are feeling sad, uncertain, annoyed, happy, our emotions are changing on a dime. We don’t have an end date for all of this. And even if we did, we aren’t sure what that means.

If you know the film, you know Falkor, the luck dragon, rescues Atryeu and takes him all but the final stage of his voyage.

We need our own Falkor.

I think he represents hope, and we are seeing versions of that every day. We are watching humanity come together and find creative ways to stay connected. We are finding ways to support and appreciate our essential workers. We are flattening the curve with social distancing. We are checking in on our neighbors and our friends. One of my friends sends me an inspirational text every day. I’ve come to anticipate it and I love sending her a funny GIF in return.

Atreyu has to believe in himself to get through the Sphinx Gate. We need to give ourselves a break and realize we are doing the best we can. If we are doing online school with the kids, if we are working from home, if we are doing family visits on Zoom, if we are working out in the world – we are killing it. Believe in yourself and your abilites, every single day.

Atreyu is not the one to ultimately save Fantastia. He needed Bastain, the little boy reading the book to save it.

Unexpected sources will be our saving grace.

The writers, the artists, the scientists, the medical professionals. We will all come together and offer our forms of healing. We need art just as much as we need science right now.

As I look out my window and the rain pours down and the thunder rumbles, I feel like Bastian, as he tossed that blanket over his head and finally understood the power he had in the story.  We all have power. We can all help in some way.

Maybe my blog today will make you smile and for that, you’ve given me motivation. You’ve made my day better. Use your power. Bake the cookies and drop them off on your elder neighbors’ porches. Sing the song from your balcony. Send the text or the email that someone needs to read. Share your knowledge online. You have power.

Bastian had to call out a new name for the Childlike Empress and we will need a new name for our world when this comes to a close. Nothing will ever look or feel the same. This picture I took the other day represents the weirdness I feel and also reminds me of the Empress.

Image from iOS (67)

We have and will suffer more loss, we will feel fear, we will worry, but we will also learn, grow and never ever take for granted the gift of the amazing people in our lives.

Sending my love to all of you.




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Just Another Weekend In The Q

The rain pelting against my window woke me up. I turned over to tap my phone on and 5:00 am smiled back. I realized quickly it was Saturday morning and we had a few more precious hours before the kids got up.

Even though we still live in the world of quarantine, at least we wouldn’t be sitting across from one another on the computers working and trying to coordinate conference calls. I snuggled up closer to my husband, rare there wasn’t a kid in the middle of us.

I guess that thought instantly woke our youngest. Because mere minutes later, I heard his footsteps in the hall and he soon appeared all groggy, in his little Spider-Man PJs, carrying his Ninja Turtles pillow. He jumped into bed and nestled into his usual spot right in the middle. He’s almost 4 and he’s not so little anymore, so we welcome him to lay with mom and dad anytime he wants.

A few hours later, our oldest, almost 9 walked in. “Hi mom and dad,” he said in his cute little voice. “Can I come in, too?” We opened our arms and he jumped into bed. We were all awake now and just chatting about the day…the quarantine games that Daddy would be hosting and the much-needed grocery order pickup.

We knew it was going to be a rainy one, so we were set to keep the kids occupied, as outside time was going to be slim. I woke up to cook breakfast, thinking I still had a package of bacon and I didn’t. Damn. Little pleasures like the smell of bacon are what keeps us all sane these days. Coffee was enough though and the kids had waffles.

The day was pretty uneventful otherwise, as our days are anymore. Yes, we did the quarantine games. Daddy had Nerf Gun targets set up, a Dixie cup water chugging contest, a ping pong balls in cups challenge and count the marshmallows in the jar, among others. We all actually got dressed and we ordered in lunch to keep supporting our outside world.

Image from iOS (5)

We chatted with family on Zoom and after Daddy picked up the groceries, from two different places, we spent time wiping everything down and cleaning the space. This is when we started to feel a little down. The annoyance of not even feeling safe picking up a cereal box and putting it away before wiping it off is just plain exhausting. And then the thought of staying in another night and then another day and another day, it kind of hits you all at once and you know you need to snap out of it and do something that makes you happy. The kids and I baked cupcakes, Funfetti of course, which made everyone feel a little sweeter.

Image from iOS (64)

After dinner and setting the kids up with a movie and snacks in their room (So. Many. Snacks.), we caught up on a few shows on the DVR (no, we haven’t watched Tiger King yet, it’s on the list!), FaceTimed my best friend from college and her husband in Florida to just chat, reminisce and talk about how our families are dealing with all of this and then we had a Zoom date with another best friend from college and her husband in Texas and played some virtual beer pong. Even though it was only seeing one another on a screen, it made us feel connected and we ended the night happy and laughing.

Image from iOS (63)

Today was such a windy day! We started with breakfast and got some piano practicing in early. The breeze coming in from the windows and the sunshine streaming in gave us a real boost. The kiddos got outside with yummy popsicles and ran off some energy in the backyard, while my husband and I cleaned the entire house. We only have another load or so of laundry and then we will be all set, for the hour or so that will last until the kids decide on their next project.

Image from iOS (62)

I’m writing this blog as the kids are now enjoying some tablet time. It’s a moment of peace. We still have many hours to fill before the end of the day. Even though it’s difficult remaining inside these four walls so much, we love being together and even when we are driving each other nuts, I couldn’t ask for a better group to be in the Q with.

When we get back to school and activities ramp up, when weekends are crazy busy again visiting family and watching sports (please come back soon sports) and summer BBQs start to happen and weddings get rescheduled and LIFE returns, we need to be able to look back at the time we spent inside and be grateful for the slow down it provided.

For those of you still working,  whether in healthcare or the grocery store or wherever else you may be, THANK YOU. You are out there risking your life daily and it does not go unnoticed. And for all my family and friends laid off or out of work or scared about their businesses, I am thinking of you, I am praying for you and I am here to support you in any way I can. For all my friends and family posting pictures of your families and sharing resources and offering ideas, thank you. I love seeing positive posts and so many people are using this time to learn new skills or practice old ones.

I know it’ll go back to normal someday and I guess I wanted to blog a bit during this time so I could remember how I felt, how we all felt. We will never be the same after this. I will never take for granted seeing my family, or getting to go to a happy hour or out to eat, or running to the mall, or grabbing a coffee with my biz girls, or working out with my hip hop girls, or watching my kids at a recital, or going out on a date with my husband or just sitting around and laughing with friends.

How are you? How is your family? What are you doing to pass your time in the Q?

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11 Girls, Almost 20 Years and 1 Table

After an hour and ten-minute drive, I pulled up to the restaurant, sitting outside in my freezing cold car and text one of my best friends, my first friend when I moved to the neighborhood I grew up in during my teen years, and asked if she was inside yet.

She was. “We’re here in the front corner of the bar!” 

I could almost feel the excitement oozing out of that text. We did a thing! 11 girls from our graduating class got together the night before Thanksgiving for a mini-reunion. Some of us had not seen one another in just shy of 20 years.

WTF! How did almost two decades FLY BY?!

I walked into the restaurant, the Four Twelve Project, part-owned by one of the girls at the reunion and her husband and a place you MUST check out if you are anywhere local, and there they were – the girls. I could feel an instant smile appear on my face. 

I walked up to the table, many of us just coming in at that same time and we all hugged and started complimenting one another, feeling really comfortable for not being in a group together for a really long time.

I love your hair and your photos were so cute you just posted and I love your Christmas tree and your dog is the best. Women supporting, empowering and raising up other women. Is there anything better?? 

We found our way to a big, round table and the conversation flowed like water from there.

Some of the girls still live locally and get to see one another often, but some of us are farther away and even in other States.

You wouldn’t know we weren’t all best friends that hung out weekly due to the volume of laughter that came from that table.

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I took pause many times and just looked around at this extraordinary group of women. Every single one of them with amazing life stories. Sure we all follow one another on social media, but it is NOT the same as sitting face-to-face and having real conversations.

It was really a trip for me sitting right next to one of my oldest and dearest friends because we fell into a routine like we were teenagers again, even though it had been many, many years since we’d seen one another. We laughed so hard we cried, we text our other friends to make them jealous they weren’t there, we started every sentence with “Oh my god, remember…” and then told some ridiculous story.

I know these girls have gone through challenges in their life, just as I have, and also enjoyed many successes. But the focus of that round table was pure love. We started by mostly sharing stories about our kids, our husbands, our jobs, our pets. And then a shift happened. Our present lives are what they are, but our past is the thing that ties us all together.

Over wine and Moscow mules, we went back to a simpler time. We reminisced, talking about high school and friends and all the things we were up to back in those days.

We made this tentative plan to stay for 2 hours, but I think at the 2-hour mark we were just ordering food and wondering why the hell we don’t get together every year. Even though some of us were hosting the next day or had places to be early, we didn’t care. When you get the chance to do something like this, you embrace it.

After a smorgasbord of food landed on the table, everyone started sharing right away. Try this! You gotta have a bite! 

It felt like a family dinner, with really, if I’m being honest…strangers.

I personally don’t live locally and I don’t get to see these girls hardly ever, but something happened at that round table and it all just felt right. It’s scary how much time has gone by, but so comforting to know that there’s a group of girls who knew you when.. who didn’t judge you and liked you for who you were, who don’t judge now and who genuinely are all good and kind people.

There is something about that feeling of nostalgia, especially around our childhood. We were all friends at some of the most vulnerable times of our lives. We weren’t sure who we were yet or what we wanted to do. We went through the awkward middle school years together. We learned how to be in relationships and struggle with broken hearts. We dealt with parents divorcing or siblings going off to college. We toed the line between behaving and acting out. We started jobs and met new friends outside of our small circle. And now coming together as 36/37-year-old women, we know exactly who we are and what we want. And it’s pretty beautiful.

This is the season of feeling nostalgic and that dinner was a great way to kick it all off.

Just the other day one of my favorite Chrismas movies, Prancer, was on. I will forever cry when I watch Jessie in her big, puffy yellow coat walking through the woods or crying to her dad (played by the incomparable Sam Elliott) when he says she is going to live with her aunt because it takes me back to being a little girl and I miss that stage of my life. The stages go by quicker and quicker and it isn’t until we are on to the next that we can really reflect back.

Stop and celebrate where you are right now and cherish each moment.

We didn’t get enough time, girls! And I know we have plans to meet again in a few months and welcome even more girls to the table and I really look forward to that.

Location alone put a group of 11 girls in the same high school, but a craving for connection and one big, round table brought them back together decades later.





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Hey, be better

Yeah, it’s advice to myself right now. And I figured I’d hold myself accountable by sharing it with all of you.

I tell myself this, a lot. But after a recent event in which I hurt other people, I am feeling extra low. And one thing I hate is excuses, so when people give them to me, I’m not happy about it and I shouldn’t expect people to be happy with mine. It doesn’t really matter the circumstance. If you do something, whether intentional or not, that was a shitty thing to do, own it, learn from it, grow from it and don’t do it again.

That aside, what I also realized is that I can be kinder on a daily basis. I love Ellen. And every day she reminds me, and the rest of the world, to BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. It’s easy advice, yet I forget it, far too often. How about you?

My stresses end up coming out in frustration or anger to people that don’t deserve it. Today I tried to start anew. It’s a new month, it’s a new season. It can also be a new me. And a new you, if you want.

I always do the online pickup for my grocery order. A few times ago when I went, I had a young man helping me load the groceries and we got to chatting about football. I had him again today and I remembered his name from the last time, so instead of just sitting in the car, I got out. I said, “Hi NAME,” and told him I remembered him from our last conversation. We high-fived and had a chat while we both loaded the groceries together.

Human connection.

It was a mere five minutes, but we made an otherwise tedious task of getting groceries a fun one, just by chatting.

After that, I stopped at the coffee place and the girl that handed me my order had really beautiful nails. So I told her. And she thanked me and had a big smile on her face as I pulled away. You know how many times I might have thought of giving someone a compliment and then not done it for fear of sounding creepy or making them uncomfortable. What a stupid thought! Compliment. All. The. People.

Human connection.

Actually, this started the other day…

Inadvertently, I was honestly waiting for UPS, I found myself opening the door twice to local politicians walking around with flyers.

Normally, I don’t open my door during the day but this day I did. And again, a few moments of just chatting with people, nice conversation, hearing about what they’d like to do for the community, left me with such a good feeling.

Human connection.

We are very quick to not answer the door, or the phone, or the text. We are quick to bury our heads in our phones in a waiting room or put on headphones waiting to cross the street or pick up the kids. We are quick to judge, to gossip, to act out, to ignore.

Let’s be quick to forgive, to ask for help, to be a support system, to try something new.

Everyone is dealing with their own issues, struggles and challenges. It’s up to us as humans to be as kind and compassionate to others as possible. It’s also up to us to recognize our own faults and forgive ourselves, yet also take steps to better ourselves.

Fall is really the perfect season to embrace something new. The weather has finally turned and the leaves are more beautiful than ever. We should feel as bold and bright as those leaves every single day we get to be here on this Earth.

Hold the door.
Pay for the person in line behind you.
Buy the candy bar from the little kid.
Help the new mom with the grocery bags.
Tell someone how awesome they are today.

My youngest is in preschool and the most gorgeous, giant orange tree sits out in front. All of us moms were joking that we’d taken a photo of it at one point that week. It was that little common bond to chat about, to laugh about.

That tree is a reminder of the beauty of life, the beauty of human connection and how quickly things can, and will, change. Enjoy every moment.

Happy Fall.







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The tap on the shoulder…

I tapped my husband on the shoulder a few nights ago and said, “Our baby is going to preschool tomorrow.” 

I didn’t think much about that tap until lying in bed last night, writing this entire blog in my head and now trying to pump it out of my fingertips as fast as I thought it all out.

There have been lots of little taps or double taps I’ve made on his shoulder or his back or his arm before saying something important and each one has had a huge meaning behind it.

The first tap I remember was the biggest. It was THE tap. I tapped my husband, Justin, on the shoulder at the bar to sling my first of many smart-ass comments his way and our eyes met and just like they say in one of my favorite movies, P.S. I Love You...”that’ll be the end of it. The end of what? Life as we know it.”

I also remember sitting on our old, leather couch back in our first home together, only knowing one another less than a year, about to tie the knot. And I tapped him on the arm and said, “Oh my God, we’re getting married tomorrow.” I remember both of us starting to cry and I’m sure those tears were filled with every possible emotion. We were beyond happy and excited, but also terrified and nervous.

The little taps kept on coming over the years. Some of them were amazing…

“We sold the house!”
“I found a new job.”
“I got the raise.”
“We are going to be aunt and uncle.”

“I’m pregnant!”

And some of them sad and scary…

“Grandma died.” (that first name could be replaced with many names)
“I think I lost a friend today.”
“I had another panic attack.”

“Something is wrong, we have to go to the hospital.” This tap was the day my water broke 11 weeks early with our oldest son.

“What is gonna happen, the baby is going to be too early?” As I laid in the hospital bed not knowing what was going to happen and fearing the worst. Those taps were more like grasps. Justin and I would hold on to one another and hug and hold hands and cry and pray. It was the hardest time, yet one of the most strengthening in our marriage.

“We have to leave him and go home.” After Vincenzo was born and I was cleared to go home (after 5.5 weeks of being on hospital bed rest) we had to walk away from that NICU and go home without our baby boy. That tap was more just me just burying my head into Justin’s back, holding on for dear life and trying to get through each day.

“Our baby is coming home today.” This was a super excited tap on the back and one of the best and most vivid memories of my life. Putting our tiny little man in his car seat and every so carefully placing him in the car to drive home. We couldn’t even believe they were letting us take him. He was so fragile, so little, so precious.

There were many taps as we watched him sleep and eat and learn and grow.

“Can you believe we made him?”
“I can’t believe we’re parents.”
“He rolled over!”
“He is crawling, walking, laughing, throwing a ball, etc.”

And so many more.

Some of the taps were mean-spirited.

“It’s your turn to feed the baby.”
“You handle it. I need to sleep.”

And some were spoken out of fear.

“What if he never catches up to the other kids?”

A lot of the taps were encouraging

“You are an amazing dad.”
“You are my rock.”

The ones above I still tell him all the time.

Then life started to fly and the taps became…

“I’m quitting my job to take care of the baby.”
“I’m starting a business.”
“Our baby is going to preschool….to kindergarten…”
(this tap keeps on coming)
“I’m pregnant!”
“Can you believe we have two boys?”
“How have we lived in our house for 10 years?”
“The business is booming.”
“Our big man is going to be on stage.”
(Dance, piano, who knows what else)
“Our little man is starting soccer.”
(And I’m sure many sports to come)

And just the other day…

“Can you believe we will be married 13 years in October?”

Every little tap on my husband’s shoulder or his back or his arm has had deep meaning behind it. It almost takes the moment and freezes it in time. Sometimes only that little tap is needed…I don’t even need to say any words and he knows…

“I love you.”
“I love our life and our boys.”
“It’s going to be okay.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I’m proud of you.”
“We can do this.”

Those taps remind me why my heart beats. I have a blessed life that should never be taken for granted. The tap is simply the physical motion of cementing a major memory or idea or dream before I say it out loud.

I’m so lucky I get to tap that man on the shoulder and share my life with him. Here’s to so many more happy moments to come.






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