Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of November: Blog 4- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

Happy Thanksgiving month!  It is important to always be thankful for all you have.

Final Thought: I love that your Mimi included friends on her list last week.  I definitely would agree to that, as I am happiest when my home and heart are filled with people I care for.  In addition to friends, I would also have to add Skype… it allows me to continue my faraway friendship with my dear friend Catherine.  Each month, we set aside a time (which is usually a chaotic scene with our children making most of the noise) and we catch up in a virtual chat.  
She is one of my most special friends despite the fact that we have only seen each other once in person since 1996 when we met through a study abroad program.  Catherine’s life and mine have so many parallels- when we married, difficult pregnancies, growing families, and changing homes.  Technology can be a beautiful thing especially when it facilitates a beautiful friendship.  It’s amazing that you and Will are growing up “together” with Catherine’s children. 

Since your Mimi and I decided we wouldn’t double up on our thankful entries, here are my newest additions: 

Day 22: Signs that Kyle is around me.  I think about him every day but unexpected times are bonuses. 
It makes me smile and feel a sense of peace.  When our friends and family take his bag on their travels and tag me in the pictures, I feel so humbled and grateful that he isn’t forgotten.  
I know his memory is truly living on.   

Day 23: Your relationship with your brother Will.  You are so kind and patient with him (even when he tries to bite you).

Day 24: Naptime.  I get a lot done around the house and get to spend one-on-one time with you when Will goes down for his afternoon snooze!

Day 25: DVR.  Spending an hour or two once in a while catching up on my few beloved shows after you and Will are in bed is bliss.  Ellie, you would agree with this one, as that’s how we let you watch your adored Full House. 

Day 26: The movies.  Your Dad and I don’t get to go as often as we did before having children but we make a concerted effort to go when something big comes to the screen (like Hunger Games this week).  We make it a night out starting with an appetizer or drink at a local restaurant (and we are always tempted to skip the movie and continue talking to each other with no distractions).  Once we get to the movies, we get our own popcorn (I don’t share.  I make sure it’s filled to the brim by smushing it down and handing it back to the server to cram as much popcorn as one bag can serve- Mimi taught me that trick).

Day 27: Griz… our Elf on the Shelf is returning soon.  I am always excited for the first couple of days just as you are (then I stress out about where to hide him or worse- forgetting to hide him at all!).

Day 28: Our Friday routine… Friday Funday with your Mimi and Aunt Sammy (that does include a glass of wine) in the afternoon then pizza (delivered to the door) with Daddy in the evening.  It’s an amazingly celebratory and relaxing way to start the weekend. 

I love you!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of November: Blog 3- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

Happy Thanksgiving month!  It is important to always be thankful for all you have.

Final Thought:  In continuing with our list of Thankfuls, I would like to mention that you told me a few while I was typing my list.  Your list of thankfuls were: You are thankful for your dead frog, your cousins, the disguised turkeys that we make on Thanksgiving Day last year and also for your brother Will! 

Now here are mine:

Day 15:  Goo Gone.  I realized just how much I appreciated this stuff the other day when I needed it to get the gum off of the inside of the dryer drum.  And yes, that would be because I have a habit of leaving a stick or two of gum in my pocket!  When you are on your own Ellie and doing a batch of laundry, try to remember to check all pockets as it may save you 20 minutes of unnecessary frustration!

Day 16:  Friends.  They are wonderful people who will add spice to your life Ellie!  I have childhood friends that I still hold dear to my heart as well as new friends that I have just met.  But here is an important note: It is not about the amount of friends you have in your life, but rather the quality of friends.  And if you are lucky enough to have one very special, forever-best friend, then you are truly lucky enough!  And that I have Ellie!
Why just last week my best friend sent me a funny photo of two very old ladies with laughter and mischief in their eyes.  They were sitting under a kitchen table drinking something delicious in their teacups.  On the floor next to them was a box of chocolates and all around them were oodles of books.  Her comment was, “Mickey, I hope this is us some day.”  And you know what Ellie?  I believe it will be! 

Day 17:  Tea.  It is a wonderfully delicious warm beverage that is soothing to the body, mind and soul… Ellie, it always brings me a sense of calmness when drinking it in quiet surroundings as well as when sharing it with another ‘tea totaler’! 

Day 18:  Gram Mundy and her gift of writing.  Ellie, you would have loved your great- great grandmother, and she would have loved you too.  
She was an amazing writer and thankfully her talent can also be found in the generations after her.  Not only do I love writing poetry, and children’s stories, but Ellie, I am so glad your Mommy came up with this wonderful idea to blog as we are having so much fun with it!

Day 19:  The sound of my name as I enter your house.  The excitement in both yours and Will’s voice melts my heart every single time!

Day 20:  Air travel that gets you to your destination without a hitch.  Unfortunately Ellie, our trip home from Michelle and Devin’s Celebration (which took place in Florida) did not run as smoothly as we had hoped.  After arriving at the Tampa airport, we were notified that our connecting flight was canceled and then rescheduled 22 hours later. That was not an option we could take as the adults all had to report to work the next day.  So after landing in Philadelphia, we shuttled over to the Enterprise car rental company where we picked up a mini-van and drove 3 ½ hours in the pouring rain to our final destination.  HOME!  You might be thinking, “So what is the big deal about that?”  And I will tell you in one word. WILL!  His calmness in a car seat ran out after the first 10 minutes!

Day 21:  Patience.  I am very thankful to God for bestowing this one onto me for it comes in handy more often than not.   And I have also noticed Ellie that your patience is gaining some ground too now that you are just shy of 5 years old.  Why you have almost (and the emphasis should be on the word almost) gotten through a complete round of a board game before getting bored!  I am confident that on March 22nd when you are ‘officially’ 5, we will not only be playing complete but also multiple rounds of all kinds of fun games!

El, every day there are dozens upon dozens of ‘thankfuls’ present in our lives. Word of Wisdom:  To know them and acknowledge them will bring extra love to your heart.

I love you my favorite little traveler!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of November: Blog 2- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

Happy Thanksgiving month!  It is important to always be thankful for all you have. And your Mimi started this month perfectly.  At the top of my list are my faith, family, and children just as your Mimi stated.  So I will continue with a few new additions.

Final Thought: Always say a bedtime prayer of thanks for something that happened that day (and try not to repeat what you said the day before).  
It’s a way to reflect and focus.  Here is my daily list of what I am thankful for this week:  

Day 8: Liane Moriarty.  She is my current favorite author (as I wait for Kate Morton’s new book to be released).  I love how she writes captivating books about thirty-something women in the midst of their marriages and friendships.

Day 9: Wegmans.  Yes, the grocery store that is actually much more like an event.  They have the best sushi, cheeses, soups, breads, and sandwiches.  I look forward to buying their prepared meats and fishes, their cheapest paper products, and their delicious chocolate cake (it’s the best in town).  I’m not sure Justin would agree with this one as I probably spend too much money there… but seriously, it’s amazing and it makes dinner so much easier (especially Wednesdays when you have gymnastics and we don’t have a lot of time).

Day 10: iPhones.  I’m not technological (your dad would be the first to agree). But there is something to be said about the simplicity of adding photos to social media with a swipe and push of a button.  I LOVED seeing my friends and family share their Halloween pictures and voting day experiences- collective energy makes events stronger.  

Day 11: Lists.  I am a planner.  I like to physically write down my to-dos and cross them off as I finish them. This is especially the case as we plan our vacation down south.  Without a list, I would surely forget the wedding gift, dresses, blankets, phone chargers, and toothbrushes.

Day 12: Family that chooses to stay close, despite distance.  We were blessed with family that values relationships.  Nothing demonstrates that better than our time right now in Florida celebrating Michelle & Devin’s union.

Day 13:  Family dinners.  Ellie, I love that you are old enough to eat your actual meal with your Dad and I (Will sucks on a popsicle in his high chair because he eats much earlier).  We talk about our day with music in the background.  Now as idealistic as this sounds, it lasts for about 6 minutes (that’s how long it takes for Will to either eat his popsicle or get bored of it).  But those few minutes show me glimpses of the future of all of us sitting for longer- building a strong family unit (or if anything catching up in the midst of busy lives).  

Day 14: Dates.  Your Dad and I go out together without you and Will.  We hold hands and have fun outside of our house.  It grounds us, reminds us that our marriage is important. Yes, we usually talk about our children- how smart you are, how crazy Will is (and we giggle about the complexities and silliness that you both bring) but the point remains that we can chat free of interruption and focus solely on each other.  Our latest date was to a noon Penn State hockey game on a Sunday.  We tailgated before (we were the only ones in the parking lot) and laughed as our view was the trash from the football game on the previous day.

***In one of your recent evening prayers, you said that you were thankful for our cousin Taylor (you especially like when she babysits you and Will).  We are so glad she is here in town and I am so appreciative to have her with us while she is at school!

I love you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of November: Blog 1- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

We can officially say “Happy Thanksgiving month!”   You know, November is a good reminder to us all as to just how important it is to always be thankful for what you have.

Final Thought:  Your Mom and I want to journal a daily list of all things we appreciate in honor of the upcoming holiday.  You will find these thoughts of ours to be at times deeply heartfelt, as well as silly but still important none the less!

And El, since it is my week to blog, I get to start this wonderful list! 

Day 1:  After chatting with you about ‘whatever should I be thankful for’ and before penning my first ‘appreciation’, I realized that I had to move things around.  This is why.   During our time together one afternoon I asked you out of curiosity if you could give me an idea of what I should be thankful for and your reply was quick and precise.  Ellie, you answered me with “Mimi, you can be thankful for me.”  And how could I deny that El, as I do feel truly thankful and blessed to have you in my life, and Will, and Kyle too even though our time together was short.   I find that my grandchildren give me a joy and a feeling of love that is hard to explain as its depth goes way beyond deep if that is even possible! 

Day 2:  My family.  That means Poppy, your Mom and Uncle Ryan, and your Dad and Aunt Samantha because they are my everyday blue skies and sunshine.  I also want to add my extended family to Day 2 Ellie, which includes everyone from both sides.  They also bring a sparkle to my life!

Day 3:  God, Faith and Prayer.  They are the foundation of my beginnings Ellie.  I draw on them each and every day and know they will carry me through till my end.  (This was my original 1st day gratefulness El.)  But then came our chat.  God, Faith and Prayer are still technically my number 1, but your comment melted my heart!  And when I looked up towards the sky that day, which was very blue and bright by the way, I knew that it was ok to move things around a bit.

Day 4:  Staying healthy.  I love getting down on the floor Ellie to play with you and Will.  I also love to give you both horsey-back rides while giddy-upping crazily throughout the house.  And I love to run around and play outside with you as you keep me feeling carefree and young!

Day 5:  Lessons learned, Ellie.  Even at my age I make my share of mistakes and I am always grateful to those who help me correct my errors.

Day 6:  Hair Dye.  Alright, I know this one sounds a bit vain and I apologize for that but I don’t understand why grey hair on men gives them an edgy distinguished look while grey hair on women gives us a wiry mess that can at times border on the look of craziness!

Day 7:  4 children shy of the total amount of candy bought for Halloween.  Because those 4 extra candy bars (and Poppy has always encouraged me to splurge and buy the big ones) becomes our snack after 8:00 pm on the night of this spooky holiday!

All right El, next week your mom will be writing her appreciations.  I know some will be very humbling, and I also know that some will be giving us the giggles because they will pertain to you and Will.  I think what your Mommy and I hope you understand from this months thoughts though is that ‘gratefulness’ can be found in more than just gifts.   You will find it in the air you breathe, the sights you see, the scents you smell, the sounds you hear, the sweetness you taste and the surfaces you touch.  It’s always there Ellie.  You just have to open your heart and let it in.

Thank you Ellie for being ‘you’.
Love Mimi