Friday, November 25, 2011



Happy Day after Thanksgiving! 

I'm not going to call it "Happy Black Friday", cuz, well, that's just w-e-i-r-d.

Today is more like, "Happy You Don't Have To Work Today Cuz You Worked So Hard Yesterday And You Gained The Entire 18 Pounds Of Turkey That You Cooked And Your Feet Feel Like They Are Going To Be Severed From The Ankles And You Might Be Just A Little Hungover From The Mysterious Blue Concoction That Your Sister In Law Is World Reknown For And Yeah There Ain't No Way We're Having A Yard Sale Today Day."

Or something like that.

We had such a great day yesterday.

Family old and new.

Traditions old and new.

As we went around the table(s) to say what we were thankful for, I realized my answer was one word.


But I knew I had to expound, cuz, well, everyone else was expounding, and even though I am thankful for EVERYTHING, I knew I had to give a 41 year old answer instead of a 6 year old answer, although, the 6 year old answer was, "Football, baseball, and yeah, I guess my family too."

What a difference one year makes.


One year.

Same house.

Same hostess.

Same table.

Same invitation list.

Same menu.

Different life.

One year ago----

My husband had recently returned from the Gulf of Mexico and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The only places that he could find WORK involved oil spill disasters.

And when the oil was cleaned up, there was still no more work at 'home'.

And his absence had adversely affected the dynamic of our family.

None of this was his, or anybody's, fault -  it just, simply, 'was'.

Concerns loomed in my head - our marriage, our house, our bank account, my failing health, his depression linked to being unemployed for far too long.

The list just went on and on.

Fast forward.


What a difference a year makes.

My husband is employed.  At a job that he loves.  With a company who is EMPLOYEE-driven, CUSTOMER SATISFACTION-driven.  A most perfect fit, in the twilight of his career.  Only God could have made this one evolve the way it did.  And we know it, believe me.

We're not going to lose our house.  HUGE Amen.  Cuz we love our house.  Cuz it was designed and built with the blood, sweat, and tears of not just 'us', but so many of our family and friends.  I can look at a wall and remember who painted it.  No, it's not just a house.  It is, and always will be, our SANCTUARY.

My kids are amazing.  They are HEALTHY and beautiful and smart and engaging and God-loving and....and....and...  yeah, you know.  They rock.

I haven't been in the hospital in 2 1/2 years.  That may not seem like a big deal, but for someone like 'me', that's downright miraculous.

The federal government finally agreed with me and my doctors and gave me a label that, while difficult to swallow, it was a label I NEEDED to be smacked with.  Finally, I have been officially labeled.


Oh, what a HUGE relief.  In so many ways.

I am thankful for so..................much.

My amazing husband, so amazing in fact that he has left our home for extended periods of time simply to provide for his family in any and every way that he possibly could.

My restored marriage.  End of story.  Amen.

My Reilly and my Jake.  Joy?  Are you KIDDING ME?  There is soooooo.....much............   laughter and joy in this house, in our lives.........

Laughter.  Yes, I am thankful for laughter. 

My extended family.  Every single member.

I know there's more.

There is.........


Much......................... be thankful for.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Forgive Me, Father...

It's THAT time again......

Some of us were mainstream in our tomfoolery.....

Even if perchance our Halloween hijinx by the mini- Wolverine involved 'claws'....

And then of course, as tends to happen in THIS family, some of us took things a bit to the extreme.

I know.  The HORROR!

It's even worse when the Cloistered Nun Zombie S-M-I-L-E-S.....

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.  I enthusiastically encouraged.RELUCTANTLY kowtowed to my daughter's blasphemous Halloween costume.  And her father gleefully assisted refused to help apply the blood lather.

The Nun Zombie pondered what might happen if she approached a 'Catholic' house in her costume.  Her parents assured her that she would probably be prayed for.  And if she happened upon an IRISH Catholic house, she might be prayed for and handed a beer all at the same time. 

Alas, the annual fright fest came to its inevitable close with two complete sugar meltdowns.

Thusly, I leave you, until next year, with the "After" pictures:

It is worth mentioning that Captain Jake "Wolverine" Sparrow swindled piggy back rides from his 'chaperone' for 2 1/2 hours.  All 41.5 pounds of Wolverine, plus 12 pounds of empty candy wrappers.  Said 14 year old chaperone returned to the house without the Wolverine.  His excuse, "That kid WIPED me out.  I couldn't carry him anymore and I couldn't keep up with him.  At one point, I sat down on the curb and said, Yeah Jake, go ahead and start eating some candy."  And then he handed the Wolverine off to the rest of the 'group' and abandoned his post and came home and went to bed! 

Can't say that I blame him one bit!  I know exactly how he feels.  Every day of my life............

See ya next year!