We're addicted!

Monday, September 28, 2009
On Saturday, Emma and I with Harper in tow decided to hit some yard sales. A neighboring town was having a town wide yard sale, and we decided to try our hand at the yard sale thing. I've done the antique shop, consignment and thrift store things but have never really been a big yard sale person. I'll bet you can guess the end to this story!

Let me begin by saying that my little spenders and I were out the door by 8:15 am. Henry couldn't believe his eyes! We started our morning at Starbucks, because shouldn't every morning start like that?? YES!! After our coffee (for me!) and hot chocolate (for the girls!) and pastries, we headed out. Our first stop didn't yield much. It was mostly big furniture, and we weren't in the market for that type of thing on this particular day. We moved on. Our second stop wasn't a success either. We were feeling a little defeated. We took a detour and stopped at Claire's so the girls could do some earring shopping. A quick duck into The Gap rounded out our retail therapy. At this point, we were going to give up on the yard sales, but I was determined to find something. Anything. I'm so glad we stuck it out. Now, we're addicts!!

Emma bought all of these Groovy Girls for $5. She also bought an American Girl book about hair and nails for $.50! I found a mini lamp shade, an Eiffel Tower print, a salt crock and a cat (the cat was a gag gift for my husband actually) all for $1 each.My big find of the day was this wine bottle holder. I loved it the minute I saw it. It was so unique and oh so French! And it was only $8!!!! Anywhere else this would have sold for at least $30. Couldn't you just imagine this in a stylish apartment on the Left Bank?

Here's a closer look...



Every once in a while I check out my Live Traffic Feed and my Google Analytics stats. Lately, I've noticed a drop in my daily visits which, in turn, impacts my weekly and monthly stats. I've pondered why. Is my content unappealing, uninspiring, unexciting? Perhaps. But that's my life sometimes.

So, just when I'm feeling a bit down, I get a new follower to boost my spirits. For those of you who are non-bloggers, you have no idea what the thrill of a new follower does to a blogger. It lets me know that someone is reading, listening and enjoying what they see. It gives me encouragement which is exactly what I needed at the moment.

Whether you're a new or a loyal, longtime follower, thanks for sticking by me!

Our favorite park

Friday, September 25, 2009
Surprisingly, it's not one that's filled swings and jungle gyms. It's a park in Kearny, New Jersey, my husband's hometown, that's dedicated to the memory of my father-in-law who served as both a councilman and mayor for Kearny. On the day of my mother-in-law's funeral, it was only fitting that we paid a visit to "Pop Pop's" park.

In this picture are my husband and I and our family, my sister-in-law Jo-Ellen, her daughter Lindsay, her son Geoffrey and his wife, Patti, my sister-in-law Beverly and her daughters Ashley and Hayley.

More refrigerator clutter

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
If you're a mom, you're likely to have your fair share of refrigerator clutter. I, for one, can tell you that my fridge is littered with magnets, artwork (from years gone by), forms, inspirational pictures, coupons, reminder post-its, appointments cards, and more magnets. The last thing I need is more fridge fashion.

But on Saturday while we were at the Point Pleasant Beach seafood festival which included craft vendors, I inevitably came home with yet more magnets. While I was looking at some Halloween decorations, Harper wandered over to a basket filled with wooden stars with inspirational messages on them. Oh, great, just what we need, more stuff that will end up underneath beds. To my surprise, she had hit on some super cute magnets. They were $2.50 a piece or 3 for $6. We each chose one, and they are proudly displayed on our refrigerator!

How cute!

Movin' on up

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It's unbelievable to me that I have a second grader and a preschooler. It seems as if Emma just had her first day of preschool. Now it's Harper's turn.

Emma's first day of school was uneventful. It's old hat to her by now. The bus thing doesn't faze her. After all, she's one of the big kids now.

My second grader ready for her first day!
My preschooler...not so ready for her first day. Underneath this forced smile were tears just waiting to break through. After 3 days, I'm happy to report that our drop-offs are getting easier.I miss my babies!! :(

Superstitions and a tearful goodbye

Monday, September 21, 2009
I've never been one to subscribe to the whole superstitions theory. You know, walking under a ladder, breaking a mirror, killing a cricket, crossing paths with a black cat, etc. Really, how can someone have seven straight years of bad luck for breaking a mirror? Seems silly.

That being said, I'm convinced that I did something to deserve 3 straight years of crappy luck. They say bad things happen in 3's, and of that I am sure. For the third year in a row, I've suffered a devastating loss. This time it was my mother-in-law who passed away after a short battle with lung cancer on September 12. This explains why I've been M.I.A. for the past week. I'm not going to get on my soap box to preach the dangers of smoking. Every smoker knows them.

I'd much rather focus my energies on remembering my mother-in-law for the wonderful mother and grandmother that she was. She was extremely generous and overly affectionate to my children. She was their last remaining grandparent, and her loss creates a void in their lives that can be filled by no one. Her lively spirit will live on through her children and grandchildren, and for that I am grateful.

I will miss our cheerfully long phone conversations, our lunch outings after which we always followed up with ice cream and our family gatherings. As the matriarch of my husband's family, she was the cornerstone of every family gathering and function. She will be irreplaceable at those gatherings. No one will ever be able to fill her shoes.

Before she departed us, we enjoyed a gathering days before her passing. It was filled with lots of laughs and good times. My mother-in-law insisted it be no other way.

With her grandchildren.
With her children.
With her children and their spouses.
She'll forever be missed.

Sunday = Game day

Monday, September 14, 2009
Sure fire signs of fall: crisp air, falling leaves, school buses and FOOTBALL! It's Jets territory in our house and yesterday we were dressed and ready to cheer on our favorite team! Even our cat was in on the action!

J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!

Last night of vacation

Friday, September 11, 2009
It's the worst feeling...the last night of vacation. You know the fun's about to end, and reality is about to begin again. It's not fair. But as my sister Brenda told us, "It is better to have done it and have it come to an end than to not have been able to vacation together at all." So true.

So, I thought I'd share some of our last night pictures with you. It has become a tradition to spend our last evening together going out for a casual dinner. We like to go to Grotto's Pizza for one last hurrah. It was fun. I can't believe how fast the week went. Unbelievable. So, if any of my family members are reading this, I want everyone to know that we had an awesome time. Doesn't matter if the weather wasn't spectacular. Doesn't matter if we made it to the beach only 2 days. What matters is the quality time spent with the best family and friends in the world.

The final night gang
Looking forward to next year!!

Bingo Night

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Every year during our family vacation, we have bingo night, complete with winners and prizes! Everyone looks forward to it. We make a party of it by putting out snacks and treats for all to enjoy. This year Emma and Harper really got into it!

Brenda (a.k.a. The Bingo Commish) explains the rules...
Harper and Emma are ready to roll. Check out the array of prizes on the mantle waiting to be claimed.
The night's first winner proudly displaying her winning card!We are a very focused bunch of bingo players!The much coveted bingo prize...you had to be there!

Wordless Wednesday: Sunrise

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
There aren't many reasons to wake up before sunrise, but a chance to see the sun actually rising is well worth it. Here's a Rehoboth Beach, Delaware sunrise.

Other Wordless Wednesday entries


A special treat

What's one of the first things we do upon arrival in Rehoboth Beach? Head directly to Cafe Papillion, a delightful outdoor cafe that specializes in crepes. They are irresistible. Emma just had to have one every day. Her fave? The lemon sugar crepe paired with the homemade lemonade. She couldn't get enough.
Harper was in no mood to have her picture taken this particular day!


The family

One of the must-do's on my list for vacation was to take beach portraits. I bought a tripod specifically for taking a group shot. We chose the perfect night for photos with the Atlantic Ocean as our backdrop.
The gang

My sisters and I (from left, me, Holly, April and Brenda)

My beautiful girls

Daughters, granddaughters and great-grandson

"The kids"



Life's a beach

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Who doesn't love a good beach day? Our first full day of vacation was a great beach day. Only drawback? The water was rough, and other than wading up to the knees, it was impossible for the kids to go into the water. So, what do we do? Play and build.