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Today is both a sad day and a happy day. It is sad because it is the day, 13 years ago that we lost my dad suddenly. Life changed and there is forever an empty hole in our hearts. Tom and I often talk about how we wish he were here, commenting how he would have loved our Vermont house and friends. We often came to Vermont to vacation when I was little and perhaps my dad was responsible for planting the seed that grew into a life that I absolutely love.
His passing was sudden and unexpected. I would give anything to give him one more hug. Those of you that know me, know exactly how much his death affected me, as well as my whole family. I often wonder what he would say if he saw the boys now, practically grown men, but I am sure that he would be very proud to call them his grandsons.
Here are pictures of my dad with each of the little men, in age order. Miss you, love you, Daddy.
Miss you, love you, Daddy.
Somehow, the universe has a way of helping ease the pain. The first little girl in our lives, my niece Emily, was born to my brother and sister-in-law on this day, six years ago. I’d like to think that she’s my dad’s way of sending us his love. Her beautiful big brown eyes are filled with love.
Happy Birthday Miss Emily!
I remember the day vividly. The day that my life changed forever….in a wonderful way. I woke this morning 19 years ago to start a journey that will last a lifetime. My water broke at 6 a.m. and we were off on the journey of a lifetime. Later that evening, at 9:47, when he was good and ready, my first baby made his way into this world, making me a mom. It is so hard to believe that 19 years have passed since that day. The journey has flashed by but it has been a wonderful trip, full of laughter, smiles, hugs, tears and growing pains. Looking at the young man he has become, a mom can be nothing but heart-bursting proud. Today is a hard birthday (for me) though since it will be the first time in his entire life, that I won’t be there to personally give him a birthday hug and kiss. (Mind you I got those in over the weekend). He will however, be in my thoughts the entire day – after all, how could he not be?
This year, as most years, the guys celebrate their birthday together. It has affectionately come to be known as the “I have a dream weekend” because the guys’ birthday usually falls on or very close to MLK Day. This year was no exception to the celebration.
Here are some of the photos and yes, the cake had a lot of candles on it — 100 to be exact, courtesy of our very patient children who placed and lit each and every one.
Today I send out happy birthday wishes to a couple guys that i know and love. One of them is my sweetie, the man that has stood by my side for more than half of my life (and amazingly is still here) and I love him for it.
He has given me my sons and lots of laughs and very happy memories. I cannot think of anyone I would rather grow old alongside. Love you, Tom!
The other is our dear friend Lou. Tom and Lou share the same birthday and every year, we try to celebrate the guys’ birthdays together.My boys love Uncle Lou and enjoy whenever they visit. Through the years there have been many, many laughs.
There were the early days when birthday celebrations looked like this…..
The kid in this picture is actually my oldest nephew Ryan, who just turned 21 — but I’m not looking to make them feel old……
And then the celebrations started to look more like this…..
Whatever form the celebration takes, it is always great to spend it together with some of our oldest and dearest friends.
To the men who refer to themselves as the brothers of different mothers……. Happy Birthday with love!
Fifteen years ago today, my youngest son came into this world. Kicking and screaming and not intended to have a “T” name like the rest of us, he arrived. Before he left the delivery room, he did acquire the “T” name of Tim. He completed the circle of our family. It has been wonderful to watch this little one grow into the young man that he is becoming. My heart has swelled with pride so many times with things that Tim has done that I’m surprised it hasn’t exploded. In the words of his brother, he has the voice of an angel and I could listen to him sing all day long. He is our actor and our singer. He has given us hours of entertainment, from his earliest “animal action” dancing to his most recent serenade of “Breakfast at Tiffanys” at this year’s bistro. One of my favorite things is that he never minds that I want to take his picture.
As he embarks on his next year, I know he has lots of good things ahead of him.
Happy Birthday Tim, we love you!
It’s been a while I know. I had this loss of voice thing which was followed immediately on the heels by this horrible coughing thing in the evenings which paraded as a completely blocked up head thing during daylight hours. It’s been fun….not and it’s finally beginning to leave. Finally. So, now that I am not trying to figure out how to declog my head or prevent myself from coughing up parts of my lungs, I can sit down and write. Sorry about that.
There are very special people in everyone’s lives, I know but I wanted to write about two girls who hold a special place and are having a special week this week. Yesterday was my little niece and goddaughter Hailey’s 2nd birthday. She’s a cutie, isn’t she? Just love the shades!
Saturday, my other goddaughter, Andrea who is 18, will be graduating high school. So hard to believe that all those years have flown by so quickly.
She’s standing behind Tom in this picture, next to Tyler. Seems like only yesterday she was as old as Hailey.
What a great week for both of these girls. One is embarking on a whole new chapter of her life and I am very excited and very proud of her as she heads off to college this fall (damn, I am feeling very, very old) and the other has her entire life of possibilities ahead of her as she learns to navigate around and talks up a storm – giving her older sister a run for her money. (again feeling quite old here).
Congratulations Andrea — we love you and we’re very proud of the woman you have become (probably as much as your own parents)
Happy Birthday Hailey — looking forward to seeing the woman you grow up to be.
Love the both of you.
So hard to believe that 17 years ago (almost to the minute as I write this) my first baby came into this world and life just has not been the same since. Amazing to see how big they have grown. Aren’t they just adorable? Seems like a lifetime ago when we celebrated this birthday up here in Vermont.
TJ really, really wanted a Carvel ice cream cake for his birthday this year, can’t you tell how excited he is?
He made sure that he had a sizeable piece of cake for himself…. first. And yes, that is one-fourth of the cake that he sliced for himself…. and he ate.
Happy Birthday TJ!
Tom and his dear friend Louis are the same age and share the same birthday. Every year, our families try really hard to celebrate the guys’ birthdays together, a tradition that dates way back. Their joke is that they are brothers of different mothers and our families are very close. It is always great to spend time together and through the years see our children grow from infants into men and women. Their oldest daughter, our goddaughter, just turned 18 almost a week ago and I don’t think any of us will forget the birthday we celebrated the year she was born. The guys were turning 30 and we planned a wonderful surprise birthday party. Their daughter however had other plans and decided that a day or two before the scheduled surprise party would be a wonderful day to enter the world. The only problem is that her mom, my dear friend, was the one responsible for dealing with the restaurant by her house where we were holding the event. The news of their daughter’s birth while wonderful caused me to have a small nervous breakdown. The party went down as planned, minus my co-conspirator who was still in the hospital.
Since then, the years have blessed us with many opportunities to spend their birthdays together, laugh a lot and remember how lucky we are to have such dear friends to grow old alongside.
Here are some recent birthday weekend celebration photos:
In the last two weeks, we’ve celebrated two of our boys’ birthdays. The oldest two have birthdays that are ten days apart. They are less than a year apart in age. They are however very different. The oldest is clearly … well, the oldest. He can be bossy with his siblings, he is used to getting what he wants and he has also matured a great deal. He no longer grumbles and complains when he is asked to do things, he just does them – a sign of maturity and a welcome respite from answering and arguing about why something needs to be done. He is very outgoing and clearly shines when he is in a social situation.
Our second son, who is a middle child, is fiercely independent and very comfortable entertaining himself. He doesn’t need a large group to feel at home, although he doesn’t shy away from groups of friends. He’s empathetic and introverted. He wants to be a pediatrician or a dentist – clearly choices that fit his personality and I think he will do well caring for others. While he doesn’t say much – he is a man of few words – he is ever watchful and very protective…especially of his younger brother. He is always aware of what is going on around him, although sometimes you wouldn’t know it. We often joke that he knows where everything is…especially when his older brother can’t seem to find something.
So interesting to see how two children with the same genetics, born so close together and raised almost simultaneously have such different personalities, outlooks on their world and perceptions.
When the boys were little, we often celebrated their birthdays together. Here they are in the “king” chairs at their joint birthday party.
Here’s pictures from this year’s birthdays….amazing how they’ve grown. Boy, time sure does fly….
So, today was my birthday. Happy to report that unlike last year, there were no trips to the emergency room and no broken bones (for anyone). So, you might ask, what does a mother of three teenage and almost teenage sons expect on her birthday? What does she do? She almost cries when she gets cards made by her sons that remind her of exactly why she spent the better part of the afternoon and evening carting kids to and fro – even when it meant not eating a real dinner but rather sneaking a turkey sandwich around 9:30 tonight. She remembers what makes family and friends so special, whether they are near or far, but care enough to track me down for birthday wishes. She opens her birthday present, presented to her in grand fashion at 10 p.m. tonight by a parade of smiling, smirking, giggling boys who laugh their pants off when she opens her present to find this:
and for those of you who cannot quite make out my array of lovely presents crammed into my gift box so skillfully wrapped with at least one whole roll of invisible tape there were:
1 used can of Axe (otherwise known as boy air freshener-while it stinks, un-showered boys tend to stink more)
1 Matchbox fire engine (to remind me that they are really still kids at heart)
1 XBox headset (to remind me that they are teenagers)
1 DVD of Elf (why?- I have no idea but maybe they are telling me that I am short since they are all either taller or just about as tall as I am)
1 Boy Scout hat (again – why? I have no idea)
the rest of the roll of invisible tape (which I cannot exactly figure out how they got it inside the box that they wrapped – but hey, some mysteries are better left unanswered
and last but, certainly not least:
1 extremely dirty, stinky sock (because I am the Queen of Laundry living with 4 men) (Also note my lovely birthday dinner sitting there in the corner – I treated myself to swirled pumpernickel bread for my turkey – my birthday pleasures know no bounds!)
So…..after the boys composed themselves and got up from rolling hysterically on the floor, they let me open the smaller wrapped present that was in the bottom of the box.
A bright red, shiny new digital camera. I had to wrestle it free of Tyler’s hands in order to actually get to hold for this picture. (Note his scowl). Seems he likes it too, maybe more than me, if that is even possible.
So you see, being a mom of three sons isn’t without its humor. And the lesson in all of this is – sometimes if you look beyond the stinky sock in life, there is a real gift in there somewhere.
Okay, I admit it. I have a hard time with those birthdays that are the “halfway” ones. You know, halfway between decades. I really didn’t like turning 35 because it was halfway to 40 and now in a few weeks, I will be turning 45 (yikes!—halfway to 50!) See, there is something traumatic about it, now when I turn the actual next decade, I am totally cool with that since I had my nervous breakdown five years earlier.
With a birthday approaching that can send me into a tizzy, seems all the worse when I look at the fact that Sarah Palin (who I admit I am a bit intrigued by) who is also my age, IS RUNNING FOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE WHOLE FREAKING COUNTRY. Me, the same age, not so much. Certainly, no opportunity to run the country, (frankly I wouldn’t want it anyway), but it kind of makes you look around and wonder if you dropped dead tomorrow what exactly would be your legacy? When I was going to law school, I had big dreams of being a big shot attorney with great clothes, hair and respect, however, none of that ever came my way. (I honestly have to say it took me to about 40 to actually even like my hair — even remotely). Life had other plans for me. Let’s see how I stack up against her:
Like SP I married my high school sweetheart – Married 17 years and still very crazy about him.
Like SP I have kids (both human and goat) (there you go, SP, I have one up on you!) Seriously though I have three great boys who aren’t so little anymore and challenge even the bravest of motherly hearts but I wouldn’t trade any of the them for even one brief second. And the goats are pretty cool, too.
Like SP I have had positions of authority – although in a very different vein. No public service of sorts for me, instead my leadership took the form of cubmaster, scoutmaster and most recently, president of the women’s bar association in my county in NJ.
Life is funny, what you think will happen sometimes doesn’t and what you’d never expect is likely. I never thought I would have moved from NJ much less to VT. I never thought that I would have such beautiful great children and have such a loving husband. Not to mention that none of my wildest dreams ever envisioned goats and chickens. But I have it all and I have to admit that it’s pretty neat. Now, I cannot envision myself in that power suit with the impeccable hair (that is NEVER going to happen in my lifetime) and the high powered attorney job. I am happy to have found a job doing the part of the law that I enjoy and opening up a window (writing) that I never ever envisioned that I would be doing. That being said, I still will be neurotic about turning 45 (sorry Tom) but Sarah can run the country, I’ll just run my little itsy bitsy corner of it.