Monthly Archives: August 2013

Here’s to 84 years!


Today is my grandpa’s 84th birthday; Papa, as we call him, or Tom as most others know him by.

How can I describe Papa? He’s hardworking, loyal, kind, outspoken, and at times, completely inappropriate, handsome, interesting, loving, and incredibly funny. There are so many stories I could share about Papa, so in celebration of his birthday, I’ll share one of my favorites.

Picture it: April 2009. Brian and I were still newlyweds and had just moved from our apartment to our first home. I couldn’t wait to invite my mom and grandparents over for lunch at our new house. I prepared my favorite: chicken salad croissants, and displayed the toppings on a new serving tray: tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese. A tradition in our family is to serve the eldest first, so Papa made up his sandwich and sat at the table to begin eating. After my mom made hers, she shortly after says, “Shan, I think this is cabbage,” as she holds the “lettuce” up with one hand in an examination manner. I look over at Papa and he’s happily eating his croissant, cabbage and all, and says, “I think so too, but it still tastes great, honey. You did good.” Here I am, hosting one of my first family meals and served cabbage instead of lettuce for a sandwich topping, and Papa didn’t have the heart to tell me.

You see, Papa and I have a one-of-a-kind bond; we are each others’ biggest fans.

Tonight at Papa’s birthday dinner, I toasted to his 84 years and hopefully 84 more. If only the world could be lucky enough to have another 84 years of Tom…

Happy birthday, Papa! I am so very grateful for all that you have given to me, and now my family.

Papa and Bridget playing the back yard. August 3, 2013


Five Minute Friday: Small

Remember last year when I was on maternity leave and had time to journal? And I would sometimes participate in a blogging “flash mob” called Five Minute Friday? Me either. But, I received my weekly alert of this week’s Five Minute Friday word, and immediately decided that “small” was worth five minutes of an otherwise busy day. Ready, set, write…

When Bridget joined our family last year, I learned quickly that even though she was small (well maybe not that small compared to other newborns, but you get my drift), she was going to make big difference in our life.

There were the givens; we expected less sleep with late nights and early mornings, higher bills, fewer date nights, more stuff, etc. And then there were the surprises; we really can function on little sleep, diapers cost how much?, date nights still end with a bedtime?, we have so much stuff that we have to move (literally). But then there was the unexpected; the experiences that no book, blog, class, or fellow parent can prepare you for; a toothy smile that makes you grin from ear to ear; a giggle that sparks an outburst of laughter; a complete conversation in which you didn’t understand a word but knew exactly what was said; enough fun to make those oh-so-early mornings worth getting out of bed for; an asleep arm because you just couldn’t move her on those rare, but amazing occasions when she lets herself fall asleep in your arms; and reliving all of life’s simple pleasures through her Dad’s big blue eyes.

…the small joys of motherhood that make a big impact in life.

Bridget-isms: Months 13 & 14

I’m back: one month older and a little less stressed. This summer (or rather “what summer?” may be more appropriate) has been crazy and exhausting. I had a huge event for work that consumed much of the summer and Brian was taking an accounting course for his MBA that was quite demanding. Just this week, we’ve finally gotten back to our “normal” life and it feels great. Needless to say, you didn’t miss much during my mini blogging hiatus.

However, you did miss an eventful month for Bridget. Our sweet baby is technically a toddler now and we’re seeing more of these “isms” every day. Here’s a quick rundown of what months 13 and 14 have brought:

She’s talking up a storm. Although she’s not forming sentences yet, she attempts just about every word we ask. Her favorites are: puppy, ball, water, baby, rock, bottle, dada, nana, and papa.

She L-O-V-E-S trains. Train toys, train books, trains on TV, you name it. We currently have every train book checked out from the library and we anxiously await 6:30 AM when Chuggington comes on the TV.

She is very generous with hugs and kisses and it makes me warm and fuzzy inside each time I am the lucky recipient.

She wants to feed herself using her fork and spoon and is actually getting quite good at it, too.

She was Artist of the Week at day care; a very proud moment for her non-artistic mom.

Our night is not allowed to conclude until she takes a ride in her car which usually ends in a brief meltdown when it’s time to go inside.

She’s a creature of habit, just like her mom. We have dozens of books, but we read the same ones over and over and over again. Guilty mom moment: I may have hid the Old McDonald Had a Farm book one night. I couldn’t listen to myself sing the song one more time. I take comfort in the fact that Brian admitted to doing the same thing the day before. Don’t worry, she found it both times.

She keeps us smiling, that’s for sure!

Now that I’m back, look for more posts soon. The theme of our life right now, post-chaos, is home projects.