Fly Eagles Fly

So if you are friends with me on my regular Facebook page you might have noticed my massive dump of Philadelphia Eagles pictures a few days after Chistmas. If you are not, get ready because they are coming up in this post.

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Everyone that knows me knows that I love football. I love my University of Delaware Blue Hens and I love my Philadelphia Eagles.  When we first moved away from Delaware I was so upset that I couldn’t watch or listen to my two favorite teams (it was a long time ago before you could stream everything online). Now that we are in NJ I can watch my Eagles and play my Blue Hens on the Apple TV. Thank God for technology. I support my teams with shirts, pint glasses, wine glasses and of course basement decor.

Yes, I know that the Eagles season came to a sad and depressing end, but I still support them no matter what!!!!!!

I have only been to 2 Eagles games in my life. One with my dad and sister many, many years ago and the other with Joey almost 6 years ago to date.  Both were awesome experiences in two different stadiums — The Vet and the Linc.  Well you can imagine my jealousy excitement when I heard that my cousin got a job with the Eagles right out of college. I mean a dream come true for me him.  Well the amazing kid just made this old ladies dream come true. I got to check one thing off my bucket list — a behind the scenes tour of the stadium.

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I saw how the rich fans experienced the game, I saw what goes on under the stadium, I saw the press box and I even saw the video control room with every computer that runs all of the big screens.

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But the best part was running out of the same tunnel as my favorite Eagles (who have all been traded — damn you Chip Kelly). I got to step onto the actual field. Ok not the actual field because it was just airated and seeded, but the sidelines, so basically the field. I know that most people don’t think that it’s a big deal (just like I don’t get my husbands obsession with Phish) but we like what we like!

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It was a dream come true. I was in heaven. I loved every minute of it. My cousin Jim is such a great kid. He did such a great job showing us everything. He’s also so great with the kids — even the one acting like a brat that day (ahem … Ben).

 

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I will be forever grateful for that day. I got to spend it with my mom, sister, cousin and all the kids. The only things missing from that day was my hubby (damn work), my brother in law (stupid cowboys fan) and my dad (damn cancer). But we had a great day together. Thanks again Jim for taking time out of your day to show us all of the secret elevators, corridors and especially the Eagles wings that blast off the fireworks!!!

 

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Five Things….

Hello there? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone still reading this? Sorry that I have been MIA lately. But yeah life with three kids doesn’t leave me a lot of time to blog. I don’t know how you moms do it everyday!  You rock!  

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A long, long time ago {maybe last summer} I saw this post over at my friend Janine’s page: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic.  I thought it was a great idea for a fun little blog post!

Five things that I have a passion for:

  1. Family. My family is number 1 in my life.  No matter what they are the most important thing to me. Even if they are all driving me nuts I still love them and put them before anything else. Except maybe a quiet beach day to myself {kidding of course}.
  2. Friends. As you get older the definition of friendship really does change. It’s not a matter of quantity but quality. You will discover who your true friends are when you are experiencing the good and the bad.  The friends who check on you when you know you might need to hear their voice or read their text. They just “know” to reach out and chat. I am passionate about my friends! They mean the world to me and my family will always come first but friends are a close second!
  3. Blogging. I have spent the past year sharing almost every part of my life with my fabulous readers and I love every second of it.  I really hope to get back to blogging a lot more if things settle down here with the boys and I develop a routine.  Blogging gave me a voice, an outlet in an otherwise lonely world.  Being a stay at home mom can be lonely! Even if you have three kids keeping you busy non stop I crave interaction with adults — whether at breakfast with friends on comments on this page!  Having a place to write down my thoughts and experiences has been a great release. And that so many of you guys read this page and share your own issues makes it even better.  I don’t feel so alone! 
  4. My house. I love my house. Yes it is small and 364 out of 365 days a year I wish that I had a larger kitchen, a fourth bedroom and a large back yard. But we don’t so Joey and I make it work!  We try our best to make it feel comfortable for us and for any friends who want to stop by and visit. And when I walk in that door each day, I feel like I can relax because I am HOME.
  5. The beach.  I love the beach! It’s a lot harder these days with the kids but it is still a blast.  I love sitting in my chair {under the umbrella of course}, digging my toes into the sand and just closing my eyes so I can listen to the sounds of the waves.  I don’t get to do that much anymore since I am usually yelling “Don’t throw sand”, “don’t feed the birds” and “no you can’t have anymore snacks”.  But I still love it.  Which is odd because of my entire skin cancer issue!!!!!  I am pretty much allergic to the sun!
  6. Football.  Ok I cheated and did six for this one!  There are a lot of things that I enjoy and football is one of them.  I love watching my Philadelphia Eagles and my University of Delaware Blue Hens!  I am sad now that football season is over and neither of my teams went far this year.  But like a true fan I won’t give up and I hope next season is a better one for both of my teams!

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Photo Credit: Photography by Jen Davis (check her out, she is amazing)

Five things that I would like to do before I die:

  1. See all of my boys graduate college, get married, have babies. I can’t wait to see them as adults {if we all survive the toddler years}
  2. Take the boys to Disney World!!!
  3. Visit some exotic resort where Joey and I can live in a hut in the water for a week.  Just once, maybe after we get these three boys through college.
  4. Own our very own beach house!
  5. Run a marathon {crap at this point I would just like to do a 5k one day}.

Five things that I say a lot:

  1. Oh my God, just listen to me for once.  
  2. Ben stop hitting Sean.
  3. Sean stop hitting Ben.
  4. I need a glass of wine
  5. Leave the baby alone.

Five books or magazines that I have read lately: ummmm who has time to read with a newborn, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old. 

  1. I have been reading Baby 411 lately. I am trying to remember all the stages of a newborn. It’s been over four years and I have forgotten a few things. 
  2. What about TMZ.com? Does that count?
  3. Oh CNN.com??? Seriously, do you see a pattern here.
  4. Delaware Today Magazine… Ok that counts. It’s an actual object and not a website.
  5. Facebook.

Here’s my winter reading list:

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Yeah I haven’t read anything with any substance lately.  If I do have time by myself when the boys are at school and the baby is sleeping, then I am usually sleeping or catching up on the online news & gossip! Priorities people! Priorities!!!

Five favorite movies:

  1. Dirty Dancing
  2. Every Julia Robert’s flick ever made: Pretty Woman, Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolia’s, My Best Friend’s Wedding, etc.. They count as one movie, right?
  3. Garden State
  4. The Notebook
  5. Love Actually

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Five places that I would love to travel to:

  1. Greece
  2. London {I have already been there before but would love to go back}
  3. Ireland {I have been to Dublin but would love to see more of this gorgeous country}
  4. Hawaii – The beaches just look so pretty!!!! My mom just got back and I am super jealous!
  5. Bora Bora – I have always wanted to stay in one of those gorgeous little villas right over the water!

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Well that’s my list! I hope that you enjoyed it. Please share some of your top fives with me!!!! And stay tuned for some more reviews of some products. I have a few ipad covers that I am reviewing as well as some baby items and lotions!  I also promise to sit down and write a little post about what is happening around here lately and how we are all surviving with 3 kids!

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Weekly Weight Watchers – Week 6

Alright so for some reason my blogger page decided to delete a few of my posts on me without asking (UGH). So I am trying to retype them from memory (which I seriously am lacking right now).  So let me try and remember my Weight Watchers Check In for today.
I know today was going to be a rough morning on the scale! I had a long week with the kids and their behavior and I decided to eat potato chips to make me feel better! Wrong, I know! Plus we went to a kick ass Super Bowl party on Sunday night and I ate everything in sight.  I mean our wonderful hosts (Caralyn & Mike) provided food for about 60 people – there were only 8 of us! Ha!  When I walked in the front door I was amazed at the set up. Chips, pretzels, Doritos, dips, shrimp, cheese & meats, beer, alcohol, etc.  When I made a comment at all of the food she told me that this wasn’t even dinner. Dinner consisted of a massive tray of sandwiches, baked pasta, sausage and peppers, chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for the kids and I know that there were a few other things in the back trays that I didn’t even get too! Oh and she was awesome and provided us all with take out containers to fill up on the leftovers! So the party was awesome, my boy Joe Flacco won the Superbowl and I gained some weight! It was a great night!

Week6
Weekly Weight Loss: +2lbs
Overall Weight Loss*: -5lbs
*Technically I am now officially down 16 pounds but with this new round of WW it’s only 5 pounds.
Confused yet? I went off the plan for a few weeks and now I am starting back up on it. The first round of WW I lost 11lbs and stopped doing it because of the holidays and such. Started back up again on this round of WW and now I am down 5lbs – so 16lbs overall. There’s my little disclaimer – it makes me feel better about myself! alright?!!

So this week I am going to try and get my butt back on the diet. I am still exercising so that is good. I ran a 1.5 miles today which is great for me. My goal is to hit 2 miles really soon! I am not giving myself a time limit just going with the flow. It helped that in the theatre room today they were showing a Dave Matthews concert! That helped me get through the workout!!!
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Here’s the latest video that I made with my January pictures from the 1 Snap a Day project!

Throwback Thursday / Superbowl Sunday

Like everyone else in the country, we are getting ready for Sunday’s big Superbowl. I am a die hard football fan so the Superbowl is a little bittersweet for me. Yes, I love the big game and the commercials but I am sad that football season is over. It’s a long couple of months until the new season starts and I really miss my Sunday games.

This Sunday we are headed to a friends house to celebrate and watch the game. Now if you haven’t figured it out by now I am a huge University of Delaware fan. I grew up attending every single home football game from the moment that I was born. I was an automatic fan (something that my father passed down to me).  I did go to school there and watched the games as a student.  Now, I am also a very dedicated Eagles fan. I know I get a lot of flack for it but since my Eagles haven’t made the SuperBowl in quite some time, I am choosing to root for my fellow UD alumni – Joe Flacco.  He is the second University of Delaware Quarterback to play in the Super Bowl in less than 10 years – Rich Gannon made it to the big game in 2003. Not bad for a little university in the small state of Delaware.

So in honor of throwback Thursday I thought I would post some pics of my boys sporting their UD gear as well as some pics of my memorabilia that I have collected from my parents and some of my shopping excursions. Yes I’m a bit obsessed but like I said I’m a girl who likes her football and I’m a dedicated fan!

Benjamin sporting his UD gear from 3 weeks old

Getting ready for his first UD game at 8 months old
Second UD Game at 9 Months Old
Sean sporting his UD gear
My boys in their UD colors
Photo shoot with Katie Nagle Photography at UD campus sporting some UD gear
My autographed Joe Flacco UD helmet!
Some of my decor in my mom cave

Yes, I am obsessed, I know, but I do love some UD Football. Now go win the Superbowl Joe for all of your UD fans and supporters!!!  Go Ravens!

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7 Things for my Bloppy Bloggers

I recently joined a great new Facebook blog page this week – Bloppy Bloggers. It is a great page where my fellow bloggers can get together to chat and support one another and our adventures. Well today I was “tagged” in a fun little game that bloggers like to play. This one is a fun one that I have always enjoyed doing. I recall it going around via email back in the day BF (Before Facebook).

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I need to share 7 things about myself that you may not know. If you are new to my blog then this should all be new to you, but if you have followed me for more than 3 weeks than this post may sound a little to familiar from this previous post! But watch out fellow bloggers….I may have tagged you below to play along in our little game! I always love these tags because it is the best way to learn a few things about one another. I have made so many new friends in the past few weeks and I admit I haven’t had the chance to go back and read their blogs from the beginning of time.

So here we go!


Number 7:
I spent the first 28 years of my life living in Delaware before moving to NYC and then eventually NJ.  I grew up in New Castle Delaware then lived a few other places around Delaware before moving to NYC in 2004. We lived in two different apartments over 3 years. It was a tight fit but this was before kids so it wasn’t too bad. Then in 2007 we moved to New Jersey – which is half way between Delaware (where our family still resides and NYC where the hubby works). I have lived here in NJ now for 5 years and I still don’t know where anything is. Just ask my Jersey friends. They will ask to meet at a certain place and I ALWAYS have to ask where that is. I never know where people are talking about. But ask me anything about Delaware and I can probably help you out. I guess it’s time I better start learning about my new home state.

My tiny little NYC apartment!

 

Number 6: 
I went to catholic school for 12 years of my life. I loved the education, my group of friends and the fact that I had a uniform. I liked getting up and not having to pick out an outfit but it did make picking out clothes in college a lot harder. From 1st grade through 8th grade I went to Our Lady of Fatima in New Castle, DE. Then for 9th -12th, I went to St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, DE. Both were great schools and I wouldn’t trade the education or the experience for the world.  I must admit that I have horrible grammar (if you are a regular on the blog you know that one by now). Sorry guys! I just didn’t do well in English classes!

Here’s my 1st grade photo. I am in the bottom left corner next to the apple sporting my Dorothy Hamill haircut and rocking the uniform (see I loved that uniform)

Number 5: 

I am obsessed with football – most specifically the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Delaware. I can’t help it. I grew up watching football with my dad and going to every UD game with my parents from the time that I was a little itty bitty baby all the way through my four years at the college. Now if you have been reading this blog for awhile you already know about this slight obsession. I just wish that I was little bit richer so I could start going to some NFL games and if we lived back in Delaware I would definitely be going to every UD home game!

Number 4: 
I am obsessed and I do me OBSESSED with celebrity gossip. I can’t stop going online to TMZ, Radar Online, Perez Hilton, etc. It has been an issue now ever since the website Gawker.com came out with a celebrity stalking site (a long time ago). When I was living and working in NYC it was an obsession. You could log on and read where people posted celebrity sightings all around town. So if you wanted to, you could go stalk them.  I promise I never did! I swear, I did have a job that I needed to go to every day. But then Perez Hilton and TMZ started and the obsession lived on. I check these sites all of the time and I love sharing the latest celebrity gossip with all of my friends. I even got my mom into those websites. But I do realize that the older I get, the less I know who the heck these kids are anymore that they are gossiping about. I was probably the last to know who the Twilight peeps were. I have less time these days to really read the articles but have kept up with the Kardashians and I know all things Britney and Jessica. If you were to quiz me in the latest celeb gossip, I know that I would get an A++. Just don’t dare ask me where a comma belongs!

My favorite TMZ starlet. She’s like a train wreck I hate to see the results but I can’t look away.

Number 3: 
I have a terrible (and I mean pass out on the floor) fear of blood and anything medical. From as young as I remember I always passed out if I saw anything gross or gory. I don’t know how I survived two c-sections.  Honestly I think it was better that I had c-sections than natural childbirth. The moment my kids were out the anxiety medicine was administered to me very quickly. I was okay during Ben’s birth until the end but with Sean I was hyperventilating the entire time. It was better that I couldn’t see a thing! Even though my husband did explain things that he saw later on. I am getting queasy just thinking about it. But they were worth every second of pain and blood and gore for these two beautiful boys!

I don’t handle my kids blood any better. I am dreading the day that they lose their first tooth (eww gross). Now I know that I get stitches at my dermatologist all of the time but I can take anxiety meds for that. I can prepare myself. I can’t prepare for the moment one of my kids gets injured. When Ben got hurt at school last month and busted his teeth/lips/gums, the teachers laughed that my first question to them was “Did the bleeding stop? Is he all cleaned up”.  I always thought that I would outgrow it but I haven’t. I still have the anxiety but I have gotten a lot better than I was just a few years ago! I mean just 6 years ago I never could have done the whole dermatology thing by myself. I always needed someone to go with me! Now I am an old pro.

Number 2: 
I went to college at the University of Delaware and studied Consumer Economics! To this day I don’t think that I could explain my major. After college I worked in marketing at Wilmington Trust for a few years. Then when we moved to NYC I started working at Ralph Lauren Childrenswear – besides being a mom this was the BEST JOB EVER.  I did not have any experience with fashion or design whatsoever but that didn’t matter. It was such a wonderful job and there are a lot of days that I wish that I was still working there (and not just for the awesome discount). I learned so much about manufacturing and design. Oh and I made so many wonderful friends, had an amazing boss and overall it was such a wonderful experience.  It was just a great place to work. I miss being on the inside of the fashion world. Now I just live out my fashion life at Kohls or Target ! God, I miss Ralph!

  

And the number one thing that you might not know about me is…drumroll please….
Number 1
I was born in January during the blizzard of 1977. Not that this is something special but I was born in an ambulance that was stuck on I-95 in that blizzard. My mom of course went into labor and had to call an ambulance (one because of the weather and two because I was coming quickly).  I just couldn’t wait and on the way to the hospital I popped out! I am just thankful that my parents didn’t name me I-95 or anything stupid like that. So as I tell people my 15 minutes of fame were the first 15 minutes of my life (I need to find my news paper articles about my birth to prove that I was sort of famous).  Now I know it’s not as cool as being born in a taxi or at a bus stop but still… it’s a fun story to tell. 

There you have it, 7 things that you probably never wanted or needed to know about me, but now you do! Oh and now comes the time that I tag some of my fellow bloggers to share 7 things about themselves. Make sure you post on my Facebook page so I can read and share!! I know it’s the holidays so I won’t be forcing you to have this done by the end of the day, I am not that mean. These are just a few bloggers I would love to learn more about!

Tag, you’re it:

Somewhat Sane Mom
Three Peas and a Dog
Mommy, Daddy and Mason
Perfectly Imperfect Mom
Sara Sherrell


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8 Things You Never Knew About Me

I decided that since I have so many new friends following me I thought it was the perfect time to share a few things with you about myself. If you have known me for awhile then you might already know this stuff. But if you are new to my blog here are some little facts about this mama! 

Number 8:
I spent the first 28 years of my life living in Delaware before moving to NYC and then eventually NJ.  I grew up in New Castle Delaware then lived a few other places around Delaware before moving to NYC in 2004. Then in 2007 we moved to New Jersey – which is half way between Delaware (where are family still resides and NYC where the hubby works). I have lived here in NJ now for 5 years and I still don’t know where anything is. Just ask my Jersey friends. They will ask to meet at a certain place and I ALWAYS have to ask where that is. I never know where people are talking about. But ask me anything about Delaware and I can probably help you out. I guess it’s time I better start learning about my new home state.

Number 7: 
I went to catholic school for 12 years of my life. I loved the education, my group of friends and the fact that I had a uniform. I liked getting up and not having to pick out an outfit – it made dressing in college a lot harder but I didn’t mind the uniform at all. From 1st grade through 8th grade I went to Our Lady of Fatima in New Castle, DE. Then for 9th -12th, I went to St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, DE. Both were great schools and I wouldn’t trade the education or the experience for the world.  I must admit that I have horrible grammar (if you are a regular on the blog you know that one by now). Sorry guys! I just didn’t do well in English classes!

Number 6: 
I am slightly obsessed with cheesy boy bands and pop singers. I must confess that I still listen to New Kids on the Block, N’Sync and Backstreet on my iPod. Especially at the gym! I have also attended one or two NKOTB concerts recently oh and a NKOTBSB concert as well.  My obsession doesn’t end with the boy bands I still love Britney and Jessica. If either of them went back on tour I would soooo be there!!!! I know I am almost 36 years old but trust me after attending these concerts I realized that I am one of the “normal” fans. There are some crazy nut bags that stalk these guys!

Number 5: 
I am obsessed with football – most specifically the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Delaware. I can’t help it. I grew up watching football with my dad and going to every UD game with my parents from the time that I was a little itty bitty baby all the way through my four years at the college. Now if you have been reading this blog for awhile you already know about this slight obsession. I just wish that I was little bit richer so I could start going to some NFL games and if we lived back in Delaware I would definitely be going to every UD home game!

Number 4: 
I am obsessed and I do me OBSESSED with celebrity gossip. I can’t stop going online to TMZ, Radar Online, Perez Hilton, etc. It has been an issue now ever since the website Gawker.com came out with a celebrity stalking site (a long time ago). When I was living and working in NYC it was an obsession. You could log on and read where people posted celebrity sightings all around town. So if you wanted to, you could go stalk them.  I promise I never did! I swear, I did have a job that I needed to go to every day. But then Perez Hilton and TMZ started and the obsession lived on. I check these sites all of the time and I love sharing the latest celebrity gossip with all of my friends. I even got my mom into those websites. But I do realize that the older I get, the less I know who the heck these kids are anymore that they are gossiping about. I was probably the last to know who the Twilight peeps were. I have less time these days to really read the articles but have kept up with the Kardashians and I know all things Britney and Jessica. If you were to quiz me in the latest celeb gossip, I know that I would get an A++. Just don’t dare ask me where a comma belongs!

My favorite TMZ starlet. She’s like a train wreck I hate to see the results but I can’t look away.

Number 3: 
I have a terrible (and I mean pass out on the floor) fear of blood and anything medical. From as young as I remember I always passed out if I saw anything gross or gory. I don’t know how I survived two c-sections.  Honestly I think it was better that I had c-sections than natural childbirth. The moment my kids were out the anxiety medicine was administered to me very quickly. I was okay during Ben’s birth until the end but with Sean I was hyperventilating the entire time. It was better that I couldn’t see a thing! Even though my husband did explain things that he saw later on. I am getting queasy just thinking about it.

I don’t handle my kids blood any better. I am dreading the day that they lose their first tooth (eww gross). Now I know that I get stitches at my dermatologist all of the time but I can take anxiety meds for that. I can prepare myself. I can’t prepare for the moment one of my kids gets injured. When Ben got hurt at school last month and busted his teeth/lips/gums, the teachers laughed that my first question to them was “Did the bleeding stop? Is he all cleaned up”.  I always thought that I would outgrow it but I haven’t. I still have the anxiety but I have gotten a lot better than I was just a few years ago! I mean just 6 years ago I never could have done the whole dermatology thing by myself. I always needed someone to go with me! Now I am an old pro. 


Number 2: 
I went to college at the University of Delaware and studied Consumer Economics! To this day I don’t think that I could explain my major. After college I worked in marketing at Wilmington Trust for a few years. Then when we moved to NYC I started working at Ralph Lauren Childrenswear – besides being a mom this was the BEST JOB EVER.  I did not have any experience with fashion or design whatsoever but that didn’t matter. It was such a wonderful job experience and there are a lot of days that I wish that I was still working there (and not just for the awesome discount). I learned so much about manufacturing and design. Oh and I made so many wonderful friends, had an amazing boss and overall it was such a wonderful experience.  It was just a great place to work. I miss being on the inside of the fashion world. Now I just live out my fashion life at Kohls or Target ! God, I miss Ralph!  
And the number one thing that you might not know about me is…drumroll please….
Number 1
I was born in January during the blizzard of 1977. Not that this is something special but I was born in an ambulance that was stuck on I-95 in that blizzard. My mom of course went into labor and had to call an ambulance (one because of the weather and two because I was coming quickly).  I just couldn’t wait and on the way to the hospital I popped out! I am just thankful that my parents didn’t name me I-95 or anything stupid like that. So as I tell people my 15 minutes of fame were the first 15 minutes of my life (I need to find my news paper articles about my birth to prove that I was sort of famous).  Now I know it’s not as cool as being born in a taxi or at a bus stop but still… it’s a fun story to tell. 
There you have it, 8 things that you probably never wanted or needed to know about me, but now you do! Why only 8 and not 10? Well that’s all that I could think of today! Ha!

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Gone Way Too Soon……

I read recently about a fellow blogger who lost her mom this week and it really got me thinking about this post that I have been trying to write now forever.  I think that I am finally ready to post it. It’s about losing a parent. I know it happens all of the time but when you are young and at the happiest point in your life it can be a real shock – especially when you think that your parents are invincible.

So, this one is going to be a long one. I apologize in advance. It might make you laugh and it might bring some tears to your eyes. It’s about my dad.  (FYI – Mom, you might not want to read this one)

For those of you that know me, you knew that I was daddy’s little girl. I had him so tightly wrapped around my finger it was awesome! I could just look at my dad a certain way and I knew I would get what I wanted. I guess I was just the good kid in the family (sorry Tara).

I got to spend 30 awesome years with him. Now I admit, I wasn’t always on my best behavior (but I was much better than my sister – haha). I could probably get away with a few more things than her.

But never in my 30 years of life would I ever expect to be there the moment that my dad closed his eyes and took his last breath (well I always knew that he would pass away but never so young).  I didn’t expect to give birth to my first son and within 3 weeks lose my father. I didn’t expect to hear that he had cancer one day and within four months he would be taken from us. Thirty years just wasn’t enough time. He should have been here to see my mom finally retire, he should have been able to retire. He should have been here to hold my babies and to see what a crazy mom that I have become. He would laugh his ass off knowing what my boys do to me on a daily basis. 


It’s been been over 5 years now since we found out he was sick. It started off as just a pain in his chest and after numerous test and doctors appointments they finally determined that he had a late stage of stomach cancer.  That damn “C” word that has ruined countless lives entered mine in a huge way. I was half way through my pregnancy when we got the news. It was devastating being away from him in NYC while he was going through treatment in Delaware. Thank goodness for my awesome mother. She became his nurse day in and day out. She took him to the doctors, the ER, took him to chemo and changed his feeding tubes. You name it, she did it. I never knew that she could be so medical! But she is a pretty awesome woman.

Thankfully my dad did hold on long enough to meet my son Benjamin. I like to think that this was the reason he held on for so long. He was in so much pain but I now that he was determined to meet my little baby!

The very first time that my dad got to hold Ben (see him rocking his UD hat – now you know where I get my love for University of Delaware football from).  These pictures are bittersweet. I love looking at them but they were when my dad was at his sickest so it’s also painful to see. But I am so glad to have these photos and I cherish them.

The very last time he held him before passing away a few days later.

Now I don’t like to remember my dad during those last 4 months of his life. Yes, it was reality but it wasn’t who he was. He had spent the previous 58 years of his life celebrating each and every day like it was his last. I know he was someone who lived with no regret. From a little child he was a hell raiser. I loved hearing the stories of him growing up in Castle Hills, New Castle – setting his backyard on fire and just being a little menace! Oh so now I know where my kids get it from! It’s all starting to click right now. 
The day I was born was an adventure to say the least. I will explain that one another day but I like to think that my dad caught me and never let go after that. 

I know that when Joey and I moved to NYC he may have been sad to see me go but I know that he was pretty darn proud of me. He loved coming up to the city to visit. He loved traveling all over and I remember on one particular morning before we were all awake he had already ridden the ferry over to Staten Island (or Ellis Island I can’t remember which) for a quick little trip. That was the type of guy he was.  He would always share with everyone that I was living in the big city working for Ralph Lauren! So I know he was proud of me.  My dad would come up for surprise visits and take me out to lunch! Of course that was just an excuse for him to check out the massive train system in NYC. The man loved his trains.

There was a time that I went through a really rough spot and my parents were right there to help me out. It’s not a time that I like to talk about but I am thankful that it happened because I was able to spend 2 months with my parents that I never would have had otherwise. My dad helped me buy a new car during that time and I will never forget those precious moments. Everything happens for a reason right? 

I know one of his proudest days was holding his very first grandchild, my niece, Molly.

He got to share that moment with his own father as well. Oh what’s with the checked shirts – like father like son.

Spending time with Molly and Alex was his life. He couldn’t go more than a few days without visiting them. The man would take off work just to spend a day at the pool with those kids. That’s how much he enjoyed his life. He enjoyed the precious moments. He thought he was going to be the cool grandfather with an awesome nickname “Dusty”. Well let’s just say that didn’t stick but “Who da pop pop?” was one that we did hear often.

Looking at the picture above with my nephew I can now see that he was sick. This was right before his diagnosis and he was already in a lot of pain. I could see how much thinner he was. Didn’t notice it as much at the time but I see it now. He was suffering but still enjoying life – spending an awesome vacation with his wife, daughter and two grand kids in Disney World. His last vacation….
He had 38 fabulous years with my mom. I know that there were many ups and downs but deep down they had a marriage that lasted. They brought out the best (and worst) in each other but their main goal was always to have fun and to make my sister and myself happy. They enjoyed their many vacations – which they did a lot more of after I finally graduated from college. 

He absolutely adored his friends. They were always smart asses but had the best of time together. I know that every single time together there was some inside hilarious joke that only the two of them shared.

Besides his family and friends the only other thing that was important to this man was University of Delaware Football. He was obsessed with the team and had season tickets for well over 3 decades. I find it funny that he didn’t even attend the school. It was just a huge passion of his – that he did pass down to me. I now have most of his memorabilia in my basement – my UD football room.  He traveled all over to watch them play and I must admit that I am so happy that he traveled to Chattanooga TN to see them win the championship game. It was I believe one of the highlights of his entire life.  He even met his idol, Tubby Raymond.

This was a man who lived his life to the fullest. If I sat down and wrote a list of all of the funny stories it would be longer than War and Peace. There were times that I wanted to kill him, like when he showed up to a HS dance because I wasn’t outside at exactly 11pm. How embarrassing. Or the time that he told me and my friends that the New Kids on the Block concert was canceled just to mess with us (well it actually was but he didn’t know it at the time). I could go on and on.

If you knew my dad, you knew how happy he was. I know he would be happy with how my mom, sister and I have moved forward with our lives. We still honor him all of the time and laugh about how he would react to certain things going on in our lives.  But we always stayed strong and never stopped living (just like him).  So this is how I choose to remember my dad. Not sick in a hospital bed, not stuck in a chair hooked up to chemo and certainly not saying our very last goodbyes. But I know I will see him again in heaven. I know this because one of his last words was “mom” and we were able to get it out of him that he could see his mother. So I know that she was there waiting for him and I know that when the time comes, he will be there waiting for me too.

Now this post has taken me three months and countless tears to write so I thank you for spending the time reading it. 

30 Days of Thanks – November 22nd

Day 22 – November 22nd

Today I am thankful for my entire family! I am thankful for Joey, Ben, Sean, my mom, my in-laws, my sister and her boyfriend, my niece and my nephew. I am thankful that I am able to spend the day with almost all of them. I am hoping that my mother-in-law had a nice quiet day without too much pain from her surgery! We hope to see her and my father-in-law again soon.  Today was a day full of food, family time and of course football! The kids were up super early so we are all tired but they did help out a bit in the kitchen! (Oh and if you get sick from my pineapple casserole it’s because the boys helped me make it).

This is the kind of morning it was with the kids! Who needs a glass? I mean really it is wine… in a box…. and I was in New Castle! Totally normal, right?

Of course I am missing my dad like crazy. He always enjoyed having everyone together for the holidays!

But this is what helps me get through the day and appreciate what I have here today!

And we lost Ben
I wanted to thank my mom for putting up with the crazy clan all day today! I know that she is probably exhausted but it was a great dinner! Thanks for all of the food and calories it was fun spending time cooking with you and laughing at the table! 
I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you are either sprawled out on the couch in your PJs watching tv, finishing with your Christmas decorations or maybe you are already asleep in bed! No matter what I hope that you are all safe and happy!
PS. We went around the table while we were eating and everyone said what they were thankful for. Sean took home the prize for the best response.  I said “Sean, what are you thankful for”. Sean’s answer “nobody, nothing”. Gee thanks Sean! 
Happy Thanksgiving! 
Remember to comment on my blog, my Facebook PageMy Twitter page or even post a picture on my Instagram of what you are thankful for today. Just use the hash tag #erins30daysofthanks.

30 Days of Thanks – November 12th

Day 12 – November 12th

Now I know that this is a silly one but this past weekend was insane. For some reason I was the most impatient, irritable person on the planet. The kids were a little crazy and my patience was wearing a little thin. And  after spending several hours in the car with the kids running errands I lost my mind. 
All I wanted to do was come home and listen to the University of Delaware Blue Hens on my iPhone.  They were having a bad game but started to have a little comeback towards the end.  But the crazy little boys kept screaming and were in my face when I was just trying to listen to the game. I only needed a few minutes (5 in football minutes) of quiet to listen to the end of the game.
So I did what any normal person would do. I took my phone, my wine and locked myself in my powder room. (Disclaimer: my husband was home at the time and was watching the boys). 
So I am very thankful that I got my 5 minutes of peace and quiet so I could hear the Blue Hens lose another game this season! But it was worth it. 

Remember to comment on my blog, my Facebook PageMy Twitter page or even post a picture on my Instagram of what you are thankful for today. Just use the hash tag #erins30daysofthanks. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

30 Days of Thanks – November 4th

Day #4 – November 4, 2012
Today I am thankful for football. Thankful that I was able to see my University of Delaware Blue Hens play on TV yesterday. Even though they lost I am just so happy that I have been able to watch a few of their games this year on Direct TV.

I am happy to watch some NFL games today but I’m most thankful that I have one more day to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles game. They play on Monday night and it’s always a stressful time for me.

Football has always been a huge part of my life – especially Delaware. I grew up going to all of the games with my parents and I attended the University of Delaware. If I was still living in Delaware I would be attending every home game possible. I just love the atmosphere and the memories of all the games I attended with my parents as a kid.

My parents, especially my dad, were huge Delaware football fans. They were season ticket holders for decades, so football is in my blood. After my dad passed away, I stole all of his UD stuff from my parents house and displayed it in my basement TV room. Each day I add one more item to the room. Just this week I picked up this new sign and a few more glasses.

Do you think I have an obsession?

I even have an autographed Joe Flacco mini helmet and an actual UD helmet from a long, long time ago (thanks mom for passing these along to me)

When I met Joey he was not a football person at all but after 10 years I have finally turned him into a fan!

So on this 4th day of November I give thanks for football. It’s not just a sport but it provides me with a lifetime of memories past, present and future. I can’t wait to spend every Saturday & Sunday during the fall with my boys watching football!

In case you missed any of my previous 30 days of thanks, you can click below to view them all.

Remember to comment on my blog, my Facebook PageMy Twitter page or even post a picture on my Instagram (erintheirishmama) of what you are thankful for today. Just use the hash tag #erins30daysofthanks.