Vacation….Jersey Shore Style

So we leave tomorrow for a week at the shore! I can’t wait!  New Jersey has been through so much since Hurricane Sandy but like the Governor and President said “We are Stronger Than the Storm”.

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But don’t worry, I will be posting next week. I have some posts that are scheduled and ready to go.  Plus I will be writing one or two posts to share with you all while I am down the shore.  I will definitely have my Wordless Wednesday, ThrowBack Thursday and Finish the Sentence Friday posts.   I may also have a post that will reveal the sex of the baby{no I don’t know yet but soon}.   I also have a great sponsor to share with you.  So don’t go anywhere!!!!

Oh and if you want to see some pictures of us down the shore, make sure that you follow me on Facebook and Instagram. I am sure that I will be posting obsessively on those two sites!  Check them out now!!!

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Have a great week everyone!

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Birthdays, Beers and Broken Things…..

So this past week/weekend was such a busy one. Lets just say the craziness all started on Wednesday at 6:30am when I had one of the worst days ever. You can read about that here: http://erintheirishmama.com/2013/01/worst-day-ever.html
So between the broken TV, the dead mini van and a whole lot of crazy in my house, I was ready for the weekend. 
On Thursday we had to drive Joey to the train station at 6:30am so that I could keep his car to get the kids to school.  Oh and Ben’s birthday festivities started after school on Thursday, so I had a few errands to run. We had a small birthday party for him with some friends on Thursday. My mom was brave (or just crazy) and came up to help out with the crew.  The kids had fun playing with the toys, eating cake and ice cream and the school moms had a chance to catch up a little bit. Ben was wild and hyper but that has become the new “typical” for Ben.

Yes, I know that Thomas’ face was a little to dark but I have the worst time mixing colors for my cakes!!! But Ben didnt’ seem to notice so that’s all that matters!!!!
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The first of several birthday parties was a success.  Ben was a happy camper. 
Friday was Ben’s actual birthday. He woke up in a crazy, hyper mood (typical) and we celebrated with some real (not frozen) pancakes. I even added sprinkles to them for birthday pancakes! The boys were thrilled. 
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Ben opened his presents from Mom Mom McGarry before we headed off to school. 
So then we squeezed everyone back into Joey’s car along with 2 dozen Thomas cupcakes for his school party (I forgot to take a picture of those – but they turned out pretty cute). My mom and I headed to Cracker Barrel for a nice breakfast and ran a few errands before heading back to pick up the boys!
Around 2pm, my van was finally ready (after a new battery, water pump, sensor and an oil change) so we all headed over to the dealership to pick it up. I will say that the new shiny new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was looking pretty good on the lot. But I have a few more years with my mini van so I was just admiring them! I was just thankful to have my full sized mini van back. I like Joey’s BMW but it’s a bit tiny for the boys and all their stuff! Plus it’s much easier with the minivan’s self opening doors, trunk and the car seats are much higher up in the van. My back hurt trying to strap those bad boys into their seats. I honestly felt a little claustrophobic with everyone in the car at once. 
After we got back home Mom Mom and Pop Pop Callaway showed up for the family birthday festivities. Once daddy came home from work it was time for dinner, cake and then presents. Yes, I did enjoy torturing Ben by making him wait until after dinner and cake for his presents!!! Mwahaha (that’s my evil mom laugh).  Mom Mom Callaway made a delicious giant cupcake cake and Ben blew out all five candles in one quick breath!!! Gosh this kid is so shy even in front of his parents and grandparents!

We had a great night celebrating with all of the grandparents!!
Saturday morning was time for mommy and daddy to get out and celebrate with some great friends. We headed off to the Asbury Park Beer Festival while Mom Mom and Pop Pop Callaway watched our crazy boys. It was a great time with some awesome brews.  It was a little sad seeing the boardwalk and beaches destroyed from Hurricane Sandy but I hope that they can get it rebuilt for the summer. I have never been down to Asbury Park and Belmar and would love to take the kids there this summer for some day trips. So I am praying that they get the funding to Restore the Shore!
We followed it up with a delicious dinner at Pete & Elda’s for some awesome pizza. We all had a great time and I can’t wait to get together again. Thanks again to Steve, Allison, Mike and Caralyn for a wonderful day. Joey and I are looking forward to getting together for our next event (even if it is a stupid movie trilogy – haha).
Even though the week started off pretty crappy, we did end up finishing it up on a high note! Now if only the Superbowl was this weekend I’d be a little happier! Thanks again to everyone for helping us celebrate Ben’s fifth birthday.  It was a wonderful week with friends, family, birthdays and beer!!!! Two parties down, one to go!!

PS. We woke up this morning to Joey’s car not working properly! Seriously? I thought our string of bad luck was over? Anyone want to donate to a new car or $50k? Whichever you prefer or is easier for you! Thanks! Hahaha Happy MONDAY to us!

Let’s get some more votes in for the Top Mommy Blogs. You guys have pushed me all the way up to the number 22 spot! You are the best bunch of readers, friends, family that a girl / mommy blogger could ever ask for! Thanks again for your support!

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30 Days of Thanks – November 5th

Day #5 – November 5, 2012

Today I am thankful for all of those individuals and businesses who are giving their time and their sevices to those who have lost everything in the storm. I am very thankful that my dear friend Jen Davis is one of those. 

Jen is a family photographer and she just posted this awesome giveaway on her photography website. It’s called Shoots for the Shore.  If you know someone that lost everything due to Sandy and could benefit from this, please click on her website and nominate them.  Also, please do me a favor and forward this on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Spread the word. This a great opportunity for someone who has lost everything this past week. 

Here’s the information straight from her site.



The well known quote tells us that a picture is worth a thousand words and as a photographer, I strive to create images for my clients that resonate with them.  Capture that ‘one’ moment in time of their family, or life with the kids, or the moment they get engaged.  Its my ‘job’ if you will.

In the wake of hurricane Sandy, a picture is worth more than words. These images we are seeing now depict the horrible loss of so many.  Lives and homes have been lost.  And in those homes, precious property.  Things that can never be replaced.  Memories.  Couples no longer have their wedding photos.  Moms don’t have those treasured baby pictures.  Grandparents are without pictures of their smiling grandkids.  

I was without power for 3 days from this storm, and I counted so many blessings during that time.  Everyone is coming together in these days to help.  I want to be a part of that.

I am introducing Shoots for the Shore.  I will be giving away to 3 families a free photo shoot complete with images.  I know that what I am offering cannot replace images and memories that have been swept away. But I hope it will be a wonderful way to start fresh.  Capture some memories going forward and rebuild with new smiles.  All you have to do is click ‘enter’ below and nominate someone.  Please include a valid email address (it can be yours) so I have a point of contact once the winners are chosen.

Will you help me spread the word?  Share and forward to friends and family.  All you need to do is enter using the giveaway tab below.  This seemed to be the easiest way to keep track of all the entries. In order to give people who don’t have power a chance to nominate someone, I will leave this open until November 30th.  On December 1st, 3 names will be chosen at random…at which time I will post on this blog and contact with the valid email address that you left with the entry.  Thank you so much.  Jersey Strong


Please go to her site Photography by Jen Davis to nominate someone that you know. Thanks again and thank you Jen for doing something so wonderful for those who lost those precious family photos. 
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. 

30 Days of Thanks – November 3rd

Day #3 – November 3, 2012
Today is the day that I give thanks to my husband. Some of you call him Joe, Joseph, or JC but he will always be Joey to me. We recently celebrated 9 years of marriage on October 4th and have had a crazy 10 year relationship.  It hasn’t always been easy but I must say that we have had a lot of laughs over the years. He has been there for me through the best and worst of times. He was there for me on my darkest days when I lost my dad and he has been there to help out with the boys in every way that he can. He is the first one to get them out to the park so I can relax on the weekends. He builds sandcastles, catches frogs and takes the kids for bike rides. 

He motivates me to keep up with my diet and exercise – never once giving up on me. Right now as I type this he is sweating at the gym – keeping up with his healthy lifestyle. He has lost over 40lbs and is still going strong. He is setting a great example for his kids by eating healthy and working out. He does tempt me often though with beer but that will never change! He loves his beer.  But he always pushes me to be the best mom and wife that I can be. 
PS – the below pictures are some of my favorite ones of Joey with the boys – this was obviously before our “healthy eating” days. 

    

 He may go to a lot of concerts without me but he is the first one to sit through a God awful chick flick because he knows I will enjoy it. Just last night he sat there and watched “The Lucky One” by Nicholas Sparks. What a great guy! I tried to talk him into watching “Magic Mike” but I think that might be pushing it.

Joey is a very dedicated father and husband. He may be out of the house from 5am until 9pm most nights but he is still always there for us when we need him. He puts in those long hours of commuting and working so I can stay home and raise our little rug rats. And for this I will forever be thankful for him. I know that I never thank him enough for all the hard work that he does but I know he does it all for us – his family. 

Oh and he recently told me that if I start posting more bikini pictures (of models not of me obviously) that my readership will rapidly increase. So is this what you had in mind dear? Here’s your bikini picture of the day! 

Love, your wifey!

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 

A Whole Lot of Stuff Going On.

Today’s post is pretty much a catch up post. I have wanted to do a bunch of posts this week but since Sandy reared her ugly head I have been without power and without my mind. I haven’t been able to put a thought or two together, let alone type some of my posts. But here we go!
Today, we finally arrived back to NJ (after a quick trip to Delaware for some heat and hot water). I am so happy to be back home with our electricity. It has been a long and crazy week but we survived it together as a family.  Our power went out on Monday around 2pm during our hurricane party. We had a few friends over and just as we were all getting buzzed and finished our food… ZAP. Our power went out. We were so upset but enjoyed another hour in the sunlight before darkness set in. 

We all went to bed around 6:30pm that night and tried to catch up on sleep. Tuesday morning we woke up without power and I decided to take a little tour of the town. Our neighborhood was spared the worst but the town was a mess. Only one store, a 7-11, was open and the line for coffee was about an hour long. I headed back home to hang out with the family.  Tuesday afternoon we took the kids out for a car ride – just to get them out of the house and to survey the damage. I felt so bad for our town. So many trees were down and there was just so much damage to so many properties.  But the kids kids were happy to be in the swagger wagon with our DVD player. 
We decided to stop of and fill up our gas tank just in case we needed to head out of town. We waited for about an hour to get the gas but the guys were moving everyone through fast and honestly it was better than sitting at home. We debated going to my moms on Tuesday but thought we would give it one more night. If the power wasn’t on by Wednesday morning we would then head to Delaware. Well Tuesday night 95% of our neighborhood came back on but not our house. It gave me hope that it would be back on by the morning….. but morning came and we were still without power. Our ice packs were starting to melt so we decided to pack up the car and head to my moms in Delaware. We weren’t there more than 2 hours before we got the call that our power was back on. Thankfully our neighbors checked in on our house and turned off any appliances that had been left on when the power went off. 
So here we are 4 days after the storm and thankfully we are back to “normal”. I am not sure when the hubby will get back into NYC for work and I doubt the kids will get back to school tomorrow so it’s going to be a long couple of days. The kids did get to go trick or treating last night in Delaware so they were happy. Plus we get to go again on Monday. New Jersey postponed all Halloween festivities to Monday! They kids are going to be super happy to get back out there for candy!