6 Years…

I wrote this post last year about my dad. I just spent a few minutes updating it for you all to read again.  You all know that my dad was a very important person in my life and not a day goes by where I don’t think about him.  

What have you done over the past six years?

I have tried to raise two boys and now I have a third. I have gone grocery shopping. I cooked dinners. I attended weddings. I moved into a new house. I made and lost friends. I registered my middle son for kindergarten and shipped my older one there this past year. I have spent weeks at the beach. I went to the zoo. I started a blog. I fought with my husband and my friends. I bought a new car. I gained weight. I lost weight. I had a baby or two.  I celebrated holidays. I cleaned rooms. I moved forward.

They tell you that you will move forward. That your life will go on. Six years ago I never would have believed you. Six years ago my life changed forever. But you know what, life did go on. We did move forward. We did continue on with our lives. Never once forgetting. Never once taking life for granted. Never once not laughing or enjoying the funny things in life. We have laughed. We have cried. We have celebrated.

Six years ago today I lost my father to the most horrific and fastest moving forms of cancer. I never even knew stomach cancer existed until he was diagnosed with it. Four months later, he was gone. So little time.

Six years ago I witnessed someone moving on to another life. I witnessed death. I remember the phone call from my mom, telling us to get down to the house ASAP. I knew. I just knew it would be the last time that I would rush down there to visit with him.  Joey and I packed up what we needed for Ben {he was only 3 weeks old that day}.

But here we are six years later. We miss him every day but we have moved forward. We had too. We had to support each other. I had a husband, a child (now three), a sister and a mother. We had too. We could not stay stuck.

We miss him each and every day but I am thankful that we were able to move on together as a family. We are stronger than ever, never take each other for granted, but we are still here. Strong. Looking forward. The memories are painful but we choose to remember the good ones. Never the bad ones. Just remembering the greatest father on earth. My father.

We love you and miss you more and more as each day passes by. I still can’t believe it’s been six years. You would be so proud of us dad! I hate that you don’t get to see my boys. I hate that you missed seeing Joe Flacco win the Superbowl last year.  Mom and I joke about your silly comments every weekend when we listen or watch UD Football. I hate that you have missed so much. But I know somewhere you are watching over us catching it all. I just wish I could talk to you about it….

   
  

    

  

Thanks for letting me talk about my dad again…….

Here’s a quick post from yesterday. I actually gave a few updates on life with the three kids!  http://erintheirishmama.com/a-few-updates-hey-im-trying/

photo

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Throwback Thursday

I’m back! Sorry for the delay in postings but I am trying to get back to normal after 4 days traveling with two boys!  It was a fun trip and I will post about it shortly but in the meantime here’s a little picture to hold you over on this wonderful Thursday!
This is a picture of my dad and I dancing at my cousin Tiffany’s wedding in December 2001!
I’ll be heading to The Hotel Hershey and Spa this weekend! I can’t wait for my glorious {and well deserved} spa treatments!!! I will definitely be rubbing it in next week!  But I will only do that with kindest of intentions!

Throwback Thursday

Here’s a great picture for Throwback Thursday! This is from my mom and dad’s wedding over 43 years ago back on February 7, 1970.  
What you can’t see in this picture is the bottom of my dad’s shoes. I will have to find that picture somewhere but someone wrote Help on one shoe and Me on the other. So when he kneeled down the whole church could see HELP ME written on his shoes! Hilarious!!!!  
I love my moms long, lacy veil! So pretty!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Throwback Thursday

Here’s a blast from the past! Definitely a family portrait from the late 1970’s! 
 

Five Years……..

What have you done over the past five years?

I have tried to raise two boys. I have gone grocery shopping. I have cooked dinners. I have attended weddings. I have moved into a new house. I have made friends. I have registered my son for kindergarten. I have spent a week at the beach. I have gone to the zoo. I have started a blog. I have fought with my husband and my friends. I have bought a new car. I have gained weight. I have lost weight. I have celebrated holidays. I have gone on Easter Egg hunts. I have cleaned rooms. I have moved forward.

They tell you that you will move forward. That your life will go on. Five years ago I never would have believed you. Five years ago my life changed forever. But you know what, life did go on. We did move forward. We did continue on with our lives. Never once forgetting. Never once taking life for granted. Never once not laughing or enjoying the funny things in life. We have laughed. We have cried. We have celebrated.

Five years ago today I lost my father to the most horrific and fastest moving forms of cancer. I never even knew stomach cancer existed until he was diagnosed with it. Four months later, he was gone. So little time.

Five years ago I witnessed someone moving on to another life. I witnessed death. I remember the phone call from my mom, telling us to get down to the house ASAP. I knew. I just knew it would be the last time.

But here we are five years later. We miss him every day but we have moved forward. We had too. We had to support each other. I had a husband, a child (now two), a sister and a mother. We had too. We could not stay stuck.

We miss him each and every day but I am thankful that we were able to move on together as a family. We are stronger than ever, never take each other for granted (okay sometimes we do), but we are still here. Strong. Looking forward. The memories are painful but we choose to remember the good ones. Never the bad ones. Just remembering the greatest father on earth. My father.

We love you and miss you more and more as each day passes by. I still can’t believe it’s been five years. You would be so proud of us dad! I hate that you don’t get to see my boys. I hate that you missed seeing Joe Flacco win the Superbowl. I hate that you have missed so much. But I know somewhere you are watching over us catching it all. I just wish I could talk to you about it….

Thanks for letting me talk about my dad again…….

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Retirement Mom!

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. 

Crazy, Fun & Exhausting

So the weekend has come and gone and I am one exhausted mama bear. The hubby had a concert Friday night so I didn’t see him until Saturday. I hit the gym, ran a few errands then packed the boys up and headed to my moms. It was bachelorette party weekend!!! 
I fed the boys dinner, got dressed and headed out for girls night. Oh and for the first time in almost 5 years I pulled out the curling iron and hairspray and did my hair. If you see me regularly my hair is either in a pony tail or held back by sunglasses. Those are my two styles! Even Ben gave me a look and said I had crazy hair. Ha! Thanks kid. 
So the girls met up at Dinamarie’s house for a champagne toast before heading out to dinner.

Dinner was excellent and the wine was superb. It was a wonderful time. If you are ever in West Chester, PA check out Teca Restaurant and Wine Bar! In the words of Rachel Ray “it was delish”. 
Afer dinner it was off to the bar.  We needed to find some music to keep Dina awak so we decided to go to Kildare’s. It was packed but we found a nice little spot to drink, dance and chat! The music was good and the beers were great. Now the only bad part of the night was the ladies bathroom. Now I spent my college years going to the Stone Balloon so I have seen my fair share of nasty bathrooms but this one was insane. I think I might need a tetanus shot but when you gotta go you gotta go. But we had a great time and I think Dinamarie did too!

Of course Dina fell asleep on the ride home so I know it was a great night. (I really wish that I could post those pics but she would destroy me).  It was nice catching up with girls that I haven’t seen in ages and meeting some new friends. It was so much fun and I can’t wait for the wedding! Only one more month!!
So the bad part of the weekend is I didn’t get back to my moms until after 2 am and didn’t fall asleep until 3am. Figuring I had 3 1/2 hours before the kids woke up I knew I’d be okay. Except Sean woke up at 4:15am and woke everyone else up as well. It was a long day with a very short nap! Torture. I am still exhausted.

 Now normally I would have taken the boys home on Sunday but I had a web of lies to confess to on Monday morning. My moms surprise retirement party was today at Wilmington Trust (oh wait I guess I need to start calling it M&T). Oh and mom, Joey didn’t have another concert last night, the kids didn’t have off from school today and yes I knew about the party for awhile now. Congratulations on your retirement. We are so proud of you. I can’t wait to take you out to dinner soon to celebrate. You deserve to relax and enjoy this time.

My mom saying goodbye to her boss!

So it was a long and exhausting weekend but it was all worth it!!!!! I did try to get the kids pictures with Santa this morning but it was a no go. Ben hid behind me the entire time and Sean covered his face. So I think that it’s another year without a Santa photo! Oh well, I can’t force them. One day I will have a picture of my boys on Santa’s lap!

Happy Monday.

30 Days of Thanks – November 29th

Day 29 – November 29th

Today I am thankful for my mom.

Over the past 35 years (and especially the past five years) she has shown me so much strength and support. When my dad died I thought it was going to be such a hard road for us all (and don’t get me wrong it has not been easy) but we have survived and we are much stronger because of her. She has supported my sister and I through so many things over the years. She is always there to help out when I need a babysitter, advice on the kids or a glass of wine. She has been our rock and I will never be able to repay her for all that she has done! I hope my kids feel the same way about me in 30 years!

Right after Ben was born
Mom holding Sean
At the end of this week she will finally be able to turn in her Wilmington Trust badge and retire! Little does she know we have so much family time planned for her that she is going to wish that she was back at work! Ha! But honestly I am so happy that she is finally able to retire and start sleeping in during the week (not that she ever really stopped).
Thanks mom for all that you do for Joey, myself and the boys! We couldn’t have made it through the past few years without you!!!!
We love you!


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 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.