March SOL: Day 11 – Right Now…

Right now I’m….

Realizing that I never posted my slice from yesterday!!! 😦

Trying to figure out why we have Day Light’s savings?!! Yawn.

Enjoying my second cup of coffee… 🙂

Thinking about all the stuff I need to do around my house today .

Praying that we don’t get any more snow from this upcoming possible storm!!!

Listening to the dishwasher running and my son humming as he plays in his playroom.

Happy that my husband did the grocery shopping for me yesterday!

Laughing at a text from my mom teasing my dad.

Hoping that Brayden picks out a movie for our “movie night” that I actually would want to watch.

Trying to plan my day so I have time for doing report cards, cleaning, and spending some quality time with Brayden.

Wishing it was summer…



March SOL Day 10: Saturday Morning


Got to sleep in a bit.

Everyone else is still asleep.

Tip toe downstairs and make my coffee…

Enjoying the first couple sips while relaxing on the couch.

Loving the quiet of the house now.

Doesn’t last very long….

Pitter Patter of Feet upstairs.

Banging of a bedroom door as it flies open.

“Good Morning MAMA!!” Yelled as he barrels down the stairs.

So much for my peaceful, quiet morning.

Three hops and he’s on top of me.

Hugs and squeezes.

Kisses on my cheeks.

“I love you so much.” He says snuggling into me.

Peace and quiet are so overrated…..



SOL Day 9:

I had to look at my slice from last year’s SOL challenge to remind myself what I did on this day last time. March 9th is the anniversary of the passing of my younger brother, and only sibling. I can’t even believe it’s been SIXTEEN years. It is crazy to me. I swear, this week, no matter what I am doing or what’s happening in my life, I always carry around a heaviness to me. A sadness to remind me, even when I’m not thinking about it, it’s “that time of year.” 😦

He would be 43 if he was still with us today. He would most likely be married with a family and I believe that we’d still be close and our kids would be as well. I think about the fact that my husband (who shares his birthday…) and my son, Brayden, never knew him. They only know of “Uncle Drew” from pictures that we have, and stories that they’ve heard from myself or the family. They never knew him, and they are the most important people in my life. It’s so strange to me…

I have 27 years of memories with my kid brother. Some are great, some remind me of how annoying he could be, and how we could fight as only siblings can! However, when we were in our “twenties” together, he stopped being my kid brother at some point, and became my friend. We hung out together, like on purpose! We shared the same group of friends, worked at the same part-time job when we were both back in school. Him for his Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, me for my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. We commuted together to Northeastern University in Boston, worked at the same restaurant, and hung out with the same “crew”. I will always cherish those last few years before he got sick, when we became “real friends.” I’m so glad we had that time. I just wish that we had had more. I would have loved to see him and my husband laughing and joking (probably teasing me as they both love to do) at holidays and family parties. I would have loved to have him at my wedding, and to have been the godfather to his nephew, Brayden. I would have loved to see what he did with his life, who he married, and how he would have been as a father. Yet, none of this was meant to be.

I was lucky to have him in my life. I don’t regret any of it, just wish we could have had him longer. I see him sometimes in my son. His humor, his mischief, so much like his uncle Drew. Brayden loves asking about him, and for me to tell him stories about the two of us when we were young. I Can’t wait to get home tonight, give him a big hug, and think of  another “funny Uncle Drew” story to share with him… This is how my son will know him. This is how we can remember him. Truth be told today, on this 16th anniversary, I just miss him. So. Much. slice-of-life_individual

SOL Day 8: Differences

As I sit here with my coffee, about to slice… I can hear my 7 year old son in his playroom. He is taking a video of himself as he “shows off” something “very cool” that he invented today. He is talking into his leap pad and I have to say, he is explaining the steps and what he’s doing very well in his “How to” video!

On one hand,  I’m very happy that he’s in there playing and using his imagination, but the other part of me can’t believe that he thought to get his leap pad and record a video of himself. However, This is the “new world” we live in now though. People document EVERY. THING. So, why wouldn’t my son want to document and share what he built? I’m laughing listening to him in there, as he’s so cute, but I’m also wondering… “Oh my god, how is he so good at this? How does he know exactly what to say to his “audience”. Clearly because he’s seen plenty of these types of “how to” videos before. So.. as I sat.. my mind started going very quickly down this road…

“Oh No! Is my son going to be one of those kids who just makes 1,000 YouTube videos that nobody cares about?” It just started me thinking about how different it is now and I began to go down the road of how it happened so quickly…. and how as a society, we just feel the need to overshare everything. Wait…What is happening to us??!

Teaching 10 and 11 year olds all day, I know that they are all on their phones, documenting everything on Instagram, Snapchat,  and creating music videos on Musically. This is how many of them spend most of their free time whenever they are NOT in school.  My students without phones, and the ability to SEE what is happening on these sites and apps, feel they are being left out. It really troubles and upset them. They need to be part of this “Cybersocial” world to be part of their social groups!

It is a different time and this is how our socitey lives now. It’s not just our kids either. As Adults, we are doing it all the time too. We share and overshare every. last. aspect of our days, our lives, our experiences. It is all out there. We know who is with who and where they are and what they are doing. We know what they ate and/or drank, we know if they went shopping or to the movies, what they are watching on tv, and whether or not they worked out that day. When did we care so much about what everyone else was doing every second? When did we all decide that it was important to share with everyone what we are doing, watching, listening to, feeling, etc.  When did it become so important for others to KNOW everything about us? It’s so surreal to think about it sometimes.

Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram and Snap Chat are not just for the “youngsters”. Plenty of us are posting and documenting photos/videos daily! While I am quite proud to say that I don’t “Snap” or “tweet”,  I am guilty of not just checking Facebook daily, but at times “checking in” somewhere as well.  Why though? I ask myself. I guess so everyone will know where I am and what I’m doing. For what? I wonder… In case I go missing?? Yikes.. what am I doing?? Yet, it’s WHAT WE DO.

It’s so bizarre when we stop and think about it. Definitely A different time,  and a different world. How did I get HERE from listening to my son making a video on his leappad (that nobody will ever see)?  I guess it just scares me a bit that my son will be a “cyber social” person, but maybe won’t really be SOCIAL in real-life face to face situations with people”?? I know it’s probably silly. He’s seven. He has friends. I shouldn’t worry that he can’t even look up when he’s on the Ipad right??? Hmm. I hope the tides turn soon, and we all go back to just living our own private lives and not caring so much what everyone else is doing. Just a little. Just some of the time….



SOL Day 7: 10 Fun Facts! :)

So as I struggle today to come up with a topic to write about, I figured that maybe I would come up with another list. So, what should I list? Well, my students are still sharing their Biography slide show presentations and one of their favorite things to include are “Fun Facts” about the person they chose to research. So, I figured.. Hmm. I guess I can come up with 10 Fun Facts about myself. So here we go…

  1. I didn’t start teaching until I was 30 years old. I actually also have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and was a Licensed Adolescent/Child therapist for a few years in my twenties. I found it sad and a bit depressing and worked in Human Resources (Corporate Training) for years before I decided to go back for my degree in Elementary Education.
  2. I CANNOT ski or ice skate. Actually, I have NEVER been on skis in my entire life. I live in New England, and I have NEVER tried to ski. (Nor do I have any desire to either. ) I did go ice skating a couple times in elementary school, but haven’t been since. I am not a winter person. Or a snow person. I did try snowboarding once with my husband though when we were dating. I liked it for a few hours and then I just got cold and wet and wanted to go have wine in the warm lodge! 🙂
  3. I drove cross-country with my college boyfriend the day after graduating from college. We landed in Scottsdale, Arizona. Although we broke up pretty quick after we arrived, I stayed living in AZ for two years with a friend from college who decided to move out there with me! I LOVED it. I moved back to go to graduate school  in 1998 and haven’t been back since.
  4. My husband and I adopted our son, Brayden, from Moscow, Russia in 2012. We first met him when he was 8 months old and we were able to bring him home right after his 1st birthday. We took 3 trips to Moscow in the process and less than a year afterwards, Russia shut down their international adoption program. 😦 He is the best thing we ever did. It was a long, grueling process but so worth it! I don’t even think about it anymore as we are just a family and he’s so much our child.
  5. In 2015, I was nominated to do “Norwood Dancing with the Stars” dance competition and won! It was so much fun!!!
  6. My husband and I love to see live music. Even though we are in our 40’s we still try to go to as many concerts as we can in the summers. I have been to hundreds of shows and seen almost every band that I ever liked! My favorite is U-2 and when I see them this coming June it will be my twenty-first time seeing them in concert. Can’t wait!
  7. This isn’t really “fun” but.. I am allergic to a TON of foods. Eggs, soy, dairy,  gluten, crab and probably more that I don’t even know about. I didn’t have ANY issues with gluten until about 10 years ago when I was officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Luckily…. red wine is free of ALL allergens! 🙂
  8. My favorite time of every day is between 7:00-7:30 pm when I sit with Brayden on the couch and do books. We “cuddle” and he reads to me or I read to him, and it’s the best part of my day. Every. Day.
  9. I am phobic of bees/hornets/wasps. PHOBIC. Like crazy, psycho… have LEFT my HOME because there was a bee inside, and wouldn’t go back until my husband, dad or father in law… went there to kill it. It’s bad.
  10. I absolutely LOVE to binge watch GOOD shows with my husband! I don’t know WHAT I did before Netflix/Amazon Prime video!! 🙂 Right now we are in Season 4 of Downton Abby. (Love it!) Some of our other favorite binge shows we’ve done are Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, The Tutors, The Crown, Black Sails, Turn, and Sons of Anarchy. (Recommendations welcome!! 🙂 I love watching “older” shows that I never saw when they were “on”.

That’s 10 so I guess, that’s a wrap! 🙂




SOL Day 5: Great Moment

So, today is Monday. Monday morning blahs in my 5th grade class today. We all seem tired and a bit off. Not to mention, I got some bad news over the weekend that I had to share with my class today. One of the students in my classroom is out today, as his 8-year-old brother, a  2nd grader here at my school, was diagnosed with cancer over the weekend. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The good news is that the doctors are certain he will make a full recovery, yet he and the family are looking at a tough go of it for the next six months. He will mostly be inpatient, and need to be getting intense doses of chemotherapy. He will be tired and not feel well, and it will be a tough road. Yet, by next fall, he’ll be better. He will be back. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, my class is now not just blah. They are worried, they are scared, they are sad. The kids have questions, lots of questions, that I do my best to answer for them. We are all quiet after and I know that we are all thinking of Scott, and his younger brother.

After recess, my students are going to share their biography slide shows that they have worked on for a few weeks now. I pull a stick and one of my students, Kevin, gets up to come to the smart board. He is VERY excited to share his project. He chose to do his Biography on Jon Bon Jovi.  His presentation was well done and enjoyable. The last slide of his presentation before the bibliography, he had inserted a video. It is the video from back in the 80’s of the band performing, “Living on a Prayer.” I allowed him to play it. It was the best medicine for us all. Within seconds my entire class was singing along to Bon Jovi, as I was as well. I couldn’t believe that my ten and eleven year old students knew this song! Mostly all of them did, and we sang and laughed and it truly was a wonderful, much needed moment, in our class. Thank you Kevin.



March SOL Day 6: Still Working…


So when I first started slicing for the March Challenge in 2017, I titled my blog “Work in Progress” . How true this statement was, and still is for me. I feel it is true in so many aspects of my life.  Continuing to work  on my writing, and trying to make time for it daily. (I sucked at it recently, so hoping the challenge gets me back in the groove.)  Working on my relationships (personal and professional) and being the best mom, wife, teacher, and friend, and just version of myself that I can be. Working on finding balance between work, home, family, friends, Brayden’s activities, finding time for myself, etc.. The biggest aspect of my Work in Progress is continuing to work on accepting myself and just being comfortable in my own skin. (Not always easy for me.) Some days are much better than others of course.

My husband told me recently that I was too hard on myself, and the truth is he’s right! It doesn’t take much for me to go down a pretty negative road when I feel bloated, tired, old. I say things like “I’m ugly, I”m fat, I look gross…” And it’s out of my mouth before I can stop it. He hates it, and gets upset when I am hard on myself. It is not easy to admit this about myself, and I’m not sure why it’s so easy sometimes for me to think and SAY these things about myself.  There are many positives to me… I am healthy, strong, funny, and try to be kind to others always. I have a good heart and care about people. Most of the time I am a good mom, I have a good career that most days makes me happy and fulfilled. I have great friends, and an amazing husband. I have a huge, crazy, fun family that are all live very close to us, and we see often. There is so much in my life that is good… and when I’m feeling down, this is what I need to do. Remember all the good. Journal, do yoga, go for a walk, heal.  Focusing on the good and the positive, and not letting the “negative” thoughts win, or allow me to go down that rabbit hole. Yes, I am STILL A Work in Progress….


March SOL- Day 4:

Today as I sit down to write, I am feeling a bit blah. I don’t know if it is because it’s the 3rd day without the sun, if I’m just run down, or just a combination of both. So, I figured as a way to cheer myself up I’m going to make a POSITIVE list. 10 things in my life that I am extremely grateful for!! Okay.. and go.

  1. My intelligent, curious, funny, sweet boy. Brayden. Becoming parents was NOT an easy task for us, and he is the light of my life, and the best thing we’ve ever done. I am so grateful for him.
  2. My husband, Randy. He’s a guy (No offense men) so clearly there are times when he drives me crazy… but, he is my best friend, my true partner in life, and an amazing dad to B. He makes me laugh every day, he always has my back, and he is just a warm and caring person. I am lucky to have them both.
  3. My health. In September 2014 I was diagnosed with Early stage breast cancer in my right breast. I had a few different routes I could take for treatment, but after going through biopsies, already one lumpectomy, and a VERY strong family history of BC, I chose to go big, and had a double-mastectomy with reconstruction. This to me, was the only real safe guard to keep the cancer from coming back again, and I was told if I do this, chances were very good I wouldn’t need any further treatment or radiation. I went with my gut, and had the surgery. My son at the time was four, I didn’t want to EVER have to deal with this again . My oncologist called me two days after to tell me that while it hadn’t yet been detected. It was ALSO found in the tissue in the left as well. Sigh. Always. always. listen to your gut.
  4. My Nana and Papa. My mom’s parents were my Safe haven growing up. My parents were very young when they had me and I spent a great deal of time with them throughout my childhood. Luckily for me, I have had them in my life well into adulthood. My papa, Joe, passed away May 5, 2013 at 87. My nana, Betty Ann, is still alive and going strong. Not only was I blessed to have them, Brayden also got the chance to meet and know his great-grandparents. He loves his “Two-Nani” as he calls his great-grandmother, and it’s very cool to have four generations of family!
  5. My tribe. I have a very small, tight, group of girlfriends that are truly my “besties”. The five of them have been with me through thick and thin, and vice versa. Two of which I have known pretty much my entire life,  and the other three have come into our lives later and at different times, but they are my people. They know the real me, they get me, and even if we don’t all get together as much as we did when we were younger… when we are together it is like coming home. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar and oh my do we laugh. I am so grateful for my tribe.
  6. Red wine. Yes. I am so, so grateful for good, red wine. I have celiac disease and can’t digest gluten, soy, dairy, eggs and I have other food sensitivities as well. It is not fun. However, wine is all these things “free” and it’s literally velvet in a glass. A good Cabernet or Malbec makes me feel that I am not “missing out” on anything. No I can’t have the bread, or the calamari, the chicken parm or the desert. Yet, having a good glass of red wine, truly is a treat in itself.
  7. My sense of humor. I know this one might be weird but I truly think having a good sense of humor and being able to find the humor in things that happen in our lives is such a great coping skill. It can lighten up an awkward or tense moment, or make a bad situation not seem so dire. It also helps me immensely as an educator. I can get through and connect with my students with humor at times when nothing else might work. There is nothing better than laughter!
  8. My home. I feel that this is one I need to remind myself of! Of course, there are times I feel that I wish we could move to a bigger, newer, better house. Yet, I also need to remember how lucky we are. I actually found this house 8 years ago when Randy and I weren’t even married a year. I fell in love with this small, quaint, cape style home, and we have been through a LOT here. My in-laws live close by and it’s in a great school district. (Which I am so happy about as Brayden started 1st grade this year.) He loves this house and so does my husband, and they would both be happy to stay here forever. We are in the process of doing a few things around here to update and spruce it up and I’m reminding why I fell in love with it in the first place. It’s small and it’s cluttered and there are flaws through out it, but it’s ours. I am grateful for it.
  9. Summer. Let’s be honest, as teachers one of the perks of this job is that we have summers off. Especially as parents. I love EVERYTHING about summer. The sun, the beach, flip-flops, swimming, cookouts, outdoor concerts, and just being outside!  I love our two weeks that we spend on vacation. New Hampshire in June and Cape Cod in August. I love outdoor seating at restaurants, iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, and having a tan. (Yes, I wear at least 30 for sunscreen) I absolutely love the summer months and can’t wait!
  10. Lastly, I am grateful for books and just wonderful stories. I am so happy that my mom was such an avid reader and that she got me to love books at such a young age. There is nothing better than just getting lost in a great book. (Another reason I love summer is I have SO much more time to read!!!) I love actual BOOKS (paperbacks more than hardcovers) I love the way they smell, feel, and I love to throw one in my bag to bring to the beach, the pool, or just to read outside on the deck. I love books!!! 🙂






More than 45 so in our math world.. we would round 46 to 50…. FIFTY?!!!

I like even numbers, actually I’ve always loved them. Yet for some reason, I don’t like this number anymore. 4 and 6. Alone okay, together… not so much…

As my 7-year-old Brayden would say, “I am this many years old”  Actually I have been for three months now. So, am I officially now “middle-aged”?   If I live to see 92 that is, then I am half way through my life. I could do it.  Both grandmothers have, my great-grandmothers did. My mom is 66 but looks and acts younger. I could be okay. I want to be a young old person. I want to see my son graduate college and get married and have a family? Maybe? Maybe I’ll live to be a nana? He’s 40… I’ll be 79, so yes, we will see.

Since my last birthday, December 2nd 2017 when I became 1/2 way to 92, something in me has changed.   I’ve noticed there has been a shift. I am still me, but I feel.. calmer? quieter? Just more present.

I guess the “shift”  really began when I injured my lower back in the fall. Ok, so maybe one-legged squat jumps while holding 8 lb weights half awake at 5:00 am wasn’t  the smartest thing to be doing, but I always worked out hard, every morning, and I never, ever  “got hurt”…. Until I did.

I literally couldn’t work out “hard” anymore for a few months. I went to Physical Therapy, and once I got the okay.. I started doing lots of Yoga/Pilates, but I wasn’t ALLOWED to do the hard-core workouts for the time… and from NOT being able to… I started to realize… Maybe, I didn’t really want too! Gasp.

I was a six to seven day a week, up at 5:00 am workout person. For the last 7 years. Every day. I woke up, and went at it hard. The latest or most advanced beachbody workout program.  Weights, Cardio, going fast, going hard…and I was killing myself every. Single. Day.  I thought about working out all the time. I HAD to do it. It was who I was. If I missed a workout, I would beat myself up. I was so stressed and anxious. I was wound up so tight.. Wait. Wasn’t working out supposed to relieve stress?

I was not happy to be told that I needed to take a break from all of that, but the weirdest part was… I felt… a bit relieved. After a few weeks, I realized how much calmer I felt. I laughed more. I paid attention to other things in my life. I was much less “crazed and obsessed.” I felt balanced. I realized. Wow. Maybe what I was doing, wasn’t working anymore. Maybe, 7 days a week of crazy, intense workouts without a break, wasn’t really the best thing for me. Maybe at 45/46 I need to work out differently than I did in my 20’s and 30’s? Or maybe, just maybe…. it’s okay to rest. To just slow down…

So here I am at 46 and my mindset has shifted.

I’m still active. I workout at least 3-5 days a week depending on my schedule and how I’m feeling. I rotate weight-training and cardio in with yoga, but “Working out’ doesn’t define me anymore. I’m not obsessed. I am enjoying more down time with my son and husband. Allowing myself to relax more. To read more books, write, watch movies with my son. Just to take a deep breath and relax. I’ve come to realize I didn’t allow myself this for a very long time. I was always going, going, going. I HAD to workout, I HAD to do this or that. I was in a constant state of stress. I’m kinda done with all that. I am doing something new now. Something I don’t think I’ve done for quite sometime. I am actually listening to that voice in my head. I am asking myself, “what do I feel today?” “what does my body want or need” and then I do that. I am not so rigid, not wound so tight, and I just feel more balanced. Maybe there is an upside to being 46. Maybe at this point in my life, I am finding some mindfulness. Maybe, getting “older” isn’t all bad?



SOL- Day 2 – In like a Lion

The weather here in Massachusetts is crazy stormy today!! Hurricane strength winds, pouring rain, and dark and dreary. It’s 40 degrees though, which means, at least it’s not SNOW!

Days like this make me just want to curl up on my couch with a cup of warm coffee and a good book! The work week is done and excited for a few days of sleeping in, (which is until like 7:00 am for me) and just some relaxation. I LOVE these weekends when we have nothing planned. Usually our life is so planned and weekends are just as crazy busy as the week, but this weekend we have nothing. My plan… to get caught up on some grading, do some organizing around the house, write of course, and just enjoy the two day break! It doesn’t happen very often where I have nothing I “Have” to do or anywhere I “HAVE” to be, so bring on the wind and the rain! 🙂