Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Virtual Coffee

Another fun link up. This time it's Virtual Coffee with Lucky Number 13.

If we were really having coffee together on this autumn morning, I would ask you to meet me at a cute cafe so we could chat over a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  But since there isn't really any great cafes nearby, I didn't get a chance to invite you and I am waiting for the little 6 month old sweetie pie that I am babysitting, I am drinking my Folger's coffee just plain black in a quiet (for the moment) house.

Back to the what if...

We're sitting in comfy chairs at the cafe with the amazing aroma of fall wafting from my cup as I sip my Pumpkin Spice Latte and tell you that:

Emily is doing amazing in the 5th grade. I think the transition to Intermediate School was most likely more difficult for mama than it was her. She's made new friends, is getting good grades and is happy.

That as I type this our furry baby that we adopted this summer is walking on my keyboard purring up a storm. "Daisy" the kitten has brought so much love, laughter (and mischief) into our house over the last couple months.

I'd tell you how today is my 14th Wedding Anniversary and reminisce about the special day that I said "I do" to the love of my life, how bummed I am that hubby has to work both his jobs and is gone from 5:30am-8:30pm, but that i am excited for the date day we have planned for Saturday.

I'd tell you how I'm looking forward to baking a cake with my girl to celebrate Nana's (my mom's) birthday tomorrow.

And hopefully I'd be a great friend and I'd sit and listen to whatever you had to tell me!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Since MckMama has brought back her Not Me Monday I thought it would be fun to do my own and link up. So here goes...

I MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT neglect my blog again for more than 2 months...
I did NOT hit the snooze on my alarm multiple times this morning...
I did NOT steal my daughters lunchable out of the fridge because I didn't feel like eating my own lunch...
I did NOT drive through fast food with the sole purpose of getting a diet coke because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store...
I am NOT tempted to agree to my daughter's request for take out again...
I did NOT forget to get hubby a card for our anniversary tomorrow...
and I am NOT typing this one handed while I hold the sleeping baby I am taking care of just because she is warm, snuggly and I totally miss the baby days!

Nope...NOT ME! :)

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where in the World has Gabby Been?

You may be asking yourself that very question. (I'd like to think I've been missed!) The last month and a half has pretty much been a whirlwind of activity. I've been out living life and enjoying every minute of it and just haven't taken the time out to sit and tell you all about it. Here's the lowdown on what I've been up to (in case you're curious aka nosey like me!)...
  • Spent some time in the 4th grade :  Shared my writing/editing skills assisting the class with book reviews; attending a couple field trips and the 4th grade celebration picnic
  • Spring concert (my girl had a saxaphone duet and a singing quartet)
  • A fun long-weekend visit from my big sister (she got to come to Em's concert!)
  • Ben's birthday complete with a visit to the Japanes Hibachi Restaurant
  • Ben's first week-long "business trip" to install a robot
  • Em's 4th grade awards ceremony...she makes me SO proud!
  • Picnics
  • My 2-day birthday celebration with my first trip to Five Guys Burgers & Fries and a little shopping the day before, a backyard cookout with my parents the day of and watching fireworks over the lake from the back of the in-laws new sailboat on my birthday evening (Maybe turning 36 wasn't so bad after all!)
  • Numerous afternoons spent at the community pool with my girl
  • A trip to Sodus Point Beach and Lighthouse Museum
  • A road trip/shopping trip to a big mall a couple hours away (where among other things, we had lunch at Johnny Rockets, I fell in love with H&M, peeked around Anthropologie and witnessed big smiles at Build a Bear)
  • HOT weather...and this past week I mean H-O-T!!! We have had record-breaking temps with triple digit thermometer readings...104* was the official high on Thursday!
  • Some new mothering tasks such as dealing with "boyfriends" and "break-ups" (But hey...momma got a taste of what's to come and Em got a new friendship out of the ordeal...his sister whose just a year younger)
  • Late night snuggles and giggles with my fave girl in the whole world
And so you don't think it's "all play and no work", we have been doing a bit of de-cluttering around the house and I have a couple freelance writing projects that keep me busy but give me the freedom of setting my own schedule and working in the comforts of home (which this week meant the "office" was my air-conditioned bedroom)

That pretty much sums up my life lately. Hope you all have been having as much fun as I have! I'll leave you with a some photo highlights:

Em's fun at the 4th Grade Picnic

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Ready for an afternoon at the Lake

"Peek!" My father-in-law peeking out the hatch of his 'new' sailboat!

Dusk at the Dock


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Been A While

It's been a while since I posted here on "beinggabby"...guess it's because I've been busy "being". I have been spending lots of time with the family, with my girl and her classmates and trying to keep my lips sealed about a special surprise that I have coordinated. Thursday afternoon is the reveal and also starts a fun-filled few days of spring concerts, secret fun and the hubby's birthday.

I promise I will be back SOON with photos, updates and details of all that's been happening and is about to happen!

I'll leave you with this little glimpse at part of today...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Enjoying the Lovely...

The "April Showers" have carried over into May and according to the weather reports, it's looking to be another wet week. On a positive note, we have had a few really amazing days spread out over the last couple weeks that I took advantage of and celebrated the beauty that surrounds us.

They say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will leave you with these images...enjoy!

Mini photo shoot with Em...

Miscellaneous Lovelies

Have a fantastic Monday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Morning "Moments"

On this rainy morning, I thought I'd share some of the "moments" that brighten my day!

Little Beauty

Happy Girl


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Greetings

HAPPY EASTER!! Here's hoping that the Easter Pug (I mean BUNNY) fills your basket with sweet treats!

Seriously...I hope that you all have a blessed day and remember the real reason we celebrate Easter...HE LIVES!

(*Gabby Fact: Because He Lives is my all-time favorite hymn)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fun Little Post About Me

So, since I made my family cry with my post from yesterday and since tomorrow night is my girl's spelling bee, I thought I'd do a fun little ABCs of me post.

Age: 35
Bed: Queen...And there's nothing like being home in my own!
Chore you dislike: Do I have to pick just one? Ok...dishes!
Dogs: Yes. We've got the cutest hound dog....Mojo!
Essential start to your day: Hot shower and a cup of coffee.
Favorite color:Yellow?
Gold or silver: Yes, please! Both! Use to be a gold girl, but finding myself wearing more and more silver.
Height: Just barely 5 foot 0 inches. (Now you know why I have a tall hubby...to reach the top shelves!)
Instruments you play(ed): Piano, Flute, Oboe
Job title: Domestic Diva (aka unemployed wife & mother)
Kids:Love them! Have one very precious daughter, Emily, who I wouldn't trade for ANYTHING!
Live: Still residing in my hometown...bought the house next door to my parents.
Mom's name: Jo Ellen
Nicknames: Boomer (my parents' doing...involved belching and being days old...don't ask!), Gabby, Gabs, Overnight hospital stays: Just when I had Em
Pet peeves: People who stop in the middle of the grocery aisle to visit and "block traffic".
Quote from a movie: "Not now dear, Mommy's in a rage!" from Alpha & Omega:
Righty or lefty: Righty...but I married a lefty!
Siblings: Yes...a big sister.
Time you wake up: Depends...usually for good around 7am on weekdays.
Underwear: A MUST have! Ha!
Vegetables you dislike: Brussel sprouts, asparagus, beets...
What makes you run late: Missing items, slow-poke child...
X-rays you've had: Teeth, back (scoliosis), foot...???
Yummy food you make: Homemade mac & cheese
Zoo animal favorites: Giraffes, elephants

And there you have it...some random, fun facts about me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Unemployment: A Loss or a Gain?

Losing my job has been one of the best things that happened to me in some time. NO...I am NOT crazy! Well, maybe a little, but not about this. And before you go thinking of having me committed, let me do some explaining.

I am the first to admit that YES...unemployment is both an emotional struggle for me and a financial burden on my family. But...I have got to say that this time without a job taught me some very important lessons, revealed to me what is truly important, and has even strengthened some relationships.

I had not been happy at the job for some time. I was ready for change, but fear was holding me back from making such changes. Since the decision to leave was essentially made for me, I was gifted the opportunity (and necessity) to take inventory, make a change, and perhaps even bring myself to take a risk and follow some dreams.

Since, as you can imagine, the cash flow has changed, credit vs. debit is not as pretty a picture as it once was and I have been forced to examine my spending habits and make decisions on what is truly important. Our needs are being met, and often even our wants are, as well. But, I have had instance to cut back on some things and realized that perhaps they were never as important as I thought! Even the little things add up. Brewing DD french vanilla coffee at home instead of having them do it saves lots, making homemade meatball subs at home taste better than the local sub shop and are even fun to make, italian ice and frappes are no good for my figure anyway...and if you market it right, cheap, boring dinner can be turned into family fun night!

Which leads me to tell you how this whole ordeal has changed my relationships.

Going to work each day at a job that is not enjoyable or fulfilling tends to make one's mood and attitude a little less than desirable and makes said individual a bit difficult to live with. I will admit that I was snappy with my family, short-tempered getting my dear girl out the door to school and just generally not as pleasant as I should have been or would like to have been with my loved ones.

I cannot change all those mornings I turned into what we jokingly call "Psycho-Mom" and rushing my girl out the door so I could drag myself off to a job that didn't make me happy. Morning are much more pleasant these days! Between Ben's new job and my lack of a job at the moment, bedtime story duty has been turned over to me and I gotta tell ya...I LOVE IT! Right now my girl and I are reading the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Dahl and I can't wait each night to snuggle tight with Em in her bed, say our bedtime prayers and find out what happens next with Charlie and Mr. Wonka! We're more than halfway through and I'm already thinking of what we can conjure up for our next special book together!

I admit that I haven't seen as big a change in my marriage. I think it was pretty good already, but I would assume (and hope) that Ben would tell you that I'm more fun and pleasant to be around and don't complain quite as much!

Those are the changes right here in my little family of three. But I've also seen some other family changes as well. Since having more "free" time and the chance to think about what matters, I have been checking in on and visiting with my dad a bit more during the day. I'd like to think that I have forever with him, but the reality is that he is getting older and does have some health issues.

I have always had a good relationship with my parents, but was always closer to my mother. I think that, in part, it's due to the fact that growing up as a girl, my father worked evenings and it was my mother who was around, played taxi driver and "ran the show"! I always knew that my "daddy" loved us, was proud of us, and gave us the time he had to give. He did what he had to do to provide for our family. But, I'll admit it was tough not having him around after school, at the dinner table or even bedtime. So...this chance that I've been given to take my mug of coffee and go sit and chat with my dad is a gift I would never think of exchanging!

Last, but certainly not least, is my sister (who's three years older than me). Growing up, I always viewed her as "perfect". She was an A student, danced, played sports, played music, could sing...she just (in my eyes) was perfect at everything! Growing up in her shadow was not always easy. I often felt like I didn't measure up. Feelings of inferiority and jealousy often came into play and I think it affected our relationship some. Lately, I have really come to the point of realizing that we're just different, have taken different paths and made different choices. Remember this post on our choices?

My sister now has her own business and has written a book that is due to come out very soon! After I lost my job, she brought me on board with a little freelance project to proofread and edit her draft of the book. Although the subject matter isn't "my thing", I enjoyed reading it and getting a glimpse into her work. It also gave me a little purpose and motivation on those days that I started to feel a bit sorry for myself and my lack of employment.

But most importantly...I was having frequent conversations with my sister and sharing some really great laughs. As I said before, at times, jealousy and feeling like I didn't live up to her "greatness" added with the fear of interrupting her busy life affected my relationship with her. I really enjoyed this little project with her and have really been enjoying her company (even if it is just via smartphone or email). I hope she'd agree that it's been fun!

To answer the question I posed in the title of my post, I'd say I have gained WAY MORE than I have lost!The conclusion I have come to is that family is really the most important thing. A fancy title at work, going out to fancy restaurants or wearing designer clothes mean NOTHING in comparison to knowing at the end of the day that I gave all I had to give to those I love.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Gabby Wore #1

So after following along for some time with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy and her friends/followers as they posted for "What I Wore Wednesday," I have finally broken down and taken a pic of my outfit. Usually I am on the backside of the camera so I was a bit reluctant to do it, but since I broke out of bulky sweaters and jeans today and put on some "cute" clothing, I finally caved in and asked Em to take a few quick snapshots. So here it is...my first What I Wore Wednesday posting...

Spring Green Sweater with Flower Detail: Merona (Target)
Brown Empire Waist Tank Dress: Merona (Target)
Brown Leggings: Faded Glory (Walmart)
Necklaces: Made by ME (Gabbead Blessings)
Earrings: Gift from my father-in-law from one of his misisons trips to Honduras
Bracelet: Work of Human Hands Fair Trade (Birthday gift from a former co-worker) 
NOT PICTURED: Dark Brown Ballet Flats (My $3 Find on Clearance at Walmart)

And there you have it...What Gabby Wore on Wednesday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Must Haves: A Few of My Favorite Things

We all have items and products that make life easier, lovelier or that we just plain like having around. Here are a few of my favorite "must have" items (in no particular order or rank...they're all great!):

*My compact camera that travels with me most ALL times!

*The gas fireplace (especially on this chilly March morning)

*Burt's Bees Lip Balm (especially the "Pomegranate")

*A Great Handbag...Like this fun and funky bag I gifted myself one Christmas that was created by my friend, Sarah of Handbags*N*Pigtails

*Some "Gabbead Blessings" Jewelry created by ME:

And of course...no day would be complete without these two things...

*My morning cup of coffee and my laptop

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Under the Weather

I know, I know. A big blog absence again. I have been a bit under the weather (literally and figuratively). Going through a little phase of being "down in the dumps", dealing with my sinus infection, sick child, snow days...I was starting to grumble a bit and decided to take my late grandmother's advice...
"If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all." So, with that in mind, I've taken a break and kept my mouth shut for fear of boring and/or irritating you all with my complaints and ungrateful attitude.

Even though my sinuses are still a mess and there's a fresh bunch of snow on the ground, I am starting to "dig out" of my pit a little bit and I promise that the "happy Gabby" will be back soon with some upbeat posts that all of my readers (if there's any out there) will want to read!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Daily Life: Monday-Wednesday (March 7-9)

I've got a little catching up to do...Monday was another SNOW day! Tons of snow fell, piled up and drifted. So after I prepared coffee, hot breakfast, packed lunch and sent hubby on his way I did some cleaning/scrubbing of the bathroom. The cleaning didn't necessarily bring joy to my day, but the results did and spending the day at home with my girl was good. (No pics since the clena bathroom isn't that exciting and Little Miss Pajamas didn't really want the "paparazzi" around).

Tuesday morning was spent with housekeeping, taking my father for bloodwork and then a trip to Hobby Lobby for a few supplies where I ran into a couple girlfriends and had a fun time shopping/browsing with them for the afternoon. (Again...no photos...I'm slacking off!)

Today was spent creating an awesome pendant...photo meets jewelry again.

A quick trip to the grocery store and a little tidying up before having Ben's mom for a fun evening of yummy dinner (prepared by yours truly), apple crumb pie that "Mom" brought with her for dessert, a mini saxaphone concert performed by Em and a game of Apples to Apples Disney Edition.

Hopefully I will get back on track with some photos of all the things that bring me joy. Lately the "joys" in my day haven't been so photogenic! HA!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daily Life: The Weekend (March 4-6)

This weekend has been fun, restful and productive. After I picked Em up at school Friday, we headed to meet Nana at Rita's. It was opening day for the season and we couldn't resist a little icy treat! Nana had custard, I had a mango & vanilla gelati and Em had Swedish Fish Ice...

This pretty much sums up how I feel about Rita's...

Later Friday evening, Em went with Nana to the high school's production of Annie. She had a great time. Ben and I took the chance for a litte "date night" and tried out the new Cici's pizza buffett and made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby. We got the clay for Em's school project she needs to do, looked at a couple things and they made the "the store is closing any minute announcement." Don't have to go home, but can't stay there past 8pm! HA! In my few minutes, I did find a couple jewelry making supplies. So...

Saturday was spent being lazy and doing a little creating. Here's one pendant I made with some scrapbooking paper and stickers and some beads I had hanging around...not bad for thrown together with miscellaneous pieces.

And I am especially fond of this creation. My photography met up with my jewelry making and I LOVE the result! What do you think? Perhaps a prototype of things to come up for sale at "Gabbeads"?!?

We spent the evening at 6:11 service at church and some more lazy lounging at home.

Sunday started out on a lazy note...hubby (pickin' and grinnin' with his new guitar). Don't tell him that I posted this...he wasn't thrilled that I took his pic while we were looking like "bums" around the house!

Then the SNOW began and since I felt cooped up indoors I got to work! First up was to clean the living room and send the toys back upstairs, do some dusting and de-cluttering. Then came the cleaning/organizing of the 2 pantry cupboards. I think they're more organized than they have EVER been! I'm so happy! Hoping to keep up the momentum and keep clearing out un-needed items and really de-clutter my house and my life once and for all!

Hope you all had a great weekend! If you're in "these parts" with the snowstorm, stay safe and warm!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Daily Life: Afternoon with the Parents

Thursday morning, instead of going to work, my mother found herself in the dentist chair having a tooth extracted. Since she was still numbed up and feeling good, I took the opportunity to go over and have a quiet little visit with my parents for the afternoon. We watched a movie and chatted and I got loved on (and covered in fur) by this little guy...

Gibbs: March 3rd

Not the greatest angle on the photo...makes him kinda look like one of those silly "The Dog" pups with a HUGE head. HA! But it still shows off his cuteness!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daily Life: Adopted and LOVED

After all these years since we adopted him from the shelter, I just can't get enough of this cutie!

MOJO: March 2nd

Mojo brings so much love and joy to our lives. (And he's especially fond of "his kid".)

Daily Life: Zebra Boots

In an attempt to keep busy, have fun and find the "light" in my current situation, I've decided to take a daily photo of something that brings joy to my day. (Most photos will likely be snapped with my cell phone so please forgive the less than stellar quality.)

Yesterday was this little snapshot of our morning...

ZEBRA BOOTS: March 1st

Love my girl and her sassy style!

Changes and New Beginnings

Changes abound at our house and exciting new beginnings are taking place.

A few weeks back Ben spotted an exciting job opportunity posted online and the whirlwind began. Within a matter of 5 days, he had applied for the position, interviewed and accepted their proposal. He began his new adventure this Monday and so far is truly enjoying this career change.

Along with the job change, comes a bit of schedule/routine change. Since he now has a 1/2 hour commute and has to be on the job by 7am, mornings come a bit earlier for us. Which also means that bedtime comes earlier as well. (In my opinion, this is a welcome change as far as Emily is concerned. She is actually getting to bed at a proper time.) The grown-ups are trying to get into the swing of early bedtime/early wake up.

Last week I experienced my own little life change...after being in my current position for nearly four years, I find myself unemployed. I've been a bit unsettled and unhappy for some time and searching for something else to no avail. Although at first, I experienced the normal shock, panic, etc. that comes with job loss, I am now seeing it as a chance for a new beginning and perhaps a bit of a blessing in disguise. As I process, I feel that there is better things in store. I have a sense of peace and am taking this little break to evaluate where my life is headed.

My boss allowed me to take some time and then come back to clean out my office of personal items. I had planned to go do so last Friday, but as it went, we got a foot of snow and I stayed put near the fireplace for the day! So, Monday morning I headed to the office for my belongings and had a brief moment of clarity and confirmation that thing were going to be ok and that brighter, better things are ahead.

Sunday night and Monday morning it had been POURING rain (even woke me a few times) and was gray and dark and GLOOMY! Not wanting to prolong the "cleanout" any longer, I put on my raincoat and off I went. I gathered my things, had a quick chat with a co-worker and made my way out the back door for the last time.

As I dodged puddles and headed through the lot, with my plotted plant in one hand and a tote bag full of framed photos and various items in the other, the sun broke through, the sky turned blue and I gazed up at the puffy, cotton-like clouds. The sun continued to shine on me as I made my way to the car, loaded my things and started the car. As I pulled out of the lot, the sun left as quickly as it had appeared. But for a brief moment, I believe I was given a sign that there's light in the situation and brighter, better things are in store for me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Fun New Blog/Project

Last Friday, I was in the spotlight again. Or perhaps it was just the sunlight and 60 degree day!  I admit that as visions of flip flops danced in my head, I got my hopes up that spring was arriving...NOT true. The next day snow returned and I was reminded that it is still very much winter in Upstate New York! In fact, the latest prediction is for a storm that will leave us with 8-12 inches of snow by the end of the day tomorrow! UGH!

Anyway...back to Friday...I had the honor of sharing one of my photographs on a new blog, http://iammorethanjust.blogspot.com/ for the February Theme: Love. I submitted a photo of a creative little love note from Emily...you can view it here. Be sure to check out all the great "Love" photos and if you desire, get out your camera and get your submisison ready for the March Theme: Survivor. I am planning to continue participating in this fun project. It's neat to have the monthly theme for some ideas to put a little creativity and spark into my photographic life! Thanks, Meg for your vision, ambition and efforts in creating this great, new blog.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Yesterday I became the subject of a comparison on my sister' business blog. Emily was also rather excited that she got a little mention as well.

I had my brief moment in the spotlight, agree wholeheartedly that often decisions rather than circumstances affect our situation and like the comparison she made. However, comparison hasn't always been my friend. At times in the past, I have done my own comparing of the "two sisters" and have often felt like I didn't measure up...that I was inferior...perhaps not as motivated or successful as she and maybe even a bit of a disappointment. Yesterday's post came as a great reminder that it is not about success or motivation or the "hand I've been dealt"...it's about MY decisions, living them out and finding peace in trusting that I made the right choices for ME.

I chose where I am today. I chose family over a fancy title and a fat paycheck. I chose long nights in a rocking chair in my baby's room over long hours at a desk in an office somewhere. Instead of depositing large sums into a retirement account, I am stocking up on priceless memories of moments shared with those I love. My bank balance may be pathetic at times, but my heart is overflowing with love from a devoted husband and a daughter who adores me.

As my sister stated, my part-time job doesn't come with a "prestigious title" and I don't earn much money, but I have grown rather fond of the title, "Mom" and am rich with love. Besides, at home, I have the most beautiful, caring, little "boss" anyone could wish for.

P.S. My big sister may have a PhD, but I'm not sure how many sleepless nights she'd survive with a crying baby or how many times she'd shrug off stepping on Polly Pockets or Littlest Pet Shops! HA!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Exactly ten years ago this evening, I sat home with a big bowl of cookies and cream, a big belly and even bigger hopes, dreams and anticipation.

Hours before at my routine prenatal visit I was told to expect a good sized baby (7 pounds or so), to not be surprised if I went past my expected due date of February 11th, etc. and she'd see me in a week.

Later that evening as I sat with my one craving (ice cream), the thoughts swirled in my head...3 more days of work, a week at home to make final preparations, pack my bag for the hospital, prop my swollen feet and daydream about the day I finally got to meet my baby girl. Perhaps I'd get a Valentine's Day baby!

Little did I know as I fell asleep that night to HGTV, as I often did when Ben was working overnights, (an old, creeky house can be a little spooky alone at night), that I was about to get a reminder of how things don't always go according to plan, in my time or under my control!

Around 2:30am, I was awakened by "pregnancy bladder"...you moms out there know just what I mean! I made my sleepy trip to to the next room and back to bed. As I climbed back into my bed, I just felt "funny"...it soon became apparent that IT WAS TIME! There would be no more working, no time at home to "nest", no waiting for an overdue baby or even my due date! It was time to call my husband home from work, grab what I could into a bag and head out the door to what would be one of the most challenging but wonderful times of my life!

As we arrived at the hospital, I didn't know what to think or feel. Tiredness, fear, excitement...pretty much any emotion you could imagine was present...ALL at once! I won't go into details about the day (those of you who really care know all about it and I'm sure the rest of you would prefer to be spared of the details!). I must say that true to her style, my girl was on her way then decided...hmm...I'm not quite ready. Please wait!

So after being at the hospital nearly 8 hours with no food (aside from 1 measly red popsicle), no sleep and lots of anticipation, the decision was made to start meds and try to convince her out!

As I struggled with contractions, pain medication side effects like nausea, craziness, etc...I watched the hands of the clock twirl and the hours passed. Finally, after what seeemed to be the longest day of my life, 11:29pm came. Along with it came the most precious 5pound 4ounce baby girl! Emily Claire had entered my life and stolen my heart!

It seemed that things didn't follow my plans at all, but the reality is that it was never about MY plan. In exhange for control over the situation, I was given the most beautiful gift. Eleven extra days! Eleven extra days to hold my baby girl in my arms, to stare into her eyes, to kiss her, to feel her soft skin, and to smell her sweet baby scent.

My life soon became a mixture of long days, sleepless nights, spit up, dirty diapers...but amidst it all was a love greater than I could ever have imagined.

Sometimes her birth seems so long ago and some days it seems as if just yesterday, I watched my tiny girl, swaddled and sleeping in her cradle. As the days, months and years have passed, my girl has changed, the routines and struggles have changed, but one thing has remained the same...my love for my daughter and my love and appreciation of being the lucky one who was chosen to be her mother.

Although motherhood isn't always easy, Emily has brought unspeakable joy to my life. I am proud of the accomplishments she's made, the "little lady" she's become and I am so glad she's mine.

In ways, as I sit here at my computer a whole decade later, a mixture of emotions wash over me once again. There is anticipation and excitement of what's to come, fear of the unknown, sadness of how quickly the time and stages have passed, pride, and most of all love. My heart is bursting at the seams with love for my sweet girl.

I hope and pray that as she opens her gifts tomorrow, she'll remember that SHE IS THE TRUE GIFT!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year 2010

As we sat this afternoon still in our pjs on this New Years Day 2011, I was thinking of fun things we could do to occupy our time while Ben was out doing a couple of errands. I came up with the silly idea to do an ABC review of the year 2010. As we thought of the past 12 months, we recalled moments of love, laughter and family times. There are SO MANY wonderful times we shared. For some letters we had a very difficult time narrowing it down to just one.

Here's our attempt to sum it all up in just 26 highlights:
A: Art...Emily continues to be the little artist of the family and participates in Art Enrichment at school
B: Black Belt...in August Emily proudly earned her Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
C: Corning Community College: The Fall Semester found Ben teaching as an adjunt auto professor
D: DISNEY...We FINALLY made it on a family trip to Walt Disney World
E: Enjoyed...We enjoyed sharing life and love with one another
F: Flew to Florida...Took a vacation, stayed with family and celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary
G: Gator Jerky...While in Florida had a real "tourist" moment and stopped for Gator Jerky...I even tried it!!
H: Harry Potter-Hogsmeade...While in Florida we went to Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios
I:  Ice Hockey...Emily and classmates sang the National Anthem at 2 Jackals Hockey games
J: Jewelry...I continue to make jewelry (mostly for my own wear) but would like to really get into business
K: Kayaking: Ben and Emily enjoyed kayaking together at the lake
L: Lake...The three of us spent the week at the lake with Ben's side of the family
M: Met...Met many new friends, Disney Characters and even some relatives that we hadn't previously met
N: Netbook...Santa was very kind to Emily this year and got her a netbook...her own computer!!!
O: Ocean...While in Florida we spent a gorgeous afternoon at the ocean playing in the sand and waves
P: Performances...Attended show including Princess Wishes Disney on Ice, Golden Age of Radio and more
Q: Quiet...Enjoyed some moments of relaxation and quiet time
R: Roller Coasters...Em and Ben went on most of the coasters at Disney and even I went on Splash Mountain
S: Saxophone...Emily began playing saxophone and presented a concert at Christmas dinner
T: Tore down a wall...Bathroom wall was "demolished" in the process of looking for the source of a  houseful of honey bees
U: Underwater Swimming...Emily spent many summer days at the pool perfecting her underwater swimming
V: Vice-President...Emily ran and was elected as 4th Grade Student Council VP
W: Won the Spelling Bee...Emily became the 3rd grade spelling champ
X: X-Mas...Hosted our first Christmas dinner at our house...was so nice to have everyone here
Y: Youth Ministry...Ben continues to be involved in the church's youth ministry...Emily and I go along on some outings
Zebra Mussel Shells...Lots of zebra mussel shells were spotted on the lake shore

2010 proved to be a fabulous year...here's hoping the new year will be just as great.

Blessings to you all as you recall your 2010 and look ahead to what lies before you in 2011.