Monday, July 26, 2010

Take It To the Limit

10 Things that I have learned from my kids (so far) this summer...

I love my kids. I love the fact that no matter how smart I think I am, they always seem to stretch me and push me to my limits. They teach me things I never thought I would learn from my kids. So here they are ... the 10 things that I have learned from my kids (so far) this summer! In no particular order:

10. Sometimes you can draw more joy out of hard work (and giving back) than out of play.
9. A simple ball pit or kid-sized "hamster wheel" is often times more fun that an elaborate entertainment center.
8. Always know who can take a joke … and who can't.
7. Heartfelt (and handmade) gifts are much better than expensive ones.
6. There's nothing better on a hot summer day than a nice cool pool and friends.
5. Working together as a team will get you much farther than trying to compete against your friends.
4. Summer thunder storms are awesome.
3. Enjoying an ice cream at the ball park is the perfect way to spend a summer evening.
2. Free things/activities are often MORE fun than expensive ones.
1. Sparklers on the 4th of July are often more fun than the actual fireworks!

Hope you're having a fantastic summer!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Joys of Traveling

As a life-long traveler, it has come to be my experience that every flight is it's own animal. And most of the time, it is rarely what you expect it to be. And once again, this past weekend's trip has proven me right!

But first, let's look at my trip to Pittsburgh, from a few years back, as Exhibit A. I was headed with the children, from St. Louis, MO to Pittsburgh, PA, to visit the latest amusement park attraction that my husband's company had built, via Atlanta of all places. Atlanta. Really?? Then, to make matters worse, our layover in Atlanta was three hours long. Yep, three hours with an 8 year old and a 12 year old ... oh goody!

So finally, after dropping a small fortune at the Atlanta airport, we board our flight to Pittsburgh, and both children want a window seat (of course). Which is a problem, as we have kind of a fractured seating arrangement. We have an aisle, a middle, and another aisle. So in this current seating arrangement, no one is going to get a window. The very kind man sitting in the window (next to our aisle/middle) offers to take the other aisle, so that the three of us can be together, except this really doesn't help my situation at all because now one child will get a window, and another child will NOT get a window.

Now that both children are in full meltdown mode (they are very tired), and the flight attendant is less than happy with us (clearly this woman does NOT have children) ... we realize that the other window seat is not taken. So the very kind man, once again ... offers to have one of the children sit with him in the window seat ... leaving me with the other child in a window seat. Eureka!

Now I have offspring #1 sitting with this nice man, talking his EAR off ... and after all of that drama, offspring #2, in her window seat, next to me, proceeds to fall asleep.

So in conversing with the very nice man, offspring #1 finds out that the very nice man is actually a rock star. More specifically a guitar player for a rock band that shall go unnamed. The guy then proceeds to let offspring #1 listen to his iPod so that he can talk to me. Here we go ...

He buys me a beer (okay three), which I really did need at this point, and we have a most enjoyable conversation on the flight. I told him that we were going to Pittsburgh to see my husband's newest ride at this amusement park, and he is quite impressed as he has been going there since he was a child (as have I seeing as my Father's entire family is from Pittsburgh). As the plane is beginning it's decent, he asks me for my phone number.

Oh good grief. What part of "my husband" did you not hear in our conversation?? Not to mention the fact that I am traveling with two children!! So I politely decline, and he apologizes profusely, and we laugh as we are exiting the plane.
Okay, so back to the trip at hand. I went to Ohio this past weekend to visit my 85 year old Grandmother. I, being the spend-thrifty person that I am, booked a 6:40am flight to Detroit to save money, and counted on the fact that I would sleep on the flight ... when I know darn good and well that it never works out that way.

I board the plane and head back to my seat, and when I get to my seat (I have the middle seat), there is an older gentleman seated in the aisle seat. He asks me if I am headed to sit next to him, and I politely say yes. Then he asks if the man walking behind me is with me, and I say no ... to which he says "good," and then tells the guy "no offense, but she is much better looking than you are." Oh brother!

We had a very enjoyable flight, talking about our current travels (my trip to visit my Grandmother, and his trip to go race a sail boat from Port Huron to Mackinaw Island), as well as talking about previous trips that we have taken with our spouses. Before I know it, the hour flight is up, we are getting ready to land in Detroit, and I had not gotten a lick of sleep! So much for my well intentioned plans, eh?

Ahhh ... the joys of traveling!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's All About The Little Things

I spent the last four days in Ohio visiting my 85 year old Grandmother and I simply cannot imagine a better way to spend a weekend! I know, that may sound weird for someone my age, but it is true!

We had four solid days of eating, drinking, and lots and LOTS of talking! We enjoyed many great meals together (there is nothing better than a home cooked meal from Grandma!), enhanced by a refreshing cold beverage, and some wonderful conversations.

We looked through old photos, and new, and told the stories that accompanied them. I heard some new stories that I had never heard my Grandma tell in all of my 30 plus years ... and some that I had heard many times over, but that I still enjoy as much now as I did the first time.

As I now fly back home, I miss her dearly already, but look forward to the next time that we shall meet again. I did not take one photo this weekend (which is unusual for me, the self-proclaimed "picture lady"), but I already have a favorite photo of she and I, and I simply do not think that I could take a better one. Besides, we were having such a good time talking, that there were just not any good photo taking opportunities.

I have a very peaceful feeling after this weekend, and I cannot WAIT until I have another chance to spend the weekend with Grandma.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Do you believe in luck? Or in karma? Do you believe that some people are just more lucky than others? I mean, there are some people that, no matter what they do or touch, they are just plain lucky. And then there are some people who, even though they work just as hard, or maybe even harder than the “lucky” people, who just never can seem to catch a break.

I have friends/acquaintances who fall into both of these categories. I have a few friends who just plain and simple, live the charmed life. They get the once-in-a-lifetime jobs … MORE than once in a lifetime. They run into famous people. Land that big client that no one dreamed they could have landed. Meet prince charming and live happily ever after. Somehow meet the right people that open doors for them that could never have been opened otherwise.

And then I have a few friends who, no matter what they do, just can’t catch a break. Who meet/date one loser guy (or gal) after another. Who hold one terrible job after another … or can’t even find a job. Who lose loved ones. Who endure one tragedy after another. Who are never, ever in the right place at the right time. Who just can’t find even a little bit of peace or happiness in their life.

How is it that we land in our respective categories? Are we being rewarded, or punished, for a previous life? Or is this just what our particular destiny is? Do you think a person can change their destiny, or path in life?

Fortunately … most of us fall somewhere in between.

Just the musings of an Irish Girl …


Sunday, July 11, 2010


Okay, for some reason I'm feeling awful snarky today, so here's my snarky post.

First, a definition of snarky: sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner. (Just in case you didn't know! lol)

So last night a very good friend of mine and I went to a local Irish establishment to watch this kick butt 80's band. After a night of awesome music and people watching, I have a few (snarky) observations.

1.) ... if you're not 20-something, or if you don't look like Amanda Seyfried (photo above) ... please do not wear tube tops, maxi dresses or leggings out in public. None of these things will flatter your figure or make you look "hot" if you are not rail thin and under 30. I'm just saying.

2.) ... invest in a good mirror, or a find good friend. Something/someone that will tell you, no, that does not look good on you. I'm just saying.

3.) ... wearing a top hat to an Irish establishment is never a good look. I'm just saying.

4.) ... wearing your sleeves-cut-off Harley Davidson t-shirt to the Irish establishment to show of your tattoos is not a good look either. I'm just saying.

5.) ... eating a lolly pop in between drinks of your beer will NOT make you look like a tough guy, even if you are wearing your sleeves-cut-off Harley Davidson shirt. I'm just saying.

6.) ... asking the guy in front of you to move over so that you can continue to watch this chick (who happens to be that guy's WIFE) is never a good idea. I'm just saying.

7.) ... if you look like you're doing aerobics when you are dancing, you might want to slow down just a bit. I'm just saying.

Okay, I think that's enough snarky for today!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taking Time to Refocus

I know we are all busy. We are all in a hurry to get to our next destination ... whether it be work, lunch with a colleague, or a movie with friends. But every once in a while, it pays to step back, and make sure that we really are headed in the right direction.

Check out my latest blog on Then Life Happens ... "Everything in Moderation."

(Photo Courtesy of Image © Monkey Business Images