Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Paddy's Day may never be the same

Today is St. Patrick's Day, a typically celebratory event in my family. We almost always marched the parade or at least attended, and then shared homemade Shamrock Shakes at my aunt's house.

This year was going to be different, only we had no idea how different it would be. There was a lot going on and many people had to work, so we scrapped plans to celebrate together this year. It was going to be the first time in my life (to the best of my memory) that I was at work (or school, in my earlier years) instead of celebrating St. Patrick's Day. I was bummed, but I dressed in green and went off to work anyway.

Only, the day took a different turn. While in meetings this morning, I missed a call from one of my cousins. I presumed she had called to see if I was heading to the parade or celebrating somewhere today, so I didn't think much of it. But when I returned to my desk a couple hours later, I also had a message from my mom saying simply, "Call me at home when you get this." My mom and I often talking during the day, so I shouldn't have been concerned. But I was.

When I called her back, she told me in tears that my cousin's girlfriend (pretty much his wife, in our eyes), had an accident and died. My cousin and I are the same age and have been close since we were babies. He and his girlfriend have been together for more than 10 years and have two young boys together. It seemed impossible. I was heartbroken, and instantly in a fog.

Just like is tradition in our family, we all congregated together. We gathered food and went to be with my cousin, his siblings and dad, his girlfriend's family, and their friends. We spent the afternoon huddled together, trying to process a fresh and unimaginable loss.

St. Paddy's Day will never be the same in my family after this. We will always remember it as the day we loss Melissa. Rest in peace!
With her youngest, a few years ago at our annual Shamrock Shakes party.
Please keep this precious boy (and his brother, in the photo above) in you prayers.
They are going to miss their mommy so much!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Learning Love Languages

Understandably so, Sean and I sometimes speak very different love languages. It’s not terribly uncommon. Men and women are clearly wired very differently.

After being together for 9 years, you’d think I’d know and appreciate all the ways he shows his love by now. Truth? Not even close. But I think I’m getting better.

Sometimes it’s simply lost in translation. Other times, I’m too wrapped up in the emotional, irrational state of mind that is so often my life that I forget that when he doesn’t love me the way I expect him to, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me. And I’m sure for him, my love language can sometimes be equally mystifying or even frustrating.

Lately I’ve been paying a little more attention to a few examples of the different ways we show our love, not just for each other, but for others, too.


…throws away the “baby” mail we get before I get home.

…texts me no less than 5 times a day, usually just to say hi or see what I’m doing (when one or both of us is at work).

…calls his mom right away as soon as he as any kind of news or hot gossip to share.

…takes care of all the outdoor chores without ever complaining.

…gets excited to see the dog after being away from him for a while.

…texts his brothers with sports questions and facts.

…never fails to give me a goodnight kiss and say, “I love you.”

…speaks proudly about his family. 

…calls his friends regularly just to catch up and say hi.

…takes care of me when I’m sick or hurt or feeling sad.

{blurry; but I'm sticking with it anyway}

…grocery shop, meal plan, and cook (most of the time) so that we are always set for dinners and leftovers for lunch.

…am a snuggler.

…talk to my mom every single day.

…am always on the lookout for fun surprise gifts or treats that might brighten someone’s day.

…make sure all of our finances, health records, and other “administrative” stuff are always in order.

…let Sean have the window seat on every flight we ever take together.

…schedule regular dinners or outings with friends to keep us all connected.

…worry. (Not always the best thing; but I’m always thinking about people.)

…pray for Sean, our families, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.

…say “I love you,” a lot.

What are your love languages?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More photos than words

We're back from our vacation and I'm just now starting to get back into the swing of things. On my first day back at work, I swear it took me a couple of hours to remember how to use my brain to formulate any sort of cohesive and logical thought.

But in summary, we had a wonderful time. We spent 6 days in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It had been a long time - months - since we have spent more than 2 consecutive days together. It was a great reminder that we really do enjoy each others' company. The city was beautiful and charming and we loved exploring. What did we do exactly? Well, nothing. We spent most days either by the pool or on a beach for hours on end. At night, we'd roam the city looking for a place for dinner, and then wander the streets browsing in the shops and taking in the sights.

We were probably among the most boring tourists there. We weren't out partying, didn't do any fine dining, and bought virtually no souvenirs. But we relaxed. And that was our number one objective. So the trip was undoubtedly a success! Now, for a *few* (hah) photos.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

28 Things to be Thankful for in February

  1. Virtuwell. Have you used this? It is seriously a lifesaver when getting to the doctor just isn’t convenient. Like when you wake up at 2 a.m. feeling so icky that you can’t sleep and 30 minutes later you have a prescription waiting for you at the 24-hour Walgreens pharmacy.
  2. A fun weekend away with my mom and sister.
  3. FaceTime, so I can see my puppy and husband when I’m away and missing them.
  4. Turning 30!
  5. Safe travels in nasty winter weather.  
  6. Product warranties.
  7. The Olympics.
  8. Tax returns.
  9. Friends who come over to take care of a dead mouse when your husband’s at work. Did I mention said friends are cops? So I'm pretty sure the entire department got quite the laugh at my expense. Still better than the alternative, though, in my opinion.
  10. A sweet note from my husband in my Valentine’s Day card.
  11. Positive feedback/recognition at work.
  12. Answered prayers for a close friend.
  13. A surprise cake while working in NYC on my birthday.
  14. Trust.
  15. Dinner and gabbing with girlfriends.
  16. A successful completion to a tough work project.
  17. Girl scout cookies.
  18. Healthy babies for a few friends this month.
  19. A good book.
  20. Health insurance.
  21. A few days of seasonable temperatures. Enough of this unseasonable cold, please!
  22. A snuggly puppy to keep me company when daddy’s working all the time.
  23. Finding great deals on some cute clothes at the outlet mall.
  24. My husband. I’m just going to be honest, he’ll probably make this list every single month.
  25. New music finds.
  26. The ability to wear jeans to work (almost) any day I want.
  27. Amazon Prime and its super fast shipping.  
  28. Weekends. Enough said.