Category Archives: Holiday

Mother’s Day – With or Without the Kids?

Everywhere you look there are reminders that tomorrow is Mother’s Day: TV ads, Facebook and Twitter promotions, blog posts, restaurant flyers and more. (Did you know that it’s one of the busiest days all year for phone calls?)

So what do Moms really want? If you’re a mother of young children, are you one that wants to spend the day *with* your children or *without*? If we’re being honest, I think most young Moms would like a day of pampering away from the kids – and without having to feel guilty about it. Older mothers with adult children would probably love to spend the day with their kids if they could.

// My ideal day would be to sleep in, have a nice breakfast with my husband and kids, get sent off to a full day at the spa and then have a big dinner party at a great restaurant with all my closest mom friends and moms in my extended family – and their spouses and kids. I’m a sucker for a huge party – no cooking (not that I ever do that, thanks to Rich), no dishes, ‘lots of fun. Ideally the husbands would entertain us with some funny skit with the kids that keeps us laughing all night. And, when we get home, someone else puts the kids to bed and does all the prep for school the next day.

What kind of Mom are you – is Mother’s Day a day to be with or without the kids?

Know Your True Friends

No, this isn’t another blog post about social media friends vs real world friends (although that’s pending). Rather, my Grandfather has this Irish blessing framed on his wall and I always found it intriguing. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May those who love us, love us
And those who don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts
And if he can’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping!

Thank you, Veterans. Thank you, Ken.

This is me with my two brothers. On the right is my brother Ken. We were in NYC to visit my other brother, Brian on the left – right before Ken was deployed to Iraq. I’m happy to say that he served his time (that time around) and made it home safely, although his life had certainly changed dramatically.Today, and every day, I owe him a huge amount of thanks for the sacrifices he’s made as a military man. The things that he’s had to face in his life – and in two wars – are beyond my comprehension. Both personally and professionally, he has always been one of the most dedicated and honorable people I have ever known.

If you know a Veteran be sure to send her or him a note of personal thanks today. The efforts and sacrifices they give in fighting for us go far beyond the obvious – and stay with them for a lifetime.

Thank you, Ken.

Thanks, Veterans

Today is an American holiday that is often overlooked and just another reason for banks, schools and post offices to close. Too many of us take for granted the reason Veterans Day exists at all.

The sacrifices that the men and women in the U.S. Armed forces make are tremendous. The risks they take to go to war go well beyond the physical dangers. They risk losing relationships and missing out on key events in life that the rest of us can’t imagine missing; birthdays – births for that matter – anniversaries, holidays, celebrations and just day-to-day living without the fear of dying.

Some of them return with permanent, visible scars and many return with lasting emotional scars that we cannot see and may never understand.

Thank a service man or woman today for the leadership and bravery they possess. I’d like to personally thank my brother Ken, who has served in two wars and just passed his twenty year anniversary in the armed forces.

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I’m glad your home, brother.

Honor Greatness by Living Great

Today honors the birth, life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, a man who gave his life trying to convince the world that equality, tolerance and social justice should be a part of our every day lives. Dr. King lived every day trying to make the world a better place.

What’s one thing you’ll do this year to help the cause?

I will continue to teach my children love, tolerance and equality as core values. I will expose them – and myself – to many different types of people, cultures, rituals, religions and mindsets and hope that they will always be accepting of others’ choices, even if they are not their own. I will remind them that if we were all the same, life would be so boring – rather, embrace differences and celebrate what we can teach one another. I will teach them to treat others as they would like to be treated. And finally, I will tell them, as I did this morning, about an honorable man who gave his life trying to create a better one for his children and his dream “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Holidays Are Over but Hope Remains Bright

Today we took down the holiday decorations and the Christmas tree. It’s always so much fun putting them up – the anticipation of the season, the warm feelings of family and love, and the month or so of twinkling lights and beautifully wrapped packages. The end of the holiday season also marks the beginning of the longer winter months and that can be a bit depressing.

But I’m looking forward to the New Year. 2007 was a year of hardship for a lot of our loved ones and I am hopeful for a much brighter year for all of them in 2008. I am looking forward to a few vacations and most significantly, running my first Marathon…in Ireland (thanks Rich!).

Along with the holiday decorations, we put away a special ornament called The Wish Ornament. wish ornamentYou fill it with your wishes for the year. My youngest son wished for a new toy train (he’s 2); my oldest son wished for no more school, my husband set a personal marathon goal and I continued to wish for the end of the Iraq war and that my brother will not be deployed again.

In about 11 months I hope to be reporting that these wishes came true (with the exception of my son’s “no school” wish – but perhaps rather that he will enjoy it more) and that 2008 was a wonderful year. I hope that it is for you, too.

My Husband is Insane…

…and I’m so thankful for his insanity! As you will read if you choose to click over, he bought me quite a Christmas present this year. It’s such a thoughtful, significant and personal gift that he even created a blog for it (we are both truly techno geeks … over the holiday break we realized that back in ’99 – when we were getting married – we created a blog before we even knew what a blog was – it was such a great site I wish it was still up – we even won an “award” for it… but I digress).

I suggest starting here for the beginning of the “story” that will shape our 2008. I’m so excited, nervous – still in shock – and quite frankly, happy to have something besides work to focus on all the time (okay, yes, I have two children, three dogs, great friends and more than enough to do… but again, I digress).

Sometimes you need inspiration from an outside source and wow, if this isn’t inspiration I don’t know what is. If you have any interests in running, marathons, Ireland, adventure or heck, even marriage – and how to keep it interesting – perhaps you will find interest in our blog or following our next 10-11 months of training on Twitter – you can find us at @training4dublin.

Happy New Year – it’s certainly going to be an interesting one!

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Enjoy the Now

My family is big on Christmas. While the magic is never the same as it was in childhood, we work hard to make each and every year a memorable one. Some might say we are a little crazy – we open gifts one by one and, as the years go by and our family expands, that can make the gift opening last all day.  But it also makes gift giving memorable – rather than a harried free-for-all opening extravaganza, we know what was given and the thoughtfulness behind each gift. Christmas comes just once a year so why not make it last.

This year I am cherishing the memory-making and my family with new eyes. Unfortunately, divorce entered the family fray this year and so we are celebrating with one less family member. After nearly 15 or so years, it’s a difficult transition and one that reminds me that you have to enjoy life as it is now. It moves fast and furious and before you know it, everything can change.

Family can drive you crazy but if you are celebrating with them this year, try to appreciate every aspect of them now – the chaos, the laughs, the fun, the annoyances and sometimes even the tears. Enjoy the traditions that may seem silly or meaningless. Some day you are likely to look back and enjoy each and every one as fond memories.

If you celebrate – Merry Christmas.