Thursday, December 20, 2012


My mother in law always, always, always makes cut outs for the family Christmas Eve party and I'm not talking about a couple dozen.... I'm talking like 12 dozen. Why? I couldn't tell you. Although her and her sister would split them between themselves, but still wayyy too many cookies. So this is how it has gone in years past.
"Emily, are you going to help frost cookies?"
"Of course! What time should I come by?"
"(Insert a time), I will see you then sweetie."

So,  I would show up excited to get all artsy on my cookies. I would frost about 10 really extravagant cookies and then want to be done. The only problem with this was that there would still be about 100 cookies left to frost. Now we had plenty of helpers, but they were young kids, so you couldn't really count on them... Ya know what I mean? So it kind of became a running joke about how I would start off strong picking out each individual sprinkle for my cookies and by the end I would just be slapping whatever color frosting was closest to me on the cookie and call it a day. Well, my MIL wasn't going to bake any cookies this year because it is just too much work and I of course said she just HAD to. Secretly I wanted to because I was planning to snap some photos of my little man baking his first cut outs with his grandma, so really I had an ulterior motive. Well, I got to the pictures, but by the end of the night all my cookies were yellow....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite! -ELF

Each day is filled with moments worth remembering, moments worth sharing. As a promise to myself, I wanted to start trying to reflect on my day every night and remember something that made me smile. The funny thing about that has been that it has made me pay more attention to the small things as they are happening throughout the day. I find myself smiling at my son constantly. He is a chatter box these days so you really never know what he is going to say next. Tonight we drove around as a family to look at Christmas lights and we happened to find a house that was just completely decked out; I mean the whole nine yards!!! They had blinking lights, flashing lights, twinkling lights... Everything. My son was so impressed and his little two year old mind was blown. He told me, "the lights are popping!" And it made me smile! It made me smile because he just saw fireworks at our town's Christmas parade and he learned that fireworks go pop pop and in his mind that was the closest thing he had seen to these Christmas lights, so naturally they must be popping too.

I smiled today while I was out doing a little Christmas shopping because I looked around and saw men sitting on benches everywhere or leaning against a rack while their women shopped until they dropped. I smiled because I saw a mom flustered because her kids weren't behaving well and she was concerned what everyone was thinking. I didn't smile because I was happy her kids weren't behaving, I smiled because I've been her. I smiled because I saw mothers trying to pick out just the right book for their child and it makes me happy to know that there are still parents who encourage their children to read. I smiled when I saw a woman trying to capture a beautiful candid shot of her children hanging out with what appeared to be their grandpa. I smiled because I happened to run into my step sister in a quite comical way. I just smiled.

I smile because I realize there is just so much worth smiling about. I smile because I am thankful. I smile because there really is no other way to live. Life is happening all around us and it happens so quickly. If you don't take the time to pause and enjoy things every once in a while, you'll realize when you look back you have no memories or stories to share because you were too busy moving on to what was next to enjoy the now. I invite you to remember to smile and remember at least one thing every day that made you smile. I think it's a wonderful way to end the day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tis the season!

I can't sleep, so I figured I might as well do something constructive. The holiday season is upon us and I couldn't be more happy about it. Last year I told myself that Walter was going to be so much fun come Christmas morning, well... he wasn't. BUT... this is going to be his year, I know it! He's finally going to be just the perfect age to be excited to unwrap presents, he will squeal in excitement with each special gift, he loves being a helper, he loves the lights, he loves the music, he is his mother's child! He turned 2 this past Thursday and that just seems completely unreal to me. I cannot believe I have a 2 year old!

This time of year is special to me for many reasons. There is just something about the sights, the atmosphere, and sounds of the holiday season that make me warm inside. I have so many special memories of getting my home ready for Christmas with my mother. We would spend the day putting the tree up, deciding where to place each decoration, and all the while listening to Bing Crosby's Christmas CD. Long after all my siblings out grew helping with the Christmas decorations, I could still be found helping my mom... It became OUR tradition. It became something very special to me that words can't describe. I know I will have those memories forever and I cherish them so very much. I hope I can make the same kind of memories for my son. He helped me with all the decorating this year. Although the word helping is being used very loosely. It's so important to make traditions and take the time to enjoy the small things with your child. I bet my parents didn't think half of the things that became a cherished memory for me would even make an impact on my life. I love that they did though. I love that I have special memories that are all mine or that no one else but my siblings understand. By having those cherished memories, it has enabled me to know how important it is to create them with Walter. All I can hope is that it happens as naturally in my family as in did for me as a child. I hope that in 25 or so years Walter will be sharing his Christmas memories and stories with a family of his own! Merry Christmas all!



There have been so many opinions flying around since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary took place. Where should the focus be? I think the focus needs to be on all of it. Gun control needs reformed. Yes, the statement guns don't kill people, people kill people is very true. But still gun laws need reformed. Access to guns is too easy. The idea that it's our constitutional right to bear whatever guns we like is just ridiculous. No one needs to own multiple hand guns or a .223 rifle. If you want your guns to hunt that is fine, I'm not talking about you... So shut up already about us taking your guns away.
Mental illness needs to be more accepted in society as something that needs to be treated not just something tucked neatly away in a closet that we don't want to really deal with. Take a minute to read the blog I am Ryan Lanza's Mother and the follow up blog I am Ryan Lanza's Psychiatrist. Healthcare  needs reformed in the sense that it doesn't really allow people to get help. They want to simply medicate someone or get them out of treatment as quickly as possible so they can save a few dollars. Everything is about how cheap and quick we can do things now. It's never about quality of care or individual needs. Healthcare is big business now... Actually in my opinion is one of the biggest shams out there.
Finally, our world doesn't know God. Not sure where this fits in with it all, but it's something they're talking about in the aftermath. And by saying I'm not sure where it fits in, I simply mean if you think this was God's doing or he was controlling this somehow, you've clearly never cracked open the Bible.  People want to know where God was during all of this like he is some puppet master who is controlling our every move from his throne in the sky. People really do need to get a handle on who God really is. So yeah, I think it would do our society some good to bring God back into it. You can't take him out of everywhere and run our societies and lives like we have never heard his message and then expect to bring him back into it all when everything has gone to shit. I listened to someone talking about this and he said "we have excused him out of our lives but then we act surprised when a society without him actually reflects what it has become." Or something like that. Pretty powerful, right?
So really, it was just tragic... There is nothing more that can be said about it. But... There are clearly some lessons to be learned and some changes that need to be made and that's what the media should be focusing on. Unfortunately, this will never be the case. They will do whatever it takes to get viewers and plaster that kid's face all over the place. They will continue to put that picture of that poor emotionally distraught girl on her cell phone everywhere. They will exploit these children and in a week we won't be talking about it anymore, well that is, until it happens again.

Over and Out -ejw