Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend REwind

We had a weekend about a close to perfection as one can have.....
{click on image to make larger}

Aunt Olly is HOME for Christmas. Madaline & I spent the entire weekend together just doing what it is that we do best...puttering around the house, visiting my bestie for coffee and late lunch out like fancy ladies. We even threw in a late Sunday snuggle and cookie baking session for good measure.

It finally snowed here over the weekend --- that was enough to finally make it seem like it was time to get out my snowmen. It was fun to listen to Madaline ask questions as I placed each one of the entertainment center and did my best to artfully arrange them.

Christmas is just right around the corner. Are you ready?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Coming Home

Every day for a week now, each Morning she says to me "Aunt Olly will be home soon". I nod, and softly reply, "Soon baby girl...soon". But, this morning, like the 7 mornings past when an excited little voice said "Mommy....Aunt Olly will be home soon" I was able to reply "Tomorrow baby girl...our beloved Olly will be home tomorrow".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unexpected Twists

Life has taken an unexpected twist and become a bit over grown with what seems insurmountable hurdles.

but, just as the spring rain washes away the last of winter....
and, as the jewled leaves have started to fall from the trees, giving away to winter...

We will be ok.

and, we are back. Are you ready for the Mayhem?

Looking for more worldFUL or wordLESS Wednesday posts? Check out:
Better in Bulk, 5 Minutes For Mom,
Seven Clown Circus, Parenting By Dummies

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just Yesterday

Just yesterday,
we brought you home from the hospital.
I was dropping my 6 weeks old off at daycare.
Just yesterday, we celebrated another year of you.
You turned 4.Just yesterday, you were drinking out of a bottle.
Just yesterday,
we hid ALL your Nuks in a drawer.
You had your first taste of solid food.
Just yesterday,
you asked me for a big girl cup instead of a sippy cup. Just yesterday you started to crawl.
You learned to run.
Just yesterday you suddenly knew how to skip.
Just curious,
when you are going to learn to actually walk?Just yesterday, you didn't say a word.
You graduated from speech therapy.
Just yesterday,
your Dad and I wondered what silence sounds like.
Just yesterday,
I filled out the registration paperwork for you to attend Pre-K.
I got the letter with your class assignment and supply list.
I bought you a backpack.
Just yesterday,
we attending Pre-K orientation.
I packed my first lunch box.Just like yesterday,
I helped you get dressed and braided your hair.
Today your Dad helped you put on your new socks and sneakers.
Just like yesterday,
I zipped up your hoodie.
today, just like yesterday,
I kissed your cheek, hugged you tight,
and whispered "Mama loves you" in your ear.But, today,
unlike yesterday,
I watched you giddy with excitement waiting for the school bus.
And, today,
unlike yesterday,
I watched you climb the steps of the school bus.
And, today,
unlike yesterday,
it was you, instead of me,
who waved from a moving window, as the bus drove away.And, today,
unlike yesterday,
I cried.
before I know it,
all of today will be just another yesterday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Weekend REwind


I can't believe that it is Monday already.

Friday evening this week meant pizza, wings and play time with cousins for Madaline. While we finalized the logistics of Jordan visiting friends an hour away from home. Of course, this mean that for the bulk of the weekend it was just the three of us. So, naturally, we ended up spending LOTS of time at Grammy & Grampy's.

We did get quit a few things accomplished this weekend. We had a family sleep over in the living room involving cartoons and too much popcorn. Made Blueberry Crumble Bars, 8 more jars of banana peppers with cherry bombs and picked up a peck of peaches for canning later this week. Heck, we even folded a little bit of laundry and did some grocery shopping.

So, That was my weekend......How was yours?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I wonder what he said to her...

Every now and again I will upload photos off the camera and find nothing but really bad photos. Photos that I thought were going to be just plain wonderful are suddenly blurry or just awkward. And, then, there are times where I start looking through the photos to edit and I am blown away. Photos that make me wonder just what was being said that made a moment happen. This is on of those photos.

Jordan has lived with us for almost 2 months now. Madaline, while once leery of him, now, is just smitten. I really wonder what it was he was saying to her. I suppose now almost a week later it doesn't matter. All that matters is that the moment has been captured. And, that I need to find a frame for it.

Looking for more worldFUL or wordLESS Wednesday posts? Check out:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Celebrating Madaline, Year 4

Dear Mads,
Four. 4. Four.
Yes. You are 4. And, it seems that it all happened in just the blink of an eye. Your endless energy fills continues to fill our days with laughter and mayhem. You never cease to amaze me with your growing vocabulary, facial expressions and endless imagination. You have a unquenchable thirst for knowledge - something I hope you never lose.In the last year I have been re-assured that you are capable of actually walking. Though you do prefer to run or skip or hop or jump. And, the constant scraped knees and bruised shins are a by product of this habit. But that is because you are full speed ahead all the time. This leads to your fondness for band-aids - boo boo or no boo boo. And, not to mention in the last year you have discovered gum. I'm sure one of these days I will find it stuck between the couch cushions.You devour fruits and veggies like it is your job. Many nights, no matter what is for dinner, you make a meal out of any combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, peaches, bananas and apples. You make your Mama proud when you chow down on Salt & Vinegar chips and your Daddy grin from ear to ear as you shell 'stacios' together as a bed time snack. And, popcorn. You have a LOVE of popcorn and would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if we let you. While the tried and true vanilla cone with sprinkles is still one of your favorites - you have broadened your ice cream likings to Orange delight (vanilla ice cream swirled with orange sherbert) and never turn down a Popsicle. You color inside the lines and do a fairly good job at writing your name. We end most of our days by watching old school Scooby-Doo and reading Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious or The Old Black Fly.You test your boundaries and the limits of Mommy & Daddy's patience on a regular basis. You have mastered eating, talking and walking - but, the whole go to bed without a fight seems to be a skill you skipped. We are patiently waiting for you to develop that skill. And, please, learn it soon. You prefer your hair in braids over pigtails. And, you recently discovered headbands. You wear nothing but dresses and skirts -but you've proven that you can play just as hard in and get just as messy. And, while you don't own a pair of sneakers you do own soccer cleats. The legacy continues as you played soccer this past spring and LOVED every minutes of it.And, of course, there is Bear. You never go anywhere with out Bear. Bear is your faithful and trusting companion. And, for some reason he always seems to smell like oatmeal and maple syrup. You got annoyed with me not long ago for washing him, informing me that he no longer smelled like oatmeal. Sadly, he's missing from pictures this year, as he spends the bulk of his day nestled in your bed. Yet another sign that you are quickly becoming a BIG girl. Oh, Mads.....You're our twinkle twinkle star, the sparkling light of our lives. You are Daddy's Boo-Bug and Mommy's little BIG girl. But, most importantly, you are LOVED.Happy Birthday Baby Girl.....
Mama & Daddy

Celebrating Madaline: Year 2, Year 3

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekend REwind

I spent just shy of three glorious days in New York City with my sister and my Mama last week. It was much needed amazing time away.

This of course meant that I would spend the weekend catching up on sleep, baking, grocery shopping, canning HOT pickled peppers, and of course, hanging out with the Mayhem Maker. (to say that she missed me, even though I was only gone for "2 sleeps" is an understatement)

I have LOTS to share with you this week. Did you know that Madaline turned 4 a week ago? And, that school starts just 4 weeks? My *goonness* times is passing quickly around here. And, without a doubt, every single weekend between now and the the start of school is jammed pack. Reunions, time with family, our annual trip to Seneca Lake and possibly a trip to the State Fair and the Zoo thrown in for good measure. Busy. Busy. Busy.

So, tell me, What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I stood with my toes sinking in the sand. The waves licking my ankles and tears welling in my eyes. It felt as if the world was being pulled out from underneath me.

We. Are. Adjusting.
I looked out over the waves and out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of Madaline. She was darting darting back and forth between the shoreline and the safety of her spot in the sand. She was on a mission. Building in the Sand. The whole beach has become her own personal sandbox. So Sweet. So simple. So innocent.

I. Am. Lucky.
I thought of home. Of my husband. Of Jordan. Of my Dad. I thought of three of them fishing. Doing things together that they should have been doing to together for years. Time, chances, moments, memories we should have had. How we scramble to make up for the time we lost. How each day we are re-defining family.

I look around. I take it all in. I see, My mom. My daughter. My shadow. A weekend full of firsts. First road trip. First time to the Ocean. First time out of New York State. First time on a tree swing. More memories in 4 days than we could have ever even imagined in her dreams.

I. Am. Blessed.
The tide rolls in, gentle, yet strong. I feel calm. As the waves crash and break against the shore. I feel like all the pieces fall together. The sun fade and colors the sky with wonder.

Deep Breath. Peacefulness settles into my heart.
My life, my soul, soaking in every moment around me.

Some days are easy.
Some days are hard.
Some days are even harder.
We are still adjusting.We WILL be ok.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

850 Miles

4 days + 12 hours in the car round trip + 850 miles traveled =

swimming in a backyard pool,
standing in the ocean,

building sand castles at the beach,
watching kites fly,
bonding with cousins over cupcakes,
a tree swing she's still talking about a week laterand more memories than we know what to do with.

Life is good.
I should go on vacation more often.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


There may be 16 years between them, but if you look really close, you can see the similarity.....
(PLEASE excuse the carpyness of the photo...I took it with my iPhone, at 5:30 in the morning not even 2 minutes after I rolled out of bed)

See the left arm....It's hard to see in the picture of Madaline...but see it - Look real close. It's tucked up behind her head.

And see it here? The left arm.....same position.

I guess it's pretty clear they are related. Huh?

Looking for more worldFUL or wordLESS Wednesday posts? Check out:
Better in Bulk, 5 Minutes For Mom,
Seven Clown Circus, Parenting By Dummies

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend REwind

My goodness.....where did the weekend go? How can it possibly be Monday already?I think my mom & I picked almost 40 cups of strawberry's this weekend. I think Madaline ate at least a quart and a half of fresh berries over the course of the afternoon on Saturday. We made jam, froze berries and even invited most of our extanded family over for Sunday Strawberry Shortcake dessert.

And, Summer has officially begun here - as we started swimming lessons today.

So, that was my weekend. How was yours?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where I'm From....

I am from JIF peanut butter, sun brewed iced tea, shake & bake chicken.

I am from the I am from the brown house that we painted green my sophomore year in College just across the road from what used to be the old Townsend Store.

I am from riding bikes on dirt roads and quicksand in the creek. I am from the the yard with no trees. And a place where the ditches are lined with lilies in the summer and the wind whistles and bends the old pines in the winter.

I am from ballet lessons that quickly gave way to soccer. I am from Scuteri's pizza on Friday night, Saturday morning cartoons, Yankee baseball and BIG {extended} family dinners.

I am from the fire and ice that is the Boyce temper and the soothing wisdom and the gentleness of a Bilinski. I am from the place where Marian Louise still lives in the house Patricia Ann grew up in. Proudly, I now live in the house Fredrick occupied as a child.

I am from a 45 mile an hour speed zone, no Chinese food delivery and where stop signs only exist where the the side roads intersect the main road and the trip to the nearest store that sells cloths is at least 25 minutes long.

I am from mind your mind your manners, get your hair out of your eyes, always wear clean underwear and make sure you have a have a quarter for the payphone.

I am from going to Saturday night Mass, but only as a child. And, not with my parents, but with my Aunt. Pretty stained glass, polished hard wood, the bitter taste of the seal on the tithing envelope dropped into the long handled Wicker collection baskets - only to say my vows in another church, further down the street just like my parents.

I am from where Home has been and always will be, on the hill, above the village, on the west side of the deepest Finger Lake. Just down past the race track. Where the old church is now a house, the Grange Hall that used to host an annual Halloween party still stands and where we used to fly kites on the ball field out back. You know, where the smell of late summer dew reminds me of 4-H camp.

I am from the the intoxicating smell of my Daddy's homemade sugar cookies, macaroni & cheese, and meatballs. And, where some much of what we do is a constant reminder of "It's tradition".

I am from haphazardly kept photos. A few albums, pages sticky with age, faded and yellowing hold memories thought of to be the most precious. Dad in his plaid pants. Mom with her hair piled on top of her head studded with flowers. Bell bottoms and wooden platform sandals. The 4 weeks I spend in Japan at 13. Shoe boxes stuffed with 4 x 6 memories dotted with the Eifle tower, Chaging of the Guard, sunflower fields in Minnesota and sights found on the New England coastlines. The eery and haunting photos of a NYC skyline that no longer exists. Dance recitals, birthdays, the birth of my little sister, school dances, high school crushes, sporting events, and graduations.

I am from a place where I spent the first 21 years of my life trying to find a way out. Thinking the grass was greener elsewhere. Only 6 short years later learning that what I really want was to be home. And, that, that is where I am from. Home.

{I have read some fantastic posts today based off of this. Please take the time to read Steph, Sarah, Jennifer, and Connie. Each of my their posts made my heart smile. And, yes, I realize that I don't often deviate from just sharing just Madaline and her Mayhem. But, what a fantastic post this was to much to say that I'm sure I said more than the meme called for}

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Family, re-defined

When I was a little girl family meant a mommy, a daddy, 2.5 kids, a dog, possibly a cat or two and a pristine white picket fence. Or, at least that is the vision I have always had in my head.
(a HUGE storm rolled thru last Saturday - I'm not one for shooting landscape - but, damn, I think I did ok on this one, don't you think?)

Today? Family has many definitions. My daughter sat at the Sunday dinner table a few weeks ago telling us about one of her friends at daycare and that she has two mommy's. And, none of us batted an eyelash of that declaration. I know single moms. I know a few single dads that are sometimes better at this parenting thing than my husband and I combined. I know blended families. And, I know families that are a combination of his, hers and ours.

Family isn't a set definition anymore. It is NOT the 2.5 kids. Or, the dog. Or the cats. And, there certainly isn't a pristine white picket fence around my front yard.Families are tied together by love and bound with honor and forgiveness. Families are created by people that yearn for love, need love, give love, share love. Family is LOVE. Family is opening your home when most people would shut the door. Family is doing first and asking questions later. Family is about doing what is right when others might think it is wrong. Family is about giving second chances and the opportunity to start new. Family is what will always believe in you when no one else will.

Family. In my humble opinion is one of the most important elements that defines us as human beings. Family is at the center of my soul. It is my core. It is what holds me together when my exterior world is crumbling apart. Family is the only thing that can warm and break my heart all at the same time. And, that is why with my heart warm, my mind numb, and my soul overwhelmed, I'm sharing with you that we are no longer a family of 3, but a family of 4.

The details of how or why are not important. And, perhaps it is in the innocent wisdom of an almost 4 year old that has put it best. When she is asked about "J" and why he has come to live with us in our little green house she simply replies...
"J lives with us now because he is family"

Looking for more worldFUL or wordLESS Wednesday posts? Check out:
Better in Bulk, 5 Minutes For Mom,
Seven Clown Circus, Parenting By Dummies

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Picking Flowers

Madaline has an obsession with picking flowers. We had the most pretty geraniums on the back deck. She picked all the flowers, all the blooms and all the buds off from it. They should grow back. Maybe. I hope anyway.

We went flower and herb shopping over the weekend. Each place we stopped, before we entered the green house I'd get right down to eye level and say "do NOT pick the blooms off the flowers". And, she'd look at me with her big eyes really wide and say, "yes Mama".

And, so, late in the day on Saturday when I told her we'd clip some of the perennials and bring them inside she was ecstatic. As I was clipping the iris that had gotten to top heavy to stand up straight in the garden, I noticed Mads had disappeared to the other side of the shed. Before to long she reappeared. In her little hand were what we call "ditch flowers". They are a very pretty small budded purple flowers. The grow in the ditch behind our shed as well as in the ditches that line the country roads we drive on a regular basis. They really are very pretty.
"Mama, I pick'd zis for ewe" she said, with a smile that was trying to be wider than her face.

"Why thank you Mads. They are just want these white iris need to mak
e them look pretty"

Now...If I can just get to to NOT pick the golden rod in August and try to pass it off as a pretty flower because she likes the color I 'd be all set. (as it too grows in our ditch) *A-CHOO!*

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I find that victories as a parent are few and far between.

Maybe it is because at times I feel like I am parenting a miniature version of myself. Daily I see snippets of me in her sassy mouth and her crazy sense of fashion. My Dad will often sit back and chuckle at Madaline's antics. In this chuckle I am reminded that he is seeing bits and pieces of me as a child in my daughter.

And, so, perhaps this is why Madaline's actions Saturday stick out of me so well. You see, I don't often write about our financial situation. Maybe that is because it is no ones business but our own. But, truth be told, we are getting by on one income. And, at times, money is tight. There is very little money for "wants" as opposed to "needs". If you know what I mean. And, this comes into conflict with the parent that I have always wanted to be. I've always said to my husband that I wanted to be the parent that said no to a new toy or a new trinket because I could. Not because I had to. And, while Madaline wants for very little (Grammy & Grampy are more than very generous), it does make me ache at times that I can not give into her every whim and want.

And, so, as we wandered around Target, I was more than happy to say YES to the new sand pail that came with a shovel (thank you Target for your $2.50 bins). And, again I said YES as we wandered thru the seasonal items and there were some boxes of other sand toys - each for .99 cents. I even let her choose two. Maybe it was because she'd asked so nicely with her good manners. Maybe it was because she'd actually been riding in the cart the whole time instead of trying run up and down the isles like a heathen.

Before we knew it, we'd come full circle back around the store. By now she's asked to get out of the cart and walk. And, in my mind I was thinking if we can just get thru the checkout past the shelves of "needfull things" we'd be all set. And, besides, I'd just told her that because she'd been so good, that I'd treat her to a lemonade and some popcorn.

And, that's when it happened. It caught her eye. On the bottom shelf in the check out. The miniature barbie toy.

"Mama, can I have it"
No honey, not today
"Please, mama"
I said NO, not today Mads
"I want it"
"I want it"
Madaline Elizabeth, we just got you a new bucket and new diggy things for your sandbox, you don't need it
"I want it" know what - you have to make a choice. If you want the barbie toy we will have to return all the sand toys
"I want both"
I'm sorry, but you can't have both. Either the sand toys or the barbie toy. You choose.
::Madaline hangs her head and stand there thinking for a few minutes::
::she turns and stomps back over to put the barbie toy on the shelf::

Thank you for making a choice Madaline - now, would you like your lemonade and popcorn?

And, when I looked up, perhaps the best thing that could have happened? The cashier that had just rang us out, looked over at me and smiled. A little knowing smile. Kinda like the smile I wished that someone had given me that fateful day at Old Navy. But, oh well. And, now that I think about it, I don't think the popcorn at Target has ever tasted as good as it tasted last Saturday.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend REwind

I typically gauge how the weekend is going to play out by how well behaved Madaline is on Friday night. And, come Sunday night, a sure sign of a busy adventure filled weekend is how much of a scream induced meltdown she has. I know, I know...sad. But, true. Needless to say she was beyond well behaved Friday night and had a meltdown of epic proportions Sunday night.

And, so, I think we closed the book on another rockin' good weekend.
At one point we found ourselves deep in upstate Amish country buying a few flowers and herbs. And, I was surprised that it wasn't super busy or crowded with people. And, since we did have a spend a significant amount of time in the car to get from point A to Point B - this allowed some of Madaline's free spirited nature to shine thru. And, by this, I mean, I allowed her to run from one end of an almost empty green house to another while I carefully chose my basil plants. Usually I try to nip this kind of behavior in the bud so not to annoy others around us, but, this time I found it refreshing. She had a relatively safe environment to blow off some steam and I could choose my herbs in peace without having to worry about her picking the blooms off the endless rows of pansies & petunias. That's a win-win in my book.And, of course we needed cat food, which in my mind is the perfect reason to drive 20 minutes out of my way to Target. And, we ended one night with a trip to the ice cream stand and another night by making smores in Grammy & Grampy's new fires pit thingy. Daryl got in some fishing, we had a BIG family dinner complete with Aunt Olly, and as usual got some groceries for good measure.
And, as long as I think of only all the good we had all weekend, it kinda make the ache in my heart ache less in response to the "I am extremely overtired, not going to listen to reason, what ever you do don't look at me or touch me, scream until I almost puke" meltdown Madaline had minutes before she collapsed from sheer exhaustion in her bed last night.

So, that was my weekend. How was yours?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Feature: Ruffles, Ruffles and MORE Ruffles

Here's just a few things that caught my eye on Etsy this week:

tag you "r" it by Kari

Oh...and this....Be still my ever ruffle loving heart:

Lil Miss Muffin
Etsy; Facebook

So, that's what I've been looking at this week. What I've been wanting. If you can, take a minute - visit their blogs, their shops or even follow them on twitter.

PS: None of these shops asked me to do this, nor did they know before hand that I was doing this. I'm just hoping they don't get angry with me for using their photos. These are just a few of my favorite Etsy shops that I've been browsing lately....and slowly saving my pennies in hopes of being able to buy a few of these items for Madaline.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend REwind

Finally we had some sunshine here. And, needless to say, we did not waste one single moment of it this weekend. Madaline was on the back deck, at 8:30 am sharp Saturday morning, digging in the sandbox.
And, before we knew it, the rest of the weekend got away from us. We visited with my Gram, Mads got better at pedaling her trike up and down our country road, watched our local fire department do a controlled burn exercise on the abandon house just next to us, swept the grass and winter crud off the back deck, realized our porch umbrella needs more water in the base (*hint* Daryl *hint*) before we can use it, baked some banana bread and butterfinger brownies, big family dinners, and some grocery shopping thrown in for good measure.

No wonder that by the time 7:30 rolled around last night we were both camped out on the couch like toads watching some old school Scooby Doo. So, that was my weekend. How was yours?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Friday Feature: Favorite Things

One of my favorite songs is 'My Favorite Things'. And, I'd have to say that all of these "things" are a FEW of my favorite things, right now. That is not to say that this won't change.

Madaline will go to Pre-K at our local Elementary school in the fall - and I'm hoping to make her the envy of all her classmate in terms of fashion. Wouldn't these be perfect for that?
Gocks Frocks: Etsy; Facebook; Blog

Believe it or not, while it is still months away, I've already started planning in my head for Madaline's 4th birthday. I'm hoping this year to get her one of these:
Little Free Radical: Etsy; Blog; Facebook Page

and one of these, for a shirt, letting the world know that she is turning 4.PunchkinWear: Etsy; Blog; Facebook; Twitter

Me thinks she would look gosh darn cute twirling around the yard celebrating. And, the tutu would be a PERFECT addition to her dress up box.

And, finally, of of my goals before the end of the year is to have room swapped around in my house. This mean, Madaline would be in a new room. How cool would these blocks be on a shelf in her room? Maybe with some of her baby pictures? Or, perhaps just all of my favorite pictures of her? So cute!
Live Simply: Etsy; Blog; Facebook; Twitter

So, that's what I've been looking at this week. What I've been wanting. If you can, take a minute - visit their blogs, their shops or even follow them on twitter.

PS: None of these ladies asked me to do this, nor did they know before hand that I was doing this. I'm just hoping they don't get angry with me for using their photos. These are just a few of my favorite Etsy shops that I've been browsing lately....and slowly saving my pennies in hopes of being able to buy a few of these items for Madaline.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Madaline has been rockin' the accessories lately.
And, on Sunday it all came to a head. literally
You see, It started with the Hat.
The Hat that my Mom gave to Madaline just a few days before Easter.
And, then it evolved into this:
And while I think all her "accessories" are just down right adorable. I'd say it's her smile that totally makes the outfit.

Hat: Target, Dollar Bin

Hoodie: Gifted from Aunt Olly
PJ Dress: I honestly don't remember - It's at least 2years old.
Rain Boots: Gifted from Grammy (she got them at the Shoe Depot)
Sunglasses: The Bass Pro Shop
Smile: Madaline

Linking Up to: Mama Love Papa, Small Style