another mom balancing faith, family, friends, work & life with coffee

Spiff it up March 1, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 4:28 PM

Lent.  How’s it going? It’s a slow start here.  I’ve not given up anything specifically, however, am working on more prayer and devotional time and we have our parish Lenten this week with a favorite speaker, Father Richard Leonard.

I’ve also been working on purging “stuff”.  It’s been slow going due to hectic weekend activities, but last weekend I was able to tackle the coat closet/game closet, garage shelves, school supply area and re-do my cookbook hutch.  By the time I hit the hutch area our oldest girly was in an organizational mood (she LOVES that stuff which is awesome for me), so it went pretty quickly.

Here’s a few pictures and then I’m off to enjoy my afternoon tea!!

The hutch

The hutch

Christmas glasses and cookbooks

Christmas glasses and cookbooks

Top o' the shelf with miscellaneous books and our Saint Benedict and Mary statues.

Top o’ the shelf with miscellaneous books and our Saint Benedict and Mary statues.

OK, so maybe it's more of a Christmas hutch with some cookbooks

OK, so maybe it’s more of a Christmas hutch with some cookbooks

Frequent cookbooks and Christmas dishes

Frequent cookbooks and Christmas dishes


MidWinter Sun February 16, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 12:00 AM

Because I know much of the East Coast is about to get socked with some pretty heavy ice, snow and associated misery, I thought I’d share some pics from our day in St. Augustine last weekend to help those of you staring at the white wall of the likes I cannot comprehend, a little mini mental vacation.  I’m a giver.  XO  Enjoy

The park never gets old, does it?

The park never gets old, does it?

Fresh oranges!!

Fresh oranges!!

A wee bit on the sour side....

A wee bit on the sour side….

Off to the beach!  MInd the flags!!

Off to the beach! MInd the flags!!


Miles of beach ahead!

Miles of beach ahead!

And rocks and formations for days.....

And rocks and formations for days…..




The El Galeon!!

The El Galeon!!

A sunset never gets old

A sunset never gets old



The Real Valentine’s Day February 15, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:09 AM

Happy Post Valentine’s Day to you.  Yes, the day that is so hyped and marketed deep in our psyche that if we don’t celebrate ON.  THAT.  DAY.  then….then…..then….I don’t know.  The sadness.  The bitterness.  The blah, blah, blah.  Now listen, I like a pretty little card and chocolate like everyone else, but I’d rather have a little something more substantial all year-long than a dozen roses  that waste our hard-earned money and die within the week.  Ya know?

Our day went like this:  Up at 6 and the Hubs had my card and Reese’s peanut butter treats in my coffee mug waiting for my shuffle out to the kitchen.  Now, to be duly and fairly noted…….I had NO card out for him (or the kids).  He beat me to the punch.  AND, he had cards and chocolate for our girls.  Be still my heart.  I was more warmed by the sight of THEIR cards from their dad…..their FIRST valentine.  Dads, those little girls need to know you love and adore them….early  on and often and during those tween and teen years even more, because if you don’t….they’ll look elsewhere.  So the fact that he loves our girls so deeply and openly just makes me love him more.

After coffee, it was basically a day of splitting up the parental duties and taxi deliveries of children  with one at all day music competition and the others spread about town with activities mingled with household chores of groceries and laundry.  I didn’t see any Valentine day cards paying homage to that!

By 5 o’clock the Hubs and I had the house to ourselves, enjoying our coffee and relaxing before we headed to our neighbor’s for our monthly(ish) supper club.  Thanks to Publix, our contribution of dessert was a breeze and it was a completely relaxing evening complete with a “newlywed game” Q&A round that brought lots of laughter, good-hearted ribbing and an opportunity to learn more  about each other as couples and friends.

Wrapped it up with the re-rounding of kids (2 volunteering at the church for the KofC Valentine’s dance) and one on a date…..the oldest brought himself home after a skate-filled day.

And really, I just think this was one of the best Valentine’s Days ever.  A day in the life of trying to live and love purposefully in spite of the everyday busy-ness of life.  It’s all good.

And, it should be duly noted…..that I did manage to pull it together for Hubby to finally get his card….and the kids!!



A little of this and a little of that February 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:37 AM

And BOOM.  It’s February.  One week in even.  How?  Just how?

Probably because January was a blink.

And so today I’ll take our almost 13-year-old daughter and some friends to St. Augustine for the day, because here in Florida we are blessed with high 60s for our winter February.  And I’ll most certainly be wearing fuzzy boots, jeans and a jacket, because I AM a Floridian and have the thinnest blood ever and 60 and below.  Just cold.  My poor Hubs would love nothing more than to whisk us up to New Hampshire to live (his boyhood stomping grounds) and I have had to tell him we will have a split marriage:  him in NH with my visits periodically….mostly during the summer, but the fall for foliage and the winter for a snow fix.  But not too snowy.  Since we’ve not hit the Lotto nor found the money tree, it’s looking like FLA is home-sweet-home.  Which is fine by me.

Other daily happenings, since this blog seems more diary than blog lately, but it is what it is….

Our 15 yo has joined track and we have had a RE-convening on planning and organizing time.  With the realities of “real deal” practices kicking in with sore and tired bodies to follow, homework, permission slips and general planning for the day ahead have all kind of become muddled.  These are the things of life though, and we have to go through it to figure out what works, what doesn’t and what we can do better to improve, right?  Painful lessons for our 15 yo, and mom and dad, but necessary.

Our 17 yo has given his notice at his first job to enter the world of pizza delivery and shop. The owner also has an auto repair shop and with this jeep enthusiast we are hoping this pays off in repair deals as well as continued learning in how to repair one’s vehicle, etc, etc.  With 18 just around the corner, more opportunities will abound, but for now it appears he wants to sow his employment oats and try a few new things.  We can guide and counsel and in the end sit back and hope for the best with life’s lessons learned with close proximity to the nest.  We have great kids but it’s always a helpful reminder to myself (and Hubby) that their reasoning skills won’t be better formed until those frontal neurons actually connect.  Somewhere around 25.  Until then, we just do our best to not bang our heads against the wall as we navigate teen conversation and debate “skills”.  #goodtimes

Our 11 yo is our little athlete and also learning the art of homework, extra help with math, and working on reading comprehension.  Her flute is coming along and she joined us for spin class the other night, to which she replied half way through…..”this is hard.  I don’t know how you guys do this!”.  She managed to mosey through until the end, however, I don’t think she’ll be back anytime soon!

And little miss 13 yo.  Still finding her way. Returning to running and managing the hormones of middle school girl drama.  Interesting to find her friends and to be a friend.  Some of  her friends hang with just one other girl and then call only when the other is unavailable.  Others suffering from depression and intense therapy.  Definitely a learning experience because as an adult you can see that some of these girls are trying to fill the hole of broken marriages.  It’s a challenge in being a good friend during these times and as a parent a challenge to guide and love through the roadblocks and to encourage without fully getting sucked into the drama.  But then, that is life:  ups and downs and learning to be there for one another, as friends and family.  Realizing we are all human and fall short and to take the good with the bad.

As for the Hubby and I, we are status quo with managing work and family life.

God is good.  All the time.



Quick Taking it January 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 9:16 AM

It’s been forever since I’ve joined in 7 Quick Takes, now held over at Kelly’s place, but I figured it’s a good way to help me get back in the swing of things blog-wise and all.

1.  I’ve been reading Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted lately.  On the Kindle and I must say, it’s really making think how we, how I, live and incorporate the Word into my life (the hubs started reading it as well and I frequently have to hush his laughter so I can focus!) It’s one of those things that you “think” you’re doing an ok job, and then you realize….whoa, man, have I got WORK to do.  It’s hard, but sometimes I need a reality check because we can always do better, right?  And Jen is pretty funny in case you haven’t read her stuff before.  Her end-of-school essay was beyond hilarious and dead-on-accurate!!!

2.  I didn’t really make any resolutions this year, however, I am slowly purging stuff and organizing life, i.e., annual goal list with hubby, budget eval, physical purging of crap stuff in the house.  I function better as a whole when I have order…..probably not to the level the hubs likes it, but MY order.  ;-)

3.  Last week our youngest son made his Confirmation and it was awesome.  I managed NOT to cry, but came close….our youngest diva called me out and so I stopped.  This week he got his learner’s permit.  Next month our oldest daughter turns 13.  Stop.  This.  Crazy.  Train.  For one hot minute.  It is head spinning.  And fun.  And awesome.  And busy.  But, wow.  That whole, “they grow so fast”.  Yep,true.  Hold them babies tight.  It won’t stop the growing, but you won’t regret the snuggle!

Our boy with my grandmother, his sponsor!

Our boy with my grandmother, his sponsor!

4.  Girls.  At what age does it go from 2’s company, 3’s a crowd to piles of girls all at once?  I’m trying to remember and from my fuzzy recollection, it’s at some point in high school.  I just need to encourage our girls (one more than the other) that this WILL pass and until then, I will remind her of this brilliant piece from Lysa TerKeurst’s daughter, “I’ve decided something about friends. They all have good stuff and bad stuff. Things you like and things that annoy you. You just have to decide if you can handle their package deal.”   Something we can ALL use throughout life, huh?

5.  I’m going to have to wrap this up so I can get to spin class.  Twice a week, except if you mix the times up and completely miss a class.  ahem.


6.  Yesterday I took the day off work to get my doctor’s appointments done:  a) skin biopsy on my face.  as fun as it sounds.  b) annual which was rescheduled to March because I wasn’t due yet.  color me thrilled.  however, it will be AFTER our 7 week work challenge at work, so I might be “healthier” at that time.  c) eye appointment.  one word:  bifocals.  do I qualify for AARP now?  sheesh.

not my actual pair, but close.  hand me a cane, would ya?

not my actual pair, but close. hand me a cane, would ya?

7)  It’s so windy and cool here today.  Perfect for sticking in my PJs, reading a book and lots of tea!!  But.  I’ve done that all morning with coffee, so I really can’t complain!

Have a great weekend!!


Timespinning January 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:07 AM

Can it even be mid-January?  I only blinked.  Truly.  Crazy stuff.  I remember when I was a youngster and my mom used to tell me the older you got the faster time went.  Well:  mom was right.  Again.

And so, January is turning out to be as busy as December, if that’s even possible.  All good, I tell you.  All good.

The boys and I had a good trip to see my mom and her Hubby in Pa, despite the 3degree temp when we got off the plane (not including wind—-how DO people live like that????  Seriously thin blood here!).  The boys had never flown before and I made sure to book the bulkhead seats for their long-limbs, but I will tell you that when you open up those tray tables to spread out homework on, you WILL regret each and every Christmas cookie=makes for a long hour.

Snowball fight...first things, first!

Snowball fight.  First things, first!


Steel Stacks in Bethlehem.  Crazy to see what made our country great and the desolation of it today. We had a good time just walking around and wondering what it was like “back in the day”.

Confirmation is this weekend for our 15 yo son and next week he gets his learner’s permit.  See?  Blinked.

Confirmation class 2015

Confirmation class 2015

And then, starting Monday, our company is having a 7 week health challenge (conveniently timed to end just as we do our annual wellness blood work, etc to qualify for money back on insurance!), so I agreed to captain our team.  Purely selfish.  You see, if I am captain I am completely accountable.  To everyone.  (It’s the whole reason I taught aerobics for years……free gym membership and I HAD to be there).  Needless to say, I have stocked up on veggies and fruit and last night the Hubs and I had date night and I thoroughly enjoyed my bread, calamari and pizza.  Every bite.

And so, as we blaze through this weekend with Confirmation retreat, work expo, London Philharmonic symphony concert, Confirmation-THE EVENT ITSELF and maybe, just maybe, trying to squeeze in a chance to see my sister…….I’ll take a few pictures and try to inhale and absorb each moment.  And not blink.

Selfies in the cold are HARD.  Can you hear me gritting my teeth??

Selfies in the cold are HARD. Can you hear me gritting my teeth??



Whoa…2015. January 1, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:53 AM

The craziest thing.  Ever.  NewYear’s Eve 2014 found the Hubs and I at Vigil Mass (not so crazy) and then afterward we went to dinner (crazy).  Our oldest son met us there.  Because…..ALL the other kids were at NYE sleepovers.(WHAT?!?!)

So.  After my first pick, favorite restaurant was a 2 hour wait (dinner on NYE is a thing ?!?!?!??!), we went to choice #2, 15 minute wait and pretty tasty.  Then home to tuck in the Hubs, text my missing children a happy, happy, set the alarm for the oldest (who had to work at 645 this morning–hence no sleepover for him), I sat down and binged on Nashville….my new favorite show.   Until Downton comes on this Sunday!!!

Today, it’s nasty and drizzly.  My house is way too quiet.  So, I drank my coffee…am pondering breakfast….paid bills…and am blogging.   Later, we will return this laptop (sticky space bar), shop for a microwave, have lunch in the mall and then head to a friend’s to watch the Noles play.

There ya go.

The blog, she’s picking up steam…..let’s see what 2015 brings!!

Hope your New Year’s Eve was fun and flu-free and that 2015 brings you blessings in abundance!




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