I Wish I Knew

Have you ever asked yourself, "what would my life be like if I made a different choice?" I ask myself that all the time. I don't ask because I regret where my life is now, but rather out of curiosity.  If I could go back and change things about my life, I doubt I would change a thing. I love my life at this moment. Changing the past would change my present.  That said, looking back at my past 43 years of life, I wish I knew that... One fight with my best friend would forever Read more [...]

Memories of Summer Camp

"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." When I think back to summers past, this song refrain comes to mind as well as memories of camping, with my family and away at Girl Scout camp. While I enjoyed camping with my family and spending a day in canoes on the Meramec River, nothing compares to sleep away camp. I did not go to Girl Scout camp every year, Our budget was often too tight for that. Despite the infrequency, I still hold lots of great memories. The Read more [...]

10 Surprising (or Not) Things About Being a Parent

Before I married my husband, I taught first grade. For the most part (save the occasional behavior issue from hell), I enjoyed spending my days with a classroom full of six- and seven-year-olds. It was my life for a several years.  I figured that my knowledge from teaching, as well as the time I spent studying developmental theory in graduate school, would aid me in my role as a stay at home mom. And, in some ways, it helped. However, there are a few things I did not expect. 1. Incessant Read more [...]

Crock Pot Pizza Pasta

Being a mom to a picky four-year-old frustrates me. While her younger sister, Grace, eats practically anything on her plate, Ginny snubs her nose at any food that doesn't have pasta or rice. I'm also not a short-order cook and won't prepare a dish just for her. Because of that, my husband and I tend to include pasta or rice in most meals during the week. After all, we don't want to starve our child. (That said, if she refuses to eat what she's served, she goes to bed hungry.) The good news Read more [...]

All the Junk Food I Love to Eat

Not long before my youngest was born, my friend Coreen quipped, "Denise, you are the only woman I know who loses weight when pregnant."  At that point, I had not gained a pound. I weighed what I did at the start of the pregnancy. Due to morning sickness and an increased metabolism, due to my pregnancy, I lost 14 pounds during my first two trimesters. I didn't start gaining the weight back until my third trimester. Being an obese woman, my doctor had no complaints or concerns. The most she Read more [...]

Restaurant-Style Salsa

While pregnant with my baby, Samantha, I did not cook much at all. In fact, for the last two months of my pregnancy, I didn't cook at all. Physically I struggled, particularly toward the end of my pregnancy. I dealt with bad asthma and legs that would not support me properly. The idea of cooking, under those conditions, stressed me. My husband prepared our meals every night. I'm blessed (and thankful) to have a husband willing to help out. It also helps that he loves to cook. Now that Read more [...]

10 Things I Like About My Body

Every day after lunch I send my two oldest girls, Ginny and Grace, to their room for "quiet" time. Before I became a parent, I envisioned this time as nap time for them and quiet and peace for me. However, Grace is not allowed to nap. If she takes a nap, she won't go to sleep at night. So, quiet time became a time for me to have some quiet while my girls play together. You do whatever works when you become a parent. Trust me! Quiet time is not always as peaceful as I hope. The girls sometimes Read more [...]

Stuck in the Mud

Each day I'm awakened by a baby fussing and hungry. I start my day by nursing her then getting myself ready for the day. Before I wake, my husband wakes, dresses, then gets our oldest daughters dressed. By the time I'm dressed and changing Samantha's diaper, Ginny and Grace are eating their breakfast; all before 7:15 a.m. This is my family's typical morning routine (i.e., not a day when my husband is working overnight shifts).  After my husband leaves for work and the girls finish Read more [...]

Blessed

The first sacrament that Catholic babies experience is baptism. My husband and I decided on baptism dates for each of our girls long before they were born. Perhaps that is due to my organized nature (since we've me some Catholics who don't think about baptism until after their babies are born) or on the importance we place on baptizing our babies as soon as we can.  So, in December, when I was only 3 months pregnant, we began talking to our families about possible baptism dates. Planning Read more [...]

11 Reasons Why Buyers on House Hunters Drive Me Nuts

One show I love to watch is House Hunters. I'm not sure why I enjoy watching people searching for a new home. It could be my nosy-nature, wanting to see what other people have (and can afford). The other part is wanting to see what I like and don't like in homes. Just watching the show clarifies what I want in our next home. Since we plan to buy a new home this fall, I find myself watching House Hunters a lot! Lucky for me, I can watch the show on Netflix. How handy is that? The Read more [...]