Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weight Lifted

Our time at St. Ursula's has come to an end. I'm not sad. The girls had wonderful experiences and I've met many like-minded, wonderful parents. With Sister Joanita at the helm, St. Ursula's has been a positive place for growth and learning for all of us over the last 5 years. I have no regrets. Zero.

Since last week when we were first notified that significant changes are in the works for next year, and the foreseeable future, I have fretted and prayed for guidance and clarity. Despite forces pushing me one way, I tried very hard, successfully I feel, to take an objective look at our options.

As I formulated a game plan and tried to work out the logistics of next school year, I kept coming back to one path that just feels "right."

Sarah and Emmy will be attending Shaler Area Schools next year. I'm genuinely excited for the next chapter; new opportunities, experiences, and friends.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Distressing News

I am not sure what the outcome of these unexpected decisions will be, but I feel rather irrelevant to the conversation since I already know that next year will be Sarah and Emmy's last at this school.

That alone was a bitter pill to swallow. I feel horribly for how families were notified and for Sister herself.

Many prayers.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


We celebrated Emmy's First Communion and Mother's Day with a cook-out at home. Unfortunately the weather was chilly, but we packed everyone into our house. Seth slept while the rest of us enjoyed.

My dad made burgers and Sal grilled, my mom made the potato salad and helped the girls make a fluffy fruit salad, and I pulled it all together as guests arrived around 1pm. 

Emmy really seemed to enjoy herself and received quite a few presents. My mom gave her this print of the Blessed Mother with Baby Jesus. I plan to hang it on the wall behind her bed. Sal and I gave her a cross that was made from the old doors at St. Ursula when they were replaced a couple years ago. She also received a rosary, a St. Anne figurine, bracelets, and cash.

Emmy's cake from Jean-Marc Chatelier Bakery was beautiful, and tasty too.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Emmy's First Communion

Emmy's First Communion was this morning at 10am. My mom and I arrived early to make sure Emmy had her picture professionally taken by the photographer.

She and Sarah both sung solos, and performed beautifully. If either had stage fright, no one could tell.

There are only three girls in the second grade class at St. Ursula's, and another mom took this picture of them. They were all so excited.

Emmy and I took several pictures together, but this was by far my favorite.

Below is Emmy's pew marker. Each communicant had one so that their families knew where to sit.

A funny story. Sarah's not used to being one of the first to receive the blood of Christ at Communion. It was full when they handed her the cup and she ended up with a gulp of wine, rather than just a sip. She said not only did it not taste good, she felt hot all over and then her heart started racing.

Listening to her tell this story had me cracking up, but I hope she remembers how awful that feeling is as she gets older.

Following Mass the girls went with their dad to her first party, while my parents, Sal, Seth, and I went to Eat N Park for lunch. From there they went onto the St. Nicholas for a tour of the Maxo Vanka murals, and I picked up Emmy's cake from Jean-Marc Chatelier Bakery. Then I met them at church for the second part of the tour.

We are members of St. Nicholas and every week we see these murals. We got an impromptu, abbreviated tour one week after Mass, but this was the first full tour we'd taken. I also got to check an item off my bucket list. The docent allowed me to go behind the altar and see the paintings that are hidden to all but those with access to that area during Mass.

My parents are spending the night so they're here to party with Emmy tomorrow, and celebrate Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Million Bells

I've been wanting to get a hanging basket and shepherd's hook for the last couple of summers. I sprung for it this year. I loved the weedy, whimsy, messy look of this particular arrangement. I also loved the yellow. It's such a bright, fun, and happy color. The gold shepherd's hook sort of blends in, but I like it in person.

I posted this bouquet on facebook and someone told me the flowers are "Million Bells." I hadn't even considered that they had a name. Oh, Dana.

In the background you can see the back of one of the over-sized giant pinwheels from 5 Below that Emmy and I picked out Saturday night.

This is  the front stoop and railing we're hoping to replace this summer so please don't judge.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


before the ketchup incident
I don't know where Emmy picked up this moniker, but I kind of like it.

Anyway, Sarah had a birthday party to attend at Fun Fore All so Emmy and I hung out in Cranberry for a couple hours. We did a little bit of shopping, but all we bought were some over-sized pinwheels. We spent the most time at Barnes and Noble, and I don't think that was a highlight for her.

It saddens me that so far neither daughter adores reading like I do. I'm hoping it's just a maturity thing.

From the bookstore we went to Dairy Queen where Emmy and I shared a small cookie dough blizzard. While we were waiting for the clock to tick to 8pm, Emmy got bored and thought she'd put a bit of ketchup on her finger to taste. Just as I was saying, "No, why would you do that," she was squeezing the bottle and ketchup went everywhere, on her lap. on the back of the booth, on her sleeve.

I wanted to yell at her, but instead I just shook my head and thought, "why?"


Thursday, April 28, 2016


Sarah and Emmy's school had an in-service today so I was home with all three kids. The weather was cold and rainy and we were cooped up all day inside. That allowed me to see just how attached Seth is to Emmy, and really, her to him as well.

Seth gets very upset when Emmy is out of sight. If she runs upstairs, he stands at the bottom and screams until she reappears. If Emmy sets him down he puts his arms up and whines until she picks him up. This went on all.day.long.

I kept waiting for her to get exasperated and run out of patience, which would have been totally understandable, but nope. She would just say, "oh Sethy, give me one second" and then she'd pick him back up or play with him. She mothers him and has copious amount of patience. If only she displayed half of that patience when it came to Sarah, but I digress.

Anyway, Emmy got in the shower last night and closed the bathroom door behind her. Seth stood on the other side banging on the door and yelling until she was finished. I took these cute pictures as proof.

I also hope that they remain this close and attached forever. It's really sweet to see, not to mention a huge help for the mama.