This One’s for You, Dad

I’ve seen a few Father’s Day link-ups, but I decided to customize and combine them, for a post about my own dad.IMG_97281. What’s the best thing about your dad?

My dad has always taken such good care of me, and even as an adult, he’s always looking out for me and helping me in so many ways.  He loves spending time with me and all our family, and he tells us so often.

2. What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you?

Spend time with the people you love now, and don’t put off special moments or vacations (if you can).  You never know how much time you’ll have with them.  (His own Mom died young.)

3.What’s something you have in common with your dad?

He has handed on to me a love of the Catholic Faith, a love of learning and reading, and a love of travel.  Also listening to Yankees baseball and riding motorcycles.

4. What makes your dad happy?

Relaxing (not working), reading, and especially being with his wife, children and grandchildren.IMG_96935. How does your dad make you laugh?

He can be really silly, especially when he imitates Gilhooley (a movie character who is basically a beach bum).

6. What was your dad like when he was a child?

He was adventurous.  He would play in the woods all around his home, and swim and do fun stuff all the time.

8. What is your dad’s favorite food?

Anything we make for him, but he likes German Chocolate cake and jello salad.IMG_97749. What makes you proud of your dad?

For as long as I can remember, my dad has worked very hard to provide for his family, and to have the time and resources to spend time traveling and having fun with us.  He has persevered at his job for almost 30 years, even when its been hard.

10. If your dad were a character, who would he be? 

Gilhooley (from “Donovan’s Reef”) or Mr. Incredible

11. Where is your dad’s favorite place to go?

The beach, a cruise, or somewhere he hasn’t visited before or where his girls and grandchildren are.IMG_981312. How do you know your dad loves you? 

Maybe it’s because my love language is gift giving, but I know my dad loves me by all material and immaterial things he’s given me.  A nice home growing up, my Faith, lots of great years of homeschooling, helping me attend a terrific Catholic college, my first car, a lovely wedding reception, so many, many wonderful memories from trips all over the country and cruises in the Caribbean, letting us live in their retirement house until they retire, and spending time and showing love to me and my girls.  There are so many other things my dad has given me, that I’m so grateful for, and I hope he know how much I love him back.  I love you, Dad.

Seven Quick Takes

Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum.

1. Tuesday was the first day of my husband’s 10 week summer vacation.  (He’s a teacher 🙂  He’s caught up on sleep, but has also been super helpful with taking the kids, washing dishes and even making meals.  This is because…

Going to school with Daddy, on one of his last days.  She always asks to go with him, and was thrilled to spend a few hours at his school.

Going to school with Daddy, on one of his last days. She always asks to go with him, and was thrilled to spend a few hours at his school.

2. This month is the busiest time of my work-from-home job.  Usually, I email for about an hour a day.  The last two weeks, it’s averaged 5 hours a day of calling, emailing and texting.  I’m tired of being online and don’t know how people work this way all the time.

“Shopping” for a snack. Playing while Mommy works.

3. With all the time online, I’ve tried really hard to get outside at least a little every day.  On Tuesday, we got out for an afternoon hike.  We did our new favorite hike: 2 miles on the Dickey Ridge Trail, into Shenandoah National Park.  Great trail to do with kids, as it follows a little creek and is fairly level for the first mile.

Go hike!  One of Grace's favorite activities.

Go hike! One of Grace’s favorite activities.

4. I’ve also worked a little on the garden.  Harvested and cleaned out the snap peas and bok choy; still working on eating the rest of the lettuce, and harvesting the carrots and beets.

Height of the first crops in this garden.

Height of the first crops in this garden.

Harvesting and getting ready for the next planting.

Harvesting and getting ready for the next planting.

5. The summer vegetables are growing, and lots of cucumbers will be ready to pick soon.  And I’m loving the fresh herbs.  Winter without was so bland.  They smell so fragrant and lovely and taste so good!

The new, beautiful bed, Bobby built this year.

The new, beautiful bed, Bobby built this year.

6.  I actually got out one week for the parish women’s craft night, and worked on my quilt that’s been in progress for over seven years.  It was a much needed night out, and sewing was wonderfully relaxing after all the work pressure.

7.  On Friday we went to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Homeschool Conference in Fredericksburg.  Now that we are actually looking at textbooks and curriculum to use in another year or two (going to do simple pre-school this fall), I am so overwhelmed!  Still, it was really fun, the girls were so good, and we bought a few great books.  And have more ideas for the future.

Answer me this…

Linking up with Kendra for Answer Me This.

1. Any big plans for the summer?

My teacher husband will be home, by I’ll be working through July for my job, with about 10 days onsite in D.C. with our program for foreign lawyers.  We also decided to make the trip to Michigan for a long weekend at the end of June, for my grandfather’s 80th birthday party.  And Virginia Beach (our go-to beach spot) in August, when I’m done with work.  Other than that, fun, family times and hanging out in our big backyard.IMG_0023

2. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

When I was little, I swear I remember my Dad telling me not to worry about tornadoes (I guess I was afraid of them, although we lived in upstate NY), and that I would only have to worry one was coming if I saw an elephant walking down the street.  I believed that for a long time.elephant_show_0

3. What is your favorite amusement park ride? (can be a specific one at a specific park or just a type of ride)

Generally, I love water parks a lot more than amusement parks, and could do water slides all day.  But I do love Disney’s Hollywood theme park.  The Great American Movie Ride, Indiana Jones show, Star Wars ride and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience are still very memorable for me, though its been years since I’ve been.

4. What’s on your summer reading list?

A couple of Willa Cather books, rereading a few Anne of Green Gables, Redwall books, and Sisterchicks, and we’ll see what else.

5. Have you ever fallen asleep in public?

Lots of time at the beach.

I don't have any recent pictures of myself sleeping on the beach, but you get the idea.

I don’t have any recent pictures of myself sleeping on the beach, but you get the idea.

6. What is your favorite smell?

The smell of dewy grass on a warm, sunny morning, what I think of as the “Florida smell”, ripe rapsberries, which remind me of childhood summers spent at my grandpa’s cottage on Lake Michigan, where there were raspberry bushes, and sweet incense in church.

Trying not to Blink: Seven Quick Takes

Linking up with

Today I read two separate blog posts saying how baby and toddler days are over in the blink of an eye.  As a young mom in the midst of them, I want to remember the moments.  Even though this was a “hard” week (teething baby, extra job work, little sleep and lots of cold, raining days in the beginning of June!) there was nonetheless sweet moments of joy and grace.

1. Grace in grey pjs and a green tutu, dancing as her Dad played the piano.  Dancing with her and Theresa trying to dance too.IMG_0022

2. Lots of smiles and walking from my baby!  Feeling better after some bad teething, she and Grace were “singing” together in the car today.  She loves to pull the Potato Heads apart and chew on the pieces, and she is eating so much food!IMG_0015

3. Grace loves her rope and board swing in the front yard.  She calls it the “whee” and wants to go on all the time.  Lately, Mom pushing her on the whee is even more in demand!  We say “up, up, up wheeeee!” and her feet hit the leaves on a low branch.

4. Wednesday is bath night, and the girls splash and play in the tub.  Grace has brought her big, pink ball in with her, and likes to watch the faucet water roll it around.  After bath time, we snuggle in bed and read stories.  Sometime, Theresa will even sit for a minute or two and look at the book.  She especially likes to turn the pages. IMG_9915

5. Grace likes to pick the vegetables from our garden.  She eats the peas right away, and gives me the lettuce.  She wants to pick the beets, which I get is fun because there’s so much to pull out of the ground, but they’re not quite ready yet.

6.  The baby chicks we bough this spring are also a highlight.  Its so funny to watch Grace chase them around.  She can catch them, and also likes holding them.

7. Grace is talking so much more.  Some of her favorite expressions are “oh, I dee (see)”, “tute (cute)”, “me go Daddy skool” (he’s taking her today!), and “me mish (miss) ___” (who ever it happens to be, from Dad to Nona to the cat.


25 Ways to Keep Summer from Slipping Away

Inspired by this post from Heart of my Home, here’s my list to help me live intentionally this summer and appreciate the summer’s goodness.

1.  Make time for my morning prayers and go to daily Mass more frequently.  Maybe even make an extra Holy Hour or two.  My husband is a teacher and has the summer off, and my parents will be visiting for a few weeks, so these things should be a lot easier!  Also get back into the habit of praying the evening Examin, and keep up my weekly Rosary (praying all four sets of mysteries in a week).IMG_00072. Host a garden cocktail party.  I had a lovely party in January for my 30th birthday, and I’d love to host another one, this time outside and with fresh things from my garden.

3. Take the girls to the splash pad we’ve heard about nearby.

4. Sew at least one sundress for each of the girls.  I have lots of material, but haven’t made any in years.

5. Berry picking, hopefully for raspberries and blueberries.

6. Make jam and apple butter.

IMG_99977. Exercise in the morning, maybe even with hubby.

8. Go to a waterpark.  I love them, and have to take advantage of summers when I’m not pregnant!

9. Enjoy all the fresh veggies from our garden and CSA.  Make pickles and salsa.

10. Blog once a week.

11. Prepare to start pre-school with Gracie in the fall.  We’re attending the Seton Conference in a few weeks, and I can’t wait!  Planning to do Catholic Icing with her, but want to check out some other options with a more diverse covering of subjects.  Also, looks like we may do a laid-back coop, so that’s exciting too.

12. Spend time reading books.

13. Go to the animal park near here, and maybe the National Zoo.

14. Keep fresh flowers on the table.

15. Go on a date with hubby.  Maybe, maybe, we’ll even get away for an overnight at a B & B, something we’ve never done before


16. Enjoy my girls.  Have special time with them every day, and maybe do more one on one with Grace.

17. Read to Grace.  Bobby puts her to bed and reads to her then, so often I don’t get to read much to her, unless I make the time.

18. Get a new phone.  Take more pictures.

19. Try making homemade mozzarella, to go with fresh tomatoes and basil and homemade bread.

20. Web free days, at least after all my job responsibilities are done.

21. Go canoeing.

22. Put up a tire swing.

23. Enjoy some self-care: massage, haircut, new eyeglasses, teeth cleaning.

24. Keep pitchers of water with cucumbers and mint, fresh iced tea, and homemade lemonade on hand.

25. Have one on one time, maybe even a date, with my mom and my dad.

Bonus: Sit quietly and do nothing.    IMG_0010