Monthly Archives: October 2015

Don’t let the cliche impact you

Before Bridget I fell victim to cliches and platitudes. I thought I was showing empathy and compassion. I believed the words that left my mouth. I did not realize that when I gave my version of sympathy the mom of a child with disabilities heard something completely different.

When I said: I don’t know how you do it
I now hear: Phew, I don’t have her life Continue reading

Today I am thankful

Today I am thankful for nine beautiful, strong, courageous women. Last year I ran Mudderella with my friend Katelyn. Most thought we were crazy. To not only drive to Maine for the day, but then run a 5-7 mile obstacle course through the mud. It was the most fun I have ever had while running.

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Photo credit: Mudderella 2014

When I got back I could not stop talking (and talking) about how rewarding Mudderella was, how it not only uplifted my confidence it showed me how that I am much stronger than I thought I was, both mentally and physically. I told every woman I knew that next year they would have to join us. Nine of us returned to CT and took the challenge. It was cold, 40 degrees cold. It was wet, a little huricaine Joaquin was off the coast. It was windy and we had to drive over two hours to get there. One of us had to drive 6 hours in that rain, wind and cold to be a part of the team.

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Since we are women, we made it a party.  Arriving the night before for a pre-celebration. Also for everyone one to meet one another.  In truth they all knew me, but only knew one other person on the team. Most had never met or heard of one another.  Yet they were willing to come and do this with me. Stay in a hotel room with someone they did not know and then run in the freezing cold. They were amazing.

(Photo credit: “C” our resident teen photographer)

Did I mention they also had to get up at 5:30am the next morning? This is only one reason why I am thankful for them. Here are my others:

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Photo credit: Mudderella

Missy, the person most responsible for our team name.  Missy is from Texas and mentioned britches. I thought she called us bitches. She said no, britches as in pants that hold up your under-britches. Viola the team name was reborn to Bridget’s Britches. Because each one of these ladies keep Bridget up and going.

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Photo credit: Mudderella

Sherry, the person most able to understand my husband. There are not many sister-in-laws who would be willing to say “I’m in” when asked if they felt like running in the mud.  Sherry never had fear or worried about ability. She knew that this day was about friendship and being more than we think we can be.

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Photo credit: Mudderella

Bethany, the person most likely not to look dirty after navigating a mud pit. I’m not really sure how she did it, but Bethany ended the run without a hair out of place. I first met Bethany when she became one of Bridget’s ESPs (Extra Special Person). She has such a kind soul, when she smiles (which is often) it comes from the inside out. That she was still smiling with me after freezing so hard she could not hold her after-drink says a lot!

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Photo credit: Mudderella

Lisa, the person who has known be the longest and still takes my phone calls. About 2 years ago she sent me a link for an obstacle race she was thinking of participating in with her friend.  I believe my e-mail back was: are you freaking crazy? Sadly, I succeeded in talking her out of that event. The next year when I signed up for my first obstacle race she resent me that e-mail. Um…what’s good for the goose? When I signed up this year, Lisa was the first one to join me. Even though she had to drive 6 hours to join our Britches. Best friends since 7th grade, she realizes she is never getting rid of me and (I think) she is okay with that.

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Photo credit: Mudderella

Karen, the person most likely to craft with Abby. I met Karen years ago and then she married my brother-in-law. We bonded over navigating the mother-in-law. Karen was my hero doing this run. She was probably the most fearful yet not only did she power through she helped other teams get over obstacles that proved you cannot get through this world alone.

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(Photo credit: “C” our resident teen photographer)

Regina, the person who is probably the most sincere woman I have ever met. No matter what life throws at Regina she sees that silver lining. I have never known her to have a bad day, yet I know her life has been far from perfect. That is what makes Regina so special, even when life is imperfect her approach to living it is seeing that light. She is also a fantastic pre-race dance partner. (I know she went into the mud. However there appears to be no photographic evidence.

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Photo credit: Mudderella

Katelyn, the person who I ran my first mud race with and still comes back for more! I met Katelyn when she was just a teen girl dating one of my two favorite nephews. I have watched this young girl grown into an incredible woman. Last year she was a tad, ahem, dramatic when it came to the obstacles. This year she not only rocked the course, she killed it.  I cannot wait to see how she continues to grow into her own confidence.

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Photo credit: Mudderella

Lauren, the person who started as Bridget’s speech therapist and became my closest friend. Lauren signed me up for my first ever obstacle race. So really this is all her fault you ladies are in the mud. When I said I wanted to do a half-marathon, she not only encouraged me but began training with me. When our race got cancelled (half-way through our training!) she quickly found another race for us. Whenever I feel like giving up, Lauren is there to remind me that the finish line is just a few steps away.

Last but not least (or pictured), I am thankful for “C”. My teenage friend who got out of bed VERY early on a cold and wet Saturday morning and followed us around the race course taking our photos. Thank you, my friends, who were strangers when they met and will forever be a part of Bridget’s Britches. My life is better for having each one of you in it. Thank you for allowing me in your lives.

And one last photo, to prove that I too went into the mud:

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Photo credit: Mudderella

The Britches will see you next year Mudderella NE!

Disclaimer: Mudderella did not compensate me in anyway for this posting. They do not even know I wrote it. However if you are going to do one thing out of your comfort zone in 2016 I recommend locating a Mudderella near you and finding your strength. If you choose New England in 2016 we will be happy for you to join our team! We promise, “Dirt don’t hurt”.

Fairy tales

I love to read. Seriously love to read and do not understand those who say they don’t have time. But I must confess to not reading to my children.  I don’t know why. Yes, I do. It’s because I read in my head much faster than I do out loud. Plus it never sounds right in my own voice.  When I read I hear the characters, I visualize them and their surroundings.

Except when it comes to fairy tale heroines.  I do not need to pretend or to visualize how they may appear or act. I know exactly who she that person is: Continue reading

It’s 3am and I’m not lonely

It’s 3am, I hear you gasp over the baby monitor. Yes, at six years old you still have a baby monitor. My feet hit the floor before my eyes open. I barrel down the stairs to your room, turning on a hallway light so as not to wake your sister. I open your door to find you vomiting on your bed. You look at me, tears in your eyes disorientated by my sudden appearance. As I scoop you up, you point to the bed and say, “I mess”.

I gently wash you (and your bed). As I redress you I hear you whisper, I sleep mommy. You curl into my arms; secure in your knowledge that mommy will keep you safe. We crawl into my bed; you rest your head on my shoulder and gently rub my face. Sensory seeking as you begin to fall back asleep. I realize at this moment how much you have grown, your toes reaching my knees.

I remember that first day in the hospital, when you would curve into my chest your bottom in the air. You fit into my arms, like you were made for me. Tonight, just like then, you had to have your head just so under my neck. Unlike then your arms were not long enough to wrap around my shoulders. Your fingers could barely wrap around mine.

Boo 1m old in CHB

You slowly drift off to sleep. I listen to you breathe and remember when I used to have to count your breaths. In the semidarkness I watch your chest rise and fall. I remember how scared I used to be and give thanks that you are home in my arms. You open your eyes, say mommy and drift back to dreams.

I wonder what you are dreaming about. It must be nice, I think, as your lips turn up in a smile. I wonder if you are thinking about school or the latest Sophia episode. I remember when I worried that you would never go to school or have dreams. It is nice to have those fears disappear and hope emerge.

I forget, sometimes, how much you have grown. It’s moments like this, at 3am, where I realize you will always be my little Boo.

I am more than okay with that.

Why I refuse to join the NRA

I’ve been trying to write this post since last evening, since the most recent mass shooting. I recite a response in my head, over and over again but cannot put my feelings into mere words. When the Ebola crisis struck we had an immediate government and healthcare response. There is more outrage over undocumented immigrants than the number of people killed by guns. Don’t quote to me that more cars kill people then guns. Tell me when the last time a car was used with the intent to kill a classroom of children? Continue reading

The Cliff Notes to your newborn life

I cannot believe it took me so long to realize that a new mom needs a good friend to tell her the truth about motherhood.

Dear my precious friend that just had a baby,

Welcome to the club. Today your world changed. Not in any way you could prepare. You thought reading baby books, knowing friends/relatives who have children added to your knowledge base. You thought that having a baby would be a blessing and never realized that it would be the most challenging adventure of your existence. The past nine months have built your anticipation.

It has only taken one day with your baby to realize you do not know what the freak you are doing and made you hesitate to ask questions. You are afraid of looking foolish, or worse, appearing as you are an over-reactive new mom. I am here to give you a few simple truths: Continue reading

It’s wine o’clock

If we were having a glass of wine…

I would tell you that I am freaking exhausted, after being up with a sick Bridget all night. I would say she is feeling better now, that I am sure it was just a 24 hour bug. I would confide in you that every time she gets sick I worry that we are going to be hospitalized. It makes me more cautious, cancelling school and therapy appointments. I would also joke that she must realize I am going away tomorrow night. She tends to get sick right before I have leave.

I would tell you how excited I am about Friday night. When I am meeting 11 of my village members for dinner, a night in a hotel followed by rolling around in the mud on Saturday. That somehow I convinced 10 other women to join me at Mudderella New England on Saturday. I would laugh when you remind me that there is a hurricane scheduled for this weekend. I would tell you we are already planning on getting muddy, what’s a little wind?

I would tell you how thankful I am that I can call a friend at 8am just to say men suck for Christ’s Sake! You would say, of course they do but I have to drop my boy that sucks off at school so let’s chat in an hour.

I would tell you how I was convinced to sign up for a half-marathon. You would remind me that it was on my 2015 bucket list. I ran six miles over the weekend, my thighs are freaking killing me. I didn’t realize when I signed up how long it will actually take to finish.  Who the hell wants to run for over two hours, I would ask. You would snort your wine and say obviously someone who wasn’t thinking clearly.

I would tell you I did one whole day of healthy eating. Forsaking M&M’s and any processed food. I had cereal, a protein shake (and it didn’t kill me) and a healthy salad.  I would confess that lasted until about 1pm when the lure of M&Ms overpowered my will power. I did try, I would say as we snacked on chips & salsa.

I would tell you that Fall can kiss my flip flops.

I would tell you that I was better at healthy eating than I was at giving up Facebook.  I need to take a hiatus but, like Micheal Corleone it keeps pulling me back in.

I would explain that the screaming you heard coming out of my house was over homework. I firmly believe that homework has become teacher’s revenge for having to deal with children all day. We would laugh when I said the only upside of Fall is that the windows will be closed and you will no longer have to hear me screaming JUST FOLLOW THE FREAKING INSTRUCTIONS.

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We would open another bottle and I would ask how your week was….