The big Dads Day is right around the corner. SO FAST around the corner!!
Thankfully my husband doesn't read my blog. Ahem.... at least I hope he doesn't read THIS one.
Cause it's ALL ABOUT FATHER'S DAY!
I was recently approached by a company that has one of the most unique Dad's Day ideas out there. They are called 'Flatten Me'. They take an image of a person and put it on a shirt. But the best part is they super-impose them on characters!
So, this one-we went with the 'My Hero' shirts with Daddy-O.
I love them!!
Be sure to check them out at www.FlattenMe.com. They do it on many different things-like books, wall art, cards and even water bottles. But my fave is the shirt for this holiday!
I feel like I've been neglecting the 'memory making' side to this blog, ya know?
I mean-afterall 4 years ago I started this thing so that I could document my life...and the life of my little guy.
Yes, I know that it's pretty much self serving...but keeping these memories here have a much better chance to be seen by Boston when he gets older than the plethora of scrapbooks I have (and have not made) in the guest room upstairs.
(Humor me would ya? lol.)
There is a lot of talk around the social scenes (ie. Facebook & Twitter) about getting the kids back to school....end of summer entertaining and planning for the fall. In fact, I'm already 2 weeks late with getting this post out cause kids are off-summer is OVER- and Halloween is already up at some places!!
I have a lot of great memories of this summer. A LOT more than I expected. But definitely great ones that I'm super grateful of making.
Last spring I told my husband that I wasn't going to chase all over the countryside to blogger conferences or events this summer. I did that last summer....and really regreted it because I was hardly ever home.
I said I wanted to 'make memories' with my little boy this summer.
And I TOTALLY did that. Even more than I had hoped for!
What a summer too. Wow.
Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day weekend we spent Boston's 4th birthday at Disney. What a wonderful time we had, for sure.
Congress Hall, Cape MayThen in June I went to a press trip at my favorite family resort: Cape Resorts Group in Cape May...stayed at Congress Hall and it was fabulous.
I had my 35th birthday that month. But I gotta be honest with you. NO MORE BIRTHDAYS for me. Cause they always end up being 'the worst birthday ever'. And once again that title was seriously fitting.
Back to OPTIMISM, Joey...
Kathie Lee & Hoday: Today Show
Then my mom came for a visit and I took her to NYC with me when I was on the Hoda & Kathie Lee Show!! THAT was a total life highlight. Both for the show and being with my mom on her FIRST NYC visit.
That same weekend...actually the day after the show...I about died.
Baby for Real?!?!
Took a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE.
Yeah. After almost 2 years of 'trying' - I had pretty much given up. I thought it was a lost cause. And just when you least expect it?
I told my husband and well....it took like 30 tests and two doctor visits till he REALLY believed me. I guess I can admit that it was a bit of a bummer by his reaction. But men don't totally get that part of a womans life. I mean... we're the ones who create that beautiful miracle when all they were are sperm donors! (hahaha. Totally crude. I know. Sorry. lol)
Atlantic City Overnight with Boston
I got to take Boston with me to this really fun 4th of July extravaganza event where they were promoting their million dollar light show called Duality. We didn't actually get to make it through the light show. Cause... ahem...my kid passed out in my arms during the fireworks!!! But we did get to spend some time at the pool and with some of our friends. The next day I took him to Ocean City before heading home and we totally got to enjoy a little fun in the sun, just the two of us.
Golden Inn; Avalon, NJBlogger Beach Bash
Mid June, I took Boston to an event I hosted in Avalon, NJ at the shore. We had a blast.
My husband was suppose to go with me...but he got wrapped up in work.
So instead of leaving Boston at home, I packed us up and took him along.
I knew he'd just love the event. And he sure was the PERFECT kid!!!
Sandman Matt came and hosted a sandsculpting seminar for many bloggers and their families. It was a gorgeous day with some of my most favorite friends along!!
I got to make a memory and help my friends create memories with their families.
Gaylord National Resort
This was a ton of fun with my family. I love driving there because it's not a long drive. The view is gorgeous. And National Harbor rocks!
We were there for the launch of the Holiday season at Gaylord where they announced the theme for their amazing ice show for this summer.
We enjoyed this fun, candyland like family event with Santa! (I KNOW. Santa in July??? You betcha!)
Katie Elise Butterfly Release (Our 4th year)
I LOVE this charity and all they do. And the butterfly release is an amazing thing to see!
Ocean City, NJ BeachMini FAM Vacation at Ocean City, NJ
Here we hit Labor Day weekend and I said to my husband "DUDE! We are at the last real weekend of summer and yet we haven't gone to the beach as a family! I had gone when my dad was in town for a visit...and I took Boston myself twice-but nothing with all of us.
So we loaded up the car and hit up the only hotel with a room for three days! My husband about hat a fit becuase he's so dang high maintenance and I rented a motel. But after getting there he realized it wasn't 'so bad' after all. I will tell you the bed was AWFUL (Maybe because we are INSANELY spoiled with our bed at home!!!)
The best part about this trip for me, was that it wasn't a 'work trip'. I get the opportunity to go to many awesome places. I love taking my family on press trips for sure! But when I can go somewhere and not have to 'think like a blogger' it's amazing!! Yes. More expensive. But worth it in the end.
We ate lots of boardwalk food and fell asleep by 9 from exhaustion every day.
But in the end-it was the best way we could have wrapped up a wonderful weekend away.
Boardwalk Mini GolfAll in all, it was probably one of the BEST summers I've had in many years. I'm pretty convinced because I made that commitment to myself and to my son-that no matter what....I was going to make a memory with him.
I want to go public with you here. Because many of you know that I'm..well... hanging by a thread right now.
One important factor for me is that I'm sooo not 25 anymore.
I turn 35 in a month. And the saying YES to everything that came my way, plus run a household, own my own business and most importantly being a MOTHER is not working. For the long term.
One of the goals I've been working on since I spent the entire month on the road in February is to get a place at the shore for the summer. I ran my brains out, to the point that I realized...I'm not going to do it anymore.
And little did I know it. March and April were pretty great...productive...prosperous....
And here I am. May 17th and I'm swimming fast and furious away from sharks.
And when you realize that your bedroom looks like this?
It's time to 'clean house' and think about the purposes that drive you in life.
I have a big problem saying "NO" to a lot of things.
Food, Alcohol, Work....are just to name a few.
I gain weight when I can't keep up with the demands and then I drink to mask and move forward and then I work so damn hard to pretend that I've got it alllll together.
And well. By the picture of my bedroom above.
I love the saying on my wall. It does remind me every morning to Live as if you only have TODAY.
I need to add a big fat image of the former first lady Mrs Nancy Reagan saying 'JUST SAY NO JOEY!'
I KID YOU NOT WHEN I TELL YOU:
-- I get approx 400 emails a day. People wanting to 'pick my brain', pitches - then companies following up with 'just want to follow up on my pitch', then invites to host events, sales people wanting help with a project, people wanting to be on Real Mom Radio' facebook freaking notifications (UGH) not to mention my mom.
So when I say 'yes' - I'll meet you to share my knowledge, yes-booking you to be on Real Mom Radio-then editing the show, yes-I do have a great idea on how you can give more to your clients, yes-I will host your event, yes-I'd love to have a playdate, yes-send me that product to review....then try to invoice companies - track down the non payments so I can pay rent for my office, be a MOTHER, wife, friend, neighbor, sister, daughter, butt wiper & laundry do'er?
So... I'm not sharing all this with you to get you to join my pitty party. Cause quite frankly, I REAP what a SOW.
I'm telling you to REMIND YOURSELF... you can't be all things to all people. You are JUST ONE PERSON.
And the power of NO is important in making boundaries.
Now if I can just get farther than 3 months without a mental meltdown? I'm be kicking ass.
So here is my last post to you for a while (mainly because my dad is in town because my husband called him to come since I was about to implode and turn into Medusa and he was/is on a guys trip) and because next week is my little boys 4th birthday and we're taking our first ever trip to Disney World.
WHAT'S NEXT WITH REAL MOM MEDIA:
-- A new endorsement with Sono Bello...that I've been DYING to share
-- Laundry done, house cleaned, kid played with and hopefully a returned email from me that I owe you!
Thanks for sticking around....
OH-but Real Mom Radio will rock on! Be sure to tune in Sunday mornings at 7am on Ben FM. Listen live at www.ILikeBenFM.com too!
As I'm typing this and trying to spit out the words - my son is chasing the dog around the house singing 'chasing dog' over and over. Plus my poor father who can barely walk is saying 'Boston, you need to calm down!' and well...that pile of laundry still there! PLUS-our airconditioner went out and my doorbell is ringing with the repairman!!!!!!!!
Anyone who knows me - knows that I've never been a sports fan.
I just didn't grow up playing it...or being around it.
In a family of 3 girls-my dad just didn't have an influence on us there. Not to mention...he wasn't a fan either.
Upon meeting my husband..yeah...I did enjoy going to Cubs games. I was in my 20s. Partying was the reason behind it. That was the social reason I went. I enjoyed chatting & well...drinking!
Not to mention we held NOTHING back when we met up with friends at those games. I could pretty much guarantee there would be an all day drinking extravaganza with a major headache the next day.
Quite honestly, that's the only reason I liked the games. They just went hand in hand. Unlimited beer & food on a rooftop watching the Cubs play? B.I.N.G.O.
Fast forward to today. Drinking is not apart of the equation at games. And in all honesty-after moving to Philly-my husband and his life revolved around it. Granted..he runs a sports radio station that pays our mortgage. And I always say 'professionally-I couldn't possibly be any more proud of him!' But personally.... our family really suffered because of sports.
I was a new mom...no job..no family....just moved... and he was 210% wrapped up into making his station succeed. I can't fault him today. After all...he just wanted to provide for his family. Make sure we were taken care of.
It was so hard on me because I just didn't grow up like that. Him and I grew up in totally different environments. My parents worked just to live...and his, lived to work. I grew up in a small town in the country...he grew up in the Northshore of Chicago.
Neither one of us were raised wrong. We were just raised with what our parents knew and the best they could do.
So thats the back story on why I have such resentment towards sports.
But about 20 minutes ago.... I was reminded by that same man who eats, sleeps & breathes it what it is about sports that I do like.
You see... he was sitting on the couch and started to tell me something about a sports story. (Granted I always half listen when he talks about sports..lol....but this one made me stop in my tracks.)
Then as he started watching this video....where the man who was beaten and fighting for his life after a bad brain injury had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Giants game. The man couldn't be there-but his son was filling in to throw out the pitch. Then ... I glanced across the room.
And I saw something in him that I haven't ever seen before.
I looked over and saw his eyes well up.
Then I asked him 'Are you about to cry?'
Mind you....I can count on one hand how many times I've seen my husband cry.
And he innocently looked up from his computer at me....pulled Boston as close to him as he could and said "That man is never going to be able to play catch with his son. Because of the senseless act of another human being."
"It's not fair." he said.
Then I asked him "Wow. This really touched you" or something of the sorts....
And he said 'It changes everything when you become a father."
Or something of the sort.
I can't remember the exact words he used. And in the end that part doesn't really matter.
But I'll forever remember the lost look in his eyes when he looked across the room at me.
It reminded me of the man who was at a game....I think in Texas...and he went to catch a foul ball for his son and tragically fell over the railing. With his own son watching. The man died on the way to the hospital.
My heart sinks.
And although I may not be a 'fan' or have a rediculous amounts of resentment to sports at times....
There is no denying to connection that sports have with men. (Most men.)
I love that man. And even though he drives me BONKERS with sports....
He's an amazing father. And I know that even though he doesn't always show it....there is a sensitive side of him.
The sports world is a better place with him in it.
After a month of running around like a chicken with my head cut off not really knowing if I'm coming or going....I got to spend 36 hours alone with my husband. Celebrating our 5th anniversary.
Sadly, him and I haven't been away from our son for more than 24 hours. Boston has never spent the night with anyone except one of us in the almost 4 years of his little life. Mainly because we just don't have family around to leave him with....and it's hard to do when you're not really sure.
But we decided that our close friend, who's been watching him since he was a couple months old is a perfect fit to watch him while we got away.
And I have to tell you, I am soooo glad we did.
We have a special place in our heart for Cape May. It was the first little weekend getaway we hit up when we first moved to Philly in 2007. It was Labor Day weekend and I just started my new job at the radio station. (Coincidentally I was doing middays on Ben FM). He had already been working for the company for a few months and I had only been living in Philly with my 'new' husband for less than a month.
Our young, hip, professional, coworker friends totally ripped on us for going to Cape May. Saying that the boring old farts went there for vacation.
Hmpf. Must have been a sign of things to come, right? hahaha. Cause I got pregnant that weekend (so I think) and life as we knew it would never be the same.
And if you've been following this blog...you know that our marriage has had its ups and downs. It really has been hard.
And after this past couple days away together-we both got knocked up side the head with the realization that there is no reason for it to take another 5 years to get a couple days away, just him and I.
I seriously now believe that we HAVE to find time for each other!!
And I have to give him full credit. Even though I made the plans and booked the reservations at the Virginia Hotel for the White Cottage Penthouse (which is absolutely to die for by the way!) he really went above and beyond to seriously focus on ME. And all the things I wanted to do.
Yes...we only had approx 36 hours. But I put that guy to work, I tell ya!
Ready for this?
I brought every scrapbook I have ever made with us in it. From our wedding-to the birth of our baby.
I wanted to really focus on the great things we shared since our wedding. And with all due respect to my little man....our hardships hit after he was born. Not his fault at all...but that's when we started drifting a bit.
So we went through and shared memories on so many things in those books.
This book has such a cool story to it. I'm so proud of it. I ordered it online and had the leather embossed to say 'Matt & Joey Our Life Together' and it's meant for us to each year share special moments - the GREAT moments in our lives. We can only write good things in it. Ones that are uplifting and full of love and light. (In other words-no bitching! lol)
Each one of us went off into a corner and had to write something special. Reflecting on the last year...the amazing moments...and looking forward to the next.
I can't even begin to tell you the tears I shed.
Self-Portraits; 5 Year Anniversary EveningOur last night there...we went to dinner at the Ebbitt Room in the Virginia Hotel. We were the only ones in there. Amazing food...and the two of us.
Afterwards we went back to our place. Then started at the beginning of the book and read till the end of our written words.
And he was present the entire time.
That's been so hard to do the past 5 years. For both of us.
I was so grateful to him for allowing me to be so cheeky. Silly. Juvenile. Jovial. And filled with reflection.
Cause as we headed home the next morning-with our minds already hitting the ground running ready for the rat race. He kindly put his hand on my knee....and thanked me.
And it really meant the world to me.
So many times in life we get caught up in wanting more. Running in every direction. Like 2 ships passing in the night. And I really feel in my heart that is why marriages fail.
Because with kids, work, errands, house, chores.....the love that got you two there just sort of disappears.
And two people start fading apart.
I can gratefully say that today I feel closer to my husband than I have felt since the day we got married.
Not because he gave me diamonds or a handbag or clothes.
But because he gave me time. Attention. And he was present in every second of it.
And I felt it. Deep down in my heart.
I feel warm. Filled up with love.
And reminded of what happened...when two people fell in love.
Thank you honey for going that extra mile. It made a world of difference for me.